Monday, July 31, 2006


[Ed. note: I'm not yet sure how appropriate that title is just yet, since I don't really have this entry planned out in my head. I'm writing on the fly, so it may come out as pure rubbish, in which case you'll never read this.]

I watched Under The Tuscan Sun again last night. I can't think of a better movie about how to move on and learning how to live your life again. There's a scene early in the movie where a friend confronts her saying, "I think you're in danger of never recovering. You know when you come across one of those empty shell people, and you think what the hell happened to you?" I totally relate to that, since I've felt empty for a very long time (even before the divorce).

Saturday night is a good example, since I went to the Houston Shakespeare Festival at the Miller Outdoor Theater. They performed The Tempest, which is my favorite. I made a few phone calls that afternoon, but I couldn't find any one of my friends who would want to go see a play (let alone Shakespeare) so I went by myself. I arrived early enough to get a good spot and I set up my little chair on the lawn, watching the crowd slowly fill in around me. For the most part, the crowd was composed of couples, albeit most of them were older by a dozen or more years. But there were a fair number of young couples, at or about my age group. They'd come in, spread out their blankets, and lie down together under the slowly darkening dusk. Their coupledom made my solitude all the more conspicuous, if only in my head. I tried to imagine an attractive, young woman approaching my little zone, asking if this 'seat' were taken. No, my dear, I'm quite alone. I never quite imagine her joining me though, as it's my explanation that seems to steal focus.

In any case, I finally realize how strange it must be to other people my age that I have a favorite play by Shakespeare. I also have favorite operas, classical works, paintings, parks, and buildings. The word you're searching for is anachronistic. Everyone has a favorite movie, song, or food, but the similarities end there. Strangely, I'm not all that sad about being unhappy. One of the decisions that I've made recently is that I'm going to try to enjoy the things that I enjoy even if I have to suffer through them alone.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Eight Days A Week

What do you do when you have a question to which there is no right answer?

Did she leave me because she's in love with someone else?

An adverse response doesn't solve the underlying problem.

Would she like me if I had more money?

To answer in the affirmative, confirms a different negative.

What should I have done differently?

Sometimes there's no answer, even a wrong one.

How am I ever going to get over her?

Avoid asking the question, even when it's the only thing on your mind.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Things We Said Today

... or last April as the case may be.

Eric Feezell is a hack. Eric "Hack" Feezell is a big, hacky, sack.

Feezell wrote an entry for one of the big "professional" blog/websites which I won't even dignify by naming, but we'll call it McHackey's. McHackey's is often funny, which is why I check it daily, but now they've gone and ruined it by posting some hack's tripe. Feezell totally copied my post Other Blogs, Episode 1 which, despite the name, is not about 'Star Wars' (sorry nerds, I know that fucked-up your Google hits). True, it's not a word-for-word copy and his version doesn't actually depict innocent people being slaughtered, but there's no doubt in my tiny brain that he lifted it. I plan on boycotting McHackey's until I get some sort of public apology on their site (offering me a job at a press conference with one of those big cardboard checks would be a good start) but unless I check the site I won't know if they've apologized. Impasse. I know that you, dear reader, will join me in my boycott and thus cannot alert me to the apology either.

I know what you're thinking: Won't a boycott be so crushing that they'll have to declare bankruptcy and, thus, be unable to offer you a job? Yes.

Believe me, I don't wield my internet power of boycott-calling lightly. It is important that McHackey's recognize the loss of my internet traffic (the ENTIRE 34 visits-per-day average) quickly and remedy the situation. A little research on the web reveals some notable boycotts in history, such as the U.S. boycotting the 1980 Moscow Olympics protesting the invasion of Afghanistan (because no country should invade and occupy Afghanistan) and the boycott of the Kellogg Company by iNtactivists supporting Genital Integrity (this is, I'm afraid, quite real).

And let's not forget a little boycott started in 1769 over taxation without representation. (In all fairness, that last one may not have worked out, so we'll just have to see what happens.)

[Update: Feezell is also a good sport.]

Monday, July 24, 2006

Can't Buy Me Love

Boy, that was a hard post to follow-up. I do that to myself, write something that's meaningful to me on one or more levels, and then stress about the encore. Even more difficult when I have nothing to report to you all. It's enough to make me crazy.

I have an idea for that NaNoWriMo thingy, but I've never been good at fleshing out the story. I'm good at the overall idea, but the details kill me. How in the hell could I write 50,000 words on the same subject, when I don't think I've written that many words in nearly 2 years on every other subject? Ok, I have no idea how many words I've written and I suppose I could dump all my entries into Word and have it count for me. I'm just anal enough to do something like that. Obviously, now I'm just writing whatever to increase my word count. Pathetic.

So I'm back to planning my "big" trip to Chicago, this time for the fall, maybe for my birthday in mid-October. There are so many museums and things to see, I can't pack it all into one week. I guess mid-October would be too late to catch a Cubbies game. At the very least I'd go take a tour of the park, considering I've used their address for all the junkmail online signups over the years. Don't tell me you put your actual address in those online forms do you? I always use a pseudonym, Elwood Blues, and his fake address - 1060 W. Addison St., Chicago, IL 60613. (For fun, put that address into Google Maps and click on "satellite") I'd love to know how much junk mail they get each year from other bozos like me. Anyway, I thought I'd like to drive up to Chi-town, going through Memphis and St. Louis, but it's quite a bit cheaper to fly. I've got lots of time to plan it, and plenty could go wrong between now and then. God forbid I get a job and have it get in the way of my vacation plans.

And before I forget, I'm offering free, 1-year subscriptions to my blog (a $49.95 value) to everyone who wishes Alison a happy birthday tomorrow (7/25). I was going to have my roommate, the graphic artist, make a picture of a cake with "1L" on the top, but people might think that's the Roman numerals and she's nowhere near that old.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

And I Love Her

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. --Ecclesiastes 3:1

I rather like that chapter, the whole book, in fact. It's one of the short ones, so it won't take much time if you want to jump over there and check it out. I don't really know why I'm writing about it though, since I try to stay away from religion as much as possible. Recent events in the Middle East are, to me anyway, proof positive that nobody knows what they're talking about. Neither side is 100% right, no matter how many pounds of explosive you pack into each shell. And I'd best shut up about it all lest the kooks come after me. (Because the terrorists hate us for our blogs.)

Read into it what you will, but chapter 3, verses 4 & 8 are particularly relevant today. See, the smart-chick dumped me yesterday (via email), proving that my instincts were right about her not being all that into me. Despite being right, it still stings, being told you're the runner-up. On the other hand, a big in-your-face, big dis-grace to everyone who told me to sack-up and ignore my nagging doubts. Although it sounds like I'm being defensive, I had my reservations about her as well. But as I write this, and consider what it was that bothered me, I see that it's actually a double-edged sword. I've invented a Catch-22 for my heart, one that could seriously get in the way unlesss I do something about it. Part of the catch is similar to the famous quote by Groucho Marx, "I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member." The other part is that I shouldn't have to talk a woman into choosing me. I've never liked salespeople and I would sooner shoot myself in the face than become one.

With every setback, introspection. I'm not whining that nobody loves me, that I'll never find love, or that my thighs are too fat. I'm not going to let a little thing like this fuck up my golf game. (Because if I can't get it in the hole, what woman would want me?) I need to reevaluate the rules that I somehow drafted, pushed through committee, and were ratified without my unanimous consent. It is, and has always been, more important to me to find the love of my life. And to be hers. I want little more, not fame or fortune, than to be remembered as tinyhands: devoted husband and father. It would bring me no joy whatsoever to throw myself into a job, accomplish meaningless tasks, and have my epitaph read tinyhands: accountant and Excel-guru. And fruitless-job-interview after fruitless-job-interview to the contrary, I'm on a course to accomplish the latter.

I just want to do that thing, at least once in my life, where I'm waiting at the airport with a bouquet of flowers and she comes off the jetway, drops her carry-on, and runs into my arms. A time to embrace.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

If I Fell

Today I spent the day at the zoo.

If you've ever been to Houston, you know it's hot.
If you've ever been to Houston in July, you know it's steamy.
If you've ever been to the zoo (any zoo), you know it smells of poo.

Pop Quiz, Zoo Edition:
1)The Houston Zoo in July smells of hot, steamy poo.[T/F]
2)No matter how loud, my mp3-player does not mask the smell of hot, steamy poo.[T/F]
3)It is impossible to pick-up girls amidst the smell of hot, steamy poo.[T/F]
4)No matter how inexpensive the pizza slices, the smell of hot, steamy poo will curb any appetite.[T/F]
5)Squirrels like pepperoni.[T/F]
6)Despite the COMPLETE lack of signs, only the monkeys are allowed to masturbate at the zoo.[T/F]
7)You should not eat the alfalfa pellets from the vending machine in the petting zoo.[T/F]
8)Mothers of small children that have wandered off think it's funny if you walk up to them and say, "maybe the dingo ate your baby."[T/F]
9)It is possible to not giggle at the camel toe.[T/F]
10)Zoo officials will escort you to the exit if you try to teach the parrots dirty words.[T/F]

Answers: T, T, T, T, F, T, T, F, F, T, MCCCLV

*Bonus Points will be awarded for wishing the She-chidna a happy birthday free of hot, steamy poo. (Because it's winter down under!)

Monday, July 17, 2006

A Hard Day's Night

The relationship between my sister and I continues to strain further, though she couldn't be less aware of it. She called last night to tell me about plans for #2 nephew's birthday which is next weekend. The baby-daddy is going to be out of town (yes they're married, but calling my BiL baby-daddy is more fun, for me anyway) so she's having the party a few days early. As she's telling me the whole story about how she decided on where the party will be I tried to interject a little bit. Now, I've already mentioned how I'm a bit of a slow-talker, and I was doubly-frustrated last night. I just could not get a word in edgewise and I even sighed loudly & exaggeratedly whenever she cut me off but she took no heed. I was trying to tell her that a friend of mine can get discounted tickets to stuff like The Wiggles or a water-park down in Galveston, exactly the kind of thing her kids like to do. And since she's got 3 small kids and 1 income, I know she needs the discount. She was telling me how she was over in a "master planned community" (aka neighborhood) over on the south-side of town that has an awesome community pool, with fountains and slides and stuff, but they wouldn't let her in because she doesn't live in the community. I tried to interject to say that I have yet another friend who does live there and would be happy to let her friend's poor-white-trash sister and babies (i.e.: my sister & her babies) come over. But sister wouldn't let me speak, so I gave up trying. Let that be a lesson to you if you're the type of person who likes to run-off at the mouth without bothering to notice whether or not I'm still awake on the other end of the line.

I could always complain to my mother and/or tell her about the friend connections, since anything I tell my mother whether in confidence or not gets told to everyone else in the family, but I won't. I think I'll go to the zoo tomorrow instead and not invite my niece & nephews.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

All My Loving

Where oh where has the time gone? I haven't written anything since Tuesday and I've barely made any notes in my notebook, but it's Sunday night and habit dictates that I sit down and update you on the trivialities associated with my repeated respiration.

Since I remain (involuntarily) retired at age 34 I have to find time to fill my days, and it's actually pretty easy. Of course, I've long since said bye-bye to my sanity. I'm a creature of habits such as sleeping late, watching TV, napping, eating, and occasionally bathing myself. I've been trying to clean up the little bit of garden I own, but it's hotter than Satan's fart outside, so I'm not able to spend much time out there. I do have a job interview this week, but getting up before 10 probably isn't worth a steady paycheck so I may call in sick.

I met a new girl online and we exchanged a few emails. As it turns out, she's a smart chick. Really smart, maybe even smarter than me. (I know, wow!) And she knows a lot about music so, even though we have a lot in common, I may have to destroy her. Yes, I'm a tiny-brained, insecure man threatened by smart women. On the other hand, she's got tits, so I may just wait a bit longer and see what happens. Thursday night we met up for a drink and I thought it went pretty well. I wasn't sure if she was digging me or not, which isn't a good sign, but a friend reminded me that she could have had a flashing neon "Help Wanted" sign hanging from her hoo-hoo and I would have missed it. [Me: Yeah, so that's really blinky. Do you need like a special extension cord for that?] Day-after emails confirmed that she was interested in seeing me again (though the intent of the seeing is still unclear) but she cancelled on me for Saturday night, albeit with good reason. (But then my second-choice girl cancelled on me too! Woe to me.) My natural cynicism tells me that smart-chick isn't that into me, so I will make every attempt not to be too shocked when she confirms my suspicion. I'm not planning on rejecting her before she rejects me, though. I have a friend who does that (a few, actually) and it hasn't made her (them) any happier.

One of my friends has recently partnered-up with a woman, which means he's no longer available to do stuff (unless its stuff she wants to do), and all my other friends are unreliable assholes. So Saturday night, once again flying solo, I went to Jazz at The Bend, one of the many music weekend events now being sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts. Recall that a few months ago they had Grandmaster Flash at the DJ table inside the museum. A few weeks later they had live bands on a stage just outside. This time the event was sponsored by the "smooth jazz" radio station (to which I never listen) and the locale was the Bayou Bend museum and gardens (where I took pictures during the day a few weeks ago as well). All in all it was pretty good, considering I'm not all that crazy about smooth jazz, but it gave me the opportunity to take a few more pictures at night and I like free events. I'm told they're going to do it again next month, but it isn't on the calendar yet. There is a DJ-event back at the main museum on next month's calendar though.

Anyway, long story long, I've added 8 more pictures to the end of the 'Houston at Night' album, since one of the most beautiful churches in Houston was lit up that evening.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Twist and Shout

I am suddenly illiterate, unable to read the words in front of my face. I recognize the combinations of letters as words I once knew. English, the language I was brought up speaking and once taught to read and write, now as foreign as the clicks and whistles of dolphins. Thankfully I have a friend or two who can read warning signs, signs such as Dangerous Curves Ahead or Beware of Dog. I don't remember signing up for that service, but it's well worth the pittance. [I lost a good friend too.]

I'm now going to shout a particularly profane obscenity.

You couldn't hear it because you're not my roommate, who pounded on the wall and sent me an IM asking WTF? My apologies to his client who may or may not have heard me over the phone as well.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Do You Want To Know A Secret

Among the many things you don't know about me is that, although I worked in I/T for many years, my undergraduate degree is in Mechanical Technology with a concentration in Manufacturing Systems. In plain english, I have a B.S. in Shop. For the record, I was in shop before shop was cool, before all the Monster Trucker/Chopper/Hot Rod/Pimp My Pinto shows were on. I also hated Creed before it was cool to hate Creed, but I digress.

Shop is a lot sexier than most people give it credit for, and I've got a degree in it so I should be really sexy, right? Right? (Go on, validate me. You know you want to.) Among the many useful things I learned:
  • Drilling - This is one of the most common operations, with which I'm sure you're all familiar. Also related is hammer drilling, which involves repeated sharp blows and may be used when drilling a particularly hard piece of work.
  • Reaming - While not as common as drilling, this operation involves forcing a large tool through a small opening, thus widening it. Much more coarse than drilling.
  • Tapping - This finishing operation involves a tool that makes future screwing possible.
  • Grinding - This is one of the non-penetrative operations that may be used to prepare a piece for future manipulation. Also related is lapping, which puts a fine finish on the object.
  • Boring - My specialty.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Love Me Do

My life is left up to chance, not a game of chance, so I don't play.

My friends often wonder why I don't take the initiative, when it comes to meeting women. Perfect example was Thursday night at the bar with Crystal and her friends. She wrote a little bit about it here. My side of the story is that four cute girls were having their own girls-night-out and yeah, I noticed the cutest one of the bunch. I'd steal glances over her way from time to time and I caught her doing the same once or twice. Eventually she came over to me and insulted my friends which is, honestly, an interesting technique for a woman. I've seen guys do that, play the cockblock card, but the twatblock is a new one on me. I just thought it was funny, not to mention being completely shocked that a woman was approaching me of all people. (In her defense, all the other guys in our group were gay, so she didn't have much to choose from.) As it turns out, the insult was basically a dare from her girlfriends, who I hope made good and paid for her dinner. We chatted for a minute or two, and when she discovered that I actually knew the girls she was insulting, she was mortified. She and her friends bolted for the door and I did not get her number. Not because she was running the other direction but because I didn't ask.

So why didn't I ask, you ask? First, she couldn't have been more than 22 and, although I could pass for 25, I'm not. But more importantly, when I take initiative it ends badly. Like a rat who gets an electric shock trying to get the pellet, I have been conditioned not to try anymore. Although I haven't written much about it, I have made my share of moves over the last 2 years. The conditioned response is that I lose a friend, having crossed the line that cannot be uncrossed. If it's someone I still see on a semi-regular basis, such as at school in the past, it ends up that she can't stand to be in the same room as me. Passing in the hallway is to be avoided at all cost. If it's someone I don't yet know, but want to (such as online), the friendship immediately ends, and email addresses, IM IDs, and phone numbers get changed.

So even with the potential of a pellet, why would I opt for the shock? No, it's not a guaranteed shock and yes, I still really want the pellet. But now we'll never know. I hate the finality of that, never, but I don't know any other way that lets me get out of bed in the morning.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Please please me

My sister has rather dramatically found Jesus, or some shit like that. Over the past year she has gotten progressively holier-than-thou and it's pissing me off, because she's taking every opportunity to take shots at me. She now attends church during the week as well.

Last weekend, before nephew's birthday, I went to the mall looking for gifts. I called sister from the Discovery store, since there were a few things there he might like but I wanted confirmation from her. I did not mention the model solar system, since it shows the sun at the center and I figured she didn't want to distort her kids with all that evolutionist garbage. She shot down all the other ideas and suggested I drive across town to a specific store for something rather ordinary. Instead, I wound up buying him "Cars" underpants from the Disney store that already come with skid marks.

The birthday party was a lot better than I imagined. First of all, Ralphie Rat's Pizza is the mecca of unwed teenage mothers. That's hot. Second, they've got a bitchin human-habitrail setup there. I'm not sure how they get petulant kids out of it at closing time, but I think they just hook up a hose and flush them out. That's what I did with Peaches the gerbil when I was 8. But most of all, my niece who is all of 15 months, is absolutely adorable. She can't say my name yet but she comes to me wanting to be picked up and giggles when I tickle her. Most women pepper-spray me when I do that.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

I Saw Her Standing There

It's a strange feeling I'm feeling at the moment, with a lot about which to write and no way to pick or make some semblance of sense of it. And yet, I can't not write either. Fortunately, you're there to suffer with me.

Ok, I'll quickly throw a few things out there and y'all can comment or vote or whatever and tomorrow night I'll disregard it all and write what I want to write anyway: Friday I exchanged a few emails with a new girl. Don't bother asking about her, since I don't know anything either and everything remains to be seen. Friday night I did the solo gig at a club where I was right again. Saturday I had dinner and a movie with Crystal and Ekki, both of whom are simply insufferable. Sunday, I whipped out my very tasty balls. Tomorrow, I'm heading down to the 'burb for nephew #1's fifth birthday at Ralphie Rat's Pizza (not the actual name) so on Tuesday I'm likely to be on death's door having contracted some sort of disease from all the little germ magnets.