28 09 2009

If my number isn’t called within the next five minutes

I will take what is to be mine.

Having served my time enough, I can’t serve any others

So I will find what should be mine:

My cellular divisions have advanced quite far since then

And my molecular makeup has made itself a name

Although my fellow diners have already, mostly dined

I do not envy much their meals of such and such regard

And if I only wanted food itself I could be full

But appetites are hardly slaked by appetizers alone.

Bring it on, and bring it whenever and ever, ahem–

I think you called for seventeen when I am holding ten.

The Nexus of Texas (and Lexus)

26 09 2009

The freeway system in Texas is horrible.  Actually, that’s not true.  There’s clearly no system in place at all, and there are often highways adjoining highways that lead to the same place and have the same names.  Would you like to take 360?  Sure!  Just take it, or the frontage road next to it (no, not the road named Frontage Road, which is a completely real name of a real road in Texas) and you will wind up at your destination, which happens to be an address ON THE FREEWAY.  I mean, I don’t know too many people who live at 1319 I-5, Los Angeles, CA, but apparently this is a normal thing in Texas because they have roads called freeways/highways (the distinction really means nothing down there, for all intents and purposes) that actually look exactly like the roads on those navigation system commercials that show people driving their convertibles high above the clogged freeway.  Except these roads are about 30 feet from the unclogged freeway, and are often impossible to get off of.  But you can always find a Whataburger.  Apparently they have good tacos, or so the locals told me.  Just what I was wondering.

Critters.  They have grasshoppers as big as your fist.  They have other things that I don’t know what they are except for all I know is they are huge and kind of cool until you see a parking lot littered with their crushed bodies, covered by a mist of the live ones hovering, ready to disembowel their brother and sister locusts.  Of course, this is the least of your problems when you have coyotes wandering around a mile from your hotel on the side of the highway.  (Granted, I’ve seen coyotes in Los Osos too, but you just don’t expect it in a “big city” area like Dallas.  Or Irving, technically.)  Also it was “bring your dog to the ballpark” day at Arlington, but we (thanks to Amy) got seats that weren’t quite as “interesting” as I’m sure the upper deck area was.  It was nice and warm that day too, which must have augmented the aura quite beautifully.  Incidentally, anyone who owned a Lexus got free valet parking at the Ballpark.  Of course, is it really free when you have to stand in line for thirty minutes to tip the valet who has to pick your car out among the horde of other silver Lexuses (Lexi?).

Demeanor.  I’ve taken four trips to Texas in the past ten years, and I’ve always been warmed by the affable and kindly manner in which I am approached.  Everyone from the cook at the barbecue buffet who told me to get a clean plate to the salty gentleman walking up to the stadium with us was as polite and easygoing as you could imagine.  It’s simply a given over there that you are neighbors with those around you.  Although I encountered some exceptions (we call them “jerks” here) at times, it was a pretty hard and fast rule that you will be treated with both familiarity and respect in most any situation.  Culturally, it’s one of the more attractive things about the area.

Weather.  While it was actually ok for most of our stay, (“ok” being high 80s, no rain, decent humidity) the potential for ice storms and triple digits at any given time is a little bit of a discouragement for those looking to emigrate.  Certainly, the lightning storms are cool to watch, but not when you’re wondering if you might have been just an inch too tall to be alive in ten minutes.  And the humidity, really.  I mean, John and I jogged our way to Cowboys Stadium just in time to see kickoff, but our clothes were absolutely soaked before we even sat down.  We’re talking actual liquid dripping noticeably from our shorts as we’re standing up during the national anthem.  I think sweat would work better as a coolant if it didn’t constantly remind you of just how hot you were in the first place.

Food.  I’m surprised people can actually buy life insurance in this state, since Taco Bell is probably the healthiest thing there.  Meat is a given at every part of every meal, and often the only part.  (Fogo de Chao being an obvious instance of the latter)  Their food comes swimming in barbecue sauce, fried, battered, buttered, glazed, and ready to be refilled as soon as your plate looks half-empty.  In case it isn’t obvious, this is a huge point in Texas’s favor.  I mean, shouldn’t all food be more like the Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger?  Lots of potato salad, coleslaw, and Dr Pepper.  Dr Pepper.  Amy embarrassed us at one place by actually asking them if they served Dr Pepper there.  I assume she was also planning on asking if they served oxygen, but the subsequent wail of despair from the kitchen drowned it out.

Those are just some “high-lights” of the trip, but actually experiences will be put to paper (e.g. not paper) in the future.  I could see myself living there, though.  If not for Los Osos, that is.


23 09 2009

If lunacy be lunar then Apollo is my name

I ride upon the wings of night without regard for shame.

I cannot reach my love with smiles or Turkish delight,

But impart secondhand sunshine to those that weep at night

Ever-present through the day but superseded I

Await my brief but potent hour to radiate the sky

While darkness seems to mock my worth I cannot help but gaze

Upon the ground that tingles, full of luminescent haze

And wonder what the world would wish upon if not for me

For stars are only tears astride Sulva’s tranquility.

It’s true what critics said about inherent complications

In giving birth to happiness instead of lamentations;

The sorrowful are plentifully soothed before my stare

But seldom is the man who seeks the joy within my air.

So if you wish to bask within the coolness of my sphere

You’ll have to prove your sanity by jumping off the weir.

Delayed Response

22 09 2009

I’d like to sort of apologize to the anonymous glob of “readers” out there whom I’ve kept waiting while I’ve been in Texas these past few days.

I’d like to, but I don’t really think I’m going to.  That’s the thing about velleity, you see.



From the Halcyon Days of My Youth

15 09 2009

This Greg character is…something else.  Also, Ilan has a great quote full of resentment and bitterness!


14 09 2009

Jon at SCL recently put up an amusing post about hugs. and I am going to voice some of my own, less amusing thoughts here.

When I was growing up, hugs among my peers were not that common.  I would hug my friends at the end of camp, my family on significant days, and other people I had not seen for a while or would not be seeing for a while.  I suppose I could just assume that my childhood was based on some Baby Boomer tradition of a man keeping his distance, but I prefer to think that I was raised fairly normally in this regard.  Hugs are something very special.  Really, I prefer the term “embrace” as it carries a bit more weighty of a connotation.  Because that is what you are doing.  You are embracing someone with your body, and they are (or should be) returning it.

Hugs today rarely carry this weight.

In college, I saw (and reluctantly engaged in, on a few occasions) hugs occurring all over the place.  People would greet others with hugs when they happened to walk by between classes, when they met to study, when they saw each other in chapel, and so forth.  I got so sick of being coerced into returning hugs that I tried to develop an anti-hug demeanor:  Arms crossed, one foot in front of the other, body slightly askew from the person whom I was facing.  It communicates a sense of haste and business that tends to ward off the guy huggers, but I have yet to come up with a foolproof defense against the overzealous females.  (Please make jokes now)

Ok, yes, I can hear you.  “You are a cold, heartless !#!@$@# who has no affection for his friends.  I think hugs are great!  We should hug more people all the time! It’s a great way to get closer to each other, and I think it’s something we should make more of an effort to do!  Aren’t we supposed to great each other ‘with a holy kiss’ anyway?  What’s your problem with any sort of intimacy with your friends?”  -Hugger in Houston


You are the type of person I am trying to avoid touching.  Can I be blunt?  No?  Too bad.

I believe that a lot of people (Especially peopl in the 14-25 age range) use hugs to gain a false sense of intimacy with their friends.  While I’ve heard some people say that this is mostly true only in women, who naturally seek intimacy with their friends, and that men are merely following their lust for physical companionship,  I don’t believe so.  I think men and women like hugging everything in sight because it, their eyes, represents a level of intimacy that humans naturally desire.  As the stigma about physical contact in our culture are quickly wearing away, hugs have rushed in to fill the gap as a sort of innocent way of forming this bond.  Embracing someone is  something that should be reserved for people you love.  Pressing your body to theirs should signify that you see them as part of yourself.  Family, very close friends (and even these, only on select occasions) and lovers are the only ones who should be making this bold statement.  I don’t want to avoid hugging everyone because I don’t like everyone; rather, I want to avoid hugging everyone I like because of the few people that I love. I realize that this definition of love can make us uncomfortable, and that guys often cannot say this to each other in today’s hyper-sexual climate without incurring derision.  I want my embraces to communicate the love of Christ to those I care for.  Why do we need to dilute something as wonderful as a “hug” (you know I’m serious because I’m putting quotes around real words) just to pretend that we’re close to everyone in our lives?  I realize that some people may feel awkward not hugging someone they consider a friend, but here is the crux of my argument:  Friendship should be reinforced by actions for the other person instead of actions to each other.  Thisis not to say that one should never hug a friend or “buddy” who is in real need of consolation or love at the time, but simply that if one cannot feel close to a friend without hugging them, then you are probably nowhere near close enough to them to warrant a hug in the first place.  My philosophy of affection between casual friends is that if we can demonstrate care and love for each other before we begin to show our love in actions to each other, then such affection will carry with it the weight of true care and love rather than manufactured and hollow intimacy.

And hey, that holy kiss thing?  I’d much rather peck someone on the cheek than I would squish my body up against theirs.  I can gargle some mouthwash any time of day, but doing laundry costs $1.75 at this apartment.

Nouveaux (Love in G Sharp)

8 09 2009

Anything goes for today and tomorrow

Worlds cannot wither when absent of sorrow

When shame is embraced it becomes only truth

Regrets are just remnants of reticent youth

Turabian tells us to learn before breaking

Sweet is much sweeter when ripe for the taking

Canonical catch-phrases catch simple girls

While heretical blasphemies follow the pearls.

So if this is the only last polka we’ve got

Let’s jump, shout and twist ourselves Gordian with naughts,

We’ll forgo the orthodox when ill-advised

And spend hours proving what others surmised

Priding ourselves on whatever we’re given

Of subsequent sins we’ve already been shriven.