tequila mocking bird

i wrote this back on the 25th but held on to it. now i’m releasing it…letting it go, to see if it returns to me…or if it was never truly mine in the first place.
i’m thinking i shouldn’t actually post this. i mean, it doesn’t seem “smart” to let people know i am sad about life sometimes and don’t always think things are great and life is just a ride through the park with one positive experience after another. what the fsck is wrong with our society that we can’t abide people admitting they struggle with failure and doubt and disillusionment? that it’s a mark against them to admit… to let others know…they have weaknesses and hurt sometimes?
i’m not asking for anyone’s pity. i’m not asking for anyone to tell me things will get better. this is not a cry for help. if you don’t care to be aware of this facet of who i am, then you don’t care to be aware of the wholeness of who i am. i just don’t feel like lying about how i feel right now. but if you don’t want to know, if you don’t want to read something sad or whiny or pitiful or depressing or whatever, please just stop reading this and find something else to read/do.
you know, back when i was in growing up i always just sort of figured i’d meet someone in college, or maybe just after college when i was starting my “career”. i figured i’d be married in my early 20’s, maybe mid-20’s, and have a kid or kids by mid-20’s or late 20’s. i don’t know if it’s because my parents were real young themselves so i just thought that was what was best or what. i wanted to be a young parent so i still had the energy and youth to do things with my kid(s) while they were growing up. sure, i doubted things, but deep down somewhere i really thought it would happen.
obviously it didn’t. i didn’t really ever date in college, even though i wanted to. i’ve just always had a severe lack of confidence in women being interested in me. i don’t think it’s misplaced, despite the protests from time to time of friends. friends lie. that’s what they do. give no reasons or whatever reasons you want — external, internal, self-created or not — i do not engender interest. (what? a lack of confidence is all? haha. yeah. what’s not to be interested in, right?!)
anyway, my first “legitimate dating” (as such) was a fscked up long distance relationship with someone who i thought was really cool, and i really liked. but i had no idea how to behave or what to do. i don’t think it mattered, because i think she dated me more because a friend told her i was a great guy and i would make a great partner than because of her own feelings for me. she broke up with me all the time and then would call crying and apologizing. eventually she broke up with me because she found another guy. it turned out to be someone i knew, and they ended up getting married. and they’re still married, so she was smart in her choice it would appear.
i guess i had a couple of awkward online things in college, because i’m so uber-cool like that. nothing ever materialized out of any of them. that’s kind of a pattern for me with things online.
after college i had no “career” job, so i ended up living at my parents’ house. i started dating a girl while there. she was a lot younger than me. (i didn’t know i was a pupil of wooderson at the time (see dazed and confused). but it was really my first “serious” relationship. (no wonder my parents were worried i was gay. at least they acted like they were worried about it. no, mom and dad, when it comes to women being interested in me “i’m just a sucker with no self-esteem” (to quote the ever-eloquent poets, offspring).) anyway, we got engaged. but as time rolled on, it was pretty obvious to me we were on a fast-track to a very short marriage ending quickly in lots of fights, separation, and divorce. the engagement ended. at least i managed to make one smart decision in my dating history (such as it is).
so in my late 20’s i met a girl that seemed really cool, although she was a lot younger than me (see above) and had some quirks. our relationship, once it started, developed pretty quickly. we got married, and even though i knew my naive dreams of how my life would pan out had already passed, it was good and i loved her and i thought we were good together. so i figured we’d be cool on our own for awhile, then have a kid or maybe two. we waited awhile and i was starting to get worried about being an old parent, but she was a fair bit younger than me so i didn’t want her to mess up her own life goals/plans on my account. but when she got serious about having a kid, i wasn’t sure we were ready enough: financially, mentally, etc. or responsible enough. (not that any of those stop tons of other people.) plus her 180 from “not in the near future” to “now! now! now!” was also a warning shot. she was fixated on it, and fscked up in the head about it, and she drove herself into the ground over it and pulled me along with her. once she’d torched everything, then she blamed me — my lack of interest, my lack of commitment to having a child. so she decided she should find a new life. and she did. and also redefined her entire past and time with me in the process so it all seemed more reasonable and inevitable to her. she was smart, hot, and fscked up. unfortunately, the last one won by a wide margin.
since then, the girl i had a crush on for years growing up divorced (with children) and moved to town. “what a stroke of luck!” i thought. i dated her for a few months. but even though she told me how awesome of a guy i was, she had to dump me because i only had one bathroom. (i don’t feel like explaining it. i think it’s on my blog somewhere.) she’s the first girl my age i ever dated. and then i was sort of involved somewhat with someone a lot younger than me. way younger. (not illegal or anything! sheesh!) but only a bit, for a short time. i even broke down and went on a “blind” date. it didn’t pan out. and then someone a fair bit younger than me, but not as much as “way younger”.
so here i am. i may never be a parent at all. and my lack of faith in the interest toward me by the fairer sex is just as strong as ever. except now i have some holes ripped into my always thin confidence in that arena. (even if i’ve had a few positives as well. negatives are much more destructive than positives are beneficial.) i’m just stumbling along toward oblivion, one moment in front of the next. step by step. minute by minute. mostly biding my time. hoping maybe something can happen, assuming it won’t.
some people like to say that if you’re not happy now, that changing things won’t make you happier. i tend to believe them. which leads me to the conclusion that there is really no point in trying to change things. (that’s probably not the conclusion they want someone to reach by saying that, but that’s seem like a logical conclusion to me.)
if happiness finds me, i would be absolutely tickled. i would love nothing more. unfortunately, it would seem that i live in a bad emotional neighborhood and happiness is a bit nervous to come by for a visit, much less stay. i guess i can’t be too upset, since happiness would probably end up getting pistol-whipped and beat down. to be honest, i’m really not sure why hope still hangs around this place, as i’m not sure hope will get much better treatment. hope never was much of a realist though, i suppose. i’m just waiting for her to smarten up and leave me too.
maybe i should be an artist. i think being a “tortured soul” seems more attractive when you have some kind of creative outlet/endeavor. of course, i would probably just seem more like a grating, marginally annoyed soul. the thomas kincaid of tortured souls.
haha, that sounded clever in my head.

weekend fun

well, it’s no secret my mom reads my blog. how’s that for street cred? anyway, she replied privately to my previous entry — which isn’t a big surprise, but i felt like i needed to clear a few things up in case other people got the wrong idea. (sorry if privacy rights have been violated…but i’m guessing these thoughts may reflect those of the few people that read this, so i want to clarify things.)
[1] “why don’t you throw that movie away…?”
eternal sunshine of the spotless mind is an incredible film. incredible. i love it. charlie kaufman is a brilliant writer, and michel gondry is a great director. but the sum of their parts in this film is better than either alone. and who thought jim carey and kate winslet could do such wonderful work? no, the movie stands apart from my personal experiences. in fact, i’ll be buying the blu-ray.
[2] “…and get rid of her stuff and clean it out and try to move forward? no person is worth making yourself miserable over and letting them ruin your life. stop letting her do this to you, it doesn’t have to go on and on.”
this is not about tamara. (even though i’m not confident a failed marriage *shouldn’t* ruin your life when it comes to relationships, i’m willing to allow for second chances. i would very much like to have another chance.) when watching the movie this last time, i fully realized that. (that it’s not just me watching it and seeing my relationship with tamara.) sure, there were a couple of points where the exact events in the movie completely reminded me of tamara. but overall it’s much bigger than that. the movie is me, it is my life (as far as the main character goes.) it is about my relationship with tamara, but it’s about much more than that — it’s about all relationships, it’s about loss, it’s about failure, it’s about hope in the inevitable failure of life. it’s beautiful, and heartbreaking, and true.
[3] “dad & i love you and know you can find someone else, but you have to let the past go.”
unfortunately, the love of a mom and dad and their belief doesn’t fix anything. nor do the love and support of friends and their belief in you. nor does the past, or letting it go. don’t get me wrong, the love and support of family and friends is a wonderful thing . but it doesn’t lead to finding someone else or success in relationships. the past exists for a reason, just like the present exists for a reason. and a reasonably intelligent person can extrapolate the past and present to see what is the likely future. it doesn’t mean it has to be that way, but why live with false hopes. it’s not about the past with tamara, as much as it is the past as a whole — my whole life, collected and plotted, then extrapolated. do i hope for better? sure. but historically there is no reason to expect it.
today i went with sue to the saint arnold’s brewery tour and had a few beers. then i had supper with the potts family and had a couple margaritas. finally, i went back to the potts house and had a few malibu rum and pina colada drinks. now i am home.
was the past with me? not so much. tamara’s fscking up of my life is a chapter in the history books. it’s the present and future that haunt me now.

“i could roll a six. i could also roll a one.” -tim

i don’t think i’ve mentioned that a month or two ago i got on some weird kick and downloaded world of warcraft and played it for the 10-day trial period. i’m not a gamer, but it was somewhat interesting. i’ve toyed with buying the game and paying to play, but i’m not sure i want to spend the money on it. it did get me to see if half price books had unused copies of it (since the original game is years old), but i guess you still have to buy it to play at all, so the answer is “no”. while in the half price books, i did buy some cds though:

  • medulla – bjork (elektra/atlantic/warner)
  • the ramblin’ man – waylon jennings (buddha/bmg/rca)
  • actual sounds + voices – meat beat manifesto (nothing/interscope/pias/universal)
  • pontiac – lyle lovett (curb/mca)
  • the road to ensenada – lyle lovett (curb/mca)
  • pablo honey – radiohead (capitol/emi)
  • ok computer – radiohead (capitol/emi)

i watched lady in the water a while back. i think i’d heard so many negative comments i wasn’t expecting much. but when i read on the blurb it was a bedtime story he’d made up for his kids and the movie started with “once upon a time…” — well, maybe all that made me not as harsh because i thought it was pretty good. as far as children’s stories go.
i also re-watched wild at heart. okay, i have absolutely no idea how i sat through pretty much any of that movie with my mom. gruesome violence, unbridled cursing, and tons of graphic sex scenes — all wrapped up in a complex plot with bizarre characters. what the hell was i thinking? (i hadn’t seen it before then, as far as i recall…so maybe i can claim ignorant stupidity. watch a david lynch film with your mom? brilliant!) i also have no idea how my mom was willing to sit through it, starting with the first scene. i was uncomfortable watching it by myself this time, just from imagining watching it with my mom. sorry, mom.
i took my harley in for its 1k maintenance. when i was almost there my front tire started going flat and i had a hard time steering the last half mile or so. i guess it’s fortunate i was already headed there anyway. it had had a nail in it, so i had to buy a new tire. *sigh*
i picked the bike up yesterday, then last night i met brad and kelli at west alabama for awhile, then we went to tacos-a-go-go.
i watched all of the british series the office via netflix streaming. it’s only like 2 6-season episodes and a 2-part special. it was good. it felt much more uncomfortable than the few episodes of the american version i’ve seen. i have to admit though, i didn’t really expect it to make me tear up some. i just sort of identified with some things tim said at various points (what with his self-deprecating and ironic sense of humor, along with his general feelings of living a mediocre life), so the damned happy ending of the xmas special was a sucker punch.
ash came to town for a visit and stayed with me a couple of days. it was great to see him. i wish we could hang out more. maybe i’ll finally get over my lethargy and visit him in taiwan. getting over my lethargy in any respect would be a pretty impressive feat.
while ash was here, we watched swimming with sharks. we’d watched it before, back when we were roommates back in ’96 or so. the movie’s pretty dark, but it’s well done.
tim canterbury: “i just think… well, i dunno. if you look at life like, ah, rolling a dice, then my situation now, as it stands, yeah, it may only be a three. if i jack that in now, go for something bigger and better, yeah, i could easily roll a six. no problem. i could roll a six. i could also roll a one. ok, so… i think sometimes just leave the dice alone.”
tim canterbury: (speaking about dawn) “[…] but, if i’m really being honest i never really thought it would have a happy ending. i don’t know what a happy ending is. life isn’t about endings, is it? it’s a series of moments. and umm… it’s not if, you know, if you turn the camera off it’s not an ending, is it. i’m still here, my life’s not over. come back, come back here in 10 years, see how i’m doing then. cause i could be married with kids, you don’t know. life just goes on.”

“when are you coming home?” –grace

last night was the geek gathering for the radio show. there were several other groups meeting up at coffee groundz at the same time, so it was kind of hard to determine how many people came out for the gg, but there were a lot of people around. loopylow is starting a project to trade/pass around comic books, based on something he did informally a few months ago with a few of us (that’s how i got, read, then passed along the batman black and white graphic novel). i would provide a link, but i don’t think the site is up yet.
this afternoon i ran some errands, and while i was out i stopped by borders to use a 40% off coupon i had. i picked up:

  • the idiot – fyodor dostoevsky (everyman’s library)

it sounds like it might be a book about me, perhaps. while tastefully not remarking on your thoughts about my relation to the title (the truth of which i will not attempt to rebut), i’ll clarify my remark by saying the brief synopsis from the dustjacket flaps is what i was referring to. (and no, my ending my sentence with a preposition does not bolster your position.)
when i made my august 5th post, i had forgotten that day is also the anniversary date for my current job. that means i’ve now been at the same place for 8 years. that’s a pretty long time.
you know, i moved to houston back in 1995. i didn’t move here because i loved houston or wanted to be somewhere near the coast. in fact, like most Texans outside of houston (especially rural Texans) i didn’t have a particularly fond opinion of the place. but i obviously wasn’t thinking things through when i dreamed about how much i loved outer space and decided to get an aerospace engineering degree. as an aerospace engineer who loves space and could really care less about airplanes, chances are if you’re gonna stay in Texas you’re going to end up in houston.
and so i did. i resigned myself to this fate, but on a number of occasions (specifically once i’d shifted from aerospace engineering to unix work) i got close to moving somewhere else. in most cases it ended up being a girl that dealt the final blow to my seriously pursuing a job elsewhere. (well, the girl finished off my already generally lackadaisical job hunting attempts. industry personal contacts are almost always the way to find new jobs, and i don’t have many of those in other cities.) i liked san antonio when i worked there back long ago, and i’ve always enjoyed my times in austin. connections in the d/fw and plano area even almost got me to try that area a time or two (although i’m not sure if i’d like it much better than houston).
now back to the girls stopping me from moving thing. if you know me very well (or read this blog much) i think you know i’d rather be in a relationship than be alone (which i’d venture to guess is true with most people), and ideally i would like to get married again (which may or may not be true for most people). but maybe it’s time for me to finally drop that completely out of the equation as a possible reason for staying in houston. that doesn’t mean any other city would necessarily be better in that category, but it doesn’t seem less likely it’d happen in some other city either.
i’ve been here in houston for 14+ years. i’ve never considered houston “home”, but after my divorce i lost even the shallow roots that had started to grow here. (my roots to Texas on the other hand — specifically central Texas — are very deep.) i have friends here, i enjoy being a part of the radio show, i like my job okay (even though i think i’m at a dead end), i like most of the people i work with — there are definitely things i like about houston. but should that be enough to keep me? are major life goals being better accomplished in houston than they would be somewhere else? the thing is, i know a burgeoning romance could keep me in houston. i know that is a major life goal, and it trumps other things in my life. (and, obviously, has for a long time.) but if that’s not happening, why do i let my inertia, comfort, and laziness keep me here? i don’t have an answer. maybe i should figure it out.
grace: when are you coming home?
anthony: i can’t come home, grace — i’m an adult.
(from bottle rocket)

playing hogs of the road

today is the 3rd anniversary of me owning my 1965 ford f-100 pickup. which means it’s also the 4th anniversary of the date my divorce was official. (though tamara had sunk it years before the legal formality took place.) but i don’t care to talk right now about the years tamara tarnished the memories of, let’s just celebrate 3 years with a cool pickup.
a couple of weekends ago i went by the half-price books and returned the michael buble cd that wished it was a bjork cd. unfortunately, they had no other bjork cds. but i went through the stacks again while i was there and came out with a few things:

  • written in chalk – buddy & julie miller (new west)
  • down in it – nine inch nails (tvt)
  • tramp on your street – shaver (praxis / zoo / bmg)

they also had lyle lovett’s first cd, but the case was empty and there was no number to tie it to a cd stored behind the counter. i went ahead and took it up and asked — they said without a number it was useless, and they threw the case in the trash. i got that nin ep because it is halo 1 — i.e., the first nin release. i already had halo 2 and 3, but i’d wanted halo 1…plus i figured it might be somewhat rare these days.
awhile back i did the instant (streaming) netflix thing and watched the isle. it’s a korean film. as usual with korean films, beautiful cinematography, but the plot is somewhat twisted and dark. the blurb for it says the guy is an ex-cop, but i never got that from the movie. maybe it’s in korean somewhere. anyway, there are these little bitty floating…houses, i guess…they’re just one small room (maybe 10×10) with a 2 or 3 foot roof…and you rent them to fish. or i guess to bring hookers to, because that seemed to be a very popular thing to do there. so this guy is going there to kill himself, but he can’t seem to do it. then he falls into this odd erotic/tense relationship with the girl who doesn’t ever talk that runs the rentals. it’s an odd dynamic between them and weird things happen. an interesting story nevertheless.
i finished reading anna karenina last night. it seemed like it mostly had this slow steady pace with lots of ruminating about philosophy and sociology and such, but then it seemed like tolstoy must have said “man, i need to wrap this thing up.” things started happening very quickly, and some of it seemed like it just happened suddenly without much understanding of how things got to that point right then. but overall it was a good read. i got a fair number of memorable bits from it. it was interesting to see how i could identify with different characters, or how i could sympathize or be mad/annoyed with certain characters when they did things. i could understand anna’s husband’s position, but also could see how people viewed him negatively (and how he knew it but didn’t understand why exactly). but i also could identify a fair bit with levin.
two weekends ago i was going to jack and sue’s (in my pickup) and i saw an accident. and i was almost part of it. i’d just gotten off of the 59 feeder and was going west on beechnut. it’s 3 lanes westbound and i was in the outside lane. the middle lane was stopped up so some guy in the middle lane moved over to the outside lane. except there was a car halfway up his side. they put on their brakes and tried to swerve without hitting the curb. i slammed on my brakes and since i have drum brakes i went ahead and hopped the curb halfway into a parking area in case i couldn’t stop in time. the car who scraped the side of the car in front of me just kept going like nothing had happened. the car he’d hit followed him. so even though i was planning on turning at guessner, i kept following them. i eventually got up beside the hit’n’run guy. he was an older hispanic guy. the car was used, but only had paper tags from carmax. he didn’t speed up, didn’t slow down…just drove like everything was fine. at one point the car behind him honked at him. i was beside him and he looked confusedly over at me. i motioned my thumb back to the car behind him. he kept going. i got in front of him, then we went under beltway 8. he then turned into the h.e.b. there. the other car turned in too, so i went up to the next entrance and came around. the hit car blocked him after he parked and i got out and walked up. he seemed clueless, spoke hardly any english, and claimed he hadn’t hit anybody. i’m pretty sure he was drunk and/or high. the cops showed up quickly. after denying it was him and being told the cops were on their way, he offered them $100 and said it was “nothing”. i’m sure it was several hundreds if not one thousand or more in damage (paint, body, trim, etc.). when the cops showed up he acted like he didn’t understand any english at all…or really spanish. the cops put him in their car. he didn’t have a license or insurance. so i guess those people should have taken that $100.
this past weekend i went on a motorcycle ride to galveston with brad and jason and some other people (about 7 total). we left in the morning, went down 45, had breakfast at galveston, rode the highway over to jamiaca beach, then took 288 back up to houston. i didn’t think i’d get too much sun, but it was longer than i thought and i got a bit toasted. plus my nannini goggles let too much air in at the bridge of my nose so one side of one of my eyes got bloodshot (i guess from the air pressure and/or volume). the other thing was the people leading the pack all rode very cautiously, and the speed limit. i’m not used to that and it was somewhat unnerving being in a middle lane of traffic and having cars passing me on all sides and pulling up on my tail.
i need to take my bike in for the first maintenance (1k). i’m over 1600 now. and i still need to get that engine ordered for my bel-air.
“we fillied around for a while with other travelers of the night, playing ‘hogs of the road’. then we headed west. what we were after now was the old ‘surprise visit’. that was a real kick, and good for laughs and lashings of the old ultra-violent.”
–alex, clockwork orange