Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Halloween I Almost Whupped a Kung Fu Wino


I'm on the phone with Sis. We're chatting about this and that. Each of our households has had a fine, successful Halloween sortie. The weather was nice, and we had the best turnout in years here. Like probably every kid who hit our neighborhood, my two scored a lot of loot.

I'm eating as much as I can.


Anyway, the doorbell rings, and MOBB informs me she's not going to answer it at this time of night. I'm not thrilled, giving her the universal hey I'm on the phone here gesture. Our porch light is off, the house is dark from the outside.

Fine, fine.

So I answer the door, and I see a man in his 60s. He's dressed as a wino, though I don't think it's a costume. His hat has a skull on it, and a cigarette is dangling from his lips.

"Trick or treat," he says, and the vibe is ALL SORTS OF SCREWED UP.

"Is this for real?" I ask, as he fumbles with the pillowcase he's using for a sack.

"Yeah," he says. I briefly consider that something nefarious is up, and that maybe he's going to pull a gun out of his pillowcase or something. I'm not kidding.

But he's old enough to be in AARP, and I'm about eight inches taller and 40 pounds heavier than he is. He also can't get the damn bag open.

Just as I'm thinking, I can take this guy if I have to, he mutters something that I swear sounds like "kung fu."

I dump the last of our candy in his pillowcase. He says thank you, and disappears into the night.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


My father is in the ICU. Thanks Amanda for the updates.


After 3 weeks, my headaches are gone.


This week continues to be busy beyond belief.


Have a happy Halloween. And ya'll please extend birthday wishes to the original "boo baby," Whit McClendon, who turns still-not-as-old-as-me-dangit tomorrow.


I'm at an okay pausing point with my projects. (Wow... alliteration)

I thought I'd better seize the opportunity to post something while I had a few thoughts rolling around in my skull. It could be the last time for a while.


I do my best to be mindful regarding situations like the one with my father. It's huge news to my family and me, but still, it's his business more than anyone else's. That's why I'm not going into much detail. The family believes we have reason to be optimistic at this point.


Okay, my Thursday paper is written. I need to polish it up, including a cover sheet and bibliography. Easy.

My Saturday presentation is coming together. I've written the book summary. Friday night (or maybe tomorrow night, if trick/treatin' doesn't wear me out) I'll go over it a bit and knock out some visual aids.

Then I've got ANOTHER paper to write for the following week, not to mention a huge powerpoint to put together for my day job. Oh, and I'm about to start co-facilitating a Monday morning group.

Life's just busy busy busy.


Saturday night is Smashing Pumpkins... trying to coerce Geoff into going with me.


I'm... feeling my age. Feeling the years, feeling the culmination of my history, my direction. Feeling myself at a point where I see the results of what I've done, choices I've made. In some instances I'm very pleased. In others I'm not.


BB's current therapy: "Gun" by Soundgarden.


All the days and directions and whims of your life lead you this way and that. Here, there, and everywhere, like the Beatles sang, right?

I still find it best not to look over my shoulder much. There's not denying, though, that there's always the temptation to look at one's route and wonder where a left turn at Albuquerque would have led.


A therapist told me last week that this restlessness of mine may actually be Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Go ahead and laugh, sis. I'll deal with you after the voices in my head quit telling me to write letters to Jodie Foster.


I nod off at this machine for a minute, then wake up and write.


And sleep is what I crave. Just that peace, that surrender, that quiet. Dark room, cool sheets, and nowhere to be and nothing to worry about except drifting off in the arms of Morpheus.

So there I go.

Good night.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Few Things/Back to the Dock


I'm busy, just too busy to post much. The list of papers I have due in the next two weeks is overwhelming. I've also got to, you know, do some counseling (and that's divided between multiple sites). My new schedule flexibility allows me to do that, thankfully.

But before going MIA for a while...


The Red Sox are leading 4-3 in the 9th. I hope they hold on to win it tonight. Love me some Red Sox. Jayson Stark can kiss my pasty white butt.

(He predicted the Rockies in 6).


The amount of stuff I did today... I wrote a seven-page paper. And I took three pages of notes for another. I'm probably a fifth of the way done.


We went to Dallas tonight, taking the kids to see that robotic dinosaur show... Walking with Dinosaurs or Dinosaurs Live or something. We had great seats, and the kids loved it. It was fairly amazing! I asked a T-Rex repeatedly to eat Wolfboy, but it didn't happen.


A-Rod has reportedly opted out of his contract with the Yankees. Whoa.


Let me just say for the record that I don't care much for the rally cap.


Again, Jayson Stark can kiss my butt. Really. "Destiny's team"... give me a break.


My brain is tired. I'll check back in at some point. Hopefully.

Friday, October 26, 2007


I've played guitar since I was about 12. I've not been in any particularly serious bands. I've never really played onstage. Church bands here and there, sitting in with other bands in garages, loose jam sessions... Decades of practice, all for a performance that never happens. Is that what this is?

I'm playing a lot these days, concentrating on the acoustic. My Guild is a beautiful sounding instrument, and I'm slowly building a repertoire of songs I can play and sing. I'm nothing resembling a singer, but put an instrument in my hands and I can do what you'd expect a guitarist to do: Hammer out a few interesting songs.

But again, for what performance? For whom? If I've got a guitar in my hands, chances are anyone who'd give a hoot (like my Angleton family) would ask me to do "Oreo Cookie Blues" again. And that's fine. I keep practicing that one too.

Still, I guess this raises the point that there's something rewarding and fulfilling in simply developing the skill. I benefit in some way from making music. It was certainly great solace to me here and there during some rough patches in my life. Just to hold the instrument and let my hands take me wherever they could. Sometimes it was a godawful racket, and sometimes it was musical.


BB's current therapy: "I'm Confessin' That I Love You" by Dr. John


It's a similar thing with martial arts. All this time I've spent training is really for some scenario I don't want to experience. I don't ever want to have to strike someone or try to disarm them to protect myself and/or my family. All this sweat, all the bruises and injuries, the busted knuckles and elbows, the stray punches that hurt, the kicks... all of this is in order to practice for something that probably won't happen.

And you know, what they say is true: All that training does actually lend one the discipline to keep a cool head when things get dicey. I noticed it several months ago at the office, when a client was simply not taking no for an answer. No, the person you need isn't here. No, having me call every number on the phone directory isn't going to happen, because it wouldn't help anything. This man got more and more irate, leaning into my space, glaring, becoming more insistent.

Under it all I had this sense that YOU'RE not going to rattle me with this tough guy routine; I'm familiar with tough by now, and it didn't walk in the door with you. My energy's better spent elsewhere. Simple as that.


My practicum work sort of falls into the same category, though it's practice for something that actually is going to happen. Heck, I'm seeing real clients, and doing what I can right now to help them. One of them did something rather remarkable this week that may have been a result of something we worked on. I take some pride in that.


Thank you to all the folks who sent the great responses to the Sad-Ass Songs post. That was great stuff.


Wolfboy yesterday, as I showed him my Josten's catalogue and explained what a class ring is: "You're still in COLLEGE?!?"


It's going to be a busy weekend. The rest of the semester will be crazy busy, in fact. I'll probably have to put the Starship BB in dry dock again soon.


Ya'll have a good weekend.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sad-Ass Songs

Nothing earth-shaking for this brief return to action, though I'd like to solicit your input.

If you're interested, please submit a comment with 5-10 sad-ass songs. There you go.


1. "Nosotros" by Conjunto Cespedes. This is basically the same message as the Manhattans' "Kiss and Say Goodbye," though the singer is the one being left in this song. "No es falta de cariño/Te quiero con el alma." Translation: "It is not the fault of affection. I want you with my soul."
2. "Stain on the Sun" by the Bevis Frond, just for the line, "She was the answer to all your prayers/She was as vital to you as the air." And that's enough to overcome other lyrics in the song like, "Why is she suddenly such a drag?"
3. "She Doesn't Live Here Anymore" by Alejandro Escovedo. I'll never listen to this song without hearing his former singer, Christine de la Garza in my mind.
4. "Don't Explain" by Billie Holiday really captures a particular heartbreak. "Hush now, don't explain/You mixed with some dame/Skip that/Lipstick/Don't explain."
5. "She's Gone" by Hall & Oates. Their early hits were startlingly soulful.
6. "Friend of the Devil" by the Grateful Dead. I actually only listen to Lyle Lovett's cover. The sad resignation in this song is almost too much: "I've got a wife in Chino, and one in Cherokee/The first one says she's got my child, but it don't look like me."
7. "Holding Things Together" by Merle Haggard. It's a dad's lament to his ex on their daughter's birthday: "The postman brought a present I mailed some days ago/I signed it 'Love, Mama' so Angie wouldn't know." Grab a Kleenex.
8. "Louisiana 1927" by Randy Newman. (Turns out he wrote it--thanks Toland). It's about an early 20th century flood, but the lyrics hit close to home in this post-Katrina age: "The river rose all day/The river rose all night/Some people got lost in the flood/Some people got away all right."
9. And heck, let's go ahead and throw in "Kiss and Say Goodbye" after all. The air of chivalry and class just makes it sadder. "Maybe you'll meet another guy," goes the lyric. Who can really think like that? I don't know if I could have ever said that. Or maybe I would, though I'd be thinking, I'm going to drive my Yugo into a pine tree... in a ravine... 1000 miles from here.

From MOBB:

"Vincent" by Don McLean
"Billy Don't Be a Hero" by Paper Lace
"Signore, Ascolta" by Puccini (from Turandot), as performed by Montserrat Caballe
"Part of Your World" from Disney's The Little Mermaid
"El Shaddai" by Amy Grant
"He Stopped Loving Her Today" by George Jones


Your turn.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dry Dock

I'm going to put the blog on hiatus for a few days. I'll be back.

If you want something to read, I suggest either searching this blog for the "Gulf Coast Boy" entries (written by my Dad) and/or going to some of the mighty fine sites listed to the right under "BB's Buddies."

Saturday, October 20, 2007


The headache returned. And that's not all.

Step into my cave.


There are times when being male is great, absolutely great. We're an underestimated bunch. Women are the ones with the reputation for being nurturing, for seeing beyond appearances and appreciating someone's inner beauty. Seriously, though, most of the guys I know are the same way. I am.

It starts with some level of physical attraction, sure, but my buddies all sought much more than that in their partners. Humor, intellect, warmth... I'm going to say that this is more common than we're given credit for.

So if one's very existence is underrated from the get-go, it's easy to impress. We're in real trouble if women ever find out that straight guys are actually a pinch more complicated than we've all been led to believe.


There are times when being male sucks. There are some very basic things about our behavior that are just flat-out pathetic. The way we're wired in some regards is a damnable thing, and I wish that weren't the case.

We have compulsions and motivations that can sometimes be burdensome. Pick a bad metaphor:

We're the perfectly normal humans who, unfortunately, turn into werewolves when the moon is full.

We're Bruce Banner, turning into the Hulk when we're pissed off.

We're the cavemen, and if another man crosses us we look around for a blunt object. Stick smash nose. Blood pretty.

And so on.


I have known some guys who have done the most tremendous, startlingly sweet and tender and selfless things. And it's a cliche, but I really do know guys who give and give and get almost nothing in return.

I have also known some guys who are capable of stooping to the lowest levels, of really doing hurtful things, things that change others profoundly. These guys are not among my friends.


There is a core of truth to much of the stereotype that applies to us. I cannot honestly say I speak for all guys here, because I can name some whom I believe to be exceptions.

But broadly speaking, yes, we:

Size each other up without provocation. The thoughts might go like this: She is out of your league, dude, and I hope she sees that, although you were a high school football hero, you're well on your way now to having a fine set of man boobs.

Sometimes want to break things when we're angry. Oh, did you want to use the TV remote again someday?

Were looking at your [backside/cleavage/legs], ma'am
. We're visually stimulated where attraction is concerned. Some days the whole world feels like an advertisement for sex. (Can someone please give me an "amen," my brothers?)


We know how it works, yet we keep at it. We know about how attractive the alpha male is to many women at a young age. He's the peacock with the brightest feathers, after all, and he gets attention. Nevermind that when he tries to say something intelligent it usually comes out something like, "The Cowboys are rising like Phoenix over Arizona."

We regular guys get to clean up the messes the alphas create. They leave you with baggage, kids, maybe unpaid child support or worse. We're the ones who tell you and show you that you do deserve better, that you matter. We would never have done those awful things to you (or to anyone else).

We also look up your old boyfriends, which we may or may not tell you about. We just... want to know where they are. We won't do anything about it. Probably.


We also use--and know the meaning of--words like largesse, gravitas, and hedonism.


I've been riding the square waves lately, listening to Helmet. Lo and behold, they play here in a couple weeks. I may actually go.


Ever had your nose broken? I came close once, taking an accidental headbutt to the nose when I was about 10. It bled, my eyes watered to the point of blinding me, and it hurt like hell.

I very seriously considered breaking a guy's nose in a club once.

I had a boss whose nose I wanted to break. That guy was a piece of work.


It's just the caveman, folks. Don't be alarmed. Just walk on by the exhibit.


I've known too many guys who were involved with women who made it clear: I am not into sex. Deal with it.

And to a man each one of them stayed true and did not stray.

Don't misunderstand my point. It's not that I think there comes a point at which a lack of sex justifies stepping out. I just mean to point out, again, that although men are underestimated, in my experience they are startlingly loyal and honest.


And most guys I know get out of altercations or danger using their brains, preferring to take a bruised ego over a bruised face.

Compare the stereotype to reality, folks. Really.


I didn't mean to make this a "defending men" post. I meant to go dark and painful. But when it comes down to it, I'm not usually dealing with some simple hunger that can only sated with an emotional response.

Now excuse me, but the wildebeast I'm cooking needs to be basted and turned.

More lovely platitudes and gushy hoo-ha soon, so don't worry.


Who are you?
I'm Brian Briscoe, aka BB. Like the title of this blog indicates, BB am I.

After about a decade and a half in electronic media (TV mostly), I decided to make a change and do something that means more to me. I now have a master's degree in counseling.

I have a wife, to whom I've been married since 1993. We have two children.

Okay, so what do you do for a living?
Well, I work for a well-respected social service agency. I love it.

Anything else?
I'm not like all the other guys.

What about those other nicknames on your blog?
"MOBB" is my wife, aka Kelli. MOBB stands for "mail order bionic bride." She was simply "MOB," or "mail order bride" after she returned from a five-week trip to Italy in '06. Then she broke her wrist, and all the gnarly pins they put in there made me change her nickname to include "bionic." No, I don't call her that in real life.

"Wolfboy," formerly known as "THEBOY," is my son. I do my best not to use his name on this site. I do sometimes call him that in real life.

"THEGIRL" is my daughter. Whoever she's fighting, my money's on her.

What is this "Krav Maga" you keep talking about?
I am an orange belt in Krav Maga. I have trained since March 2006. Krav Maga is what's called a "reality-based self defense" (RBSD) system. We don't do forms, don't do much that looks like traditional martial arts (TMA). I have great respect for many TMAs, but Krav Maga is very direct and explosive. We use fists, elbows, knees, kicks, head butts, eye gouges, joint locks and much more. It probably most resembles kickboxing.

I have also trained just a little in Muay Thai (aka Thai boxing). It also looks like kickboxing more than anything else.

The Brood/Harold

This post catches me at an unusual moment. My mood is changing.

I've been in a dark place today. My head has hurt every day for a week, and I'd allowed myself to brood this morning.

I used to do it regularly. I could spin a brood that would last for weeks if I wanted. I could go deep and dark and truly be alone in a crowd.

It's been many years since I made a habit of it.


It's been a week of pain though. I looked it in the eyes during sessions once or twice.


So this morning I did what I used to do when I'd wake up bleary and groggy, maybe after knocking myself out with something the night before: I pummeled my headache with Aftertaste by Helmet.





And it was good.


I have been taken away from that place though. I won't miss it.


I'm sorry to inform you that Harold the Hermit Crab passed away during the night.

I emerged from my shower to find Wolfboy standing quietly in my room. "I have good news: Harold is changing shells."


"He got out of his shell, and he's taking a nap to rest up before he goes into the new shell."

Uh oh.

Sure enough, there was pale little Harold, curled up on his back in the corner of his cage.

"Let's give him some water. He'll want to drink it when he wakes up," said Wolfboy.

"Honey, I'm worried about Harold. This isn't how they change shells," I said, solemnly.

"Why did you call me 'honey,' Dad?" he asked.


We've lost Harold. [Wolfboy] thinks he's sleeping. Nope. I didn't have time to clarify & console... I'm sorry! I can dispose this afternoon. Hope he's not too ripe by then.

[From a note I left on MOBB's bathroom mirror as I headed out the door for lecture today.]


I'm told he's taking it well, and looks forward to getting a new hermit crab.


So I'll sign off now, and save my woe-is-me ramblings about blood and motor oil and being the caveman for another day. Consider yourself lucky.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

That Guy

It's 4-1 Boston over Cleveland in the 7th inning... man, I love it.


This is the week in which my counseling has taken a serious turn. I can't get into it, but you know, sometimes we see clients with serious concerns.


So here I am in my second-to-last semester, and I'm only just now taking theories of counseling. It's just the way my schedule ended up.

I'm in there with a new cohort, a bunch of folks who are all in their first semester of grad school. It's an intelligent, chatty bunch. I like 'em.

They know I'm in practicum, and it's put me in an interesting position. I felt a couple times like I was getting too much attention. Our terrific prof is always willing to toss a question my way, or to seek my opinion on something. It's flattering, and a couple times I felt like I was becoming the center of attention too often. I made a real effort to sit back in class and let the others hold the discussions without much input from me. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Last week a student took me aside to chat, and as we wrapped up I shared my concerns that I was in this slightly awkward position, and that if I were one of the new students, I wouldn't want to hear so much from a student like me.

She was very sweet, and said that no, I don't come off that way at all. She added that they like and respect me.

I'm flattered for sure.


I've received a couple scattered emails from those kind folks since then, soliciting my input on this or that. It's nice.


We toured the on-campus clinic tonight, where I've begun to see clients. One asked me some questions about how it flowed the very first time, whether I knew what to say. And I told her something I don't fully understand, but it's true: I've never been afraid. Not significantly anyway. I don't know why.


BB tired. Friday approaches. Caffeinated love to you all.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What the Camera Doesn't Catch... and What It Does

A sky full of red-tailed hawks, circling over Arlington a few weeks ago. It was a stunning sight.


The kids after their showers one recent night.


Mid or late 80s sometime, driving home late in my foggy hometown of Angleton. Might have been midnight or much later. A train track divides the town, and until the overpass was built we commuters were at the mercy of whatever train happened to be on the track at any given time. More than once a train managed to stop and block every crossing in town.

And I was the first in line that night, though the fog was so dense that I couldn’t even see the train, which was a mere 20 feet, maybe, from my front bumper.

But the headlights from the cars waiting to cross from the other side of the tracks created a great silhouette there as I waited. It was ghostly, otherworldly. I remember it quite vividly.

THEGIRL one morning at breakfast.


I'm watching the ALCS here. The crowd in Cleveland is going nuts. Still, my heart's with Boston, whom I generally consider to be my second favorite team. I'd love to see them win another world series.


These wasabi-covered peas are downright addicting. I've eaten about half the can tonight.


Again, thanks to you folks who contributed to post 1000. I've enjoyed having a break of a few days. Every time I think my posts are going to become less frequent it somehow doesn't seem to happen, but I've gotta say that I do foresee some times when this site goes into dry dock for a few days, or even a week. I'm a busy guy, and I need to do things like study and see clients, you know?

Taken not far from my house. So... who's hungry?


Something I'm quite proud of happened to me recently: I was recognized by my agency for some work I'd done. My department is rather small, but I am encouraged to work/think outside of the specifics of my usual responsibilities when there is a need. A situation came up a few months ago that put me in a position to lend some assistance to some folks. I will never forget this family, and I must admit I was a little shaken up when all was said and done. But I was glad to do what I could. I wouldn't have it otherwise.

So it was quite an honor to hear my supervisor tell my coworkers about this at a recent all staff meeting last week. I'm still getting congratulated for it almost every day.

As she spoke and I stood there, telling myself to be still, the counseling department's admin gave me a big smile and two thumbs up from the back of the room. I'm smiling just thinking about it.


MOBB has a new job! So far it's going well.


And I would not have had the opportunity to try to help this family if I weren't in an environment that has allowed me to thrive, to learn things about myself and develop some new strengths.

At one TV station some years ago, I interviewed for a position that required that I cover the receptionist's lunch break here and there. I told them I wasn't interested, and that it was a deal breaker. I had no interest in interacting with the public in any way. I felt too shy, just unable to muster what it took.

I didn't get the job.

Now I speak in public regularly, and with just about zero anxiety. Heck, I cover the agency receptionist's lunch break once a week, and I don't mind it much. I credit this position at this agency for much of that. There are other significant factors as well, of course.

One life, folks. I guess I just decided to stop handcuffing myself at some point. Let's see where my brain can take me, see what I can achieve academically. Let's see what life is like when doing work that is meaningful. I ached to do something like this when I was in television; leaving that industry was the best decision I ever made.

How fit can I get? How optimistic can I be? How honest? How much love can I express to those who are important to me?

I'm having a hell of a great time finding out. Most guys reach my age and flip out and just want motorcycles or fast cars. I like this path, personally. My life isn't going to pass me by.


Enough of my wide-eyed prattle. Take care.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Here we are, folks, at post 1000, nearly 3 years after I started this little venture.

Oh, this number isn’t 100% accurate; after KTVT had their rent-a-cop escort me from the building for referring to one of their managers as “annoying” on this very site, I went through and cleaned out some posts. It was probably unnecessary. And here and there I’ve removed other posts for whatever reasons or whims.

I got a couple nice submissions from readers. Let’s get rolling.


“If this were TV, they'd do a shitty clips show, so I think you should do a post comprised of only clips from previous posts.” –Nadine


So I decided it’s going to be comprised partly of reader submissions, and partly of clips from previous posts. I spent years in the television industry; I can’t help it.


From Sis:

As your sister and all, I should have tons of funny, interesting, potential blackmail material for this occasion. But, seven years of motherhood and sleep deprivation have made my memory fuzzy.

I wanted to write something that is very close to the heart of BB, so I chose our trip to Austin in what, 1987? 1988? Somehow, we convinced Dad to let us take our significant others with us. And I was only 15, maybe 16 years old.

We stayed at some hotel right on Town Lake. I was pretty impressed with the view from our room. We ate out, hit some record shops, back when records were still vinyl records.

And then we went to Antone's. I honestly can't remember who we saw, but it was still fascinating to. The music, the different-from-Angleton-folks, the sheer volume of the place made me feel very worldly.

And this morning it occurred to me: How the heck did a bunch of kids, especially little ol' ninety pounds of braces-wearing me, get into a nightclub?


From MOBB (doesn't she look lovely on her birthday date?):

You have been opening your heart on this blog for the past several years, and I must say, it's probably the best form of stress relief therapy you have ever come up with. It's interesting to read your thoughts and to know how you feel each day, even though I live with you. It's also interesting that of the two of us, I'm the one who is more outgoing yet I'm not inclined to show the Web world my thoughts.

Since you're sharing the spotlight, all I really want to say is how much I love you. It's hard to imagine that we're coming up on two decades together, but I just can't see myself living any other kind of life. You are a wonderful husband and a great father.

I could gush on and on, but I would just be repeating myself. To wrap it up, all I want to say is 1) I love your new silk underwear; and 2) when are you going to model them for me?

Te amo,


(Man I didn’t want to post that underwear bit, but I’m working hard at trying to relax once in a while.)


Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Random Thoughts

We're at war with the wrong country. Forget Iraq--Did Canada ever apologize for giving us Bryan Adams?

Some random links to posts. I personally have a lot of fondness for the Danny Barker story.

“Damaged Piece” is about one of the most difficult things I ever had to do. But it was the right thing.

I found the story of “Ultimate Billy” to be moving.

“Unidentified” is a piece I’m surprised didn’t bring me any ridicule.

“Breaking” is a true story that has haunted me for years.

More than any other stories, though, I most often get asked about my encounter with Crow Dog and the toothbrush incident.

I was also rather embarrassed by this story about my phone.

The one I’m most often asked about that hasn’t been posted yet is the gecko story. Unfortunately, I don’t remember it that well for some reason. My wife and friends chuckle when they recount it to me; perhaps I’ll seek the details from them and write it up one day.


MOBB and I had a fine date for her birthday. Lo and behold, I’m actually older than she is now. I think we hit one of those space/time continuum things. Or a wormhole. Or the eventual results of using one’s Arbonne skin care products correctly.

We hit Roy’s Hawaiian something or another restaurant in Plano, and ate like royalty. We had just a little bit of Kobe beef. Ever heard of this stuff? They feed the cattle beer, provide massages, other crazy stuff. Man, it makes for some tender, almost buttery meat. Whoa.

And MOBB had this delicious lime pie for dessert.

After that we hit the Angelika to see Elizabeth (The Golden Age, or Golden Slumbers or something). It was far better than I expected, I must say.

It was good to be out sans kids for the evening.


(Message to MOBB: Five five five FIVE!)


Hope ya’ll have had a terrific weekend. I want to thank you for stopping by here. Sometimes I have no idea why you do. But I always enjoy your feedback, your ideas, your suggestions, etc. Take care of yourself. One life, folks… use it like the gift it is.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Post #999/God's Instrument

****EDIT: I'm leaving this up at least through tomorrow (Friday) night. Maybe longer, like Saturday or Sunday. I've received a couple nice submissions for post 1000, but now there's time if you want to send me a haiku about pork products, or maybe a series of knock knock jokes or a quote from your favorite epitaph.****

This is post #999.

As I wrote a few days ago, for post #1000 I'm soliciting your input. I'm hoping you, dear reader, will write my 1000th post. An anecdote, some philosophical musings, a list of the greatest flavors of Jello, whatever. And yes, if you'd like to write something about a post you enjoyed, or something you and I shared once upon a time, well that's cool. But this isn't my way of fishing for compliments. I'm full of myself as it is.

If you stop by this site, you probably have my email address, so email it to me. I'll leave this particular post up until at least Wednesday evening, maybe longer.

If this tanks, so be it. I'll post something about how it tanked.


I was enjoying a terrific live Charles Brown DVD this evening. The band was poppin', and I was really blown away by his piano playing.

"The piano is God's instrument," I said to the family in one of my typical over-the-top musical platitudes.

Wolfboy thought for a moment. "I thought God's instrument was the tuba."

We laughed. The tuba?

"I like that sound it makes. And the pooting sound," he said.

Who can argue?


When I was in elementary school we sang crazy songs, like "Don Gato" and "Sarasponda" (lyrics below).

Does anyone else know these songs? MOBB had never heard them. I love "Don Gato," man! I've never yet encountered anyone else who knows the song. And let me tell you, busting out with the jibberish that is "Sarasponda" is almost enough to get an involuntary psych evaluation:


Sarasponda, sarasponda, sarasponda, ret, set, set. (repeat)
A-do-ray-oh! A-do-ray boomday-oh!
A-do-ray boomday ret, set, set,
Asay, pahsay, oh.


The Yankees exited the playoffs early. I... find this strangely arousing.

Torre? Gone, baby!

The Rocket? Gone, baby!

Brian Cashman? Probably gone, baby!

And I wish I could change the ringtone on my cellphone to a recording of George Steinbrenner attempting to say "Chien-Ming Wang."


Wolfboy asked me recently who the first-ever, oldest bad guy was. I told him George Steinbrenner.


Badoom! Thank you, be sure and tip your wait staff...


So Wolfboy has a newish Simpsons comic. I didn't buy it for him. Surprisingly, it's not wholly inappropriate for a kid of his age. I really only object to the use of the word "stupid" (twice), a beer reference, and a tacky joke about orphan babies.

So I tolerate it, and he loves it. Night after night he has me read it, and I do the voices where I can.

But tonight I didn't want to. I tried to get him to go for maybe World War Hulk. I grabbed issue #1 and opened it to a random page where Iron Man was fighting the Hulk. Wolfboy protested.

"Now wait, before we read the Simpsons, I just want to ask: See this? Didn't you think for just a minute that Iron Man might actually defeat the Hulk?"

"No," he answered without hesitating.

"Why not?"

"Because that's only the first issue," he said. "You told me there were five."

I paused. "So you mean that you knew the Hulk wouldn't lose in the first issue because they needed more story to tell in the comics after that?"


That kid amazes me sometimes.


That's it, ya'll. Have a good evening.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Evolution of a Haircut/BB in Pantyhose

This is post #998.


I got to looking through some old photos tonight. I've had several requests from buddies (and one random pantyhose fetishist) about the time I dressed as a "woman" for Halloween.

See, it was 2001, and I worked at Yahoo over in Dallas. MOBB and I were digging through some costumes stored here and there, and I found what I thought was a bitchin' Star Trek shirt.

"That's not a shirt, it's a dress," she said.

OOOOOH! Done deal!

It was one of those super short, 60s-style things like Lt. Uhuru would go prancing around in.

I got some black pantyhose, some boots, and headed to the office. Oh, I had a beard at the time... I... hey, I'm not sure what I was thinking. By the end of the day I was telling folks I was the product of a horrible transporter accident.

Anyway, I'm saving that particular photo for the end of this post, which will be embarrasing in many ways, as I found lots of old photos during my search. Let's get on with it, shall we?


Okay, this is me with my first guitar in 1982 or 1983. It was a Fender Duo-Sonic II. Like my Karate Kid attempt at looking like a rocker? Wax on, wax off.


This is my junior year in high school. That's me with my buddy Bryan McAuley. We'd written one of our usual hateful "year end" pieces, if I recall, and this was our mailbox full of hate mail. And that was my reaction. Oh, I had the flu the day this was taken, by the way.


Thar's a mullet in them-thar waters! This is proof that I was indeed the inventor of the mullet. If even the Canadian hockey teams would simply pay me the royalties they owe me for use of this hairstyle I'd be a rich man today. I look like a roadie for AC/DC. This was probably 1986.


This was late 1987 or early '88. I'd cut my hair during one of my "some girl dumped me so I'm cleaning up my look/drinking Southern Comfort" phases. Yes, that's a Lynyrd Skynyrd shirt I'm wearing. And that bastardized Telecaster I'm playing was a fine little instrument, even if having a locking tremolo arm was a total waste.


Finally, here it is, the elusive photo of me dressed like... something. A hermaphrodite perhaps. Hey, I won "scariest" in the costume contest, okay?

That's my super-duper cute kid, aka Wolfboy. He was about 10 months old.


There you go. Perhaps my obsession with posting sweaty photos of myself is over, and now I'll spend all my time dusting off ancient images like these.


Ya'll have a good one

Sunday, October 07, 2007

if your hair is on fire

BB's current therapy: "Moondance" by Van Morrison.


Sunday was pretty typical here. I awoke feeling like I'd been hit by a truck. I was up rather late, but I'm just no good at sleeping in. MOBB, on the other hand, would have slept until noon had I not sent THEGIRL in to fetch her a half hour prior.

The prevailing theme this morning: No matter what your sibling did to you, no matter what you want to drink, no matter what toy you can't reach, no matter if your hair is on fire and the voices in your head are telling you where the ice pick is, I am NOT getting up until I've finished reading the paper.


I did at least stop down for a while and prepare some ideas for a session I have in the morning.


Yeah, big changes are coming, and I don't mean for that to sound ominous. I appreciate the emails I've received asking what's up. New opportunities await us in the coming days, and it's just not prudent to get into them at the moment.


Some advice to you fans of spicy food. If you are, say, a fan of a fine, steaming bowl of pho like I am, you may find yourself handling great fistfuls of bean sprouts and basil leaves and jalapeño peppers.

Let me impart this wisdom to you from a newly-attained position of great authority: This is one of those instances where it's imperative to wash one's hands BEFORE going to the restroom.

I had moves that'd make James Brown envious, brothers and sisters.


Another change is coming: I think I'm going to move on to a different martial art or two. I'm just ready for a change. I have a few ideas. I've loved my time in Krav Maga, and I'd be happy to recommend the art and this school to anyone. It's just time for a change of pace.


I did have a nice workout tonight, finally. I went to the school and put on the new Bad Brains. It was so loud that I wondered if any of the pink Croc-wearin' dance instructors next door would come over and ask me to turn it down.

You know, none did.


Feeling very... male today. My knuckles are banged up, my elbow is skinned, and I'm tired from punching the bag. Life is good.


I've got to do something with my physique though. I can do skinny, sure. Turns out I can drop weight when I want to. And I can do stamina, sure. I think that's part genetic gift.

But this skinny business gets old. I've never had a good looking chest or arms. I'm tired of waiting for Santa to bring me pecs and biceps. I've got to do some work on this.


Okay, now THIS is funny! (Thanks Toland)

Saturday, October 06, 2007


I live in some sort of different world I guess, but I like it here. The food’s good and the people are mostly friendly. It doesn’t come with basic cable though.

I recently had a good burger at Fuddrucker’s. I hadn’t been there since 1990. I shouldn’t wait 17 years to go again.

I go to fried chicken places about once a decade. It just never occurs to me to go get fried chicken.

I went to Pizza Hut a few weeks ago. I hadn’t been since the 80s. I’m not kidding.

And tonight we went to Olive Garden, where I haven’t been in years. MOBB loves it, and you know, sometimes, no matter how you feel, you’ve just gotta break down and do what your spouse really wants. (Go ahead and joke, wives)

And as we left, I must say that listening to MOBB explain to Wolfboy that what he had for dessert was called “mousse” was simply hysterical.

“It lived in the forest??” he asked.

She wasn’t exactly forthcoming with the clarifications, leaving just enough wiggle room for him to conclude that his tasty treat had once grown horns.


Saw some clients today, and my Spanish just wasn’t clicking. I did okay, not great.


Sometimes I can’t sit still. Okay, often I can’t sit still. I wasn’t always like this, was I? I don’t know what it means.


The Yankees have lost two games to the Indians. All is right with the world.


Wolfboy hums when he’s enjoying a good meal. It’s a distinctive little sound. I’m glad I’m not the only person in the family with idiosyncrasies.


THEGIRL just emerged from the bedroom. “[Wolfboy] do that!”
MOBB: “Did what?”

THEGIRL: “Do that!”

MOBB: “What did he do? I don’t understand what you’re saying.”

THEGIRL (growling, running back into the bedroom): “[Wolfboy!]”


I felt good today. I felt alive, sharp, confident. I felt like the biggest, smartest, best-looking guy in the room. I’m not used to that. It’s a recent thing. I like it.


One of my idiosyncrasies has a very clear meaning: When I clap my hands, it means “let’s go.” It’s not intentional, but I catch myself doing it.


Big changes coming. I’m not going into it here until the details are sorted out.


When we first got Copycat, way back in the early 90s, sometimes Oreo would try to jump her bones.

Now, they’d both been fixed, but that didn’t stop Oreo. He’d come up behind her and bite her on the neck and just… wait. I guess he was waiting for his equipment to do something. Copycat mostly looked puzzled and complained a little bit (again, wives, go ahead and make your jokes).

Finally Oreo would let go and walk away, grumbling in cat-speak.

Translation: “One of these days I’m gonna…”


I can barely sit still, even now. I have these flashes: “Get up! Go running! Go to the mall! Move move move!”

I have got to ramp it down.


This is, I believe, post 996.

For post 1000, I am turning it over to you. I say this now just in case you need time to think.

I will solicit input from anyone who reads this for post 1000. I will ask that you email me something to put in the blog. Anecdotes, jokes, meaningless stuff, philosophical treatises, whatever. If you wish to make some reference to a memory we share or something you’ve enjoyed here on this site, that’s cool, but my intention isn’t to ask for “why do you like BB” emails. I run with a sharp bunch of folks, some of whom blog and some of whom don’t. I want to hear from you, however you wish to contribute.

Bruiser, feel free to write that list of 1000 songs we’ve all gotta hear if you want.

Anyway, just keep that in mind, and in a few days I’ll officially solicit your input.


However, there are some things I won’t tolerate. Don’t write anything that’s a waste of my time or yours. I am an intelligent man who does not suffer fools gladly.

Translation: Do not try to provoke me.


(Sorry to end on that note. Every rule is reactionary, folks.)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Rumors of My Death B Greatly Exaggerated

Not my greatest day. I ate something that didn't agree with me last night, and by this morning it was threatening to make my day rather awful. I wisely bailed out of work, popped some phenergan and slept for five hours.


Now I have no idea whether or not I'll be able to sleep tonight.


Wow. Looks like Blogger now has video capability. Gotta look into that. Everyone's into Myspace and all, but I swear Blogger is far more intuitive and easy to work with.


Bruiser... you need to get the new Bad Brains, amigo.


Nothing exciting in the 1984 journal tonight. Although there's a fine sketch of Huey Lewis a next to a July entry.


I took a test tonight for which I didn't properly prepare. Got the test, and what do you know, the words "Mid-Term Exam" were printed on the top. Oh... time for the mid-term? Oops.

I did... okay. Probably got a B.


I've got to pay more attention to this stuff, but I've got such a case of senior-itis.


Is your spirit alive? Does it sing?


Good night.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Study, BB!

I’ll do it, I will. I’ll study.

But this compulsion calls me. Hey, I’ve studied six of the eight chapters. I’ve been good.


The major components of BB’s eclectic therapy (aka the current playlist):

“Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails
“Don’t Follow” by Alice in Chains
“Let’s Get Lost” by Chet Baker
“Poison Girl” by Chris Whitley
“Tomorrow, Wendy” by Concrete Blonde
“Baby, There’s No One Like You” by Double Trouble w/Dr. John
“Days of Future Past” by Dozer
“Midnight Rider” by Greg Allman
“Sara Smile” by Hall and Oates (you know, this really is a gorgeous little soul number)
“Ten Years Gone (Live)” by Jimmy Page & the Black Crowes
“I’d Rather Go Blind” by Marcia Ball. I’m not convinced the definitive version of this heartbreaker has been recorded yet.
“Biko” by Peter Gabriel
“Lazarus” by Porcupine Tree
“Louisiana” by Randy Newman
“Titanic (When That Great Ship Went Down)” by Rory Block
“Nothing Compares to You” by Sinead O’Connor
“Day Dream” by Smashing Pumpkins
“Sweet Life” by Varnaline


Had a session tonight, and it went well enough. I didn’t quite walk out of there with the same “I’m the man” feeling I had a few days ago, but I was generally pleased, and I believe the client was too.


But afterwards I was already worn down, tired. I hit the Starbucks for some iced coffee and suddenly felt great. I could have gone on a nice run, but had to spend my bloody time studying.


My daytimer is filling up with clients. I’m getting to be a busy boy. And they often come to me, not the other way around. I’m starting to think I won’t have much trouble getting my hours.


I recommended Sherman Alexie’s Flight to someone at work some weeks ago. I walked into her office yesterday and she was reading it.

That’s so pleasing. I need to repay the favor and read The Kite Runner, as recommended by her and several other folks I know. Not sure when I’ll squeeze it in. I’m currently reading books on group therapy, child therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, and Narrative Therapy, not to mention the textbook for my theories class.


MOBB got her hair done, and it looks very nice. Heather’s a real artist.


Spanish and me… it’s a real challenge to do therapy in my second language, but I’m making it. My clients come back, and that’s a good sign.

I got off the phone with another new one tonight, and again thought, Hot dog, another client whose Spanish is clear and easy to understand. Lots of those lately.

Then I realized that maybe that’s not it at all. Maybe I’m getting better at this.


Now watch me get a Dominican or a Puerto Rican client. Those folks are mighty difficult to understand. Would you like to buy a consonant?


An idea I stole from Georgina, I think.

I’ve got some old journals and such. One’s a weekly planner from 1984 that I used to just scribble down what I’d done most every day. I also had an orange spiral notebook for longer entries.

So, from this date in 1984:

“Still exchanging notes. Randy got pissed at Rebeckah. Practiced Taoism in history—a trip! Thought Mom was missing but she was at Papa Stewart’s.”

Not sure with whom I was exchanging notes, and I don’t remember Rebeckah at all. Maybe she was someone Randy was chasing.

The thing about this little journal is that it’s full of code words. I sometimes didn’t want to write anything incriminating, so I’d put these little codes in there. I don’t remember what most of them mean though. My October 6 entry, for example, has “SWAN” written next to it. Probably means we drank beer or something.

I should hit the sheets. Sweet dreams. The swan swims at midnight. The gopher’s in the pudding.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Caveman

This is about sex.

If you aren't comfortable reading about this, please come back another day. I don't do this much.


When I was 15-16 I had a girlfriend, and we had one of those hot and cold relationships. It drove me batty. One day we were passionately in love, the next we were at each other's throats over some slight, real or imagined. We were among the worst sort of neckers, and we got run off by offended grownups here and there. We'd end up losing track of time, and I'd always come trotting home late to supper, with a very pissed off Dad waiting for me.

Her parents didn't like me, and though I took a serious attitude about it, they were fully justified. We were alone in her house once, in her room, and one or both of us decided she needed a back rub.

So she lay belly-down on her bed, and I sat on her butt while rubbing her back. We weren't exactly doing anything wrong, but it was great fun on my side, and it looked mighty bad to her father as he drove past her bedroom window and saw exactly what I was doing.

That was the first time I was banned from her house.


It takes two to tango though, and we were in that frenzied teen pattern of escalating sexual behavior. We kissed and rubbed and groped and generally started pushing the boundaries.

We were in her house alone again one evening, and right there in the hallway things started to heat up. We had time, we had the opportunity, and we were going to town. So to speak.

I'm not going into the play by play here, but she ended up with her blouse unbuttoned. I reached around back, undid her bra and...

Everything changed.


Everything changed for her, for me.

She just... melted. Her unhooked bra remained where it was, and she leaned into me and I leaned into her, and we just embraced each other. Something unspoken occurred there, and we both felt it. I wasn't the overbearing, horny teenage boy at that moment. I was a child playing with sex, and so was she. We didn't say a word. I know she cried a little bit, and for reasons I may not be able to capture here, I was sad too. Maybe sad for innocence, maybe sad for releasing something that you can't put back. Sad for doing this to her, and to me.


We stayed together for some months after that, but we didn't push the boundaries so much. I had moments where I thought I was ready to, but you know, a prom dress and the back of a Camaro aren't exactly conducive to bad intentions. I tried to be huffy about it, but really I was okay with it.


What 16-year-old, even in the best of circumstances, grasps sex? Grasps the emotional implications, let alone the potential results? What teen can make that decision? Hell, what adult can?

We make mistakes. I'm not that 16-year-old anymore. Those thoughts and drives and intentions and mistakes are tethered to the teen, not to the man. I am not that. Emotions never forget, and they can certainly linger, for better or for worse. There was nothing traumatic about two teens getting a little carried away, yet I can feel it and see it like it was yesterday.

Not everyone escapes their teens years without trauma in this realm, and I can only imagine what that feels like. I ask again: What 16-year-old, even in the best of circumstances, grasps sex? What you are is not defined by the actions of the child you were.

I knew the difference between right and wrong, and as we all, ALL know, even for many adults those concepts go right out the window where sex is concerned.


I had my share of sleepless nights as a single young man, sure. I made some mistakes, and was sometimes elated to get negative news if you know what I mean.

I don't think I was capable of making adult decisions until I was 25. That's not a joke.


I had a one-night stand when I was a single young man. I had no girlfriend, and no reason not to have a good time when that young woman threw herself at me.

This was me sowing my wild oats, right? Going through the young man's rite of passage, enjoying that freedom.

The next day I was an absolute wreck. She had instigated everything, yet I felt like I'd used this young woman for one reason. Truth be told, she used me for more than I used her.

It wasn't for me.


And it shaped my behavior moving forward. Looking back, I'm stunned at the opportunities I passed up. Not all of them, mind you, but even as a single man I mostly kept the women who only wanted one thing at arm's length (at least). Even as an ugly old married man the opportunity has occasionally presented itself. MOBB and I have a startled but good laugh over those instances.


I'm pushing 40, and I don't know if I get it yet. It's a gift, it's an expression of love, it's an expression of lust, it's one-sided, it's mutual, it's something shared, it's a violation (even if a welcome one), it's laughter, it's serious, it's husband and wife, it's role playing, it's this thing one's in the mood for while the other is preoccupied with something else or not feeling well.

Call my name
Let's pretend we're other people

Let's get naked
Let's play dress-up

Let's take our time
Let's make this quick, whether out of necessity or desperation

Early's good
How about later?

I can live without it
I can't live without it

You are a woman, the walking embodiment of beauty and desire
I am a man, the caveman, and I'm lust on two feet

Be my friend and my confidante
Be my tart, my slave

I'll be your friend, your confidante
And I'll be the master... unless you want to switch


If you wish to share anything, I'd be happy to have your perspective, whether by comment or email. Thank you.

Monday, October 01, 2007

This Is It

This is what I'm supposed to be doing.

I'm seeing clients now, and that's the result of a process I began in 2004 after a bewildered, newly-sober coworker confided in me at work.

I thought, I need to help these guys.

I realized that with some education and training, I might be able to do so.

We're trained to be generalists, and though I still want to help addicts, this early experience dealing with whatever problem walks through the door is, at times, enthralling.

I saw back to back clients tonight, and I was good. I established a rapport with the clients, got a solid handle on their issues, showed empathy, restated and reframed, and worked collaboratively to establish some reasonable, meaningful goals. I worked within my model too.

I was elated on the way home. Deliriously happy even.

I may have a reality check facing me next week, sure, but I felt like THE MAN tonight.

I have waited a long, long time to feel like I'm fulfilling my purpose. It's mighty satisfying to begin to do so.