Sunday, April 22, 2007


Since the Maundy Thursday services at church during Easter Week, my mind has been preoccupied by a profound realization I had upon arriving early for our pre-service meeting.

My day at work had been long and hectic and as often happens, I did not have a chance to eat lunch. After work I had commitments to a friend in the time between work and church which did not allow the opportunity to even grab a snack. As one could easily imagine, I was hungry when I arrived at church. Fortunately, my station working the sound board in the balcony assured my stomach grumbling would be isolated from fellow worshipers.

Thursday evening each week, my church serves God’s Family Dinner in conjunction with a food pantry being open in on of our buildings. The aroma from the dinner overwhelmed me when I opened the door to enter the church building. The hunger I felt going in, magnified with each breath. I visualized the homeless-shelter-buffet-line options that were likely the fare for the evening and still my hunger grew. I wondered what people would think of me if I went downstairs and grabbed a meal.

Then I realized I only had to make it through the one and one-half hours until the service was over. I had a selection of leftovers from two meals waiting in the refrigerator. All it would take is dishing all I could eat onto a plate and after a minute or two in the microwave, I could eat until I was satiated through the night. I knew where and when my next meal would be: the people dining downstairs and waiting in line for their turn in the food pantry were not guaranteed where or when their next meal would be. Some of them were taking their week’s ration of groceries from the pantry to their homes just down the street hidden in some alley in West Campus.

The neighborhood is also home to some nice and some very fragrant restaurants. I spent two hours being miserable because I was hungry and could smell the bulk grub prepared for this special dinner. I realized I didn’t know anything about hunger.

And so with some degree of shame a the idea of eating food for the poor, I made my way up to the meeting and through the worship service in which we celebrated the new mandate from our Lord – to be servants – which he gave during his Last Supper. My guilt grew as we celebrated Christ’s example of servitude through the taking of communion and a foot-washing service: I did not want to suffer for two hours while being in the midst of people who suffer daily; I did not want to be without while surrounded by those who had no more than they could carry around in a plastic bag, a knapsack, or a grocery cart. I take clothes to the dry-cleaner in shifts because I don’t have room for them all in my car.

How much of a servant am I really? I try. I make attempts to do good for others. I help others find opportunities to do good – but how much do I suffer for others? Two hours of hunger pangs have really made me wonder about suffering and servanthood. I have quite a bit more thinking to do.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Underwear Fun 'ter Wear

A couple months ago, I wrote about how comfortable some new underwear I had purchased were. I became a blogging superstar to about five people after that post – one of which was a REAL underwear fetish page.

Since then, I have been much more aware of the underwear I see in stores around me, but I certainly have not developed an underwear fetish – most of the time I much prefer my men without their underwear. But I have, nonetheless, enjoyed the search for underwear and all the ways we present it now.

Last weekend while in San Francisco, I came across a shop in Castro that sold clothing from exquisite sunglasses to jeans that cost almost as much as the rest of my wardrobe. In a display near the back of the store, a variety of underwear were presented and none of them matched anything I had seen in Austin.

The most intriguing box of underwear offered a week supply. Each pair was named to match a day of week and the box had explicit directions for turning the underwear inside out, so one could wear them a second day. Still, there were only three pair in the box. One day of the week was destined to be a commando day.

So, I bought the box. And believe it or not, they are incredibly comfortable. But since there are only six days, choose your day to come visit carefully.

Smart Travelers Don't...

1) argue with the TSA screener when the obvious lack of scaring makes it highly unlikely there really is a metal plate in your head that keeps setting of the metal detector. Just go quietly behind the curtain, take a deep breath, relax and it won’t hurt too much.

2) wear flip-flops, no matter how much you like them, on the hills of San Francisco; they WILL cause blisters and in a very pedestrian city like San Francisco, you don’t want huge oozing blisters on the side of your foot.

3) fly with a hangover. Or better yet, fly with the remnants of your last night blowout in San Francisco still hanging on. It’s amazing just how much that big plane moves while sitting at the gate.

4) gasp at the $10 cost of a Burger King Value Meal at Los Angeles International Airport. I guess someone has to cover the cost of jewels for the creepy king.

4a) get the BK Spicy Big Fish Value Meal while flying with a hangover.

5) forget to change their iPod fully before beginning a days journey when one is at risk of being seated next to a talkative stranger.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Good Pets Gone Bad

Recently I saw a “documentary” on Animal Planet or some such channel titled: Good Pets Gone Bad! I was expecting some bad cases of cat-scratch-fever, bird flu, and dogs that wouldn’t stop going poo (my new favorite word) in the neighbor’s yard (my neighbor, I know who you are!). Instead we were treated to the rage of a bison in Yellowstone Park which didn’t want to be petted, horses in Asia fighting over a mare, a boa which ate Fifi (as Fifi’s distraught owner TOOK PICTURES to record the demise of her beloved – I don’t even want to know what she did when her husband died!), and trained fighting dogs in the ring.

Dear Mr. Producer:

I hate to be the first to tell you that bison are not pets. Neither are wild stallions, uncaged boa constrictors, or fighting dogs. Instead of Good Pets Gone Bad I suggest you do two shows and title them Stupid People Who Get Too Close to Big Hairy Beasts and Blatant Animal Cruelty.


A Loyal* Viewer

*you have to say that or they think you are some nut-job.

The show had to be a documentary: you can’t write fiction like that (though you can make it a musical).

Some of the captured footage simply consisted of people defying every particle of common sense given to humanity since the Stone Age: when a big animal looks agitated, move away!

The remainder of the footage only demonstrated the cruelty man can deceive animals into doing upon one another. Dogs and cocks trained to fight to the death has no real social, cultural, or moral value; it merely exploits an animal’s natural instincts beyond nature. One of the most graphic consisted of horse fighting. Two stallions were introduced into an arena with a mare in estrus (or sprayed to smell as if she was in estrus). The two stallions would fight to the death to mate with her.

I, on the other hand – not being a horse person – could have had much more fun with the stallions and caused much less physical trauma (though they may need counseling at a later time).

For starters, I would have introduced a single stallion into the arena after spraying his butt with the estrus scent. We could have had hours of fun as he spun himself in circles trying to catch that wily mare who stayed just behind him.


…just before he was completely exhausted, I would let in a second stallion.

“Hey, baby!”

I’m guessing stallion one gets a second wind or they both get a big surprise.

And then you win a ratings bonanza with Good Pets Gone Gay.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Hair-um Scare-um

I'm so incredibly particular about my hair, the slightest thing going wrong with a style can ruin my year.For three years I've had the buzz look following the perm tragedy - it was a tragedy because I was not supposed to have a perm, but that's what happened due to a "misunderstanding" by the chemical person at the salon. I could not take that, so buzzed it off and kept it that way for three years.

In December I started growing my hair back out - and out it grew! I have lots of hair and people who had not known me with hair were shocked at just how much there was. I have no worries of balding anytime soon.

Now that my hair has been styled, I look like an adult again - unfortunately - I look close to forty and I've avoided looking my age for so long.

Botox, here I come!

Ring Rage - A New Dilemma

This morning Weekend Edition Sunday on NPR ran a story from New York about Ring Rage and what the city council is proposing to combat the rising documented incidents of fights being sparked by annoying ring-tones on cell phones. And while astute listeners who were keen to the date (April 1) quickly recognized the story as the annual hoax (less astute listeners probably also missed the jab of the “sponsorship" by the Soylent Corporation – manufacturers of high protein food products in a variety of colors: “Soylent Green is People!”)

Despite the humor of the piece, it strikes at a deeper issue in society. As cell phones have become ubiquitous in our world – I’m one of those people who only has a cell phone and no home phone – issues of courtesy (especially the lack thereof) have become noted. It has become increasingly difficult to experience even the most solemn of public events without having it interrupted by a cell phone ring.

Is it really necessary to have a cell phone on at a funeral? Could you be receiving any worse news???

Do you have to answer the phone while trying to check-out at a store? Is your voice-mail that difficult to access? Is it that difficult to redial a number that just called you?

Vibrate people! Vibrate! In the correct pocket it is an unobtrusive ring and a cheap thrill.

Or just don’t answer! Since the person is calling you, the odds are that he/she knows your number. If it is important, they are likely to call back – or at the least leave a message.

I’m also not entirely opposed to the suggestion that there be only four approved ring-tones. While the “acceptable” ring-tones presented in the piece were among the most annoying tones (despite being vetted by audiologists as the most pleasant sounds to the ear) I’ve ever heard, it does makes sense. The purpose of the ring is to alert the phone’s owner that something is going on. Do I really want my favorite song played in the tonally limited way of a cell phone ring? I think I’ll stick to listening to my music on my iPod with quality stereo headphones. Just give me a good old ring or scale.

And don’t forget vibrate; make me happy! Make my phone buzz, ya’ll!