Monday, March 28, 2005


Alicia just got home from the Nail-Salon-Spa-Whatever and asks me "Do you like the new color of my nails?" Inside my head I'm saying "New color? what was the old color? Were they colored at all?" Ultimately, I'm thinking "WHO CARES?!?!"

HOWEVER - I've been through this routine before so I: #1. look at the nails #2. Say: Yeah, that looks good.
*note a simple uhuh or approval grunt does not suffice here.

At this point, I am home free. Keep making my sandwich and shove it in my mouth and I'm sitting pretty. BUT I remember times when I have said that I like something (food, hair-do, etc) and then it becomes a standard fixture...SO I say "The red does look good but I think I like the pink you wear better"

I wait and watch and she doesn't get sad, dissappointed or mad...My brain is going "hey I didn't get in trouble" THEN it hit me I'M TRAINED LIKE A CIRCUS MONKEY!!!

She knows I don't care about her nails. I know I don't care about her nails. But somewhere in hte deep recesses of my brain she has triggered an interest in the shades and tones of her fingernails and what's more I make a comment that feeds into this farce and when she doesn't react negatively...I think I'm getting away with something!!!!

Either I'm turning into a woman, or women should be enlisted in the military for Psychological Warfare. They can manipulate and train any Y chromosome bearing person into doing just about anything. How else do you explain: deck shoes, man bags, pink shirts, underwear and peeing indoors.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


Easter is all about shells for my family. Peeling the shells off the broken eggs that the kids have found. Watching the guests that have been invited out to Happy and Papa's come out of their shell. Expending shell after shell, shooting clay pigeons out in the field behind the house. That and drinking beer.

Sometimes my cousins bring their dirt bikes and go off tearing up the paths of my granparents property. they're pretty tough so nobody worries that their riding right behind and in the direction of the firing range. A little peppering never hurt anybody...much.

Everybody is always welcome and everybody always comes. We have seen compound growth like your portfolio only dreams of. I'm still not exactly sure why more and more people come. It's just my family and Josh can vouche for far as entertainment goes they're much closer to Jerry Springer than Oprah and Dr. Phil. But still they come and as Happy always said "we'll just throw another bean in the pot". I think maybe it is the lack of pretense and people just being people. The love of fun and acceptance of people regardless of acceptability.

Then again, maybe it's the shotguns and beer.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

sbc center

sbc center
Originally uploaded by Texas Cooking.
Oh Yeah Baby.

I think I will actually be close enough to throw an empty beer cup on Kobe.

grated brain cheese

susan esterich's voice is worse than listening to a rabbit's death wail. listening to her makes me tired, mad and strangely hungry...but that part might be the chocolate chip cookies the girls baked earlier.

and then a reprieve from susan's grating to the abrupt rudeness of greta van s.


Originally uploaded by Texas Cooking.
I know where I am going to be on April 2nd. I just hope Timmy gets better quickly! P.S. take a closer look at the ticket and you will understand why Joe is way better than any of my other friends.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

a cardboard box and intravenous bacon

Does anybody else see a parallel between Scott Peterson and Michael Schiavo? Michael is definitely just as big of a dirt bag and it has nothing to do with my opinion on life support systems.
The guy is just evil.
Denies his wife voice therapy and rehab. (p.s. how many coma patients do you know that can speak on command) Denies her treatment of infections. Tells a court that he is going to care for her for as long as she will live and begs for money to do just that...then turns around puts her on DNR and waits for her to get sick. He tells Larry King last night that he loves Terry still, although he lives with another woman and their babies. Claims he still has the right to decide her life and death because she is his wife, but could be considered legally married to someone else.
Maybe the best thing to come out of this is the discussion that is taking place in homes all over America. I know Alicia and I have talked about it. we talked and feel pretty much the same way, if we're not getting any better, get rid of us. pull the plugs, yank the tubes.
I completely defend the right of the Schindler family to keep Terry alive and restart rehab and everything. but for me, I would just want everybody to move on. Chunk my big carcass into a cardboard box and throw me an Irish wake and I'll laugh at your hangovers. Only one request, I get really mean and angry when I get hungry and I don't want to be ticked off my last days on earth. Please. Please, put bacon mush in my IV. I promise to be gone in 2 weeks and smile as I leave.

Monday, March 21, 2005

So I married Lisa Simpson

Alicia and I were grabbing some coffee and taking a little walk around the new City Hall area in Sugarland. It's actually really nice (if you can ignore all the yuppies and cool people) There is an awesome statue/fountain of a cowboy riding his horse out of a creek and he is being jerked back by a horse behind him, caught up in the current and the cowboy strains on the rope that is the horses' only chance. It's pretty sweet. The water is flowing into the pool where the horse is struggling and bubbles and churns all around the horse.

We walked and enjoyed the Texas sun, I made a typical Jason comment and Alicia was quick to correct me and redirect me to being nice and sweet... that's when it hit me. I married Lisa Simpson. The Ever-Present Conscience of Springfield. Always bringing moral truth to bear on any and every situation. As is my standard operating procedure, I blurt it out without thinking and explain that it doesn't matter whether or not she has seen the Simpsons. She is Lisa. Lisa is her. Unusually though, I don't get in "trouble" for my comments. I think maybe because unconciously we know that we are a good fit. For those of you who know me, know that I threw my conscience in a burlap sack and beat it into submission years ago, so I think maybe God exchanged it with a really gorgeous red-head because He knew that she would have me wrapped around her little finger. (maybe the only way He could reign me in)

Sunday, March 20, 2005

A deluxe apartment in the sky

Move over George and Weezy. The Maroney's are moving on up. We took our proceeds from the garage sale and went on another furniture shopping bonanza. Have I mentioned how much I loathe doing this? I do. One difference this time, we have money. Real Money. Amigo Money. Garage Sale Money.
First stop, Star Outlet - on the butt-other side of Houston. 45 minute drive on a Saturday. by the time we get there, Alicia has fallen asleep and I hate people. all people. We walk around and find some things we like, in fact find a sofa that I am ready to buy right then. A sales lady hovers nearby, but never approaches. Until we actually look at her, she sulks in the distance. Sales tip #1 when you see a couple looking at your merchandise, come up to them, introduce yourself. Ask "what are you looking for today?" Then show them what you have. Actually act like you want them to buy something and maybe even act like your merchandise is good. Just a thought. Alicia decides that we are going to just look today and buy on Sunday. ARRRGH!
Second Stop. IKEA. GOD HELP ME NOT KILL ANY SWEDISH PEOPLE TODAY. Nothing really jumps out at us in the furniture area, however, we are recently in the market for a tv stand (see entry below) and we find one that is both complicated to put together and doesn't have instructions. but since we didn't know that at the time, we buy!
Thrid Stop. The Room Store. After 3 quick laps through the store we say No.
Fourth Stop. Fingers. How do people come up with these names? honestly, think it through. Good ole Percy shows us around and pretty much every sofa/chair combination in the store. He has a floor model on sale for like $400 off. It's not at all what Alicia had in mind. It's a very nice piece of furniture though. We talk. We haggle. We buy!
After paying the nice lady in $1's $5's, and $20's the sofa mover comes and helps us. This guy looks completely normal, but when we talk about moving the sofa and chair he gets excited. I mean this guy is amped. He's smiling and rubbing his hands together like he's in for the thrill of his life. A virtual Crazy Uncle Harry. He already has the sofa on the dolly but we tell him that we are going to take home the chair first. So Uncle Harry justs dumps the sofa off the back of the dolly and props the chair up all helter skelter on the dolly. Alicia is about to have a heart attack watching our newly bought as-is furniture and asks "is that going to tear the bottom of the chair like that?" he looks at her and actually responds "I dunno"
But Harry is nice enough and we reposition the chair and slug it into the Explorer.
We get it home and put together the TV stand and place the Chair just right and everything is nice. Really nice, because now I have a comfy blogging chair. Today we church it up and then pick up our sofa. Life is nice.
...a beans don't burn on the grill, took a whole lot of climbing just get it on up that hill... Moving on up

Yard Sale

There is something very American about a Yard Sale. The average couple putting up hand-made signs at 5 AM. Displaying all of your personal items in your front lawn on card tables and moving blankets and an old door propped up on saw horses. Little stickers with prices scribbled on them attached to vases, stuffed bears, grandma's shoes and purses. Neighbors and not-so-neighbors veering their cars onto your quiet street to pick through, oggle and turn their dirty noses up to items that 30 minutes before you might have been using.
Little kids picking up 25 cent toys that they have fallen in love with. Haggling over a dollar or two. Both sides acting like it would just break you to move 2 more dollars.
Seriously. 2 dollars. You can't buy lunch for 2 dollars. I think if the fate of the world were lying in the balance, 2 dollars might be able to stand in the way. Sharon and Abbas figuring the safety of Israel and the creation of a Palestinian state...nope can't work out. Palestine wants $10,000,002 and Israel will only pay $10 MIL. All High School Economics classes should spend a day observing/putting on garage sales and they will see first hand how the free market and capitalism works. My supply and demand example from our garage sale: A guy wants to buy our cordless phone and a lamp. The offering price is $20. The deal price we have come to is $15. He wants to pay $10. He says "I can get it for $10 in Mexico" I quickly retort "We're not in Mexico." I get $15. He gets a phone and lamp. Supply and Demand.

spitting in church

last weekend Alicia and I went to the baptism of oour friends' new baby girl Ella. She is a doll. just a little bitty thing and sweet as can be. I even forgive her for pooping all over my arm. (it's really Alicia's fault anyway) I said "oh...she's going. she really needs a change." Alicia says "oh don't worry about it. It's mostly just air." I'm just some dumb guy who doesn't know anything so go on holding Ella, despite the new warm feeling I have on my arm. Finally, I say "Ella really needs to be changed" and WOW! so much poop from such a little baby. What's a little sick and twisted is that I was just happy to be right. In fact, I was more happy to have the poop on my shirt and be right, than if Alicia would have listened to me. I'm pretty sure my happiness came from being right and not some wierd fecal love.
Years ago (days) when I first wanted to write about this I was all jazzed about talking about the Orthodox church that Ella was baptized in and how the ceremony was really cool and how the mom and god-parents confirmed their oath to God by spitting in the doorway of the church. But as usual with me, everything turns to poop.
keep being sweet Ella and I can't wait to embarass you when you are a teenager about the time you pooped on me.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


75% of the time, Houston is like a giant arm pit. Nasty, stinking, fat trucker perspiration. all day long, all day strong.
I thought about this as I drove up to Austin this last Saturday. The sweaty trucker following me up 71, hovering over me at my sister's in Kyle.

But Sunday. Sunday that trucker moved on and in his stead there was beauty. Austin was just as I remembered it. Blue skies. soft wind. warm sunshine. I went to Mount Olive and saw all my kids and it was really great. hugs, smiles, punches and jabs. their new campus is absolutely stunning. Every place that they could use natural wood they did. It's nice. Worship was really great, but it was seeing my friends that really lifted my spirits.

After lunch, I went down to San Antonio.

The long way.
The rural way.
The beautiful way.

The Wimberly-Blanco shortcut is by far one of my favorite, not-so-secret, driving pleasures (that and shaving 5 minutes off my ETA). My ranch is about 10 minutes from 290 and I love to drive by and see how it's doing and what new animals call it home. About 100 acres of lush green grass butt up to a 200 foot high limestone cliff. A small creek flows in a crescent shape from one side of the ranch to the other. On the northern side, are the stables, horses and volleyball court. Moving soutward is the main house, looking out on the antelope and elk that graze on the remainder of the property. I call it mine, because I have staked my claim on the land and I am in the process of gathering up banditos to jump the current squatters. let me know if you're interested.

about 4 minutes from the ranch, there is a hill that climbs up and looks out over the entire hill country. With my window down, I hang my arm out to feel the breeze. Turn off the radio to let my soul soak in the calmness of the moment. The clouds above seem to roll on forever into the distance. Filtering in select sun rays that drop down to the valley below. A fishing pond waits at the bottom of the hill. And it all seems unreal as I watch an eagle fly in and out of the sunbeams, even catching the glint of brown from his feathers. Everything is perfect. Everything is just right. A moment. An experience very familiar but still unique. Recieving the body and the blood. Feeling so small and unworthy and yet loved and important. Like climbing into dad's pickup as a little boy as he took me to basketball practice. Like climbing into bed with mom and dad because I was frightened. Waking up to Grandma's waffles after a sleep over. Sitting with my sweetie at a picnic when she accepted my ring. Holding my baby girl in the morning as she gives my that little squeeze that says "I love you too"

That's why God gave us communion. That's why God gave us his Son on the cross. He wants that for us. He wants us to have that awestruck and loved feeling. In awe and so totally loved by our Creator and Redeemer.