Yearly Archive: 2003

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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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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Closet Mods 101

I live in a two-story house, and so my safe is downstairs. But what about stuff I want quick access to in the night – upstairs? Well, my closet – being four feet from my bed – is a good place. I can lock up my knife and gun collection and not have to worry about the kids getting to them, but secondly, I can use it as sort of a panic room if the need ever arises. Some of the modifications I’ll discuss here were done for mere practicality and storage solutions, while others were done in the interest of being prepared for the worst.

Firstly, and I think one of the key notes in creating a safe house in the closet is to make sure the light switch is inside the door. If this isn’t the case, you will need to move it. I had to move mine. It’s fairly easy. Just measure the exact distance from the jamb to the edges of the rectangular cutout, and replicate that measurement directly the other side of that wall, inside the closet. Make sure your breaker is tripped before you start messing with the wires! If you make the cut right, you can use that piece of sheetrock to fill in the hole on the outside, so don’t destroy it! Once you’ve got the hole cut on the inside, pry the switch box away from the stud and twist it toward the inside of the closet. On the inside, pull the plastic switchbox into the cutout where it’s nice and snug, and screw your switch back in along with the cover plate.

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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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A Storm of My Conscience

It came during darkness. In the late hours of the night, asleep, warm under my thick sheets. The darkness was thick, and cold. But I lay warm. The pounding of the wind upon my window, and whipping waves of rain scattering across the panes kept me wrapped like a babe in my safety. The deafening hiss and roar of the storm outside was nearing unbearable. But my tolerance was strong. My will, my fate. I would not go so easily.

All along, pounding at the gates of my spirit’s safe house, preaching at me the peril of being in its wake. To lie still was to give way to my fears. To move was to challenge it. I pulled tighter under my blankets and tried humming to myself. The louder the wind. I tried rocking. The louder the rain. The pounding was now so fierce, I thought it would surely overcome me. It was sure to break the glass with a touch more of its strength.

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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 is Written

I’m done.

I finished late last night (early this morning). Holy cow, that was a task. I can’t believe it took me that long. All that procrastinating just made me want to keep putting it off. Well, I’m going to try and do better with my next book. Maybe I’ll shoot for three months, so it’ll for sure be ready by winter of 2005.

Standard procedure dictates that I now read over it and make changes to any glaring critical grammatical errors. Strunk and White say to omit needless words, which I do during this phase, and Stephen King says I should end up with 90% of what I have now. Cut the fat. That would be some eighteen pages worth of material. It hurts to cut that much, but it’s good advice. I’ve never seen that much to cut personally – maybe because everything I write is worth keeping, or maybe because I think everything I write is worth keeping. We shall see what happens.

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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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Almost done.

I recently got in touch with an old friend of mine, who is a published author. And since I’ve been actively seeking publication for my first book, she has become a resource. A wealth of information. She’s been writing for over 25 years, and has published some 60 plus books under several different names. So she knows a little about the business. It’s nice to have someone I can ping when I have questions.

If I would get off my lazy butt and hit my book again, I’d be done with it. This is my second book I’m talking about now. I have probably 20 more pages to write to get the story told, but I’ve been too tired and lazy to get in here and work on it. I have these lulls, you know?

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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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SpaceBrew Review: The Trap

I started reading The Trap by Tabitha King the other night, and immediately had to invoke my Rules of Fairness, Article 15; Column 2; Section 9A, which states that:

When reading a book I must give it a fair chance of being a potential Full Finish. Compliance with this article says the reader shall finish no less than fifty (50) pages of any book to be read unless the eyes combust or turn to acid in the sockets, whereby the reader has the option to either A) rent the book on audio cassette or CD and listen to the rest of it, B) have someone read it to the him, or C) terminate reading immediately and return said book to either the shelf or the dust bin.

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