Monday, August 29, 2005

Around the World

So yesterday me and the Ash made a brief stop in to Babies 'R Us (which my friend Jay refers to as WE B TADDLAHZZ), and while we were trolling around looking at the latest in newborn fashion trends and Halloween costumes, I noticed that they were playing a song over the PA that seemed a bit not so appropriate for the setting. It was that song from the 80's called "All Around the World" by Lisa Stansfield, the one where the chorus goes:

Been around the world and I, I, I
I can't find my baby
I don't know when, I don't know why
Why he's gone away
And I don't know where he can be, my baby
But I'm gonna find him

See, now I'm picturing a bunch of panicked parents with missing babies, not some chick whose dude took off 'cause he didn't want to be seen in public with a one hit wonder.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Learning about the labor

So this past Saturday, the Ash and I attended our first birthing class, an all day affair down at yon hospital where, if things go as planned, our kid will be born into this here world of ours. Should you ask me if I learned a lot that day, the best response I could give would be an enthusiastic "Hoo-boy!" Yeah dude, the stages of labor, what to bring to the hospital, what to do during, how the non-pregnant partner can actually help instead of just being an obstaculary mass of shrugging mumbling flesh...these are things I now have a grasp on. And the videos, oh my friends, the videos. We saw lots of videos of lots of women having lots of different labor experiences, and they showed every last bit of it. Talk about a turtle poking its head out.

It really gets you to thinking, you know? About the event itself, the labor and the ultimate birth, and what an accomplishment that all is. Yeah, I know, women have been giving birth for thousands of years, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it's an amazing event. When you actually see these women going through these edited for video labor experiences and how much effort and focus and work goes into it, and the prize at the end, well I can't speak for everybody, but as for me, I couldn't help but see it as anything but a massive achievement.

I'm big on achievement. It's this thing with me. If I'm not accomplishing, I start to feel kind of crappy, as in I start to sort of freak out. If I'm not creating, doing, making, or heading towards something, I really start to get down on myself. I have beat the living shit out of myself on more than one occasion just for letting myself relax and just be. And not just myself, but others too. I've been guilty of passing serious personality judgements against people that I deemed to be lazy or even worthless because they didn't seem to care about things the way I did. And the thing is, even though I knew then that people are all different and that that's a good thing, it took me a long time to see this as yet another difference between people: not everybody cares for the same things or in the same way that I do. And what's more, that's OKAY. The dude over there under the tree that looks like he's just sitting there smiling may be on to something that I can only hope to grasp at.

It's something I know now, but that I have to remind myself of (or BE reminded of) every now and again. And as we draw nearer and nearer to the birth of my first child, I think about it again. I have only an inkling right now of what my child will be like personality-wise. I base this inkling on his various reactions to sounds, voices, various stimuli, how active he other words, very little. But when that kid comes out, he will be, as a friend of mine who has children put it, "as human as he'll ever be." And while there are expectations sometimes that children will share certain personality traits with their parents, I'm figuring out that these expectations aren't necessarily well-founded. Parents are an influence, to be sure, but mere observation shows that a single family can produce wildly different personalities that can all live and interact under the same roof for a long time. Which is just fucking crazy, you know? And I'm realizing that I don't want to love my kid because of what he accomplishes or the trophies he brings home or the prizes he wins or whatever. That stuff's great, sure. But as his father, my job is to love that kid just because. Because he is, not because of what he does. And oddly enough, even given my attitudes of the past, when I think about my unborn child, I feel amazingly well-equipped to do that.

Now ain't that some shit.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Dude at the gym

You know who my favorite guy is at the gym? It's the great big fat bastard who's standing around handing out free fitness and exercise advice. The dude's mouth just keeps running, making sure everybody knows what his routine is. Eventually, he'll put the brakes on all this chatter and do about ten seconds of something vaguely resembling exercise, filling the place with the sound of his desperate near death breathing. When he's done, he looks up, all redfaced and drenched in sweat, and between his gasps for precious life giving air, he says "See?...Like...that."

Oh, like that. Thanks dude.

Yeah, I can't stand that guy.

South Austin, beeyotch

Several areas of South Austin have nicknames that I find rather annoying. My wife, being a native Austinite, finds these geographical monikers to be even more painful on the ears. Some aren't in very wide circulation, fortunately, but somehow I heard of them so I'm including all of them:

SoCo: This one's pretty popular. If you live in Austin, I'm not sure how you would have not heard this one. Refers to the South Congress area which is now populated by kitschy little stores and restaurants, but was formerly a notorious hooker hangout.

SoFi: Not as popular, always heard it pronounced "Soh-f-eye". Refers to South First area.

SoLa: Not popular at all. Refers to the South Lamar area, which is all kinds of busy and nifty and great. There's a store on South Lamar called SoLa that my wife really loves, and I think they were trying to get this nickname to catch on, but alas, I believe they have failed.

Which brings me to my own geographical nickname nomination. I would hereby like to suggest that the entire South Austin area be known henceforth as Saustin, complete with the "sauce" sound and everything. Say it out loud right now, see how it sounds. Try it in a sentence. I live in Saustin. My wife and my dog live in Saustin. Saustin could use a good Indian restaurant. What do people have against Saustin? See? Sounds pretty good.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Local man buys milk and eggs under the watchful gaze of Hollywood stars

It is impossible to go to the grocery store without being inundated with 2-dimensional representations of the following people:

* Brad Pitt
* Jennifer Aniston
* Angelina Jolie
* Jessica Simpson

The first three are often displayed together, sometimes with jaggedy line marks between their pictures (how symbolic, really) and always with some kind of scandalous large-font headline such as "Jen's Inner Agony!", "Brad Lashes Out!" or "Angelina's Walking Funny!" The latest Jessica Simpson headline is all about how her butt has gone flat as of late, and has before and after pictures to prove it, which are labelled "Curvy" and "Flat." How fabulous.

This is, of course, nothing new. The grocery store newsstand has long been a collage of celebrity and scandal, but it seems that all the mags have been dwelling on these four for an unusually long time now. And frankly, the Holmes grows weary of them. I hereby call on the celebrity magazines of America and abroad, none of which I read but never mind that part, to start focusing on other celebrities. Let's leave these four for now and focus on the private lives, both factual and fictional, of celebrities outside of the above named sex-quad.

Thank you.

Friday, August 12, 2005


So I'm not super-involved with the latest Loaded Gun Theory production that opens this weekend (which you should all go see!) due to being busy with a variety of other responsibilities and engagements that pretty much all tie back to having a baby in like two months, BUT I did get a request to lead a rousing round of "Flea-Fly" when I dropped by rehearsal the other night. For the uninitiated, which includes most people, "Flea-Fly" is only one of the most kickass summer campfire songs ever to put non-sensical semi-English to a beat, which as it turns out, also makes for one rockin' actor warm-up exercise. I would put the lyrics in here, but it's a lot of gibberish and there's some hand motions and it's really the kind of thing that seems like it should be handed down through oral tradition. Or maybe I'm selfish and wanna keep it to myself. Either way, any chance I get to lead "Flea-Fly", I always walk away feeling very energized and just a tad hoarse. Other than maybe Zip-Zap-Boing or Bippety-Bippety-Bop, I can't really think of too many other energy uppers that are as effective that don't involve chemicals. Next time you see me, ask me to lead it. We'll get the whole place rockin.

Like, ew, get a towel

So it turns out that if you spill green tea on your desk, it looks a hell of a lot like puddles of piss. Plus it's warm. Ew.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Black dog tries to dig to China

So I get home yesterday, and our little black mutt dog Elliott has freaked out, gotten out of his kennel, and tried to dig his way out of the bedroom. This translates into ripped up carpet, padding, etc. This is not behaviour he has exhibited in the past...EVER. He's gotten out of his kennel, but never the destruction. The obvious problem: he misses Maddie. Elliott is the dog we opted to keep due to the fact that his disposition didn't have us losing serious amounts of sleep over how he was going to act around a newborn, which is what was happening with Maddie. This episode doesn't change that, but it does give us another indicator how much Maddie's presence was affecting his this case, positively. With her around during the day while we're gone, he wasn't lonely, so he didn't give a shit about going off anywhere. Now he's gotta adjust to being only dog.

A bright side to this: when I found Elliott's handiwork, I didn't freak out. I didn't yell or scream. I actually remained quite calm. Perhaps I was in shock at the sight of this incredible destruction with a cute little dog standing next to it, his head cocked to one side as if asking if I liked the decorating he'd done. Hopefully I can maintain this same level of calm when my son decides to spraypaint his name across the front of the house.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Does anyone know?

If it's already raining, why don't they up the chance of rain to 100%?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Baybay Clothes

So since we got pregnant, I've found or had sent to me a number of cool, interesting, or otherwise amusing items of baby clothing, so I'm sharing a few of my faves. Let's review, shall we?

I don't care how many books you plunk down in front of a baby, whether it's Hemingway or
Seuss, they can't read a lick of it.

This picture kind of sucks, but it's the best I could find. It's a Guns 'N Roses shirt that reads "Sweet Child of Mine" across the top. My wife was a huge GNR fan back in the day, so this one's kinda for her. I mean for Christ's sakes, we even closed our wedding out in a similar fashion to a GNR concert with a blaring round of "November Rain." That is one long-ass song.

For the role playing game crowd, courtesy of my friend Brandon.

I used to have this 94 Ford Taurus that I always wanted to pimp out with "HOLMES" in Old English script across the rear window. Shit woulda been dope, but I never got around to it. Who am I kidding, I never woulda done that, but I sure as hell would dress my kid up with it! This site even lets you make the shirt yourself!

And probably my favorite one so far! Is it really all that sacreligious? I ask you.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Bye-bye Beagle

Well, we've said our goodbyes and our beagle has now gone off to live with another family. It was a hard decision to make and a bit emotional, but as sweet of a dog as she is most of the time, there are just some quirks of her personality that were not going to be compatible with having a newborn baby in the same space. Thus, we contacted the nice hound rescue people from whom we originally got Maddie and they found her a nice new family. Shit, not only did they find them, they interviewed them, went over proper hound-care with them, and inspected their fucking house to make sure it was beagle safe. So we feel pretty good about where she's going.

Not that we'll miss Maddie any less for it. Funny how when someone you love is out of your life, even their faults can bring a tear to your eye. Anyhow, bye-bye Maddie. Be nice to your new folks. We love you.

Friday, August 05, 2005


Was there ever an episode of Thundercats where Liono didn't walk outside somewhere and swing his sword around and do the whole "thunder, THUNDER, THUNDERCATS, HOOOOOOOOO" thing? Didn't he do it pretty much every time? And wasn't it always the best part of the show?

I thought of this because it's thundering outside.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

A soldier named Castleberry

Yesterday on the way home from work, I was halfway listening to the news when a report caught my ear saying that a soldier with the last name Castleberry from suburban Austin had been killed in Iraq. I sat up and took instant notice because I know a guy named Jeff Castleberry who lives just outside of Austin and has a son in Iraq. Jeff was in my last play, I Am Alpha, this past February, and he hosted a fantastic cast party at his big hundred year old house. I remember he showed us a picture of him and his son that was taken right before his deployment, and he started to tear up looking at it. That was what I remembered first when I heard the news report, and even though I haven't seen Jeff since the play closed, I got a heavy sinking feeling.

Today, Ash was able to find the obituary for the soldier that died and we figured out that it wasn't Jeff's son. I felt relief at first, but then I felt shitty for feeling that way. After all, even if it wasn't Jeff's son, he was still somebody's son, and there is a family in mourning right now as I type this. Many families in fact, considering that just this week alone, 27 soldiers have died over there, not to mention all the non-American losses.

So Jeff, I hope your boy comes home safe and sound, and to the other Castleberry family and all the others who have lost somebody in this stupid war, I wish you all a measure of peace.