Undisputed Southern charm

We’re watching ‘No Country for Old Men’ right now and just I heard a line where Tommy Lee Jones’s character says something like, “Anytime you quit hearin’ “sir” and “ma’am”, the end is pretty much in sight.”

I say, amen. Elise says, “pop”. Or “soda”.

Easter: Czech Republic versus America

Actual conversation I recently had with my pen pal, Radek, who is a native of Prague:


“Hi my friend,

Next Monday is Easter, and for Czech Republic is a typical Easter thrashing of girl – from morning to 12:00am, mens are going with cluster from willow spray and thrashing every girl, and say rytme (carol), afters this girls gift decorated eggs, sweets or alkohol shot – thrashing with willow spray is protection before dry and rejuvenation. And after 12:00am girls can sprinkle mens with water (in return to men) :)).

What do you do at easter Monday in Texas?”


“We commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus by telling our children that a giant bunny rabbit left chocolate eggs in the night…” [Thanks, Bill.]


I sat in the parked car, keys in my pocket and stared blankly across Lamar Blvd. as other peoples’ lives flashed before my eyes. I was stuck in a voluntary daze as my focus drifted to the lump that was forming in my throat and the slow swelling in my eyes. I remembered my conversation with Rosie less than five minutes ago. I was looking up at her from my chair. Most of what she said went over my head. I was supposed to be periodically squeezing the pharmaco swag foam platelet so my red red kroovy would continue to fill the viles.

“Right now you’re a six out of six”, she said.

“What does that mean, six out of six?”

“Those are your antigens. We’re hoping for ten out of ten.”

I still don’t know what it means or what exactly it is that they’re looking for, other than a “twin”. They won’t know that for another four to six weeks.

She said I have a 1/200 chance of being a match. She said that was good. One out of two hundred doesn’t seem like good odds to me. If I could alter my DNA, I would, just so I could make those odds better.

“What are the next steps?” I asked.

“We’ll send these off to be tested. These three will be tested for infectious disease, the others for matching.”

“Then what?”

“If I call you, you’re it.”

“What if…”

“If you’re not, I’ll send you a letter.”

It was at some point in the conversation where she mentioned “his last chance”. And it was at that point where most everything else just didn’t really matter.

She gave me her card, we shook hands and as I hobbled toward the door on my crutches, she told me that she hopes she’ll be calling me soon. I concurred.

I sat there in the parking lot and thought about a 43-year-old man that I don’t even know. I’m not a man for prayer, but I sat there and hoped. If my hoping is considered praying, then I prayed. I got lost in thinking about who this man might be. I thought about his family and those who depend upon and love him. And I thought about all of the things that I had taken for granted just this morning.

A lot of things were put into perspective for me today.

Monthly Maly Letter: Month 23

Dear Maly,

You turned 23-months-old this past week. My love for you continues to grow each and every day. On the other hand, your love for your mom and me seems to be regularly distracted by your newfound item of comfort. I’d somewhat expected this of you at some point in your life. Your mom and I both had our security blankets when we were toddlers. This month you found the comfort of a baby blue microfiber washcloth. It’s pretty cute because you hold the washcloth in your right hand, pressed against your cheek while you suck the fingers on your left hand. What’s cute, but equally strange, is that you insist that your rag be wet. And you let us know as much. “Wet. Wet. Wet. WETTTTT!!!!” So either your mom or I have to run the rag through the sink and ring it out so it’s wet enough to satiate you, yet not too wet as to leave a trail or water along your trail throughout the house.

From about the time your started saying words, you quickly realized that asking, “this?” would warrant a response and explanation to whatever “this” was that you were pointing to. You still say “this” whenever you want something that’s beyond your reach and you don’t know the name of said this, or you want to know the name of “this”. This month you caught on to saying, “who’s that?” I’m pretty sure you got that from your mom and me because of the countless photos we’ve shown you in the past 23 months and asked you, “Maly, who’s that?” Now, whenever you see a photo of a person (or an inanimate object) that you’re not sure of, you ask, “who’s that?”

It’s seems as if you’ve reached a pivotal point in your young life where you’re really branching out. Your synapses have converged and you’re now taking everything in a way that I like to think of not much unlike a scary sponge. An interesting thing that you have brought to our attention is that Mom and I growl. A lot. Whenever we get frustrated with anything in general, we both have a tendency to let out a guttural moan. A couple of weeks ago I was feeding you soup for lunch. As usual, you quickly ate started playing with you food. We taught you from an early age that food is to stay on the table, and for the most part, you’re an abiding child. On this particular day I think you got a little too excited and your spoon sent your bowl and remainder of your soup onto the floor, the chair and the wall. Had it been anything other than soup, I probably just would have kept my normal, laid-back composure, reminded you to keep your food on the table and cleaned the mess. Instead, while attempting to mask my frustration, I growled under my breath and used the Big Daddy of all expletives…

And then I heard, in what I still consider your soft and angelic voice, you repeat me verbatim: Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. F**K!!”

Now, more than ever, Mom and I have to be ever cognizant of your sponginess. I look at it as a challenge and am happy and anxious to teach you the good in life and you continue to grow and become more and more inquisitive.

Your imagination is really starting to shine through now as well. We’ve always known you have a vivid imagination, but now it’s starting to materialize. Enter Simmy. Every once in a while during the past month, we’d hear you say, “No no, Simmy!” I can totally understand the “no no” part as it’s in your mom’s and my daily vocabulary, but who or what is Simmy? We know of no word that resembles “Simmy”. This past week I decided that you have an imaginary friend named Simmy. I could be completely wrong, but I like to think your creative side is starting to shine.

You’re such a sweet little angel. It’s scary how fast you’re growing up but exciting in the same breath. As you grow, you interact with us and the world around you more and more. You’re becoming independent and that frightens me. But as I watch you become more independent, I can also see how you need me more and more, but in a different way. A way where you need a little more guidance, and a little less security. Regardless of how much security and guidance you need, I’ll always be here to give you all that I have and then some.

I love you, Sugar.



Broken: Week 1

It’s hard to believe I broke my ankle a whole week ago. Since being back at work, the sympathy vote has been refreshing, but it still sucks having a broken ankle. It’s not really the broken ankle that sucks so much as it is having to use crutches. Cruising around on crutches means you have no hands. It’s not easy to tote around a laptop, food, drink, firearms or Obama ads that are littering the mailbox.

As of tonight, I’m halfway through my series of Lovenox injections.

I was reflecting on broken bones on the drive home from work tonight. Over the years I have broken:

Right collar bone – fell off trampoline
Left wrist – fell out of tree
Right ankle – gym hockey
Left ankle – snow skiing
Tailbone – football
and countless toes – Tae Kwon Do