Friday, December 28, 2007

Someone Once Told Me

That we’re not given more than we can handle


That if you put a frog in a pot of hot water, he’ll jump out immediately, but if you put it`in cool water and inch the temperature up very slowly, he’ll stay in there until it kills him.


That Jesus would fix my problems.


“I could have any woman in this room.”


“Any man in this room could have her, but she’d wake up tomorrow and go screaming ‘rape’ or something.” [Have I mentioned that I don’t like frat boys?]


That grass would fix my problems.


That I should just get over it.


That everything is going to be okay.


That burpees would fix my problems.


That I could cry if I wanted to.


“Learn to drive that piece of shit!”


“We’ve enjoyed reading your BLOG!” [Followed shortly thereafter by something along the lines of “pack up your stuff and get out immediately.” Guessing they didn’t actually enjoy the blog that much.]


Drink Coke if you want to mutate into a hideous human/bird creature

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

On Hamilton... and a Survey

This one's likely to be all over the map. This is why I could never have my own column in a newspaper I guess. Unless it catered specifically to schizophrenics.

My own thoughts can be awfully damn disorganized, that's for sure.


BB's current therapy: Aenima by Tool.


So the Rangers traded one of their highly-coveted pitching prospects, Edinson Volquez, to Cincinnati for Josh Hamilton.

I suppose it's possible to have a certain sports myopia that would incline one to believe that it's a pretty even swap. Volquez, formerly part of the fabled DVD (Danks/Volquez/Diamond) prospect triumerate, shot up through the Rangers's farm system, undergoing two name changes during the enactment of stricter post-9/11 immigration regulations. And he spent some time playing major league ball, given a chance to take the mound for a team that had nothing to lose. He showed flashes of brilliance, but ended up with an ERA of over 7.00 I believe. [Danks was since sent to the White Sox in the Brandon McCarthy trade; Diamond is, I believe, currently recuperating from shoulder surgery but still Rangers property.]

Hamilton was the #1 overall pick in the 1999 draft, a power-hitting outfielder.

Let me repeat: #1 overall pick.

So here we are, approaching 2008, and he's... what? Is he a major league veteran with a couple hundred homers and an average of maybe 100 RBIs a season?

We'll get to that in a moment.

I don't know minor league ball like some folks. Nothing like Hood, and certainly not like Jamey Newberg. But I can say that I generally have some familiarity with some farm club players, and I've certainly shined a few AA ballpark seats with my backside. And I have rarely heard the term "legendary" used for a minor league player.

But I've heard it regarding Hamilton. Twice. Once for a throw from the warning track that threw out a runner at the plate. At this moment in time, perhaps due to that one play, he's considered by some to have a top 10 arm among the 30 major league teams.

He also reportedly hit a 549-foot home run for one of those farm clubs. It's pretty safe to say that 549 feet is a good 100 feet past the deepest part of many a ballpark with a large outfield.

So yeah, what are we getting in Hamilton here in December of '07, all these years later? Is he the Griffey/Rodriguez megastar lock, as was predicted when he graduated high school?

No, he's a former Rule 5 draft pick who has been claimed on waivers once or twice. What this means in everyman language is that his status dropped so precipitously that he was allowed to be snatched from ball club to ball club willy nilly, more or less depending on who wanted him.


Some other stats on him:

Number of rehab stays: 8
Number of seasons he missed for suspensions and other drug-related issues: 2 (We're talking full seasons, folks--2003 and 2004).
Number of tattoos: 28 (Okay, there's an inferred judgment in that statement I'm not altogether comfortable with. Still, Hamilton quite vocally associates his ink with his crack-using days).


He's reportedly been clean since late 2005.

Injuries have nagged Hamilton as well, but he finally made it to the show in 2007.

He tore it up.


From Newberg: "He hit .292/.368/.554 (including .314/.391/.637 against righthanders) with 19 home runs and
47 RBI in just 298 at-bats." Injuries shortened his season, but when he played he showed remarkable talent.


So the Rangers have traded young players with high ceilings.

Volquez has maintained a fairly consistent career arc, whereas Hamilton has been all over the map. This team, which needs a power bat AND a centerfielder, hopes to kill two birds with one stone by putting a recovering addict who has yet to play a full major league season out there.

Last season his food per diem wasn't given directly to Hamilton; it was given to a member of the coaching staff, Johnny Narron, to parse out to Hamilton as necessary. When discussing this in the media, Hamilton said he is a guy who "doesn't need" to have $400 in cash available at any given time. Wow.

Narron has been hired by the Rangers, and the inference in the local media is that he will be expected to be an overseer/mentor/personal ATM for Hamilton.

The baseball fan in me is at once startled, intrigued, and optimistic. The counselor in me is pessimistic.


Read Hamilton's first person accountof his struggles.


Tonight Wolfboy, missing so many front teeth, busted me up as he coaxed me to repeat a tongue twister: "Six slippery slugs slid to the sea." I think that's how it went.


Things are about to get pretty busy. Tomorrow MOBB and I will take the kids to Corsicana for their holiday get-together. We'll return afterwards. On Christmas, after we've done presents and recuperated sufficiently, THEGIRL and I will head down to Angleton to see some family. I'm looking forward to it.


I'm so sore from the Krav yesterday. My muscles hurt something terrible. Both of them.


BB isn't feeling so chipper. But it could be worse. It could be snowing.


If you've waded through this meandering post to this point, bless you.

I might be in dry dock for several days. Whatever you do this week, please take care of yourself. Be safe.


105 Facts About You

Too often. I told Salma Hayek to stop contacting me.

16 years with MOBB

Gift certificate to an import store where I bought two terrific necklaces.

Too many times. My current model doesn't take it well.

Yesterday. 2.5 hours of Krav Maga, baby. Gotta say that coffee and biscuits are no way to fuel oneself for a workout. BB was a bit jittery.

Too much at Starbucks.

Strawberry Pop Tarts. If I eat past midnight, I go for those.

I notice whether or not they're pretty. Easy.

"I Wish" by Stevie Wonder. My all-time favorite.

Hurst, Texas

Angleton High School, class of '86


Not a store. I like the padded play area. It's fenced, it's good exercise for the kids, and I can relax while they play.

I've had a couple last 4 years.

I don't even own Paradise Theater by Styx. (Bad, I know...)

I'm 39, not 9

Hmm... Probably Elisa's

Whit: "Dude, Jade Mountain's going to open 10 more schools across the state..."

I have a few folks I consider to be best friends. I am extremely fortunate to have some good, close friends.

Does Schlotzky's count?

Not getting into that.

Miss Saigon Cafe

Barely. I hope you like mustard with your hot dog.

A '99 Nissan Quest, aka the Papi Chulo Minivan.


In August when my grandfather passed.


My determination

The way I struggle with decisions

I've certainly hit about 16 hours a few times.


Not very well, but I love to do it.

Smashing Pumpkins, November 18

Tonight, from THEGIRL. Salma Hayek must have received the restraining order.



39. FAVORITE vacation spot
Destin, Florida


George Carlin



It's supposed to be MOBB, but it doesn't always work out.

In matters of love, we all blaze our own trails.

I don't know. Plenty. Only one speeding ticket ever though. Maybe... 10 times?


YesindeedIsuredoBUTyoushouldn't thinkIhaveaproblem

Scrambled, with cheese and salsa.

No. The planets do not care about me.


Probably Whit

From Whit. I see a pattern here...

2 for me

Grey long-sleeve t-shirt, flannel work jacket, blue jeans, socks, house shoes, under-stuff

"Once I had a ma... I even had a pa. He beat her with a belt once 'cause she cried." Townes Van Zandt, "Waitin' Around to Die"


Yes, but I'm no ace.

Yep. I swim well.

Mint chocolate chip

No. I didn't inherit the cartography gene.

I have webbed toes.

If a costume party counts, then yes


Parts of Elf made me laugh.

6:40am...Wolfboy is cruel and unusual

Air quality is good.

Oh, almost a decade ago unless you count parking tickets.


What gives with the pirate stuff?

Not much.

08/29/1968. Same day in August as Michael Jackson, Elliott Gould, and Charlie Parker.

A counselor, specializing in addiction


Not unless you're naked





Enos Cabell

I'd call it... sea foam green.

Well, it resumes in January.


No, but I will soon.






One of the new necklaces

Waste time on Facebook

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Manning Up to the Manly World of the Man Crush

Women talk so easily about finding other women attractive. And I guess we've heard it from all different angles, from the simple "she's cute" to the "if I were a lesbian I'd go after her" bit. Hey, cringe if you want, but I'm simply reporting from my own experience.

Some years ago, while working at a PBS station, the women in my office fell into that conversation. You know, the one in which they name whom they'd find attractive if they were gay. They trotted out a pretty typical list of hot singers and celebrities, all with total comfort.

And then it came my turn. Me, the only guy in the office. They were all so... open. So at ease with it.

And I tried to be open-minded. I tried to realize that I was among friends, and that I could be honest.

Honest. Yes.

Okay... I... I.

Deep breath. Okay. So the task was to name someone of my own gender I would find attractive. You know, only if I were gay.

It's... it's.

It's no one. Blech! Ptooey! I'm open-minded. I am. I feel pretty damn at ease among gay folks. I just happen to be exceedingly straight.

The best I could do, when put on the spot that day, was to say that I wish I could age as well as David Bowie.

It was a cop-out, and they all knew it.


There's a whole list of things parents say regularly to kids. I say some things so often that I've often threatened to just make a CD featuring me barking commands every few seconds. That way I can save my breath.

MOBB and I have come up with some titles on this greatest hits CD of ours:

1. “Eat”
2. “Stop That!”
3. “No kicking”
4. “Get dressed/Get Your Shoes On”
5. “Come Here. Here. Here. Here.”
6. “Stop Licking”
7. “Get the Fork Out of Your Eye.”
8. “Let It Go, Son”
9. “Eat” (remix)
10. “Stop Making That Sound Before My Brain Explodes”


And I did it, sort of. Made a recording of my voice saying "EAT!" to play at supper one night. It was funny, too funny to have any real effect.


There is this phenomenon of the Man Crush though. It aptly captures this other thing. I guess it's not even like a crush in the traditional sense, because it's a different sort of attraction.


It's... admiration maybe. Something where some guy just strikes you as being someone you'd like to emulate. But it's still worthy of the "crush" label because really, you take it just a little too far. I guess it's like liking someone, but pathologically.


So here they are.

#1 on BB's Man Crush List:

Curt Schilling. He's tubby and he talks too much, but he was instrumental in helping the Diamondbacks defeat the Yankees in the '01 World Series, and more importantly, in helping Boston defeat the Yankees in the '05 ALCS.

(And yes, I could write an entire dissertation on my hatred of the Yankees. There's something pathological, certainly, about the joy I take in seeing them lose. But I digress).

Schilling, the ace of the Red Sox staff in '05, had an ankle injury during the series. Did he opt out, ride the pine? No. He got a doctor to stitch his errant tendon in place so he could make his start. And as he bled through the sock, he pitched heroically against Satan's team. You couldn't have scripted it any better for a team that hadn't won a World Series, which the Sox went on to do against the limp Cards, in 80 some-odd years.


#2 on BB's Man Crush List:

Page Hamilton, singer/guitarist/songwriter/creative force for Helmet. One of my favorite bands ever, even if I am burned out on them. They're not about shrieking, grandstanding, wanking, or wallowing in anything except big sound with a smart, aggressive attitude.

Hamilton is scary-skinny, keeps his hair cut to almost nothing, isn't much to look at, dresses like he works in a CD shop and just generally walks his own path.

But he's affable, smart (with a master's in jazz guitar, if I recall), and some reflection of an alter ego of mine. Hard to explain. Live with it.


#3 on BB's Man Crush List:

Chris Cornell. From his earliest days with Soundgarden, when I marveled at "Gun" and "Get on the Snake," to seeing him perform earlier this year, I just plumb like the guy. Okay, so the mix on Carry On is somehow TOO voice-heavy... and so it's hard to get used to the man who sang "Rusty Cage" singing light rock... he's still the man. I listen to something Cornell's done just about every day.


#4 on BB's Man Crush List:

Randy Couture [edited--thanks Whit]. I'm sorry I'm not putting a photo here. I'm tired of searching for the images, and frankly, any I find would probably be shirtless. I... can't do it.

But he's well into his 40s and still a force to be reckoned with in MMA, period. I wouldn't mess with him if he were 90 and I had a machete.


That wraps that up. I'm feeling mighty gabby tonight, but I'd better cap this before it's as long as the Gutenberg Bible. I think the next entry will talk a bit about the Rangers trade for outfielder Josh Hamilton. It's fascinating stuff.


Sleep tight.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy BB

What a week, what a week... Wolfboy's birthday party at Main Event went pretty well. We played laser tag and we bowled... check out this footage of his bowling delivery... *** Then, of course, was the whole thing at work. Can you imagine how different life is now? My last two jobs ended with managers telling me to leave immediately, if not sooner. Last time a security guard took me to my vehicle. [I admit... I was kind of proud of that] And here I am, exactly where I want to be. I work for a terrific agency, have a terrific supervisor, get to counsel there as well, and heck, if I do something right once in a while people take notice. Seriously, being selected as one of the employees of the year (there are 10) means the world to me. Beyond the cruise, all of that, it simply means a lot. It's a great place full of terrific people, so it's a real honor. Thank you to the kind folks who have posted messages and emailed or called me about this. *** Oh, and a I won a door prize too: tools. *** BB's current therapy: Townes Van Zandt. *** I feel so... appreciated. *** I'm worn out, tired. But in a good way. *** MOBB and I went to a holiday party at Dave and Buster's tonight. We played tons of video games, the kind that spit out tickets when you win. And lo and behold, the game I was best at was called "Done Drinkin'." The object is to help a stumbling drunk walk down the alley. You've got to smack these buttons when he leans over too far and try to keep him upright. I got the high score, in fact. *** Happy Friday, ya'll.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I won employee of the year today.


They're sending me on a cruise.

Again, wow.

Some Lyle Lovett for you Today

"She's Already Made Up Her Mind"

She said something about going home
She said something about needing to spend some time alone
And she wondered out loud what it was she had to find
But she's already made up her mind

All my friends told me she was too young
Well I knew that myself and I tried to run
But the faster I ran the more I fell behind
Because she'd already made up her mind

She's already made up her mind

Now there is nothing so deep as the ocean
And there is nothing so high as the sky
And there is nothing so unwavering as a woman
When she's already made up her mind

So now she's sitting at one end of the kitchen table
And she is staring without an expression
And she is talking to me without moving her eyes
Because she's already made up her mind

She's already made up her mind
She's already made up her mind

And she said something about going home
And she said something about needing to spend some time alone
And she wondered out loud what it was she had to find
But she'd already made up her mind

So my friend carry me down to the water's edge
And then sail with me out to that ocean deep
And let me go easy down over the side
And remember me to her

She's already made up her mind
She's already made up her mind
She's already made up her mind

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Secret Update: Dating Edition

[From my buddy Nadine, who gave her kind permission to allow me to print what started as an email. She is currently living in Jakarta. I believe that's somewhere east of Baton Rouge.]


I went on what may have been the most ridiculous first date ever. This very handsome guy asked me out on Monday when I was on my way to the gym, looking all crappy in my gym clothes. He's a French soccer player born in Cameroon, playing for Indonesia's team. He said something like it was love at first sight (obviously just for him) and that he haaaaad to talk to me, and that he never chases after girls in malls but something about me made him have to talk to me. He was very good looking, and I figured that if he wants to buy me dinner so badly, then who am I to stand in the way of his happiness? Plus, if he thinks I'm hot when I'm looking my absolute worst, he should be really impressed when I make the effort to put on pants and comb my hair.

We were set to have dinner at 7. He called me right before to tell me he was on his way and might be late because of traffic. I said that was fine, because I was stuck in traffic too. I got there at 7:05. He got there just after 8. I spent an hour reading the menu, texting people, and drinking fruit tea. At least the tea was good. I would have left, but he kept calling me every ten minutes to tell me he was on his way. When he finally got there, he had a friend with him. He was wearing the most bling I've ever seen in real life. I counted three giant diamond earrings, two giant diamond crosses, and one of those really gaudy watches with the diamonds all over the face.

He apologized for the friend, saying that something came up at the last minute and the friend had to come. He said he was reeeally sorry and knows I was expecting dinner to be just the two of us. I felt really bad for the friend, standing right there as this apology was taking place. At first I tried to make conversation with the friend so he wouldn't feel bad, but he turned to Maxwell for answers to every question, so I started thinking that maybe he didn't speak English. Maxwell was born in Cameroon and moved to France when he was ten years old. Maxwell is a very good soccer player, and he's really famous in Europe. Maxwell is buying a house in Florida, and he already has houses in Jakarta and France. Maxwell is going on vacation to France next week, then to the Dominican Republic, then to Florida to sign the papers for his new house and stay there until he has to work again. Maxwell got an offer to play for LA Galaxy, but he turned it down because they asked him to make his own travel arrangements to Los Angeles, and someone so famous in Europe should not have to do that. I learned a lot about Maxwell, but after two hours, he didn't ask me a single question about myself, aside from whether or not I'm in Jakarta alone. He doesn't know why I'm living in Jakarta, what my job is, nothing.

The first hour was spent talking about himself. The second hour was his declaration of love and intention to make me his woman. Keep in mind, I'd met him approximately 26 hours before this. He says he wishes I weren't going to Bangladesh this week, because he wants to take me to France with him. Trying to change the subject away from me, I ask him if he has any family in France. He says he has two kids from his ex-wife, and he hasn't seen them in five months since he moved to Jakarta. He's picking them up in France taking them on vacation with him to the Dominican Republic because they keep complaining that they never see their dad. Lovely.

He tells me he'll be back in Jakarta sometime in February, and that he'd really like for me to be "more than his girlfriend", whatever that means, and not see other people in the meantime. I tell him the best I can do is to say that maybe we can possibly be friends when he returns, but I'm not really interested in anything more, which was a lie because I'm not really interested in being friends either. He was very unhappy, and then started grilling me about why I didn't answer a stupid text he sent me the night before asking me how the gym was and telling me I'm an angel. The grilling went on for about fifteen minutes, and then he changed the subject to future texts and calls, saying that he really wants to keep in touch with me and can he continue to call me? I said no and held out for about 20 minutes, until finally I said something like, "Fine, you can call if you really want to," thinking that I just won't pick up. He was really unhappy when I said I didn't want to be anything more than friends, and even less happy when I said something like, "Listen, if you were an American, I would have said you were a loser and left an hour ago. I'm cutting you some slack because you're French and I don't know your customs. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that what you're saying isn't this bizarre where you come from and I'm saying there's a possibility of us being friends at some point, which I think is more than generous." His English isn't that good, so I had to rephrase that in simpler, more polite terms. I also mentioned that the conversation is awkward enough for a first date, but even more awkward considering that there's a third person in the table who is probably feeling even more uncomfortably than I am. At this point, his friend - who had his head in his hands for about 30 minutes - finally looked up and nodded frantically.

So that was the first date I've had in Jakarta. Do you think he's insane, or does he just have a really bizarre idea of what women want to hear?


Inspired by this, I’m going to rip it off--er, solicit your input. Got a bad date story or two to share? I've got nothing to compare to THIS, but certainly an anecdote or two.

Drop me an email if you'd like to share.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A BB Survey

1. Someone knocks on your window at 2 am, who do you want it to be?
The sonofabitch who stole my wife's purse in Naples, with the purse and an apology.

2. Your boss tells you he/she will give you a $20 an hour raise if you'll do your job naked, do you?
Now see, you... this... See, parts of the office are COLD, and some are HOT, and... wait, does my door have a lock on it?

3. Your lover's ex calls and needs a tire change, do you go help?
Oh HIM. No. He's a good guy, but I'm finally getting used to NOT seeing him everywhere we go.

4. Ever seen a ghost?
No, but I watched David Lee Roth open for Bad Company, and that was about like seeing a ghost.

5. Would you change your body with surgery?
Not if Santa brings me biceps this year.

6. A reason you would move to Iceland?
Well, global warming's changing the climate to the extent that Iceland will soon feel like Los Angeles. Therefore, I'm already packing.

7. A place you've lived that you miss?
I miss Austin in a nostalgic way, but I don’t want to go back. (Quoted from the Liesl, but I agree with her answer anyway)

8. A person that you miss?

9. A band/group you thought was cool when you were little?
Creedence Clearwater Revival

10. You have a nightmare, who's the first person you think to tell?
Jodie Foster

11. Wanna have kids before you're 30?
I was well past 30, fool that I am.

12. A memory from high school?
Opening a box of hate mail from students because we'd dared to give negative reviews to the Flock of Haircuts bands they all loved so much. Good times, good times.

13. Ever had a crush on one of your friend's parents?
Ew! No. Now, Ms. Parker, my 10th grade English teacher... heh heh...

15. Do you look more like your mom or your dad?

16. Something you've always wanted to learn how to do?
Play Jimi Hendrix's version of the Howlin' Wolf song "Killin' Floor."

17. Did you have D.A.R.E. in school?
Yes. It didn't work then either.

18. Where you'd like to be in 10 years?
Making a living in unsanctioned cage fights in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

19. Something you learned about life this year?
To be less judgmental

20. What do you want for your birthday?

22. Last item you bought yourself?
A cup of coffee

23. What did you have for breakfast?
A protein shake

24. Name a celeb you think is hot?
Susanna Hoffs.

25. What's your favorite ring tone?
I heard a security guard's phone play "Let's Get It On" the other day, and that was pretty great.

26. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
7 to 7.5

27. Have you ever been tied up?
Yes. It didn't work out so well.

28. What do you wish you were doing right now?
My life is peaking right... NOW

29. Last time you witnessed a fight?
I was actually between two guys at the post office who were squaring off a year or two ago. Of course, I've nearly been in about four since then.

30. What was the last alcoholic beverage you dranK?
Ziegenbock, a six-pack. August 17, 1995.

34. Name three places you would like to travel to?
Ireland, Tokyo, Vancouver

35. Is there anyone you want to date at the moment?
Nope. I'm perfectly satisfied.

36. Favorite food?
You know, I'm about convinced that noodles are the greatest food on earth

37. Name a friend you have the most in common with?

38. What color are your toenails?
Er... fleshy?

39. Last person you talked with on the phone?

40. Do you own anything with a skull on it?
A pirate costume

41. Have you traveled to Europe?

42. Last movie you watched?
300. It was bitchin'.

43. If you could be anything in the world what would it be?
"When I grow up I want to be... one of the harvesters of the sea... I want to be a fisherman..." Okay, so it's a lame, obscure answer. I don't know... the bassist for Van Halen?

44. [missing in action] To that I say... prestidigitator!

45. Last board/card game you played?
Scrabble. I'll kick your butt.

46. Leather or lace?

47. Ever had a black eye?
Yep. I'm all boy.

48. Have you said I love you to anyone today?

49. Have you ever had that "one that got away"?


Seven deadly sins

1. Wrath
Who did you last get angry with?
A couple teenaged bullies at a local middle school

What is your weapon of choice?
Heh heh... if I'm ever forced to fight with someone I've got to say that my Thai clinch is a bitch to deal with. Ask anyone I've trained with.

Would you hit a member of the opposite sex?
Not really. Defend myself and restrain them, yes.

How about the same sex?
Done it plenty.

Who was the last person who got really angry at you?
Probably MOBB

What is your pet peeve?
Wolfboy can make this gurgling sound that causes the synapses in my brain to misfire.

Do you keep grudges, or can you let them go easily?

2. Sloth
What is one thing you're suppose to do daily that you haven't?
Uh... er... I'm really not that lazy.

What is the latest you've ever woken up?
Probably 1pm

Name a person you've been meaning to contact, but haven't?

What is the last lame excuse that you made?
My excuses have all been pretty good for a while.

Have you ever watched an infomercial all the way through?

How many times did you hit the snooze button on your alarm clock this morning?
I don't

3. Gluttony
What is your overpriced yuppie beverage of choice?
Iced coffee from Starbucks

Are you a meat eater?
Yes, sort of.

What is the greatest amount of alcohol you've had in one sitting/outing/event?
No idea. More than enough.

Are you comfortable with your drinking and eating habits?
I seem to be doing something right.

Do you enjoy candy and sweets?

Which do you prefer: sweets, salty foods or spicy foods?
Spicy or Salty

Have you ever looked at a small house pet or child and thought, "lunch"?
If this means that the small child NEEDS some lunch, then yes. It's one of the primary components of raising a child, you know, that whole sustenance thing.

How many credit cards do you own?
One I think

If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?
But a plane ticket to wherever Tom Green is and kick him in the pants

Would you rather be rich or famous?

Would you accept a boring job if it meant that you would make megabucks?
No no no

5. Pride
What's one thing that you have done that you're most proud of?
Ask me on May 8

What's one thing you have done that your parents are most proud of?
No idea

What thing would you like to accomplish late in your life?
Thumb wrestle Nolan Ryan

Do you get annoyed by coming in second place?

Have you ever entered a contest of skill, knowing you were of much higher skill than all the other competitors?
Sure. I just whipped a bunch of six-year-old girls at laser tag, then gave my score card to my son.

Have you ever cheated to get a better score?
I can't remember doing so

What did you do today that you're proud of?
Ran two groups alone

6. Lust
How many people have you seen naked (not counting movies, family, strippers, locker rooms)?
4,671 ... [Okay, are you kidding? This is ME we're talking about]

How many people have seen you naked (not counting physicians, doctors, family, locker rooms, or when you were a young child)?
None. Ever. Zip, zilch, nada. Really. You'd prefer to think of it that way, right?

What is your favorite body part of a person of your gender choice?
Curves, wherever they may occur.

Have you ever had sexual encounters (including kissing/making out) with multiple persons?
What? I'm not that kind of boy. Unfortunately.

Have you ever been propositioned by a prostitute?
No. I was flipped off by one that had a penis though.

7. Envy
What item of your friends would you most want to have for your own?
That's it... I'm stealing Hood's lunch tomorrow.

If you could be anyone who existed in the world, who would you be?
Billy Barty

Have you ever been cheated on?

Have you ever wished you had a physical feature different from your own?
I'd like to look genuinely presentable shirtless, and perhaps I could have a butt too. Everything else I can live with.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dr. John

A couple passages from Dr. John's autobiography, Under a Hoodoo Moon.


Looking back, my perspective on my father had a lot to do with this new attitude; he hated dope fiends, and was warning me to stay away from them--but when I looked around, most of the famous musicians I'd heard of were junkies. That was a heavy influence on me: It was my way of turning away from him, and joining the set I dug.


On Christmas Eve 1961, my little band and I took a gig at a joint in Jacksonville, Florida. We was getting ready to go to the gig when we realized that Ronnie Barron, who always took forever to do hisself up for gigs, had disappeared. I went to look for him--and found him being pistol-whipped by the motel owner, who'd caught Ronnie with his old lady.

I went to get the gun out of the guy's hand. We wrestled for it; I thought my left hand was over the barrel. We started in Ronnie's room and ended up outside in a brick garden. I beat the guy's hand against the bricks trying to get the gun away from him, and the gun went off.

I looked down and saw the ring finger of my left hand, my fretting hand, hanging by a thread.

I went berserk. I started hitting the guy in the face with a brick; I stuck my finger behind his eyes to try to pop his eyeballs out.


And now a video for the title track from his terrific CD, Goin' Back to New Orleans:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Birthday Boy

Today is Wolfboy's seventh birthday. He's pleased as punch.

He got to go to school in his pajamas. It's something to do with a field trip they're going on today, which includes a train ride. Tonight we'll have dinner at a place of his choosing. I'm told it'll be Cici's Pizza or Taco Bell. I believe I'll take a lunch box.


Amanda seemed to have a good visit, and we were certainly glad to see her. She and MOBB made a stab at meeting Duran Duran after the concert. Keep an eye on her blog for the details.


I had a terrific session with a client last night. Sometimes you feel like you're reaching, like you're spinning your wheels. Other times the client comes in and you can tell from the start that there's been improvement. This client had really touched my heart (perhaps too much so). But the whole family expressed their gratitude, and it just made my evening to hear that from them.


$4675.00The Cadaver Calculator - Find out how much your body is worth.

Some thoughts on the players implicated in the Mitchell report:

Rick Ankiel--The juice didn't help him hit his spots, eh?

David Bell--Like son, like father

Mike Bell--Like father, like son

Barry Bonds--No heartfelt apology will be enough.

Kevin Brown--No surprise

Roger Clemens--THIS ought to be interesting

Eric Gagne--Ouch

Jason Giambi--A good case for a mediocre player's stats going through the roof due to the drugs

Jeremy Giambi--A good case for a mediocre player's stats going nowhere because he didn't have enough talent to actually enhance

Jerry Hairston, Jr.--Dang, I like this guy. Rides the pine a bit, but is willing to go out and play hard wherever they put him.

Chuck Knoblauch--This one hurts too. Despite his tenure with the Yankees, I always liked Knoblauch, thought he played the game right until he got the yips and could no longer make the throw to first base.

Paul Lo Duca--Just signed a fat contract with the Nationals. I wonder what will happen now.

Gary Matthews Jr--A former Ranger. I liked him too. Gotta say that this now brings to mind watching him and some other Rangers take batting practice one day in spring training. He was hitting them well out of the field, and I thought, Wow--who knew Matthews had such pop?

Andy Pettitte--Tsk tsk. And after he so vehemently denied it.

John Rocker--Well DUH

Benito Santiago--Funny, I also remember seeing Santiago in spring training many years ago and being startled at how ripped he was, especially for an older guy.

David Segui--Just SCREAMED it

Gary Sheffield--Couldn't happen to a nicer guy

Ismael Valdez--Another former Rangers. This saddens me. He was a good go-to pitcher for a while who'd eat up innings and win some games. Always had a good attitude.

Mo Vaughn--What, did he inject the steroids into chicken fried steaks and then eat them?

Randy Velarde--Yep. Yep yep yep. Like Santiago, another ripped old guy.

Matt Williams--Dang. Dang. I always liked him.

Gregg Zaun--A former Rangers catcher. I liked Zaun too. Drag.




And since I've been on a Neil Young kick....

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Captain Milquetoast Checks In

MOBB and Amanda are out right now at the Duran Duran concert. It's the second time they've gone to see them together. Last time they really enjoyed it.


So I wrangled the kids tonight, giving THEGIRL a bath and Wolfboy a shower.

[They really thrive on making things difficult, don't they? They couldn't agree on one method of getting clean, nooooo...]


And they're in his bed now, bunking together for the second night since we decided to put my sister on THEGIRL's bed.

I went in a little while ago, and they were busted. There it was, well past bedtime, and they weren't making any attempt at going to sleep; they had comic books open.

"Sshh! We're reading commish!" said THEGIRL.

Wolfboy gave me a guilty look, but it was all just too cute. I couldn't reprimand them for it. "Just don't stay up too late," I told them.


In order to set the cosmic balance right since Duran Duran's in town and all, I hereby present to you a classic Neil Young clip fromThe Johnny Cash Show.


Watching more Live Aid performances. Clapton's set is pretty good, energetic. He really tore up "White Room."


You ever feel like a singer is singing just for you?


On a completely unrelated note, here's another Neil Young clip.

This song is called "F*ckin' Up," and it is NOT safe for work.


God, Jack Nicholson emcee'd some of Live Aid... how is it that I'd forgotten that? I mean... it's Jack. Can you think of a more unlikely candidate to host such a thing?

Okay, maybe you can, but he's not exactly top of the list now is he?


I'm croaky. Dang congestion. But I deserve this for jogging in the doggone 38 degree weather. Believe me.


Good night.

Harry Crews

I'm alive, just... busy. Distracted. And not breathing so well. Curse this Texas winter bullshit.


The one and only Harry Crews:

Monday, December 10, 2007

Another Parking Lot, Another Guy Who Deserves a Whuppin'

I'm in the Wal Mart parking lot.

Wolfboy and I are zipping out to the van in the blustery cold. We've got a lot of groceries to unload.

A white car is waiting behind the van as if he knows that's the spot these two random shoppers will soon be vacating. Eh, he can wait.

Wolfboy's helping, loading bags into the side door while I hurriedly put them in the back. I'm in a good rhythm when WHAM, I smack my head on the rear door of the van.

The pain doubles me over, and I stumble around for a moment, shaking my head and cursing. It hurts a lot, and it feels wet.

Damn, I think I'm cut, I think to myself.

I take a deep breath, straighten up, and finish loading the bags.

At this point someone's going around the guy in the white car, and he pulls closer, mere inches from my son and me. Birds and stars are still circling my head, and I only want to get in the van and get out of there.

I put up the basket, hop in the van, and pull down the visor mirror to check my hair for blood. I'm looking, looking... and then I hear it:



Holy Curt Schilling, the schmuck in the white car has just honked at me to vacate the space he so badly wants, even as I'm checking my skull for a gash.

By the way, the space next to mine was empty. Yes, he was honking at a man with a head wound to hurry his ass up so he could get one whole space closer to the Wally World entrance.


The funny thing about having one or both of my kids around is that I'm less inclined to make a scene than when I'm alone.

I put the van in reverse, and stopped for a moment so the waiting car's headlights would illuminate me. I told Wolfboy, "You will meet two kinds of people in the world, my son: Nice people and jerks. And THAT--" I said as I pointed at him "--is a JERK."


I must say that there was a time when I might have gone out of my mind over that, really made a scene. I didn't really even consider it last night. No, I didn't hit my head THAT hard. I think it's just the sort of patience that comes in a scrape these days. Funny thing about spending lots of time training to fight is that you're actually less inclined to really fight.

Just send the invoice to my office, Whit.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

I Am the DJ

When I was 3 or 4 and listened to the radio, I thought each song was played by a live band that set up right there in a big warehouse-type building. "And now--Creedence Clearwater Revival!" And in my mind, each band was full of neatly-coiffed, well-dressed young men who did perfect renditions of the songs on cue.


I always wanted to be a DJ, and still do I guess. Unfortunately, the reality of the profession was far different from the ideal I had in my head.


I researched "audio engineer" for a Career Day project in high school. I looked up articles on the income ranges from these decades-old microfiche records. I remember that the salary range tended to be about $12,000. I wasn't impressed.


But I was that kid, the one who tinkered with recorders and songs all the time. My father gave me a cassette recorder when I was about 10, and I loved recording everything, pretending I was a DJ on my own radio station, KAKL.


And if you know me at all, you know I do almost nothing in silence. Hell, I made an iTunes playlist even just now, so I could hear something while typing. Currently it's playing "I'd Rather Go Blind" by Marcia Ball.


I was always the guy making mix tapes for people, handing them out like Halloween candy. And if you do this, you learn that maybe one tape in ten gets any response, let alone a positive one. I made some blues compilations for folks that seemed to be popular.


If I drive from one end of the mall parking lot to the other, I put on music. If I load the dishwasher, music. Music music music.


My undergrad degree is in Radio-TV-Film. I took the "audio track," which meant I took as many radio and sound classes as I could. I learned to multitrack, to speak into a microphone without my natural accent, and to edit quarter-inch tape with a razor blade.


I worked as a party DJ right out of college for a while, though at that point I didn't care for it. I wasn't yet social enough to enjoy the attention of all those people. I was in the throes of serious tinnitus, having been just diagnosed, and was determined that I'd be the DJ who played songs at a reasonable volume. It didn't make me any friends, and nearly got me into a fist fight once.

And hell, even when I drank I didn't like being around drunks. Or at least the ones who acted drunk, as so many party patrons do.

I worked wedding receptions mostly. I look back fondly on one held at a synagogue, where I swear every man older than 30 talked like Jackie Mason.


I did a little work as a voice talent for a while, recording a few radio spots and TV promos. It's awfully strange to walk past a TV and hear yourself saying, "Sesame Street was brought to you by..."


I didn't get to do enough of it. My voice is a little deeper now than it was then. Back then I was mostly asked to do goofy voices, but I wanted more serious work.


In 1986 I went with my mother to her 20th high school reunion. It was held in the Freeport Community Center, I believe. It was a pretty nice affair, and they'd hired an actual radio DJ, whom I'll call JG, to come down from Houston and spin records.


They weren't records though, as I soon learned. They were carts, which look like 8-track tapes. I learned this because, budding DJ/audio tech that I was, I sought out JG that night, hanging around, picking his brain about his industry and his gizmos. He was really nice, really accommodating.

Break time came, and he asked if I wanted to go downstairs with him. Seems he had a mobile phone in his van, and needed to make a call.

So JG sat in the driver's seat and I sat in the passenger seat. For a couple moments neither of us moved or said anything. The conversation stopped for the first time, and there was a distinctly awkward feeling that I couldn't put my finger on. I thought he was going to say something, but I blurted out, "So why didn't you ever get married?"

He said something generic about how his job was a busy one, and how radio folks move around a lot. JG made his phone call (keep in mind that this was 1986; the phone was the size of a can of Pringles), the break was over, and we went back upstairs.

On his radio shift that following Monday I tuned in and heard him dedicate a song to me: "Long As I Can See the Light" by CCR.


Flash forward almost 20 years, and I'm at BACS, talking to Hood one day. I tell him this story, and he stops me. "What'd you say the DJ's name was?"

I repeated it.

"Briscoe, he's gay. I worked with him. I know him. He's full-blown out of the closet. He's gay."

Oh. Oh.

Well. Whaddya know?


Eventually, I did see the light, I guess.


Taken from an older post.

An Austin “worldbeat” DJ was doing his show from a studio at a TV station where I once worked. No one was there, and the atmosphere was dead. He’d talk to me in a regular Joe voice, telling me I didn’t have the house sound loud enough. I told him that when we had some bodies in there I’d turn it up.

When we were live, though, he’d take the microphone and suddenly sound Jamaican: “We’re hahvin’ a dahnce pah-tay!!”

It was embarrassing, and it got worse when a roomful of barefoot white people came in and started actually shaking their Caucasian groove things to the DJ’s tired blend of generic worldbeat stuff.


I leave you with a video clip of David Bowie's "DJ," which I believe contains the first footage I'd ever seen of men kissing each other.

[I'm on dialup at home and won't take the time to let this load, so I'm going on memory.]

It just seemed appropriate.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Night the Lawyer Called

Been an interesting evening here.

I got a call from an attorney for a popular martial arts website,

I'm not a regular reader of the site, but I check in here and there. I mostly know it as a place with message boards about MA-related stuff. Last year they were instrumental in outing my former instructor at the Krav school.

Lo and behold, I got a message on the site tonight from their attorney, saying he wanted my phone number.



So my phone rang after 10pm, and it was him, aka SB.

Seems that I used to be on an email list for this martial arts wacko who calls himself Lieutenant X. I mostly sent them to that great recycle bin in the sky, but for whatever reason I read this one.

There'd been a discussion on Bullshido recently about Lt. X's claims regarding how a person with training might have handled the Virginia Tech shootings.

I found his spam to amusing and inflammatory, so I posted it.

Basically, he was taking a shot at message boards like that one, calling them names for doubting him. He put his address in the email and invited anyone who felt so inclined to come to his school and fight him.

I don't think I even followed the thread after that. I don't like Bullshido much. They pick on the good guys AND the bad guys, and usually piss me off in the process.


So flash forward, and SB tells me Lt. X had a lawyer threaten to sue Bullshido due to the threats Lt. X received in the forum as a result of my post.

I'm in no legal trouble. I simply posted an email solicitation. It's those other knuckleheads who took it too far, of course.

But SB intends to show that Lt. X was quite clear about inviting this.

I simply have to sign an affidavit stating what my role in this was. It's all pretty straightforward.


It's late and I need to crash. Good night. Have a terrific, peaceful weekend.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The kid in me...

...finds this to be pretty damn cool.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


I'm listening to a client, thinking, You deserve better than this. I am going to help you in any way I can. The hair is standing up on my arms.


I'm at a little get-together, listening to Clifton Chenier, BB King, Muddy Waters, and Charles Brown. And I'm not even the host. There is a God.


I'm rattled by my client, going through what's called "countertransference." To us regular folks, it means something he said hit a nerve. But I'm focusing on him, not going to explore my own stake in this. At least not to the extent I once might have.


I'm driving home, listening to "Dreams" by the Allman Brothers. Brilliant, just brilliant.


I'm sitting here in the silence, which is never silent for me. That's why I hate windchimes: I hear them all the time anyway.


I'm avoiding going to bed for some reason.


I'm tired.


I'm on Myspace and see that my site's been hacked again. I'm mighty damn close to just bailing out of that useless site altogether.


I'm trying. I am.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


You know, there's a joke in my household that Wolfboy will have a way with women like I never did. He's got a lot in common with my father, and that's why MOBB says, "Studliness skipped a generation" sometimes.

And I can't argue. I've seen a gaze from that kid reduce a teenaged girl to stuttering. I've seen him kiss little girls at birthday parties right on the lips.

But sometimes... sometimes I wonder.


He has long professed that his one true love is a little girl from his daycare. I know I've mentioned her before. They haven't spent any real time together in a couple years, an eternity for a kid his age, yet he still claims to love her.

I'll call her Nevada.


So Wolfboy's bumped into Nevada a couple times this week, because she too has a little sister at their old daycare. Yesterday they faced each other for the first time in quite a while. She had a little rubber ball or something, and they started bouncing it to each other. I could sense his happiness at seeing her.

They bounced the ball, made little kid small-talk, and...

...he clutched his penis like it was going to run off to Tahiti.




I was standing behind her, kinda grunt-whispering, "Let it go, boy! LET! GO! Lettigolettigolettigo!"

I finally caught his attention: "What, Dad?"



"Let GO of your--"

And that's when Nevada turned around and stared at me.


I tried to finish getting the message to him using a combination of exasperated looks and all those universal hand signals for "stop" and "ix-nay" and "look, it's la migra!"

Finally, he turned it loose. And... we were done. It was time to go. He walked out the door with us, and paused.


Here she came. HER, the love of his short life, approaching him. She was going to cross his personal space there in the doorway.

I began to think to myself: Saaaaay... isn't SHE the one he kissed at the party that time? My gosh, is he... is he going to kiss her RIGHT NOW?

He froze there, and as she walked past him he bent backwards at the waist like Neo in The Matrix. With a coy smile she kept walking as he said, "Whoa!"

(Seven-year-olds can be coy... who knew?)


So Wolfboy, son of BB, but more importantly the Grandson of Doug, acted like a regular little kid when confronted with his sweetheart. With some junk gripping thrown in.

Perhaps I've overestimated this kid's abilities.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Sex, Shimmying, and Gettin' Stuff Done

Let's talk about sex...

Okay okay, kidding. Sort of. I'm not going into another of those rare entries about me and some meager success or failure with the opposite gender from long ago.

Nah, I just want to know if anyone can recommend a really good book about sex. I've got to read one for a class I'm taking next semester. We've got one here called Great Moments in Sex which I may use if nothing else grabs me.

I don't even know where to start if I seek out another book.


Good day here. After I finally snapped out of my morning heebie jeebies we packed a lunch and took the kids to the park. The weather was nice, albeit windy, and they'd been running us crazy in the house. Those two needed to get OUT.
THEGIRL fearlessly scales the jungle gym.

MOBB discovered one of my rare talents there today: I can climb poles. There you go. Always could. I just shimmy right up.


I got stuff done today. Something about being out from under the burden of school suddenly just... got me up and moving. I guess it's hard to explain. But I found myself doing laundry, getting groceries, packing a lunch, all that. I tried to nap, but my mind was racing. I let it go its own way for a while before getting up and facing the day.


Need a late snack. Ya'll sleep tight.

Weekend Indulgences

Coffee. BB need coffee.


I went out with a buddy last night. Mike "Lladies Llove" Llorca and I hit a sports bar to watch some college ball: OU vs. Mizzou. I'm not a football fan, but I am still a Longhorn. Needless to say, the game didn't turn out the way I wanted.

But it was good to catch up with my boy. It was loud and smokey in there, and the place was reacting to almost every play.

We were at Champs, which I believe is where the "Queen Arugula" jokes started many years ago.


I had too much dessert. Yes, of all the over-indulgence that goes in a bar, I'm probably the only person who had too much chocolate chip cookie pie (or whatever it was called). But hoo baby it was good.


And since I was in MOBB's car, which has a fine, loud stereo, I listened to Helmet the whole way there and back. Seeing Helmet in person didn't bother my ears since I wore protection; listening to their CD last night did. I overdid it, and my ears are still ringing.


AND, there was a DeLorean parked out front. Check it out. No, I didn't see Michael J. Fox anywhere.


Yesterday was a pretty good day. Okay, so some utterly freaky stuff happened before lunch. It's the kind of thing I can't share with just everyone, I'm sorry to say. I'm going to email the anecdote as a "not suitable for the blog" entry in a bit. Unless I nod off at the machine.


Speaking of nodding off at the machine, I heard back from the prof regarding my sloppy APA style on my paper. Basically, she told me to relax, and that in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter. She likes my work overall, likes me as a person, and I should quit being such a Briscoe.

[Okay, she didn't add that last part.]


After I got home, MOBB and I watched 300. We started it late, and I didn't mean to watch it all and stay up until 2am, but it was pretty doggone gripping. The colors, the action, the bravery, the... slightly androgynous Xerxes... I couldn't turn it off..

And pecs. And abs. MOBB didn't complain about watching it twice in one evening, and asked at 2am if I could work out and look like that.

"Give me a couple years," I told her.


And I do work out. Or did. I haven't done much since September. Whit's about to pull his hair out because I'm not working out. Hey, I am too. It's on my mind every day.

But every day, almost, I'm wrapped up in work, school, and/or clients. Most days at about 4:30pm I'm ready to sleep at my desk, and I usually still have much work to do. I'm not being lazy; I'm worn out.

That said, I mean to work out between semesters (fall ended yesterday). I may indeed return to Krav Maga, though I've left a message with a Muay Thai school in Fort Worth that's got a good reputation and offers month-to-month tuition. I hope the spring semester will allow me to work out, but I honestly don't know. More practicum work, more lecture... we'll see. I won't have a Saturday class anymore, and I'm glad about that.


You really should hear the theme to Larry Boy. I've got a little clip here, but it doesn't do it justice. It's a tight funk song, really clever. I stand up and dance almost every time I hear it.


The coffee's working. Once again, caffeine props me up, allows me to face the world. Ya'll have a good Sunday. Take a look around. Cherish your loved ones. Let them know today how important they are to you.

Friday, November 30, 2007


It’s all about me today. Me me me.

What about MY needs?


[Okay, so is this any different than any other day?]



“… don’t want it. I just need it.” Some random lyric from some Tool song. They’re one of those bands whose song titles sometimes seem totally unrelated to the actual songs, so this is probably called “Parabola Festules on the Amygdala” or something.


… got called out in class last night for my sloppy APA style on a paper I turned in. “How did you get through this whole program without being able to…?”

I can. I do. I didn’t say much. I find myself tempted now to do some clarification after the fact: The week that paper was due included recurring words like “cancer,” “ICU,” and “overtime,” not to mention the fact that I was writing another paper. Ever nodded off at a computer? I’ve done it more times this semester than ever before. Still, explaining this feels like it’d be a lame excuse.


“…want you to want me.” Cheap Trick


… need to start working out again.


… have a lot of answers now. But I need more.


…think you need to hear some Helmet today:


…emailed the prof about my paper. I just felt like I’d disappointed her.


…am feeling a bit overwhelmed in a lot of different areas.


…am getting more attention than I need or want.


…have been invited to a party.


… think you need to hear some Billie Holiday today:


…need to stay grounded


…wish I could sing


…need to get back to work.


…want you to have a good Friday.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Move Me

[EDIT: Carpenters video posted at the end now]

As a counselor, my theoretical orientation is Solution-focused Brief Therapy. That is, they made us pick a theory and run with it. I actually find that Narrative therapy resonates more with me (don't gasp), but I found the idea of doing it in my second language too daunting.

I like SFBT quite a bit though.

Turns out there's an even briefer approach:


Let's zip down the rabbit hole a bit, shall we?


The first time I heard the song "All Things Must Pass" by George Harrison was in 1996, as I was leaning over the computer, writing something (again, don't gasp).

It's a demo version, just voice and guitar, from the third volume in The Beatles Anthology. It stopped me completely, this stark voice singing, "None of life's strings can last." It was so sad, so resigned, yet so wistful, and so George. I was in tears before it was over.

Harrison recorded that version on his 26th birthday. Of course, it went on to be the title track of his acclaimed solo album.


What art has moved you?


Music that sent me into therapy, part 1: After the Fall by Mary Coughlan. I can do heavy. Heavy heavy heavy. Fast, slow, sludgy, hateful, screaming... I can sit through metal of the most brutal variety.

But listening to these baker's dozen chamber ballads about wrecked dreams and unraveling seams, I lost it. Coughlan is very Irish, and easily the darkest vocalist I've ever encountered. I dove head-first into the music, taking a trip to some of the most perilous emotional places I've ever visited. Okay, I had some other stuff going on, but Coughlan wasn't exactly a bright and cheery soundtrack. Boom, I hit the therapist's couch. It was 1997.


Thing is, I got a "best of" compilation of hers quite some time ago. Toland sent it to me, I believe.

And... I can't. I can't play it. I'm scared to. Here it sits, as yet unplayed. Send me the newest CD by Cannibal Corpse and I'm cool. Mary Coughlan shakes me up too much though.


Wolfboy is quite fond of ranking things. He wants me to rank my favorite superheroes, favorite this or that. And he will sometimes ask who my favorite band is.

It's not an easy question.

But I tell him that the musician who has brought me the most joy over the course of my whole life is almost certainly BB King. I can remember listening to him when I was 3. I don't think I'd be who I am without him.


Books... Steinbeck. It starts with Steinbeck, period. He's the Great American Voice, the man who captured the dust bowl days, the hopelessness, the humor, the tragic character flaws, the wobble in our ellipse.

Larry Brown, however, remains the voice in my head. In my mind, this is what I wanted to accomplish in my stint as a novelist. I failed--so sue me. I aimed damn high.

He... speaks my language. Southern "grit lit," right? That's what they call it. It's smart and earthen and flawed, the product of willful talent, not some slick writing program. Art always belongs to the people, no matter how rarefied the pinnacles of achievement.

And that was Brown, period. Check out On Fire.


I try to have taste, but it doesn't always pan out.

That is, several years ago, while leaving the Museo del Prado in Madrid, I saw a print of The Triumph of Death by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. I insisted on going back into the museum to the see original, as we'd somehow missed it.

And there it was, this dark, chaotic landscape full of skeletal death-soldiers, slaughtering the living, covering the landscape with corpses. It's primitive and fearful and akin to folk art. It was painted in 1562.

I bought two prints. One I gave to a dear, sweet coworker whose very burps make canaries chuckle. What the hell I was thinking I don't know; she looked at me like I'd lost my mind, and perhaps I had.

I framed the other print, and it sits in a closet to this day. Where exactly does one hang such a print?


Music that sent me into therapy, part 2: "Let it Be" by the Beatles. Yep. The song. I'm sure this world is full of folks for whom this song has great emotional resonance. I'm one of them. Maybe you are too.

I remember so clearly that day in 2003. I was in downtown Dallas, maybe on a lunch break from my hellish job at BACS. It was on the radio. I knew I was taking a chance by sitting through it in a mood such as mine.

And it rattled me, just like I feared it would. I spent six months on the therapist's couch that time. BACS paid the bill, every penny.


I could go on and on, but it's getting late. I'll wrap up, though, with a nod to Charles Bukowski. His writing's not antiquated Beat poetry. He's not a caricature, not some empty voice from inside a bottle. His writing stripped out all pretense. He cut everything to its core.

During my undergrad years at UT, I enjoyed the downtime between classes. I'd often hit the library on campus and dive into one of his books, occasionally managing to read one in its entirety before my next lecture. I'd emerge in a daze, like I'd been in some other world. And I had. It was terrific, and it taught me a lot about what good writing is. I don't know if it manifests itself in the slightest in my own words, but it became a key component of what I seek in an author.


It's late and I'm tired, and I've probably put you to sleep by now. But if there's anything you'd like to add, any sort of art that moved you in some meaningful way, I'd love to read your input.


Good night.


All Things Must Pass

[Simply because I've had this song going through my head for days.]

by George Harrison

Sunrise doesn't last all morning.
A cloudburst doesn't last all day.
Seems my love is up
And has left you with no warning.
It's not always been this gray.

All things must pass.
All things must pass away.

Sunset doesn't last all evening.
A mind can blow those clouds away.
After all this
My love is up and must be leaving.
It's not always been this gray.

All things must pass.
All things must pass away.

All things must pass.
None of life's dreams can last.

So, I must be on my way
To face another day
And darkness only stays at nighttime.
In the morning it will fade away.

Daylight is good
At arriving at the right time.
It's not always gonna be this gray.

All things must pass.
All things must pass away.
All things must pass.
All things must pass away

Sunday, November 25, 2007


One of those international fusion cuisine places opened up in my neighborhood. They've got an Asian/Latin menu, and they've named the restaurant "Thai Chihuahua."


Nah, just messing with you. It's a punchline that came to me in a dream.


We got so much done this weekend. I cleaned the house, cleaned out the fridge, cleaned the study. Okay, so I nearly burned the house down with a candle... everything else was positive.

MOBB put up the Christmas decorations with almost no help from me. I was busy doing other stuff. Really.


The new tree looks great, I must say.


Wolfboy spent a few hours at the office with me Wednesday, watching DVDs, charming everyone around. One of our Venezuelan staffers asked me, "Donde esta Lobito?" after I dropped him off with MOBB.

It means, "Where is Little Wolf?"


THEGIRL drew the most brilliant-yet-mad picture today, and as soon as I can convince the scanner to talk to my laptop again I'll post an image. You'd have to just see it to believe it.

She and I had a moment tonight after we returned from buying groceries. She commenced to whining when I explained that bedtime was coming soon. She blurted out some angry baby talk, a common tactic of hers.

"YOU need to be nice to me," I said in Big Daddy Voice.

She scowled. "And you need to be nice to ME," she said in perfectly clear English.

We glared at each other for a minute.

"Okay, but bedtime is still coming," I told her.

She's not a child; she's a force of nature, like her mother.


What do you think... keep his name as Wolfboy, or go with Lobito?


Nighttime is the right time, right? Isn't that what Brother Ray Charles said?

This is it, my time. I'm the night owl all right. As I said before, if I won the lottery I'd never see another sunrise. I said that to a young woman once who replied, "If you won the lottery you'd DIE??"

(Uh no, you see, I'd have the option of setting my own hours, so to speak, and given that freedom I would never again willingly get up with the sun...)


I hope Santa brings me some biceps for Christmas.


This is the time that calls me though. It used to be so clear. It seemed like every song, every thought, every passing moment just sang to me, beckoning me. Everyone else would be asleep and I'd be wrapped in some meaningless project, maybe hunkered over a pad with a pen in hand, maybe lost in the headphones, or outside somewhere, following the piper.

I can't play like that anymore though. Sunrise will come, and I'll need to rise too, vampiric tendencies be damned. I've got kids to take to school, clients to see, a job to work, and a life to jump back into.

I'm making less and less sense. Good night, sweet night...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Las Viudas et al

I dreamed there's a new morning talk show called Las Viudas. It's got all these grouchy chismosas sitting around this round table...


My dreams write better material than I do...


Yes, Thanksgiving was fine and dandy. We hit Corsicana, ate like royalty... this new weather's a drag though. Rainy, wet, cold. Did I mention cold?


THEGIRL has this compulsion... when she plays with her toys she lines them up, like this.


It's been a terrific break, I must say. I needed to reset the counter, so to speak. Needed to just unwind, which i struggle so much to do sometimes. I spent today cleaning the house, mostly. I cleaned out the fridge, did some laundry... my solace is in motion.


"Now was Milton trying to tell us that being bad was more fun than being good?" Dave Jennings, as played by Donald Sutherland in Animal House.


A little cold makes BB go crazy...


I thought I'd be more inspired than this. Guess I'll turn in.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Have a good holiday

... and please be very careful.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I Hear Music

it's been a musical day here.

Most of the day I had either "Burden In My Hand" by Soundgarden or "Feel Good, Inc." by Gorillaz going through my head.

Or maybe "Jungle Boogie."


Maceo Parker's coming to the House of Blues... "Maceo, blow your horn!"


My iPod is working again, somehow. And just in time, because commercial radio was causing me to have carpal tunnel syndrome form pushing the damn buttons over and over again.


You should have seen Wolfboy tonight as we rocked out in the van. I played Metallica's "Stone Cold Crazy" for him (minus a couple muted curse words), and he loved it. Air drums from my boy! Or he'd sing along to "Connected" by the Stereo MCs.


Been having a playful debate with a coworker. Turns out he's a music fan, sure. Thing is, he thinks the music out of Seattle ruined things. He rues the day Nirvana hit it big, can't stand Soundgarden.

We've tried to find some common ground. Wolfmother didn't do much for him. He asked if I like Spock's Beard (a little).

We both like Rush, but he assumed that meant I'd dig Yes as well. Just say no to Yes!

He was touting the merits of their big double CD... what, Tales from Topographic Oceans or something like that. A double album with only four songs total! Who can sit through this?

I told him I did like some of the music their singer Jon Anderson did for the Legend soundtrack, but "only because he SINGS LIKE AN ELF!"


Dragged out the Live Aid DVDs tonight. The first song we listened to was "Maneater" by Hall & Oates, which Wolfboy just loves. You should see him dance! He was singing along to the Beach Boys too, and loved the Who's performance (naturally), even though they really muffed "Won't Get Fooled Again."

We showed him U2's seminal performance, and he said that Bono "needs to brush his hair!"

Wolfboy danced slowly along for a while, telling us his moves were "like Tai Chi."

Then he did some impromptu breakdancing.

Who IS this kid?


I like having broad tastes. I do. I've always seen it this way, seen that we deserve far better than what radio feeds us. I'm no longer on the tip though, not by a long shot. It's all passed me by.

I'd like to think I'll continue to move forward though, not getting stuck in this era or that.


How is everybody? Looking forward to the holidays? Big plans? Drop me a line.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pumpkins/Holiday Survey

Had a good time seeing the Smashing Pumpkins with Hood last night. I like Nokia Live over in Grand Prairie.

Billy Corgan et al led the current Pumpkins incarnation through more than 90 minutes of beautifully distorted, tripped out, metal-tinged rock. Corgan's voice sounded good and the band was tight. Jimmy Chamberlain is one monstrously good drummer. The set was this metal framework of lighting girders both above and across the stage. I knew about a third of the songs, though they played all my favorites, including "Drown." Oh, and they covered Black Sabbath's "Iron Man." Yep.


But I'm tired. Tired tired tired.


Oh, I'm tired of growing old. 39 is fine. Yep. Let's stop the clock right here.


Now for a holiday survey, courtesy of the mighty Maria.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
I like egg nog quite a bit, even if I drink it nog-free these days.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
He just leaves them there. Sometimes he's up late assembling them, and wrapping gifts cheeses him off anyway. Really.

3. Colored lights (on tree/house )or white?
I prefer white on the house, though MOBB calls the shots on this, so we end up putting up all sorts of crazy lights. On the tree we have gone to all red, I believe.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No. Why?

5. When do you put up your decorations?
Whenever MOBB tells me. No, that's not true. I do it about a week later than she tells me, so she's good and irritated at me.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
I still like green bean casserole. Really.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
So many mornings, so many times when the tree just looked like it exploded with gifts. I can't pick one.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
What truth? What are you talking about? Truth? Is there some secret? What are you snickering at?

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Yes. Yes, I believe we do.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
Slowly and grouchily.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
DREAD it. It's cold, it's wet, it gets in my eyes, and I usually drive off the road at even the lightest dusting of it.

12. Can you ice skate?
I've never tried. Still, I'm fairly certain the answer is no.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
I always receive good gifts. Um... So many toys... musical stuff... CDs, even clothes... can't pick.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Seeing the kids enjoy themselves.

15. What is your favorite Holiday dessert?
I'm usually glad to get something with coconut in it. MOBB doesn't care for it, so we don't ever have it at home.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I do enjoy driving the kids around to look at lights.

17. What tops your tree?
It's a red bird.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
"Little Drummer Boy," though I love a good version of "O Holy Night." That is, I like the versions where the singer can nail the high note.

20. Candy Canes?
Do I like them? I guess so.

21. Do you feel Christmas is too commercialized?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Helmet '07

I'm not sure what Helmet frontman Page Hamilton sees in Totimoshi, who opened the show tonight. Their particular brand of histrionic thud is perhaps beyond my grasp.

I might not have given them another thought, except that not long into their set they began trading heated barbs with the audience. The band tried to play it cool, but it was clear that they weren't having a good time.

It soon became apparent that the source of the trouble was seated not far from me. Between songs this young man, whom I'll call PK for "powderkeg," was standing up and yelling F bombs at the band, flipping them off, and generally making a jerk of himself. His girlfriend joined him.

Totimoshi didn't do anything for me, but they didn't deserve such treatment.

The band finally ended their set after numerous shouts of "go back to California" from PK. As the set change began, PK bumped into a man in the aisle and they exchanged words, including, "Oh--you wanna fight?" Considering that the other guy was pretty buff and big while PK just looked like a big, mean fat guy, I was curious to see what would happen. The other guy just walked away.

That's when the bouncers took notice of PK. He and his girlfriend moved around a lot, and at one point he wiped out while leaving his chair, falling chin-first almost completely into the row behind him. The people seated there just stared at him.


The Burning Brides took the stage, and they just flat out rocked. Their bassist, pictured here, is a Dallas native who smiled and seemed to have a great time.

PK had bumped roughly into three or four more guys on his way to the front of the stage.

He's in this shot, right in front of the guitar player. Short, dark hair, looks like the mic stand is coming out of his head... anyway, this shot was taken about 30 seconds before a bouncer the size of one of Jupiter's moons grabbed him by the throat...

...and dragged him out. PK is an inch or two taller than I am, and certainly over 200 pounds. Can you SEE how big this bouncer is? Watching PK flop around like a trout in a bucket was pretty great.


And just before Helmet took the stage, PK somehow re-emerged. I have no idea how he got let back in. More on that later.


After he was kicked out, I talked to someone about him. This young man said PK had broken a beer bottle in the men's room, and when the young man said something along the lines of "hey, chill out, man," PK jabbed a piece of the broken bottle against his back and threatened him. Now, the man telling me this story was drunk, and he turned to talk to someone else at that point.


Anyway, Helmet eventually took the stage, opening with "Pure," just like they did in '04. Johnny Tempesta and Chris Traynor are gone now, and I didn't know anyone in the band. Regardless, Hamilton has once again surrounded himself with terrific musicians.

And just like in '04, Hamilton was happy and chatty, talking football with the crowd here and there. They did lots of songs from Aftertaste, which they said they'd just learned has gone out of print (damn!). They did the big ones, like "In the Meantime," "Unsung," "Rude," and "Wilma's Rainbow" too.

Someone threw a bra onstage, and lo and behold, the other guitarist took off his t-shirt and tried to put it on. Thing is, fastening one of those "front-loader" types is much more difficult than unfastening it.

Or so I'm told.


I spent about 2.5 seconds in the mosh pit. That is, it started all around me, and I had just long enough to think, Cool! Ouch, someone stepped on my ankle! before bailing out. I stayed at the edge all evening and got jostled plenty, but not like in the old days.

[BB in old man voice, again]; Was a day, sonny, when I'd have been in there with the rest of them, all knees and elbows, drunker 'n' a skunk, workin' out my flusterations...

(What DOES "drunker than a skunk" mean anyway...?)

One genuine fight broke out in the pit, and I managed to get knocked around by that too. Ah, aggression... See, someone accused me this week of listening to "girly" music and, well, all of this makes me feel a little better.


PK stayed at the edge of the pit too, glaring, jaw clenched, just waiting for that one provocation that'd start the fight for which he was clearly aching. And you know, it never quite happened. He shoved a few guys, but it never escalated.

Speaking of aching, between the chiropractic manipulation the bouncer gave him the the dental work he probably gave himself on that chair when he fell, I wouldn't want to be HIM tomorrow morning. Not to mention the hangover.


I enjoyed the Helmet show. Really. The setlist was great, though I was dumbfounded that they did nothing from Monochrome. That's their latest CD. I'd not been impressed with what I heard (I don't own it), but I can't believe they'd just completely omit it from their setlist a year after its release. Wow. But this incarnation of Helmet is terrific, and clearly had a ball playing the material. Heck, Hamilton was crouched at the edge of the stage, still shaking hands and chatting when I left.


Tomorrow night: Smashing Pumpkins. Good night, ya'll. Have a good weekend.