Thursday, August 30, 2007

Naming of the Awesome

While in the midst of home improvement tasks throughout the day, my mind continually wandered back to the fact that I have this Hugh Jass decision to make regarding who I should name as the next... I know, I have big problems, right? I did not expect nearly as many entries as I got. I was hoping I'd get maybe just one, or maybe one good one and one crappy one, all in the name of no-brainer decisions. But instead I ended up with four good ones and two crappy ones. I can forgive both crappy entries though since Whit and Jonathon collectively write for well over three-quarters of the internodes. They're busy keeping this beast alive so the rest of us can abuse it for our own infantile purposes (although Jonathon's casting of Jessica Alba as Leia's body double...not actually as Leia, mind you, but as her body double is, how you say... interesting).

So that leaves me with four good entries, from which I am supposed to name a wiener. Let's go in order of receipt, shall we?

First, there's CamiKaos. I have to admit, I giggled at the picture of Owen Wilson as Luke, especially as whiny "but I wanted to go to Tacchi Station and get some power converters" Luke. Also points for including Gary Oldman, since he as about as close to perfection as an actor can come, though I might have dropped him into the Obi-Wan role instead. And of course, Eddie Izzard as Darth Vader would no doubt cause nightmares for generations to come.

Next up is Dan. Dan is British, which means he talks with the same accent as the Imperial officers, though I've never detected any desire to blow up an entire planet in any of his posts, but that may be because he knows that the power to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of The Force. That it is, Dan! As for his entry, let's just start with his suggestion of the lovely Phoebe Cates as Leia. Oh Dan, you dirty beautiful fellow. I can't argue with that kind of thinking, and I must say, I find this choice to be much more interesting than his original idea to fill the spot with the predictable Angelina Jolie. I liked the Elijah Wood as Luke call, and I would love to see a golden-clad John Cleese doddering his way around, but I was downright intrigued by his decision to fill the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi with the mighty Jet Li.

Next is Marsha. Homegirl got all thematic on this shit and filled the entire cast with characters from the new Battlestar Galactica series. When I first saw what she had done, I was afraid it would be gimmicky nonsense, and I thought to myself, I have a bad feeling about this. But she made some excellent choices here. I especially liked the fact that she took some liberties with the genders. I mean Starbuck as Han Solo? Boomer as Luke? And most drool-worthy, Number Six as Vader?! How'd you like to see this coming at you in a black cape with a lightsaber? Of course, if you've never watched BSG, you don't get any of what I'm going on about, but trust me when I say that these choices kick ass.

Finally, there's Anthony, who also went with a theme by populating the cast with great drunks. I just like this idea in general. Lightsaber battles would result in a lot more limb lossage, X-Wings and TIE Fighters wouldn't stay in formation...hell, Luke and Leia might just go ahead and get it on. Hmm, maybe I don't like this idea so much. But as I look at his casting choices, it becomes clear to me that you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. As drunks go, you probably couldn't find a better Luke than Jack Kerouac. The duel between Bukowski's Obi-Wan and Ben Franklin's Vader might be a little slow on action, but it would be heavy on the high-minded insults. I'm also glad somebody thought to cast Boba Fett, and I think Sid Vicious would fill the bill, as long as he left a little hole in his armor to get his syringe through. My only disagreement here is having Bill Hicks as Moff Tarkin. The great Bill Hicks would be none other than Yoda, spouting wisdom and insult to his followers, and then dying when he's needed most.

So I hate picking winners, but I have to admit that my favorite of all these entries was Marsha's. My love for the Battlestar runs deep, and she managed to pull it off, in my opinion, without being gimmicky. So corngrats Marsha, you are the next

Have fun with it!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I'm not always so goddamn jovial, you know

So I have to confess that it's been a bit of a challenge for me to be in a good mood this week. See, I took the week off from work. Not to go anywhere, mind you, as that would require money we don't have. No, I just took it because I had the time to take and I thought it would be nice to relax for a spell before school starts again in September. But then this last weekend came and brought with it decisions, decisions that we made, specifically the decision to try to sell our condo and move.

Off our fucking rockers we are.

So yeah, a single conversation betwixt the Ash and I pretty much sealed the deal. We just started talking and by the end of the night we had made our decision. We don't need more space or a better location, we're good on those fronts. No, while the reasons to move are multiple, the main thing that we need is a yard that a little boy can play in...and later two little boys. When we decided to buy this place, we completely underestimated Henry's need to be outdoors. I figured that wouldn't kick in until age 4 or 5, by which time we had planned to be out of here anyway. But no, the kid needs the outdoors, the trees and the grass and the sunshine and the ants and the squirrels and all that. Right now, the kid walks outside and he's greeted by a parking lot. Thus, we find ourselves visiting our local parks pretty often.

And oh, but The Holmes was pissed as the realization came crashing down upon him that his week off would be spent getting his condo ready to sell, as he saw all his looked-forward-to free time blown away like the pages of the only copy of a brilliant manuscript by a cruel wind. Curses! Oh, I was pissed my friends, and not much fun to be around for a while there.

But I think I've gotten over it, and I'm about half-way through the work we've decided to do. Tonight, Tim and Julie were kind enough to come over and help us hang up new ceiling fans. And they brought their little girl Stella, so the kiddos got in some play time. Lucky for me, Tim got stuck with the harder of the two fans we were hanging, but he came through with a flourish. They stayed much later than they needed to, and for that we are grateful. After they had left, I was in a rush to get everything cleaned up and all the trash thrown away, which involved several trips out to the dumpster. A few minutes after the last trip, I was admiring Tim's handiwork when all of a sudden I realized that I was going to have to go dumpster diving since I had thrown away the box with the light bulb globes. Goddamn but I am brilliant sometimes. Want me to watch your kids?

So our place should be on the market by Labor Day. I'm going to do my best not to be an impatient bundle of nerves over it until it sells.

On a completely unrelated note, I ran across this video on I clicked on it because the artist is called Goddamn Electric Bill, which sounds more like a band that should be opening for the Supersuckers, but it isn't. Enjoy.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I am the Awesome

At least according to fellow Austin blogger Quirkee James I am. For you see, he has bestowed upon me this little beauty:

And really, how could I turn down such a perfect award? It includes two words that I've been overusing for almost twenty years, one of my favorite hand signals, and my favorite guitar, the beautiful Gibson SG. If I could have one in every color of the rainbow, well, I'd maybe sell you the yellow one. As it is, my status as guitarist lies safely in the amateur realm, so I content myself with the cheaper Epiphone version.

So it is now my job to pass this award on to another awesome dude blogger. I'm assuming that the use of the term "dude" here is gender neutral, especially since I label both guys and dolls as dudes on a nearly daily basis (see aforementioned overuse of certain words). To do so, I believe it is customary to hold some sort of contest on one's blog. If I hadn't just done the caption contest thing in the previous blog, I would go that route, but alas, I can't bring myself to do two caption contests in a row. Thus, I'm going to try something slightly more complicated. I may be shooting myself in the foot here, as the complexity may scare some folks off, and I might just have to give this here award away. But for those of you not frightened of a completely pointless challenge, here is your task: we all know that the original Star Wars trilogy was some of the greatest bit of film ever to warm a screen. But what if the ensemble had been different? Your job is to come up with an alternate cast to Star Wars. Feel free to cast as many characters as you like, but all the main players need to be covered. Polls close in 72 hours.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Never ask this dog about his business

I came up with about a dozen different captions for this picture while I was rocking Henry back to sleep. Rather than foolishly agonize over which one to choose, I decided to just go with my first choice and then throw it open for a good old fashioned caption contest to see what you good people come up with. So please, leave your caption suggestions in the comments. Winner gets to win.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Except we don't come from the land of the ice and snow

There may be a limit to the uses for a good Viking hat, but I'll be damned if I've reached it. And it's not like I haven't been trying.

Viking boy

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Memories are made out of now

It's really funny to be writing down the grocery list that your wife has emailed you and suddenly realize that in your head, you've been saying each item the way your toddler says it.

blueberries...blues!, beans!

All these little things, the way he talks, his little quirks...

The way he points at an airplane as it flies over and yells his word for plane, "beam!", and then waves to it after it's flown off.

The way he walks backwards and says "beep, beep, beep!"

How when we drop him off at his grandparents, he lets us know in no uncertain terms that he'd like us to leave by forcefully yelling "bye-bye!" over and over. Does the same thing when he's pooping and wants privacy.

The way he'll sit on the sidewalk and push the little bumps in the cement like they're buttons.

The way he lets me know that he'd rather not hold hands by putting both of his arms straight out behind him, as if he's going to take flight.

The way he yells hi to strangers.

They bring us so much delight every day. I almost can't stand it sometimes, and I never want to forget a bit of it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Holmes on the Spot

As part of his International Meme Week celebrations, Dan the Blogging Englishman entagganated me for the interview meme. Or rather, I tagged myself. Or more accurately put, I volunteered to be tagged, which means I now get to respond to a series of probing interview questions brought to us by none other than Dan himself. So put down that People magazine and read this interview instead.

Do you feel that counseling is a science or an art?
Counseling is nothing less than an exact science. You run through a list of symptoms and then prescribe Prozac accordingly.

In truth, I don't feel quite qualified to answer the question of whether counseling is a science or an art, considering I'm at the very beginning of my education in counseling. However, the question is quite clearly asking how I feel, and I'm pretty qualified to talk about how I feel about pretty much anything. That being said, I feel that it absolutely must be both. There is definitely a science to it, to understanding human beings and the disorders that afflict them and what they stem from and the dynamics of human relationships and knowing what is healthy and what is not and on and on and on. At the same time, there is an art to applying this science. Listening to a person, I dare say, is an art, and not just listening, but making a person know that they are being listened to, not to mention getting them to talk in the first place. Making sense of the dynamics of a person's situation, and never failing to recognize that each person who comes for help is a human being, with a whole universe of experience that is as grand and remarkable as anyone else's.

That's just my take on it for now. Perhaps ask me this one again in a few years.

What's in your car CD player at the moment?
We experience the occasional spat of vehicular break-ins around here, so at the moment, my car's CD player sits empty. But the last CD I listened to in the car was Bad Religion's "New America." It's not my favorite of theirs, but it's got this sort of positive "we really can make the world a better place!" theme throughout it that always buoys my spirits. Plus it's loud and fast.

What's the worst play you've been involved in?
In high school, I ran tech for "Guys and Dolls", and later for "42nd Street", thus beginning my hate affair with the "art form" known as the musical. With a precious few exceptions, I still despise musicals to this day, and sitting through those two freakshows night after night amounted to a brand of torture that I'd prefer never to repeat. Of course, these feelings put me very much in the minority in the UT theater department, but I came across a few other folks of like mind in my time there. Musical haters: we're out there.

Except you asked what was the worst play I've ever been in, and I personally don't count musicals as plays. One is a dramatic art form, the other is, in most cases, little more than a spectacle with about as much artistic value as a UFC match. I can't recall any theatrical involvement where the play itself was bad, but I've had some less than positive experiences. The one that springs immediately to mind is when I was cast in Loaded Gun Theory's "The Empty Bowl." The play itself is fantastic, and my role in particular was a juicy one, but the experience of getting it staged was one I'd rather not ever repeat. The director was young, insecure, and dictatorial, and had us do all sorts of bizarre things that made little to no sense. The real shitty thing though, was the fact that my little boy was only six months old, and plenty colicky. Every night when I went to rehearsal, after spending all day at work, I felt like I was abandoning my family. I don't think I've ever been quite so relieved to have a show close.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
The first thing I can ever remember wanting to be was a carpenter. My mom was having some work done on her house, and the guys that came out just seemed so cool to little Holmes, what with their tools and their know-how. I was able to sort of realize this particular occupational dream in college when I spent a semester working in the scenery shop at UT's Performing Arts Center. I also remember wanting to be a lawyer for some ungodly reason, a choice which would have certainly been disastrous for me, and later a veterinarian. My mom actually talked the guys at our vet's office into letting me come down and hang out and help a few times. I watched them put somebody's pet to sleep once, and that did it for that idea. Later, when I got into theater, I thought I wanted to go into the tech theater field, and later on after that, I thought I'd be a playwright. I guess since I've written a few plays, I've actually managed to be a playwright, and at some point in the future, I hope to be a playwright again, whatever my day job may happen to be.

Who would win in a fight: the Jetsons or the Flintstones?
It's always the bad guys who have the latest technology on their side. And they always seem to have British accents, why is that Dan? So should such a match ever occur, I'd have to cheer for the Flintstones. Considering George Jetson's complete ineptitude with the technology of his day, not to mention his whiny fucking attitude, I think the cavefolk would stand a fighting chance.

So that's it for this interview. If you'd like to be tagged for this one and answer a series of questions written specially for you by me, just follow the instructions below.

Interview rules:
1. Leave me a comment saying “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post containing your the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

One of those wholesome family days

So even though it was like a bazillion degrees here in lovely Austin, Texas today, los Holmeses managed to get out to Zilker Park early and catch the Zilker Zephyr. Catching the train isn't really that impressive of an accomplishment since it runs every half hour or so, but the fact that we made it down there several hours before noon is really quite amazing.

I hereby decree that all cities should have a park with a train that the kids can ride. It really should be recognized for the urban necessity that it is, like utilities and public transit. Henry had a good time watching the park go by, and waving at all the folks big and small, even the guitar-harmonica dude that apparently just stands at a particular bend in the track waiting for the train to pass so he can play a quick tune for the passengers as they go by. With every group of human beings that we passed, Henry pointed and excitedly informed me that they were, in fact, "People! People!"

After the train, we let little dude chase a few pigeons around, then run wild on the playground for a bit to burn off some of that crazy baby energy. I'm one of those dads who would often like to be right there on the playground equipment with the kiddos, but they're usually so crowded with, you know, other people's kids that I'm paranoid about barreling one of them over with my clumsy self while running for the monkey bars. Today though, even though there were a lot of kids at the park, there were surprisingly few actually on the playground, which I took as license to get up on it.

On the way out, I just had to get a picture of Henry on Philosopher's Rock. Three old dudes sitting around hashing out the meaning of existence. If I have my way, that's exactly the kind of old dude I'll grow into.

Friday, August 10, 2007

And no surprises, please

I like it when the mail brings me things.

I ordered one of those Rockabye Baby CD's, the ones where they take a band and turn a bunch of their songs into lullabies. I was hesitant at first because I figured that it was probably just Some Dude With A Keyboard churning these things out, but I went ahead and got the Radiohead one since so much of their music seems like it would translate well into lullaby format.

Well, I've been listening to it quite a bit. In fact, I've probably spent more time listening to it than Henry has. And while it may well be SDWAK churning these things out, I must say he's doing a pretty nice job of it. Something about it just...lulls me. Like, if you just lean your head back and let your eyes unfocus and just sort of slowly sway your head back and forth with a little smile. Go on try it for a minute. The internets will still be here when you come back, I promise.

Isn't that nice? It's kinda like that. Especially the Karma Police lullaby.

Jesus, I'm babbling over goddamn lullabies. Would you just look at this? I mean really. Fuck's sake.

But yeah, I basically put real Radiohead and lullaby Radiohead on shuffle today and just listened to it most all day. I know they're like one of the biggest bands on the planet and all, but they didn't really come on to my radar until a few years ago. I didn't have anything against them, mind you. They just didn't have the level of brutality that I required my music to have for such a very long time. Thankfully, The Ash came with a complete set of Radiohead CD's.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The revealing of new baby's name

No, not his real name, silly. It's much too soon to be sharing such privileged information, even with loyal readers such as yourself. All apologies.

But the baby does have his official in utero name. It was actually Henry's idea, in a way. See, when there's something that Henry's got that he likes, and he's suddenly out of it, he does not hesitate to ask for more. As in "moa!" Or the more common "mo mo [insert item Henry wants here, raising the last syllable slightly as if one were asking a question, or as if one were speaking with an Irish accent]." If Henry runs out of milk and must have more, it's "mo mo mano!" (mano = milk in Henryese...or is it Henryish?) If he scarfs down all the beef on his plate without giving any to the dog, we hear "mo mo beef!" If I'm swinging him around the room and yelling "Wheeee!" as part of the little game we play called "Wheee!" but then dare to put him down, I get demands of "mo mo whee!" Which is hilarious since the kid is visibly dizzy, stumbling like a drunken toddler across the floor.

If the song ends, casting us into musicless silence, it's just "moa." He doesn't yet have a word for the nicely put-together sounds that come out of the speakers.

So I figured, since there will be more baby around to love, new baby may be referred to as Momo. As in "mo mo baby!"

Plenty dopey, I know, but it only has to last while he's baking. Once he's made it out into the world with us, little Sherman Washington or Justus Aurelius or Apollo Marcon or whatever the new little Holmes comes to be called (you like our short list?) can ditch his womb moniker for good.

Monday, August 06, 2007

And then from the quiet

So Slapdash went pretty well:

Yep, that there's pretty much what it looks like. Speaks for itself, I'd say. And yes, that came from the scene I wrote. Ya never know what you're going to find in a theater's prop storage, eh?

So I think this is the longest I've gone without posting in quite some time. Even though it's only been a week and some change, it feels a bit odd to be back at it. After Slapdash was over, I felt sort of depleted, and not just in a creative sense, but just all around. I felt hungry for input, with no pressing desire to output. Or better yet, I felt less like giving and more like receiving. Like some kind of involuntary greed that I didn't like the feel of and couldn't manage to shake off. I wasn't the most patient person on the planet last week, but I managed to do some things for myself that seem to have helped me snap out of it. For one, Ash and I spent the week mostly avoiding the television, choosing instead to spend our free evenings with our noses stuck in books. We'd become much too comfortable plopping ourselves down in front of the TV after we got the GooGoo to sleep, and I was kind of starting to hate it. Not to mention the fact that my usual reading habit had gone totally to shit following the close of last semester. You'd think with no more assigned school reading to do, I'd have jumped back onto the pleasure-reading boat, but it just didn't happen that way. But thanks to our friends Jeff and Tara, we've now started down the Harry Potter path, which I've found is a nice place to be. I also started reading Lonesome Dove, a book that I've been meaning to get going on for some time even though I've never read a western that I can remember. See, it was apparently my father's favorite book, and I guess having a second child of my own on the way (another boy, no less), my curiosity about this person who was my father is once again rekindled, and I'm back to looking for clues about him.

I'm gonna go read now.