Tagged: family

Let’s Talk About Gun Laws

I went to a relative’s house for Thanksgiving this last year, and someone who wasn’t really part of the family was hanging around. It wasn’t awkward, as such, it was just one of those things that makes you frown for a second and pull your head back a little, and then you move on and eat a bunch of turducken. But I did have a conversation with her that I thought was worth mentioning. It was one of those things that made me frown for a second and then pull my head back a little.

So I walked into the house and shook all the dudes’ hands and kissed all the ladies’ knuckles and hugged all the kids. The usual. Then I said hi to this woman. And she saw the handgun I was wearing in a holster under my jacket, on my hip. So she sees my gun and says, “You think you’re going to need that on Thanksgiving?” and sort of made that face. You know the one. The one that says, “Ooh, you just got burned.” And I looked at her for a second and said, “I don’t know.”

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A Soft, Gentle Reset

It’s morning. You’ve just woken up. It looks warm outside, the sun is shining, but there’s a thick blanket of snow on the deck. A large mug of coffee sits on the window sill, sunlight illuminating the steam as it lazily escapes the heat of the mug. You may be cozied up with your chin on your knees, a thick blanket wrapped round you as you stare out the window from the overstuffed leather chair. But it’s not a happy time. It’s sad. You’ve just lost a friend, finished the final legal hoops of a failed marriage. It’s a pensive, reflective moment. All cried out. Alone. Relieved, at peace, but saddened and forlorn. A complex web of emotions hangs stagnant amidst the lingering aroma of the coffee. They’re all real. Every bit of it as real as the snow outside. The sun, too far away to melt it, serves as a reminder that it will warm someday. This ain’t the last rodeo. The fingerprints on the window also serve that hope. There is life. And when the bell rings and the kids come traipsing in the front door, your silent melancholy will be abruptly shattered.

I’ve come to find that winter is my favorite season. I do like that cold. But that’s not it. It’s like a hard reset for planet America. Or at least planet North Texas. My world. It gets cold, freezes off the trials of the summer and the first nine months of a year, drops the leaves in the street and starts over. Let’s give it another chance. Let’s see if we can get it right this time. A perpetual trial and error in small, annual runs, like caption bubbles popping, saying “Once more”. Every year I contemplate what I could have done differently to make it a better year. Have I achieved what I set out to achieve this year? Have I grown as a man? A husband? A father? Am I where I wanted to be in life? On that third-grade questionnaire, where it asked ‘where do you want to be at forty-five’ what did I answer? Rich with a mountain home and a private plane? Warm with a red-haired wife and a black dog in a small cottage? Alone with a television blaring nonsense at a sub-audible level while I play solitaire on a sticky TV tray?

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The Voices in My House

It was two o’clock this morning when I heard the voice. I was lying in bed playing poker on my tablet because – well, for two reasons really. Number one, my red-haired wife is traveling. So I’ve no motivation to go to bed early. And secondly, because I’m insomniac, so there’s rarely any sleep for me these days. And thirdly, because I – wait… I only promised you two. So that’s that. I was, therefore, not awakened by the sound of a voice. But I was startled by it. That’s for sure.

It sounded at first like a woman talking in my kitchen. I was alone in my bedroom with the door closed. So it could have been coming from anywhere. But it sounded about as far away as it could be while still being inside my house and downstairs. The kitchen is the answer to that. I perked up and listened a minute. Then I went back to my poker game. Some people get arrested for taking other people’s money. I get badges. I was well into another good hand when I heard the voice again. And this time it was louder.

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The Legacy of an Antique

I’m not very big into antiques. In fact, I think I don’t much care for them at all. I’ve stopped at antique stores before, and browsed through the old roll-top desks and the antique china cabinets. I’ve seen the old grandfather clocks and the coffee tables that were built back in the early nineteenth century. And I do a whole lot of yawning, but not much else. That stuff just doesn’t do it for me. But I got a phone call yesterday that changed everything.

Well, not everything. That’s just a cool way to close the opening paragraph of a column. It changed something though. My grandmother called, you see. And she’s the last living grandparent I have. She happens to be my dad’s mother. Happens to be. I mean, I guess she happened to be the one to marry my dad’s dad and thus, happened to end up becoming my dad’s mother. Funny how that happens. She actually didn’t even call me. She called my dad. And she had something she wanted to pass down.

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Walking the Tightrope

So many times my red-haired wife will come home and tell me about news stories she’s read or heard, and I’m always surprised. I don’t read news sites. I don’t watch TV, so I never see the news there. I don’t believe in newspapers. I mean, I’ve seen evidence of them before, but I just really don’t believe in them. Too much like bigfoot. A lot of hearsay and no real proof. And I really don’t listen to any news-bearing stations on the radio. So I guess you could suffice it to say that I don’t really keep up with current events.

I was sitting on the couch today, getting ready for my mid-afternoon nap when I suddenly had the urge to turn on the ole telly. I have one of those real old-school ones that’s not LED or 3D or 4K or any of that. It’s just a simple 1080p LCD. Remember back when those used to be cool? Anyway, I looked through the list of recorded shows – all the Doc McStuffins and Good Luck Charlie and various other Disney crap we record for my daughter – past my Ultimate Treehouses and Treehouse Masters, you know, the good stuff. And I found Nik Wallenda – Walking the Tight Rope.

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The Sunset Beach Diaries, 2013, Pt 2

Well, we made it back. Sigh. I have to take a few deep breaths. Seriously. A week on the beach is hard work. Another deep breath. I’m going to convince you that it’s hard work, and then you’ll see why I’m taking so many deep breaths. Breathe. And then maybe you’ll also see why I am so happy to be home, while at the same time looking forward to going again next year. Deep breath. It’s very hard work. And I didn’t even take my laptop this year!

Historically, I have traveled with only the bare necessities when it comes to technology and electronics. For instance, my laptop backpack would have in it only the things I needed for the week: computer, netbook, tablet, SD card case with several spare SD cards, an SD card reader (or two), two of every kind of cable I might possibly need, spare styli, a couple of blank CDs, a USB light, screen wipes, my 3G hotspot and every possible dongle, cable and connection I might ever need or want to plug into my computer while I’m there. Seriously, what happens if I take a bunch of pictures on my D-SLR and didn’t bring a card reader to transfer them to the computer, and I lose the camera? Well, simply put, I lose the pictures.

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Lest Ye Be Judged…

The church I attend is spread across two campuses. I go to the North Campus. Not sure why I capitalized that, but there you are. It wasn’t always like that, though. Not the capitalization thing, the two campuses thing. There used to only be one campus. It was the South Campus. But of course, back when it was the only one, it wasn’t called the South Campus. Or the south campus. Or even the campus. It was just called the church. And if I capitalize that, you’ll start thinking of Under the Milky Way.

Anyway, the point is that when it used to be just one building, and that’s where I went, I was married to a different woman than I am now. I have nothing negative to say about my ex-wife. She’s a lovely gal. We just weren’t meant for each other like I used to think. When we went through our divorce, which was one of the most difficult times I’ve ever gone through, I stopped attending that church. I also lost forty-five pounds. That should tell you how stressful it was, and – therefore – how seriously I took it. I hate divorce, and can often be heard saying I don’t believe in it. But that’s a whole other column.

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The Sunset Beach Diaries, 2013 Edition

We got up at 3:45 yesterday morning. That’s not the impressive part though. We had gone to bed at close to midnight the night before, and then lay mostly awake through those very few hours trying to sleep through the sound of the dog clock in the neighbor’s yard. This dog literally barked once per second for over an hour. A true canus tempus. I wanted to kill him in the face. But we were energized by vacationalistic excitement, and thus were able to get up with no problems. Then I set about to making Bloody Marys for all of the day’s travelers. Well, except for the kids, of course. Duh. They drink whiskey sours.

By 5:15 we were on the shuttle (all seven of us) heading for the airport. At the end of the three-hour flight, the stewardess announced congratulations for Bret and Danae who are getting married on the beach. I know. Copycats, right? They’re even getting married on the same slice of beach as we did nearly four years ago. Major rolleyes. But then the flight attendant had us do the wave. Very nice.

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New Discovery: Beer of the Month Club

Beer of the what? Seriously? Beer of the Month Club? How have I not heard of this before now? Actually maybe I had but I didn’t know what it meant. Or maybe I thought you had to go to a bar to get them. Either way, what I do know is that my ridiculously awesome and hot red-haired wife joined the Beer of the Month Club in my name for Father’s Day. Now there’s a wife who cares!

The idea of this is extremely attractive to me. So if you haven’t heard of it, you get your red-haired wife to join you up, and she can pick monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly delivery. It’s pretty expensive. If you sign up for monthly for a year, it’s upwards of $450 bucks. It ain’t cheap. But you can find coupons and save yourself a little cash on shipping and whatnot. So then they just pick two microbreweries per month and send you two varieties (three bottles) from each, for a total of four unique beers that you have probably never heard of. What’s not to love?

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The Year of Travel

When I was a child, my greatest fear was falling. I would dream about falling from a building, or a tight-wire stretched between buildings. I don’t know why I should have these dreams. I would never consider actually walking a tight-wire, but there you are. Now that I’ve grown up, my greatest fear has evolved. It’s no longer a selfish fear – a fear for myself. It’s now a fear for the safety of my children. I guess that’s every good parent’s greatest fear though. It makes me shaky and sick to think of something happening to them. I am, therefore, necessarily opposed to taking my children to New York.

It’s not that I think it’s that much more dangerous than anywhere else. Right now I live in one of the top five safest cities in the United States. So yeah, I feel pretty comfortable where I am. But it’s just that I don’t feel like I have control of anything when I’m in New York. Number one, I don’t drive a car, and probably never would in Manhattan. It seems to me to be a place where you live close to work and either walk or take public transit to get there. There aren’t a lot of parks and playgrounds for the kids. At least not where I was. It just doesn’t seem like a very kid-friendly environment. I guess maybe Queens or The Bronx would be better than Manhattan.

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The Bar Harbor Diaries, Vol. 3

What I didn’t consider when I wrote volume two was that it was Memorial Day. I mean, of course I knew it was Memorial Day. But I hadn’t considered that the breweries would be closed. So in short, what this meant was that we could take our time getting to Portland. There was no need to rush to make sure we had plenty of daylight left to hit as many brewhouses as we could. And you know, that worked out after all, because we were able to have a nice leisurely drive back. What should have taken three hours took almost six. And it was completely cool.

Cadillac Mountain was very nice. Gorgeous views. It was a little cold up there, but we had a great experience. Then we sat at Jordan Pond and had a brunch of popovers and lobster rolls with coffee. One of the most excellent brunch experiences of my life, right there. Completely worth the drive, friends. The wind was cool and fresh off the lake, as we sat outside at a picnic table staring out over the water while we ate. So beautiful.

These popovers are apparently the latest craze up there. The bake a muffin until it gets huge and just sort of explodes. So it’s a gigantic muffin that’s hollow on the inside. You put butter and jam on it, and – well, let me back up. You know those spherical scoops of butter they give you in breakfast diners? Yeah, I took that whole thing, sliced a hole in the pop and stuffed the entire butter sphere in it. Then poured the entire cup of jam inside, and sort of mashed it all around. Dear sweet WOW.

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The Panama Chronicles: Part 4

Part Four: The Tribal Village of the Embera

We’ve come a long way with technology. This to me is science. I like to stay at the forefront – the leading edge, and all the other buzzwords you can think of that have to do with technology. I sometimes buy devices and gadgets with the full intention of returning them within the fourteen-day window just so I can become familiar with them, learn all about them, and be able to speak intelligibly of them. I would never personally own a Windows phone, but I was quick to hop on my mother’s for an hour or two when she got it, just to check out what they’re all about. I have more gadgets and technology in my house than a Best Buy distribution warehouse. Well, one that’s very small and only has like five laptops and three tablets in it.

I never dreamed I could part with my tech so easily. And maybe I can’t. I brought my tablet and my D/SLR camera with me on this trip to Panama. And my cell phone. And my wife’s laptop, her cell phone, a pocket camera, a 3G wireless hotspot, a GRUB analyzer, a Trip Socket spectrometer, and a bag full of cords, cables, chargers and SD cards. I came fully prepared. Our phones, however, remained off the entire trip. It was nice to be disconnected. Sort of. Not sort of nice. Sort of disconnected. Of course we still fired up Lync and Google Talk to video chat with the kids in the evenings, and I checked my email on my tablet and sent my drawings to my game mates on Draw Something. But we were more off-the-grid than usual. Especially when we went to see the Indians.

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The Panama Chronicles: Part 3

Part Three: The Heart of Panama City

Panama has three beers to offer us. There’s nothing special or fancy – they’re all golden beers, light in flavor and body, and all pretty similar. We tried them all, of course, and actually wanted to venture out into the city to pick some up to keep in our hotel room. Those Panama nights get long, and that balcony that overlooks the Diesel Beach just seems to call to us like the crickets of the jungle. We longed to sit out on that balcony and enjoy a few cold cans of Balboa. Alas, here now we sit in our comfortable leather couches back in Dallas, Texas, and can say we not once sat in those chairs on the balcony.

We did do plenty of sitting and drinking though. I met some really great people on this trip. Certain people with whom I’ve spoken and supported many times were there, and it was great to meet them. But they also brought with them their spouses, and that really rounded out the vacation for me. Tom and Jeremy and Sean – these guys were the perfect compliment to the Suzanne, Shana and Kacy I’ve already come to know and love. Though I’d not yet met Suzanne and Kacy, I was already very fond of them from my dealings with them on the phone. The nights we spent out by the pool crowded around a table drinking beer we had bribed a waiter into serving us were as memorable as the tours and experiences we were talking about around those tables.

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The Year in Pictures

Happy Friday, friends. Another year has almost come to an end. Well, maybe I’m a little precocious in saying that – seeing as we still have thirty-one days until it’s over. But it’s almost over. Eleven-twelfths of the way through. So that’s close enough in my book. So I figured I’d go ahead and close out the year with a special photos column, recapping some of the things that happened this year. Some of these pictures are relevant, some are not. All were taken this year. But not all of them actually have anything to do with anything. Some of them, in other words, are just cool pictures.

Another thing they all have in common is that they were all taken with my phone. So I didn’t go digging through my digital photo album looking for good pictures. Just my phone. Meaning these happened while I was out and about, or generally too busy to pick up my DSLR. Anyway, have fun, and enjoy walking back through the year with me. In no particular order, of course.

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Here’s the thing about weddings.

See, I get mad when I think or talk about weddings. Not just the kind of mad you get when someone slams a door behind you unexpectedly. No, not even the kind of mad you get when someone calls your mom a whore. The mad I get is like the burning fiery rage of a thousand suns. It makes me angry in my soul. When I find myself getting into a conversation about weddings, I have to withdraw instantly, lest I burn up inside and start shouting all the reason they’re bullshittical, hogwashical and colossal wastes of money. And there are several reasons why this is so. I shall now tell you about them.

First of all, I know the big white weddings are traditional. Most women (and I know I’m gonna get a lot of flack for this, but that’s fine – I’m ready) seem so stuck on this “tradition” excuse that they turn into robots. I SIMPLY MUST GO SPEND A THOUSAND DOLLARS ON A DRESS. Yeah. You must. Why? Because your mother did it. And her mother before her. And you know what they all have in common? They all had an expensive white dress in their closets that never got used again. Because when it comes time to pass your dress down to your daughter, she’s going to say, “Oh, that’s so 1950s! I need my OWN one.” And your daughter is going to do the same damn thing. “Oh mom, I can’t wear that! That’s so 2001!” So yes, by all means, you’re right. You absolutely MUST go out and spend a thousand dollars on a dress you will wear one time. Ever. Because YOU have to follow tradition. You’re smarter than the rest of them.

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Space and the New Independence

I recently took a new job, as all the computers at my old company were finally fixed. Nothing left to do, time to move on. And though my new POE, or Place of Employement is in uptown Dallas – much farther than my previous commute – I am happy to make the trip for two simple reasons. Number A, it’s good to be back in my old stomping grounds. I’ve worked for several companies over the years that were based here around this area, and have gotten to know and love it. Letter two, working in uptown makes it possible (and logistically preferable) to use public transit.

Taking the train to work does not save me any time. On the contrary, in fact. It takes me probably an extra half- to three-quarters of an hour to get to work. But it saves gas. To the tune of over seventeen hundred dollars per year. One might also, though, say that it saves my sanity. I no longer have to worry about traffic jams and road rage; douchebags in oversized Chevy pickups who think they own the road. Continue reading…

Dear Lord! Is It Already 2012?

Now that my baby girl is old enough to take care of herself (she’s almost three), I’ve been given back some of my evening time. It’s nice when they’re potty-trained. No more diapers. They tell you when they need to go potty. This means no diaper bags packed with pull-ups and wipes. This means you can do fun things like family bike-rides, visits to the basketball court to play some round ball, and little trips out into the channel in the boat.

I also have a lot more personal time as well. Not that I spend it locked up in an office or anything. In fact, I don’t even have an office. Hmm. I guess I need to remedy that. But my personal time is spent in my reading chair, or on the couch solving my cubes. Or sketching or writing. I actually resolved this year to read more books than I’ve ever read in a year. Now that I’m very rapidly approaching “the hill”, I have finally been able to slow down a little and start reading a lot more – just like I’ve always wanted to do.

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Happy Birthday, The Bug!

Today is my youngest daughter’s birthday. It is also, however, comma, the ten-year anniversary of the death of Douglas Adams. So which do I write about? Well, duh! How much can you say about a two-year-old’s birthday? Seriously? Who cares? I mean, I can’t think of– hang on… I’m being told by… What’s that? I am? No? Oh. Okay. Never mind. Apparently we’re uh… Let’s… Well, let’s just back it up a bit.

So as I was saying, of course I’m going to talk about The Bug’s birthday! I mean, how exciting! She’s two years old! And!… And!… Two! Can you believe that? Okay! That’s it!

On a serious note, it is pretty crazy how quickly time flies. Remember when I wrote this column on the day she was born? Yeah dudes. Two years ago. Now she’s running around, talking little baby talk, saying things all cute, climbing up stuff, pulling things off shelves, tearing the pages out of books, spilling milk all over the couch… Okay. Maybe we shouldn’t talk about her.

No, but seriously, she’s a good little girl, well-disciplined and well-mannered, and possibly the sweetest little baby the world has ever known. I mean come on, guys, how many two-year-olds do you know who say “Bless you!” when you sneeze? And she’s been doing that for six months. She’s such an angel, I don’t know how I’m going to live without a two-year-old in the house once she’s grown up. Both of my girls are princesses. And this one, just like her older sister, is a girly girl. I mean, there is no doubt she likes girl things. Everything is pink.

It’s funny – when we painted her room, before she was born, when she was still just an “it”, we painted it an ugly shade of brownish snotty green. My red-haired wife picked the color out and I had nothing to do with it. I have no idea what she was thinking, either. We tried to pretty the room up with little pink letters that spell out her name, but I think she knows. She knows the room is the color of a flu patient’s snot. She’s a good sport about it though. She forgives.

So welcome, Laynie, to the terrible twos. I should have welcomed you about a month ago when you started the pre-game festivities, and started acting like you were two already, destroying my entire house. But all is well. I still love you. And you’re far better than any other child I know of. Your terrible-twos are like most other kids being their best. So I’ll take it.

Happy birthday, Bug. I am honored, privileged, and blessed to be your father, and likewise – to have you as a daughter. Here’s to many, many more.

Bacon Talk: Thanksgiving

Welcome back, SpaceBrewers. We know none of you are reading this on Friday because you’re all out shopping at Best Buy, Kohl’s, Target and The Great American Cookie Company. But you will read this at some point. Thanksgiving has came and went, and we missed a great opportunity with Halloween – so we didn’t want to miss a Bacon Talk for Thanksgiving. So what did we give thanks for? Crrrrrringe… Okay, I thought I could live with the “has came and went” and I think I could have… But ending that sentence with “for”? Nuh uh. Grammar talk should be another weekly special here. So I can beat the hell out of you with sentences like “For what did you give thanks?” and the like.
Anyway, Haycomet, we traditionally mention our thanksgivings on this one day every year. And while that’s a good thing, don’t you think we should be thankful every day of the year – not just on that one day? I do. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’ll just go ahead and ask you: who were you rooting for in the football game yesterday?
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What is a reunion without first a union?

It’s that time of year again. You know, that time after Halloween when you begin taking down the sheety ghosts and throwing away the rotten, moldy, blackened, gnat-infested carcasses of the pumpkins on your porch and prepare to replace them with Christmas decorations. It’s that time when we begin winding down the year and getting ready to board up the tree houses for the winter, and start migrating inside where we can convene around fireplaces and football games. We also tend to have a lot more family reunions this time of year.

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Bacon Talk: Friends

Hey, Space! It’s a beautiful cool crisp day. I brought the pumpkin pie flavored coffee, and I see you have brought my favorite meat candy. Uh, I better clarify- I’m talking about your giant sack of bacon.

I love Autumn. The leaves are changing, it gets darker earlier, the air has a slight chill, and Halloween has just passed. That gives me a great idea for today’s topic… friends!

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Second Gun Not Necessary

I was awakened abruptly by the sound of the front door being closed forcefully. You have to slam my front door for it to close all the way. Someone had slammed it. Many times I’ve been awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of something that could have been a door, but this time, I knew. You know how they say when it happens, you’ll know? Well, this time I knew. My eyes had popped open as the sound of the door in the otherwise quiet house echoed in my head.

I jumped out of bed where I had been sleeping hard. I had been asleep for around forty minutes. I slung my headlamp over my shoulder because it was the first light I was able to find in the darkness. I also don’t want to be wearing a target around my forehead when I’m clearing the house. Then I grabbed my pistol and turned on my bedside lamp. As I’m standing there naked by the bed, my red-haired wife rolls over and says, “What’s going on?”

“It’s go-time, babe.”

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Yes I saw The Notebook. No, I didn’t cry.

Weren’t you one of the ones who told me to watch this movie, and that when I did watch it, I would cry? Well, if it wasn’t you, it was everyone else. Every single person I’ve talked to who’s seen it, has told me they cried. Oh my God, it was so sad! I just LOST it at the end. OMG. :yawn:

Now let me back up and make two points before I continue with this. Point one: no, this is not a SpaceBrew Review of The Notebook. I will not be talking about the plot, the acting, spoilers, plot devices and how they could have made this movie better. Hence the title. I don’t feel the need to review this movie. Notice how most of the Brew Reviews I write always get good stars? Well I think they do, I don’t really recall. See, that’s because I really only like to review the good movies.

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I have the beat wife ever.

The title of this column was based upon a Facebook message my wife left me yesterday, for our anniversary. You know how hard it is to type messages on a cellphone when there is no real keyboard? Yeah. Well perhaps tomorrow when Haycomet and I get together for our Bacon Talk, we’ll have something to say about cellphones. Anyway, yesterday, as a lot of you may or may not know, was my red-haired wife’s and my first anniversary. Yes, friends, what that means is that we have been married for most of a year. Or close to a year. Something having to do with a year. And, as the title suggests, she is the beat wife ever.

You see, she says some things like that sometimes, when there are not even any keyboards around. She misspeaks and they become terms of endearment, naturally, for me. Like how she says, “Chipolte” instead of Chipotle. Or she’ll call me her “Knight and shining armor”. You know, cute things that red-haired wives do that make us smile. But yesterday, for our anniversary, she did what was perhaps to go down in history as one of the awesomest things anyone has ever done for me. She got me a lunchbox.

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Bacon Talk: Marriage

Happy Friday, SpaceBrewers! For this special day, we thought we’d do a special co-authored column for you with your favorite two writers. And we’d like to dive into a subject that’s seldom touched upon here: marriage. Yes, we’re going there. See, Haycomet and I are married. Well, not to each other. But we are both married to other people. The point is that we both know what it’s like to be married. We’ve both been married a long time, and we both have the same core values and outlooks on the big M word. So what’s it like to be asked the same questions?
So that’s what we’ll get into here. We believe that ‘on the rocks’ is a good thing, as it refers to a special way of drinking bourbon. So keeping your marriage on the rocks is always desirable: it represents success and prosperity. If someone were to approach a man and a woman and ask them both the same questions about marriage, how different would their answers be? If the most important thing in a married man’s life is sitting on the couch drinking beer, what then, would be most important to the woman? Well, obviously it should be cooking and cleaning, but we’re going to find out!
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Where-Fi?

I’m sitting here writing this column on Friday night. I will schedule it for publication as soon as I finish it, for Tuesday morning, the 4th of May. Why, you may ask, am I sitting here writing a column on Friday night when I could be out slipping warm ones into garters and Cold Ones down my gullet? Well, like I told you on Friday’s column, I’m in the hospital with my recovering wife. No, that wasn’t a joke. She really did get surgery. No, it wasn’t really a whoopie cushion. But wouldn’t that be bad ass?

She’s doing well, I guess, or as well as well can be after getting gutted like a fish. She just went for her first walk and made it like twenty feet before having to turn around. She’s hurting pretty bad. And I know you guys probably think I’m an asshole for not tying her gown up in the back for her, and – in fact – telling her it was tied in the back. But I just figured I could give a little back to humanity. And that’s a good way to do it. The Hispanic family in the hallway sure appreciated it.

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SpaceBrew Review: The Blind Side

Yeah, I went and saw it. I love football. And, well, I love my wife. So I took her to see Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw on the bigscreen. Just kidding, it wasn’t really about that for her. See, I got me one of them good wifes. She likes football too. Yeah. Told you. But this review is not about my wife. It’s about the movie.

Speaking of which, it might have been Sandra’s best role yet. Well, not counting Speed, of course. And Tim McGraw wasn’t all that bad, either. I mean, he’s no Keanu Reeves, but he was pretty good. And get this: in some places, even believable. But the big black guy who played the big black guy was awesome.

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The Day of the Turkey

I guess to those of you in New York, it would be Day of the Toikey. Well either way, I hope it’s a happy one. I thought I would sit down here on the sofa and write a little post to fill everyone in on what’s been going on lately. It’s nice to have a family day with Step and the girls. We don’t have the boy this week, but it’s still cozy. We’ve historically always gone to the parents’ houses or to be with extended family, but today we decided to stay home and have our own intimate little turkey eating experience.

I haven’t had internet connectivity at home over the last few months, and working the odd hours and schedules that I work now haven’t had the time or the passion to update the site. I brought home a modem last night from the Clear guy to try it out and see what kind of connectivity and speeds I get, and was amazed at how the first thing I wanted to do was write a post on the Brew. Lucky you.

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Day One : 2009

We got up at about five ’til five today. Well, I say we – I actually slept until about 5:40. Stephanie got up at 4:55. We got ready and headed in to the hospital. This is so unlike Callie’s birth where Heather’s water broke and I tore off down the rainy highway at close to FTL velocity. This morning we were prepared, we know Stephanie is being induced – or having a c-section – and knew that there was no rush. We could just sort of drift on in. We needed to be there at a certain time, but that’s something you can plan for. If the water breaks, you gotta haul.

We arrived and they got started with an IV drip. Our first step in this process was to have the baby verted. Its head was still up as of 21:30 last night. We prayed that God would turn the baby so we wouldn’t have to go for the version. That’s a very dangerous process that can cause all kinds of bad things to happen. Things of nightmares. Bleeding, hemorrhaging, up to and including loss of the child or the mother. So yeah, mark me down for being a little bit nervous.

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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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All I want for Christmas…

Christmas is the season for giving. It’s better to give than to receive. Giving is the king’s – – you know what? That’s BS. All of these quips have one thing in common. They all involve giving stuff away. Well they have two things in common. They all involve someone receiving something. You can’t very well give something away without someone receiving it, right? Well I’m ready to be on the receiving end! That doesn’t sound good. But I’ve already made the joke, so I expect no comments containing jokes about me being “the receiver” and all that nonsense. It’s Christmas, people.

So I wasn’t going to complain, but now I think I am. Just a little. All of this giving is going on. And I’m doing quite a bit of it myself. SpaceBrew did really well this year, so I’ve been able to afford a few thousand dollars worth of stuff to give to family and friends. That doesn’t mean I want a seven-thousand dollar gift coming to me. (Well actually I wouldn’t complain…) But I would like a couple of little somethings to open. Yeah? Yeah. Is that so wrong?

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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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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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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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Day One

Today was the day. The first day of February, 2004. I woke up about eight-thirty and let the dogs out. Heather went to the bathroom, and asked if I wanted to go to church today. I said, “Yeah, as long as you feel like it.” She agreed, and said it might be the last time we get to go for a while. With the dogs out back, I lay back down for a while, and Heather came out of the bathroom and said, “Honey, I think my water broke.” We did the tests though, and it hadn’t.

Heather got in the shower to get ready, and then sat on the edge of the tub to shave her legs. I was drifting off again, rather nicely. It was about nine at this point. And a muffled yell through the bathroom door awakened me. “Brian! Brian!” I got up and ran in there. “Brian, my water broke!” I looked in the tub. Indeed it had. My mind got in Let’s Go gear, throwing things together and getting dressed. During this madness I managed to make it to a phone and call my mom to let her know, “The water is broken.” As it turns out, it was a good thing that I had called her, because she wasn’t freaking out like I was, and had a mind to call the hospital and get us a room.

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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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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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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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