Tuesday, October 31, 2006

4th time's a charm

Tonight was our 4th Halloween here at this undisclosed location we call home. Which also means this is our 4th Halloween outside of the church culture. Thus, four years without fall-fests, Halleluiah Nights (I called them Halleluiah-weens) and all the other ways to churchify the event that’s still Halloween in the end.

Agent Wife’s Jesus mummy porch display made it’s 4th comeback this year. She said that nobody gets it. And after four years I finally realized why: Jesus defeating death doesn’t make sense to non-church people. Or at least to kids looking for candy. They all think it’s Osama Bin Ladin in some wishful mummified patriotic porch theme. Maybe the Jesus mummy is a hang-over from our church mentality. So it goes.

However, the Sanfords next door did it right. They had some kind of fun little scary-looking setup in their car port that they gathered in and passed out candy and cooked hotdogs. There were laughs and screams coming from their house all night.

I found a spare hockey mask laying around their house so I joined in the fun.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

It's a weird-ass life

2006 has been one of the weirdest years of my life. We have had no normal income and no budget to operate under. But we’ve made it.

And I credit all to the CEO.

Agent Offspring #2 was born in July and we had nothing. But AO2 was born fine and has made it.

Nothing makes sense on paper or even on these blog reports. But we’ve made it.

We’re broker than we’ve ever been, but we have a ridiculously new luxury car in our driveway (which thank god it’s finally for sale).

I rarely have $5 in my pocket and my jeans are getting so faded and ripped (ehh…so what) yet I sometimes wear a $250 watch my uncle gave me. It’s the only trustworthy timepiece I’ve got.

All this stuff reminds me when my wife and I officially joined the agent-hood in 2000. That year I reported to the IRS our earnings of $8000. Which is like way below poverty level. But that year we traveled more than we ever do: Atlanta, LA, and even on a 4-day camping/canoeing trip in remote northern Saskatchewan. We were so broke but we did more than we’ve ever done in a year.

And I had always wanted to attend a 10-caliber seminar like the ones they host in California and New York. But I could never afford to go. So in 2001 I hosted my own in the fair mother city. Our seminar teacher was one of the most well-known 10 caliber players, who has recorded and toured with the Dave Matthews Band. The seminar was a huge success.

This year it’s starting to look like we may visit family in Canada for the holidays. They are generously offering to flip the bill for our travel expenses. This may be a real juggling act since I’m trying to sell the one reliable car (Star Destroyer) we have access to. But if it doesn’t sell by then I guess we’ll take it there. However, the Millennium Falcon may make it fine. She’s got 237,000 miles and can still outrun the empire. But who knows if she’ll handle –20C temps.

And then there’s the dozens of jobs I’ve been applying for as part of my new fishing gig. I’ve had a few interviews and so far nothing’s panned out. But if the right one comes my way soon, I’m sure leaving the country for 3 weeks around Christmas time would not be an option.

It wouldn’t surprise me if we end up in Canada two months from now. Expect the unexpected.

Sometimes I wonder if I’ve chosen the right path in life.

We’re not anyone’s hero or savior. But I wonder where everything would have been had we not lived on this street, in the fair mother city, operating undercover.

What would have become of Obi-Wan, The Sanford’s and their network, the Valdez’s and their extended family, Sebastian and Jenny, and dozens of others.

What would my life and everyone else’s life have been like had I joined the rat race trying to make a buck?

CEO – I’m willing to stick this out, even if it doesn’t make sense. Show me where to cast my net.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

the man (Samaritans #002)

I’ve been dwelling on the good Samaritan story for a few days.

In case you missed it, the last report was a vague attempt to compare Frieda Sanford and her family to the good Samaritan.

A small amount of research, on my part, shows that in Jesus’ day Samaritans were considered “half-breeds” to the jews both physically and spiritually and therefore, less than human.

I guess Samaritans didn’t adhere to the same life and customs to the “chosen ones” (jews). Much like how today’s poverty class have a very different life and value system than the religious people that make up the middle class.

In Jesus’ parable, I assume that “the man” was a jew. Makes sense because Jesus was telling this story to a jewish leader.

I would also assume that because “the man” was a jew, he would not care much for Samaritans. He probably argued with them and mocked them.

For purposes of reflection, understanding, and self-indulgence, I, Agent B, can identify with “the man”.

I was once fairly religious and in a position to make judgmental comments if not mock those who obviously lived outside the christian lifestyle.

And yes, I was once robbed and beaten up and left on the roadside of life for dead.

And yes, both the religious leaders and laypeople sailed past me. They probably didn’t want to get involved or get their hands dirty or scar their own image by being associated with the hurt and wounded.

Only the Samaritans of this day and age would have anything to do with me. They aided me and gave of their all. To me...the guy who least deserved their attention.

Still trying to figure out where to go with this...

Monday, October 23, 2006


Unbeknownst to them, the poverty culture often takes Jesus’ words in Matthew 25 literally. Wow. What a concept.

My next door neighbor Frieda Sanford has a 20 year old daughter named Jessie. Jessie has tried to make a clean break from home once or twice by moving in with a boyfriend or something. It lasted like 2 weeks so she’s back next door.

Somewhere, Jessie ran into some 17 year old homeless* girl and made friends with her. She soon invited the 17 year old to come live with her and her family.

I’m serious. For like two months, Frieda and her family treated the 17 year old like a daughter. They housed and fed her, etc. She went where ever they went and did what ever they did. And their house has to be about 850 square foot with five other people dwelling there (not including The Tiger’s backyard den).

The 17 year old recently moved off with some boyfriend.

If middle class church people saw the Sanfords, they’d probably judge them by their appearance. Or at least the way their property looks and the way they live.

We in the middle class have an unwritten rule in life to protect ourselves. Protect our property, space, time.


I don’t even know where to go with this one…

*I use the word “homeless” loosely as this 17 year old is technically home-less... in no home, abandoned by her mom, sleeping on friend’s couches, etc. This is opposed to being homeless, as in sleeping outside in a camp by the tracks and dining at a local shelter/mission, etc. There’s probably not much difference in the two definitions.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

minor scare deja vu

Much like an incident that happened a year ago, Obi-Wan was rushed to the hospital yesterday due to extremely low blood sugar. But thankfully, he was back home within a couple of hours.

Obi-Wan's home health care worker, Nurse Gollum, found him sitting in his chair and mumbling nonsense. She called 911 then came and got me.

It was almost 6pm. And we gathered that he had not eaten all day. I last saw Obi-Wan at noon when he was cooking soup on his stove and talked about making corn bread in the oven. When I arrived with Nurse Gollum, the burner was still on and the soup was all dried up. And the oven was on with a burned up corn bread blacker than a tire.

So my guess is that he hadn't eaten breakfast, than he fell asleep while his lunch cooked. Good thing his house didn't burn down.

He had a little sandwich at the emergency room and he was back home with some fried chicken by 9pm.

Thank you CEO.

Friday, October 20, 2006

pull the string on my monkey

A few weeks ago I was at Obi-Wan's an he was fiddling around in a drawer.

"Hey B. Come over here and pull the string on my monkey."



Then he shows me this ancient-looking toy of a monkey the has some pulleys within it and string. You're supposed to hold the string up in the air, then pull downward on the bottom string and the monkey climbs up.

It was funny.

Anyway, Obi-Wan gives it to Agent Offspring #1 today for AO1's birthday. But soon after, AO1 messed it up by dragging it around the house and I can't figure out how the string went. So it goes.

It's also Agent Wife's birthday.

So...to half my family...Happy Birthday! Pull the monkey.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

marching sermon

I grew up in the vast wasteland of unimaginative edged yards, cookie cutter subdivisions that replaced farmlands, and the birthplace of product marketing and materialism all rolled into one. Yes, the Houston, Texas suburbs is where I sharpened my teeth on the file of life.

However, my high school had an incredible history dating back to the 1800's with a one-room school house in rural farmland. By the late 1980's my school was the well-known centerpiece that anchored the 10th fastest growing district in the entire US. This growth was fueled by Houston's sprawling economy and no-zoning laws.

Although my school was very suburbia-ish with all of its MTV, pop radio and shopping mall influence, it still hung on to its farming roots. Out of the whole city of Houston, our school had the largest FFA (Future Farmers of America, for you city slicks) program in town. Back then, half of the school's population came from the rural farming community and the other half from the suburban nightmare.

I always referred to my school as "the place where city folk and country folk come together and learn in perfect harmony".

I was born to be a musician. I think. Music always came natural. Unlike most kids who were forced to take piano lessons, I begged for piano lessons. But my parents were as musical as bricks, so there was no hope in getting a piano in our house. Then there was church...a church of christ for crying out freaking loud. They just sing goofy songs with no instruments. And I never liked singing much. So I had no outlet to discover music until the 6th grade when I joined band. And from there, marching band was the next step once high school begun.

Marching band is a big deal in Texas because football is a really big deal. And the two go hand in hand for some reason.

Back in the early 1900's marching bands were pretty serious entertainment for people as there was no radio, TV, laptops, etc. Over the years marching band has de-evolved into entertainment for other band nerds. Few real people listen to them seriously, and I don't blame them either.

Our high school marching band, like all others in the state, played in big competitions. Everyones goal was to get "to state", the superbowl of Texas HS marching band euphoria.

And every year a certain school in our region was so good that they'd not only go to state. They'd win. Their show was just asininely ridiculous in Spinal Tap levels of lunacy. One year they played a custom arrangement of Holst's "The Planets" (a well known orchestral piece that served as inspiration for much of the Star Wars score). It was so over-done and arrogant. BTW - my college rock band played a freaked out distorted version of "Mars". But we were cool.

But the biggest surprise in my marching band experience came from the last place band in our region: Smiley High School from the inner city Houston area.

Smiley was an all black school. And they kicked ass.

They didn't march like all the white suburbia schools. And they received the lowest, most embarrassing ratings at the contest because they didn't follow the rules that the marching band trends had created over the years.

Instead, Smiley followed the true calling of the marching band: they entertained.

It was THE most incredible thing I've EVER seen. Smiley's drum major was like James Brown on steroids. He had this 4-foot gold scepter and was throwing in in the air to the beat while doing back flips and cartwheels and gymnastic stunts all while blowing a whistle to a hip rhythm. Their band was small, but mighty. Like an extended Tower of Power horn section doing unison moves of a black church choir.

You couldn't help but cheer for them. They rocked!

Our HS band played some cheesy medley from "Fiddler on the Roof" or something stupid like that. Smiley was playing "Shaft", "Shake Your Booty" and other hits from Soul Train.

Our band: moved in unison like some rigid teen aged military. Smiley: moved like they were from the dancing-est hemisphere on earth.

Our band: excellent ratings.

Smiley: failing ratings.

Smiley didn't follow the official rules and traditions of the craft and paid the price. But they did what I thought was the original point for a band. And that is to entertain people.


Dear church of Jesus Christ and the great CEO of the universe,

Don't forsake your true calling for the man-made rules of your tradition. Quit whoring yourselves for the high ratings of man and the approval of your politically-run denominational heritage.

Return to your roots. Heal the sick. Raise the dead. Give to those without. Restore sight to the blind. Heal the crippled. Share the good news of the TRUTH by serving those outside your walls. And encourage one another.

And for those inside your walls: there should be none among you in need. KNOW each other and pay attention to someone other than your own naval.

Less talking. More listening.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Today I discovered that I am a whiner.

I don't like this. Both the whiner part and the discovery part.

Why do my plans not materialize? Why are things not going my way?

I have no right to be a cry baby. The CEO has always made things happen in a different space/time continuum than anything I could half-ass construct.

...so help me god...to brace myself like a man.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Testimony #019

I must thank the CEO for our week and our excellent weekend.

At the beginning of the week, Agent Wife and I had three bills due and no money whatsoever. Plus, there was a family reunion in East TX that we wanted to attend. But there was no way we could travel to it on good intentions. And family reunions on my side of the family are unheard of. They haven't happened in over 30 years. And 2006 seems to be this healing/renaissance period in my life as I'm meeting and befriending family I never knew I had.

Agent wife prayed for what seemed impossible (reunion attendance) while I prayed and tried to find ways to pay bills.

Due to three highly unexpected blessings, we not only have all bills paid now, but traveled to the reunion, enjoyed it, and have some money left over.

And oh yeah...caught up on an amazing amout of sleep last night.

Still casting nets. Still listening.

CEO - thank you for showing me that your agendas aren't like mine.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

destiny or dying

Fact: I don't own a TV. We don't have one on purpose. It's not due to some asinine religious boycott. There's several reasons we don't have one.

1) I use to work for a local NBC affiliate as a master control operator. And when you spend 3 years of your life getting paid to watch 40 hours of network programming a week, it makes you never want to own a TV again. For the rest of your life. Ever. Kind of like people who work at Long John Silver's never want to eat fish again.

2) I got tired of always wanting stuff. And I discovered that by not having a TV, my personal materialistic desires lessened dramatically. If you never see TV ads, you never know what's out there. Thus, you never want stuff.

3) In marriage, I discovered that I pay more attention to the people around me when there's no TV. That's a good thing. But now I have to re-learn discipline with this damned computer...

But all of this is thrown out the window when I visit Obi-Wan's house. I figure watching TV at his place must be OK since it's his and I don't live there. His TV is on maybe 40% of the time anyway.

Obi-Wan's is where I fell in love with Criminal Minds on CBS. It's probably a lousy show by most people's standards. But it fuels my fascination of the agent investigative and psychoanalytical world, I love those characters, and I'm a sucker for a predictable crime plot.

Through some mishap turned blessing, Obi-Wan recently got rid of his cable TV and now uses rabbit ear antennas. This means he now gets the religious channel TBN, which was never on cable for some reason. And TBN comes in the clearest so he usually watches it the most.

I've never paid attention to religious programming. My parents never watched it when I was growing up. And I sure as hell didn't watch it in college.

TBN seems to have many different preacher-type shows, all of which seems to follow a charismatic/pentecostal or non-denominational vein.

And so far, every one of these shows I've seen has one primary message: financial prosperity. Or maybe just prosperity in general, but an emphasis on one's money is usually hinted at.

Surprisingly, I don't have an aversion to money. I like money OK. You can do things with it. Like feed and house your family, travel to see distant relatives, use it as seed to generate an income, give it away to those without, and maybe buy one of those cool Warwick fretless 5-string basses.

But seriously...I find it a great irony to sit in Obi-Wan's dilapidated house, on 35-year old worn out furniture, watching a preacher on a small TV talk more about prosperity than waiting.

More about receiving than giving.

More about destiny of self than dying to self.

Monday, October 09, 2006

better off dead

As always, I'm fascinated by all of the biblical prophets. And I'm by far not a biblical scholar. Very far from it. Maybe studying these prophets would give me motivation to become a scholar.


Last night I got out of the shower and for some reason I thought I heard the word "Nahum" in my head. "Nahum? What the hell's that? Is that a bible guy?"

More than that, I discovered. He's a whole old testament bible book. Actually, a whole three small chapters.

So I looked up Nahum. I had to actually look up the page number in the table of contents. I don't think I've ever used the table of contents before.

Anxiously, I read it thinking the CEO had told me something when I got out of the shower. And maybe this something would solve all the mysteries in my life.

Nahum didn't solve jack.

But Nahum precedes the book of Habakkuk, which I never would have read had I not stumbled upon it. And Habakkuk had something in the CEO's reply to his second rant (chpt 2) that was good for me to read.

Something about this revelation in my life that I seek will come at the appointed time. And although it lingers...wait for it.

"Wait". There's that word again.

But my main point here: I love reading the words of and writings about prophets because they're nuts. I mean, they're freaks. These are the kind of people I love hanging out with in real life. Especially people who are not religious in any way, but their life somehow demonstrates a story that the CEO is trying to tell me.

I always wonder how people related to these biblical prophets back in their day. I'm sure few took them seriously. But they had to be viewed as freaks by the rest of society.

And somehow their words and/or story was recorded and passed down to us over 2000 years later. And these words were probably incomplete and/or exaggerated in some areas. And there's now 5000 translations, etc.

And yet today...we read them (Isaiah, Micah) like it's something sacred. But I'm sure their friends and acquaintances at the time thought they were freaks that needed a good Texas ass kicking.

Back in the late 90's I worked as a sheet music salesman in a local mom-n-pop instrument shop. I'll never forget in late 1997 when John Denver died, how insanely popular his music suddenly became. The day he died people started calling me to see if I had this song or that song by John Denver. The few sheets we had in the library were instantly cleared out. Within a few days there was not a damned John Denver printed song in the country. All of his music was back ordered through the publisher. So the publisher rushed out some high dollar greatest hits music book that sold like hot cakes during christmas.

But just a few weeks earlier nobody gave a crap about John Denver.

My dear late friend Willy Klink was like a prophet. He became a follower of The Way while living in his drug den apartment across from the church that the izzy group once operated from. We use to have studies in The Book at his apartment with beer cans, hidden drug paraphernalia, playboy mags, and cigarette ashes all over.

One day I asked Willy about this huge burn spot in the carpet. "Ohhhh," in that classic West TX drawl, "That was the night Roger hit the candle on the floor".


"Yup. You know, the guy who walks around in that Howdy-Doody looking shirt?"

"...You mean...CRAZY Roger?!? The guy that talks to himself non-stop? You had him here?!?"

"Yup. Well...it was cold out that night."

Willy never let go of his drug habit and it killed him a year later. He's been dead five years this month.

But he's the only one I know that had the heart to invite Roger in, which seemed stupid at the time.

But now it seems sacred.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Outpost reflections

Had a brief event happen yesterday that served as a reminder of just why I'm here. Not just HERE here, but here in this place in life, here on this street in the fair mother city, here on this planet, etc.

We have a new neighbor on our street. This is a rarity as our old neighborhood surprisingly has few rental properties.

Anna is a single grandmother raising two or three of her grandchildren. She moved from Anson, a small town 30 minutes north of here. Her grandchildren are still enrolled in Anson schools and Anna works as some sort of housekeeper in Anson. So, she's gone from about 7:30a until at least 9p every weekday. Agent Wife and I got to meet and talk to her briefly on her driveway last weekend.

She's living in a house next door from the Sanfords and across from Obi-Wan. Some redneck dude and his family lived there and still owns the house, but recently moved to the outback near Clyde. So he's renting to Anna.

In my 3.5 years on this street I never had a chance to connect with the redneck dude. I met him once, but the CEO never seemed to have us cross paths much. So it goes.

On Thursday, The Tiger and his mom Frieda Sanford witnessed a city code-enforcer official leave a warning note on Anna'a door telling her to mow her yard or get a fine.

What a crock. I mean, redneck dude lived there for four years with un-mowed grass, scraggly bushes, and junked cars in the yard and never got harassed by the man. This single grandmother, who has barely moved in and works all the time, gets a citation.

Welcome to the fair mother city.

So, The Tiger's telling of this injustice in great detail. Probably with dramatic exaggeration and so forth. So I ask, "You got a mower that works?" (mine hasn't worked all summer).

"Yeah. I got three that work...and two weed eaters". The Sanfords are are notorious junk dealers. They find lawn mowers at garage sales for $2 and The Tiger somehow gets them running. They may be crappy, but they do the job. Sometimes.

"Well, we ain't doing nothing. Let's get on it".

The Tiger...agent jr. in the making.

Of course he had no gas. And neither did I. We borrowed Obi-Wan's gas in the killer ancient 3-gallon metal can with the cool mechanical cap.

Somehow, we managed to get the three mowers to work through the front yard before they all crapped out. We never got the backyard. The Sanford's equipment can usually get the job half-assed done. Better than nothing, I guess.

So, I don't exactly know what to make of it all. It was a half-assed neighborhood effort. The front looks nice, though.

But somewhere in the midst of all this soul searching and job hunting and net casting...

...the CEO seems to be whispering that I'm right where I'm supposed to be.

However cornball that sounds, and how little sense this makes, and how this doesn't pay my bills...

It's relieving to know the CEO has not abandoned me to this outpost in the West Texas desert.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Testimony #018

Thursday September 28 - title for the Star Destroyer was transfered in my name. No small feat whatsoever. What seemed impossible was now a reality.

Today at 4:30p - open mailbox to receive the following letter from the tax assessor office:

Dear Agent B:

This is to inform you that the Affidavit of Heirship for a Motor Vehicle that you turned in at the time of a [sic] Title Application has been rejected [sic] The reason is that these a [sic] copies. We can not [sic] except [sic] copies of any type of paperwork theirfore [sic] your transactions has [sic] been canceled [sic].

We need you to come AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. As of now your Lic plates as well as your Application for a Title is [sic] cancelled. Should you get stoped [sic] by the police you may get a ticket.

A clash between ineptness and legalism. This was going to be tough.

Basically they were saying that two different forms I turned in were no good because I had faxed them to the people who needed to sign them.

But I specifically remembered the woman telling me that it was OK to fax the document, but the signature and notary had to be real. So the signed copy had to be mailed back to me, which they both were...with real signatures and notorized.

Agent Wife prayed for favor while I left for the tax assessor office. This could have been pretty tense. But I have a weird trait about being ridiculously calm in tense situations. It's come in handy several times in life. Especially when I've had to call 911. Or tell my mom that my finger was half cut off due to a knife mishap when I was 11.

I showed up and explained all this to the same woman. She showed me the forms in question. Turned out that it was not the "sellers" signature in question. It was mine...as I had signed both documents before faxing them. My signature was a copy.

"So...", I said, "...I'm standing right here. Could I just re-sign them right here in front of you?". As opposed to having my Uncle in Wyoming and some guy in Dallas re-sign and notorize a new form and go through all this bullshit again.

She and two other women had to get on the phone with an official in Austin to see if that was OK. Gotta love legalism.

Meanwhile I prayed a LOT and muttered a few jedi mind tricks under my breath. "These forms will do just fine." "You don't need any more original copies".

The official in Austin OK'd me re-signing it in front of them...as long as I was writing with a blue pen.

Well hot damn. Give me a blue pen. And get me out of here.

Then she discovered that last week she over charged us $10 for the licensing fees and etc. So she had to write out a credit form so a check can be mailed to me.

Which I later learned Agent Wife was praying that something good, if not better would come out of this.

Long story short: I thought I was going to have to do this whole title nonsense all over again and instead I'm getting $10.

I may go buy some beer.

Thank you CEO. And thanks for not forgetting about me.

Testimony #017

I would be a total fool, or ungreatful swine, if I didn't report on the obvious good things in the life of this embedded agent family and instead exclusively dwelled on the bad.

The good things are too numerous for me to report. Or I'm too lazy to recall all of them. And negativity is always the easy way out. So, forgive me.

Example: my family has excellent health. We have not been sick ever since going undercover. Not that going undercover ensures good health. But it's an odd coincidence I don't take lightly, especially since we have no financial health coverage to speak of. And Agent Wife has had two excellent pregnancies during this time of our life.

Thank you CEO.

We have never had a bill that hasn't been paid one way or another. Although lately, I've had to eat double doses of humble pie for some of those bills to be covered, etc. So it goes.

And there are the many other reports
(16 or so) of these testimonies that can be found in the file archives of this blog.

But yesterday...during one of my lowest moments in the undercover agent ranks...after frantically driving around town dressed in professional clothing that's highly unlike my usual undercover daily digs...and fruitlessly searching for employment that doesn't exist or wouldn't be fitting to my skill level (or lack of skill level) or, dammit, I just can't forsee the CEO telling me to throw a net there*...

..we received not one, but two unexpected blessings.

And although these gifts won't fully cover our bills (not that I'm ungrateful, by any means) nor keep me from fishing for financial opportunities...

...to say the least, these blessings were a cool drop of water in this dry desert.

And a huge reminder that the CEO has not abandond me on the field**.

Thank you CEO.

* yes, I know. Please save your smart-ass comments about how beggars can't be choosers and all that crap. I ain't asking you for anything. And I know good and well I could probably flip burgers and/or sack groceries somewhere. This is a very humbling experience for me and a difficult one in hearing the CEO. If I am to support my family as a grocery boy, then I will be the best damn grocery boy in the fair mother city. Just give me time to feel this out...

** The Bossman, who's a retired federal agent with 20+ years profesional experience, once explained to me that sometimes in order to protect the life of an on-duty undercover agent, the headquarters will completely cut off all lines of communications to him as well as erase all files of his existence and thus issue a "persona non grata" (a non-existent person) status on the agent. This is how I have felt much of 2006. Seems to also be reminiscent of "why have you forsaken me" jive as well.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Bills are due. Getting close to "past due".

No money. Zero.

Still looking for work. About to start grabbing anything.

The good news: a valuable car is in my name. It can be sold. But not yet as the title will be mailed to me in the next week or two or three.

But I need money now. Bad.

My "break in case of emergency" last resort is starting to look like a reality: sell the 10 caliber (music instrument).

And if I sell the 10 caliber, which could probably fetch a great price fast, I might as well sell all related accessories and my trusty 4 string bass.

I actually tried selling my bass a couple of months ago via local paper ads. No action. So it goes.

Will this be my Isaac? Is my former (and once beloved) musician identity to be sacrificed?

I don't play much these days. Not really my choosing. Just the season I've been in I guess. But Agent Offspring #1 loves it when I play.

This really sucks. I don't remember it happening to George Muller this way.

I hate these decisions.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Hung out with the Sanfords tonight. Frieda and family had another one of their trademark backyard parties. This time the occasion was Frieda's hysterectomy...scheduled tomorrow.

There weren't many people there. Just seven of us plus my two babies.

The Tiger was manning his usual posts: 1) at the grill burning all the meat, but making it taste good anyway and 2) as the under-aged bartender, anxiously passing out beers before you could say "no thanks" and finish the one in your hand.

Frieda and her boyfriend Manuel have a couple/friend that's just like them: a bi-cultural couple with a language barrier. Both women speak English only and little Spanish. But their men speak Spanish exclusively.

Manuel and the other guy, Paco, work together clearing mesquite fields with chainsaws and selling the wood for the land owner. Paco's woman, Kay, works and manages a convenient store putting in 60 hours plus a week. That's got to be the worst gig in the world. I feel for her.

I asked Kay how things were going. "Work and sleep. Work and sleep", she said.

Kay drinks a good bit. It's her escape from the daily empire and doledrums of her life.

Frieda was throwing the party because she can't eat anything after midnight tonight due to her surgury tomorrow. So, might as well eat like there's no tomorrow on the day before.

I can relate to both women right now.

These days I can use an escape too. I keep one foot firmly planted in reality as I refuse a total escape. But for the first time ever, I can see what drives a person to drink.

Kay needs an immediate escape. Frieda wants to celebrate because who knows what life will be like tomorrow.

I have hope in the CEO's provision and promises.

But...I can relate.