Thursday, July 31, 2008

Until the mother...

Leaving the parking lot at work today I saw a beat up tercel with vinyl lettering on the back windshield - MEXICANO HASTA LA MADRE - 100%. It was almost as cool as the car with huge old english (now 'gangsta') style lettering I had seen weeks ago declaring "COROLLA".

Found it

My favorite T-Shirt ever. My uncle gave me this when iwas 3 or 4 years old. I'm totally having this made again, for adult Ram.

Reunited, and yeah, it feels so good.

Well, after a couple of miserable months of misery my baby and I are back together. It was a rough time for me, but it feels good to know that once again, things are as they should be, and we will never be parted again.

Yes folks, I got my Scout back, and that my friends, is a good thing. It had been stuck for two months, all by it's lonesome in the wasteland and wilderness they call Grants, New Mexico. The only saving grace for that town is it's proximity to about the nicest U-haul franchisee around, (but she's actually in Milan, so it really doesn't even improve Grants' case) I think the U-haul lady was named Dottie. In any case, while completing my move from Utah to Texas, the ol' Scout decided to take a little break and commune with the common folk in NM for a while. But this weekend I went back to pick it up, and it truly hasn't been happier- it's running like the beast it is.

My brother, Rick accompanied me on this mission, and we had a heck of a time. Truth be told, we raised hell, and ain't apologizing fer it! One of our stops was at the Billy the Kid Museum in Fort Sumner, NM. We communed with the Kid and let the outlaw spirit pierce us to the very core.

We headed to Lubbock, TX for a meeting with renowned International Shaman/Renaissance man 'Mike' to talk shop and get some some ideas on how to help the Scout last forever. Believe me, his knowledge was expansive. I was sad I only had a few minutes in town to swap ideas, but I did get some panels to replace the parts that had rusted out on the Scout, so at some point, that baby WILL look like new again. We passed through some strange sounding towns on the way, like Zuzax, Muleshoe, and Texico, where across the state line in Farwell, TX, gasoline could be purchased for 3.62 a gallon. It made me proud to be a Texan again. Rick noticed a town called Taiban, NM and while I thought it sounded like some newfangled workout program, Ricky made the astute observation that it would suck if someone were to stick an 'L' between the A and the I on that town's signs.

"That was the ugliest horse I've ever seen"

Was what I thought as we drove into Mason, TX. It was so orange looking, and shaggy. And it was just waddling around in the middle of the road.

Until I finally swerved to miss hitting it and realized I was evading contact with a llama! It was like 1:30 in the morning and this llama is just kickin' it on the streets of Mason, TX. I didn't know if it was cool or sad that this was occurring , and finally decided it was probably both.

Later that night we had to stop and ask for directions as highway 87 promptly turned into a neighborhood and came to a T intersection. When we asked the rather toothless gas station attendant the way to go, she gladly obliged with directions and added " Y'all better watch out fer them cops, they's jerks. - They see a license plate whu don't say Brady on it, they, gon' stop you an give ya ticket, say yer tailights out." Fortunately no such thing happened, but at least we heeded the warnings of the local folk and drove within the permissible speed limit. If I had to guess, the young lady's name, I'd say it had to be Starla or Brandine. No offense to any Starlas or Brandines perusing this blog, of course.

I finally made it home and then to church to find out that a guy at my local church congregation has a man-crush on me. He went so far as to tell me in the few times he had talked to me that he thought I was an "amazing guy". It was a little weird, and I don't know why, but hearing that made me want to reciprocate a bit. Takes one to know one, I guess.

I went to a meeting on emergency preparedness tonight. It's good, because it is now officially hurricane season in Houston. We listened for ways to stock up on supplies, and how to properly evacuate town and how to subsist off of household furniture and fixtures after the food is gone. For correctly answering a question about wildfires, I won my choice out of a grab-bag of emergency preparedness goodies - I chose a 5 to 7 day supply of toilet paper (depending on your average usage,) and attached to it was a chapstick size container of advil. Yippee!

As I left to my car to leave, I found this Alonzo Mourning basketball card from 1995 on the ground in nearly mint condition. I'm trying to figure out what it means still, but I'm having trouble coming up with anything, so I guess I'll just pray about it.

peace out, yo

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The truth about Junkyard Dogs

I took a walk this Sunday morning around my old neighborhood. Birds were chirping. A slight, cool breeze could be felt, and the whole place just seemed somewhat, and oddly enough, natural.

The sky was beautiful, and the air was slightly misty and cool. As I turned the corner eastward, toward Randolph Air Force Base, a pair of dogs charged the fence toward me, snarling and growling at the potential intruder.

But I was perfectly calm. Not even a bit frightened, or nervous. I walked up toward them with amusement in my face, knowing fully well they were capable of doing some damage to my digits. I reached my hand out to them, because I felt, and knew for some reason, that they would not harm me. And sure enough, they simply wanted to make friends - now, they kept barking, and snarling and generally sounding like they wanted to rip me apart. But they didn't so much as snap at me. You know this is true because I am able to type this, and I assure you, I am not typing with my feet.

Inside every junkyard dog lives the spirit of a puppy, who wants to play and be friends with everyone he meets. Even if it is now his job to scare the daylights out of everyone who dares to approach their fences.

I wouldn't reccomend just offering your hand to any old dog, though.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Suicide Stinkbomber

So I was sitting at church the other day waiting for basketball to start and a lady siting there with three kids has to go into an interview as she is preparing to join the church. She is a Spanish speaker, and I offer to watch the kids so the interview can be done in relative peace and quiet.

The kids turn out to be an interesting bunch. The oldest, Jennifer is 11 and very intelligent and reserved. The youngest, Melvin, is mischievous - 5 years old and full of energy. The middle child happens to have something in common with me as his name is Armando. He tells me he is from outer space, and I sorta believed him. It takes about 30 seconds to establish some trust with them.

Turns out that was the worst mistake I made that night. As I'm busy telling the kids how much fun they'll have going to activities, and playing volleyball and soccer in the churchs' gym area, Armando was busy preparing a stink-bomb, which he threw in my direction right as momma was heading out from the interview and all had to get up. I see the kids rush toward her, smell rotten eggs, and hear Armando giggling, and the jig was up. I was ready to wallop the little hellion right in front of the future member of the fold. I shook my fist at him and couldn't help but grin. He had won the battle, but when he's stuck being a donkey in the church Christmas play, I'll be the one having the last laugh.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

'Good luck is with you this month"

That's what I pulled out of the pocket of some long forgotten jeans. - Jeans I have absolutely NO recollection of ever having eaten chinese food in. Right as I was dealing with the fallout of what at the beginning of this month, I thought was the worst thing that could have happened to me. crrrazyyy!.

I talked to this guy the other day who was a former minister, active head of habitat for humanity in his community, head of the kiwanis group of the same community, 80 yrs. old, and who had a PhD in gerontology. Absolutely one of the most engaging people I've ever met. I just wanted to talk more to him after that conversation. It was a joy. and I thought, if anything, that's a goal in life to shoot for- to be a joy to talk to.

I also struck up a conversation with Blanca, a Colombian neighbor who lives with her brother here in my apartment complex. She offered to help as I moved a bookshelf down stairs I must have looked pretty ridiculous trying to move that thing, because It felt like it was wrapped right around me. I have to admit I tried several different ways to carry that thing down, so she must have had a good laugh before offering to help. It felt good (and weird) to actually talk to a neighbor.

Monday, July 14, 2008

taking a Prince of Persia to the apothecary....

I'm driving home from church this Sunday with all kinds of questions in my head:
What should I make to eat?
Why is it so hot out here?
Why haven't I got my air conditioning in my car fixed?
What is that old guy doing? - Man, is he old.
Why is his left arm all crooked?
Is he waiving me over? Is he having a heart attack?

Nah, he wasn't waiving me over. Oh well, I thought - I hope he's ok.

I proceed, only to look in my rear view mirror and see that yes, indeed, he was waiving me over. I thought to myself, this guy has got be having a heart attack. I pull back toward him, open my window, and ask if I can help. One word was his reply, in a thick, labored accent.


OH CRAP, I think, this guy who doesn't know any English is going to die right in my car! What a Sunday! What mess! It sure will be tough to enjoy my grilled chicken and steamed broccoli and carrots now, knowing that this guy just died on me.

But I was overreacting - He continued on and said, "Need medicine"

I opened the car door and let him in, and he promptly asked my name - His happened to be Ahmed. I don;t know if I'm spelling it right, but that's how it sounded. He asked where i was from, and told me he was from Iran. I tried not to make a big deal about the arm, it turned out that it was just an old injury at second glance. There was a pharmacy a couple blocks away, and he decided it was just too hot to walk the whole way. In trying to make small talk, I mentioned having read A Thousand Splendid Suns, which at least partly took place in Tehran, from my recollection. He totally ignored my attempt at connecting with his background and asked my family name. Then he offered up this gem - "I used to be mayor of Tehran"

'Great', I thought 'he's positively insane'.

I offered to stay and take him back to his home after he got his medicine. He offered a hearty handshake and wished well to me and my family.

It's not everyday you get to chauffer around a Babylonian king, so I decided to google it, and now I wish I would have asked his family name.

This is a list of Mayors of Tehran:

Gholamreza Nikpey
Gholamhossein Karbaschi (1988-1998)
Morteza Alviri (1999-2002)
Mohammad Hasan Malekmadani-(2002-2003)
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2003-2005)
Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf (since 2005)

Having read that, i can only assume he was the guy right before Gholamreza Nikpey.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fare thee well, ad box

I have decided to disavow myself of my TV. Getting ready to get back to studying, and remembering the fact that I don't really want a TV in my living room have spurred this decision. It's funny how important it seemed to have full resolution imaging and 9000 channels to watch, but man, I suspect that everyone just watches one or two things once in a while and the rest of the time we watch mildly interesting stuff that edifies us in no way - except for Jeopardy and Run's House, of course.

But it's long been time to put away the toys and put the tools to work. My books have been sitting in storage, and that just isn't right. I'm guessing it might be tougher for me once a tad bit of boredom sets in, especially since I have forgotten to make any friends since my move to Houston, but that's the breaks. I think I might come out better for this. In any case, between youtube and whatnot on the web, I don't rightly think I'll miss anything.

But, uhhh. let me know if anything good is on, K?