Sunday, October 29, 2006


Did you see An American Werewolf in London by any chance?

There's a scene at a pub called the Slaughtered Lamb, and an Englishman is telling the old joke about the plane full of varying nationalities that's crossing the ocean but is running low on fuel. They toss out luggage and seats and such, but the plane is "still too 'eavy."

(That's "heavy" with an English accent).

That's what the blog's been lately: too 'eavy.


Am sitting here drinking one of those crazy caffeinated beverages called FULL THROTTLE FURY (I almost wrote "furry"). Just pondering the weekend. THEGIRL is asleep, and THEBOY and MOBB are at a Halloween party.

So I'll enjoy the quiet for a little while.


Something clicked not long ago, and I found myself ready to learn some grappling.

Then I hurt my back and could barely do any Krav Maga for weeks.

Then came The Involuntary Protein Spill of 2006, and I was out for another week.

Finally, FINALLY I went to the grappling/ground survival class yesterday. Maybe my third or fourth class ever. I am always the smallest guy in these things.

Nevertheless, it was good to get in there and work on some basics. Sensei L'Onis ran us through things like getting your opponent in the guard after they've got side control on you, as well as a couple different arm bars and a triangle choke.

I had a loose, bad arm bar on my training partner at one point. He was saying, "Nope, nope, not feeling a thing."

I told Sensei, "You know, I don't think I'd be able to break this guy's arm using my nuts."

After a slight adjustment in my technique it got much better. Tap tap tap.


I'd always thought that an arm bar was meant to hyper-extend/break the arm at the elbow joint. I learned yesterday, though, that that's not always necessarily the case. My opponent got me in a couple where the pressure was clearly on my forearm, which would create a break just like the one Tim Sylvia got some years ago.


An exchange with Whit as I prepared for grappling class:

Him: "So what's the first thing you do when some guy's on top of you?"

Me: "Shriek!"

Him: "No, SHRIMP, dummy."


Had some crazy dream that I was trespassing at some sort of Area 51-type military base. I'd spied some aircraft doing nearly impossible stuff (kinda like what Kelli and I saw in Florida that time). Before I knew it someone placed a chloroform-soaked handkerchief over my mouth to knock me out.

Only it didn't work. I basically sprung up and laughed at my attacker, quite giddy to be immune to chloroform.

I got apprehended anyway.

Once inside the base, some duplicitous nurse tried to act nice and stuff, then she jabbed me with a syringe, once again in an attempt to knock me out. And again I was immune to the drug.

But I saw that they'd apprehended my family too. We spoke briefly, and I warned them, "Be careful, cuz they're real big on trying to knock you out here."

And the dream ended.


We're at kind of an interesting point in our graduate work right now. MOBB plans to graduate in May. Next semester is all thesis work for her.

After that there could occur a transition where I become a full-time student and she joins the workforce full-time. It's not set in stone yet, and frankly, I'm pleased enough with my new job that I may not want to stop working at that point.

But if I'm in a position to devote more time to school I may actually resume my LCDC (licensed chemical dependency counselor) training next fall. I could be wrapping up my master's at night and attending JuCo during the day. LCDC requires some internship work just like the LPC (licensed professional counselor) license does. Gotta see if one internship might fulfill the requirements of two different mental health programs.

Follow all that?


And now it's time to go play guitar for a while.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Flesh of My Flesh, Flesh on Flesh

I am in Target, picking up a few things for breakfast tomorrow. Maple syrup, juice, milk, yogurt, that sort of thing.


A young couple exits an aisle as I pass. A boy of about two sits in the cart and a baby sits in the front. The mother is obese and tattooed. The father is short, and bears a startling resemblance to an actor named Giovanni Ribisi.


“Sit down and shut up!” the father barks at the toddler.

I keep walking, thinking about how terrible it is for him to treat his son like that.

Then I hear it.


In fact, out of the corner of my eye I see the father use his palm to strike the boy across the top of the head.

The boy places both of his tiny hands on his hands and says, “Ow.”

“Don’t say ‘no’ to me,” barks the father again.


My heart races, my head gets dizzy, and I feel like I am outside of myself.


I want to do something, but what? Various lines go through my head.

In fact, I end up semi-following the family through the store for another 20 minutes as I listen to the dialogue in my mind.

Hey, buddy, did you really just hit your son?

Pal, you’ve gotta do better than that.

And of course, there’s the small voice in me fantasizing about getting the father away from those kids just for an instant so I can open the conversation by bloodying his nose.


I’m not serious about that. That is, the thought crossed my mind, but simply as a fleeting thing, part of my sudden desperate need to find some satisfaction.


I call my sister, trying to spin a joke. “Next time you’re not feeling so great about your parenting skills, just remember this guy.”


I have more imaginary conversation with the guy as I follow them around.

I understand how hard it can be, but you can’t do that. You’re going to get CPS breathing down your neck.

You can do better than this.

Maybe I can find somebody to help you.


I cannot imagine this scene going well.


I flash back to my orientation. I now work for a social service agency. I can hear the coworker telling us, “We are mandated reporters.”


I lose them for a minute. As closely as I’ve been following them, I’m surprised. Then I come around the corner and see the boy in the basket, hunched down. He’s not made another sound. His eyes are watery, his face is blotchy and flushed, and his tormented little eyes stare up at me. I realize I will see them forever.


The family splits up, the dad carrying the baby one way while the mom goes another. I wind through some aisles looking for the dad, but with no luck. I see them again in the checkout lane.

I check out two rows over, and I’m barely answering, barely even hearing the checker.


Target card?

Huh? No.



Cash back?

Cash back?

Oh, yeah.


The family heads for the exit, the opposite one from where I need to go.

I follow them. They reach their vehicle and I stop.

And here is where I fail.

In my haze, in my out-of-body state, it does not occur to me to get a license plate number and call someone. I can only think to myself that I’ve missed my chance, and that I’m not going to be a creep who suddenly confronts them in a darkened parking lot.


I walk across the parking lot, lost as I look for the van, sobbing a little.


I cannot find the van for several minutes.


At home I tell Kelli. I can’t find justification for my lack of action.

We go over some scenarios. Does Target have video cameras going everywhere? Is there any way to find out who they were?

My only comfort is in the fact that if that man is that blatant about being abusive, it won’t be long before it gets him in trouble. Someone out there will see him do this and won’t freeze like me.


I hold THEGIRL for a while, doing her piggies, listening to her point out her ears, her nose… she repeats the parts, trying to get my attention as my mind wanders.


I tuck in THEBOY, and as I read The Lunatic Adventure of Kitman and Willy to him, my eyes are welling up with tears.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Fuzzy and Stickboy

It’s been a good day for the most part. Had some fine pancakes and sausage from the Paris Coffee Shop over on Magnolia. It’s an old-school diner that makes some tasty flapjacks.


But I’m tired, so doggone tired. I had a big work event today, and I kept waking up overnight thinking about it.

The event went okay. Not great, but not bad.


So the family is full of Tex Mex. Kids are watching Over the Hedge, M.O.B.B. is watching Dr. Who


There used to be these two tough kids in elementary school. I can’t recall their names, so I’ll just call them Fuzzy and Stickboy. Honestly, I also can’t remember how they established that they WERE so tough and all. They weren’t imposing physically or anything. They did scowl a lot. Is that enough?


But other kids gave them a wide berth as well.


They tried to steal my bicycle once. I happened to be on it at the time, but that didn’t stop them from seizing the handlebars and demanding that I dismount so they could have the bike.

I told them no, and oddly enough, they didn’t jack with me. They let me go without a fight.


So there was this big talent show/production/THING at school. We might have been in the sixth grade. Kids sang, kids did little skits, and kids danced.

In fact, a group of kids took the stage to “Le Freak” by Chic (which was brand new at the time). Among those kids were Fuzzy and Stickboy, scowling, very seriously doing their choreographed moves. They were good, all of those dancers.

And I remember sitting in the audience thinking, Tough guys disco dance?


12 days removed from Vomit! The Musical I must say that I’m glad to be healthy. We don’t stop to think about our health sometimes. Well buddy, I’m thinkin’ about it now: any time I’m not barfing is GOOD time.


Tomorrow I might actually attend grappling class.


So there’s this local person featured on a highly-rated reality show. It’s a contest, and week after week this person competes against the other folks on the show for a shot at a prize of, what, couple hundred grand? He’s got a day job, and in fact, his place of employment isn’t too far from my house.

Now, in most cities I’d venture to say that someone in this position would get tons of media coverage. TV, print, radio…

Here, news of Travis Lutter’s victory and procession to the TUF4 finals was written in today’s boxing briefs (not to be confused with boxer briefs, which I’m currently wearing) by some Star-Telegram sports lackey who simply watched the show.


Hey, go check out L.E.O.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Diamond

This one's headed in lots of different directions. Forgive me. Hey, you want a cutesy little column on little old ladies who grow antique roses? Seek out your city newspaper. Or Paul Harvey or something.


It feels so GOOD to feel good. I feel healthy, strong... my hair's cut, I'm trim, I've got the super duper new jacket, new boots... I have moments where I feel like I look good. That's rare for me.

And I feel so strong and healthy, so far removed from Upchuck Amok '06 last Monday. Tomorrow I intend to return to Krav Maga. I sure as hell miss working out.


In fact, I feel like RUNNING. Yeah, I feel like loading the iPod with stomping stoner rock and taking to the track in the crisp night air. Or running bleachers even.

Unfortunately, I cannot. My leg pain persists. I've been talking to a marathon runner who helped me with some research, and my symptoms match compartment syndrome quite consistently. Different things I read give differing indications of the severity, but you know, it's been nearly a year since this first popped up. I figure it's time to see a doctor.


So with M.O.B.B. and the kids gone to Corsicana today, I enjoyed having a day to myself. I spent some time on a golf course today for a work function. I'd never been any closer than eating in some country club.

Gotta say... interesting environment. In some ways it's prim and proper, and in other ways it's 100% boys club attitude.

It wasn't a bad way to spend a few hours.


I figured I owed myself a nap.

I came home and read in the paper about the arrests of some murder suspects.


Over in Euless there's a car wash I went to once in a while. I thought they did a good job detailing M.O.B.B.'s car. So I took my little powder blue '89 Ford Escort over there once. The paint job was faded from all the years it sat under trees at our old apartment complex, covered in sap and who knows what else.

The guy who was going to work on my car was old, too old to be working such a job, if you know what I mean. His had to be the sort of life that leads one to washing cars for tips at almost 50. His face and teeth showed the hard times.

He looked at my car and said, "We'll have it shining like a diamond in a goat's ass."

I still don't know what that means, but I was suddenly curious to know.


And down the street from that car wash is a miniature golf place. I've never been, but you know, I drove past it all the time.


That's where, some days ago, four men knocked on the back door one morning and rushed the man who opened it. They muscled him around by his shirt collar, demanding he open the safe.

He did, and as they grabbed the loot one put a gun to the back of his head. He raised his hands and began to beg for his life. He didn't get to finish the sentence.

The thugs took two surveillance tapes from the place to cover their tracks.

They didn't know there was a third.


The take for each man who participated in the robbery was $150.


And that scenario is one we train in KM. I've done it many, many times.

And as I've said many, many times before, I'm not Bruce Lee, okay. I am not trying to say that I'd have whipped out my flawless KM on these thugs and had a different outcome.

But I will say that I don't anticipate having an assailant that close to me and trusting his good will to ensure that I'll still have my life when the robbery is over. It simply doesn't strike me as a wise bet.


So when I should have been napping today, with all the time I needed right there on my hands, I was going over gun drills in my head, over and over.


Ever feel someone's pain almost... tangibly?


BB's current therapy: "Searching with My Good Eye Closed" by Soundgarden.


Go love someone. Flirt with your partner. Glow a little bit. Try to remove yourself from the ticking of the clock just a bit. Understand that the pivotal moments in our lives don't come with soundtracks. Trumpets do not blare, voiceovers do not announce a change when someone gets sick, dies, falls in love, falls out of love...

Sit back and try to have some perspective on what's good in your life.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Just cruising along, bobbing our heads and eatin' some crackers.

If you offer THEGIRL your hand, she will shake it and say, "Have a GOOD day!"


I'm glad it's Friday. I should have been in bed hours ago. The remnants of this bug have left me pretty drained. My stomach talks to me non-stop, but so far I'm not listening.


See, if I baby my stomach and it keeps giving me trouble, I usually get pissed off and decide that since I'm going to suffer anyway, I might as well consume something I enjoy.

So when's the last time YOU hit the Arby's drive-through for a Jamocha shake? For me, it's been about 30 minutes. Mmm... coffee-like.


Rumble rumble.






Great rock moment with THEBOY #1:

Yesterday, after I picked him up from school, we were driving to the chiropractor's office, eatin' some Saltines and listening to Ode to Io by Lowrider. Just cruising along, bobbing our heads and eatin' some crackers.


BB's current therapy: Endless email/IM conversations with several lady friends of mine.


Great rock moment with THEBOY #2:

Today, as the same Lowrider CD started playing at an unexpectedly high volume, he told the family, "Come on, let's roll down the windows and listen to it loud so people can hear it in their houses."



About three months ago a classmate of mine and I were talking about needing jobs.

This morning we sat side by side at a training, both with new gigs for the same employer. Life is strange sometimes.


Bedtime. Night night.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Whit hasn't seen Carter/Serra II at this point, so I won't go on about it. Much.

Good fight though! Not a disappointment. Both guys surprised me. And since when does Carter have these sweet Judo throws?


It's Thursday night, and I feel pretty healthy for the first time since Spewpalooza '06. Man, these nasty little stomach bugs do take a toll.


A policeman recently told me he's more scared of hepatitis than bullets.


Might be able to return to KM this weekend.


Saw Akeelah and the bee this week. I guess I rent about a movie a year these days. I think I chose well.

What casting in that movie! What young actor was able to switch so handily between inner city vernacular and seven-syllable words?


The job... man, there's so much I could say, but I cannot.

Let's just say that I am pleased. My eyes are open. I'm challenged, and for the first time since my stint at Yahoo I'm INTO what I'm doing.

I feel like going back to the two terrible TV jobs I had and telling them that there's a BETTER WAY. You don't HAVE to work with such insane pressure to do something so utterly lacking in meaning.


So... random question: Could you live in your home town again?

Or do you still?


Friday approaches... by gum, I think my guts are sufficiently recovered... time for coffee and a scone!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

No Spine, No Pain

Thanks to Toland for sending this along. The first minute or so is pretty uneventful, so have patience. After that, well, things get pretty damn strange.


We're fine here, pretty much. Not quite 48 hours past the end of Puke Fest '06 and I'm weak, tired, fuzzy-headed... THEBOY was perfectly fine six hours later. The resiliency of kids... man.


My back suddenly feels much better though. I'm dying to resume training.


THEBOY informed M.O.B.B. tonight, as he held a birthday party invitation, that "Daddy will have to take me to the party."

"Why?" asked M.O.B.B.

And he spoke very slowly and deliberatley as he said, "Because it's at the SKATING RINK."


The same night THEBOY and I were competing in this year's Barfarama it turns out my sister's kids both became sick as well. Nephew lost his lunch too (can I still call it that since he did it at 4am?) and Niece's ear infection got worse.

Thus my sister's trip to Lake Charles got scuttled.

Oddly, I think she's about to swing a new Honda Pilot out of that misfortune somehow.


Boogie time.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Just a quick note. The first puke bug in quite some time hit us last night. THEBOY and I had it bad. I will spare you the details.

I feel like I've been hit by a dump truck. My back was already a wreck, and between being sick and lying in bed so much it's pretty damn sore now.

THEBOY is perfectly fine at least. We were quite a pathetic twosome last night.

Bless M.O.B.B. for taking care of us.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mellow Interspersed

Yesterday got off to a rather inauspicious start, I've gotta say. Nothing like greeting one's spouse as they get up by saying, "We have no working toilets and the front bathroom is flooded."

It was time to get a plumber out to the house.

Gotta say that Deaton Plumbing here in Hurst got here quickly, cleared up the problem quickly, and didn't charge the worst rate I've ever seen.


M.O.B.B. and I had her birthday date last night. We went to see that second Pirates movie with Johnny Depp and that guy from the movie with all the elves and whatnot. It was entertaining enough. Stopped by PF Changs afterwards for some fine Asian-style grub.


You know, I've been thinking about ol' Shonie Carter and his antics on The Ultimate Fighter 4. He wanders around in a Speedo, spray paints and/or glues costume jewels on most anything that doesn't move, tries to do crazy crap like building a flotation device out of water bottles, and just generally gets on everyone's nerves.

But you know, he's a highly visible character making his name better-known than ever in an exploding industry/sport. He's generally credited as being a savvy fighter, and you know, he may be a savvy GUY as well.

We've all seen big-name fight gear plugged here and there. Xyience practically owns TUF, and I'm sure that, like me, you've shuddered to see a huge Revgear or Tapout sticker on the back windshield of a truck also covered with "W: The President" and rebel flag stickers.

But really, MMA gear is absolutely going nuts. So maybe Carter's act isn't geared strictly towards annoying everyone else. Maybe he's got his eye on landing one of those lucrative endorsements.


It's a rainy, mellow day here. Well, mellow interspersed with periods of me griping at the kids for tussling over a broken robot toy neither had cared about for six months until THEGIRL dug it out of THEBOY's room and started carrying it around this morning.

Gotta write an essay today. Current title: The Myth of the Construct.


Ya'll be good.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Happy Birthday! Kelli, aka Mail Order Bionic Bride.

(The name has been updated due to the pins in her wrist).


Something really strange and unforeseeable and unforgettable happened at [newjob] this week.

It gave me a sense of hope.



I found myself thinking, I am HOME. This is where I belong. I will never, ever work in some meaningless job again.


Tomorrow I will take M.O.B.B. out for her birthday. We've got our eye on a meal at Sweet Basil Thai Cuisine right here in Hurst.

They're the makers of my "death row" meal. Know what I mean? Were I on death row, their pork green curry would be the last meal I'd choose to consume before leaving for my execution.


The back is... sore, stiff. I'm okay though. I gutted out a Krav Maga class last night. Good stuff, with a cool technique for dealing with a threat from the rear.

I worked out with a big sonofagun, a nice guy. Strong guy, clearly, but muscling through everything. I held the tombstone pad as he worked on a kick, and I reminded him to get his hips into it. Every kick after that flung the bag out of my hands. I couldn't begin to keep both hands on it. Sore as my thumb was, I was glad to make a difference.


Got a stripe too.


Headed out in a bit to have some coffee and do some catching up with Hood.


Good night.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Thing In My Ear

Tests are so damn tense. Largely, I test okay. I mean, my anxiety in a testing situation isn't sufficient to render me incapable of performing adequately. Sometimes I go too fast and skip words, and that can certainly screw things up. But really, I can live with it.

Tests do make me worry a bit about whether I look honest. That is, I do whatever I can to avoid looking suspicious. Any school I'm paying for is not likely to react well if they think my eyes are wandering or I'm otherwise cheating. I take off my ballcap if I'm wearing one, and really, I spend an unnatural amount of time staring at my paper. I don't allow myself any glances or moves that could in any way be misconstrued. If you're like this, you understand what a tricky little dance this can be while, say, answering an essay question about research methods.


So in May of 1994 I was about to graduate from the University of Texas with my undergraduate degree in radio-tv-film. I'd been married for a year, and was on the verge of doing something I'd spent years assuming I couldn't do: graduate from college.

I was taking a final in one of my RTF classes. I can't recall which one, but it had some big numbers in the description. That is, it was one of my last required classes.

And for some reason I sat on the front row there in that small auditorium. It's not something I like to do now, and I can't recall doing it back then much. But I did, for whatever reason.

As I sat there, working on this bear of a test, I got an itch in my ear. A deep itch. I tugged on my earlobe a bit, pushed that fleshy part under my earlobe. It didn't help. In fact, it... it... became noisy. I mean, only I could hear the noise, okay.

But I was hearing something in my ear.



And as I sat there on the front row, taking my final, trying to look inconspicuous while, in fact, answering the questions correctly, I realized that this thing was moving. Yes, I was sure of it. Something was descending my ear canal. I moved my jaw, moved my ears a bit, and it kept moving down down down.

Whatever it was finally hung there in the opening, and it felt so huge that I thought the entire classroom woudl see it and break into chaos before I even knew what it was.

So I gave a quick... tic. Yes, there in the middle of my final I purposefully moved my head in a manner that would have prompted some shrinks to diagnose me with Tourette's. I chose not to accompany it with random profanity, just to be safe.

And the thing FELL out of my ear and landed on my shoulder.

I reached up like my shoulder itched, seized this object in the gaps between my fingers, and brought my hand down, continuing to work on the test. Curious as I was to see this thing, I wasn't about to peer into my palm at this particular moment.

So I finished the test many minutes later. I handed it in, still clutching the mystery thing.

I grabbed my backpack, walked out the exit, and as the metal door clanged behind me I fell down the stairs.


It was a short flight, but yeah, I ate it pretty hard. I was okay, largely.

And still clutching the thing.

I finally found a place to stop and have a look at this.

It was...



ear wax.

A big ball of ear wax had just randomly fallen out of my ear in the middle of the exam.

It was fascinating to behold, and in fact, it was rolled up, with lots of little layers. I slowly unrolled it, and I must say it reminded me a bit of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Only not quite as religiously significant.


Man, was that gross or what?


"You don't fall in love with people that make you want to crap your pants." That's a quote from Paris on Gilmore Girls.

Hey, I just overheard it, okay? It's not like I WATCH it. Much.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

This and That

Sunday night. The windows are open, a cool breeze is blowing through the house, and I don't have a doggone thing to do. I bought groceries, studied for the upcoming test in abnormal psych, bathed THEBOY (which at this point consists of filling the tub with water, pointing to it, and telling him I'll see him in 20 minutes).


THEBOY likes to watch his Justice League DVD with the language set to something other than English sometimes. He finds French to be especially hysterical.


Mail Order Bride is doing fine. She can take two Vicodin and still drive safely to Dallas. That woman's tolerance for opiates is startling. One of those pills would make me stumble around and want to hear Country Joe and the Fish.


Tuesday night Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz get it on again. Is anyone paying any attention at all to this fight?


BB's current therapy: Food. Man... it's been about 10 days since I had a martial arts workout. The back is close to being ready. The calf and the shoulder aren't bad.


See, something terrific has happened since M.O.B. got hurt: People are feeding us! She got hurt at some sort of PTA gathering at the skating rink. Now we have multiple visitors--PTA members--each day bringing us meals! Homemade soups, fried chicken, desserts, lunch meat, drinks... it's been great! They've even given us a menu. We'll have meals well into this coming week. I'm touched, I must say.


At this rate, though... man, with all this good food around and BB not working out... this could get ugly. But I won't let it.


Should hit the sheets soon. Have a good week.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Yankees Lose

I love it, just love it. $200 million payroll and they can't get their hands on another world series berth.

Sheffield, A-Rod, Giambi, Williams, Posada, Johnson (you big traitor), Wright... all you turkeys have a nice winter. You'll be watching the rest of the post-season from your recliners like the rest of us.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mail Order Bride Hits the Deck... and the ER

M.O.B. took THEBOY rollerskating last night. While there she fell and broke her wrist. She's at the hospital now, due to get pins put in shortly.

It wasn't the greatest evening, let me tell you.


It hurts her quite a bit, and she's basically shrugging off the morphine they're giving her. She just happens to have an unusually high tolerance for opiates (in the psych industry that's called hyporeactive). A medical person raised an eyebrow upon learning that her dose was having basically no effect. M.O.B. had to explain that she's not a junkie, and in fact her mother's like that too.


Yeah, I was changing a nuclear diaper last night when my phone rang. I couldn't answer it immediately. It's no fun to learn by voicemail that one's bride has been hurt and needs you ASAP. A kind stranger (well, she works at THEBOY's school) took M.O.B. to the ER. Of course, that meant the van was still at the skating rink. It's walking distance, so we did just that. I gave THEBOY a flashlight, put THEGIRL in the stroller and took off in the dark to fetch our ride.


BB's current therapy.


So I'm at home with THEBOY today, as it's an in-service day or something. M.O.B. was going to be here with him, but of course, things changed.


It's her left wrist, by the way. Broke one bone in three places and chipped another. When that woman does something, she goes all out.

Hurt like hell, she says, but her gallstone was worse.


Better go do something productive.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Giving Gideon Its Due/Survey

In case you hadn't noticed, my "don't really blog about work" policy, combined with my time SPENT at work, has cut into my doggone blogging time.

And of course, there's grad school. This week's assignment: read 134 pages of the DSM-IV. Hell, I probably oughta be reading it this very moment...


Well, it occurred to me that there's a glaring omission in my music background. That is, one of the formative albums of my life rarely gets mentioned.

It's because it's by Kenny Rogers, see. Kenny isn't exactly cool.

In 1980 he released, believe it or not, a concept album called Gideon.

This may have been the first album I ever bought. I'm inclined to think it was, but I also have a memory of shelling out some greenbacks for a K-Tel compilation called Wings of Sound. I was 11 or 12. Maybe I got them both with birthday cash or something.

It was in the rack at Wilson's in the mall. This was Kenny Rogers, who'd been cranking out hits like "Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town" and, uh, all those other songs on Ten Years of Gold. I didn't recognize any of the song titles on Gideon, and I figured that it too was surely packed with splendid lite country.

I guess I spun it once before we headed out to visit some friends. It sounded... different from anything I'd ever heard before. There were gospel-style backup singers, and the songs tied together in some sort of loose story about a cowboy named Gideon Tanner.

We headed out to do our visitin', and proud young owner of an album that I was, I took it with me.


The host was kind enough to indulge me by playing the album there in the living room. As song after song played, he slowly got this look on his face that said, Man, this is pretty damn bad... you got ripped off, kid. Kenny used to be good.

But I didn't care.

I had my first concept album.


Yep. Prior to owning Tommy, 2112, Paradise Theater or Kilroy Was Here (God help me), I had a concept album by the one and only Kenny Rogers.


And now a survey about high school.

1986 Angleton High School

Fill this out about your SENIOR year of high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be. Change the subject to the year you graduated.

1. Who was your best friend(s)?
McAuley. Bryan and Brian were inseparable.

2.What sports did u play? Geekball

3. What kind of car did you drive? A brown '78 Chevy I think.

4. It's Friday night, where were you? Looking for trouble, probably scoring some beer or something.

5. Were you a party animal? I'm not sure. I drank plenty, but I didn't go to many parties.

6. Were you considered a flirt? Never

7. Ever skip school? Of course; I was a journalism student.

8. Were you a nerd? Yup. Co-president of Quill and Scroll.

9. Were you in any clubs? See #8.

10. Did you get suspended/expelled? Nah

11. Can you sing the fight song? Yes, but I'd rather fight than sing it.

12. Who was your favorite teacher? Mrs. Winder!

13. Favorite class? Journalism

14. What was your school's full name? Angleton High School

15. School mascot? Wildcats

16. Did you go to dances? Had to make an appearance.

17. If you could go back and do it over, would you? Sure. Senior year was actually pretty cool.

18. What do you remember most about graduation? Whit sitting in the splits on my living room floor.

19. Favorite memory of your Senior Year? Journalism!

21. Did you have a job your senior year? yes

22. Where did you go most often for lunch? Mostly stayed on campus. Not enough time to really go anywhere.

24. What did you do after graduation? 2 years of working in the mall while I piddled away at JuCo.

26. Where are most of your classmates? Houston area

27. Are you going/did you go to your 10-year reunion? I missed my 20th, which I kinda regret

28. Who was your worst teacher? Nah, none.

29. Who did you date in High School? LLB, Lisa, Angela (sort of)... chased after many more, had one or two even chase me (like "Gummy"...ack! Bruiser, can I get an amen??).

30. Did your life turn out different than you would have expected? Yes!