Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Man-scaping: The photos

I don't have great images of the trimmer mishap or I'd have posted them sooner.

But here's what I do have.


Coincidentally, I'd taken a shot of myself about an hour before the mishap, and this is it. It's not like I need a photo to show that Look--I really used to have an eyebrow there! I guess, but since this image is handy, here you go.

This shot, by the way, was taken after a rough workout I did up at the school. I took it to show Whit how wiped out I was, and to remind him that, somehow, it was his fault.


So here's the other shot, taken maybe 18 hours after the incident. It's hard to tell, but yeah, the eyebrow is pretty much gone. Bzzt.

I haven't used an eyebrow pencil, though I thank all of you ladies who recommended it. I've just decided to stick with what I've got and take what laughs I can. So be it.

Hope ya'll had a good weekend.


PS--14 years ago today I married MOBB, aka Kiwi, aka Kelli Dee.

Friday, May 25, 2007


So the old shaver died, the beard trimmer. I was about ready for a new one anyway, as I'd dropped and broken the attachment long ago, and had to resort to using a comb to get the length right. It wasn't bad, but still took about three times longer than it should have.

I hit Walgreen's last night after working out and got a new trimmer.

Hair grows in the craziest damn places these days, and I do what I can to keep an eye out, making sure I don't have some crazy hair sticking out somewhere.

And sure enough, my eyebrows looked a little ragged.

I'll just trim that right quick, I thought.


And my eyebrow was gone.




I told MOBB what I'd done before showing her.

And she laughed.

And laughed.

And laughed some more.

Then she threw herself on the bed so she could laugh more comfortably.

She came over to have a close look at it. She said something about an eyebrow pencil, then laughed some more.

And, just to recover from all the laughing, she laughed a little more.


SO, there I was with, uh, one eyebrow.

It looked pretty damn strange. I considered shaving the other one too just for a sense of balance, but I was scared I'd look too much like that Russian spy who died of radiation poisoning.

I did trim the other one just a bit, for some reason. I managed to actually keep that eyebrow though.

I'm working a half day today, and will soon be in a roomful of my peers. Ball caps are not allowed at work.

You know... you play the hand you're dealt, even if you deal it to yourself.


Happy Friday.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

BB's Going to Venus


Venus, Texas, that is. It’s work-related. Leaving around noon.


Ah, the blog, the blog… my poor blog. I’m at that freaked-out early part of the semester when I’m looking at all the work ahead of me and wondering how in the hell I’ll get it all done. One class is textbook-intensive, and I know I’ll spend just tons of time with my nose buried in the book. Crap.

The blog could suffer. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’ll get into a rhythm, find time (like I usually do) to post my usual meaningless blather.

But no guarantees.

Bear with me.


Implants are to breasts what steroids are to sports.


So today is the last day of kindergarten for THEBOY. I’ve been remiss, haven’t bought a card or flowers or a strip-o-gram for his teacher.

(Heh heh… I’ve love to see that: “Ma’am… there’s a shirtless fireman here to see you…”)

But I made a point of stopping her in the hall this morning when I dropped him off. I shook her hand, told her how much fun he had and how pleased we are.

And she asked, “Did the school counselor tell you about when she tested [THEBOY]?”

I explained that she had, sort of. That is, she’d simply told me, “When we tested this one—whoo!”

I figured “whoo” was good.

But the teacher explained to me that he tested higher than any student she’d ever tested.

I’m standing a couple inches taller at the moment.

I’m assuming that’s among kindergarteners, though I’d certainly be pleased to learn the lil’ bugger whipped the sixth graders butts.


This is Whit’s mom. I’m tickled to death, just pleased as punch for her and the family. I could, and should, write at length about her, about how she was a maternal figure to me at some key points in my life. Generous, caring, warm… heck, when I hear “Let It Be,” she’s “mother Mary.” She is.

So congratulations Mrs. M!


Happy Thursday.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Red River, Red Raiders, Red Dirt, Redhawks... and Sooners

THEBOY hides his face, perhaps in embarrassment at the hairdo on the yutz behind him.

Hood and I had wondered the past couple years when THEBOY might be able to join us on one of our spring training trips. To his credit, Hood's always been quick to suggest it, quick to be very clear that he wouldn't mind at all.

So Friday he called me with an idea: Let's go to Oklahoma this weekend and catch a couple games. The Sooners were playing the Red Raiders at home in Norman, and the Redhawks (the Rangers' AAA team) were playing the Iowa Cubs at home in Oklahoma City.

THEBOY said he was up for it, so off we went.


The drive up was nice enough, with lingering Indian Paintbrushes and other scattered flowers dotting the landscape. And north of the Red River I-35 cuts through rolling hills and rocky terrain, which is a nice change of pace.

And it's funny how the timing works out. After stopping three or four times to deal with a DVD player that was threatening to die, grabbing lunch, and other assorted delays, we arrived just in time for first pitch.


It was a good game in a nice little park. THEBOY was into it. He asked immediately who we should root for. I explained that since I went to UT and all, I couldn't root for the Sooners. So he was all into Texas Tech from that moment on, shouting his displeasure at calls, clapping when Tech players did well... despite the sea of red shirts around us. He didn't care.

There's one section that was quite vocal in their displeasure with the home plate umpire, by the way. And like a lot of hecklers, they walked that line between being funny and being mean. Lots of comb-over jokes and "you're ruining baseball" and the like. And apparently the man's name is Terry. He's got thicker skin than I do, let me tell you.


It took extra innings, but the Sooners won by a run. I think it was 8-7.

We packed up and headed into the city.


We'd been to Bricktown, the Redhawks' ballpark, back in 2001 when THEBOY was still an infant. That's where MOBB snuck off to a far, dark end of the concourse to breastfeed THEBOY. I draped a blanket over her yet was stunned at the audacity of the guys around who tried to get a peek. Yep. Guys would do their best to crane their necks around for a glimpse of a workin' boob, complete with a baby hanging off of it.

Again, I don't understand this obsession with boobs, man.


Our seats were just great, gotta say. We were third row behind the first base dugout. Bruce Chen was pitching, and Frank Catalanotto was there on a rehab assignment.

There were lots of familiar names, like Jason Botts and Desi Relaford, not mention Nate Gold, who could be the Rangers first baseman by the end of the season if the team continues to slide and they trade Mark Teixeira.

THEBOY was all into it again, rooting loudly for the Redhawks. Chen wasn't exactly crisp, but it was a pretty good game nonetheless.

Long about the fifth or sixth inning THEBOY and I finally left our seats to hit the playground out beyond right field. He'd had 15 or 16 innings of straight baseball at that point, so he was overdue. After he played for a while we walked around and hit the gift shop.


We came back out for the final two innings, which were quite exciting. I'm tired and can't remember the final score... 8-4 Redhawks maybe? THEBOY would know.


We were out of the park when they started shooting fireworks--dang. But we managed to walk up the alley behind the left field bleachers and watch for a few minutes.


From there we hit Denny's for some grub, got gas, and hit the hotel. It was shortly after midnight when THEBOY went to sleep.


That kid is definitely ready for the show, let me tell you.

And I told him so tonight as I tucked him in. He wanted to know where we'd go on a spring training trip. I told him Arizona or Florida, and showed him on the map there in his room. He said he wanted Florida, and it's probably the more likely possibility at this stage.


The drive home was fairly uneventful, though I was stunned that the whole time were in in Oklahoma I saw only one (1) Starbucks.


Ya'll have a good week.

Friday, May 18, 2007

We Were All Yellow

Phone thing #1: This damn phone of mine is trouble. It calls people from my pants. Yep.

Maybe you've had this happen, back in the days before you knew how to lock your keypad perhaps.

Me, I'm certain this is due to the blue tooth earpiece gizmo I often have in my pocket with my phone. One big, rectangular button on the thing, but if you hit the button just right it'll do a few different things.

Several weeks ago I learned from Whit that it had called him, from my pants, as I talked to a client down in Johnson county. Fortunately neither the client nor I could hear the tirade Whit unleashed, funny though it probably was.


You may know that many schools use a color system to rate a kid's behavior each day. THEBOY comes home and tells me he's had a green (no reprimands), yellow (some reprimands), or red (uh.... some MORE reprimands) day. I gather there are colors above and beyond red, but he's not ventured that high.

I cut him plenty of slack, I do. He's a born lecturer, okay, often waking up in the morning telling me about how the earth actually rotates on its side even before he says good morning or takes a pee. He talks non-stop. Talk talk talk talk talk.

So mostly when he gets some color other than green it's due to talking. I can only imagine what it's like to be another six-year-old, listening to him talk in detail about his most recent exploits playing Nanosaur (a computer game).

"And then I hit the jet pack and went pppssssshhhhew! but there was a long neck--that's a brontosaurus--and I killed him with the special webbon [note: gotta work on teaching that kid to pronounce "weapon"] that makes everything look waaaaaavy and they fall down and 'rrrrrrrrooooooossssshhhhhh' and you don't have to kill them but I like to. But I like it when I miss them and catch trees on fire. Sometimes it helps you find the eggs..."

And the other kids probably rat him out just for a moment's peace.


Phone thing #2: I was down in Granbury today, having a fine club sandwich in a little eatery on highway 377. The cashier who rang me out was cute, and I was feeling chatty.

So I noticed her cell phone on the counter, and told her I had the same kind, and how I love taking photos with it and checking email and stuff.

She said she likes hers too, "but the other day when I dropped it in the parking lot at my high school the screen went blank..."

High school? Ouch.

I swear, she looked older.

Don't look at me like that.


Yeah, so the other day THEBOY came home from school and reported that he'd had a yellow day. I asked him why.

He explained very clearly (and that's not always the case) that in class, there are three (3) positions allowable for sitting in one's chair. He'd been busted for sitting in a different position.




I told him that as far as I'm concerned he was in no trouble with me. Seriously, is this worth their breath? Let me repeat this: HE IS SIX. If they think there is anything to be gained by attempting to make him sit in one of only three positions all day, they can just knock themselves out. I'll bring them some more yellow markers, because theirs are gonna dry up.

Shoot, at that age sitting at a desk is a very unnatural thing anyway. I'd suggest they pick their battles, and chuck this one out the window.


I mean seriously, you should see this kid when he's on the couch at home. It's like he's having a Judo match with an invisible foe, and losing. Constant motion. Relaxing wears that kid out.


Phone thing #3: As I returned to work today, my boss informed me that I'd called her.

Hoo boy.

She heard wind whooshing by, road noise, the radio... and yours truly, singing a passionate "Tears of a Clown" along with Smokey Robinson.

I had to laugh.


And now I must find a hammer and smash this gizmo.


I'm sore. Sore sore sore. And it's Whit's fault. Please, go beat him up.


More crying on The Ultimate Fighter last night. What, is Kleenex a sponsor? Holy crap what an emotional bunch of little psychos those 155 pounders are.


Ya'll have a good weekend.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


BB's current therapy: "Loose," by Buick Mackane. The whole band just howls on this one, and you know, it's brilliant that Alejandro Escovedo's vocals are somewhat buried in the mix. I love hearing him roar to be heard.


We're getting a sparring/fight class underway at the Krav Maga school, and I'm pumped, just all sorts of pumped.

And I can't explain why. I'm not good at it, and heck, it's not Krav. I've heard it said in Krav that if your confrontation lasts more than about eight seconds you've really screwed up. It's an explosive self defense system, not kickboxing.

I've got this footage of a bunch of blues guitarists on some show. I remember BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King and some others. And someone says something about all of them swapping solos on the next tune, and Albert King's in the back just yelling, Yeah!. That's how I feel when I get a chance to spar, for some reason. I want to shout and get right after it.

I can only wonder. Maybe it's the idea of trying to implement some of the things I've watched my whole life. I grew up watching boxing, and it's one thing for a spectator to point out holes in a fighter's technique, but it's another to try to be the fighter, you know?

Once in a while I do something right. I have those moments where I land a shot and think, Ha, I CAN do this!

And then the other person will land one (or two or more) and I'll think, Hey, no one told me I was sparring with Bruce Lee...


I do like the moments, fleeting though they are sometimes, when I do something we've been taught without any conscious thought. Couple weeks ago at the end of a class on gun defenses, we loosened up a bit, and improvised here and there. My partner put the gun in my face, and my hands flew up in a disarm I hadn't done in months. "I don't know what that was, but it worked," he said.

(BB blows on knuckles...)


So yeah, we had three folks stick around for sparring tonight. Mostly it was straight-up boxing stuff, very light. Although we're not actually competing, afterwards all I can do is poke holes in my technique. I kept my hands up okay, executed a few inside defenses, landed some shots to the body and head.

I also dropped a hand when punching, which usually meant taking one in the noggin. Ah fudge. And again, at some point when my opponent started throwing a flurry of punches I found myself in a classic defensive position, with head between my arms, elbows forward (know what I'm talking about? I'm sure it has a name). Yes a flurry of punches was coming my way, but I defended myself, and without putting any thought into it.

Other times I sparred like a cheesed off Girl Scout.

THIS is why we practice, right?


It's a good release though, really comparable to a long jog. I love getting to that point in class where the sweat's flowing, and I'm tired but not wiped out. Sometimes I can barely sit still. Not sure why.


I want to run again, I do. I want to do a lot of things. My leg's improved, but not perfect. Part of me thinks that well, as long as it's going to ache a bit no matter what I might as well enjoy myself, you know? I'd like to run at least one more half marathon. I'd run it smarter this time, set a good pace early and just cruise. We'll see.


Bed beckons. Be good.

Monday, May 14, 2007

It's Good to be the BB

Been a fine night here in the Briscoe Casa de Amor. Kids are in bed, I've had some Spaghetti-O's (hey, a man gets urges, okay?)...

And the laundry's done! Hey, it means a lot to me.


Good weekend here too. I had a good Krav workout Saturday morning, then came back in time to send MOBB off to get a Swedish massage. That went over pretty well.

When she returned she was kind enough to let me have a good nap. I guess the massage buttered her up just a bit.

The turffalo's here, and after a brief storm I got out and did one big swath of the yard with it. Grow turffalo grow!


Sunday was Mother's Day, of course. MOBB slept in for a while, getting up to some nice gifts and cards. And lo and behold, long about the time she got up I was wiped out, again. Nap time!


We hit Joe's Crab Shack for lunch, then zipped over to Southlake's town square to get some charms for her bracelet at the James Avery store.

Here's what Southlake is like, okay: Waiting outside the ice cream store I saw two brothers go in. Ages six and nine maybe. They're each wearing Under Armour shorts and sleeveless t-shirts. If you're not familiar with that brand of clothing, let me just say that each piece is about $40. Under Armour stuff never, ever goes on sale.

And shortly behind them came the mom, with 10 grand in fake boobs serving as direction indicators. Those things needed their own zoning ordinances.


I love women, I do. Beauty comes in so many varieties, and I don't mean to sound like a perv when I say it's a blessing to behold, this wondrous variety.

But for the women who get boob jobs, man, there's some something pathological going on there. And I mean for the women and for their partners.


But I digress.

Again, after a brief thunderstorm I hit the yard to work on the turffalo.

(Turffalo! Say it--it's fun!)

My buddy Ken came down the street to hang out a bit while I put in my little plugs. That really helped pass the time.


The new Porcupine Tree is really flippin' good. I listened to it all day at work for three days last week.

Needless to say, it holds up to repeated listens.


Time to call it a night.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Jazz Giants and Reggae Across the River Styx

I want this. It's Jazz, Giants and Journeys: The Photography of Herman Leonard . As a Billie Holiday fan, I must say that I'm eager to see some different images. There are cerrtainly some great shots of her out there, but we really tend to see the same ones over and over.

And Miles Davis... the guy probably never took an un-interesting photo.


"Hotel California" = reggae. Really. Just listen.


And I never liked reggae much. Oh, I gave it a shot, I did. Bob Marley was pretty great, but all the folks I explored after diggin' on Legend for a while were pretty lacking. I thought Steel Pulse might do it, but nah. Ditto for Burning Spear.

I did have a brief time when I listened to UB40 a lot, but I was drinking Southern Comfort at that point in my life, and frankly, everything sounded good when I drank Southern Comfort.


I've had a nice little myspace message exchange with Todd Sucherman lately.

Who?, you may ask.

Sucherman is the drummer for Styx these days. I grew up loving, LOVING The Grand Illusion. I owned it on eight-track, cassette, and album. No CD, which I guess I oughta rectify.

But you know, listen to some of their stuff and think about how complicated the drumming is. It's complex stuff, and I've heard some of the current Styx's playing--the drumming is super.

So I was on Andy Sturmer's myspace page recently and saw a comment from Sucherman, praising Sturmer's work with Jellyfish, including his drumming.

And something about one pro drummer--a good one--complimenting another in a public forum like that, it just struck me as classy.

I sent Sucherman a note telling him so. He wrote back, said he's a big Jellyfish fan, and saw them live in '93. And he said thanks.


At some point I'm going to write at length about Sturmer, but I haven't the heart at the moment.


Looks like Hood and I are going to take a trip to Chicago in August to see the Cubs/Cards. I'm looking forward to that.


The windows are open and a cool breeze is wafting through the house. MOBB is semi-conscious in the recliner, and the kids are in the bedroom, watching a DVD.

Unfortunately, the Rangers are losing to the Angels at the moment.

But otherwise it's a pretty perfect evening. I think I'll go get some ice cream.

Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


I haven’t disappeared.

I’ve been working out, doing stuff around the house, resting here and there, and putting together the Krav newsletter (http://www.myspace.com/dfwcontactcombat)


Friday morning I dreamed I was in the Florida Everglades on a flat-bottom boat, coasting along. The place was full of venomous snakes, alligators, and a spotted panther who was determined to get in the boat with me.

I’ll bet some sort of big felines really live there, but I doubt they’re spotted panthers.


My shipment of Turffalo should arrive today.

Say it: “Turffalo!”


Last night I dreamed I was with a group of people in some strange place. It was night, and we were in sort of an eye of a hurricane, more or less. A storm raged around us, but not a regular storm. No, this one featured wind, lightning, rain, and fire… things started just spontaneously combusting.

We were protected in this area, this group of people and I. We knew the storm was evil. Sure enough, a shadowy figure in a bowler hat walked forward. It was Satan. I crossed the barrier and threw a rock at him.

Then the dream ended.


When I was five, I had a nightmare after watching that Mexican movie, Santa Claus.

In the nightmare a tiny devil who looked just like Pitch (the devil) from the movie was chasing me around, tormenting me. I was terribly scared, but like I often do in these dreams, I reached a point where I got tired of running.

I turned and grabbed the little bugger.

He was hot, and I dropped him.

I grabbed him again, and squeezed, heat be damned. He struggled, and grew hotter and hotter, but finally I killed him.


The banana squeezing continues to be a hugely popular activity in my household.

Go ahead and joke, I don’t care. But there’s something about squeezing an overripe banana until it pops that makes little kids just go nuts.


I took the kids to the JuCo campus last night to see the rabbits. THEGIRL had never been. As soon as she saw one—ZOOM! She took off after it. It was hilarious! She’d see these tiny little bunnies and zip off after them.

She got mighty tired though, asking me to carry her back to the van. That’s a girl who rarely wants to be carried, let me tell you.


Scored two more As this semester in school—hurrah!


Ya’ll take care.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Sorry it’s been a while. I meant to update last night, but another scary storm came through Ft. Worth, and we were without power for 6.5 hours.

All told it still wasn’t a bad evening really. My kids kind of liked having to do everything by flashlight, candle and oil lamp. THEGIRL got to discover the joys of taking a bubble bath by candlelight.

At some point there was a loud crack of thunder and she said to me, “Listen… big flounder.”


Parenting tips from BB:

If you’ve got bananas that are a little too ripe and you’ve got to throw them away, call the kids into the kitchen first. Take the bananas in your hands, tell the kids that you’re the Hulk and you’re angry at the bananas, and squish them (the bananas, not the kids) in your hands until they burst apart.

The kids will squeal like Mariah Carey.


I have more of those low-res photos of Chris Cornell on my camera phone. I put the best ones up already, but just holler if you want to see more.


I know lots of mental health folks. Students, professionals, former caseworkers, etc. I’ve got to post this without a name, but I got this person’s permission to share it here. This person decided to leave the industry.

Although I received my BA in psychology, I barely even remember anything from those classes. I do remember the jelly-like substance that makes up the eyeball is called the vitreous humor (that one is from my favorite all-time psych. class, Sensory and Perception). I think my one year with MHMR scarred me for life and made me realize the counseling field was not for me:

*Getting called out at 3 AM to talk a guy who wanted to take all of the medicine he had been prescribed twelve hours earlier. I talked to him long enough for the sheriff's deputies to get there. I still wonder what he was fiddling with in the cushion of his recliner (gun? knife?) and thanking God he had the sense to go to the psych Hospital.

*Having an 18 year-old girl come with her mother to my office. The girl had on sunglasses and was in obvious distress. At the urging of her mother, the girl took off her sunglasses and made me want to cry - her boyfriend had used her face as a punching bag and her eyes looked like a raccoon's. Mother and I were urging her to press charges, but she was "too in love with him."

That was the last I ever heard from her. Her mother later told me she was living with her boyfriend, but was thinking about leaving him because he had threatened her with a gun.

*Having a little boy see our psychiatrist on a Friday and thinking this little boy was the poster child for ADHD. I sat in that office and watched that little boy literally bounce off the walls, much to the groans of the exasperated guardians. I came to work that Monday to find out that little boy had died during the weekend under extremely suspicious circumstances.

*Having a Hispanic man strip down to his underwear in my office because he had to go to the county psych. hospital, not the Charter Hospital he wanted to go to. I was never so happy to see police in all my days.

*The final straw was knowing two of my co-workers, people I loved and cared for deeply, had died. One of them, a nurse, hanged herself after divorcing one of the nicest guys I'd ever met and then marrying a real SOB. The other died when the car she was riding in crashed into a light pole - the driver was going around 80 mph on a residential street. The real kicker? She was giving the driver a blow job when the wreck happened.

Both women left behind little boys.

This past week, I have had to deal with one of my students who has had a truly shitty home life. Daddy was sentenced to life in prison last week for vehicular manslaughter that got upped to murder because it was his 4th DWI.


Ya’ll take care.