Monday, March 27, 2006

Far Too Soon

Brian and Christel Houston are old friends of mine. I was very young and very hurt by some hard times in our church when they came on the scene and took over music for a time. Though they weren't a whole lot older than I was, their maturity was well beyond their years, and their love, devotion, and joy of living were overwhelming and infectious.

Many years ago they moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We stayed in touch, though less and less over the years.

Now, suddenly, Brian is gone.

It's unimaginable to me. You see, you'd have to know Brian. Brian had an IQ somewhere past 175 and a sense of humor to match. In other words, he was very funny, but in a very geeky sort of way. Just a brief conversation would have you realize that his mind was running circles around yours, yet you'd never feel bad. It was like watching a cat chase a squirrel around the yard; fast, and fur flying everywhere.

His skills on the piano were stunning. He had hundreds of piano arrangements stored up in his head and he could transcribe them from memory on request (never on demand, he was way too nice to ever be put upon that way.)

He had nearly boundless energy and his every act was motivated by love. He wanted you to laugh and smile, and he put joy in your very footsteps. I can't believe he's gone.

I'm thinking of Christel right now. You see, they were a team like very few others I'd ever met. They were the right and left hand of a whole, and when they worked together, they could accomplish as much as a whole team of normal folks. Now she's without her teammate, and I can't begin to imagine how much that hurts. She probably doesn't realize it yet, either.

I want to call her, but it's probably too soon. There are a million things to do and so many other people and I'd probably just end up talking about me by mistake anyway and, well, that won't help. Perhaps in another week or two, when things have settled down a bit, when it's not so busy, when people have begun to go back to their own lives, when Christel is just starting to think about how the heck she's supposed to do this by herself now, then I'll call, and it can be all about Brian, and we can take our time and hopefully it will help, just a little.

Godspeed, Brian, and wait for us there on that Golden Shore.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Religious Tolerance

This is the problem with Islam.

This is what makes it hard for me to be tolerant of the Muslim religion. This is why sharia is a scourge and a farce. This is why Islam is uncivilized. This is why Islam is not a peaceful religion.

Islam may mean "peace." Big whoop. The proof is in the pudding.

The fighting and violence will stop when Muslims worldwide learn this lesson:

Only adherents to your religion have to obey your law. If they choose not to adhere to your religion, they are not bound by your law.

Therefore the law regarding conversion away from Islam is unenforcable. Therefore all laws regarding punishment or negative action against non-adherents are useless and unenforcable.

You don't get to have it your way. This ain't Muhammed's Burger King.

To Hell with sharia, to Hell with Muhammed, and to Hell with Islam if the adherents of Islam cannot learn to live and let live.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Erin go Bragh

Well, the corned beef is simmering in the pot, and in a little while the potatoes and the cabbage will go in with it.

I love St. Patrick's day. Most of my friends know my Irishness is important to me. My wife is much more of a mutt than I, with a small streak of Irish in her, but she puts up with my fixation. And yet there is something visceral about my heritage, to me that is. The history of my people makes me sad and angry, yet fills me with pride as well. At times the people of this tiny island and their descendants have shook the foundations of the world. The music makes my blood run hot. I play the whistle and am struggling with the uilleann pipes. The dancing makes me want to move my own feet, though I usually refrain for asthetic reasons. I even love a good, stout beer.

St. Patrick's day runs through everything it means to be an Irish-American. The celebration is a symbol of why my family and I are even here. St. Patrick's Day was, in many ways, the centerpiece of the Irish-American's rise from discrimination and hate to acceptance and prominence.

Naturally the history of the Irish American's isn't all so goody-goody. If you ask someone what they think of regarding Irish-American history, one of the first things that will come out of their mouths will be the Irish Mob. I have Irish mobsters in my background, a few generations back, and it's the dark side of the Irish spirit, trying to carve out a living in an environment of oppression, and choosing the wrong path. But perhaps that's a discussion for another day.

I heard Malachy McCourt say that most of history is written by the winners, but his history of Ireland (and others, by implication) is a history written by the losers. The Irish have faced brutal persecution on so many fronts, mostly from ruthless regimes of Britain, and have nearly always met death and defeat until the last century. I heard a comment on the TV that Irish is the only race that everyone wants to be one day a year. In all corners of the earth you can find descendants of Erin, and on this day, we are for a brief time one in the Wearin' O' the Green.

Grand Slam!

What on Earth is it about Denny's?

I mean, holy crapola! You can't even walk in to get your Pyramid Breakfast without a flak jacket.

Why do these sort of events cluster like this? What is it about our connected society that creates these odd patterns. This happened years ago with school shootings. I don't remember which was the first, but they were suddenly epidemic, relatively speaking. What effect does the news of one whacko murder at a Denny's have on the guy who carries a piece into the next Denny's he goes into?

I mean, it's not the food, right?

Actually that first shooting took place a few hours before I drove by that Denny's. It's right on the highway at the Five Cities shopping/travel stop area. There were no less than a dozen news vans all around, lights and antennas everywhere, and instantly I knew someone had been shot. I mean, what else, right?

Is there a connection, or are we so surrounded by chaos and coincidence, a flood of billions of tiny events every day, that these things are simply bound to happen now and then?

I don't know. I'm asking you.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Well, I'm pretty drunk right now, but Mark said to update my &%$#@ blog. So here it is.

I'm kind of a cheap date. It doesn't take me much to get drunk. The real problem is I have to retype a lot more words. Dang it. I know you don't see that now, but that's because of that retyping thing.

I had to retype thing, too.

I had never been drunk before 2005. Actually, I'd never even had a drink before I was 34. I still don't drink at home just to drink. We'll have wine when we have guests over. I don't keep cheap drinking wine. I literally have only six bottles... no, seven, but I don't count the bottle of chardonnay, because I don't like white wines. I have six bottles. All of them... no five of them were gifts. None of them is worth any less than $45, though the most valuable bottle is worth only about $130. Doesn't matter. It will take me ages to find enough events in our home with enough wine drinking guests to make it worth popping one of those puppies. I'm not a complete cheapo (had to retype the word complete twice... I'm not doing too bad) but I'm not going to open that bottle if the imbibers at the table don't have the fortitude to finish that $100 mother off. No way. They can drink Coke Zero and go home at 9:15 so I can catch up on Forensic Files episodes (holy crap, you should've seen how long it took me to get "episodes" right... both times.)

No, I really only get smashed when I'm with my bosses at functions, because as whoopied as I get, these dudes can really get crushed. It takes them a little longer, but even though they're nice drunks, they can find a way right down to belligerent if they're so inclined. Tonight they were good, though. They had to drive.

I didn't.

I called home before my last couple of glasses, because I don't mind if she knows I'm tipped over. In fact, I want her to know exactly what I do when I'm away. Honesty is important, even when it's not good. No, I called then so that she could still understand me.

Gawd, what was I talking about again?


It's about me, dummy!!!


Patzer's Progress
Movie Magic Screenwriter
Film Freaks Film Club
Collingwood FC

Newcastle United

Oakland Raiders

San Jose Sharks


Light Motifs
Yeah Whatever
Under the Bridge
Much That is Hidden
Grapes 2.0
Quotidian Vicissitudes
The Fifth Column
Out of Me Head
Ole Blue the Heretic
Stab Film
What is Hip



Looney Mail



Add to Technorati Favorites