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South Houston is the new Harlem

I’m from South Houston. I used to wear that with a badge of pride. People would ask where I’m from and I would tell them. They would then get this weird look on their face or comment, “That’s a rough part of town.”

In case you’re not familiar with Houston, South Houston is rough. There are several rough parts, but South East Houston I am intimately familiar with. I didn’t realize how bad it was until after I got married and moved out. Now I try to stay away from it at all costs. It’s not that every part of South Houston is a shit-hole, its just that the ratio of shady-goings-on is a lot higher. Case in point.

Today I had to run some equipment to a calibration service place. I work about 45 minutes away with light traffic and the reason I took the equipment over was because they wanted $300 to come to us. Boy was that a great idea.

So I near the intersection where this place is located and I automatically realize that I’m in the ghetto. To be fair, its all the ghetto but the house on the corner with the shoes hanging from the electric wires looks like its held up by toothpicks and the siding is half missing. Needless to say the calibration place was kind of a dump too. I’m sure they do good work, its just that is looked…less than desirable. But that’s not even the kicker.

I go to leave and realize my tank is on “E”. I stop at the gas station, attempt to pay and my card doesn’t work. Now I’m worried I’m going to be stuck here and that’s causing the wheels to turn. I decided to go in and try to pay. Works like a charm. $20 on pump two and a big Monster Energy drink to pick me up from this whole experience. I walk outside and……some older Mexican lady is pumping my gas into a dented old gas can while trying to hide next to my van.

I start screaming: “Hey, that’s my gas. I paid for that!” (really it was a polite raising of my voice.)

She looks at me and just says, “Sorry, sorry” but continues to pump my gas. I grab the nozzle away from her and put it into my van. Here’s the part that pissed me off, she was pumping the most expensive gas. Now I have to pump the same crap into my van and waste my money, aside from the two gallons she’s already cheated me out of.

I’m so frustrated I drive off without realizing that I had left my Monster on the roof of my van. SMACK. PFSTSSSSSSSSSSSSS! That’s the sound of it hitting the ground and spewing forth is liquid energy goodness. Now I’m really pissed. I mean, I would have given her gas if she needed it. I’ve bought people gas cans and filled them up before. Because I’m a decent human being. Not someone who sneaks behind vehicles stealing gas and saying “sorry, sorry” with their whorish harpy mouth.

I feel like I might have taken it overboard on that last sentence. For that I apologize.

Anyway, so I leave South Houston as fast as I can. I don’t look in my rear view mirror. I don’t reminisce. I just drive.


I Stroke it to the East, I Stroke it to the West, I Stroke it to the one that I love best

The first time I heard about this song was when my mother went to LaBear (LaBare?..I’m not Googling it….) with some friends. But that’s not what this post is about, thankfully.

What I didn’t mention in my last post about finding the bag of cocaine was that after that all went down, I got a call from my brother in law telling me that my sister was in the hospital but was doing okay. Turns out she either had some rare acute migraine or a TIA (mini-stroke). This wouldn’t be that big of a shock if she wasn’t 27 years old.

Apparently she fell asleep in her car at lunch time (while parked at a restaurant) and awoke to my dad texting her. She felt sleepy and her eyes could not focus but she drove back to work. While at work she say down and read an email that said, “The planning meeting will be rescheduled for 2 PM tomorrow”, however, while she could read all of the words perfectly she couldn’t get them to make sense as a sentence. They were all jumbled. She also tried to respond, assuming the jist of the email, and could not form words using the keyboard. She knew what she wanted to type, but it wouldn’t come out.

Next, a UPS delivery man came in and said hello to her and she tried to respond but it just came out as babbled nonsense. She then was able to say, “Okay, that was weird.” but when a coworker tried laughed and asked what that was about she again responded in babble. At this point people in her office got worried and sat her down in the conference room. She had a pounding pain at the top of her neck and felt nauseated. She tried to call my brother in law but was unable to unlock her phone.

Fast forward several hours later (after she had taken a four hour nap) and she was now in the hospital. I came up to see her the next day and stayed pretty much the whole day while she was undergoing various tests. Unfortunately, at the end of the day the neurologist left without results or an order to discharge. He did, however, order an EEG for her. Turns out that he saw a spot on the MRI which he says is common but wants her to check every year to make sure there is no growth. That being said, the final diagnosis was that she probably had a blood clot that caused the stroke which was possibly a result of her birth control. I’d say that’s a pretty bad side effect.

I’d love to tell you what birth control it was, but I really have no clue. Something with an “M”, not Miranda.

Crazy stuff. Sorry, I know this article probably didn’t have the flare I’m used to giving, but I’m very tired today. It’s been a long week. And I rear ended someone yesterday (very minor) so I’m in a weird mood. Hope everyone else is having a better week than I am.

So I took my daughters to a cocaine party…

Relax. While there was cocaine, it was at a Chili’s so I really feel that they were ultimately responsible. Let me explain.

Tuesday night at Chili’s was “Daddy Daughter Night” where you could bring your daughters and decorate a frame with a picture they took of you at the table (which they didn’t have for some reason). They did, however, have candy and balloons and charge me .99 cents for “table entertainment”. The last table entertainment I got cost much more than .99 cents so I guess I shouldn’t complain. But table entertainment, really? It’s not like they juggled our food or worst costumes. In reality this was just making up for the cost of the candy and balloons which were “given” to us. Cheapskates….

But that wasn’t the exciting part.

Upon leaving the restaurant with my girls we stopped to let their balloons go like two mono-tentacled squids drifting into a sea of darkness. I know, its going to end up as liter or choke a pigeon, or whatever else balloons do, but my wife is deathly afraid of balloons for some reason (She crawled under a doorway that had balloons at the top at a friends party once) so I couldn’t bring them home to her. After that, we started to walk to the car when I noticed a small bag of grandmothers wacky powder lying on the sidewalk. I stared for a few seconds to see if I was seeing correctly because it was about 300 dollars worth of cocaine (or so I’m told). My next thought was, “I need to get this off the sidewalk before the other children coming out think its candy and pick it up”.

This is where my dilemma started. If I picked it up, I was putting myself in a lot of danger if the right person saw me. On top of that I couldn’t find a place to put it. I thought about putting it in the bushes next to the building. I thought about putting it in a trashcan, but there were none outside. What I did do was knock on the fire exit to get the waitress to come out so I could explain. Unfortunately, she could not open the door without sounding the alarm so she went all the way to the front and wanted me to come to her. At about that time, I saw three little children also coming out of the same door. That was when I decided to pick it up and take it to the waitress. When I got to the door I didn’t really know what to say. Here’s how the conversation went:

Waitress: “Is everything okay?”

Me: “No, not really. I found something but I’m not really sure what to do with it. I just don’t want any children to pick it up.”

Waitress: looks down and sees what I have and, mouth agape, just says “uuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhh” for about 5 seconds.

Me: “Could you get a manager or throw this away?”

Waitress: “Sure, I’ll throw it away….” At this point she takes my bag full of my children’s candy to try to hide the small sack of cocaine. I take it back and force her to hold just the cocaine in her hand. In hind sight, I should have given her the bag of candy, I just reacted thinking about one of my children crying all the way home about her candy bag.

Now I’m not sure if she really threw it away or if she just thought she got the best tip she’s ever received, but either way I took the drugs off the streets for one night. Score one for the good guys. Well, that was until my wife yelled at me for picking it up….

Lump of Clay

Update to my workout routine. I thought I would put pictures up here but then realized that no one wants to see my belly fat at this point. So instead, I’ll take a before picture and another one in 4 or 5 months and make a post so that at least you will get to see the transformation.

Right now I feel like a pounded lump of clay. My legs hurt (I can barely walk up my stairs), my abs hurt so I can’t lean down or laugh/cough loudly, and my arms are now in a state of disrepair. The good news is that there is light at the end of the tunnel. My legs finally stopped hurting bad enough so that I can manage a somewhat normal walking posture, instead of the duck-like waddle I had the previous two days.

What I’ve learned is that all the time I was at the gym working out, I was really doing pretty much nothing for strength gains. I was bulking up and looking strong, but now I have had my illusion completely destroyed and feel like a tiny shrimp in a see of testosterone. The good news is that I have a starting place. I now have a goal and a path to progress toward. That being said, I still have to make it through the rest of the workouts. So far I’ve only done legs, abs, and chest. I have yet to do arms, back, and whatever other crazy muscle this guy might come up with.

I’ve now been to the point of complete humiliation as far as strength is concerned. There is nothing more intimidating than a grown man trying to push up an empty bar at the end of his workout and finding that his muscles are so eviscerated that he can barely manage one set with no weight on the bar. From the depths we rise.

I will pump you up!!!!

This title easily could have been replaced by a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger in a rastafari hat yelling (it will make sense later).

So my lovely, beautiful and gracious wife decided to watch our neighbors kids after school for $100 a week. She’ll have them for about 2.5 hours and there are two boys (6 and 7) and a girl (9). The kids seems a bit hyper but I bet they’re okay as kids generally go. This meaning in the hour they were at my house last night with their parents they didn’t break anything, put a hole in my sheetrock, or teach my kids any foul words (they didn’t already know).

We don’t actually know these neighbors well. They moved down from Michigan and the dad is a lawyer and the mom works somewhere probably making more money than I do. I get to talking to the guy and find out he was in the Navy like I was and he went to college on a wresting scholarship, which doesn’t surprise me because his neck looks like a tree trunk. The funny thing is that the guy is huge and muscly but talks like Mike Tyson. Super nice guy though.

Anyway, he invites me to go work out with him at 5 AM (yes, I do have a death wish) because he finds out we got to the same gym. “Go” being used loosely as I have not set foot in any gym since before my wreck in September. Now, mind you, I had no illusions about what this event was going to be like but I went anyway.

We show up at the gym and I’m wondering how we are going to do the same workouts when I know he will be able to put up much, much more weight than me. We first do leg presses (it’s leg day for him), which start out fine at 225 lbs on an incline. Then he puts on 450 and I try and almost squish myself. Luckily there is a safety lever which prevented me from becoming a pancake. Still, he had to get on the machine and push the weight back up which was frankly embarrassing. I lowered it down to 315 and stayed there but Jamaican Hercules (did I mention he’s Jamaican?) is working out with 720 lbs. Not maxing. The guy is doing reps of 15.

To make a long, embarrassing, and pathetic story short I hung in there in awe every time he would lift some huge weight until the last machine. Right before the last machine I started feeling light headed and nauseous so I sat the last exercise out. He looked concerned, but I felt in control. Until the car ride home. 

About halfway to the house I had to have him pull over and I spilled what little contents were in my stomach on the side of the road. His comment to me was that I should have eaten some protein. I’m not sure that lifting weights that I was uncomfortable with for an hour without a break didn’t play a part but protein…sure….why not. When I got home I tried to climb the stairs to my bedroom to shower. I say tried even though I succeeded because it was less of what we conventionally call “climbing stairs” and more reminiscent of spider man on mushrooms and muscle relaxers trying to climb stairs. I’m pretty sure I invented a new sport in doing so.

All this being said, I’m still planning to go work out four more times the next week. So I will update everyone if I am still alive…and can lift my arms as high as the keyboard.


Felt like writing a poem which wouldn’t merit its way into my “LiteraryWorx” blog but would still be entertaining (if only to me).


I don’t want to work or think,

I just want to tip my glass and drink.

Until the last sad drop drips,

The Golden nectar passes my awaiting lips.

I just want to drink my beer,

I just want to sit right here.

Why should I have to think and toil,

when I have this stout as thick as oil.

Why should I have to even bother,

when I have this crisp, refreshing lager.

I don’t want to hear you moan and wail,

I just want to drink my ale.

Until the last drop drip, drip, drips.

I just want to drink my beer.




That title pretty much sums up my day. Warning: Ranting and cussing may ensue.


Well, fuck.


That is also a title that might do well to describe my day/week. So let me catch you up since my rosy and sun-shiney last post has twisted and malformed a bit into a spiteful and venomous vernacular cobra. So, this week started off with me getting severely slammed with a mountain of work. Last week, dead. This week, cataclysmic apocalypse of mountainous work. This didn’t hinder me or oppress me for the most part actually. I looked forward to monotonously weeding through it and making some money (my work is project based). Then the wall of kittens and rainbows came crashing down around me.

As you know from the last post, I decided to go back to school. I have my government education assistance filed, my transcripts sent, and my application accepted. This, unfortunately, falling under the pretense that my company would provide me with education assistance as I was informed would be provided to me after 1 year of working at my job. I picked out the degree that aligned with my job, waiting the allotted time, filled out the forms, and now some harpy of an HR woman is getting snarky with me and telling me that they will only provide education assistance if they feel it “meets business needs”.

So, I pick a degree that is specific to the job I am currently doing, you wave this carrot in front of my face and then you smack the carrot away and say “I’m only going to give it to you if I feel it benefits me”. Well, funk all dat noise. I’ve busted my ass in this job. I’ve gotten a job offer making almost twice what I’m making now in a higher position and don’t take it because I am loyal and trying to be honest and professional and I’m rewarded with this kind of crap.

So you know, this is only the straw that broke the camels back. There were several other issues that led to this. No raises because they don’t have business model for our lab yet, me being told from another HR person that as a non-degreed employee I was “in the wasteland” because they have no career progression path, and me working 7 days a week for several months which directly correlated to my department (of which I am the sole employee who works in the lab) being the only department to meet its financial goals and them awarding my supervisor thousands of dollars and patting him on the back and what do I get? A hamburger. No shit. They bought me a hamburger and said, “Good Job.”

If you can’t tell I’m a bit fed up. And I’m fully aware that there are people in worse positions with worse jobs. I used to have one. But I’m not those people. I’m in this job, at this time, sucking a big fat one. And I have to tell you…it kind of feels like sad. That’s it. I’m done. I’m sorry for ranting but I had to get it off my chest before I write an email that will get me fired.

Get me some learnin’

So, as an addition to the last post where I mentioned putting obstacles in my path, I have just implemented a major one. I received a degree of specialization in the Navy for Nuclear Mechanics and Reactor Theory and did some time at the university, but I didn’t attain a civilian degree. That being the case, I am in a company that distinguishes it’s employees between degreed and non-degreed to the extent that if you have a degree you get better opportunities for training, make bonuses, and move up quicker as well as have an organization dedicated to looking out for your well-being. If you do not have a degree…you are screwed.

Now I’m forced to get a degree or put a huge weight upon my shoulders. I am a relatively bright person I’d say so people casting me in the lot with manual laborers does not sit well. I don’t have anything wrong with manual laborers, mind you. Most of the men in my family were manual laborers or some sort (Mostly mechanics and technicians) but that isn’t me, at least not what I aspire to be. So I took the first step today and applied to an out of state college that would let me do distance learning on my own time and would accept most of my Navy college credits. I don’t exactly know how long it’s going to take me to get these credits or how I am going to pay for the tuition, but I will do it because I have to do it if I wish to improve my station in life.

I work about 50, sometimes 60, hours a week now so it’s going to be very, very difficult with work and the family but I’ll get it done. Here’s to challenges.

Teddy and Manson

So I’m just finishing reading one biography and heading into another one. The last one was about Charles Manson and the new one is about Theodore Roosevelt. A bit of a contrast here….

The Manson was more of an impulsive intrigue to know more about his infamy. What I really learned is that he was a weirdo lying coward with multiple complexes. That being said, the guy knew how to stick up for himself and was quite brilliant when he wasn’t being an idiot.

The second was driven by a need to identify with what people consider a great man. It just so happens that Teddy and I share the same birthday and several other ideals so I wanted to learn a bit more about him. So far, I’m liking the cut of his jib.

The contrast between the two men gave me a lot to ponder on the values and substance of people. In an age when things are getting easier and easier I find it unfortunate that life has become so lackadaisical and we desire more impulse and instant gratification, leaving behind the very beneficial virtues of hardship and extroversion. I am making it my personal goal to put as many obstacles in my way as possible. Not to make everything harder on myself, but to be able to overcome those obstacles and climb that much higher. Of course I’m not talking about mundane things. You won’t see me trap my breakfast inside a locked cage that guarded by a lion. But where I see beneficial ways to create constructive obstacles, I will try to implement them. I challenge you to do the same at least once a week. I also challenge any of you do a swordfight on the wings of a prop plane…because it sounds like it would be a cool story….

Demonic Leprechauns

Those are he best kind, right?

So, I’m pretty much a tamed lion at this point. I’ve got the wife, 2.5 kids, and a picket fence around my yard. That being said, I still have rituals that represent remnants of my life as a free-range lion when I used to strut around stalking gazelles and bowing up to other lions. One of those rituals is St. Patrick’s Day.

For the past 9 or so years I’ve went with my best friend to a bar on St. Patrick’s Day and we’ve drank until our faces were contorted into waxy remnants of their usual selves. Then I would wake up the next morning as late as usual with an extreme headache and vomiting for the better half of the morning. Luckily, I have outgrown binge drinking but the ritual still remains.

This year I thought it would be different, however. I thought I would just stay home, maybe grab a bottle of Guinness and maybe sip on it slowly recalling days of yore. That was until the phone call came. My friend calls and says, “It’s St. Patrick’s Day, we have to go out.” I try to give a mild excuse but he isn’t having it. He’s an alcoholic and for alcoholics (and us in our early 20s), St. Patrick’s Day is like the Superbowl. 

The problem is that we live quite far apart, but we make a compromise, use Google maps, and find some random bar to meet at. I drive 30 minutes from work and get there to find that the place has apparently been shut down. Which is probably good considering it looks like some kind of shady front for a strip club. We then decide to follow google maps to the nearest bar which is titled “Bikini Wing Bar”. Now I’m not sure if the waitresses wear bikinis and serve wings but I would like to think so. The only problem is that when we get there, its been slightly altered…into a pet shop. Now I’m all for puppies and goldfish but they aren’t going to help me today.

This is when I get the great idea to just turn right on the next major street and stop at the first bar I see. In case you are not aware, I live in Texas. While I do live in a major city (Houston), I am far northwest of what you would consider city and so this is a really dicey move.

So there she is on the right, “BFE Rock Club”. Aptly names for location and choice of clientele. We walk in to “just grab a beer” and there are three tatted bikers inside blocking our entrance. Now these aren’t big muscly and intimidating bikers (at least not to me). These are late 50s, I used to be a badass biker, type of guys. Having been around a great deal of bikers in my early life, I was comfortable. That was until they told me that I had to pay 15 dollars to get in. I tried to convince my friend that we should just go somewhere else but he offered to pay the cover and that was that.

That is when this great piece of dialog happened:

Biker: “You guys came on a good night.”

Me: “Oh yeah, why’s that.”

Biker: “Have you ever heard the song that goes, ‘Baby give me some beer, and some money, and I’ll ride you all night long.”

Me: “Not sure…that I have.”

Biker: “Well, its nationally known. The band here tonight wrote it. They’re called Psycho Stick”


So there we are. I am now drinking at bar run by old bikers to a band named Psycho Stick. But it gets better.

So as I walk in I look to the right and notice a giant stage with a 30 foot demon standing in the background, his skeletal wings draped across the entire wall. This should have been an indication that shit was about to get weird. But I’ve seen some things in my day and sometimes I am just desensitized to weirdness.

Next, we go up to the bar and there are some remarkably clean cut college age bartenders working. They tell me that they do not serve beer normally but I’m in luck because they ordered a keg for this occasion. One keg. For an entire crowded “club”. I go ahead and decide to get a beer while it was still in supply and low and behold they color it green. The only issue is that they bought several cases of green food coloring and they were pouring like half a bottle of green syrup into my 12 oz beer. I don’t think I need to tell you what my toilet bowl looked like that following day.

Now I’m feeling better and drinking a bit (an Irish Car Bomb was also had) when the first band come on. Chaos Sauce. Now, to their credit they were definitely at the right venue, but they were also only about 18 and their base player, a 5 foot girl could barely hold the bass and had an even lower aptitude for playing it. After about 20 minutes of screaming, that ordeal was over. The next band Abandon the Oath was actually not too bad and I was feeling okay when this older woman comes up next to me in what I can only describe as a greatly distressed spandex outfit with a see-through top. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be see-through or if the material integrity was just stretched so far that it opened up the fabric in space-time and created an optical illusion. Either way, it was less than desirable. So she starts hitting on me a bit and I’m trying really hard to be polite and ignore her at the same time. You know the move.

Then her boyfriend, who looks like a hispanic realistic interpretation of Joe Cool comes by the bar and starts eyeballing me. As soon as this happens my phone rings and it’s a really strange number. I answer and guess who it is. My father in law. He’s just had a heart attack, he’s in Singapore, and he can’t reach my wife. Have you ever tried to talk on the phone at a death metal concert with a seahag and her hebeast chatting you up? It’s not easy.

Finally I get enough sense to walk outside and finish the conversation and then promptly make my exit. I feel kind of bad because I told my friend very hurriedly that I was leaving, but on the other hand I wanted to get the hell out of there. I get home and get a text from my friend “That was awesome. We need to go back to that place again!” Not on your life pal. Not on your life.

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