Thursday, July 30, 2009


A couple weeks ago, one of my favorite authors sent me an email with a link to Evony, a online multiplayer game. It looked interesting so I signed up an started playing. It was pretty fun, and very easy to get into. But also very time consuming. In fact I found myself near the computer 18 hrs a day keeping up with what was going in the game.

Well, last night the "alliance" I was part of descended into sheer drama, and I realized it wasn't fun anymore. So I quit.

Pulled the plug an a great deal of hard work, and a few people that I was having fun getting to know. But now I have hours more free time, and a gads less drama in my life.

A good choice I think.

P.S. The local newspaper ran a headline this morning that read "Storms Wallop D/FW" which strikes me as particularly red-neckish. Damn, I need to get out of this state.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Rainy Monday Morning

It's been threatening to rain off and on for most of the weekend, and it did storm a time or two. But this morning, we've gotten a couple healthy bands of showers, with a couple more on the way. It's 74* out, a good 8* cooler than it was this morning when I got up before the rain.

To celebrate I've done nothing but sit on the couch watching Dora and Diego with the kids. We only have small group here this evening, and the entire house needs to be cleaned.

Two of my wife's younger sisters were here this weekend. They had planned on coming to watch the kids while my wife was at work and I was out of town to visit my sister in Santa Fe. I didn't get to go on my trip to Santa Fe, but they came anyway, allowing me a Saturday to myself. That was nice.

But now our kitchen is bare. Seriously, it looks like a pack of ravenous animals came through. There is hardly anything edible left--although what is left is all organic and healthy. The cupboards are even empty of dishes. They're all dirty. So I have my work cut out for me to get the house shaped up for company.

But not yet.

It's still raining.

Friday, July 17, 2009


In the last 36 hours I've watched 4 movies thanks to Netflix, and Netflix Watch Instantly. Each of the following movies is worth a review in a post of its own. They were all excellent. But since I'm in ultimate lazy mode, and wallowing in self pity, brief synopsi will have to do.

I Capture the Castle is a sweet movie set in the 1930s. It centers around a the family of a celebrated author who unfortunately hasn't written anything publishable in over 12 years. Quirkiness and hilarity abound, all awash in the gorgeous backdrop of an old English estate, and beautiful period costuming and props. Girls come of age, boys become men, a man and his daughter find their literary voices. Wonderfully written, wonderfully acted. Worth your hour and fifty minutes.

I was afraid this movie was going to suck, put bluntly. But I sat down and watched it anyway, based simply on the fact that the story is about a book editor. I was pleasantly surprised. I'm not a big Sarah Michelle Gellar fan, nor Alec Baldwin, but they were happily tolerable. This has all the makings of a formula romantic comedy, and I suppose it plays out that way. But there is no sugar-sweet ending as life crashes in. This cotton candy flick had more reality than many dramedies hitting the screen today. Worth a cozy evening at home, with or without your significant other.

This movie is billed as a comedy, and I suppose there were some funny parts. However, there is some real depth cleverly written into the script, and the story is quirky and fresh. Mind you, as the cover might allude to, there are copious boobies in this movie. Most were probably superfluous, but at the same time, I don't think they hindered the film either. I suppose it will come down to your comfort level with the human body because you will get an eyeful. Just don't forget to pay attention to script, you may just find something worth mulling over.

I watched this film on a friend's recommendation. I never would have stuck it in my Netflix queue, based simply on the storyline and the trailer. Never was a WWF fan, never will be. And the first 20 minutes of the film played like a bad WWF match to me, sometimes quite literally. But once the movie finds its rhythm the story starts sucking you in. The movie turns out to be profoundly sad--I sat in the dark for a good 20 minutes after the credits rolled. If you aren't compelled to examine the direction of your life and relationships after this film, maybe you better just stick to watching TNT Impact or something.


When things seemed to work out for the better if I didn't try and find a job for the summer until classes start up again in August, I was excited. I didn't view the summer as time off, but rather as an opportunity to dive deeply into something I've been wanting to do for several years now--write a novel.

I mean, I would have all this extra time, and I was sure the words would just roll onto the page for me. I have what I think is a great story, and after a few afternoons spent at Barnes & Noble, I had a pretty airtight outline by chapter laid out.

And then life happened.

It seemed that there was always something else I needed to be doing. On the weekends when my wife was at work and I was on daddy-duty, I tried writing after the kids were in bed. But the kids kept going to bed later and later, and I was too exhausted by the time the house was quiet to even think about being creative. I tried going to bed when the kids went down, and getting up an hour earlier to write. The first time I set my alarm to do so, the kids were up three times in the night, and I finally got to bed about 45 minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off. Se la vi.

But during the week, when my wife was off work, I was supposed to be spending time writing. But there were breakfasts, and lunches, and dinners to prepare. And things around the house to be fixed. And it really was much easier for my wife if I was here at naptime, and bedtime. I mean, I would appreciate the help on my nights, why wouldn't she? Then we went out of town for a week, and had to clean the house several times for company. Watched some friend's kids, and then... Well, you get the idea.


Good writers find a way around these obstacles with a variety of tricks. Finding time to write is a part of learning to be a good writer. Good writers write. On a regular basis. Great writers? It's a part of their life, like say, breathing. Or changing diapers.

With my summer quickly circling the drain, I planned for an all out offensive writing campaign. I planned a super low cost trip to visit my sister in Santa Fe. A week away from home. Seven glorious days to sit in coffee shops and just write. I planned meals--complete with cooking instructions for my wife. I got 10 days of groceries so she and the kids would be provided for. I arranged childcare for the weekend while my wife was at work. I arranged transportation for my oldest daughter to church for her New Christians class. I did everything I could possible do to make sure the trip would come off without a hitch.

And then I didn't get to go.

Money was too tight. It wasn't fair that I got a week away by myself and my wife didn't. It was going to be too much to ask my wife to single-handedly take care of all three kids by herself for a week. What ever the reason, I chose not to go.

It was probably the right decision.

My wife promised that I'd be able to write like I wanted, but here instead. Tuesday and Wednesday I spent most of the day at Barnes & Noble writing.

But Tuesday I wasn't in the groove. Words just wouldn't flow--every line was a tooth and nail battle. Wednesday was a much better day. Yesterday morning I got to go also, and made some revisions to my storyline. But then I had to be home to make sure my wife was able to nap during naptime since she was going back to work last night. But no worries, it was only until the babysitter for the weekend showed up.

Except that she never did.

She's coming on Saturday morning, but was too tired to come yesterday. She's got a softball game that she wants to watch tonight. So Saturday it is.

I knew that's what was going to happen.

So much for my Stay-cation.

Monday, July 6, 2009


1. Who was your FIRST prom date? Didn't go my junior year, my girlfriend LeAnna was my date to senior prom.

2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love? Not really sure who I'd call my first love. I guess my wife has been the only one I've been sure about.

3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink? Fuzzy Navel Bartles & James wine cooler.

4. What was your FIRST job? Aside from growing up on a farm? Delivery driver for high end restaurants.

5. What was your FIRST car? VW Bug

6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today? Jared

7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning? My wife.

8. Who was your FIRST grade teacher? Mrs. Beecher. She went to our church. So did every single one of my teachers until I got into 7th grade.

9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane? Albuquerque to Oklahoma to visit a college I didn't really want to go to, but vowed to to follow my high school girlfriend LeAnna. She dumped me about a month later, a few days before we left.

10. Who was your FIRST best friend & do you still talk? My first best friend was a girl named Jessica that lived down the street from us in San Diego. I was 4. We've lost contact.

11. Where was your FIRST sleep over? At a friend Travis. He had Playboys stashed in his backyard. And sand in his bed.

12. Who was the first person you talked to today? My wife.

13. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time? My own FIRST wedding.

14. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning? Well, it was a good morning.

15. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to? Petra at the McGee Park County Fairgrounds

16. FIRST tattoo? Volleyball with flames around it on my upper back.

17. FIRST piercing? None.

18. FIRST foreign country you went to? Mexico

19. FIRST movie you remember seeing? ET or Star Trek II Wrath of Kahn, can't remember which.

20. When was your FIRST detention? Never detention, got in lots of trouble though.

22. Who was your FIRST roommate? A guy who called himself Stoner. And promptly got arrested and thrown out of school.

23. If you had one wish, what would it be? More wishes.

24. What is something you would learn if you had the chance? To play the bagpipes.

25. Did you marry the FIRST person to ask for your hand in marriage? No, but I did marry the FIRST girl I asked. Stupid.

26. What was the first sport that you were involved in? Track.

27. What were the first lessons you ever took? I never took any outside of school.

28. What is the first thing you do when you get home? Let the dog out.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sister crashes brother's photo shoot in her pajamas...

6 months