Sunday, December 31, 2006

Hmmm. This thing is dead on....

Hmmm....This thing is dead on...

What Your Underwear Says About You

You tend to buy new underwear instead of doing laundry.

You're not afraid to lay around resting your hand in your pants.

In The New Year

In The New Year


I sure do like pie. In the new year, I resolve to eat more of it.

Also, in the year 2007, I will strive to make the words "Big Stupid Tommy" a little more synonomous with "Vigilante Justice." Now, I realize that the words "Big Stupid Tommy" already are synonymous with "Vigilante Justice" with me, and probably to you, my threes of readers. But that is only amongst the crowd who habitate the Online Nerd Diary Worldosphere. In 2007, I plan to make my particular blend of hilarious justice more of a mainstream phenomenon.

I resolve to write more. Because, if you'll allow me a sappy second, it's what I feel happiest doing. Is it too sappy to say that when I do it, even as horridly as I do, it makes me feel like it's what I'm supposed to be doing on this Earth?

I also feel like what I'm supposed to be doing on other planets. So I resolve for NASA to get their asses in gear.

I resolve not to use my job as an excuse for not writing, either. Been doing that too much.

As a corollary, I resolve not to work so much. They aren't giving me a prize for doing it, unless that prize is "more work." I probably should have read the fine print.

I resolve to read the fine print, in 2007.

I resolve to pack my lunch a little more. It's cheaper. Plus, my 30 year project to see just how much fat I can pack onto my 6'3" frame is almost at its end. I figure the project was very much a success, though I can't muchly remember why we started the project in the first place. As such, I no longer need to visit the Wendy's and the Arby's and the Burger Kings of the world.

However, I resolve to visit the Burger Kings of the world, if only to keep that creepy Burger King from the commercials from visiting me.

Also. Smaller portions. Recent research into the paranormal has shown that animals hold no ill will over being eaten, and they will not come back to haunt you if you don't "eat the whole thing." I have to admit that a study of my own theological foundations, especially as it concerns all things animal, has left me appalled.

Did you know that I believed that if you shot a cat with a BB gun it became a vampire?

Lastly. I resolve to laugh a little more. Jeebus. It ain't nearly as serious as I want to take it. Every now and then, I have to re-learn to laugh at life. It's a continuing journey.

Friday, December 29, 2006

In Which Tommy Am Tired

In Which Tommy Am Tired

Ever reach that point where your brain just says "fuckit, I'm going home?"

I've just spent the last five minutes thinking (and laughing) about how funny the word "barf" is. And I have no real reason to think so. It's just struck me as funny. I think it's time for me to go to bed.

I have one more day of this hellish work schedule. In theory. There's illness and strife all around my workplace, hence my having to haul my big dumb ass into the store every morning at seven since Christmas.

Tommy needum sleep. Please. Muchly, he needs it. Him brain est broken.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Best Of....

Best Of....

I'm working like a fool with a crack habit. In my spare time, I'm writing. But to tide you jokers who are working over, here's a re-run from 2004:

A Lie

When I was eight, I got to appear in an episode of The Cosby Show. I was visiting relatives, and through a series of friend of a friend meetings, I got to appear as one of Rudy's friends. I was only on set for a day, and I don't remember much about the taping, except that nobody was allowed to sit in Phylicia Rashad's ratty, duct-taped recliner.

In the episode (called "A Birthday Surprise"), I'm there in the Huxtable house for Rudy's birthday party. You can see me (I'm the kid with the blond curly hair) along with Rudy, Kenny (Bud) and Peter, and a couple of other kids. I don't have any lines, but I get to yell "Yay!" when Dr. Huxtable (who, in the story, has been up all night delivering babies and is exhausted, but has to participate in Rudy's birthday party) brings in pizza. Also, we sing "Happy Birthday" to Rudy, and we play some party games.

That particular episode was shown only once, in March of 1985. It was terribly controversial in its airing--most likely the single most controversial episode of the NBC series' long run.

Here's what happens: Theo, Rudy's brother, gets stinking, shitfaced drunk. After several pratfalls, he goes on a profanity-laced tirade in which he refers to Dr. Huxtable repeatedly as "cocksucker," "mad bastard," and once as "you sodding gobshite." In the episode's third act, Theo dies horrifically when he takes a headlong tumble down the stairs.

The secret to making Malcolm Jamal Warner act drunk? The producers got him drunk. On Manhattans.

The episode was extremely controversial. Most objected to the mature subject matter, in general. Also troubling, for many, was the cursing and frank sexual dialog: at one point, a sleep deprived Dr. Huxtable says that the only thing better than a nap would be a sloppy blow job.

But the network and the producers were also brought to task for the complete reversal in tone the episode has in comparison with other Cosby Show episodes. Generally lauded as a family show, where the family faced problems in a positive light, this episode deviated particularly from that norm.

For example, Theo gets drunk at Rudy's birthday party, drinking alcohol meant for the kids. In no other episode do the Huxtables even drink, let alone serve sipping whiskey to the kids.

Also, when Theo takes his tumble down the stairs, the sound of the cracking of his neck is amplified to a ridiculous, even comic degree. And the fall itself is shown again, and again in slow motion replay.

And lastly, as young Theo lies dead at the foot of the stairs, Vanessa and Denise perch ghoulishly over his body, casting lots over who gets his clothes.

The episode was never aired again, after its initial showing. The master tapes were destroyed by the order of Bill Cosby himself. Network affiliates were ordered to destroy any copies they had, or risk losing their broadcast license under orders of the FCC. And the episodes are not shown in syndication.

You may still be able to find a copy at an underground tape trading session, or some manner of sci-fi or other pop culture convention. Or, you can try Ebay, but only if you have the money to outbid the mysterious bidder "2MyBroRussell" who seems to have a bottomless pocket full of cash, and an endless resolve to outbid anybody who looks to purchase of copy of the episode.

I don't even have a copy of the episode myself. I was given a copy after the taping session, along with a keepsake cast photo, signed by everybody in the cast except Lisa Bonet, to have as souvenirs from the taping session. But one night, in 1993, our house was broken into while we were out to eat (at Western Sizzlin, don't ya know). The only thing missing was that tape, along with my signed cast photo, and one last thing.

When we left the house, we had a box full of them in the freezer, but when we returned, somebody had eaten one of the Jell-O Pudding Pops out of the carton in the freezer...

But you can take my word for it. It was a great episode...

Sunday, December 24, 2006



I know I said Merry Christmas, but I was wrapping presents and I just had one of those "I don't believe what I just saw" moments in sports, as I watched the Bills effectively lie down on the field for the Titans instead of going for the field goal and the sure win.

I said to a friend earlier in the season that I thought 8-8 would be a great goal for this team. Now we've got a chance at nine wins?

I'd never have thought the playoffs were a real option. I don't know the scenarios exactly (going to look now). But with Pittsburgh, Jacksonville and Indianapolis losing, and either Cincinnati or Denver losing to the other, that opens a couple of doors to this 8-7 team....

Also, would anybody be willing to rent themselves out as a gift-wrapper for your old pal Big Stupid Tommy? When I do it, it looks like they were wrapped by a drunken Parkinson's patient.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Go to my folks house today to find that Dad was heading out to complete his Christmas shopping. More power to him, I reckon.

I did most of the shopping online this year. I work too much customer service. Didn't want to get myself caught up in it this year.

Me? I'm going to spend my day Maxin' and Relaxin, as a famous man we once called The Fresh Prince once said.

So. Want to take a second to wish you folks a Very Merry Christmas.

And I'll leave you with the top four facts I bet you didn't know about The Fresh Prince:

1.) In his prime, Will Smith could outrun a horse, over short distances.

2.) Will Smith was born Marvelina Reyes in Guatamala. He became Will Smith (and the Fresh Prince by extension) after a rocket accident. The recuperation process was not entirely unlike the one that made Steve Austin the Six Million Dollar Man, and was in fact that basis for that show.

3.) Will Smith has written 79 novels under various pseudonyms. Will Smith is J.K. Rowling. J.K. stands for "Jiggy King." Nah nah nah nah nuh nah nah. He is also Bentley Little and Laverle Spencer.

4.) The hit song "Summertime," as performed by D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince is the cause of Global Warming. Luckily for us, Will is hard at work on correcting the problem. It is not a process without kinks: He wrote a "Wintertime" song, but early testing of the song revealed that mass release of the song (surely a hit) would have driven us into a new Ice Age. Rest assured: Will is on the motherfucker.



This is the best Star Trek/Holiday diorama ever. And I say that as the mid-south's foremost expert on Star Trek Holiday dioramas.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Tommy's Novel, Part 12

Tommy's Novel, Part 12

I've got more than this, but this seemed like the most comfortable stopping point. I'm excited about the section right after this. It's mostly written, but I want to finish that part before I post the whole thing, because I like how it's going.

Now this? I'm a little iffy on, but I bulled through. I'd have no problem writing it for myself, I can tell myself to just move on and fix it with the next draft. But I'm posting this first draft mess, for the whole world to see, warts and all. So it's mildly stressful. I mean, a lot of it sounds (and feels) so hackish to me.

But, a few of you are enjoying it, and I hope you will continue to do so.

I say that, but I think there's good there, too. So, I hope you guys like this part. I'm figuring there are two or three more mornings writings to do on what I'm currently calling The First Act.

Anyway. Here are the first 11 parts.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11

And now, part 12, which picks up write after part 11....:

“It is time for you both to open your minds.”

That’s the last thing I remember, for sure, that was said. The woman in the long red flowing robes took down her hood, and Ronnie and I just stared. Growing up in rural America, I never gave much thought to the idea of what royalty was. But when the lady in the red robes took down her hood, I had the thought that I was gazing into the most regal countenance I ever had, and most likely ever would.

She was older, but not old, if that makes any sense at all (and to me, at this point, it honestly wasn’t). She was older, but beautiful. With eyes that displayed both a fierce intelligence and an assured presence. I said she was regal. I took her for somebody used to giving the orders. And not in a haughty, vindictive sort of way. I immediately took this woman for somebody who knew that she was the leader.

The last thing my mind said to me before she started speaking again was that this was not a woman who had found her destiny...rather, destinies were molded around her.

“Come forward,” she said to us. Willie and I took a quick glance at each other, and we both stepped forward to the front of the chapel.

“Sit, please,” and she extended an arm toward the first pew in the little room.

Willie rounded the corner first, and walked to the center of the pew, and sat. I sat beside him, on his left.

The woman in red smiled. It was an easy smile. She pulled slightly on the seams of her robe (bright, bright red), and my initial thought was that she was going to curtsey for us, but I then saw that she was settling into a chair behind her. The top of the chair extended above her head, almost like a crown, only adding to her regal bearing. “This has been an interesting day for the two of you, no?”

“You could say that,” I think I said. Willie said nothing.

“Let me first thank you for your presence. These are certainly trying circumstances, and we are most grateful for your attendance.”

She smiled again. It was a warm smile, but there was something more behind it. I think she may have been waiting for Willie or me to say something in response. Neither of us did.

“My name is Lamanda Triune. And I am the facilitator of Lyndon Waverly’s passage to the other side.”

“Facilitator?” Willie asked.

I realized then that the lady was picking her words carefully. I didn’t know why. She spoke with no accent that I could pick up, but the way she spoke made me feel like she was picking each word out of a mental foreign language file, rolling it and shaking it around in her head to make sure it filtered out correctly.

“Among the brotherhood, it is my role to ensure that Lyndon is ushered from this world to the next, safely, so that he may rest in peace, with the rest of his family, in the next world.”

I’d never felt so stupid as I felt right that moment. She was speaking English, but I didn’t have the first idea what was being said. One look at Willie and I saw he was confused, but he asked:

“Are you a preacher?”

I could almost see her tumble that word through her mental filters.

“I am a priestess.”


“I am Priestess in the Second Order of the Friggian Orthodoxy.”

Now, I’ve never met nor heard of a priestess outside of a Tarzan movie or a Marvel Comic book, and I didn’t have the first fucking clue what the Second Order of the Friggian Orthodoxy was. But the confidence she carried sold the title, at least in that moment. I think if she’d told me her name was Demonextra J. Frankenstein and that she was Queen of the Moon Monsters, I’d probably have given her the benefit of the doubt.

Willie had other thoughts: “What the hell is the Friggin’ Orthodoxy?”

She pursed her lips, and paused in thought.

“I do hope you might forgive me for asking,” she said, “but do you know why you are here?”

“Some feller showed up at my door and told me Lyndon wanted me to be his pallbearer,” Willie said. She looked from him to me.

“Yeah.” I have a way with words.

Have you ever played the game where the first of a circle of people will whisper a phrase to the second, and the second will carry it to the third, and on around the circle, and by the time it reaches the last person “I rode the train to work” has become “Buster Keaton is the strongest one there is?”

Such is the line of managerial progression. There’s an old saying: If you want to have it done right, you need to do it yourself.

And that is precisely what I saw on the face of Lamanda Triune in that moment. What I took from this sudden display was this: There was a message, apparently, that should have been passed to us, even before the two of us appeared at Lyndon’s house, and apparently, neither of us had gotten it.

“You were told that you were to come here to serve as pallbearers?”

“Yeah,” Willie said. “That John feller. He came to the house.”

She nodded once.

“I ask for a moment of your time.”

It wasn’t really a question, and she didn’t wait for either of us to say yes.

With a flutter of robes and a rush of wind, she disappeared. Except, she didn’t disappear. The wind came from nowhere, and it caught in her robes, and sent her red hair flying in the wind. And then she seemed to shrink. Her legs floated up into the air, and her head seemed to fall to meet in the center. A little, and then a lot. It couldn’t have taken more than a second and a half, but floating in midair that little bit of time later was the very same cardinal that Willie and I had noticed on the perch of the pulpit minutes before.

And just as quickly as the bird had replaced the priestess, the cardinal flew out the back of the sanctuary, and behind it, the heavy wooden door slammed shut.

“Huh.” I said, after a second of the both of us staring at the door the cardinal had just flown out. I hadn’t quite begun to wrap my mind around the fact that the woman who’d introduced herself moments before as Lamanda Triune had transformed into bird and flown away.

But I hadn’t kicked the idea out as ridiculous, either.

Willie had other thoughts.

“Huh?” He said to me.

“Huh.” I said back.

“Is that really all you got to say?

“What do you want me to say?”

“I don’t know,” he said, the whites of his eyes as big as two babies’ fists. “Maybe you can talk to me about how the lady who wasn’t there a minute ago and then appeared out of nowhere just turned into a Fucking Bird and Flew The Fuck Away!” That last part had become a scream.

“Did you see it, too?”

I was trying to joke, and I saw his jaw clench and his eyes begin to water. I really think Willie was right on the verge of losing his mind, and I say that without exaggeration. I wasn’t the only one dealing with the weirdness of the weekend.

“Willie,” I said, turning again to look at the door. “What do you want me to say? Do you think I have a lot of experience in people turning into birds? That’s a major goddamn first for me.”

I stood, and walked up the step on the pulpit. I pressed in on the flooring with my feet as much as I could, to see if somehow I’d missed a trapdoor, though I couldn’t think I’d have missed such a thing having been a mere six feet from the lady as she played human/bird transformer. I leaned over and felt the seat of the chair, which was slightly warm to the touch. I looked back at Willie, and shrugged.

He got up, and walked to the back of the sanctuary. He pulled at the door, which didn’t budge.

I don’t think Willie actually wanted out of the chapel until after he’d tried the door. The door which didn’t budge. Now, Willie’s a smaller guy. Maybe 5'5" in workboots. And he’s what they like to call “wirey.” He’s not a pushover...he’s covered with that ratlike farmer’s muscle. But all told, he probably doesn’t weigh much more than 120 lbs.

And we found out with in seconds that the door to the chapel could support that, and easily. I almost found it more difficult to accept than having just watch a Priestess of the Second Order of the Friggian Orthodoxy just turn into a bird right before my eyes. But Willie, all he of one arm, managed to get both feet off the ground and against the door jamb, pulling on the handle of the black door with every fiber of his being.

The door didn’t budge, and he ran out of energy. He didn’t fall all the way to the ground, but he stayed on a knee long enough to take a couple of deep breaths.

“We’re trapped.”

“We’re not trapped,” I said. “Why would they lock us in?”

I walked up the aisle to the door of the church, and pulled. I might have well just pulled my truck down the street. It didn’t give. I think that I expected that Willie had just missed the mechanism to release the latch. But I couldn’t find any. I put both hands on the handle, and gave a tug. Again, nothing.

Now I was wanting out of the chapel. I don’t think I was thinking of leaving, but I knew that I didn’t want to be locked behind this heavy door.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Dead Dictator

The Dead Dictator

Turkmenistan's president Saparmurat Niyazov has died.

From outside the thing, there's something truly absurd and almost entertaining about this guy. And I'll admit to reading about his exploits and being entertained in a grotesque kind of way. Like this paragraph, from CNN's blurb:

He ordered the months and days of the week named after himself and his family, and statues of him were erected throughout the nation. He is listed as author of the "Rukhnama" (Book of the Soul) that was required reading in schools. Children pledged allegiance to him every morning.
Like I said. There's something grotesquely entertaining about that. There's something oddly appealing about a guy who has the balls to change the names of the days of the week, naming them after himself.

Then you remember that this is real life and he's run one of the most repressive, domineering and backward thinking regimes in recent memory, and that no one person has the right to place his beliefs over any other, let alone an entire country of people, and you say to yourself "I'm glad the bastard's dead."

Today's Funny

Today's Funny

From this morning's oldie, but it made me smile early this morning:

Three men die on Christmas Eve and are met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates.

"In honor of this holy season," Saint Peter says, "you must each show me something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven."

The first man goes digging through his pockets and pulls out a lighter. He flicks it on. "This represents a candle," he said.

"You may pass through the pearly gates," Saint Peter says.

The second man reaches into his pocket and pulls out a set of keys. He shakes them and said, "They're bells".

Saint Peter says "you may pass through the pearly gates."

The third man starts searching desperately through his pockets, and after several second, he finally pulls out a pair of women's panties.

Saint Peter looks without saying anything for a long time. Finally, he asks, "And just what do those symbolize?"

The man replies, "They're Carol's."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Suffering Continues

The Suffering Continues

Words fail me. All over creation, the Great East Tennessee Quake of 2006 (GetQ2006) still wreaks havoc with the infrastructure.

Another cry for help arises from the night.

Has it been three days? Time has little meaning in these horrid days. I had to wait nearly 10 minutes for my toast this morning, because I did not realize the toaster wasn't plugged into the wall when I put the bread in. I place the blame squarely on the vibrations from the quake for unplugging the toaster.

Also, I lost my keys (most likely from quake-stress) last night. I had to spend a whole 15 minutes looking, before I realized they were in the bathroom. I put them there because of the earthquake.

And where is my Federal Aid? Dammit. I really doubt that I should have to work through this tumultuous time, but there I go, day-in and day-out. I'm suffering, people.

I think I'm going to have to go eat some pizza at the Gondolier, to ease the pain.

I bet it'll be crowded. Earthquakes tend to make people want pizza.

Monday, December 18, 2006



Now, I know most of you are wondering how your old pal Big Stupid Tommy survived The Great East Tennessee Quake of 2006.

Well, I woke at 3:35 or so, not precisely sure why.

I got up. Took a whiz. Went back to bed. Laid there for a little while, staring at the ceiling. Not really thinking about anything. I listened to the radio a little. Then, I fell asleep, and woke up a couple hours later, showered, ate a toasted cheese sandwich and went to work.

Thank you for your prayers in this time of need. I've got all the survival goods I could use. Although if you wanted to send me TiVo in my time of suffering, it would definitely go to immediate good use to alleviate the strife in this time of woe and want. I've missed The Office and Scrubs for two weeks running, and I'm in a deep state of suffering because of it.

Sunday, December 17, 2006



You know, I'm not a terribly religious guy.

But sometimes, you get shown the light.

It's time to Get Behind Jesus.

Gracias to Gunny for showing me the path.



Chris has a very good post on last night's Knicks/Nuggets brawl, and it echoes very much my own thoughts on the subject.

Tommy's Novel, Part 11

Tommy's Novel, Part 11

Here's part 11. Huzzah.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

The drive from my house to Lyndon’s doesn’t take but five minutes or so, if you’ve got a mind to get there.

Hell, it shouldn’t take much more than ten even if you don’t have a mind to.

It took me about a half hour to finally turn off the frontage road onto the dead end gravel County Road on which Lyndon’s house sat.

I’d never actually been to Lyndon’s house. Not that I could recall, anyway. I was always struck by it, though. I called it a crackerbox earlier, and that’s not too far from the truth. A small, white-washed, wood-framed house with a green tin room and green shutters, set atop a red brick foundation. The house sat at the very front of the Waverly property, which stretched as unused pasture land for about eight or ten acres behind the house. The pasture land, the house and the hickory-rail fence that stretched along the road the length of Lyndon’s property were all framed by the rise of mountain on either side. In fact, looked at from a certain point of view, it was almost as if Waverly’s home and property were acting as a gateway (or a tollbooth, my mind said) to the relative wilderness of the mountains above.

Now that I think about it, I do have one distinct memory of Waverly’s place. I noted that as I pulled my truck into the last place in the small line of cars that were parked in front of Lyndon’s house.

In the past, Lyndon would decorate his crackerbox for Christmas, lighting it up with thousands, more likely tens of thousands of white lights. And he would stretch the lights up the rise into the hills in no set pattern (unless it was discernible by Lyndon). Up into the hills, even up behind the house. I always enjoyed riding by it, with Mom and Dad. It was always one of the last we’d see, before turning across the hill and heading home. The way it looked, with the house, the fences, the trees, even the hills lit was like the Mountains were beginning to celebrate Christmas as well.

I had one of those moments of self-envy, where I wished I’d appreciated that a little more as a kid. I liked it, but I never really soaked it in. Lyndon hadn’t put the lights up for a few years. Poor health, I assumed. And now he was gone.

There were eight or ten cars parked in front of Lyndon’s home, already. I looked at my watch, despite knowing what time it was from a drive where I think I glanced at my dashboard clock every twenty seconds. I knew that it was 1:27, all the way down to my socks. It didn’t keep me from look at my watch once more on the hundred-foot or so walk to the door, and once again when I would get to the door.

I glanced at a couple of the license plates I saw as I walked by. Out of state, but nearby. Georgia. North Carolina. I figured Lyndon had family that lived nearby. My mother’s family had been spread across Dickerman, McMinn, Polk and Monroe counties, in the mountains, for generations. Pretty much since the first few boats from Europe had come aground in the New World, way back when. I figured there were probably Waverlys in these mountains the same way there were O’Dells (like my Mom) or Reeces. There are so many Reeces in Trainersville, you can’t throw a handful of gravel without hitting seven or eight of them. I had two weeks of detention in the fourth grade that’s testament to that fact.

I took one last look at the silent line of cars on the road. I didn’t see any local plates, but I thought I recognized the white pickup parked on the other side of Lyndon’s driveway.

Well, I stepped to the door. I pulled the screen door open, and as I was about to give the inner door a knock, it was pulled open from the inside.

“Michael! So Good to see you!”

The same face who’d awoken me the day before greeted me now.

Do you ever get into a conversation with somebody that you’ve never met, and had them introduce themselves, and then you realize halfway through that conversation that you weren’t listening to what they said?

I had no idea what Lyndon’s nephew said his name was, but he was already grasping me by the shoulder and pulling me into the house. He closed the door behind me and announced in an echoing voice: “Michael Wells has arrived!”

I’ve looked back over this memory probably a dozen times. I swear there have could been no more than ten cars out in front of the house. And I suppose ten cars could have hauled all the people current inhabiting Lyndon’s little homestead if you packed a couple into trunks, a few in the beds of pickup trucks and sat somebody on the armrest hump of every front seat out in front of the house.

Lyndon’s house was packed. To the rafters. And now they were all turned, facing me. I couldn’t and still can’t place the look on their faces as they turned to regard me. The closest I can get to describing it: Expectant.

The next few minutes were spent being ushered around the room, being introduced to Rogers and Bills and Helens and one guy named Dick. I knew I’d have no trouble remembering that one.

I never got told a last name. I don’t know if that bothered me or not. I think in the rush of names and faces, I didn’t give it much thought. But I was rushed from person to person, by Lyndon’s nephew whose name I did not remember. Jeff? Jerry? John? I mentally settled on Jeff, but wouldn’t have bet on my being right. Seemed like it started with a J.

I was shuttled through a Wanda and a Paige, past a Tommy and a Lance, my gregarious host absolutely pleased as punch to show me to the family and friends, those family and friends equally pleased to see and meet me. I was ushered through a Karl and a Steven and a Janet. In the corner of my eye, as I was introduced to a Pete, I saw a familiar face sitting himself on the hearth of the fireplace, drinking a cup of something warm. I wondered if Jesse Cochrane had walked all the way out here, or if he’d found the Gremlin.

I was whirled around and guided to another corner of the room before I could even catch Jesse’s eye to say hello.

Again, I was greeted with another Bill, a Ryan and a Stephanie. I wasn’t given time to engage in much more conversation than a simple “howyadoing?” or “nice to meet you” before I was pulled to another corner or area of the house to meet somebody new.

There were three things I remember noticing as I was pushed through this hurricane of people: All were smiling and happy. I realize that many cultures view a funeral as a happy time, but I wasn’t used to wandering into one in the middle of the Bible Belt, where many took a death as a cross to bear (or badge of honor) for years. But this was a happy, partying group. Also: everybody in the group was huge–not fat or anything like that, though there were a couple who’d taken on a middle age paunch. Rather, everybody seemed built big. I’m 6'2", and I felt like I was looking up into a lot of faces. And lastly, a lot of folks, but not all, spoke with the same stilted accent that my host (George maybe? John? I still thought Jeff) spoke with. Saturday, I’d placed it near Chicago–and maybe there was some of that, but it wasn’t like anything I’d ever really heard. A lot of talk coming from the top of the mouth, and through the nose. I would work on that accent a lot.

Lyndon hadn’t had a huge house, though it seemed larger on the inside than it looked from the outside. I’d never have guessed you’d pack so many people into a house this size, yet not feel entirely crowded. I mean, you’d have to move somebody out of your way if you suddenly had to take a piss, but it wasn’t like everybody was pressed shoulder to shoulder at every turn, either.

After being paraded through the living room, den and kitchen, meeting and greeting every Tom, Dick and Harry in the house (Harry being the last fellow I met), I was guided down a corridor that led off the kitchen down the back of the house. It didn’t have a door to any of the rooms that would have bordered the corridor on the left, or a door to what should have been the outside of the house on the right. It was lit by old-fashioned lamps on the wall every four feet or so. As I walked by one of the lamps, I took a whiff and confirmed my suspicions: This hallway was lit with gas.

I was about to comment on it when I was guided through the heavy wood door. I don’t know what I was assuming was behind the door–a workshop, or maybe a den of some sort.

I’ve never been lead into a chapel, in somebody’s house. And that’s all I could think it was. There were pews. There was pulpit. There were ornate windows. There was a piano in the corner. I suddenly felt like I was in church. There were no religious ornaments. However, in one corner, a bird sat on a perch. It looked like a cardinal.

The room was empty, save for one person.

Willie Hammond sat in the very front pew. It had been his white, rusted pickup truck I saw parked in front of the house. In retrospect, the front bumper fashioned out of a 2x10 should have been something of a giveway. But then, I’ve never claimed to be that bright.

He turned from the cardinal, which he’d been studying from his eat, to regard my host and me.

“Willie’s been here for a few minutes already.” George/John/Jeff/Joe said. (I was now tending toward John). “Why don’t you two get reacquainted. We’ll proceed shortly.”

From the hallway: “John?”

My host turned, and left the room.

I turned back to Willie. “His name was John.”

Willie nodded once.

I walked up to the front pew, where Willie sat. I joined him. He was dressed in a green wool suit that had probably seen its finest days in the late 1970's. The cuff of the right arm was pinned just below the shoulder. I could see the stump of Willie’s arm through the material when he moved his arm. He wore a white shirt, and a brown and green tie that probably had been bought with the suit. The knot of the polyester material was the size of a midget’s fist. I wondered who had helped dress him. The last I’d heard, his wife Velva had left him to return to Texas. It was Willie and Ronnie by themselves down in Chattanooga.

“Willie,” I said.

“Mike.” Willie always called me Mike, even though I went by Michael.

“Crazy seeing you here.”


“How’s Ronnie?”

“Alright, I reckon.”

And we small-talked the conversation of two guys gifted in life pursuits other than conversation. Neither of us looked at the other. We both were looking at this odd room. It was a chapel, though it wasn’t like any I’d ever seen nor heard of.

We talked, and it was so inconsequential that I can’t even remember what we said, until Willie hit a nail on the head:.

“Mike, where’s the body?”

“Where’s the hearse?” I asked in return.

“Is there a preacher?”

“Where did all these people come from?”

“Michael,” Willie said. “I’m really fuckin’ freaked out right now. What the fuck is going on?”

Before I could answer, I heard “Ahem.”

I turned, and saw Teddy standing in the door way.

“Thank God,” I said.

“May I speak with you, Michael?”

“‘scuse me, Willie,” I said, noting the look on his face that was placing me onto the list of things gone awry in Willie Hammond’s world.

I walked to the back of the chapel, where Teddy stood. He motioned out into the hallway, and I followed. The gaslight corridor was empty. I could hear the multitude of voices, the clink of dishes going into a sink, down the hallway, like the party was continuing with me and Willie stuck in the strange chapel down the weird corridor that the giant people with weird accents didn’t seem to think strange at all.

“How long have you been here?”

“Several hours,” he said. He put a hand on my shoulder. “This is a tremendous gathering.”

“But What...”

“I love gatherings of the living. I truly feel that it’s is one of the few times that the living truly come alive We don’t have many gatherings in the afterlife, Michael. And the ones we do I find dreadfully dull.”

“Really?” I said, though it wasn’t so much of a question.

“Oh certainly,” he said, arms waving in grandiose manner. “Gatherings of the afterlife are made up of folks who have no more goals, no more aspirations. They’ve achieved their highest calling. Now they just want to discuss the weather.”

“And this?” I waved an arm down the corridor.

“Beautiful. People with dreams, people with passions all coming together and celebrating. And make no mistake, Michael,” he said, pointing down the corridor. “That is a celebration of a life.”

“Okay,, this is a funeral after a fashion.”


“Where is the body?”

“I do not know.”


“Again, I know nothing.”

“What about a preacher? This is really weirding me and Willie out.”

“I seriously doubt that you’ll see a preacher here.”

“ do you know that this is a funeral?”

“Oh. I’ve spent the last several minutes talking with the deceased. Wonderful man. You really should have gotten to know him in life. And those folks there,” he pointed toward the main of the house, “he was quite beloved by them. This is, indeed, a celebration of his life.”

Events often take an extra second or two to digest, when dealing with Teddy.

“So, you’ve been talking with Lyndon? He’s here?”

“Oh yes. Why wouldn’t he be? He’s heading to the other side. He may not see some of these folks again. He wants to say goodbye, as well. Wonderful chap. Absolutely delightful. And he’s one of the lucky ones.”


“His people believe in reincarnation. He’ll most likely be back on Earth before he knows it.”

“Good for him,” I said.

“I agree! Why did I have to be raised Protestant?”

“Sorry, Teddy.”

“He speaks very highly of you, though, Michael.”

“Of me?” Between the missing girls, monsters on film, talking cats, hundreds of people stuffed into a crackerbox and the gaslit corridor leading to a chapel in a house in the woods in my small town, this whole relationship between Lyndon and me was getting to be The Weirdest part of the weekend. By far.

“I barely knew the man, Teddy.”

“But he knew you. And to him, that’s all that was important.”

“That’s actually kind of creepy, when you say it that way.”

“He knows you better than you know yourself.” Teddy was giddy with that information.

“Teddy why am I here?”

“Just wait,” he said. “It will be completely worth your while.”

Teddy was beside himself. He was bursting at the seams with some happy news, I could see. He was like a little kid with some secret knowledge, flushed to the gills with pride at having that knowledge. I felt like that if I pressed, I could probably get Teddy to reveal the secrets, but I don’t know if I could have kept him in the conversation long enough, even if I’d had the strength of a dozen dead presidents. Even in our conversation, I could see him keep turning toward the other end of the corridor, where Lyndon’s friends and family were hobnobbing. He desperately wanted to be able to rub elbows again. And he was on pins and needles to be back among them.

“Okay, Teddy. Let me ask you this: He is dead...Lyndon is dead... but there’s no body.”

“No, that’s not right. I don’t know where the body is.”

“Does Lyndon know where his body is?”

“No. But he is rather curious as to what’s become of it.

“He doesn’t know?” I asked.

“No. He’s very nearly giddy in anticipation to find out.”


“Positively Giddy!”

“You know Teddy. I appreciate you coming out. You’ve answered precisely no questions and you’ve succeeded in creating dozens more.”

Teddy either missed or ignored the sarcasm: “Not a problem in the least, Michael. If you don’t mind,” he waved an arm toward the gathering he was itching to rejoin.

“Be my guest,” I said.

I watched Teddy galavant down the hallway, practically clicking his heels to rejoin the celebration, even in his diminished capacity. I leaned back against a wall, and ran a hand through my hair.

“Who were you talking to?”

Willie Hammond had pulled open the door, and was now regarding me suspiciously through a crack big enough to put his face through.

“Ummm...nobody...Trying to sort out this day. What time is it?”

Willie, being of one good arm, pulled an old fashioned pocket watch from his right suit pocket. He clicked it open, never taking that guarded eye off me, save for a glance at the face of the watch.

“Five till two”

“So it’s almost time.”

“I reckon.”

No sooner had Willie spoken those words when we heard “Gentlemen!”

Willie and I both looked down the hallway, expecting to find the speaker near the kitchen entrance to the corridor. Nobody was there.

“Here, gentlemen!”

Willie looked back first, and I saw his eyes widen a little. I poked my head back into the chapel through the door. The only door. And there I saw a woman in a bright red cloak, her face nearly covered, cloak running and overflowing to the floor, standing at the head of the small room.

“Willie,” I whispered. “Was she here the whole time?”

“No. She wasn’t.”

Sunday Morning Re-Run: My Inner Gary Busey

Sunday Morning Re-Run: My Inner Gary Busey

I actually printed this one up to hang in front of me as a write. I've been letting it whip me, and it's time to stop. One of my favorite things from this blog, written in July of 2004:

The Inner Gary Busey

That blank white page is frustrating me.

It's been frustrating me for a few weeks now.

It is my enemy.

Do you know who else is my enemy? Gary Busey.

Or, rather, the disembodied voice of Gary Busey.

I'll write something. Whether it's for myself, or intended for publication, or for this very blog you're reading now. And I'll write it. I'll struggle with it. I'll wrestle with it. Sometimes, it's like wringing water from a cloth, and the cloth is twisted until the tension in it is pulling knots and threatening to tear the fabric. The droplets that fall out? They suck.

Or, at least that's what Gary Busey says.

Gary will read what I've written. He sees with my eyes.

"Boy," he say, his voice wavering between disappointed incredulity and derisive condescension, "that really sucks."

Gary Busey is my harshest critic.

"You can't do no better than that? You've been sitting in front of that computer for hours, and all you got is a couple of paragraphs about how much you hate some guy named Alex Gonzalez?"

You write what you know.

The voice leans in. I don't know how. It's Gary Busey. Gary can do anything.

"You ain't got shit, then."

Gary Busey is my inner critic. And he mocks me. Dammit, he mocks. And I loved Under Siege so much.

The inner dialog, it goes a little something like this.

I write: The bear went over the mountain.

Gary wanders up, from out of nowhere, deep within the recesses of my brain. Reading what I've written, he comments: "Naw. That ain't no good."

The bear lumbered over the mountain?

"Lumbered, huh? Did you get that word the sameplace you got that haircut?"

What the Hell does that mean?

"Never mind. Why the hell you writin' about a bear?"

(I can see his big, googly, scary, baked and burned out eyes even across the ethos. I do not answer.)

"Everybody's already written the hell out that bear."

I'm trying to make myself write, Gary.

"By writing something's already been written? Something that nobody care much about in the first place?"

It's writing something.

"No, it's writing nothing, and it's re-writing nothing."

I'm just trying to be funny. I figured it was a start.

"Trying to be funny?"


"Like a clown?"

Well, after a fashion, I guess.

"After a fashion?" (Incredulous, and a little angry. Like he might lash out.)

After a fashion.

"Like a clown?"

You're confusing me.

"I hate clowns. They scare me. It's the mouths, and the big giant teeth. And also the eyes and noses."

How did we get from bears to clowns?

"I hate bears, too. They scare me. It's the mouths."

And the eyes and noses?

"Are you mockin' me?"

No sir. I think you're mocking me.

"You get riled too easy. Need to take up some tai-chi. Settle your mind."

Will that help my writing?

"Couldn't hurt."

What would you write about?


Texas? The state?

"No, retard, Texas the Panty Hose."

I've been to Texas.

"Texas the Panty Hose?"

What were we talking about?

"Your lack of writing skills. And that you suck. And bears."

You're scared of bears?

"Not scared. Maybe once. Maybe a long, long time ago."

But not anymore?

"One day, I had an inkling that I was scared of bears. And if there's anything that Gary Busey hates, it's being scared of something.

So, what did you do?

(Even though he's just a disembodied voice, I can feel Gary Busey leaning in, violating that personal zone, getting right in my face.)

"It's all about mastering your fear."


"It's all about letting that fucker know that it can't whip you."

Can't whip me?

"It's about getting in it's face, and saying 'Hey Bear! I ain't scared of you!' and then smacking the shit out of it, just to show it that you ain't kidding."

Doesn't that make the bear angry?

"Hell yes it makes the bear angry! It pisses the shit out of a bear! But you just gotta get back angry at it. Smack it again. Let it know that you're the boss."

I'm the boss.

"No, I'm the boss. Can you believe that Tony Danza is getting a talk show?"

Back to the bear...

"Glad to see you're payin' attention."

You just smack the bear again?

"Just hit it again. Poke it in the nose."

Doesn't the bear fight back?

"Yeah. It fights like hell, sometimes."

Does it win?

"Sometimes. But..."


"But at least you went out there and punched the shit out of the bear, and didn't sit there starin' at it, lettin' it whip you without even touching it. At least you got whipped trying."


"Yeah. I hate bears."

Thanks, Gary.

"Anytime. What are you thanking me for?"

Just the thought.

"Yep. What thought?"

What about clowns?

"Clowns scare me. It's the mouths, and the teeth. Also the eyes and........"

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Benny Hinn-Let the Bodies Hit the Floor

Benny Hinn--Let the Bodies Hit the Floor

Moving back to the top, because now we can embed.

I go through favorites on Youtube, watching the same bit five, six, nineteen times. This is my current favorite.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Do You Freakin' See This?

Do You Freakin' See This?

This is why I hate the friggin' interweb. Because it justifies Every Single Irrational Fear That My Beleaguered Mind Can Create!

Current justified irrational fear? That I'll sit down on the toilet, and a snake will crawl out of the pipes and bite me on my junk.

Actually, I blame the media for this. It actually happened on an episode of Highway to Heaven. I don't remember the exact circumstances (the stresses of the situation having been too much for me), but there's somebody who keeps saying there's a snake in the toilet, and nobody believes her. And then the guy who travels with Michael know, the one with the Oakland A's cap...he finds the snake in the toilet.

Thusly, a lifetime of irrational junk-biting phobia is induced.

Well, Thank You Australia for justifying this.

An Australian wildlife worker pulled a 7-foot python out of a septic tank Wednesday after a plumber found it hiding in a woman's toilet, officials said.

Peter Phillips, a wildlife officer for the Northern Territory's Parks and Wildlife Service, was called to remove the snake after a plumber who was fixing the blocked toilet discovered it curled in the pipes.

I don't have much else to say except that I wish the show Highway to Heaven had ended with Michael's friend taking off the A's hat, and putting on an Angels cap.

Or even better, a New York Yankees cap, thus revealing that he's been the Devil's Advocate on Michael's whole journey to heaven.

NaNoWriMo Novel, a bit of a reboot

NaNoWriMo Novel...Part X: a bit of a reboot

Alright. Wrote some. Gonna post some. I know I'm not supposed to edit myself. But I've decided to back up, and attack from another angle. Luckily for the threes of you who probably still remember this thing is going on, it doesn't affect how the story goes so far.

Anyway, for those catching up, I started the NaNoWriMo project, but just got 25,000 or so words in, officially. Unofficially, I was around 43,000 words. Then work got in the way, had to stop. Those other words will make it into the story, but later on.

Anyway, started a new branch. Mostly because I had to find the same energy that I had before.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9

Here's Part 10. Thanks for reading.

The last thing I want to say before I talk about Lyndon’s funeral is this:

I hate funerals.

I was dreading going to this funeral with every fiber of my being. I think with all the outstandingly weird bullshit that was going on, I hadn’t been able to let that thought seep into my brain.

But it did that Sunday morning, as I climbed out the shower, and wiped down the mirror to shave.

And I wasn’t dreading this one because of all the weird shit. The weird shit wasn’t helping. But that dark pit of blackness that rooted itself in my chest, between my heart and stomach, was for the fact that it was a funeral at all.

My parents died four years ago. There was a house fire. They were asleep. It was an old house, with old wiring. A fire started in their bedroom. They died in their beds. The County Coroner said that they never woke up, most likely dying of smoke inhalation in their sleep. Sometimes, I take a little comfort in that fact, that they at least didn’t die in pain, burning to death.

Sometimes not. It’s not like I’ve spent the last four years railing at God about why my folks didn’t wake up to fight their way out. But I do think about it. From time to time. Especially if I’m drunk and alone. I sit there and I wonder at how my Dad who was one of those guys who did just about anything he’d set his mind to, whether there were people standing in his way or he hadn’t even the first clue how to set about doing it, I wonder how God can let a guy who fought for every scrap he ever got die in his sleep in a fire caused by a spark from wiring put in forty years previous.

Or how He could let my Mom, the most quietly smart person I think I’ve ever known, who had probably the funniest comic spark in her eye I ever saw just get blown out like a candle, without a chance to even begin to figure out a way out of the problem.

I don’t know. At the end of the day, you just say to yourself that life isn’t fair. I don’t suppose my story’s so different than anybody who’s lost a parent, in the end. I don’t feel sorry for myself. It’s just one of those things.

Their funeral was a small affair. Closed casket. I’d never had anything to do with setting up a funeral. My aunt Wanda helped a lot with the arrangements. He was the one uncle I’d never had much to do with growing up. She was always off somewhere in the world, doing anything but associating with the family, I reckon. But she showed up within hours of finding out that my folks had been cooked crispy. Before anybody else, even.

She stuck around longer than anybody else, even. For a couple of weeks after. Long after the family had gone on, helping set up the final demolition of my folks’ house. There wasn’t much to salvage, but Wanda picked through the charred remains, I think, even before the coals had cooled completely. She managed to find a few trinkets, a few salvageable items from their house. But not a whole lot. I keep everything that was pulled from the house in an old metal Rambo lunch box, if that tells you how much she was able to find of any value that survived the fire.

I’m a long winded son of a bitch, I realize, but I’ve said all that to say this: I still have a hard time with funerals.

Lyndon’s would be my first. I’d managed to miss a couple that had occurred since then. But this one landed, pretty literally, on my doorstep.

As I pulled the razor across my face, shaving away three days’ worth of beard growth, I found myself thinking of Aunt Wanda. I’d talked to her only once since the funeral. She called me on my birthday, about a year ago. Ostensibly to wish me a happy birthday. We talked of old things, of what I was doing. I dismissed the quiet sort of indignation she seemed to take when I told her I was installing computer equipment as her greenie anti-technology way of thinking. I remembered her asking how the weather was, and she asked about the local news. As we talked, I kept thinking that she was fishing for something. Some news, or something. But she never came out and said, and I never knew if I’d given what she was looking for. I haven’t heard from her since.

I shaved under my chin, and down both sideburns. I was getting the tricky spot under my nose, when Cletus walked into the bathroom and said “There’s no food in my bowl.”

I jumped, but not as much as I probably should have. I regarded my cat, who was sitting on the floor, tail curled politely around his paws.

“Okay. You do talk.”

“Did you think you were dreaming?”

“I guess not,” I said. I moved to shave under my chin. “And why didn’t you talk before? Seems like it would make things easier. Like last week, when you ate the dental floss. Wouldn’t it have been easier to ask me to step on the floss instead of pulling a two foot string of cat turds around with you every where you went?”

“A.) It seems like your fault for not noticing, and B.) How would you like having to ask somebody to pull a two foot length of shit-covered string out of your ass, Michael?”

“I don’t suppose I would, but then, I have opposable thumbs and easy access to soap and water.”

He looked away. Annoyed. “Things are different, now.”

“The whole uneasy animal thing?”

“Well, some of that.”

I shaved the last of my chin, and waited on the rest of the sentence from my cat. When it didn’t come, I looked.

“I can’t put my finger on it,” he said. “I can’t explain it much better than saying time’s a funny thing, and opportunities don’t come twice.”

Tuesday, December 12, 2006



What's this thing where guys who play Jesus in movies also play guys who like to blow up boats in movies?

Okey Dokey....

Okey Dokey....

Sorry guys. I haven't had internet access for a couple of days. For whatever reason, I couldn't connect to anything. Called the folks at Comcast, they flipped whatever switch needed to be flipped.

Anyway. There was a medical emergency with another manager's family this week, and I ended up working mornings each of the last three days, so writing didn't work out like I'd wanted. So, even if I had time, I couldn't get online to post.

I'm making time tonight. I can post now.


Sunday, December 10, 2006



I'm a grammar-layin' son of a bitch.

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz

I also wrote today. Should be up tomorrow.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Writing the Novel

Writing the Novel

Got a really nice note of encouragement last night, concerning the first draft of the novel. I want to say that I'm still writing, but it's the same deal as my last excusing post--I'm working all mornings here lately. That changes tomorrow, actually. I'll be working evenings for the next week or so. I'll have the time to make headway. Look for the next continuation on Sunday morning.

Just a thought

Just a thought

Reason #1 why I hate baseball's off season? And really, any sport's offseason? Because you can't hear about a player, it seems, in the offseason without hearing his salary, whether it's a new one or the old one.

The money is anough to piss you off, so I'm not going to grouse too much about that. When the posterboy for mediocrity in America's pastime are pulling in five year contracts worth 50-million dollars based on a decent season and perhaps one highlight reel catch, it makes it difficult enough to trudge into work for the 45-50 hours a week I do for much, much, much, much less than 10 million dollars a year.

And I'm not even one of the goofs working 2 jobs. Think about the guys pulling down 60, 70 or 80 hours a week to make ends meet.

It kinda makes me sick, and turns me off pro sports in general.

I hate the offseason. None of the actual game being played to distract me from the fact that some goof with an IQ of 49 who can throw the ball 99 miles an hour is making more in two thirds of an inning than I'll make in 2007.

But it's not about the money, truly. I can get past that. Like I said, once they play the game, I tend to forget it.

If it came down to it, I'd be willing to accept making singular percentages of what a pro athlete makes.

If I could get a four month offseason every year.

Dude. Sometimes, I think I'd be willing to give back a third of my salary, if I could get a four month offseason, and be guaranteed a job when I came back.

I'd even take that junk where I could be traded.

Unless it was to Milwaukee, Kansas City, Pittsburgh or Tampa Bay. I won't play there.

A Note from 1:38 AM

A Note from 1:38 AM

You know, See No Evil may be the worst movie I've ever seen.

The Big Show Loves Apple Butter With a Passion

The Big Show Loves Apple Butter With a Passion

Jim Ross, in his blog, makes a note of The Big Show's announcement of a sabbatical. Good reading, from Good Ol' J.R. And in that post, I learned that I have something in common with the self-proclaimed Big Nasty Bastard.


I quote it the way he wrote it. I like to imagine my favorite wrasslin' writing that, and as he's writing it, he doesn't scream it, but his face and eyes light up with the intent to scream. And also, he probably typed those words REALLY HARD.

Anyway. The point:

I too love Apple Butter with a Passion.

My feeble and diminuitive lexicon denies me the ability to appropriately and adequately wordify my love of Apple Butter.

But rest assured. There are only three things greater on this planet than my love of Apple Butter. They are:

1. The tonnage that is Mount Everest.
2. The vaunted Power of Chuck Norris.
3. The mysterious legend of the Gorton's Fisherman.

Anyway. My love for Apple Butter knows no bounds. I do much of what I do in a day because of Apple Butter.

Also, I have two midgets who do my bidding. Their names are Pygmalion and Marvin. They, by extension, do everything they do because of Apple Butter.

But things have been in a funk, here lately, at Casa de Big Stupid Tommy.

See, we'd set a date, Apple Butter and I.

In June of 2007, Apple Butter and I were to be married.

But because of the hilarity that is Tennessee State politics, my fellow Tennesseans decided to support an Amendment to our state Constitution supporting marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Guess where that leaves me and my Apple Butter?

Thank you very much, Democracy.

But then, I probably would have gone about trying to turn people to my way of thinking. Corrupting the youth of Americaland, and whatnot. I'd planned much of 2008-2011 for that, actually.

Try the apple butter. You'll like it.

You may even love it.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Today's Quotes

Today's Quotes

"Do not write so that you can be understood, but so that you cannot be misunderstood." ---Marcus Fabius Quintilian.

I've been paraphrasing that one, lately. At work, I'm finding it difficult to wrap my mind around that one. I am having to realize that my goal is not to make myself understood, but make it so that I am not misunderstood. That's what communication is, lately.


"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."---Friedrich Nietzsche

Trying to communicate at work the fact that there is not just one right way of doing things. And just because it doesn't look "normal" does not mean that it's wrong.

I'll throw another Quintilian out there: Damnant quod non intellegunt, or, They Condemn What They Do Not Understand.....

I want to point out the Nietzsche Family Circus, which I enjoyed muchly. Saw it at Zonker's....

Monday, December 04, 2006

Notes on the Weekend

Notes on the Weekend

Just a couple notes on this weekend's visit to Middle Tennessee....

No visit to Blackstone this weekend, though we did make it to Toot's. You know, Fried Pickle Chips have shown up from time to time in the area. I think even Captain D's had them for a short time. But nobody does them like Toot's. I could have sat down and told them not to let the basket go empty until I passed out.

We hit a Predators game Saturday night. Nashville lost 4-3 in overtime. I've only paid attention to hockey since 98 or so, when the Predators showed up in Nashville. And then it's been just a vague knowledge that guys on skates carry sticks hit a little flat ball until A. It goes into a goal, B. A referee blows a whistle, or C. Jordin Tootoo starts fighting with somebody.

Like I said, Nashville lost in overtime. It was surprising to me to watch the crowd deflate as soon as Chicago scored their overtime goal. See, coming from a baseball background, a "sudden death" ending on the stick of a visiting team was a bit of an oddity. It took me a second to catch up. I think I knew that the game was just took me a second to accept it.

We also took in the Titans game, via teevee. There were short thoughts of trying to find cheap tickets, but we figured that with Peyton Manning in town, between the Peyton fans and the Peyton-haters, it was probably a seller's market on tickets. So, in the relative warmth of the television, we saw the Titans take one from the Colts.

A couple thoughts....

I'm not on the Vince Young bandwagon. But I'm no longer throwing stones at said bandwagon. I'd still rather him be backing somebody up, but it's hard to say that Kerry Collins or Billy Volek (were he here) could have kept the energy for the offense (or offered the scrambling threat).

Also, Rob Bironas shouldn't have to buy drinks anywhere near Nashville this week. That was a helluva kick....

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Chapter MMCDIV: In which Tommy actually posts something...

Chapter MMCDIV: In which Tommy actually posts something...

Work was a son of a bitch this week. In more way than one. Kept me from writing. Kept me from spending time with friends. But at least they treat me like shit, so I got that going for me.

I'll just say, as that concerns, the phase of re-evaluation of my priorities has begun.

I missed the 50,000 words in 30 days for NaNoWriMo. I'll keep writing and posting, though. So, remember all you sevens of readers that I am writing, but spare time is so scarce lately, that I'm not reaching any stopping points quickly. I don't like posting anything that just stops for no reason except that I finished writing that morning right there at that point. I'd like there to be a flow to the story.

Add to that the fact that the stuff I write at night just seems so mechanical and dull that I am not enthusiastic about posting it for public consumption. And because I've been opening the store more often than not, I have to write at night. I feel much more comfortable with the stuff I write in the mornings. I think it's because the shit of the day hasn't had opportunity to clog up the writing sluices. When I'm writing at night, I'm dealing with about 12 hours worth of life's bullshit. I am not yet so talented at shunting it aside.

Anyway. I'm heading out of town this weekend. I know, also not conducive to writing. But then, I think I may end up exploding if I don't break out of this little rut I've worn for myself. Exploding is even less conducive to writing, I would think.

So. I'll post this. A few weeks ago, I linked to somebody (I forget which blogger, and for that I apologize for not tipping the cap) with a video of David Armand doing an interpretive dance sort of bit to Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn."

Well, I found a another performance of David doing his bit, with Natalie singing along live. I'm not sure why it makes me so happy, but it does. I laughed out loud. It is often best not to question these things.

Y'all have a good weekend. I'm going to drink a couple of beers at the Blackstone and watch some hockey.