But I sure know where I’ve been

May 26, 2007

Hello, everyone. Hard to believe it’s been over three months since I’ve posted, but I have good reasons. In early April, I started the Body-for-Life program, which involves a mix of weight lifting, cardio and six carbohydrate/protein meals per day. It’s been going well. I started at 229 lbs., and I’m now at 206. Twenty-three pounds gone in 6 weeks. I lost the first 16 lbs. in the first three weeks. I now wear jeans that would’ve been tight ten years ago, and I can see my jawline again, ha. My energy has returned, and I’m getting muscles on my chest for the first time. It’s exciting and a little strange all at once.

Also, I’ve been working on my screenwriting. I’m determined to make a sale in the next year, so nearly all of my free time has been devoted to writing and studying the craft.

I’ve started the girls on Hooked-on-Phonics. They’re doing well, learning the different sounds that letters make.

This exercise program require a decent amount of rest, so the days of staying up until midnight on the computer are over. I have to be up to get my workouts done before my girls get up around 6:30 or 7, and I have to have lights out by 11 p.m. at the latest. So, you can see that time is at a premium, but I have missed you all. I check in on your blogs regularly, but I haven’t commented much since I haven’t had time to engage in the kind of conversations we used to. However, now that I’ve streamlined my schedule, I hope to come around more often. I’ll see you all on my rounds.



Rockin’ the Republicans

October 3, 2006

Happy Anniversary to Me

August 1, 2006
  • I suddenly realized that last week marked the one-year anniversary of The Second Side silliness. Time flies.
  • I was in the library today, taking a leak in the men’s room, when I saw some graffitti scrawled above the urinal: “I will pay you ten bucks to piss in my mouth,” along with a blank space for time and date. To my right, some derelict stood at the sink, brushing his teeth. Needless to say, I shook it off and got the hell of out there. In fact, I may have gotten the hell out of there and then shaken it off.
  • Also at the library, I saw a greasy, grungy young man with long, black hair wearing a t-shirt that read: Got Crabs? Oh, hee, hee. Oh, hardy-har. You’re such a shocking rebel. Fuck off, you little turd.
  • Speaking of people who pissed me off, I heard Guns n’ Roses on the radio, and it reminded me that I used to get really angry at the rich kids in high school who used to cruise around with GnR blasting from the expensive stereos in their Camaros and Z-28s. For some reason, I didn’t think rich kids had any business listening to real rock and roll. Rock was about anger. What the hell did they have to be angry about?
  • We watched 2001: A Space Odyssey on our big screen last night. If ever a movie had a drug-like effect, it’s that one.
  • My youngest (by one minute) daughter did a somersault for the first time. They have been working on this on their own, for if I tried to show them, the furniture might be destroyed. Time marches on. Time marches on.
  • One of my favorite rock lyrics: All your money won’t another minute buy. You didn’t know Yoda was a songwriter, did you?
  • Oh, I’ve added a chatterbox to the sidebar. Feel free to join in or start an odd conversation.
  • You’ll all be pleased to know that I was the number one Google search result for “term for licking an eyeball.” You don’t have to send a card, Mom, I know you’re proud.

Don’t let your pie crust.

Advising Myself

July 27, 2006

  1. You see those ripples on your abdomen? It would be pretty cool to still have those at 35, so stay active.
  2. Right now, the world is a pretty safe and cozy place. You have lots of friends. Grandma and Grandma live in their house in Holdrege, the cookie jar fully stocked. Granny is in her trailer, waiting to tell you interesting stories. Some day all of this will be gone. Cherish it.
  3. Remember that story you wrote about an underwater city, and the dome covering the city collapses and causes a giant whirlpool in the ocean? And all the James Bond rip-off stories? And all the campy comic books you drew? And all the audio tapes of you and Davis doing your own radio show? Keep those, will you?
  4. There is no such thing as “fate,” but there are “many futures.” Take time to look and listen, and signs will appear, showing you a path. Take it and run.
  5. There are two sides to every story, and I mean every story.
  6. Friends will come and go. Don’t fight it. Sometimes, people grow apart and become different people. Do your part to maintain friendships that mean a lot to you, and they’ll endure if they’re supposed to.
  7. As you turn your dimpled mug toward Mr. Achteburg to take your 3rd grade picture, the year is 1979. You have recently chosen the Los Angeles Rams as your favorite football team. They will lose this year’s Super Bowl to the Steelers. It’s going to be a while, but the Rams will win a Super Bowl . . . after they’ve moved to St. Louis.
  8. Love the pink vest.
  9. You and Davis will get the great idea to run and jump off the roof to land in Dad’s pick-up as he drives through the alley. This is a very, very bad idea. Yes, even if you’re wearing capes (and they aren’t capes, they’re bath towels).
  10. In the distant future, you’ll be working in a retail store, minding your own business and trying to make a buck, and an angry customer will come up to you and insult you because the store doesn’t carry an item he wants. My advice: screw the job. Follow that asshole into the parking lot and beat the shit out of him.
  11. Voltaire wrote—speaking of religion——that what all sects agree on is true, and what they disagree on is false. Therefore, if all sects agree that “there is a God, and one must be just,” then you can probably take it to the bank. Don’t join “sects” though. Make your spiritual journey a personal one. Let it take you wherever it will.
  12. Do the best you can in school. The system isn’t perfect, but do your best. Just remember that sometimes teachers have dull, disagreeable personalities that make them ill-suited to the job of teaching. That ain’t your fault.
  13. It hurts your fingers when you play the guitar for the first time. Just keep at it, and eventually it won’t hurt anymore.
  14. You’re going to be a father to twins someday. Wait . . . where are you going? Stop!
  15. Someday you’ll have a crush on a bank teller, but your boss will tell you it’s useless to ask her out because such a classy lady would never go for a blue-collar type like you. I’d tell you to go for it anyway, but you will eventually meet someone very special, and she’ll prove that you can get a classy lady who’s out of your league. Be patient. The nice girls don’t always go for jerks, although it seems that way.
  16. That big box of letters and cards and pictures from friends and girlfriends and family that you’ll throw out to have more room? For Christ’s sake, don’t do that.
  17. You love to read and write. Nurture both of these hobbies. Devote yourself to them completely, starting now.
  18. Stand up straight. Stop slouching. Walk like you’re going somewhere.
  19. The world can change quickly. Be ready and willing for upheaval, and you’ll be one step ahead of the changes when they come.
  20. Always respect yourself, and demand that others do the same.

It was Kristin’s idea.

I Need a Hoe

June 6, 2006

Today, I strolled through Menard’s, looking for a hoe. They had hoes on sale, and I’m always down for a cheap hoe. I walked up and down the aisles, but couldn’t find a damn hoe anywhere. Just when I thought there wasn’t a damn hoe in the sto’, I found an employee. He was white, with white hair and looked to be about 55. I asked him where I could find the hoes that were on sale. He gave me a blank look. “Your ad says you have hoes on sale.” Still looking blankly. “No hoes today?” Finally, a look of recognition. “Oh! Hoes! You mean like a garden hoe?” he asked, pantomiming garden hoe use. “Yeah,” I say, “a garden hoe.” He showed me where all the hoes where. I took the cheapest one. True story.

    What the World Almost Lost

    May 16, 2006

    Yesterday, while driving on the highway, my wife narrowly missed a collision with another vehicle whose crazy driver was either fleeing the police or unconscious behind the wheel. Only a matter of seconds or less separated her from a nasty crash that could have been fatal.
    She told me this over the phone, and it dawned on me immediately that I could easily have had the sheriff or the state patrol on the line, telling me about a bad accident, gee we’re sure sorry and would I mind coming down to make an identification? I remember noticing details around me——sun shining bright, kids eating lunch, Eagles on the stereo, etc., and how those details came this close to forming a sort of psychological restore point. A place where everything starts over.

    I don’t talk about Tracey much. Not because she’s unimportant or a source of shame. I’m simply respecting her privacy. Once I open the door, sometimes it’s hard to know where the line is drawn between what can be shared or not. But, in this case I’d like to crack the door a little.

    This October will be our 13th wedding anniversary. We’ve lived in a few cities and states. We’ve made friends and then said goodbye. We brought in two furry cats—one we lost last year, the other still with us for nearly the entire stretch. We have two beautiful, twin daughters, Laura and Abby. They are intelligent to an almost freakish degree (I say that with only a mild bias).

    Although the flames of passion that make relationships so much fun in the beginning have cooled a little, the benefit is to be left with a friend. I’m talking about friendship deeper and more everlasting than you can possibly imagine (if you can, you know what I’m talking about). A friend who agrees with you that no matter how hard things get, quitting is not an option. She’s a woman who continues to believe in me when I’ve lost faith in myself. A woman I don’t have to worry about out in the world because I know she puts up with less shit from others than me, and that ain’t much. She is pure beauty in the classical sense. Intelligent in a way that defies comprehension yet provides inspiration. A woman whose maternal instincts continue to amaze. I could not be more fortunate to have this woman be the mother of my children.

    They say the best thing a father can do for his children is love their mother. I’m trying, girls, although she makes it pretty easy.

    I am proud to tell the world that Tracey is my wife.

    A Realization

    April 22, 2006

    It suddenly occurred to me that there are now millions of women who would rather be married to me than Tom Cruise. So there.