12 May 2010

more bars, more places

a bar exam is a testament of endurance as dozens of courses are tested over two or three days. the exams are given in large rooms wet with anxiety and sweat.

the experience follows months of suffer-fest study: notes, notes of notes, old exams, old essays, and a bookshelf of 'concise' review texts.

very few attnys take three bars, despite jfk jr's attempts to popularize the concept.

congrats to meg, passing her third of three bars: mo, ny, tx.

want to file a suit in jefferson city for breach of a contract signed in albany about your austin-based business? i have someone to recommend...

30 September 2009

That's how we roll

Many of you commented on Garrett's post about a year ago, when he was yearning for a certain "Bellisima." She has arrived.

This post goes out to all of you wives who won't "let" your husband get a motorcycle.

First, congratulations on learning to control your man. I have no idea how that is done. The imagery that comes to mind is the Ghostbusters. Remember when they were in the library with that magical machine that sucked the ghost up into it? This is what I imagine most women do to their husband's wild sides. Understand this . . . I am no less powerful or persuasive than you, but as you'll recall, even the Ghostbusters eventually came up against something their little soul-sucking machine couldn't handle . . . . the Marshmallow Puff Man (meet Garrett's wild side). As your childhood memory will recall, they chose to blow the pour guy into sugary slime to keep him under control. But how could I do that to someone as charming and sweet as the Puff Man . . . . ahem . . I mean, Garrett.

Second, what is wrong with you? Have you seen your husband on an Italian designed and manufactured beauty "designed perfectly to balance sports performance, riding pleasure, and stunning looks"??? (see ducati.com if your interest is piqued) You're seeing mine right here, and we're all thinking it, so I'll go ahead and say it . . . SEXY. Have you considered the exhiliration of wrapping your arms around a muscular man in leathers and a black Shoei helmet on your way to the grocery store? Does your husband come to you when he gets home from a long day and ask, not once, but twice, "are you sure you don't have any errands you need me to run?"

Really? You'd rather keep your minivan?

Welcome to our family, Bellisima, we're happy to have you.

Ride on.

20 August 2009

this moment is punctuated by you+me

when you don't know when you'll be back, watching your town get smaller through a window plays with your heart a bit. you remember your first view, you take inventory of new friends that you'll love your whole life and you contemplate the development of your own character.

you become aware of reality.

you examine your new strategies and empowering tools shared by some of the most brilliant and collected and interesting and insightful people you've ever known.

you keep watching; smaller, farther, smaller, she is eclipsed by a knoll, a road sign, a mailbox. you think of the innocent conversation of where to buy stamps and the beautiful relationships that stemmed from other tiny interactions.

you laugh that the common interests that were foundational and magnetic have yet to be enjoyed together, 'something for next time'. and you resolve that there will be a next time. how strange that i resisted coming: 'come on! new york? how many people get that chance?' we laughed when we realized: 'tens of millions'. i didn't expect that i would feel so much affection for this city. honestly i'm feeling like a damn hippie. i wouldn't have believed that among many millions my experience would be so tailored.

exploring this city completely would require a pause button and many lifetimes, so, again: there will be a next time. for now, i'm strapping my spurs back on and equilibrating to the new environs: horizons, hurricanes, heat, and humidity.

04 August 2009

buyer beware

if i would have been paying better attention i would have noticed that the parlor's clientele was entirely geriatric and sported the same haircut: a little distracting flair at the front and a few long paralleling streaks toward the shiny spot at the rear. of course, nobody sees the baldness out of respect for the poor bastard's effort to cover it with his handful of long, reaching hairs (as stated previously, but again, let's not draw attention to it).

maybe he thought i was a phony, too, coming to him for his renown ability to 'cover that right up'. yes, that's it. he thought i needed his help to pull the heinous caper, this most convincing act of deception. i must have come seeking his precise craft.

and he was good! the illusionist knew which of my directions to ignore. 'no, no, you need it longer here' 'i'm going to cut your sideburns anyway.' and so on, leaving key areas with plenty of length to make the commute.

why should i wear home anything but a comb-over?

'hey, thanks giuseppe. really, it looks great, it really does. and you can't even see any scalp back there, can you? really, a piece of work. see you in a couple a weeks, ok?'

21 May 2009

pour some sugar on (this)

sometimes when i walk into the street, the distinctly yellow cabs of ny, the lumbering hip-joint double-length busses, and the elegantly iconic chrysler building make me say ‘holy shit, i live in the greatest city in the world’ (now i will read your mind… ) a. 'pottymouth', b. (insert envy here), c. 'no, boston/no, dc/no, philly' (but this post isn’t about you, is it? and you’re mistaken anyway, none of those are THE city), or d. ‘what’s the big deal about ny?’

i used to pick, ‘d’ but i don’t want to influence your choice.

let me tell you one thing that i’ve been grappling with. it is this: ny may well be the epicenter of leverage-all-current-and-much-future-income-for-daily-living. here though, there’s something to be said for the inevitability of exorbitant spending. do you know what rent costs here? i’ll get to that more later…

the ny dream is fundamentally different than the american dream of the south/plains/west. generically, there is no allowance for the acquisition of assets, nor is there interest in the idea. what i’m seeing is that the dream of my grandparents (sign up for a mortgage for a tiny house and pay it off a la rapide) is foreign here (remember that chinatown is local). i’m talking about grown-ass men and women with dual income in the hun-g’s renting- RENTING! a small apartment. the ny family has mastered cash-flow accounting. the game here is not played as advocated by the rich dad or the plumber next door. despite the ideals of my upbringing, it surprises me that this approach works just as well if it’s what you know/are comfortable with/gives you what you want (an on-the-books-impoverished, rich life in the city).

obviously ny isn’t all wealth and pomp. given the margin between the typical salary and the cost to breathe ny air and drink bloomberg’s water, you could argue that many of america’s poorest are my neighbors. they rely on you for sustenance, and i’m quite confident that if they gave two shits about you, they’d say ‘thanks’. but they’re entitled to it because of what they do for a living… live in ny with low-paying jobs or chronic pain or whatever. the ny middle class dream has these tenets: union job, pension, and perpetual bail-out.

i’m learning a lot from this city. here’s another freebie: how to walk to my own soundtrack (earbuds+pandora) … amazing how well the urban environment pairs with artists ranging from norah jones to def leppard. hell, there’s even a cowboy that plays in times square in his undies.

18 April 2009


Or trying at least.

23 March 2009

i liked calling it 'flying w ranch'

i was in texas a couple of days ago to give the final salute to the home of my youth, and yes, this post is part of adjusting to the loss.

the first time i saw it was from the south, a semi-flattering side shot, but strangely a favorite view. 'i hope it's that one.'

it became a maintenance-intense, hand-made sort of place with huck finn flavor and plantation elegance. we built new walls and transplanted others. beat it with sledge hammers, jack hammers, pasted it up with paper, bricks, paint, and squared-off concrete. fixed leaks (and leaks and leaks). more paint. new paint. the house was a beating heart and the percussion was hard rock, saws, and dominoes.

in many ways it was a haven: a deep red brick well, lilies and bluebonnets, a gravel drive that popped and crumpled, a small pond, hundreds of oaks filled with mistletoe and briar, and the most godly sunrises on earth.

cicadas, moo-ing, frogs, and ceiling fans for mood music to sunsetting ceremonies that made you say 'this world is beautiful.'

a baseball field, occasional motorcross jumps, and a plumber's pool. it was a strong symbol of home and family, a place where we fought and made-up, did stupid things and told each other that we'd always be together: the unique and formative place of the now-adult generation. farewell little mansion, you were wonderful. do us the honor of a repeat.