Monday, September 30, 2002

Today's Foxtrot pretty much sums up how I feel about the Saints' game yesterday... Not so much the punchline in the last frame... If I could have wired the team up to the PS2 somehow...

Sunday, September 29, 2002

I really have nothing to say. I haven't been much in the mood to post an entry very often. Perhaps, I'm hitting a writing slump, or prehaps I just don't want to say anything.

In high school, my 11th grade English teacher had us write in a journal everyday for the first 5 or 10 minutes of class. We'd come in and she'd have a topic on the board. I remember there were specific topics we had to write about, but occasionally she left the topic open, meaning we could write about whatever we wanted. After writing in our journals, she would call on a few people to read their entry. The journal was a part of the total grade, but like 10 or 15% of it.

Well, I wasn't having a great day at school (typical) and when I got to class, I saw that we had an open topic to write about in our journals. I really wasn't in the mood to do my journal and since it was an open topic, I wrote about how I didn't like open topic journal entries. It went something like this:

I really don't like "open topic" as a journal entry. It really gets on my nerves because then I have to think about a topic that I feel worthy of writing down in my journal and I am really not in the mood to have to think that hard right now. So, since this is an open topic journal entry, I will choose to not write about anything and let that be my journal entry for today.

I had written something in my journal and it was an open topic, so I felt I had completed the assignment. Of course, the teacher called on me to read my journal entry for that day. I read what I had written and the teacher looked at me with flames in her eyes. "Well, since you didn't want to write anything, I'll mark down the grade you deserve for that... an F," was her response. I didn't think that was fair since I actually did write something in my journal and that was all that was required to get a passing mark in the journal department. I didn't make a fuss about it. I really didn't care.

Later in the year on one of my book reports, she left me a note. It said something to the effect of, "I like the way you write, however you give too much of your personal opinion. You'd probably make a good editoral journalist." English 3 was probably my favorite class in high school...

I wonder if Mrs. Knight knew anything about 'blogs 10 years ago.

Friday, September 27, 2002

Well, if we're having trouble conceiving a child, we can at least at adopt one in the meantime... In fact, we all adopted one. Well, a demon child anyway... Ok 3 demon children... Ok, just 3 demons...

Rosenworcel, Protector of Everything Grey, a.k.a. ThunderGod

Rosenworcel is so named for the great ThunderGod, Brian of Guster, and I'm teaching my boy to be protector of Everything Grey. At least, I think he's a boy. He's quite the masculine demon...


Xercsis was adopted by my wife. She says he's cute and this is the baby she's been waiting for. Ain't he a cutie-patootie?


Even the boy can adopt a demon and Freezia is his own pride and joy. Apparently, Freezia is some Dragonball-Z creature. Kids know that stuff, so I trust he also knows how to take care of Maybe, if he does a good job with his demon, we'll get the boy a puppy.

Thanks to Trish for the linkie... Adopt your own demon, too...

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

That ain't no crop circle

It's (as you can see from the little tiny caption underneath) actually 12 acres of a cornfield that was carved into an AMAZING Maize Maze. Let's see how many more bad puns we can make...

This is really a pretty neat event. If your in the Houston area and are looking for something to do on a weekend from now until November, Cornfused at the Sierra Plantation looks like could be a fun waste of time. Bring the family and get lost in corn rows over 8 feet tall and I believe you'll learn a few things about Texas, too.

It all benefits the Fort Bend Family YMCA, so it's not only a good time, but a good cause.

Here's the psa/promo I produced for this event. Please note "receipt" is spelled correctly. Thank you. (You'll probably need quicktime and a some free time...)

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

I'm a little perplexed... The PTA wants us to pay them to join. Is that the way it works? I don't remember them asking for money last year. Not that we joined, I just don't remember the note home. And it's not like they are asking for much. $5 isn't alot of money really.

Yet, something about having to pay to join the PTA isn't sitting right. Has it always been that way or is this a new thing? Something about this isn't sitting right with me. The school's PTA, as I recall, has weekly or monthly get-togethers at some rich cafe latte place. Will my $5 go to paying for somebody else's double chocolate french press cappacino with extra foam?

From the letter to the parents:

Texas PTA provides a wide variety of parent education information, program ideas and leadership opportunies to the local PTA. Your president can give you information about these and also tell you how you can attend special events such as council meetings, district meetings, district conferences, workshops, state leadership seminar and convention.

Does that mean if I don't cough up 5 bucks will I be barred from PTA meetings that concern my child's welfare? Do I not have a right to voice my pleasure or displeasure when it comes to my child's education?

Your membership and support allows the PTA to financially sponsor enriching projects such as Hands-On Science, field trips, teacher training, and technology improvements, just to name a few.

You mean to tell me that field trips and teacher training and technology improvements aren't in the budget of probably the richest Independant School District in and around Houston?

Oh, I've got extra incentive to join...

An ice cream party will be given for all the classes with 100% membership. (Some classes are only short by one or two students!)

So, you've got to guilt me to join now? I'd hate for the class not to have an ice cream party because I'm the one kid's parent who didn't pay up.

Let's do some math. Aprroximately 20 kids times $5... That's $100 dollars. Blue Bell Ice Cream is what about 5 bucks a gallon? For 20 kids, 4 gallons oughta cover it... $100 - $20 = $80 dollars. Plates or bowls, napkins and plastic spoons would be about $15 or $20 (have you help a birthday party for 20 kids?). So we're down to about $60 bucks.

Get one free [school] directory by joining the PTA!!!!

The PTA has to take about $10 loss for every free directory they give out, assuming it would cost non-PTA folks $10 to buy it from the school (that doesn't seem unreasonable to me). So, six people getting free directores brings us down to $0. But for the ice cream party to take place all the kids in the class have to have a parent pay to join the PTA. That's 14 more free directories which means the PTA is at a loss of $140.

Am I just rambling on here about a non-issue or am I onto something?

Monday, September 23, 2002

And the results are in...

We went home for the weekend and had a great time. Didn't have anytime to post about anything. It was really great to see my sister and my niece. The little girl is such a cutie, even though she's still a little scared by the big man with lots of hair (yeah, that's me). But she started to warm up to me a little bit right before we left to drive home. We left at 4:30pm and didn't get home until midnight. The drive is supposed to take just under 6 hours. Thanks to construction in Louisiana and drivers who don't know what "Merge Right" means, it took a little longer...

But, yes the results of my test are in. It would seem that the boys are good swimmers, but they may of had a cold. The doctor's aide who told me about the results said there was a high number of white blood cells in the sample, but not enough to be worried about. Apparently, I might of had a cold I didn't know about. But, the doctor signed off on a clean bill of health for my little swimmers.

What does the future hold? I guess we shall see...

Update: Got the complete results mailed to me...

Normal Sperm Concentration: 20.0 million per milliliter
Me: 41.0 million per milliliter

Strangely, confirming my "manliness" doesn't feel as good as one would think... Warning: Women stay away from me...

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Ok, folks, we're about to get extremely personal here. Tomorrow, I will be calling the doctor back to find out the results of a semen test that was performed last friday. More on that experience in a bit.

For just over a year now, my wife and I have been trying to get pregnant. Since she's already had a kid, we figured it wouldn't be this hard to get pregnant. But it has been a very frustrating 12 months for both of us. Every month, we have all this excitement built up about the possibility of being pregnant, only to crash hard when she begins her period. And while it's hard for me to accept, it's even harder for my wife.

The monthly crash has been very hard to deal with, so hard that it's affecting our intimacy. And I don't mean sex, necessarily. The thinking is if we do anything that could lead to sex, then we could have sex which just leads to depression and disappointment at the end of the month. So, if we don't have sex or do anything intimate that could maybe lead to sex, then there's no reason to crash. Yes, we are working on that. The catch-22 is if we're having problems with intimacy now, how much of a problem will it be when we have a baby and there's no time to be intimate. Wouldn't it still be a problem?

Moving on, we've decided to start figuring out why we aren't having success. So after doing some research, we decided it best if I spill my seed into a cup. And that's really want I wanted to talk about. The doctor gave me the specimen cup and some paperwork. I was instructed that the lab needed my contribution no more than an hour after filling up the cup. Or, I could go to the lab and do my business in their special room. Well, I live at least a half-hour away from the lab and with Houston traffic the way it is, the best thing to do was go to the lab (or is that cum into the lab, Trish??)

I called the lab to make an appointment and they said I didn't need one, that I could walk right it. So, I decided I would go on my off day. That whole week leading up to the event, my mind wondered what the special room would be like. The way I understood it there would be a couch to sit on and some dirty mags on a table. Maybe even a t.v. and v.c.r. to assist with the collection, you know what I'm saying... I was really hoping for some porn. We laughed about maybe even asking a nurse if she could give me a hand. I am not ashamed to say I was looking forward to the test.

For like a week, I built up inside of me this wonderous picture of a sterile porn palace. I figured I'd have enough fun at the lab that I could take 20 or 30 minutes perfoming the test. You know, get all the free porn I can... Imagine my surprise when I was shown the special room and it turned out to be a flourescent-lit bathroom. Yes, it was sterile, but it was hardly a place to get my business on. The toliet just had a seat, no cover to sit on. What's up with that? No TV, no magazines. My fantasy was so destroyed that I think the doctor is going to tell me that I failed the test, not that it came back positive or negative, but that I am the first person to flat out fail it.

Actually, I'm not really worried if the doctor tells me I have a low sperm count. That would be understandable. I had a freakish accident at the roller rink as a kid which probably screwed something up. Plus, smoking marijuana in college probably didn't help the situation (not that I regret my pot-head days because I wouldn't be who I am today and I am very happy with who I am).

I think I'm more worried that my boys are good swimmers because then we've figured out that the problem isn't with me but with my wife. And that would be very hard for her...probably devistating. At least if the swimmers can't swim, we can skip right on to adoption or get science to fertilize one of her eggs with one of my weaklings. Seriously, it's probably never been said by a man before, but I'm hoping more for a low sperm count.

I guess we'll find out tomorrow what the news shall be. Whatever the results, we'll get by.

You better catch me when I fall. I'm on my roller skates...'Cause any ol' way that I fall, I'll be in your arms as we lie awake with our lovely new mistake. -- "New Mistake" by Jellyfish.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

I don't have a cat anymore, but if I did, it wouldn't be a surprise to learn that my cat hates you.

I miss my Mallory sometimes. The long story short is that I moved into a place that didn't allow pets. So, I asked a friend with 6 cats, 2 dogs and 2 iguanas if she could stay there until I could get a place that did allow pets. Well, then ended up moving to Seattle and I never was able to get a place that allowed pets. Mallory was already well acclimated to living with the zoo, so we all thought it best if she went with them. And from what I understand she's the Alpha-bitch cat now. LOL!

2 stories about Mallory that will tell you all about her attitude. First of all, cat owners know this, but cats talk to you and you talk back to them. And everyone understands each other. Owners speak a human language and cat's meow, but you understand each other.

(Story 1) So, I was sitting at my computer doing my morning news check routine. I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich sitting on the desk to my right. Mallory comes up and says:
"Hey, are you going to feed me? I want some food now."
"Relax, Mallory, as soon as I'm done checking my email and the news I wil fill your bowl"
So, uh, you're not feeding me now? Is that right?
"Well, yes, but I'll just be 2 minutes and then you can eat"
"2 minutes? That's not good enough. I want to eat NOW"
"Oh, relax. You'll get your food in a minute."
"So let me get this right. You're not getting up to feed me right now?"
"No. Not at this moment."
At this point, she gets up on her hind legs and touches her front paw to my PB&J.
"Well, you're not gonna eat that now, so why don't you come feed me. I'll be at my bowl."
She smiled at me and casually walked away knowing that she ruined my breakfast.

The other story is why I called her Mallory. I am a firm believer that you can't name any pets right away. You have to give them a few days to show you their personality and give them a befitting name. Mallory was a very playful, insane, psycho kitty. At night, I would crawl into the bed rub my feet together. She would attack the monster under the covers. Neither of us slept much. She would claw at the speaker wires to my stereo, even broke them once. A few days after getting Mallory, I was driving around and listening to the Natural Born Killers Soundtrack. That's when it hit me. The perfect name for my cat. She was named after Juliette Lewis' character, Mallory Knox. Quite fitting if you asked anyone who knew my cat...

Monday, September 16, 2002

"Receipt is spelled R-E-C-E-I-P-T."
"Well, how'd I spell it in the spot?"
"R-E-C-I-E-P-T. Fix it. It's already airing."

How many people missed mistake? Let's count:

1) Me, the friggin producer of the spot
2) The Graphic Artist
3) My Supervisor
4) My Boss
5) The Art Director
6) 3 others I showed the spot to
7) The Ad Adjency rep
8) The Client
9) The 10 people at 10 other stations who received dubs of spot (At least, none of them called to tell us about it, so I assume they missed it, too)

So that's at least 20 people...

Ok, kiddies, what have we learned? "i" before "e" except after "c"

Use a Dictionary!

Update: 10 points to the person who points out what's misspelled above...

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Sometimes, I don't know who has it worse -- the kid who has dyslexia or the parent who has to see their child learn with this disability. The kid has a mild case of dylsexia and he's in a phenomenal program at school to help him learn. In the year that he's been in the school's dyslexia program, he's raised his grades from C's and D's to A's and B's. So, it's great that he's getting the help he needs, but God, it's really hard to see that sometimes.

I was going over his review sheet for Social Studies. They're learning all about maps. The review sheet is your typical review sheet, I guess. It's basically map vocabulary. A word followed by a definition written by the kid. Only alot of what the kid wrote is horribly misspelled. Here's a few examples (the kid's words in italics):

cardinal directons: mian deshon
compass rose: small drawing to sho derekson
intermediate directons: beetwen direchoins
One of the seven continents: Atrallia

Interesting how the word "direction" was misspelled differently each time. But that's dyslexia for you. It flips things around in your mind so words look spelled correctly but they are not. And as you can see from above, it's not just switching two letters around. Dyslexia makes the kid's brain interpret all of that as correct.

We were going over his map and globe study sheet for his test tomorrow. The teacher knows about his learning disability and says she's not the spelling teacher so she won't be taking off for spelling but will point out misspelled words. But, it still brought a tear to my eye looking over the stuff he's supposed to be studying from and I can hardly read it. Seriously, I was tearing up asking him what the defination of a map key is (telse what the symbols mean). I kept wondering how can he be learning from this sheet. How did the teacher not see this and help him correct it. Worse, what kind of parent am I for not seeing this sheet earlier and helping him correct it?

Don't think that my kid is stupid. He's probably smarter than you are. Believe it or not, he was 7 and reading about dinosaurs when he said something like, "Mommy, look at this" and then said the name of the first bird to come from dinosaurs. Something like Ar-key-op-a-trucks. Only he said it, very fluently. I'm 27 and can't even say it, much less spell the damn thing. He can say and spell really big words; it's the small one that really mess him up. Firecracker -- No problem. Fire -- well, he had trouble with that word before...

We're just grateful that he's in a wonderful school system that can help him learn with this disability. And his grades are reflecting that...

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

And the Finaly Jeopardy answer is... 9-1-1.

What is the number I call when someone is trying to break into my house? Correct.

That's about all those numbers mean to me. Well, I'd also call for other emergencies, like a fire or gas leak.

I've been contemplating off and on for a few days about how to address the one year anniversary of planes smacking into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. And, I think the best way to address it... is not to. But that's a little impossible because I already have. Don't you love the irony?

Seriously, why should this day be any different than another? I haven't figured that out. All of the networks will be providing some form of anniversary coverage (except the WB which is showing My Dog Skip). I hear many are doing around the clock coverage, which just ensures that I'll either be reading a book or playing Sim City 3000 (erecting my own buildings to destroy later) when I get home.

To me, the best thing I can do to beat the terrorists is forget about 9/11 and continue to live my life without fear. I can rather easily say I'm not afraid of death or dying, so I really have nothing to fear from terrorism. That's how they lose. When people, when Americans, when more people all over the world get over their fear of dying, living life becomes easy and terrorists have NO advantage. That's what they are after. For us (or is that for U.S.) to be so afraid of dying that we allow ourselves and the government to take so many precautions, to take away so many of our freedoms, that it becomes impossible to live freely. I'd rather die than live without the freedoms I enjoy.

So, in my little, insignificant mind, I have won my personal war on terrorism.

In her newspaper column on Dec. 8, 1942, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt told Americans why she opposed the commemoration of Pearl Harbor. "It is not a date for a holiday," she wrote. "It is a date that should make us work."

Couldn't have said it better myself... That's exactly how I feel about making 9/11 a holiday. That's just stupid.

Monday, September 09, 2002

Folks, I think I must of had about 3 heart attacks from watching football yesterday.

First, a heart attack of extreme pleasure and excitement to see the Mighty Rams fall. If there is a single bone of hate in my body, it's all directed at the St. Louis Rams. Except for Marshall Faulk and Torry Holt because they are on my fantasy football team.

Second, The New Orleans Saints gave me another heart attack, as only the Saints can do. Just when you think they are going to roll, something happens and the game ends up 20-20 in overtime. But, the boys in black and gold were able to kill the Bucs momentum and put one in the win column. Just call this The Weekly Heart Attack because the Saints always always always do that. Well, now that this game is over, I can go back to liking the Bucs. I only dislike them twice a year now, when they play the Saints.

And finally, my third heart attack of the night came when the Texans shocked the Cowboys and the entire NFL by not only beating "America's Team" but handling them 19-10. Most people around Houston would probably be ok with a 1-15 season as long as the Texans beat the Cowboys. The I-45 Bowl Champion is Houston's to hold and defend until they play the 'boys again, in like 4 years (That's for you, File13).

And the icing on the cake is that my fantasy team -- I call them Texan (S)Ain'ts -- won their first game, too. Not the highest score, but a win is a win and that's something to work on for next week.

Hopefully, my fragile widdle heart can take all dis football excitment...

Saturday, September 07, 2002

Well, as far as I'm concerned, Tropical Storm Fay is well over. In fact, where I am, you could barely say she ever arrived. For the most part, it's been a near constant light drizzle. Occassionally, I'd hear a harder pitter-patter on the windows, but I can't recall any thunder. The hardest part of the rain, I easily slept through last night. Though, I did wake up to my clock blinking red in my face. Strange that was the only clock in the house blinking...

Of course, there are those who are not as lucky as I am, and I understand Fay is still bringing some heavy rain to the coast. Jack over at The People's Republic of Seabrook has been chronicaling T.S. Fay for the last few days (scroll down a bit and read up). Very interesting read, considering I'd say we live less than 40 miles apart, as the crow flies. He got it worse than we did, but nothing too bad.

Tropical Storms and hurricanes are funny in that you never know what you'll get with them. T.S. Allison proved last year that a "little storm" can pack a helluva punch. I've been through T.S. Juan, Hurricane Andrew, T.S. Francis, Earle and Hurricane George (those last three all hit within a week each other) and probably a few more I'm forgetting about. They never really bothered me, but then I've been lucky enough not to lose anything in these storms. As long as I've got the candles ready and a good book, I'm pretty much good to go.

And, if I didn't have a family to worry about to, I'd probably wouldn't evacuate until a Category 3 hurricane or higher was forecast to make a direct hit on my place. I'm dumb that way...

Friday, September 06, 2002

Tropical Storm Fay (that really needs an 'E' at the end) is inching closer and closer making a landfall. Already, Galveston and other parts of coastal SE Texas are getting rain and higher than normal water.

Personally, I'm not worried about an Allison repeat. Not where I live in Houston. We were very lucky last year during that tropical storm, and I'd be surprised if we got 10 inches of rain through that whole weather event. If we get flooding where we live, it'll be because Fay just doesn't want to move and will down a ton of water on our heads.

The thing that really bothers me is most of the local news stations are bringing you "Breaking News" keeping an "Eye on the Gulf," but they aren't tossing it to the most logical person to toss it to, The Weatherguy. Instead, the stations I've seen, ABC13and KHOU Channel 11, have being going to their reporter standing in at least ankle deep water. And all the viewer gets from this is a idiot with electricity in his hand standing in water. It serves no good purpose. One reporter was standing on the far end of a jetti while high winds and higher waves where threatening to knock him into the Gulf. You know, I kinda wish this idiot would have fallen in, not that I wish him harm, but idiots deserve stupid stuff to happen to them...

Now, in fairness, they have gone to the weatherguys, but they spent so much time in the thick of things that the viewers get just a small amount of the information they need to stay safe. "Here's where the eye is. Oh, look at the pretty colors on the radar!" is about all we get. Hey, Poncho Micman, get out of the water and let the weatherguy tell me where this storm is expected to bring rain.

Personally, I think I'll just keep in touch with WB39 Chief Meteorlogist Keith Monahan. Yeah, that's a bit biased, considering I work with him, but I have seen him time and time again call the weather right. As a viewer, I trust his weather forecast. He'll cut into programming if it's really warrented, but he won't scare you with hype about a "deadly threat of thunderstorms" or whatnot.

Here's some hurricane/tropical storm info SE Texas readers should be familiar with... (scroll down a tiny bit)

Tropical Storm Fay

(that little tiny white dot in the middle is where we live)

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

QB's Agent gives Saints ultimatum

If I can just talk to the Saint's starting QB for a moment...

Aaron, I can understand you're feeling a little underpaid as the one of the lowest paid starting QB in the NFL today. You're the second-lowest paid starting QB set to earn approximately $450,000 this year. Wow, you know, I don't know what I'd do if someone gave me that much money... but this is about you...

Your contract is up at the end of the season and you do deserve more than that measly sum you're getting for playing this year. But, I really don't think your contract negotiations warrent the kind of childish behavior you're displaying. The Saints, management and fans, know you need to be paid more and they do want to give you more money.

Your agent said "I've informed the Saints that if we don't have a deal done by Sunday, then we're done with it.We're not going to carry this into the season. Aaron wants to bring a championship to New Orleans, and he doesn't need to be distracted by contract talks during the season."

Aaron, do you realize what a Catch-22 position you're in now? You want more money and I won't dispute that you are due a raise. But, how much of one remains to be seen. You see, last year, you tanked. If you didn't throw 4 interceptions in the last game, or if the Saints would have been a wild card team, you'd probably have your contract by now. So, by calling off talks in 4 days, you really will have to go out there and earn yourself a better deal, whether that's with the Saints or another team that might want you.

That's the problem isn't it Aaron. You now realize that you have to play well to get paid well. You can end the talks on Sunday but if you tank again, not only are you not worth the money to the Saints, you're not worth much money to other teams. Don't get me wrong. You are a great QB. And whether it's with the Saints or another franchise, you'll be playing again next year. But you've got to perform to get the money, Aaron.

By the way, the $5.4 million a year they offered you was a good deal for you. A hefty pay raise and but not so hefty that there's a lot of pressure to earn it. Now, though there's gonna be alot of pressure on you because next year's paycheck will be determined by this year's play. Good Luck with that...

On a side note, Aaron, you're my fantasy football quartback starter. Please don't make me have to play my backup QB, Houston's David Carr...

Monday, September 02, 2002

Here's a NY Post article about Batman! the Musical...

You read that right. Batman! the Musical...

Now, normally you'd think my "what the fuck?" expression here would translate to something like "They aren't seriously thinking about making 'Batman! the Musical?!?'" But honestly, I'm more aghast that the sonsabitches stole my idea. I had been dreaming of how to bring Batman to the stage since Tim Burton directed the first Dark Knight blockbuster. At least, he's on board to direct this. And the music will be done by Jim Steinman, a.k.a. the music man beyond Meatloaf.

I remember trying to figure out how to make Batman fly on stage and how to go from Bruce Wayne costume to The Cape Crusader outfit with it taking only a theater second. I wanted to hire Prince, or whatever he calls himself now, to do the score.

Yeah, I was a weird kid...