01 May 2006

M for Mmm.

I'd forgot about this until just a minute ago. I've been assigned the letter M, naturally.

1. Money, money, money, money ... MONEY - it makes the world go 'round.
2. Mommy - because, really, you if you've got M you gotta have Mom.
3. Monkey business - because life is just more fun that way.
4. Mmm - uh, that's me. And yeah, I'm that vain.
5. Minneapolis - it's where I live and where most of my friends are.
6. Minnesota Twins - because it's baseball done right.
7. Memories - if you spend your life making memories, you'll never be at a loss for a story.
8. Mammaries - uh .. because memories made me think of mammaries.
9. May - a fine, fine month in which to be born.
10. Mirth - because if you're not laughing at life, you're not doing it right.

Definitely a Circus Cannon

Interesting conversation I had today. Somehow, we got on the subject of how I'd want to go out. Or, more accurately, I got on the subject of what I wanted done with my mortal remains after I pass on. It's a conversation I've had before, to be honest. I've pretty much settled on being shot out of a circus cannon. I mean, after I die, anyway. I'd like my body shot out of a circus cannon into a residential neighborhood. Now, I realize that this isn't exactly safe or very doable. But I'd be dead, so sue me.

However, tonight, I think I came up with a solution that would work a little better. Don't get me wrong, I still want to be shot out of a circus cannon, that's not negotiable. However, I'd like to have my friends take turns shooting me out of a circus cannon. The first one to get my body into the grave would win a prize. No, I don't know what kind of prize, but certainly something from the top shelf.

See, when I go, I want whatever is done to mark my passing to include lots of laughs. Really and truly, that's all I ask. I'd like for whomever shall gather to remember me to live it up, have a party, and to laugh. It's what I want in life, and it's what I'd want after I'm gone.

So. How do you want to go out?

28 April 2006

Counting Down

10 days. 10 days until I embark on a, hopefully, epic road trip. Stay tuned.

25 April 2006

Nani, Papa and All the Silver Pennies

Today, I started thinking about Nani and Papa. About how lucky I was to be able to spend time with my great grandparents when I was growing up. And not just some time, but whole days while my dad was in school and my mom was working. They had an old house. A really old house with high ceilings from probably the early 1900's. The yard in back was mostly dirt. But there were these stands of bamboo trees everywhere in which I could hide and explore and make adventures like only a four year old can.

Nani and Papa were big kids themselves, I think. Nani always had a twinkle in her eyes as did Papa. You know, she loved Papa so. Her family, I'm told a wealthy English family, threatened to disown her if she married Papa. She married him anyway and was disowned. They even passed within weeks of each other. They say Nani died of a broken heart. Ever wonder where I get my hopeless romantic streak from? Look no further. What could I remember from being only three or four years old? Plenty. Nani and I would play Chutes and Ladders and Ants in the Pants for what seemed like hours. Papa dug a few holes in the dirt in the back yard, cut down an old wood shafted putter, gave me a golf ball and delighted in watching me play. Nani would read to me from her worn copies of All the Silver Pennies and More Silver Pennies. And when it was time for a nap, there was the huge feather bed that I'd practically sink into and disappear.

Even after Nani passed on, she took care of me. As the story goes, I was, understandably distraught when she passed. I was only four years old, what did I know of death? I cried continuously. But then, one night a few days after, Nani came to me. She sat in a chair in the corner of my room and we had a lovely conversation in which she told me everything was going to be ok.

You'll forgive me if my eyes are a little watery, won't you? Sometimes a boy just misses his Nani and Papa.

24 April 2006

Regrets? I've had a few

So, something in the comments got me to thinking. In general, I don't have too much use for regret. I've spent a good portion of my life making bad choices and then having fun with it but living with the consequences. Yeah, planning isn't my strong suit but making the best of rough patches is a talent I've developed. So, while I don't necessarily regret my decisions, mostly because of the stories I have to tell and the fun I've had along the way, I might, if given the chance, change some things.

How different would life be, though? Would I look back and regret a life lived to other's expectations? Would I be the person I am now? Would I be, the worst of all possible fates, bored with what I'd done in my life? Maybe. There's no way to know for sure. But, a decision here or there, some delayed gratification, some wiser financial decisions and perhaps things would be better. Or perhaps, they'd just be ... different. I had a boss once who, after hiring me into his group, asked me how I liked it. "Much better than where I was at." I replied. He then said something that I've often thought about when I wonder if things would be different or better somewhere else, he said "Well, eventually, it will be just a different kind of suck."

So, what about you? Do you have any regrets?

22 March 2006

Do you tattoo?

I don't have a tattoo. I've thought about getting one, though. Yeah, I've thought about it for, like, 14 years. The question is, of course, what to get. I mean, I'd hate to get something that, later, wouldn't mean anything to me. I mean, how many people are regretting that giant Quiet Riot tattoo these days? Anyway, I just got done watching Miami Ink so the topic is fresh in my mind. So, if you have any suggestions, I'd listen. Some of the things I've thought about are a Texas flag, a block aTm for Texas A&M. Maybe something like my squadron patch from when I was in the Navy. But, really, after that, there isn't much I'd consider having on my body for the rest of my life. And, no, it won't be a dolphin riding a unicorn over a rainbow.

Of course, the next question would be ... where? I've often thought that my ankle would be the ideal place. It isn't normally seen when wearing business attire but it's visible in casual situations. I've thought about getting one on my ass, but ... nah. On the arm, or the chest is kind of out. I don't have the arms for it and my chest is way too hairy. Now, the other option I've thought about is having my shoulder surgery scar, about 5 inches, turned into something like a slug.

But, I don't know. I'll come up with something. Maybe. Someday. Maybe for my 80th birthday....

09 March 2006

Yay babies!

Yay babies! My cousins are gonna be parents. And while this both thrills and frightens me, it also makes me a little sad. I've said, recently, that it's getting harder and harder to leave home when I go back. I think more and more about maybe moving back. God, not actually back home! But, you know, home-ish. Like closer to home. Although, Dad has some sort of rule that I can't move within a 300 mile radius, I think I could talk him into Austin. Mom never remembers where I live anyway, so she wouldn't mind. Neesie? I dunno. I think she has something like an 1100 mile radius that she'd want me to live outside.

But, then, there's the people here. Great friends. Like family, really, except that they wouldn't care if I lived next door and they think I'm funny. So ... not like my family but like family, you know? I'd miss them. A lot. But ... I dunno.

Oh! Hell, sorry, I got off track. Congrats to Tom and Duh! I just hope NewBaby golfs better than Tom....

06 January 2006

Monkey Blood, Sky Monkeys and Strawberry Cake

Have you ever been a pall bearer? I have. A couple of times. Let me let you in on a little secret, there's a reason they have a separate car for the pall bearers. It's because somehow, some way, there's always one pall bearer that breaks the tension with a joke of some sort. Next thing you know, we're all laughing. I think it's a byproduct of the tension. Today, one of the pall bearers said "You know, if Uncle 'Ne (Gramps) had been in charge of this, there would have been an ice chest with beer in it waiting for us in this car. I can hear him now 'I don't want y'all to get thirsty!' Of course, he wouldn't want us to drop him, so there'd only be one beer for each of us." This was only so funny because it's true.

Gramps had a mischievous sense of humor. He'd often joke about things that more serious folks would think were inappropriate. Which is why I couldn't help but laugh a little to myself at a few things during his funeral. I know he was laughing, too. For instance, when the priest was discussing Gramps's work with the Boy Scouts at the St. Peter - St. Joseph home. The priest said "All those orphans ... probably without fathers...." Huh? Probably? And when the priest was blessing Gramps's coffin, he had to step into the manger from the nativity scene to get all the way around it. At one point, someone commented on the good turn out. I could just hear Gramps saying "I'm surprised so many people showed up. I thought most of those people were dead by now." That's Gramps, though. He had a wicked sense of humor. The kind that made people say "Gramps!"

I'm sure going to miss him. He told me the meaning of life was strawberry cake. He taught me to drive the tractor and how to drive a column shift truck. He gave me a love of the outdoors, taught me about ranching and baling hay and the satisfaction of working hard. He took me fishing, to a cattle auction, and swimming in the stock tank. He gave me a hair cut outside on the back patio. He taught me how to thump a watermelon to see if it's ripe. When I was little, when I scraped my knee, he put betadine on it and called it monkey blood. When the fog was so thick you couldn't see the top of the Tower of the Americas, he told me that sky monkeys had bitten it off. When I was a kid and we'd take a nap together, somehow I always managed to put my foot in his mouth. He was my Scoutmaster, baby sitter, first aid, teacher, and friend. But most of all, he was my Gramps.