Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
For Fleece - Hooters Story
For your first year in college, most people take the basic requirements to get them out of the way. English is, of course, one of those classes. In my first English class, we were instructed to do something fun and write a restaurant review. A few of us got together and decided that since there was a new Hooters that was just built right off the Southwest Freeway and Kirby that we would have some fun and go there to do our review.
We got dressed up in business casual clothes and brought our notebooks and pens with us. I swear, that was the best service I had ever had in my entire life. The poor waitress (who was the most gorgeous one there) was so nervous because she didn't know who we were. Everytime I wiped my hands with a paper towel and set it down, the paper towel was removed and a fresh one was placed right in front of me. The waitress would try and lean in and read what I had written in my notebook. She kept telling her manager that every movement she made, we would start writing in our notebooks.
Eventually, the manager came by and carefully said, "Okay guys, fess up. Who are you." He was smiling the entire time as if joking with us in case we were someone who could shut them down. We laughed and told him that we were just doing a restaurant review for English class and that we were just a bunch of college guys. He laughed right back and said that the waitress was really scared of us. He also said that there were people picketting their presence since they were new to the area. We called our waitress back to the table and told her who we were and that she was giving us great service. Her previous cautionary smile turned into a smile of relief then into the traditional flirtatious smile that Hooters is so famous for. We left her a good tip. Afterall, that was without a doubt the best service I've ever had. I should walk into restaurants with a notebook and start taking notes more often.
Monday, June 27, 2005
Relaxation and Puking
This past weekend, a buddy of mine called me up to go deep sea fishing. A group of guys that his wife knew wanted to charter a boat and get as many guys to go in order to spread out the cost of taking on such an adventure. I woke up at 3:00 in the morning and put on my shorts, T-shirt and sandals. Kissed Zelda good-bye and walked out the door. My buddy Benton picked me up. We went to Academy sports store the day before and bought a big cooler and some hats, cheap polarized sunglasses, and sunscreen. He kept everything in his car. We met up with the other guys at 4:30 am. We were in the water by 6:00 am. It was a 3 hour trip for about 60 miles offshore into the Gulf of Mexico. I couldn't believe how blue the water was. Galveston's beaches have a brownish color to its water because of the Mississippi Delta. But, 60 miles out, the water was blue.
When we finally reached our destination, we dropped our lines straight down and instantly started pulling up red snappers and a shark. When the porpoises started swimming around us, we decided to try another location. When we made it to the second location, the water started to get real choppy. I looked at Benton and noticed he was turning a little green. There were 3 of us who didn't take Dramamine for motion sickness. Benton, Sean, and me.
Benton and I have been on boats before but never offshore. I didn't think I would get sick because I've never felt motion sickness ever in my life. I wanted to see if I had natural sea legs or not. Anyways, as Benton sat down, I asked him if he wanted a roll to help him settle his stomach. He held his hand up as if to shut me up. Then, he jumped up, leaned over the boat, and spewed. Guess he doesn't have sea legs afterall. I felt bad for him and wanted to make him feel better so I told him that he got sick because he didn't get enough sleep. My other friend, Mason said that his dad has always said that the secret to deep sea fishing is to get a good night's rest. I told Benton to lie down and get a little bit of sleep. So, he and a 2 others on the boat sprawled out and slept. While they were sleeping, I saw Sean run to the back of the boat, leaned over, tossed his breakfast. He was REALLY loud when he spewed. After he was done emptying his gastrointestinal tract via the oral route, I told him to lie down and get some sleep.
After a couple of hours, Benton woke up and said that the sleep made him feel much better. He said, "God, I feel so much better. Hand me some fried chicken." After he ate the fried chicken, he said, "Let me have some of those cherry pies." After that, "What about some of those cookies?" Bad move Benton....bad move. He started to fish for a little while and not 15 minutes later, he sat down and turned green again. He jumped up, leaned over, and expelled his lunch. Poor guy.
As for me, I apparently have natural sea legs. I didn't feel sick at all the entire time. I was the only one who didn't take ANY Dramamine and didn't get sea sick. Those who did take Dramamine didn't get sick either. I had such a good time that it helped take my mind off of what happened to Zelda and Carrie the other night. I wish they could've come with me also but Carrie is pregnant and Zelda gets motion sickness just being in a car.
As an update, I gathered my thoughts and called the police today. Last week, there were 3 young black men who committed an armed robbery in a bank. They were caught with money, guns, body armor, and BANDANAS. I gave our case number to the Houston Police Department. IF (extra emphasis on "if")these were the same guys, hopefully they can crosslink the evidence and tack on additional charges. Hopefully, they are the same guys and we can help put them behind bars for a really long time.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Several years ago, I was at a gunshow in downtown Houston. It was quite a sight. I had never seen so many firearms in one place before. I was looking around for something that Zelda could use to defend herself with because I always keep my sidearm with me. I knew she was going to take the class but I thought that I'd teach her how to shoot first before she took the field test. I walked around and saw this beauty.
I've fired a Beretta before and knew they were extremely reliable. Not once did it ever jam on me. I thought about getting it but wanted to see if there was something else that might catch my attention. When I finished looking around, I thought that that was the gun for Zelda's protection. If anyone has seen "Lethal Weapon" with Mel Gibson, it's the same thing that he carried except this one had a beautiful finish. I walked back to the vendor who was selling it and saw that it was missing. I wanted to ask the vendor if he put it away, but he was finishing a sale to a black woman in her 30s. As I waited, I noticed that she was purchasing the gun that I wanted to get for Zelda. I was about to walk away since it was obvious that I lost the chance but something was wrong. He was taking quite a long time to finish with her. Eventually, he said "sorry" and took the gun back.
I asked him if the Beretta was still for sale. He told me, "It is now. You want it?" I asked him if that lady wanted it or not. He said that she did but she didn't pass the background check. Lucky me. He asked me before he put the gun back and started all of the necessary paperwork if I was sure I would pass the background check. I didn't say anything. I just showed him my Concealed Handgun License. He was quite happy to see that I had it because it proved that I already had a background check done. The gun was now mine...er I mean Zelda's.
It was quite a while after I bought it for her that Zelda finally agreed to go with me to the gun range. She seemed excited until she stepped into the range area. Then, someone else fired a shot. It scared her. She didn't expect it to be so loud even with hearing protection on. I bought her additional foam ear plugs to stick in her ear underneath the heavy duty ear covers. Still, she was frightened. I instructed her on the use of the weapon. The entire time, she looked like she wanted to curl up into fetal position. I handed her the gun and she held it. She fired once and put it down. She ran out of the range and sat in the lobby.
I followed her and asked her if she was okay. She was a little scared to say the least. I asked one of the employees of the range to help me. They talked to her and even allowed us to start her out with one of their .22 cal pistols. They even opened up a part of the range that was closed specifically for her so that the noise wouldn't scare her so much. Very friendly staff at Top Gun.
Zelda still had the hardest time moving up past the .22 cal pistol. I think after what happened the other night has given her the courage she needs to give it another try. Maybe now she can actually fire that beauty that I bought for her so long ago.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
By now, you all may have read that Zelda and a friend were mugged at gunpoint early this morning by a couple of young black cowards who followed them from Wal-Mart. There is now a new rule in our home. Any purchases that must be made in the middle of the night will be made by me. The neighborhood we live in is considered pretty safe. I hope everyone will take our experience as an important lesson learned that even safe neighborhoods can get hit.
The night began when Zelda told me that she and Carrie were going to go to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. That's fine. Zelda's gone there numerous times by herself in the middle of the night without any worries (all that has now changed). I had patients and reports to deal with early in the morning so I figured I'd get some sleep. Some time between 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning, I heard her yelling something about 911, the house, and being robbed. I jumped out of bed, punched in the code to the gun safe and ran through the house looking for targets. Once you're in my home without my permission, you're fucking dead. The bullets that I carry are designed to not overpenetrate soft tissue. Unfortunately for your unlucky ass, that means it explodes inside of you ripping up as much of your insides as possible.
Anyways, I wanted to run outside but Zelda pleaded with me not to go outside. I desparately wanted to go hunt some assholes but I figured it's best to check in on the kids as well as Zelda and our friend. The police came extremely fast. Several units appeared in a matter of a few minutes. I listened as Zelda and Carrie told the police exactly what happened. I was growing more and more angry with every word I heard. I feel like calling up a few friends for a vigilante hunt. How funny it is that I asked Jack about how he felt about vigilante groups the afternoon before all of this happened.
We spent the rest of the morning just talking and watching movies. I told my attending doctor what had happened and he told me that he would take care of all of my appointments. I'm ready to explode right now. You can fuck with me all you want. If you touch my family and I catch you, I'll torture your ass until you beg for me to kill you. God have mercy on you because I sure as hell won't!
Monday, June 20, 2005
I received this email from a friend. I just had to share it.
For many years Ben Stein has written a biweekly column called "Monday Night At Morton's." (Morton's is a famous chain of Steakhouses known to be frequented by movie stars and famous people from around the globe.) Now, Ben is terminating the column to move on to other things in his life. Reading his final column is worth a few minutes of your time.
Ben Stein's Last Column...
How Can Someone Who Lives in Insane Luxury Be a Star in Today's World?
As I begin to write this, I "slug" it, as we writers say, which means I put a heading on top of the document to identify it. This heading is "eonlineFINAL," and it gives me a shiver to write it. I have been doing this column for so long that I cannot even recall when I started. I loved writing this column so much for so long I came to believe it would never end.
It worked well for a long time, but gradually, my changing as a person and the world's change have overtaken it. On a small scale, Morton's, while better than ever, no longer attracts as many stars as it used to. It still brings in the rich people in droves and definitely some stars. I saw Samuel L. Jackson there a few days ago, and we had a nice visit, and right before that, I saw and had a splendid talk with Warren Beatty in an elevator, in which we agreed that Splendor in the Grass was a super movie. But Morton's is not the star galaxy it once was, though it probably will be again.
Beyond that, a bigger change has happened. I no longer think Hollywood stars are terribly important. They are uniformly pleasant, friendly people, and they treat me better than I deserve to be treated. But a man or woman who makes a huge wage for memorizing lines and reciting them in front of a camera is no longer my idea of a shining star we should all look up to.
How can a man or woman who makes an eight-figure wage and lives in insane luxury really be a star in today's world, if by a "star" we mean someone bright and powerful and attractive as a role model? Real stars are not riding around in the backs of limousines or in Porsches or getting trained in yoga or Pilates and eating only raw fruit while they have Vietnamese girls do their nails.
They can be interesting, nice people, but they are not heroes to me any longer. A real star is the soldier of the 4th Infantry Division who poked his head into a hole on a farm near Tikrit, Iraq. He could have been met by a bomb or a hail of AK-47 bullets. Instead, he faced an abject Saddam Hussein and the gratitude of all of the decent people of the world.
A real star is the U.S. soldier who was sent to disarm a bomb next to a road north of Baghdad. He approached it, and the bomb went off and killed him.
A real star, the kind who haunts my memory night and day, is the U.S. soldier in Baghdad who saw a little girl playing with a piece of unexploded ordnance on a street near where he was guarding a station. He pushed her aside and threw himself on it just as it exploded. He left a family desolate in California and a little girl alive in Baghdad.
The stars who deserve media attention are not the ones who have lavish weddings on TV but the ones who patrol the streets of Mosul even after two of their buddies were murdered and their bodies battered and stripped for the sin of trying to protect Iraqis from terrorists.
We put couples with incomes of $100 million a year on the covers of our magazines. The noncoms and officers who barely scrape by on military pay but stand on guard in Afghanistan and Iraq and on ships and in submarines and near the Arctic Circle are anonymous as they live and die.
I am no longer comfortable being a part of the system that has such poor values, and I do not want to perpetuate those values by pretending that who is eating at Morton's is a big subject.
There are plenty of other stars in the American firmament...the policemen and women who go off on patrol in South Central and have no idea if they will return alive; the orderlies and paramedics who bring in people who have been in terrible accidents and prepare them for surgery; the teachers and nurses who throw their whole spirits into caring for autistic children; the kind men and women who work in hospices and in cancer wards.
Think of each and every fireman who was running up the stairs at the World Trade Center as the towers began to collapse. Now you have my idea of a real hero.
I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters. This is my highest and best use as a human. I can put it another way. Years ago, I realized I could never be as great an actor as Olivier or as good a comic as Steve Martin..or Martin Mull or Fred Willard--or as good an economist as Samuelson or Friedman or as good a writer as Fitzgerald. Or even remotely close to any of them.
But I could be a devoted father to my son, husband to my wife and, above all, a good son to the parents who had done so much for me. This came to be my main task in life. I did it moderately well with my son, pretty well with my wife and well indeed with my parents (with my sister's help). I cared for and paid attention to them in their declining years. I stayed with my father as he got sick, went into extremis and then into a coma and then entered immortality with my sister and me reading him the Psalms.
This was the only point at which my life touched the lives of the soldiers in Iraq or the firefighters in New York. I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty, in return for the lavish life God has devolved upon me, to help others He has placed in my path. This is my highest and best use as a human.
Faith is not believing that God can. It is knowing that God will.
By Ben Stein
You gotta be kiddin' me...Tagged Again.
5 Things I Miss From My Childhood...
1) Not having to worry about paying bills. Enough said.
Where we used to live had no trash service. We had to burn our trash.
3) Field Day at school.
That awesome day where you got to compete against your classmates and not have to worry about school work.
4) Agree with ALa: Summers off. Again, enough said.
5) Agree with ALa on this again and say Saturday morning cartoons.
I'll also throw in Kung Fu Theater.
Remove the FIRST blog from the following list, bump everyone up one place and add your blog’s name in the #5 spot. You need to link to actually link to each of the blogs for the link-whorage aspect of this fiendish meme to kick in.
The Gun Line
Next, select four unsuspecting victims, list and link to them:
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Learn to Speak Properly or Else....Part II
When my family first came to this country, my mother did not speak a word of English. However, she took it upon herself to learn the language as best she could. There was a church who was offering to teach refugees how speak English for free. My mother signed up and attended those classes everyday. She studied day and night to learn the language of the land so that she can help to make a difference for the lives of her children. Now, she has come a long way, but she still speaks with quite a bit of an accent. When she gets nervous, she'll mix up words that sound similar.
A few months before my 18th birthday, my mother was studying American History to pass her citizenship test. Since my sisters and I grew up here and have already been studying American history, we decided to help her. Every night, we would quiz my mother over various historical facts. When she missed something, we made her look up the right answer so that she would remember. Then, came the big day.
The test is an oral test. There is no multiple choice. You either knew it or you didn't. Mom was extremely nervous but was doing just fine until the question came:
"What is the highest law?"
The interviewer tried to hold back his laugh and looked at my mother, "What?"
My poor mom was so nervous because she knew she said something wrong. She thought and thought and then remembered, "Oh, I mean Constitution."
They both started laughing. Mom passed.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Zelda and I have been out of the house for a few days because our air conditioner busted. Living in a house with no AC during the summer months in Texas can be a death sentence. We have another unit being installed today. So, we'll be back in blogosphere soon enough.
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Where's my appointment?
Last night, my best bud Mason called us up to grab some dinner and so that the kids can play together. So, we went to our usual Mexican restaurant and ordered food and drinks. We sat on the outside patio area which is fenced in so that the kids can run around. Zelda had peach margaritas while Mason and I had about a pitcher of beer a piece. Lately, I've been so busy with the clinic and school that I haven't gotten to hang out with Mason for awhile. In fact, he was thinking about going fishing last night and was going to see if I wanted to go. Unfortunately, this weekend is my acupuncture midterm. However, on Saturdays I don't have class until 1:00 in the afternoon. So, I could've gone fishing and just slept in. But, I had a patient's appointment scheduled at 9:00 in the morning. Now, I don't like to go into the clinic early on Saturdays unless I have an appointment. That's usually my day to catch up on my sleep from the week.
So, I told Mason that I couldn't do anything except go home, get some sleep, and take care of my first and only patient in the morning. I set my alarm for 7:00 am on a Saturday, woke up, showered, got dressed, and left at 8:00 am. It's a 50 minute commute to the clinic for me including 3 toll stations. So, I got to the clinic at 8:50 am. I walk around to the back door and it's still locked. So, I walk around back to the front into the front door. That's when I got the message.
"Jethro, your first appointment is sick."
"Your first appointment is sick and can't come in today."
"My first and only appointment?"
"Uhhh yeah. They said that they lost your card so they couldn't call your cell phone directly. That's why they left a message on the clinic's answering service. Sorry."
It was at that moment that I felt like that Middle Eastern guy in the movie Office Space when he was so frustrated he couldn't curse properly. "Mother...Shitter! Son of an Ass!"
I could've turned around and gone home, but what's the point? By the time I got home, I'd only have about 2 hours before I'd have to leave again to come right back for my acupuncture class.
Oh well, what are you going to do?
Friday, June 10, 2005
I was tagged by 2 different people with this.
Total Number of Books I Own: I have no idea. I acquired many more after I married Zelda. Most of my books were required purchases for school.
The Last Book I Bought: Business Law for Chiropractors. Again, required reading
The Last Book I Read: Pathologic Basis of Disease. I'm always reading that book. Again, required reading. See a pattern? I don't get much time to read anything else.
Five Books That Mean A Lot To Me:
1. Bias by Bernard Goldberg - A liberal himself who came to see and describes the left slant in the mainstream media.
2. No Spin Zone by Bill O'Reilly - This book got me screaming at the TV for politicians, no matter what side they represent, to stop tap dancing and answer the damn question.
3. Gross Anatomy - Ah, memories.
4. and 5. All of the other books that I actually got to read for enjoyment. I can't really single out any others.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
What are you lookin' at?
My first year at chiropractic school was extremely difficult. We had one professor who earned the title Dr. Evil. He taught Histology and Gross Anatomy. His tests were never straight forward. Gross Anatomy was difficult but extremely interesting. I'll never forget perspective students walking into the lab while we were working on our cadavers. Actually, we were using saws to cut the heads in half.
For the Gross Anatomy Lab tests, the cadavers were lined up in 4 rows and 5 columns. They were placed in weird positions with pins stuck to various parts. Questions were then asked about each body part that had a pin stuck to it. You were allowed about 1 minute at each station. You could see everyone zigzag through the room as time was called moving to the next station. And of course, you were expected to keep your eyes off of other people's answers. As I moved past one station, I noticed one of my classmates looking where he shouldn't have been. I stared at him in amazement because he was quite obviously looking across his station to the station right in front of his. Then, I realized what he was looking at. One of the more attractive female students in my class was wearing a low cut shirt. She was leaning over. After he got a nice amount of eye candy, he looked up and saw that I was staring at him and laughing silently with my head shaking. His face turned red and he laughed right back. He knew he was busted looking for a nice rack instead of cheating for answers.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
I remember back in my 2nd year of college one of the priests held a carwash fundraiser for the poor folks in Houston. All benefits would go towards providing food and shelter for them. I remember being introduced to one of the homeless guys by the priest. The homeless guy glared at me with the most pissed off look you could imagine. He says, "Vietnamese!" I, not wanting to cause a scene, smiled and said, "Yeah, how did you know?" The homeless guy stepped right up to me again with the same pissed off look and said, "I was there. 3 years 5 months 24 days. I lost a lot of really good friends there."
At this point, the priest tried to intervene before a fight broke out. However, I kept my cool and figured I'd outsmart this guy. I stared right back at him with an equally pissed off look and responded, "I was there too. In fact, I was born there. I left 2 years, 7 months, and 16 days after I was born." (okay, that was a lie because I left 5 months after I was born). Then, I raised my voice to the point where I was almost screaming at the guy, "You lost friends, but I lost family!" (yes, that's actually true).
I continued, "My family fought alongside and died with 'your friends'! (true). My father has only one leg (that's a lie) because he was shot by an AK-47 (true. 3 rounds into his calf). So, don't you go and tell me about your god damn hard life."
At this point, the priest completely stepped between us. However, that was no longer necessary. The homeless vet's glare disappeared and he reached out to shake my hand. He admitted that he didn't think about the Vietnamese soldiers who fought. After that, we had a really nice conversation.
Sometimes a little exaggeration mixed in with the truth will help calm tense situations.