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Showing posts with label The Boy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Boy. Show all posts

Saturday, March 9, 2013


"Roll to your rifle...blow out yer brains/And go to yer God like a soldier"

Last night, on the dinner table, there occurred one of those incidents that will surely be listed among the most glorious episodes in the annals of British entire regiment of the Queen's finest were utterly destroyed by a Zulu impi.

I don't care what anybody tells you...parenting is a grind. Sometimes you have to take half a day off work just to watch a 30 minute school program (which may include a hip hop version of Happy Birthday...Jesus). You have to stand by and just watch as he gets old enough to take over your household chores....and, sometimes, grown man though you may be, you have to play with your son's toy soldiers. So with a six inch ruler and a random dice generator pulled up on the phone, I grudgingly set about doing my duty as a Daddy.

As is normally the case, things started out well for the British. A screen of Natal Native Cavalry got in several licks before being overrun and annihilated. The one artillery battery played hell on the Zulu center...knocking 'em down in clumps.

Soon the Zulus were in range of the British rifles. Between the steady marksmanship of the infantry and the crude carnage of the gun the Zulus were taking an awful beating. Still, they came. They're Zulu's after all.


It was a badly mauled, but determined and angry, bunch of Zulus that finally got their hands on the British infantry. Normally this is where things would go horribly wrong for anybody who wasn't a Zulu but, as we've seen, their numbers had been considerably reduced. The infantry were holding their own in hand to hand combat. There was an untouched British unit in the center as one group of Zulus had peeled off to attack the artillery.

The whole thing was in danger of being a British victory and therefore forgotten to history. It was at this point that umBlake, commander of the Zulu impi, decided that all of his forces had not yet been committed to battle. It was time for the second wave of Zulus. So we recycled some of the dead warriors to form a new unit. The question was...where would they appear? Would it be the loin or one of the horns. We turned to the dice...

Bloody &%*$!!!!

It was the Right Horn! All over but the shoutin', Col. Blake, commander of the British forces, did what he could. It wasn't much. He turned the uncommitted unit of infantry and the artillery to face the onslaught. They were slaughtered. The regiment disintegrated into small groups of soldiers gallantly resisting the inevitable...tiny red islands being swallowed by a relentless brown tide.

The Glorious End

Surprisingly, given the erzatz nature of the rules, we got a fairly historical result. 

Of course, the Boy wants to do it again. My work is never done. I'm gonna have to buy more soldiers for him...proper cavalry and naval ratings...and "23 hundred and 45 boxes of Zulus."

It's a hard row to hoe...being a Daddy.

*Ignore the large group of stetsoned tan fellas in the back...Native Contingent. Depending on who you ask, they hoofed it because they were cowards or, they figured being slaughtered for the white interlopers wasn't they way they wanted to end their day.


Monday, July 23, 2012


Heckler Spray. A sonic break-beat...

"This Malkmus idiot is some kinda song writing genius" Gary Young.


The last post was meant to be about the got outta hand and now I'm obsessing.

My compulsive issues with The Fall are well documented, and mercilessly ridiculed by some, in these pages. Of course, it's not just the brilliance of Mark E. Smith that causes these bouts...brilliant though he is...there's a crack in my mind and right now it's being filled with nonsense and racket. Pavement.*

I've also finally figured out how to edit videos...kinda.

Recorder Grot.

A tore-up but steady rhythm...when the lyric starts, with a squeal, it's stretched beyond melody. Then almost at the point of white noise it breaks into an Arena-Rock solid riff...claps and all...before descending back into jibbberish and noise. A slice of genius...this one.

"I forget sometimes how much I like them."

Unlike most of my obsessions, Martha's on board with this one. Not so much the Drag City, recording project stuff but, the actual songs that came later. By the time Slanted and Enchanted was released they were an actual band...for better or worse.

Elevate Me Later.

The Reflex by Duran Duran was once hilariously described as "cocaine set to music."** The crescendo at the end (2:10-20) and the breezy way it glides back to earth is about as close to the sound of a toke as you're likely to find.***

"Swingin' nunchucks like you just don't care"....If you want to know what my early 20's sounded like...when the past never crossed my mind and I had no notion of the future. I just it is.

Looking back on it...not such a great time...mostly I was drunk but, the music was good.

There was one last great album...probably the best of the lot.

"They all sounded like hits to me...but I was smokin' a lot of pot." Malkmus on Wowee Zowee

For about six months Wowee Zowee was considered their first misstep...then a round of on-second-thought reviews started. The album was a masterpiece but, by that time the damage was done. The egos here were obviously more fragile than they may have appeared. I think it's what killed 'em. There were two more records but they didn't sound much better than the contractual obligations that they were.

Alright maybe that'll get it outta my system...thanks for humoring me.

*My Bloody Valentine is another recurring problem of mine...don't be surprised if I spend a month in the future posting When You Sleep every other day.

**Kibber did that.

***As a responsible parent I do not partake..and besides, it is illegal. Still, I am amazed that one can legally soak their brain in pure corn liquor but, grass puts you at odds with the law.

Monday, July 16, 2012

You Lost You Cotton-Pickin' Mind (EDIT)

That's what the boy told me this mornin'.

After that it goes squirrely. I spend a lot of nights in hotel rooms. Sometimes I sleep like a comatic...other times not at all. So, I always travel with some sleepytime. Sometimes I take it and don't lay down right away...sometimes I take it and try to post on the blog.

Corrections, edits and further elaborations in bold.

"Cant I for...forklift me"

Since the mid 90's certain desperate been waiting for somebody to fill the small but noisy space that was created in Drag City, then abandoned, by Pavement.

That's one terrible sentence. You should have heard how mangled sounded in my head.

"We're here for terrets...uh Tibet Tibet."
We've talked about these clowns before.

Apolitical, Un-In-Volved - "Music and Fame/A Career/Career/Career/Korea/Korea." "Obviously" they explained "it's a song about nuclear proliferation in Korea." I reckon they never got their spot on 90210. HA!

"In the court house's double breast/I'd like to check out your public protest/Why're you complainin'/Talk"

This is worth dwelling on at some point. They weren't just apolitical...they were unconcerned. It seems like every crop of kids either wants to tear the world down or make it a better place. At the very least they've got somethign to say. It's all very earnest...and predictable and boring. Pavement didn't seem to have anything to say...emotionally (we'll delve further into this on the N.W.A. post that's coming) and "politically" detached. Aloof like Nancy Sinatra in the video for these boots are made for walking. Awesome.

In a profound sense Pavement were an expression of anglophilia...punk/post punk imports, burning airlines catalouges, THe Young ones...we were all over it...except for the fashion.

Alright stop...just stop. These are notes not complete thoughts. The thing to do here would have been to start with the American influences...and then point out the profundity of British influence on their music. It gave them a different vocabulary than the "grunge" acts that came up at the same time...Cobain's love for the Vaselines not withstanding...that stuff was "classic rock" with Sonic Youth guitars.

It also suggested a certain kind of musical upbringing that progressed from new wave back to punk and on to post punk that a lot of people coming through the 80s went through...a lot of record collectors anyway. A vocal minority in a group that was small to start with.

Anyway...they maintained British references throughout. You can hear Malkmus at the end of Hit the Plane Down (another song that owes a great debt to The Fall)...repeating the line from The Happy Monday's song Step On..."you're twistin my melon man." One of the last singles they ever released was backed with covers of The Killingn Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen (y'all don't know what a freak I am for then do you?)and THe Classical!!!

Ayway I hashed it.

"Steve Malkmus never had an original thought in his life" Mark E Smith

It sounds for all the world to hear like the Pixies putting there juju on New Face in Hell. They ripped off Swell Maps it was on clearance. Sonic Youth and Big Black...these were some dead serious record collectors. They weren't rebels and didn't a cause...just because was good enough. No anger...just curing knowing boredom with mischievous.

Every joke comes to a punch end...and it was obvious almost from the start that, ultimately, four tracks couldn't contain 'em.

"mixin' cocktails with a plastic tip cigar"

This is Summer Babe..a single befor the first proper album was released. The songs brilliant but it's clear that our friends here..high on hard drugs and Chrome...are becoming post-punk's Beach Boys...not a bad thing at all as it turns out.

Video's a little goofy...but, it's fun enough I reckon...and the smile at the end is a perfect ending.

Not that it wasn't a beautiful thing to hear blossom. I'll put money and my left pinky on Crooked Rain/Crooked the most effortless piece of noise/pop written in the last 500 years. It's Jan and Dean cuttin their own version of Pet Sounds in the garage....Elevate Me Later, Stop Breathin, Fillmore Jive, Heaven is a Truck....get out!'s not...

"Now the blood's blister/the blister's black"

There may be hope though...Thursday night I was recruited to be a music man. The Boy handed me a drum. Then, because we needed to be cool, he found us some "shades"...strapped the blue battered push button yamaha electric over his shoulder and checked the schedule (a dollar store ethesketch).

This needs some clarification...The Boy pulled out this cheapy ethcasketch and started runnin' his finger along it like an ipad to check our tour schedule. He was all business...HA!

"We have a show in you and mommy's room."

He walked in and immediately took possession of half the room...threw the neck of the guitar up around his ear and started bangin' the buttons...

You cut yo finger
You cut yo finger
You cut yo finger
the cops came
You lost you mind
You lost you mind
You cut yo finger

It was jaw dropping...that's all.

His momma had to hear, I grabbed the "schedule" and announced that our next show was in the kitchen.

"Ok but you sing."

"No you're the singer man."

"No I don't wanna sing."

"But I don't know the words dude."

"Yes you do."

"No...I don't."

"You do know the words...the song is Jesus Loves Me."

That's how it goes round...around here.

Whatch out y'all he's got just enough ramshackle in him to pull it off...and he's got the hair for it.

The real tragedy here is I couldn't embed a video for Heckler Spray.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Huh?...WHAT? What the.....

I got the swimmer's ear y'all. Feels like I'm pregnant on the left side of my hurts to chew. Any movement of my outer ear is a lightining strike. I guess I wont be able to give the Carol Burnette tug on my way out the door that all the clients love so much.

Maybe I am pregnant in the head or, maybe I've got one of these molting in there...


I know we've got at least one lurker who just shut down his computer and crawled under his desk. HA.

It's the annual cicades...not the periodic, red beedy-eyed, noise makers that pop up every 13 years down here. These do a pretty good immitation though. You never heard such persistant racket. Of course, these aren't the actual bugs. They'll shed their skin anywhere they can latch on. I pulled one of these off my tire.

They have to fight with the lightining bugs for space...


We got more of these in the yard than grass blades right now. Oddly The Boy will help me gather cicada skins but, he won't stay in the whole wide yard if he catches sight of one of these.

"Boy that lightining bug ain't gon' do nothin' to you."

"I think that one...he's trying to do somethin' to me."

They're freakin' lightining bugs man...of all the things to worry about around here you gon' worry about a lightining bug. It's not like it's a butterfly (I hate those things...*&^%$ creepy the way they flitter around like half of a memory).

Maybe he's been dreaming about lightining bugs or maybe it's the fact that he's not takin' naps anymore but, not matter how hard we try to wear him out during the day, he's having trouble going to be lately. This is a new one for us.

Last night he just didn't want to go down...back there cryin' and carryin' on like somebody cancelled his birthday. I went out for a smoke, to catch a break and discovered we had a visitor on the car port. One that I thought the Boy would love to have a look, me and his momma decided to bribe him.

"We wanna show you somethng outside but, then you gotta come back in and go to more whinnin."

He agreed...face all puffy. It's amazing what forcing tears will do even to a four year old's skin.

We get out there and I tell him to go around one end of the car while I go around the other...I hadn't passed the bumper when I heard him shriekkkk!

"Mom-MAH!...aghhhh...aghhhh MMOM-MUHHHH!"

He was terrorfied.


A turtle...a &^%* trutle.

"Why was he stikin' his head out?"

"He goes in his shell to protect himself."

"I hope he goes back in his shell forever...he was tryin' to crawl all over me."

It was the first thing he asked me about this morning. Got gators around here that could bite him in half...snakes that could swell his up bigger than his head and swimmers ear...just don't mention turtles around him.

Monday, July 2, 2012


The five day work week is often touted as one of labours great innovations. My response to that is who wants to work 40 hours a week? There's nothing liberating about being tied to a clock. Sometimes I work 50 hours a week...sometimes 30. Besides, who the hell makes any money working 40 hours a week...unless, of course, you can arbitrarily inflate your own wage.

Like most modern innovations the "weekend" is an empty promise...a fantasy. Liberties that are taken on Thursday aren't restored for the weekend. Petty annoyances don't take Saturday and Sunday off. People don't become better drivers at 5 on Friday...and you're far more likely to jump in the club pool with your iphone on a Sunday afternoon than you are on a Tuesday morning.

Nothin' 200 bucks can't fix.

All you need to know about Saturday is one point, I had to get dressed. By my reckoning that's a huge fail.

Sunday was particularly irritating...the church was swarming with striped rags. There probably weren't that many surrounding Vicksburg during its destruction. I'm not saying there's no place for a kind of patriotism in the church but, what exactly are we supposed to be celebrating this July???? The destruction of Vicksburg, Friars Point, Meridian, Oxford, Greenwood, Jackson, etc...or maybe more recent events like the fruition of lincolnism and the final destruction of state sovereignty?

In a nave that is, de facto, C of E,..."My country tis of of the pilgrims pride" mean the Church of England hating, smuggling, self-rightious pilgrims of new england?...Pound Sand. Despite the presence of people in Virginia for eons, despite the fact the, so called, Revolutionary War was financed through Charleston or that George Washington and Tom Jefferson were Southrons...these witch burners have convinced themselves that they invented the country. Of course, as it stands is their invention and has been since 1865.

No rest at home either...there's an open house to get ready for. I've got 20 minutes of sweeping...roof, deck, drive...and 10 minutes worth of battery for the blower. All in 100 degree heat. I'm pretty sure the Boy saw me fling the blower arcross the yard. Sue me. I have a pathological hatred of mundane tasks...and surly tools.

The Boy was a big help....

"Pick up your toys Boy."

"No...I'm...Not..A...Boy...I'm...A...Bad...Robot" ...choppin the air with his hands as he's walkin' off into the kitchen. Passin' gas the whole time.

Martha was up to her elbows in toilets and had no patience for my dissertation on the inevitable dissapointment of machines...given the conflict between thier promise and what they can actually deliver. She didn't exactly tell me to shut up, but...I went ahead and got a broom, went back to my sweeping.

Eventually we get loaded up for the pool...where, of course, I dunked my phone.

No lounging in my pajamas lazily reading blogs and corrresponding with NCIS marathons or window shopping on Ebay or Abebooks...just a maddening kalidoscopic series of interlocking frustrations.

Thank goodness this weeks "holiday" falls on a Wed. I don't think I could've taken a third day off.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Cats in the Barn


Another Saturday night...another party.

It's just what we do between the end of SEC football in January's National Championship game and the start of another season at the end of August. Carwfish Boils begin in March, graduations...then the weddings start. We were at three cookouts last weekend. The Boy's been to five birthday parties in the last three weeks.

Last night was a wedding.



Obviously very different surroundings than last week's bonfire. There weren't enough go-carts for The Boy...


...I wouldn't say there were no fireworks though.


Any time you have a room full of women prancing around, and no woman ever pranced like a Southern woman, well....heeheehee.

We had the pleasure of spending the evening with these lovely ladies.

Listen...the best thing about being a man, hands down, is the company of women. I have a few of male friends...and I cherish them but, without a different perspective existence would be dreadful.I'm sure I'm guilty of "othering"...and while all this sounds cute, it's really a latent expression of sexism. Whatever...real or precieved, I love the difference. Not only is it one of life's great has practical benefits too.

I'll give you an example from this morning. We're having an open house today. That means I have to clean roof off and the yard up...which meant I had to deal with this...


I had already broken the limbs of when the next door neighbor sticks his head over the fence and offers the use of his chainsaw.

"Excuse me? I may not be the most fastidious yard keeper but this is my yard...guess you're hoping you'll have to tell me how to use it? What's next? You wanna come throw the football with my son...maybe take my wife dancin'? Keep your tools in your yard."

That's what I was thinking anyway as I told him thanks, but..."I'm just gonna break it. It's pretty dry."

After three attempts at trying to break it, I got fed up and went for a square. As I returned to the back yard and still not able to reconcile myself to borrowing another man's chainsaw...I see Martha with it in her hand.

"Look honey...the neighbor's letting us use his chainsaw."

Thirty seconds later the limb was cut into managable peices and the chore was finished.

Y'all can laugh...but you ladies have got some peculiarly feminine quirks. None of which tickle me more than this business of being catty.

Let's return to the ladies above. What do you reckon they're talkin' about? It couldn't possibly be another lady at the party...certainly not the tiny dress she's wearing...or, as J.Q. described it "a tunic."

"I think I just saw her butt cheeks."


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cookin' With Gas

That's how you light a bonfire.

Y'all remember my boss?


I don't work for him anymore but...nobody I've worked for since has really been as boss. He's the boss. I painted houses with him after I got out of the service and while I was an undergraduate. We've always been close.

Three or four a times a year he'll have a bonfire, a party at his the host. We grill* hamburgers and set things on fire. There's a couple of go-carts..."go-carts" with motors that could run a Fiat and easily break the 40mph mark (which feels like 80 when you're out in the open, 2" off the ground). Fireworks! Usually illegal fireworks. I don't know maybe they're not illegal in Alabama. He's buyin' 'em somewhere.

One of the funniest things I ever saw...took part in...was when his dog knocked over a lit mortar before the first charge had left the tube. It was a moment that only Wilferd Owen could fully appreciate...these weren't fire crackers they were shells. They ricocheted off trees and exploded under cars. People reacted according to their insticts...some ran, some hit the dirt, some just laughed. It was chaos and pure unadultrated redneck fun.

Last night The Boy got to go to his first bonfire at Mr. Mark's.


I was glad for, I knew he'd have a good time and he did. He played with the dogs. He got his first ride in the front seat of anything and there were drums...


Two, The Boy comes from good redneck stock...or, more specifically, Cracker stock, but this is not time to be pendantic. Only difference between last night and gettin' together with my Momma's side of the family is that a gun was usually involved and often an old appliance was destroyed.

I want him to know every direction he's come from and learn to be comfortable love it all.

*That thing you pull out in your back "garden" is a GRILLLLL...not a BBQ. BBQ is smoking...not grilling. Usually I let the insanity pass...if you want to drive on the wrong side of the road, that's your business. If you want to kick a ball around with your foot and call it football...that's your insanity. This is a sacrid rite....this is the hog. NO. Stop it.

:) but stop it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Adamparsons Called it a Holiday.

Back in the office today...


Vacation's over.

We started strong on Beale.


The Boy almost caused a scene when we walked into the hotel lobby and he saw that.

"'s Bo Diddley. Bo Diddley Daddy...LOOK! LOOK! Daddy!"

Look at the Boy's face...that kid loves Bo Diddley. A while back, I gave him a box of my old Star Wars figures. The first thing he did was snatch out Lando..Billy Dee Williams.."Bo's Bo Diddley." That's right he's got a Bo Diddley action figure.

Bo Diddley was an action figure.

The lady behind the counter giggled the whole way through check in. I'd been telling him the whole way up that Memphis had g'itars.

There's an odd mistake in Pies and Prejudice by Stuart Manconi...he's describing some rowdy Northern street. I can't remember which one...but, he says it's like Bourbon without the guitar motif. Of course Bourbon St. has trumpets and saxophones everywhere. It's a jazz town. It's Beale St. that has g'itars on everything...everywhere. Not that big a deal but...

Then there was that muddly bit in the middle of the week.

Despite it all, I do enjoy getting to see my in-laws...even if L, my sister-in-law, did say to me, after a game of scrabble...

"Why don't you take that J to bed with you tonight...use it as a don't seem to be able to do anything else with it."

I got yer number L...yer gonna pay for that one.

A BUNN coffee pot turned out to be a source of some amusement. It's a coffee maker that keeps a reservoir of hot water...there's no waiting. You pour in cold coffee comes out...not exactly a new fangled idea.

"Do you leave it on all the time?"

"Sure that's what keeps the water warm."

"Is that safe?"

"Of course not. That's why we bought it for you...hoping it would burn your house down.....No No No. I'm kidding. It's perfectly safe. Ours is on at home right now."

" much energy does it use?"

"I have absolutely noooo flipping idea."


It's a coffee pot...not a *&^**&^% jet pack. I'm sure it's back in the box by now.

We were back by Wednesday afternoon...


Thursday morning I was at the dentist.

You may be I this point, where's the vacation?

It happened for a few hours on Friday afternoon at the golf club...


...with these two.

Then it was back on schedule. We're selling our house and Sunday afternoons mean Open House. We have to split. It works out 'cause...after all, we're lookin' for a house ourselves.


You'd think it would be a no brainer with a back yard like that. Sadly, the layout of the house is almost as chaotic as the yard is serene. A serenity that was broken when I turned my back on the Boy for two seconds. I heard a door burst open..

"Put that down and get away from the pond."

The Boy had picked up the Goose and I guess the realtor...who was watching through the window...nearly had a heart attack. So, Martha ran out to give us both a dirty look.

I think me and the Boy were kinda wearin' her out anyway. She loves her boys but....she would have loved us more if we'd been in another car.

We think we're hilarious...

Boy - "Excuse me."

Me - "Excuse you."

Boy- "No excuse me."

Me - "No excuse you."


"Stop sayin what I'm sayin."

"Stop sayin what I'm sayin."

"Stop sayin what I'm sayin."

I think Martha's still wondering where the vacation was.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Week That Wasn't

I don't think I've ever gone more than a week without posting but, it's been since last Monday that put anything up.

Of course, it's been plenty busy around here and I trust that everybody's been well entertained.

Let's get caught up.

Mostly I've been dealing with work. The semi-annual non-job related work issues.

I spend Monday morning and all of Friday in an office but, I don't work in an office. I work here...


and here...


and on good days here...


The people I work for do work in offices...and they go through occasional bouts of paranoia about what we, the outbound salesmen, are up to...out there spending all their money, carousing in places like...what Gloster??? Mound Bayou???

Stop hatin' man. There's nothin' keepin y'all in office.

It's especially irritating when you've been sent to a place by one person and then grilled as to why you were there by another. When these moments come, we take it...swap admonishments (this one tips too much, this one over-works the same area, the other spends too much on lodging) and then go back to handling our business.

Which mainly consists of driving between places like Jena and Jonesville, Louisiana...listening to the radio.

Really though, I love my job. I try to do a good job and I think I manage it but, seriously...Martha's hotter than a two dollar pistol and there's The Boy, imBlakei...


I'm not out here in St. Fancisville 'cause I'd rather not be at the house.

Speaking of being at the house...I took a minute this weekend to watch a movie..To Kill a King.

Two, Tim Roth is the boss. Two, while I'm somewhat familiar with this period in British's not in my wheelhouse but, I'll say this, every time I've ever seen any representation of Cromwell I've wanted to choke him...choke 'im right out.

I think it's the Puritan stuff...that's who the Yankees are. The English ones anyway. That's where they come from. Maybe that's it. That and I just find the presumptuousness of revolutions repulsive by nature...executing Kings! Who in the...anyway, that's probably the result of our history in The South. Which has been forced through, and is constantly being threatened with*, radical change for the last 150 years.

Speaking of...I stopped in Rosemont yesterday. The family home of Jeff Davis...a simple elegant homestead. Nothing pretentious or ostentatious. A home.


That's a post for another day...right now I'm just trying to get back to my own home.

I think that gets us back on track.

*There have been some calls for a third economic reconstruction. We're attracting industry by cheating. We don't have any unions and that isn't fair. The gov. recently used labor laws to stop Boeing moving a plant from Seattle to South Carolina...and we won't talk about Airbus.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Zulus and Vampires

It's been a perilous week at the Bartlam household. We've been under attack by Zulu Impis...goin' on nine days now.

By attacked I mean those that have been designated as Zulus...Martha and Mary-Cathcart (our cat)...have laid on the couch or under a chair while Pvt. Bartlam has been shot and felled, in very dramatic fashion, at least 100 times. Of course, he's givin' better than he's got...poor Mary-Cathcart has no more lives left and Martha, in much less than dramatic fashion...seein' how she's mostly been layin' on the couch...has been downed several hundred times. It's a ratio The Boy will need to keep up if he intends to survive.

This all started when his cousins came over last weekend...a situation, by the way, that is akin to being attacked by Zulu. I couldn't take any more demands to watch Toy Story 3...much less another second of actually watching it...

"We're doin' somethin' different tonight."

"NO. Inna watch Toy Story 3...Toy Story 3."

"Nope. We're watchin' something else."

"NO NO Toy Story 3."

"No. Just watch you'll like it."

Trying to get Netflix pulled up...trying to find the movie...trying to fast forward, while he was still willing to argue about it and before he decided to move on.


Silence...that's real movie magic.

Then they started taking sides...R. was for his side. He just wanted everybody to get out of his way.

I was on the side of oxygen...they were all laying on top of me trying to watch the little Ipad screen.

J. immediately identified with the Zulu...
"You can do a lot of stuff when you're wild like can be crazy. How many of these British are there?...they don't stand a chance. They're all gonna die."

B...maybe it's Thomas and Chuggington, Pepe the Pig...or Adamparsons but, he immediately placed himself, and his little rage face, behind the sandbags with the "BritISSSH!"

I certainly remember the first time I saw it...and I've been living with it every since. My Daddy "made" me watch it's one of his favorites.

I was maybe 10 and it floored me...literally, I got some pillows and laid on the floor so I could get closer to the tv. After the initial flush of stayed with me. What happened there at the beginning? How did the British end up in Africa fighting these grand people...Zulus! Just the sound of it was intoxicating to me...what in the world were the British doing there in the first place, Afridis, Pathans...

When find yourself wounded on the Afghan Plain.
And the women come out to cut up what remains.
Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains.
And go to your God like a soldier.

What boy could possibly resist that?

Ansar, Ashanti, Fuzzy Wuzzy, Dervish, etc., etc., and big degrees, bigger debt, a bad book habit, awards and offer letters...a Yale bumper sticker and monthly emails from Millsaps begging for money, and baaahhhhh.

The Boy's immediate response was to pull apart a plastic and foam putter...using the shaft as a rifle and handing me the head..."that's your officer gun Daddy." We've been in the Laager ever since.

He's started asking questions though...mainly he wants to know what happened to the Zulu. Of course, I'm happy to indulge in such conversations, especially with my Son...just try and stop me, but....I think we need to throw in a few conversations about individual rights and the centrality of property to those...maybe some law and tax talk..."M"orality and governments, etc. We need a tax lawyer in this family.

Martha did the taxes yesterday...I wish Zulu were all we had to deal with. Evidently having every dime of two months salary is not enough to fend off the yankee governments vampires. We owe 2,000 bucks in income tax..that's not counting scams like social security, the state income tax, sales tax, etc....doesn't include the property tax we pay so we can provide other people with the "right" of a public education...while we fork out thousands to educate our own child...or paying for the mess of a break-in that the cops, the cops we pay for, are too busy writing us tickets to bother with...etc.

Of course, we'll write the check. What else would middle class people do but, continue to take it...we're all to comfortable and settled and civilized to ever make a ruckus. Right? Just keep piling it on...surely we won't balk. Besides, it's all for the U.S.A of Ameeerika...and none of can resist the hypnotic power of the striped rag.


On second thought, maybe The Boy should just stick with the rifle.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Living with the Dragon.

"No! I've only got one pinky toe." That's what the boy told me this morning. I was a little taken aback by the amount of rage he had scrunched into his little Mick Jagger imitating Henry Rollins.*

I've mentioned before that he has an argumentative streak...and he can be a little lippy. He's stubborn like his Momma and a bit of a handle.

His behaviour is not unreasonable though. He minds...especially others. He's just a rambunctious youngin' and as long as we can hammer manners and a sense of respect for others into him...that'll serve him well later on, I think.

Lately though..he's been on the roids.

That ear infection came with an atrocious cough. They put him on steer-roids and a breathing treatment...for about an hour after he takes off the Dragon styled breathing cup (please don't point out that it obviously...OBVIOUSLY looks like a chicken...just let it go) his personality is wired for sound...set on 11.

"NO! I don't want to CHILL OUT!"

There've even been some tantrums...which neither me or his Momma have any patience for. I'd much rather deal with his sass than whining. Last night he burst into tears of anger because he wanted to sit in the seat where I had sat down to eat. I'd been there for 10 minutes and had even chatted with him while he played on the floor. Then the switch went on and he flew into a rage because he had been sitting there 15 minutes earlier.

There was no second he's playing with his garbage trucks and the next he's comin' at me like he wants my wallet. Roid rage or not there's a zero tolerance policy on tantrums in the house...if I'm not allowed to have one, and it has been explained to me that I am not, nobody is.

That's part of the story...the rest has been mostly hilarious.

He comes off the stuff like it's Red Bull and Bourbon...he's fidgety, even for a three year old, and aggressive beyond what his coordination will allow. He come back to the bedroom last night to tell me we were gonna play football in the livin' room...he fell three times in the hallway headin' back that way.

Then there are the tirades...he went on a long, mostly indecipherable, rant about sandals the other we could tell it centered around how much he hates it when his friend W. wears sandals. Good boy...flippin hippies.

The cops have come in for it too. I don't know where he got the idea that all cops do is ride around looking to ruin somebody's day :cough: but, it has set in. Earlier this week, we were all in the car when he spotted some blue lights...a harangue followed. We were able to pick out the word "ticket" and the now familiar, "they just ruin somebody's day" and the final summation..."all they do is CLLUH-OOOOWN!"


He took his last bump this morning. I reckon he'll be back to normal soon...which is enough of a handful as it is.

*This post owes a certain amount of debt to a post on Ishouldbeworking (a blog that you should all know and love by now) for the shape it took.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Three Year Old Man and the Needle.

It seems like everybody's been at the doctor lately. No exceptions here.

The last five days have been out of control. It was imperative that I post Monday night but, otherwise it's just been too squirrely. Started Thursday evening when I locked my keys and phone in the car at the Hollywood Casino (hugs and kisses Triple A) and ended Tuesday when I crashed back into town from an unplanned trip just in time to make a Vestry meeting.

One of the real highlights, in between, was me leaving my ipad at a curbstore in Pearl River, Louisiana and not realizing it until I had gotten to Magee, Mississippi...about a four hour detour there. I could have gone to Atlanta or Dallas in the time it took me to get home on Friday.

The main disturbance though has been The Boy's left ear...he was on antibiotics but steadily runnin' a fever.

Don't get the wrong idea...he's been as rambunctious as ever. As his nurse, I've been tackled 50 or 60 times since Friday. I mean textbook form, wrapping up, hittin' on all 8, exploding through the runner, tackles. I've created a monster y'all. It's like having Patrick Willis for Kato.

"How you fellin' big man?"

"Hmmmmmm...mostly pretty gooood."

You have to read between the lines with him...he's a tough dood, as I would be reminded over the next few days. It was wearin' him out a little bit. I stayed home with him all day Sunday and Monday morning. His momma had made a doctor's appointment for me, him and sockmonkey (whose tail he wanted Dr Storey to have a look at...the one he'd chewed off) were in the waiting room at ten til.


By 10 he'd had his temp and weight taken and we were waiting 10:02 we were in the potty and then again at 10:05. The antibiotics you know. At 10:20 we were still waiting and while The Boy played I was getting antsy. It's goofy. I worry about him when he's sick at the house but, the doctor's office is where bad news is made official. Of course it's also where you find out nothing serious is wrong...and bless you if that's the way your mind works.

"Blake...what are you doing out here,"...a nurse popped her head around the corner..."you supposed to be in the exam room." The small knot in my stomach flitted.

As usual, even though he asks about her all the time, The Boy went stoned face once the doctor walked in.

"That ear looks great."

"Ohhh...there's your problem."

After a series of confusing texts between me and Martha it was finally determined that he had indeed been on antibiotics...those were Dropped and three shots of super antibiotic shots, over the course of the next three days was prescribed.

While we waited for the nurse...the doctor made it clear she wasn't hangin around for the dirty work...she looked over Sockmomkey...


and prescribed green thread and lovin'.

The nurse appeared, the doctor disappeared, and the 3" needle came out. He really didn't seem phased as he laid out and the nurse pulled his britches down..."it's gonna sting," she warned. He just stared at her unconcerned. She pinched his leg and that point, the Boy tensed up, I could hear wind sucking against his teeth, his back arched, and he squeezed my finger but, his face remained a stone.

I thought maybe it wasn't so bad...until the nurse left. As soon as we were alone, he pulled me down by my arm and with quivering lips...whispered to me, "Daddy that hurt."

It's impossible to explain the emotions that rushed over me...that rush over me now as I think about it. I was so proud of him. He knows he can cry on Daddy but, he wasn't being stubborn to please me. I was astonished by the ego of it...the complicated nature of those thoughts working in his little head but, mainly I just ached for him. I scooped him up kissed him and told him how tough I thought he was. There were stickers, suckers and a Happy Meal on the way home. He told me the doctor that gave him the shot was a "Bahyad Doctor" and that was it.

Until yesterday when I had to take him back for the third and final shot. Same expressionless face...even though after two shoots he knew what was comin...only this time he looked at the nurse and, with the defiant deliberation of a doomed man refusing a blindfold in front of firing squad, told her..."I'm not gonna cry."

She stuck 'im. He tensed up again, arched his back again, sucking air, squeezing my finger, shaking..."AHHHHHHHHHH...AHHHHHHHHHHH....Mommy. I want my MOMMY!!!. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH." He had stood it as long as he could...stood it until his face turned Candy Apple Red. What a man.

His ego was bruised though..even though I told again how tough he was.

"Daddy did you ever have to get a shot?"

"Oh yeah. I'm afraid so."

"Did you cry?"

My first thought was..."Of course not you wuss." :) but, instead I came clean.

That seemed to make him feel a little better.

What a man.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas...Cops and Doctors

More idiocy from me with the blogger. I just started writting when somehow I clicked the publish tab.

I'm just gonna write it out in the open...editing and all...piece by piece. You'll have to stay tuned.

I woke up this morning around 4am to giggling..almost belly laughs. I knew it wasn't Martha. She makes a different noise when she's sleeping. It had to be the big man.

"Boy what are you laughin' at?"


"Hey man."

Nothing. He was asleep...joker was laughin' in his sleep.

Just I was falling back out when he starts moanin.

" ear hurts get a qtip Daddy."

It seemed like a better idea than wakin his Momma up so, I got some qtips and gently poked around his ear.

"It's not workin Daddy." How could waving a qtip and muttering over an infection not have worked to kill it.

"Imma go to the doctor. Imma tell Dr. Storey."

"You'll get your chance son but, right now the best thing you can do is go back to sleep."

So I laid with him til he got comfortable enough to fall out...and then got up to make some coffee. His Momma was already in the kitchen. I don't know what time it was...dark. Every since the Boy came along our day begins and ends two or three hours earlier than it used to. It's been three years and the fog still hasn't lifted. It's a struggle to get going in the morning and a struggle to stay awake at night.

"The Boy's got an ear ache."

"I heard...I'll call the doctor's office when he gets up."

Having done my part. It was Christmas Eve and time for me to start thinking about Christmas shopping.

I'm strugglin' y'all. I've practically had the office to myself all day and nothin' to do but, I can't get it together. After spending the last three days mocking and laughing at all the sick people in my house...seems it's my turn.

I feel like I have a pine cone wedged under my left eye and against the bridge of my nose...I think I've gone deaf in my left ear. My mouth and throat feel like I've been sucking on a sandpaper lozenge.

Feel sorry for me y'all.

I think I'm just sick of looking at this's the abbreviated version.

The Boy woke up...Martha called the Dr.

"Come on in."

The Boy was disappointed that Dr. Storey wouldn't be there...maybe he wanted to ask her why he toots so much again.

"She's with her's Christmas Eve. Dr. McSomething will do a good job."

The Sister comes to pick up my Daddy to take him Christmas shopping.

Martha and the Boy leave.

I take a shower and leave. I've barely gotten out of the drive when I get a text from Martha...

"Just an ear infection."

That was good news. Even though he seemed fine there's always a part of me that worries when he goes to the Doctor. I'm the one that was with him when he was running laps in halls and sweet talking nurses for suckers...just before the Dr. diagnosed him with the pneumonia. that was off my mind. Just as I get the car parked in front of my first stop...the phone rings. It was the security company...

"We have a signal coming from your front door. Do you want us to send the police?"


My Daddy had set off the gave the warning when he came in but, he can't hear nothing higher pitched than an 808 kick drum.

It was all very funny and involved a lot of back and forth between me and Martha, me and the security company, cops that took so long to show up we were able to cancel the call (we just pay for the services where we live...we don't receive them).

The highlight of that day's shopping was a text from the Sister...

"Medium to Large...she's STACKED!"

Martha and the Boy were too sick for, we rode around looking at Christmas lights.


the end

Saturday, November 26, 2011

This One is Personal

If Gerogia are Communist Jihadis, what does that make florida state? Well...they aren't quite as bad as penn state but, that's about as far as I'll go.


I spent the first 13 years of my life in Tallahassee...10 minutes from the campus of florida State. You won't find a bigger bunch of fair-weather, front running, losers on the planet.


We were at the game in 2007. When I say we...I mean me, Martha and, though we didn't know it at the time...the Boy. He's been a Gator since the womb.


We went through a bushel of raw oysters before the game...which might explain some of The Boy's wacky behavior. That's me shucking'... just before we headed to the stadium and I...allegedly...placed myself in the middle of brawl so I could take a swing at one of these f$u clowns.

I just haaaaaaaaaate f$u...that's all.

On your a*** b....!!

I can hear they've brought their 75 tubas with 'em.

Brantley...GO AWAY!!

I don't care about the personal foul...hit him again.

Gators 0 - dirt bags 7

Get Brantley out of there.

The defense is stout...maybe they can score.

First Down!


Way to go John you jerk...0 - 14

Interception number three...can we please put this precious jack-ass on the bench??

You can't ask anything more of the defense...

Great...downed on the one. Now maybe brantly can get the pick six he's been trying for all night.

Thank goodness for these freshmen.

There you go.

There you don't go...this is pathetic.

As bad as the offense has looked the defense has been lights out. Brantly's the only reason the crimenoles have scored.

See you John...china doll.

That looks bad. Just an extremely dangerous least he moved his arms.

The Boy is very concerned about the injury. After we told him an ambulance was taking the player away...he wanted to know if the poleese were going to show up. I told him the poleese were always on hand when f$u comes to town.

Another three and out...f$u has less than 40 yards of offense. But thanks to Brantly they have 14 points.

Defense moved 'em backwards again.

The defense is ferocious...offense is....not.


Usual cheap crap from the crimenoles.

If the defense doesn't score we're done for.

Did you see that...a first down.

Stuffed 'em again...too bad you don't get points for defense.

First down...

Hammond has to catch that.

Brisset is going to be a great quarterback but...for now he's still a freshman.

Gators 0 - f$u 21 without moving the ball at all.

We've got an SEC defense and a SCAC offense...only if they were a SCAC offense they'd be making smarter decisions.

12 plays of negative yards by the Gators.

There goes Rainey. The Boy is adamant that he needs to go to the hospital too.

The crimenoles still have less than 100 yards in the game. Geez

Gators stoned 'em. Backed 'em up 12 yards but, now what? The offense couldn't move the ball against Messer Park Pee Wee.


It's something at least. Maybe they can get three and not get shut out for the first time since 88.

Looks like they might score exactly the same way f$u has...turnover and penalties.

What a catch...TOUCHDOWN.

Gators 7 - f$u 21.

Onside attempt...nope.

Body slam 'im again.

Especially if they're too stupid to leave it alone.

One more snap...

That was disgusting.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"I'm Mad at Yawwwll!"

Some of y'all are know how torturous or hilarious it can be trying to reason with a toddler.

For the rest of you, here's a little glimpse into the active mind of a three year old.


Yesterday mornin' I'm back and forth in the hallway, gettin' ready for work when I hear a shout from the bathroom...

"Hey Dhaaaa-Dee."

I pop my head in the door...and there he is standing in front of the toilet with his pajama bottoms and drawers around his ankles. What are you gonna do?

"What's up big man?"

"Dhaa-dee," he says...his brow all scrunched up, "I don't think Santy Clause is gonna bring me a chainsaw for, I'm gonna have to borrow y'all's."


Saturday night I took him to the Ole Miss/LSU game in Oxford. We parked at the Mall on four miles from the stadium. In years past there was a years past.

The walk there was long but without incident. It was 2 miles into the walk back that we had an issue...

"Dhaa-dee...I gotta go potty."

Of course he did...

"Alright son. We'll go over them bushes..."

"No dhaa-dee. I gotta poo poo."

Of course he did...

"Can you hold it til we get back to the truck?"

He said he could but it wasn't fact he hinted that the process might already be starting. I'd seen a couple of port-a-potties in the lot where we parked. That was our best, if not our only, option. There was no telling what the traffic would be like and every gas station from there to Batesville would be jammed up with people in the same predicament.

As far as I knew..and you never really can know...he had never contemplated, much less been in, a I told him our plan in hopes that it would distract him.

"A port-a-potty. What? Who came up with that? Adamparsons came up with that?"

"I don't think we can blame him for that one son."*

We carried on...cracking jokes about the port-a-potty til we finally arrived at our destination and he handled his business.

"Look gotta tell your Momma that you went in a port-a-potty. Momma hates port-a-potties...she thinks they're nasty."

"They're nhaastee groowse," and he breaks up laughing.

I tell all that to set the scene for a conversation we had about twenty minutes later...just as we were gettin' on the interstate to head south.

"Dhaa-dee...are you proud of me."

What in the world? Is he three or thirteen?

"Of course I'm proud of my main man. You're the best son ever."

"But Momma's not proud of me."

"What are you talking about son? Of course you're Momma's proud of you. Why would you say such a thing?"

"She's not proud of me...cause I went to the port-a-potty."

Oh Lord what have done? I've scarred this kid...

Then he breaks into maniacal laughter. I'm thinking I warped him for life and it was a punch line.


He has a problem with choices. He has no problem making a decision between choices...he just doesn't seem to understand that once you make a choice your options are closed.

"I wanna taka bath...I was on the play ground. I'm dirty."

"No son," his Momma deliberately explained, "I asked you want to take a bath or watch football with Daddy. You decided you wanted to watch football. It's too late take a bath now. We're putting on your pajamas"

"Nooooooooooo. I'm dirty. I'm dirty," running off to the other side of the house.

Obviously he wasn't dirty or there wouldn't have been an option. He thinks he's a Jedi. He'll tell you he wants to watch football to put an end to the discussion but, in his tiny little mind, he's thinking he'll watch football til he's ready to go play in the bath...expecting that we'll have completely forgotten that a deal had been struck. He does it all the time and even though it never makes him furious every time.

I followed after him...

"Look fella...stop being a lunatic and go put you're pajama's on."

Y'all should know he's standing in the kitchen, in a t-shirt, Thomas the Train drawers and green rubber rain boots (that's pretty much every night). He's frownin' he's trying to punch me in the face with his dirty look.

"Goooooooooo put your pajama's oooon."

"No!," and he folds his arms, "I'm mad at yawwwll."

His Momma who was headed into the kitchen with a purpose turned and went back the way she came, shoulders shaking, trying not to laugh out loud. It was all I could do to swallow hard and keep it together.

That's part of the problem trying to deal with these jokers. It's hard to discipline somebody when they're being hilarious...even if you're still just as mad at 'em. Not only was the scene hysterical...but his drawl was exquisite . An impossible situation.


At least he's starting to realize that it's us against him...instead of trying to play us against one another. The last time he tried that was an "argument" over what day of the week it was.

It was Monday morning...Mon-Day morning.

"It's Sundee....we gotta go to chuch."

"No it's Monday. You gotta go to school and me and Momma gotta go to work."

"It's not Monday...It's Sunday. I'm goin' to church."

"Dude it's want me to get a calendar?"

"I'm tellin' my Momma about you," and he jumps off the bed...runs outta the room to find his Momma.


Every day for at least the next 15 years...Lord help us.

It was Monday morning punk...Monday morning.

*I made the mistake of telling him that Adam Parsons had come up with the rubbish lorry after being asked about 1,000 times. He heard it on one of his videos and thought it was the craziest thing ever..."It's a Garbage Truck...not a rubbish lorry. Who came up with that?" He was incredulous.

For a couple days it was hilarious as he went around the house saying..."Adamparson's crazy." Then it back fired...he wanted to know all about Adam and all the other crazy things he's come up with. We talk about Adamparsons a lot.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Radio Grown Folks - "Get Up Daddy...

I wanna hear some Bo Diddley."

He'd hauled himself up on to the bed rail by grabbing my arm. Then he pulled the pillow off my face, I turned toward him and with his nose almost touching mine he says..."COME ON."

That's how my day started. That is my son.

The morning's play list....for your joy and enlightenment.

As're welcome but, thank The Boy.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Three Years...

This is what we been dealin' with for three straight years.

handy blake

Just after midnight on the 6th, his birthday, he fell out of bed right on his head and Daddy ended up on the couch. Just before I gathered my pillows to leave, as he was settling in on my side of the bed, he tells me...

"Momma's gonna sleep for me...there's no spot for you."

Three years y'all...three years.

*The length of everything he measured with his new measuring tape came out to twenty pounds.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Mark it Off The List

Before anything else, I've gotta be a parent here for a second. I had my proudest moment as a Daddy last weekend.

chores swimming 003

For the first time I was able to completely unload one my chores...on The Boy. Everybody said there would be moments like this...times when as a parent you are overcome with joy and anticipation for the future.

Last weekend was that moment for me.

Boy started his swimmin lessons this week too...

chores swimming 011

Our biggest problem with him is that he has NO fear of anything except being made to take a break.

"You're going to have to watch him." the instructor said without smiling.

I spent my last day on the road for June's 1:02am. Mark it off the list Clowns.

Six Months Without a speeding Ticket!!! Them cops probably think I'm dead.

chores swimming 028
(The coolest sign I've ever seen)

Ate it for dinner...wore it all after noon. I'm gonna have to start carrying extra shirts...and britches.

Anyway..we're outta here tomorrow. Headed to Gulf Shores, Alabama.

First trip to the beach since nucklehead showed up.

If you need anything just contact Mary-Cathcart...she'll be lookin' after the place while we're gone.

chores swimming 049

And so you'll all have something to hate on amongst yourselves...I leave you with another masterpiece.*

chores swimming 053

I think that's everything. I'll probably be checkin' in from time to time.

Y'all have a good one.

EDIT: I finished this thing last night and have been staring at it all morning. I think this is absolutely my favorite so far (even counting the box). I don't know if it holds up balance wise, etc. (we have an actual Painter that follows the blog now...maybe he can sort that out) but I love this thing. Suggestion of objects and all.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Blue Father's Day

This mornin' The Boy brought me a present wrapped in the funny papers.


The book was put together by Roger Stolle owner of Cat Head Records in Clarkesdale. Cat Head and Fat Possum records have done a great job helping to ensure that Blues..real vibrant hard-country Blues...has it's own space to operate in.

Hava little taste of Como Mississippi...and Mr. R.L. Boyce.

The Boy doesn't yet know how lucky he was to have been born where he is...but he will. I'll make sure of that...just like my Daddy is the reason somebody would automatically think to give me a gift like's all cause of his Blues and Soul records (or tapes).

He was here last week and and actually took a better picture of The Blue Front Cafe than one on the cover. His has patrons.

I hope The Boy feels lucky to have me as a Daddy one day...the same way I feel about his Grandaddy.

We'll leave it with Duwayne Burnside singin' his Late Great Daddy's song...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

King of the Road

Work was a little squirrely yesterday...I went from Slidell, La to Vancleave, Ms, Ocean Springs (I had an important call to make there)...

slidell 007

Gulfport...then back to Slidell, La to work with my favorite knucklehead in South Louisiana (he really is a knucklehead and he really is my favorite)..then back to Gulfport followed by a return trip to my room in Slidell.

Lot's of radio time though...I heard Ring My Bell by Anita Ward yesterday. Did you?

The Highlights...

And the greatest song that ever came over the FM...

I couldn't help but wonder, as I was beating on the steering wheel and breaking out in goosebumps...if Elvis had to deal with haters when he was becoming the King of Rock n Roll the way I'm having to as I become the King of Painting.

Who knows?

Alright, back on the road today and home to Martha and The Boy tonight.


slidell 020