Friday, August 24, 2012


I'm good! No pain this morning. 

Yesterday in Pre-op, I started getting pretty grouchy. I hadn't been able to eat breakfast, no coffee even. I had a headache, and everybody was poking me and asking the same questions over and over.
I don't like questions when I'm grumpy. 

Then they did a nerve block on my shoulder, and it was hard to breathe. They rolled me into the operating room and I was miserable and I looked up at the anesthesiologist and said:
"You better do something PDQ, Slick, or I am out of here!"
He looked down and said "You got ten seconds, Hot Rod?" and that's the last thing I remember.

They knocked me out with Propanolol. 
Thats the stuff what that killed young Michael.
I woke up in post-op doing the moonwalk and singing "I'm a Thriller".

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


They are so serious all the time. I guess that's how they got to be doctors.
I have been having to see an orthopedic surgeon about my shoulder. After five visits, he still won't budge a smile. I like to think I'm a funny guy, but this guy is made of rubber. Humor just bounces off him.
He asked me "When does it hurt?"
I showed him my range of motion.
"It hurts here, and here and....sometimes here. But I tell you doc, the most consistent time, the thing I do that it always hurts, is when I scratch my nuts."
He didn't smile. He didn't look up. He didn't even flinch.
Just scribbled on his chart "Duly noted" I suppose.

I go in for surgery tomorrow. Rotator cuff; out of work for a couple weeks.
Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Back about 1991, it rained so much around here that the lakes got so full you couldn’t launch a boat. All the ramps were underwater for about 6 months. You had to drive a long ways away to find a lake with a ramp open.

My daughter Aubree was just about two. She was sweet and small, had just learned to walk, because she just has one of those spirits that was happy to be a crawler for a long time. She was always happy and smiling and laughing, and she had a pretty good little vocabulary for a kid that preferred crawling to walking.

Back then I used to go to Grapevine just about every week before they shut down the ramps. Then one day I heard that there was a ramp open at Grapevine. After dinner that evening, I leaned back in my chair and said to Shila (my wife back then) “Honey, what do you think if Aubree and I take the boat up to Grapevine, and see if we can get on the lake?”

I knew there was no way Shila could refuse me this. My son Lee was only about 6 months old and too young for a trip like that, but I could see in Shila’s eyes how pleased she was that I would take my daughter to the lake on a Monday evening for an hour of fishing.
“Sure” she says real sweet like “You guys have fun!”

So I load up the boat, which I hadn’t had in the water for some time, and put Aubree’ in the car seat, and away we go. Sure as heck, the ramp at Silver lake Park is open, and the engine starts right up, and Aubree and I are sailing, sailing over the bounding main. She has her little pole, and is happy as a clam, and I manage to catch a fish, and she is delighted, especially when I let the poor little thing go.
“Bye-bye” she says to the little fishy.

All we have is an hour, and it’s time now to go, but we are happy for having gone, and I crank up the motor and head for the ramp before the sun goes all the way down.

We had been the only boat on the lake, at least till now, because a big ass 40 foot Chris Craft just passed right in front of me. It had kicked up a pretty good wake, about 4 feet maybe, and with Aubree in my lap we hit it full speed…

*BAM!!!* and the water sprays, and we laugh and then we get to the second monster wave and *BAM!!!* and oh what fun this is as water sprays out and over and all upon us and then we got to the third wave and the engine is screaming and we hit it *BAM!!!* and the water sprays and then…


By that I mean the engine is no longer screaming, the throttle is missing from my hand, the boat has suddenly stopped its forward motion, and Aubree and I turn to look at where the screaming motor had been and guess what?
It was gone.
Gone, as in not attached to the back of the boat anymore. It takes a moment to process that your motor just flew off the back of the boat, but its disappearance was confirmed by little Aubree, sitting on my lap.
She gives a little wave and says “Bye-bye”
The most amazing thing that sticks out in my mind is just how quiet it gets when the motor flies off your boat.

Aubree and I paddled our way to a deserted shoreline. There was a road about 100 yards up from the lake. I carried her up to the road to see if we could find some help. In 1991 nobody had cell phones, but we managed to wave a car down, and wouldn’t you know, they happened to have one of those WWII looking 5 pound portable phones.

I called Shila. I didn’t want to tell her what happened.
“Hello?” she answered.
“Hi honey”
“Hi. What’s the matter?”
“Wellll…wellll… we have had a little problem with the boat. We are OK, but stranded on shore, and someone will have to come get us”

Now I have to give Shila some credit here. She did not freak out at all. She was cool calm and collected, but for some reason, I just couldn’t see fit to tell her the whole truth.

“What happened to the boat?” she asks.
“Just a little problem with the motor” (True)
“Where are you at?” she asks.
“Do you know where Meadowmere Park and Sandy Beach is?”
“Well, you call Kem Keeton. He knows where it is. Send him to come get us”

So Aubree and I wait to be rescued. I bring all my tackle up from the boat. It is pitch dark now.
After a bit here comes a car. It’s Kem. We load all my tackle in his car.
I’ll have to come back tomorrow with my other motor (yes, I have two) and get the boat.

We go to the ramp, way down the lake, move all my gear into my van and Aubree and I drive home. Shila meets us in the driveway as I’m unloading the van.
“I’m glad you two are OK “ she says.
“Yeah me too”
She surveys my gear.
“Where is your motor?”
That’s the question I’ve been hoping to avoid. Without looking up I say:
“Oh, I left it at the lake.” (True)
“Left it at the lake? You’re kidding. It probably won’t be there tomorrow.”
“Yep. Probably not.” (True again)

She fixes me and Aubree a little snack, and asks again:
“Steve, what exactly happened to your motor?”
“Well honey, it just kinda stopped running all of a sudden” (True)
“Do you know what’s wrong with it?”
“Welll…well… maybe it’s just flooded real bad or something, I don’t know” (true, in a sense)

But Shila’s bullshit meters are on high alert by now, and as I’m just about to crawl into bed she asks me one more time, real softly.
“Steve, tell me, what really happened to your motor?”
I hung my head. I hung it low. She had asked it with all the kindness in the world, and that much kindness deserves an honest answer.

“My motor flew off the back of the boat, Shila. It’s gone. Just gone, somewhere in 25 feet of water at the bottom of Grapevine Lake. That’s what happened to my motor”

And that is the story of me and Aubree's first fishing trip!


Friday, August 17, 2012


My roommate Angela actually ate something good this week and liked it. She is hard to cook for. Its like cooking for a 6 year old.

I’ll say “We are having chicken with pesto and sliced tomato’s tonight” and she’ll stick out her lower lip and say “I don’t like tomatoes”.
“Angela, when is the last time you ate a tomato?”
“I don’t know”
“Maybe 20 years? Have you had a tomato the last 20 years?”
“No, probably not.  I think I was 6, and it made me sick. I don't like tomatoes” again with the lip.
“Tell you what, I’m going to make this shit, and you just close your eyes, hold your nose, try to be honest, open-minded, and willing. Put your big girl panties on and see if maybe we don’t like tomatoes the way I do them. Its delicious, so clean and summery, and you won’t find a lower calorie, more nutritious meal out there”

So I sliced some Roma tomatoes, spread them out on a plate with a little olive oil, salt and pepper while the chicken sautee’d with the pesto, grilled a little Asiago bread, and when the chicken was done I set it on the bed of sliced tomatoes and drizzled the juice over the whole thing.

Well, guess what? It made her knees buckle she liked it so good.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Helen Gurley Brown and Lessons in Love:
One- "Take time to court her."
Two- "Make her talk to you, and you listen!"
Three- "Admire her character, even if she doesn’t have any."
Four- "Forget your success stories"
Five- "Don’t be a Caveman. How many times do you have to be told?"


For a real treat, listen to Side One Here...

She is a dynamo! Check out at least the first 3 minutes!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I wrote and posted this up a couple years ago, but my son happened to see it, got a little paranoid, and wanted me to take it down. So I did.
But here it is, and I'm able to post it again because his life is much different now.
I'm very proud of him, and what he has done to get his act together. Like i said last week, he took five ckllases, and he passed five classes.

October 2009
I went to one of these fancy, high fallutin' North Dallas parties over the weekend.
They had Shrimp, and Smoked Salmon; Calamata Olives and Roasted Red peppers; even had Swedish meatballs and Spanokopita.
It was what my father would have called “pretty swanky”.
And they even had a very cute little blond catering girl with a ferocious ass serving it all up.

There was the usual assortment of Power Hitters, Corporate Gurus, and High Fashionista types.
I got cornered by a plain looking fellow with a cherubic face, dimpled chin, and bad acne. The only thing cool about him was his Stevie Ray Vaughn hat, but even that would not save him from the fact that he had shown up to this party with three mechanical pencils in his shirt pocket. We discussed his job as a software engineer and the failings of Excel Spreadsheets, and I was just about to make my break when we were approached by a very aggressive man that stood 6’6” and could not have weighed more than 140 pounds. Within 45 seconds I had his life story.

He said he had a degree in chemistry, and had retired a millionaire the first time after selling his business in Magnetic Imaging. Then he went to Law School and had spent the last several years suing the asses off of corrupted Doctors. Then he retired again, because its too "hard to sue a Doctor" anymore, but he is working now on a Metabolic Elixir, sure to be a success and save people from the heartbreak of needless bariatric surgery.
Then he started in with the questions….I thought I was on a speed date.
“Kids?” He asked.
“Two” I said.
“19 and 20”
“Girl and Boy”
‘Working or school?”
“Boy works, Girl in school”
“Marine Biology”
“What job?”
‘Are you asking me what my son does for a living?”
“Oh, he deals Pot.”
His jaw drops and theres something stuck in his throat.
‘Really?” he gasps.
“Yes, he does quite well. Takes after me.”

So the three of us guys stood there and chewed the fat for…well…for as long as I could take it. I finally found a break in the rapid fire conversation and said
“Well listen fellas, its been fascinating talking with ya’ll, but if you don’t mind, I’m going to go find some chicks to talk to.”
When I left an hour later with the little catering girl, those two were still jabberin’ away.

Monday, August 13, 2012


"A woman just walked by wiggling it...and we are not dead yet"
Charles Bukowski

My buddy Martjin points out that one of the gentlemen ogling the lady happens to be Roscoe Holcomb. If you are like me, you are wondering who the hell Roscoe Holcomb is, and after watching this video, you will wonder how a guy in Amsterdam could pick Roscoe Holcomb out of this picture...

Sunday, August 12, 2012


"You can live as a particle crashing about and colliding in a welter of materials with god, or you can live as a particle crashing about and colliding in a welter of materials without god. But you cannot live outside the welter of colliding materials."

- Annie Dillard

stolen from my friend kissyface

Friday, August 10, 2012

Immaculate Heart College Art Department Rules

Rule #1~“Find a place that you can trust, and then try trusting it for a while”
 image ~ Tippi Hedron and Neil

Thursday, August 09, 2012

"I haven't slept with anyone all day"

I mentioned my son in yesterday's post.
He's 22,  just finished his first semester of college.
He took 5 classes, and he passed 5 classes. I can't begin to tell you what a miracle that is, because he was never much of a student.

He runs some kind of cathouse right off Campus. Rents rooms to other students. I think at any one time about six people live there, mostly chicks.
I got a text from him two weeks ago:
"Dad, I haven't slept with anyone all day"
I replied;
 "Good for you son, but its only 8pm."

He is quite a little character.



Wednesday, August 08, 2012


“What we have here is the most stubborn person in the world. He taught me a lot of stuff,  mostly bad. I watched him dig himself into a hole, stop caring about himself, and turn away from the people he loved. Turn away from the people who loved him. But when it came time that I had dig my way out of my own hole, and learn to smile again, my dad showed me the way. My dad showed me that we do recover. What we have here is the last of the Individualists. C'mon up Pop!”

My son, the Rip, introducing me at last week’s birthday night at Another Chance Chapter of NA.

Birthday night is a monthly event where those celebrating a year or more of continuous clean time are introduced, usually by their sponsor, and invited to speak to the group. It is a more formal setting than your usual recovery meeting.

I was very pleased to have my son introduce me. It’s hard for me to tell all of his story here, but maybe someday I will.
What did I share that night?
Something like this…HERE

Friday, August 03, 2012


from "fullyclothedwomen"

When they asked me what I wanted to be I said I didn’t know.
“Oh, sure you know,” the photographer said.
“She wants,” said Jay Cee wittily, “to be everything.”

— Sylvia Plath


Click image to enlarge.
Key located here

Wednesday, August 01, 2012


Remember back at my birthday, when I joined a gym, all pumped up to get my ass in shape? CLICK HERE

And then a month later when I hadn't missed hardly any days? CLICK HERE

Want to know how that’s going for me? I haven’t been in a month, thats how its going, and so far it has cost me about 500 dollars and earned me a date with an anesthesiologist and a surgeon on August 23rd.
Seems I got a gimpy left shoulder. Its likely been injured for years; bad rotator cuff, torn bicep, and calcification of the humerous head. I guess going to the gym and lifting something heavier than a diet coke and a spoonful of Cap’n Crunch aggravated it.

So I walk into the gym yesterday to pay my bill.
Biff is there behind the counter. When I saw him last month, and he asked me how it was going I told him I HATED coming here.
He had laughed and said “Yeah, everybody does, but at least you keep showing up”

But now, he’s grinnin’ at me like a butchers dog.
“Where have you been, slacker?” he says.
I point to my shoulder. “I’m on injured reserve. I’ve blown my shoulder out. Gonna have to have surgery. Then I'll be bionic”
“I’m sorry to hear that” he says. “But you could come up and do cardio.”
“No, the doctor, he told me to stay away from this place” and I laugh.
“That doctor didn’t tell you that!"he says. “You can do cardio!”
“Yeah, you’re right, my doctor didn’t tell me that. But he did say to stay away from the weights, and frankly I don’t trust myself. If I come here to do cardio, and I see all those weights just laying around in there, I’m afraid I will lose control and have to go try to pick some of them up. And that wouldn't be good!”

And Biff and I just crack up! I sure do like Biff! He’s alright!