Writing a Dream

Posts tagged “Texas

Moving On

I spoke to my brother the other day. He lives in South Austin and works for a company called Mel’s Meals that has two locations. He is one of the big bosses for the company, answering only to the owner herself, but even then, it seems their partnership is more even than she is the owner and he is merely a subordinate. They operate and talk to each other as a team which is always nice. He seems to really like working for this company.

Many years ago after I got settled in Austin, I worked for a large hotel chain and helped my brother find a job in Austin so he ended up going out there as well. He liked it and made decent money. It seems now the tables are turned as he is looking to help me get back into the game and back out to Austin. While ATX is not exactly my first choice when it comes to places to live, it’s not Corpus Christi. I don’t want anything to do with CC anymore. I haven’t for several years. Austin it seems isn’t all the great anymore either. While I was there, I was constantly reminded of the ghost that is my failed marriage. I drove around town quite a bit and everywhere I looked, I found something else. reminded me of things I’d rather forget. Still, I know I cannot stay in CC any longer and need to get out of here.

My brother has told me that he will look into securing work for me in Austin, namely Round Rock, TX which is north of the city. They are looking into possible expansion and he’s mentioned that he would be willing to stick his neck out there for me so i can try to get back to a normal life. While working in a place that sells food isn’t exactly my idea of the type of work I’d like to do, I can no longer be choosy. Thankfully, it’s not a restaurant. It’s more like a pick up station if anything. People place their orders via phone or internet, they choose either delivery or pick up and all I would do is scan food out and collect money if needed. I’ve seen one of the locations and its very laid back, clean, and professional. It also appeals to the hipster community because of the type of food they serve. While not completely health food, they do appeal to those that are conscience of their weight and appearance. This was never really my scene, but then again, I have been without a “scene” for some time now. I’ve already settle in my mind that leaving CC and going to Austin is the right thing to do. When everything is settled, it will give me a chance to be independent again which is what I need to do at this point. I won’t be living the high life or making a ton of money, but I will be living and not just sitting in a room all day. I’m not exactly which I prefer, but I can’t say i prefer one of over the other without at least trying the alternative.

That being said, it looks like I will be in Austin by October and hopefully be getting back into the real world.

Hitting a Snag

For a few weeks when it came to writing, I was unstoppable. I knew I’d eventually hit a lull and here it is. Not exactly sure why, but last night just could not get myself to work on the latest chapter as far as revising. I’ve found that when I push myself to do something when I don’t have my heart in it, the work doesn’t look or sound good and the overall story suffers. Rather than making myself do this, I will just wait till the inspiration hits me again.

I keep thinking that when I am done with this saga or maybe even before that I will up and leave Texas which is something I want to do anyway. I could never return to Texas and be just fine with it. I’ve gotten an offer to get setup in Minnesota and who knows, I may just accept that offer. Been looking at Virginia as well, but haven’t heard much back on that front so I don’t know. All I know is I’ve had my fill of Texas life and think it’s time to move on.

Oil and Our WTH! Moments…

First four-dollar gasoline in Crozet, Virginia...

Image via Wikipedia

This isn’t a post about much of anything except complaining. It’s simply something that I have been thinking about and trying to think over logically. As you all have probably figured by now, I am referring to the price of gasoline and how much the price has skyrocketed in the last few weeks. I am not going to start bashing oil companies like Exxon Mobil ( XOM ), Royla Dutch Shell ( RDSA ), Chevron, ( CVX ), British Petroleum ( BP ), and ConocoPhilips ( COP ), because it’s completely pointless. We can whine and cry all we want but it looks like these prices are here to stay for awhile…but it’s not like anyone will care about not crying and complaining so go ahead and do it.

As far as my complaint? My WTH moment? It came over the last couple of months as the price of gasoline went from about $2.55 a gallon to now hitting $3.79 in some areas of South Texas . That is a massive spiking! I’m not a math wiz, but if I figured that correctly thats a 32.71% increase just in a couple of months. I know I am not the only one who thinks this is kind of insane. I am sure people from other parts of the country will say things like “Be happy! My gas is $5.25 a gallon” or something along those lines. Gotta take into account though some of those locations already had high prices. Percentage wise, I am sure the increase is the same.

Seeing such a significant increase has me thinking about various reasons for such hikes. I remember back in 1996 when the price of gas in Corpus Christi was about $1.10 a gallon and when it went up to $1.25, it felt like the end of the world! (by the way, that’s just a comparatively tame 12% increase) Even that price change felt like it took at least a few months to happen. It wasn’t unusual to see the price go from about $1.05 to $1.09 in a months time. Of course, those changes may be different, but it sure felt that way. Seeing how these prices are eating everyone’s wallets, it makes me think about how someone like me who is perpetually broke will be able to afford getting to school at this rate. As we all know, Independence Day is just a few months away and that is one of a handful of holidays in which the price of oil just goes nuts. (Remember in 2008 when gas was over $5 a gallon here in Texas? Not fun.)

It makes me wish I lived much closer to my college and if I did live within a certain distance, I could see myself investing $80 in a cheap Wal-Mart ten speed bike. Figure by the time we are well into the summer months, the bike will have paid for itself within 6-7 weeks.

I can see the mini apocalypse now…if the middle east were to suddenly run out of oil…$40 for a gallon of gas. Enjoy the ride to the beach.

Balloon Attacks

A jar of honey with honey dipper

Image via Wikipedia

As you all know, I enjoy the reading of various blogs, regardless of how obscure the may seem. While reading the blog of an old women, dealing with being looked upon as a burden, I offered some sage like advice to her. I think it’s a great idea and many people may benefit from this. Enjoy.

There is a very easy solution to this issue…water balloon attacks. Only, instead of using just water, occasionally place other object in the balloons so when you tag that person who is making you feel like a burden, they get a nice little surprise as well. Start out with your typical water balloon and just wallop then full force with it. Imagine you are Nolan Ryan and you are going for a new record fastball speed. That first hit should do more than just drench them. Be sure to aim for a sensitive area. The face is always my first choice. After stinging them in the face with a bag full of vengeance, switch to other material to fill your balloon with. I personal like to go with raspberry jam. Why? Cause only one man dare to use the raspberry…LONE STAR! And being from Texas, I am partial to our hero. So you fill the balloon up with as much raspberry jam as possible and then fill the rest with other ingredients…spoiled meat can serve a purpose here.

So you do the same with this balloon as you did the rest. Go for the face! Once they catch a whiff of that horrendous odor, they won’t know whether to yak or pass out while yelling “Oh My God! I’m all sticky!” That will sure get them to think twice about messing with you. One additional balloon that I would prepare would be the honey balloon. I know, we are going another sticky substance, but stick with me, my story gets better. (Bah-zing!) So you fill this balloon with honey and even a little sugar just to up the sticky factor. I don’t know if you’ve even been covered in honey, but as fun as it would seem, it’s definitely not the most pleasant of situations, especially when I tell you about the next part of the plan. You are going to want to make sure they are outside for this part…after finding someone to tie their shoelaces together without their knowledge (Nephews, grandsons come in handy for this part, the younger, the better) chase them outside while beating them over the head with a nerf baseball bat until they trip and fall into your yard. Slowly approach them, tossing the honey-filled balloon up and down in your hand and giving them a menacing look. Once you are in range, pelt them as hard as possible with said balloon and watch their reaction. Covered in goo and drenched with water, they will surely have some sort of revenge plot already in the works…which is why we go for the “kill shot” here.

Being that Spring is cropping up throughout the United States, try and procure a freshly emblazoned bee’s nest, complete with living bees. Give it a good pop with the nerf baseball bat and toss it over to your fallen enemy. Covered in honey, the victim is sure to let out a blood curdling scream while the bees mercilessly sting him, causing him to run for cover and, not knowing exactly what to do, he will eventually be forced to jump into your neighbors swimming pool to attempt to escape the swarm of insects badgering him because he smells of honey. One warning though…when i attempted this on a friend of mine, you know, just to make sure it worked…we managed to attract the company of a local black bear who loved nothing more than to get at that sweet smell of honey. My friend tried the pool bit, but unfortunately, the bear was a very good swimmer and managed to track him down rather quickly. Don’t worry. It only took 122 stitches to get his arm reattached and now he is better than ever…and he never makes me feel like i am a burden anymore.


Mirador de la flor

Image via Wikipedia

For those of you in Texas, namely Corpus Christi (as I am), and don’t remember what today is…don’t feel too bad. Below is a response I left to a CNN blog story on Selena and her death.


Hm, I live in Corpus Christi, TX, Selena’s home, and I gotta say…no one has said a single thing about it today. Was at the local college this morning, getting my classes in and not a single word. I was in CC when she was killed and even drove by the hotel where she was shot as it was happening, although I didn’t know what the disturbance was at the time. While we do have the Selena memorial, which is always open to the public, I find it odd that no one, locally, has mentioned what today is. I guess perhaps its a generational thing…or maybe we all just forgot. I know I did, but then again. People here generally don’t remember a great persons death, they remember their life, and we don’t need a particular day to do that. Her music is still played on local stations everyday, and it’s not unusual for you to hear passing cars still playing her songs. Selena lost her life that terrible day, but something good did come out of it. When she died, she wasn’t forgotten. She transcended into immortality.


Seattle Bound

Well, looks like this Texas boy will get his first taste of the west coast when I head on out to Seattle in March for a week of fun and adventure with a good friend of mine. Should be an interesting trip as I am sure I will have a terrific time. I will actually be staying in Olympia, WA which is about an hour from Seattle. One day we plan to head on into Seattle so we can go exploring and so she can show me around the city. She has offered to let me walk in the steps of Kurt Cobain which should allow me to play grungy music, get signed to a deal, sell 7 million records, become rich and world famous, and finally after it’s all said and done i get to blow me head off with a shotgun. OK, maybe not the last part, but it should still be great to be to visit that famed city. We are also planning on visiting a local winery where we can sample a few flavors and maybe even get to take a decent one home. I’ve never been a drinker, but since I am growing and becoming a much fuller person I don’t think I should limit myself and turtle up as I’ve done most of my life. It’s not often I get to visit some place that will be this foreign to me so I am going to open myself up to a lot of new and exciting things.

I am also going to do a little research on a few publishing houses in Seattle so I can take full advantage of my time there. Sure, most of it may be fun and wild times, but it’d be nice to get a little business done as well. My friend has in all senses become my literary sponsor so I am going to see if I can finagle some meetings out of this trip as well. Even just a quick one on one with someone in the business would be a big step for me. Over the past year I’ve figured out that a dream won’t come to you, you have to chase it to ever have a shot at it coming true.

My work on the editing continues and I am happy with the progress so far. I’d like to have it completed by mid to late February so that I can send it off to a few places and give them time to review it. If things work out and they get back to me, that would be absolutely amazing. Even if that route doesn’t work out, I still plan on taking the digital road and releasing it on my own. Even if I sell just a thousand digital copies, I will still consider it a win for me. At this point, I just want to be read and I truly hope people are moved by my work or at the very least, mildly entertained. Since this all started with a dream, I guess taking a dream trip and spending my time with an amazing person is the next logical step.

Death to The Macho Men

As it’s easy to see, I am a man. While I am not old, and I definitely not a kid anymore. I’ve pushed passed the 30 year mark and I am well on my way to 35 which is fine with me. I have found that while life sometimes throws you curve balls, I am enjoying the gaining of wisdom and the learning I am still doing at this age. I can look back at my teens and 20s and laugh, knowing I am a much wiser man now because of my stupidity. While I know it’s just a fact that a majority of men mature slightly slower than their female counterparts, I find it sad that something I see as so simple to understand is still dogging the minds of my fellow males. I am speaking about this ridiculous “Macho Man” attitude that sadly many of us were taught by our parents at a young age and has somehow morphed into a ravaging jealousy that can, at times, destroy relationships. Just in this past year, I can think of at least two times where I inadvertently caused marital strife simply by saying hello or talking to an old female friend of mine.

As it’s been said before on this blog, I spent a number of years in Austin, Texas, away from my hometown of Corpus Christi. For those who do not know, CC is a smaller city of maybe 300k people and is located along the southern coast of  Texas, right on the Gulf of Mexico. We have a high Hispanic population and that might have something to do with the problem I am seeing, at least in this part of the country.  When I returned home from Austin back in very late 2009, I was detached from society and I hadn’t spoken to several of my old friends for many years. Deciding to try and reconnect, I started up a Facebook page as many have done, and started looking for my old friends. Many of my old pals quickly found me and it was nice to see how they were doing all these years later. Many of them had of course married, had families, you know the regular stuff people do in their lives which I thought was all good and well. Being that CC is a smaller city, it wasn’t a surprise to me to see several of my friends had married people that I knew from high school or other social gatherings. Some of these spouses I knew and other I was perhaps an acquittance with. What it all came down to was that i felt like I knew these people and they, at least, knew who I was if they didn’t in fact know me personally.

So back to Facebook. I started talking to several old friends and they told me about their lives, showed me pictures of children, the whole 9 yards. So as any friend would do, I kept in touch with them, occasionally sending them messages and they of course would write me back. As many Facebook people know, you can add pictures to your profile and allow you friends to comment on them. Seeing that many people were doing this, I felt it was the nice thing to do and started adding rather benign, generic comments on various pictures such as a child’s birthday party of the pictures of the family vacation, just so they knew I had them in my thoughts. Everyone like to feel that others are thinking about them, right? You would think so, and most of my friends did. They were quite happy that I was taking an active interest in getting reacquainted with them and their new lives. All seemed fine…until that male macho spirit came out.

Example 1: Had a female friend, lets call her “Sara” and she and I are having a good time getting in touch with each other. I tell her that I have a couple of old pictures of her and she asks me to post them so I did. I mean she is my friend so what’s so wrong with posting old pictures that all of my buds can look at and reminisce about. Well, her husband wasn’t too keen on the fact that I owned pictures of his wife; as if he suddenly owned the copyright to ALL pictures of his wife. While I can understand if the pictures were of some sort of sexual nature or something that may have caused embarrassment, these pictures I assure you were just friends hanging out, having a good time, nothing you wouldn’t feel any shame about if your children came across them. As the night wore on, her husband ended up going completely insane with jealousy and threatened to leave her if I didn’t remove the pictures. I was completely dumbfounded by this. Not wanting to cause her any grief, I took the pictures down and offered a reasonable apology, saying that if I had know something as simple as a picture was going to cause problems, I would have never posted it. That wasn’t good enough for me. After I did the right thing and took the pictures down, he still felt the need to slander me and accuse me of strike various women years ago when I was still a teen. I found this atrocious and unbelievable that another man would feel so jealous that his only recourse was to make up stories just so he could feel better about himself. I ignored it and moved on.

Example 2: I have an old friend that I’ve known since middle school. He is a decent fellow, has a good career, married to my old friend who we will call “Della”. They have two children together and I am very happy that they are doing as well as they are. Same situation. I find them both on Facebook and Della is delighted to hear from me because, as I have mentioned, it’s been several years. She and I trade messages and I, of course, add my old friend, her husband, to my FB friends as well. I write him and he get…nothing. I figured he was busy and i give him a few days. Nothing. I write him another message and still no response. I am getting worried so I write his wife to make sure things are ok. Della, who is a strong will woman, tells me that she and her husband, my old childhood friend, had a fight over me. He was jealous that I was saying hello to his wife who, as I mentioned, was a childhood friend as well. In my message, I said the basic friendly stuff. “Great to hear from you, glad you are doing well, how are the children, etc etc”, nothing that any other person might simply ask or bring up in general conversation. Apparently, my old friend was deeply offended by this and proceeded to argue with his wife, repeated from what i heard, and then, as my last example, proceed to slander me, saying I used to cheat on my old girlfriends when I was in high school. Della, who has always been upfront and honest with me, told me all this, stating that was the reason he would not reply to my messages. He, for some reason, viewed me as a threat and therefore decided to try and take it out on his strong willed wife, which was a mistake on his part mind you as she put him in his place. She let me know about what was going on and told me that I should just leave it alone and that she would handle him. I offered to stop message her, but she said that it was his problem and if he didn’t like me talking to her, that was just tough. That message made me feel very good, knowing that my old friend was exactly as i remembered her; stalwart and unafraid because she knew if it came down to it, she could easily take care of herself and didn’t need a man to support her. Still not wanting to cause any problems in their marriage, I eased up on the message writing and simply let it be.

Sadly these are just two examples. I actually have over 7, but that would make this post remarkably long and I do not wish to take up so much time. The main point I wish to understand is why in the world would men, one of them my friend (or at least he used to be), display such jealousy? I simply didn’t understand it. If they took a step back and looked at things, they could see that their women were never in any jeopardy. I mean, they are your wives! They married you and had your children, and you seem to think that me, an old friend, is just suddenly going to swoop in and steal them from you. What kind of confidence are these men lacking that they feel the need to trash me publicly, even going so far as to threaten to leave their wives. What kind of macho crap can possibly cause a man to act so irrationally? I know there are many people who will offer their take on this situation, but once again let me assure you. Not a single comment, message, picture, nothing, was in anyway out of line. I am simply not that type of person and as you can see, when I noticed that my presence was causing problems, i took that as a cue and bowed out gracefully. Even after my exit, I was still catching flack from these men as they still felt the need to try and embarrass me in the very public Facebook realm.

Bottom line…men, I am saying this as a friend. Grow up. This is not high school and you are not impressing anyone with your puffy chested jealousy and you are certainly not helping your own case by arguing with your spouse over something as trivial as a message or a picture. You all may say I would react the same way. Well, I was married for almost 9 years and I can honestly say not one single time did I ever feel threatened by another man. Why you might ask? Because my wife chose to marry me and not them and I had the confidence to know that I could hold onto my wife without issue. Now you may be asking “well, why is she your ex wife then?” Simple. I refused to be the victim of her abuse and I left which is beside the point. Again, bottom line. It’s time for that Macho Man mentality to die and it’s time for you to be husbands who love and support your wives unconditionally, not just when it suits your needs. Have some confidence in yourself. If she ends up cheating on you, at least then you will know that you did all you could to hold on to her so in the end, you can still walk away with your head held high. If she leave you because you are a jealous moron, it’s your own fault.