Tuesday, August 31, 2004


That's the rallying cry of a collective of local business owners here, trying desperately to preserve what has only been present as memory and facade for years.
What's really going on is a campaign to support and foster local businesses, and while I think that's a good thing and wholly support it, wrapping themselves in the corpse of what Austin used to be is kind of creepy...and smarmy.It kind of reeks of the very element they are campaigning against.
No sir...I don't like it.
You see it everywhere, on T-shirts, bumper stickers, in local businesses all over town..."Keep Austin Weird".
If you grew up here, or, in my case,lived here since you were in elementary school, Austin started losing it's charm,ne:"weird", a long time ago. For me, it all started when the Armadillo closed (thank you Carole Keeton McCleenen Strayhorn Mellencamp Garcia Strayhorn*...you bitch).
*Local longtime politico and currently comptroller, locked in an on going battle of wills with our "governer" (P)rick Perry, who looks and acts a lot like a 70's game show host and "governs" like the self serving asshole he is...but enough about that.
On the way to our job site this morning we were stopped at the intersection of Guadalupe and 8th,and there was a large black man sitting at the bus stop, who was normal looking in every respect. Except he had "crazy eyes" and the most beautiful 70's Farrah Fawcett blonde wig perched on his head.
That dear reader is what keeps Austin weird.

Monday, August 30, 2004


Ann mentioned briefly the dog fight that occurred here yesterday, when I got to the house they had stopped trying to kill each other and were seperated by Ann when I walked in the house. There was blood and hair everywhere...our stuff knocked out of the way, speaker wires ripped out, My disassembled rifle was scattered all over the living room.
The dogs blood was in sprays and splatters, on the floor, the walls, on components. Ann's was in drops, you could follow the trail of her efforts to seperate them just by looking at the tile.
They have never done this in my presence, and it bothers me to no end that Ann has to deal with this shit...again.
Apparently Theo (75-80lbs), curled up in his favorite chair, heard something out front and jumped out of the chair to investigate...Theo has hip problems and turfed out on the tile floor. He was gimping his way to the door when Sullivan (90-95lbs) saw his chance to dethrone Theo and pounced on his ass.
Irene (40-45lbs) hauled ass out the patio door into the backyard.
Ann called me about 5 min. into it, it took me about 10 to get home, so these rather large dogs were ripping at each other for just shy of fifteen minutes.
They have been separated since...all three of them.
We have been instructed by Anns boss to keep it that way, show no emotion what-so-ever (except for Irene) allow no interaction between them (Irene included...she is an instigator, or a stimulator or a somethinganator, even though they are all fixed). Meet their basic needs...that's it. food,water,potty...Irene is exempt from the withholding of hugs-n-love-n-stupid love you gibberish that we normally shower on all of them.
Here's some background on the background of our three black dogs (in order of aquisition):
Theo...his mother was ditched on the side of the road and ended up at our vet, puppies in tow. We had just lost skeeter, our Boxer, to an aortic anuerysm (that sucked bigtime) and thought ( at the encouragement of the staff at our vet) decided to take on another pet right away (manipulative on their part...impulsive on ours, but what are you gonna do?He was a cutie). He is, by default, the alpha, despite his disability. He was here first.
Irene...Found abandoned on my son's stepfathers ranch with her brother. Kyle asked if he could have a dog (he was living with us at the time) we said yes. Brother stayed at his mom's house. My son was going over fool's hill at the time, so his bid at dog ownership didn't last long...she quickly became my dog, and still is. When Kyle left our home, I was so concerned about him and his ability to care for her, I refused to let him take her.As I recall, when he said what about Irene,I said, you've got to be fucking kidding me.The cool thing is, even though Irene is somewhat people aggressive, whenever she sees Kyle she greets him like the savior he was.She remembers.And so do I.
Sullivan (Sully)... Brought to our vet, sick and abused, survived PARVO. When the bill came in, ditched by abusive owners. I went to pick up a turtle at my vet one day, and the tech said "you like black dogs...come see this one" . I was smitten,and took Ann (sort of against her will) to meet him.
She was smitten as well.
And there you have it...3 black dogs, all from heartache, all with issues.
It's like I'm running a treatment center again, only these patients can't talk to me and Ann, we have to become part of the pack and understand how dogs work out their shit.
Theo looks so pathetic, cuts all over his head and ears, like a prize fighter who just got his hat handed to him by a contender who kicked ass (sully) but walked away with some injuries he will remember for awhile.
I'm so conflicted and so sick of this shit. I spent alot of time today thinking about what to do...Theo is older, and handicapped, and in a pain a lot of the time...hip dysplasia...but the most affectionate dog ever...when he loves on you he LOVES on you. Do we put Theo down?
Sullivan is stout and vibrant and definately the smartest of the three but he is dog and people aggressive and impulsive/unpredictable, and at around 90 pounds this is a dangerous combination...he could easily overpower almost anyone without a weapon and possibly kill them...if
he wanted to.And while I like this in a dog (my dog Buddy was the same way at 125lbs, but completely under my control and would not act unless commanded or the situation was such that my or my own was in danger). Do we put Sullivan down?
Irene is exempt from this train of thought...she thinks she is queen bee and instigates shit, but is easily redirected and responsive.She has also been described as dog/people aggressive...I agree with the dog part, but prefer to call it people "wary".
But who knows really? They can't tell us what happened before they came into our lives or why we are different and somehow worthy of their trust and love and devotion, but we are, somehow.
So the thought of killing them because they can't deal rips my heart in two.
It's like "Sophie's Choice" only with dogs.
I think were just gonna sit still for awhile and ponder it.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

My knight in shining armor
Yep, I've got one. Rob, who came rushing home when I called him during the dog fight. And Cris too, who came with him. They had been at Maudies when I called and while there wasn't much they could have done about the situation, they closed out their ticket anyway and came straight here to the house. The fight was over by the time they arrived, but the emotional support was very much appreciated. And later on tonight, my knight rode for me again - this time to go to the grocery store and get me some "Liquid Bandage" (the quasi-medical version of Super Glue) to stop up the leaky spot and more beer to help dull the pain. The wound is still seeping, but thanks to the extra beer I may sleep tonight. I do have, at my disposal, the left-over Hydrocodone from Rob's toothache, but I'd have to be in unbearable pain before I'd ever take it. Codeine, or any synthetic version of it, completely destroys my short-term memory. I would lose today, yesterday, tomorrow and the day after if I took one tonight. And quite frankly, I'd rather have the pain than a blank spot in my memory.
Tough choices
Our boy dogs got in another fight today. An ugly, nasty fight. I ended up with a bad gash on my left index finder when I tried to grab one by the collar and pull him off. Yeah, dumb move on my part, but I thought the no slip collar would put my hand far enough away that I woudn't get bit - NOT.

The first choice we had to face was what to do about the dogs. We may have to put one or both of them to sleep. I don't have energy to go into the details of what happened, but I've been at my job long enough to know the options are limited. Fortuantly, my boss is an expert when it comes to this sort of thing so I will have access to the best advice available later this week. For now, we can keep the boys apart in different rooms and defer that decision for a later day when I have a chance to talk to him. I'm not ready to make that kind of a decision right now anyway.

The second choice was what to do about my finger. It needs stitches by modern standards, but otherwise I think it's okay. Who knows, I'm not a doctor. Instead, I'm one of the 45 million Americans who don't have health insurance. I decide to pick up the phone and start calling the places that are open on a Sunday afternoon and ask them what they charge. It's surprisingly difficult to get this information, but I manage to discover that the cost for a doctor just to take a look and not do anything (like stitches or xrays, etc.) runs from $80 to $200 depending on the place. Stitches would bump this price up to $300 to $400. That pretty much made the decision for me and I opted for self-treatment. I did as much to prevent infection as any doctor would do and made a splint fashioned out of a plastic fork handle with some duct tape to hold it on for a couple of hours which allowed the wound to seal up except for one spot than continues to ooze. If it keeps up, then I'll hit that spot with some super glue. The fact that I'm typing this post makes me think there is no major damage under all that swelling and uglyness. Sure, it hurts like a mother-fucker to type, but I can do it and the fact that it hurts like a mother-fucker is a good thing. If it didn't hurt, then I'd be at the emergency room working out a payment plan.

Now this might be a good opportunity to rant about the lack of health insurance coverage in the richest nation on earth, but truth be told, I probably would not have gone to the doctor even if I had insurance. My last insurance plan wouldn't have covered any charges unless I had already met my $5000 deductible and the best insurance plan I've had in the last 10 years had a $150 copay for emergency room treatment. No, don't give me health insurance, give me a doctor that works on Sundays who charges an affordable rate. Yeah, like that will ever happen.

I had a few screwdrivers at home this morning (hey-it's the weekend and I waited till "brunch time" ok?). Then my buddy Joel called and we met at Maudies. He had Randy with him, another bud of mine, and we had several rounds of the infamous RNS...well, Randy had frozens and Joel had red wine cause he's on that south beach diet (it's working, he looks thinner).
Anyway, by the time we clocked out (around 4pm) I was toast...no...I was FUCKING toast. Vodka and tequila are a dangerous...no...a FUCKING dangerous combination.
I walk in the door and Ann says..."you are fucked up" (she's astute like that). Ann cruised to the store, the last thing I remember was asking her to pick up more orange juice...like I needed to drink some MORE...and then I was asleep, or more appropriately, passed the fuck out.Spooning with the dogs (who had no clue I was drunker than cooter brown, just thrilled that I was on the bed and wanted to cuddle).Who the fuck is cooter brown anyway?And how does one know when they are drunker than him? Just askin'.
Ann woke me up at 9:45 to eat dinner...brats if I was interested. I got up and ate a brat.
I tried to go back to bed but no go...so here I sit at 1:40 in the am, Ann's in bed sound asleep, and between 11:30 and now Sullivan and Irene have made separate trips out of the bedroom and looked at me with that "what are you doing up-you should be in the bed with the rest of the pack"(Theo has not made an appearance because he is happily drooling on my pillow,fast asleep) before toodling back to the bed and sleep, where I should be, but I'm not, because I already got my 5 hours on average sleep and I'm wide fucking awake at 1:40 am...which doesn't happen to me...ever...well, since I got old anyway.
So, after watching "from dusk until dawn" on HBO and mindlessly cruising the net, here I am.

Me and Sister and JoJo and mom were driving back to austin, at a gas stop I bought some quarts of miller beer. Mom said she didn't care if I drank the beer, but I better not give any to JoJo. I did, and she said if I did it again, she would dump us out on the side of the road and we could make our own way back to Austin. I did it again, she busted us via the rearview mirror, and true to her word, she ditched us on the side of the road somewhere near Vidor, Tx. Vidor is not somewhere you want to be if you are a person of color, or, in the case of me and JoJo, hair farming hippies.Some towns have lions club or rotary club signs at the city limits, but in Vidor they were KKK signs, and back in the day the stories go, signs that warned "coloreds" to not linger after dark.
But there we were, sitting on the right of way, drinking miller beer quarts and laughing as we watched the car disappear over the horizon.
Then we realized where we were...fucking Vidor, Tx. A very dangerous place for people of our ilk.
Hitching was out of the question, the chances of being picked up and killed were high, or at the very least,driven to some barn where rednecks would shave off our hair with sheep shears.
So , after the beer was gone, we got up and started walking...back to Austin.
We walked for awhile, and there were no cars in either direction, it was desolate and hot.
We saw a car coming from the opposite direction and JoJo said "that's my mom". And it was, Sister had convinced her to come back for us.
We made it home and mom was cool enough to cover for me and sister with my parents...she didn't rat us out...thank you mom.
That night, after everyone else had either left or gone to sleep, sister and I sat in her room in the dark, the moon light as our nightlight, listening to Dylan and recounting our adventure.
Sister turned me on to Dylan, her guitar had a small picture of him taped to the pick guard.
It was a martin guitar with a tobacco finish and an ebony neck....beautiful.
Just like her.Sister, I miss you.

Saturday, August 28, 2004


With the yolk still kinda runny.
I was making breakfast this morning and while frying an egg, I remembered an event from years ago involving people I haven't seen or talked to in as many years.
I had this friend in high school and he had a sister, they lived here with their dad,but were from Houston where their Mom still lived. His name was JoJo, her name was (pick one) BG,Rita or as we called her "sister".
Sister lived with me and my family for about a year, and during the summer of that year JoJo was down in Houston visiting his Mom.
Sister missed her brother, so one afternoon we were at the squeeze inn drinking beer (it was underage friendly) and decided to hitchhike to Houston...we hit the road without so much as a phone call to anyone, goin' to see her brother and mom.
We catch our first ride with a guy in the navy, on leave, and he takes us all the way to McAllen,right next door to Houston.
We slept off our buzz on the way, sister's head cradled on my shoulder ( it was the only time we slept together) I remember the guy waking us up at the end of the line and looking at her, snuggling me as she woke up...I had never even kissed her, I never told her, but I was madly in love.
Not in a conscious sexual way, we were connected. I would have done anything for her (like hitching to Houston without telling a soul, so she could see her brother).
So...we get to her Moms apartment and reunite the family. There's lots of pot smoking and beer drinking and reconnecting.
Mom had a phone, so I called my parents and let them know we were ok, in Houston, but ok, and that Mom would drive us back to Austin in a couple of days.
So, were out cruising the neighborhood late at night and we come across this couple whose irish setter had just been hit by a car. The dogs muzzle is crushed, the girl is hysterical, the guy is in shock. Everyone's afraid to move the dog. There's a headboard leaning against a dumpster, my inner McGuyver kicks in and suddenly it's a stretcher. We roll the setter onto it and lift him into the back of the guys truck...I'm calling the shots at this point, and sister knows where a 24 hour vet is...on the far north side, we are on the far south side.
So we take off, racing to the clinic in the back of a pick up...the setter is wheezing and bleeding all over me as I try to comfort him, sister is trying to comfort him too.
We get to the clinic, and after an examination, the setter is put down.
We sit in a close circle in the waiting room with the guy and girl for awhile, crying.
They lost their dog.But not without trying to save him, and me and sister were strangers who just happened along and tried to help. They gave us a ride back to Mom's and the next morning sister made fried egg sandwiches with bacon...the yolk was runny and mustard, because there wasn't any catsup.
I remember how it tasted like it was yesterday...
She could have been the love of my life, and in a way she was.
When I thought about her head on my shoulder in that car this morning, I smiled at the memory, and had the same feeling I had on that day...
so long ago.

Friday, August 27, 2004


That I'm packing...I got the 10 D shoe to be sure, which according to most means an average dinkus -operandi. Then there's the finger theory, which, if it is true to application means guitar great Johnny Winter has a really long penis. Then you have the racial bias, which dictates (he said dic) black men get dizzy when they get a hard on. Then there's my retard hypothisis that all retarded men have giant dicks (it's true) but who want's a retard pounding the peehole and drooling all over you in the process, and quite possibly having a gran maul seizure...well...maybe a giant member+gran maul seizure would be the shit...somehow I doubt it.
It might be fun for awhile, but come on...they are retarded, big sticks not withstanding, I mean, if you need two retarded guys to hold you up and guide you in off your giant tricycle for a cup of coffee each into the retard woman you gave a dollar and some cigarettes to jump into a "V" because other wise your palsied ass can't walk but can drive a giant tricycle around with a giant dick retarded self couldn't spike it on your own says something about motivation...come to your own conclusions ( this tricycycle tyrst really happened by the way...I was 18 at the time I witnessed it, and it altered my pussyquest genes forever :) )
And finally, there's the whole porn thing...and I'll leave you to your own devices about that.
But the crotch rock star has it's own mystique...and beyond the venal appeal of being one, I just want to sing...but not like that guy in the Monty Python movie.
This post is rated X...for X-tra stupid.
Where is that Nailbomb CD god dammit?!
Taming the CD Collection
Rob and I have an enormous amount of music CDs. I can only guess at the number because we stopped counting at 500 and that was seven years ago. I am the type who handles them by their edges, always puts them back in their case and returns the case to the shelf, in proper alphabetical order. Rob pretty much just makes piles. Piles of naked CDs and piles of CD cases, some with CDs inside, most without. If he does put something back on the shelf, it's not in alphabetical order This has been driving me crazy for over ten years. The only CDs I am ever likely to find with minimal effort are the ones he never listens to and there's not a whole lot of those. I can easily sift through a pile and find something I'd enjoy listening to, but if I'm looking for a specific CD, say I'm in the mood for Helmet's Meantime, then I'm pretty much shit out of luck unless I ask Rob who might remember which pile in which room the CD is currently residing.

Now I'm not interesting in nagging him to put the CDs back in their cases and back on the shelf in alphabetical order. He obviously doesn't have a problem finding CDs. Well, not usually - there have a been a few temper tantrums when he just HAD to listen to something and couldn't find it. But it's not normally a problem for him. I'm smart enough to know this is MY problem and not ride his ass about it. In fact, this is probably a pretty good example of why our relationship works and why we don't fight all the time like some of our friends. I will guarantee you that I have plenty of habits that are equally annoying to Rob who, being the wise man that he is, keeps his mouth shut. We both know there's a lot more important things in life than arguing over how to properly use a half-empty tube of toothpaste.

And so I've learned to live with the CD chaos, trying a variety of methods to ensure I can listen to the music I want to hear, when I want to hear it. The first attempt was to try and pick up after Rob, putting naked CDs back in their cases and constantly re-alphabetizing the shelves. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at picking up after myself, much less after another person. At one point we bought a 50 CD player and I meticulously added the programming information of which CD was in the player so I could find them, but Rob swapped out CDs on a regular basis without changing the information so that didn't help much. I tried using Napster and Kaaza to just download the music I wanted to hear at the time to the computer, but I couldn't always find what I wanted and the RIAA got involved and I decided to have nothing more to do with that. When Mercora came out I had high hopes (no RIAA to worry about), but the user base isn't usually broadcasting what I want to hear.

I have now begun the arduous task of ripping our CD collection to MP3s. I've had the software to do this for years, but never had the hard drive space or the time. I currently happen to have an extra 20 gig of HD space that I'm not using and I figure if I rip 4 or 5 CDs on some nights and maybe a couple of dozen on the weekends, I'll be finished in a couple of years. At some point I'll need to buy some additional storage, but eventually I'll be able to listen to anything we own at any time. And time will only tell if this is less or more of a hassle than the current system of pile sifting; I might give up before the couple of years are done.

Thursday, August 26, 2004


This is what I get for posting with a buzz, and making indecent references to anatomy, but really, I don't understand what all the fuss was about that peanut Plant was flashing to audiences all over the world back in the '70's.
Let's just say I could have been mark's body double in Boogie Nights and leave it at that.

On a side note Taylor and Co. have nominated my high school picture as "most likely to have an unfortunate falling out with his chart topping band .
I had no idea I resembled the rothman...high-larious!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004


I wrote recently about the nature of us, and what events make us what we are...I said it would be continued...so I continue.


I play guitar and harmonica and sing in a band...our band has been on "hiatus" for over a year, but we have no hard feelings and haven't broken up...there is a malaise surrounding the Wolves@th'door but no animosity.
When we re-group in the fall, I just want to do vocals, a move that Ann says will diminish the impact of the bands sound minus my lead guitar. (Which is admittedly really fucking ugly and definitive) But she is willing to expand.
Part of what makes me me is a screaming voice, pounding against the wall...to be heard, fuck the guitar, let me wax poetic. Singing songs about pain, and anger and realization.
So part one of this thing is let me be me...the vocalist.
And we'll take it from there.
Hey...I got the crotch for it...so we're halfway there.


Not. As I've posted before, I suffer some transient retardation in the morning, and the reason Ann usually tries to stay out of my way is purely for my benefit. So I make it out of the house with my keys, or my tools, or pants. If I get distracted, I'm derailed, I WILL forget something. Like this morning...I looked at my work badge clipped to the rearview mirror and said to myself..."Don't forget your badge".
Ann and I discussed ride arrangements for after work, and she drove away with my badge still hanging from the mirror...so today I was temporary badge # 6.
Thrilling shit, huh?
I was over at Jane's ,catching up with her recent move and saw that Agitprop posted a dare to put up pics from high school...ok...here I am, class of 77, the caption says something about rejoicing in early graduation, I was in the darkroom on this day, my favorite place in the whole school. Oddly enough, I wasn't stoned.

I wore that vest almost every day for 2 years, I can't remember where I got it or what happened to it.
I miss my hair.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

A different sort of day
I got home early for reasons you will read about later in this post and went to comment on my comments, but either HaloScan is having problems or my borrowed internet connection is acting up again (I'm not complaining - you get what you pay for and I'm not paying for this borrowed connection so no complaints from me.) Instead I'll take this opportunity to post about my odd day in notepad and transfer it to blogger later.

The day stared out weird when Rob and I overslept even though the alarm was set. As usual, I woke up the moment the first bits of daylight started to come in the windows which was about 7:00 am - the time Rob and I normally LEAVE for work. I didn't have to be at work at 7:30 today so I tried to stay out of Rob's way and decided to leave the house around 9:00. This gave me ample time to shower, drink coffee and take care of a few emails. That turned out to be a good thing because I got a couple of miles from my house when my car decided to crap out. Had this happened on a morning where I didn't have time to wake up and have some coffee before I left then things could have been a lot uglier.

The verdict was a thrown belt and there was much speculation as to why the belt was thrown in the first place (either the harmonic balancer was out of balance or it was a frozen alternator), but there was no driving the car any further. I managed to get it into a parking lot decorated with a number of "tow away zone" signs and went inside to beg their forgiveness. Permission was granted and I then lugged my 40 pounds worth of briefcase (10 pounds of laptop and 30 pounds of "stuff") down the street to Jack-in-the-Box for some morning sustenance. Made a few phone calls and discovered the "must do" office stuff was covered (amazing, but true) and that Rob had a good opportunity to get off work early (also amazing, but true.) It seems it was meant to be. After my stint at the J-Box I wandered down to my car and discovered internet access which enabled me to take care of a few work-related emails. After a time, Rob arrived (my knight in shining armor, er - make that my knight in shining INK) and transported me to Rising Sun who wouldn't head my pleas to fix a "domestic" model, but referred me to D & B Automotive down the street. It's a place that's been there for a long time, but I've never used them. In fact, this is the first time I've ever faced finding a repair shop for my own vehicle because in days long past I always fixed my own. I've been lucky since then, but it seems my luck has run out so we wander in and discover it's a good old-fashioned South Austin repair shop. I'm immediately at ease and hand over the keys and give them the location of the vehicle. .

At this point Rob's off work, not making any money and I'm off work, not making any money so of course we wander into Maudies (just up the street) and spend money that we are not making on drinks while we hang out and wait for the verdict from the auto repair shop. And the verdict's not good, folks. $1100 to repair a car that worth $1000 in good running condition. It was my worst fear come true; the harmonic balancer is out of round and it's on a transverse mounted motor. I've changed my share of harmonic balancers (and seals) and in this case you have to pull the motor, plus the part is only available special order from the dealer so I'm not questioning the amount. If anything, the repair shop is giving me a bit of a break here. But I can't afford that break and a few drinks at Maudies and some missed hours of work doesn't even begin to make a dent in that kind of bill so we decide not to feel guilty about our little monetary transgression at Maudies.

We wander home after the depressing news and I do something that I don't do often enough. I call my parents for advice. It is, after all, THEIR car on paper (we haven't yet transferred the title) which provides me with the perfect excuse to call. But what's really going on is that Rob's post the other day about his dad reminded me that I do have that resource; a resource I very rarely use because I'm still, after all these years, acting like that teenager I used to be who was desperately trying to be "independent". One would think I'd be past that at almost 43 years old, but no, it normally takes a MAJOR crisis in my life before I'll pick up the phone and call my folks. Today, I changed the rules. I called and said "The car's broke; here's what it will cost; what do you think?" And I discovered that I'm definitely my father's child when he said "Have it towed to your house and we'll think about it." Ditto. But it was sooo sweet to get that ditto.

Monday, August 23, 2004


As a movie was kinda like the time machine, only Ashton didn't jump into a wristwatch - gyroscope-bumpercar dealio thingy every time he altered history...or did he? kind of riff.
The thought that you can alter history by doing ONE thing differently was expanded to a degree that only someone with a heavy dose of THC coursing through their blood could relate to.
Horrible things happened to me when I was a child, as I am sure they happenened to most of you.
The world is full of perverts and perpetrators, only these days an inordinate amount of energy is expended exposing and prosecuting them...back in the day, they were were excused and hidden away.
The world is also filled with angry sociopaths like Tommy...only Tommy can't get away with torching a dog in a bag like he used to. (This scene troubled me most).
But this is just a movie...based on someones memories of what it was like to be there...or did they just make it up?
I have known people like Tommy and knew how they got there.
Victims of abuse, known and suspected. Suspected after you get to know them and they pull out.
When they unplug.
Shit like this is just not the creative mind of an aspiring film maker...it is based in some sort of fucking reality...you just don't make this shit up...and if you do...you are one sick pup.
No, check that...there's a reason why.
I wonder if this movie got the shit reviews it got because it made people think...and remember that day in the basement.
And how you wished you could change it...and make it alright.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Not Made for TV
Rob and I have been sharing a computer now for about a month. This means some of the evening/weekend "down-time" I would usually spend on the computer has been spent in front of the TV. I think I have watched more TV this last month than I have watched in my entire life and it seems that I spend most of my time watching commercials as I move from channel to channel hoping to find something that might grab my interest. For example, I spend five minutes watching commercials on channel A waiting to see what is on. Decide I don't want to watch that so I move to channel B and watch five more minutes of commercials to discover that program on channel B isn't to my liking either. And so forth and so on across 70 or so channels of "quality" TV programming. In the process, I've discovered that there are a great many commercials which I abhor and top on that list at the moment is the Pizza Hut "Rip and Dip" commercial. But there are also some real gems out there and I've managed to find a couple of them available for on-line viewing. Here are a few:

That's On E-Bay (Windows Media Player)
Dairy Queen MooLatte Taste Test
Office Max Rubberband Man 5.2 (QuickTime)
Geico Car Insurance - Dogs
GMC Ideas

Some commercials I could consider works of art, but most of them just give me a headache as do most of the programs. I tend to lean towards documentaries or educational programs, but what is up with the synopsis that they tend do after every commercial break? I suppose it's for channel surfers or maybe they think everyone suffers from ADD, but nothing bores me faster than wasting time listening to a narrator review the last 15 minutes of programming that I've already watched.

suppose I'm not your average TV viewer since the program that excited me the most in this last month was a Annenberg/CPB broadcast on polypeptide molecules. The movie I enjoyed the most was on the Disney channel titled Stuck in the Suburbs and was aimed at the teenager crowd. I can understand why I was interested in polypeptide molecules, but I'm afraid to contemplate why I thought Stuck in the Suburbs was such a good movie. Maybe the fact that I was drunk and couldn't sleep might have had something to do with it, or maybe it really is a good movie - who knows?

Speaking of movies, I'm not a big movie fan. I'd much rather read a book, but Rob loves movies and once and a while we decide to do a "movie night" where we get a new DVD, hopefully one that we will both enjoy. For our latest "movie night" this week I decided to see if I could find a website that would recommend movies based on movies that I've liked in the past. There are a few sites out there like this. The first one I tried was Reel.com's Movie Match. That was a bust because every movie title I typed in was matched with movies I had already seen.
The next place I went had more promise - Rating Zone. You have to register, but after rating 115 movies that I had seen and remembered well enough to rate, I got some very good suggestions. We ended up buying Memento after comparing the list of movies from the website to what was available in the store, also considering the price ($9.99 is a better choice on our budget than $24.99 no matter what the ratings or reviewers say.) The movie was interesting and something I will watch again. I wouldn't say it was great, but that fact that I would watch it a second time puts it in the "rare" category for me. I would never bother to give most of the DVDs that we have a second look. Rob, on the other hand, will watch them over and over again so they are not a bad investment.

There are some other "investments" I've been doing lately that may not be a such good idea. I've been buying Texas Lottery scratch off tickets. I'm not spending a huge amount, about $4 a week, but I'm winning absolutely nothing. Take that back, I did manage to win $5 on a $2 ticket today. Big woo. It could have been more and that, of course, is the hook. What other activity could one do that costs $1 or $2 and have the potential result of $75,000 or a grand a week for 20 years? But I can't help but think that the one dollar that I gave to the man wanting to sell me a hat today in the convenience store parking lot because he was broke and needed money will ultimately pay off more in the long run (I didn't take the hat.) Will he spend it on booze or use it to feed his family? I have no idea, but it felt like the right thing to do. That's always been the key to my decision to give some one the money out of my pocket. If it feels right, you could get the last $5 I have and I'll eat Ramen noodles for the rest of the week. If it doesn't feel right, you'll get nothing and I'll go in the store and buy a 6 pack of beer instead. But I do feel, at the core of my being, that every dollar I freely give away comes back to me. I know that sounds like some Christian mumbo-jumbo straight out of the Bible, but it's not based on that. It's not from words I've read or "teachings" I've listened to. It's just something that I know. It's a knowledge that has also been backed up by experience. And the next time I'm in desperate need of a buck, I know I'll find one, just like the man with the hat did. .

My Dad was born on this day in 1925...he passed in 1997, but he really left this mortal coil in 1990.He had a stroke...a massive one.
I won't dwell on the years he spent impersonating produce, because that wasn't him.
I will however, share one story from those days, when a glimpse of who my father was popped out, quite unexpectedly.
I probably have told this story before, I can't really remember...I've slept since then.
After the 3 month coma and almost a year of rehab, coinciding with my mom's losing battle with cancer, the hospital decided they had done all they could do and my dad was relegated to a VA facility.
The center would/could not transport him from Austin to temple...my mom didn't drive and besides, she was busy fighting a battle with cancer...she was in hospital getting platelet transplants when I was driving my Dad to the hospital for evaluation.
So, there we are, in the waiting room with a multitude of other veterans and their families.
My Dad in a wheelchair, essentially non verbal, he looks at me and says "let's get the fuck out of here".
There was a desperation in his voice...like he knew it was the end of the line.
I almost rolled him out of there...but to where?
He couldn't go home...we couldn't run away...there was nowhere to go but where we were.
So I left my Dad in a hospital bed, surrounded by strangers in a strange place...crying.
It was the single most difficult thing I have ever done in my life...and I can still hear him asking...pleading, "let's get the fuck out of here".
And that was my Dad...he knew where he didn't belong, he was a free spirit, the kindest man you'd ever want to meet. He didn't belong in some hospital bed slowly wasting away. That stroke should have killed him
He was the best role model, because he taught me how to be a person, complete and fully realized.
So... he would be 79 years old today.
And I try to imagine him at that age, all old and wrinkly and grumpy sharing stories and anecdotes from a life well lived that no one really listens to, you know, cause it's just some old man rambling on.
I wish he was here to ramble...I would listen.

Saturday, August 21, 2004


Swift boat veterans for truth are apparently liars surrepticiously backed by the bunnypants crew.Noted republicans have denounced the ads from texas real estate asshole Bob Perry and asked that bunnypants denounce them...bunnypants refuses to do so.
Fact: Kerry went to Viet Nam and served his country...he got some medals, that depending on which party you believe, he earned or fabricated by shoving shrapnel into his body.
The simple fact is, he went.
Bunnypants (or anyone else in his administration did not) spent his time doing god knows what in the guard...the record is unclear. Speculation abounds about W's activities during this time...coke...booze...whores...whatever.
The important thing to remember here is that he NEVER set foot in the Nam, doesn't matter what he did...he wasn't there.
Kerry was...that doesn't make him the better candidate, but it gives him the edge in cajones.
He served when his country called and bunnypants pussed out.
The (p)resident that led us to this current state of chaos PUSSED OUT when it mattered.
A punk ass chump to be sure...a closer look at his record while gubner of texas is in order, for no other reason to expose his prediliction to killing and his whoring to the rich and connected.
EVERY ad you see for this imbicile is full of double speak and lies...he is controlled by the party, they tell him when to shit.
They cringe when he occasionally speaks his just north of retard mind, bury it when they can and spin it when they can't.
The reality is that the politics of america are a joke, and have been a joke for years.
Clinton was the last half decent president we've had, and I believe he was a fluke, a welcome fluke who got in because of his charisma, which he amazingly backed up with a sense of decency that bettered the country...with this exception, american politics have been veering toward a caste system since ....at least Reagan...probably before that...I imagine.
I hate republicans and I'm not so keen on democrats...the third parties are lame...
So...what's a revolutionary to do?
How about truth for a change?

Marks brother and a couple of close friends are driving to Marks favorite places and leaving a bit of his ashes at each one. Clubspit, apparently, is on the list. I like this alternative,most appropriate.

Friday, August 20, 2004


This asshole, Sadr, if I was running the show, would be buried under the rubble of this mosque. The holiest shrine in Iraq notwithstanding...it would be a pile of rubble with dead mangled bodies of Sadr and his followers under it.
This is war, and war implies we are here to kick your ass by whatever means possible.And if that means destroying the building your holed up in solely because its sacred, that building would be the first to go...in spades.
All this pussyfooting around in Iraq is driving me crazy...why do we give a flying fuck about the culture and what's important to them when our whole point in being there is to impose "democracy" and change said culture.
You can spout the "if there is a god" bullshit all you want...I say this: If there IS a god, NONE of this would be happening. Don't want to offend the religious sensibilities of a country?, don't fucking invade it.
When germany blitzed england during WWII, do you think they gave a fuck about all the churches in that country? No...in fact they targeted them, along with schools and factories...in an effort to defeat the english. (and thanks to Winston and a gigantic sense of nationalism, it was a failed strategy).
My Mom was a nurse in england during this shit...she saw the horror.
My parents were married in one of those bombed out churches.
The structure was damaged but the spirit was still there.
Viet Nam endured the spanish,the french and us, and nobody prevailed but the Vietnamese.
The first gulf war doesn't count ...we didn't finish what we started, and even if we did, it wouldn't matter.
Beyond the total destruction of Iraq and it's people, there is no winning.
War has become sport...so many rules to follow that the original goal has become clouded and lost.And that goal is to win.But to what gain?
I'm sorry...I just don't see it.

Thursday, August 19, 2004


I'm so old, I remember the pogo pit, people jumping up and down all smiling and happy. If you mis stepped and fell there was a smiling face helping you up and sending you on your way.
Somewhere along the line this all changed and the pogo pit became the mosh pit. A dangerous place where shirtless sweaty big guys were trying to hurt each other, and frequently did.
I tried to avoid the pit, but when it was a favorite band and you wanted to get close you had to take the risk of injury...or enjoy your hero's from the back of the hall.
The recent CLUTCH show was an exception for me...I took the risk and it paid off. I guess I'm a kinder, gentler no, fuck that, I'm better at getting out of the way and not losing my temper.
Soulfly is playing the Backroom tomorrow and we aren't going. Not because of the pit but because of some unexpected expenses, but it got me to thinking about shows I've attended at this venue and one stands out .
It was Tool and The Rollin's Band (You know, Henry from Black Flag).Henry was touring "The end of silence" CD...some really angry stuff.
Tool got everyone going, but Henry and co. sent it over the top. I was staying way in the back to avoid the mosh-craziness to no avail, the whole venue was transformed into a pit, throbbing, undulating slamming sweaty violence was filling every square foot of the place...within feet of the bar.
Suddenly, in the middle of a song, the sea parted. It was like a black hole opening up, and in the center of the now empty floor were 2 sweaty,shirtless guys, beating the fuck out of each other. One broke and ran, the other chasing after, right by me...they were both bleeding from the face.
As soon as they cleared the floor, the hole closed...Henry and company never missed a beat. It was one of the most amazing things I'd ever witnessed.
Soulfly is likely to generate this kind of "energy", and thinking about it, I'm glad we can't go...kind of.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


I sent Loris...the daytime DJ at the classic rock station a request for a 4 song blue plate special. They do these everyday at noon and each day has a theme.
Here's my request:
1.I've got the fire by Montrose
2.Stone cold fever (off rockin' the fillmore) by humble pie
3.Night man by Dirty Tricks
4.Silver paper by Mountain
Good luck Loris...
I probably won't hear from her, but it was fun to issue a challenge.
I'll send this one later, which will probably be ignored, but would fit nicely into the day themed to a thread.
1.Loser by Trapeze
2.Bad Reputation by Thin Lizzy
3.Flowers by the door by TSOL
4.Bad Luck by Social Distortion
Not only does it follow a thematic thread, it's in chronological order.
I have so much music stored in my head, its almost a curse. I see something going on and I immediately assign a song to it...like a soundtrack to my life. I'm sure a lot of other people do this too. All kinds of music...The retro punk on the drag = Ex teenage rebel by The Subhumans, Drag rats = Time of your life by Green day...doesn't matter, I can assign a song to it, and I do, maddeningly.
If you gave me 15 minutes to come up with my 5 favorite songs of all time I would burst into flames trying to decide...there's just too many, and 1 out of 5 is on the radio...classic rock radio...and it's by The Who...
I need to start writing songs again...the time is ripe.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004


...Now you're messin' with a son of a bitch
Talkin' jive and poison ivy
You ain't gonna cling to me...

Or something like that.
It was Nazareth on that old debbil classic rock radio this afternoon. And I was smiling inside.
AND it was on during the regular timeslot for "Lunatic Fringe" by, I think, Red ryder. Thank god for small favors.
After further rumination on the subject of classic rock radio I realized that my problem with it goes way beyond feeling sorry for myself because I'm caught in that vortex...rocketing toward middle age, and not ready to be there yet. Don't get me wrong, I still dream of a selective wayback machine built especially for me.
Platform 2: Just exactly who decides what's classic? Around here, clear channel apparently. I see these youngish radio execs handing arbitrary set lists to DJ's, apparently compiled with state of the art demographics, and they play the same songs, over and over and over. It's like going to a friends house who has a 50 disc player set on shuffle, with the same 50 discs in it he loaded when he bought it 2 years ago. It's pathetic,really.
An example from this morning: Grand Funk..."We're an american band"...huh? What a poor example of this bands musical output...produced at the tail end of an amazing career , a top 40 hit, sure, but when you take in the breadth and scope of Grand Funk Railroad, you'd think they could pick something better (Closer to home doesn't count, cool riff, but that "I'm getting closer to my hooooooommmmmmeeeee shit gets old in a hurry)...How about "Sins a good mans brother" or "Winter in my soul" for a change? "Mr. Limousine driver" anybody?
I haven't heard Mountain's "Mississippi Queen" in forever...great song, seriously overplayed and whored to a beer commercial a few years back...but come on...it's 100 times better than fucking Van Halen's "Jump"...that's right...Jump...right off a fucking cliff you clown.
And speaking of Van Halen...or specifically Sammy Hagar, " I can't drive 55" is classic? How about when he was with a little band called Montrose...Songs like "Rock Candy" , "Space station #5" and "I've got the fire"? That's classic rock...
And for that matter, where's Humble Pie? Trapeze? The list goes on.
I would shit fire and save matches if I heard a Budgie song any Budgie song on a classic rock radio station..."Napoleon Bona part two" would especially kick my aural ass.
One can dream.....:)

Monday, August 16, 2004


I've been feeling weird at work lately, and until today, I wasn't sure why. My mom described it as feeling "low". Not depressed exactly, just out of sorts.
That this feeling only envelopes me at work was a source of curiosity in and of itself. Away from work, I'm ok...just a lingering sadness from losing Mark and the usual worries...bills, money, that kind of day to day bullshit we all deal with.
But sometimes at work, I find myself on the edge of tears.
Today, I figured it out.
It's classic rock radio.
I was placing white plastic washers and black rubber grommets on screws that will hold the lens covers on the never ending four foot light fixtures we are installing (6 to each fixture, I feel sorry for the person who has to change the bulbs on these fixtures).
You'd think that this kind of tedium would bring anyone to tears...but no.
I am learning to be an electrician, and my previous life experience tells me that there is a miasma of tedious shit you must endure to learn a trade or craft.
The radio began playing "reelin' in the years"...by Steely Dan...for the 500th fucking time TODAY.
Augmented by equal parts Boston (They are coming to town soon, so for the last month or so we have been subjected to "More than a feeling" more than I would like...Tom Sholz invented an effect that used to burn up amps in no time...sure it sounded cool,but come on) Aerosmith...I heard "Back in the saddle" today...which I must admit was kinda cool and made me smile; And a myriad of bands from back in the day...my pre punk days.
My clean slate days when I could have been anything I wanted...a psychologist, a shrink, an undercover cop, an actor, a doctor...a nurse...even a soldier in special forces. I could have been anything...the world was wide open to me.
But here I am, starting over...again.
And classic rock radio is there taunting me, reminding me that I wasted my time...through lyrics and riffs that bring back memories of a different time. When the sky was the limit.
Thank you classic rock radio for reminding me of my misspent youth...bastard.

Saturday, August 14, 2004


On the way to break friday, Ann calls me...Theo is sick, puking up giant rivers of clear liquid and...that's all I get, we are driving on the lower deck and apparently T-Mobile sucks when it comes to transmitting through concrete. Well, truth be told, T-Mobile sucks, whether I'm under concrete or not.
Theo is our alpha dog...a narrow assed black and tan mix who has NO business being alpha, but he is.
We are in a near panic over this illness, and T-Mobiles retardation just makes it worse.
I call in at every break...sometimes getting an update, sometimes having this conversation:
Ann: Hello?
Rob: Ann???
A: Hello???
R:God Damn it!!!!
A: Hello???
Hey T-Mobile!!! My dog is sick! Get yer shit TOGETHER.
Theo is fine today...back to his old self...
We are relieved, because he is our alpha dog...our chosen one.
Who should probably quit eating the figs on the ground in our back yard.

Friday, August 13, 2004


I remember a Monty Python sketch..."We've come for your liver" where a man is slammed down on his kitchen table and his liver is removed...even though he's "not done with it yet".
This newlywed gets diagnosed with liver cancer shortly after his marriage and launches a billboard campaign to get one.He's just starting out in life...what a shocking development...cancer. So soon in what must be a charmed life...full of love and sentiment...that sets them off for a long journey of joy...except for that damnable cell destroying blight on happiness, cancer.
He gets one.
Good for him.
I saw a picture of a 20 year old girl in the local newspaper obits the last 2 days who died while waiting for a liver...on the list...the LIST of people waiting for a liver...her ship didn't come in and she died...waiting.
The picture showed a vibrant, attractive girl whose family apparently didn't have the money to put up billboards shilling for a liver...so she was relegated to the list, and she died...waiting on the list.
But this guy who had the means to mount a billboard marketing strategy to get his liver ( money is involved here) got his...she's dead and he's in recovery.
To the guy I say "congrats on having enough money to circumvent the LIST". I hope you have no complications and have a long and fruitful life.
To the girl I say " I'm sorry you were'nt affluent enough to save your own life"
To the world I say "there's something wrong with this system".
Apparently the girls family either didn't think of a suck up billboard or they couldn't afford it.
My mother died of liver cancer...there was no list, and certainly no money to shill for one...to the family of the girl, you have my empathy.
To the guy that bought one off...Good for you, but fuck you anyway...bitch.
There are no cuts in the line of life...at least there should'nt be.

Beetle, our first three toed box turtle was AWOL from the 3T pen the other day. The floor had given out from the recent heavy rains creating a gap large enough for one inquisitive as he was to tunnel down to and out and go off exploring.
When I jacked up the pen floor this after, there he was, or rather,there was his shell.
Did he drown? Did he get eaten by a racoon? I know the dogs didn't do it, cause they would have brought him in the house,like a toy. A mystery...
That's 2 for the season...first my beloved Norton and now, everyone's favorite (Ann included), Beetle.
He was more like a dog than a turtle. He would come when you called him, sit up on his hind legs and beg for food and/or pets under his chin.
This is the highest loss in our 8 years of turtle herding, sad as it is we have been very fortunate to have the success we've had.
During my search of the pen for him I discovered 2 clutches of eggs! Considering his libido, I'm guessing (hoping really) they are his progeny and they will hatch out.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004


You ever notice how events in life regularly trigger this internal thing that tells your brain " I must re-evaluate my life because of "x" event".
Ann's recent post resonates with me...I too, was raised ( partially and half heartedly) catholic.Just enough to leave me with a nagging sense of guilt everytime I masturbate :).Just kidding...I never feel guilty unless I'm caught.
Seriously...I am reminded of a scene from "Hamburger Hill" where Doc is gut shot,full of morphine and in his dying words says to his buddy; " Who ARE we"?
Indeed...WHO are we?
To me, life is a never ending quest to define just exactly what the fuck I am.
Not what I'm expected to be, not what I want to be... not even what I aspire to be ( I aspire to be a mega millions lottery winner who has nothing better to do than play with turtles and guitars and get tattoos...but that's a definite reach, besides, I'm almost out of room ).
The ultimate question, for everyone, I believe, lies in the what makes us...well...us.
To be continued.....


I posted the other day about a falling out among friends and attributed it to our recent loss. Turns out the only direct connection was timing, it had nothing to do with Marks death and everything to do with history and heightened emotions surrounding the loss.
I, in my own fucked up world of emotion, came to a conclusion about people I've known and loved for years.
What was I thinking? I wasn't apparently, past my own self centered feelings at the time.
And besides, this is their business...not mine and not yours (our dozen or so readers).
But it still bothers me that these folks are squabbin' with each other...I consider them all friends and wish that I could fix it for them...give them the gift of harmony and the value of friendship I've learned over the years.
I'm sure they'll work it out over time, at least that's my hope.
A crystal ball would come in handy sometimes I think.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Stressed Out
Sure, some of this is just grief, but there's more going on in my life than Mark's death and that's the problem. Bills to pay, laundry to do, a house to clean, events to go to, dogs to take care of, a job to work at... it's almost impossible to find a moment of peace and quiet to just THINK about things. Big things like death and life and spirituality and why are we here and why do things happen. I lost a great opportunity last week when I couldn't sleep - I should have been thinking about those big things instead of thinking about the fact that I couldn't sleep and all that other "stuff" I need to do such as getting up to go to work and paying the electric bill. This "modern world" has me so disconnected. Then again, maybe older times weren't much better and people lay awake worrying about whatever their worries might have been at the time instead of focusing on the bigger issues.

I'm not much for the trappings of religion. I was raised a Catholic and there's much about that which I hold dear, but I'm no longer a Catholic. I'm not a Protestant nor a Pagan nor a Buddhist. I've yet to find any one "religion" that fits my beliefs. I draw from those religions mentioned above and many others, but mostly you could say I belong to the church of Ann which has only a single member and it's philosophies and dogma are based purely on personal experience which includes more than a few "miraculous" events that have occurred over my lifetime. I am definitely not an atheist and while I admire and respect the teachings of Christ, I cannot truly call myself a Christian because I do not believe Christ is the end all and be all of salvation. Maybe it's all those Baptist revivals that I attended with my friends as a child that turned me off, but you cannot convince me that Mahatma
Ghandi is going to hell because he didn't accept Jesus Christ as his personal savior.

I believe, at the core of my being, that everything happens for a reason. Yet, when a friend takes his own life, I can't help but question that belief. It's in my nature to question things. "Question Authority" was one of my favorite bumper stickers in my youth and I questioned "God" and "Religion" and "Government" and "Science" then and I still do now. I questioned myself as well. Even those things I think I "know", those things that have a feeling of certainty that can not be explained, even those things are subject to review. Now is one of those times of review, a time of confirming beliefs or establishing new ones. But where is the time? I have to find the time.

Back on 9-11-01 and the days that followed, many of us started carrying our guns around with us...just in case.
After a time, I began wondering...in case of what? Will I be able to shoot down a plane with a 9mm? No.
Would I be able to repel a ricin attack with an SKS? No.
Would I be able to defend myself from terrorists, on our soil who were leading an armed assault on Austin? Yes.
The likelihood of that happening? Zilch...zer-eggo...nada.
Until this morning...on the way to work,the news guys I listen to were talking about a paki guy who was arrested in North Carolina in possession of video of "suspiciously filmed" scenes of (our large Dam) Mansfield dam...some buildings downtown and in and around the university area (where I work).
They have yet to determine if this guy is connected to I'll killya, I mean al queda, or he's just some goofball paki architect who thinks our shit is cool...we'll see, I guess.
The chief complaint my radio guys had was the tolerance Austin has for aliens...we basically turn a blind eye to the number of illegal aliens here for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, mexican labor is cheap. Secondly, some members of our fair city can rob said mexican labor, and fearing the INS, they don't report the robberies. Remember, bunnypants was once the gubner here, this could be a way to boost the economy left over from when he had to be satisfied with fucking up Texas instead of the whole world.
And finally...UT...a campus teeming with turbans, and asians who may or may not be muslim.
This jaggedly brings me to another point.
We are currently working in the college of business administration. I would make a rough guess that 80 to 85 % of the students I see on any given day are arabic and asian and spanish.
They are taking advantage of the western model of a business education in increasing numbers.
To beat us at our own game and take the experience home with them.
Is this simply foreign students taking advantage of a superior education or "soft,delayed, economic based terrorism"?
That's just crazy thinking.
Is the UT campus filthy with jihad bent terror cells?
That's just fucking stupid.
Or is it?
Thanks media...for waking up the paranoia in me...again.

Monday, August 09, 2004


Sure, it was a rough week. More booze hounding than usual, not a lot of sleep, mosh pit action and a stroll down memory lane (more about that later).
I thought I was ok this morning, until I got to work. I had the morning from hell, granted, the wall composition in the building were currently working in makes it a challenge to mount and or attach anything so that was out of my control.
But I was unable to work the pipe bender, and the hack saw (or my arm) was possessed by none other than satan his-own-self.
I was finally able to display adequate motor skills sometime after lunch.
The journeyman I'm working with kept looking at me like I was retarded...or crazy...or both.
It was embarrassing. I made a passing comment about the weekend taking a toll on me and his response was "Well, what do you expect...you're an old man".
OK...uncle already.
I have achieved dust with boots on status when it comes to burning the candle at both ends.
Now...about that stroll I mentioned earlier.
There was an art show at the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture saturday evening...a one man show.
And that man is Jim Franklin. Chief artist of the Armadillo World Headquarters.
I spent my youth at the Armadillo.
I got to see walls full of amazing art, a lot of it posters from shows I was at, back in the day. You have to understand Armadillo posters...they are truly works of fine art.
I got to see old friends, some I haven't seen since I was a wee lad.
And Shivas Head Band had to borrow my PA speakers and stands...I never got to play the Dillo, but the old defacto house band played through my speakers, hopefully giving them some of the magic of those days.

Sunday, August 08, 2004


We had a party at clubspit...mayhem '98. The usual folks were there, there was much drinking and debauchery. Live music was, well, live. Mark was there.
I had a half gallon of stoli (before I discovered the magic that is Monopolowa)
I woke up the next morning (early afternoon really) and thought a bloody would ease the pain of a hard night of drinking and playing and singing, only to be left abandoned...the stoli was nowhere to be found.
I looked high and low...I could not find my beloved bottle of stoli.
I was hung over, I was pissed...no...I was fucking AGGED...big time. I had invited all these people into my home, provided them with food music and drink and one of those people RIPPED ME OFF.
Took advantage of us AND stole my fucking vodka.
By the time Mark called I was almost ballistic.
The conversation went something like this:
R: Hello
M: Hey dude...great party...Do you need some help cleaning up?
R: Yeah, sure...someone stole my fucking half gallon of stoli!
M: No way...man that sucks.
R: Yeah...I can't believe it...you invite people into your home for a party and they repay you by stealing your shit.
M: I hear you man..that is shitty.
R: I'm telling you right now...if I ever find out who did it I will stomp a hole in thier sorry fucking ass.I will beat them so hard...NOBODY fucks me over like this and gets away with it
M: (nervously) alright dude, I'll see you in a little bit...help you clean up.
R: Alright man...see you in a bit.

Twenty minutes later the phone rings again...it's Mark.
R: Hello.
M: (Very shakey) Hey man, you won't believe what i just found in the back of kinsey's car.
R: My Stoli?
M: Yeah...wrapped in a baby blanket...I'm not sure how it got there but I guess it was me.
R: Yeah...well did you drink it?
M: No, it's about three quarters full.
R: Well...bring it to me.
M: Your'e not gonna kick my ass are you?
R: Of course not...your'e my bud...you fessed up, you were fucked up...just bring it.
M: You sure?
R: I'm sure.
And he returned the stoli, fully expecting an ass whoopin' that he didn't get.
We had bloodies instead and recounted the evening.
We were friends and he was honest.
And that was more important than a 35 dollar bottle of vodka to me...and him.


No opening act(s) to endure, three sets of amazing music. A few beers, a couple of jaegers and I am shirtless in the mosh pit. I've lost so much weight that the word shirtless no longer makes me self conscious...in fact, I enjoyed showing off my back piece.
With this event, Ann Kyle and I have seen these guys 4 times. He bought the tickets and wouldn't let us pay him back...to his estimation, we have bought his tickets to almost every show he's been to:
Clutch x 3, The Melvins, Fu Manchu, Smashing Pumpkins, Cracker ( a free show and he was still small enough to ride on my shoulders to see over the crowd) Tool.
He has been at almost all the clubspit gigs here in town and out in country clubspit.He was at some of our open mics around town. He is a child of rock and roll.
He has performed his own songs with our band backing him up at one halloween event where we were all in drag.
So, here we are, bouncing around a sweaty fucking hot mosh pit together...father and son.
Maybe we should be fishing or playing golf...nah-fuck that. This is where we belong.
Besides...Soulfly is coming to town later this month...:P

Saturday, August 07, 2004

The Stolen Stoli - an untold story
Back in 1998 we had a party at ClubSpit called "Mayhem '98". There's a description of the event on the ClubSpit website which ends with:

All was well until the next day when we discovered...

(we might put this story up someday..)

We never did tell the story, but here's a picture we took when the inadvertent thief returned the bottle after finding it wrapped in a baby blanket in the back seat of his car.

Yes folks, that's Mark who agreed to let us take his picture as punishment (he hated having his picture taken) because he had run off with what we had planned to be our hair of the dog cure on the morning after the party. I've been searching for this picture for a few days because Rob and I decided it was time to finally tell the story, but when I found it tonight I was too choked up to write about that silly event. Nope, I'm not done crying.

Mark Richard Davis, rock star (that's him on the left)

Mark Richard Davis....8-72 to 7-04...Rock star

But Marks was an exception...There were tears and laughter and applause. The place was packed, full of family and friends. The culmination of a week long mourning, as a collective we are done. The grand finale of a week of sadness, anger, fear and amazement.
But we will each carry this loss to the end of our days.
His family had this photo slide show of pictures from childhood to the present set to music...foremost was Willy doing Uncloudy Day (which I learned Mark said the song made him believe in god from Ash) .
I was surprised to see images from clubspit and parties at our house which reminded me of how connected we were, and are.
Ann commented that she thought she was done crying...I thought I was too, and I heard similar comments from lots of folks that were in attendance.
It is in my nature to try to understand why things happen and why people do what they do.
There is no understanding this, now or ever...he's just gone.
He took his mom dancing a week before, she talked about it today...how he spun her around the dance floor with a giant grin on his face.
She didn't know it then but he was saying goodbye.
Dancing with his mom....amazing.
He gave her a lasting happy memory.
He was funny that way.
And now we move on.
There have been many comments from our friends out there in blogland over the last week...heartfelt and very kind, thank you all so much for being good friends.
Perhaps someday we'll get a chance to meet.

Thursday, August 05, 2004


Part one:
We had our dinner with Kyle and Brandy tonight...The first sign of trouble was the church bus from Arkansas in the parking lot and the thirty members of that church seated inside all hailing jesus and shit before scarfing down the mexican plate (is it made out of real mexicans?).
I, of course, was wearing a Jesus lizard shirt.
This turned out to not be an issue as the busload of god fearing christians were more interested in the enchiladas/fellowship thing than a guy in a blasphemous shirt.
Dinner went well, the visit went well, they came by to see the remodel after and we ended up hanging out just talking about stuff. It was quite comfortable, really.
I saw flashes of brilliance from both of them and I am OK with the plan.
They are doing it right and I respect them for that.
Part two:
Ann and I decided to skip the CLUTCH show until we had dinner with the kids tonight. We were all focused on missing Mark and that threw a pall on the thought of going. Kyle reminded us that he had seen them everytime with us and the chance to see them again with us was important to him. He was UP for it, which got us up for it again, and reminded us that there are more memories associated with this band than we had been focused on during the last week.
I may have contaminated my son, but the contaminants rock, he knows,we know...so he scored tickets on the way home...turns out it's 2 sets by the maryland boys with no opening act...yessssss.
Part three:
Some folks need to get the fuck over themselves. The passing of a friend is not a competition to gauge who grieves better, or who remembers better, or who cries more,emotes more or any of that shit. I was not directly involved in any of the shenanigans that culminated after Marks wake. Friendships were tested, rocked and possibly destroyed over his death by an emotional richter scale balanced by equal parts drugs and ego.
Petty shit that has NO place in the scheme of things, unless you function at a 13 year old level
where you're performance has more to do with it than the reality of the loss.
To turn this into spectacle is fucking pathetic. I'm sure Mark would feel the same way and I bet he's laughing his ass off at you all...I'm sure of it, in fact.
Goodnight and have a pleasant tomorrow........

Wednesday, August 04, 2004


We got a reprieve today and got to work inside, wrapping up odds and ends on jobs we had started but lacked the parts and/or the access to complete them. We were indoors, it was air conditioned. Today was hotter than yesterday, so we were happy to be buttoning up those jobs...easy work for electricians.
I'm also buttoning up my grieving. I went to the viewing, I was a greeter. But something happened that I wasn't present for , but I was present for the precursory behavior.
We have to back up to saturday...bear with me, I'll be brief.
There's this guy in our circle who is nothing but trouble, marginally likeable until he gets a few in him, and then he IS captain caveman. A fight club obcessed misanthrope begging for a beatdown. He was at the saturday deal and was fine until he got drunk. This is always the case with him.
Suddenly people were begging me to take him away as the first wave of tatooee's and they would owe me one.So I did. He jumped out of my car and shoved my other friend out of the back seat proclaiming he was the "nigger" of the group and didn't deserve to ride in the front seat.
He jumped out again on sixth street while we were looking for a parking space, spilling stuff from my car into the street (passersby picked them up and gave them to me...only in Austin).
He became increasingly out of control and seemed to be focused on me with his fight club shit.
I tried to understand his grief, I reminded myself that he and Mark were close (but polar opposites).
I finally ran out of patience, there is no amount of thanks or drugs anyone could give me to equal the "owe you one" I provided.
I finally said to him, and I quote " You need to seriously step off now or I will FUCK YOU UP".
He did (smart move for him) and I shortly went home. The others in the tattoo group ditched him on sixth.
Marks best friend had to call this guy for a phone number and he told him he was washing his hands of us...that the only reason we tolerated him was that he was friends with Mark (kinda right)
and he wouldn't be at the viewing or the funeral. Marks best friend didn't discourage him.
So...I'm leaving the viewing, and there he is, in the back of the lot by his truck drinking Icehouse tallboys. He hollers at me, I go over and look at his tattoo...make some small talk and high tail it out of there.
I hear today that he went on into the viewing and grabbed Marks head and cracked his neck.
He grabbed his head and cracked his neck...JAZUS!?!
So much for buttoning up my issues with Marks death.
I'm glad I wasn't present.
The service is saturday.
As if this isn't hard enough already.
Maybe he can't deal...I don't care.
That has to be the most disrespectful thing I've ever heard in my life.
Such is the drama that permeated Marks life, probably for all of his life. He was a part of our lives for 10 + years.
But I'm buttoning up...It's time to move on...externally anyway.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


We had to work outside today...at the tennis courts at the intramural fields (no shade). With the heat index it felt like it was 110f. Fuck the heat index, it was 110f. as far as I was concerned. You could see the heat waves coming off the courts.
I used to work in this shit daily when I was cleaning pools and breaking shit for asshole, uh, I mean Hines, I was once acclimated, I am not acclimated anymore.
I got dizzy, I got nauseous, I almost fell off a ladder...I drank more water in one afternoon than I have in a week.
Wahwahwah...give me a week and I'll be good again at this devil dog shit...or dead from heat stroke.
Speaking of asshole...
I went to Marks viewing this evening. There were lots of people there to "view" Mark. I didn't want to so I hung out in the foyer saying hello and condolences to all the people coming in. In the hug and handshaking orgy that transpired a hand was thrust my way. I instinctively grabbed it and looked up and the person attached to that hand was none other than the person at the top of my shit list (which numbers a stellar three these days) Andy Hines.
He asked me how I was doing as I quickly aborted the greeting and turned my back on him with a non word guttural response.
When I realized it was him, my initial response was to hit him in the face as hard as I could.
But then I remembered, he knew Mark as well and was only trying to pay his respects, or at least appear to do so...so I shined him on.
Had he brought his feral inbred looking bitch of a wife with him I might have lost control, but I was well behaved and left the viewing shortly thereafter.
As much as I know Mark would of loved a public beat down at his viewing, I didn't...I couldn't.
Another opportunity will present itself down the line I'm sure.
Speaking of the viewing...
Everyone who looked at Mark commented on how good he looked.
Since when is dead good? He's dead. It doesn't matter how fucking good he looks.
His Mom didn't even look at his corpse, saying "Hell no I didn't look at him, I saw him last friday sitting on the couch with a shit eating grin on his face, laughing at Homer simpson".
Way to go Mom.
I remember when my ex girlfriends Dad died and at the funeral everyone shuffled by the open casket and looked at him...and everyone commented about how good he looked...bullshit, I thought, he looks DEAD.
I just don't get this morbid vouyerism...it's just wrong.
If they look good then they must still be alive, I'm thinking.
When you're dead that's it...you don't look good anymore, unless a necrophiliac is looking at you.
But that's just me.
So we've had the weekend mourning, the tuesday viewing, next up is the birth/deathday party at the bar tomorrow night, the CLUTCH show on friday night and then we'll put him to rest on saturday.
marks gotten as much attention as fucking Reagan...the main difference being is that he deserves it.
I'm still looking at the sky.

Monday, August 02, 2004


The alarm was going off, like it's suppose to. It was monday...time to go to work for another 5 days. But I just didn't want to. I did , but I resented it.
It was such a long weekend, full of tears and angst and friendship and connections.
Yesterday was particularly difficult. Marks girl, who also happens to be my other most favorite girl in the world, spent the day with us.
As you can imagine, she is crushed. She is more than crushed, really...up until the moment, Mark had been by her side for a week, helping her recover from a surgery. He "petted her head", he ran her errands, he cooked her meals...he was so there for her. And then he went away, breaking all our hearts, but hers especially.
She has been a special part of me and Ann's life for better than a decade...our collective little sister we never had. It was hard to know what to say.
I'm not one to resort to cliches (unless it's for some comic or sarcastic gain) so I couldn't go there.
So I just relied on the truth.
She thought she might want to see him one more time, at the viewing. I said why would you want to taint your memories by looking at a shell? That's not him anymore. I wanted to see my Dad's body when he died, sounder heads prevailed and I didn't do it and I'm glad I didn't.
You don't want to do that Ash, keep the images in your head and your heart. Don't ruin it with the image of a body. That's not him anymore.
By the end of the day, there were less tears, a little bit more laughter between them anyway, and she was surrounded by me and Ann and a shitload of other people who love her...all day.
Let me tell you, even though I would and will do it at the drop of a hat for her again...anytime under any circumstance, it compounded things for me.
So today, I went to work, even though I didn't want to. I looked at the sky...a lot.
And I thought about our circle of friends and how connected we are in spite of sporadic conditions created by making a living...the rain checks, the missed phone calls, the misunderstandings, the down time. All of the things that make friendships a challenge. And I promised to myself to be a better friend to them all...in the small ways...just being around.
And I looked at those big billowy white clouds on a blue background a lot.
I was looking for something...I was looking for Mark.
As a friend at work today said, he's free now...but were still here struggling.
I wanted to see a glimpse of Mark, free from the struggle, in the sky.
I didn't see him today...maybe tomorrow...in his cowboy hat would be cool.
The world is somehow a bit smaller, and quieter.

Sunday, August 01, 2004


Not really..I would never take my own life...I might set it up to take out some uniformed motherfuckers before they took me out...suicide by cop, go out like a soldier and all that shit.
But I am more likely to live out my days in a refridgerator box full of Owange Jubilee...kill the liver and all that shit.
I could never slit my wrists...freeflowing blood is gross and hard to clean up...sure you could lay down plastic, but someone still has to fold it up and that's messy...I wouldn't want to be remembered as a messy guy... a bullet to the head is too messy, someone who left his brains out for all to see is just too angry. So any gun thing is out of the equation. Firey car wreck is next...nope...not gonna crash my life into oblivion. There is not a concrete barrier worth me. sorry.
I guess I'll just live it out till the end...a natural suicide.
I'm funny like that.