Let me tell you a story…

Storytime starring the Mad Pony girlsGoooooooooood evening dear readers!

Another busy week kicked off here in Dallas metro, but I took a few minutes today to whip up another stellar photo essay for you folks. This evening’s story was inspired by a recent photo post over at Mad Pony headquarters. I thought it odd that Kristin & Lauren would post some pics, but leave the captions out.

That’s where yours truly comes in. A single picture from the Mad Pony entry sparked the synapses, jump started PhotoShop and BING BANG BOOM out popped some content fodder.

Here’s a quick read I like to call Death Comes Hippity-Hop. (Link Opens In New Window)

On top of old Smokey…

Sorry you had to be here yesterday to appreciate my train of thought.

Currently in Corpus Christi visiting with Michelle’s sister’s family (We only saw FIVE accidents driving down from Dallas last night). Needed some family time before my schedule becomes so busy that I will rarely see the sun. Not that I’m complaining, it’s all part of the master plan. Executing it will be the challenge.

The day time gig is going well. I’m diggin’ the teaching thing although the company I work for requires evaluations at the end of every class. The constant pressure of perfection is a little daunting, but I’m happy to report my scores continue to improve.

Next week I’ll be attending school in the evenings after work. That will make for the dreaded 5am-11:30pm weekdays. Whether or not I maintain that schedule for the next 10 months remains to be seen. If school gets too heavy then I may scale back on classes, but I’m hoping to finish as quickly as possible (I’ve already tested out of a few semesters).

OK, I’m out.

You Want The Best, You Got The Best…

Heh, it’s nice to know that the e-mails I get from readers are all the things I’m not doing on the website. Where’s the Nip/Tuck recaps? How come you haven’t reviewed The Rundown or School of Rock yet?

Well blog fans, this weekend I didn’t get to do any of those things because Michelle & I were in San Antonio watching Aerosmith & KISS in concert. CAN YOU SAY THE MOST AWESOME F#CKIN’ SHOW EVER?!?!???!

The last time I saw Aerosmith & KISS was in Detroit, I think it was `96 or `97. I had the pleasure of catching KISS kick off a reunion tour at Tiger Stadium and I took my best bud Ron to see Aerosmith at The Palace in Auburn Hills. Individually the energy of those performances was amazing and when the opportunity came around to see both bands in one night… well… yours truly is thankful for having so many American Express Rewards points. At $135 a ticket, I was happy that I didn’t have to make any morally questionable decisions on how to raise the cash.

<off topic> – All the concerts attended this year have been due to the outstanding AMEX points program. If you only get yourself one credit card, make sure you get the AMEX. Might not be accepted everywhere, but the credit protection & rewards can’t be beat.</off topic>

San Antonio has become our concert city of choice, specifically outdoor concerts. There is an outdoor venue in Dallas, but it has outlived its usefulness in my opinion. The sound quality, size and seating of the amphitheater in San Antonio can’t be beat. There really isn’t a bad seat in the house and Michelle & I have been fortunate enough to get tickets in the front row of the 200 or 300 sections. Oops, I’m rambling off topic again.

All I can tell you is both bands kicked some serious ass. After seeing them in a large arena setting, this was so much cooler. The energy was contagious, the crowd on their feet all night and there was no doubt why these guys are the best at what they do. Because I wanted to share the moment, I tagged off some pictures which are available here. Not my best work, but you try and take covert photos without getting your equipment confiscated. I managed to record some video too, but dammit all if my mini Olympus camera doesn’t record sound. If I get requests to see that footage I’ll post one or two files later on.

Alright, that’s your lunchtime update. Go check out the concert pics and feel free to leave a comment or two. If you have a large monitor I recommend viewing the pics at the larger size.

Look at me! I can be funny!

Look at me! I can be funny! See, head in alligator’s mouth, that’s funny! Cmon now...Hmmm… it figures the day Rob takes a moment to tell people how super-groovy-cool my website is I’d welcome them with such a serious entry. Well folks, I hope you took the time to look around. I know I did just a minute ago and damn, I think some navigation cleanup is in order.

Overall the weekend went well, although I’m dead tired today. Michelle & I zipped out after work Friday as planned and we arrived at my cousin Wally’s house just before 3am Saturday morning. We probably would have made better time, but we counted almost 20 highway patrol cars (11 stopped speedsters), four highway accidents including a gas tanker that was on fire off the highway. (Yes, you can all scream at me for not stopping to take pictures, that would have been so blogworthy)

On Saturday if Michelle & I weren’t speaking to someone we were eating. Made small talk with my cousin Wally and his wife Baby, ate. Gabbed with my sister Lesli and her girlfriend Steph, ate. Went and picked up my parents at my Aunt Caring’s house, loaded food in the car to take back to Wally’s house, ate. Then we made the trip to visit my Aunt Maggie and the sisters made sure she ate.

I’m not prepared to talk about the visit at length just yet, but it was a good afternoon.

After visiting with my Aunt Maggie we drove across town to see her daughters and grandchildren. We crashed a birthday party and it was amazing to see the changes in my cousins after so many years. My cousin Maya, now with three daughters, I hadn’t seen since I sang at her wedding 15+ years ago. My cousin Amy stopped by with her kids and she’s a grandmother!

And then we ate. I swear every time I turned around on Saturday somebody was handing me food. I’m not complaining, between the crab legs, barbecue, gumbo, crawfish, spicy dogs and birthday cakes, it was all I could do to down some beignets & coffee before we did any drinking that evening. (Beignets are fried squares of pastry generously topped with powdered sugar, yummy must have treats when visiting)

Lesli, Steph, Michelle & I ended up at the French Quarter that evening to get a taste of the New Orleans night life. We didn’t make too much of a ruckus as the thought of driving 9+ hours hungover quickly came to mind after a few shots of Jaeger.

Everyone took off the next morning. My parents got an early start at 6am, while Lesli & Steph headed to the airport about 8am. Michelle & I made another trip to see my Aunt Maggie and Maya & the girls caught us in the room. I snapped off a couple of quick pictures (which I couldn’t do Saturday) and then we headed back to Dallas.

To get a better look at that crazy gator photo checkout the album from the weekend..

You vs. The Short Bus

It was my intention to post this rant yesterday, but lately I have been unable to dump concept/thought to keyboard. In my head I know what is it I want to say, but somehow the translation/context comes out completely different as I read over my entry.

Anyway, back to yesterday. During the usual morning jaunt to school the transmission blew in my car leaving me stranded on the highway. I suppose I could have shook clenched fists at the sky and screamed “Why O why have you forsaken me Lord?” but I saw the answer sprawled on the bumper sticker of some yuppie’s Lexus – All God’s Blessings Are For John Wayne. Apparently, I forgot to walk the dogma again…

Ryan would say I was just handed a ticket on the short bus, but after my knee-jerk reaction of getting pissed, all I could do was laugh. There was nothing at that moment I could do to improve my condition except call for a tow truck. My class wasn’t going to be put on hold because I wasn’t there, my assignments would still be due regardless of my attendance and I had no control whether the instructor would show any compassion for my circumstances. Before I got caught up thinking “How the hell will I get to work tomorrow?” I took a moment to realize the car dying in Dallas was a helluva lot better than the car dying over the weekend while Michelle & I were in Corpus Christi. Better yet, I was happy the rain had just stopped as I was leaving my apartment. Sometimes happiness comes in the finest of degrees and perception is reality.

My experience yesterday doesn’t make me any different or any more the same as the next person. Everybody has suffered through a bad day, it’s just some of us get all of ours lumped together in succession. I’ve been beat up, stepped on, turned down, laughed at, pissed on, stabbed, shot at, rejected, loved less, loved no more, passed over, come in second, chosen last and never measured up. I’ve survived bankruptcy, lasik surgery, ex-girlfriends, one night stands, fraternities, business ventures, lawsuits, identity theft and any number of bad decisions which I take full responsibility for and I don’t regret the experiences.

I won’t deny there are moments when I feel singled out by all the crap that I’m experiencing. Random badness soon weaves itself into a pattern and it’s only natural to attempt some form of rationalization. Some folks get by believing everything happens for a reason, others simply roll with life’s challenges. Personally, I’m just stubborn and I’m here before you today by sheer force of will. I refuse to play the victim when it comes to circumstance and while those close to me will attest I exaggerate problems or bitch loud when I pitch a fit, nobody can deny that through it all I manage to get things done. And that’s all I can suggest for anybody else – define your experiences, don’t let them define you.

Alrighty, that’s about all I can type during my lunch break. Will be headed to class after I get out of work and I’m still figuring out how the website will mix into all this. Nip/Tuck recap is still in the works, if I can post it from school later I will do so.