Saturday, December 30, 2006

Shredding, Slamming Fun

Yeah, I'm closer to 40 than 14, but that doesn't mean I can't pretend to be in that band I always wanted to be in.
And no, I can't play the guitar for real, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy the tar out of this game. In fact, that's the whole POINT.
The second version of this Playstation 2 diversion, called Guitar Hero as you can see here, just came out, but I'm too busy woodshedding on a borrowed version of the first one to care about that yet. At first, I sucked so thoroughly the game kicked me out of the song and the crowd booed. Yet now, I can successfully hit 80-96% of the notes on average of tunes ranging from Boston's "More Than A Feeling" to Audioslave's "Cochise."
The cool thing is, songs you don't even like much and dismiss as crap, you get new respect for when you try to play them. You also learn how Nikki Sixx must have felt when his fingers and forearms ached from the amount of rockin' he was doing, but his paycheck at the end of the night was only $100. (Yep, I need a new manager.)
I suppose Slash isn't losing sleep over my impending guitar goddesshood, but it's still a hella lot of fun.
"I've got blisters on my fingers!!!" -- John Lennon

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Cookery

Seasons greetings, blogpadres!
It's hard to believe it's been a year since my last post about cooking, but certainly it has.
This year, instead of Candied Nuts, I decided to make Rum Balls. Though there may be some hidden symbolism in my two-years running choices of recipes that could be euphemisms for cajones, I choose to believe differently.
That yellowed paper next to the plate is the recipe of old, typed on the ancient, black, 50-pound manual typewriter I was given by my grandmother as a kid. (Yes, even 25 years ago I was a writing, typing dork.) The recipe came from one of the neighbors on our street, who still lives there. And yes, my mom did make these and allow us to eat them as children. Who knows what current freakitudes (such as a simultaneous love of chocolate AND rum!) I can blame on this underage intake of hard liquor in candy form.
This year, instead of rockin', I watched a DVD I found of the 1982 Leslie Nielsen series Police Squad, instead of egg nog, I was drinking Keystone Lights, and I wasn't making these as gifts, just for personal consumption and sharing with friends.
These tiny differences are only the beginning of what's different for me this year, and what will be different on Christmases forever. Against a mounting tide of things that will never be the same, I can stir together these ingredients and conjure up one thing, at least, to count on... one talisman against loss and time.
"Take away my worries of today, and leave tomorrow behind." -- Gary Wright

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


When I was a youngster, toiling away at what used to be Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems (now Cingular Wireless), I swore off office politics. I reported to work, fended off oldsters who hit on me and my "sexy voice" daily, pretended to sell extra features, took much too long constructing a faux jellyfish from a styrofoam plate and bits of plastic for a team decorating contest, just generally toiled there in my cubicle from morning 'til night, fixing glorified walkie talkies. Then (usually a few minutes early), I went home. As a result, I never got the attention (nor the raises) of my superiors.

Then I got ten years older. The world and its ways slowly and painfully revealed themselves to me. I realized, that in all kinds of realms, you have to do as Freddie Mercury suggests, and "Play the game, play the game, play the game, play the game!"

With a single email that could have been utter bullstuff (it wasn't, but the point is, verification of my lofty claims didn't occur), I convinced my old asshole boss that I knew something after all. He decided that perhaps I was in fact the cat's pajamas. I had made myself, and hence him and the school, look good.

This feat, after 3 or 4 years of indifference and/or hassling from him, convinced me completely. Now, I jockey for position as all who get ahead seem to.

I don't misrepresent my deeds, and I do work a good bit harder than I did back then, 'tis true, but now I frame my doings in gilded rectangles, wrap them in festive tissue paper and present regular news of them like gifts to my overlords. I am my own press secretary.

What are 'principles' in youth look like foolish obstructions of prestige and cashflow in slightly older age.

Print that on a batch of fortune cookies and distribute at your next office holiday party.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


(English Title: Meat My Blade)

On the potentially dismal occasion of my 36th trip round the sun, I visited a Brazilian churrascaria. If you haven't been to one, it's a magical place where you first take a stellar trip around the salad bar, which is really a buffalo mozzarella/kalamata olives/proscuitto/steamed asparagus/marinated mushrooms and more bar, then are whisked back to your table to delight in what you found there for a few moments while sucking down caipirinhas (a.k.a. Brazilian margaritas).
Next, enter the intricate communication system in place akin to the sign language used by Drasnian spies, in the form of a circular card, one for each person at the table. One side of the card is red, the other, green. Flip that red card to green and wait. Within seconds, a fleet of smartly dressed, hot, Latin gauchos descends upon you, each bearing a rod of steaming, delicious meat for your consumption. Each meets your eyes as you communicate your most intimate carnal desires: Oh yes! Spicy sirloin! Ahh, filet mignon!! Most of the time you get a just-right portion of meat slid skillfully onto your plate; sometimes you have to use tools to assist in the process. If you don't want a particular cut, you dismiss the offering gaucho with a word (much simpler than with a failed third date).
While my arteries are probably not happy for this meat-fest, and vegetarians would surely be offended, I think all in all a trip to the churrascaria is enough to remind me what life should be like: delicious meat from hot guys when you want it, peace, salad, cheesy bread and flan when you don't.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I Kinda Wish I Was Like That

Today between the schooling and the getting schooled, I went looking for vittles to Jack in the Box, in search of the elusive Jumbo Jack with cheese, plain, and two tacos. I'd gone to this particular one before, but I'd forgotten before that I'd sworn to myself that next time, I should go to the OTHER one a couple blocks before the one I've gotten used to going to.
Why? you ask. Well, there's one of those homo sapiens oblivians working there. You know the type. The guy who, despite being of low socioeconomic status and considerably less than dreamy looks, flirts with anyone, anywhere, any time. The guy who leans out the drive-thru to impart his philosophies on life and love with you, even though you're just a passing blur framed by a car window.
"You didn't KNOW you could substitute mozzarella sticks for fries?!" he cried to me, incredulous. "See that? You learn something new all the time! I can't believe you didn't know that!" "My girlfriend just broke up with me because her mom died! I told her I thought at a time like that you'd WANT your boyfriend around!" he enthused. (Read: Hey sexy customer babe, I'm available and I'm here for you no matter WHAT.) "Hey, she's cute!" he then incongrously hurled at me whilst looking at some distant hole-having specimen. "Too old for me, but she's cute!" During all this, I'd just kept staring ahead, or at the steering wheel. For a split second, I turned and gazed into his optimistically, obliviously blue eyes, just to be polite. He didn't care. "I wouldn't know." I said. He just kept right on, ignoring the purposeful lack of eye contact as he went on about how there was nothing wrong with it even if I did know.
He'd flirted rampantly in this exact fashion last time I was there, and I SWORE to myself that I wasn't going back there. I guess I just can't trust myself.
On the other hand though, how cool would it be to be free of ANY THOUGHT of what someone else thinks, free as a bird to talk to any person, no matter how rich, no matter how gorgeous. I kinda wish I was like that.
Later, I went into a Tom Thumb grocery store to buy some overpriced motor oil, and an old lady who was hanging around the pseudo-Starbucks inside, with a housedress, a mop of scraggly white hair and whose empty wheelchair was poised next to the chair she was occupying. Even though her head seemed like it was down, she shouted, "There's free cookies around the corner, hon!" at the exact moment I passed. Pointing strange fat girls to free cookies.... now that's being a good citizen. I kinda wish I was like that.
Still, that Jack in the Box is off the list.

Monday, November 27, 2006


I see a pink blog and I want it painted green.
I'm sorry, blogpals. I shall repair the damage as soon as I am able.
Know that, until then, your comments and your words and the time you burned here live on in my grateful heart.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

first date

it has been so long
oh, how I wanted to come up to your place for some "coffee"
but I knew that if I did
being a slave to sensuality
and my appetites
and nothing like self-controlled
i would just sit on the couch
lean in
ask you to kiss that certain place

20 minutes later
be doing the deed
your hands touching me all over

you know
THE deed
and the only thing that saves me from such a fate
is having a rule

so I have a rule
no hoeing on the first date
not with a long-handled garden tool
nor with any other appendages

because I think it's fair
to make you work just a little harder
for your journey to the center of the earth
for your rendezvous with the fertile garden of femininity
for your returning back to where it's safe and warm

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Not only is it Thanksgiving, but...

It's also THOR'S DAY!!! So eat up, drink up, and battle valiantly on the way to Valhalla.

I was going to insert a nifty Thanksgiving card here for you all, but Blogger is being a jive turkey. So you just have to imagine a lovely card with pumpkins and a cornucopia and stuff on it, that reads:

Happy Thanksgiving -- May you always have much for which to be thankful!

And underneath that in my Trebuchet hand, I've writ,
"If you're reading this, I'm thankful for you!"

And thus it is true, though it is only a vision in thy head.

So shall it be written, so shall it be done.

Happy T-Day to thee and thine, pilgrims!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Four Stupid Ways I Amuse Myself

While making some Thanksgiving fudge (yeah, I know, the Pilgrims didn't have fudge at the first Thanksgiving, but damn you people and your rules), it occurred to me that I do quite a few stupid things to amuse myself. Now, from the past and present, some of these stupid ways ::drumroll::

1. Dictate to myself the ingredients and processes of making fudge as I am doing them, in survival Spanish, with the heaviest of Texas accents:
"Ponga los nway-says en la dool-say. Es mas fa-seel!" :)

2. I used to go out into our backyard and pretend to make educational films, just like the jumpy, projector driven films we saw at school, that unspooled from one 12-foot-in- diameter reel to another as the teacher dozed at the back of the room.

Of course, any time the film started to jump or skip or make that PRRRRRRRRRRRRRRMPHHTPRRRPHTMTMMTMTTTTPRRRRRRRR
sound, the class noisily complained. If the film snapped in twain, the teacher was ready with a piece of Scotch tape. Try doing THAT with faulty DVDs, kids. The really COOL teachers would run the film backwards. That kicked ass in the days before the Interweb and Atari. But I digress.

Of course, I did include the stilted 50's style narration, done by a man with a crisp crew cut and black, severe horn-rimmed glasses. Now that I think about it, the average age of any audiovisual aid used in the classroom, back in the seventies and even now, is about 20 years old.

3. Loudly sing songs in a strong, British Cockney accent that have no business being sung that way, usually while driving, and sometimes with the windows open: "UNDA NEAF YOUR CLOVES THEY'S AN ENDLESS STORY!!! THERE'S THE MAIN I CHOSE, THERE'S MY TERATORY!! AND AWL THE FINGS I DESERVE, FOR BEIN SUCHA GOOD GIRL 'ONEY!!!"

4. Yes. There is that. And yeah, it would be more stupid if captioned, "Rutting Season." :)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Pigpen's Cloud: A Tale of Mixed Metaphors

Because I attend an exclusive, prestigious, private university for graduate school, I stumble along amongst long shadows stretching along the Serengeti marble halls. Rich, thin, shiny, pretty women meander past me by on their slender, Nordic, giraffean legs, and I am as a squat chimpanzee in their midst -- clever, amusing, far more able to use tools, yet not half as majestic.

Sometimes, in classes, we interact. I feel as if I travel in Pigpen's cloud, for my nails are clipped and short, and tiny continents with chipping borders appear on each finger, instead of glossy, manicured, monochromatic squares. My hair, unfashionably frizzy, is self-cut and a few weeks overdue for a $7 color out of a Garnier box. My $12 shoes have about breathed their last, as I shift about the desk in my Wal-Mart pants.

Still, maybe opposable thumbs and the ability to throw verbal poo at their mystification at crazy tables-full of statistics is worth being grotty. Sometimes.


I can't do no miracles
Even though you think I can
And I hate to disappoint you
But there's no holes in these hands.

--- D. Allan Coe

Monday, November 06, 2006


Hey folks.

This is a nonspecific teaser trailer.

Oh, there ARE posts!
OH, there are posts!
Oh, THERE are posts!
Oh, there are POSTS!

I've got a couple in the pipe, but they need polishing before I'll let 'em out.
So check back in a few. Weeks. No, days. Not hours.

Why? 'Cause my little button nose is so far to the grindstone, it's just a skeleton nose, ground down to a fine sharp point.

I'm not the one whos so far away when I feel the snakebite enter my veins
Never did I wanna be here again and I don't remember why I came.
--- G. Smack

(Hey, do you reckon that song's about HEROIN!?!?!?)

Yeah. I'm much too tired.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I Hate ________________.

Catch phrases run the gamut from "kiss my grits" to "can you smell what the rock is cookin?" I like to make my own, though, and of late, my favorite has been "I hate __________."

We live in a world that is uncomfortable with hate, and because it is forbidden, I guess, is why it's fun to say. I'm not all about the hatin' exactly. It's just whatever you're not supposed to do is fun to do. Forbidden words hold more power. Also, there's no thinking, just denouncing.

You can't hate everything. People are too complicated to hate. If you start to hate one, and then think some more, you'll find something that wasn't so bad. And if you hate someone for being a hatemonger, then you're just as bad as they are, aren't you?

So hate has to be more specific, like
"I hate floral print shirts."
"I hate when good sloths go bad."
"I hate vocational training."
"I hate Death by Chocolate type desserts."

It can backfire on you, such as the time when I was about 13 and impugned the mixing of gold and silver jewelry, spouting, "I hate when people wear gold and silver together," only to look down to the trendy, 4 ring wearing 80's hand of my conversational counterpart and discover that she was committing this cardinal wardrobe sin that I, as deacon dumbass, had denounced.

So like I was saying, people, it's best not to hate.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Old Cartoons

In just an hour or so of watching old cartoons on Boomerang (old meaning, 30's - 60's produced) I mentally tallied a few stark differences between the cartoons of now and those of old. On the Pink Panther I DVR'ed, there were about five scenes containing guns, including one fired at the Pink Panther's head at point blank range, rendering him grey-headed and exploded, one cigarette (smoked by the gunman), and some scant sexual references to can-can girls (by the Inspector), and even a suicidal duckling on an old Tom and Jerry I caught who attempted a self-gullotine with a giant ax on a string.

So the question is, then, how come we watched all this and there were few to no school shootings back then? Why did public violence seem to increase in an inverse relationship to the amount of violence that was fretted over and strained from kids' tv in the 80's and 90's? Now new cartoons are mostly a contest to see who's more badly drawn or the most insane. Where is Tipper Gore now, when we really need her to get Ed, Edd and Eddy and Invader Zim off the air???

I do like Pokemon though. Pikaaaaaaaaaaaaaaachuuuuuuuu! ;)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

White Trash Recipe

Brought to you from the State Fair of Texas is this concoction invented from materials on hand while sitting waiting for a sheep dog show to start.

Fair Food Burritos

1 bag freshly spun cotton candy
1 paper cup slightly stale popcorn

Peel off thin layers of cotton candy to create a candy "tortilla" in your hand.

Sprinkle in a handful or so of popcorn inside the cotton candy tortilla.

Fold "tortilla" together, adding extra strips of candy on the top or sides to seal it in.

Stuff in mouth, making "mmm" sounds as you go.

It's a crunchy, soft, sugary, salty slice of junk food genius.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Read the label

Even though we're all unique and special, just like every fuckin' snowflake and everyone else, we are also composites of stereotypes. While everyone talks shit about stereotypes, we also know that they wouldn't exist if there wasn't some truth to them.

Here's a list of some of mine, in no particular order:

Of Irish Descent -- i.e. Hot-tempered, Hardworking, Drunken, Proletarian
Short and Fat

Poor kid
From Dallas
College edumacated
Bleach blonde
Musically obsessed
Dog person
Animal lover
Tree hugger
Computer geek

Yep, that pretty much sums me up. Or not.

Care to put your labels on the table?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Another, far better eee-stwar

If you just want to experience New Orleans without all the sweating and beignets and staggering and hurricanes, read this:

A Confederacy of Dunces

There's a statue of Ignatius Reilly in the French Quarter somewhere, and I'm kicking myself that I didn't see it.

A movie might be made at some point, but, I guarantee you, it will be a gossamer shadow of this book's greatness.

Read it.

Even if only for the pale purpose of saying you've read a Pulitzer prizewinning fiction.

Suffocate yourself laughing, slobber everywhere crying.

Just read it.

Trust me.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

combination # 10

worship me for my drollness
or sarcasm, one of the 2
or both at once
like a big yin yang thing
sweet and sour
tangy syrup msg for your tongue and brain

Sunday, October 08, 2006


(least that's how they pronounce 'Histoires' in French)

Why the frog, say you? 'Cause I'm here to favor you with some tales from the dank, mildewed streets of New Orleans' French Quarter, which I got invited to journey to a few weeks back. And let me say, not to worry! Depravity and drunkenness, never affected by natural disasters, are in full swing.


When you know you'll be passing through airport security, avoid wearing an underwire bra that costs less than $10. If you do, boob inspections by security officers will be provided courtesy of Wal-Mart stores' Cheapest Undergarment Materials Possible Division. For added fun, get a call from your school about missing children who are in your class (who merely strayed from their waiting spot after school and have since been found, but that's not mentioned until 2 minutes into the call) at the same time.


If you stay on Bourbon Street and it's between March and November, this is your schedule for every day:

10 a.m. Awake. Commence sweating.

11 a.m. Go eat beignets and rocket fuel for breakfast (fried donutlike objects with a minimum of 1/2 cup powdered sugar on top and coffee with chicory).

12 p.m. Take a tour of Garden District, marveling at the influence of such a small mortal as Anne Rice as well as the jungle-like proliferation of flowers everywhere. Don't forget to perspire.

2 p.m. Traipse from shop to shop or across Vieux Carre, seeking pralines, beads, voodoo dolls, paintings or the like.

4 p.m. Fall damply into bed and draw the hotel shades for a several hour nap to recuperate from constant walking and fluid loss.

9 p.m. Arise vampyre-like, don "sexy clothes" and go forth, in search of alcoholic slurpee stands. You needn't walk far, for their fluorescent mixers filled with ice, artificial flavoring and Everclear are churning upon every corner. Start drinking. Resume sweating.

11 p.m. Stagger through the streets, seeking whatever new amusement catches your senses or prurient interests. Get beads thrown at you or throw beads, even though no naked flesh is seen. Try not to step on toothless, itinerant street performers who are making weeeet weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeow catcalls with their guitars. Look for restaurants. None of these quaint, culture-rich places are open. Wish for an Applebee's. Get obnoxious, but not too much so. The cops on horses are watching you.

2 a.m. Stumble into Krystal for 4 tiny cheeseburgers and an odd-tasting drink (odd-tasting because it doesn't contain alcohol). Try not to slip on the piss/booze/mud/sweat/scum/Godknowswhatelse liquid mixture on the floor.

3 a.m. Return to your hotel, take off soaked clothing, and ramble about the 1,744 things you've just seen/done/licked/smelled. Laugh at each one of them all over again.

4 a.m. Finally doze off from cumulative booze, traipsing and giggling exhaustion.

(Wash. Rinse. Repeat.)
If you are cornered by shirtless wanderers who may or may not be homeless and/or telling the truth about their plight, who then burst into song, have a counter-song ready, such as the theme song from the long-defunct William Katt television show, The Greatest American Hero:
"Look at what happened to me... I can't believe it myself! Suddenly, I'm up on top of the world... it should've been somebody else! DUHDUHDUHDUHDUHHNNNN!!"
If your friends get into this situation, be sure to sit a distance away and let them make an attempt to deal with the wanderer (to your endless amusement) before you make a rescuing cellphone call. Hopefully, the wanderer will wield merely song and odor and not a switchblade.
If one of a pair of life partners says, "That's what UP means" after you enter an elevator that's going up and gaze intently at the buttons just because you want to see the pool and it's on floor 16, which is marked "R" for "roof" and it takes you a moment to figure that out in your state of inebriation, don't snap back, "Yeah, I'm just REALLY STUPID." It's rude.


If you can avoid it, don't sit next to two tank-top wearing, totally buff, ripped, tribal tattooed and uber-masculine life partners on your return flight from one of America's muggiest cities. While being musky is their custom, if you're not a bear yourself, you may not appreciate it. Your brain needs oxygen, after all.


The world's still spinnin' round, we don't know why. Why, why, why? -- N. Gallagher, et al.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Step into motorized listening booth
Accelerate onto thoroughfare
Put on heaviest metal to blot out
niggling thoughts that pull at brain

Let the
unrelenting bass guitar
thundering report of sticks on skin
banging angry cadences
Drive out these idiot notions

Purging needless pain from the soul


Does that make me crazy? -- Gnarls Barkley

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

CVS is wrong for that

Why it's still embarrassing to purchase products of a feminine nature after 20 years experience, I don't know, but sometimes it is.

I decide I don't want to navigate the perilous waters of Wal-Mart, so I'll stop at the drugstore (as it used to be called in the parlance of my youth), even though I KNOW a guy will be working the counter at 9:30 p.m.

I'm perusing the products, looking for my preferred species, and a Whitman's candy display is there on the end of the aisle, sparking a train of thoughts: "What the fuck is that doing there? Oh, no wonder I couldn't find it the last time I was looking for a last-minute gift -- it's here in this fucked up place, what kind of layout is that?"

Then it hit me: "WHOA, it's there because duhhhhh, it's the most expensive chocolate in the store and it's right here next to the pads and tampons!"

Stunned at this sexist display, I continue to shop, looking for other shit to buy to distract from my feminine needs purchase. I become aware of a bitchy, bossy fat girl (who may have been hosting Aunt Flo herself) being followed by her whoopt-ass boyfriend, ergo:

BBFC: (sassy drawl) You got my chips?
WAB: YeahyeahyeahIgot'em.
BBFC: You gonna get my Coke?
WAB: Yeahyeahyeahyeah,I,Ijustdidn'twannacarryitaroundallatimeI'mgonnagobackandgit itdamn!

Tired of being circled by those two, I head for the checkout. Of course, I was right about the cashier -- not only a guy, but the conscripted photo lab tech who is not likely jaded to people's purchases yet and probably still notices things like level of absorbency (gee, suffer from social anxiety disorder much, Ari?) I do note that he has a Christian fish ring and as I stand there swiping my card and completely avoiding eye contact, I hope that his Christian feeling extends to women who are bravely soldiering on in the face of excessive blood pouring from their extremities.

By the way, I don't know why the girl is in the picture is boycotting. Clearly, CVS is wrong in their misogynistic juxtaposition of period care products and pricey chocolates, but I'm over it. Now I'm off to download some Black Sabbath and some DC Talk from itunes at the same time just to see what happens.


"In the garage, where I belong, no one hears me sing this song."
-- R. Cuomo

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Totally stolen premise, ungulate finish

If you take one of those big ol' rubber bands and swallow it in an attempt to engineer a cut-rate lap band surgery... you might be a redneck.

Or you might just be that fat-addled and lacking of insurance.


p.s. Did you know that tapirs, even though they look like pigs with mini-elephant-trunks, are odd-toed ungulates, related to horses and rhinoceroses? They are said to eat dreams in some Asian countries, which could help me, because I've been having bad dreams lately. In specific, I awoke from a nap this afternoon with a fading remembrance of a big tray of deviled eggs, which I had apparently made. I hate deviled eggs. Conclusion: I need a pet tapir.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Mixed Bag

Although I can theoretically make up any new statement at any time like lemurs banging out Updike novels on word processors, I find myself saying the same things over and over and over. The dumb thing about this is I repeat stuff to people who know me intimately.

"I just can't deal with a militaristic management style."
"It has to be Hellmann's."
"Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me."
"I'd rather roll the dice."

I try not to, but I still do.

Wages the war
'Gainst being a confounded
Colossal bore.


Did you ever find yourself sad that a Little Debbie pumpkin cookie was gone?

Well, I just did.


p.s. Go out and find acoustic F*** It Up by Towers of London. Drink lots. Play it. Secret of universe inside.


With every breath, I thought I'd had too much.
With every breath I thought I'd had enough.

-- Tourettes/Rev/Brunette/Snell

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Two Years

Two years I've been writing this. Two years.

Most of you and I have known each other for most of that span.

Why is it so hard to believe, the constant flow of time?


Reality is a question of perspective; the further you get from the past, the more concrete and plausible it seems -- but as you approach the present, it inevitably seems incredible. -- Salman Rushdie

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Very Sad News

Hi everyone,

Because friends share in good things and bad and this is important to me, I thought you all might like to know. My mom, who had been battling many health problems, especially during the past few years, passed away Friday night.

She was not a perfect person, but her love for me was.

I figure if you want to know more, you'll ask. But if I don't seem quite myself for awhile, that's why. Thanks.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


If this was myspace, you'd be annoyedly scrolling down, trying to find the clickbox to stop the page's theme song.

Today, it would be the song "Defender" by the epic metal band Manowar.

Ride like the wind
Fight proud, my pup
You're the defender
God has sent


For this, the tiniest of dogs, exploded into violent barking and enthusiastic lunging at this threatening sight:

A rather crappy patio set -- loaned out, but then returned.

Once empty patio
I look up to you and heed thy call
This plastic ends my search
I'll live your dream now passed to me

And I now wait to shake the hand of fate
Like the dusk awaiting dawn
So umbrella, flap your spell
With no heart to do me well
So its written, it shall be

Trust me, it's a great song.
And in no wise wussy.
Great to swing a paladin sword by.
Oh, and there at the beginning? THAT'S ORSON WELLES.

Monday, July 31, 2006

111 Wussiest Songs of All Time

According to AOL Music, these are them.
Do you agree?
As for me, one asterisk denotes a song I like.
Two equals "I love this wussy song."
Three says,
"This is one of the most awesomest songs and I don't care
if it's wussy and fork you if you do."
Four tildes means, it might be stooopid but it's not really wussy.
Five pound signs means I totally agree: it's wusstastic.
Twelve ampersands means I was forced to sing this at a wedding.

111. Do I Make You Proud? - Taylor Hicks
110. Seasons In The Sun - Terry Jacks
109. Kiss Me - Sixpence None the Richer #####
108. Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton
107. What Hurts the Most - Rascal Flatts #####

106. Break Up to Make Up - The Stylistics
105. First Day of my Life - Bright Eyes
104. Dancing in the Dark - Bruce Springsteen
103. Daydream Believer - The Monkees
102. People are People - Depeche Mode
101. I'm Into Something Good - Herman's Hermits
100. (I Just) Died in your Arms Tonight - Cutting Crew
99. Don't Cry - Guns N' Roses **
98. Against All Odds - Phil Collins *
97. Butterfly - Weezer **
96. I'm Not in Love - 10 cc ***
95. Hero - Enrique Iglesias
94. Silly Love Songs - Paul McCartney *
93. Skyway - Replacements
92. Mandy - Barry Manilow
91. Angel - Shaggy
90. Oh L'Amour - Erasure
89. I Honestly Love You - Olivia Newton-John #####
88. I Knew I Loved You - Savage Garden
87. Open Arms - Journey
86. Don't Take the Girl - Tim McGraw #####
85. Hey There Lonely Girl - Eddie Holman
84. Crash - Dave Mathews Band *
83. You're the Inspiration - Chicago
82. I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman - Britney Spears
81. On and On - Stephen Bishop *
80. Friday I'm in Love - The Cure **
79. The River - Garth Brooks
78. Lovin' You - Minnie Riverton
77. Scarborough Faire - Simon and Garfunkel ~~~~
76. To Be With You - Mr. Big *
75. I Need Love - LL Cool J
74. I Want to Know What Love Is - Foreigner ***
73. I Do (Cherish You) - 98 Degrees
72. I'll Make Love to You - Boyz II Men
71. Iris - Goo Goo Dolls ##### (I can't listen to this one anymore. It's too gooey.)
70. Crying in the Chapel - The Orioles
69. You Had Me from Hello - Kenny Chesney
68. Let Me Hold You - Bow Wow
67. Kites Are Fun - The Free Design
66. Bum - Usher
65. Our House - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young *
64. I Just Called to Say I Love You - Stevie Wonder
63. Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want - The Smiths *
62. Time in a Bottle - Jim Croce *
61. Babe - Styx *
60. Too Shy - Kajagoogoo
59. Someone Saved My Life Tonight - Elton John *
58. Bad Day - Daniel Powter #####
57. She Believes in Me - Kenny Rogers
56. Vindicated - Dashboard Confessional
55. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You - Bryan Adams &&&&&&&&&&&&
54. Leaving on a Jet Plane - Peter, Paul and Mary *
53. 2 Become 1 - Spice Girls
52. How Deep Is Your Love - Bee Gees **
51. Tutti Fruitti - Pat Boone
50. I'm in You - Peter Frampton ***
49. Hero - Mariah Carey
48. Just the Way You Are - Billy Joel *
47. Puppy Love - Donny Osmond
46. Hip to be Square - Huey Lewis ~~~~
45. Don't Give Up On Us - David Soul *
44. Invisible - Clay Aiken
43. Annie's Song - John Denver
42. When I'm 64 - The Beatles ~~~~
41. You've Got a Friend - James Taylor
40. God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You - 'NSYNC
39. With Arms Wide Open - Creed
38. Alone Again (Naturally) - Gilbert O'Sullivan #####
37. So Sick - Ne-Yo
36. Beth - Kiss **
35. She's Like the Wind - Patrick Swayze
34. I'll Be Missing You - Puff Daddy

33. My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
32. Think of Laura - Christopher Cross
31. Let Her In - John Travolta
30. Walking on Sunshine - Katrina and the Waves **
29. Muskrat Love - America (and the Captain and Tennille) **
28. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go - Wham
27. More than Words - Extreme ***
26. Precious and Few - Climax

25. Superman (It's Not Easy) - Five for Fighting #####
24. All Outta Love - Air Supply
23. Your Body is a Wonderland - John Mayer ##### (HATE this guy.)
22. You Light Up My Life - Debbie Boone
21. True - Spandau Ballet *
20. Such Great Heights - Iron and Wine
19. Right Here Waiting - Richard Marx
18. I Believe I Can Fly - R. Kelly
17. Close To You - Carpenters *
16. All By Myself - Eric Carmen
15. Cry - Johnny Ray
14. Dear Mama - Tupac
13. You Don't Bring Me Flowers - Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand
12. I Want It That Way - Backstreet Boys
11. Hello - Lionel Richie
10. Fix You - Coldplay
9. If - Bread ***
8. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me - Culture Club
7. What's Left of Me - Nick Lachey
6. Longer - Dan Fogelberg **
5. Every Rose Has Its Thorn - Poison ***
4. You're Beautiful - James Blunt
3. Ben - Michael Jackson #####

2. Sometimes When We Touch - Dan Hill **
1. Shiny Happy People - R.E.M. ** (I like it better when I sing it as a sarcastic song.)

Thursday, July 27, 2006


(Warning: Cheese may be needed. Whine ahead.)

The trouble with anything online is, it's you but it's not you.
With predominantly online relationships, this is you but not you added to them but not them. This plus time equals an exponentially inaccurate virtual folly.

The most important stuff that happens in my life, I don't write about.

What's the line between "free spirited" and "skanky"?

How come the amount you want someone is inversely proportional to the amount they want you, and even if that ratio changes, between the same two people, it still applies?

Death: horrifying snuffer of sacred life force, or just welcome relief?

What if all the things I'm pretty sure God is ok with, He isn't?

Is it possible to never hear another depressing news story again?

As I age, my emotions rule me less, resulting in more days of relative calm and happiness.
As a tradeoff, I don't get as excited about as many things.

If you want something, give up on it completely.
If your letting go is not complete, the universe will sense this.

Is it better to be loyal or fascinating?

Is it better to be deep or amusing?

Is it better to be better, or does it just not matter?

Positive thinking: essential for serenity, or just a fortification of bullshit against the pain-soaked void?

Are Dante and Randal best friends because they really are the yin to each other's yang, or just because of proximity? Oh, but wait, that could apply to any relationship. Does it happen because cosmic forces conspire, or just because of the zip code in which we choose to exist?

I think this post may be the result of juxtaposing too much Sublime and Type O Negative in succession during the past several days.

That is all (for now).

Hasta proximo vez, vaya con Dios.


"I hate everyone, and I think everything is stupid, but you've always been the counterbalance to that."
-- Randal Graves, Clerks II

Friday, July 14, 2006

Old Harlequins

On another trip to the Half Price Books store, I had to use the loo. They've cleverly used the covers from old Harlequin Romance novels from the 50's and 60's as a border atop the wainscoting, so they're at eye level as you wash your hands and such. There were bunches and bunches, but a few titles struck me as perhaps more... significant than others. Could our pre-Internet forebears have been more clued in to the variant stripes of sexuality than is commonly suspected?

Exhibit A: Gay Cavalier

Exhibit B: Master of Saramanca

Exhibit C: Citadel of Swallows

and finally, Exhibit D: A Night for Possums.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Tonight, a grill had to die.

Well, I guess it didn't HAVE to die. But nonetheless, I destroyed it with the weight of 12 bricks and my stupid, stupid stupidity.

See, the littlest dog I have has an amazing ability to dig holes under fences and squeeze her tiny self under. One morning, I woke up and SHE WAS GONE.

After I freaked out and papered the neighborhood with ugly yellow signs, a man called me. She was apparently having a good time helping him put down some paving stones in his back yard. I was so glad to see her, I cried. I told her then to always stay with the pack, and she has. Still, I feared losing her, so I went and got a bunch of bricks.

Bricks are heavy and scratchy. I had about 75 of them, over 2 trips. I could only take about 4 at a time. More were too heavy, because I had to carry them from the front of the house all the way around to the back, and I did not want to drop any of them on any metatarsals or the like.

On the 2nd carload, I got frustrated. I don't own a wheelbarrow or a dolly or anything that could logically be used to carry the bricks in greater quantities. Thinking I was being creative, I seized upon the only item in sight with wheels and a bowllike structure: the portable $20 grill that I had purchased last year and allowed to rust out considerably!!!

Carting it around to the front, I put in 8 bricks, more or less carefully. Then I added 4 more. I tilted the grill up onto the wheels. It began to lurch away from my hand. I jerked it upright. It grew heavier. The rickety frame, now bent from its bolts, lost shape and sagged towards the concrete like a drunken sailor. "Oh, well that's not working very well," I said aloud, by way of explanation to the 5 or 7 people who passed me by on their evening walks.

Angered and embarrassed by the grill's collapse and my lack of any forethought as to how this would actually work, I yanked up on the handle in an effort to just haul the entire bowlful of bricks around to the back. CRASH! It hit the concrete again, the plastic handle snapping in twain. "Well, that's REALLY not working very well, is it?" I said, more angrily this time. I removed the bricks, tiny load by tiny load, from the shambles that was once a grill, then I took that crumpled hunk of black-enameled metal and shiny silver legs around the back and, just like I did with J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, chunked it right across the yard.

My dogs are safe now, and I think that's worth more than the life of a rusty charcoal cooker.

The way I reckon it, I'm an artist, not an engineer.


I can see what you mean. It just takes me a little longer.

-- Lee, Lifeson, Peart: Rush

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Updike Luck

Those who read this screed with any regularity
are already acquainted with my love of John Updike,
who, besides just possessing my esteemed enamorment,
has won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction not once but twice.
The day before yesterday I just happened to drop by the Half-Price Books
in my town, where I, on a whim, thought some new Updike might just be the thing.
So I picked this up.

Note its price: $4.98.

Well, the day went on, I continued shopping, visited with friends, and was waiting for my Independence Day Freedom Potato Salad spuds to finish boiling when I thought I might read a story or three while I was waiting. After all, there were 40 of them.

Oh, look at that, an inscription in a used book.

Let's see whose Great Aunt Margot gave this to them on which holiday...

Well, I'll declare.

That there says,

"for Mark

a rare volume

John Updike"

Being me, my first thought at any awesome event such as this is, "Nuh UH."

So of course I went and checked here and there on the Interweb to convince myself, and it seems to be authentic, and selling for anywhere from $59.00 to $899.00 depending on what it emblazons.

Now I suppose I could sell it and make a little soon-spent cash, but I think instead I might frame it and hang it on my office wall as a reminder of how the random regularity of the universe, in its oddly delightful way, is indeed looking out for little old me.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

It Never Ends

I pay $1000.00 per class to attend a prestigious private university.

I am midway through a Master's degree and have a 4.0 grade point average that I intend to keep for the duration.
I have over 17 years experience at adulthood and I own and operate my own house, car, career, and life.

Yet still, the other day, I felt mortified and 12 all over again.

In this particular class, there are those writing-surface-fused-to-an-uncomfortable-chair type desks that thin people don't think twice about sitting in.
I, however, have gone through a past period of hugeness where I could just barely wedge between the chair back and the writing surface edge. Happily, now I can fit without too much problem, though I still marvel at the 6 to 8 inches of gut-to-desk space that most people have in those.

Anyway, so the professor has this brilliant idea to play a game for an exam review (I know, wtf, it's grad school, I was thinking the very same thing). She decides that rather than raising our hands to answer, that we should leap from our seats, and that the leaping should rotate within teams. We also had various documents where we had to locate the answers to her questions, so if you held the right paper, it was your turn to leap.

Well, anyone would be hard pressed to find something I'd like less than leaping out of my God-blessed seat to answer a damned question like some ADHD kid on a Nickelodeon game show. Can I answer the question? Certainly. Give me parchment and quill and I shall craft you an essay of style and beauty. But vaulting from a desk meant for mere sitting and listening? Nay, madam, nay. For if I cavort in so wild a fashion from this imprisoning credenza, it shall fly in tandem with my quivering excess of flesh, and the both of us shall tumble and clatter in an unattractive heap to the flagstones.

So even though I knew a bunch of answers, by the time I passed it on to some other member of my team to do the fucking leaping, some other skinny bitch from another team had bounced up and gotten the point. So we lost. And we had a stupid fruity name (The Kiwis? Jesus.). AND the teacher taunted us further, saying she wanted "some other people" to stand up and answer (meaning you, fat girl).
I mean, fuck, why don't we just have the fucking pull-up contest again where I could only do one, EVER. Why don't we just all run a freakin' lap around the building so I can gulp air and be last? Or how about the President's Phucking Physical Phitness Test where my assigned "jr. personal trainer" partner is thinking, "Gawwd! Come onnnn!" because I do slow, sloppy, situps, slamming the small of my back to the stinky gym floor in an effort to lever my upper body off of it?
I thought by the time I got to the 17th or 18th grade, all this parade of physical embarrassment stuff would be over. I guess maybe it never is, until you get un-fat. It's discrimination, I tell you.
Still, I pulled an A in that class, so I guess my BRAIN weighs a lot TOO.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006



A = Driving two hours across town to a moderately important, though brain killingly dull, work function, being late and being turned away due to one's frazzled inability to manage simple Mapquest directions and "thinking" one has the cognitive capacity to find "a faster way,"

B = Bloating up like a bullfrog doing whippets, and;

C = Being moved to tears by "needing a man in my life who loves puppies and makes cakes like that fine Brawny paper towel guy" or the minor annoyances such as the lack of ketchup...

A + B + C = P


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Saturday Night Shopping Spree

Hey, listen. I went all over the town, nay, THREE towns, looking for that wrinkle-concealing, chunky gold necklace that my mother wanted for her birthday.

At Macy's, they only had a buncha tacky chunky bead strings and some wisp-thin silver chains, plus a store-brand marcasite encrusted $20.00 watch that I carried around for awhile, possibly arousing the suspicion of the security guards, before unceremoniously replacing it on the tiered table created specifically for Low-End Emergency Gift Jewelry at the finer department stores.

So I went down to Nordstrom's and everything there was widely spaced and affluent enough that I felt white-trashy in just my black low cut shirt (revealing the pinkish, dwindling remains of a between-boob-blemish) and nondescript black shorts, but still I found nothing I deemed to her liking. Can I help it if on the way out of there I dropped in to Payless and found some 1 1/2 inch brown leather heels that fit and that were comfortable and coordinated with my planned outfit for tomorrow AND were on sale? I pretty much had to get those, didn't I?

It occurred to me between malls that perhaps I lacked clarity on just what it was I was seeking, since the major department stores I had visited thus far had only Chunky, Clunky, Sixties Beads, Delicate Rhinestone Affairs Such That Are Worn To Junior High Dances and Tacky Clearance Whodathunkit Whimsy Necklaces to offer. On the way to the car, I discovered an unexpected Sephora which drew me in and forced me to purchase a Stila lip stain just like the one I'd read about and coveted in Domino magazine earlier that very day.

I phoned my sister, who explained that something like a $2000 "omega chain," except not that, was the thing. I asked her what length the necklace should be. She got one of my mom's current, apparently unacceptable necklaces and measured it, and said, "Five inches." I said, "A necklace, not a bracelet, right?" She then asked me if I thought she was on crack. I didn't think that, but was not apparently making myself understood, so I said I would continue looking and make do.

The journey continued on, to a different mall, where, having weighed and measured at least 12 to 15 fragrances at the Sephora and found them wanting, proximity to a L'Occitane shop dictated that I stop there and grab some The Vert (green tea) perfume, due to its long absence from my toilette. Ah, oui! (plus they had some solid green tea perfume too, which I had fervently wished to be created for months, and there it was! So I bought it.)

From here, my thoughtstream went something like this:

"What was my original shopping errand? Oh yeah, the necklace.

Fuck it, I'm going to Target. They always have SOMEthing that will work. Maybe this whole necklace mission was a bad idea from the start.

Does it have to be gold? Here's a chunky clunky silver one. That will have to do."

So I ended up getting my mom a silver approximation of a rumored gold necklace that she wanted for her birthday (well, that and a box of Whitman's, cause she loves those), and myself dozens of dollars' worth of pure-dee nifty items that perfectly matched my desires.

Maybe I need to have some kids or something.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Main Entry: ad·dic·tion -- noun
1 : the quality or state of being addicted

2 : compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol, or raising digital fish) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful (such as staying up until 3 a.m. tending digitized virtua-osteichthyes until your eyes feel like the gravel at the bottom of the tank).

It all started with a tipoff from
here. I played this damn fishycrack for about 7 days for free, and then I forked the $20 over for the full version and now I'm waist deep in this muthafucka with a 2 to 3 hour a day habit. I have found 5 of the magic fish. 6 and 7 await, and I SHALL FIND THEM. O YES.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

That's It...

I'm starting a band.

There have to be some other people over 30 who want to slant towards the dream as death edges ever closer.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Not to steal from a worthy Fox; however...

if drivin' down the road with your left arm hangin' out into the blisterin' Texas sun, eatin' cherries and spittin' the pits out the window just to watch 'em fly, singing along to Dwight Yoakam and swipin' the final "g" off ever danged word makes you a hick... then I'm guilty.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Things I See In This Town III

Yep, today I went to buy dog food and make some copies at the local shopping center, and I saw this. I was gonna take a picture with my camera phone, but I thought better of it. I'd give better odds than not that this Bubba had a gun rack in his back window.

I wonder if was a "You must be as tall as the catalytic converter to drive this truck" sticker anywhere on this thing when he bought it...

(Yes, I made that picture. It was fun.)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Things I See In This Town II


Pants and a sock.

Pants that didn't appear to be poop-soiled.

Pants that didn't even appear to be old or much worn.

Not hobo pants.

Just black jean pants.

Right smack in downtown Dallas, not a side street or culvert.

Where people perambulate, not where they sleep on benches or burn barrel fires.

Non-hobo pants, near a cathedral, seen shortly after Chinese New Year.

Crumpled waist down, as if Clark Kent had lost weight, making their fit too loose, and they slipped free of his waist as he raised his arms to the sky, and Super-flew into the blue, a freak gale or greedy grackle snatching a souvenir sock from one foot.

The Things I See In This Town I

Yep, that's a tiny cellphone-captured moment of a schoolbus sitting in the parking lot of a liquor store on a rainy afternoon about a month ago.

The name of the package store in question is Centennial Fine Wines and Spirits (which you can read if ya squint hard enough at it), on Central Expressway, Dallas, Texas. (In the same liquor store where I once met that Sam Elliot lookalike guy, as a matter of fact.) (But I don't frequent it that often, honest.) (No, really.)

The name of the district who operates the school bus had been obscured with black paint.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Didja ever?

Didja ever...

...get fired after one day of being a shitty telemarketer by a manager with B.O.?

...hide all the knives in the house so you wouldn't be killed in the night by someone you were sitting for?

...rend your own flesh asunder by gnawing?

...wrestle a hulking autistic girl to keep her from banging her head repeatedly on the wall?

...somersault gently from a crushed hulk of a vehicle into the warm, summer Arkansas grass?

...walk home, stoned and alone?

...get a whole barful of drunk college kids rocking out to Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me," then kiss a stranger upon leaving the stage?

...tramp through a Louisiana cornfield where bits of hay eerily whirled high into the air and where bears had recently been seen?

...spend most of an autumn day reading in an old horse trailer?

...listen to a schizophrenic grandma argue with people you can't see?

...start a paper cup fight of epic proportions at a now-defunct outdoor music festival?

...confiscate $600.00 cash from a kindergartener?

...trip on your home-sewn formal gown while crossing a stage at your high school boyfriend's prom?

...tell off, and nearly mace, a carful of high school boys?

...get ridiculed by a bunch of immature flautists? David Coverdale of Whitesnake, oblivious to how seductively he is saying "Hello, dear" in his deep-voiced British accent to your 15 year old self?

Well, didja??

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Dangers of Reading

This man crafts literary crack.

This is John Updike.

He writes books that I cannot put down.

They cause me to neglect the myriad obligations of life.

I simply can't be arsed. I'm reading. I must finish the next part (cruelly he doesn't write in chapters much, just puts three-dot divisional markings between sections).

Right now I'm battling my addiction to his Rabbit series.

It's not polite. It's not politically correct. It's chock full of sex.

It's dated (published in the 60's and 70's).

It makes me laugh, cry, and agape with wonder at the power of its images.

Still, like all junkies, I think you should try it. If you have any appreciation at all for how difficult writing is, it will make you bow before it. You might even see God in some of its shadowed corners.

But I warn you: you will have to apologize to people for the things you did not do.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Know A Good Editor?

I do!
Alright, it's me (and some of my friends).
Seriously, though if you have ANYTHING you need edited or written (menus, articles, resumes, love letters, novels, backs of cereal boxes), send it my way, and I'll take care of it for you, for a nominal (or greater than nominal) fee.
Despite the merciless poetic license and abuse taken by and with the English language in this screed, I do have a piece of paper on my wall that says I CAN do it for pay. Be grammatically correct, I mean.
So here it is.
Seek us at a time of deep need.
Our wordsmithing shall lead you out of the fortress of linguistic doom and into the sun.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Sometimes Serene

Don't get me wrong.

Mostly I exist in a fog where exhaustion, anxiety, cynicism or paranoia spin a wheel to see who's watch it is, b
ut sometimes...

I drift into this cozy, mellow headspace where I am really present, living in the moment, and just revel in the beauty of life as it is right then, some kinda hippie-ass universal warmth lighting and radiating through my being.

It's happened a couple of times on sunny days driving home with the windows open, but it also happened today while eating Hamburger Helper cheeseburger macaroni -- a reverence and appreciation for what is, a genuine humility.

No Xanax, no wine, no cannabis.

Just the Symphony of it all or somethin'.

"Just let your love flow." - The Bellamy Brothers
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