Saturday, September 29, 2007


I sat behind an old couple at the airport in Chicago. It was a grey day and we all stared out of the terminal at the dismal Chicago sky and waited for our late flight. The old woman sat in a wheel chair, her hair thinning but curly and cute. The old man sat close to her and wore a cap high above his two ears that fanned out, nearly into cups of cartilage. I think that after 60, the cartilage in a man’s body gets tired of being merely ornamental or functional and begins its quest to take over the head. Your smell goes as well as your hearing, but not the nose or ears. No sir. They live on to conquer all things that are aesthetically important.

Every few minutes the old man would lean over and say something to her and she would laugh this wonderful, full laugh. Every 4 or 5 laughs she would reach over and pinch him on the leg from something he said and he would laugh.

I smiled and wondered if a good marriage in old age trumps the murkiest sky and if you make it that long, murky skies are welcome in the morning, maybe not as much as the sunny ones, but still welcome.

I looked at this old couple and thought of my wife. My wife thinks I am funny. Whether that is really true, beyond our marital bubble, remains a matter of debate. Regardless, I thought of how I’ve always been able to make her laugh, and I think if I can make her laugh at least one time a day, at me or with me, till we are old and in wheelchairs at an airport, spectators to a grey sky, I’ll be able to say I’ve done alright.

"She's a woman... if you make her laugh, you've got a life." -As Good as it Gets

Thursday, September 27, 2007


BARNAUL, Russia (Reuters) - A Siberian woman who gave birth to her 12th child -- doing more than her fair share to stem Russia's population decline -- was stunned to find that little Nadia weighed in at a massive 7.75 kg (17.1 lb).

Monday, September 24, 2007

70 degrees

I would like to take a moment and let my friends in Houston know that it is around Noon in NYC and it is about 70 degrees. Right now, I am trying to decide whether I should change into a long sleeve shirt or just take a little jacket because it might get a little chilly (60's) after five.

Whatever will I do? I'm not sure... I'm just not used to all these decisions. I mean, in Houston it was pretty much about picking which loincloth was most suited for church, or which shirt absorbed the most sweat without showing it. Black works best but unfortunately, black absorbs the most heat. Sooo catch 22.

Whatever shall I do?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Treo Pics of the City

Us at the hotel our landlord put us whilst they exterminated for bed bugs. That's right, we recently had our apartment dusted and sprayed and everything-elsed for bed-bugs. The fumes are great and mighty right now as I type. The apartment people were nice enough to put us up in a hotel as they Agent-Oranged the place. Nice enough, that is, after we marched down to their office with a bed bug in a plastic baggie and... asked nicely. (Nice, for New York that is.)

The Hotel where we stayed had a cool restaraunt/bar on the ground floor that opened out to the street. This guy was covered in tatooes and eating a fresh salad. I thought the juxtaposition was nice. I almost asked him if I could take a pic of his arms while eating but decided against. Chicken.

Amsterdam. Our favorite place to chow one block from our apartment. I almost got hit by a bus taking this pic.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fanfare for the Mexican on my Roof

Dear man in the dusty suite,

How dost though feel this good New York morning?
Dost though know that thine cackling ist so fair?
Dost though know that thy singing is like an angel's prayer?

And when you heckle the ladies walking by
I cans't but imagine that they blush from the high
of being so flattered by your chaste and noble thoughts
or of all the young, noble children your loins would them fraught

My favorite dusty friend, who's hammer pounds so true
who shuts off my cable, and my hot water too
without blinking any eye, because you needed to squat there
so shut off my lights too if they but showed a speck of dirt on your lucky underwear

So cackle and hammer on, my noble foreign friend
you bring me such joy like a hot stinging fart in the wind
What music you'll showed me, in the wee morning hours
my gift is your song, for the next sevenhundredthousand hours.

Monday, September 17, 2007


I've been trying to avoid it. I made a vow to myself that I was going to stay nice. I have smiled at every punk or sucker that has given me abysmally bad service at any given store or shop. (Regular people are nice; it’s the workers that are jerkwads.)

This morning, I crumbled. I fell hard. Much yelling and pounding. Like Tantor or Kong. Like a baby.

To start the day I was awoken by the loud and high-pitched noise of a buzz saw directly above my head. It has been my alarm clock and daily music for past two weeks. Constant, pounding, and slamming and sawing. From 8:00 a.m. till 8:00 p.m. BUT, as far as that goes, I have persevered. Too much beauty in this here city to get mad about people renovating our apartment building so we can have a patio on the roof and cameras to view the people outside who are calling us.

It was the shower that got me.

I stepped in and lathered up nice and put the soap down to rinse form the new and fancy showerhead freshly installed. Without warning, the shower went to a drip, then off. It was just naked-sudsy-me, arse getting colder by the second, and the sweet morning sounds of the pounding and sawing.

I exploded. Erupted. Screamed like a banshee. There was silence. I then said very clearly, "WATER-BACK-ON-NOOOOW." Thinking that my show of brute force and volume had sent fear into the hearts of the workers and imagining them scrambling to retrace their steps and undo what had been done, I watched the faucet with wild eyes, feeling powerful.

Finally after a few seconds, I heard the sound of one faint, latinoesque giggle, then, back to work the men went with renewed vigor.

Only after a phone call to the Super did the water get turned on and I was plenty calm by then, however still soapy wet.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

On My Shelf

If I could pick my job in heaven, it would be "Professional Movie Watcher," and or "Professional Book... reader" or something.

I wish I could just sit around all day and do those two things. Some would say you could shorten those titles in to two simple words "a bum."

Here is a random selection of 5 books and films that just so happen to be close together on my shelf.

Books: (turning around to check, right now.)
1. The Grapes of Wrath (One of my favorite first chapters.)
2. Miracles (C.S. Lewis)
3. Huckleberry Finn (Top three fav. books of all time.)
4. The Little Brown Handbook (Not mine, Amber's)
5. The Story of Christianity (Pretty good, nice pictures.)

1. As Good as it Gets (Great flick.)
2. A Charlie Brown Christmas (Classic)
3. Citizen Kane (Love it more every time, which is good. I was breathtakingly bored the first time around. Good commentary by Roger Ebert too.)
4. Good Will Hunting (Another Fav.)
5. The Muppets Wizard of Oz (The shrimp is Hilarious okaaay!)

What's on your shelf?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A New York Newcomer

When I walk the streets of New York
I don't see the blazing artistic promise
Of my youthful lust,
I don’t feel like Greenwich Village will turn me into a Dylan.
Neither Bob nor Thomas.

The assault of smell
is the closest thing I have found so far
to carrying my emotions where
the blues is sung or blue is painted.
But nothing smells familiar yet, and sometimes,
that makes me lonely.
I don't how “that” works but it just does.

Some Italian meal,
cooked by a third generation owner,
whose son is waiting the table of a lovely couple
swirling their forks to twist the hand-made noodles
into eddies of weekend dreams and designer shoes.
The waiting son watches the swirl of noodles.
Noodles he made, swirling and spattering his Great grandmother’s sauce.
He smiles and waits for the day
when it will all be his…

All this floats into my long Roman nose,
waters my eyes with the vision and then, its gone.
Swallowed whole by this magnificent street that
bursts with buildings all day until the earth ends.
Gorgeous and stunning really.
Should be enough to make anybody
want to write.

But I find, the best writing comes
in a dark room
where all is quiet
and the hand of the muse feels like
velvet on my back,
my hands, and my eyes.
There I can remember what I saw
and tell myself about it,
in a song or poem, then work it all out in simple
and white.

Most of all, when I walk down the streets of New York,
cobble, concrete, stone or brick, I see faces.
Faces that are empty, sad, strange, elated, happy, crazy, but very few
at peace. Including mine.

I suppose my face fits naturally into the yearning rivers of peace-less faces,
pulsing through the shimmering jeweled veins of Manhattan named:
Amsterdam, Columbus and the OZ of the Apple.

When peace on earth finally comes, I think
the place I might want to be is New York City.
Cause when the so many faces that now mirror,
the lost vacuum of want, are at last filled,
How beautiful it will be in New York.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Treo Trauma

I'm afraid that my Mac brain is too far into the blessed realm to understand the workings of a device of a lesser and trickier software.

So please, can someone still dwelling in the realm of sinful, fleshy, PC... please tell me how to work my Treo??? (Seriously. I'm PC DUMB.)

For instance. It always says that I have ONE message. So, for the first day or two, I check the message to find there are in fact, no messages. Then when someone actually leaves a message I really don't think there is one and I miss C-hammer's frantic plea to rescue, what seems to be, a very valuable shirt or two from the clasps of the evil hotel mongoloids here in NYC. (I hate to tell you this C-ham, but when they pulled up the clothes from under the counter, there were small jumping insects emerging from the bag in which they were placed. They have since been quarantined in a larger bag.)

Or, why won't it show how many missed calls? For instance, half my family thinks I hate them.

Or, how in the H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEYSTICKS does one email or transfer a little film made with the treo. I can't seem to figure out how to even email/liberate a single ^%#+***@&#^ picture from the clasps of the Treo's strange and flawed inner nerve/software ganglia.

This one thing I know: When I stop feeling guilty for wanting an expensive Iphone I am going to buy one (with the music of Chariots of Fire pumping through my ipod) and smash the said Treo into a billion pieces like Thor of Asgard. Then I will take 20 pictures of the grey, heavy, lumpy, treo-wreckage with my iphone and send them simultaneously to the various Treo sweatshops in Indonesia and China. All from my iphone.

The one thing I do enjoy about the Treo is the long battery life. That alone keeps me from drop-kicking it right into the path of a subway.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Blogs that were too mean to publish, but what the heck: "Bush's Corner"

Hello Amarrca! And thank you Five Cent Ward for this oppornunity to bestow upon you some wisdom that may beseech the hearts among you to spur into the side of the great stallion called "life" and move onward with a crusading battle-cry song that ever red-blooded Christian boy learned in his first boot camp VBS, "Onward Christian Warlords."

My first thought is a question for Five and to each of you that read blogs regular.

1. Why does everthing have to be so spirchal all the dern time? Its kinda like goin' to the rodeo to see a good man get hooked and horned and instead getting a dagdgum sermon. Now, a sermon might be a good thing in all, 'specially after a particular lustful week, but when yer ready to see a cowboy banged up real good and maybe get malled and stomped by a particular bucksome bull that you bet on... well, no offense to the Lord but, it's kind of a bummer. A big bummer. A big bummer with B.O. askin' fer money at the stop-light. I mean, who wants to see Billy Graham Jr. when you payed dang good money fer some bulls and blood and dust and mud?

2. As it states in scripture "I pledge allegience, to the bible, God's Holy word." Well, I do. I do. I also pledge allegience to the Flag. So what did I do to remedie this conumdrumstick? I killed two towel-heads with one stone; I got myself a bible with an Amarrican flag as the cover! So now when I pledge allegience, I don't feel like I'm blasphem'n my country nor my God. I've been working on a combo of John 3:16 and the national anthem but my wife, she said that might be pushin it a bit. I told her to get back to the readin' rainbow and let Christian Amarrcan men do what Christian Amarrcan men were put on this earth to do: [insert wise thing here. Ideas... "rule, kill, war, bible, tell God who to kill"... maybe ask daddy.] I've also been lookin' fer a way to combine the words "Amarrca" and "The Bible." Like, Abibarrca... or, The Bibrica... or jumble up the letters from both and do something like "Ramcarblabile." Oooo that's a goodern. A keeper. I'll have to tell my old former head-warrior Donald Rumplestillskin.

Well that's all fer today. I'd like to thank Five Cent Ward for bringing me here and I'd like to thank the Bible where God is found and America where Jesus is around. (a little poem from me to you!)

God bless you and God bless The Ramcarblabile.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Some Observations 1 Week Inside the Apple.

NYC. What a place.

Things that are different thus far:

1. The close proximity of people.
I always knew this but I never knew how "personal" it would feel. More people randomly talk to me than any place I have ever lived. Not just crazies, just... people. At the supermarket, on the corner, on the subway, people in my apartment building. At first I kept checking for a neon sign flashing above me that said "talk to me, I'm a talker" but now I think its just that there is a unique sort of "togetherness" that New Yorkers feel or have come to accept and expect you to accept as well.

Not necessarily a "lets all hold hands and sing kumbaya togetherness" but just... together. Like, "well buddy, I'm here, you're here and there's nothing we can do about it so we might as well talk." In this togetherness there is a strange paradoxical sociology that permeates the ebb and flow. New Yorkers are reserved but personal. They are rude but very helpful. They want you to mind your own business but are nosey as I’ll-get-out. They are very private but are privately loud- no secret cell phone conversations in this town brother. They can be harsh and indifferent but helpful to the point of heroic if you really need it.

2. The diversity of mental health and the transparency thereof.
I am sure that everywhere I have lived has the same array of diverse mental health hidden away in cul-de-sacs and behind perfect picket fences, but in NYC there are no shades on the mental windows. Walking down any street you are hit in the face with all kinds of attitude: Mean, happy, crying, laughing, yelling, religious, radical and just flat out weird. The subway is the only place where people level their temperaments to a quiet simmer. Maybe its because they are trapped and the confined subway compartment gives them a subconscious chamber to store the inner-demons. Only the truly off-their-rockers cut lose on the subway.

But even there, in that underground chrome juggernaut, you feel that just the wrong bump or word might set anyone off on a tirade. But then again, if you aren’t sure which train to board next, they will volunteer that information freely and kindly as if they’ve known you forever.

One of the most enduring qualities of the New Yorker is the sense of ownership that everyone has. Today, a guy that lives across the street introduced himself to me. I didn't know what the cross street was for my church and he said, "Dude, this is your city! You gotta know it!" His family has lived here since West Side Story Days and he is telling me that this is "my city." Something about that left me a little speechless.

I do know one thing. However much NYC becomes “my city,” an Astros fan, I'll always be. The Yankees can kiss it.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

All Set in NYC

Good Lord.

We're in. Moving a bunch of stuff into a small area can be a bit torturous. If I had OCD, I would have slit my wrists and my ankles by now. If my rear didn’t have a slit I would slit it as well.

The constant moving of stuff from one side of the room to another, clearing a place in the middle to build Ikea wardrobes and entertainment centers and losing your screwdriver every 20 seconds can be hellish. It was twilight-zone creepy how fast I lost things.

However, the finished product of our all-purpose studio apartment has turned out to be my favorite thing since funnel cake at Six Flags.

The rate of bogs shall increase once my nose stops running. One of the walls of our apartment is brick. We discovered half way through the unpacking that it was covered in dirt from the construction. We cleaned it and it seems the task was just too much for my one Claritin D to handle. I have a whopping little cold right now but I shant let that stop me from enjoying this freaking incredible place. So if my sinuses regroup and take the hill and after I finish a few honkin' tasks, (major uploading of software and such) the normal standard rate of 1 blog per hour shall commence.

Until then, know that I am surrounded by the most incredible places to eat and drink a man with over-imaginative taste buds can handle. My tastebuds wake me up every morning like little children on Christmas Morn'. My friend Jack Spalding would be floating around laughing and smiling all day like a darn eating-fool.

For instance, I had a good ole fashioned Tuna Melt for lunch at a little corner of eating-heaven called “Good Enough To Eat.” (It was the only time Amber and I have walked by the place when there wasn’t a huge line.) The tuna was so fresh I expected a man with a peg-leg and an eye-patch to appear at anytime from the kitchen to wink his good eye and nod as I chewed the little square of fresh bread, fresh tomato, real cheese and tuna bliss.

Off to bed mates.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Great Pavarotti

Nessun Dorma

ROME - Luciano Pavarotti, opera's biggest superstar of the late 20th century, died Thursday. He was 71. He was the son of a singing baker and became the king of the high C's.

Pavarotti, who had been diagnosed last year with pancreatic cancer and underwent treatment last month, died at his home in his native Modena at 5 a.m., his manager told The Associated Press in an e-mailed statement.

His wife, Nicoletta, four daughters and sister were among family and friends at his side, manager Terri Robson said.

"The Maestro fought a long, tough battle against the pancreatic cancer," Robson said. "In fitting with the approach that characterised his life and work, he remained positive until finally succumbing to the last stages of his illness."

I'll never forget the first day I herd Pavarotti. I hated Opera. DESPISED it. I thought opera singers were preening egomaniacs with zero knowledge of music outside of something with a massive voice wailing over the orchestration. All that snobbery went down the drain when I herd Pavarotti.

I stood in the Blockbuster Music, classical section and cried as I randomly played Nessun Dorma sung from the Three Tenors concert that everyone was going nuts over. The sound soaked into my soul and has never left. I have been a devoted fan ever since.

I am sad to have never had the chance to see him in concert.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Hobbit Hole on West 83rd Row

Hello blogging friends, near and far.
Your traveling Wards no longer own a car
for into the city they now dwell
all of their possesions they had to sell

The apartment in which they live is tiny and cute
you cannot get lost or miss each other's toot.
But a block or two from Central Park makes us happy
for that alone, we'd live in a pile of crappy.

We have no internet now just yet.
nor do we have a smelly pet
we will return and tell all there is to tell
about our trip, the drive, the move, until then...
NYC is mighty swell.