Enough Talk

I'm embarking on my next directorial project in a few weeks. I'm in the process of finishing the script for a short project that I've had rumbling around my head. The documentary I'm doing for work will have to take a back seat. I have to do this.

I'm not saying much about the project, not just yet, but I plan to shoot first and ask questions later. The treatment won't be long and it won't take long to shoot.

More as details develop.



I've never once believed that we, as a people, as a society, have ever really settled racial tensions. I've always been hopeful that people have changed, but not that racism has been eliminated. Case in point: the riots in Toledo, Ohio.

Planned Nazi March Sparks Violence

If you ask me what I think, I think the White Supremacy movement is a load of shit. I think its a hateful and ignorant way to live. Especially here. Culturally and racially speaking, the United States is one of the most diverse countries on the planet. Yes, it has been marred by years upon years of civil unrest because of many people's inability to blend and share. And with all the years of racial inequalities, with all those whom we have lost in the battle to make everyone's voice equal, it stands to reason that we might have learned something from our mistakes and our successes.

My children are part black and I hope that they are able to embrace what it means to be black. I want them to research their roots and celebrate their shared cultures. I want them to learn that it's okay to be black or white or brown. But I also want them to learn that even if they don't agree with someone's ideology, they have no right to squash it. I hate Neo-Nazis. I hate them. But unfortunately, the Constitution of the United States of America gives these racists the right to peacefully assemble and to express their views. Yes, there are limits, but the right is established.

As much as it pains me to say, the White supremacist have a right to their beliefs just as much as I do. If I chose to march for my beliefs, I would hate for someone to be there to throw food or trash at me or to cause me harm for my choice of beliefs.

The Neo-Nazis were planning to march through neighborhoods to express their outrage over gang violence. They claimed that people urged them to march. I don't know if there's a shred of truth to that last claim. The group got a permit and outlined a route with local authorities in which they planned to walk. This was planned almost a week in advance, according to news agencies.

Hatred and intolerance breed from hatred and intolerance, yes? If you throw gasoline on a fire, the fire intensifies, yes?

I understand that people don't want a Neo-Nazi group to march through their neighborhood and spew their rhetoric. I wouldn't want that happening in my neighborhood. But what would give these people more satisfaction:

A] that you watch from your porch, in seething silence, as they march down the street telling you that they hate you.
B] that you throw things at them, attempt to hurt them and then systematically destroy your own neighborhood in protest.

It takes the same kind of ignorance to tear up your own shit and loot your neighbor's property as it does to believe that because you aren't white, you're no good. They automatically share something. Ironic, isn't it? They are joined together by the gene for stupidity.

Because the Neo-Nazi's were allowed to assemble, protesters of the march felt they were in their own right to attack police officers and destroy both public and private property. What kind of ignorant shit is that?

You know what that says to Neo-Nazis? That they are right. The march protesters have given up their right to be angry and any argument they present is void. The violent mob said, "You're protecting the wrong people!" They were protecting everyone!!!!

I would hate for a group of Neo-Nazis to walk down my block saying, "Send those wetbacks back to Mexico!!! They've come here to steal our jobs and dirty up our streets!!! They are lazy and stupid and they bring down property values wherever they settle!!!!"

I'd be livid. I'd be angrier than shit. But here's what I'd yell back. "If you want your chicken de-boning job, you can have it back. If you want to mow the lawns and trim trees, go for it. If you want to open up tire shops and Mexican restaurants, have at it. If you want to take back all the jobs that lazy, unmotivated WHITE folks don't want and think they are above of, feel free to take them." Better yet, I'd grab the phone, call my buddy Fred over and we'd sit on the lawn, drinking imported beers and smoking cigarettes and laughing as they walked by.

THINK PEOPLE!!!! When you become consumed by hatred, you not only give people like that ammunition from which to continue to fuel their incoherent, ridiculous beliefs, but you take a step down the ladder and are soon beneath them. Channel your fears and angers into something productive from which a real solution comes. Listen to the music you believe gives you strength. Empower yourself to make a difference and give yourself and those around you true strength.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said:
"The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force."

If you can't beat hatred with love, beat it with indifference. You cannot defuse a bomb with another bomb. It might seems silly or idealistic to read those words, in this day, that MLK felt so strongly, but their value has never diminished. And neither has the sense of promise which they so beautifully outline.

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.' I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today."

Hatred is fueled by ignorance and fear. Don't give them the satisfaction.


He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

I still don't know why my parents waited so long to have another child.

My "little" brother, Dorian, is somewhere in Buffalo right now listening to my voicemail message advising him not to drink and drive tonight. He'll be out with his friends celebrating his birthday. I think he's 23 today.

Just yesterday, he was chasing me around the backyard, wanting to hang around with me. Well, it seems like just yesterday. I remember wanting to pick him up from his little carrier when he was just a baby. He was a little guy back then. Now he's bigger and taller than me. Little brother, my ass.

I remember when he was little kid, still in his crib, he'd stand, hold himself up by the gate and look down. He was big enough to see over the top. Somehow, he discovered that if he hoisted himself right, he could flip over the rails and reach the ground. Of course, that meant that when he'd flip, he'd come crashing down on his backside with a tremendous THUMP! I came running into the room and there he was, on his back, giggling and laughing. I got scared and put him back, not knowing what happened. As I left, I hear, THUMP! So I run back and there he is laughing again. After putting him back the second time, I turned the corner and snuck a peek. He stood up and hoisted himself over, doing a complete flip on the way down and then THUMP! Back to the giggling. In retrospect, that might explain a lot about the man I'd come to call, 'Dee.'

He was a good kid. Very bright and personable. He inherited my father's volatile sensibility which always put him head to head with Dad. When he was about 10 or so, we'd tell him that Dad was on his way home and he' high tail it out to the backyard to hide. They still lock horns from time to time. But he doesn't run anymore.

Between school and my parents, I tried to have as much of a positive effect on him as I could. We'd get on each other's nerves from time to time. But for the most part, we were close. He always hung around me and my friends, trying to throw his two cents worth into anything he could. I offered him all the best music I could find and we always went to watch movies together. I ripped the manager of a Dollar Theatre a new asshole for not allowing him to watch a rated R movie with me. It was a shitty, Jean-Claude Van Damme movie too. "Timecop."

When I was still at home, we didn't have separate rooms. Not for a long time. We had this bed that had another bed underneath it. It had a handle and you'd simply pull it out. We'd stay up talking about games, movies, girls and God knows what else.

He and my dog, Jordan, grew up together. There's a photo that, if I ever find, I'll post. He's kneeling down and she's at his side. He must have been about 8 or 9. For 14 years, they played in the spacious backyard at my folks house. He loved her just as much as I did. Maybe more. It was a heartbreaking day when we had to cut a hole in the living room floor to get to her lifeless body. We both cried all day long, it seemed.

The day he told my folks he was going to Buffalo with his girlfriend, my parents nearly lost their minds. Not because they were gonna miss him, but because they thought he was making a mistake. There was, of course, no talking him out of it. He and Susan seemed solid. In the back of my mind, I was hoping that it would last. He's not with her anymore, but he's still in Buffalo. He's had his share of fuck-ups, but who hasn't. Still, he's managed to make close friends, he's a volunteer firefighter and he's happy and healthy. My parents are very proud of all he's accomplished out there.

What makes me particularly proud is that all the things about literature and film and music that I taught him stuck with him. Not to mention the fact that he's a great guy. One of the finest men I know and I'll ever know. He doesn't visit as often as I'd like, but I have yet to visit him in the nearly 5 years that he's been in Buffalo. He was the best man at my wedding. That was something. Damn near had me in tears with his toast. I think about it, I get teary eyed.

For years I called him "kid." After a while, I came to realize that he wasn't a kid. He'd begun to sprout hair on his face, had a girlfriend in tow and was sneaking beers here and there. And now, he is undeniably a man. A great man.

So, hoist a drink up for Dorian. The best brother a guy could ever have.

I'll be right there. I just gotta record 31 songs...

I can't say I was ever a die hard Van Morrison fan. I mean, I listened to a few albums of his. An Irish friend use to listen to an album with Van and The Chieftains. That was a great album. They even sang in Gaelic.

The last time I gave Van a try, he was rambling through a chorus of "Boom Boom" with John Lee Hooker. What is it about aging singers that makes them repeat words or whole sentences over and over when they sing.

"And I, and I, and I, and I love you, baby!!!!" Christ.

Needless to say, I didn't go through the whole album.

Then I found this. I haven't listened to any of these songs yet. Well, just the one about the danish. I'm dying of curiosity.

Contractual Obligation Album


It's not often that I have a picture of me to post since I'm usually the one taking the pictures. Seems it's been like that all my life. Jaime, our Photo Editor, took this one of me taping Jonathan Thompson during his going away party. Posted by Picasa

I Hate People

Sometimes I'll be driving and just utter, "I fucking hate people."
Sometimes, I feel bad about saying it. Even though I mean it. Other times, I don't give a good goddamn.
This is one of those times.

Aaron has been quite miserable these past few weeks. A wheelchair, coupled with a brace he wears all day, has reduced what he can do to just about nothing. He and Tonya went to Shriner's in Houston last week and they took away the wheelchair and diminished the use of the brace to just at night. Aaron was delighted. He was given a walker to promote his mobility and to help strengthen his leg. Since he has very limited use of his left arm, the walker comes with a handy platform and strap to immobilize his arm and help provide support.

Tonya and I had to go cash her paycheck and figured we would go to HEB (our local grocery store) and stock up for the next couple of weeks. Since Aaron was with us, he would either have to amble around the store with his walker or ride in one of those motorized shopping carts. He elected the cart probably because it allowed him to drive. He sometimes gets excited at the prospect of driving, but we have to bring him down from his cloud. Aaron will never drive. But he is able to control a bumper car, so we figured this would be okay. He actually drove very well, minus a few minor collisions with endcaps and miscellaneous store obstacles. As we moved about the store, Tonya and I both noticed that just about everyone we encountered was fucking rude.

This HEB ain't nothing to write home about. The produce isn't always fresh. Some of their items are marked up a bit compared to the HEB by our house. For me, the only reason to drive over there is for the beer selection. Aside from that, the store is nothing special. The Central Market on Broadway, which is frequented by the likes Tommy Lee Jones, when he's in town, has the major selection of fine foods and produce. Of course, you pay through the nose for the privilege. I mention all this because some of these people must have thought their shit didn't stink by the way they behaved. And they behaved like a bunch of rude fuckers.

The entire time we were there, trying to help Aaron move around the store, there were nothing but sighs and eyes being rolled and general dislike of the fact that our son couldn't move around properly. Or at least well enough for them. A bunch of fucking snobs, these assholes were. A couple of people were really nice to Aaron; they moved their carts and offered him the right of way, whether they had it or not. Most everyone else could have given a damn. They blocked isles and stood by as Aaron repeatedly said, "Excuse me, please," in a very calm and respectful tone. Aaron was the model of manners. I wanted to start smacking people in the mouth.

I don't know that we'll be going back there to shop. I might head there for the beer, but if it's possible, I'll just try some other place. I won't take away from any of those people who were nice to Aaron and gave the kid a hand. Kudos to them.

What remains clear is that I do hate people. They prove to me, with great frequency, that their capacity for selfishness and their love of material worth is greater than their capacity to get along with the other people on this big blue marble we call Earth.

I hope that someone reaffirms my faith in humanity soon. Lately, I just fucking hate people.


As I left work, I could see this guy from a distance. When I got in the truck, I drove up and took his picture. Late evening snooze at the bus stop. Or too drunk to stay awake. Anyhow, I thought it was funny. Posted by Picasa

I'll tell you when I wanna buy that...

How is it possible that now, just about everywhere I turn, I have to hit some form of advertising?

I was going to this video gaming website I go to and when I clicked on a special feature and was forced to watch an ad before it took me to my link. What the fuck is that?

It's not enought that we have to sit through commercials on television and NOW commercials at the fucking movies, there are a string of never ending pop-ups and flash-ads and all kinds of clickable garbage.

Just a few minutes ago, my cell rang and I answered it only to end up listening to some woman saying I'd been selected to receive a free cruise. Remember when it was impossible to get a wrong number on a cell, let alone telemarketing recordings?!?

And now they'v even gone so far as to create spambots that send crap to blog sites as "comments." FUCK!

How about I tell YOU when I wanna get my morgage refinanced?
Or if I want a bigger penis.
Or if I want to learn how to duplicate dvds for fun.
Or if I want to read more about the Sacramento Kings.

These are the things that make me regret I still have some hope for humanity.

Too angry to type.


Man's Best Friend Might Be Carry-On

I like to find strange/unusual places on the net. I surf several sites that point me in the right direction.

I'm not sure where I got this link, but it demands inspection.

Doggy Bags

You will either say, "What the fuck!?" or "Holy Shit!". If you cuss, I mean. Otherwise, you'll just shake your head.


A New Experience

I can't remember the last time I had to figure out the whole latitude and longitude fiasco. I figured, eventually, I'd have to help Terrance do homework.

I can remember the times my father had helped me with my homework. It wasn't often that he did. Mostly because I was afraid to ask him. I love my father, but sometimes our personalities clashed. He has always been a hard working man. Sweatin' 8 to 10 hours a day at a machine shop to bring home the bacon. When he did help me with my homework, it was...intense. My idea of help and his idea of help often depended on who was more stressed out at the time. Leave it to Latino males to turn into a simple act like homework into a full fledged argument.

I got home the other night and Tonya was on the Mac trying to look up latitudes and longitudes for some NJROTC homework Terrance needed to get done. Not really knowing where to look, they punched in numbers into all sorts of places trying to decipher coordinates they needed names for. After some time, Tonya let me take a crack at it. At first, I was reticent to attempt it, afraid I'd look like a fool. I mean, I haven't been in school for more than 4 years now. You never forget how to learn, just what you've learned. I tried a few things and finally, I found a link that would allow me to enter the digits and then had a link to the location on a map. I showed Terrance how to do it, step by step and he eventually got them all done.

This morning I was helping him look up some words for his English class. He was having trouble finding a particular word, amity, and was looking to get online to use the webster's dictionary there, but I gave him my monster unabridged version and he found it there.

It's silly, I know. I mean, it was six or seven questions, but it felt like a lot to me. He's becoming a man and one day, he might not need me anymore. Sometimes I feel like he doesn't need me now, but I think those are just my own insecurities creeping about my skull. So, for now, I'll take this and run with it. I know that in the future, things might be different and it's the promise of that difference that keeps me moving forward.



"Youth troubles over eternity, age grasps at a day and is satisfied to have even the day." - Dame Mary Gilmore

I sat in the bus today, watching this old man a few rows ahead of me. Alacqueredd, wooden can hung from the steel barrier at his knees and etched into was the word 'Raines.' Probably his name. He was a very stately man, crisp white shirt, light tan slacks and a hat to match. He cleaned his bifocal glasses with ahandkerchieff as the bus made it's bumpy route down the road.

I don't know why my own mortality suddenly jumped into view, but I wondered, as I sometimes do, about what my life has in store for me. Raines sat quietly on the bus and I watched him still.

Will I get to see that age?

I hope that in the years to come, I can teach my boys what it means to be a man. Not just in theory, but with practical applications. Aaron will see things differently than Terrance. Terrance is always on my mind. He has the potential to achieve such greatness. Sometimes I feel like I'm not teaching him right or teaching him enough. And then I think of the lessons my father taught me. Did he ever think it was enough?

My wife is always on my mind. The love in her eyes, that love that I've seen radiate through the darkness is a beacon in the night. I want to be with her forever. I want to show her all the things in the world and be there at the end of it all.

And my own desires for fame and fortune? Well, if they never come to fruition, I'll be satisfied knowing that my wife was behind me, do or die and that my kids love me. I guess that's really all anyone can ask of life. Happiness.

"If solid happiness we prize, Within our breast this jewel lies, And they are fools who roam; The world has nothing to bestow, From our own selves our bliss must flow, And that dear hut,--our home." - Nathaniel Cotton


A Nice Problem To Have

I was at the grocery store getting some quickies for dinner and decided to pick up a quart of Miller High Life. I use to drink High Life in a pinch and lately, I've acquired a taste for it. I keep it nice and cold and it tastes great. If you love beer, you have to learn to slum it a little. Besides, a real bear enthusiast learns to love all kinds of beers.

Anyhow, I was paying for the groceries when the clerk says, "So, what's the difference between High Life and MGD (Miller Genuine Draft)?"
I quickly mulled it over. "Well, if I want a cheap, crisp, light beer, I get this. MGD is a bit heavier."
He absorbed my answer. "My cousin has a friend who gets paid twenty bucks an hour to taste beer."

What a world.


The Night I Almost Died

I can't recall when it was that I first saw a beer and I don't remember when it was that I tried beer for the first time. What I do know is that when I was old enough to get my hands on it, I drank a bunch of it.

Originally, I intended to simply spin yarns about my adventures in alcohol, but as I thought about it, I found something else.

I've had a long and distinguished career in beer drinking. I'd venture to say that 80% of all my friends have been drunk with me at one time or another. Very few can keep up. Even fewer surpass me. I'm not trying to blown my own horn, but I can drink. What's more, I enjoy it. My love of drinking extends into all areas of my life. I've made my home at many bars and even worked in one. I was a doorman and a barback. At home, I collect beer bottles from all over the world and have a specific collection from special occasions.

Recently, it occurred to me how many stupid things I've done while swimming in amber. The spills I've taken, pun intended. At a friend's graduation party, I got stinkin' drunk on 18oz rum & cokes and inch tall shots of Jack Daniels served in wide mouth tumblers. I was told later I was pretending to fly a jet in a lawn chair and took a header into the concrete patio. The only reason I even knew I had busted my head was that I got up in the middle of the night to expel some liquids and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I had this huge scab already formed on the left side of my face, near my temple. It was at least an inch tall and an inch wide. I must have just skid off the concrete upon impact. Wow, talk about a headache.

Blacking out is never fun. Then there was the time me and a few friends went to drink at a cowboy bar because a buddy of ours had an open tab. He was a DJ for a local country station and often invited us to drink on his company's dime. Most of the time, we never really did much damage; a beer here, a shot there. This time around, we had another friend, Ira, driving, so me and my friend, Jav, decided to get hammered. We ordered back to back to back shots and beer chasers. At one point, I raised my shot glass, took a smell of that nasty-ass whiskey and said, "No good can come of this."
After getting primed there, Jav and I decided to drink 10 pitchers of beer and some shots. Jav had 18 and I had 12. He was drinking Goldschlagger and I stuck to my Jack Daniels.
When I got home, I plopped down on the couch and that was the end of it. Or so I thought. In the morning I would wake up to find that I'd continued drinking, sort of. I had this old, beat up, coffee table that my brother, Fred, had given me. It had a quarter inch high lip around the edge of it. Well, the beer had fallen over and everything on the surface was covered in beer. Including the sandwich. Apparently, I wanted a bite to eat after all that drinkin'.
My first thought was, "Oh, shit, I tried to eat." I raced to the bathroom and threw the door open in fear of what I would find. Nothing. At least not on the toilet. In fact, the toilet was remarkably clean. Suddenly, it struck me that the true horror lay behind the fully closed shower curtain. As I stepped forward, my foot brushed up against an empty bottle of Formula 409 bathroom cleaner. I paused for a moment. "I cleaned the bathroom?" I thought. When I pulled back the curtain, there was no mess. Just a wadded up towel sitting near the drain. I didn't want to pick it up, afraid I'd find what I was looking for in the folds of the old thing. But when I did, there was nothing. The room smelled very fresh.
So far, everything was good. No mess to clean up. But then it dawned on me that maybe I didn't puke there. Maybe I hurled in some other room. The kitchen was a likely spot, so I strolled over to take a look. When I got there, my cat, Miles Davis, was standing at the edge of the carpet, where the kitchen floor began. He had this look of bewilderment. He ears perked up and his head cocked to the side. When I turned the corner of the breakfast bar to see what he was looking at, I found myself face to face with my mess. Not puke. Mustard. There was a broken line of mustard from the French's can across the refrigerator door, globs of mustard on the floor and a big trail of mustard from the bottle to the bread, which was still open and strewn about the counter. The lunch meat was mysteriously absent.
What followed was one of the worst hangovers I have ever had in all my years of drinking. The only thing I can say about that night was that I'm glad that I wasn't driving.

A lot of things about those nights still frighten me. I know I've driven home drunk and blacked out because there have been nights I've woken up and had no idea how I got home. Each time, I think my God of choice touched me and I made it home alive. Or he touched the other people and I managed avoid them. Either way, he let me live and I am, forever, grateful.

There was a night that I was going home, alone. I was drunk, no arguing it. I was driving down McArdle, a road that let me avoid most of the busier streets and kept me away from the cops. There was a bit of construction near my place and for some reason, I decided I wanted to let my car out a bit. I was in Lucille, a tattered, coffee colored Mazda 323. She didn't have a lot of work done yet and ran pretty good. I looked forward and saw no cars around, so I gunned it. I mean, the pedal hit the floor. The car picked up speed and with the windows down, everything was a blur of sight and sound. The apartment complex flew by me and I realized, as the cool night are suddenly sobered me up, that I was racing into the intersection at 90 miles and hour.
I'd like to thank God, right now, for letting me live.
I knew there was no way in Hell I could stop if a car should cross my path. Any impact, at that speed, would sound like a cannon shot and anyone in either car might not stand a chance. If I survived, I would go to jail, lose my license and my freedom.
I crossed the intersection, miraculously, no cars were anywhere near. I managed to bring the speed down, gradually and turned the car around. I parked my car and went upstairs to my third floor apartment. My hands shook violently as I walked up the stairs and made every attempt to not faint from the shock. My heart was pounding against my chest, looking to explode. I sat down on the couch, took out a cigarette and with shaky hands, tried to calm myself down. Everything was clear. I was completely sober. And I'd never been more frightened in my life. If I would have been blacked out, I might not have been that lucky. I was lucky PERIOD.

I'd like to say that I was more careful after that, but I wasn't. Some nights were better than others. Each night I drank, I tried to tell myself that I could handle it. I was a good drinker, not some sloppy fratboy trying to squeeze a bottle of tequila and a twelve pack into an hour long binge. I wasn't a young punk with something to prove. Or a naive kid who didn't think he could get drunk. There are more frightening stories in the catalog. Things that I recant now with some humor and irony, but that when reflected upon with a keen eye, are horror stories about the night I almost died.

I'm a distance drinker. A marathon man. I can drink many people under the table. And for some ungodly reason, I'm still around to do it.

My advice to anyone who thinks drinking is easy: it's not. Drinking can result in several different outcomes. One of them is final. The others aren't much better. I've been to the point of addiction and managed to shake it off. I came back with a greater understanding of what it means to socialize with a beer or a drink. Alcohol must be respected, but you must first respect yourself. Drinkers can tell you how to drink. Real drinkers can tell you how not to.

Peace, love, understanding.


Spurs rise to the challenge.

Tim Duncan victorious
Originally uploaded by iamlegend1623.
My first year and I already live in an NBA Championship city. San Antonio shakes off the pressure to defeat Detroit in Game 7, 81-74. Rock on Spurs, rock on.

Show a bit of self-restraint, why don't ya?!?

I've been clicking about, reading through other blogs on this site. I've found some pretty interesting stuff. And even though I've just begun, I'm already noticing something about my own blogs. I'm exercising enormous restraint.

If you'd ever read some of the rants I use to send via email to some of my friends, you'd understand. I've tried to keep my wits about me, be a little more...thoughtful about things. Reader friendly. Kid safe. My wife sent a link to this page to some friends and maybe even my mother-in-law. I sort of felt obligated to make it sanitary.

The reality is this: I'm a fucking lunatic. Sometimes a little too passionate for my own good.

I've been holding back. I tend to do that. I'm trying to change some things in my life right now and holding back here would just further complicate the problem. When I write, I work best unchained.

I've got thoughts brewing now. Get ready.


"Can I take your order?"

I've noticed lately, as I amble through the common feeder lines at any one of the fast food chains near my castle, that there are more menus for you to inspect before ordering. The drive-thrus, especially, have the pre-menu menu that you can browse before driving up to the mic.
A fast food menu, by design, is for reference purposes only. I mean, you aren't gonna go to McDonald's and order a Whopper. Well, if you're some kinda prankster, sure. And more often than not, you go into a specific restaurant for a specific item. Fast food menus rarely feature something so exotic or different. I go to McDonald's for the french fries. Very crispy. Dairy Queen boasts the dip cone, which has the tastiest soft serve ice cream. Whataburger, for you Texans, has a quality hamburger. Smothered in jalapeƱos and cheese, a Whataburger can't be beat. I think most people crave something specific from any one of the hundreds upon thousands of fast food franchises in America.
But what just chaps my ass is these people who refuse to think about what they want until they get to the window. Especially when they're ordering for their entire brood.
"Uh, yeah, uh, let me have a...6 piece nuggets, no wait, a No. 2...Bobby, what do you want?" They blather on and on with no apparent end.
Meanwhile, you're sitting back in your car watching them squint to read the menu. You don't really have to read it. You just scan it. Shit, most menus have pictures. The strain on the noodle is light, at best.
"Yeah, and uh, let me have...Kelly, what do you want?"
Ugh! Is it too much trouble to plan before you get there? My wife likes to plan. She's huge on planning. If we're going out to a fast food joint, she usually knows what she wants before she gets to the squack box. Can it be that difficult?
Same thing with walk ups. Can you please scan the menu while the guy in front of your orders his food? Don't get up there and then go, "Uh..." Exercise your mellon and scan the menu for something to eat!
I hate being so hungry that my stomach is eating itself and the lady in front of me is ordering for her four screaming kids who are running circles around her while she mutters, "Billy, what do you want to eat?" Just order Billy something with no veggies and with a toy, lady. She continues to read the menu and spits out a word or two in between the 'uh's. Five minutes later, the order is complete. By then, I'm ready to eat 40 ketchup packets and stail french fries.
Really, people, the menu is for reference. If you're looking for something to read, hit Barnes & Noble.

This may not be the sort of image people might want to see right now, but it was who Dave Weber was. He was fun. Most people remember his loud outbursts and how he could curse up a storm. Often, when you would bust his balls, he could be seen giving you the salute. He was a good guy and a good friend. Posted by Hello

I felt like I should post a few images of Dave Weber. There was a fire in this man that I thought would burn for many more years. I guess this is my attempt at keeping a candle lit in his honor. This picture was taken on June 17, 2003, during our daily budget meetings for the other zones that we built. Posted by Hello

I captured a lot of images during my time in Fort Smith, AR. I use to love to get designers while they were working. Sometimes I walked up to them, other times I would set up a shot when they didn't know they were being photographed. This is one of those stolen moments. Dave was in a zone. He was one of a kind. Posted by Hello

Writer loses words

Last night, my little brother, Vinny, called to tell me that one of the people I use to work with had died. Dave Weber had a heart attack sometime yesterday. I was at home, grilling with Fred, Bob and a few others when Tonya answered my phone. I could hardly believe it.
The reality of it faded in and out. Even after I woke up this morning, the feeling didn't completely register. I recall him being on some of the video I'd take from time to time at the office in Fort Smith. And then there are the pictures. I did several desktops for his computer. "Being Dave Weber" was my favorite along with the picture of Ali punching him in the head.
I don't know all of his history, but I do know that he was once a preacher. You could tell from the force of his voice and the way he spoke that when he was on the pulpit, there was no stopping him. From journalist, to preacher and back to journalist. What a change.
We'd talk, from time to time, when we'd go down to have a cigarette. He was always a fun guy with interesting things to say and a good sense of humor.
Several years ago, we resurrected Weberfest, a party that was held when he was working and couldn't make it, in his honor. Of course, we continued the tradition and held it when he couldn't show up. I even made a trailer for the party.
He was a good man who loved his family and cared about his work. He was always cordial and enjoyed a good joke. I can't believe he's gone.

Even though I didn't get to know you but for a brief time, thank you for sharing your life with me, Dave. You'll be missed.


Gas, Food, Medieval Weaponry

My wife and I took our son, Aaron, to the Shriner's Hospital in Houston yesterday to get him checked up. Houston traffic sucks. Talk about congestion.
Anyhow, we were coming back and we stopped at those all too familiar fixtures on the highway, Love's gas stations. They have the most interesting selection of items there. You might actually be able to perform simple repairs on your vehicle with the selection of car parts and gadgets they have there.
Most of the store is basically filled with impulse items. They have these die cast metal cars, metallic briefcases, CD walkmans, small fans, sunglasses and my favorite, swords and daggers.
Swords and daggers, you say? Yes, swords and daggers.
If Conan, the Barbarian, lost his sword, he could go pick one up at Love's. If any of the immortals in the Highlander films broke their swords, they could get a replacement at Love's.
"Yes, I'd like twenty on pump 3 and the samurai blade next to the dragon dagger."



Lost in translation?

I had to share this with everyone because I thought it was funny as Hell.

So, I'm flipping channels the other day and I come across this B movie with Corbin Bernsen called, "Spacejacked." If you're in a mood for a horrible space mutiny movie, this is the way to go. I sat there, quietly chuckling when all of a sudden... there's a face off. Two guys are fixing to shoot each other with their bad laser pistols when an innocent bystander is taken hostage by the villain. The villain looks at his antagonist and says:

"Looks like we have ourselves a Mexican standoff. Or as they call it in Mexico, a standoff."

Alright, maybe it wasn't that funny, but I thought it was.

That will be all.


A bit of history.

"I'm here to sing some songs for my mama." Me in Memphis. Posted by Hello

And So It Begins...

I'm taking my first steps into the world of blogging with this post. I use to blog, but on my iMac and only to a select group of people. Ever since this blogging thing began, I was curious to try it.
And so it begins.
My first blog won't blow anyone or anything out of the water. It might not even be entertaining. But the fact of the matter is that I'm a writer, at heart and by nature, so I must find a place to write.
Normally, I write at home, on my iMac. I churn out scripts and musings and one liners and on and on... I even carry a leather-bound notebook that I use to write things I may want to use later.
I like to write things people say. Many of my friends come up with some gems that just demand to be used in a story or a script. Unfortunately, I can't cite examples as many of them contain words that bikers and sailors might find offensive.
Here's one thing I enjoy doing: get your TV remote and find the menu that allows you to activate your close captioning. I have been fortunate in my life to have preserved my hearing, despite the decibel level I keep my home and car stereo. But if I were hearing impaired, I might get a kick out of some of the descriptions on the close captioning. For instance: I was watching one of the many Hellraiser movies one night. Pinhead had just come forth from the darkness and announced he would "tear your soul apart", as he does from time to time. Suddenly, an array of hooks on chains shot out at the unsuspecting victim and began to puncture and pull his skin. As I watched, I happened to glance down at the bottom of the screen, amid the screaming and violence to read: "Sound of hooks ripping through flesh continues." Now, how descriptive is that? I mean, I don't think I ever really paid much attention to the sound of hooks ripping through flesh, but after that caption, I would probably recognize the sound, if I were to ever hear it again. I could be standing at a street corner and hear screaming and without turning my head identify the sound behind the scream as hooks ripping through flesh. And later of hooks continuing their flesh ripping escapades.

The second part of this first rant, I want to dedicate to my wife. She and I have been married just over a year and we recently moved to Texas from Arkansas. I lived here for nearly 20 years before I moved away to start my life over. During my stay in Arkansas, I was lucky enough to find her, living in my apartment complex. And just to beat her to the punch, it took me two years to ask her out. She loves telling that story. She came to me at a point in my life where I had lost hope of finding anyone who would not only allow me to be myself, but who would also not be afraid of being anything other than who she was. She's intelligent, witty, nurturing, passionate, beautiful and honorable. She's everything I could have ever hoped to find in a mate. She brought with her two kids, Aaron and Terrance. When I met her, they were young teens. They are growing up to be fine boys with equally important roles in my life. But my wife, I can't say enough about her. I'm a journalist by trade. She has endured a lot being married to me. My bad habits, my forgetfulness, my procrastination and my beer bottle collection. But after everything we've been through, the long move to Texas, the hours we have to spend apart during the day, she continues to love me. She even loves this half-cocked dream I have of becoming a screenwriter some day. She'd hope sooner than later and she kicks me in the rear when I get behind on my objective. She's everything I could have ever wanted and more. Sometimes I don't believe I'm worthy, but she treats me like a king. She is my queen. My life. My love. My everything.
So, Tonya, these words I write, they won't ever measure up to how I feel about you. Not one bit. But I'll try to show you just how much you mean to me, everyday, anyway I can. I love you, baby.

Stay tuned for more rantings soon.


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