Elise’s trip to Des Moines

Elise took a short vacation and flew up to Des Moines for five days. She’s inundated with work these days so you’ll have to wait until she has time to write about her trip. In the meantime, here are some photos.

Cutting Jalepenos

  Note to self:
Do not cut garden fresh jalapenos with bare hands and then go tinkle.
  Note to self #2:
You should have known this… it happened to John years ago and you used to make fun of him.

Stung by a wasp

I decided to work from home this morning.  Around 11 o’clock I went out into the backyard for a little break.  I walked over to the garden to check the tomato plant.  I felt something under my right foot.  It felt like I was standing on a sharp twig.  The longer I stood there, the more it hurt.  My internal pain response mechanism sent a memo to my lower right appendage stating: “Hey, maybe you should move your foot”.  I did just that.  A large red wasp flew up from under the grass where I had just been standing.  It flew towards my head.  I maintained my manliness by not shrieking like a little girl.  Instead I frolicked back to the patio and assessed the damages.  Nothing like a good ol’ wasp sting between the pinky and next toe to start off a Tuesday.  That hurt like hell.  Coincidentally, my boss, who is also a pharmacist, called shortly after the attack.  Remedy: vinegar.  The acetic acid in vinegar neutralized the sting.

Weird dreams, DSP HDTV

I took Elise to the airport on Friday morning to spend five days in Des Moines.  I went to work for a few hours and left early to beat traffic and make my way east to spend the weekend with my parents. 

I got to Cat Spring around 6:30 p.m.  Mom, Dad and I went to Cross Roads for fried catfish.  We came home and watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.  I had weird dreams last night.  I rarely remember my dreams.  In my first dream, a little Dachshund puppy was playing in a pond.  He was exiting the water and a large catfish came up from out of the water and swallowed the puppy up to his neck.  The catfish kept his head out of water and body in the water just enough to where I could see the little puppy’s head in the mouth of the fish.  The little puppy was shivering.  I woke myself up.

In my next dream, a little black and white kitten was playing near the same body of water.  A large crocodile came out the water and ate the kitten.

I didn’t sleep well for the rest of the night.  I can sort of understand why a catfish was in my dream, but not the small domesticated pets or the crocodile.

Today we all woke up early.  Dad cleaned the boat.  I took a shower and went outside and figured out why the depth/fish finder on the boat wasn’t working.

After that, we all hopped in the truck to drive to Katy to get a new TV for my parents.  My parents, after a lot of homework, decided on a 50″ Samsung DSP HDTV.  We went to Best Buy because they were offering a free Xbox with the purchase of a TV $1,500 or more.  So now yours truly has an Xbox.  Best Buy really did have the best buy.  The same TV was the same price at Circuit City, but no Xbox.  CompUSA and Fry’s were both $200 more.

Now we’re home.  I hooked the new TV up and Dad and I are watching the Texans play the Cowboys.  Tomorrow we’re going boating at Lake Somerville.


Tracy and Patrick came to the house for a visit last Wednesday with their new baby girl, Gianna. Gianna is gorgeous and a very well behaved one-month-old. I whipped up a grilled pork tenderloin with a chipotle, corn and cream sauce, jalapeno, cilantro and corn hash brown and an arugula summer salad with a light southwestern yogurt dressing dinner.

We had a nice conversation about parenthood and life in general. Tracy and Patrick left around 11 p.m. and I immediately checked the prices of used babies on eBay. No luck thus far. I’ll keep y’all posted.

Ceiling fans, Doom 3 and valve stems

A lot has been going on recently, even though it doesn’t seem like it.  Last week, Clyde (my TKD instructor) and Della went to Canada so I taught classes.  On Tuesday we reviewed patterns for the full hour.  On Thursday, Elena and Autumn were the only ones to show.  I reviewed their patterns and had to end class after taking a smooth kick to manland during free sparring.

On Thursday night our neighbors had a little community dessert/get together.  Elise and I walked over to their house around 8ish and were able to meet a few more of our neighbors.  It was great to finally meet everyone.

After a full day of work on Friday, I drove to Playland Skate Center to bartend for a catering Elise did for Accenture.  We worked until midnight.  We were exhausted.  Since we hadn’t seen much of each other that week, Elise and I went home and talked on the back porch until 3 a.m.

We were going to go tubing again on Saturday but it looked like rain.  I woke up at 7 a.m. and couldn’t really fall back to sleep.  I got out of bed around 8.  Elise woke up shortly after.  We went to Old Navy to get in on the Tax Free Weekend.  We went so Elise could get some new clothes.  Elise got a pair of pants that fitted funny.  I got a shirt, a pair of shorts and a jacket.

We went to El Arroyo so Elise could drop off a load list.  We had hamburgers at the restaurant.  El Arroyo has good hamburgers by the way.  After lunch we went to the ol’ HoPot and bought a new ceiling fan for the living room.  That took up the rest of my Saturday.  Installing a ceiling fan allowed for me to brush up on my profanity.  I even made up some of my own words.  That’s how frustrating the whole experience was for me.  I think it took me four hours to complete the project.

Elise had to work on Sunday.  I went back to HoPot and bought some monkey grass to edge the oak tree in the front yard.  I planted the grass in just enough time to miss the afternoon heat and humidity.  I went inside the house and took the old fan that used to be in the living room and installed it in the bedroom.  Luckily I had recently become a seasoned veteran in the field of domestic ceiling fan installation so this install didn’t take quite as long.  The funny part was when I tested the electricity before completely reassembling the fan.  I flicked the switch and pulled the pull on the fan prior to fastening the fan to the ceiling bracket.  When you pull the pull on a fan, the first pull is the high setting on the fan.  I did this and the motor started spinning on the fast setting.  That was hilarious.  Chains were slapping me in the face and the fan started crawling its way up to the ceiling due to the wires twisting.  Luckily I was able to harness my ceiling fan installation ninja skills and stop the motor from spinning before the possessed generator of wind escaped and made its way throughout the neighborhood.

After that whole ordeal I went back to Old Navy to return Elise’s pants.  I then went to CompUSA and picked up a copy of Doom 3.  I thought my computer could handle it but it’s looking like I might have to upgrade my graphics card (to the tune of ~$300).  So I’m thinking I might be selling Doom 3.  I could possibly turn a profit there because CompUSA had a 1-week $10 mail-in rebate for the game.  Or I could hold off and eventually upgrade the graphics card.  Or I could buy a Xbox and the game for a lot less than buying a new graphics card.  Or I could sell the damn game because playing it could get in the way of my aspiration to become a professional ceiling fan installer.

About the time that I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to play my new game, Elise called… “Do you want the good news or the bad news first?” she asks.  “What did you do to my truck?” was my only response.  I had let Elise use my truck for a catering that morning.  She had a blow out about a mile from the house.  I drove over and put the spare on the truck so she could drive it home.

On Monday I spent half the day at Sam’s getting new tires.  I got up in the morning and went to the Sam’s near the house to find that the tires that I wanted ($30 each ) were at the north store.  I drove way the hell up to north Austin and paced the store for two hours while they installed my tires.  When they were done, I had the manager waive the installation fee since it took over an hour.

I finally got to work around 2:30.  I made some DNS changes to a handful of our clients’ websites and went home.  I went to put my new spare tire in its spot under the truck only to find that the spare was flat.  I borrowed my neighbor’s air pump and found out that the valve stem was cut.  I had to go back to Sam’s and get the valve stem fixed.

Losing sunglasses

So I was sick most of last week. I felt well enough on Friday morning to go into work. The day flew by as I had so much work to catch up on. That night Elise and I went to Tommy’s to watch Mike Tyson get the crap beaten out of him.

Elise, Tommy, Diego, Philip and I went tubing the Guadalupe.

  Note to self:
If you wear a pair of $300 prescription sunglasses while tubing the Guadalupe River, you will eventually lose them.

We also found out the hard way that if you show up to rent tubes after 3 p.m., you will only be allowed to float the river for a little over two hours – and you’ll still pay full price for tubes.

We all had a blast. We flipped each other out of our tubes. We stopped floating at one point so yours truly could borrow the guitar from a lady performing riverside. I played what I could remember of that one song about hunting in the woods and venereal diseases.

I also lost a cool hat that Diego let me borrow when I flipped out of my tube and lost my sunglasses. On the way back to Austin I lost the Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar hat that I gave to Elise. That was the big bummer. That was the bar that Elise and I used to go to when we were in college. That was the bar where Elise first told me she loved me.

Before getting back to the house we stopped at HEB to buy fajita meat. I cooked for the crew and we stayed up for a few more hours. Philip headed downtown to meet up with some other friends. Fred went home. Tommy and Diego spent the night camped out on the couches.

On Sunday Elise and I went to lunch at Jazz on Sixth with Jim, Tammy, Theresa and James. Afterwards Elise and I went to Miguel Imports for something to liven up the house and pretty much found nothing. I’m sure we could have found something but it was something like 980 degrees outside so we decided to go home instead. We stayed in the rest of the afternoon, took it easy and enjoyed the AC.

On Monday morning I was able to determine how to feel better in the mornings. Get sleep. Yes – it took me many years of research. I’ve given myself a 10:30 p.m. curfew to be in bed. Tuesday night I accidentally stayed up until 11 but that’s still earlier than normal. I’ve been feeling a lot better this week.