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Along A Well-Trod Path

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One hell of a year... [Apr. 2nd, 2011|11:42 pm]
And it's only just started.

So last semester I started grad school, MA in playwriting. I wrote a full-length play, a one act, and a ten-minute.

The ten-minute was submitted to the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival's Region VI competition. I won. I am a national finalist (one of five), and I go to the competition in DC that runs from April 19 through the 23rd.

While I'm there, I'm going to be working with professional playwrights and dramaturgs in workshops scheduled for the week. The names and reputations nearly make me pee myself when thinking about them.

At the same time I submitted the ten-minute to the Kennedy Center competition, I sent it off to The Red Barn Theater in Key West, Florida. They want to include it in a ten-minute festival. They're paying me $525 for the run. My first paycheck for a script.

This semester I've got three full-lengths in the works. I dunno if I'll finish all three by the end of the term. But I'm gonna try.

I started this hard core training regimen based on Tim Feriss' "4 Hour Body." It works. I can see my abs, and it kinda freaks me out. But I'm always hungry, and I miss candy. And cheese - god, I miss cheese so much.

My kid is also doing the training. He's already lost a lot of body fat. He also got his driver's license two weeks ago. I decided since I needed a more economical ride for my drive to San Marcos, I got a Honda Civic, and gave my Ford pickup to my son. It was so strange and heart-breaking to see my baby drive off in my baby. I get it now, why my mother always tells me to "be careful" whenever I finish a visit with her. I can't help doing to him either.

Things have changed so much in such a short time, that I forget sometimes to miss some things. But I do, occasionally. I miss just sitting around playing video games. I miss reading, which I can't do because I'm writing.

I miss a lot of things. But overall, I'm pretty damn happy, if a little tired.
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Untitled [Jan. 20th, 2011|09:34 am]

Creating my first post using Posterous! Supposedly it cross posts to Facebook, Twitter, and Live Journal. We shall see...

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Again with the random update [Oct. 9th, 2010|01:25 am]
Lessee...

I'm in my first semester in grad school at Texas State in San Marcos. In the playwriting master's program, and I'm already ahead of the game. I have a full length play completed as a first draft, and I've been assigned a dramaturge, Hopefully it'll be on it's feet in the Spring, next Fall semester at the latest.

Broke up with Kelli a couple of months ago. Probably a good thing too, as I have NO TIME for anything except school and work. I don't mind not having a social life, but it's also cutting into my time with my kid, and that pisses me off. A lot.

My job, which is an assistantship at TS, is house manager for the theatre. Which means I have to deal with a lot of stupid fucks who have never been to a theatrical performance. One of the best moments was yesterday, when I told this dumb ass kid he had to dump his Subway sammich and Coke, or get the fuck out of my theatre,

I hope all of this is worth it. Because truth be told, I'd be just as happy getting drunk every day while playing video games.
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Drive-by posting [Aug. 25th, 2009|01:11 pm]

Damn, it's been a while.

Lessee... spent all summer in the McNair Scholars program, which entails working on a research project that will get published, as well as attending classes that prepares us for taking the GRE. A little boring at times, but they paid us for it, so why the hell not. Also took an independant study class that knocks out a theatre practicum credit for for me. This means I'll only have to double up on a practicum this fall, instead of both semesters this year. If it all goes well, I'll be graduating at the end of spring. Then, if my plans work out, the MFA in playwrighting at The Michener Center for Writers at UT.

The Boy and I both started school this Monday, as well as The Girl. The words "school was fun" actually came out of Ian's mouth, which surprised and pleased me to no end. I was already glad that he expressed the desire to attend this magnet school a year ago, and now I'm really pleased that it seems to suit him. High school is never an easy gig for most kids (and it was hellish for me), so this is a very good start.

I like my classes so far, but I have yet to attend the French class later this afternoon. After the noble but failed attempt at Arabic a year ago, I decided to cut my losses and take something more accessible. There's also the lighting design class on Friday, but I like the instructor, so that should be fine. The only issue with that is I have no skill at all in figuring out what works as far as stage lighting goes. The best tech I can do is sound design, and I'm REALLY good at that.

I'd been at kind of a loss for good shows to watch ever since BSG ended, but I finally came across a program that filled the need pretty nicely - it exceeded my expectations, to be honest. The BBC has a Doctor Who spin-off called Torchwood, and it has blown my mind, and is emotionally wrenching without being manipulative. I was in tears at the end of season two, and I don't cry for any-fucking-thing. The funny thing is, the first four episodes were kind of "meh." Then it seemed like they got a better director, a group of better writers, and gave the cast acting lessons. It is a phenomenal show. Oh, and if you've ever wanted to see James Marston (Spike of Buffy fame) make out with another man, then this is the show for you.

www.bbc.co.uk/torchwood/
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D-Day [Jun. 6th, 2009|02:06 pm]
At about 2:19 in, you'll see my cousin David Martinez playing Taps for the D-Day ceremony. Props to him for being a bugling badass!

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The end of an era [May. 3rd, 2009|11:29 pm]
So it's happened, finally, and with deep regret and much angst.

I have a cell phone. But not just any cellphone, bitches - oh no. I have a Blackberry. A silver Pearl to be exact. One of the lower end models, but I don't need much more than that.

I had been looking at all the different services and models around town, and had decided that I was going to get one from Pocket Communications, with web access so I could check my e-mail and jump on ebay when I was scrounging for resale items at various stores (i.e action figures at Target, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us). But my ex-wife recently had some financial issues come up that's going to require me to help her out, and I had determined that I wouldn't be able to get one.

Then my dad, who is still trying to make up for being a crappy father while I was growing up, decided he was going to get me one. Which is kinda cool. I forgave him for his assholery years ago, but I understand how he feels. Despite the fact that, by most estimations, I'm a good father to my own son, I always feel I could do a little more. I can only imagine what it must be like to have a REAL sense of guilt about parenting.

So now I have a Blackberry Pearl 8130, and one more tether to the people in my life.

Dammit.
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(no subject) [Apr. 19th, 2009|01:02 am]
Thanks to Lex for the heads up on Ping.fm. It's shuper-schweet!
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Lesbian Infestation Festival 2009 [Apr. 18th, 2009|05:07 pm]
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4/14/2009 [Apr. 14th, 2009|01:16 am]
A friend of mine died tonight.

I do two things really well - I can kick ass in a fine military manner or back alley style (choose yer poison), and I write. Tonight, there was not a single ass I could kick to save my friend.

So I'm going to write about her.

Her name was Crystal, and she'd always been in a wheelchair as long as I've known her. Now, if I had been confined to a wheelchair for the majority of my life, I would be one pissed off, bitter, nasty-tempered man. Shit, I'm in the rosy pink of health with a pretty damn good life, and it wouldn't be too off the mark to call me a pissed off, bitter, nasty-tempered man.

Yet Crystal was always cheerful. Not in that Hallmark, Disney Channel kind of way, but genuinely cheerful. She was a truly nice, good-natured person who could make a joke about her condition with ease. She cooked a mean pot of chili. She was a knitting fiend. She was open about her sexual drives, and could leer at an object of desire like a pedophile at a school playground during recess.

I can't remember exactly when we met, mostly because it was through my friend Mary Jo during a time of heavy drinking (for a lot of us during that period of our lives). I remember her in her wheelchair, grinning and flirty, and I think she offered to give me a ride.

We weren't the hanging out kind of friends - she had her specific circle, and I had mine, but thanks to the modern miracle of social networking, we could keep up on each other's lives regularly. The last time I saw her in person was around Halloween. She looked fine at the start of the evening, but became noticeably weakened as the night wore on.

There were a lot of people in the surgical intensive care when we got there tonight. She'd been unconscious for several days. Her body had essentially failed on her, after years of internal problems that had been held at bay for years.

I'm not good at grief. I'm even worse when surrounded by it. My instinct is to fight, mostly because I'm too lazy to run when my flight instinct kicks in. So I stood still, watching, trying to keep it together. I think I understand now the concept of keeping vigil. There were others there who were experiencing a deeper level of pain and loss than I was, so it was my role to stand and watch, and share their pain. I don't know if it did any good. To me, it had as much value as prayer, which is of no value at all. But there was nothing else I could do.

This is not about questioning why this happened. That's a pointless question. I readily accept that life ultimately has no meaning, beyond what we give to it. And if that's what we need to get through the day, to create our own meaning and call it fate, destiny, or God, I'm quite all right with that. I may not need comfort to deal with pain, but I can't begrudge what others do to get through it.

A lot of people will miss her. I will miss her, knowing that I will never see her again, as a person. I'm not sure what meaning I can create out of that on any level, but I think it means a lot.

Goodbye, Crystal.
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Finale [Mar. 20th, 2009|10:36 pm]
Well, watched the finale of Battlestar Galactica. I got a little misty at points, I'll admit that. But in a very manly way.

Most of television truly, deeply, sucks. But it seems that there's at least one program each decade that really pushes it outside the definition of entertainment, and into the realm of art.

BSG was that show, for this decade.
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Drive by update [Mar. 16th, 2009|12:30 am]
So, spring break is over, and I spent most of it playing video games with Ian and Kelli. A good week.

Classes are going well. Not falling behind in any of them, so there is no immediate need for pulling anything out of my ass.

The theatre department at UIW wants to produce/workshop a full length original play in 2010. Slightly different from most other years, but the biggest difference is that they want to do an original piece written by me. Which freaks me out. Because a lot rides on what they do in the semester - it is, at its core, the training session for the students, no matter the roles or duties. I couldn't give a fuck about what an audience thinks about my work... but when my work affects the academic and life course of my fellow students, most of whom I care about a great deal...

Well, shit. I guess I need to write something good.
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School days [Feb. 9th, 2009|04:23 pm]
In about a year and a half's time, I shall be getting ready for graduate school. I was convinced to sign up with the McNair scholar's program, and I now see no reason not to do it. I'm considering Rice University, University of Houston, and UT, mostly because I want to be near The Boy and my folks, as they're getting older and a touch more frail as the days pass. I think Rice gives more money, but it's a longer drive than Austin, so I may have to get a small grad student apartment on campus for those times it would be difficult to drive back and forth in a short amount of time.

Speaking of The Boy, he got a slot at The International School of the Americas, which is a magnet high school for smurt kids here in town. It's going to save him a lot of heart ache, as he gets easil;y annoyed by the stupidity of his peers and teachers. With ISA he'll actually enjoy going to school because of the quality of the teachers and the advanced curriculum.

I got cast in the Spring show at UIW. It's "The Fantasticks," which may be the corniest, most cheeseball musical I've ever seen. Thanks Mithra I don't have to sing in it. But I do have to be gay. My director told me to be so flaming that at the end of each show, I have to be put out with a firehose.

So there you go.
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Sometimes... [Jan. 15th, 2009|02:43 am]
I wonder if she ever went back to Grailville. It made her happy, I think.
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God DAMN it! [Dec. 25th, 2008|11:59 am]
Granted, Harold Pinter WAS old. But it still sucks when we lose one of the badasses.

Pinter.
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The night before Christmas.... [Dec. 24th, 2008|11:21 pm]
I'm spending all by myself. Which is really okay. I've had The Boy all week, and we've spent the past few days blowing stuff up on the Xbox 360. The Girl has spent a good part of that time hanging out with us. We've had roast turkey and ham to munch on. No work or school. The show's over with. A good few days indeed. This night alone is quite nice, actually.

Tomorrow I'll spend a few hours at Ian and his mom's, and on Saturday the whole family gets together, because one of my brothers (along with his wife and two kids) won't be in town until then. And strangely enough, I'm looking forward to it. I seem to be mellowing in my old age.

The semester was... interesting. I got an A in my Arabic class, but it was a a hard A, and I won't be taking the second course. That means I'll need to take an intro class to another language, and I've decided on French. It fits better with my two majors, English and Theatre. Shitloads of literature and plays in French, and practically none in Arabic. Add to that the crossover of similar words between French and English, and it's no contest. The Arabic course was a noble experiment, but in the end, of no real use to me in the long run.

The geometry class REALLY took me by surprise. I got out of it with a B, which blew my mind because I was expecting a C. I scored pretty high on the final, though, which kicked it up a letter grade. It was an interesting class, and I have to say I learned a lot from it, which is something I could never say about any other math class I've ever taken. The teacher was pretty fucking awesome, though, which made it bearable. There have been some English and Lit classes I've taken which I can't say the same about.

The show at UIW was pretty memorable. It was better than a lot of other theatre productions I've done (which again, isn't saying a lot), and the cast kicked ass. A good group of kids, all of whom really stretched as performers. The cast party was a blast, and everyone embraced Kelli, which warmed my heart immeasurably. It wasn't that hard for them to do, though, as she's such a wonderful person - a charmer, damn good-looking, mingles easily, and hasn't embarrassed me once. I got lucky with this one - finally.

Got accepted in to the McNair Scholars program, which means I'm targeted to attend a graduate program in three semesters. I don't think I have a choice, really. I need to go for it now, while I have the youth, energy and impetus to pull it off. It would also be a good example for the boy, to see his dad with a doctorate when he's starting out on his academic career.

I wrote a one-act for one of my classes this semester, which had to be performed for the whole department at the end of the term. Seems it was the talk of the faculty, enough so that there's discussion of starting a new component to the theatre program, a playwrighting workshop. The instructor of the class I wrote it for also wants to submit it to the Samuel French One Act Festival, which is cool but not an entirely new thing to me. The theatre in NYC did the same with "Bones" a couple of years ago, and nothing came of it. I'm not getting my hopes up. Still, it's nice to know they think so highly of my work.

Everything is good. Very good. I shan't complain, not at all.

Merry Christmas, everyone.
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In the interim... [Dec. 22nd, 2008|01:05 am]
...between now and when I update next (which will be soon), pics.

Photobucket

Photobucket
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Last night [Nov. 5th, 2008|11:54 pm]
Rehearsal ended early last night for "A Christmas Carol," because our director knew we all wanted to watch the election returns.

I dashed home to head out with Kelli over to Val's house to watch the returns.

I couldn't stop grinning all night.

It didn't feel unreal at all. It felt inevitable. Despite all the concerns and opinions by various talking heads about the uncertainty of a black man becoming president, I never had a doubt. Never.

I got drunk, and I was happy, because one of the best of our politicians was going to be our head of state.

It wasn't until today, after looking at the slideshows below, that I finally teared up. Because they reminded me that we, as a country, aren't in this alone. The rest of the world isn't against us, no matter how vociferously the lunatic fringe of the Republican party screams in the throes of their paranoid delusions. The rest of the world wants us to be inspiring, to reach beyond our grasp, to succeed despite the spasmodic civil and cultural strife that has managed to be resolved peacefully for over one hundred years. They watched us choose a man who is undeniably brilliant, talented, thoughtful and eloquent to be our president - and they weren't just happy for us, or for themselves - they were happy because we validated the hope that a lot of people hold about America and Americans...

... that at the moment when it's really needed, when the rest of the world needs us to step up and prove our capacity for greatness... that we are capable of doing so. Sometimes stunningly, overwhelmingly so.

The best moment of the night was right after it was announced that Obama was declared the winner by MSNBC. I checked my e-mail a few seconds afterwards, and there it was - a text from my boy...

OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have never known a more awesome 13-year-old kid in my life. The fact he's my son only makes him more awesome. I may have to buy him some some randomly expensive shit for him tomorrow after I pick him up from school to celebrate his awesomeness.

And now, the slideshows.

The rest of the world

The rest of the world 2
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Finally... [Nov. 2nd, 2008|03:36 am]
I can listen to the Cocteau Twins without feeling the urge to kick out a window.

When I was very young, when I was still at home with my mother and newborn brother, before having to deal with the barbarism of other children, I remember orange construction paper. My mother gave me sheets of it one afternoon to play with, along with a handful of crayons and glue.

I didn't draw on it, or cut it into pieces, or fold it - nothing like that. I crumpled it up, a sheet at a time, and wrapped it around my fist. I molded it into shapes and forms that weren't representative of anything. They were my childish attempt to create an organic form.

The paper was orange, and it felt wrong to do anything else than to try and create something alive. But I failed. Because it was a singular thing shaped for a limited purpose, and not much good for anything else.

And there it is - my life encapsulated in a sheet of orange construction paper.
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Almost there [Oct. 31st, 2008|01:10 am]
About a month left to the semester.

May the completely imaginary Supreme Being give me strength.
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Whoa [Sep. 15th, 2008|09:38 am]
It's been a while. School will do that to you.

So far it's going okay. The only class that gives me any concern is the Geometry one, and that's because of my inherent inability to grasp the complexities of mathematics. But because it's a softball course geared specifically to humanities majors, I'm hoping to get through it with a passing grade. The teacher's funny so the course isn't deadening to my overworked brain, and he's more than happy to explain a concept ad naseum until the students get it.

I'll be getting a $2,000 scholarship from the Theatre Department that will kick in this spring semester. Money is always good. I had to audition for it, which also counted for the audition for the fall semester show, A Christmas Carol. Callbacks are on the 20th, and it looks like I'm up for the role of either Scrooge or the Spirit of Christmas Present. While the lead is always deemed preferable, the Spirit role is a lot funnier. I'd rather steal the show while working less than work hard to meet expectations.

The Chicklet has developed an interesting perspective in the last few months, one that isn't unexpected but surprising because of its vehemence - she's become quite the left-winger. She had been pretty much middle-of-the-road as far as politics, a typical middle-class Anglo girl. Having to work a retail job in an upper middle class neighborhood has shifted her views radically. Dealing with the inequities of life (not to mention the stupidity of the average person) on a regular basis will cause anyone to look at the world with different eyes. She's afraid she's becoming cynical, but in truth, she's just losing her naivete. She's no longer accepting what she's been told all her life - she now questions everything and isn't afraid to argue a point, whether it's on a smaller, personal point, or on a larger political scale. She's exercising intellectual rigorousness, which is always a good thing.

I'm always tired nowadays. Thank god for energy drinks.
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He completes us [Aug. 30th, 2008|12:17 pm]
Dont get me wrong, because I LOVE the Obama. But this shit is funny.

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The center of attention at home... [Aug. 18th, 2008|09:39 pm]
Is pretty much my Xbox 360. Which is fine by me, as long as I get to jump in myself once in a while.



Bungie's giving Ian tips on how to pwn in this pic. The funny thing is, the dog has figured out (by our body language, I'm guessing) when we're playing or between matches. He won't bother us when we're in game, but as soon as there's a pause, he's all over us.



A few days ago, I rented Soul Caliber IV from Blockbuster, and it's become a favorite of Kelli's. Tonight, she's discovered the Character Creation module in the game, where she can dress up any character in a multitude of outfits. It's like Operation Runway with Kung Fu.
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Hatred [Aug. 15th, 2008|01:48 am]
I hate this time of year.

Too many crappy moments from my past in August for me. There have been some positive ones as well, but they get swamped by the shit.

School starts in a little over a week. Dunno if I'm ready, but I don't have a choice.

Everything feels stretched out and thin, as if I'm about to see what's on the other side if I just push a little harder. But I'm afraid if I do that, someone will get hurt. So I just be - breathe, move when needed, and hope for the best.
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The best seat in the house [Jul. 28th, 2008|08:43 pm]
And he haz it...

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Haiku? Gesundheit! [Jul. 27th, 2008|01:15 pm]
Here's a haiku meme suggested by la_luna. Why the hell not, I said to myself. Thankfully, myself did not answer.

1. What do you do for a living?

Stupid students flow
Waves of illiteracy
Eh, it's a living

2. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you choose to be?

Everything I need
Computer, Xbox, girlfriend
Is right here at home.

3. What do you like to do for fun?

I've many past times
But pwning in Halo 3
Makes me all tingly

4. What is your relationship status?

Inappropriate
26 year difference
How badass am I?

5. What are you afraid of?

I'm really scairt of
Clowns, zombies, Republicans
I just peed myself.
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Oh, the outrage! [Jul. 22nd, 2008|07:49 pm]
This is for my knitting homies on my friends list...

Evil knitting.
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Training Days [Jul. 19th, 2008|10:36 pm]
So the boy and I have been training steadily and hard the past few weeks, and the results on all levels are pretty satisfying. The training schedule at this point is; on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, we walk two miles on a middle school track a block away, then back home for a 30 minute cool down, work on weights for an hour, then we take turns on exercise bike for an hour each. We're usually finished by 1, and after we have lunch, it's video gaming until it's time for me to drop him off with his mom. Next week, we start running half the distance on the track, with the goal of running the whole session slated for the end of August.

Aside from the obvious positives of getting to spend so much time with my son, we've had some other unexpected benefits arise from this time together. While we're at home on weights and the bike, we of course throw on DVD's to distract us from the monotony of exercise. I've had a chance to introduce him to some films he might not make an effort to watch otherwise. In the past few weeks we've watched some classic favorites of mine like "Where Eagles Dare," "The Magnificent Seven," "The Warriors," and "Big Trouble In Little China." These are followed by discussions of film in general, aspects of storytelling and performance, and the changes in art and cultural perspectives over the years.

We've both started to see changes in our physical condition as well. He's dropped a lot of body fat, and so have I, but it's a little slower going for me since I'm a tad older. He's feeling so good about how it's going for him that he's going to try out for his school's football team in the fall, which admittedly gave me pause. I've never been a fan of jocks (or sports in general), so I'm a little leery of the idea. But it's a choice he should be able to make himself. I guess I'll just have to steel myself to the idea of attending a sporting event.

And the one thing I've discovered from all this that has really surprised me - I've turned out to be a pretty good cook. Because I'm also training the boy in how to eat healthy, I've had to start preparing lunches for him that are more complex than my own spartan preferences. And without any real knowledge of cooking, I've managed to create some pretty tasty dishes. The last one I whipped up was gobbled down speedily by both the boy AND the chicklet (when she came by after work that evening). I still eat in my own simple manner, but for some reason, I really enjoy cooking for others. It's fortunate that I'm good at it, I guess.

This is a good summer. Certainly a crapload better than the last one.
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Meet... [Jul. 7th, 2008|12:15 pm]
Bungie!

Bungie

Ian managed to convince his mother that he needed a dog, and now she's just as infatuated as he is with the mutt. I kinda dig him too, unless he's trying to help me and the boy lift weights. Then he's just a pain in the ass.
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No where else to go [Jul. 2nd, 2008|02:27 am]
... except here. For my poetry, that is.

All class assignments, and I doubt I'll write more unless forced to (with a gun to my head).

Still angry. And that's just as good a creative force as any other. It will do.

 

 

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Gimme shelter [Jun. 28th, 2008|10:38 pm]
It's damn hot his summer - hitting the high 90's during the day, low 70's at night. That's not so unusual. What's different is the absence of humidity, which can make the heat nearly unbearable. This summer it's really dry, and the heat isn't all that unpleasant. It seems to have helped with the allergens a lot, as I haven't had a crippling attack this summer (yet), but my back yard is a wasteland. I'm getting a sprinkler tomorrow to moisten the lawn some, as looking at it dried out like that makes me paranoid about fires.

And despite the lack of humidity, I stay inside as much as possible, slathering on sunblock every time I venture outdoors. Summer is not my best time of the year.

I made the dean's list again, which was expected, as I knew I came out of the semester with all A's. What surprised me, however, was finding out how the chicklet did for the spring semester.

She got C's. That's just so... average. I'm dating an average student.

To be fair, she had a crapload of drama going on during the spring, so she can't be blamed entirely for dropping the ball. But still. I told her she needed to step it up this fall, fo' sho'.

I mean, I can handle most anything from a woman - hell, I even tolerate the fact that the chicklet's a christian.

But average? I don't think so.
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Catch up post [Jun. 20th, 2008|01:35 am]
Stuff...

Got caught up on Lost and Battlestar Galactica, and started watching Heroes, got hooked, and finished that off as well. I'm going to get cable in a bit, which I haven't had in a while, but with the coming election season and my devotion to the aforementioned television programs, I think I shall need it. Thankfully, the chicklet is as addicted to those programs as I am (AND she's an Obama supporter), so we'll be spending a lot of time on my couch glued to the tube in the coming year.

Speaking of the chicklet, she's getting her own place very soon! I'm quite proud of her for it, as it will be her very first "own place," and it's a positive step in her growth as an adult. While she'll be on her own, she ain't very far away, so she'll still be eating my food and playing games on my 360 daily, and I can rush over in seconds (literally) with my trusty aluminum bat in case I need to smite wrong-doers.

The Boy is currently in England with his mom visiting the European side of his family, and they're getting back next week on Thursday. Miss him, lots. We've been e-mailing each other, as it's cheaper than phone calls, and his Mom has been keeping him busy with daytrips and visits. They're gonna be at Stonehenge this Saturday for the Summer Solstice, which is typically a very colorful event and should be pretty cool. And it seems I've taught him well, as he's been picking up various action figures in the UK for resale here in the US. That's my boy.

When he gets back, he and I are starting a rather strict training regimen (5 mile walks, an hour on my exercise bike, and an hour on weights three times a week), and if he reaches a certain level of fitness, I've promised him a brand new Xbox 360, with an Xbox Live membership, as well as a paid broadband account for a year. I've been saving up to make sure I can cover all that, and to my surprise, my old man has offered to cover a lot of the costs as well. I guess he's trying to make up for being such a crappy father through his grandkids, which is fine by me. Mom also wants to pitch in to help, so she's going to be providing groceries in the form of lean proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables.

And to get in the habit of eating real food, I cooked up a pot of pinto beans today. The chicklet's already had two bowls. I expect it's gonna be pretty smelly around the house for the next few days.

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The smartest guy in the room is probably going to Hell... [Jun. 12th, 2008|04:43 pm]
if he believed in it, that is.

Jebus? Is you there?
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A thug's life is (apparently) a messy one [May. 30th, 2008|07:27 pm]
Swear to god, every time I turn around, the Chicklet is either getting a table dance in a strip club, in an alley getting a blowjob from some hooker, or carjacking anyone foolish to get in her way.

All in Grand Theft Auto IV, of course. Seriously, she spends more time on the decadent features of the game more than getting the missions accomplished. Christian girls...

And I'm guessing the wild life leaves little time to straighten up - the picture below is the corner in the bedroom she's claimed for herself. It's not like I don't have plenty of closet space or drawers she can use, oh no. It's just easier for her to throw her shit in a big honkin' pile like that. What the hell?

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MIT [May. 20th, 2008|01:39 pm]
And now that I've been considering the possibility of graduate school, I come across this.

Expensive as hell, but damn, I wanna do it. Means moving to Boston for a year, which is quite doable - I'd put most of my belongings into storage until I finished. I could easily fly the boy up every couple of months to visit, and I think the chicklet would be amenable to being somewhere for 12 months. It'd be more like a really long, educationally intense (albeit expensive) vacation.

I dunno. Some thought will need to be put into it.
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Shakespeare and Greeks [May. 20th, 2008|01:34 am]
Today was one of those days - you know the kind, where something awesome happens, followed by something fucked up?

First, the awesome thing...

I stopped by the university today to pick up a copy of my transcript, and to get some papers signed by the appropriate authorities for a scholarship application. While I was in the registrar's office, I ran into my professor from my poetry and rhetorical criticism class, and he asked me to stop by his office when I was finished. He wanted to talk to me about my final paper for rhet. crit. Of course, my first thought is, "You already gave me an A for the class, motherfucker - no take backs." But I girded my loins, and told him I was gonna grab a cigarette first, then drop by.

So I go into his office and we start bullshitting about stuff like we do, because we have a lot of common interests, chief among them Shakespeare. He's been working on a lengthy academic piece about "Troilus and Cressida" for some high falutin' academic journal, and we've talked about it a few times over the semester. And he brings up the paper I had turned in, which was also about Shakespeare, using a particular perspective that I developed which was interesting to me, but strangely enough had nothing in the way of academic or supplemental and critical material to draw upon.

And this is where it got weird - he liked the paper. I mean, really liked it. We talked about my approach and how I supported my argument, stuff like that. And he tells me that it's the kind of analysis that will be a hell of a thesis for graduate study, if I decide to go on to a master's and doctorate. We start really digging into the theme of the paper, and he's adamant that the idea is worthy of a full-fledged book, probably not a best seller but certainly one of those academic texts that will get a lot of attention.

And it started to sink in, not really, truly, finally until a few hours later, but it hit me sitting in a chair in his office when he said, "Nobody's ever come up with this kind of analysis, this kind of view of what he was doing when he was writing this stuff. And people've been doing it for centuries, trying to figure out his stuff. You got a book here, man. You really got something different here."

So what he's telling me that this five page essay I slammed together almost instinctively and by the seat of my pants, is in essence, the discovery of something new in Shakespeare's body of work.

Nobody's ever come across this before, or at least published anything about it. And the thought of that has kinda got me dazed.

I'm going to keep the idea close in and not say what it is, not for a while yet, at least not until I get something published somewhere.

And the other thing, the kind of fucked up incident...

I use my parent's address as my permanent one, just in case I ever move from my current place, which isn't likely, but better safe than sorry, right? So that means most of my mail from the university goes to their house, which is cool. They're pretty good about making sure I get whatever comes in on a timely basis. But they missed one letter.

So I headed over to their place today for a visit and gather all my correspondence together to see what I have. And my mom points out one from Incarnate Word that they had forgotten to give to me a few months back. I open it up, and it's an invitation from the school to sign up for the Alpha Chi National College Honor Scholarship Society. Seems my 3.9 GPA qualified me for it, which is kind of a big deal.

And the deadline to apply was March 14.

So mom was pretty crestfallen. She digs that kind of shit - it's the kind of stuff mothers love to brag about. And she feels bad because it was kind of her fault, but I assure her it's no big deal. In the long run, it's rather minor compared to developing a ground-breaking theory about Shakespeare's work and his intent. I was cool.

So yeah. One of those days.
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A Class Presentation [May. 17th, 2008|12:32 am]
So I did this for a presentation in one of my classes, and of course, I had to approach it in my own particular manner...

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I'm dead to her... [Apr. 30th, 2008|10:41 pm]
Because she's just started playing Grand Theft Auto IV on my Xbox 360.

At least this way, I'll have time to study for finals.


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Leg art [Apr. 25th, 2008|12:32 am]
This is what 19 year old females do when they're using the bathroom...


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A multi-talented chicklet [Apr. 24th, 2008|12:15 am]
More art from the chicklet, in honor of my birfday (which was last week).




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Just a note... [Apr. 19th, 2008|01:05 am]
but My Morning Jacket may be the best rock group in existence right now.

Maybe. Can't guarantee it, but it wouldn't be a bad guess.

Good birthday today. I really like the people who give a shit about me. I really do.
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It is to laugh [Apr. 12th, 2008|12:44 pm]
At the girl, actually. Actually, her art work, via Paint in Windows, after a friend of ours and I annoyed the crap out of her.






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The same, but different [Apr. 11th, 2008|12:57 am]
Watched the BSG season premiere tonight, after downloading it and burning it to disc.

It was badass.

But different. Funny, how cold hate and anger can warp and distort just as easily as fire.
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My damn luck... [Apr. 1st, 2008|05:13 pm]
Seems to be staying true to form.

There's all kinds of construction going on at PAC, and the contractors have been pretty good at keeping the students away from any dangerous areas that are being worked on. But guess who managed to trip over a heavy duty hose they had snaking over one of the sidewalks?

Yep.

Caught myself before I smacked my head into the concrete, but at the cost of fracturing the little finger of my right hand. Not worth a cast, but they did splint and bandage it up. The finger itself looks like a big purple sausage. And of course, I hadda take pictures of it...


The pictoral goodness
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An apology from Kelli [Feb. 10th, 2008|09:22 pm]
But it's too little, too late...

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At the risk of sounding sexist... [Feb. 7th, 2008|11:20 am]
I need to get it out. About the poetry class. Why I hate it.

It's filled with women, which is normally not a bad thing. I like women. Overall, they're pretty cool on a one-to-one basis. But... get an entire class filled with females who know one another, AND it allows them to "express" their feelings...

Our professor gave us our first assignment a couple of weeks ago - there's an old bridge that crosses the headwaters of the San Antonio river, and it's smack dab in the middle of campus. He asked us to go take a look at the bridge, study it as long as we wished, then write a poem about it. To his credit, it was going to be the only poem that had a specific subject - all the subsequent assignments would be of our own choosing.

This Monday and Wednesday were reserved for the reading of our compositions. And every one of the poems (with the exception of the very last, and which I liked quite a bit) composed and read by the young ladies in my class was about relationships. Imagine, if you will, a stream of young women parading to the podium of the classroom, the age range topping out about 30, and every single one of them finding a metaphor for relationships, either platonic or romantic, current, failed or future, within this bridge.

IT'S A GODDAMN BRIDGE.

Not a single one found any aspect of the actual bridge to be of interest, or worth, or of note. None of them wrote of the structure itself - the geometry, the lines, the colors and textures, the age and placement in the landscape. It was all about themselves, from the inside out. They took this artifact, which was in many ways beautiful, and flipped it around so that it was about themselves.

And every few minutes before the professor arrives to start the class is a special kind of hell for me. A room full of young women chattering vapidly about what they had for lunch (or will have), the cute shoes another is wearing, whatever happened on the recent estrogen-heavy program on Bravo last night (remember when Bravo actually had good programming?), their boyfriends, their ex-boyfriends, blahblahblah....

Someone kill me. Now.

Please?
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Success is so boring [Feb. 6th, 2008|08:55 am]
Made the dean's list. Eh. I always make the dean's list.
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Knit one, pwnd two [Feb. 5th, 2008|12:56 pm]
So la_luna  and lexthegeek  totally need to do this.
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All is not lost [Jan. 17th, 2008|04:53 pm]
At least as far as our children are concerned.

Last week, I asked my son about his day after picking him up from school, as I usually do. He told me about how a large portion of the day was spent in training programs, the first of which was a fire drill session for school buses. It was the second session that made me jump (which isn't easy to do in a moving pickup truck).

He shrugged and casually said, "We had to go through the abstinence program today."

"Do what? The abstinence program? What? Are you kidding me?"

He laughed. "Nope."

I groaned. "Dammit."

"What?"

I sighed. "It's the fact that they're using my damn tax dollars to support a program that has had little to no effect on teen pregnancy. Some people think it's made the situation worse. Dammit... did they at least mention condoms?" Please note that this was the first time I had ever said the word "condom" in front of my boy. Talk about an uncomfortable moment.

He laughed again, "Yeah, but only to tell us how unreliable they are. How like they're always breaking and stuff."

"WHAT! What the fu... Are you serious? They were actually dissuading you kids from using condoms?"

"Yeah. Don't worry dad. Nobody in class took it seriously. We all know it was a joke."

As we came up to a stoplight, I took a deep breath. I figgered it was time for a truncated version of  "The Talk." Not too much detail about the function, but enough so that he wouldn't get into a bad situation.

"Okay son, here's the deal. As your father and one-half of your parenting unit, I would really prefer that you wait a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, time before you ever have sex. And when you do have it, it's preferable that you have it with someone you're in love with. But when you do have it, even when it's with someone you love, you better use a damn condom, because there are more than a few diseases out there that you need to watch out for. And honestly, I'm not prepared to become a grandfather for quite some time."

He laughed again - then I took another deep breath, and a big step...

"And if you ever need condoms, and you can't get any, say if you're embarrassed or afraid, or broke, or whatever... then you ask me. I'll get some for you. Because I don't want you to get sick, or die, or become tied to another person because of a stupid mistake. Do you understand? You come to me, no questions asked."

"Okay, dad." I think he rolled his eyes.

"I suppose you'll tell me next that they're gonna start teaching intelligent design in your science classes next."

"Naw, that's not gonna happen. Our science teacher told us that intelligent design was a load of crap, and she was sorry if that offended anyone, but evolution is science, and that was what she taught."

I nodded. "Good. And if you ever hear about any parents giving her hassle about that, you let me know."

"Okay, dad."



And then we kicked ass in Halo 3 all afternoon.
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I had to make it, since it didn't exist [Jan. 6th, 2008|03:05 pm]
I really like hopping like a bunny.

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Hey Ya' - the acoustic version [Jan. 3rd, 2008|08:52 pm]
I really liked the rump shakin' original by Outkast, but this version by Obediah Parker has a definite appeal all its own. The video is nothing to look at - so just listen.
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