The fear of Nunn

I went out onto the patio this morning to contemplate life and any of the reasons as to why someone would have sat down and invented cottage cheese. The latter led me to remember a certain individual by the name of Rodney Nunn.

Rodney was my own personal bully when I was a freshman in high school. Since the Bellville Independent School district cared so much about your humble narrator’s future and overall physical well being, they placed me in a pre-algebra class with Rodney Nunn. I later had to double up in my mathematics curriculum in order to become a fully functional member of society and be able to calculate things like “If I’ve already microwaved this bag of popcorn for three minutes and there are still less than two seconds between kernel pops, will I be able to set the microwave to heat for an additional minute and have time to open the refrigerator and stare blankly only to later realize that I already had a drink waiting for me on the coffee table?” The Pythagorean theorem comes in handy in this situation.

Coach Wunderlich was our pre-algebra teacher. He was also one of the junior varsity football coaches as well as the girls’ softball coach. If I had to guess what his ancestors did based on surname, I would say they were responsible for the sunglasses that blind people wear.

I was a freshman. Rodney was a senior. We were both in Coach Wunderlich’s 5th period pre-algebra class. Rodney never made it out of the pre-stage of variable-based mathematics. Even though he was mean to me, I truly hope that he can determine a parabola’s direction by knowing that y=a(x-h)2+k. This lends itself useful in determining buying power when shopping for area rugs, clumping kitty litter and nasal spray. Some restrictions apply. Void where prohibited.

I hated going to pre-algebra because I knew that I would be receiving my daily dose of abuse from Rodney. I have recently learned that I’m capable of subjecting myself to selective amnesia. My relationship with Rodney is one of those rare cases. I guess saying that this is a rare case is not easily hypothesized nor capable of being proven because how would I know what I haven’t remembered or temporarily forgotten? A ha! – see, algebra! I don’t remember everything that Rodney did to me, but I know that he was a mean cuss. I remember that he used to flick my ears until they turned red and called me names. Never did I do anything to Rodney to warrant such maiming.

Rodney Nunn played a significant role in my life. He reminded me of that “do unto others” creed. He helped me become a person who enjoys being nice to other people and tries to make others laugh. I wonder what Rodney Nunn is doing now. I wonder if he’s one of those people who is immune to karma. If I were demented, I would come up with the notion of a gaggle of pixies wearing Wunderlich sunglasses and t-shirts that read “Algebraists do it by Symbolic Manipulation”, flicking the ears of Rodney Nunn for an eternity. I’m not demented so I wouldn’t think of something like that.

Steve and Joanne head home, no cable, dove hunting

My in-laws are gone, we’ve dropped down to basic cable and I have no dove meat.

Steve and Joanne left on Thursday morning. Elise and I were pretty bummed. Even though they were on vacation, it seemed as if Elise and I were as well. It was nice having them here for a week.

In an attempt to increase our cash reserve (aka the “house fund”), we decided to drop down to basic cable. We decided upon this three months ago. We called the cable company three months ago. The cable giant switched our service just this past Friday. No Food Network, TLC or Learning Channel anymore. Now we only get the big three networks, something called the WB, a handful of home shopping channels, two channels from Spain (Soccer exclusivo), the local hippy politics channel and public access channels that require its “stars” to wear a toilet seat as a necklace.

Dad and I went dove hunting in Hallettsville yesterday. We didn’t shoot any birds but we did manage to blow one of the tires on Dad’s truck by running over the edge of a culvert pipe.

Our 2nd Anniversary recap

Elise and I had a nice anniversary yesterday. Work pretty much sucked for me – I couldn’t wait to get home. To add insult to injury, my stupid iPod’s batteries went dead while at work so I had to listen to droning bus engines on the bicycle ride home. Just prior to leaving work, I spent too much time trying to figure out my newly acquired miniature frame-mounted tire pump. I looked like I was trying to wrestle an epileptic crocodile. Anyway – come to find out, having air in your tires can lead to a quicker ride home.

Steve and Joanne took Elise and me to Eddie V’s for a mighty fine and fancy dinner. Steve had the Mahi Mahi filet with spicy rock shrimp and mango salsa. Elise had the broiled swordfish steak with mushrooms, pistachios, chives and veal jus. Joanne and I both had the Pacific Ahi tuna with avocado, tomato and chile vinaigrette. I had mine rare (still flopping on the plate) and Joanne had hers cooked medium well. We all thought everything was great but Elise made out with the best meal of them all.

We went back to our apartment after dinner and opened presents. I bought Elise a Dell Axim X5 Pocket PC, hoping that it will help her in her job. Elise bought me a chef’s jacket and a 7″ Wusthof hollowed edge Santoku knife. Of course I had to immediately hop up and slice a carrot to test out my new toy. I’ll probably need to count my fingers on a daily basis from here on out.

After opening presents, we all went on the balcony and talked for a while. We then went into the office and looked at Elise’s and my wedding photos on By that time it was almost 1 a.m. I think Elise went back into the living room and talked with her parents. I just remember the alarm waking me up at 6:45 a.m. Back to reality.

Steve and Joanne visit my parents’ house for the first time

My in-laws are in until Thursday of this week. They got into town around 6 p.m. on Friday after driving from Norman, OK. Their journey started from Des Moines on Thursday. Elise was working, so I took them to Hoover’s for some comfort food. Steve and Joanne both had the barbequed chicken, I opted for the chicken fried steak. Everything was awesome – even the waitress who insisted that Joanne not order the grilled salmon Caesar salad but a rib-sticking order of chicken and mashed potatoes instead.

Elise got home from work at 1:30 a.m. Steve and Joanne tried to stay up to wait on her but couldn’t quite make it. Elise and I went to bed. We woke up on Saturday and drove to my parents’ house. After a short visit we drove to New Ulm to have hamburgers at the Texas Star Cafe. My Mom, Steve, Joanne and Elise dropped my Dad and me off at the house so they could drive to see the big town of Bellville.

Dad and I smoked pork ribs. Dad showed me the beginnings of his new work bench that he’s building with his new router. The rest of the family came back from Bellville. Steve and Joanne learned some interesting history about your humble narrator, so I’m told. Mom and I finished cooking and we all sat down and had dinner. To rub salt in the wound, someone brought out the photo albums. I avoided the situation for the most part. When I heard laughter, I walked further.

To create a diversion, I decided to blow something up. I went outside and started shooting off left-over fireworks from the fourth of July. That grabbed everyone’s attention and soon I had an audience.

We woke up early on Sunday. Steve, Joanne and Elise went to church in Bellville. Dad, Mom and I stayed at home, sacrificed a goat, painted stick figures on our foreheads with pig’s blood and sang Barbara Mandrell tunes. Well, really we just ate bagels.

The rest of the afternoon consisted of reading the newspaper, talking, watching football and eating. We headed back to Austin at 8 p.m. I stayed up long enough to put away my clothes and other miscellaneous effects and hit the hay.

Weekends are just too short.

Demon smoke alarm

Our brain piercing smoke alarm went of at 5 a.m. Monday morning. My wife happens to be a snooze hitter, so I can usually tune out any annoying beeps and buzzes while sleeping. This particular incessant squeal made me open my eyes, but remain relatively unresponsive. Elise got out of bed and assessed the situation. The manly man that I am stayed in bed with the comforter pulled up to my chest.

Elise came back to bed. There was no reason for the smoke alarm to go off. I asked Elise: “Was that a poltergeist?” Dumb me. I’m not manly because I didn’t get out of bed to check for a fire, now I can’t go back to sleep and I keep pulling my legs in closer to my body because I’m thinking there is a paranormal demon roaming our apartment, setting off smoke alarms and looking for some hairy, skinny legs to eat for a late night snack.

Catching up

The Friday before last (Sept. 5th) Elise, Travis, his girlfriend, Sarah and I went to the Dobie Theater to see Step Into Liquid. If you don’t see the movie, at least watch the trailer) Awesome movie. The cinematography is excellent. Elise went back to work. Travis, Sarah and I went back to my apartment, played the geetar and had a mini-PS2-playing marathon.

*Remembering the Dobie* The last time I was at the Dobie Theater, I was with Elise and our friend, James. We saw The Blair Witch Project. That scared us to death. At that time, the Dobie had curtains draped from the walls. The whole time we all kept thinking that something was going to come out from behind the curtains and kill us.

We were in my Rodeo, driving home, while James told us about the school children that supposedly push stalled cars off of the rail road tracks in San Antonio. Way to rub salt in the wound, James. James didn’t want to leave our apartment that night. We stayed up and kept scaring each other with stories.

Anyway – the Saturday before last (the 6th), I stayed in most of the day. No thanks to John, I purchased a 10GB iPod on eBay. Now I have to sell the Archos Jukebox Recorder. Once I download XPlay (or iTunes if it seems better), I’m sure I’ll be much happier with my iPod.

Later that night I met up with Tommy, Victor, Fred and Mike for a couple drinks at Opal Divine’s. We then went bar hopping on 6th Street. Elise called me when she was leaving work. I rode the trusty Shadow home to spend some time with my wife seeing how I never see her any more.

We stayed in all day on Sunday and talked. We talked and talked and talked. I shocked myself by remembering a pivotal point in my life, just prior to meeting Elise. It was a really low point in you humble narrator’s past. Elise and I discussed fate and how we were in the right place, at the right time, when we met. It was an interesting recollection and revelation.

Last week’s work week flew by. We went to a VIP party at the El Arroyo on 183. That was a lot of fun. We were able to sample most of the new menu items.

Elise went to work at 8:30 a.m. on Friday morning. She came home at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday to take a shower and go back to work. Her work day wasn’t over until roughly 2:30 a.m. on Sunday. I think Elise calculated 38 hours of work.

I went to work on Saturday morning to start a differential backup on our file server. I also wrote a long love letter to Elise. I went to CompUSA and bought a camera back for our PowerShot S400. I then went home to witness UT get creamed by Arkansas. Later that night I went to Tommy’s to watch Oscar De La Hoya wrongfully lose to Shane Mosley.

Elise and I woke up on Sunday and returned the van that she had rented for work. We (Elise) had lunch a Z’ Tejas. I suddenly came down with a terrible case of what felt like someone shoved an epileptic mongoose with a five gallon tank of ether and a cigarette in my stomach. We went home because I was feeling so bad. Elise took a nap. When she woke, I was finishing watching the very manly Payback, starring Mel Gibson. We changed the channel and watched, in its entirety, the very unmanly Hope Floats, starring Sandra Bullock. I cried, became bloated and my ankles swelled. Oh wait… nevermind.

Elise and I celebrated five years of togetherness yesterday. I had a nice bouquet of seasonal flowers sent to her work. With that I had delivered the letter that I had written on Saturday. We had dinner at El Arroyo, came home and played Monopoly.

Watch me eat, why don’tcha?

I’ve had no time to write. I need to make it a point to, though. Work, Tae Kwon Do and BBBS are consuming me. Any spare time I have is allotted for Elise. She works so much though that she’s hardly around. So I really just spend time trying to conquer my one phobia: sitting across from strangers in restaurants.

Elise and I haven’t had time to go to the grocery store in a month or so. I’ve been having to fend for myself during lunch. I can’t really go home because I ride my bicycle to work. It would take my entire lunch hour just to ride home and ride back. That would leave me with no time to eat. “But Josh, why don’t you just bring your lunch with you?” Because 1) We don’t have any food and 2) I can’t think rationally before 8:30 a.m. I get to work and think to myself: “Damn, why didn’t I bring my lunch?”

Around 1 p.m. I forage the surrounding creek and parking lots for berries. I usually end up with a fist full of cigarette butts and broken glass. I need more fiber. Luckily there’s a Subway behind our building. Yesterday I practically had the restaurant to myself. Just in case, I sat myself in the corner booth, facing the window, away from any other tables. Except for one. A lady ordered her lunch and came and sat at the ONLY table that would allow for any sort of eye contact with yours truly. I was facing west, she was facing north. She could have sat in the other bench of her booth, but no, she had to sit facing north, in direct eyesight of the left side of my face.

I could feel her eyes studying my primal eating habits. Before each bite, I sniffed all sides of my 6″ club sandwich. I would rub the garlic roasted bun on my forehead, grunt and take a large bite, making sure to leave sliced bell pepper and shredded lettuce dangling from my chin. The lady stared harder. I couldn’t take it any longer. I stood up in my booth, beat the right side of my chest with my left hand, I howled and chunked my half eaten sandwich at the lady. I hit her square above the left eye. Red wine vinaigrette and sliced banana peppers teetered from her glasses. I threw my Pepsi to the ceiling and ripped the table out from it’s bolted grounding. I left.

That’s what I should have done.

I hate it when people sit where they can watch me eat.

Labor Day weekend 2003

Although I don’t have much time to write recently, I find it necessary because I have a bad memory. I just had to call Elise to have her tell me what I did on Friday night. Nothing.

Elise worked all weekend so I had to fend for myself. Tommy came over late Saturday afternoon and we played PS2. Philip came over later in the evening to join us in our SSX Tricky tournament.

I woke up too early on Sunday and went for a long overdue ride down Lime Creek Road on the trusty Shadow. I got home in time to have Tommy pick me up to go to the grocery store and then to John and Christine’s.

We all hung out by the pool. I eventually made spinach artichoke dip and Shrimp Diablo. After dinner we all went to Tommy’s place to watch UT narrowly defeat New Mexico State. After the game we all went to some bar in north Austin to sing karaoke. The karaoke part never happened because 1) the people singing karaoke were apparently practicing for American Idol auditions and 2) Josh woke up too early that morning and it was time to sleep.

John called us on Monday morning and invited us to breakfast. He made eggs, venison sausage, bacon and toast for Christine, Elise, Michelle and me. After breakfast (at 12:30 p.m.) we went to the movie theater to see American Wedding. Funny movie.

John ran to Target to buy The Lord of the Ring: The Two Towers. So we went back to John and Christine’s place to watch another movie. Tommy came over later in the afternoon. Michelle went home to get her dogs and to bring back food. I cooked hamburgers for everyone, courtesy of Michelle.

Three fifths of us fell asleep during the movie. Having just eaten large hamburgers probably contributed to that. Elise and I went home around midnight.

All-in-all, it was a nice, relaxing weekend.