Sunday, August 31, 2008

Take Me Away

I'm watching Field of Dreams with my son on a fine Saturday afternoon, and 29 minutes into the movie the tears are just streaming down my face.


I'm walking into the CVS, desperate for something to kill the pain at the back of my head, which has been pretty persistent for 4 or 5 days.

I scale things. On a one to 10 scale, my head is about an eight at the moment. My hands are shaking. I buy some Aleve. In about a half hour, it's down to maybe a four.


I'm drinking my third cup of coffee, convincing myself that caffeine helps headaches. Or trying to. The first cup seemed to help. The third cup does nothing except make my stomach grumble.


I'm sitting across the table from my mother-in-law who, having heard about my headache, is trying to hand me a Darvocet.

I say no thank you, even as I remember the days a decade ago when I'd fake headaches at her house simply to scam pills from her.


I'm at my meeting today and I recount this story.

Would you really want to do that and step back into that lifestyle?

No. And honestly, I'm only discussing it to have something to talk about. Turning it down wasn't hard. At all. I'm almost disappointed.


I'm walking into the CVS, again, seeking epsom salts. I aim to take a bath in them later, in a desperate attempt to ease this pain.


I'm having another Vietnamese iced coffee. It doesn't help a bit, but I finally get the flavor right at least.


I'm amazed as Wolfboy plays the Beatles' Help! movie for the third time in a row, laughing at their cheeky jokes and physical comedy.

"I like Ringo!" blurts THEGIRL.


I'm filling up the tub, and snippets of song lyrics and conversations from now and the distant past are going through my head:

"Take a chance with me..."

"You been poppin' pills again?"

"Please love me."

"If the path of least resistance is all you ever take..."

"...since before you knew..."

"@#$% you, Brian. @#$% you."

"They hold it together all day, then get home where they're comfortable and just... explode."

And I decide I want some music.

I light a candle and ease into the steaming water as Pugwash's Eleven Modern Antiquities begins.

It's the second time I've heard it, yet I'm humming along almost instantly.

I'm no longer holding it together.


I'm in reverie. I am having something akin to an epiphany, just like I did in '04. In my moment of need, gorgeous pop music is lifting me up.

Thomas Walsh, the voice of Pugwash, is singing, and tears roll down my face, blending with the sweat.

I give myself over to the sounds as my face rests against the tile, and I realize I'm falling in love with this music, just like I did with Jason Falkner's Can You Still Feel? back before my daughter was born.

I'm marveling at the natural melodies that pour out of Mr. Walsh. I almost want to guess the first words he ever spoke were "I am the walrus," but honestly, this music of his is not some Beatles-based anachronism. Pugwash fits round pegs in round holes; the amazing thing is where they find the holes.


I'm listening to this music, and my head is getting better. It's down to about a two. I feel like getting on my knees and thanking God for this measure of relief.


I'm sitting in the living room, trying to make it clear to the kids that when I tell them to get ready for bed, they should do so with all due haste.

I get that goofy smile on my face, and start "Here," telling MOBB, "I'm in love."

I wish you were here
Evidence is clear
To all
Who know
Who know


So I'm telling you that you need to get this album. If you can pony up $8.99, you can get the MP3s from Amazon right

That's a buck cheaper than getting it on iTunes, and you don't have to hassle with "iTunes Plus."

You could, of course, order the CD if you want.

I want you to get this music, and I want you to like it.

Then I want you to contact the band on their Myspace site or on Facebook and tell Mr. Walsh that all the love and sweat he puts into his work is worth it. Tell him BB sent you. Mr. Walsh is a personable chap, and he'd love to hear from you.

Then tell your friends about this music as well, and we can stuff the band's pockets with money so they can afford to play in the western hemisphere someday. I'll meet you there, and we'll smile as we sing "It's Nice to Be Nice" in the audience.


My head feels a whole lot better...

Have a good night and a good, safe weekend.


The video for "Take Me Away"

I've posted this song in particular because it's a good video for a good song, though you can hear more samples on the Myspace page, and that might give you a better idea about the breadth of their material.


Why is it

that, if you're hard of hearing (like me), so many exchanges go like this?

Person: "Barflarble jarba woof woof bamble jamble horba jork went tam jamba hoot kaboot yellow fever."

BB: "Pardon?"

Person: "YELLOW FEVER!. Sigh."

Leaving me still having no idea what in the name of Ronald McDonald you were talking about. I didn't just selectively only miss the last two words, yet time and time again, people just repeat those, then get frustrated and say "nevermind!" when I ask for clarification.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Treading Water

Talked to Dad tonight. He let me in on some of his philosophy.

He explained that one doesn't need to be the most physically fit guy at 40 or 45. No, you just need to "tread water, because if you do that, everyone else around you will start to go to shit, and you end up looking good by comparison."

Pearls of wisdom from the Doug.


Otis Redding died on December 10, 1967, which is roughly nine months before my birthdate of August 29, 1968. I am reminded of the date of his death because I've been watching Dreams to Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding, a gift from my buddy from way back, Janice. It's a terrific DVD, featuring 16 songs. Unlike the standard documentary, this one is song-focused, with commentary from musicians and other folks.

Otis is shown lip-synching and performing live, and it's all golden stuff. The live "Try a Little Tenderness" was recorded the day before he died.

So though the math doesn't quite hold up since I was born late, I've decided that I must have been conceived the day Otis died. Just because I like the sound of it.


My coworker Denija was also very kind and generous, giving me a goody bag full of stuff today. There's a little lava lamp, some fine Bosnia chocolate (you've gotta try this stuff!), a card that plays "Hamster Dance," and a DVD of Heartworn Highways. It's got great old footage of folks like Townes Van Zandt, David Allan Coe, Rodney Crowell, Guy Clark, and Steve Earle. I watched it this evening, but Wolfboy was chatting non-stop to me about Pokemon, so I need to watch it again just to pick up what I missed.


My department went on a retreat for the first three days of this week. We had some trainings, some fun group activities, some music, and some good food. I took my guitar and had fun playing with the praise band. I hadn't played with anyone in quite some time.

I was a bystander at the paintball game the first night and still got shot in the chest. It hurt! I think it was friendly fire. "Now's my chance to show that Brisc what I think of him..."


I showed a coworker how to play a basic blues riff, and how to play a polka riff with a simple I-IV "bass" line under the chords.

He showed me a couple groovy new chords.

My work here is done.


Dad sent me some birthday cash. I'd use it to get another new pocket knife, but you know, I always lose them. Breaks my heart.

Of course, it may be the poltergeist in the house. I'm only halfway joking. We're losing silverware at an alarming clip. It just... vanishes. It's only one type: the small forks. We used to have maybe a dozen. Now we have one.

Kelli's charm bracelet is gone, and my little multi-tool too. Yeah, seems like small, shiny things disappear around here.


Tomorrow is also the third anniversary of Katrina's landfall in Louisiana. I guess it's not the same as having a birthday on September 11, but I certainly think of that tragedy every time my birthday rolls around now.


I'd better give it up and get some sleep soon. Here's wishing you caffeinated love tomorrow and the whole holiday weekend.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Under Wide Unbroken Skies

grace be with you and luck and speed
may all your roads be worth the ride
along the byways, forgotten places
under wide unbroken skies

peace be with you and all of yours
and may your dreams become fulfilled
i hope you find some joy and laughter
under wide unbroken skies

(by Anders Parker)

[I'm sorry the video is not great. Just listen.]

For Miss D.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Another Guitar Solo, Eh?

I got a guitar when I was 11 or 12. My mother’s third husband gave me this little Fender Duo-Sonic II. It had scratchy-sounding slider switches and a rusty bridge. It was a short-scale instrument, and it fit well in my young hands.

I got lost in the sounds the strings made. I’d pick out melodies on one string at a time, sliding up and down the neck. I learned to play the melody from David Allan Coe’s “Mona Lisa Lost Her Smile.”

Dad ordered a little Sears amplifier that took a long time to come in. It sounded great to my ears though.

Turns out stepdad had given the guitar to me during a drunk blackout, though, so he didn’t remember where it had gone. A year or two later, after he and my mother broke up, he showed up at my house looking for it. I wasn’t home. I gather he wasn’t thrilled when Dad told him I’d sold it. I’d moved on to a neat little Peavey T-16 and a bigger amp.


So I grew up worshipping at the altar of the guitar. I’d given up on popular music, mostly, delving into classic rock and blues.

Blues was experiencing a resurgence, led by the likes of SRV and Robert Cray. Lots of guys were off and running with the blues, stretching out their solos. Sometimes, as with SRV or Eric Clapton, the results could be startlingly good.

I moved every direction, listening to Eric Johnson’s shimmering tones, Albert King’s unearthly bends, Johnny Winter’s frenetic picking, Vernon Reid’s dive-bombing whammy techniques… anywhere I could find some mind-blowing new technique or sound, I was all into it.


And something changed.

I got tired of it.

I got tired of all the endless soloing, all the “me me me” stuck into the middle (and beginning and end and all points in-between) of every guitar song. So many good songs were just turned inside out by endless bars of guitar noodling.

The guitar solo, which had been the part of the song I used to turn up, became just the opposite. Give me melody, give me voice, but don’t attack a perfectly good song with all those NOTES.


I still try to find some balance. God knows I love to listen to Bad Brains or Helmet, which are clearly guitar-based bands, though not really built on guitar solos.

It’s hard to say how much is too much, but you know it when you hear it. And still, I can sit through “Sultans of Swing,” and like everyone else who loves that song, scat sing every note of that long solo. Knopfler’s lyricism on that one was remarkable to say the least.

And here I sit, watching the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007DVD, featuring so many of my former idols. Parts of it are tight and rock like heck, and parts, yeah, they just go on too long.

But Jeff Beck, boys and girls, never ceases to amaze me. His song “Where Were You?” defined a pivotal time in my life, and folks, it doesn’t even have any lyrics. None sung with words at least.

He’s the whole package, an endlessly inventive and technical player who still makes music that’s interesting to folks who aren’t just there seeking chops.

When I was taking guitar lessons, any teacher needed to be able to play his “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers.” With all the crazy bends, whammy bar work and volume swells, it’s a bear to play. I gave up trying to learn it.

Listen to this clip.

And the bassist is Tal Wilkenfeld (born in 1986, y’all… wow), who holds her own, sounding like the reincarnation of Jaco Pastorius. Incredible.


So yeah, it’s sort of a love-hate relationship I have with solos in general. I like to do it, sure, but I just can’t see as how it’s awfully interesting to the average listener, you know?


I will be out of town through Wednesday, and I doubt I’ll be online much if at all. Y’all have a good week.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

BB and Merle

My life's been an emotional roller coaster lately.

It's been one of those days--hell, WEEKS--when every song on every CD is profoundly meaningful to me.

Until now. I'm listening to "Biscuits for Smut" by Helmet and really enjoying rockin' out.


I'm still chuckling at myself over the entry before this, the one about Mike's dog, Rusty. I got a few emails from folks telling me the post made them feel a bit... feverish.


I took the kids to Corsicana today, and on the way down I sang.

It frustrates me that I was ALMOST given a gift for music. I'm a passable guitarist, and that's really where it peaks. I'm moved to sing, but I'm not much of a singer. I think I wrote a few decent songs back in the day, but really, people remember the silly stuff I threw together. That's fine.


But on the way to Corsicana I sang.

I put on one of my favorite all-time CDs, Tulare Dust: A Songwriters' Tribute To Merle Haggard.

And you know, it's such a good CD. Some notes:

Tom Russell: "Tulare Dust/They're Tearin' the Labor Camps Down" --Great kickoff to this CD. "Tulare Dust," a lament about sharecroppers' hardscrabble lives, is so short it's really only half a song anyway, so it's a good lead-in.

Iris DeMent: "Big City" --"I think I'll walk off my steady job today." Haven't we all felt like this once in a while?

Peter Case: "A Working Man Can't Get Nowhere Today" --Terrific choice by Mr. Case to follow Ms. Dement. "Seems like every dime I make I owe to everyone I know." Amen.

Dwight Yoakam: "Holding Things Together" --THIS is Heartbreak with a capital H. I mean, Merle is as country as they get, but how many songs about single parenting do you hear coming out of Nashville ever?

Robert Earl Keen: "Daddy Frank" --Another atypical song, this one about a deaf mother and blind stepfather who led a family band and lived in a truck.

Joe Ely: "White Line Fever" --Solid, but I skip it sometimes.

Rosie Flores: "My Own Kind of Hat" --What in the world prompted Merle to write this waltz full of double entendres?

Steve Young: "Shopping for Dresses" --As I explained this one to Wolfboy today, it's about a man who is so lonely that he's buying dresses so that, in case me meets a nice lady, he'll have some clothes to give her. I've never heard another song like it.

Marshall Crenshaw: "Silver Wings" --Crenshaw almost underwhelms on THE song that seems to define Haggard where I come from. If your band didn't do "Silver Wings," the crowd might just warm the tar for the feathers.

Barrence Whitfield: "Irma Jackson" --HERE'S where Merle shows his defiant streak. It's a song about loving the Black girl he grew up with, and how "if loving Irma Jackson is a sin, then I don't understand this crazy world we're living in."

Lucinda Williams: "You Don't Have Very Far to Go" --I know THIS is a sin, but I can't get into Lucinda. It's her voice.

Billy Joe Shaver: "Ramblin' Fever" --Great pairing here, complete with some hot pickin' by the late Eddy Shaver on baritone guitar. The loss of E. Shaver was on par with the death of Stevie Ray Vaughan, but not enough people realize it.

Katy Moffatt: "I Can't Be Myself" --skip

John Doe: "I Can't Hold Myself in Line" --Love this drunkard's lament: "And I disagree with the way that I'm livin', but I can't hold myself in line." Another of my favorite lines: "My weakness is stronger than I am."

Dave Alvin: "Kern River" --Almost a lullaby, about something sad and final. And you know, I really like Dave Alvin's voice.


I guess I'll wrap up here. I'll be out of town a few days next week.

On Friday, I turn 40.

Ya'll have a good one.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I am

...almost asleep when I get that urge.

...happy to get a response when I rub up against you.

...ecstatic at the touch of your hand. You know what I like.

...fine with however you want to do it: Fast, slow... the moment, sure, but I can remember others, and the differences. Sometimes it's a slow stroking motion, and others its a little rougher, more rhythmic. We all have our preferences.

...glad to hear you whispering to me, though I must admit that I can't understand all the words. Still, your tone of voice excites me. myself over to you. I reciprocate as much as I can, but really, this is all about my pleasure, and you don't seem to mind.

...sensing that you want to be done soon, but I don't, so I change things up, move around a little.

...not satisfied when you stop, and I initiate again, sooner than you'd prefer perhaps.


...Mike's Golden Retriever, Rusty, enjoying all the attention BB is giving me while they watch movies.

[You need to get your mind out of the gutter!]

Friday, August 15, 2008

What We Teach Our Children

I must admit that I was proud of my kids yesterday.

Wolfboy, see, is a competitive little spirit. In any contest, if he happens to come in second place, he behaves as if that means he's the first place loser. It's all or nothing for that kid.

It's been a point of contention between us, as I'm not particularly competitive.

[Except in Scrabble. I'll whup you.]

Many times, like after the fishing derby, he's beside himself for not winning, and I'm beside myself because I cannot comprehend why it bothers him so. Many times the best parenting I can offer in such a situation is to distance myself from him, lest my own frustration boil over. To me, if you cry every time you're not the top dog, you will lead a tear-filled life.


So out of the blue the kids asked to play some baseball last night. I'd just started watering the back yard, and since the front yard is full of trees, we opted to head over to the empty lot by the church. We all put on ball caps (at THEGIRL's insistence), scrambled up some gear and drove across Precinct Line Road.

I pitched to Wolfboy, who has always been an uncanny, natural hitter. THEGIRL stood to my right.

He whiffed on the first pitch.

On the second pitch he hit a skimmer that hit THEGIRL in the shin. I winced at the impact, expecting tears.

She gave out a big, bluesy laugh, picked up the ball, and handed it to me.

Well, okay.


He's always been a dead-pull hitter, though, so I decided to put her on my left side instead, and that worked out fine.

He smacked a few, ran laps around the imaginary bases, and started to keep score. He still reminds me regularly about the time we played such a game and he scored 30-something runs and I scored only a handful. That boy...


So when his sister's turn to bat came up, I took him aside for a conference, explaining that she is a little girl, and can't play as well as he. I pointed out that I expected him to be a good big brother and teach her how to hit, and to toss her good, easy pitches. I was trying to keep him from going for blood like he usually does.

And lo and behold... he was great.

He lobbed the ball to her, and complimented her when she missed but came close. He didn't lose patience, didn't tell her she couldn't do it. He kept pitching to her, and eventually she connected a couple times. She took off running all different directions, carrying the bat as he ran after her at a speed not quite sufficient for him to tag her out.

And later on when he hit again, he even ran slowly once so she could tag HIM out.

He didn't keep score, and he didn't give any attitude when our little game didn't bear much resemblance to baseball at all.

I am very proud of him, and I told him so.


I tried to nap today, but to no avail. Racing thoughts.

I did stay in bed for an hour, though, letting my mind wander.

As I got up, Wolfboy came to me, crying, saying that something sad had happened outside. He said he'd been riding the pedal-tractor and he'd run over a baby possum.

I hugged him and told him I'd take care of it. I found the story to be doubtful from a couple different angles, but clearly there was a dead critter in the yard for which he felt responsible.

I told him not to worry, that if a possum had fallen out of a tree, it was certainly dead before he got to it. Then I told him about the time I ran over an armadillo, and how bad I felt about it.

So I went out and had a look at the critter. I'm told that THEGIRL took it pretty hard as well, though she'd calmed down by the time I came back in. She'd been saying that he was sleeping, not wanting to accept (or perhaps not comprehending) that he was dead.

There was indeed some hairless little dead animal in the yard. It may have been a possum, but I can't really be sure. I disposed of it and fended off Wolfboy's questions about where I'd put it ("Where? In the car?" "NO!").


I took him to see Iron Man again. It was at the $1.25 theater, which is about all our budget can stand these days.

I slipped him 50 cents to play some Kung Fu arcade game. Lo and behold the little ringer was damn good at it, and played so long on those two quarters that we missed the start of the film.


And the movie rocked, again.

Afterwards, we talked about Iron Man. I indulged the little boy in me and asked him lots of questions about what he thought about Iron Man's future, and what bad guys he could beat.

Then I asked what he'd do if he do if he had his own Iron Man suit.

He said he'd avenge the loss of my shirt when I was mugged after a concert.

Oh my gosh.

I didn't even remember telling him that story.

[The story: Bryan McAuley, my sister and I were set upon by a gang after seeing Foreigner at the Summit in Houston in 1983. I remember thinking, God, there must be 15 of them as they approached. They roughed us boys up a little, didn't touch Sis, and stole our binoculars and our newly-purchased tour shirts.]

I was taken at his gesture, and surprised that the information had stuck with him.

I explained that those little thugs may have grown up and gone to jail or prison. Acting like they did at that age was a real indication that they might end up as adult criminals. I told Wolfboy that on that day, the bad guys won.

"Yeah, but they lost the big fight," he said.

What big fight?

"Against the police."



There's a lesson I've tried to teach my kids, though I'm not certain it's managed to sink in yet.

See, if we're, say, in a parking lot, I try to be very clear about the fact that they shouldn't run or move quickly in the direction of a car that's going by. They tell me they were going to stop.

I explain to them, though, that the driver doesn't know that. They shouldn't do anything to even make the driver think that they're going to do such an awful thing as to run out in front of the vehicle.

The lesson: No matter what your intentions really are, it's a bad idea to behave in such a way as to make people even think you're going to do something bad.

Some grownups never manage to grasp this.


Good night, and God bless you.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I once wanted to have my own cable TV station. This was in '94 or so. I figured there was a whole world of live music clips sitting in vaults that would make mighty fine programming for some really cool cable channel.

But I got a job at a TV station paying $10.86 an hour, and sort of lost sight of my little idea.

In a way, Youtube is using my idea. Whatever clip we want to see, chances are it's available now.

So I thought I'd just post a few clips for fun.


The first one's not music. No, I'm watching men's gymnastics right now, and it reminded me of the movie Gymkata, starring Kurt Thomas.

Handy that when the angry mob cornered him, there happened to be one of those gizmos in the alley. What's it called? A pummel horse or something?


I've been listening to a lot of Lyle Lovett lately. He's done a lot of terrific songs.

"If I Had a Boat" is the first song of his that I fell in love with.


And check this out. Here's Chester Burnett, aka Howlin' Wolf, doing "Evil," one of the greatest blues songs ever.

The man just mesmerizes me. And he was big! Look how tiny the harmonica looks in his hand.


More blues. This is Jimi Hendrix in a rare acoustic performance, doing "Hear My Train a-Comin'"

What I don't get is this: He plays for a moment, then stops and says he's nervous, and then does the song in a style quite different from how he started. Why the difference? Did he just improvise the song each time?


I'm running out of time. More soon, I hope.


by Alejandro Escovedo.


It's been a wild ride and I can't sleep
You want to step inside for, for just a peek

You say you've paid your price
Well I've paid mine
And it's not pretty here, once you've stepped inside

Sometimes, Sometimes
Inside, Inside
Sometimes it hurts, sometimes inside

I heard Spyboy crying from across the trees
He said don't give 'em much
When you're stretched out across the breeze

It's like a circus here step up and take your shot
But there's no winners here
When you're stretched across the breeze

It's been a scary ride and I need some sleep
You want to peek inside, well just take a peek
I wish you were here, sleep by my side

But there's no winners here
When you're stretched across the trees

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Pho Tai Briscoe

Okay, this is for Whit, and anyone else with some interest in making Pho Tai, a Vietnamese beef and noodle soup. If you've spent any time poking around this site you know that it's a favorite of mine.


1 gallon water
Pho soup base (more details later)
1/2 pound of thinly sliced beef
1 package of rice noodles
Bean sprouts
White onion, sliced
Green onion, chopped

[This is to make a couple adult-sized bowls of pho. I didn't really measure the herbs. I just cleaned and prepped about a fistful of each.]

1. Soak the rice noodles in cold water for an hour

2. Soak the white onion slices in vinegar for an hour

3. Make the soup base. We like this kind:

It's got spice bags and some paste inside. Bring the water to a boil and drop in one spice bag and about half the tub of paste. Leave the spice bag in the boiling water for about 15 minutes.

4. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drain the noodles, and put them in the boiling water for 10 minutes. After that, drain them and put them in some cold water. Seriously. We even used ice.

5. Put your ingredients in a bowl. It varies from person to person depending upon preference, of course. I put the noodles, beef, bean sprouts, both types of onions, cilantro, basil, and a squirt of lime juice. I also add some hoisin sauce and some Sriracha sauce. Some people add sliced jalapenos. Keep in mind that in Pho Tai, the hot broth cooks the raw meat, so keep that broth at or near a boil until you add it.

The results:

It tastes just as good as the stuff you get in a restaurant, and it's fairly cheap to make.

Some notes:

This recipe makes much more broth than necessary. We're going to just freeze what's left over.

I personally don't care about soaking the white onions in the vinegar. That's MOBB's preference.

I've seen bean sprouts called Mung Beans, FYI.

We used mystery meat. What can I say? It was at the Michoacana meat market, and it was reasonably priced and already sliced.

If you try it, let me know what you think.

Friday, August 08, 2008

We're Talkin' Baseball

Not much of a plan here, but we saw Jennie Finch in the Olympic opening ceremony, and I thought I'd post this:

You can tell the video's a few years old, because A-Rod is still a Ranger, and Jay Buhner and a few other since-retired folks are still in the game. Jeez, is Danny Graves still playing? He was a solid closer for a while.

And if Finch were 5'1" with hair growing out of her ears and named Earlene, I doubt Barry Bonds would have been so chummy with her.


And the Rangers lost to the Orioles 9-1 tonight. Good lord, my KIDS could beat the Orioles.


And on that note, in case you've never heard "A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request" by Steve Goodman, here it is. Really. Set aside six minutes to smile:


As of this writing, the Cubbies are 70-46.


"You the living, you're stuck here with the Cubs, so it's me that feels sorry for you..." I love that line!


Go to Wrigley Field. Really. Forget every other ballpark. I've been to enough that I feel like I'm not just blowing smoke when I say this: It's the ultimate baseball experience, period. Fenway, with all its baseball glory (and my second-favorite team) doesn't compare; you still kinda have the feeling you'll see a rat in there somewhere.

And Yankee Stadium? Please. That place is constantly a riot waiting to happen. It's a dump, and let me tell you, I'd like to be the one to push the plunger when they blow that place up. Well, only if the Yankees are in it... (ouch... bad, I know).


There are lots of nice new parks, sure. I like our own Ballpark in Arlington just fine. I like the Indians' park as well. Minute Maid Field is nice, and the Rockies' Park, if a bit bland, does impress with its scenic vistas.


But nothing else is Wrigley. The smells, the architecture, the ivy, the atmosphere... I think Hood and I were there on a perfect day last September.


And I would LOVE it if Mark Cuban bought the Cubs. God I'd love to see his devil-may-care attitude and deep pockets behind that franchise.

See, at this point, if there's a high-dollar free agent available, he pretty much goes to the Yankees. They'll pay the highest bucks, period. They've got so many of these guys that sluggers who'd typically be at the heart of the order are batting way down. Heck, Pudge was batting 8th the other night. Admittedly, he's not the hitter he once was.

But okay, they've got to squeeze in A-Rod, Giambi, Nady, Sexson, Abreu... any of these guys would be a 3 or 4-spot hitter in a typical lineup. And Jeter's got 55 RBIs... you see what I'm getting at here?

So it would be great to have another owner, especially Cuban, be able to write a check for whatever player he wants. It's not a brand of team ownership I'm generally fond of, but you know, if it annoys the Yankees it's a good thing in my book.

And we all know that Cuban will say what he feels. If he thinks Steinbrenner or his progeny are behaving badly, he'll say so to anyone within earshot.


I've prattled on long enough. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

I was doing laundry tonight when I noticed a dark red spot on the pants I'd worn today.

What the heck? I thought.

Then I saw another on the leg. And another.

That looks like blood, I thought.

Then I noticed that my hand was bloody. My knuckle on my right ring finger was bleeding. No idea how that happened.


Work's been very busy lately, and it's going to continue to be that way for much of the month, apparently. I'm working the next couple Saturdays in a row.


The Rangers' victory over the Yankees Monday night was beyond sweet.

Here's Eric Nadel's call from the radio broadcast:


But wait... there's more!

The video, with the voice of Josh Lewin:


I'm in the bed with THEGIRL and Wolfboy, watching Power Rangers. They (the kids, not the Power Rangers) have been home with MOBB ever since she got laid off. On day one she was ready to sell them to the circus. Since then they've done better.


Hot enough for you?


I've got to admit that I've kept an eye on this Bret Favre situation. I've always kinda liked the guy. Hey, he kicked an addiction to pain pills once upon a time--that always gets my attention.

But good grief, so many high profile athletes try to retire and just jack it all up by coming back. Really.


Well, I'm just killing time before time kills me. Hope you're all doing well. Shalom.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


You know, I'm posting this song, again, and I only now realize that I'm not entirely sure what this song is about.

It's a love song. It must be. It's got such a sense of yearning, aching.

Is it about unrequited love ("I am just a dreamer, and you are just a dream...)?

Or an unhealthy love ("...but I'm getting blown away...").

Maybe it's about how time stops between lovers who are enraptured with each other.

Or lovers who can't be together due to circumstances.

Maybe it's about all of those things.

Every note just seems to say something that words can't. I'm not fond of many long guitar solos anymore, but this song is always an exception.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Breaking Bread

Breaking bread, part 1:

[The scene is supper tonight in the Briscoe casa. Wolfboy, having done a fine job with his pasta, is now allowed to have some garlic bread. If you have kids, you understand; they'll load up on bread first and blow off the pasta if you're not careful]

Wolfboy: "May I have some bread?"

BB: "You did a good job with your pasta. Sure. Just go tear some off of the loaf on top of the stove."

[Wolfboy grabs the bread and tugs, twists, and grunts]

Wolfboy: "I can't do it."

MOBB: "Sure you can. Just pretend you're the Hulk."

Wolfboy: "He's not one of my favorite comic book heroes, Mom."

[Wolfboy goes to the drawer, gets a butter knife, and proceeds to hack a piece of bread off of the loaf. The whole process takes about five minutes]


Barack Obama is giving away free compaign buttons. Shipping is free too.


Breaking bread, part II:

[The scene is a few minutes later, when THEGIRL has managed to eat enough pasta that she too may now have some bread.]

MOBB: "Go get some bread from the kitchen."

[THEGIRL hops down, goes to the kitchen, grabs the loaf of bread, GROWLS like a cornered animal, and rips off a hunk of bread the size of a shoe in about .025 seconds. She calmly walks back to the table and begins chowing down as we laugh.]


Hey, my birthday is coming up and all, but let me be clear: I do NOT want a musical toilet seat.


Have a good weekend.