Thursday, May 29, 2003

So, let's define "cheating" shall we?

There's a bulletin board that I used to frequent for a while and now just lurk to check on a few net-friends. One of these friends is unhappily married with three kids, the youngest being around 14. And he's an incredible flirt. He's gotten into the habit of clammering for attention on this board by saying how his wife treats him so horribly. Personally, if half of what he says it true regarding his marriage, I don't understand why he's still around. He must like the abuse.

Anyway, so he's made a lot of female friends at this chatter board. And I know for a fact that he and one of the girls were having an affair. They no longer are but remain friends. She's now one of my best friends and I helped her through that emotional time. So, yeah, in that case, he cheated. But that's not what I'm debating. His wife doesn't know about it or is probably suspicous of his infidelity.

Well, apparently the wife saw a news report about how to tell in your spouse is cheating with someone online and now is very suspicous. He doesn't tell her much, if anything, about his friendships with people on the chatter. He keeps saying how she doesn't understand the bonds people can and have created on-line. That I won't dispute - you can make real friendship/relationships online. I understand it; she doesn't. But then, how can you understand something you don't know about.

Here's my issue. The wife now wants the password to his email. You tell me if this is cheating by his reaction. He sent a mass email to all of his chick-buddies (only one guy was included in the email - a guy, I might add, who basically left his wife for his mistress) saying if you email him at that address, then please send "generic" emails and don't sign it "LOVE." He goes on to say that how "the girls at (his wife's) work" think that if he doesn't give his password to her then he has something to hide. Furthermore, he says he has a new email address where they (he and the chatter-girlies) can discuss this matter in private.

From his actions, I seems to me that he's got something to hide. My reasoning is if the relationship isn't inappropriate, then why are you hiding it from your significant other? What are you doing/saying that you have to hide it? Sure, the s.o. might not understand the relationship, but they don't have to understand a relationship to accept that the relationship is important.

So, let's define "cheating." I'll say the litmus test of cheating is asking yourself if you'd do/say the same things with your s.o. standing right there. If not, then that's a big red flag don't you think? Let's face it, if you have to hide a relationship from your significant other, then it's cheating.

What do you think?

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Lost: 17 pounds since last Monday. If you find them, keep them.

Yes, I have started, not a diet, a lifestyle change. That's between 20 and 25% of how much I want weight I want to lose. In addition to the weight, the inches are coming off too. My waist is 3" slimmer and my belly is too. Overall, I've shrunk by 15 1/2 inches. That's in various places of my body - chest, waiste, hips. I don't feel like my clothes are loose-fitting yet. I'm just extremely encouraged by the results in the first 10 days.

The "lifestyle change" the wife and I are working on involves speeding up our metabolism. The idea is that we'll burn off the excess fat and keep it off. Yeah, it involves a very strict diet, but only for the first 10 days. After that, it's just watch what you eat. You know, don't gorge. Don't go heavy on the butter. More fruits and veggies. But, thank goodness, meat of all kinds is still on the menu.

The weight and fat loss won't be as dramatic from here on out, but hell 17lbs. in 10 days is a helluva start. Hopefully, I will continue have the drive and will to shed the 50 or so pounds I hope to lose. The hardest part, I think, will be making it through the weekend. Eating habits and schedules change then. It's very hard to go to a catered cast party and only eat off the veggie tray when you used to congregate over the cocktail weenies. Once I think there's a noticeable change, I might post some before and after pictures. Depends on my self-esteem and the internet anonimity factor.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Someone bought this for the kid. I'm absolutely amazed by how much fun and enjoyment we are getting out of it. We're not in grade school, but we had a laugh riot. We even had contests to see who could make the best one. What's even more amazing is the number of speciality stores I found selling stuff like like this.

My mother once gave me a book of limericks and poems on the subject. But, if you want to really be informed about the source of the subject, hold your breath before going here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

The Origin of Love

When the earth was still flat and clouds made of fire
And mountains reached up the sky, sometimes higher,
Folks roamed the earth like big rolling kegs.
They had two sets of arms; they had two sets of legs.
They had two faces peering out of one giant head
So they could watch all around them as they talked while they read.
And they never knew nothing of love, it was before

The Origin of Love.

Now, there was three sexes then
And one looked like two men glued up back to back
Called the Children of the Sun.
And, similar in shape and gerth was the Children of the Earth;
They looked like two girls rolled up in one.
And, the Children of the Moon looked like a fork shoved on a spoon;
They were part-Sun, part-Earth, part-daughter, part-son.

The Origin of Love.

Now, the gods grew quite scared of our strength and defiance
And Thor said, "I'm gonna kill'em all with my hammer like I killed the giants!"
But Zeus said, "No, you better let me use my lightning-like scissors,
Like I cut the legs off of whales, dinosaurs into lizards."
And, then he grabbed up some bolts, he let out a laugh,
Said, "I'll split them right down the middle, gonna cut'em right up in half!"
And then storm clouds gathered above into great balls of fire...

And then fire shot down from the sky in bolts like shining blade of a knife
And it ripped right through the flesh of the Children of the Sun and the Moon and the Earth.
And some Indian god sewed the wound up, pulled around to our belly to remind us the price we paid.
And Osiris and the Gods of Nile gathered up a big storm
To blow a hurricane
To scatter us away
In a flood of wind and rain
In a sea of tidal waves
To wash us all way
And if we don't behave
They'll cut us down again
And we'll be hoping 'round on one foot
And looking through one eye.

The last time I saw you, we'd just split in two.
You was looking at me, I was looking at you.
You had a way so familiar I could not recognize
'Cause you had blood in your face, I had blood in my eyes.
But I could swear by your expression that the pain
Down in your soul was the same as the one down in mine.

That's the pain.
It cuts a straight line down through the heart
And we call it "love."
We wrapped our arms 'round each other,
Tried to shove ourselves back together.
We were making love... making love.

It was a cold, dark evening such a long time ago
When by the mighty hand of Jove,
It was a sad, sad story how we became lonely two-legged creatures.
The Story...
The Origin of Love

-- Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Friday, May 16, 2003

MMMmmm... Friday...

The Friday Five:

1. What drinking water do you prefer -- tap, bottle, purifier, etc.?
It really doesn't matter to me. I don't have to have bottled water or purified water. I take it straight from the tap most days.

2. What are your favorite flavor of chips?
My all-time favorite has been BBQ, but lately I've been craving salt and vinegar. The Subway's here used to carry them, but suddenly they stopped. I was sad.

3. Of all the things you can cook, what dish do you like the most?
Sadly, I don't get to "cook" often. Preparing the box of jambalya isn't exactly cooking. I do love that. But, I would say my roast beef, when I have time to make it, is the bizz-omb! Tarragon, pepper, garlic, thyme and a few special spices are in my recipe, but the gravy doesn't come out nearly as good as my mommas.

4. How do you have your eggs?
I go in staged with eggs. When I was a kid, I'd have them scrambled. When I was 21 or so, I'd had to have omlettes. Lately though, I've been over-easy. Kinda like my attitude.

5. Who was the last person who cooked you a meal? How did it turn out?
Last night, the wifeykins prepared a chicken stir-fry that is our diet safe. She thought it came out bland, but I enjoyed it.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Color me Happy Frappy! Two of my favorite artist/musicians are releasing their latest albums on the same day. Liz Phair's self-titled album and Guster's "Keep It Together" are both being released on June 24th. That's a little late for Father's Day, but they can both be pre-ordered. So, there's your gift hint.

Give'em a listen. Go to Guster's webpage and launch the KIT PLAYER. Or if sexy, hard-rocking mamma's are your thang (I know they're my thang), then check out Liz Phair. The first release is called "Why Can't I?"

Liz is playing Austin in June and that's the closest she's coming. I'm going to have to try and take a day off to go to that show. It's going to be nearly impossible to do, but where there's a will... Oh dear Lord, please grant me this.

Monday, May 12, 2003

My neighbor/friend's car was broken into last night. From what we can tell, only the radio was stolen. The jerkies tried to jimmie the lock on all four doors before they were successful. They must have known that you could reach the trunk from the backseat, too. The cops have been called and haven't shown up yet. This was in a very low crime apartment complex. How low crime? Well, this is the first incident I've ever heard of in two years. How low crime? I have accidently left my keys in the door overnight twice and they were still there in the morning. It's a very safe for the family place. Now, I don't know.

I am reminded of the time my car was broken into. Some friends and I went to Bourbon Street in the French Quarter the weekend after Mardi Gras. I was driving and parked by the French Market along a levee wall. The free parking was enticing to a poor college boy. We pulled up around midnight. New Orleans doesn't start kicking until then. I had one of those theft-deterrant CD players - you know, the ones you pull out and hide - and I popped the truck to hide it there. Thinking back on it, I remember some street punks hanging out near-by. I'm assuming they saw us pull up and, later, emptied the trunk.

We got back to the car around 5am and my friend wanted to put something in the trunk, so I gave him the keys. He said, "Uh...ML, where's the keyhole?" I thought he was too drunk, but upon further investigation discovered there was no keyhole. It had been jimmied out. The bastards got away with the theft-deterrant CD player, Pearl Jam's Vitology (not a big loss), a $200 used electric guitar (that was on loner from my cousin), and all the leftover Mardi Gras alcohol left in the cooler - including the 3 corked champagne bottles filled with one of my buddy's uncle's moonshine. Lennon was right when he sang "Instant Karma's gonna get you." Whenever I think about this incident, I can't help but picture some teenage gutter punks getting the surprise of their life when celebrated their looting by popping open that "champagne." Take that, fuckers!

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Winnie The Pooh and Christopher Robin

Yes, that cutie in the sailor suit is the kid. He never takes a bad picture, even when we forgot it was picture day at school. I was running late getting out the door and he was dress in a old t-shirt and didn't brush his hair. Fabulous picture.

We're thinking about getting an agent for him. Have no idea where to start looking or what to do about that. But, he enjoys theatre and doesn't get nervous or forgets his lines. His mother even reports that he had to help cover for some of the adults - people who have done this show about 3 times - who forgot their lines.

No, he does not get his good looks from me...

The little stinker snuck into our bedroom at 10am. I woke up when the door opened but pretended I was still asleep. He careful woke his mother up and gave her the above. She was very touched. I wondered how the kid forged my signature...

That's Malificent from Sleeping Beauty, her favorite. He did that from memory. Can he draw or what?!? His mother is really into Disney Villians... I don't know. She also likes "Kiss Me, Kate" which she tells me she has to subject me... I mean... she has to show me.


Friday, May 09, 2003

Hi. My name is ML and I am a big fat idiot. Please, pull up a comfy chair, maybe get some refreshments, sit right back and I'll tell you why.

My camera has been broken for about 4 years now. Specifically, the light meter inside of it wouldn't move. So, I had no way to telling if there was enough light for taking a picture. Seeing how I used this camera for artistic purposes, I thought it was imperative to get this fixed. Unfortunately, I lacked the money to get it fixed.

I ended up using my Pentax K-1000 less and less. It's hard to be arty without being to tell if the lighting is right. Eventually, I would take it out only when something needed to be preserved in pictures. That occasion was very rare indeed. It was easier to use disposable cameras for memories and scrapbooks, but I'm not about to use them for art. My art (*ahem*) suffered.

The last occasion I used this camera was for taking acting resume headshots for my wife. We had no idea how any shot would come out, if at all, but we snapped a full role of film just to see if we could get one good shot. That's all we needed. A good scanner, photo software, and printer were waiting to make copies for various local theatres.

We hung some brown fur - that's all we had for a backdrop - in the living room. The lighting was stictly the overhead 4-light fan and a halogen lamp. That would have to be enough. My wife posed and - *snap* *snap* *snap* - before long we were done. We had no idea if there would be a single useable shot. I took the roll of film to Walgreen's for one-hour developing.

As it turned out, we had quite a few shots to choose from. We scanned the one we liked in, changed it to black and white, fiddled a little with the contrast and brightness and - voila!- printed. Several people who saw them thought the headshots were very professional-looking. A friend asked me to take his headshot based on this picture. I had to tell him it was a fluke that it came out so well because my camera was broken. He offered to help pay to get it fixed if I would take his headshot.

So, today I called Wolf Camera to get an estimate. Over the phone, the guy asked what kind of camera I had. "A Pentax K-1000," I replied and then heard some typing on the other end.

"And what's wrong with it?"
"The light meter doesn't move for anything."

More typing on the other end - perhaps he was troubleshooting or looking up something on their estimate price list. "We can ship it off and to fix, it'll be $140." Holy croley! I ain't paying that, much less halfies with a friend. I called my friend to tell him the bad news. He crapped his pants and said I might as well try the Houston Camera, just to see what they would charge.

When I called, I told them the problem. Immediately, the voice on the other end said it could be one of three things. They'd have to crack it open to see, but they provide free estimates. I hopped in my truck to see what the damages would be.

You're not going to believe this part. Well, maybe if you know me, you will... Anyway, I give my camera to the guy to check and he says, "Well, first thing to check is the battery. When was the last time you changed it?" My blank stare soon clicked into the realization that, yes, the correct answer was... say it with me now... "Never." Trying hard to wipe the egg off my face, we struck up a polite conversation about photography. Mostly small talk as he rang up my charges. $14 bucks for a new battery and a lens cap.

Ok, so now I'm just gonna bend over. Does anyone mind giving me a swift kick in the booty? That might help me. Thank you.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Work isn't all bad... Sometimes, you get free tickets to things you can and want to go see. In this case, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Starlight Express is in town and I secured 4 tix. I had no idea what to expect as far as plot. All I knew was that it wasn't a big success when it first arrived in the US in the early 80s and that it's by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The latter is a great reason to see any show.

Starlight Express is done completely on roller skates, although, I did notice the one guy doing flips and tricks was using rollerblades. It is part Toy Story, part Broadway, part drag-race, and part The Little Engine That Could. Suspension of disbelief is kind of necessary to really enjoy it. While never hearing a single song from the show before, the ended wasn't difficult to figure out. That is to say, the plot was easy to figure out. At least it had a plot, as opposed to Cats.

The music was spectacular. If it wasn't being sold for $40 (yes, 40), I would have bought the CD. I could have done without the 3-D movie of the racing parts. It may have been more exciting to actually see the race on the stage, but I can understand the difficulties of pulling that off.

Would I have seen it if I had to pay for it? Hard to say. Depends on the ticket price. I don't think I would have minded shelling out $20 bucks a ticket. Certainly no more than that. But, for free, we were definately well entertained.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Dirty Confession time: Last week, I ran out of my anti-perspirant. The aerosol had nothing, nothing I say, left in it. Left with no alternative, aside from going without which would have surely ended in a smelly, wet disaster, I was forced to used my wife's Lady Speed Stick. And because I couldn't get to the store for a while, I have been unable to buy any anti-perspirant for myself and, therefore, have been relugated to continue using her stuff. And, damn it, I liked it. It kept me dry and feeling fresh all day. Soon, I became addicted. I was checking the stick for stray hairs and removing them so no one would discover my dirty sick secret (it really is strong enough for a man!). I knew I had a problem, so last night I did something about it. I was at the grocery store at 12:45am standing in the deodorant aisle. Tempted, I was, to getting my usual spray-on, but I made a bold, bold decision. I'm back on the stick, but it's my own brand, and we'll see how it goes. So far, so good. No wetness, no odor. We'll just take it a day at a time... that's all I can do...

In other news, I auditioned for a short film my friend wrote. Something about bad marriages and lesbianism. It's not as sexy as it sounds. But, if I auditioned well and get a role, it will be an interesting experience at the very least. Never acted in a movie before.

Monday, May 05, 2003

This was the first trailer for the Hulk that had me somewhat jazzed about seeing the movie. I've never been a big fan of the big green guy and I answer any trivia about the Incredible Hulk, other than gamma rays and Lou Ferigno. But, the little tiny comic geek in me wants to enjoy this film. With Ang Lee at the helm, how can this film go wrong? I don't know, but I'm keeping my expectations very low. There's just something about the CGI on the green meanie that turns me off. Maybe, it's just that CGI in the trailers isn't the finished product. The part in the trailer that finally got me juiced to see Hulk smash was when some thug was attacking Bruce Banner and he says "Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry." For some reason, my heart pumped a little faster at the moment. The directing is good, the acting looks good. I guess it's going to be the plot and special effects that make or break it. Seeing how my expectations are low, I'm trying to say away from spoilers. The less I know about the movie, the less my opinons are developed before I see the flick. The lower my expectations, the better the chances of me being blown away.

Saturday, May 03, 2003

Dear J C Penny,

I know that I am what is considered a "big guy" and feel most comfortable wearing shirts that are at least 2X in size. Actually, the size 2X-T is just about perfect for me. However, you really must do something about your color choices for apparel of this (or greater) size. Guys my size and up really do not want to wear baby powder blue nor canary yellow. Let's face it, girly colors like that are very emasculating for men in general, much less bigger guys. Also, while we're on the subject, many horizontal stripes is also a bad idea. I will admit to owning several shirts with a stripe, but only one stripe, not 10 differently colored stripes. Something else you might want to keep in mind is the type of fabric used. Big guys sweat. And we don't need a heavy, non-breatheable fabric to facilitate extra sweating. Light, airy fabrics are quite acceptable.

Normally, I wouldn't have any cause to complain as I don't normally shop in your store - your prices are entirely too high for me to justify paying $30 for an extremely ugly shirt. However, I received a $50 gift card for Xmas and found the need to use it. So, while I perused your clothes racks, I make these observations in hopes of helping you understand your bigger customers (a few are addressed above and, therefore, reduntant but not unimportant):

1) Better color choices. Big, manly men need manly colors.
2) Just say NO to many horizontal stripes.
3) Breatheable fabrics.
4) Clearance items should still be affordable. (I, for one, cannot even afford your normally priced attire)
5) Belts... is $22.50 really necessary?
6) The Big and Tall section needs to be more than one table of pants and one table of shirts. A bigger selection of styles, colors and prints is quite necessary.

After my shopping was done, there was $2.93 left on my gift card. So for fifty bucks, I was able to by a plain navy blue 2XLT St. John's Bay Polo shirt (100% heavy and nonbreatheable cotton), a pair of light khaki "Worry-free" St. John's Bay pants (the whopping $5 discount sold me) and some pretty groovy socks. Ok, the $5.50 on the socks was a little enduldgement, but I was trying to wipe the gift card clean. Thank you for the $2.93 I'll never be able to afford to spend.

PS: I did find some absolutely wonderful shirts with the clearence price of $8.99 that I would have quickly snatched up as many as I could afford. But alas, the biggest size you had was large. Back to Wal-mart. I like their clothes better anyway.