Monday, December 31, 2007

Some Baby Stuff


Thanks to Grandfather and Cora for the lovely crib set, and thanks to "Mimi" for the beautiful crib. I set it up yesterday and it looks really nice and cozy. We'll be doing the rest of the room when my mom gets back from Atlanta this coming weekend. I think we have the beginnings of a really lovely nursery.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Food


Simply put, we've had way too much of the stuff for the past two weeks. God, I'm full.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas


Happy Christmas! We'll be in New Mexico this year - our last Christmas as a family of 2. I am off for a week and a half, and I have no idea what to do with myself. Maybe it's time to set up a nursery of some kind. Hmm.
Haven't been doing a lot of fun touristy stuff lately. We did go to a talk at the Albuquerque Museum on Sunday to hear about the Italian immigrant community here in town. It was alright, though not quite as formal a lecture as I was expecting - more the reminiscences of a mature gentleman whose grandfathers both came over from Tuscany in the early 1900s.
Mostly we've been eating a lot, celebrating early Christmas with my mom before she heads back to Houston to see my brother.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Thanksgiving





Forgot to post some pictures of Thanksgiving. Had a lovely time up at Dad's new cabin in Glorieta. On Turkey Day, it was pretty warm - about 60 degrees at the high. Overnight, however, we got some snow. Actually, we got a heluva lot of snow. I think we got about a foot by the time we left. Getting out of Glorieta was its own adventure, but I don't really want to spend a lot of time with that.
Dad prepared a fabulous bird. We convinced him to buy an "all natural" number, something not injected with god-knows-what, not raised in a small cage, etc. It was absolutely the best bird I've ever eaten.
We went for a nice walk down dad's street the next day in the snow. My mom, who is from Buffalo, NY and therefore no stranger to the white stuff, exclaimed that she had never seen snow like that before. It was beautiful powder - would have made for some great skiing.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hollywood Comes to Albuquerque

So, uh...

Pro-

- Impromptu trips downtown become bouts with the surreal when the path to the bar is strewn with styrofoam rubble and every car on the block is a crushed, burnt-out husk.


Con-

- The word "Tamalewood" is bandied about.

- The emotional climax to No Country for Old Men is ruined when a pivotal scene takes place at the Desert Sands Motel (which is exactly three blocks from my house), and I'm busy looking for the sign for my favorite Vietnamese restaurant instead of noticing that an important character just got slaughtered.


- The city I love bears some responsibility for Transformers.

And the cons have it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tent Rocks (Kasha-Katuwe)


On Sunday, we went back to Tent Rocks... or rather, "Kasha-Katuwe." I haven't been out there since I first came to visit New Mexico, and Ty showed me all the best parts to get me to move here. After this return visit, it's not hard to see why I was so captivated by the place.

Basically, at the center of the Jemez mountain range there is one truly enormous volcano, the Valles Caldera. In the past (hundreds of thousands of years in the past) when the thing has blown it's pretty much devastated the surrounding several-hundred-mile area.

The tent rocks started out as layer after layer of ash falling from the sky as a result of the Caldera blowing. Great big granite boulders were also blasted forth from the eruption, and they landed on and in the ash. So, after centuries of erosion, what was left were these lovely, cone-shaped formations in the pumice, topped off by the boulders, like caps.

We had a great time hiking in the area. Almost made it to the top of the overlook... almost! Even dad did great, considering he came from sea level only 2 days before. Got a bunch of lovely shots on my flikr page... click here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pregnant pictures



Marysa wanted a belly shot. So here're two. Ty took these over the weekend at dad's cabin in Glorieta.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Grapple

grapple

I saw one in the supermarket yesterday. I could smell it from six feet away, an odd, hard candy stench like a purple jolly rancher. Not, I must emphasize, like a grape, nor, for that matter, like an apple.

My theory is this: we have failed at mass producing apples that taste like apples and this is the obvious solution. Perhaps we should soak them in artificial apple taste. Actually, I'm surprised that hasn't been tried yet.

Monday, November 05, 2007

My dogs





Even though they are royal pains in the ass, I love my dogs. They are unruly, disruptive, undisciplined, uneducated heathens. They distribute hair on every imaginable surface of my house. They bark at anything that moves outside (in particular, one barks at birds as they fly overhead).
And I'm the stupid idiot who loves them.
*sigh*

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

OMG SANTA FE GHOST

At long last, the existence of spectral, otherworldly entities has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Yes, the world's first video camera footage of a ghost has hit the internet, and it comes from no less haunted a locale than Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Watch, dear reader, and know that there are, indeed, more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy:




For instance, there are, undeniably, fuzzy bits of something-or-other that float near cars in federal building parking lots.

(Just for today, I'm going to pretend that this hasn't been debunked yet.)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

This Weekend

took the dogs to the river, startled some sort of giant crane that has descended en masse into the bosque...

had a halloween party, carved pumpkins and bobbed for apples, pretended we were werewolves...

got lost in a maze, was saved by corn...

searched for a restaurant on the basis of a photo of pancakes, turned back at a $9.50 price tag.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Balloon Fiesta, Finally

Okay, I finally got some time to sort through the 200-something photos we took at Albuquerque's Balloon Fiesta. All-in-all, it was a pretty incredible spectacle, and we're all glad that we went, but man, the traffic was horrific going in and going out. In fact, after sitting in a traffic clog in the parking lot for about an hour, Courtney wound up placing a call on the non-emergency police number, which is a story in itself, but one that has to be delivered in person for the full effect. Still, the sight of over 1000 balloons lifting off all around you is a truly fantastic thing to see, utterly dreamlike in fact. Everyone was so giddy as these balloons were sprouting up from the field like toadstools and flying away (unlike toadstools) it was like we all regressed to pre-teens and started running around like we'd had too many bowls of froot loops on a Saturday morning.

Anyway, here's a link to the photoset on flickr, just click under the picture of the giant green goofy-ass German thing:



Balloon Fiesta 2007!

But to really give you a good idea of what it was like, we here at Radio Free have pushed the limits of our media enterprise and FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER uploaded a VIDEO TO YOU TUBE! Yes, we are now officially VLOGGERS as well as BLOGGERS. But don't worry, this isn't a video of me screaming incoherently into the camera about Britney Spears, but a pretty cool little clip of a balloon lifting off. If you've got the time, watch the whole thing (about a minute and a half I think), because I really think it gives you a decent idea of the scale of the festival.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Today I learned

That this site is the #2 entry for the search term "40,000 skulls".


Perhaps this post will put me over the top?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

This is new

In every sense of the word.

newface

Friday, October 12, 2007

My God, I Have a Backlog

The backlog for this site currently includes about a billion pictures from balloon fiesta. I should get that up early next week.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

More Baby Stuff

I have created a baby registry on amazon.com. It seems safe to do it at this point. Honestly, I have very little idea of what I am going to need, so if you have recommendations, I am very VERY happy to get them. Leave a comment!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Tubercuquerque

Just a heads up that there's a new article on my other site: Forgotten Albuquerque

I'll be doing three articles about the tuberculosis immigration into the city, so this is kind of a big deal for all of you TB fans.

Enjoy.

Things that go "bump"

It moved! I swear I felt something move, and no... this time it was not gas.
In the past two days, I occasionally feel what is kind of like a muscle twitch directly under my navel. It "twitches" two or three times, then stops - just in time for Ty to get his hand on my belly.
Got my first set of maternity pants yesterday at Other Mothers, a resale shop carrying maternity and children's clothing and a whole lot of baby stuff. The pants are great! I got jeans that I don't have to unbutton whenever I sit down, and some nice black pants to wear to work.
The kid seems to be growing nicely, based on the fact that I constantly look like I just ate way too much. I've been insisting it's just bloat for about a week now, but my case seems to be getting weaker by the day. We'll have another ultrasound next Monday to see whether the placenta previa has corrected itself. My midwife is very encouraged by my complete lack of symptoms during the past three weeks. Keep you fingers crossed!
In the event that the previa remains, the sonographer will also do a Doppler test for placenta accreta, a condition wherein the placenta has completely lodged itself into scar tissue, or in my case into the not-so-flexible lower part of the uterus. If this is the case for me, it would mean a C-section and the possibility of a hysterectomy to stop the hemorrhaging that may occur. We hope that we don't have an accreta.
We'll try to get a video of the next ultrasound. The sonographer has instructed me to bring (get this) a VHS tape to the appointment! Can you even buy a VHS tape anymore??

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Employment

The job I have or the job I want.
I have this job. It looks great on paper. In theory, it should be a great job. So why am I so unhappy with it right now?
I know that no job is perfect. Things don't always go according to plan, and the only way to ensure that almost every possible scenario has been anticipated, planned for, and added to the policy&procedure manual is to work for a huge bureaucracy that drains its employees of the need for independent thought and creativity.
The problem with my job right now: it often (very, very often) seems that nothing has been anticipated, that there is NO plan in place, and we are every day guessing and blindly moving forward.
I understand being comfortable in ambiguity. I understand flexibility and creativity. I don't understand a complete lack of strategic planning coupled with a flippant attitude that "everything will just work out."
I am getting nervous. I no longer have a specific, clearly defined goal: recruit sites for participation in the study. I've done this. Now, my job involves scheduling. The problems: what am I supposed to be scheduling? How long does each event last? Do we have staff available to complete the task? Nobody seems to know. At any rate, I have to get it done by this week.
ugh.

Friday, September 28, 2007

This Weekend

1. Make beer.
2. Dixon Apple Festival (will this really happen?)
3. Move stuff into the following in-law places
-Denise's new apt.
-Denise's storage unit.
-David's new house.
4. Finish the things I start.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Embarrasment

I'm writing an article for the other blog about the old sanataria in Albuquerque, which means I've been going out and taking pictures of architectural artifacts around town. Today, using only an old picture as a guide, I managed to find a beautifully preserved complex, absolutely pristine in fact. So, I start snapping some pictures, then head over to a door marked "Second Chances" with some office hours listed. I knock, the intercom responds in a tone of suspicion. I explain that I noticed giant smokestack sticking out of the house, and wondered if anyone knew anything about the history of the place. Intercom lady responds in exasperation that she doesn't know anything about that. Okay, I say, and resume my picture taking. A moment later, a woman comes out and asks me again what I want. I tell her, and she says no one there can help me. Okay, I get the message, get back in my car, and drive off right when two security guards come around the corner. I wonder, briefly, if they're for my benefit.

I come home, look up the address and the name "Second Chances". Turns out that the building I've been skulking around and taking pictures of is a domestic violence shelter.

Oops.

:(

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Baby

Baby baby baby baby... crib, bottle, bassinet, onsies, burping cloth, receiving blanket.

Car Seat, stroller, mobile, diapers, bouncer, swing, sling, carrier, bath tub, boppy pillow.
Baby books, baby food, baby shampoo.......

Thursday, September 20, 2007

An Illness Spreads

It left Courtney, which is good news because she takes stomach pain the worst of anyone I've ever met, and now sends its destructive capsids careening into my intestinal lining. I think, judging by the speed it left Courtney, that the worst is over, the worst being the kind of 4am wake up call that makes for a very unpleasant tomorrow, but a headache and delicate stomach linger on.

It's a good day to hide inside though, clouds have swept in from who knows where (lord knows that we don't grow them around here,) and sporadic rain showers make the outside less than appealing. So, nothing better to do than sleep, update a blog and watch the new Battlestar Galactica, a show that is, so far, sadly lacking in robot dogs.


RIP Little Friend
I don't care what they say
I miss you

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Thurdsday

A real chill in the air this morning, the first real chill since May. Autumn, autumn, autumn.

Unfortunately, Courtney has come down with a stomach virus and is currently having no fun at all on the couch beside me.

Courtney's dad was in town this last weekend and officially closed on a house up in Glorieta (about 1.5 hours north of here) that sits on about 10 acres of land. It's a beautiful property, and the best part is that since he's not moving out for another couple of years, he'll need us to check in from time to time and make sure it hasn't been taken over by raccoons or something. Assuming Courtney's recovered health, we'll be heading up there this weekend to celebrate the anniversary (#4).

The new blog has garnered a surprising amount of interest: I've been getting about 140 unique visitors a day for the past three days. For comparison, this blog (RFB) will, on a good day, get about 8. Most of that traffic is due to it being plugged over on Duke City Fix. Unfortunately, the nature of the blog is such that I can't really put up new articles more than once every two weeks or so, so we'll see how long these new guys stick around. Still, the fact that it's getting some attention bodes well for the future.

Well, there you have it. A blog update.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Forgotten Albuquerque

So, the observant among you may have noticed a new link on the right side of the screen, under the heading "Mine." It's called "Forgotten Albuquerque" and it's a blog devoted to local history that I started to keep myself entertained during my off hours. It's been a lot of fun so far and I've had pretty good feedback on it so I'll probably keep it going for a while. If you find yourself possessed of a desire to learn odd minutia about Albuquerque's past, go ahead and check it out: Forgotten Albuquerque.

There's a few ads on it, and I've found them to be fairly successful, considering the youth of the web site itself, but it's also exposed a huge flaw in the google Adsense service. Most of the ads have been for Albuquerque real estate, or hotels, or some Southwest related vacation packages, which is exactly what I feel the adsense boxes should be showing. But check this entry out. An article about a toppled landmark on Route 66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico and what kind of ads do I get?

Background checks
Stun guns
Home personal protection
and my personal favorite: "Fun anti-abduction techniques"

What the Hell?

Seriously, look at this representative quote from one of the sites linked,

Who The Heck Is Lieutenant X...Why Is He Saying Such Nasty Things About Martial Arts And Self Defense...And Why On Earth Would He Want To Give Me His Terrifying Top Secret Training Hand-To-Hand Killing Course Absolutely Free?

I repeat: What the Hell?

So, anyway, I think about it and think about it and try to figure out why on earth adsense has decided that these services and products will appeal to readers who came for an article on a big rock that got blown up on Albuquerque's Route 66 extension. So I reread the article, and there it is: in a moment of rhetorical flourish I wrote "In a very real way, I-40 killed Elephant Rock, murdered it, in fact, needlessly and in cold blood."

Apparently, that one sentence is enough for the Google bot to say "Killed? Murdered? Cold blood? Why, these people need stun guns and fun anti-abduction techniques!" and dismiss all the rest of the content.

The real bitch of it is that this article is actually generating some traffic for me. I got linked on some Route 66 aficionado sites which has septupled my visitors. Unsurprisingly, they don't seem very interested in stun guns.

Or even fun anti-abduction techniques.

I think this post might make me sound more mercenary than I am. I'm certainly not doing this to make a million dollars or anything, I just thought that the crime related ads were an interesting quirk in the system.

Later: So, it turns out that there is a little trick that you can do to keep Adsense from seizing on irrelevant words, basically you put in some code that makes it ignore certain blocks of text. So, the problem is pretty much gone at this point.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Previa

We had our second ultrasound this week and I do, in fact, have a complete placenta previa - the placenta is completely covering the cervix. This is not necessarily a big concern at this point, but it does mean that we're going to have at least a few more ultrasounds during the pregnancy to see whether it's correcting itself.

In the end, if it doesn't move out of the way, this kid will absolutely be born via C-section. I am trying to convince myself that there are some benefits to that - no labor, knowing exactly when the kid is coming and being able to plan for work and everything, etc. Still, I gotta say I'm hoping it moves out of the way! I think it's probably a good idea to avoid surgery whenever possible.

Anyway, we got to see the kid again. We actually had a look at all vital organs and everything seems to be in the correct position and functioning properly. Kid measured 15 weeks and 2 days at this last ultrasound on Monday, which was "older" than our estimated gestational age. Technology is so nifty!

Monday, September 10, 2007

An Incremental Advance From Abstraction to Specificity

Floating midway between potential and actuality... this:

hand

A something, defining itself, giving us hints and stolen peeks as it rolls in primordial fluid.

profile

In six months we'll have a name, a gender, a face. In 15 years there will be stories and aspirations and events all lynch-pinned to a someone we haven't met yet. For now, there is expectation, and waiting.

face

It is incomplete. But it is coming.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Baby goings-on...

Ty scanned in the ultrasound images of the kid, and he will include these in his next post.
We should have some more for your within the next week, though I doubt the kid will look very much different after just 2 weeks. I've just had another ultrasound ordered to check for placenta previa, a not-too-uncommon condition where the placenta is partially or completely covering the cervix. 9 times out of 10, the condition corrects itself as the uterus expands upward and the placenta "moves" up and out of the way of the kid's escape route. If the condition is not corrected naturally, we may require a C-section.
I'm hoping for a natural correction.
At any rate, the diagnosis is a bit of a relief since we've been to the hospital three times in the past two weeks for some rather scary goings on. We were there for five hours tonight before the OB resident finally made her way into my triage room. It's a good thing she did finally show up - after three hours I got dressed and made to leave. Had to be soothed and ass-kissed by three nurses to get me to stay. You see, I hadn't eaten anything since lunch and here it was 8:00 p.m. Thank god the hospital has a sandwich shop in it.

Job

Yesterday, I worked at my new job for 12 hours. Here's how that breaks down: five hours in the car, four hours sitting in a gazebo in a park in Tucumcari, NM, three hours measuring and weighing three-year olds. I have to say, sitting in the gazebo was by far the hardest part of the job, and, indeed, I couldn't do it the whole time. Eventually I had to leave my coworkers and explore downtown Tucumcari.

Here's what I discovered:

- A photographer's shop with pictures of the local Homecoming Dance side-by-side with pictures of a tornado-destroyed (this is a guess, it could have been Godzilla-destroyed, for all I know) trailer park.
- The Freemasons maintain the nicest building in downtown Tucumcari (duh, because they control everything).
- A shop window with 15 bullet holes in it.
- Tucumcari's original name was "Six Shooter Siding". They should have stuck with it.
- Most of downtown Tucumcari is in a Sad State.

So, that's my job. I weigh and measure three year olds in rural communities and Indian Pueblos/Reservations throughout the state for a UNM research project (actually, the same research project that Courtney is working on). It's certainly not a hard job, and there is an initial interest factor in heading out to some of these places (NOT Tucumcari), so It Will Work For Now.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Obnoxious Day

Some sort of crummy Labor Day Hangover sans the usual prelude of intoxication.. And I even had today off as well, so by all rights I should have enjoyed myself. But I didn't.

We spent the weekend with friends, some rediscovered. Isaac is one of the first people I met when I moved out here about 10 years ago (good god), and who should I discover living a mere two blocks from us but him, his wife Maya, and their two year old son? They grow corn in their back yard and he produces folk art for the various markets that spring up around here, she teaches children at the school for the visually impaired just up the street. We had dinner with them on Saturday, played a game of Settlers of Catan (with extra randomization via two-year old earthquake generator), had a good time.

On Sunday I found a rock I'd been looking for (more on that later, probably), and then we went with Regis up into the Manzano Mountains and discovered how out of shape we all are. Maybe that's what did it, too much physical exercise flooded my body with toxins that bonded to the pernicious coffee molecules and formed some super feelin'shitty chemical brew.

Probably.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Coffee Vs. Tea

Tea wants to help you, tea wants to live inside you and make you a better person. Coffee wants to kick your ass out of bed.

Today I'm drinking coffee.

Labor Day morning and Courtney and I have no Union oriented activities scheduled for today. In fact, we have nothing scheduled for today. Maybe, just maybe, I'll get down to a copy place and scan in the Real Ultrasound shots, but that's not really a plan so much as simply an idle thought.

Courtney's paying bills, because she's a good person and believes that they should be paid. We've got somewhere between 1.5 and 1.75 of an income now, and that makes bills a little easier to stomach.

I haven't really written about my new job yet, and I don't think I will right now. I don't have much of a feel for it yet, to tell the truth. So, maybe later.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Q

Now, I freely admit that I'm not the best person to determine how cool something is, but even I know that having a stodgy, city government toady declare that a new nickname/branding effort is "hip" is probably one of the best ways to ensure that it, well... isn't.





Via the crazy kids at Soy De Burque.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Whoozit

If at first you don't succeed...



We are expecting a kid! Assuming all goes well, said kid will join us in early March (estimated date of arrival: 3/6/08). I am 13 weeks pregnant today, and we had an early screen ultrasound yesterday. The image revealed a twitching, kicking, thrashing little being who gave the ultrasonographer some problems getting her measurements. Took us over an hour to get the screening done - which was no real problem as we sat captivated by the wriggling image on the monitor. I personally enjoyed watching it "gulp" amniotic fluid. That was nifty!



We do not know what sex the kid is, nor will we find out until it joins us in the world, so until that time my mom is calling it "Whoozit" (which Ty occasionally alternates with "Whoozette").



I only got tiny prints of images - nothing in electronic format - but the kid looks something like this.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pictures!

Hey everyone! Here are some random pictures from New Mexico! I've posted a few here, but you can look at the whole set (and view it like a slideshow and zoom in and so forth) here

Our House
Our living room.

Denise and Courtney

Courtney and her mom in downtown Albuquerque. Denise came to visit for a few days and then decided to move out here. She's coming in mid-September.

Courtney and Dogs

Courtney giving the dogs some water on one of our many hikes.

One Tree Cliff

A tree on a cliff in the Jemez mountains. We camped near it.

Glorieta Car

A hulk of car we came across on a hike up to a ghost town. Naturally, it's riddled with bullet holes.

Chilili

There are a lot of strange towns in the New Mexico mountains. I have a friend who's a cop in the East Mountain area, and I asked him about Chilili. "They think they're their own country," he said. "We pretty much leave them alone."

Near Tesuque

Mountains and sky on the road from Santa Fe to Taos.

Road to Taos

Great place to live. If you like living on the Moon.


So, there you go: as promised, random pictures from New Mexico. That's only about a third of what I've got in the flickr photo set, so if you want to see more,go to it!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

This Week There Was Hell

This week, there was Hell, carried on the wind from California. 350 square miles of wildfire near Santa Barbara sent smoky tendrils to wreath around our city. They came and coalesced and settled in a stagnant August heat, turning our horizon a sooty, Los Angelesque brown, inflaming sinuses and tempers.

Albuquerque is not known for being a beautiful city, but one feature that we rely on to make up for the dingy streets of the metropolis is the ever-present sight of Sandia Mountain standing crisp and huge against a perfect sky. To look east and see our mountain hazy and indistinct in an oppressive smog is heartbreaking.

For two days the cloud squatted on us as the temperatures soared to the low 100s. Then, last night at about 1AM, the wind started to roar. Today we awoke to the return of our beloved sky, and a hope that summer may end after all.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Whims of the Domiwaitrex

Over at Mannie's Diner, a greasy student ghetto standard with good pancakes but NOT (despite the marquee's claims otherwise) "great huevos rancheros", the Domiwaitrex rules with a bloodied iron fist. In her 50s, her body is beaten into shape, much like Madonna's or pre-epiphany Jamie Lee Curtis, and her face is a perpetual sneer pulled tight by a brutal pony-tail. Sunday morning is the time to see her in her savage glory, slinging french toast and insults, the path between her section and the kitchen an encierro of the South West. Ordering from her is a Soup Nazi-esque nightmare, her words are clipped, questions are answered only with a whithering, scornful glare, and the slightest hesitancy in decision making will result in her immediate disappearance and a ten minute wait to try again.

Courtney and I love her.

We make pilgrimages to see her. We don't say "Let's go to Mannie's," we say "Let's go watch the Domiwaitrex." We always sit in her section, and the resultant entertainment is invariably the high point of the day as she reduces newcomers to tears and tosses regulars out on their asses.

But this Sunday, something unexpected and unsettling occurred.

Somehow, and this really is a bit of a problem, she took a liking to us.

I say "somehow", but I know how. You see, we've watched her long enough, sat in her section enough times, that we know how to behave. And this Sunday, in a fit of inspiration, we ordered by number.

"Oh," she said, a peculiar, un-Domiwaitrix like giddiness creeping into her normally stern voice. "Why can't all my customers be so efficient?"

We were shocked. And even more so when our food came out less than five minutes later, and, as we noted, well ahead of the couple across the aisle from us who had been seated well before we were.

"Efficient customers get their meals served efficiently," she cooed.

Needless to say, we were terrified. The vampire was inviting us 'round for a few boardgames. The scorpion was sweetly asleep in our lap. The werewolf had brought us our slippers.

We ate quickly, tipped well, and left.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Regarding Chile

At the flea market they were roasting chile, iron mesh drums hand rotated above naked flame, chile smoke filling the air with an acrid, wholesome smell. This is the real sign that autumn is coming, that soon things will cool down and the light will turn golden. But there is no cause for relief quite yet, the chile is only Hatch, after all.

Yes, only Hatch chile. If you know much about chile, but live outside the state, it may surprise you to hear the Hatch is hardly the gourmand's choice when it comes to chiles. Hatch is, after all, the green chile capital of the world, and in terms of quantity, it can't be beat. Additionally, it is, as far as I know, the only town that consistently and reliably exports its crop to other states, to the extent that chile verde is popularly referred to as Hatch chile in ignorant places like Texas. But at the end of the day, it's a workhorse chile, flavorful and spicy enough to form the backbone of chile consumption in those long months between harvest seasons, and to give lost New Mexicans in other places some nostalgic remembrance of the real stuff. But, by no means should it be considered the finest New Mexico has to offer.

For that, you must look to the North. Almost every small Northern New Mexican town has its own chile fields, and when those harvests come in, let your mouth water. There is a variety of flavor and heat that can please the tongue, and the myriad strains refined over centuries in the mountains of Northern New Mexico provide a cornucopia for the sampling. My own favorite remains the chile from Chimayo, never too hot, but emphasizing a deep and wholesome flavor. Sadly, there is never enough for export, not even down to Albuquerque, and pilgrimages must be arranged if you want your green fresh and delicious.

It is safe to say that Autumn is why we moved back here. Soon the air will be crisp, the aspens in the mountains will burst into colors, and the air will fill with the smells of the real chile harvest. Until then, the smells of roasting Hatch bring a sweet anticipation that will ease our way through the last heats of summer.

Friday, July 20, 2007

House of Usher

So, it turns out... ha ha, funny story... that our house is currently sinking into a swamp of its own making. Joe, the hippie home-repair superman, emerged from the crawlspace yesterday covered in mud and looking even more like a wookie than usual. See, there are leaks, lots of leaks, and every time he fixes a leak another leak happens. Not sure when this started, but it's been there long enough for a batch of mosquitoes to spawn and mature and come hungrily buzzing up through our ventilation system, this being the first indication that something was desperately wrong. New Mexico has mosquitoes, sure, but down by the river where they belong and are easily avoided, if the plateau becomes their home, look to your crawlspace, friend.

The upshot is that poor Joe has met his match, and the despair in his grizzled face is heartbreaking. The further up upshot is that the water must remain shut off lest the earth swallow us whole, and we have acquired refugee status until a... er... no offense, Joe... *real* plumber can come swooping in to save the day.

To Santa Fe! And to the safety!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Loyola's

See, there's this place called Loyola's that's been on Central Avenue since, I don't know, 1900 and their huevos rancheros kicks ass. But that's not the point. Here's the point:

The waitress said, "I hate it when there's too much month at the end of the money."

And I laughed.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Too late

11:35pm. Monday night. 2 weeks after the "appropriate" time. Bottle rockets and anger.

This Just In

Everyone on the internet has Asperger's Syndrome.



Just like everyone at my high school was bipolar. And all the kindergarteners have ADD.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Glass Harmonica RIP

Actually, the last post explains the death of Glass Harmonica. See, if you put your stuff on the 'net in any form, even your own ridiculous blog that no one looks at, it's considered "publishing". Meaning that I can no longer "offer 1st North American Serial Rights" to people who want them. So there's a dilemma: I can put stuff that sucks on Glass Harmonica, or I can put stuff that's good and then not submit it anywhere. Or I can close it and maybe revisit it in the future as a site for my unpublishable good stuff, like my extensive collection of Gremlins fan fiction. So, it's gone for now, but resting, maybe it'll be back, I dunno.

Also, HP and EAP are uh... on hiatus I guess. Maybe they'll be back in the future too. Maybe not. Maybe they'll live only in my dreams... sigh...

Words

Today, for the first time, I wrote certain words that I hope to become very familiar with-

"I, Ty Bannerman, extend the release of my work, "Staying the Night," to June 1, 2008, of 1st North American Serial Rights to _______________. Today is July 11, 2007."

Now, I don't know how that "of 1st North American Serial Rights" fits into the grammatic scheme of the sentence, but I don't write the material, folks, I just sign the dotted line.

Withholding name of publication as it'll be a while before anything happens, and trust me, these things tend to drop like flies.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Person

Strange to be a specific nineteen year old, that uncomfortable mixture of self-assuredness and ignorance. Just hunker down and wait.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Clouds

Today I'm one of those people. The ones who type away on a computer while sitting in a coffee shop.

Why? It gives structure to the day. If I stay home all day, my brain melts into the cracks of the walls, and the distractions from my various forms of "work" grow stronger with each hour. Getting out, well, it gives you a lynch pin, something to hang your day around.

So, yes, unemployed still. Various temp agencies have my number, I've take a test to bring me closer to teaching certification. But, on the other hand, I've been extremely productive when it comes to the "work"-work. Stories are coming out of me at a shocking rate, stories that I'm pretty happy with.

And the clouds roll in over the mountains.

Oh, new Comic here. The boys enjoy their supper, BUT AT WHAT COST?!?!? AT WHAT COST?!?!?

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Weather

Cause you want to know...

Mornings are cool, windows stay open and walks to the bakery around the corner are pleasant-to-chilly. Noon is still nice, but the sun's a bit too bright and the outside world is blinding. Two o'clock, the heat begins, close the windows, close the curtains, keep the cool air inside. 4 to 6, stay inside, there's nothing out there that's worth it, for god's sake, don't get in the car, it's a kiln. 7, sit outside because the breeze is cool and the mountain is starting to glow, the air in the house is now stuffy, but the patio's lovely and a beer is perfect. 9 o'clock, it's too chilly to enjoy the night, back inside, windows are open now. Sleep goes in the following order: no sheets and keep the dog on the floor, pull the sheets over yourself, than the comforter, let the dog back up, morning.





HP Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe are having an argument! OH NO!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day

In celebration of Memorial Day, I'm going to post song lyrics. They're from the best example of the admittedly limited genre of Memorial Day songs, Memorial Day by James McMurtry:


Daddy’s in the big chair sippin’ on a cold beer
Grandma’s cuttin’ a switch
She overheard Mary cussin’ her brother
Called him a son of a bitch
She got a good green limb off a sweet gum sapling
Man that’s bound to sting

But Mary don’t cry just stands there and takes it
Doesn’t seem to feel a thing
No Mary don’t cry, you know she’s a big girl
Wonder what made her so mad
She takes those licks looking in through the den door
Staring right straight at her dad

It's Memorial Day in America
This is how it’s supposed to be
Let’s remember our fallen heroes
In the land of the free


I can't think of another song that so succinctly sums up the horror of an extended-family get-together.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Better! And new comic

Thank god for antibiotics. I'm back on my feet and able to eat solid foods! And, er... manipulate digital images. Sort of.

New comic here: http://younghpandeap.blogspot.com

I owe you at least one, so I'll try to have the next installation up on Wednesday as per normal.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hello, Hydrocodone

So, Monday night was the fever's time of glory: 103.5, just .5 shy of ER territory. Cool washcloths were draped and brief visions were had, Office Space was more entertaining than it has any right to be, and the night passed. The strep test came back negative, and Tuesday went by, feverish still, but declining to evaporation in the evening.

And here my troubles began. Graphic description of mouth trauma to follow.

I have a wisdom tooth that's been poking out for years, hardly any trouble, just a slightly more difficult terrain for the toothbrush, but yesterday afternoon the virus teamed up with some opportunistic bacteria and began an assault using the tooth as Omaha Beach. Tissues began to swell and other more repulsive effects that I will not mention. Last night I had to keep my teeth clamped tight to stop the gum tissue from swelling between my upper and lower jaws and preventing me from closing my mouth without pain and blood. One of the worst nights, pain wise, I've had, because ibuprofen was no longer cut out for the job it had. So, natch, the doctor again today.

He was very excited to look in mouth, and called in other doctors to witness the grotesquerie therein. Then sent me off to the ENT clinic, where I finally got some antibiotics and sweet, sweet hydrocodone. Which is even now sending me into a soft revery of analgesia. And the clumsy typing that goes along with it.

Night night, all.

Monday, May 14, 2007

101.9!!!

The weekend's record.

Infectious

Temp hovering at 100.8-.9, flirting with 101. Went to the doctor this morning. Taught me to stare at a light to avoid gagging when he shoves a swab down the throat. Test is fecundifying in some glass jar, turning pink or red or black or whatever. Seems likely that it's The Strep.

So, huddled inside on a couch, shivering. Courtney obtained retarded movies perfect for a fevered brain.

I'll just melt here for a day or two.


BR

B

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Swollen Lymph Node

I have one, right side below the jaw. Swollen to the point of pain. And lesions in the back of the throat. This is why I have a blog: so that The World Can Know.

Back in Albuquerque, and every morning I wake up glad. The air is cleaner, drier. The ornamental plum trees are bearing ornamental plums and the feral War Zone roses are blossoming. It got up to 85 today, the first time it's cracked 75 since we got here, but the house is thick-walled and stays cool.

So, what is it, 2 weeks now? A little bit over? Two weeks and three days.

It's been a long year, but my guard is coming down a bit now.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Newness

The link above is to the new Young HP and EAP, which I swear I posted yesterday, just didn't get around to mentioning it until today...


Well...

Friday, May 04, 2007

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

New comic here.

In the new house, now, piggybacking on the neighbor's wireless until we get the scratch to buy our own modem (sorry Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Nextdoor), the number of packed up boxes is vastly depleted, though still too many for a comfortable homey feeling. The deal with this place is this: it's under construction. We have stuccoers (those who perform the act of stuccoing)crawling over the roof, inspectors and electricians, and Joe.

Joe bears some mention. He's a wild haired, wild eyed New Mexico guy, meaning, of course, that he's from some other state entirely, who wears an arrow head on a string around his neck. He spends his days at odd angles in the house's crawlspace, clanking on pipes and uttering clench-toothed curses that, thanks to an accident of accoustics, sound like they're coming from inside my desk. The dogs, of course, were terrified by this at first, but have now grown bored with the whole phenomenon, and reserve their freak outs for his rare emergences from below.

The weather is beautiful, wonderfully cool in the evenings and mornings, a few afternoon storms washing away the dust... Glad to be here.

Oh, and the cryptic numerical sequence in the title? That's a number that's got everyone on the internet very worked up right now. I don't really know what it means. I just think it's pretty.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Hiatus

In the run up to the big move (the latest big move, any way), things are on hiatus for a little while. If I have time to overcome some technical ignorance I'll have the next Young HP Lovecraft and EAP up this week, but barring that, sometime in May is more likely.

So many things to exhaust one's self with.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

New HP and EAP

Er...

What the title says.

Right, so we're new at this whole web comic thing. And, for that matter, this whole comic thing. So we're making lots of mistakes.

Okay, I'll fess up, *I'M* making lots of mistakes. Most pertinently in the drawing-to-online-format thing. This week I was having a lot of trouble, a ridiculous amount of trouble, with the comic text. See, it looked great on the drawn page, but the scanner wasn't so hot, and it came out on just the wrong side of legible. Of course, the obvious solution of replacing handwritten lettering with cyber-font presented itself immediately, but I dismissed it because... well, handwriting, like real real handwriting, is just so much cooler, and I really like the organic feel to Courtney's text. Surely, I thought, there's some button or script or something that makes GIMP magically turn badly scanned handwriting into beautiful, crisp clear penmanship, and, while we're at it, maybe gives you a foot rub and bakes a cake on your birthday. 3 hours later, literally three hours of working on this man-vs-machine fiasco, I succumbed to the inevitable. My organic composition simply has isurmountable limits, i.e., my clicking finger hurt and my eyes were red. I had no choice really.

So, it is with a certain amount of shame that I admit that, for the near future anyway, it's safe to say that I'll be going the cheesy route with the lettering and let the robot do it.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Employed at last

Got the job in New Mexico!

Moving out to Albuquerque on April 5th. Start at UNM on April 9th. Holy cow.

Now... gotta find somebody to take this killer apartment we've got here so Ty can join me as soon as possible...

News and News

First off: new post on Glass Harmonica, this one a poem...

Second off, news. There's a Rumi poem, something about a "lover of leaving", and I'm beginning to feel like that. Except for the loving part. I like movement and being, but I'm tired of the leaving. So here's the deal, when we get there, we're staying for a while.

Where?

Oh, you know, back. Back to Albuquerque. A sort of sudden thing. All comes from my computer wallpaper at work. A red earthed mountain, the kind you find at the southern foothills of the Jemez, the kind that are so red that they bleed over into the insects, maybe the people too, judging by the faces (don't say that too loud though). Been staring at that picture for a while and I guess it worked, cause now we're going. Courtney's leaving this week, in fact. I'll be here for a little longer, a month. And then gone. Gone west. Please say it to yourselves in a heavy, portentious tone. Gone West. We'll write it on a placard, hang it from the door.

Don't worry, you-know-who, we'll call soon.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Secrets Revealed

Yes, the Secret Project is now ready for its unveiling!

Here's what happened:

We were in an attic, never mind how, never mind where; an attic soaked in must and every surface growing slimy with mold. We found many things there, most too horrid to mention, and the tapping of rat's feet punctuated our search at intervals far too regular. Here are the things I'm willing to speak of:

- A heavy iron lock, stained a dull and crusted brown.

- A photograph of a man screaming.

- A magician's cabinet, containing a single jar of soil and a steel box filled with ancient, brittle papers.

It is the last of most interest for you, gentle reader, for those were no ordinary papers. No, they were documents of a hidden history, a chapter in the story of our proud culture glossed over by the Academics in their blind allegiance to "fact" and "relevance". A story told in a series of peculiar juxtaposed pictoral images in what seems to be a deliberate sequence, as if to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer. We quickly realized that these documents were far too important to keep hidden away, dangerous though the revalations in those yellowed pages may be. We immediately devoted ourselves to scanning each document into our computer with the intent of publishing them as a sort of "Web Juxtaposed-Pictorial-Image-Narrative"(for want of a better term).

Finally, our labor has borne fruit. I present to you...

The Amusing and Horrific Adventures of Young HP Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe.
Serialized!

We shall update with a new strip each Wednesday, until we go mad with the strain.

Holy Crap

The lady I sit next to at work? She just won, in the following order:

a lifetime supply of chocolate.

a weeklong, all expenses paid trip to New York.

a... ahem... a million dollar diamond shopping spree.

Million dollar. Diamond.

I'll tell you what, this morning? She's not real interested in working.

Oh, and the lesson to take away from this: Alway, ALWAYS fill out those sweepstakes forms at the mall.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Job Hunting

I think that I must have been spoiled or lucky for the past ten years.

Used to be, if I found a job I wanted, I simply applied, went and interviewed for it and invariably got it. What happened??? I am now on my seventh week of being unemployed and getting crankier all the time. I apply for roughly 10 jobs per week (one week I applied for 32 positions) and I've had a grand total of two interviews in six weeks. Now, to be fair, I've applied for many positions for which I'm over-qualified, and for several that would be a stretch for me (wanting years more experience or a slightly different skill set), but most of the positions for which I apply I am completely capable of doing well. So what gives?

Theory 1: When you're a professional something-or-other, you suddenly find yourself competing with a great many other professional somethings-or-other for the same kinds of position. Maybe I need to step up my game.

Theory 2: This is Austin. There are half a million UT, St. Edward's, Texas State, and Huston-Tillotsen University graduates out there who want to stay in Austin, and they are willing to work for lower pay if it means they can stay here. I remember during my internship at Legal Aid, the development director was hiring a part-time assistant and she got 120 applications, 10 of which were from Ph.D. holders.

Theory 3: I've lost my edge. Maybe I just used to have something that I don't have anymore. Was I cuter before? Was I more positive? Smarter? More energetic and go-gettery?

Theory 4: It's not meant to be. This is my least favorite theory because I like to think that if I work hard enough at anything, then by gum I can get what I want. I'm stubborn that way.

Theory 5: I'm impatient, it takes everyone this long to find work, and I need to calm the hell down.

Well, in case theory number 2 has some validity, I've expanded my job hunt to include New Mexico. I must say, at least I get responses back from those agencies within a week or so. I also hit upon a great position at the University of New Mexico doing community-based research for their Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Center. It is one sweet gig - I'd get to drive all over New Mexico collecting data and organizing community efforts around Head Start programs - specifically for the CHILE program (children's health initiative for lifelong eating and exercise). It is an absolutely amazing systemic intervention to help reduce childhood obesity and other health problems in rural New Mexico. Had a phone interveiw yesterday and anticipate flying to ABQ next week for a face-to-face.

Ahhh.... mountains! Wish me luck!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Irish eyes are smilin'





This year, as I do every year, I went to our favorite local pub and painted faces for St. Patrick's Day. Normally, we have a blast... and we make a LOT of money. Today, however, we had less than a blast, and only made some money. Note to self: hot temperatures, crowds, and long lines make parents of small children cranky and C-H-E-A-P!! Next time St. Paddy's falls on a Saturday, I'm charging. Forget the free face painting stuff. $1 tip for five kids?!? You've got to be kidding me. Charging would accomplish two things: no long lines, and a guaranteed payment per kid.

Still, I really truly love to paint kids' faces. They absolutely love it. If it weren't for some of their parents getting into near fist-fights over who was next in line, we all would have had a fantastic time. I did get to paint a preggers belly, and that was sure fun. We got to see lots of pipers, including a very cute 11-year-old-ish girl, who totally rocked! We also got to watch some dancers and some fantastic musicians perform. This is one of the best times of year to live in Austin, for sure. South by Southwest freeloading, St. Patrick's Day partying, and some really lovely weather. Outstanding, really.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Obligiatory SXSW Post

You have to, you know. If you live here, if you have to drive through it on your way back from work, and if you have a blog, you have to mention it at least once.

So. This is it.

Here's the deal with SXSW: it's expensive, and it's a big crazy too many people thing, and the one band you want to see? You ain't getting in, so forget about it. For some reason, that's even more so the case if you live here.

BUT... BUT...

The SXSW periphery, now that's pretty cool. You have a hard time not seeing live music in Austin anyway, even during the off-season months. But during SXSW? You're tripping over bands on your way out the front door, driving over the unconscious bodies of drummers hung over and face down on the pavement, and people are playing music for free everywhere. That's pretty cool.

For those so inclined, I've posted a new story on Glass Harmonica. It's another short one. In fact, I think GH will only feature short shorts. I just can't see anybody reading 30 pages of Coney Island fantasies on softly glowing LCD monitors.

This story is called "A Grotesque" because, well, it is. Grotesque in terms of doings but also in terms of broad brush plot. It breaks a couple of my cardinal rules, chief among them "Never write about a writer". But, oh well. Hope you enjoy it. I intend to keep these coming, so even if you don't enjoy it, there'll be a new one in a week or so.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Lack of Topography

Drizzly night, neighbors making noises through their open windows and into ours.

Have I mentioned that I hate my job?

Lately mountains have seemed more important than ever. There's something essentially lacking in a place without mountains. Well, the mountains are lacking, for one. But beyond that, the mind-boggling surface area of a crenelated mountain ridge imparts a sense of mystery into the psyches of those who live nearby. Mountains are sacred, not because of their mere elevation, but because of their folds, because of what they keep hidden. It's not your world, and you can lose yourself pretty good up there if you forget which god to pray to.

But there aren't any around here. Oh, there are hills, and they're okay. But hills you can roll right over with your ever expanding rings of retiring suburban boomer habitat, and that's happening all around austin. There's nothing unconquerable in view; all the rivers are dammed, the hills sown with David Weekly seed and nothing's taller than Frost Bank. That's not good for people.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

An Unveiling of Somewhat Limited Interest

There it is. My new fiction blog: glassharmonica.blogspot.com. I don't know where it's going, or what it's purpose is, other than simple sharing of something I enjoy doing. I hope you check it out and find it worthwhile. And, listen to me, I will now make you a pledge. I, Ty BannGerald, do solemnly swear that I will make every effort to update the fiction blog, so help me Infinite Strangeness at the Heart of All Things, from time to time.

The first story is meant as an explanation of sorts, where the name comes from and all that, but also as a fair introduction to how I write, though it may be rougher around the edges than I'd like it to be. It's an orphan, the only salvageable part of another story in a completely different vein that just wasn't working at all. The host story was a peculiar comic fable that, for some bizarre reason, had this gothic horror tale rising up in it like a sort of cyst. The two elements were quite unhappy together, so I performed surgery. Lo and behold, it's the parasite that survived.

And now, I realize that one shouldn't attempt to answer questions that haven't been asked, so I leave you to it. Enjoy. Or not. It's up to you really.

I'll make sure to note here when Glass Harmonica is updated, as it will be er... rather irregular. The other project simmers along, and will be altogether more fun than this one. But I think they will complement each other rather nicely.

Huh. I spelled "complement" right the first time. That never happens.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Usual

revalation.

But this time with an answer!

So, the other day I was in the car with a friend of mine, and he asked what I was up to, and I answered with some lamentation about my then job hunt woes, to which he countered, "You doing any writing?"

"Oh, well, some..."

"I also include that in the scope of 'how you doing'," he said.

"The thing is, I don't really liked to talk about myself," I answered.

And the sad, sick part of it is this: it's absolutely true. I don't like to talk about myself, I don't like to share whatever creative project I'm working on, I don't want people reading my work unless I trust them implicitly. I wrap up so much of my self-identity in these things and I'm afraid that rejection of them will be rejection of me, so I hide them. And you know what? That sucks. It won't do. Not at all. I'm working to change that.

This website's been a big part of that. I'm constantly amazed when I find out that someone has read and, often, enjoyed what I've written here. Yeah, I'm sure that not everything I've written has been regarded as a gem by everyone, but I've gotten a surprising amount of positive feedback, including that most positive of all feedback: return visitors.

So, I'm going with that. I'm expanding. I've got the one secret project in the works that I've already alluded too, but I'm also going to start a different website just for my fiction. And yeah, some people are bound to hate it/mildly dislike it/find it obnoxious/pretentious/derivative, all my fears. But I'm doing it anyway.

Er... but it's not ready yet.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Food

While we were living in Prague, we had the good fortune to catch Jan Svankmajer's art exhibit entitled "Jidlo" (pronounced something like YEED-low), or "Food". Mr. Svankmajer recalls that as a child, he never ate voluntarily until well into his teen years, and that he still find food and the act of eating somewhat repulsive.

We really didn't feel hungry for a few days after seeing the exhibit.

What's brought this back to my attention is my very recent experience with portion size at Texas restaurants. Good lord. Tonight, Ty's mom took us out for dinner at Polvo's, a cute little Mexican food joint on South First Street. We started with chips and the biggest damn pitcher of margarita I've ever seen. The waiter told us that it held five glasses worth - though we each had 2 and there was still quite a bit remaining.

Then came the food.

My plate was oval, roughly a food long and eight inches wide, and brimming over with carne guisada, a few refried beans and a bit of rice. I ate almost all of it. I regret that. Now, I'm sitting here on the sofa after midnight cursing my stupidity - too full to go to bed... still!

Well, it gives me impetus to write on this thing, I suppose. Remember, everybody: when you're eating out in Texas, you're really getting enough for two or three people. Don't hurt yourself. Take some home!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Later That Weekend

Right, so Courtney is back and feeling better, and the dog, though still limping, is limping less. My mother's been to the doctor and should be okay (but, for god's sake, don't eat crappy peanutbutter!)

And now, we're watching the Academy awards for some reason. I give exactly .5 craps about the nominated films, excepting, of course, Pan's Labyrinth. And that's really the crux of the apathy right there. The fact that Pan's Labyrinth, one of the best films I have ever seen isn't eligible for best picture makes the whole damn show even more irrelevant that usual. Extra irrelevant. More less of than ever.

So, my wife and I are drinking beer and playing a board game and watching the usual hollywoodgasm, and all is relatively well in the world.

Friday, February 23, 2007

What's Wrong This Week

A litany of temporal complaint:

* Courtney's grandfather has begun his slide to mortality in earnest. The brain cancer has spread down his spine, the most immediate effect of which is the loss of feeling in his right leg. He has been moved to the hospice and the doctors project that he will die in a matter of weeks.

* Courtney, while visiting said grandfather, is again experiencing pain in the region of her kidneys. She visited a doctor in Atlanta and tested negative for a urinary tract infection. Apparently this leaves two likely possibilities: a cyst causing pressure and pain (most likely), or, kidney stones (less likely, but not without family precedent; her brother had them when he was eight). Off to the urologist, then!

* My mother and her boyfriend, being great devotees of Peter Pan brand peanutbutter, are early adopters of the hot new trend that's sweeping the nation: salmonella! Off to the doctor with them, too.

* Tesuque, our satan-spawned bundle of frothing neurosis, has reinjured her front left leg and has joined the household gimping limpy club, population: two.

Lest this blog entry bring everyone down, I offer:

On the Other Hand

* I just cooked a bacon, egg and cheese sandwhich, and it was awesome.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Something Soon

Right, so as is no doubt evident, nothing interesting has happened in my life since we left Manderson. Therefore... the time has come for a change. Courtney and I have been directing our energy toward another on-line project that isn't QUITE ready. But it's nearly there. This is very exciting for us, it's the first time we've collaborated creatively, and I think it's going to be a lot of fun. And, more than that, I think it'll be fun to read as well, despite some unavoidable rough edges. It probably won't be ready for another few weeks, but I promise that it's coming and that it'll be worth the wait.

No, I'm not ready to spill the beans on what, exactly, 'it' is.

Heh.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Drizzle

How can it seem colder here than it did in Manderson?

It's a question of preparedness, I suppose. All those 60-70 degree days lull one into a sort of meterological complacency that bites you in the ass when the mercury suddenly falls for a frozen week. "No, I'm not going to put on a jacket! This is Austin!" And then I shiver stubbornly because it'll get warm again soon enough, right?

Whereas in Manderson, the jacket went on almost as soon as we got there, and stayed on until we left. Gloves and scarf become skin, and what kind of moron forgets his undershirt? Answer: You don't when 25 is the high.

All this because I've stuck myself inside today. The sky is gone grey and swearing that it'll rain soon, and the wind is clammy and damp.

Bleah.

But I ain't wearing no jacket, dammit.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Oh right

This old thing.


We're back in Austin. Things are quieter now. Expect no more excitement in our lives or in our blogging.


We did go to the emergency room today, but everything is fine and dull and boring.


Currently listening to: Train sounds.