Just Stop Talking!

Probably not the best way to handle this situation, but I’m really not equipped to deal with it any other way. Yelling, threats, and bribery – that was my go to plan.

It all has to do with these two, specifically the older one.

Al has started a nightly ritual with the girls where they read this little story that presents a problem. The girls then have to decide what’s the best way to handle it, and you read a bible verse that goes along with it. I know, you’re picturing me as a regular James Dobson curled up in my easy chair with a pipe…not so fast.

Al won’t even let me contribute much to these discussions as I like to have some real world application and explain that there’s always some gray areas that need further exploration. She’s not impressed.

This discussion tonight somehow moved from discipline to being a sore loser, to respecting your parents, to adoption, and specifically teen adoption, and ultimately with just how in the world did that teen mom get pregnant in the first place. What the @#$##!?

I saw it coming, and tried to cut it off. Al couldn’t see how the conversation was moving. That’s because she thinks in a linear fashion. She’s not like CB or myself. Random ideas flow in and out with no connection to the Non-ADD outsider. I saw it coming, but I wasn’t quick enough.

CB then point blank asks how did the girl get pregnant. CB thought that one day, the teen just woke up that way. I was fine to leave it at that, but Al jumps in, and GOD help us, starts to answer that question.

I instantly began reading aloud from Proverbs and singing some old hymns I remembered from childhood. It worked for a second. At least MK got somewhat interested.

CB is sensing my distress and seeing the sweat rolling off my head…she presses further. Women really do have that killer instinct.

I finally told her to “Shut Up. Please, just stop talking and don’t say another word. Go brush your teeth, and if you promise not to say another word, then we’ll talk about buying that horse you’ve always wanted.”

That’s it. I’m done. No more of this devotional led deep discussion – at least not with a house full of women. This was supposed to be a peaceful meditation on the Lord’s word and look where it got me.

From now on, after dinner is going to be a study in how to play blackjack or sink a three footer for par when there’s money on the line. I just can’t deal with the other.

When She Goes…She Goes

Al and I are different.  No two ways about it.  We are the ultimate yin and yang.  So it should be no surprise that we handle things differently. For example, if I say I’m going to start running, I’m going to plan big.  Not a marathon, too cliche.  Probably something more along the lines of the Ironman, in the desert, barefoot.  Definitely, more my style.

However, a goal of that size requires a lot of planning.  A lot.  Therefore, I’ll need to talk about it, and plan my attack, and have another beer, and wait for the weather to get cooler.

Al, on the other hand decided this year out of the blue that she was going to start running, and that she was going to run a 10k.  I tried to reason with her and point out the fact that she had never run before, and that a 10k wasn’t much of a challenge, and that I knew of a 100 mile event in Leadville that we could both train for.   I couldn’t finish my argument because she was already out the door and well on her way to a 10k.

Fast forward a few months…

Al and her closest ten thousand friends went out for a little run.  Again, something I could never do.  Just looking at all those people makes me break out in hives.

However, I was supportive.  I know that nutrition plays a big role, and that carb loading is a key element of race prep.

We dropped Al off at the starting line and headed to Magnolia Cafe for chocolate chip pancakes…again, strictly for the carb loading.

Eventually we did make it back to the finish line just in time to see our champion.  Very impressed.  She may have even inspired me.  It will be big, I’ll keep you posted.


110 Degrees

I know I tend toward hyperbole, but I’m really not kidding here.   It’s a 110 degrees, and it has been for the last month.  With that kind of heat, you don’t have a lot of options.  However, we do have Barton Springs.

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There’s a lot going on there.  The Tree of Life ink on the, quite possibly homeliest, mother at the springs that day.  And my favorite, the group to the right that is fascinated by the wicked booger that kid is holding.

But seriously…we’re not here to focus on the crowd.  It’s all about the majestic beauty that is Barton Springs…who am I kidding.  It’s about the people.

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Greg Lougains has really let himself go.  We did eventually make it to the water.  I don’t know what was more shocking…the 38 degree water temp – or the fact that Al Bundy was a mere three feet behind us.

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One last pic, and yes that is me in a somewhat precarious position.

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A Tradition Like No Other…

Ok, maybe it’s not Sunday at Augusta, but it is special to our clan.

At least CB enjoyed it.  MK, on the other hand, is looking somewhat horrified.

Can you really blame her? It’s not everyday you see this roaming down the street.  Fear not, it’s not the newest Branch Davidian guard dog, just the Baylor Homecoming Parade.

One of the highlights every year is getting to see the Braunsteins.  The CB/Graham photo has become a tradition in itself.  This year’s selection is edging it’s way into the “I’m too old for this…it’s not cute anymore.”

Fear not, kids.  No matter how old you get…you’ll always have this…

This should be the subject of a massive BU marketing push, and with any luck, the royalties will pay the tuition someday.


Happy Birthday Seve

There’s a lot in a name.  Seve, the fiery Spaniard, playing the game of golf as it was meant to be played.  Those eyes burning with intensity, the indomitable spirit.

What you were expecting maybe this…

What can I say.  With a name like Seve, that’s why the dog usually has better service on his birthdays like I do.

Happy Birthday, old man.

City Girls

Fran Lebowitz once said, “I am not the type who wants to go back to the land; I am the type who wants to go back to the hotel.”  This sums up Al’s view on nature pretty succinctly.  Therefore, it’s up to Daddy to get the Bear Gryll’s quotient up.  However, I don’t get much time off, and I’ve been banned from travelling in numerous countries, therefore, Austin Nature Science Center is the answer.

Nestled in just a few miles from the heart of downtown Austin, this place is amazing.

I just trapped a mongoose with one of CB’s shoelaces and started a fire with some lint from MK’s belly button.  However, there was nothing on sale and no valet parking – the girls were less than enthused.  I thought a good old fashioned hike was in order.

That quickly morphed into MK riding into what she dubbed “The Daddy Chair” and her moment of ecstasy when she thought she saw our car.

One of the more interesting parts of the Center is the animals. Now, this is Austin, so you can’t have a zoo, but you can have a rescue-mission-oriented thing.  This means three legged bobcats, one eyed owls, and a severely hacked off tomcat.

However, as we were walking by I heard a, “Pssst.  Buddy.  Hey, remember me. You me, Humble, law school we were roommates.  We had some good times.  Look, just throw me the keys over there, and walk away slowly.  We can do this.”

I have no idea how he got out.

The Tradition Continues

For many, Thanksgiving is all about tradition.  The turkey, the pecan pie, the Cowboys inevitably blowing a lead.  I’m no different myself; I’m all about the traditions.  The Wookies, the overweight senior citizens dancing the mamba, and did I mention Princess Leia?

The Chuy’s Parade.  I’m not a big fan of parades.  That Macy’s Thanksgiving day thing would be like a slow day in hades for me.  The Chuy’s deal is just my style, however.

This next one, I don’t know what it is, but I like it. It brings out that holiday spirit.

I love it.  The passion, the intensity, the bunion containing SAS.  The only antidote for that…

Big fan of Leia.

The only thing fitting after the Chuy’s Parade is a quick stroll to South Congress.  I’m not sure what all to say about the SoCo area.  Interesting, very interesting.  The locals like to talk about the artisans and the art scene – and if by artisans they mean hippies that burn lettuce at all hours – then yes, I agree.

Two things:  1) That’s a chick playing the Bass.  2) They’re playing bluegrass.  3) They’re awesome.  Ok, that’s three – but I did second hand smoke at least 2 doobies on the sidewalk, so forgive me.

After all that, nothing better than a trip to Hey Cupcake – the grandest trailer in all the land.

I am not a huge sweets fan, nor am I especially interested in Cupcakes – but Hey Cupcake’s Red Velvet is the stuff dreams are made of.

Halloween – Sort of

I’ll be the first to admit, I kinda like Halloween.  I hate costume parties and adamantly support the position that you should be punched if you sport a costume after the age of 10, but I am a supernatural junkie.  It might be due to the fact I started in on a steady diet of Stephen King in the fifth grade.  So, when it comes to Halloween, I’m thinking gore and gruesome.  Now, snap back to my reality and Halloween jack-o-lanterns go a little more something like this.

Turquoise.  Seriously, what’s terrifying about turquoise.  Nothing, unless the pumpkin tried to wear with with chartreuse pumps.

And there he is in all his horrifying glory.

When you have a pumpkin like that, the only proper attire?

Tutus and eye shadow…

Happy Halloween.  And just try and turn your lights off  after this macabre affair.

Cheap…or Resourceful

Al has often accused me of being cheap.  She’s confusing frugality with absolute inventiveness, or dare I say – genius.  Sure, I’ve fallen through ceilings, started a fire with a ceiling fan, flooded the kitchen with a dishwasher, or was it the disposal?  My point being, I’m the model DIY’er.  Therefore, when Al started talking about family photographs, all I heard was sitting fees, minimum orders, and everything else that goes along with it.

Seriously, I have a camera, and an expensive one at that.  I can buy a tripod, and I’ve always wanted Photoshop..I can do the family pictures,

My first attempt, and if I say so myself, it turned out much better than the four letter spew Al sent in my direction.

The lighting, the composition, then angles, you know you love it.  Clearly, I was on a roll.

You’ve got to remember, these are the pre-photoshop proofs you’re checking out.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a transmission somewhere that needs rebuilding…

The Man

When it comes to music, Al and I have some differences.  She says Metallica, I say…Guy Clark.  She says Snoop, I say…ok, I’ll go with Snoop; maybe this analogy is falling apart.  Anyway, one thing we can all agree on is The Man…

Bruce Robison.  Quite possibly the finest songwriter out there today.  If you haven’t seen Bruce, you owe it to yourself to do so.  And if at all possible, see him at The Cactus.

Imagine a superstar showing up in your living room, now imagine it about half the size, and that’s the Cactus.  We grabbed the table closest to the stage. I reached across to get a drink and accidentally elbowed Bruce’s steel guitar player.

One of the highlights of the night was when Bruce forgot some of the lyrics.  I was oblivious and singing along to every song.  He looks over at me and mumbles, “keep it going.”  He caught up after a line or two and never missed a beat.

The big prize…the set list for the night.  One of the coolest things about Bruce is that he’s made a fortune as a songwriter and has a reputation of hanging out around Austin and not touring a bunch.  Exhibit A – the back of Bruce’s set list.  A little homework.

All in all a great evening with great friends.

And no, I have no idea what the moron on the left is doing.  A recent fugitive, or embarrassed because he can’t pull off pink as well as I can.