Thursday, October 14, 2010

Time Flies Like an Arrow ...

... and fruit flies like a banana.

Yeah, yeah. I know it's been months. It's turned out to be a pretty insane year, work- and life-wise, and blogging has fallen way down to the bottom of the list of "Things I Have Time To Do These Days." Apologies.

So, training continues along at a steady pace, and happily the vast majority of injuries I've been suffering from are in the manageable, under control, or resolved categories. Had a really fun new one pop up in the interim -- while trying to vacuum up some water that was leaking into the dojang during some nasty storms I bent over and dislocated my sacrum (joint way at the end of the spine), causing every muscle in my lower back to seize up in order to protect my spinal cord and resulting in my typically "S" shaped spine resembling a "Capital B" instead.

The pain was … well, extraordinary, to be honest. Couldn't stand up straight at all, could barely walk 100 feet without having to stop and rest. Couldn't sleep. It was really something else. Happily, a few days of intensive PT with Pieter got me functional and pain free again. But still, enough with the damn injuries already!

It's been an interesting few months in our dojang. We've moved to a much larger new location -- probably double the total floor space of our last (also quite large space). The new space is in a fantastic new location, and as a result we've seen a pretty exciting influx of new students: lots of white and orange belts floating around these days, and even a couple of students who'd left the art coming back into the fold. We've also had a couple of our senior members unexpectedly jump ship, creating some more opportunities for teaching, and as a result I've been teaching as often as I can -- at least a couple of Saturdays a month, plus assisting or taking entire groups during classes as well. I'm hopeful that this will all help me to be ready to test for Kyo Sa this Spring.

This Spring. Yep, it's coming. The next dan classing for our region is actually occurring on Saturday, in just two days. Kwan Jhang Nim Ferraro arrives tomorrow, and we'll have a clinic with him at our dojang Saturday morning. After that, I'll hang out and watch many friends and fellow students test for the midnight blue belts or for their next stripe. And then, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I'll begin preparing in earnest to test for my Ee Dan (midnight blue belt 2 stripes a.k.a. second dan) in the next classing in our region.

Yikes.

Not that I haven't been prepping already. Even on a slow week I train 3 times in addition to teaching, and thus far preparation is going smoothly -- even with the succession of injuries I've been coping with for the past 9-10 months, I feel solid in the majority of my techniques. My forms feel great (in fact I clinched Gold in my grid at Nationals this year for my Chil Sung Sa Rho Hyung -- very exciting. Totally blew my Dando Hyung Cho Dan, but that's what happens when you show up to compete after overindulging in Vegas the night before…), elbow techniques are solid, sleeve grabs are there if not polished to a high shine just yet, knife defense is coming along nicely, and all of my line drills techniques are doing just fine. Jump kicks are so-so -- have been going easy on them because of the injuries, but my kicking skills are pretty solid for a 40-something dude and I know that once I'm comfortable that my injuries are resolved I can get them back to the level of proficiency where I want them pretty quickly.

Only sparring really worries me, as I'm hardly sparred at all in the past year due to all the garbage I've been dealing with in my back/knees/ankles/feet. I'm trying to get back in the swing of sparring, but honestly my confidence is quite shot after being out of it for so long. Need to just accept that I'm going to kind of suck for a few weeks/months as I try to sand the rust off my sparring technique and try not to worry about it too much. Regardless, I know that I'll be ready on test day.

In just 6 or so months.

Yikes.

Mood: Harried
Now Playing: nothing

Monday, May 31, 2010

Slow and Steady

Well, I'm happy to report that I'm on the road to recovery (again). Got confirmation that the pain in my right leg was due to a rather nastily inflamed nerve caused by the good old sacrum in my lower back. Also found out that I have early stage plantar fascitis in my right foot, but that's really a minor issue overall -- we'll address that next. But for now, the focus is getting the pain in my leg to settle down, and to get my lower back stabilized so that I don't continually reactivate this stupid injury.

So, I did a nice round of methylprednisolone tablets for a week. On the upside, it dropped the pain by a solid 50%. On the downside, I spent the first 4-5 days feeling like I was going to jump out of my skin at any moment. Man, I hate that stuff. Now, we're onto physical therapy and manual therapy once per week -- adjusting my spine, massaging the tissue around the nerve, stretching, etc. Progress is slower than I'd prefer, but steady. I'm also continuing to modify my workouts to focus more on technique, less on power and speed.

Frankly, the focus on technique comes at a good time, as in yet another example of how everything is connnected, physically, I've developed some bad habits in my kicking as a result of my injuries that need to be addressed. About 2 weeks ago, my instructor noticed that lately I'd begun pointing my toes when I did front kicks. Now, the proper way to execute a front kick is with the toes pulled back, striking the target with the ball of the foot. And that's the way I've done that kicks for years. But lately, I'd begun pointing my toes: I caught myself on occasion, and he spotted it while we were doing some line drills too.

Inititally I had no idea why I'd begun doing this: I know it's incorrect, and I tend to be a stickler for technique, focusing on fine points and tormenting myself to get them right. But this one had slipped in, and I really hadn't noticed at first. But then, after I began physical therapy and started focusing more on how I move, where I put my leg when I kick, how I tend to arch my lower back (bad) instead of activating my abs and keeping my lower back stable (good), I put it together.

One of the things I pride myself on is the height of my kicks. Not that they're like insanely astronomicaly high, exactly, but when compared with the vast majority of men at my age, with my level of experience, I think I'm comfortable top 10%. However, when I realized I was pointing my toes when I kicked, I pulled them back and kicked to my normal height and ... whammo! Pain in my leg. However, if I point my toes, it prevents the inflamed nerve from being strectched, and I can kick higher. It's a shitty kick, sure, but it's high.

Sigh.

So yeah, now I'm forcing myself to kick a little lower, but correctly. I'm also constantly reminding myself to not arch my lower back as I setle into a front stance. All in all it's odd: I'm having to be much more "present" mentally when training than I'm used to. I can usually detach and let go, relax more, when I train, but until I can get my body retrained and straightened out, it's more important that I maintain focus and monitor my body mechanics so that I can put this latest round of physical nonsense behind me.

One year until my Ee Dan test. Gotta focus on the real goal, here.

Mood: A bit punchy
Now Playing: Nothing

Monday, May 17, 2010

Knee Bone's Connected to the Leg Bone, Etc.

Goddamn I'm frustrated.

About 7 months back I started having a lot of pain in my left knee. So, since I'm not a total idiot, I eased up on the intensity of my training and stopped sparring to give myself some time to recuperate. Annoying, because I was starting to feel really good about my sparring -- I felt like my instincts were finally starting to help offset my big 42-year-old body's limitations. I was enjoying sparring more than I ever had. But well, what's the big deal, right? Short term time-out to recover, then I'm back on the mat. Right?

Six weeks later, still no sparring, still no improvement in the pain in my knee. Plus my leg started giving out, feeling weak and fatigued all the time.

So, I start physical therapy. Get a big-ass cortisone injection in my knee. The pain starts to let up, and PT helps me regain the strength and retrain the muscles in my leg. But then, thanks to the wonderful yin/yang relationship of the right side to the left side of the body, I manage to injure my right ankle while I compensate for the weakness in my leg and adjust to the new mobility in my left knee. More pain. More time away from sparring.

Next up, my left foot gets all screwed up. Probably from adjusting my gait and technique to accommodate the injured right knee. More pain. More time away from sparring.

Then, just as it's getting better and I'm starting to feel ready-to-go, I do a trade show in Nashville and spend 16 hours a day on my feet in dress shoes. Totally screws my lower back up, activating my old sacrum injury. Big, hot pain in the back of my hammies on my right leg, numbness and tingling in my toes, stabbing pain in the bottom of my foot. I begin doing some ad hoc PT on my own to try to mobilize the nerve trunk and get the pain to ease off. It ... kinda works.

Next, I continue training through the pain. I've got Nationals coming up in less than two months, and my physical therapist told me that while I may be in pain the training isn't going to make things worse. I just need to dial it down a bit. Kick a little lower.

And, of course, continue to not spar.

But the pain doesn't let up, and now after 5 weeks of waiting (and, truth be told, avoiding dealing with this) I've got yet another appointment with my PT to try to get these chronic pain issues squared away. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get a better idea of what I need to do to get this under control.

I'm really, really frustrated. It's not so much the pain, per se. I'm used to pain, and since I know I'm not actually making things worse right now by training a big part of what I've been focusing on in training through these injuries is getting myself to just accept pain and work through it, to not anticipate it and mess up my technique as a result.

This has been successful, to an extent -- my forms are looking pretty solid when I'm having a good day and I'm not too shot. At this rate my Chil Sung will be looking pretty good for competition come July, assuming I can hit the ring fresh and rested. Stamina and performance-wise I'm good for three or four times through before the pain makes it hard to execute some of the tougher techniques in the form well. So I'll just need to save my energy for go-time come July.

But it's hard to enjoy training when you spend half of your time biting your lip, or getting pissed off for the way you whiffed what just a few months ago was a fairly easy technique. It's hard to devote so much energy to ... not letting pain stop you from proceeding, or at least finishing, what you set out to do, even when all you're trying to do is get through 75 minutes of class.

And here I am, 7 or more months without sparring. I watch the guys sparring at the end of class, and all I can think is ... man, when I finally manage to get back in there I am going to SUCK.

Sigh. Grrr.

Wish me luck on my appointment tomorrow. Hopefully I can get ahead of these injuries and get back to where I need to be. Only have a year until my Ee Dan test, which I also hope to be a Kyo Sa test as well. I have a lot of shit to do. I need to get it done.

Mood: Less than pleased
Now Playing: Nothing.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Gratitude

Yup, an entire month has passed since my last entry. Annoying.

So, as I mentioned a solid 5 weeks back, no big breakthroughs, no big insights or epiphanies these days. Still trianing a solid 3-4 nights a week minimum, but real life concerns continue to dominate my thoughts and training continues to be part of my day that makes nearly-intolerable situations more tolerable. Happily, the "release" aspect of training hasn't come at the cost of progress: my technique is improving, I think. My new forms are getting more and more solid: Jin Do , Naihanchee Ee Dan and Dando Hyung Cho Dan are all doing just fine, and I finally feel I have enough of a grasp of Chil Sung Sah Rho (the best of these four new forms -- by far, IMHO) to move from "remembering" to "polishing." It's a beautiful form, and I find its rhythms and pace fascinating. I look forward to exploring it more over the next year.

Lately I've been thinking about my training from a perspective of gratitude. Obviously I've been under some pressure lately and I'm grateful for the positive release Tang Soo Do offers, but that's actually a very small part of the debt I feel to this art, and to my instructors and friends. Lately I've been taking a look at my life and how it's changed in the past four, nearly five years, how I've changed and how much farther I have to go to become the person I wish and hope I can become. And time and again I come back to my training, my instructors, my friends in TSD and realize with profound gratitude what this art has given to me.

This past week this point was driven home in an unexpected, but incredibly welcome, way. Kyo Sa Nim Jimmy Vasquez came home for a couple of weeks of weeks from his current homebase with the Air Force )in California) to visit his family, and he trained with us quite often s a result. While I often mention the influence my friend and instructor Sa Bom Nim Hoke Nunnan has on me in this blog, I've rarely mentioned Jimmy, and honestly this is a failing on my part. Jimmy is, in many ways, directly responsible for my choosing to stick with the art past the first couple of ranks, and for helping me to see Tang Soo Do as a family activity that could help me to connect with and spend time with my wife and kids in new ways.

When I first started training, I was overwhelmed by the art, and by Sa Bom Nim. He seemed too ... *much* to me. Initially I 'd thought he was arrogant, but later I realized he was simply confident and I was insecure. But even then his skill and ability seemed to be too big to approach, and I felt ridiculous even trying. I saw other students who were so far beyond my physical abilities and skills that is was almost like they were another species entirely. It took me a solid 2 years to begin to believe in myself, to believe I could get to blue belt. And a lot of the credit for my being able to believe could do it, I could get there, belongs entirely to Jimmy.

Jimmy demystified many aspects of the art for me and made me feel more able and less ridiculous. His skill, while always formidable, never seemed the result superhuman ability or the result of natural gifts, but rather of single-minded dedication and hard work. He helped me to realize that with hard work I could achieve the results that seemed so effortless in others.

I've of course since learned that those others worked hard too, but it took a few years to gain that perspective. And Jimmy's good humor, dedication, encouragement, and steadfast example helped guide me to the place where I could see these truths.

I won't even get into the ways in which he helped my family grow together in his Saturday family classes, beyond simply saying that now that now that I teach Saturday classes now and again my first goal each and every time is to try to teach a class that Jimmy would approve of. Jimmy's Saturday classes were something very special, and I hope that someday I can build the sort of goodwill and camaraderie he did among this unusual subset of students.

So, for that, I am incredibly grateful. Thank you, Kyo Sa Nim.

Mood: Wistful
Now Playing: The Blue Nile, "Hats"

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Distractions

Yup, another long pause between posts. Oddly, I feel like I have less and less to say about my training, lately. Not that I've lost focus or interest -- anything but, honestly -- but I find that recently breakthroughs, observations, and epiphanies are far more scarce. In other words, I'm plugging away, but my training hasn't surfaced anything I feel particularly compelled to share.

I will note a couple of moments of significance, though, if only for documentary purposes and for my own reference later. I will note that February 2010 marks the point where I've actually articulated to my instructor that I want to teach, and to move into a role that has more official responsibilities within our dojang in the future. The boundaries of this role are difficult to define at present, and the timeline on which they will occur more difficult still: could be weeks, months, or more.

But it's a goal. I have a lot of responsibilities to my family that I can't simply ignore, but stating this intention out loud to my instructor, mentor, and friend, and hearing him express encouragement and happiness with my decision, was a special moment for me. All journeys begin with a single step: this is simply the beginning of yet another journey. When the next steps will occur is difficult to say, but I'm on the path regardless.

Also of note is my recognition of just how much of an impact stress can have on my training. Without getting into too many details, I'll just note that I am under a fairly significant amount of stress at present. I am happy to say it has nothing to do with anything that is truly important. My family and friends are healthy and well, as am I. But the past couple of months have been difficult.

And through all of this, my dojang family and Tang Soo Do training have once again provided a refuge, a place of peace where I can channel and vent the stress of my life. All of which is, obviously, good. But it's not without its own frustrations. One thing I've noticed is that it's much harder right now for me to remember technique, to recall things I've learned in the past months. I typically pride myself on my ability to call up technical aspects of our art easily, and lately this has not been the case.

It's been a bit of a challenge to let myself off the hook for this. I'm a perfectionist by nature, and when I trip up on stuff like this I tend to beat myself up a whole lot. Under normal circumstances I can use this impulse as a way to motivate myself to train harder, to focus more, devote more time to technique and practice.

But I've had to acknowledge that right now, right here in this time and place, I need to be grateful for the benefits of release. I think I'm letting so much negativity out when I train that my mind is grateful for the chance to just be ... empty. And as a result it's not eager to allow new knowledge in. I spend a lot of time wondering why things that my peers are grasping quickly seem to ricochet off my mind. I laugh it off, but it's not a particularly positive feeling. After several weeks of struggling with it, though, I've realized that I need to listen to what my mind and my heart are telling me about what I need from Tang Soo Do right now.

Putting my pride in learning and performing on the shelf and simply accepting that at this time this is how I need to practice my art hasn't always been easy. But I also recognize that this is part of embracing our art as a part of my life, not just something I'm learning. As Sa Bom Nim Nunan said to me recently, when I once again passed on sparring due to my own nervousness about the ongoing recovery of my left knee, "It's OK. You're in this for the long haul."

And it's true. I am. And sometimes that means that I need to accept that my life, my immediate circumstances or concerns, might interfere with my ability to learn new technique.

And that's OK. I'm 42, and in 30 years I hope to still be doing Tang Soo Do, every day, to the best of my ability. Part of that means accepting that the benefits of Tang Soo Do aren't confined to learning new technique, new hyungs, new terminology. Sometimes, the greatest benefit of this art is simply -- or not so simply -- being able to end the day with a shrug, a roll of my eyes, a wry smile at the absurdity of my life, and a good night's sleep.

Mood: Fairly mellow
Now Playing: Angelo Badalamenti, "Mulholland Drive"

Monday, January 25, 2010

Four Cho Dans

Saturday evening our dojang held the Dan Promotion Ceremony for the students who tested in the last dan classing. This included both my wife Christine and my son Trevor, both of who now join my daughter Miranda and I in the Highly Officially Blue Belted rank of Cho Dan. So, fun. My wife and kids and my mother are all Cho Dans in Tang Soo Do Mi Guk Kwan. Better yet, I now have the entirety of my relatives here in Texas training at our school. My brother, his wife Lisa, and their kids Sam and Sean are all orange belts now, and are making wonderful progress both in training and in becoming a part of our dojang family. Of the things I've accomplished since joining the Mi Guk Kwan and beginning training this is what I'm most proud of.

Here's we are: how awesome is that?

So, back to the ceremony. It was terrific. I wound up be the narrator/master of ceremonies guy, reading all of the candidates biographies as they performed their vignettes and then introducing and describing each of the subsequent demonstrations. I did well, but this wasn't the original plan. Instead, Christine and I had rehearsed a practical application of throws/self defense for women fight scene that we had planned to present as a way of showing how our techniques can be useful against much larger opponents (I'm about 2X Christine). Alas, it didn't work out that way.

It was looking awesome -- we were going to demonstrate the training application of several throws -- bear hug from front and back, choke from front against a wall, grab-and-drag hair pull, and defending against a series of punches. Then we had a choreographed attack scene where I really went at her hard and she kicked my ass. Since she trusts me to not use too much force, I was able to use a LOT of strnegth on her, while being careful to avoid injuring her neck or doing any real physical damage, this way she could show how effective the stuff we do in response really can be.

But, unfortunately, over the past two weeks I've developed a problem in one of my knees. I was worried it was a problem with one of the big ligaments or tendons in the knee, but happily it's nothing so serious. It did require a big shot of cortisone into my knee, though (yeah, that was exactly as much fun as it sounds) and I'm also off training for a few weeks. As a result, I had to bail out of our demo. This was very depressing for me -- we'd put a lot of work in on this together, Christine was really excited to present it, and I really wanted to participate in the ceremony.

Luckily Mr. Perry -- the most senior dan member of our dojang, and one of the finest men and martial artists I have the privilege to know and train with -- stepped up and volunteered to assist Christine. He was brilliant and Christine performed with terrific confidence and skill. The demo was both exciting and informative, entertaining the audience but also showing that the right techniques can make all the difference.

For my part, I instead volunteered to be the voice of the evening, and all in all I think I did a good job. It wasn't really what I had in mind, and I'm still kind of sad that my stupid little injury took me out of our demo, but what can you do? The ceremony needed someone who was comfortable reading aloud for an hour, too, and well, I'm not exactly shy. So, at least my time and efforts helped to make the ceremony better.

-=-

So, yeah, as for the injury I'm off the mat for a couple of weeks while I let this stupid knee inflammation settle down. I'll also be doing some physical therapy to try to isolate the reason it occurs in the first place so I can avoid aggravating it again. Hopefully I'll be back to training by early February. Until then I'm planning on just working solo on non-impact stuff like sleeve grabs and elbow techniques, skipping throws and sweeps if needed.

Until then, I'll probably just be extra grumpy. Grrrrr.

Modd: Grumpy
Now Playing: One eskimO, "One eskimO"

Sunday, January 10, 2010

2009: Facebook Status Updates

Hey y'all. Not a "real" post, but an (I think) interesting one. These are the Facebook status updates I posted over the course of 2009. Kind of fun to pick out the recurring themes and plot lines of my life from the past year. For me at least. For you? Maybe a few pithy sayings, quotable quotes, and so forth. Hope you enjoy!

-=-

wishes all his friends a happy, healthy and prosperous new year

is makin' bacon and eggs for a certain someone with a hangover.

is trying to figure out what to do with the day.

thinks people should try to be in the same room when they speak to each other.

is craving some chicken cheese steak goodness.

is disappointed that his chicken cheese steak craving was DENIED. Texadelphia is CLOSED today.

is tired of running a 501(C) B&B.

woke up with "It's Not You" running through his head.

is finished mopping the floors. Time to clean up and drag the kids to lunch. Chicken cheese steak goodness will be mine.

is rubbing his eyes like mad.

is home from a nice night of sushi, wine, dominoes, and rubbing his goddamn eyelids like mad.

just wants it to stop, already.

is glad he worked out, and will now head home for a shower

is grinning and bearing it.

is really curious as to whether there is a contact lens trapped somewhere inside his left eye socket.

just finished Portal and is humming Still Alive

is trying to remember what it is, exactly, that he does for a living.

is looking forward to working out at the dojang, no looking forward to going out into the cold to get there and back. Brrrr!

is just ... sorta ... well, you know.

is itching to train, but wants his ankle to feel less "not right" before he pushes it again. Maybe tomorrow....

just saw Slumdog Millionaire, and I gotta say ... wow. That is one HELL of a great movie.

is trying to get something productive done while working from home, but encountering obstacles again and again.

is home from training, looking to sip some cabernet and eat some chow.

is .

is thinking that 4:00 can't get here soon enough

is home!!! Home I tell you!!! HAAAAAA-HA-HA-HA-HAAAAAAAAA!!!

is seriously considering sacrificing 10 Facebook friends for a Whopper, even though he doesn't eat meat. What, exactly, does this say about me?

is seeking Whopper Sacrifice volunteers. Having a bad day? Allow me to end your suffering. I'll even re-friend you later..

is sacrificing friends for food he doesn't eat. Mwahahahahahahahaaaaaaaa.

is hoping that the Whopper Gods are sated, and is busily trying to remember who he sacrificed so he can re-friend them.

is mildly regretting switching over to red wine after the white wine was gone last night.

is settling in to watch the Golden Globes.

is thrilled with how well Slumdog Millionaire did at the GGs.

is trying to decide whether it's just allergies or if it's an annoying head cold.

is pretty sure Kiefer Sutherland's superpower is the ability to maintain a straight face in spite of the most ludicrous plot device.s

is pretty sure Kiefer Sutherland's superpower is the ability to maintain a straight face in spite of the most ludicrous plot devices.

did not enjoy the dreams he had last night. Not one bit.

is looking forward to reveling in two solid hours of misery, heartbreak, crushed hopes, and shattered dreams tonight. THIS ... is American Idol!

says "Getting older makes it harder to remember we are our only saviors."

says KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN! (is dead)

thinks the SXSW band lineup looks kinda ... ridiculously large and ridiculously obtuse.

is hoping the cold snap will make the damn cedar trees stop pollinating. Please, please, please stop.

is looking forward to making some grilled cheese and (turkey) bacon sammiches ... yummmmmmy.

is Still. Sneezing.

is looking forward to a three-day weekend.

is wondering what the proper adult beverage is for watching the premiere of BSG tonight. Opinions?

is counting down to the new episode of Battlestar Galactica

is all "Wow, that was frakkin' dark..."

is looking for Facebook friends with Xbox Live accounts. Send me your gamertag and I'll send you mine!

is heading over to the dojang to prepare for the Dan promotion ceremony.

is home from the Dan promotion party, starving, and already thinking way too much about him own upcoming Dan test

is sniffling and sneezing and itchy AGAIN. Death to cedar!!!

is so freakin' tired of sneezing he just can't even tell you

is grateful to his bro' for bringing over -- and leaving! -- some bourbon. I may be miserable from my allergies, but at least I've a lil' buzz!

is hoping that his allergies will not be as bad today as they were yesterday.

is really enjoying a "let's not do anything except sit around in our pajamas" day with the kids.

is still in his PJs, looking forward to trying a piece of the Tres Leches Cake he made today.

is cautiously optimistic.

is grateful for complete sentences.

is continually amazed at how much paranoia and bile a steady diet of propaganda, ignorance, and fear can generate.

is kinda stressed out.

is gonna get the kids to bed and then kill some headcrab infested zombies until it's time to watch Lost.

says: "Please allow me to adjust my pants, so I may dance the good time dance."

is joining the coffee achievers.

is planning his latest Las Vegas trip. Whoopie.

is kinda choked up (in a good way).

is in the itchy, sniffly, mucus-drenched grip of cedar once again.

will snort bleach if it will make the cedar fever just freakin' stop already.

is pleased with his first attempt at chicken tikka masala with fresh rice pilaf. Solid B, maybe B+!

wants magic medicine to help his daughter get over her cough immediately.

got a jar of Loquat and Fritillary Syrup for his kids -- we'll see whether this stuff is really magical ...

highly, officially approves of Loquat and Fritillary Syrup.

wishes life were easier, especially for his friends, and wishes his wishes were worth more than the breath he uses to say them.

is trying to leave for work, but his Jeep is encased in ice.

is juggling too damn many things at work.

is in for the night, looking forward to Lost. And a glass of bourbon.

is amazed at just how old his brother has gotten. Happy Birthday Mike!!!

is waiting patiently for wings

is really seriously hoping martial arts can act as some sort of powerful antihistamine.

no longer feels like there is an echidna lodged in his sinus cavity. For now.

is really fed up with the whole sniffling/sneezing thing.

is heading downstairs to watch BSG.

is heading to family class and hoping he feels better when it's done.

is probably going to make a complete fool of himself trying to learn bo staff technique.

is building a robotic arm with Trevor. Lego Mindstorms totally rocks.

is watching The Face of the Enemy

is all "Ahhhhhhh. I seeee....."

is getting his stuff together and heading to Great Wolf Lodge with the family for a couple of days.

is paying way too much for food and drink

is somewhat overstimulated by Great Wolf Lodge. Kids, kids, everywhere.

is telling you: "Milk" is fantastic.

is steeling himself for another day of Family Fun.

is thinking that new sinuses would be an excellent purchase. Anyone have a source?

is pretty sure he climbed at least 7 or 8 Empire State Buildings in the past 36 hours. So much for "restful vacations."

just watched "In Bruges," and is ... well, huh. Good, darkly comic, very very odd film. I'm fairly certain Tarantino would approve.

is home from Great Wolf Lodge, and pretty darn shot.

is back from the Zoning and Planning Board Meeting: The rezoning request was denied unanimously! Hooray!

is done with the damn "25 Random Things About Me" list and is heading home, then heading to class.

is making a ringtone for his iPhone, then getting the "real" day started.

is doing another quick Facebook note and then heading home.

is heading out to train.

is glad it's Friday, not looking forward to Sunday.

is kinda freaked out about how much 25-year-old memories can rile him up.

is thinking "it's funny how not-fun Bones is when Booth and Bones aren't on-screen together for the entire episode."

is becoming extremely frustrated with texasboxoffice.com.

got mediocre seats for the Springsteen show. I might almost be able to see the stage from back there....

is at Hamovers in Pflugerville watching Rosie C.'s band OMG and they are AWESOME!

is getting ready to head home from Hanovers, and is STARVING!

doesn't want to leave, but has to head out in 15 minutes.

is sitting in his hotel room, thinking about ordering room service even though he's not hungry. Think I should just hit the sack....

is not looking forward to the day.

is glad there are only two more hours to go. Well, for today at least..

is waiting, impatiently, for his dinner to be delivered.

"There's a large group of insane men staying on my floor."

is tired. And bored. And hoping today goes by quickly.

is all "Wow, that's a lot of noise and light and fog and lasers and whatnot for 8AM."

is sad for Michael Phelps - apparently due to the media heat he "chose" not do his keynote appearance here at Pulse. There is a mystery replacement..

was just about 18" from Magic Johnson. AND he said my name and addressed me as part of his speech

is happy to be on a break from booth duty and doing email and web design instead.

is enjoying a cocktail and some quiet reading time in the West Wing Lounge, the only bar in the MGM Grand he can remotely stand

is amazed he got a decent night's sleep

is DONE

is trying to get his butt in gear.

is unsure whether he should be proud or uneasy after being named one of Plucker's top customers for 2008.

is thinking about friends from long, long ago that are long, long gone

wishes downtown were closer to uptown.

is giving out big wet sloppy Valentine's Day kisses. No need to rush. Line forms to the right.

is planning his menu for tonight: Edamame and crab rangoon; soy ginger marinated ahi tuna over asian greens with fried rice; chocolate dipped cream puffs.

is making sauce, and chicken salad, and getting ready to play Rock Band.

is kinda shot, and hates that it's Sunday night already.

is wallowing in the rampant idiocy that is "24."

is seeking motivation.

is looking forward to an evening of hyungs

is enjoying a few minutes of total silence.

is getting it in gear.

is not terribly focused this morning, but needs to be.

is sighing.

is not doing the "Gregg Needs" meme because all of my answers have to do with Judd Gregg.

is making chocolate chip cookies.

is really wishing it were Friday.

is reading Television Without Pity and laughing hysterically.

is not in a great mood.

is wondering why David Boreanaz is obviously not filming Bones in conjunction with the rest of the cast. Anyone know what's the what?

is wondering if he can skip the whole "going to work" part of the day and just stick with the "coming home hooray it's Friday" part.

is being a lame-ass and opting out of evening festivities with friends. AGAIN

is amazed he got to sleep until 8:30 this morning.

is getting ready to train with his family. I LOVE Saturday morning Tang Soo Do classes!

is utterly incapable of making Crab Rangoon

is looking with trepidation at a fairly hectic Sunday.

is thinking that a change in perspective might be a good thing about now.

is stuffed! Chicken tikka masala, jasmine rice, and naan all came out terrific -- now, on to the Oscars!

is thinking that John Legend ain't no Peter Gabriel

is amazed Waltzing with Bashir didn't win!

is Ooo! Dead movie stars montage!

is YAY DANNY BOYLE!

hates the way the past winners are upstaging the current nominees/winners. Again and again

is thinking "Man, Sophia Loren really *is* all that and a bag of chips...."

is happy, and sad, that Sean Penn won.

hates his DVR, and wonders if Sean Penn gave a good speech.

is slowly ... getting ... started.

is rapidly ... approaching ... The finish

is feeling fairly foul.

is hoping that the chicken wing yumminess will chase the allergies away

is considering his list of to-dos from a safe distance, as perspective makes it look smaller and more manageable.

is fairly certain that Paula Abdul is wearing a jewel-encrusted kayak on her finger tonight..

is soooo not happy about Top Chef. Grrrrrrrrrrr...

is pretty much done for the day. And that is good. Time to head home, see the family, then go out and train.

is loving Neko Case's new single, "People Gotta Lot of Nerve."

is so glad he's home and it's Friday night.

is hanging out at the Destination Imagination competition

is performing a Mass Ignore on the over 100 requests I've built up. Please don't take this personally.

is feeling haunted.

is lacking a pithy status this morning.

is fascinated/frustrated by "Only Revolutions."

is planning, planning, planning.

"When I craved I ate hearts of sharks I know you know it."

is wondering how on Earth he's going to get all the crap he needs to do done before Monday

is pokey pokey pokey.

is ow my head.

is hanging' with my honey, watchin' Idol

is thinking "just one more day...."

is thrilled this week is nearly over.

is really gonna miss KSN Vasquez. Can't wait to see you again Jimmy!

is anxious to see Watchmen tonight. Just have about 3 days of work to get through before then. Hrrrrrmmm ...

is putting work to bed, and getting ready to head home. Watchmen in 5-ish hours!

is waiting for Watchmen to start

is really short on sleep. And Watchmen? Very good. Very, very long.

really liked the ginger honey chicken with rice noodles stir fry he made for dinner. Now I have to pack for ANOTHER trade show.

is listening to Christine read "A Wrinkle in Time" to Trevor.

is on his way to Paris. Well, the Paris Hotel that is.

is waiting for the damn tradeshow booth to arrive.

didn't realize the sky in Paris was so ... close

is really missing Christine right now, because she'd be sneering at the Dueling Piano Players performance of Paradise by the Dashboard Light as much as I am

is sippin' coffee, doin' email.

is gettin' ready to work on the booth some more.

is smiling, chatting, shaking hands, and counting the minutes until he's freakin' DONE.

is looking forward to being finished with post-show partner schmoozing.

is feeling all "Damn, it's only WEDNESDAY?"

is 57 minutes and counting.

is 40 minutes and counting. Tick tock tick tock…

is 15 more minutes…

is sipping a beer and taking a load off before heading back to tear the booth down

is waiting for my boxes. WHERE ARE MY BOXES???!!!

is enjoying the cross-corporate drunken schmoozimg.

is feeling somewhat less than fresh.

is not adjusting to CST so well...

is really enjoying a relaxing day off for a change.

Is it just me, or is this new version of the Facebook interface one gigantic "huh?"

Getting ready to head up to Belton for an afternoon of Tang Soo Do with SBN Nunan and KSM Pugh.

Home from training in Belton. Achey legs, and a full stomach thanks to a tasty BBQ lunch courtesy of KSN Pugh. Ahhhhh.

I wonder if I can make today feel like two days off....

My menu: Coconut shrimp w/ sweet chili mayo, fresh naan, and stir-fried honey-ginger chicken with rice noodles. Tom, what're you cookin'?

Dinner=yummy. Dessert=B&J Mint Chocolate Cookie ice cream. And a nice glass of bourbon.

is refusing to let 24's utterly absurd plotting dissuade him from wasting another hour of his life watching it. Go me!

Happy Pseudo-Religious-Semi-Ethnic-Celebration-Alcohol-Industry-Sponsored-Mock-Holiday to One and All!

is happily cavity-free.

just talked with a sick friend who is doing much, much better, and is much relieved. Hopeful, even.

is looking for the Thursday-afternoon-day-off-tomorrow exit ramp.

Y' know, after almost 4 years of Tang Soo Do I'm still amazed at how much an hour and a half of training can completely reverse a really foul mood.

is at the rodeo, waiting for the Swifty Swine pig races to begin. I can't say I ever expected to actually type those particular words ...

is starting to watch the finale of Battlestar Galactica. Yikes.

is HOLY. FRAK.

Looking forward to a fairly low-key day.

Just back from a board breaking clinic. Good splintery fun!

is waiting to see if the roof falls on him. Or if, perhaps, lightning strikes him. Or he's turned into a pillar of salt

Settling in to sip some wine and watch some TV, and anticipating our first Dan Test Prep Class tomorrow afternoon.

Getting ready to hit the HEB for a leisurely hour of grocery shopping and listening to music on my iPhone without any interruptions. Then Dan Test Prep!

is so damn tired.

OK, where did my get-up-and-go get-up-and-go to?

Homeward bound...

I'm definitely having one of those mornings where a lack of conscience or responsibility would be, if not beneficial, at least convenient.

We move so quickly. Who knows where the time goes. Where does this road lead? No one knows, no one knows.

So here are the questions: is time long or is it wide? And the answers? Sometimes the answers just come in the mail.

I don't know about your dreams, but mine are sort of ... hackneyed.

Man, we really got lucky during the hailstorm! No damage over by us.

is a teensy bit fried. Training, training, training ...

Haven't you always wanted a monkey?

Gup tests today! 8+ hours of proctoring, for the last time. Unless I blow my Dan test, of course ....

Thank you Microsoft for my lovely Red Ring of Death.

Shopping, training, cooking, collapsing. Another relaxing Sunday in the making.

Give a man a match and he'll be warm for a minute; set him on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

BEHOLD THE POWER OF MY CAPS LOCK KEY.

Doncha just hate it when applying a security patch to a website takes the entire damn thing to its knees? Yeah, I hate when that happens.

Ahhhhh. Server fixed. Happy happy.

You've got a mission in life to hold out your hand. To help the other guy out, help your fellow man. That's why I own this bar: they're thirsty outside. I give 'em oceans to drink, and they drown in the tide ....

is watching a really crappy episode of House. It's like House Treats Garfield....

say: Relax.

is watching Miranda's school choir performance. They're singing Seasons of Love just now ...

at Tam Deli & Cafe for lunch. Yum!

is hangin', watchin' Lost.

I'm pretty sure last night's American Idol math lesson was Madonna + Talent x LSD / .3 Years = Lady Gaga.

Getting ready to go and try to sweat out my lousy mood.

is really going to try to be in a better mood today. Honest.

K, anyone have any idea why comments from someone who I have not un-friended or chosen to ignore would not be showing up in the stupid freakin' new Facebook interface?

Movie night! Watching Bolt with the kids.

is finished with morning TSD family class. Now onto lunch, and shopping, and a treat for the kids (Carvel ice cream cones -- yummmmmmm...).

just took a nap. Mmmmmm ... naaaaaaaap.

is mmmmmmmm ... Wine and TV ...

Sippin' coffee, chatted with a buddy in Iraq, and getting ready to do the grocery shoppin'. Then lunch, train for 2 hours, make dinner and hit the Springsteen show. Not a bad plan for a Sunday, if I do say so myself. And I do. Say so.

is at the Springsteen show. If my seats were any worse I'd need an oxygen tank and a sherpa...

Badlands/Outlaw Pete/My Lucky Day/Prove It All Night/Out in the Street/Working on a Dream/Seeds/Johnny 99/Youngstown/Working on the Highway/Sherry Darling/She's the One/Because the Night/Waitin' on a Sunny Day/The Promised Land/The Wrestler/Kingdom of Day

is surrendering to his wonderful new chest cold and heading home to hold the couch down for the rest of the day.

is really amazed at how little he can accomplish when really puts his mind to it.

just watched House. Ummm. Wow. Didn't see that comin'. Nice return to form after last week's pile o' crud.

asks: does anyone know how to type a degree symbol on the iPhone? I'd like to put one after "102" and before "fever" in my status ....

Well, this keeps getting better and better. I've got Influenza A (a.k.a. The Bad Flu That Can Kill Elderly People and Small Children). I'm on bed rest and basically quarantined until it breaks up in the next 4-6 days....

is Highly, Officially Over Gokey. Bored now.

finds Influenza A fascinating. It's like the Russian Nesting Dolls of viruses: every day brings fun and exciting new symptoms!

is happily down to only 1 or 2 minor symptoms. Yay!

is at about 90%, which is close enough for me.

is flattered by all the well-wishes he received when he was ill this week. Thanks folks!

is pleasantly full of roasted chicken, parmesan crusted fingerling potatoes, and haricots vertes.

can't believe his son is 9 years old. Happy Birthday Trevor! And Happy Easter everyone!

is so glad to be back to training, even if currently it involves a whole lot of coughing and hacking and gasping for air.

OK, let's see: song referencing painful, undying love? Gazing heavenward with teary eyes? A HARP? Good to see Gokey isn't cynically milking his personal tragedy for financial gain or anything. LOATHE. HIM.

Some days, I honestly don't know how I could parent without the assistance of wine.

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

Just home from sweating out some toxins at Saturday morning family class. Now onto some shopping and a piano recital, then chillin' for the rest of the day. I need ideas for dinner -- anyone?

Spaghetti Amatriciana successfully made, substituting premium organic uncured turkey bacon for pancetta. The verdict: Delicious!

Getting ready to head out for Dan Test prep. Booyah!

is humming "The Weakness in Me" and missing Susan and Linda.

is pretty damn tired.

feels lame for skipping class tonight. But damn I'm tired.

To sleep, perchance to snore. Or something like that ....

is taking a deep breath and just not getting involved.

is really not looking forward to next week.

The worst work is the work you have to do because someone else didn't bother to do the work.

is sipping coffee and considering how art is, at its source, derived from subtraction.

The only thing better than a quiet Friday evening at home with friends visiting is a quiet Friday evening at home with friends visiting when I can sleep until 10 the next day. No such luck this time -- tournament tomorrow!

Finishing a mug of coffee, listening to Miranda cough and play DS, and getting ready to wake Trevor up so we can head out for the 7th Annual Texas Tang Soo Do Classic.

is home from the tournament - first in red belt forms "executive" division (i.e. 35 and up). Yay!

Poke Poke Poke

Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground ...

Hooray! A/C seems to have gone on the fritz! Good thing I'm made entirely of money so I can pay for this! Knob Creek here I come!

AC busted. Fridge also not exactly working properly. High Terrorism Threat Level at the airport. Swine Flu busting out all over. Great day to be heading to Orlando.

is deep breaths, and is reminding myself: "What is my life without your love? Who am I without, you by my side?" I miss you so much, Christine. Can't wait to get home to you.

is not looking forward to yapping about RFID for the next 8 or so hours.

is running out of small talk.

Whew! Done. Feet, knees, back are killing me!

is starving! But I'm going to watch American Idol before I head out for some chow....

is incredibly proud of Trevor for being invited to test for 1st gup. Way to go buddy! I love you!

Drunken German Tourist + Karaoke Bohemian Rhapsody = Comedy Gold!

is getting very annoyed with the crappy internet connectivity in his hotel room.

is blah blah blah RFID blah blah backend system blah blah asset tracking blah blah environmental monitoring etc.

is waiting for his boxes. As usual.

is wandering around the Disney Boardwalk, bathed in the flashing lights of fireworks and profound corporate logoization and mediocrity, and really looking forward to going home tomorrow.

is kind of insanely homesick.

is packin' up and headin' out.

is home, chilling out on the couch.

was so happy to wake up in his own bed, in his own bedroom, in his own house, without Ricky Rat anywhere in the vicinity this morning.

sometimes, when it concerns certain relationships, feels like the middle child.

I do my best, but I'm made of mistakes.

is, after another insanely busy day, chock full of the tasty chicken stir fry I threw together, veggin' on the couch, watching Supernatural.

Mmmmm ... coffee .... mmmmmmmmm.

Mmmmmm ... espresso ... mmmmmmm.

Mmmmmmm ... more coffee ... mmmmmmmmmmm.

Target heart rate attained. Time to get this day movin'.

"You don't need finesse or personality, you just need two arms and an attitude now everybody sing with me."

is mourning the death of another weekend. So brief, so dearly missed.

is feeling seriously burned out today.

loves his job and his co-workers, doesn't so much love being in Orlando solo (just for clarification).

is poking with reckless abandon.

Here's to the doctors and their healing work, here's to the loved ones in their care, here's to the strangers on the streets tonight, here's to the lonely everywhere.

is happy to finally know *exactly* what it would sound like if someone strangled Danny Gokey.

is catching up on Fringe while Christine is out at the movies.

“Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist” -- George Carlin

"The weakest of all weak things is a virtue which has not been tested in the fire."

is sitting in the Alamo Drafthouse waiting for Star Trek to start.

is here to tell ya': New Star Trek = Great Big Bucketloads of Terrific.

is looking forward to a slightly less hectic Saturday for a change. Things to do, but not TOO MANY things to do.

is grateful for the wonderful women in his life. Happy Mother's Day Christine, Mom, Eileen, and Lisa!

desperately needs 1 cup of vodka for his dinner recipe. Anyone local have some vodka to spare?

just wants to send a big "Welcome to the World!" out to Jacob Daniel Koester and Sophie Frances Dahmus.

is getting ready to cook dinner for a couple of real muthas.

is grateful that every day is not Mother's Day .

is watching Fringe, drinking seltzer.

is out the door, dinosaur.

is bracing himself for the inevitable results of eating bad Chinese buffet for lunch.

is counting the days. 17 to go....

is HOLY CRAP! America got it freakin' RIGHT!

is tired tired tired tired tired.

is telling himself over and over and over again "It's OK that you didn't go and train tonight! You need to rest a bit or you'll injure yourself!"

"And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." 15 days.

is feeling grateful for great friends and family.

"Great Faith. Great Doubt. Great Effort. The three qualities necessary for training." Well, I have the doubts, at least. Now, heading to the dojang to work on the "Great Effort" part, and hopefully the Great Faith will settle in soon. 14 days.

is getting excited for Chirstine and Trevor's 1st gup test. Heading out for Belton in about half an hour -- send awesome martial arts vibes everyone!

Gup test update: 2.5 hours in, and the test is going great. Christine and Trevor are both doing beautifully. I'm INSANELY proud!

is just home from the 1st gup test. Christine and Trevor both did absolutely fantastic, and do not have to retest on anything at all! AWESOME!

"Fall seven times, stand up eight." 13 days.

"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." - Ursula K. Le Guin. 12 days.

“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience.” 11 days.

"That the birds of worry and care fly over you head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent." 10 days.

LOL! I've been getting a lot of comments on it -- didn't realize it was such a a good picture. I just liked that I wasn't making a goofy face and was also standing in Chinatown!

"If you neglect your art for one day it will neglect you for two." Indeed. 9 days to go.

"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out." I miss Ray Bradbury! 8 days.

is feeling a bit like a red-headed stepchild.

“Pain is the best instructor, but no one wants to go to his class.” I'm sore today, but heading out to train anyhow. 7 days.

is having Carvel ice cream with his gorgeous wife! Yum!

just made a yummy seared Ahi tuna with toasted sesame seeds over Asian greens dinner (with a soy-ginger-clementine sauce), and now we're settling in for a movie. Kids are at moms, sleeping in is the main thing on the menu (ahhhh....).

is watching Michael Clayton and having flashbacks.

is glad he finally watched Michael Clayton. Fantastic film, AND I got to see the trestle and Worley Heights.

"The reason angels can fly is that they take themselves so lightly." 6 days.

"Given enough time, any man may master the physical. With enough knowledge, any man may become wise. It is the true warrior who can master both ... and surpass the result." Take a moment today to remember with gratitude the warriors that have sacrificed

“Distance tests a horse's strength. Time reveals a person's character.” Patience, patience. 4 days.

"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop." Almost finished. Almost time to start all over again. 3 days.

"Should you desire great tranquility, prepare to sweat white beads." I hope to obtain at least a moderate amount of tranquility Saturday night. Two days.

with his daughter, Miranda, and his mom, Isabelle, will represent three generations of our family all testing for cho dan (black belt) together this coming Saturday. I love you both, and am so incredibly proud to have you beside me on this journey. Tang Soo!

“A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.” Just one more day.

is looking forward to a 60 minute sports massage to help prep for tomorrow's cho dan test. 7:45 can't get here fast enough....

is massaged, relaxed, kinda sleepy, and settling in for some very, very light movie viewing.

“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind.” Today's the day -- carpe diem!

"The deep breath ... before the plunge." The post-clinic break is over. Time to head back to the dojang for the test. I am made entirely of butterflies.

Done. Tired. Guests arriving. Time to eat and drink.

So, cho dan test over. I'm very happy with my performance, although I was unable to do my 3 board jump spin back kick break. Inability to break seemed to be a boogeyman in the room: only 2 folks out of over 20 managed to break their boards. Frustrating.

hates anything and everything made of wood today. And is ridiculously sore, too.

is angry. Depressed. Elated. Disappointed. Thrilled. Frustrated. Confused. Annoyed. Conflicted.

is choosing to be happy.

is crossing names off his list.

is one and done. Retest completed - one kick was all it took!

is up way too early. Damn bad dreams ...

just saw a blue jay attack, kill, and then decapitate another bird (not sure of the species) outside his window at work. Had no idea blue jays were so territorial, and bad-ass to boot.

is so damn lucky to have Master Hoke Nunan and the Tang Soo Do Academy Family in his life.

"This is my family. I found it, all on my own. Is little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good."

is psyched to be heading to San Diego for a few days tomorrow. Talk about a vacation at the right time....

is sleepy, and slightly less clenched.

is reading/hiding in the lounge.

was up too darn early, but worked on Jin Do on the beach. Plusses: crisp air, soothing sound of surf. Minuses: I HATE DOING HYUNGS ON DEEP SAND.

is at the San Diego Zoo.

is waiting on one line after another at Legoland.

is scarfing down a bagel sandwich, then heading over to the ferry to San Diego.

is chilling over a pre-dinner cocktail (Hendrick's & Tonic) with Xine (Chardonnay) and the kids (Shirley Temples).

is getting ready to eat at Island Pasta in Coronado. Cheapest meal we've had on our trip, and also the best by far.

is playing Hangman and I Spy over breakfast on the final half-day of our vacation. Flight home leaves at 3:10. Sigh!

is making one last stop at Mootime Creamery (yum!) then heading to the airport (sigh!).

is waiting to board our (direct, yay!) flight home.

is HOME. Well, back in Austin at least.

is yay. Golfball sized hail. This should end well.

is cranky. A dozen or more dents in the hood of the Jeep thanks to the hail last night, no TV/phone/internet service due to a massive lightning strike, and I have a headache and the jitters from drinking too much coffee this morning while waiting on hold

is iPhone 3.0'd.

is trying to discern distractions ....

is grumpy.

is settling in to watch Up with the family. Also feeling like a chump for paying $9 per person -- the "early bird special price." Asshats.

Up = Fantastic. Wonderful film. However, don't bother seeing it in 3D -- it costs a few bucks more per ticket and the 3D is more of a distraction than anything else.

is pissed off at technology in general.

is just, completely, you know, exhausted? Bratwurst, fried raviolis with fresh marinara, grilled zucchini marinated in olive oil and garlic, grilled pineapple marinated in butter and honey, two full trays of lasagna, plus birthday cake. Lonnnnnnnnng day.

is trying to remember what it was like to have TV, telephone, and internet service at his house.

just finished watching season 1 of True Blood. Terrific show, and man they have lots of interesting places to go in the new season ...

just finished putting in a claim for hail-related car damage. My life. The fun never ends.

is home from The Dig Pub after celebratory beers for Hoke's b-day with a solid bunch of good friends. That's a good Wednesday night, all in all.

is owwwww, my aching hamstrings.

wishes he had a pig moat.

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS."

is looking forward to being permitted to judge the efforts and accomplishments of my fellow Tang Soo Do students tomorrow. I hope I am up to helping you guys have the testing experience you deserve. Tang Soo!

is cooking a box of Kraft mac n' cheese while watching Top Chef Masters. Contrast, I love you.

is enjoying breakfast in bed, courtesy of Miranda and Christine.

is hanging playing Spore on a nice mellow Sunday.

is trying to get everything in perspective.

is calculating the airspeed velocity of a fully laden swallow.

is going to go and write. While walking the Appalachian Trail. In Argentina. With my goomah.

is wondering why we choose to live in a freakin' kiln.

is too damn hot.

is relieved that, on this day of celebrity death, Abe Vigoda is still with us.

is a little uneasy. Miranda has minor outpatient eye surgery in the AM. Simple stuff, but it involves general anesthesia, so I'm not at ease. So, you know, good thoughts, prayers, positive vibes, whatever generally benevolent feelings you've got lying a

is hanging in the waiting area at Seton West. Soooo ... sleeeeepy ...

Miranda's surgery went perfectly - waiting for her to wake up from to anesthesia and then we'll be heading home. Thanks for all your well wishes, thoughts, and prayers!

wants his company to get here already. Been up since FIVE, people.

Guests arrived. Fun was had. They've left. Sleep awaits. Yay!

If it weren't for the Pirin tablets, I don't think I could go on.

is headed up to Belton. 107 degrees outside. Ugh.

is full of food and craving a beer.

is rather deeply annoyed with himself.

just lost his lawn service, and doesn't own a lawnmower. Anyone want to mow my lawn? I'll pay!

just finished a delicious orange chicken dinner. Damn, I'm good.

1769.

reminds you: Aristotle was not Belgian, the central message of Buddhism is not "every man for himself", and the London Underground is not a political movement.

had a wonderful evening performing some of those parental responsibilities that they don't mention in the promotional materials.

is droppin' off scrips and gettin' his hairs cut.

is thinking sesame seared ahi tuna with Caribbean-style coconut rice and a snow pea salad for dinner tonight. Maybe a coconut chicken appetizer, too. And some sort of dessert.

wonders: Why do we call them "buildings" when they're finished? Shouldn't they be called "builts"?

is hanging out on the couch, watching episodes of Space Ghost: Coast to Coast.

has a new motto: "Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc."

is hanging out, sipping a Shiner, waving away flies, and listening to OMG.

Happy birthday America. Another opportunity to count myself as so. damn. fortunate. And ... goodnight.

is getting ready to hit the grocery store. Then home, another movie with the kids, and more BBQing later.

whoop The Addams Family there it is.

is tired. Tired of playing the game. Ain't it a crying shame? I'm so tired.

is having a lot of trouble getting motivated this morning. Three days of slack have taken their toll.

is sending strength and peace to grieving friends.

was just standing in the park, wondering why Frisbees get bigger as they get closer. Then it hit me.

is getting pretty tired of picking up the slack of people who get paid more and do less than I do.

is really looking forward to hitting Dan class tonight. Gotta burn off some of this crankiness.

Me mind on fire. Me soul on fire. Feeling hot hot hot.

A zombie haiku: Please, don't run so fast / Your luscious cerebellum / Cries out for release.

is beginning to see the benefit of a TV in the bedroom.

Some days it's just not worth gnawing through the restraints.

is once again both saddened and vaguely amused by his innate ability to completely forget people, places, and things from his past.

is thinking a bit too much about things that happened -- or didn't happen -- 25 years ago

has an ankle ouchie. Ouchie!

¡Viernes! ¡Ahora con mas semen del toro!

is decidedly less grouchy today. In the sense that I've decided to be less grouchy, that is.

is really not a fan of watching from the sidelines.

is generally set apart from a sentence by an exclamation point, or by a comma when the feeling's not as strong.

went to Lacey's birthday party and became close, personal friends with an ugly blue couch.

would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for those meddling kids.

just finished making meatballs and a big pot of tomato sauce. And the house smells *fantastic*.

just wants to watch TV for TWO. FREAKIN'. HOURS without a kid whining that they are having trouble sleeping. Again.

My hovercraft is full of eels.

“Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger mushROOM mushROOM badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger AAAH! SNAKE! AAAH! SNAKE! Snake, snake, ohhhhhh it's a snake.

is happily weary after 2+ hours of training. Ahhhhhh, burny achey muscles!

is up at the crack of dawn, and not terribly pleased with that thank you very much.

Phryedeh!

My mantis is dashing in a tux! Will you please pass me one of those wall decorations? My, they look lovely.

is looking forward to family class tomorrow morning, although he'd be looking forward to it more if Jimmy were in town. WE MISS YOU KYO SA NIM VASQUEZ!!!

has to say: I totally HATE those Palm Pre commercials. That chick is insanely creepy.

is vaguely jealous.

is pretty sure that "Up the Junction" is the perfect pop song. 3:10 of brilliance that sounds as good today as when it was released 30 years ago.

totally LOVED "I Love You Man."

is planning Christine's birthday dinner menu.

is heading to the HEB.

... must ... not ... strangle ...

is Monday grumble grumble.

¡AzĂșcar!

has a point, and I'm not referring to the one on my head.

just got the kids out of bed to watch the International Space Station fly overhead. Very cool.

I believe virtually everything I read, and I think that is what makes me more of a selective human than someone who doesn't believe anything.

has been ionized, but I'm okay now.

is taking a vacation day to help Christine celebrate her birthday. Time to go shopping.... ;-)

Don't touch my mustache.

is glad it's Friday, cause dammit I'm fried, eh?

I want to be a lawyer. I want to be a scholar. But I really can't be bothered. Ooh, just gimme it quick, gimme it, gimme gimme gimme gimme!

I don't know about your dreams, but mine are sort of ... hackneyed. Same thing, night after night. Just ... repetitive. And the color is really bad. And the themes are just infantile. And you always get what you want. And that's just not the way life is.

is watching Mr. Bean's Holiday, trying to figure out where this masochistic impulse came from.

is grabbing his whip and chair in preparation for "motivating" the kids for family class this morning.

would like a fleet of helper monkeys. Errands would go so much more smoothly with a cadre of simian aides.

is relaxing, and looking forward to chillin' and grillin' later this evening.

is stunned. Floored. Completely and utterly gob-smacked.

just added "Still Fighting It" the list of songs he has to be careful of.

is getting ready to kick and punch some stuff for a couple of hours.

could use one of wacky new-fangled clone thingies.

could use of those wacky new-fangled clone thingies. To proof read his status updates, for example.

could use ONE of those wacky new-fangled clone ... for just forget it.

GAH. Bed.

is all "Yay. Wednesday. Yaaaaaaaay."

is feeling a) growly and b) disappointed.

is wondering, was there a RIGHT side of the bed to get up on this morning?

Birds flying high you know how I feel. Sun in the sky you know how I feel. Reeds driftin' on by you know how I feel

You know what? Chicken butt.

is watching Terminator Salvation. And ... well ... Dude. Not good.

is happy that 17 years ago he made the single best decision of his entire life. Happy Anniversary Christine. Don't know who I'd be without you, and let's not find out.

Hair freshly cut, face shaved, dressed all nice, smelling good and stuff -- time for our anniversary dinner at Roy's!

is ending a wonderful day by relaxing on the couch, alone, immersed in the beauty of Baraka in BluRay.

finds his children's endless capacity to incessantly bicker fascinating. Ahh, just two weeks until they go back to school.

thinks the adjective "justifiable" is far too narrowly defined.

Enough is enough! I have had it with these monkey fighting snakes on this Monday-to-Friday plane!

Tread lightly in your dreams. They might come true for you tomorrow.

really wonders just what the hell people are thinking sometimes.

absolutely refuses to "Feed his fun," no matter what Dave & Buster's says. That little freak is scary. The sooner he starves, the better.

Wanted: One island. Cheap. Must have good weather, internet, and be largely inaccessible without very explicit directions. Established, well-armed Navy to keep out undesirables a plus.

reminds you: Drop bears are both mythical and impossible. Koalas never get violent, cause it harshes their mellow.

is clenching and unclenching his fists.

is having one of those morning where he feels like maybe his life is actually the subject of a captioning contest.

A caliph, rabbi, and a bishop walk into a bar....

wants to provide you with these words of wisdom: while the bottle designs for Maalox and ExLax bear a striking resemblance (particularly at 3:30AM, without glasses...), they produce vastly different results when consumed.

is definitely having one of those days where I feel my purpose in life might just be to serve as a warning to others.

thinks Philadelphia Eagles tickets should have a check box that says "I do not want any of the proceeds of my ticket purchase to go in Michael Vick's pockets." Also, hates football anyhow.

is sipping coffee, trying to get it in gear for the kid's rock camp performances this AM. Antone's, 11:00 if anyone would like to join us. Video later!

On freedom of speech: “As an active privilege, it ranks with the privilege of committing murder; we may exercise it if we are willing to take the consequences.” -- Mark Twain

spent the last 3 hours laughing himself into a splitting headache. That's a pain I can live with! Thanks April and Eric for the party invite, and thanks to Mike, Lisa, and Sean for all the hearty laughter.

is thinking of an orange kangaroo from Denmark.

is up too early, getting ready to talk with a whole bunch o' property management professionals.

is stopping the world and melting with you.

Ow. Neck hurts, and I can barely turn it to the right. Back hurts. Leg hurts. I think about 3 vertebrae are not exactly pointing the directions they should be. Hoping a nice session of training tonight will get my back functional again...

SO pleased. Christine just surprised me with my belated Father's Day/early Birthday present -- a fully trimmed and embroidered Shureido K-10 dobakh. Huge upgrade from the one I thought I was going to get. It's a thing of beauty -- can't wait to wear it on Saturday.

is rolling his eyes and clenching his teeth.

"Let this be my annual reminder that we can all be something bigger. "

We drink and we dry up. We crumble into dust. We get wet and we corrode. We get covered in rust.

just got back from dinner and drinks (and drinks) with Walt and Freddy and Jed and Diane and it was AWESOME. LOVED seeing you again Walt!

needs to a) gain about 40 pounds in the next 16 hours, b) manage to get his new Shureido dobakh pants to shrink like crazy, or c) wear old pants for his Cho Dan promotion. Hoping the current hot water wash makes choice "b" the right one.

is happy. And grateful. And very tired.

is thrilled it's a SCHOOL NIGHT! Kids are showered and headed to bed at 8:00. We'll let them read for a little while, but by 8:30 it's lights out.

is ... ugh ... too early for anything clever.

is 42. How the hell did *that* happen?

is 42 years old today. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes -- I was going to answer them one by one, but frankly there are simply TOO MANY. That's a nice problem to have. Love to y'all.

is 42, and was too busy working with people he really likes, at a challenging and enjoyable job, followed by dinner with the wonderful family he loves, then training with friends in a martial art that has changed his life, and beers with my brother and my best friends, to get to thanking everyone who wished him a happy birthday personally. Honestly, can life be any better than this? Thank you, all of you.

is all muzzy headed.

is hungry. Hungry hungry hungry!

is wondering just what Cinnamon ate that had her puking at 3:00AM. Lovely way to break up all that monotonous "restful sleep" stuff.

can't figure out where all his hanging prepositions went to.

is saying "No, that's fine, I really don't care" but thinking "Good, I was just being polite, don't really want to Friend your self-righteous douche ass anyhow."

Wednesday: The word itself has more letters than the name of any other day of the week. Coincidence? I think not.

We hiked along without care. Then we ran into a bear. He was a hairy bear. He was a scary bear. We beat a hasty retreat from his lair.

Well, ya see, I'm not saying that I've been everywhere and I've done everything, but I do know it's a pretty amazing planet we live on here, and a man would have to be some kind of FOOL to think we're alone in THIS universe.

Yeah, but it's a dry heat. Like ... Mars dry.

There's nothing like a day out on the beach when all it does is rain. You need somebody to make the sun come out again. When you find that special someone you never expected to, it'll make you believe in magic. It could change your life for you.

Thank it's Friday.

iPhone appears to be dead. Yaaaaaaay.

wants to make a shirt that reads "I was promoted to Cho Dan in TSDMGK and all I got was this lousy t-shirt."

is loitering in the Apple store, waiting for the solitary iPhone "genius" on duty to deign me worthy of his attention.

is iPhone enabled once again. Also, new Shun Elite knife! Pictures in a bit....

is looking forward to making dinner later.

You crazy bugger! You can't do all this, what are you a Mormon? It's illegal. What have you been reading? The gospel according to St. Bastard?

Is looking forward to watchin' some red belt testing, then hittin' a showing of Inglourious Basterds, perhaps followed by some Rock Band. Yay belated birthday weekend!

had a slightly more complicated evening than planned. Only managed to watch 15 minutes of the red belt test before I had to rush to the Emergency Vet with my mom. Happily, things turned out OK and after some great pain meds her dog is doing better. Still managed to see Inglourious Basterds -- QT knocked it out of the park again.

is playing games, then BBQ and belated birthday cake.

is tired. Like, in my bones tired.

is happy he gets to wear his dobakh tonight. Thanks KSN Pugh for the loaner belt!

is sad for his mom, and for her poor old Basset Hound Angel. 13+ years or pretty-darn-good, and 3 days of ass-kickin' crappy. RIP, pup.

Is hoping we all have a great day. And that means everyone. Compliance is mandatory. No exceptions!

Today's obligatory Great Day has been officially postponed/canceled. Feel free to return to your previously scheduled crappy day.

Is making turkey meatballs.

Knob Creek, take me away!

just finished watching episode 13 of Dollhouse, otherwise known as "Joss Whedon does the math and the solution is FULLY AWESOME."

is just gonna drink the Kool-Aid and get it over with.

Is all ouchie head, ouchie shoulder, ouchie elbow.

No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please post this as your status for the rest of the day.

Is craving a beer and silence.

Is counting the days: two weeks until Mexico! I cannot wait!

Is noticing that it's a howlin' sorta moon out tonight. AAAAARRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

is rolling his eyes.

needs brain bleach.

AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! WOOOOO WOOOOO AWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

is feeling a bit antsy.

Even a man who is pure of heart, and says his prayers at night ...

AWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! WOOO WOOO WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...

needs slightly less relaxation in his relaxation.

Is watching Being Human.

just got 6 new shirts and a pair of flip-flops for less than $60. I LOVE clearance racks!

No one should die because of zombies if they cannot afford a shotgun, or even just a machete, and no one should be turned into a vampire if they get bit by one--or a werewolf for that matter. If you agree, post this as your status for the rest of the day.

Thought for the day, for too many friends who have been weathering rough times of late: "You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

"Reality is just a pesky triviality for the truly imaginative." Miss you, Princess.

thinks it's pretty sad the way some folks give thanks to the undeserving and assign guilt to things they clearly fail to understand.

wants to leave for Puerto Aventuras NOW please. Pretty please?

I think someone dropped Facebook on its head this morning....

Assistant teach, assistant teach, train, beer, couch, Supernatural, pizza.

"There are stars whose light only reaches the earth long after they have fallen apart. There are people whose remembrance gives light in this world, long after they have passed away. This light shines in our darkest nights on the road we must follow.”

"Guide us to the straight path, the path of those whom You have favoured. Not of those who have incurred Your wrath, nor of those who have gone astray."

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

is trying to figure out what to do for the evening. Kids are going to a Parent's Night Out at the dojang, but we're BROKE so we don't want to do anything expensive. Suggestions? Might be a dinner-at-home-and-DVD kinda night...

has a bad feeling...

70K != 2M.

Pop Culture Mathematics Lesson of the Day: The Beatles in The Beatles: Rock Band are to Beyonce as Kurt Cobain in Guitar Hero 5 is to Kanye.

just wants to go to Mexico already.

You know, now whenever anything goes right and I start to feel good about it, I feel like Kanye West is going to just swoop in and steal my moment. What a gay fish.

This just in: Kanye West quoted as saying "YO PATRICK SWAYZE I KNOW U JUST DIED& ALL& IMMA LET U FINISH, BUT MICHAEL JACKSON'S DEATH WAS THE BEST ONE THIS YEAR."

is wondering just how many people can be members of the same mutual admiration society.

really can't wait to get out of town for a few days.

had a great -- if too brief -- time catching up with HS compadres.

reminds you: throngs of screaming teenagers don't do it for Josh Groban. Josh Groban loves a blowzy alcoholic.

To sleep, perchance to drag my ass out of bed in 5 hours and head to Mexico.

doesn't think this "4:20" thing people are always going on about is all it's cracked up to be. I mean, it's still dark out. Maybe I'm missing something....

is hanging out in the Continental President's Club in Houston, sipping a cocktail and turning my nose up at the rabble. Next stop: Mexico!

is trying to settle into "vacation mode." Maybe another ridiculously strong margarita will help....

is looking forward to our firsty full day of relaxation. No real plans as yet - just need some jo and grub....

asks como se dice "bait and switch"?

reminds you that sometimes satisfaction can best be achieved by lowering your expectations a bit.

is extremely curious as to what, exactly, Hoteles Catolonia -- by way of "trying to make things right" -- comes up with next.

is chilling out with a cheap Mexican beer, watching the end of Let the Right One In, and looking forward having a great evening with our friends for our last night here in Mexico. It's been fun, if somewhat frustrating!

is bidding farewell to Mexico, but is bringing home fond memories of our catamaran adventure, Gunter/Wilhelm, Ho-anna, Terry and Jon "dancing," CBH, The Mexican Shining, Bovine Horror Movies, "Gay or Eurotrash?", and a never-ending stream of bitch-slapping monkey jokes. Fun really is where you find it -- sometimes you just have to look a little harder.

Is sitting on the plane in Houston, preparing for departure. Almost home!

is sighing heavily.

SHWAAA PAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!

reminds all the single ladies (all the single ladies): if he liked it then he shoulda put a ring on it.

apparently will not be driving his Jeep home tonight.

asks "What kind of car does a pirate drive?" A Toyota YAARRRRRRRRis!

is trying to pick a name for his new car. It's gotta be a name suitable for a pirate. Suggestions?

John Logie Baird, I curse you.

thinks he may actually feel what it means to be a Cho Dan, truly, for the first time.

is looking forward to watching lots of Tang Soo Do students show off their technique today. Hope everyone has a great test!

had a long day of grading Tang Soo Do gup tests. Nice work everyone -- now, relaxation time.

really wants "Where the Wild Things Are" to be as wonderful as the commercials make it look.

Is making chicken enchiladas for dinner. Yum!

would really appeciate it if his sinuses would return to normal sometime this week.

is eyeing the next week and a half with suspicion and fear. Tradeshows and Dan Seminars and Birthday Parties Oh My.

is packing, organizing, and otherwise preparing for the IAITAM Conference.

Amazing resort? Check. Gorgeous hotel room? Check. Fantastic night, with beautiful breezes and clear skies? Check. Wishing Chrisitne was here to share it with me? Check. Sigh. Miss you babe.

is fairly certain that some crept into his room while he slept and lined his throat and sinuses with heavy duty sandpaper.

Hi, I'm Gregg! Ask me about our active RFID-based asset management and environmental monitoring solutions!

is preparing to walk around and grab whatever cool schwag is lying about. Tear down begins in 32 minutes. Goal: packed and ready to ship in 45 minutes or less.

is welcoming his second wind with open arms. And cocktails.

is back from entertaining a business partner in Vegas. Chatting about stupid behavior in our youth, followed by hanging in the Bellagio watching the fountains and checking out the gardens. Grown-ups rock.

is headed HOME!

really wants to strangle someone.

is happy to be home, but would very much like to stop sneezing, and for his sinuses to stop asploding.

4 days in Vegas led to raw sinuses and a hacking cough which have led to a low grade fever and a head full of yuck. Today: daughter's birthday party with a dozen or more kids invading our house. And tomorrow I have to leave for another trade show. I might just down a gallon of Nyquil and call it a day ....

Ahhhhhh! Daughter's birthday party successfully (and enjoyably) dispatched. Only plan for the rest of the day is the chill out. And pack, of course. Grrr.

just caught up with this week's Glee. Yeah, I'm completely in love with this show.

has to head out to the airport in about 90 minutes, and is none too pleased.

just got back from a post-dinner Ghirardelli run, and ... Oooo ... The moon. so pretty ... AAAARRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

"Live! Live! Live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!"

AAAAAAAAWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

is hanging at a booth selection meeting. Woot.

is fascinated to learn that the Cambodian Fig Wasp feeds exclusively on figs, and fig trees are pollinated exclusively by Fig Wasps. This symbiosis dates back 20-something million years. Talk about your long-term relationships...

is *really* looking forward to getting his butt home to Texas tomorrow morning.

just wants a Personal Cone of Silence (TM). Is that too freakin' much to ask?

is leaving on a jet plane.

SOOOOO happy to be home.

thinks some folks need to figure out when to take it to email already.

doesn't even OWN a pocketbook, knowwhatI'msayin'?

really loves Fridays, especially when they arrive on a Thursday.

is two agreeing nods and one "oh give me a break you loon" eyeroll in so far.

What a day! NASA bombed the moon, Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize for not being George W. Bush, and Marge Simson is going to be on the cover of next month's Playboy. I'm starting to think somone put LSD in my Kashi bars....

Thinks y'all just need to get over it already.

Breakfast for the kids? Check. Next up: Family class. Then it's Halloween costume shopping at Tarzhay, lunch, some chill-out/RB/GH time with the kids at home before they head to Mom's for the night, and then EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL. Can't wait!

Gonna go play some Guitar Hero: Van Halen with the kids. Note to Activision/Van Halen: while I can understand not having Sammy Hagar in-game since there are no Sammy Hagar-fronted VH tunes on the game, ret-conning Michael Anthony (who played/sang backing vocals on every VH song in the game) out of virtual existence and replacing him with Wolfgang VH on bass is douche-baggery of a very high order.

Evil Dead, here we come!

Evil Dead: The Musical = Teh Phunnie.

A window / An opened tomb / The sun crawls / Across your bedroom / A halo / A waiting room / Your last breaths / Moving through you

Is stopping to smell the tacky.

And stuttering, apparently. Damn Facebook....

took an extra day off this weekend, just in time for Christine to start running a 101 fever!

just watched The Goonies with the kids. CHUNK!

Well, *this* should be fun. Christine's fever is over 103, so I 'd say it's pretty clear she has Duh Flue. Just got the kids out the door, and now I gotta hit the office and get a bunch done early so I can bail out in time to get the kids to piano class later this afternoon. Whooooopie.

should really eat something at some point today. Head ... hurts ....

House of Sick, Day Three: Up since about 5:00. Christine's fever is settling into a nice, manageable 100-101-ish. Kids and I are illness free (so far, fingers crossed). Bleh. Hoping I have the stamina to make it through work and still hit Dan class tonight....

had a good time at Dan class tonight. Until he almost passed out and had to sit out the rest of class, that is. 42 + exhausted + dehydrated + overheated = nothin' good, my friends....

has nice clean and polished teeth, with no new cavities. Hooray for me -- at least *something* went right this week....

Today's Acronym is: PPYKAG.

ALRIGHT! SWINE FLU-IZZY IN THE HIZZY!

OH NOES WE'S GOT THE HAMTHRAX!!!!one!

just made a big batch of chocolate chip cookies from scratch. Cookies: good for what ails ya.

is so glad it's Friday, he could just .

I had the best night's sleep that I've had in at least 2, if not 3, solid weeks. Christine and the kids, all of whom are still sick, mind you, let me sleep until almost 9:00. Almost 9 solid hours of uninterrupted slumber. I feel like a new man -- thanks guys! Now, back to getting y'all better.

just watched Dollhouse S02E03. Ummmm ... Joss? Yeah, dude, y'know what? That seriously sucked. 60 minutes of crap. You can do way better. Jeez, I think Michael Bay can do better than that.

Ay yi yi. It looked like Trevor was just having a reaction to his Flumist vaccine from Friday -- fever was gone. His energy levels were fine. So, we did Dan prep class together ... and now he's got a 101.6 fever. I'm going to jump off the roof.

So, what are ya gonna do when you've got a house full of sick peoiple who stubbornly refuse to get better? Cook spicy food, that's what! Trying my hand at Korean fried chicken (Yangnyeom Dak) -- using boneless thighs and drumettes. The fermented chili paste smells *amazing* -- will report back on the sauce, later.

is rolling his eyes. Again.

The towel has been thrown in. Not sure if I'm getting sick or just fighting something off, but I'll be spending the rest of the day resting on the couch....

is fascinated, astonished and appalled to see just how much damage a single lousy teacher can do to a kid's grades and self-esteem in just six short weeks. That level of achievement takes a special sort of un-skill, I'd say. On a completely unrelated note, anyone know how to poison an apple using a completely undetectable and untraceable poison? Just curious!

99.8. And so it begins?

Still have the headache, but when I got up my temperature was ... 97.5? That settles it: I've got the Zombie Virus.

would really rather be mixing music.

PPYKAG: *WHEW!!!*

is trying to channel his anger and frustration with certain teachers into productivity at work. So far, so-so...

Coffee > Train > Shop > Lunch > Decorate > Movie?

hanging with my brother, getting ready to watch Paranormal Activity.

Umm, OK, if you have delicate sensibilities don't read: OK, HOLY SHiT THAT WAS FUCKIN' SCARY. Sorry for the cursin', but it's appropriate in this case. I'm not letting Christine within a mile of this movie: she wouldn't sleep for a month.

wants to do more Halloween decorating, but doesn't want to spend money he doesn't have.

No TV and no beer make Homer go crazy.

is quite aware of the difference between a proper noun and a possessive noun, thank you very much.

No Glee. Stupid baseball....

"Marge! Did you hear me zing werewolf Flanders?" "GRRRRRRROWL-DIDDLEY!"

is at the Natalie Douglas show. Almost showtime!

Well! That was absurdly, awesomely, insanely, amazingly, extraordinarily, unbelievably, unfathomably, dumbfoundingly, jawdroppingly stupefyingly GREAT. Thanks, Natalie, for bringing your incredible Nina Simone tribute to Austin!

"Ah, Ethnictown! Where hard-working immigrants dream of becoming lazy, overfed Americans!"

Whatever, whatever. It is what it is.

had a great Halloween party last night. Apparently.

First they came for someone and I didn't speak up because I think I was doing something else that day. Then they came for these other guys and I didn't say anything for some other reason. Then there was this guy and a thing and something about people getting upset. I think one guy had a bull horn and then I was all like "Yea man! It's time to do something!" Then after a little while, we went home.

wonders when the trick or treaters will start rolling in.

just got back from trick or treating with the kids. Barely 80 minutes and they were done. AMATEURS! November

just watched "Trick 'r Treat" -- really good little Halloween flick! Now, some Treehouse of Horror episodes, and then bed. Sleeeeeeeeeeepy.

"You think your dirty socks can stop me? Well ... they *are* making me a bit dizzy ...."

is looking forward to trying a couple of new recipes today. In honor of November's arrival, I'll be focusing on cool weather comfort foods. Yummmmm.

Dinner? FABULOUS.

is feeling less than ambitious this fine morning.

AAAAARRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

is completely devoid of any phrases that qualify as witty, pithy, or clever this morning.

appears to have amateur veterinarian superpowers. Last night, I saved the life of my daughter's 7 year old goldfish ... using only my magical healing touch. I'm astonishing, I tell you.

would like his damn shoulder to stop hurting so much.

is fascinated by all the frantic reading of tea leaves.

thinks an extended period of hibernation sounds pretty darn good about now.

would like to donate blood today. Anyone know of a fairly accessible donation locale in the Arboretum area of Austin?

Hates earwigs. Today's earwig: "What I Am," Edie Brickell and New Bohemians. I loathe that stupid whiny Popeye song. Why did it pop in my head the moment I woke up?

is having one of those weird moments where a simple, common word just doesn't look like it's spelled correctly, no matter how much I know that it is correct. Today's odd word: "follow."

feels a short day comin' on. This place is a freakin' ghost town.

Well, so much for the short day. But hey, Dan training seminar in two hours -- woot!

just home after 2 solid hours of Tang Soo Do training with Sa Bom Nim Nunan and a dozen other Dans from our dojang. Fantastic way to finish out the week -- too bad we only do it once a month! Laugh a little, cry a little, TANG SOO!

Papercuts hurt! Work safely.

"Bookends." Simon and Garfunkle. Seriously -- one of the most simply beautiful songs I've heard in my entire life. "Preserve your memories. They're all that's left you."

New Fave movie (for now): "(500) Days of Summer." Brilliant. Can't think of another film that managed the combine cynicism, cleverness, and romanticism in this way. Sweet, sad, funny, and VERY smart. Truly wonderful.

Watching "Anvil: The Story of Anvil." Wow, is this waaaaay better than I ever expected. Fantastic, and surprisingly moving and engaging.

Out of bed at crack of dawn to let dog out? Check. Kids up and making noise an hour later? Check. Said children growled at and subsequently threatend with immediate sale to highest bidder, perhaps for scientific experiments? Check. Sigh. Just another Sunday morning in the Primm household.

What a dream I had / Pressed in organdy / Clothed in crinoline / Of smoky burgundy / Softer than the rain

Is it just me, or is Dexter kinda off the rails the last couple of episodes?

Jeez, could CNN.com have done a worse job of redesigning their front page? When will these damn sites realize that if I wanted to watch TV, I'd be ... WATCHING TV.

99.6. Hrrm...

Plus: 98.6 - yippee! Minus: damn dogs got us up at 4:30 - boo!

is grateful for the sacrifices made everyday by our Veterans and their families. Thank you one and all.

Refreshing nap? Check. 101 fever upon awakening? Also check, dammit.

You know, it might be a bit redundant to say this yet again, but I totally love Glee.

feeling hot hot hot.

feeling cold cold cold.

is hoping his fever doesn't come back. Again.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan

100.1. I officially hate the entire world and everyone in it.

Y'know, if I'm gonna be sick, I want to actually be REALLY sick. This achey-with-a-100ish-fever nonsense is just not cutting it. I'm an overachiever by nature: I need something dramatic. Massively swollen glands. Bleeding from my eyes. Explosive diarrhea. SOMETHING. Suggestions?

To sleep, perchance to awaken drenched in my own sweat in about 6 hours.

Is feeling just fine. I'm absolutely certain that I've kicked this stupid virus. Yep. Completely sure.

OK, highly officially completely fed up with being sick now. Headache and 101-102 fever all freakin' day. Gee whiz, what a great weekend I'm havin'.

Home alone, fever and wicked headache, watching Baraka, and hoping for comfort

I've had all I can stands, and I can't stands no more.

Doesn't want to jinx it, so ix-nay on the "eeling better-fay."

Roger Corman is receiving a Lifetime Achievement Oscar! Can Lloyd Kaufman's be far behind?

OK, this shit has got to stop already. No fever all day, then WHAMMO! 101.2 (so far) in the past hour. This virus is one tenacious little bastard. I'll be hitting the doc tomorrow -- guess we'll find out for sure if this is Teh Hamthrax.

Oooookay. No fever since about 2:00AM. No ibuprofen since last night. Body aches and whatnot completely gone. Now ... we wait.

Woot! Virus vanquished!

RIP Ken Ober -- I *loved* Remote Control...

Is watching Top Chef, and hoping Jen finally gets her groove back.

had a dream that one of the most kind, positive, and encouraging people he has the pleasure to know was, in fact, a SERIAL KILLER! Hilarious in the light of day, but very disturing in my dream-state....

has a short work day, and is then headed to Lewisville TX to get training in with Kwan Jhang Nim, and then watch Christine and Trevor test for their Cho Dan. Tang Soo!

is really enjoying the bumper-to-bumper traffic. Really.

Well, we made it. God, I hate driving to Dallas...

Grr. It would appear that the Best Western's jacuzzi has been *ahem* "retired."

toss turn doze toss turn doze toss turn doze what? Time to get up already? Grrrrrrrrrrr. I hate hotel beds.

Cho Dan test update: Trevor has completed his line drills, jump kicks, forms, and endurance punching with fantastic energy, attitude, and only a few small errors. Next up, Christine (who is currently sitting and waiting and trying to not let her legs fall asleep...).

Update: Christine's line drills/jump kicks/forms/endurance went great as well (although she nearly hyperventilated on the punching). Now, more waiting....

4 hours in, probably 2 more to go....

Test has gone beautifully for both Christine and Trevor -- not finished yet, but the most challenging parts are done. Still have breaking and history/terminology/comments from the testing board, and then we're DONE. Except for the 212 mile drive home that is...

TREVOR BROKE HIS BOARD ON THE FIRST TRY!

wonders if he (and his peers) would have broken his boards on his test is we'd gotten a) encouragement and b) unlimited tries. Weird.

We're down to the last break....

DONE. 7 hours!

And we are HOME.

is still groggy from an incredibly long day yesterday. I'm also tremendously grateful to Kwan Jhang Nim Ferraro, Masters Tom and Dave Cox, Master Riley, Master Steefle, and Master Nunan for the amazing testing experience my wife and son had yesterday. What a fastastic day -- Tang Soo!

feels a storm a'brewin.

is watching the parade and admiring that massive pair of pumpkins.

Wow, Shrek the Musical looks utterly craptastic.

Eat us! Hey, its Thanksgiving Day! Eat us, we make a nice buffet! We lost the race with Farmer Ed, eat us 'cause we're good and dead. White man or red man from east, north or south, chop off our legs, and put 'em in your mouth!

OK, the giant head Abe Lincoln and George Washington are just plain freaky.

Happy Turkey Day everyone! So, what one dish are you most looking forward to today?

"God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy." Now *there's* a holiday lyric I can really get behind....

is grateful for crescent rolls.

thinks that cooking in his in-laws' insane and/or possessed oven could generate some interesting results.

The gods of my tribe have spoken. They have said, "Do not trust the Pilgrims, especially Sarah Miller." And for all these reasons I have decided to scalp you and burn your village to the ground.

Ain't no tick got NOTHIN' on me.

Uyuyyyyuuuuuuunnnnnnngggghhaaagggghhhhhhhj.

is working his way through a delicious leftover turkey sandwich. Yum!

When I move to Venezuela I wonder if I should live near a village.

loves "Up."

Knock knock!

Knock knock!

Knock knock!

kinda wishes he was dead. But, you know, in a *good* way....

Is missing his dogs.

could use a nice pair of ruby slippers. But, you know, manly ones.

"We only give what we think we deserve, An' that's something to believe in,"

Note to Belk: after one disregards it's utter brilliance, "Santa Baby" is a song about a materialistic tramp begging Santa for a booty call and financial remuneration. Featuring it as the soundtrack of a commercial starring prepubescent tykes may be a poor choice. December

That was Zen. This is Tao.

Yay. Delays.

Back on the ground in Austin, TX. Woot!

is back on the see-saw.

is so glad the annoying "fake pregnancy" storyline on Glee is done.

PPYKAG: Arrgh! Darn it!

Q: What's the difference between a car and a golf ball?

36 degress? That's it: time to move closer to the equator.

Flurries! Flurries!

is considering the many varied pros and cons of the ties that bind.

Walter, on "Fringe": What a terrific character, and what a fantastic performance. Really, week after week it's some of the best acting on TV right now.

Holy crap! I just saw an old-sorta-friend who doesn't communicate with me or any of his old online buddies anymore on E! Television! He's whiter than ever!

Oh jeez, what am I gonna teach tomorrow?

is sippin' coffee and hoping some students brave the cold and come to the children's class I'm teaching at 9:30.

Well, my first attempt at teaching a class solo wasn't a complete failure! Hooray!

is sippin' coffee, listening to Sibelius, reading The Last Olympian.

is settling into a seat and preparing to watch a local production of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas."

Mmmmmm. Wine.

is watching out. Also not crying or pouting.

Skipped TSD class tonight to let my jacked-up neck get better. So instead, I'm celebrating the "Fall Finale" of Glee and the season finale of Top Chef by cooking. On deck: chicken breasts stuffed with a feta cheese/sun dried tomato/almond/basil filling sauteed in browned butter drizzled with a balsamic vinegar reduction, sauteed carrots, and cous cous.

Dinner was UNREAL. Now, on to Glee and Top Chef!

totally loves Glee. Again.

Go Gastro-Gnome!

Sigh.

is admiring the emperor's lovely new outfit.

renounces Verdukianism.

is thinking that perhaps his shoes are too tight. Or maybe his head isn't screwed on just right.

has finished bingeing, is considering purging.

is planning Xmas dinner. Candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup for everyone!

is looking forward to grading Tang Soo Do tests for the next 9 or so hours. Good luck to all the students who are testing!

One test down, one to go. White/orange belt test went beautifully -- congrats to all the students who tested! Next up -- green belts.

is baking cookies and sipping wine with Christine.

is disappointed in the reports of just how petty and obnoxious some old friends have become.

would really enjoy doing as little as possible today.

is making a big pot of turkey stock. For about the next 10 hours.

Made a reallllllly yummy dinner, the house is completely engulfed in the scent of turkey stock simmering on the stove, and we have about 67 dozen cookies sitting on the counter thanks to Lacey's cookie exchange. I foresee a carb coma in my near-to-immediate future. Oh, and Mike bought me Hendrick's gin, so if the carbs don't do it, the Hendricks with tonic and a slice of cuke will....

Damn! Dexter finale = whoa. Thought the season overall was a bit uneven (or at least overstuffed -- too much of the lame secondary characters, who ALL totally blow. Every single one of them) but the last 3 eps defined ending strong.

wants to go to bed, but his turkey stock is thinking otherwise.

is stumbling around in a daze.

really enjoyed almost seperating someone from their head tonight. Is that, you know, wrong?

Seasonal joke of the day: Q: How do find Will Smith when he's lost in the snow?

URGENT FACEBOOK UPDATE: As of today, Facebook staff will be allowed to eat your children and pets. To turn this option off, go to Settings, then Privacy, then Meals. Click the top two boxes to prevent the employees of Facebook from eating your beloved children and pets. Copy this to your status to warn your friends!

Funblog cocktails were funtastic. Hope we didn't destroy Paul's relationship or Flores' liver.

could sleep for about 12 hours, easy. Won't happen, but I'm certain I could do it.

Just finished the Percy Jackson series -- in a word, FANTASTIC. Think more clearly plotted, better edited Harry Potter. Very strongly recommended.

Seasonal joke of the day: Q. What do you get if you deep-fry Santa?

What a LOVELY day ...

Bonus corny seasonal joke for LCM: Q. If athletes get athletes foot, what do astronauts get?

Corny seasonal joke of the day #1: What do you call the irrational fear of getting stuck in a chimney?

Corny seasonal joke of the day #2: how did the snowman get to the store?

would like to thank his former insurance company for sending along my refund checks at just the right time. Christmas is saved!

is settling in to watch "Scrooge" (the Albert dinner one) with the family. Man, I LOVE this version of A Christmas Carol. Always makes me feel more in the spirit.

Ahhh. Scrooge is done, kids are in bed, and I have absolutely nothing I need to do right now. This is what a vacation should feel like.

is finding all these "OHJEEZTHESNOW!" posts from his Northeastern friends quite amusing.

is grateful to FTD for reminding him (via email) that Christmas is next week. Whew. Almost forgot. Really.

Ahh. Tonight was Charlie Browm and The Grinch with the kids and our best friends. Gift exchange was great, although I feel like I got the better end of the deal. Awesome wine stopper, coffee, and a freakin' 5 year old bonsai. I'm a lucky guy.

Tonights holiday family viewing: A Christmas Story. Will do my best to not shoot my eye out.

"Cut the crap, Hamlet. My biogical clock is ticking, and I want babies NOW."

really wants Miranda to sing a new Christmas song. We Three Kings is getting pretty damn old....

is amazed at some folk's capacity for anger and misery. Lighten the hell up already, willya?

is lovin' the solstice. Couldn't be happier that today was the shortest day of the year. Two weeks of these would suit me fine

is watching "The Forbidden Kingdom." Pretty lame overall, but what is it about the white-haired chick with the whip? ROOWWWWWRRR!

is thinking a 24-hour "Elf" marathon may be in order.

would like to remind you all: if you love Baby Jesus, sing "until then we'll have to muddle through somehow," NOT "hang a shining star upon the highest bough." The latter makes Baby Jesus cry.

really enjoyed getting the chance to teach new hyungs to all sorts of students tonight. A big honor. I'm also glad I didn't totally f--- it up!

would like a cedar killing plague for Christmas.

Quote for the day: “Stress is basically a disconnection from the earth, a forgetting of the breath. Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important. Just lie down.” ~ Natalie

is at HEB doing last minute grocery shopping. The horror ... the horror ...

will not set foot in a supermarket again until the 26th, if he has anything to say about it.

"I'm living in a cocoon of horror!"

My bank account just called 911. Apparently, it slashed a vein and money is gushing out of it at an alarming rate. I need Saturday to get here, stat.

is hoping that the only reason he needs to leave the house/spend cash tomorrow (same thing lately) is to buy onion and celery for his stuffing.

is trying to generate enough inertia to propel himself through a third consecutive day of prep and cooking. Christmas Eve dinner tonight, Christmas Day brunch tomorrow. I'm freakin' exhausted.

seems to be completely incapable of finding that "thickest part of the thigh" on his turkey. They should sell the damn turkey's with a meat thermometer pre-inserted. I swear I'd pay an extra $10 just to not have to deal with it..

So, on the menu for Xmas Eve Dinner: Cider Brined and Glazed Turkey (20 pounder), Savory Apple and Sausage Stuffing, Lacey Schnell's "World's Best" Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potato Pudding, Vichy Carrots, White Corn, and -- of course! -- Pillsbury Cresent Rolls.

Hooray. Turkey is done a solid hour early. It's now tightly wrapped in foil, then in towels, and in a cooler staying hot until everyone else gets back from church and I can get the rest of the meal together.

is sitting in a recliner, sipping wine, listening to Xmas music, and watching as other people clean up. The kids are acting certifiably insane, and the bickering between the adults is at a manageably low level. This is as good as it gets.

thinks they can't bulldoze Bedford Falls fast enough. Pathetic, boring little hick burg.

Whew. Xmas Eve Festivities and preperation is complete! Sipping a bourbon and thinking about tomorrow's menu...

Nothing says Christmas like ... Elvis Costello getting mauled by a bear.

Merry Christmas, y'all! Now I gotta get to cookin' -- Xmas Day Brunch begins at 10:30!

is looking forward to making stock today. Yum!

is fairly wobbly this fine Sunday morning.

would like to thank the mystery shithead who stuck a pushpin into the sidewall of my front tire for successfully eradicating any and all residual holiday good cheer from my heart, thereby returning me to my normal, misanthropic state just in time for New Year's.

is sitting in the front row of a sold out showing of Up In the Air.

is sippin' coffee and getting ready to head into the office for a quiet day of work.

left work early and spent a couple of horus building with Lego's with Trevor. Fun!

had one of those classes where everything was clear as mud tonight. I hate that.

Another day, another dolor.

is currently located comfortably between ecstatic and relieved.

is wondering if the confluence of a second full moon in December (i.e. a blue moon) and New Year's Eve will result in some really interesting events. I imagine the police departments are less that thrilled....

was just repeatedly dropped like a sack of rocks by an itty bitty woman. Oww, my head hurts .....

Lady Gaga as expressed through a mathematical formula: (RAH)² (AH)³ + [ROMA (1+MA)] + (GA)² + (OOH)(LA)² = Bad Romance

is getting ready to had out to see Avatar. I fully expect my eyeballs to bleed from visual overload.

was overwhelmed and underwhelmed in more or less equal parts by Avatar.

is looking forward to ringing in the New Year tonight. The 2000's have been a mixed bag, but mostly good for us. Let's see what the 2010's bring!

Blue moooooon .... I saw you standing aaaa... aaaa... AAAARRRROOOOOOOOOOO!

is wondering where the hell Schnell and Flores are.

Now Playing: Big Blue Ball, "Big Blue Ball
Mood: Kinda snarky