Friday, October 30, 2009


I went down to Glenrose two weeks ago at the invite of a friend (to read all about her, click here) to see the outdoor theater presentation of ‘The Promise”, a play all about the life of Jesus. There are several of these around the country, but it seems the one in Glenrose is the only permanent set. It has been in operation for 21 years now. For more information about “The Promise” and its season, venues, show times and how to get tickets, click here.

Now I used to be a pretty good little church boy. Maybe not so much anymore, but the life of Jesus, the story, its not entirely foreign to me, and I was very interested in seeing how “The Promise” would present three of my favorite scenes from the life of Jesus.

The first is the scene at the river, when Jesus meets John the Baptist and asks John to baptize him. John recognizes Jesus as being the Messiah, and tells Jesus he is "not worthy" to Baptize him.
Jesus says:
“John, you Baptize folks with water, but I come to Baptize 'em with fire and with the Holy Spirit!”.
So John goes ahead on and dips Jesus into the river. As he does there is a loud clap of thunder, and a puff of smoke over the stage from which flies a White Dove, representing the Holy Spirit. The dove flies over the audience and away into the night.
Then comes the booming voice of God himself:
“This is my only Son, with whom I am well pleased!”

The second scene I would like to describe to you occurs after Jesus has left John, and gone into the Wilderness for forty days and nights, and where he is tempted by Satan.
Satan is dressed in red and black with a menacing look and a long red cape. He comes to Jesus in the dessert and says:
”Come up to this high place, and throw yourself down. If you are truly the son of God, a band of Angels will catch you before you hit the ground.”
This is done on the stage, but at some point in that dialogue Jesus and the Devil both suddenly disappear from the stage, only to reappear just as suddenly on top of a 30 foot tower at the right of the stage. I do not know how they did this.
Maybe there is a trap door and a cable that quickly transports them, maybe its done with lights and mirrors, maybe there are doubles on top of the tower, or maybe its just a miracle!
I don’t know, but it’s a very cool scene.
Of course Jesus reply to Satan is that he “will not put the Lord my God to the test”. I’m not entirely sure what all that means, but I always liked the answer. I imagine it could be a bad habit to get into, and might really wear on the Lord.

Finally, the third scene I will describe to you comes after Jesus has performed many miracles. I had hoped that they would use this in the play as it is one of my favorite parts of the story, and I sat at the edge of my seat in anticipation. There are four women on stage, and they are singing a really beautiful song about what wonders they have seen, and how wonderful Jesus and his love and message has been. As Jesus moves through the crowd, he passes by one of these women singing and she drops to her knees and barely touches the bottom hem of his robe. He continues walking as if he did not even notice this light touch, then suddenly stops and turns to the woman.
He tells her that it is her faith that that has healed her, her faith that has made her whole.
Perhaps it is because I have so little faith that this scene appeals to me so much.

Whatever your belief, the story of Jesus is a great story, compelling and poignant in all its parts, and I always enjoy hearing it.
We come now to a time of year that the story figures prominently, and I hope that no matter what our beliefs might be, that we all can consider that which Jesus asked that we do:
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Here is Jesus explaining to ol' Satan that "Man does not live by bread alone, but by ev'ry word of God"

Friday, October 23, 2009


Fella said:
“No way I’ll ever do any dope again! I have completely lost the desire to use!”
I had to give him a funny look.
“Is that right ?” I said.
“Yep” he replied, “You could put a big pile of dope on that table right there, and I would have no desire to use any of it. I’m done”
I said "Man, I wish I could say that, but I’m not so sure”
“Why not?” he asked.
‘Well, with me it could all depend on who it was that threw down that dope, and how do she look. It if was Velvet Skinned Annie dancin’ with a rose between her teeth, I’m afraid I might be right tempted to have a go again.”
Fella just looked at me kinda sober like, and went back to his seat.


See, that’s the way it is for an addict like me. I got rid of all my phone numbers, all my connections, all the people I used to use with. But the fact of the matter is that a relapse is only a phone call away, two at most, and by the end of business today I could be high-igh.


Its just different for me. I went to a movie Monday night. It was made by a couple of 20 year old kids, one of them being the son of a friend of mine.. It was about dope, and kids that were dealing, and one of them gets beat-up, and another gets shot and another OD’s and it was supposed to be all about the intense danger that looms in every users life. Not many movies can begin to portray the insidious nature of drugs, or reveal the depth of the insanity that makes their use so attractive to people like me.
And this movie, "Thrown", did not, though I have to say it was a major accomplisment and a grand venture for a couple of High School kids.
This post is not meant to disparage the Movie, but to illuminate the space that my addict mind sometimes occupies.

Some people might be able to watch a movie like this and think “Oh, gosh, I’ll never do any drugs! No way!”.
But you know what that movie did for me?
It made me want to go use some drugs.
It made me want to snort something, even if it were only Pop-Rocks.
See, I could make all that insanity work for me. I know I could.
I wanted a piece of that action, that confusion, that excitement. No one is going to get beat up, or OD or get shot. No, I’m too slick for all that. At least that’s what my addict mind wants to tell me.
After the movie, they had a question and answer period with the audience. People asked questions like “What kind of camera did you use?” and “Did you shoot that scene over by the Bedford library” and “How long did it take to film this movie?”

It was all I could do to sit on my hands and not ask two questions:
‘Have any of you ever done any dope? I don’t mean experimented, but really done the deal?” and “How much dope was used to produce this movie?”
A good friend of mine stood up, and he never asks any questions, but he likes to make a statement. He said
“I just hope some young people see this movie and it keeps them from ever using any drugs.”
I would hope so too, but my own experience is that it was the excitement and danger and counter-culture phenomena that led me to drugs. I needed more of a thrill than what the Chess Club and Methodist Youth Fellowship had to offer.

I left that theater and went straight to a meeting. These days I just thank God for Narcotics Anonymous, whose message is:

“Anyone can stop doing drugs, lose the desire to use, and find a new way to live.”

Monday, October 19, 2009


I had a date this weekend!
I went down to Granbury, about an hour from Fort Worth to see an outdoor play called “The Promise”, all about the life and death of Jesus.
My friend lives in Granbury, right on the Golf Course. She has a sweet Greyhound named Gracie.
After the play I spent the night in the guestroom.
Just before turning in, she asked me:
“So, are you a morning person?”
To which I replied in my usual quite animated style:
‘You better betcha I am! I wake up, and the birds are chirpin’, and I pop out of bed and feel like a million bucks! I dance around, and sing a little song, sometimes ‘Rhinestone Cowboy” or ‘Baba O’Riley” by the Who or ‘Stolen Child”, that WB Yeats poem. I just feel so good, and love to be happy and friendly in the morning! In fact, my daughter says I am kinda hard to take in the morning”
She gave me a real sweet little thin grin, and then between clenched teeth, she said
“Well, I’m not!”

So the next morning I get up and true to form I am dancin’ and singin’ and jabberin’ away all kinds of nonsense the way I do.
By the end of breakfast, she had had about enough of me.
But that’s OK.
She was a very good hostess, and I never felt nervous or uneasy, and I even slept like a baby, which I don’t usually do when I am away from home.
And she might be able to say of me that I am goofy, silly, insane, immature, irresponsible and incompetent, and that I wear on ones last nerve like nobody she has ever met….
But she cannot say
‘That asshole was a real jerk”

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I can almost hear the conversation....
Man: "God, how did you create all this stuff?"
God: "Create? I learned to instigate it, and to some extent, to guide it, but the results are hard to accurately predict."

I found the dialogue over at Souby's...and I added the names.
It seems like it would fit to me.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Another UF Mike impression...

There is a very hostile undertone to this song which McCartneys Vienna choir-boy voice belies.
I was at a dive bar after Super Bowl 31 in the early days of Karaoke. A big hairy man in a tank-top took the stage.You could see just by his posture that he was angry, he was enraged, and he wanted some butt.
The ass kickin' kind of butt.
He brought out a side to this song I had never heard before. Mad as hell, he spat out the opening lines:

“Yesterday… all my troubles seemed so far away”
And today someone was going to get their ass kicked over it.
"Now it looks as though they’re here to stay"
That’s worth a major ass-whuppin’ right there.
But then this angry man with the scathing voice blurts out:
“Oh I believe in yesterday”
Frederich Nietzche called this a “re-sentiment”, later shortened to the more familiar “resentment”, in which one locks their heart forever to the past, and replays over and over again circumstances beyond their control, circumstances which, with a little sober effort, would obviously reveal themselves as having been brought about by their own defects.

So this big ‘ol boy, mad as hell and locked in the past gets to the chorus:
“‘Why she had to go…

When he said” I don’t know”, the glasses behind the bar rattled and nearly walked off the shelf.
There was no remorse, no guilt, no shame or contrition in his voice.
No, this guy was truly pissed that anyone would leave, and he was clueless as to why she might.
He really didn’t know.


Monday, October 12, 2009


I took a girl out in High School and before we had our second date her mother found her diary.
There was no second date!

It reminds me of an old Bread song about a Diary from their album "Baby,I'm a Want You".

I found her diary underneath a tree.
and started reading about me
The words she's written took me by surprise
you'd never read them in her eyes.
They said that she had found the love she waited for.
Wouldn't you know it, she wouldn't show it

Whoa, Nellie!

Nobody ever kept their Diary underneath a tree. Not unless they were a squirrel in love, a sensitive, deeply emotional right-brained squirrel with a lot of love to give. But squirrels generally do not keep diaries, no.
They are too busy gathering nuts. And tweaking. Ever see one jump sideways 20 feet and scramble 100 feet up a tree? I used to have friends did the same thing.

I have walked past, by, and through a great many trees. My granpa had a Pecan Farm, I've been to the redwood forest, and the piney woods too; there were squirrels everywhere, but never once did I find a diary. I've never heard of a Diary Tree, where diaries grow like ten dollar bills on the branches, falling with the leaves in autumn to sprout into little Diary Tree saplings.

No, the only way you are going to find a diary is if you are a sicko control freak or a jilted lover with a confidence problem. and you break a window or pick a lock and ransack someone’s house, looking through their drawers and under their bed and on the top shelf of their closets until you finally find the wall safe behind the Renoir, and you tear it out of the wall, drag it out to the car and speed down to the river bottom sticks where you can blow the lock and read all about yourself.

Or you can send your lover out for pizza, then ransack their house.
That's how you are going to get your hands on a diary.
No one leaves them "under a tree".
That would simply be bad journalism.
Maybe not as bad as this post.

My Diary! Gimme back my diary!


Down here in Texas, everybody knows Christopher Cross.
“Ride Like the Wind” and ‘Sailing” were huge hits from his 1980 eponymous debut album, and together they brought Mr. Cross fame and fortune, earning him all of the "Big Four" Grammy Awards in one year, a feat that is yet to be equalled.
There were two #1's and three other songs that made the top 20 that year from that album.

He seemed to be everywhere all at once in the 80's.
After that it was hard to find anyone 'round these parts that didn’t have some connection to the ubiquitous Mr. Cross.
I know at least 10 people that have lived next door to him.
I know 20 people that lived in the same apartment complex.
I know at least 100 people that saw him regularly at the Piggly-Wiggly check out line.
Apparently, he attended 3 Major University's here in Texas, on no less than 11 campuses in the space of eight years.
I know a guy that studied with him Pre-Med and another guy who took his Bar Exam with Mr. Cross.
I knew a man whose father said he knew a man who was there the day Christopher Cross was born.

Hell, I played Badminton and drank lemonade with he and Lowell George at the Governors Mansion.

Friday, October 09, 2009


"Politics would be a helluva good business if it weren't for the goddamned people"
richard nixon

"Call it what you want, Rebate, Redistribution, Rodeo, whatever.
It all comes down to being just a good old fashioned bribe, hush money for the masses, the Cornerstone of Capitalism and Free Enterpise.
All things being equal, what is wrong with that?"

Richard Nixon presenting me with my Debate Trophy Belt Buckle from my very First Debate

Thursday, October 08, 2009


Went and bought me an outfit to wear to court.
Khaki pants, Slate Grey shirt with broad Tan and thin Lavender Plaids, with a nice Oleg Cassini Forest Green tie.
Totally Masculine, yet tres sensitive.
I haven’t worn a tie in 14 years.
Thought I’d show the event the respect it deserves.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Stayin’ clean for 440 days has not been that tough.
Its not near as tough as handing a guy you barely know and who has no visible means of support 100 bucks with the hope that he will be back in the next hour or two.
That he will be back at all.
Its not near as tough as concocting an explanation for why you have no Drivers license, Inspection Sticker, Registration, and your socks don’t match.
Its not nearly as difficult as trying to get through the next week with $4.58 to your name.
That’s tough.
Its not as hard as looking into your rear-view mirror and having a blood-clot heart attack because a cop is right behind you, or turning into someones driveway because you see one a few blocks up.
Its not nearly as hard as trying to remember the last place you put your shit can be, especially when the last time you slept was in line at Jack-in the Box four days ago.
Nope, sleepin’ nights really ain’t so bad.
Really, it ain’t that bad being able to look your boss, your kids, and your friends in the eye again; to make new friends and learn how to buy groceries, chew your food before you swallow, and clean a little on a regular basis instead of a 12 hour binge every 3 weeks.
Of course, I'm still working on that one.

Tomorrow, I graduate from my Probation, my case dismissed.
Funny, a year ago I figured that I would go get commode-huggin’ snot-slingin’ drunk after graduation. That I might even want to do a little dope in celebration, you know, what the hell.
The Court system brought me to Narcotics Anonymous. thats how most of us addicts get there. We come like prisoners, like refugee's, and the first thing they tell us is that we really don't have to use drugs today.
They tell us that we can lose the desire to use, and find a new way to live.
Narcotics Anonymous really did give me a new way to live.
I might have been able to stay clean for 440 days through the court system, but still, I would be lost.
I would still be so lost.

Friday, October 02, 2009


Minnie Ripperton sang “Lovin’ You”, a real Sweet Potato of a song and kept up her high pitched whine throughout with lyrics like:
"Lovin' you is easy cuz you're beautiful"
followed by the redundant
“Lalalalala,lalalala, lala-lala-lala,lalal, la-la-ah”
If it were not for the comma’s and the “Ah” at the end, one might fall asleep, except Minnie does liven it up with the suggestive
“And every time that we oooooh”
And that keyboard!
It had the energy of an old guy that to played a one man show at a bad restaurant I used to work at.

I remember driving down the street in 1974 with my buddy Steve Holland.
"Lovin'' You" came on the radio and Steve got all excited and said “I love this song”.
I do not know what a 16 year-old boy must be going through to like this song, but I always felt sorry for Steve after that.
If I had only had an FM radio in my car, it would never have happened.

Through sheer creative genius, the DJ’s of the period would often follow Ripperton’s offering with Joe Cocker, croaking out his hit “You Are So Beautiful”.
Now I liked this song, it even got me laid one time, but the overall effect of playing it after "Lovin’ You” was somewhat akin to treating a sprained ankle by submersing in ice, then applying heat.
Only without the health benefits.
And when Joe would try for that high note at the very end of the song, you can almost see him convulse spasmodically up on his toes and about to rip his pants from stem to stern and come up still a bit flat.
So there you have it.
Anyone seen Steve Holland?