What I want you to know. Which is everything.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Song Tag

Picking up a tag from the Sealer I will now post five songs I am currently digging on. I will also post this on my Xanga.

"The Woman in You" by Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals

"One" the U2 song performed by Johnny Cash

"Girl" by Beck

"Heavy Metal Drummer" Wilco

Theme to the Movie Superman by John Williams. (I was singing it earlier in an effort to annoy my wife on our long and boring trip home from Abilene. I decided that it counted. It worked.)

Okay, I will tag my brother, the Mad Cowboy, ToothpasteForBreakfast, Dan Carlson, and Anne Dickens.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Go Pitch A Tent?

I love a good screw up. I soooooo feel for this guy. I've been known to make my own little Freudian slips and some things that were said purposefully, thinking it would be funny, and it was just inappropriate. But I want you to forget about that and watch this video and have a good laugh.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Bonkers is...Well...

Amanda and I made it to Abilene yesterday after a mightily fought battle with puke, diarrea and and slobber. No, not me, our cat Bonkers. Bonkers is a sweet cat and usually pretty laid back about most things. But, once again he has surprised us by showing us how different he is from Pumpkin. If anyone ever tells you that all cats are alike and what you expect from one cat can be expected in all cats, tell them to expect to spend $40 getting the puke/dooky smell shampooed out of their floorboard.

We've taken Pumkin on car trips before so we knew what to expect with him. He will freak out a little at first and want to walk all over the car and on me while I'm driving, looking out the window and shedding... Generally, just being a neurotic cat. But, soon he calms down and pretty much sleeps the rest of the time with occasional jaunt to the front seat to visit with Amanda or myself.

Bonkers has currently hopped into my lap while I'm typing as an apperent appeal to not devulge the details of our road trip. I know it's embarrassing Bonkers, but you can deal with it... No, I'm going to tell them....Because I want them to know....I am not fishing for sympathy!...But, you're just a cat! Wait, no, that's not what I meant...

He'll be back...

Anyway, as soon as we left the apartment and Pumpkin was up to his normal car routine we noticed Bonkers seemed unbelievably calm. He does this every now and then. He will be the most skittish cat, but then be as cool as a cucumber when most cats would flip. Case in point, he is completely unaffected by the presents of the Curtis's dog, Belle.

As we were passing under the 610 bridge on I-10 and realising that I had missed my exit and would have to go down to the Beltway (no big deal) I began to smell the unmistakable stentch of freshly squeezed cat poo. We did have an impromptu litter box so Amanda turned on the light and peered back to confirm, hopefully, that the smell was coming from a well placed turd. No luck, in fact the poo was strewn from one end of the back seat to another, on the floor, seat, bags, ceiling, the works. Okay, maybe not the ceiling. But it was pretty bad. We were able to find an open Wal-Mart at 1 am (we left Tuesday night with the idea of beating the crowds) and got things cleaned up. After that the uncertainty of Bonkers condition and the fatigue caused us to settle on College Station as a stopping point. Upon checking into a motel we checked and sure enough the cat had not only pooped again but was drooling profusely from his mouth and throwing up. We didn't have the cats in cages because Pumpkin had always done fine without one. So we cleaned as best we could in the dark and slept it off.

The next morning we cleaned a little more, bought a cage for Bonker and set sail once again with Abilene in our sites and a Hurricane in our review. Bonkers seemed better at first it proved misleading. He continued to drool which I decided was something that couldn't be helped and threw up a couple more times. After all was said and done it took us 9 driving hours to take a trip that would normally take 6. However, watching the news and traffic in Houston right now, I probably hold the record for longest distance driven in the shortest amount of time while evacuating a Hurricane named Rita. It's a stretch and I probably won't make the Guiness Book, but I'll take it.

Oh, there he is....

Hey....Come on, don't be like that. You got your picture at the top this time... I'm sorry, we're in Abilene, I don't have any other pictures here... You do not look fat...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Hurricane coming
And Rita is her name-o
Hey there, Abilene!

Packing ups no fun
The wife has never done this.
'Canes are not all that.

Cats are in the car.
Pumpkin knows how things are there.
Bonkers is his name

School is out for now.
This is a big shock to me.
Who knew Goose Creek would?

Midsummer opens.
Rita has delayed us some
From openning yet.

Is the world ending?
Sometimes it seems that it is.
Good thing God is Love!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Favorite Movies

I've not been posting as much lately, and there is a good reason for that. I'm really flippin' busy. Trying to get together this ITS stuff, building a set for a show that goes up in less than two week, spending time with my wife, these are all things that I enjoy a great deal, but they take up time. So here is my long awaited list of my top ten movies.

Note: This is not my personal list of the "best" movies, per se. Rather they are my personal favorites. I recognize that I may enjoy a movie that is not necessarily the "best" movie.

10. Dead Poet's Society
When I was in high school I got really into the idea of romantic ideals and poetry and all that. This movie meant a lot to me and kind of was a catalyst for some of my ideals.

9. In America
I love this movie because, not only is it a well told story, but at it's core are the elements of childlike optimism and love for everyone despite differences

8. Back to the Future
Two years ago, maybe even one, I wouldn't have even had this movie in my top 20, but after a recent viewing I realised how much I liked it and could watch it over and over again. The Trilogy that this movie spawned was so inventive and magical that as far as action movies go, I can't imagine it can get better than this.

7. Swingers
Such a cool movie. I saw it in high school but didn't really get it until college.

6. Fargo
This movie has everything: Great story, "Willy Lomanesque" central tragic hero, the most complete and fully developed characters in any movie I've ever seen, plus the movie is completely honest in it's complete ridiculousness.

5. Rushmore
Once again my love for this movie demonstrates my adoration for stories about extraordinary but tragic characters. This movie is made even better because it is a buddy movie at the core of it. Bill Murray is superb and thus begins his reign as the king of meloncholy comedy. My crush on Wes Anderson begins. (For those wondering, I liked Bottle Rocket but didn't really catch the WA bug until this one

4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Is Charlie Kaufman not a genious? This is one of my favorite Kaufman flicks because it appealed to my own particular sense of asthetic. All of his movies revolve around an unsatisfied male, confused in love and wanting to change things in his life. Kaufman does a really good job of telling stories that explore the questions in his own mind without providing solid answers. In other words, the basis for all great drama. I don't however feel that it was the best made or most original. That spot is reserved for Adaptation which would easily be in the top 11.

3. Being John Malcovich
It's the one that started it all. How much cahones does it take to write a fictitious movie with an actor's name in the title, muchless an actor as idiosyncratic as John Malcovich, and then make it so that the movie must have that actor to play the part? Could he have gone with any other actor? Maybe, but not really.

2. The Godfather: Part II
What can I say? Technically, creatively, emotionally, probably the best movie ever made.

1. The Royal Tanenbaums
If you want to know what kind of movies I like go watch The Royal Tanenbaums. I do. Quite often, in fact.

Looking back at this list I seem to have a very particular style of movie that I like to watch. Quirky, off-center, funny, and with a lot of subtexual morality. Remember, this isn't my "Greatest Movies List." It's my favorite movies. Those are two very different lists. You may recognize the superiority of a Mercedes, but nothing will drag you from your '83 Ford Pickup.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Clothes to the Public

I saw the Never Ending Story so many times as a kid I started to hate it. I really didn't like it that much and remember even thinking that the kid was kind of a douche. I made fun of it more than anything. That's probably just the way I feel now and I'm projecting that memory on my childhood self. I'm sure I actually related to the kid more than I remember.

I went through a low self esteem period as a kid. That may seem hard to believe now, but it was pretty bad. I would wonder if my shirts and clothes were disappointed to be owned by me. When I got a new shirt I always pictured the conversation in my closet.

Red Polo: Hey, who's the new guy?

Long Sleeve White Dress: Hello, sir. How are you?

Long Sleeve Polo With Football Team Logo: I'm a Long Sleeve Polo With Football Team Logo. Who are you guys?

Striped Polo: We are Kyle's Clothes.

LSPWFTL: Who's Kyle?

Nice Looking Green Tee: Did you see that doofus who just hung you up and ripped your tags off?


Belts: That's your new owner.

Jacket: He's going to be wearing you now.

LSPWFTL: Aw, man! What a dweeb!

But then again, I would also imagine that my shirts were secretly wanting to be worn. So, in the morning when I would dress I would say to them, "All right, which one are you am I going to wear today? Sorry, I'm choosing Purple Lacoste. Maybe tomorrow, Striped Wal-Mart Tee." Then I would turn to my name brand clothes (were kept near the front of the closet) and say, "Yeah, right." Then I'd give them all a little friendly jab and laugh.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

New Girls

I now have three girls who have enrolled in my class who are from New Orleans. I'm pretty sure that they all left before the storm got there and have family in Baytown who they are staying with. Because of our overpopulation at the school the only students being enrolled are kids who are staying with family who already live in our district. This is what I heard anyway.

I haven't really had a chance to get into it with the girls, but they all three seem to be in pretty good spirits. One girl has already made friends in the class another is sweet, but quiet. Another will make friends soon, due the fact that she is incredible smart and open. I showed a picture to the students and then asked them to describe it after taking it away. She gave an amazingly detailed and descriptive response, also including how the photo made her feel as well as what she saw. I was very impressed.

Astros game tonight was freakin' awesome. So much pain and then so much celebration.


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

My New Hero

My Astros are back on top in the wildcard race. Tonight was the second night in a row that they held the Phillies in a close game down to the wire. I wish we were putting up more runs, but both teams have such great pitching staffs that I'm just glad to win. Especially since the game itself was made a lot more exciting. Much props and thanks to Phil Garner for creating some exciting and risk taking baseball. Anyway, I'll take what I can get to make that wildcard lead bigger than 1/2 a game.

Tomorrow night we'll see if we can do it again, this time with Brandon Backe on the mound for the first time since July.

Baseball is awesome. I miss playing it all the time. Anyone up for a pick up game.

The Astros are really addictive.

Monday, September 05, 2005

What I want...

"What I want is what I've not got. And what I neeeeeeeeed is all around me."

from the song, "Jimi Thing" by Dave Matthews Band.

I heard on the news a reporter say to imagine the hurt or disappointment one feels when they lose a treasured possession. Now take that feeling and multiply it by about one million and that's what it might feel to be in the shoes of these refugees from New Orleans, who can't even get back to their homes, that is if they have a home to go back to.

One week before Katrina hit New Orleans and turned the Gulf Coast upside-down my computer room, my classroom, and my car were turned upside-down. Or, rather, I turned every place upside-down trying to find my precious iPod. This was a birthday present from my wife last May and it had become my most prized possession. This is saying a lot, also, because I've always been one not to put too much stock in material things. Maybe it was my upbringing, maybe it was the fact that, as my 4th grade teacher put it, "I'd lose my butt if it weren't screwed on." I could have been that I had two brothers and much of our "stuff" got distroyed. Even the stuff we really liked. So to be so attached to my iPod was a big deal. It was probably the best gift I'd ever been given. And I couldn't find it anywhere.

I had told myself that I wouldn't bring it to school because I realized how easy it would be to steal. I'd had things stolen before and I didn't want to chance it. But, I had a lesson that involved playing music and it seemed like the perfect thing to use. Portable, quick, no muss, no fuss. So as I'm leaving in the morning I stuff it into my messenger bag. This is the last time I saw it. I was running late and so as I entered the classroom I immediately began getting ready for the students to arrive. This is where it gets fuzzy. I don't remember taking the iPod out of my bag, and I don't know why I would have, but class started and I didn't think about it again until later that day when I was to use it. I dug through my bag, but it wasn't there. I had to scratch the lesson, and go with a modified version. After school I checked my car. I went home and looked all over my house. I went back to school and about dumped my entire desk out in search of the iPod. It was clear that it had been stolen and, despite police reports and asking students to keep an eye out, it was gone. My wife and I were both crushed.

Now I think think that I'm a douchebag. My cousin Marcy may not have a house, her job is questionable and anything in her house, if it's still there, is probably ruined. $200 will buy me another iPod, but what if my photos were distroyed? What if the plays that I'd spent so much time writing and pouring over were gone because a flood destroyed the hardrive on my computer? (Yes, I know, I need to back up.) These things are much more important than an iPod. Some people lost their lives. Why are our flags not at half mast?

We did not go to the shelter like I thought. Instead I went to The Harbor, a church/coffee shop/arts venue that is run by some friends. They were serving dinner to some of the evacuees held up in Baytown hotels. The shelters were pretty muched staffed, but like myself, many people wanted to help out and serve in some way. Nelda and Randy Haney have hearts of gold and I'm so glad I know them. It was humbling to say the least to speak with people who have been displaced to a new, temporary home. People who don't know the state of their real homes. The children seemed scared and tired. The adults still seemed in shock, but were careful to be strong for the kids. No one smiled much. I think that was Randy and Nelda's goal in having them their: to give these people who'd suffered so much a cause to smile and maybe enjoy something for the first time in a week. Unfortunately, I think most of them just needed some food, some supplies, and then wanted to rest. Not many people stayed for long.

New Orleans residents are just now being allowed back into their neighborhoods to check on their belongings, but they can't stay. I don't blame all the people who say they aren't going back. I would not be able to just sit and not try to move on with my life. Amanda and I are lucky enough that we would be able to stay with family. Heck, we'd probably just move if we didn't know when we'd be able to go back.

I don't know how to end this post. I hate just ending it, but I guess I'll just end it with a quote from someone smarter than me, which won't be difficult to find.

As there is no worldly gain without some loss so there is no worldly loss without some gain.


Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Educational Hurricane

Tomorrow I am going to a shelter to help with Katrina victims. This has been a wierd experience being here, in Baytown, where so many refugees are being sheltered and even more drive through on their way to Houston. I've never been so close to such a worldwide tragedy. There is word that the school that I teach at will be enrolling some of these students in an effort to help these children who are homeless for the time being get back to their education. On the one hand, this is necessary and I'm pround that my school and I can be a part in helping. On the other hand it is quite frightening. For one thing, we are past capacity as it is, being a quickly growing district with a new school to open in the next 4-5 years. Second, and possibly more importantly, how do we continue on with everyday activities when there is someone in the class who has just been through a very public and very tragic event. The other students will undoubtedly want to talk about the issue with the student. That student may simply want to not be there. It is very likely that these refugee children will be closed off and shy or emotional. Which, for teenagers, translates to "behavioral issue." It may sound wrong to assume that just because a kid has had a hard life that he/she is a discipline problem, and it isn't 100%, but the trend goes that way.

I'm sure that, if students do begin enrolling in our school that we will make do. I will welcome them into my classroom with open arms and a smile and I hope that every other teacher does, too. But, we will definitely require some prayer. Teaching is not easy. Teaching kids who have had tragedy in their lives is even harder. Hopefully, whatever happens, the end result will be a stronger community, a more compassionate student body, and a lesson on what it is like to have nothing. The kids who attend my classes, now, need that lesson more than anything.