What I want you to know. Which is everything.

Friday, November 28, 2008

from the future!!!

I have been wanting a PDA phone for a while, and I finally got one. An iPhone was not in my cards, but this BlackBerry is pretty darn cool if do say so myself. Big thanks to my wife for letting me get my Christmas present early. It will certainly take me a while figure it all out but in the meantime enjoy what I have learned how to do. (Post blogs online.). Oooh! I just got an email on my phone. Awesome.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Amazing Adventures of Bonkers

This is Amanda with our cat Bonkers. About 2 weeks ago at around 6:30 p.m. we were about to eat dinner and he was wanting out on the porch. We live on the first floor, but there are bars around our patio that we had previously thought Bonkers was too fat to get through. Well, he evidently figured out how to wiggle through them and got out. We were not too concerned because Bonkers has gotten out numerous times and always came back. He never went far. So, when Amanda sent me out a few hours later to find him I expected to have to chase him from bush to bush around the apartment complex until he decided to go back home, like he normally does. But, after searching the whole apartment complex for at least an hour, he was no where to be found. I kept expecting him to show up at the door pawing to get back in, so I stayed up and would occasionally check the front door or the porch to see if he had returned. No luck. I finally went to sleep with an unsettled feeling. We had never left Bonkers out all night, despite his valiant attempts in the past to not get caught and return home.

The next two days were pretty stressful. Still, there was no sign of Bonkers by the end of the day Tuesday, so we printed out fliers with a picture on it around our complex in hopes that someone would find him and return him to us.

Everyday we came home from work expecting to see Bonkers circling the Welcome mat with a look on his face as if to say, "Where have I been? Where have you been?" But, as the days dragged on and there was no sign of the fat grey kitty we resigned ourselves to the conclusion that someone who noticed his sweet and friendly demeanor and no collar or tags must have grabbed him, thinking he was a stray and in need of some reciprocated affection.

I had another theory that he had simply reached an impasse in his life. Bonkers had always been an adventurous sort: wanting to roam outside, exploring the legs of any and every visitor that came to our home. He was even surprisingly curious and enthralled, however on alert, when faced with the dreadful barking dog. I imagined Bonkers setting off to see the world. Or, at least the immediate vicinity. No matter how hard we looked he was always one step ahead saying to us, "I shall return, but there is something I must do." Several of our friends had told us tales of brave cats returning to their owners after weeks or even months of roaming. Perhaps it was just one of those rights of passage for cats. Live on the land and see the world!

This past Saturday night Amanda's parents were in town to visit. It was their first time to see our new digs since we moved to Sugar Land and we were enjoying our visit. We were on our way back to the apartment to watch the UT/Tech football game when Amanda, from the back seat of her dad's pickup began to cry excitedly. "Someone's found Bonkers!" She exclaimed as she listened to her voice messages on her cell phone. It was the thing we had been waiting for but had decided would probably not happen. We were excited and relieved and our hearts started beating with anticipation as we called the person back who had our cat. Sure enough, it wasn't a mistake; Bonkers had been found.

"But," said the cautious voice over the phone, "he's in pretty bad shape."

"It's okay." I told the man on the other end. "We'll be there in about 5 minutes."

It is certainly difficult to wait 5 minutes when you are anticipating something. The ride to the apartment was unbearable. All the way we were going over in our minds the time Bonkers had spent out in the elements. He was gone for two weeks. In that time we had experienced several days of rain as well as a cold front. Bonkers, without claws due to a surgery he had before we rescued him from a shelter in Pasadena 5 years ago, had no way to defend himself against other cats or dogs. Hopefully, he just needed to be given some fluids and food and he would be back to his normal self in no time.

We searched for the apartment in our complex of the man who was holding Bonkers. We were amazed and frustrated over the lack of sequence in which our buildings had been arranged. "Is this building 10?" "This has to be building 10." "No. Building 8, well then it must be this way." "Building 7! Okay, the other way." "Alright, there's building 9 and...ELEVEN? What the crap?!" Finally as we approached the last building at the back of complex and noticed that we had found building 10 Amanda began to run.

A young man who would at best be described as punk rock was waiting in the breezeway with a cat carrier by his side. I'm not big on first impressions as I want to give everyone the benefit of proving their character, but if I went by my gut, I would have actually attributed the term "skin-head" to the guy. He really resembled everything you would think of in association with loud, tuneless, angry banging of drums and screaming. Black combat boots with mismatching laces, piercings, face tattoos and a buzzed haircut. As Amanda kneeled down next to the cat carrier and saw Bonkers' tired, dirty face inside she melted with joy, confusion, sorrow and hope. The Punk put his arm around my wife, which I didn't like, so I pulled her closer to me. (Don't ask me why this is relevant, because it would send me into a tirade that would take this story into an entirely different direction that is baseless and speculative. Long story, short: I didn't trust the guy.)

Sure enough, Bonkers wasn't looking good. Despite his apparent lack of interest in food, it was clear he hadn't eaten in a while. He was bleeding from his hind quarters and he was unresponsive, however obviously awake. He would let out a weak "meow" every now and then to show that he was, in fact, aware, but there was little life in his eyes. I scooped him up in an old beach towel we had brought along and immediately I realized the damage was severe. Not only was this previously girthy cat now bony and about half of his original weight, I could feel something wet soaking through the towel and onto my t-shirt. There was an odd and frightening smell as well. We knew from our experience evacuating our cats to Abilene when the Houston area was threatened with Hurricane Rita 3 years ago that when Bonkers is scared and under stress he drools and loses his bowel control. It was no surprise then that Bonkers was pooping all over the place. The reasons for that, though were much more serious than we initially thought.

As soon as we got Bonkers home we started to clean him off in the bathtub. Weeks of gravel and dirt ran brown down into the drain, as well as a dark red mix of blood and fecal matter from his backside. Bonkers was only slightly resistant as he was startled by the sound of the water rushing from the spout. Once we turned off the noise he lay there as we scrubbed and washed him, content and calm as the warm water ran through his once thick beautiful grey and white hair. Through his slightly open eyes we could see the gorgeous blue eyes that had enthralled us from the first day Amanda brought him home. They were no longer frightened but satisfied. It was the same look he would give us on Saturday mornings as he would crawl up into the bed with Amanda and I and position himself in the nook created in the comforter by our bodies. Bonkers was a cat that enjoyed and relished comfort and lounging. He had made it into an art form, if it's possible for a cat to create art. This was certainly the same cat that had lazily sprawled in the sun as it beamed in from the window on Summer mornings. His eyes showed us a glimpse into the character of Bonkers and his enjoyment of the moment. Even if his pain was still there, as long as we were petting him and literally showering him with love, he felt that and was happy.

Amanda's mother was able to find an 24 hour emergency vet clinic in our new town, in which we still hadn't ventured out enough to know where things were. Luckily it was very close, so we dried off Bonkers as best we could and scooped him up once again to take him to the vet. As Amanda held him in the backseat of our car speaking to him through tears in a sweet, friendly voice we knew that we were closer to this all being over. We were confident that all Bonkers needed was perhaps an IV and some bandages and he would be okay in no time.

The people at the Vet were extremely kind, sensitive and direct. We were dealing with a "very sick kitty," as they put it. We were approached several times over the next couple of hours with varying degrees of good and bad news. The vets were concerned about his dehydration, his blood pressure and his temperature, which was dropping fast. Also, his wounds were more severe than I had initially thought and could possibly, even with the best medical care, leave Bonkers permanently incontinent. The costs were mounting up.

Anytime money versus the heart is in question I am traditionally the first to spurn the idea of making the call in favor of the financially beneficial thing. However, I had been through this before, as many people have. As much as we love our animals and pour our hearts into them as we would another person, the fact of the matter is that we live longer. This is, in fact, how it should be. With the understanding that there is only so much that any person can be expected to do for a pet, when I saw Amanda's face as we looked at the prospect of what returning Bonkers to health would cost, there was nothing I wanted more than to incur debt upon debt to save our kitty. The other side of the coin, however, was that there were no guarantees. Regardless of the amount of money we spent on Bonkers it was possible that he would not survive. He had weathered two weeks without food or clean water and had been attacked with no means of defense. According to the doctors his injuries had been withstood early in his absence, and was perhaps the reason he didn't return that night in the first place. There was infection and organ failure and the fact that he was still alive was remarkable. The decision was made to have Bonkers put to sleep.

Visions of our family dog from my adolescence flashed through my head. She was hit by a car Christmas Eve of 1997, during my break from college my freshman year. Her spine was crushed and she was never going to be able to use her hind legs again. Seeing her as we said goodbye and then walked away as she scrambled with her front legs to follow us was the most genuinely heart wrenching thing I had ever witnessed at that point of my life. I knew it wouldn't be the last time I would have see a much loved pet for the last time, but I had hoped we still had some time with Bonkers. He made it a lot easier for us than our dog, Dutchess had. He sat content with an IV in his left paw, as peaceful (and drugged) as could be. Amanda was the only thing in my focus, besides Bonkers. She leaned over our cat as he made a couple of conciliatory meows and sobbed. I had seen her cry before, but not like this. I felt a deep and cliched responsibility to be strong for her. Our resilience during a tragedy was being tested as it would again in the years to come. Pets, as well as family members die as they would continue to do for the rest of our own lives. It's not a fun or easy subject, but it is the way things are. At this moment, however we were faced with our first great loss as a singular family unit. It was a significant moment in our lives, worthy of my utmost thought and all the love I had for my wife pouring over her. The staff of the veterinary clinic blurred around us as we pet Bonkers head and spoke softly to him. Aware, as I always am, of the surrealness and weight of a situation, I concluded that they see this all the time. Probably, more for dogs than for cats, but nonetheless, they knew how to act, and they did a masterful job.

Finally we walked away and left for home. Amanda's tears as she and I walked with her mother, who was the blessing of all blessing during this night, toward the car. I've come to believe that silence and stillness are more powerful than words than I can give my wife when she is sad or frustrated. Her mother knew what to say to her, anyway, so I tried to let her comfort her with words as I held her hand.

It's now been three days since we last saw Bonkers, and 2 weeks and 2 days since he went missing. Things happen and sometimes they happen to good cats who simply wanted a little adventure. We are still sad and we will always miss him. We are glad, however, at the time that we did have with Bonkers, who's original name was Sam when we adopted him at the age of 2. We are spending more time playing with Pumpkin, our other cat, whose energy and need for attention since the absence of Bonkers is at new highs. We are taking joy in Pumpkin's company as well as each other's. As for Bonkers, we feel a little strange mourning the loss of a cat, an animal most people tend to see as a nice addition to a home's ambiance, and less than a full-fledged member of the family, like they do with the more personable, playful and loyal dog. Bonkers, as well as our other cat, Pumpkin, are different, as anyone who has visited us will tell you. Bonkers greeted everyone at the door with a rub of the leg and lay out so that you would scratch his belly. He never hissed or swatted at you and if you picked you up would generally oblige you the inconvenience of keeping him from whatever pointless escapades he was to endeavor in next. He was certainly a smart cat, as we found out over time, although he was not nimble, like most cats. He was known to knock stuff over as he clunked his way passed various assortments arranged on a counter or table. This may have been because of his lack of a tail. This deficiency, or greatest attribute, depending on your point of view, had another apparent drawback, which I describe in this blog entry from August of 2006. But, for all of Bonkers eccentricities and odd-ballness he was certainly an integral part of our family. In fact, it was because of these thing that we loved him so much.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

After Ike

So, we were incredibly lucky. We live in an apartment so any damage that was sustained in our area is largely someone else's probably. As far as I can tell only some shingles fell off of the roof and a few very young, non-threatening tree came unrooted from the soil in which they were planted just a couple years before. Our electricity was out for a total of 12 hours, which was about the time that it took Amanda and I to get a good night's sleep (well, I slept well, anyway) and then eat breakfast. About the biggest inconvenience for us was the weaker than normal cell phone signal and the DVR box wasn't working until the Comcast offices openned and could resend a signal to it. Oh, and the Astros had to play two very important "home games" at "neutral" Miller Park in North Chicago.

Not everyone was so lucky. Particularly the people of Galveston and Bolivar, which is where I've grown up visiting and going to the beach. It's basically gone, now. What was once a neighborhood lined with homes is now dotted, at best with some weak structures that somehow stayed up.

My parents and many of my friends and family in Baytown were also hit pretty hard. My parents had several tree in their yard blown down as well as an electrical pole that serves their house. It will be a while before they have electricity, I'm sure. They stayed the night here the other night and I'm sure they were happy to have A/C and internet for a while.

Another friend of mine lives in La Porte, an area on the other side of the Fred Hartman Bridge from Baytown. They are still not letting people in to the town, so he is scraping for places to stay. He's going to stay with us tonight.

We've had no school this week, which has been strange. We really didn't expect the Hurricane to be this big of a deal, especially in Fort Bend, far from the Galveston coastline. It has essentially shut down the entire Houston Metro area. It's just so hard to imagine an area this huge, with this many people having their lives affected in such dramatic ways all at the same time. I heard a radio broadcaster say how Hurricane Ike was a great equalizer. We were without power for such a short period of time while several very affluent neighborhoods went much longer and may still be without power. It puts things in perspective and really makes you realize that we are all in the same boat. Hurricanes just kind of shine a light on that fact.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Wind's Picking Up!

Hurricane Part 2

Hurricane Ike!

I didn't think it would take so long to get this posted, so it's like 2 hours later. Time for another entry.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Made Popular By Barnard Pivot

Fan's of the Bravo TV show Inside the Actor's Studio will remember the questionnaire that James Lipton asks the guest at the end of the interview. The questions come from a very old survey popularized, but not invented, by writer Marcel Proust. Not that anyone cares. He only asked a few of the questions and the survey actually is much longer. It's kind of like all of those stupid MySpace questionnaires that I can't help answering but in kind of an 1890s way. Anyway, now that I'm in summer and have a bit more time on my hands I've been looking for a way to start blogging, despite my disinterest with it. So here it is:

1. Your favorite virtue/The principal aspect of my personality
Answer: My desire to be truly known by others.

2. Your favorite qualities in a man.
Answer: Humility

3. Your favorite qualities in a woman.
Answer: Patience, strength

4. What you appreciate the most in your friends
Answer: Sincerity and the ability to open up and not try to hard to impress anyone.

5. Your main fault
Answer: I tend to cripple underneath stress or when something may seem too tough. I tend to under prepare and get lazy until the last minute.

6. Your favorite occupation.
Answer: Laughing

7. Your idea of happiness
Answer: Doing things with people who I love.

8. Your idea of misery.
Answer: Being with people who have contempt, disrespect, or simply don't like me.

9. If not yourself, who would you be?
Answer: A mountain climber from some Nordic country.

10. Where would you like to live?
Answer: I saw a news story on The Netherlands and how they have to pay 50% of their paycheck in taxes, but college and healthcare, and I'm sure lots of other things are free. They have very little cares and get lots of vacation time. I think I could handle that.

11. My favourite colour.
Answer: Blue, it is very relaxing and people say that I have pretty blue eyes. Of course they're hidden behind glasses nowadays.

12. The flower that I like the most.
Answer: a girl gave me a Tiger Lily once for an opening night. I was very impressed like I had not been impressed with a flower, nor have I since. Flowers don't generally hold any kind of special allure for me, but that was a really cool flower.

13. Your favorite authors.
Answer: J. D. Salinger, Jon Krakauer, Malcolm Gladwell, J. K. Rowlings

14. Your favorite poets.
The Shins, Lord Byron

15. Your favorite heroes in fiction.
Answer: Max Fisher, Michael Corleone, John Dorian, Michael Bluth

16. Your favorite heroines in fiction.
Answer: Marge Gunderson, Pam Beesly, Maria from West Side Story

17. My favorite composers.
Answers: Mark Mothersbaugh, Pachabel, Maurice Ravel

18. My favorite painters.
Answers: Van Gogh, Picasso,

19. My heroes in real life.
Answers: Barack Obama, John Stewart, Tim Russert, King David, Jesus

20. Your favorite heroines in real life.
Answers: Anne Frank, My Mom, My Grandmother

21. What characters in history do you most dislike.
Answers: Adolf Hitler, Woodrow Wilson, Caligula, King George 3 of England

22. Your favorite food and drink.
Answers: Beer and Pizza

23. Your favorite names.
Answers: Calvin, Hobbes, Kyle, Amanda, Dylan, Lennon, Kelly, there's more.

24. What I hate the most.
Answers: hate, greed, my own faults.

25. The military event I admire the most
Answers: D-Day in Normandy, France.

26. The reform I admire the most (This is an old survey)
Answers: Jack in the Box's corporate reformation in the early 90s

27. The natural talent I'd like to be gifted with
Answers: Humor

28. How I wish to die
Answers: Young: falling from somewhere very high. Old: asleep.

29. What is your present state of mind.
Answers: (This is Proust's own answer) "Boredom from having had to think about myself to answer all these questions."

30. For what fault have you most toleration ?
Answers: Social Awkwardness

31. My motto. Do what you got to do.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Seems I'm not alone...

Dear people (lovely people, you are) that still read this thing, even though I tend to forget about it for months at a time,

I had some inquiry about a new job mentioned in the previous post. Let me clarify. The job isn't that new. Ryan, I think you probably knew about it. Lyndsey (whose name I'm not sure that I'm spelling right because I can't remember if it's you or L. Rogers that gets the 'a') may not have known.

But, it's not really a huge deal. I took a job at a different school, still teaching theatre, only now I'm all by myself and I'm the one solely in charge. It's also a new district with vastly different people and expectations that I'm not used to. I've been here since August, so it's not really new anymore, but since a school year is an ever evolving, crazy amoeba like thing, every day is new. Plus, my school is hosting UIL OAP this year, which is a whole nother pile of insanity to have to deal with.

So, yeah, I'm actually doing quite well, but I'm just tired a lot. But, then again, who isn't?

BTW, Lyndsey (I checked and I was right the first time), I would NEVER mispronounce your name. There's a BBQ place here in Houston called Goode Company and they pronounce it WRONG! It infuriates me. But they have good BBQ, so I deal. But people look at me weird when I call it Goode's (pronounced like 'food') BBQ.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Seeing on account of me never blogging anymore, on account of I don't usually have any time or energy, on account of I'm in a new job and even when I have something I want to write about I'm usually too tired, I decided to do something I haven't done in a long time. I haven't done it in a while because I decided that I would only blog when I really had something to say.

Of course, what the hell. By the way, I think it's pretty obvious, but I didn't write this next part:

Here's how you play: Once you've been tagged you have to write a blog with 10 weird random facts, habits, secrets, or goals about yourself, at the end choose 10 people to be tagged. List their name and why you tagged them. Don't forget to leave them a comment saying "You're It!" and to go read your blog. You can't tag the person who tagged you! So since you can't tag me back let me know when you are done so I can read your blog answers!

1) I've never been busier or more stressed in my life than I am right now.

2) I feel more fulfilled right now than I ever have in my life.

3) I secretly have always fantasized about auditioning for American Idol, and not "just for fun."

4) It makes me sick when I think about friends who I once considered as close as brothers but I never see anymore.

5) I relate to and empathize with Michael Scott.

6) I like dogs more than cats, but I'm afraid that I'm too lazy to walk one if I were to get one.

7) I wish I cried more.

8) I lost 40 pounds last year.

9) I've gained at least 20 pounds since the summer.

10) When I first learned the word 'narcissist' I became obsessed with it because this was a word that described my greatest fear about myself. I stopped Googling myself, right away. But, I started blogging, so it's like I can't get away from it. But, since I can and do acknowledge this fault in myself, I believe that this somehow forgives whatever transgression my self involved nature may be. Also, I think I go out of my way to care about and focus on others, as well, and actively put myself before other people. There are many times I only do this because I'm afraid of being a selfish person.

People I'm tagging:
Since I don't really blog much anymore and probably no one reads my blog anymore, we'll see who actually does this. If you do then let me know, so I can read what you wrote.

Mom-she may be the only person who still checks this blog.

Jason-my brother, because he may be the only other person who checks this blog.

Okay, I'm supposed to put down ten people, but I seriously don't want to. Sorry

Friday, January 04, 2008


This is just a little note letting you know that I'm not being lazy about blogging. I'm just refusing to cross the picket line.

I'm crossing it now because it turns out nobody give a crap whether or not I'm a scab.

Frankly, as I believe is popular opinion, I think the WGA is in the right. Far be it from me to ever side with a corporation. I read somewhere that they jumped the gun on the strike and should have waited to see what kind of profits are actually made by "new media." (For those of you not following the details of the strike, "new media," in this context refers to the recent prominance of digital media availble via the internet.) But the problem with that arguement is that in the meantime whatever profits are being made isn't being shared with the Writers, as they are with actors, producers, and the studios.

So, I think that the strike will ultimately be for the better. And I'm not just saying that because I'm hoping to one day sell the screenplay that will allow me to sleep in until 9 or 10 the rest of my life because of the enormous internet and DVD residuals. It's because next year, I'm confident, should see a surge in really creative movies, TV shows, and comedy. Think about it: the writers aren't working. They are bored and sitting at home with nothing to do except what got them introduced to the business in the first place. Writing for the sheer joy of it. Artists who aren't creating art will find some way to express themselves. If they aren't writing because they have to the easiest thing to do would be to write because they need to. So, I welcome the little lul in creative TV. I know they're good for it.