Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I just booked an airline ticket from Oklahoma City to Houston on July 5th.  We're going to be in the Kansas/Oklahoma region for a week after Robbie's birthday, but I'll have to head back to work just as most of Kim's family shows up for the slightly-belated holiday.  (At one point, we'd thought about my flying down to work that weekend and then driving back up to bring everybody else back, but it's gotten to the point where it'll actually be cheaper for me just to fly one way)  I love all those web sites like Expedia and Priceline where you just plug in your desired departure and arrival site and dates (and whatever criteria they ask for) and they just give you a ton of options from all the different airlines.  Sometimes the choices you get can be pretty funny.  Today's example: I could leave OKC at 9:30 in the morning, then stop in Dallas for an hour and forty minute layover, then fly to Denver for a two hour and forty minute layover before arriving in Houston, nine and a half hours after I left. All this convenience for only three times the cost of a direct flight from OKC at 10:45 a.m. on another airline.

On the other hand: this roundabout way of getting home would have included freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies.  If I were a rich man, that would have been quite the temptation.


An old college chum of mine is currently posting a blog series called "Where did our Bible come from?"  Worth checking out, if you're into that sort of thing.


It seems a lot of the whole "turning thirty" process is coming to grips with the fact that, really, thirty isn't all that old.  And it's true.  Your life isn't over.  Chances are, your life isn't even half over and, while you are technically just past your physical "peak," you've got quite a few years ahead of good physical condition for just about any activity you'd choose to engage in (unless you want to do something like play professional football or hockey, in which case your ship has sailed).  There's still time to fall in love, get married, and have kids if you haven't, you'll still have energy (relatively speaking) to chase around the kids you do have if you have them, and while it'll probably be difficult, it's still totally feasible for you to change your career if you're starting to feel "stuck."  Objectively speaking, you're not that old.

That said, you're also not as young as you used to be.  And if you want a fairly tangible reminder of that, I recommend going to a college graduation.  I recently got to work at one, which required me getting to work by 6:30 a.m. to stand around, directing people to the working elevator, for five hours.  Man, college kids are young!  I mean geez, when did that happen?

I will say, however, that I was pretty proud of myself for managing that day.  It had been a while since I woke at 5 a.m. on purpose and went through a grueling work shift.  By the end of the day, I found myself wanting to go back on bookings to perform plays at elementary schools. I don't know if I've ever talked at length about that on here, but that may have been my favorite thing (artistically) that I've ever done. 

That, in turn, got me thinking back about the old faux rock/folk band my last touring unit and I joked about from time to time.  I decided that, if we ever went through an angst phase, we would write a song called "Like Pop Rocks In an Open Wound."  Or maybe that's more of an album title.

Ooh, maybe both!


I've been trying to read Rudyard Kipling's The Second Jungle Book, which is--no surprise--a sequel to The Jungle Book.  I thought maybe there'd be something in it I could use in an adaptation/reimagination of the first story.  And about 40 percent of the way into the book, I gave up on it.  Not a single story managed to hold my imagination like the first installment had.  I realized then that the reason I haven't read much in the past few months is that I haven't gotten my hands on anything that I can really dive into.  I've been working on Dune, and it's good, but about a hundred pages in it hasn't really got me to that "page-turner" point, and I need some of that addictive narrative quality to get my head back in the game. I therefore decided to turn to some authors that I knew I enjoyed and picked up Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna (I've been meaning to read more Kingsolver since my senior year of college) and, because he was right next door, Mr. King's The Green Mile.  In addition, I just got an email that The Wind Through the Keyhole is waiting on hold for me at the library.  So hopefully this'll help jump-start me back into being a Reading Guy and, by extension, a Writing Guy again.  (Oh, and I'm also picking through Eats, Shoots & Leaves when my wife leaves it lying around)

And then, back to Dune, I promise.  But probably not back to The Second JB.


Finally, I posted this on my FB earlier this week, but this is crazy, and I think anybody who deals with schedules or managing work forces or other administrative tasks will appreciate it.  LA's Staples Center has three main tenants--the Lakers and Clippers of the NBA and the Kings of the NHL.  Never before have all three teams been in the playoffs at the same time.  Never before have they all been scheduled to play home games on the same days.  This weekend, however, ALL THREE TEAMS are scheduled to play not one but TWO home games between Thursday and Sunday.  Six games in four days.  Six complete changeovers, six crowds to usher in and out of the building.  Jobs I'm glad I don't have this weekend: event changeover staff at the Staples Center.


All right, I'm out.  Enjoy the music, peeps!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Birthday presents

Well folks, I just turned 30.  Which is apparently a pretty depressing birthday for a lot of folks.  Me, I've sort of known it was coming for a while, so I wasn't too put off by it.  I actually got some pretty nice gifts this year.

*The Astros gave me a 3-game sweep of the Mets for my birthday.
*The Rangers and Capitals gave me a triple-overtime game for my birthday.
*Disney and Marvel were a day late, but they made up for it by giving me The Avengers for my birthday. 

My wife and sons also got me a bag of Reese's peanut butter cups, and my sister and brother-in-law sent me the cast recording for the new Newsies musical.  Aside from that, it's mostly checks and gift cards these days.  Which is actually kind of nice.  The past few years, it's gotten a little stressful when people ask what I wanted for my birthday.  I don't know!  I don't think I need any more stuff!  Which is, in turn, stressful for the gift-giver, because they want to give something that you'll like, but they have no clue what that'll be.  So most people just go with gift cards, and that takes a great deal of pressure off of everyone involved. 

Let's face it: birthdays just aren't a huge deal once you become a grown-up.  Case in point: My third annual birthday Astros game drew seven folks including Robbie and I. That's down a bit from the twenty (or so) the past few years.  Thirty, schmirty. People have got places to be!  (Also, both mine and Astros' popularity has been trending downward the last ten months or so)  And that's fine.  We seven had a good time, though Robbie and I had to leave early because Isaac had a small seizure at home while we were there.  (It was a pretty dull game, anyway.  Two out of the three games I've gone to for my bday have been pretty lame.  Probably time to put that "tradition" away) 

Oh, right, Isaac was sick the weekend after my birthday.  Had a pretty intense fever.  However, our thermometer was still lost from the move last fall, so we didn't know how high it actually got until it was on the way back down.  I took him in to the pediatrician, and she said that seizures in babies Isaac's age are not unusual when they get sudden high fevers, and that it's not indicative of any long-standing condition unless it happens more frequently and with greater duration (his last one was only like five seconds).  Since then, his temperature has returned to normal.  So, no reason for worry.  Though I guess that would be the one un-cool thing that happened around my birthday this year. 

You ought to go see The Avengers if you haven't yet.  It is so dang entertaining.  If you've enjoyed any of the recent Marvel Studios movies, you need to see this one on the big screen.  Obviously, there are a lot of little things you could quibble about, as there always are with these films.  However, the action is incredible, the dialogue is snappy and often hilarious, the characters are extremely well-managed, and the cast is solid.  I can't think of a single time I've had more fun at a movie in the past, what, ten years or so.  If you're a fan of summer popcorn movies, this is the one you need to see. 

Okay, getting tired of writing, and I have some work to do on a script for a publisher before I get to bed.  Lightning round!

*Had a great day today with the boys today.  Fresh bread for breakfast, took Kim to work, an hour of play time at the park, visited the library, got lunch for all three of us, had storytime, and everybody still managed to get a 2-hour nap before Kim got home from work.  Some days--and admittedly, they're rare--you really think you might be able to "do" this whole Parenting Thing. 

*Just wrapped up a long homestand for the 'Stros which saw me working seven nights in the last 10.  We were 6-1 on nights that I worked and 0-2 on nights I had off.  Conclusion: I'm supposed to work more.

*Tomorrow, Kim's sister Christina is getting into town, and she'll be here almost a week, so I probably won't be around online late at night for a while.

*Despite the 'Stros being out of town, I am working Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m.  Boo.  Afterwards, Kim and I are going out on a late afternoon-to-early evening date.  Yay!  We're doing to see...The Avengers!  Yay!

*No, seriously, what is up with those L.A. Kings???  (Also, Philly is done.  Yay!)

*Dang, I didn't get to blog about the awesome wedding idea Sherri and I had the other night.  Oh well.  Next time...

Well all right, I'll give you a clue: imagine the bride riding down the aisle on a rhinoceros.