Thursday, March 05, 2009

Lubbock and Dallas

So. Okay. I'm buying a @#$%ing GPS.

Driving and trying to read directions off a printout from Google Maps in the middle of Texas, twenty miles from anything resembling a landmark just sucks. Especially once it gets dark.

Today I drove from Dallas to Lubbock, using the directions provided me by my faithful admin. I knew I was kind of screwed when the directions took me in this weird partial loop around part of Dallas, and I drove back past my hotel fifteen minutes later.

I'll be doing a lot of driving for this job, so from now on, I will have a polite lady's voice telling me where to go.

I didn't see much of the Llano Estacado or whatever driving in as the sun dipped around 7:00ish, and I arrived about 9:10. So, Wow, Lubbock. Nice, terrifying dark roads you got going on out here.

SMU's campus is very nice, btw.

Tomorrow is Tech.

I had a dinner at the bar where I made the bartender tell me her life story. The BBQ was okay, but very salty. Still, for getting a BBQ plate at 9"30 at night, it was okay.

Dallas Radio

So Driving around Dallas I was having trouble finding rock or classic rock on the radio, but I did find a number of religious stations and a metric-ton of Tejano. It was kind of an interesting juxtaposition of listening to Sarah Vowell's discussion of our forefathers, Puritanism, etc... and then listening to the confluence of religion and politics on the radio, and how political issues aren't actually up for debate. The debate has been settled by an interpretation of the Word of God as channeled from the chosen radio DJ.

It's not exactly news that the endgame here isn't entirely different from how law was decreed and interpreted by the separatists and Puritans who fled England to set up shop far from the Papists and not-as-pure-as-themselves Englanders. Its still a fairly crude set-up of abject paranoia and ego manifested as decrying anyone not onboard with your viewpoint as sent from the devil (let alone finding a flock that will buy into your line). And seeking to rule based upon God's authority (ie: your authority, because only you have the "correct" interpretation of scripture, current events, etc...).

It's just kind of kooky to listen for a while and hear the repeated insistence that there's a conspiracy to silence Christians, how many people aren't really Christians (ie: do not listen to this radio show), and how Obama's spending versus Bush's equally reckless spending (if we want to talk deficit numbers) is somehow a sign of the end times. Oh, yes. The end times. Everything is a sign that the end times are drawing nigh.

Bear in mind, I only listened to this for under an hour and heard these messages repeated over and over. This is on every single day, all day.

Anyhow, having had my earful of people calling in to talk about how nobody else is as Christian as the caller and DJ are, I tuned around until I found some classic rock.

On my way out of Dallas, I was listening to ACDC's "Back in Black". I don't particularly care for ACDC, but they'll do in a pinch. And the DJ came back on the air to announce, "You know what's black but won't be back? Terrell Owens."

Well, yes, technically, TO is African American/ black, and he was just released from the Cowboys' roster (setting them back $9 million). But, still... wow. I don't even know what's specifically wrong with that, but I think there's plenty there to work with.

Something else

Here's something new: My pals in Seattle, The My and Bryan have put together yet another musical act. Here's a link to a sampling. Behold, its the dawning of Jupe Jupe.

So where the hell is your latest, T-Jeff?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

In Dallas, rockin' your face off

I'm in Dallas. Today's workday was okay but weird.

Not much to report other than that I finally went to a Starbucks to use their free wi-fi, and it wasn't free. I wound up paying $4 to use the internet. And while I felt I needed to use the internet, I was somehow maybe a little offended that it cost me money. This hotel isn't charging me for internet. I was always under the impression Starbuck's wi-fi was free... and yet... maybe I was wrong? That seems impossible.

Anyway, no big worries, but it messes with how I think of my access to technology and what I will and will not pay for.

It sounds like Jamie had her hands full with Cassidy last night. I'm usually the one who is up and down with Cassidy at night her first night at the house. I don't mind. She's so spunky when she wakes me up, its sort of jolly.

I'm off to work some and read. Have a good night.

I leave you with the ROLCats

Late Edit: This from "The Onion". Lovecraftian School Board Member Wants Madness Added To Curriculum

And, apropos of nothing... a DITMTLOD Microburst:

Juliet on ABC's Lost is just a good idea all the way around.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

In Denton, KareBear Birthday

As the title says, I'm in Denton, Texas this evening at a lovely Holiday Inn.

I really don't get the deal behind paying a lot for staying in a 5 star hotel. If the place has fresh towels and a bed, I'm good. If there's a restaurant in the actual hotel, usually that's very good.

I get it if the hotel is, say, on the beach, such as Las Brisas del Pacifico where we stayed in Costa Rica. or the place at Arenal where we could lay in bed and listen to the rumblings of the volcano and watch it from our balcony. But when you're just moving from place to place? Meh.

That said, I had an absolutely terrible cheeseburger for dinner. Awful. I don't even feel well now.

Driving up I listened to about half of the unabridged "The Wordy Shipmates" by Sarah Vowell. I've only read one of her other books, and I think I listened to the audio book of "Assassination Vacation". I need to see if we still have that anywhere.

Vowell is an interesting writer in our blogging age. She's certainly not writing in the David McCullough or Stephen Ambrose style (my "way back from Lubbock" book will be "Flags of Our Fathers", btw). She kind of jumps all over the place, tells personal anecdotes to cement home points about how we carry a spirit or history with us, and often relates history through the eyes of the typical white-bread American suburbanite (we know our history through sit-coms more than school). And it works. It sticks with you far more than a prattling off of names, dates or even reconstructing complex paths to historical events.

She's not going to win over any Reaganites with her deconstruction of The Gipper's use of Winthrop's "City on a Hill" sermon, aka: A Model of Christian Charity. But she does bring to life (thus far, I'm only half-way thru) the spirit of the Puritans, their perspective, etc... And just as we accept that we may not always comprehend cultures separated from a distance for their different ideals, Vowell is excellent at delineating the differences between what a modern reader might see and our founding culture, separated by time.

Anyhow, if I'm going to be on the road, I prefer I find a good way to spend the time, and audio books always seem to fit the bill.

Man, the air conditioner blower in my room is enormous and hangs half-way over the bed. When it comes on, it totally mutes the television. Unreal.

I am going to sleep like a log tonight.

Tomorrow is my mother's birthday. I hope she has the happiest of birthdays, and I hope I can manage to get her on the phone, which is always hard on her birthday. She's usually off and running as friends or my dad take her out and about.

Spoke with her tonight, and she related a story that sort of sums up my mother.

They now own a house in Austin as well as their other place in Spring. Upon returning home Sunday, Karebear realized she might have left the oven on in Austin. Rather than ask Jamie, Jason, Susan or I to go check, she got up at 5:00 or so on Monday morning and drove all the way to Austin. The stove wasn't on, so she turned around and went home.

My mother, ladies and gentlemen. This is, I might add, the second 1 day trip like this she's made in recent memory. The last was when we needed someone to be in austin in October to be here when we moved the furniture out of the downstairs. Maybe a 30 minute job.

The Karebear would make an excellent long-haul trucker, I think. Especially if she had Peggy riding shotgun.

Anyhow, Happy Birthday, Mum. See you this weekend. Jamie and I love you.

Monday, March 02, 2009

A Post Before Driving

I need to start reviewing more old movies

If I started reviewing more old movies I watch on cable, would that be fun for you guys? I kind of got a kick out of the "Breakfast Club" review, partially because at least Steanso seemed to get a charge out of defending the flick from my grouchy, old man's ways. And just as "Pump up the Volume" seemed to spur a conversation, perhaps we could find more 80's or 90's teen-flicks?

What else should I watch and review? I'm up for any movie we once held dear. Just not Ferris Bueller. For all I can about that movie is that its awesome. It always has been. It always will be. And it cemented Jeffrey Jones in my mind as an actor who I'm still pumped to see when he appears in anything.

One movie I've really been meaning to watch again is "3 O'Clock High". It's basically "High Noon" in a high school setting, for those who haven't seen it.

What else? Dare I take another look at "Heathers" in a post-Columbine world? Are we ready for me to review "Teen Witch"? Help me out.

Heading out to the northern lands

I'm out of Austin as of tomorrow afternoon. If any of you can take Jamie and Jason under your wing while I'm gone, please do so.

I'll be in Denton, Dallas and then Lubbock. Lots of driving. I picked up a couple of audio books on iTunes. We'll see how it goes.

Don't worry about me being bored. If push comes to shove, I'll call for Emergency Homeboys.

If I don't post or get back to you, all you Leaguers take care.

Start of a Wacky Week

Either very light blogging or very heavy blogging this week. Depending on how bored I get and what's available in my hotel room as per an interweb connection in my room.

Pinnochio is coming to Blu-Ray

I can't stress how much that movie freaked me out as a very young kid. I want to see it again, but I'm kind of nervous to do so.

Comic Store Geeks

RHPT has suggested I link to this article in Wired. It's interviews and pictures of comic shop employees.

I guess my only beef with the article is that its, of course, done in successful comic shops, and only on the coasts. I would very much liked to have seen a wider array of shops, as the very successful shops with lines around the store on Wednesday are far the exception to the rule in my experience (although Austin Books on Wednesdays and weekends is pretty hoppin').

I'm also sort fo amused that the guys all identify as "non-nerdy" because they have girlfriends. Dude... I'll be the first to tell you, having a girlfriend or wife isn't non-nerdy. It just means you've found someone willing to put up with your nerdiness.


Very slow, but Matt and Nicole joined us over the grill this evening. I sort of screwed up the chicken.

We bought the food at the new Newflower Market, which Jamie discussed elsewhere. I think my initial impression was far more favorable. It's a nice mid-point between typical HEB grocery and Central Market product, but with HEB prices. And, its, like, two blocks away.

Yesterday was all too lazy, but it was good to spend time flopping around reading comics if this week is going to be away from home, Lucy, Jeff and Jamie.

Comic Fodder

I posted a Signal Watch column