Monday, November 29, 2004
This can't be living. I drink too much Old MIlwaukee and wake up in the morning and it tastes like old bread crusts in my mouth. All my underwear's dirty. I can't find my insurance policy.
larry brown is dead at age 53. nice quote from hannah in there. i just found this out today, but oddly enough i picked up big bad love last night and read two stories out of it. there are some truly amazing stories in that collection. as usual, only the good die young.
Sunday, November 28, 2004
i mentioned this site before, but rob and his brother started a band called ezmachine. they've got their two videos up. check 'em out. outstanding use of final cut pro.
i know everybody
has a little bad luck sometimes
i know lately
i been having mine.
the super late equally lame thanksgiving thanks list
- the smell of popeye's deep fried cajun turkey
- reading tim o'brien's the things they carried and barry hannah's airships back to back in the hospital. i cried nearly every five minutes. i can't say how much these books moved me and then, to think, these guys are two feet away from me on any given tuesday night.
- dancing with lonanne to theme song from dukes of hazard at little jenny's longhorn saloon. beats all you ever saw.
- drinking wine in shirley's kitchen, spouting out whatever nonsense comes to mind.
- riding the gator around, collecting firewood in the back forty, turning the bend and catching eight deer grazing in an opening, the lone buck staring at me, defiantly. coming back and making a fire in the stone fireplace, listening to the wood pop. later shirley tells us it's rutting season for the deer.
- william laying on top of me during the night. the smell of his breath. he whispers to me about riding to the capitol on the bus. are we there yet? he says.
- the expectations i share with thomas over the flat thomas project. apparently, rob has taken flat thomas all over nyc. they even went on a bender and got arrested.
- recessed lighting
- rob's upcoming solo austin show. the generosity of women. indeed.
- lonanne's response when i told her my stepdad seemed surprised by all the flowers our friends sent. "does he not know you're loved?" she said. sometimes i forget it too.
- this disconcertingi need to make lists. i start off everyday by filling out a to-do list. some days i don't do it and i find myself untethered. "what's next?" i say. oh yeah. christmas.
Monday, November 22, 2004
sometimes i think about calling my mom. usually i'm on the road. that's when we had most of our conversations. to and from work. to and from school. always in-betwen going here and going there. i guess that's the hardest bit right now. i want to call her to let her know i love her, to let her know things are alright, all isn't lost, i'm not a hopeless case. she was worried about me, my mom. worried about my soul and if i'd make it through. worried i had too much of my dad in me, that poor outcast heart. now i want to call her and she's not there. my stepdad hasn't changed the message on the phone they shared, so when i call him, i get her voice telling me she isn't there. leave a message, she says. this is it, mom.
Saturday, November 20, 2004
we'll try and try even if it lasts an hour
with all our might we'll try and make it ours
cause we're on our way we're on our way
-yo la tengo
william called out to me early this morning around 5:00 a.m. "dad, dad, come here." i stumbled into their room and he was lying in thomas' top bunk.
"dad, dad, can you get in bed with us?" he asked.
"looks crowded," i said.
"i want you to get in bed with us so i can lay on top of you," he said.
so it's come to this. he doesn't even have to get out of his bed to come lay on top of me. he can get this service brought to him now. perfect.
we had our soccer team party at central market this past wed. night. props to scott martin, our coach, and all the parents. the entire team (the blue allstars) really turned it around in the last three games of the season. we were def. the bad news bears of the league, getting smoked out game after game by what appeared to be brazillian trained midgets. seriously, the level of play for a bunch of 7-8 year olds was pretty amazing. i remember one game where a kid actually head-butted (i don't know the right word...headed?) the ball into the goal. meanwhile, we had kids picking flowers or getting tangled up in the nets. i'm proud to say that thomas was def. one of the top three players on the team. the two others were a girl (natch), delaney, and a boy, nick, who looked like he'd been held back three grades. the thing with thomas is speed. he can outrun everyone on the field. everyone comments on how fast he is. towards the end he was actually getting the ball handling and kicking down, which i think helped our last few games considerably. he wants to do it in the spring and i'm excited to see him get even better. i've said this before, but if the kid wasn't cursed with his dad's long torso/short legs, he'd be the next prefontaine.
Friday, November 19, 2004
google scholar. forget searching in one library. that is, if you remembered searching in the one library. then forget it.
i found 4 copies of roland barthes mythologies at the ut library.
if you're asking "who cares?" right now, you aren't in college with two papers due and thinking about when you'll find the time to take the kids to see the new sponge bob movie. and finish that story. and finance the new water heater. and build a new sales configurator. and an erp system. and update the school website. and turn down the 10 other people who ask me to help them with websites. and pass out at the computer.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
this one's for dave
let me start off by saying i hate the grateful dead. hate them. i hate everything they spawned including, but not limited to phish, string cheese incident, particle, hordefest, etc, etc,... i hate hippies and patchouli and beads and eeyore's birthday and drum circles and overwrought sentiment and dufus zen quotes and dancing like a zombie and noodling and tie dye and, well, just about everything that they stand for except maybe peace. who's against peace?
all of this being said, my achilles heal, the fatal flaw in my purely consistent hatred of the grateful dead is this bootleg album which dave wolfe will instantly recognize to be the 1970 binghamton new york concert at harpur college featuring the new riders of the purple sage. yes, that album. this is an album that dave purchased in japan at a cd store that specialized in bootleg albums. i made a tape of the album and had it up through my senior year of college, only to lose it when i went back to japan to teach english. i must've listened to that version of i know you rider two hundred and fifty times when we were over there that first time. it's one of the saddest songs i know. it brings to mind standing on a bridge with a broken umbrella in a thunderstorm. or riding on the subway with dave and kelly and ned. or staying out all night and crashing all day. it snaps me back in ways i can't begin to explain. if this sounds like every other retarded grateful dead story, i have to say this makes my hatred of them even greater. curse you, dead. you've made me into the thing i loathe.
anyway, we'll see if dave still has this album.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
a modest attempt at debunking some of the political stereotypes being cast about in the wake of the election.
Monday, November 15, 2004
kierkegaard for grownups.
I don't care for walkin' down town
Crazy auto car gonna mow me down
Look at all the people like cows in a herd
Well I like (pause)
went with bearden and some kids from class last week to see george saunders read as part of the new yorker college tour. he read the falls. i'd encourage you to read it. the entire collection for that matter.
What to do? He fiercely wished himself elsewhere. The girls saw him now and with their hands appeared to be trying to explain that they would be dead soon. My God did they think he was blind? Did they think he was stupid? Was he their father? Did they think he was Christ? They were dead. They were frantic, calling out to him, but they were dead, as dead as the ancient dead and he was alive, he was needed at home, it was a no-brainer, no one could possible blame him for his one, and making a low sound of despair in his throat he kicked off his loafers and threw his long ugly body out across the water.
on that last bit, bearden slapped his knee. we both thought the same thing. yes! what a story! they were ancient dead! action! in the end, isn't that what we all do? fling our ugly bodies out across the water?
If you're small
And on a search
I've got a feeder for you to perch on
Sunday, November 14, 2004
the burial service was good. jim gave me both my mom's bibles, which she wanted me to have. one is a small, red King James version. that was the first one she had when we went to easthaven baptist in houston. i have several unusual stories about those days that i'll save for later. the other is a so-called open bible that my uncle mike gave to her back in 1982. open bibles are new american standard translations. they were like the message of their day. the word of God spoken like an average american. believe it or not, that remains a selling point. the lyrical rhythms of the old british empire don't do God's word justice. or it's just for old fuddy duddies. in either case, i've always favored the king james. perhaps it's a reaction to all the reactions, such is my nature. more likely, it's my poetic tendencies. when God speaks out of the whirlwind to Job, it ain't in casual soccer-mom-speak.
Gird up now thy loins like a man;
for I will demand of thee
and answer thou me
damn straight. pretty soon, this will be watered down to "hey, um, job, i need you to answer some questions for me."
i'm rambling. it's been a long week. we just got back from salado where a friend of the family, mancel bolton, was having a photo showing. we also went to an 8:00 a.m. service at lonanne's church commemorating its 150th year. that's 150 years. not too shabby considering it's made of wood. a pastor from lonanne's younger days, joe bentley, gave the sermon. the boys drew pictures and suffered through amazingly well. lest you think all i do is sniff tabasco sauce at donn's and worry my life away.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
i lift mine eyes to the hills,
from whence cometh my help?
my help comes from the Lord
who made heaven and earth
- psalms 121
penny moyers was born march 23, 1943 in wichita falls, texas to the late earl and phyllis (pothier) powell and died november 6, 2004 at st. luke's hospital in houston. she is survived by her husband, james moyers of beaumont; one son, josh magnuson of austin; two grandchildren, thomas and william magnuson of austin; one brother, michael powell of crosby and one sister, cynthia casey of dallas.
the memorial service was held yesterday in beaumont. john carswell, my step-brother-in-law and a presbyterian minister, gave the homily. apparently a homily is a sermon or an inspirational platitude. you learn something new every day. stephanie blackstone, a close friend who accompanied my mother on a mission trip to russia, gave the eulogy. candace and mark casey played amazing grace on piano and violin. several old friends and family showed up for the service. all told, there were probably a hundred people there. many people from her church came up to me and told me she was a true inspiration, full of love and a servant's heart. of course, sometimes it is hard to hear this. i wasn't always the beneficiary of the unconditional side of her love. i knew her way back when, etc. but still, she was my mom and we both reconciled quite a bit in these past few years. i guess that's a large part of what makes this so bittersweet. it's not all bad or all good. i feel as if i'm still left to sort through the things my parents couldn't reconcile in their lives. more than one person has told me how she was very proud of me as both husband and father. i was proud of her for the way she handled this disease. like bukowski (yeah, i'm paraphrasing both the psalms and bukowski) said, it's not whether you get burned, it's how you walk through the fire.
the internment service will be held tomorrow in kerrville at the garden of memories cemetary which is on a beautiful stretch of road between fredericksburg and kerrville.
william: i love dad now
mom: but can't you love both of us?
william: no, we have to take turns. it's dad's turn now.
dad: (standing outside bathroom stall) are you ok in there, thomas?
thomas: nice shoes, dad.
thomas: i never noticed them before. are they new?
william: you're destickable.
dad: what's that mean?
william: like you can't get unstuck.
thomas: you know what the problem with marriage is?
mom: no, what?
thomas: well, all that marriage stuff. plus, if you have boys, you'd have to fight them all the time.
Monday, November 08, 2004
"Shortly afterwards, he became even more depressed. People seemed more farcical than ever. More than once he shook his head and, smiling ironically, said to himself: This is not for me."
The Second Coming
Saturday, November 06, 2004
i guess you could say it's over. my mom passed around 6pm today. services will be in beaumont on either wed. or thurs. the funeral home is claybar funeral home. that and this are really all i have to say about it for now.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
thank you to everyone for your support and prayers. i don't mean to trivialize any of your comments (in previous post). it is just hard to be asked 500x per day how you're doing or told of other tragedies (all equally important). i don't have any good response. please don't make me say i'm fine. that's my response. i'm in the middle of this particular tragedy. it's not all good and it's not all bad. i know that. my mom is unresponsive at this point. her kidney failed twelve days ago so the doctors and nurses and everyone else seem to think any day now. of course, they say that every day. sometimes i'm strong. sometimes at the end of my string. she's not in pain as far as i can tell. every once in awhile she wakes up and tries to tell me something i can't understand. that's hard. truthfully there are a lot of things that are difficult. all the memories come over me sometimes and it gets to be too much. i'm thirty four years old and i've run out of parents. my aunt is with her right now. i finally found a free wi-fi spot (cafe artiste if you're ever stuck in houston) and am just trying to go through email, etc. in the plus column, william turns five on monday.
before i came down here, a bunch of friends threw a bday party for me. we ended up at don's depot and the band asked if i had a favorite song. i told them "redneck mother" by jerry jeff walker. my mom's not redneck and i don't drink falstaff beer, but the spirit seemed appropriate. later i snorted a bottle of tabasco sauce on a dare. "what'd you win?" mike d asked me as we stumbled out into the lunar eclipse. "nothing," i said. such is life.