Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Astros as division rivals?!

I am upset about the apparently inevitable move of the Astros to the AL West. Probably for reasons different than most die-hard Astros fans.

I am a Rangers fan first and foremost. But when we moved to Houston, I was excited about being in the town of my favorite NL team. It is great to have a team to root for in each league without it EVER being a problem (save interleague mid-season games and the longshot hopes of a lone-star world series). I feel the same way about football. Remember hoping like crazy for a Cowboys Oilers Superbowl before the baby blues shit the bed against the Bills in '92? I do.

While my NFL allegiances have changed (Texans #1 with Saints being my NFC team), I know many who root for both the Texas teams with one being their favorite. Same with baseball. Now, not only are both Rangers and Astros gonna be in the same league, but the same division. And I don't like it. I guess a lot of people love the Rockets/Mavs/Spurs rivalries, but I would rather hate some out of state team like the Eagles or the Yankess.

That is all.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


It's been a long time since the whole adoption thing seemed anywhere near this real. Check the news over at our adoption blog thanks to Catherine.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A drink of water and little pity

I have an amazing wife. I don't get the chance to brag on her much these days as all of our friends appear to have moved from the wonderful, nurturing bosom that is Beaumont, TX. So I will brag here.

Sunday morning my back went out on me. All the way out. So bad that I couldn't walk to the bathroom sunday night. I literally could not walk for two days. Even today my walk strongly resembled all the grace and delicacy of Charles Laughton's Hunchback (pictured above).*

Most people only see the public "us." We are one of those couples that jousts and jests a lot in public and enjoy witty repartee, so much so that it makes people uncomfortable sometimes (which only eggs her's okay folks - we've been together a dozen years - it's always been like this). But most people don't see how tender and maternal she really is. That is what makes my wife so amazing. One minute she can be busting balls so hard she puts the members of the Friar's Club to shame. Then, when I or the girls or a close friend need it, she instantaneously snaps into Nightingale mode.

These last few days she has taken care of all of her duties around the house, handled all my chores, took care of "your stupid dog," prepared CG for Kamp, sent care packages and letters to EG at Kamp, planned a last minute trip for the two of us to Mexico with layovers in Dallas and Branson (hard to explain - harder to do), packed for us and CG to be gone for 10 days in 3 cities, and all the while made sure I had anything my grumpy, helpless self needed, even

She really is amazing. It isn't that I can't imagine being married to anyone else. I am sure if I tried I could imagine it. But why would I want to. We aren't perfect. But we are perfect for each other - well, she is perfect for me.

*The title is a quote from the same film - Quasimodo's response to why he cares for Esmeralda enough to rescue her.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fireballs Fly

More years ago than I would like to admit, I started an Independence Day tradition with my friends - Roman Candle War. Up until last Sunday, it hadn't happened in years. But the stars aligned this year. We were in North Texas at my parents' house for their annual celebration; many of my friends were able to make it. Many other idiots were there as well. And we had roman candles. Lots of them. (and safety goggles for all - that started year 2...)

13 grown-ass men gathered in a 3 acre field. Each were given a lighter and 13-14 sticks with 10 shots each. That is and always has been the entire premise/set-up. as people spread out, somebody lights the first fuse and the war is on. Alliances were formed, which is rare. I was shot a lot, which is common. I got winded, which is new.

It is such a fun experience shooting flaming balls from a mini-cannon at your friends. Actually, I didn't know many of the people. That didn't make the shooting any less fun. But warring with friends makes for better conversation afterwards.

I thought about tying this up with some analogy or something else ethereal but decided against it. Roman candles stand alone.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Race at the Polls

Tuesday morning I dropped off my girls at their exemplary elementary school and headed to the voting booth. I had researched the candidates and knew who I would vote for. I also THOUGHT I knew how I would vote on the proposition to change the make-up of the BISD Board of Trustees. I considered all my thoughts on the merits of “yes” and “no” votes, because I do believe both sides do have merit. If you haven’t voted yet, the Enterprise endorsement and alternative view lay them out simply and well. As I stood there hovering over the touch screen, I recalled all of the talk I have heard and read from both sides of the issue. And this is when it got weird.

As I stood there my mind wondered to thoughts of how the two sides of this issue lie almost exclusively along either side of racial lines. All of the sudden, I wasn't thinking about the merits of the proposition, I was thinking about race. I was thinking about the comments on various blogs charged with accusations of race against one side or the other. I was thinking about my daughters and how wonderful their BISD experience had been under this divisive administration. I was thinking about the racial implications of the outcome of the election one way or the other. I was thinking about the distinct colors of BETTER and BEST. I was thinking about the lawsuits that had preceded this election, the ones ongoing and the ones that will likely follow no matter the outcome. I was thinking about whether a vote one way would be racist, or whether a vote the other way would be reverse-racism.

I was thinking about a million things, not one of them being the merits of the proposition. In fact, when I got home my wife asked me how I had voted. I honestly couldn’t and still don’t remember. I am embarrassed by that. I take my right to vote seriously and perform that duty proudly. But that is how confounded and distracted I was.

That is what modern racism does. It has become a tool. And nobody uses it better than Southeast Texas. Somewhere along the line a group decided to make our children’s public education a racial issue. Then the other side used accusations of racism to promote their position. And back and forth it goes, ad nauseam, until I am sitting in voting booths deciding whether it is racist or reverse-racist to vote for or against the proposition.

But here’s the thing - I think the people on both sides mean well. They all want a better school district. They want the best for our kids. I think that everyone would agree that They do. But racism got in the way of meaningful dialog and unified advancement.

How can we come together as a city and be all that our children deserve without our legacy of racism tainting the issues and clouding our judgment? This is something I will be giving a lot of thought to in the coming weeks. I hope you will as well.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Year Round April Fools

EG emails now. And texts. And IMs. We monitor her activity and want her to learn to use this technology responsibly. And she seems to be learning how to do that. Today, in response to a FORWARD!!!!, I sent her the following advice. Figured I'd share.

I love you. And I am proud of how smart you are. It is for this reason that I send this email.

As you venture into the virtual world of emails and the internet, I have a very serious piece of advice for you. It is a lesson all of us can stand to be reminded of.


For some unknown reason, people start these email forwards. They can be about anything. Like the one below, it has been forwarded so many times there is no way to tell who is writing it.

These emails usually claim to be about a close friend or relative. But even the ones that use real names of real people (usually famous people) are made up almost every time.

If you get one of these emails, you can read it, but do so with a lot of doubt. There is only a slim chance it is accurate or even true at all. If you think it might be true, you can research to try to verify it. For another unknown reason, some people started a website dedicated to verifying these forwards. It is There are others I am sure. I usually start with snopes.

In this case, a quick check of snopes shows that this email is not true. At best it is based on a singular incident out of India over 6 years ago. Just consider it an April Fools joke.

I love you.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I have so enjoyed the insheenity of the latest internet meme of the last several days. But I don't think the grand wizard of gnarlyisms could be more wrong about his definition of winning.

On this, my 35th, birthday, I think about other men I know who are his age and WINNING! Really winning, running churches, touching lives, striving toward a heaven on earth. And I remember the impact they had on my life when they were this age. Thank you most to Norman and Doug. As 30-somethings, you both reached out so effectively to me during my formative years. And there were so many other Godly men who directed my path and the paths of others in their 30s. I am not the man you all were at this age. And sometimes I worry I have failed you in some way.

But as I look back at the major steps we as a family have taken over the last 12 years, I have no doubt we have followed the path He lit for us. But the small decisions, the little steps, have left much to be desired - not being active in a church, not reaching out in real ways to the least of these, not looking for ways to give back to the next generation. (That is a weird realization. The teens of today are literally a generation removed from me.)

So my hope for my 36th year (it's a weird thing from Catherine's family) is that time we spend on the path will be productive time, time moving forward with each small step.

Thank you all for your abundance of well-wishes. It is a wonderful reminder of the way each of you impacted my life.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

History is such a tough thing to deal with. If we hold it too closely, we can never grow. If we don't revere it, we are, as they say, likely to repeat it.
Today, and over the past few weeks, I am dealing with a particularly difficult and painful part of my personal history. It is something I cannot avoid due to frequent reminders. And it is certainly something I don't want to repeat. So that leaves me in a funk.
I want to grow. I want to mature. I want to simultaneously learn and forget. Is that an option? Should it be? Is this the cross we must carry in order to be disciples? If so, I have a long way to go. Because most of the time, I just want to drop the cross and run away from it. If I am being honest (which I guess I am), I want to drop all my crosses, all the history that weighs me down.
And I know there's forgiveness and grace and mercy. But it doesn't seem to be a license to take those blessings and run. So here I sit, in the midst of my history, wanting to move forward, knowing I have to bring it with me.