July 2007 Archives

bonds

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the friday before last after work i came home, and in trying to figure out what to do, ended up going through some of the many containers of papers tamara left behind. i know i should probably just toss or burn the stuff, but i still feel like it's not my right or position to throw away this stuff that is in no way mine. would she care about any of it now? maybe. i don't know. but i don't feel like it's my call. and on some level i still find myself having some kind of sick curiosity to see if i can come across things she wrote that can help me understand what was going on in her mind and why she did what she did.

i have to be in the right mindset to be able to go through any of it, and i have to have a lot of emotional energy. if i don't, going through it will still break me down too easily. even though there are plenty of things she did unfairly as her affair and our divorce progressed -- and thus plenty of things i can be rightfully furious and upset about -- there was a lot of deep emotion invested in my relationship with her. that stuff doesn't just disappear (at least not for me). so though time lessens the freshness of the memories and the immediate and overwhelming pain of what happened, it's still in there. it's not that i haven't tried to move on, tried to process it, tried to face it head on, tried to put it aside, tried to distract myself, tried to find new things -- i guess it's just that all those things have failed, at least overall. time has diluted the intensity, but time does not fix things. and the fact is, my life and personality and activities have not helped to move me on nearly as much as i would like. but then some of the things i would like to move onto are not just up to me, and the failings of my own personality work against me very strongly.

so, what was the result of my foray into old papers? i found some drawings related to her wedding dress and the ceremony, a practice vow and ring statement she'd written, some lines of her practicing variations on her name with my last name -- tamara susan leifeste, tamara tabo leifeste, etc. -- (which she never actually took or used), and a bunch of old papers and stuff she'd written while in high school. it was odd going through those things and seeing how fresh and on-fire she was about her new-found christianity. i also found a "letter to santa" she wrote (for a class she was taking) from sept 5, 1997 (which would be around the time we started dating) where she wrote:

For Terry, I hope for a rather abstract present, Santa. He is so full of brilliance, but yet he is paralyzed by his fear of failure. If you could help Terry trust himself more and to believe in the validity of his ideas, you would be doing him, and potentially the rest of the world, a great service.

i guess we can see that didn't happen, in any number of ways.

with all of this stuff left behind for me to deal with, it really is like she died. but there's more to that perspective than just the stuff. from the time it happened, it was like the person i knew was gone and some other spirit came and inhabited her body. the tamara i knew ceased to exist, and something else -- something much less than tamara -- took her place. i wish she could have held on to our vows, held on to G-d. but she didn't. someone suggested our life together had become very difficult, and we each returned to our methods of coping we'd used in the past (in years past). obviously the things in her life since (that i've known about)...well, it's not my business, not my responsibility, and not my concern -- especially after all that happened -- but the bonds of marriage were strong and deep and they still tug at my heart and soul from time to time.

I, Tamara, commit myself before G-d and Man to a lifetime of love for, fidelity to, and care of Terry. I promise to regard him always with the respect, admiration, and affection that he deserves.
I offer you this ring, white as our souls with the purifying Christ, as a symbol of the eternity of my love and devotion.

beautiful words. words she wrote. if only they were true.

it's all building up to something

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i was in training tuesday through thursday for a new product my work is looking at deploying. it was nice to have a chance of pace for a few days, although the training center was in houston (over by the galleria area) and wasn't anything special.

wednesday night or thursday evening i watched deliverance. i've heard plenty of references to it, but i'd never actually seen the movie. it was kind of unpolished, as most older seem to be, but it was good. i was surprised to some degree, because the only cultural references you hear are crazy hillbillies, the song "dueling banjos" and "squeal like a pig!" while those all exist in the movie, and even play important parts, the movie is really more about suburban guys going into the wilderness and having to overcome nature and find out what has or has not been buried within them under the layers of suburban life. the dvd had a "making of..." in the extras, and it was cool to hear the director and writer talk about how they shot it isolated, on the river, with only the four actors and three or four other people. they'd drive a couple of hours into the wilderness to get to the river and get dropped off, then they'd pick them up a couple of hours downstream. the actors did all their own stunts and such, and the insurance companies wouldn't cover the filming or anything. it was also interesting seeing a young burt reynolds, jon voight, etc. (the movie was done in 1972.)

last night i watched harold and maude. it was also filmed in the very early 70's. it wasn't really what i'd thought it was going to be, but it was pretty good. i felt like it fit in well with a lot of the late 60's and early 70's movies i've seen, where i guess the culture in america and cinema was to create weird things mixing up morals and ideas and just kind of flipping the finger at societal standards. i guess the hippie and folk music scenes sort of fit in there too. a lot of the things harold did bordered on absurdism (or maybe it was well within that land), and maude seemed completely oblivious to society around her (call her a "free spirit"). i can see how this movie might have influenced a lot of the style and techniques of some of the later indie and off-the-beaten-path films (although there were other movies at the same time doing similar things of course).

today i went by a shoe repair store and dropped off my chocolate brown tony lama's to get the heel repaired on one of them and get them cleaned and conditioned. i put a big scuff on the upper toe of one of my sha-sha's not long after i got it, so i may have them refinish them when i go to pick up the boots. the only thing is they said it probably wouldn't come out the same color exactly. so i'll be thinking about it. from there i headed to goode company for some delicious Texas bbq and some good music.

afterward i headed over to a carter's country to look for another holster for my walther ppk/s.

okay, since i'm talking about that, i have to relate something. if you recall, back in january someone stole the license plate from my motorcycle (entry), then later i noticed a box of stuff, along with my walther ppk/s, were missing (entry). i remembered thinking before that i shouldn't leave the walther box laying out in the open, so i'd tried to put it into a locking fire-safe filing box but it wouldn't fit. when i noticed it missing, i spent several hours over a couple of days going from room to room looking for boxes, opening boxes, etc. because i knew it was possible i'd moved it and misplaced it. finally i had to admit it had been stolen (and i didn't want the cops busting down my door because it'd been used in some crime and traced back to me), so i called the police and reported it (entry). well, when i put the new gun safe in a couple of weeks ago i moved a number of boxes around to make room for it. friday evening i was doing some cleaning and rearranging and i went to move a box that was on top of some stuff and it was really heavy. i wasn't sure where the box came from, or what would make it that heavy. i opened the lid and guess what i found? 3 boxes of winchester .45 ammo, 1 box of federal .45 personal protection ammo, 3 boxes of .380 ammo, and my walther ppk/s. plus the stuff that had been in the box i thought was stolen/missing. evidently i moved it all into a different box than any of it had been in, and i must have placed it under some other boxes or something in a different room, hidden even to me. egads. oh well, it's nice knowing all that stuff wasn't out in the world somewhere. so i now have a pair of matching walther ppk/s pistols. and a new, bigger fire-safe. and a gun safe. but i did call the police department and tell them to cancel the incident/report.

anyway, back to carter's country. i went there to try and find an inside-the-pants (or maybe inside-the-belt) holster for my walther(s!) that would fit in the small of my back and rest the gun at an angle so i could pull it with my right hand. i didn't find one. i also asked them about doing repair work on my charles daly 1911, but i hadn't brought it with me. ...so i went ahead and bought a new pistol. i bought a kimber tactical ultra ii. it's an ultra compact (3" barrel) 1911 .45 acp. this model is based on an aluminum frame for lightweight carry and comes with a mag well, etched front and rear handle and lower trigger guard, dark checkered grips, and tritium night sights. (kimber's page for it.) so whether i get the daly fixed or get rid of it, i'm hoping this kimber will give me plenty of ability to shoot up all of the .45 ammo i have.

hanging out with a bunch of yankees

i finally got off my butt and returned the 3 netflix movies that had been collecting dust in my possession for about 6 months. geez. but i'm sure netflix was more than happy to have me pay $20/month for 6 months for no reason at all.

sunday i got up and went to church. after that i met the potts and rich murphy at chuy's. it turned out that matt kenenske and jerry and rick (?) were also there. they had come down from the northeast for cliff's wedding (mentioned a couple of entries back). in fact, matt was performing the wedding ceremony. he's the pastor of the crossroads church up in the maryland/delaware area. lunch was pleasant. i think at least half of the table had been at my wedding, although most of them didn't really know me. (they were all friends of tamara.) so i spent some time talking with jerry (who i was sitting by) about why my mentioning of tamara and my marriage was in past tense. hopefully it wasn't too dominating, as i tend to be paranoid that i'm talking way too much when i talk for very long.

trying to decide what to afterward, the visitors (minus rick (?), who left to catch a plane) wanted to do something "Texan." so i offered to take them to the gun range. after mulling it over, they decided that would be a pretty appropriate "Texan" thing to do. i brought a few of my pistols, and we spent about two hours knocking holes in paper. they seemed to have a good time. i enjoyed it, hopefully they did too. matt and jerry headed back to their hotel in la porte, then rich and i went over to jack and sue's house. we ended up ordering pizza and watching idiocracy.

monday after work i met rich and the potts at a chinese/vietnamese buffet over near their house. after eating, we went back to their house and hung out and talked. rich was flying out tuesday afternoon. i'd met him a couple of times (once i think at cornerstone), and i think tamara and i hung out with him and scott hatch when they came down to visit jack and sue years ago. anyway, it was cool to have some time to get to know him a little better.

last night i watched wal-mart: the high cost of low price. it was okay, but i really didn't think it was great or anything. i freely admit, i am no fan of wal-mart. i try to avoid shopping at them (and almost always succeed). on the good side for the movie, they had lots of different people on camera. but some of it i felt like was nitpicky, or a technicality, or not the fault of wal-mart. whenever they stuck to facts and presented numbers and information, or really went into some detail about wal-mart's poor practices, then it was okay. when you're just hearing one person's opinion pulling on your heart strings, or listening to them sit around and talk bad about things that happened at work, the force just isn't there.

a saturday of history

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saturday i got up fairly early (for me, on a weekend...around 9am) and eventually drove down to league city and retrieved my charles daly 1911 from the arms room. he said they were returning it to me in the condition they got it, so i guess if any work was done it was undone before the gun was returned to me. he did say they'd tried to do some stuff but it wouldn't fit without mods, and they were trying to keep the costs down. all i know is they had it for 3+ months and they never called me once. even after i'd called them after waiting a few weeks, and had driven down there a few weeks after that. so it's possible they did try things, or did some work of some kind, but at the very least the communication was nonexistent. now i'll have to find somewhere else to take it, or trade it for something else.

before i went to the arms room, i stopped at village pizza and seafood and had a cheeseburger sub. mmm. this is just for ash:

21-jul-07_villagepizsea.jpg


(yes, it's the one on 518 in league city. the one ash and i used to eat at sometimes.)

afterward i drove by a couple of places i used to live. first i made a stop by 216 maple leaf in league city:

21-jul-07_mapleleaf.jpg


i lived there for one year, from (i think) december 1996 through december 1997. amazingly (at least to me), it looks pretty much exactly the same. i lived there with kirk heuiser and ash. we (being three nasa engineers) set up stadium seating in the living room. we collectively had two couches so we built a platform out of plywood, 2x4's, and 4x4's for one couch to rest on top of, then took the back legs off the one on the floor so it had a slight recline. that way, the 36" tv on the 3 feet riser was in direct line of sight for both couches. the sub was placed under the platform, so the couches felt explosions and rumbling. we also made a walkway on the platform leaving space between the two couches, and in the middle we left a hole just the right size for a big rectangular igloo chest. just add some ice and your beverages of choice, bring over some bags of chips or whatever, and you were ready for a movie marathon. yeah, as everyone suggested, it was completely designed as a bachelor pad. the living room wasn't for talking -- it was for watching movies.

this became somewhat of a problem when we went to move, as we learned the igloo had leaked, getting in the carpet and the padding, and sitting for a long time on the metal of the lower couch that had had its back legs removed. a very nice, deep, 6+ feet long rust stain was left in the carpet, right in the middle of the living room. (did i mention we were all a&m engineers?) a couple of hours of scrubbing and work with various chemicals eventually got mostly rid of the stain. i guess it was decent enough because we got our deposit back.

what else...i had lots of blue christmas lights around the perimeter of the ceiling in my bedroom. i liked to use them as lighting instead of the regular light. we had an absentee landlord. we never saw him once. we were given 12 envelopes with deposit slips by the realtor, and we mailed our rent off to his bank every month. the rumor was that he'd gotten divorced because his wife had left him for a nasa engineer. we always nervously joked that we were going to wake up one night and find a crazed guy wielding some frightening weapon and raging about how he was going to get revenge on those d4mn nasa engineers.

i started dating tamara while living here (august 1997). we got engaged while i was living here also (october 1997...halloween, actually). (wonder what made me think of that?)

after going by maple leaf i headed over to the other side of league city to get a shot of the crow's nest on davis road:

21-jul-07_crowsnest.jpg


i moved there when i left maple leaf. it was f-204 -- a 2 bedroom apartment on the second floor (right in the center of the picture). i can't remember the timeline with ash...i think he left the country before we left maple leaf. but then i seem to remember him helping me move stuff into this place. maybe he left, but ended up coming back before the lease was over at maple leaf. i think that's it. ash lived with me for a number of months, then he moved before my wedding. after the wedding in june of 1998, tamara moved in with me. moving her stuff up the stairs with just me and her wasn't much fun. but my time in this apartment was good. we moved out of it when we bought 9023 in alief, august/september 1998.

i also stopped by where coffee oasis used to be. (the original one, on el camino real.) it's been gone for years. that's the place ash and i used to always hang out. it's where i met tamara. it's one of the only places i've ever really felt like a regular at (which i think is a cool feeling). everyone who worked there knew us, and most all of us regulars knew each other. that was a good time. lots of quoting of reservoir dogs (as well as bottle rocket, pulp fiction, etc.) the place is now a japanese fusion restaurant. since i was thinking of coffee, i decided to stop by diedrich's for some coffee on bay area blvd., but they evidently closed. here they both are, in their current glory:

21-jul-07_coffeeoasis.jpg 21-jul-07_diedrich.jpg


so instead i stopped by the dairy queen on el dorado and got a snickers blizzard.

saturday afternoon i hung out with jamie. we went to soundwaves, where i ended up buying three cds:

  • van lear rose - loretta lynn (interscope)
  • sliver: the best of the box - nirvana (geffen)
  • ill communication - beastie boys (capitol)

saturday evening i went to pueblito for natalie's birthday dinner. there were a few people i knew there and a lot i didn't, but i managed to have a good time talking with the people sitting around me. i determined i'd had enough social interaction after that and decided to not head over for the night of karaoke. i spent some time talking to jamie under a streetlight about my shortcomings as far as male/female friendships and relationships go. then jamie and i decided to go to empire, but they're stupid and close at 11pm on saturday night. so instead we went back to my place and i forced her to watch little miss sunshine. she's a believer now.

a pain in the neck.

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monday night i must have slept on my neck wrong. i woke up tuesday morning thinking my neck was a bit sore. on the way back to work from lunch my neck starting really hurting badly. i guess i pinched a nerve. the rest of the day at work it hurt to move anything, especially my neck. it was a constant sharp pain right at the base of my neck, with more pain shooting up my neck to the base of my head and through each shoulder blade and out to my upper arms. not fun. i took 3 advil but that didn't seem to help, so about an hour later i took 2 quick-release tylenol. that helped pretty quickly, but it also made me feel lightheaded and somewhat out of it. i'm not sure if it was just the acetaminophen, or the mixture of ibuprofen and acetaminophen. i usually take half the recommended dosage, but i wasn't feeling like passing on any possible pain relief. it was kind of weird being at work and feeling like i needed to pay closer attention to what i was about to say and do so i wouldn't say or do something i'd quickly realize i shouldn't have. i think i managed to control myself pretty well. that said, someone gave me a 10mg vicodin for me to take later.

i went home, where i planned to spend a quiet evening doing as little movement as possible, but then sue called me and said their friend rich murphy was in town and was probably going to be calling me about hanging out (since jack and sue and family were out of town). he is in town for a friend's wedding (cliff from the huntington's evidently moved here and is marrying a Texas girl). rich did indeed call, and with the pain being lessened with more doses of tylenol, i decided having the opportunity to do stuff with rich was better then sitting at home. i drove to the potts' house and picked him up, then we headed to the house of pies where i convinced him to get the patty melt. after that, we headed to the west alabama ice house. we stayed there until they closed, then i drove him home. i contemplated the vicodin, but having had a beer and recently experienced the lightheadedness from the possible mixing of drugs, i decided to pass.

wednesday i slept in, rotating my body 90 degrees every time i woke up (which was often) so i would hopefully not sleep in the same position again for a long time and make the situation worse. i did manage to get about 10 hours of rolling sleep though. i went into work after lunch. after work i did the radio show. (see the simpson version of me peter did here. why am i the only one that looks mad? maybe it's because i didn't cover my face in time.) after work i headed home and took half of the vicodin (5mg is the standard dose). vicodin is hydrocodone and acetaminophen. it made me feel lightheaded like the quick-release tylenol (or the tylenol/advil cocktail), but it did absolutely nothing for the pain. vicodin did nothing for the pain when i had my wisdom teeth pulled either though, so maybe my body ain't hip to the vicodin trip. however, when i went to bed about two hours after taking it, i did have some interesting neon lightshows with my eyes closed, then heard a few things i know weren't real. not sure if that ties to being tired, or what. but before long i was out and asleep.

by thursday, the pain was constant but not sharp at the base of my neck, and a ring of pain had traveled down my spine to the middle of my back and into my arms. i sort of equated it to the visual of a star going supernova, exploding, then dieing out in the center as clouds of gas went shooting out in all directions. thursday evening i had just finished eating a couple of corn dogs at james coney island, when i got a call from rich. he was about to eat supper at doneraki's. i joined him, and had a strawberry margarita. we then headed to brasil, where we hung out and listened to a band play part of the time, and i had a coffee. we talked about lots of things. we both have oddly similar wide tastes in music. since he's from the del-mar-va area and runs/ran in some of the same circles tamara did, it was kind of weird talking about some of that (people, places, bands, etc). most of those memories had been collecting cobwebs in my head. we left around the time they were closing, and i headed home.

today the pain was mostly tolerable. no sharp pain, and only moderate pain when moving my neck. the extremities showed more of a dull ache of muscle soreness than pain. hopefully within a couple more days, things will be back to normal.

back on july 12th i saw a few articles talking about a new document the roman catholic church had put out talking about the status of other churches...

It was the second time in a week Pope Benedict XVI has moved to correct what he calls erroneous interpretations of the 1960s reforming Vatican Council. [...] The new document, issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which the Pope used to head, reaffirms traditional teaching that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true church — though "elements of truth" are found in separated churches. It says Orthodox churches are wounded because they are not in communion with the Pope, while protestant churches have more serious deficiencies, making it "difficult to see how the title of 'church' could possibly be attributed to them".

(excerpts taken from here)

i don't have a problem with churches believing they've got things figured out better than other churches, whether that be catholic, orthodox, some flavor of protestant, etc. -- because, let's face it, you believe what you do because you think it makes the most sense and is the best answer. or even if a church wants to believe they're the "true" church (i grew up in one of them, after all). the roman catholic church has a pretty good historical argument, so they've got a better case than any protestant church for taking such a position. i don't even have a problem with the slight they made toward protestant churches -- *i* have difficulty seeing how some of them can have the title 'church'. (i wouldn't say it about protestant churches as a whole, but if i had a catholic or orthodox perspective i'm betting i would.)

that said... while i understand the perspective the roman catholic church has, it annoys me to see the church of rome say all of the other original (i.e., orthodox) churches are 'wounded' -- after it was rome who went off on its own, turning their back on all of the rest of the early churches, then creating numerous bizarre theological constructs and positions based on power, control, land and money grabs, etc. over the ensuing years. if any church deserves the title of 'wounded' (as regards their integrity and theology) it is the church of rome.

although i suppose it's true the actions of the roman church wounded the rest of the christian church, so maybe saying the orthodox churches are wounded isn't so far off. rome is just wrong about the reason why and how to solve it. rome is the wayward church, who destroyed the unity of the original church and "wounded" the orthodox churches.

not that my opinion is worth anything. but there it is anyway.

not much happened last week. really. at all. completely boring.

friday night was a maintenance evening. a co-worker talked about getting something to drink, but nothing ended up happening. i was released earlier than usual, around 10:30pm. i felt like doing something since i'd sort of gotten it in my mind, so i decided to head to the two tons of steel show at the continental club. i got over there and walked past the continental club and into sig's lagoon. i looked around there a bit, then walked past the continental club and back to my vehicle. i just didn't feel up to being at a public event by myself. sometimes i have enough emotional reserve to go out by myself. a lot of times i decide i'd rather just sit at home by myself doing nothing, instead of sitting out in public by myself watching other groups of people and couples and such. exciting.

so instead, i came home. around 12:30am i decided to drink. a little later (well, around 2 hours, and: 2 shots of goldschlager; 3 shots of butterscotch rum and bailey's irish cream (also known as a "buttery nipple"); 2 shots of southern comfort; 3 shots of peach pucker (guessing...i drank the last of it from the bottle); 2 shots of dooley's toffee liquor; 2 shots of "bad apfel" apple schnapps; and 3 or 4 shots of watermelon pucker (guessing again...i drank all that was in the bottle)), i was compelled to go to bed and sleep. i woke up around 7am, went back to sleep. woke up around noon, took an advil and a couple of tums, went back to sleep. finally i got up for good around 3pm. i had a bit of a headache and didn't feel all that great, but not too bad. so i guess i can add one more notch to the number of times i've gotten pretty toasted. unlike the previous two times, this one coincided with no special occasion i can think of. and i didn't throw up, pass out, knock anything over (although i did toss two empty bottles across the room...i didn't break them), or hurt myself. i guess i will pitch it as an interpretive performance art piece trying to align my body and mind with the way i felt emotionally. i spent the rest of saturday over at the potts' house.

excess ain't rebellion. you're drinking what they're selling. your self-destruction doesn't hurt them. your chaos won't convert them. they're so happy to rebuild it. you'll never really kill it. yeah, excess ain't rebellion. you're drinking what they're selling.

--cake "rock'n'roll lifestyle" motorcade of generosity

sunday i got up and went to kaleo. the sermon was pretty good, i thought. i was planning on being sociable, and i did pretty well, but i didn't manage to catch anyone going to lunch. i guess maybe i'll have to try initiating it myself. of course, that's going to be bad if i still end up eating by myself. (at least people at work will eat lunch with me.) i eventually decided to go eat by myself at a berry hill in the afternoon.

then i headed downtown to the verizon theater to catch the houston roller derby. i'd been thinking about going to a bout for a long time, but i never had. fortunately, i'd gotten an evite from kymberlie so i wasn't going to have to go by myself. it was a really good time! i highly recommend checking it out next time they're at it. we sat on/near the floor, about 5 to 10 feet from the rink. i still don't exactly understand some of the finer points of the scoring and penalties, but it's pretty easy to understand the real skating skills and knocking around they're giving/taking.

later that night i thought it'd be cool to go check out a free show by the lonesome spurs at the big top. they weren't listed on the continental club site (which is sort of also the big top, kind of), but the lonesome spurs' myspace page listed it. it said 10pm, so i showed up at 10:15 or 10:30pm. i bought a $2 can of lone star and commenced to stand there by myself and wait. they were setting up for awhile. so i waited some more. 11pm came and went. i'd finished my beer and was starting to get tired and bored standing there by myself. finally, i said to myself (because i had no one else to tell) "if they don't start by 11:30pm i'm leaving." so i waited until 11:31pm, then i left. eh. maybe next time i'll not be as tired and/or not be alone. i was looking forward to seeing them.

hope springs infernal

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geh! i had an entry completely written and f---ing firefox went and locked up. thank goodness i wasn't in the middle of anything important, because that eventually led the whole gui interface to lock up (even though everything was still there, somewhere, patiently waiting for me to interact with it). it's pretty rare that the whole gui locks up...firefox must have really done some magic. anyway, i'll try to reconstruct from memory what i'd already written....

friday after work i headed to tropioca for the monthly radio show gathering. the turnout was decent, with a cast of regulars and a couple of new faces. kd5 brought his iphone with him, which was cool since i had yet to see one in person. cuda brought a micro-lite remote-controlled helicopter, which was also pretty slick.

from there i headed over to the continental club for night one of big e's 7th rockabilly weekend. i missed umbrella man, which i've been told multiple times is good but i've yet to see. i did manage to see the luxurious panthers. they are a rockabilly band, appropriately enough. unfortunately, they sounded sloppy to me and i wasn't very impressed. chris had seen them before and said they were much better, so maybe they just had an off night or something. for several days i'd been going around saying i didn't really care for the next band -- sean reefer and the resin valley boys. oops. it was a case of mistaken identity on my part. sean reefer rocks! it was a really good set. he's sort of along the lines of wayne hancock (so, generous amounts of Texas swing and hank williams). as the next band was setting up, i leaned over to chris and jokingly said "they look like a ska band." it was sean scroggins and the trenchtown Texans. and they are a ska band. i'm wishy-washy on ska and i just wasn't feeling it that night, so after 4 or 5 songs i left. plus it was 1:30am and i had stuff to do saturday.

saturday morning i got up around 9am. jana, a friend from work, was getting married in college station. i got prepared and took off around 11am. i originally was hoping to take my motorcycle, but the deluge of rain we've been having looked like it would be continuing, so i decided to take my truck instead. it'd been awhile since i'd taken my pickup on a road trip, and taking my truck is still a win for me. it ended up not raining on me at all on the trip up, and i was going to be kind of annoyed if it never rained on me (since it'd been several weeks since i was on my bike due to all the rain). fortunately, on the way back it started raining pretty good near houston so i felt good about my choice.

i drove around college station for awhile since i had some time. i'm amazed by how much it's changed. it used to be this small town, country-ish place with a lot of undeveloped area and unique, individually built, older buildings. now the campus is pretty much completely surrounded by strip malls with the typical chains of stores and restaurants. it's like a giant helping of suburbia was just splatted down on top of the town.

the wedding was nice. i hadn't been to a wedding in some time. they're still pretty difficult for me sit through -- especially the vows. nothing on the people or marriage itself, it's just really difficult for me to hear the power and meaning and depth in the ceremony and promises and concepts and not be somewhat overwhelmed emotionally about the brokenness and failure of my own marriage. i guess i better shape up though, as i've got two weddings to attend in september.

the reception was held at a cool old house in bryan that has been converted into a party/event/reception hall (the kyle house). it was an afternoon reception, so finger foods and cake were the options. i decided i would eat supper at some place i used to eat when i was at a&m. i ruled out all the typical chains that had been around, and also nixed double dave's (which i ate at all the time, but is now a chain with stores close by in houston). i ended up deciding i should eat at the cow hop. before the wedding, while driving around, i noticed i didn't see it at the two locations it'd been in while i was at school, so i asked one of the wait staff at the kyle house (a recent a&m grad) if he knew where it was now. he said he'd never heard of it. so i don't know if i just missed it on university, or if it's somewhere else, or if it's gone. anyway, i ended up not eating anywhere in c.s. and heading back to houston. *sigh*

i did stop at a convenience store on the way back and purchased a frostie blue cream soda and some bbq corn nuts. i'm telling you...driving in my '65 pickup, drinking a blue cream soda, eating some corn nuts...hell yeah. despite the conspicuous absence of a cool chick next to me on the bench seat, it was one of those moments of golden sunshine and soul-filled happiness. thank G-d for those small events.

i should mention that part of my prep saturday morning for the wedding was to shave. i shaved down to a goatee. that's right, no more "punk rock sam houston" -- the chops are gone. i'd been thinking about doing it for awhile, and when i got up that morning i decided to do it. i also chose to wear my hair back in a ponytail, which i've not done for some time. i must say the look makes my 8 gauge hoops more noticeable, what with them not being hidden behind hair and all. oddly, no one that knew me mentioned anything about my lack of chops. i'm not sure if they didn't notice, didn't think it was of sufficient merit to note it, or chose to not mention it for some reason. at least a few people at church today noticed and commented on it. i was beginning to worry that no one knew what i really looked like.

it's a birthday party.

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this past sunday i went to church, then afterward most people went to a birthday party at a house. i wasn't in that great of a mood, but i finally decided to try and be social and went over there. it went okay i suppose, but i felt awkward most of the time.

you see, i've gotten to where i tend to feel like a social outcast at the church. not that it isn't my fault, because i tend to not initiate conversation and pretty quickly will find a way to probably come across as non-social. this isn't something that happens just at church -- it is pretty pervasive through all of my life. it makes me feel stupid sitting or standing around not talking to anyone, which makes the whole thing build on itself. but then on some level at times i'm okay being alone even in crowds. it's a general lack of comfort in initiating conversation i suppose, which is something i've pretty much always had.

such traits and tendencies aren't too good for meeting new people, or making new friends. it's not very good at social gatherings in general. and on top of all that, i hear that before people know me i come across as scary, intimidating, mean, stuck up, and/or any number of other things. while there are bits of those things in me, and times when they become more prominent, overall i don't think they're too horribly accurate in describing me.

oh yeah. sunday was also my birthday. family and a few friends remembered and got in touch with me to tell me "happy birthday." i appreciate it. i, on the other hand, am horrible about remembering birthdays and such -- so please don't take it personally when i forget yours. (which i almost certainly will do.) of course, i guess that's another one of my traits that doesn't really help develop and maintain friendships.

the potts got me a dvd for my birthday that has two movies that johnny cash was in: the pride of jesse hallum and five minutes to live. i've never seen either one of them.

my order from amazon arrived in two parts on different days, but here's all of it:

  • heathers - lehmann (new world/anchor bay)
  • cars - lasseter (pixar)
  • 12 monkeys - terry gilliam (universal)

my intent was to get the first, but the second was on sale, and the third was so cheap how could i pass it up?

  • life is full of possibilities - dntel (plug research)
  • notes and the like - ms. john soda (morrmusic)
  • the witch's dagger - veronica lipgloss and the evil eyes (gold standard laboratories)

so yes, i finally got the ms. john soda and veronica lipgloss albums. the verdict is still out on ms. john soda. and the social views of veronica lipgloss may lead to it being difficult for me. i guess it depends on how much the vocals stand out.

i watched the heathers dvd a couple of nights ago. i didn't really need to be reminded, but that's a really cool movie. it prompted me to google search for the original script, but i didn't find it. it sounds like the script was probably darker and more disturbing than the movie, although still with a strong sense of humour. from the script's alternate ending provided on the dvd edition i have, it comes across that way.

on saturday i ate an enjoyable meal at empire cafe. afterward i dropped by a half-price books, more to pass time than with any particular purchase intentions. but i looked through stuff and ended up buying some things. i'll break them into three major categories, as that's how they seemed to fall to me:

  • kooler than jesus - my life with the thrill kill kult (wax trax)
  • big electric metal bass face - die warzau (atlantic)
  • agogo - kmfdm (wax trax)
  • exotika - chris and cosey (nettwerk)

yep, old industrial. i've looked at tkk discs for ages but never would buy one new because of their anti-religious thing. i finally found a used copy that wasn't completely scratched to hell. it's odd how most used cds i've ever found of old industrial music are always scratched up.

  • comfort eagle - cake (columbia)
  • under the western freeway - grandaddy (v2)
  • the geometrid - looper (sub pop)
  • odyssey - fischerspooner (emi/capitol)

this is the alternative/pop category. i picked up looper completely on a whim. i had hopes from the song titles and label that it would be good. i haven't given it a fair shake yet, but what i've listened to left a distinction impression of suckage. i have friends who've raved about fischerspooner, and i liked a couple of their songs i heard on my "adult."-based pandora channel. unfortunately, i don't think the album overall lives up to the billing. it's kinda too poppy and generic sounding for me. there are a few good songs, and the rest of it isn't horrid or anything, but i don't think it's something that will really capture my attention much.

  • a proper introduction to - the carter family (proper)
  • the unbroken circle - the musical heritage of the carter family - various (dualtone)
  • buddy and julie miller - buddy and julie miller (hightone)
  • midnight and lonesome - buddy miller (hightone)
  • a-town blues - wayne hancock (bloodshot)
  • this time - dwight yoakam (reprise)
  • buenas noches from a lonely room - dwight yoakam (reprise)

and country.

here's the context of this post's title, which comes from the beginning of heathers:

dear diary,
heather told me she teaches people real life.
she said "real life sucks losers dry. if you wanna fsck with the eagles, you have to learn to fly."
i said "so, you teach people how to spread their wings and fly?"
she said "yes."
i said "you're beautiful."

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