Tuesday, July 31, 2007

and if the band you're in starts playing different tunes, I'll see you on the dark side of the moon

If there were digital natural wonders of the world, like the Taj Mahal and such, The Dark Side of the Moon album would be up there! I'm assuming the album was conceived by watching wizard of oz, b/c the sync is unthinkable otherwise. How about that creepy part where the guy hangs himself as they meet tin man and go walking into the woods.

man, what can I talk about?

Let's talk about 'backups.' How bout those people you made that deal with, If I'm 30 and not married, let's get together. I'm AT that age, and I see how unrealistic that line of thinking is, not because its unconventional, but because people drift in different directions when they're single, and I would think good couples make the choice to drift in the same direction, and its just too damn hard to turn on a dime.

It makes me think of the things people tell themselves to make themselves feel ok, or justified, and as I do an initial scan of my emotions, I try to think of things I tell myself to make myself feel better, and ummmm, I can't really think of anything. Does that make me miserable? Probably more than most, but I hope its a treating the disease not the symptoms type habits that I'm developing, being able to not be short cited in thoughts, and attacking problems at the source.

I've come to a point when I'm not paddling upstream so much anymore, emotionally and physically. Find yourself a girl and setting down Mr Benson and Mr White say, and then steady as she goes. Those sentiments used to scare the bejesus out of me, but now I'm understanding its natural and essential for a healthy disposition.

I think the key (for me at least) in that whole love thing is finding a mate that is reasonable, open, and adventurous with a touch, just a touch of crazy.

Rock garden, plant, dog, relationship -- The rock garden is perfectly cultivated, the plants are live and well, I want a dog badly (but first stable life -- how contradictory is this parenthesis), then girl on the wing. Looking at this progression and in correlation with the other 'phases' one goes through in life, in a contorted sorta way, wise man builds house on rock.

As the train rolls on, I'm running at a nice fast pace in front of it, and my internal disposition couldn't be better.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

It Was Long and Chrome Standin' In the Lot, Fire Engine Red that Thing Was Hot

That time of year again for the Moulton Jamboree, the town where the fire volunteer fire department seems to be bigger than the city itself.

Small town festivals, dancing, light beer, parades, BBQ cook-offs, softball....is it just me, or is it a bit surreal? I'm not doggin' it, just very unique I'd say.


Mummy and me, she's got some really cool hats since the hair has left the building, regardless, she always looks lovely and she's in decent spirits, just a bit weak. She's always matching blue, matching pink, something matching, and boy does she love her pink Chicago Cubs hat. I told her I hope she's got a cool shaped head so we can take a bald picture!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Life Is Both a Major and a Minor Key, Just Open Up the Chord

Travis, La Zona Rosa, Austin Texas, damn I totally forgot how great these guys are, I guess you could called it being sophisticated and down to earth at the same time. It was in 1997 the same place where I talked to Fran, when he opened for Ben Folds, he asked me what I thought about the spice girls.

10 years later, they still play a lot of the old tunes, lots of tunes I relate with in life, and lots of great commentary and dialogue, as they don't look like the typical 'cool' rock band on stage. I also found out what 'chugging' means in Scotland (it was described by the band as what young boys do at home when mom is gone!).

That being said Fran, a realistic songwriter), Andy, Neil, and Douglas (hips) Payne take the stage, from the front door, coming in to the rocky theme, in boxing outfits, high fiving the crowd.

The light show was amazing, how the hell did they get them into La Zona Rosa?


The boys all came out in the enchor and sang 'Flowers in the Window.' Doug and Andy help out with the strumming towards the end.


Twenty, with the help of no PA --- Fran wanted to 'keep it real', and he totally did! Check out the busted string half way through the song, and disregard the 'camera sound' and drunk a$$es next to me.


To show off the lights, sound quality is terrible, but I love this song 'The Line is Fine'


To end the show, a nice 'Why Does it Always Rain on Me' jump fest from the cheap seats.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Watching All the Reds, and Oranges Slip Away, Letting Go of Yet Another Dirty Day

After miles of tirelessly driving through the streets of San Antonio, I don't get the 'warm and fuzzies' in any part of town. Steve is really my only 'home boy' in the city, so what's a boy to do? Opinions on where to live in San Antonio from the locals say, well live here but do this and snake through this area, etc, etc, etc.

So, enter New Braunfels, a sleepy-ish community that sits about 25 minutes from my job, at least at the ungodly hour of 7am I'm supposed to show up to my job at.

This nifty place, the old LCRA power plant now converted into an apt complex, would be pimp to get a place in here, and it comes at a very reasonable price tag. It would be kinda like living in the Tate Modern, but not really living in the Tate Modern. Come to think of it, with the smokestacks, kinda looks like the Titanic.


Side profile of this beast, that bear the old school letters of LCRA.


My local bar would be a BREW PUB, it sits MINUTES from a very rustic and quaint downtown, I get a great vibe from it. Faust is the name, selling your soul to the devil is the game.


A hop skip and a jump from the Wurstfest grounds, who can say 'Crawl home!', instead of sitting on the curb into the wee morning hours till the sober angels come.


What's up with the rain?, already wet'ist year in recorded history. Well it sure does yield a brilliant sunset, I even saw a rainbow tonight, and entire rainbow, not just one of those half rainbows, or quarter rainbows, the whole thing, the real deal.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Beautiful McMansions on a Hill, That Overlook a Highway

My new radio station, it's really not that bad.

I was going to sit down and really think about what it means to have a support staff that follows you mentally, thanks for all the nice emails, asking what's up, giving updates, etc, etc. Short response, I like the job a lot, I hate San Antonio, but that's just first impression, I'm sure I'll find my local places, or wait, I'll find somewhere to live sooner than later.

The heart lies in Austin, but I'm meeting new people, growing, learning, understanding a whole new set of personalities, and it's really inspiring.

There's a 'chow hall' right across the way from my building. For 3 dollar and 4 bits, you can get all you can eat, and the food is very good, even though I'm one of the few civilians eating with the army peeps. The job has a lot of challenges, in every sense of the word, but it'll be manageable.

I'm looking forward to Travis at Stubbs this Thursday, I haven't been out on the town in forever, I haven't partied in forever, just look at me, I'm in withdrawal, I'm shaking. OOOOO, nevermind, that was the 4am wake up and all the caffeine in my blood, gotta go to sleep.

Like The Beatles say in their beautiful sweet voice.

'Good night Good night Everybody Everybody everywhere Good night'

Sunday, July 22, 2007

There's So Many Different Worlds, And Many Different Suns, And We Have Just One World, But We Live in Different Ones

Things to do in San Antonio before I'm Dead(o).

Museo Alameda
http://www.thealameda.org

Rosario's Cafe and Cantina
http://www.rosariossa.com

Tito's
http://www.titosrestaurant.com

Azuca
http://www.azuca.net

Garcia Art Glass
http://www.garciaartglass.com

Rendon Photography and Fine Art
http://www.alrendon.com

La Frite Belgian Bistro

Jupiter Java and Jazz

Blue Star Arts Complex
http://www.bluestarcomplex.com

Joan Grona Gallery
http://www.joangronagallery.com

The Radius
http://www.radiuscafe.org

San Angel Folk Art
http://www.sanangelfolkart.com

Rick Hunter Photography
http://www.rickhunterphotography.com

Beethoven Maennerchor
http://www.beethovenmaennerchor.com

Taqueria Atotonilco

Panifico Bakery
http://www.panifico.com

Liberty Bar
http://www.liberty-bar.com

Friday, July 20, 2007

If You are Falling, I'll Put Out My Hands, If you Feel Bitter, I Will Understand

It seems as if the adult version of Santa Clawz has came to visit. He brought me happiness, happiness in a variety of ways, in a variety of things, putting focus on great things, and blurring the focus on the turbulent stuff.

I see how important it is in life to keep 're-inventing' yourself, to strive for better, for different, diversity, stretch more wide than probing deep. Versatility as a human, being able to interpret and transcend the different layers that make up one's cognitive thought.

I can't help but think these days of the difference between being motivated by fear, uncertainty, doubt, loneliness, depression, second guessing yourself and the opposite, believing in yourself, knowing and loving yourself on a deep and personal level and relying on the latter, but with a sprinkle of the former.

Ben once said, 'now that I'm older I'm bored I remember when misery thrilled me much more, I can't relax, and I'd like to go back.' I wonder what percentage of the population has went through true misery, what percentage can just 'turn it off', and what percentage gets a doctors prescribed pill to cope? I know everyone has 'personal Afghanistan's' going on in their head, but how many are truly introspective about it and care to dig through the mud and the muck to untangle that senseless mess? I certainly can't quantify what dealing with a heavy dose of self-inflicted misery does for a person, but I HOPE it does wonders, as it takes you on an exploration of your soul, the end of the rope, the whole 'tear it down to build back up' speech.

Here's a Talladega Nights quote that I think explains this motivation well, Damn Ricky Bobby is right....

"Fear is powerful, because it has been there for billions of years! And it is good! And you use it! And you ride it; you ride it like a skeleton horse through the gates of hell, and then you win"

The other motivating agent, I'd like to say....ummmm.....practical magic. It's the ability to focus, the ability of certainty: the time when the stomach ulcers go away and life becomes much simpler. I'd like to think I'm slowly discovering this practical magic, hence becoming an observer and admirer of counter culture, not a participant. It's a time in my life that's getting more filled with coherent and understandable gestures, grown up mentalities, and a changing of the guard with my body and mind. Indeed a time where my mind says, 'Just because you can drink 10 Guinness when you go out doesn't mean you have to', and the other fail safe mechanism, the 30 year body -- it will punish you for the youthful exuberance in the context of excessive vices. I'm listening, I'm FINALLY listening to people who love me and understand me, and it feels good. I'm going with things I trust, and I personally trust my instinct now more than ever.

I'm happy right now, really happy. It's been forever if ever since I've been able to say that. I actually have a positive attitude towards any adversity in my or our families life. The latter is destructive, I care for my mom and family and a positive attitude is essential, and I have completely warmed up to the fact that it is in my personal best interest to wake up with a positive attitude every morning, and understanding a cynical or apathetic attitude is really the easy way out.

Like Dahveed says 'I gotta keep my mind clean, gotta keep my vision clearer.' I'm using that for the base, and on top of that base, sits me riding the fear, because it is good.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Is It True It's Always Happy Out Here, And If It Is I'd Like to Stay a While

ITS AND ALL CAPS LIFE FOR ME, DOWN HERE, THE TEXT IS SCREAMING AT ME, EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME, HARD TO MAKE IT LOOK ASTHETICALLY CORRECT!

All that being said, STEVE AND HIS BETTER HALF CAME OVER TO THE ECONOLODGE for a visit, and we went down to the seedy part of SA to get some burgers at Chris Madrid's. Please do check out the multi-lingual website, Si, Habla Espanol y English.


Rain Rain Rain, is it a polar ice cap raining down on us? Where is the tarnished brown grass?


Here's what's clogging my arteries as we speak, see that HUGE piece of cheese? Ain't is amazing?!


Here's a taste of the live music scene down here...What are those big guitars called again?


I am just knackered from the first week at work, lots to be brought to speed with, a whole nother world.
----------------
'So just how far down do you wanna go, well we could talk it out over a cup of joe, and you could look deep into my eyes, like I was a supermodel' --- uh huh

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

He Could Throw that Speed Ball By You, Make You Look Like a Fool

Home sweet home, at least for the next three nights. If it wasn't 60ish bucks a night, I could totally live at this Econolodge for the next however long.


Chances are though, I'm hoping to live in this building, The Exchange Building, downtown SA, I timed it today, and it take about 5 minutes to get to work from here, that's EPIC. The only thing that's not so appealing, downtown beggers, not The Beggars who sing Lovely Soul Detonator, but the ones who want money.


Here's the front porch.


Finally, and the last is certainly the best, a reunion lunch with Nate-Dogg, who is graduating from Ft. Sam tomorrow. We went to the Hard Rock Cafe, drank a few Stellas, and then headed home. Walking downtown with soldier Nate-Dogg, a woman said "Thank You" to Nate, as he's walking in his army attire.

Monday, July 16, 2007

We’re Battleships, Driftin’ in Our Wee River

For those keepin' count, here's my opinions on what has been good and bad in mom's chemotherapy treatments. For the record, Mom's first treatment was last Thursday, the weekend left her burping and lot and bloating, and sick enough to miss Collin's birthday party on Sunday.

The Good - Hospital staff everywhere (Yoakum, Cuero, and Victoria), very professional, exceptional service, all around gives me warm and fuzzies. MEDICARE -- 14,000 for the surgery, Medicare pays for 13,000 of it.

The Bad - To top off the feeling of having chemo, how bout paying for 3 pills at 100 dollars EACH? And how bout a handful of others that are 50 dollars each? Research and development, yea, I'd say a necessary evil for these peeps to make innovative drugs to fight cancer, just isn't fair for 'our category' of people who don't default on bills.

THE SHEER UGLY - Can you say our INSURANCE POLICY!!! GOD AWEFUL! I had my time haggling with them on the phone, sis' had her turn, and in the perspective of things, they have paid 400 dollars for a random visit, and DIDN'T EVEN TOUCH the surgery. Only 4,000 a year support for chemotherapy, and no support for pills. The only MAJOR DISSAPOINTMENT!
--------
The result, I think it's what P.J. O'Rourke says, 'If you think health care costs now, just wait till it's free.' The system has to be mixed, private to drive R&D, to add the incentives to performance and quality, and 'universal,' so any constituent in the mix, (the individual, the insurance, the hospital, the government, etc) doesn't have to be economically / medically 'scientific' about who claims the debt of people who can't pay.

In my years at DPS, I estimate I paid in a rough estimate of 35,000 dollars for medical insurance, nad and I only went to the doctor for one minor thing over the time paying in.

It might be the best we can get for a good while?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Go Along With the Plan, Your Head will Still be There Where You Put It

Thanks for all the positive vibes in regards to my transition in life. The internet and music make transitions in life seem seemless. The Veils put it into perspective best.

'And the sound of that music travelled
to me from that orphan sky
and pulled it all in my vault'


What next? Liquidity for a while, then who knows? Currently special thanks to Mel and Bob for being a some of the most amazing friends a boy could ever have.

More writing to come after some rest.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

So Here It Is, You're Heart out Here in the Cold

Second Looks, 6 outfits, 200 dollars = professional attire

Friday, July 13, 2007

There's No Sense In Waiting, A Swift Completion Never Comes

Last day at my job of the past 6 years, lots of stuff roaming around in the noggin', I've looked from quotes from Yoda to Ghandi to categorize it, and here's the best I could come up with to represent the last years. A difficult environment to say the least WOO-SA, WOO-SA, OK, I'm calm now.

"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." - Gandhi

China Star was the place to be for the last supper, I mean dinner, the honky tonky'in-est Chinese Buffet in town, with a big convenient back room. A mix of old and new came out for the occassion, very touching, I've made some amazing friends over the years that I hope continue.


A few years worth of attrition. Lots of collaborative brainpower there in casual format! Thanks for coming, you folks are great :)


My coolest going away present, a street cone, I'm assured it was legally purchased, because I'm always parking in crazy places.


The smoke pit, a place I learned a lot, had some great dialogue, and would sweat in the intense 104 degree heat.


Later that evening, we went to Club Deville and stayed at Club Deville. Garth doing his famous sign, and that's the lovely Stephanie's hand on Garth's leg by the way.


Jennifer and Abbey with Mike D


Lee and Toby


A calm night in the perspective of things, not a goodbye but merely a 'see you later.'

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Breakin' Rocks in the Hot Sun

Shady grove was the place, Duncan and his crew took me out, got me a wonderful hipster backpack as a going away present. Duncan, Barbara, Shelley, y'all are the best, I'll miss you guys, y'all really got it down at work! Keep the legal stuff rollin'.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

With the Star Upon Her Shoulder Lighting Up the Path Where She Walks

Saying another farewell, this time to Robin, a person I've had the pleasure of working plenty 'mission impossibles' with. A wonderful, funny and smart lady who I enjoyed working with over the years, and afternoon walks and talking about life and all that stuff.

Pictured at our walking track, that wall behind us is one I've climbed over many times for comic relief for co-workers, Robin has never seen me attempt do it, but I promised her before I'd leave I'm slop myself over the wall. :)

Thanks for all the dialogue and perspective over the years, and by golly listen to those Ben Folds and Divine Comedy cd's one day!

And It Was Hard, Like Coming Off the Pill that You Take To Stay Happy

Staying with sis', I've technically been 'borrowing' my nephew Collin's room. He's been a great host, and I'm grateful and will miss my family.

There's always been something quirky in the room though, Mr. Teddy light switch. I have to 'turn him on' every morning. What do yall think, phallic, or am I just way off point?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

For Me This Boardwalk Life's Through, You Ought to Quit this Scene Too

The Hollies, DAMN, Graham Nash, my hero!

Next week I roll up into San Antonio, stick in hand draped over my shoulder, with a blanket at the end wrapped around some Dockers and a polo shirt to start a new job. Lots of cycles running through my head, lots of emotions, lots of feeling.

Emotions: -- For us fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants single guys, who everyone think just has a happy-go-lucky lifestyle, knockin boots all the time (even though I don't know what boots are, and I don't know what knocking means), I'll tell you, it's hard to make life changing decisions without anyone to run it by on typical pillow talk nights.

New city: -- I'm leaving Austin, a big time entertainment city / quality of life city to a city more focused on jobs, slower pace, and, ummmm, heavy metal music? A city defines you, I'll be roaming around in the 'Championship City' being a Mavs fan, dare I say that to anyone.

New Job: -- Not a Problem

More to come during the week as I frame my last 5.5 years as an 'educational experience.'

they try to break us but we wont play along

Dave has got to be one of the coolest cats I've ever met. We used to 'jam' Chris Isaak, Wilco, and some various alt-rock gems on Sunday afternoons in a rented building with a healthy dose of Newcastle.

3 years ago I told Dave when I quit work, I'd buy his guitar, a nice Mexican Strat, for $125 smackers. For conventional types like myself, just take the 'made in Mexico' sticker off, and poof you got a genuine Strat, only Steve Vai would be able to tell the difference.


I'll miss you Dave, best wishes to you!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Caught Up in The Centurys Anxiety

He lives in a house, a very big house in the country. Well, at least Kimmie's folks do, and what a view!

The rivers are flooded, and Texas looks like Scotland. Notice the sun on one side, and the rain on the other, really beautiful :)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

And I Need it More Than Love, And I Love It More Than Life, And I Want those Stars Above to Shine this Night

It behooves you NOT to drink 7 rum and cokes the night before a 5k race.

However, a shower and a nice chocolate milk in the morning hit the spot, and we were off to the races. Krysi, cowboy, Alex and Larry partook in the 5k, 5k, 5k, 10k respectively.


At the starting line, I run into ol Bob Koenning, runnin' the race, he's 50 now and he's been doing it for the last 30 years! You go! -- Some years back boy did Mike D and I have a great time with him at his brother / my good friend Brandon's wedding.


Well, how did I do? In our division, Alex came in first, I came in second. YEA, BOOOYAH, just check out that bling!


Later that day, the good ol' Shiner parade, Grant, Collin, Meagan, Carson, Krysi, Alissa, Kyle, Ayden and Gavin, gettin' ready to wave back to the parade wavers, and pillage the street for candy.


The Hobo Band, I must say, just awesome for Shiner, I think they're very unique, notice the plunger for the conductor.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Well It's Sticks and Stones and Broken Homes That Taught Us How to Smile

Rollin' into the hospital room today, what do we see.....Two posters

  1. Poster 1 -- A poster that has 'Phils' on it, which is nice, it talks about all the stuff that is great in your body, the 'phil' is something that fights disease, etc, etc.
  2. Poster 2 -- A poster that goes into painful detail about the lymph node systems of the body. You know, one of those crazy lookin' vein'y bodies, with all these hard to pronounce terms and detailed lookin' pictures.

When we're waiting on results from scans, next time I want to be in a room with just the 'phils' poster in there, and maybe they can put a sheet that says, room with crazy lookin' body poster on the wall available on request.

Mom's results were all negative on more cancer, the best possible results we could have got today.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

White Noise Swells in My Head, Makin' Me Worry It's the Summertime

Today Ashley celebrated her 30th birthday by getting 30 friends to hula hoop in front of the capital. How nice, the power of influence!

It was funny, the average tourists out there had a much better time watching the hoopers than snapping pictures of the capital, for the hour or so, these activities were the hit of the capital. Even a few old ladies were joining in, one gradma was teaching her grand daughter how to do it, it was, for lack of a better word, cute. The Capital Police didn't know what to think, so I guess they thought, well, whateva.

There she is, in her bought from the store for 1 dollar butterfly top.


I've always loved this view, from the capital looking down congress. There sure were a bunch of people participating, man I wish I could rally a bunch of computer geeks for a common cause like this!


The culmination of activies, everyone singing happy birthday, it was great, and sweet. I'm really glad to see her happy :)


As for me, way too shy, perhaps I should have had some Jagermeister.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Well it All Comes Down to Kerosene and Sorry Signs on Cash Machines

Think about the calamity that would come with no electricity.....In modern society the 'hunter gatherers' hunting ground is your nearest grocery store or supermarket.

That been said, what have I been doing with my time in Shiner, trying to not become one of those people feverishly yanking the bottled water off the shelves at the store in the event of some crazy circumstances.

Learning to make stuff grow, my brother is a great teacher. It's amazing what a new big pot will do for a nearly dead rubber tree.


Lemon tree very pretty, this little buddy is doing great, will yield some nice lemons for some good ol' down home ice tea come this fall.


Damn, alas, the pomegranate tree, I don't think it likes the Texas heat or the intense rain we've been having, just doesn't seem to be bearing its nearly impossible to eat goodness.


George Harrison worked the land, loved working in his garden, Thom Yorke sings about gardens in nice dreams, seems like all sensible people do it, I look forward to getting better with it.

Maybe one day I'll have a nice assortment of peppers growing out in the back!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Take Down the Union Jack, It Clashes with the Sunset, And Put it In the Attic with the Emperor's Old Clothes

This weekend I finished The Progressive Patriot, A Search for Belonging by Billy Bragg, an excellent read, history through storytelling, and the man certainly has further etched his mark as one of my heroes. An English buddy of mine Neil introduced his work to me, at first glace he seems 'unpatriotic'.....I don't get that message, what I get is a detailed version of what it means to love where you're from, and to be proud of it, to be an individual, without all nationalistic rhetoric. I guess many people from different places will take different things from the narrative.

The sleeve of the book --
--------------------
Britannia, she's half English, She speaks Latin at home....St George was born in the Lebanon, How he got here I don't Know....And those three lions on your shirt, They never sprang from England's dirt....Them lions are half English, And I'm half English too.
--------------------

BB prides himself on being 'anglo-saxon'.....why? It was a time of simplicity, a time of meaning, a clear message of what it meant to be anglo-saxon. As things have evolved, everyone and their dog has used the Union Jack as a battle cry for their appropriate causes. The lush history of England lends itself to make the flag ambiguous, all because over time it has taken on so much meaning.

Symbolism and nationalism, where is it all going? What is the stance for people against globalization? Where is the identity? I often hear people brag about their countries, these are the people who get out and get around, however, the majority of a nations citizens never see past their own borders. What does their flag mean to them, and what 'percentage' of their proposed meaning is actually representative of the true history and heritage of the symbol? Once a country has some years behind it, and flexes on the foreign or domestic playing field, what it means to be a(n) *insert your nationality here* takes on different meanings. Throw a layer of partisan poison in the mix, individual identity and responsibility are lost.

To me, its a book that speaks of history, culture, heritage, individualism and great storytelling. Don't you wish everything kept up with Web 2.0, for instance politics 2.0, culture 2.0, etc, etc? Why isn't it cool in other facets? Well Billy Bragg makes it cool. :-)