Category: diary

Take the Mall by Voice

In my never-ending quest to find and archive things I’ve written, I’ve come across a little gem here about a friend of mine we all know. And rather than posting it with the date I wrote it, I’ll just post it as current and tell you when it happened, because I remember when it happened. But not when I wrote it. This was back in July of 2002. This story is about Katy 80. Sweet little Katy Fanning, who almost never writes here, but always has something to say. Or in this case, to sing. She had just turned fifteen.

I work at a web hosting company, building the web servers. I often go into work at midnight or later and grab my stack of server build sheets and stay until five or so knocking them all out. My boss doesn’t care when I come in or leave, so long as I get them all built by their due date. And I work better at night. This frees up most of my days to do more important things like baseball games, beer drinking and, well, whatever I want. I live in Flower Mound, but work in Las Colinas. My friend Kim and her sister live in Coppell, and we often have lunch together when Katy has decided to skip school or is off for a teacher’s work day. Oh the glorious Teacher’s Work Day. Yes, that should be capitalized. I think she told her big sister she was out for TWDs a lot more often than they really were. On Friday of last week though, we were all off. It was the day after Independence Day, so everyone was off. And most of the world was at the Vista Ridge Mall. Which is, for whatever reason, where we decided we should head for lunch.

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The Dredge House Chronicles, Prelude

I’ve decided to start putting down on blog some of the stories I have from my days at the Dredge House. So I’ll start by telling you what the Dredge House is. Or was, rather.

Just out of high school, I went straight into college. That didn’t work out too well, so my Pop said, “Son, if you’re not going to do it my way, you’ll have to do it your way.” I told him I had no problem with that. “But your way means your house, your car, your job, your money…” Oh. I see. So I had to move out. He gave me a couple of weeks I think. Well during the last couple of days of my stay at the Spacey Senior residence, my buddy TJ got kicked out of his house too. I invited him to stay with me for the final few days in my parents’ house, and we commenced to searching for new living arrangements.

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Let’s recap the weekend.

It was quite a busy one. You probably know by now that I didn’t get a tattoo on Friday, so that won’t be included here. So let’s start with Saturday. I ran out to Shift’s place to catch some college football and a few Cold Ones. The Ones are always Cold at Shift’s place.

Then we walked over to the Blue Note to catch the Tech game, where we sat across the bar from a bunch of losers rooting for Mizzou. Wrong state, assholes. Since I was at the bar already, and Shine lives in the area, I figured I’d call her and get her to join us there for a little football action. So she showed up in her costume (she was on her way to a costume party), which was an autograph book. She was the autograph book. Clever, eh? So I grabbed a marker from the bunch and found the only blank spot left on her shirt by that time, as you can see in this first picture.

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I just got drawn.

Katy 80 rolled into town last night for her old high school homecoming game. I expected to get to see her at the volleyball game, because – as luck would have it – Heather’s girls were playing Katy’s old school. She called me and let me know last minute that she was coming into town – at around two o’clock I got the call, and I was like hey wow, how convenient, swing by the volleyball game and say hi, and maybe you’ll even get to say hi to some old teammates amirite? I wasn’t going to go. But hey, Katy’s gonna be there. So I went.

And I sat in the stands by myself. For like ninety minutes. Well, Callie was with me. Running around, being her usual butterfly self. Because the same vehicle I raved about so proudly last month was the very vehicle she was driving in up from Austin. And that’s just a beating of a drive in a Jeep. So she was late.

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Paris Hilton Eat Your Heart Out

While in Houston, Shift and I were waiting on our friend Khris (I think that’s how she spells it) as she tried on suits in Macy’s. We were in Macy’s too, you see. We were waiting on a woman. And there’s a Sunglass Hut right there inside the Macy’s. So, being bored, we decided we’d shop shades a little bit.

Space HiltonMy eyes almost immediately went to the ridiculously large Paris Hilton shades on the top shelf of the case. They were men’s shades, but just huge. Like something that would have made Eric Estrada proud back in his Chips days. Seriously, they were that big. Well, you know me, I had to try them on. So the lady got them out and I put them on, and magic was made, y’all.

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The Lonely Life of a Battered Dog

My dog Daisy is quite possibly the sweetest dog ever to have lived. I mean besides your dog, okay? For reals. She’s totally sweet and submissive, and – well, I’m out of adjectives. She’s a damn dog. But yeah, she’s sweet!

Sweet DaisyAnyway, we rescued her. And – as you guessed – the previous owner was abusive. Why is that so often the case? She has no visible scarring or anything superficial. It’s all mental. Her psyche is just totalled. Like a subaru left on a train track. We’ve had her for a couple of months now and I’ve not raised my hand to her once. Even though she tries my patience like a Rubik’s Revenge. And it’s not because she’s bad. She’s not. In fact, just the opposite. But she’s got driven into her head so deeply the thought that I’m going to beat her, that she won’t even come to me.

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BMW vs. Jeep Wrangler

I was walking through one of my favorite stores yesterday when I was assaulted (not really, but come on) by a kiosk sales guy. He didn’t sell kiosks. He had a kiosk setup inside my store for his own company. It’s like he pays a lease fee for that floor space for the afternoon or whatever. Anyway, he asks if I’d be interested in hearing about the brand new bmw model – whatever the hell it was. I’m sure it had an X or an L in there somewhere. You know, something fast.

“Sir, are you interested in hearing about the new bee em double you ex el ex seven el ex ex seven el?” he says eloquently.

To which I reply, “No.”

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I could stop if I would…

Well I’ve added a few new writers to the roster, I’m sure you’ll be seeing some of their work pop up here pretty soon. With traffic going steadily up to ridiculous levels, I reckon the more writers we have on staff, the more the likelihood of having something fresh on the top of the blog list. We’ll see what happens. You can check out their profiles on the writers page.

This weekend Roger and I went out on the boat for a few hours with his lovely fiancee and a buddy of his, and his CopperHound, Spud. Being out in the sun and feeling rather good, I began to imbibe the thick heady golden liquid I love so well. We were anchored and tied up to another boat in the party cove, and I was in the water with my feet between the arms of a life vest, just floating there, throwing the football with a group of guys I’d never met.

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SpaceBurned

SpaceburnedWell after a busy ass weekend such as this last one, I’m about ready to collapse. Thursday night: I was off Friday, so Thursday became a perfectly legitimate drinking night. Went to Pop’s house, swam, drank. Friday night – went to watch H24’s girls play volleyball. Went out with Ashley, Tami, Tracy, Harmon and Kyle to Sneaky Pete’s afterwards. And drank. You know what’s great about the morning after eating a pile of nachos with about eighty jalapenos on them? Nothing. Saturday, Stout and I went swimming, threw darts, drank beer. Sunday during the day, we went to a water park. I’m redder than an angry Indian in a blood bath. And last night, being the Cowboy game, Jason and I sat at my bar and watched every play. And drank.

I’m just about ready for a little break from the drinking. I think I’ll take off from it for a few nights. I have to be ready to hit it again Friday night, you see.

The Amazing Squirrel Incident

Gah, what a weird night. I left my Pop’s house the other night just before dark, and as I was crossing the railroad tracks, I saw a car parked in the gravel by the road with two women standing outside of it. One was on a cell phone, and they looked distressed. I made the ‘ok’ motion with my hand and the one not attached to the phone shrugged and pointed down to the ditch. She didn’t wave me on, so I pulled in to check up on them.

I get out and say, “Can I help you ladies?” The other hung up and turned to me. “There’s a squirrel laying over there in the grass. I think he’s injured real bad.” Oh. I see. Good thing I pulled over for you. Sigh.

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Another Run-In With Aria

As most of you probably remember, I had somewhat of a “run-in” with a fairly well known lady a couple of years ago at a movie expo. It was a pretty rad experience for me, since I’ve considered myself somewhat of a fan of hers. Ever since that video where she used the baby oil she’s been pretty close to the top of my list.

Anyway, I think it’s worth mentioning that I ran into her again, though this time it wasn’t such a collision as just a “seeing her in public” episode. But wait – let me back up a little. I first ‘ran into her’ in March or April of 2005. Then I saw her again at an adult expo of some sort where a buddy and I went just to see her. We heard she’d be in town, blah blah blah, went and said hi and got a snap with her. Didn’t really have time to talk. But this was about three weeks after the first time I met her.

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Why I’m So Cynical

Well, I don’t really know why. But I can share with you a few examples of how I’m cynical.

A friend an I were talking about looking at the stars, and I made a joke about it not mattering if there are clouds or not, because the telescope sort of puts you out past the clouds. You’re looking at stuff much further away than the clouds, you see.

I know, it’s a rolleyes for me too. But you’d be surprised at how many people won’t laugh at that joke. But rather say, “Uh, what’s the joke, Spacey?”

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The Secret to Success

Space & KineticIt was nice having Kimbre in town for a day – even though she had almost nothing positive to say about our fair city. I only got to see her for a few hours, though I’m betting she was at it for most of the duration of her stay – stopping only to sleep. I’m sure I’d notice a stink too, were I to leave for a time and return. But I’m also betting that I’d sneeze my ass off in ‘fresh mountain air’. Because where there are mountains, there are pines. And where there are pines, there are pine needles that make me sneeze like an angry Indian.

Speaking of Indians, I think I’ve finally found the way to make a shit load of money, expending as little energy as possible. It’s pretty simple, really. But let me first outline the other ideas I’ve had before. First of all, you want a business that doesn’t require disposable stock, like cups and hot dog canoes, because you have to order that shit. And our goal here is to do as little as possible, and make as much money as possible. Remember? Okay. So the first idea I had was a bowling alley. You buy all the balls and pins and equipment and people come use it. None of it really goes away, and you just pay for maintenance and upkeep. All you do is spray shoes while you sit on your ass.

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The Mystery of the Keys

I have a keybox mounted in the wall in my secret room. Yes, I built a secret room in my house, because during one of my many excursions into the attic, I noticed an area that didn’t have a ceiling, and there was a bunch of wasted space. So I built it in, utilizing it for something cool. There’s nothing big in there, just my guns and some dirty magazines. You know, the usual. And my keybox. Now this is an American Security Company keybox, mounted between the studs, in my secret room. I have a buddy who works for ASC, so I get a pretty fair discount on their fine products. This keybox is stronger than – well, stronger than something pretty strong. You couldn’t pry it open with a crowbar and a sledgehammer, unless you wanted to.

Anyway, it’s mounted with the lock side right up against a brick wall, so there’s no room to pry it anyway. My point in all this is that you can’t get into that son of a bitch unless you have some dynamite and just a stupid desire to get at my keys. You know, it’d be easier to just steal my car. You know, without the key. Okay, so I’ve told you about the keybox.

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Wrestlemania!

I went to my first wrestling match Saturday night! Well, that is to say I went to see a match for the first time. I didn’t participate in one. I’m not a wrestler. I mean – I wrestle with my four sisters and whatnot, but that’s not the point.

I live next door to this guy. We spend a lot of time sitting in his garage or by his pool, drinking and shooting the shoot. I’ve been wanting to go see him wrestle for a while, but our nights usually end up canceling out, as my band is usually playing somewhere. But I finally got to go check it out. I have to go through the entire night with you so you’ll get a feel of the atmosphere.

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I’m just a cracker.

I have a friend named Keith who likes to use the word “nigger” a lot. Maybe it’s because he’s black, maybe not. I don’t like to associate behaviors with colors. But a few months after we met and started hanging out, he began insisting that I call him nigger. Not like every time I talk to him. But he wanted me to be comfortable saying that to him. Why?

We stood in the hall one day for several minutes while he tried to talk me into saying the word. I had been talking about this black client of ours who was an asshole, and I said something like, “I can’t stand that big dumb…” and I didn’t finish the sentence. The joke was that I was saying it to Keith to see if he’d catch what I was throwing. And he did, and he called me out on it. He said, “Go ahead, say it.” I shook my head. No, I don’t want to say it, because I don’t really feel that way.

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What, no San Diego Chronicles?

I’ve been in San Diego all week, but haven’t really been inspired to write anything about it. I have been writing like crazy – don’t get me wrong… Just not about this fair city. Or its glorious sleek-bodied women with their midriffs showing and their ample bosoms bouncing as they walk, cell phones attached to their ears, ponytails streaming behind them like banners in a sex mag. I’ve been writing, instead, on my third novel. In the last four days I’ve written almost twenty pages, which – doing the quick math – translates to about twelve thousand words. Good wow.

I’m really liking where it’s going, and though I never get too much in the way of comments from my fantastic readers on my excerpts, I’ve decided to post a bit of this one. This isn’t a terribly important part of the book, it’s just the last few paragraphs I’ve written tonight. So here it is, an official excerpt from Shedding Sadness, my third novel:

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A Nice Christmas Dinner

It was this time – Christmas – of 1997, and the whole world was happy. I had just gotten back from Panama, and with my hazardous duty pay and my Christmas bonus, I bought a brand new shiny black Dodge 4×4 pickup. It had the works. Everything from leather seats to CD player, heated mirrors and one of those bitchin’ built-in cell phones that looks like a pocket calculator embedded in the visor. It was Wednesday, December 24, and I had spent the better part of three hours negotiating this buy at the dealership. I finally fiinished and tore off across I-20 for Dallas to go pick up my family for dinner. We would head to Three Forks for steak and brandy, followed by lavish dessert and maybe the men would venture outside for a cigar. Well, my Pops and I at least. My grandpa wasn’t much into that.

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Copperwound Chronicles Vol. 2

So we had our first gig Saturday. Since no one else wants to write anything, I’ll write about that. It went well, thanks for asking! We began our set at about 8:00, and kicked it off with a bang, playing Soulhat’s Prayin’ for Rain. Everything was going just dandily until our fourth song, where all of a sudden, the door flew open and someone waved, and half the bar cleared out in less than twenty seconds.

Bar fight! Except that it wasn’t actually in the bar. It was outside. A full-on biker fight though, it was! Exciting stuff. Except that it was the lead singer of the headlining band who had gotten jumped. These two guys had been sitting at the end of the bar for a couple of hours waiting for him to show up. And my friend Brandy had been talking to them.

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Dirty, Dirty People

I was using the great room of rest today, playing with my phone, minding my own business, when suddenly a suit walks into the bathroom. First of all, he turd burgaled me. He pulled on the stall door several times before he finally caught the hint that someone was actually in the stall pinching a loaf. Then he goes into the next stall and drops trou, sits down, and proceeds to take the nastiest ass piss I’ve ever heard. It smelled like someone had just dumped a 30-gallon barrell of fetid porpoise shit right in the middle of the room.

I instinctively looked over and saw his shoes, bright shiny brown penny loafers with laces. Ahem. And his visitor badge, dangling on the floor by his trousers. After a couple of minutes I finished up and got ready to pull the door open. I heard the bathroom door open and someone popped his head in. “You all right in there, Kenny?” he said. Kenny said yeah, he’d be just a minute. So I go wash my hands, and as I’m looking in the mirror, I hear the ole swoosh of the toilet flushing.

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There are no women in football.

Friday night my better half spent the evening (well into Saturday morning) at her sister’s house watching girly movies with their legs curled up on the sofa. What this meant to me was that I should immediately round up the fellas for a Friday-night barbecue and beer fest. So I called Stout and Trip and Boogie (yes that’s what we call him) and Minnesota Steve, and Stout called David The Great, Trip called Showboat and Arnie and Boogie called Tina. So they all came over and – wait… Who the hell invited the broad?

Have you ever had this happen on guys’ night out? Isn’t this more than just a simple party foul? When I made the initial phone call, I said the special code sentence that alerts the individual that he is to immediately report to drinking duty. I said, “Hey Name, tonight the beer flows like wine. SpacePlace at twenty hundred hours.” And that means (to you lay folk out there) that we’re drinking tonight, and to be at my place at eight o’clock. So since when are chicks invited to guys’ night out? Since when do the women drink like men? We have shit to talk about, you see. Namely women. And you can’t well do that when there are women present. Even women as neato as Tina.

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Copperwound Chronicles Vol. 1

People ask me quite frequently “how I come up with this stuff”, referring to my writing – be it music or fiction or otherwise. And the simple answer is, “I just don’t know.” But that’s sort of a copout too. Creative energy is like a good beer. The more you have, the more you want, and the more it keeps flowing. Right through you. At least if you have a small bladder like I do.

I wanted to journal some of the ways I’ve written music though, partly for those who wonder how it happens, and partly so that when they’re nickelbacking it on the radio, I’ll remember how it all came to be.

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No Such Addressee…

Kimbre’s column reminded me of something that happened during my time in the military. I worked in the Logistics Group, in the HQ building smack dab in the middle of the base. High profile, dress blues, etc. So there’s typically a lot of high-ranking traffic breezing through those hallways. Well our shop code was (I’m going to make one up so as not to divulge the actual code) 7LGCX. The base hospital’s was 7LGXC. We took a delivery for the hospital.

It’s not that they labeled it correctly and the mail carrier dropped it in the wrong building. They labeled it incorrectly, so it was actually addressed to us. This happened quite frequently too, like once every few weeks or so. Anyway, we got a large cold crate one time, sealed and insulated with dry ice cells. Not the kind of shipment we generally receive, but we opened it. After the fog cleared, I pulled the sheet of insulation plastic off the top of the contents pack and stared aghast at a crate full of human body parts.

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Trapped on Animal Planet

The weirdest damn thing happened today, and though I’m not certain these two events are holistically motivated, I can’t well explain their connection.

You all know me as an animal lover. My custom title on the awful forums is “Defender of the Dog”, based on my interactions with a certain person who’d brought harm to my loyal hound. (Someone else bought me the title, in case you were wondering.) But yeah, I love animals, and save them when I can. I don’t step on crickets. I go out out of my way to rescue the ladybugs.

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My Run-in With a Pedophile

When I was in grade school there was this kid who was a friend of mine named Kerry. He had the same last name as several other kids in grades above ours. Obviously they were brothers. Well, not as such. This one guy, Bob Samelastname rented them. It was weird, but all through his adult life, I guess this creepy bastard has always adopted young boys, then when they grow up and move out, he gets more to replace them. Always boys. He wasn’t married or anything either. He just liked boys.

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Backstage Pass

My dad was in the music distribution business for thirty-five years or so. To me this translated to many perks, because though he sold the hell out of all the popular artists, he scarcely liked any of it. I was therefore given boxes and boxes of albums, CDs, tapes, stickers, promo posters, album artwork, concert tickets and backstage passes. My room as a teenager was covered with shiny colorful posters of hundreds of bands – most of which I’d never even heard. By the time I was twenty I’d probably been to a hundred concerts.

I have a few stories of those encounters – some of which are forgettable – but others are pretty good, and good for punk rock points. I would work summers at the distribution plant, stacking CDs on shelves, pulling stock from boxes and other miscellaneous bullshit. I was thirteen, fourteen, fifteen at the time. And they paid me one CD per hour. That wasn’t bad considering. I had a free ride at home, so I didn’t really need money as much as I needed the music.

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Shit or Get Off

Did you know there’s a certain code you’re supposed to follow when shitting in a public restroom? I had no idea. For instance, if someone walks in while you’re taking a dump, you’re supposed to tap your foot to let them know the bathroom is in use. Forget that there’s another whole empty stall right next to you. This foot-tap is called the Fred Astaire.

Furthermore, if you are that unfortunate soul who has just walked unsuspectingly into an occupied restroom, you are supposed to turn around and leave as soon as you learn the stall is occupied. Otherwise you are a “Turd Burglar”. Rock on, turd burglars of America. I say screw ’em! If you can’t shit with someone else in the room you have a special kind of problem that needs some attention.

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Book Update

I’m halfway done with the final readthrough of Resurrecting Mars. My dad read through it and made some notes, some suggestions, and some comments. After a good long discussion, I made some pretty major plot changes that strengthen the tale and make the characters and – well, the plot – more solid.

My theory is that I should be done with the readthrough by Wednesday or so. I hope that’s not too optimistic. But hell, I had originally thought I’d be done by Saturday night with the reading, then I’d spend all day Sunday applying the changes, then Monday morning I’d submit the final copy for press.

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I’m getting too old for this shit.

Yesterday a friend and I were swimming at his house when we decided to go check out the house next door. It’s been vacant for several months now, having been a foreclosure. I thought it might be pretty cool to buy it so we could live next door to each other. I’d noticed when driving down the alley that the top panel of the garage door had been pushed in. So we took a wooden ladder over and I climbed up and over the door, dropping down on the inside.

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Cast of Characters

Stout and I sat on the balcony overlooking my pool for one or several hours last night. I don’t know why we didn’t get in the pool. Well, probably because we were drinking pretty heavily and it was dark. We came up with some pretty good character assignments for my books, should they ever be made into movies. For those of you who’ve read Midnight’s Park, check this list out and tell me what you think.

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To Get To The Other Side

I spent most of the evening yesterday finishing up the decluttering of my house. This is the supplemental cleaning that compliments Sunday’s share of just over ten hours. I’ve been doing this while the family is out of town, you see. I had just turned off the light and – wait. Let me back up.

I’m not a sissy little pansy girl. I’m a man. A big, strong, mean mother cobbler. I’ve seen just about everything I need to see to qualify that statement, and have confronted every bit of it with a boldness I’d possibly not have considered I possessed. I’m not a bad ass, but there’s really just not anything that can scare me. Sure there’s stuff that will worry me or cause me to fret. Like the safety of my daughter, gas prices (good call, trumby) etc. But I’m scared of nothing. Well, until last night. Last night I became a sissy little pansy girl.

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Ye Ole Hot Dog Roll-Up

Yeah that was a good holiday. Though I spent entirely too much time in the sun. And uh, forgot to put on sunscreen. I’m redder than an angry Indian in a bloodbath. That’s all right, fun was had by all.

Shockingly, we didn’t get any pictures of the event because my camera battery charger is screwed up and doesn’t roast them long enough. I just ordered another on eBay though, so we’ll be set soon. Meanwhile, I guess I can tell you what happened. And theoretically, I could say anything I wanted and you’d have to believe me because I didn’t get pictures – so – wait. I have that backwards don’t I?

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Part-Time Badass

A friend of mine relayed a story the other day that I was quite fond of, as it sounds a lot like something that would happen to me. She was sitting in the right-turn lane at a stop light and saw that the person in front of her started pulling out. So Rebecca (SheBang) looks back to check the traffic, and steps on the gas. SLAM.

The person in the car ahead had started pulling out. But then stopped. So Rebecca gets out of the car and starts walking up to assess the damage and talk to the other driver. As she gets halfway to the driver’s window, the old coot takes off. She had no clue she’d just been rear-ended.

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Good Night, Hunter.

Back in the cry room. I can’t cry in the other room. I have to be by myself. I have to allow myself this grief. But it hurts so damn bad.

I’ve tried the lesser reasoning – “He’s just a dog.” But that doesn’t do anything for me. He was such a big part of my life for the last five years. He was the best dog I’ve ever had; so smart, so sweet, so protective, so entertaining. But tonight he had to go.

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Oh, you mean that Pamela Anderson!

For years I’ve been looking at Pamela Anderson and wondering what the hell. I look at all the same pictures everyone else does, I suppose. I check the celebrity sites sometimes to see who’s showing their boobies in public. And I’ve seen just about all her pictures. I have actually even actively sought out her pictures on several occasions for research purposes. Seriously, she never did anything for me. I would look at them to see if I could see what the big deal was for everyone. And I never did.

Yeah she's all right I guess.Until I saw her new show on Fox, called Stacked. I don’t know what it is about seeing her in action, but obviously she became three-dimensional at that point. Of course I’ve seen “the video”. Again, it did nothing for me. But now that I’ve seen her acting and being more than a two-dimensional image in a picture, I’ve begun to find her attractive. She’s definitely got charisma. She’s remarkably charming, and I’d never have guessed it.

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Run-in with Aria

I got the opportunity to attend a new release movie expo the other day with Kimbre, who is an exec at a company that handles the accounting for Blockbuster. I had to of course dress up, which I’m not terribly fond of these days, but I threw a shirt and tie on the iron board and ended up enjoying myself quite a bit. I didn’t know what to expect, having never been to one of these expos, but there were a lot celebrities there. I thought that was pretty cool, and realized this was probably a little bit bigger deal than I had originally thought. I saw Willem Dafoe and Carl Weathers, Colin Firth and Julia Stiles. Probably the biggest star there was Will Smith. That was pretty nifty – though I didn’t get to talk to him or anything. But the one thing that made this event really worth going to was the little run-in I had with a C-List celebrity. Actually, if it weren’t for her fisting videos on the Internet, I doubt anyone would ever have heard of her.

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Goodbye Crater

Greetings friends and family of the Crater…

The Moon’s Crater Network has been alive and prosperous on the web for ten years now. It started as a single page on an AOL account and graduated to a tilde account at a dialup company in Abilene. Upon my discharge from the Air Force, I slid into a position at a web hosting company where I was given a dedicated Proliant 1850 Server with a RAID 5 and a meg pipe to the Internet. All for my own site. I thereby registered spacebrew.com for my humble online home. It’s gone through many changes and has seen many faces over the years. I once even turned it into a Star Wars fan site, though I’ll never publicly admit that. Many writers have come and gone, many columns have been posted and stolen and posted elsewhere. Many visitors came to visit and many memories were made here. During the Crater23 days, the site took more than 2000 unique visitor hits per week. Okay, I’m exaggerating a little bit. But not much.

The site(s) have seen many colors, have spawned many ideas, and have brought about inspiration in many other people to do the same thing. Some of these sites went on to become well known hard-hitters in the industry. Microsoft, Google, Amazon and FatXXX.com come to mind. Some of the writers here went on to pursue their own projects, never to be heard from again. For instance, none of you remember the catastrophe that was stellasite.com. I think I even paid for that domain name.

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Sweet, Sweet Morning Air

There’s not much that can get me down in the mornings like traffic. I hate traffic and – well, I think that’s mostly because of the people causing it. Far be it from me though to rant about traffic on the web! You know me better than that. Truly though, traffic is about the only thing that can throw a wrench in the intake of my good morning. Turning around and seeing my daughter look back up over her car seat to get a look at me could brighten the darkest day. I digress.

So this morning was no different. Except that my sister’s boys are both sick, so I had to take Callie somewhere else for daycare today. In Krum. Which is north of Denton. So it took 45 minutes to drive all the way out there, then an hour and a half to make it all the way back to downtown Dallas to get to work. Sigh. So that’s a lot of traffic I dealt with that I won’t be ranting about. Just to let you know.

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I swear, I didn’t crap my pants.

I sit here, at home, in total humiliation – of the worst kind. I’ve read/posted in and even created my own threads about people shitting in their pants before. And I don’t know whether this is some sort of sick kharma, or if it was just my turn. Let me start by telling you though – I didn’t shit my pants.

I was sitting on the cool public toilet at work at about one o’clock – fortunately, it was after our company meeting – minding my own business and taking a pretty grizzly shit. I had been sitting there for six or seven minutes, I guess, and – having gotten bored with it – decided to play a cheesy java game on my phone. I reached into the pocket of my khakis and fished out my phone. And started looking for snake – or something equally as entertaining. I leaned forward with my elbows on my knees, and dropped my phone on the tile. It slid about two feet in front of my feet.

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The Great Canine Collision of 2004

Saturday, before I left the house, I let my dogs out in the back yard. Being a relatively nice day, I decided to step out with them for a few minutes. I was admiring the weather and the scenery (I live on a beautiful green belt). I have a fence that’s almost entirely see-through in the back, being made of what I call dog-wire. Much like chicken wire, but the wire is thicker and forms larger rectangles – great stuff for keeping dogs in but maintaining a pleasant appeal. It’s a very rustic looking fence, and – wait… You didn’t come to read about my fence…

Anyway, I saw a rabbit through the fence and decided it would be nice to let my dogs chase it away down toward the creek. My dogs are some fast mother bitches, but never have they come close to catching one of these rabbits. Well, I opened the gate and my dogs tore out like bullets, running right past the damn rabbit. They love to run in the greenbelt, where they can really stretch their legs and run for five or six hundred yards in each direction.

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My Grandfather’s Farewell

June 1, 2004. Today a candle burned out, tonight the music fades.

My grandfather passed this afternoon. He was 87 years old, frail, and weak. He’s been a soldier for the past few years, battling the years as they fought him with heart attacks and strokes and many other ailments. His grip was iron though, and he held on strong. He’s been burdened by death for much longer than he suffered it. And tonight he’ll finally sleep in peace after so many years.

His spirit, trapped in this old body, was probably long ready to move on, but he held on for hope everlong.

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A Day With No Turkey

Can you believe it’s been a month and a half since I contributed? Well, I feel worthless. But hey, tomorrow’s Thanksgiving Day! A lot has happened in the last month and a half that I guess you should know about. I got a job (a real one). I work with an old high school buddy of mine now at an IT place doing – well, doing IT stuff. I no longer dread going to work.

The baby has gotten bigger, though it still remains within my wife’s belly. I’ve tried repeatedly to get it to come out and join the world, as we’re no doubt ready for it. All to no avail though, I’m afraid. And we have decided on a name if it be a boy. His name will be Kissel Ramon. Has a touch of class, you know?

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Blind

I had an experience yesterday that really didn’t affect me until today. I was driving home from bible study tonight when I realized how greatly I had been affected by this experience. I got to work at around eight-thirty yesterday and got on the elevator. There are six elevators in this area, and they are all glass. There were a few other people on this car waiting patiently for the doors to close so they could hurry up and get to their floors and go to a job they really didn’t want to be at anyway. And through the back of the elevator I saw a guy coming to take a ride.

He had his stick out in front of him, seeking out obstacles and trying to find the door to the elevator, only he was on the wrong side of it. He was feeling around on the back side of the glass wall directly behind the car we were on. And something made me hold the door for him. I know there are other cars, and had we gone on up, he wouldn’t have had to wait long for the next one, had he had to wait at all. By the time he worked his way around to the right side between the doors of the elevators, another would probably have been there waiting for him. But I shot my hand out and held that door.

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Uh, you just blorted, dude.

We’ve all read about it happening to someone – hell someone even posted a picture of his shitty drawers in these here forums not too long ago. But has anyone ever seen it happen to someone besides themselves? I’d hope to God that no, none of us has. Well, I hadn’t. Until just now.

I went to the restroom and stepped up to the middle urinal, since the other two were in use. And I’m minding my own business when the guy to my right rips open a serious block of bad air, and I turn to look at him with a look of ‘damn, have you no decency’ mixed with ‘wtf – that sounded shitty’. And immediately, he makes a grunt sound – not like when you’re shitting, but like umf when you are trying to stop yourself from shitting. And suddenly he’s standing up on almost his tiptoes and his posture is super perfect, staring directly at the shiny tiles in front of him.

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Trading Picks with Patrice

Heather and I are very big fans of Patrice Pike and the Black Box Rebellion. We go see them every time they come to Dallas. We’ve often driven to Austin to check them out, too. They are that good. It helps that our sister, Yvonne, is the world’s biggest fan, (she turned us on to them) and she lives in Austin, so we can stay with her when we make the trip down there. She’s also friends with Patrice, so it’s not rare that Patrice will come to her house to hang out for parties and we sit back in the backyard round a campfire trading guitars and songs.

At one of their shows here in Dallas at the Gypsy Tea Room, we showed up a little early to catch the openers. It was Jason and Zelina and Heather and me. Shelley King was playing that night, if I recall, and I was standing in the middle of the floor, by myself. Jason was against the wall on a barstool, and Z and Heather had gone out looking for a bite to eat.

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Road Trip Exchange

I guess it was around June or July of 1995, and I was driving back from Dallas to Abilene where I was stationed on the Air Force Base. I had a friend, Jeremy with me, and we were flying down the highway at no less than sixty (60) miles per hour. That may seem a little fast to the common person, but keep in mind – I was driving my old 1990 Chevy Cavalier, which had over a hundred thousand miles on it. So sixty was no sweat. No sweat at all.

Jeremy was reclined in the passenger seat, catching some Zs. A black pickup passed me on the left side, but not too quickly, and I looked over at the passengers. Seeing they were a couple of guys about my age, I waved at them. The guy in the passenger seat waved back, friendly enough. Well, they got a few hundred yards ahead and I decided to do something crazy. We had a twelve-pack of Pepsi (God only knows why it was Pepsi and not Coke, or Dr. Pepper, or Diet RC) cans on the console between us, and having only drunk about two or three between the both of us, I figured we could share a couple.

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Gracie, the Iranian Sandalhound

I haven’t had a puppy in so long I almost don’t remember what their breath smells like. But now again, I’m constantly reminded. Gracie was thrown in a dumpster by someone who didn’t want Gracie, and when my uncle went to take the trash out he saw Gracie in said dumpster, and thus now Gracie belongs to me. How anyone can throw a dog away is beyond me entirely, but I’ve tried to look at this from two sides.

The one side is the obvious: someone was a heartless asshole who hates animals and has no love for anything other than himself. He threw a little bitty Iranian Sandalhound puppy into a garbage dump to be killed by trash and dumped in a foul-smelling pit. Anyone who could do this should be shot and thrown into a garbage dump to be killed by trash and dumped in a foul-smelling pit.

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Byron Nelson Breeds Breastviewing

It’s my sister’s birthday today. She turned thirty this morning around soap opera time. Thirty. You know how old that makes me? Damn. Because if she’s getting older, that means I’m getting older. It’s slightly depressing that half my life ago she snuck me into my first Ten Hands concert. I was fifteen then. A whole lifetime has passed since then. And that’s just plain crazy.

We’ve got Stella the Star Seeking Student trapped in ice this week, which is why she has been idle. Not to fear though. She said something really disturbing occurred to her last night, and she will be writing about it. I’m excited about it, as it’s a pretty good story.

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Midnight’s Park Nears Completion

I’m perilously close to finishing. Aren’t you excited? You should be. I’ll be making the announcement either tonight or tomorrow, which will no doubt trigger a massive celebration. I’ve only about ten or fifteen more pages to write to get the story told. Of course, that’s what I said thirty pages ago. I’ve now written about 170 pages, and have finally covered everything I needed to cover. So it looks for real this time.

Tying up loose ends is possibly the hardest part of writing a book, but also the most enjoyable. You have to read and reread your work so many times to make sure that A) you’re familiar with your work, and B) you cover all your bases. For example, if you say someone did something, and then later in your book you say they didn’t, you’re obviously not familiar with your work. You haven’t read through it enough to check for stuff like that. Like if someone is a smoker, then quits, but later on in the book you say “he crushed out his cigarette with the heel of his black boot.” Well? Is he smoking again, or did you screw up?

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Blessed be She With the Boobs

Damn those are pretty.Speaking of women who like to show off their cleavage… Heather Graham sure has been doing a lot of that lately.

I know everyone appreciates a little cleavage in his java, but I think something’s up when a woman just all of a sudden starts wearing revealing clothing. Now I’m not saying she never has, but I don’t remember a trend as such. Recently, every event she’s attended, she’s graced us with a lot of between-the-boobs skin. It’s fine with me. But we haven’t been able to get her to take her top off since Boogie Nights. Is she trying to tell us something? Well, we’re ready to listen, Roller Girl!

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How Not to Grill Steaks

Sometimes I wonder how I made it this far. I mean – I like to think of myself as at least a reasonably intelligent guy. Well, I know I’m not stupid. But last night I did something that made me believe otherwise.

Check this out. We had a party. There were like twenty-five people over, and the plan was to cook steaks for everyone. My grill isn’t really all that big. You can fit like six to eight steaks on it at a time. When I found out that many people were coming, I had to run to the store and get another six pack of steaks. I cooked almost twenty steaks last night. For real. I had every single one of my big ass platters (all three) out and was preparing these steaks on them. Marinade. Steak salt. Worcestershire sauce. Liquid Smoke. The works. These steaks kicked serious amounts of ass.

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Prejudice Dogs

My dog loves people. Just about anyone who comes to my house is immediately accepted and loved, and treated like family. This is not the case if he feels threatened, or if my wife is home alone. In those cases, he’s in attack mode anytime anyone comes to the door. But under normal conditions, my dog is super friendly and is ready to play rope tug with anyone who comes by.

Everyone but Mexicans.

I don’t know what his deal is, but on Thursdays when those guys come to mow my lawn, Hunter goes apeshit. My main man Aaron owns his own landscaping company, and sends his boys out once a week to mow my lawn for me. Now don’t get me wrong, I love these guys. Sometimes when they finish up, I invite them in and give them beers. But my dog don’t like it one bit. I guess he thinks these guys are there to kill us all.

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C.E.V.

There are only two or three things in this world that piss me off more than when I find piss on the toilet seat. And I can’t really think of them right now.

You see, the whole qualm I have with it – besides it just being low class and disgusting, not to mention lazy – is that when you work in a corporate office such as we have here, you should no longer be a child. Obviously we have children working here, because no one has taught them how to raise a damn toilet seat before they micturate. And nothing pisses me off (short those couple of things I can’t think of right now) more than going in there to take care of business and having to wipe someone else’s piss off the seat. You don’t piss on the seat at home, asshole, so why do you do it where you work? Because you know Consuelo will be coming in to clean it up, huh? Children. Even my dog has better sense than that (inset picture).

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The Sinister Sisters Behind the Curtain

There’s no doubting that women rule the world. Anyone who doesn’t believe that, try living with one for a few weeks. You’ll catch on. I’m just wondering why so many of them are psycho. You remember that movie Beautiful Girls? Michael Rappaport says it perfectly: “They’re all sisters. You never let them behind the curtain. They’re all sisters.” What a brilliant man he was. That’s exactly what they are.

Otherwise, how would they all know when we screw up? And you notice whenever you’ve been single for a while and you finally find someone worth checking into, that’s when they all come to call. When it rains it pours, gentlemen. They all know. It’s like a little alarm in their heads go off saying “Johnnie’s got a girl now! Set tits to stun! Go get him girls!” And they do. They all come around. But you never see that shit happening when you’re single. Well, unless you’re like me. But that’s beside the point.

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And they were none too happy.

She’d blown past us at the intersection. I looked out my window and shouted, but she didn’t hear. I told Flavio to speed up. We were on the way back from lunch, and now we sat stalled by a stop light. She was two cars ahead and one lane to the right. We couldn’t get her. Damn!

“She’s gorgeous, dude. You have to get up there so you can check on her,” I shouted. Before lunch I had said, “Should I bring my camera? In case we see anything happen during lunch?” He’d said yes. “Cool. You drive. I’ll shoot.” So I rode shotgun to Quizno’s.

Now we’re at the stop light. I’m shaking my head like a box of rice fidgeting. The camera! Yes. I reached back and unzipped it from its pouch and pulled it up. Cocked it, readied and focused. She cuts into our lane and turns left ah

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How to Avoid a Ticket

I was driving home last night on this old back highway that’s not very popular. Only about 70 million people use it during the day, as opposed to the normal 140 million who clog the other highways around here. So it’s only mildly jammed, you know what I mean? Well anyway, I didn’t get out of work ’til about seven o’clock, so on this highway, I seemed to be the only person traveling. So I was running along about ninety mph over the line and I ran by a cop car.

You know that feeling you get when you fly past a cop car and you’re doubling the speed limit? My heart fell to my stomach and just utterly refused to continue beating. I had to give myself shock therapy from my battery to get it going again, but that’s another story… So I whiz past this sumbitch who’s sitting on the side of the road. He pulls out. After a couple of seconds, I was already around the bend, so I slowed way the hell down and changed lanes. I was waiting for him to come pounce on me like a duck on a june bug.

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Some People Should Not Drive

I was riding with a friend of mine yesterday, on the way home from Home Depot, and we had a kind of odd experience. Well, actually – I should clarify – I had the odd experience. It wasn’t odd to her at all. But it tripped my shit right out. She drives a convertible Mustang, but the top was up and the windows were up.

oh no holy shit we're gonna dieWe were driving – actually (again) she was driving [had I been driving (being a more competent driver altogether) we probably wouldn’t have had the experience in the first place] and she cut some lady off in a Buick. My friend drives like a blind, retarded lemur with no legs in the first place, so riding with her is a real treat. You can see in the passenger floorboard, the carpet is kind of worn out from her passengers slamming on imaginary brakes. I’m a pretty laid-back passenger and not much scares me, but when I’m riding with her, I can’t watch the road. Frankly, she scares the great green shit out of me. You are guaranteed an ulcer in twenty minutes if she drives you through downtown Dallas traffic. Not that I would ever actually ride with her through downtown Dallas during traffic.

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Men Will Be Men

I just got into a “heated debate” with a girl friend of mine about the essence of a men’s club. She can’t stand topless dancers, and has no respect for them. Thinks it’s a bad deal for men to go to them. Thinks lowly of the men who go to them too. Has no respect for them. Well who the hell said anything about respect?

While I can think of several other places I would rather have gone for my bachelor party last Saturday night, and several reasons for each, I didn’t have the great providence of being my own best man. Thus I didn’t plan my own bachelor party. And we went to a titty bar. I didn’t object. I am a man. I like titties. (Tell me you didn’t know that.) Plus, it was my party.

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I should really be moving.

We close Friday. We start moving Saturday. That is, of course, after the former owners of the house actually move out. They start moving on Saturday, so as per our contract, they will be leasing the house from me for one day. Would it not make sense to save everybody the time and money, and just move the hell out on the day of closing? I despise the thought of moving boxes in while they are moving boxes out. Therefore I will be waiting until they finish before I move my boxes in. Eff all that. My luck, they would be grabbing the boxes I just brought in and moving them out. So I’ll wait. The pain in the major ass is that that leaves me with only two full days to move everything from my apartment in Carrollton to my house in Flower Mound. Two days may seem like a long time to you, but I will present the following arguments in contradiction:

  • I have a lot of shit.
  • The second day of my two days to move is a Monday. No one else can or will get off that day to help. I will be moving by myself.
  • I have a lot of shit.
  • I still haven’t packed.
  • I have a lot of shit.

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The Hot Women Like Dorks

You don't stand a chance.Why do hot women like this always end up with nerds and losers? I mean, I’m a nerd. I know how to fix computers and I read a lot of books. But I don’t look like one, you know? At least I think I don’t. But I’m certainly not a loser! But seriously, I saw this chick the other day and she was hotter than a jalapeno on fire in Texas on the sidewalk in August. Or something. And the dude she was with was a short, oddly lumpy, frog-faced dude who looked like he never showered. What in The Elephant’s name is that shit all about?

One of my best friends is knockdown drag-out gorgeous. She has the body of a – well, a great body, and has a good head on her shoulders. And she told me one time that most guys are too intimidated to ask her out. So she is single most of the time. Then here comes compuboy who has nothing to lose, so he starts asking at the top. And guess what? Bada Bing, Bada Boom. He gets himself a hot chica. At some point in their lonely single lives they say to themselves, “I’m going out with the very next guy who asks me.” So there you have it, fellas. Start asking out all the hot chicks. One of them is bound to say yes sooner or later.

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The Early Days of Space

I found some more crunk ass pictures reflecting my sordid teenage years. The first one is of me holding my nephew, Alex. This was about four and a half years ago. Well, I guess that means it wasn’t in my teens then. But regardless, he is almost five now. Then we have another, just shortly after the first one, chronologically, that shows him learning to play the guitar. I always knew he would grow up to be like me. That’s my sister – his mom – in the right of that picture.

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Sharp As A Knife

On my way out the door, I reached into my pocket for my keys.  That wasn’t where they were. That was, however, where my pocket knife was. I always carry it there. It’s a slim line CRKT knife that feels comfortable when clipped in your pocket, all the way to the edge. It has a nifty little knob through the back of the blade that enables the wielder to open it with his thumb quickly, and most importantly, one-handed. Evidently, my key ring had grabbed that knob when I had originally pulled them from my jeans pocket. So the knife was locked open, sticking straight up out of my pocket.

I looked at my hand, because it had felt funny going into my pocket that last time. Nothing. I look down to see the knife sticking out, and then look at my hand again. And like a dam had been compromised, the blood poured from the open laceration in my thumb. I haven’t seen blood flow that freely and quickly since Joint Endeavor. And I had never seen blood flow that freely from my own body.

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Tina Fey: The New Sex Object

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas. Or if you don’t celebrate Christmas I hope you enjoyed your holidays. Of course, my opinion is that if you don’t celebrate Christmas, you shouldn’t get the holiday. You should have to work. Why give someone a free day when they don’t celebrate it? People always seem to whine about getting the day after or before Easter off, but they don’t even believe in Jesus. What gives? Anyway, I had a great Christmas. Glad to be back at work though, let me tell you. It sucks being away from work for so long. It’s like my oxygen. It runs through my veins.

You know who I think is sexy? Take it or leave it, but I think Tina Fey is on the rise. She is the chick from Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update. I think those thick-framed black glasses and messy hair are in. The librarian type chick is definitely sexy.

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Money Well Spent

I think there’s only one thing worse than buying concert tickets and coming to find out you don’t really want to see the concert. We’ve all done this, haven’t we? I did once, when my girlfriend Tina and I thought we wanted to go see Traci – shit I forgot her last name. Hot country singer with the big boobs? Yeah, her. Anyway, Clay Walker was opening up for her and I didn’t really want to see him. I actually can’t stand him, to be honest. But yeah I wanted to see her.

Anyway, so I bought some tickets. The night came that we were supposed to go see her and we just really didn’t feel like going. We didn’t sell the tickets, or give them away or burn them or anything like that. We just… didn’t go.

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Why are men such douchebags?

I go out to the pool sometimes. You know, to swim? Remember that? You like jump in the water and swim around and enjoy the cool refreshing water and the warm sun. I’m pretty sure this is what the pool was originally intended for. But anyway, it’s all a big pissing contest now.

This chick comes out all wearing a nice bikini. So what starts happening is all the guys start getting out of the water and laying out like bitches trying to show off their bodies to this chick. As if any of them have a chance with her. Now granted these are all high-class guys, with the big tattoos on their back and stuff. You know, real men.

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Children: Spare ‘Em or Spoil ‘Em?

Let’s talk about spanking children. A lot of people have a lot of problems with it, and some people cannot decide if they think it’s wrong or right. Well let me set the record straight, at least about my point of view on the issue. Anyone who’s gonna be my kid better be ready to receive spankings when they eff up. Period. To spare the rod is to spoil the child. My sister told me her Child Development class teaches (from the text book) that spanking your kid makes them violent as a teenager. I say to this – hogwash. I can’t tell you how many times I was spanked, and I am further from being violent-minded than the East is from the West. Complete horse caca. I will hear no more of it.

At that, I would have had to walk out of the class in disgust, tossing the text in the trash on the way out. It is not only Biblical, but also statistical that children who are disciplined correctly (i.e., spanked – for you lay people) are better in school and less likely to be in trouble with the law as adolescents. Is that not clear? I have witnessed firsthand children who walk all over their parents. Whether or not they are disciplined correctly is none of my business. But I can tell you what I do know. I do know these children I speak of are not spanked as a general rule. So make your own analysis, but my inference is that something is amiss.

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