stay on target…stay on target!

man, i’ve been sucked into work-mode. this whole week i’ve been pretty focused on getting some mail server tasks done. last night i stayed up until 4am upgrading mail servers, so i slept in and got to work after lunch. i ate lunch by myself at empire, which was nice…except for the “by myself” part. ah well. i’m afraid my personality and tendencies have made that one thing i’ll have plenty of to look forward to in the future. too bad tamara went mental, she was a really cool person overall until she had an affair and took half of everything. ha.
it’d be kind of nice if you could sort of stop life while you regroup. unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way and i’m afraid i’m watching too much life slip away. but i guess most people have plenty of problems they have to deal with too. i just sort of figured i’d get married to some cool girl, have a good marriage, have a kid or two, be a decent dad, and generally be okay with life. it’s not really working out for me at this point.
when all the infertility stuff and house issues and everything were all going crazy i used to wish life could just be simple. i didn’t really mean i wanted tamara to have an affair and leave me. although i guess in some ways things are simpler now. instead of worrying about what i do have, i get to worry about what i don’t have. 🙂
i know what i need to turn my frown upside down… i need to start doing a podcast or two! (that’s what you expected me to say, right?) what says “emotionally well-adjusted” and “ready to enjoy life” more than doing some low-quality, almost completely ignored and boring recordings that you make available online? that’s what i thought.

scribbled notes

i don’t even know how long she’s been gone. it’s like i’ve woken up in bed and she’s not here…because she’s gone to the bathroom or something. but somehow i just…i just know she’s never gonna come back to bed. if i could just reach over and touch her side of the bed i would know that it was cold, but i can’t. i know i can’t have her back, but i don’t want to wake up in the morning thinking she’s still here. i lie here not knowing how long i’ve been alone. so how…how can i heal? how am i supposed to heal if i can’t feel time?
you know, i can remember so much. the feel of the world…and her. she’s gone. and the present is trivia, which i scribble down as fscking notes.
(excerpts from memento, which i just watched again)

i’m not going to mention the plumbing

i finished reading honky-tonk gospel “the story of sin and salvation in country music” by gene veith and thomas wilmeth a few days ago. it was more of a history of country music than i had originally expected. it did discuss the influence of christianity in country music, and tries to bring out some of the reasons that country music has such a diversity of themes, morally. i came away with the perspective that they felt it was country music’s poor southern origins — church influence, poverty, and a desire to be honest about all aspects of life. there were a few points in the book where i felt like the writers were probably high-church christians with fairly conservative views, but that was never directly stated. (i did note in the bios that both writers are college english professors at concordia.) most of the book was spent on the early history, but near the end they got into the modern stuff. they actually mentioned sixteen horsepower, which was nice. and of course they brought up uncle tupelo, bloodshot records, and the whole americana/insurgent/no depression movement. the book also spent a few pages discussing postmodernism, along with its effect on country music. the authors didn’t seem to think much of postmodernism, but i’m not a big fan of aspects of postmodernism myself. it was also obvious in the book where some of their personal interests lay as far as style of music and artists. sometimes i felt like i was reading something from a bit too genteel of a perspective for me. overall, i thought it was a decent recounting of the history of country music and how christianity has influenced it and continues to do so.
oddly, on friday i had four separate conversations about the existance of evil. all four of the other people had some sort of postmodern view of absolute truth, reality, and our ability to know anything. those are conversations i don’t have much these days…it kind of made miss who tamara was when we were together. but we’re not together, and that’s no longer who she is.
a couple of weeks ago i gave my brother my computer speakers, figuring i’d go buy some new ones. i didn’t want to do anything crazy since i’d rather spend money on real stereo speakers and equipment, so i wasn’t looking to buy a 5+1 or 6+1 or 7+1 set…just two front speakers and a subwoofer. i even thought maybe i’d buy the current version of the speakers i had. but of course, once i started looking i couldn’t help but get something more than what i had. i ended up buying the logitech z-2300 speakers: two satellites, 1 subwoofer, wired remote control, thx certification, and 200 watts rms (400 watts peak). the low-end frequency response is 35hz though, so don’t get overly excited about my bass.
thursday i went to a meet-up for houston podcasters. i don’t do a podcast at this point, but i’ve talked about trying to get one going with my brother. it’d be cool to a country podcast of Texas music and old/alt country. we’ll see if anything materializes.
a couple of days ago i was looking at my cat and i noticed one of her longer bottom teeth was outside her gum when her mouth was closed. i guess the root decayed or broke or something, because it’s loose. so now i’ve got a cat with bug-eyes and a snaggletooth. it really makes it hard to take her seriously. i hope she doesn’t understand that i’m laughing at her, because she looks pretty funny.
this morning i put my highway pegs and mounts on my bike. so now i have another option on where to put my feet when cruising. using extenders instead of putting on a crash bar or engine guard keeps my bike looking more lean. when i picked them up on saturday, i also went ahead and ordered a new tail-light kit. it’ll replace my stock lights and license plate mount. i’m going to move my inspection sticker somewhere on the side of my bike so it’ll clean up the look of my bike from behind. then i’m going to start giving more thought to getting my tank painted.

something is horribly wrong

saw this on my desktop on march 15th and decided to take a screenshot…


see anything odd? ; )
for the record, these are not the “odd” thing i was looking for:
[1] yes, i have a box named “h4x0r”
[2] yes, i have a box named “slacker”
[3] yes, that was originally from a 1680×1050 screen
[4] no, i partially obscured the fqdns myself
[5] no, those blue circles and lines and zoomed views were added by me as hints
and for those of you who feel inclined to warn others about me…
[6] yes, i have a red-tinted drawing of a pistol as my background

dropping in

last week on monday i got free tickets to the rodeo. pretty nice tickets. third deck, free food and drinks. (thanks netapp and the people before me that passed the tickets on!) i got them monday afternoon and had to ask someone with short notice. someone who might like going to the rodeo. so i asked a friend from work, she went, and we had a good time. leeann rimes wasn’t too exciting, and the sound wasn’t good, but the food and company were. in addition to seeing some rodeo for the first time in i don’t know how long, i also tried a deep-fried dessert for the first time: fried cheesecake. interesting. (they also had twinkies, oreos, and some other things.)
last wednesday after the show i watched lord of war with jack. it was interesting and the style was decent, but sometimes it was a little heavy in the preaching or statement department, and it really detracted from things. speaking of movies, i really need to return my netflix movies and get another round.
last night i watched v for vendetta with raj. he had free passes for the new spike lee film, but it was full up so we had to find something else to do. i really liked the graphic novel back in the day, but i’ve not read it in so long i have forgotten most of the details. i’d heard some negative reviews of the movie, but i enjoyed it. i liked the visuals, i thought they did a good job getting “emotion” from a main character who wears a complete-coverage face mask. some of the “points” were preachy or a bit too obvious, but given the origin and subject matter, that’s not too surprising. it’s certainly better than the average comic-to-movie end result.
i’ve actually had a lot of events going on lately, but i don’t feel at liberty to say much at this point. let’s just say i seem to be finding yet more reasons to dislike lawyers and the whole system that has been set up for them to showcase their manipulation and bullying tactics. fortunately, right now they appear to be backing off. let’s hope that trend holds. i’m tired of being a marionette in the legal system. one of these days i’ll release the details.

whatever i feel like i want to do. gosh!

monday i went over to the potts house to help jack clean, but the troops were gone and the colonel decided he’d had enough. not one to deny a request to not clean, i concurred. so we watched the beginning of best in show (because the dvd was borked) and all of the 40 year old virgin. i’d seen it before, but it’s still funny.
tuesday i took off the day from work and drove to austin, picked up my brother, then drove on to fredericksburg and went to the funeral for my great aunt. she was the last living sibling of my grandmother on my dad’s side. i’m not good at keeping in touch, and i don’t know most of my extended family very well, but funerals in general give me a chance to be pretty contemplative — especially after the major difficulties in my life from the end of what i thought was my future. after the funeral i went with my parents and brother to mamacita’s. my parents told stories about when they were first married, laughing at what were at the time difficulties and trying situaions, misunderstandings, funny things, etc. it made me think of all the shared stories i had with tamara. stories i can never share like that, stories that no one else can appreciate and bond with me over. that doesn’t mean i can’t make new stories and history with someone else, but the loss of what i did have is still difficult. those are unique events in my life, now stripped of their meaning. after eating i dropped my brother back off in austin and headed back to houston.
wednesday i was supposed to drop my bike off, but i didn’t plan it well enough and couldn’t make it in time and still make it back into houston for the radio show. so instead i dropped by tropioca on milam near elgin to check it out for the monthly show gatherings. i gave it a thumbs up, we’ll see what the others think. i usually intro the show these days, and i sort of wait for inspiration at the last second on what to do or say. this week it was an extended pause and then a few zombified call for “brains!”. that sort of infected the rest of the show, humorously enough.
thursday i took a half day to drop the bike off. after work, i headed over to chip’s for a goodbye party for hans. they were taking hans to be put to sleep friday morning.
friday i ended up not doing much of anything. i did get an order i’d placed with bloodshot records…

  • spade cooley – shame on you
  • hank penny – crazy rhythm
  • robbie fulks – south mouth

and late in the day wild west honda called to let me know my bike was ready to be picked up. that was nice, because the weekend was supposed to be good and i was under the impression the bike wouldn’t be ready for a number of days.
saturday i picked up my bike and also got another pair of goggles. (after riding the bike around most of saturday, i’m not sure they really did a very good job of tuning the carbs for my pipes. it seems like it has more backfiring and doesn’t run as smoothly. gah.) after giving jack and sue my futon frame, i spent the rest of the evening riding around with brad, then brad and jason. i/we hit the petrol station, cactus music, la carafe, and the house of pies. at the house of pies someone came in and asked if those were our bikes out front. when we said they were, he said “who owns the one with the plate H-4-X-R?” i raised my hand and he asked “that was intentional…it wasn’t random, right?” i smiled and said it was intentional. nice to have someone get it.

the ratio of people to cake is too big

thursday evening i went riding around with brad, kelly, and jason. we hung out at the diedrich’s on montrose for a while, then we headed to the big easy on kirby to see luther and the healers. i’m not a huge blues fan, but they were good and there were a lot of good dancers on the floor.
friday night was the monthly “geek gathering” for the radio show. we had it at the petrol station, which is the new place by the guy who had kaveh kanes. it is a converted old gas station in the heights north of 610 between ella and shepard. it’s a cool place, although it probably has too little indoor seating for our needs. we had a fair number of new folk show up, which was cool. afterward i went to the meridian with jamie for the john evans band cd release show. it was cool to get to see the meridian (since i’ve planned to see shows there but have never made it), but i could have done without seeing any of the bands.
on saturday i hooked up an old black rotary phone that used to be in my grandfather’s shop. i’ve had it since 1995 but had never messed with it. i plugged it in and got a dial tone. i called my brother and left a message. it seems to work just fine! not bad for a phone internally stamped as being built in 1973. i need to clean it up because it’s kind of nasty with paint and grime, but if that works out it should be a pretty nifty piece of functional old technology. i love it when i get a call and i get to hear the sound of those phone bells ringing.
i went by cactus. they’ve sold a good portion of the store merch already. i picked up the austin city limits releases for merle haggard and waylon jennings. they have storewide mark-downs. but it kind of feels like taking stuff from your friend who is dieing before they’re dead. or at least it sort of felt that way to me. maybe that’s why i have such a hard time going through tamara’s stuff she left behind, much less throwing it away.
i also found out saturday that my great aunt nelda mae passed away. i knew she had gone into the hospital, but last i heard they thought she was doing much better. i’m a total slacker (yeah, yeah, act surprised) and i’d never written thank you notes to people who got me wedding presents. she got us a cookbook put out by the fredericksburg pta. this particular one was a compilation of the best recipes from all of the cookbooks, going back a long way. tamara never cooked much, but one of the things she sometimes made was potato soup from a recipe in that book. it’s really good. anyway, i always meant to write her. after i heard she was in the hospital and then doing better, i thought i really needed to sit down and write her, even though it’s almost 8 years late and my marriage disintegrated. oh well, one more thing for me to regret in life. i think i’m going to go to her funeral though. i should at least do that.
late saturday night i watched thumbsucker. it depressed me. i think it is well-filmed, and the characters and their interactions were all interesting. i can’t really pinpoint why i had the reaction i did. sometimes that just happens. i think maybe it was the awkwardness of the main character and how he (and others in the film) went through these various stages where they were trying to find themselves — sometimes believing they had — only to later realize they were wrong. like the point is there is no point. hurray for small victories, but they’re meaningless. or maybe i’m just reading my own issues into it.
today i managed to wake up around 10am, so i went to church. i rode my motorcycle down to river pointe in sugarland. they have reserved parking for bikes up front, and i guess have a group of people that ride together. i’ve been to river pointe a few times. it’s a casual place and i think the pastor has an interesting vision for the church. i’m not sure if he and the congegration are actually pulling it off, but it sounds good. i’ve never actually met anyone new any of the times i’ve gone. it’s pretty easy to go in and out without meeting people, although they appear to want to be friendly and greet you and all that jazz. normally i’d probably like that, but i’m really wanting to find some kind of xian community to be a part of. i’m not particularly socially outgoing, so unless there is some obvious compelling reason i need to meet someone it doesn’t happen unless someone else initiates it.
tonight i went over to the potts and watched broken flowers with jack. (written and directed by jim jarmusch.) the story and filming were good. it’s paced pretty slowly and has a lot of extended shots with silence and little movement. it’s also got some pretty funny stuff in it. but if you don’t like movies that leave the ending open you won’t like this. it’s about as open as you can get. still, if you’re someone who can take pleasure in the journey and the sights on the way then give it a shot.
jack and sue have a dog named hans. they got him not too long after i met them back in 1997 or so. they had to take him into the vet a couple of days ago because he was acting very sick. i forgot what the diagnosis was, but he’s got some kind of advanced illness so they are going to put him to sleep. he is acting better since the vet gave him some medicine, but it just makes him feel better — it doesn’t heal anything. sue said jackson asked if hans would be in heaven. i asked her if she went and added all dogs go to heaven to her netflix queue. (humor doesn’t really solve anything, but sometimes the temporary distraction makes things easier to handle.)

at least my vehicles haven’t caught fire

i ended up working until 1am saturday (sunday morning). afterward, i picked up jamie and natalie (from two different locations) and we went to the house of pies on westheimer. even though they were out of bayou goo, i still <3 the house of pies. sunday afternoon/evening i went for a ride out to magnolia with brad and jason. and i managed to get sue to come along. unfortunately, we left a bit later than planned and stayed a bit longer than planned, and it got kind of chilly. it wasn't horrible, but it was colder than i'd planned for. not really the best ride as an intro for sue, but i think she enjoyed the overall experience enough to look past the cold and go for another ride during the day when it's warmer. i ended up talking a fair bit with kelly's (brad's g/f) sister's husband. it just happened a few days before, but once again i ended up talking to someone who grew up in central Texas around san angelo and was familiar with brady and llano and mason. (and even art!) how odd to have that happen twice in such a short amount of time. cactus music is closing. 🙁 march 31st will be its last day. i'd only been there a few times most of my years in houston, but over the last couple of years i'd shopped there a number of times. i got more into stuff they carry. true, retail chains are starting to carry greater selections and more diversity, and the internet has led to the ability to find almost anything, but there is something to be said for ye olde local brick-and-mortar music store. oh well, houston isn't really known for supporting a music scene. monday night i watched a tale of two sisters. it’s a korean horror film. and unlike oldboy, it really is a psychological horror film. the story is complex and unfolds very nicely, leaving a lot of room for interpreting what you watched. the visuals are really impressive. it is not a splatter-fest, but about 15 minutes after the movie was over i realized my body ached because i’d been tense for most of it. and the revealing of the truths really punches you in the gut. i was somewhat unsure about watching yet another asian “extreme” film, but this one stood out and in a good way.
i made an appointment today to take my bike in next week to get the carbs re-jetted for my new straight baffles. hopefully that will clean up the sound on my bike. stephen got his tank painted by a guy up in northwest houston…i might have to look into that. plus i need some highway pegs. and…and… (it never has to stop.)
speaking of vehicles, sue called me tuesday afternoon and let me know their volvo was on fire. apparently the whole family was cruising up montrose near 59 when sue noticed things on fire falling from the car. jack stopped the car and everyone got out, but the engine was metal toast. some mechanics and restaurant staff from nearby places came with fire extinguishers. and evidently someone called the fire department. how exciting is that?