Sunday, January 30, 2005

the magical world of crap

we had a free Saturday yesterday so we went to IKEA...
crazy swedes.
that place is like a metal and sheetrock Stanley Kubrick film with a giant blue and yellow couch cover on it. let it be known that I have no problem with any of the furniture and in fact too many things that we would like to have purchased, my rant is confined to the IKEA "experience" and of course to the Swedish.

That being said, we should have heeded the unintended advice of a couple leaving, kids in tow, lost look in their eye, muttering "Never let me do that again". We assumed they were talking about taking their kids. We assumed wrong.

Normally, when someone goes to a furniture store, they are looking at redesigning a particular room. By the time that person leaves IKEA they are lucky if they haven't changed every room in their whole freakin house.

You go up the escalator, (note, there are no down escalators) and then are pointed by an arrow on the floor down a pathway of half-lit couches and designed living rooms, from there it's on to the bedrooms and then the kitchen and den followed by the bathroom. You think you are done, when you hit the office section, still led around by the black arrows, like those helpful yellow lines in prison. (just for fun, walk the wrong way one time, but be prepared.) After about fifteen minutes you start to detect a certain non-descript buzzing that is unoticeable at first but soon becomes deafening with it's consistency. it's straight out of 24 with the sensory deprivation techniques and possibly has some hidden messages coded inside: "Wouldn't that look nice in the kitchen"..."The bathroom hasn't been redone in forever"..."Couch covers aren't tacky, they're versatile"..."Swedish people don't really eat their young" and so on...

You get so far removed from everything going on in the real world that you forget that there's this thing called "money" and you only have so much of it. Fortunately, we went in with NO money and were able to walk out relatively unscathed although I still have that buzzing in my ear and the sweet smell of dirty swede in my nostrils.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

joe's back

you need to check out Joe's blog. there is a semi-funny, completely stupid video we made a couple of years ago. i promise that you will think we are very dumb and you may us.

Monday, January 24, 2005

just say it boochey

took up the road warrior mantle this weekend. again.
my mom and grandma's birthday. it is a wonderful time seeing my family and when we got in late Saturday night, we stayed up for hours telling stories and jokes and just laughing. no drinks involved. this story by far is my favorite.

my dad was outside working on crosses that he makes for a hobby/job. Across the fence he hears two boys playing. One boy says to the other "Hey Boochey, ask me if you can borrow my dog." Boochey responds "naw, i don't want to" so the boy continues "come on, just say it Boochey" and still Boochey refuses.

this goes on for twenty minutes "Just say it Boochey" NO "come on Boochey" NO!... JUST SAY IT BOOCHEY!

Finally, Boochey relents "Can I borrow your dog?"
response: "No, I don't let anybody borrow my dog."

Saturday, January 22, 2005

My first lawn mowing job

pile in the car and head across town.
there's the waterpark, we're getting close.
finally, we pull into a shaded dirt driveway.
barbwire fence bordered with iris and draped with climbing vines
past the magnolia tree up to the white-washed house of My great Uncle Roy and Aunt Heitti.
Visiting them was like walking into another world, stepping into a history book, traveling into the past and all of it set in a garden, vast and intimate. unending and private.
They would come out to meet us and we would find our way inside to the historic house, set with rich cherry wood and elegant white furniture, the inside as immaculate as the garden outside. My sister and I would be offered candy from their crystal candy jar. butterscotch and starlight mints. Adults simply don't know the joy of unexpected candy, fortunately grandparents and great-aunts do.
Uncle Roy would look through sky blue eyes back on a time when he rode cattle from the pasture out back, to the stockyard in town. He would tell of old San Antonio and working in his father's meat market. fist-fights with neighbors and sweet picnics with his lovely bride. At ninety, our visits were necessary. If we didn't make our Saturday visit, Uncle Roy would take out his push mower and mow their tremendous yard. Not out of anger or pride, but simply because it needed to be done and his life had never been shirked or lived in helplessness.
Soon, it was time to explore.
A stop at the fig tree, swipe a few figs before Aunt Heitti could holler out the screen door. Chase the chickens pecking around in the coop. Run through the pasture, picturing myself riding cattle into to town with my Uncle Roy. Climb the Magnolia tree up... up...up. Visit all of the secret spots scattered through-out the yard. Shaded corners found only by me.
My parents would call and it was time for the crowning touch of the visit. Dr. Pepper floats around the picnic table. Life was simple and the soda came in small glass bottles.

I saw him years later, frail and weak in his hospital bed. His bride had already left him and you could see the longing look in his eye. His desire to join his love for one more picnic, to leave this shell behind. to ride the trails again.

He is the only cowboy I have every known.

Marriage means...

watching Love is in the Heir when Rocky is on the other channel. What has my life come to? I thought I had reached bottom when I endured "newlyweds" but now... i just don't know... life seems so hopeless...

Have you seen this trash?

Friday, January 21, 2005

worst car chase scene ever

man with the golden gun - bond flick
what could possibly ruin a good james bond car chase scene?
try throwing in a smokey and the bandit sheriff wanna-be, two dukes of hazard cars, tattoo from fantasy island and an evil fantasy island rich guy - and then have it all take place in the phillipines.
just to make sure that it really sucks... have bond jump a river, do a roll in mid-air and land perfectly on the opposing dock.
and for good measure, when bond catches up with the evil fantasy island pair, make the duo turn their "general lee" into an airplane.

don't you hate it when that happens

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

September 17, 1996

I just pulled up a letter from my uncle from 1996. it is now and has been very dear to me. Now it seems to be very prescient as well. He wrote to me, encouraging me to study God's Word and seek wisdom so that through God's guidance I would also recieve His blessing. He talked about asking God what I am supposed to do with my life and not pleasing other people. He shared with me heart felt things that only one man can share with another. I share these words that are the last paragraph of his letter:
"Not everyone is supposed to be a pastor, teacher, engineer or whatever. God knows that it takes all types of individuals to do his work. So if God moves you to be a minister, I believe you will be one of the best. However, keep your mind open to what God may have in store for you and don't worry if it is in another career than the ministry. If it is God's will, then wherever he puts you is where you can serve him best. Enjoy your weekend studying God's Word and may God richly bless you with wisdom. I'm very proud of you.
Your Uncle

I remember reading this letter and it was so special to me that he had written it. I looked up to him. I remember also, thinking that he was so way off base. I remember looking down on him for the concessions he made in his letter, his revelation that he is just now learning to appreciate God's Word. worst of all, I remember that arrogant, prideful, self-righteous boy that read that letter, that wasted a wonderful opportunity showing off and being proud.
1 year later, I would be humbled. I would be broken. I would be given the greatest blessing that I could ever recieve.
Looking back on my life I always thought that the sin that I couldn't shake, my "but" statement, was lust. but as I examine myself with older, wiser eyes, it has been pride. in one form or another, it has always been pride.
I am smart. have always been. but until my pride is gone, I will never be wise.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

nobody died

I wore a suit and nobody died.
that is to say that nobody had to die for me to wear a suit today.
there wasn't even a wedding involved.
i was poking around the galleria on Sunday and i found a suit that was like 80% off. which is not unusual. it is unusual to find one that is in my size and is not puke green and made out of a woolen-fiberglass blend. but i think the suit paid off. I made my first sale!!! granted the sale was to myself, but it goes in the books and where i come from a W is a W. so a celebration is in order. WHHEEE!!! YIPEE!! YAHOO!!
ok. that's enough.

so, if you know me, two images that are equally confusing: Me in a suit and Me in the Galleria.
Galleria. wow. that is pure misery. there is a floor - an entire floor that requires a credit check just to walk on their linoleum. it's probably gold-flaked or something. seriously. there were stores i had never heard of and people that i never wanted to dream of. the balconies had places to sit -leather couches- nice dark leather couches. and those were just the ones i could see from the other floor, lord knows what other lavish secrets the 2nd floor holds. lord knows.

the wife drug me all over that stinkin place and by the end of it i was actually jealous of the security nerd guy who "rode" one those personal mover roller things. sure i laughed at him when i first saw him on that two-wheeled fisher price bubble blower mower and his 1st grade bike helmet, but when my fat butt was tired and my legs were aching, i was like dang... i wish i had a bubble mower like that guy.

I finally gave up and settled in at Chilli's watching the Colts lose (sorry K). Then we met up with a friend of mine and his wife in friendswood and we ate bratwurst, played settlers of cataan and had a great time. of course, it was fun because I won.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Two Wheelin'

bike ride
Originally uploaded by Texas Cooking.
There is nothing like it in the world!

You watch 'em on the trikes. You're all hyped up about a "real" bike w/ training wheels. And then that Christmas morning comes when they get a big kid bike from Santa, sans training wheels.

You run along side them, desperately holding onto the bike, correcting the imbalance. steering with gentle pressure, to keep them going in a straight line. sometimes... not so gentle when they're veering towards that parked Ford. You teach. You explain. You warn. You let them fall from time to time to demonstrate your point. And then when you think it's hopeless, They RIDE! You let go and they don't fall. You run along side and still they don't fall. They look over and see you next to them and still they RIDE! They smile with this incredible "HEY!!! I FINALLY DID IT!!!" smile. And then you watch them go... you're chest swells. all of the images of your little girl getting bigger run through your mind. baptism. first steps. first time she actually wanted me to hold her. first overnighter with just dad. first day of kindergarten. first best friends. first boy who teases her because he likes her.

And you watch your little baby riding her bike all by herself and you're so proud you don't even notice that you've been running so much that your chest is caving in and that you can't breathe anymore, because you're baby girl just learned that she can do something that she didn't think she could do... and you helped her. wow!

and then she crashes straight into a curb flying over the handle bars and you realize that now she needs to learn how to stop. but she gets up and she's smiling and she comes running.. arms open wide - is there anything better than this?

Thursday, January 13, 2005

blueprints for an ark

"It's not about you." how many times have you heard that in sermon after sermon (in and out of the pulpit)?
There is a flip side that is not mentioned. "It's not about them."
"them" being the people in your life that you so often spend most of your time and energy trying please and impress.
It is so easy to trade our omnipresent Almighty for very present deities that are all around us, waiting to offer their own commandments for our lives. Ready with new flashy idols to bow to and comfy pews to sit in.

Who do you try to please? Whose comments ring in your ears, days after they were said? What advice do you get that outweighs everything else? Whose criticism causes you to stay up at night and wonder what you could have done differently? Have those people taken the role and function of God in your life? Do you even still need him in your life if you have those people, or is it only when these lesser gods fail do you once again return to a higher power?

As Noah labored day after day, piling wood and hammering, his neighbors and friends and even family would come by and laugh at him, tell him that was crazy, talk about how his religion was too fanatical. Why would God ask you to do this? It doesn't make sense Noah.

The ark we build is our lives. The decisions we make. The way that we treat people. Our honesty. Our dishonesty. The Goals that we set and the way that spend our money.

Have you ever been in a building that had two different builders or styles? Those accumulated buildings that are piecemealed together and there are so many different styles and plans that everything is disjointed and unfocused. This is the ark that we build. Switching blueprints. Changing plans. Changing architects. This is the lives that people see. This is the ark we build.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

hey, hey, hey

fat albert makes me smile. why can't we all be so self-assured and focused on other people? that guy rocks.
yeah, yeah, yeah...gonna have a good time.

maybe we should all grow up with our idiosyncracies as part of our name... hi i'm girlie-mouthed mike. or squinty john, hairy-arms lisa. get it right out there. you're thinking about it. other people notice it. why not claim it and move on. instead we hide the things about ourselves that make us unique. if it makes us different, it must be bad.
so poop-myself peter, don't spend your whole life pretending that you have bowel control. grab some depends, or don't... and get on with life. quit being so self-occupied and paranoid that everybody is saying "hey i think that guy pooped in his pants" they are. but who cares. everybody poops. you happen to do it in your pants. so what!
most of our dissagreements with people come from the fact that we are so focused on ourselves. So very insecure and thinking that other people are focusing on our inadequacies. guess what? they are focused on their innadequacies too, so they can hardly spend too much time focused on you. they are wondering what you think of them and if you are buying the image that they are presenting. most of the time they don't spend the mental/emotional time to care about what's beyond your facade.
I'm not saying that people don't see the truth, just the opposite. they usually see alot more of the real you than you think. isn't that freeing? If everybody sees the real "screw-up you" already, then you can stop trying to be somebody else. I think that's why the Fat Albert paradigm works so well. somebody calls Fat Albert fat and he just looks at them, like "ummm tell me something I don't know, in fact tell me something that everybody in this room doesn't know" and then he proceeds to be the coolest guy in that room.
so start figuring out how you can make those extra long nose hairs work for you instead of against you.

conspiracy theories II

we watched CT2 last night (the manchurian candidate) and it was a'ight. i should say that I watched the movie, because of course my better half crashed after 20 minutes. nothing new there i guess except she was the one who wanted to rent a movie!! go figure.
we checked out this italian cafe not too far from us. here is my review.
as we walked in Roselli's we noticed a nice warm atmosphere and courteous staff as well as half of the entire freakin neighborhood. that was a good sign i thought. we put our name in and were told 40 minutes. ehh. friday night. popular place. ok. we went to the little shops next door for about 20 minutes and came back name? already crossed off! but they told me with a smile that we would be next.
we sit fairly soon and look at their wine list... 5.25 for a glass of beringer??? i think that like meridian was their "fine" wine for like 7$ a glass. they didn't actually offer MD 20/20 but i'm pretty sure they had a bottle back ther for their regulars. we got the specials for the day *note specials do not mean special low price apparently* I'm pretty sure the salads they brought out were very fresh (meaning they went out back and grabbed some leaves and shrubs and threw them on a plate) I must admit that my entree was actually pretty good - but Alicia said her's was bland...Alicia...bland - that says something coming from the woman who thinks mayo is kind of spicy.
we were gluttons for punishment so we got dessert. the tarramisu (sp?) was great but my canoli did not come with a saws-all so i'll never know if it was tasty or not. i think though if the canoli was anything like the bill it was probably too-rich! dolla bills y'all!
as we left Roselli's i couldn't help but wonder what the hell is wrong with all these people eating with big smiles on their face.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

I wish I was in austin... make that houston

since the move to sugarland, i think i have spent more time in austin than at home. this time it's training for member care stuff. it's not too bad. free meals and all that - but i would much rather be at home with my girls. i don't know how people live on the road away from their family. don't think i could do it. even eating out isn't that much fun when you know you're going back to an empty hotel room with their scratchy blankets, ultra white towels, sample soaps and that horrible perfumed lotion.
i'm complaining but oh well. truth is i am sucking at the training. i'm not an egotist but i know that i am further along than the other people with me. so the trainer always gives me the tougher questions and puts me on the spot. it reminds me of football practice when coach would bust your chops just because he could. i guess it's good for me and i'm learning alot but i'm just tired of feeling stupid. i've gotten to the point where i don't even remember the stuff i know much less bs my way through the stuff i don't know. and then they want you to go out and make apppointments with people...make appointments and do what with them? tell them how stupid i am? yeah, not looking forward to that. the only high point in the whole process is that i dropped the dime on peter out in lubbock. there's a rep out there and i gave him ole' pete's phone number and told him to give pedro a call. thought it would make peter's day to get "solicited" even if it was for less desirable services.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

condescension at Luby's

ok i couldn't resist sharing our experience this Sunday. officially being off the clock on Sunday morning was an interesting experience. We went to beaumont to see Mimi...actually to help her move from the cavernous house that all old women end up after everybody else has moved out or died (hopefully anybody that dies has also moved out...but i digress) well, since we had just finished packing all our belongings up moving them across Texas and then unpacking them, helping an old lady do the same with her 3 tons of knick-knacks, doileys and knitted items...well that was just wonderful. we had a pile that was designated "church rummage sale" and we would make it bigger and Mimi would come out and make it smaller. before we left we managed to cram every last felt-doggy-penny bank, cat food for a non-existent cat, and 8,000 pounds of Christmas decorations (my favorite was the gold styrofoam Wise Man sans head) and every other odd piece of "can't live without it" into that 2 bedroom townhome. why do old people love crap? this is really turning into an old-lady rant and i wanted to rant about something totally different so i'll just keep going...hey if you're still reading, you either have NOTHING else to do or you REALLY have something that you don't want to do and i'm doing you a favor...
anyway, we drive back into town on sunday morning and get in around 10 am. we don't have a church home and we weren't in any kind of mood to go to church so... we unloaded all this lawn equipment that we got from Mimi (old broad came out a winner in the end) and we raked and mowed the lawn. it felt so good to get that thing cleared up. apparently realtors in sugarland don't have to do squat for the lawn, or fix things, or other landlordish things... oh well. so we get cleaned up and go to luby's (like 2 pm) and all these long service church goers are getting out and here we are in sandals and shorts. we get in line and they look at us like we had just taken huge handfulls of dog crap and rubbed them all over ourselves and licked our fingers. seriously. we even tried to play with one of the little kids and the parents were quick to usher the children away from the heathens before the kids picked up our smell.
from there we went to buy a washer and dryer. thank you mr. bonus. home depot. jerks. sears. bigger jerks. Conn's (who thought of that name?) great guy named John helped us and put us in that W&D today. so moral of this story: old ladies - lots of crap, but willing to give you some of it. luby's church goers - treat you like crap. John@Conn's - good guy/no crap. & Sunday can be a really neat day.

Monday, January 03, 2005


i was reading through some of my stuff for work (seems like i have done alot of that lately). I found that I am prohibited from having a personal website. so i need to figure out what i am going to do about that. i am pretty sure that the rule means you cannot advertise or advise on a personal website. hmmmm
what a quandry.
if this ends up being goodbye, then godspeed