Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The answers

1. H6. A11. C
2. O7. D12. L
3. B8. F13. J
4. I9. E14. G
5. M10. N15. K

And for some of the rejected possibilities...

  • Her Majesty [The Beatles]
  • Hot for Teacher [Van Halen]
  • Dance Naked [John Mellencamp]
  • Midnight Special [CCR]
  • That's Right (You're Not From Texas) [Lyle Lovett]
  • Only The Good Die Young [Billy Joel]
  • A Horse With No Name [America]
  • When A Man Loves A Woman [Percy Sledge]
  • Good Lovin' [The Rascals]
  • Nice Guys Finish Last [Green Day]
  • I'm Happy Just to Dance With You [The Beatles]

Of course there's always a couple with your real names in there, but I wouldn't use those.
Thanks to all who indulged my little game. It was all in good fun and I hope no one has taken the slightest offense.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Getting to know you, round 1

Tonight I've developed a little quiz for my regulars. Apologies to anyone I may have left out. It was not intentional, and precisely the reason I don't have a "links to other blogs" list over in the column.

Match the Blogger to his/her Theme Song:
The object of the game is easy - match them up. I've intentionally omitted links to the blogs. You should take this chance to get to know each other, if you don't other words, WORK TOGETHER!

BloggerSong Title [Artist]
1. AllisonA. Africa [Toto]
2. BrightonB. Black Coffee In Bed [Squeeze]
3. ChristelC. The Cisco Kid [War]
4. CeeKayD. Creeps Like Me [Lyle Lovett]
5. Regan/ESCE. Doctor! Doctor! [Thompson Twins]
6. EstherF. Down Under [Men At Work]
7. HeatherG. Fly [Sugar Ray]
8. HoochH. Georgia On My Mind [Ray Charles]
9. JethroI. Jailhouse Rock [Elvis Presley]
10. Kate The PeonJ. Mr. Roboto [Styx]
11. MikeK. My Best Friend's Girl [The Cars]
12. StaceyL. Out Of My Head [Fastball]
13. Badaunt/TheicM. She Blinded Me With Science [Thomas Dolby]
14. ToniaN. Teddy Bear [Elvis Presley]
15. ZeldaO. Treat Her Like A Lady [Jimmy Buffet]

Now some of these are pretty easy, and I expect you to get them pretty quickly. It's worth noting that I've taken slight liberties in picking a song for some of you. In some cases it's the title that applies to you, others may be a lyric. I tried to pick from songs you all had a reasonable chance of knowing, regardless of whether or not you like the song. (If I was picking songs I thought you would like, nobody would get more than 1 or 2 right.) I've also had to leave out songs like The One I Love [R.E.M.] since it might apply to more than one of you. Tomorrow, or in the near future, I'll post some of the rejected choices I considered for some of you.

Edit: Round 2 coming soon to a blog near you. I can't believe I forgot those that have been left out. (Thanks for the code hint April!)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Other blogs, episode 1

Excerpts from, A Day in the Life of a Ninja-

January 22, 2004 - Chinese New Year. Lots of fireworks today. Perfect excuse to use a gun, but I love the blowgun the wife got me. Killed a banker who failed to pay protection money.

January 31 - Assassinated a town councilor who voted to raise taxes. Got blood on my shinobi shozoku (uniform). Good thing it's black.

February 14 - Almost forgot Valentine's day. No money for flowers, killed florist with throwing star. Wife not impressed- she got the blood out of my uniform but didn't use fabric softener. Nothing worse than itchy split-toe socks.

March 6 - Too busy to blog lately, big rumble with rival ninjas from next town over. I'm sure they're good guys under the hood and all. I killed 6 of them, Johnson only killed 1. I'm beginning to think he's not pulling his weight.

March 30 - My allergies are driving me nuts. I sneezed inside my hood all night. Gross. Incompetant guards still didn't notice me sneaking in. I didn't kill them though- I love it when they get in trouble instead. Wife made rice again. I'd like potatoes once in a while.

April 19 - I sat in that tree all night waiting to ambush the businessman I was ordered to kill. He never showed up. I think I got bit by ants or some sort of rash. Worst thing is I have to do it again tonight.

June 3 - Haven't been able to blog lately, I've been away on business. Ordered to kill organizers of farm labor collective. No internet access way out in the countryside. It was a terrible trip. Airline made me check my sword, knives, and stars then nearly lost my luggage- it came on a later flight. Rental car was a shitty compact. The farm job wasn't much better- Accidentally killed their ox with the first shot with throwing knife. I haven't thrown one in ages so I was a bit rusty. Not to worry, chop chop with my sword. Problem solved. Flight home uneventful, but I want to kill whoever decided to show Catwoman on the flight. Nice suit though.

August 22 - Nearly killed Jehovah's Witness at door this morning. Seriously, who knocks on people's doors at 8am on a Sunday? I totally pictured my spiked chain around his neck, but restrained myself. Hot summer has been torture wearing black suit. That reminds me, I need to water the lawn. Wife complaining. Yeah, that'll get it done faster.

October 31 - Ordered to kill another businessman who failed to pay for protection. Knocked on the door and he gave me a Mini-Snickers. Killed him quickly. If he was handing out candy corn I would have tortured him first. Listen to me carefully- Nobody likes candy corn.

December 12 - Won bid for poison darts on eBay. Quick reflexes pay off every time. I just hope they arrive in time for Christmas.

Monday, April 18, 2005

D-Day +364, 2359 hours

I just can't write about it. I've tried a couple of times already, and there's nothing that I want to have to look at for the next 24+ hours until I write something to push it further down the page. Remembering it isn't difficult, even though my memory sucks (I'm an old man, keep up). The memories aren't painful emotionally. I think what is painful is that it's not an interesting story. It's not Casablanca. It's not Love, Actually. It's about as romantic as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, without all the cool martial arts. (Though my story does also have ninjas.) Some of you would think that it is romantic, and for all I know it may very well be. Even if it was painful, that's not enough to keep me from writing it down. I haven't been afraid so far to tell you that I allow myself to cry. Granted, I cry at movies, not at real life. I was upset for a day or two when she left for good, but I didn't cry. I knew it was already over, and you don't cry over something that dies so slowly that all you've left to do is recognize that it's dead.
I've written and deleted a few attempts to follow up that last sentence. An aborted attempt to tell a story about my former flight-instructor, always yelling at me for not recognizing the highways he'd put me over. Another aborted attempt to reference some of the blogs I read- other people who don't recognize death or disease around them. It's not my job to point these things out to you, and if I did you'd feel the sudden shock for which you're clearly not ready. Sometimes it is better to peel the (brand-name withheld) bandage off slowly.

I don't want to dwell on anything. I don't want to think about the past. Mistakes were made that cannot be undone no matter how repentant I might feel. I don't want to dwell on the future, one that I just cannot seem to get started. Just a tiny bit of Frustration there. Mistakes will be made. The real-life inspiration for Bobby, the friend of Tony from my 2-part story, is coming to town in a few weeks. I haven't seen him in ages. His email read, "Hookers and blow- my treat. And wait until you see the tits on my 21-year-old girlfriend!" He's a few years older than me and certainly doesn't dwell. He's not exactly a good role-model though.

Sunday, April 17, 2005


It's late. It's dark, except for the light from the monitor. It's so bright it hurts my eyes, but I don't feel like getting up to turn on a light. The TV is on, but I can't see it from here. I'm not paying attention to it, I'm listening to the new Rob Thomas album. I can't decide if I like it or not, and leaning towards not. The TV is on a lot here. It's a futile attempt to make it seem like I'm not alone. *sigh* I'm wearing my glasses. I've been wearing them a lot lately, since I thought my conjunctivitis might have been coming back. It's not painful, just annoying having my contacts swirl around every time I blink. The glasses are old but I see fine, so why care? Well, they're not exactly comfortable either. I can still wear the contacts, I'm just cutting back. In this dark/bright contrast I see the reflection of my eyeballs in my lenses.

I stayed up very late last night to chat with a friend on the other side of the globe. I hope it's not too presumptuous to call her 'friend'. I really enjoy chatting with her. She makes me think and I love that. I have nice conversations with others too, but different. It might all be in my head, assigning some mystical attribute just because she's half a world away. I slept late today as a consequence, as if I have a reason to get out of bed at all. I got a phone call from a girl friend today. She says she called just to hear my voice- very sweet. She's been busy lately, so we haven't had time to get together, but she told me that she'd been thinking about me. I feel a little bit at her mercy, as I'm nearly always available for her. I don't feel taken for granted, since there's no expectation on my part. It could go there if I let it, though. If I were to dwell on it. I almost told her about the dream I had about her- yes, that kind of dream- but she ran out of time and had to go. Actually, I don't think it was as much about her as it merely involved her. Still. Maybe that's a guy thing. I'm a bit embarassed to tell her about it, since we don't have that kind of friendship and I still fancy myself a bit of a gentleman. But the new me doesn't keep secrets. That's what I tell myself anyway.

I did the laundry, grocery shopping, and changed the sheets on the bed. Hospital corners. I don't need the sheets tucked in tightly, but I do like the bed nice and neat. Tidy. I can fold down the covers, slide in, sleep, get out of bed, and fold the corner back into place as though I was never there. Maybe it's because I don't sleep very deeply any more that I don't thrash about and destroy the bed like everyone else I know. Those of you that have someone else thrashing about next to you don't count. I got my hairscut by the Persian goddess yesterday. She's so beautiful and imperfect at the same time. *sigh* Trapped in place by money and education, the lack thereof. I too suffer from Pretty Woman syndrome- I want to rescue her, provided she'd rescue me right back. Not tonight, it's late.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Nothing to say

Except two little things:
1) I wasn't trying to be overly cruel by calling my ex-wife ignorant. I played with that last word a little bit before I posted it and couldn't find another word that had the same impact. I refer back to an article I once read where a therapist suggested his clients could only get over their divorce by believing it when they say "My ex-wife is a cunt." I just don't buy it. I don't want her back, either.

2) I just watched Hotel Rwanda. It's going to take me a few days to stop crying. The keyboard is quite slobbered as I type this now.


Monday, April 11, 2005

Night birds

As we near the 1 year anniversary of my divorce (aside: And I really don't think of it as an anniversary, but I swear I'm not pining over the loss) I'll try to think up some stories of why I'm better off without her...

But first: I really must thank and give a huge shout out to the sick fuck who found my blog by googling Chairman Mao Genital Hygiene. Seriously dude, you made my week. (And now that I've put it all together in one phrase, I should be higher up on the list, w00h00!)

A few months ago, I saved the life of a baby bat. I don't know that I actually saved its life, but it was better off when I left it than how I found it. See, I was walking to the grocery store on a Sunday evening to get the Sunday paper. I walk past a number of large office buildings on my way there, several of which have park-like grounds which make them tolerable to live near. As I'm walking I notice something crawling along the sidewalk towards me about 15 yards ahead. I approach to find a baby bat crawling along the ground. He was about the size of a hamster, dark brown/black, and as far as I could tell he was physically fine. By that, I mean he wasn't bloody, limping/dragging anything, and he didn't appear all that upset about having to crawl along the ground. Bats aren't known for being pedestrians, but I got the feeling that this little guy was just too young and had merely fallen out of the nest. I wasn't about to pick him up with my bare hands, so I went looking for a branch. Well-manicured office parks don't have a lot of tree debris lying around, so it took me a few minutes to find a suitable one. I managed to scoop him up, and I carried him across the park to one of the larger trees, which he gladly grabbed onto and began to scurry up as soon as I got him close to it. And that is how I saved a baby bat.

It's worth pointing out that Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona all have sizable bat populations. Houston isn't particularly known for it, being a coastal swampland, but Austin is quite famous for its bats. Austin is also where I met my ex-wife. It is a popular and entertaining pasttime to watch the bats swoop around the Congress street bridge feeding on the bugs attracted to the floodlights. Bats are also found on and around the UT campus, especially near the Tower which is also usually flooded in light. Picture two young lovers, hand in hand, out for an evening stroll coming across dozens of bats flitting this way and that. (It would be fun to imagine the young couple devoured by said bats, but this story has a happy ending.) The boy points out the bats, to which the young lady responds, "Those aren't bats, they're night birds." He chuckles a bit and corrects her- Mexican free-tailed bats. "No," she insists, "they're night birds." This goes on for a few minutes, but they've reached an impasse. Sensing her discomfort at them being bats, he decides to agree. We'll call them night birds from now on.

Reason #2- She's ignorant.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Good Day - Bad Day

Yesterday and today have seen a huge spike in the number of daily visitors. I know this because of SiteMeter (ed.- First draft read SpiteMeter- interesting subconscious thought?) and destroying the guy who did that to me is still on my to-do list. Nearly double the number of visits over the last 2 days, and a lot of referrals courtesy of the "Next" blog button. I've added a few to my favorites, let's see if they can keep up whatever it is that attracted me in the first place. I really like seeing new people.

But in order to keep karmic balance in the universe, something bad had to happen. A few weeks ago I applied to a program within the MBA program that I thought would enable me to do what I think I want to do when I grow up. Foolishly I got my hopes up, and it never even crossed my mind that I wouldn't get accepted. Do you remember that line at the end of When Harry Met Sally? - not the orgasm scene - when Harry finally realizes he loves her, and says to her something to the effect of, "When you find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." That's how I finally felt about a career. Since I'm attempting to change careers mid-stream, I really needed this program to give me some credibility. It's not to be. I'm going to be stuck right where I am, advanced degrees or no.

And the see-saw swings upward again, as I just checked my voicemail to hear a message say "I've been thinking about you a lot lately" from the person I played phone tag with today. Just wonderful to hear that voice, although I can hear exhaustion in it which means we're not likely to spend time together any time soon. I got some net-hugs from friends online about the other news...I'd sure like a real hug from this person.

To crashing back to earth again, as I received news that my father's uncle has passed away. I don't remember the last time I saw him, so we weren't close. But I think this uncle was the last of my grandmother's siblings, which will be very difficult for her. My grandmother has outlived her husband by 14 years, defying the statistic about husbands and wives tending to die within a short time of each other (as my mother's parents did). She's in relatively good health, but I know I don't have much time left with her.

I had intended to focus today's entry on the Pope's funeral which, as I write this, will commence in just a few hours. I've sort of lost my faith in God, Jesus, and the church in general over the last few years, but I've never had anything but respect and admiration for His Holiness. Most of us have only ever known one Pope in our lives, and he's seemed a frail old man for most of that time. Some of you think the church should get with the times and allow married priests, tolerate gays and abortion, and who knows what else. And while I may sympathize (and/or agree) with your beliefs I think you're missing the point. The church is not a democracy. The church exists, in part, to take a stand against what it believes is evil, regardless of "popular opinion". So part of my point is that, while I personally have lost some measure of faith and disagree with some of the teachings of the church, it is I who have left, not the church leaving me. I accept that. The other part is that I hope the next Pope continues the legacy of John Paul II to stand, alone if need be, unwaiveringly.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Look

I doubt I was the first person to come up with this, but I came by it honestly, so forgive me if I've stolen this from you:

If you can't laugh at yourself, post it on the web so that others can have a laugh.
That said, I admit I'm pretty vain. It goes with my whole preppy leitmotif. I really only leave the house 3, maybe 4 days a week now, so the remaining 3 days aren't exactly my best. It's not uncommon for me to shave Wednesday before class, then not shave again until Monday before class. Not because I don't like to shave but because there's no point. Personal hygiene is never compromised, as I always brush my teeth 1st thing in the morning and I eventually shower. However, if I have to leave the house, I will be showered, shorn, & shiny before doing so. So it was quite the surprise to me too when I went to the market Sunday evening, unshaven, wearing a baseball hat (because my hair was ungelled), and wearing my glasses instead of contacts. The only time I wear a baseball cap is when I'm mowing the yard, and I haven't had a yard in over a year now. Dressed in ratty jeans, a ratty shirt, and my ratty sneakers, I don't know what I was thinking going out in public like that. You would not have recognized me, even if you knew what I'm supposed to look like. What makes it all the more implausible is that I got the look from both the deli-counter girl and the girl sacking my frozen pizza and Godiva ice cream. Not that I'm interested in the 17-year-old mother of 2 sacking my groceries, but it's still nice to get the look from time to time, you know?

Naturally I'm now questioning my whole preppy theme, since it clearly doesn't work on the opposite sex. I'll have to throw out my 8 pair of shoes (not including sandals and sneakers) to get some flip flops. Might as well toss the matching belts (only 5). In lieu of chinos I'll have to get some Old Navy drawstring pants and shorts (no belts). I've already got some crummy t-shirts, including one with Chairman Mao and one that says "I'm with Stupid" in Chinese, but I guess I'll need more. As long as I'm buying crappy pants, I might as well get some crappy shirts from O.N. to replace my Polo collection. Ladies, what am I missing? (besides how you all could go for this stuff)

Monday, April 04, 2005


For the one of you who asked, yes I really did have a dream about getting remarried, and yes it was a nightmare. It was very short, so there's not much to tell, other than somehow it was the day before I was to remarry. I was nervous as hell (as I was the first time around) and thinking I wouldn't go through with it, but it was the day before so I figured it was too late to back out. What really made it a nightmare was that looked around and saw it was my ex-wife I was about to remarry. I woke up panicked, only to hear the story on TV (which was on, since I was in my snoozing-phase of waking up) about 2 out of 3 second marriages failing.

In other news, there's been some confusion over my lack of telephoning. See, I'm wireless, completely without landline telephone. I have a plan cheaper than the cheapest one possible because I've been a customer of this company forever, which has been bought out 4 times and my plan keeps getting grandfathered in. Add to that a "national discount" through a company I haven't worked for in over 2 years, and I've got a cheap damn plan. Granted, I only have 200 minutes per month, so I can't talk long...but I can, in fact, talk on the phone. I know you're thinking it's impossible to survive on only 200 minutes, but I manage. I've got that whole 1st incoming minute free thing, so if you're just calling from the gate for me to let you in, no problem. The real bonus is that my mom knows I've gone over a few times and gotten hit with huge fees. I use this knowledge whenever she calls, since all I have to do is say "Mom, I really don't have the minutes to hear about the cysts you had aspirated on the dog..." Mom doesn't know about the first incoming minute free, otherwise I'd get a lot more calls from her, along the lines of "HiIknowyoucan'ttalklongsoIjustwantedtotellyouthatyourfatherisgoingtoaretreatthis weekendsoifyouwanttocomeoversometimeandhavedinnerwithmejustcomeonover andwe'llfiguresomethingoutmaybethosecrabcakesyoulikesomuchormaybewe'llgo outandgetmusselssincewehaven't donethatinalongtime.Loveyoubyedear."

And while it would be funny as hell to do that to my mom, I'm just not that mean.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

What words

What words can I give to you that are my own? I would tell you that I love you, but you won't hear of it. I would tell you that I don't, and you say you already know. I would tell you that I have no idea and your response is the same, if you can be bothered to tell me so. I would like to tell you that we should spend more time together. I need some time apart. I'm not funny. You're not sad. Neither one of us is really as upset as we appear to be. A little drama never hurt anyone.

What words can I give to you that someone else already said? I wasn't the one who hurt you. I've only told you things you already know but that other person said it so much better. And the music that went with it was nice. You could have danced to that music but you're too damn stubborn. I tried to tell you about a nightmare I had- I was getting married again. The woman on TV the other day said 50% of marriages fail, while 2 out of 3 second marriages also fail. You scare me a little, getting so close to me. I scare you a lot, getting so close to you. Just close your goddamn eyes already.

How much easier would it be if you loved me and I loved you too? It would all be over that much sooner, instead of drawn out and twisted. I've looked and looked for you, but I can only see where you've been. Everything we see is looking into the past, like the light from distant stars that shone a hundred thousand years ago. The light from our own sun is 8 minutes old, and the lamp by my bed illuminates an imperceptibly recent past. You're much farther away than I imagined. What words would bring you back to me?