The Long Goodbye . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, November 30, 2005 5 comments

"I left a long string of friends, some sheets in the wind and some satisfied women behind," - Billy Joe Shaver, "Ride Me Down Easy"

I've been saying a lot of goodbyes lately and although I've been improving upon my technique with each passing day, it hasn't made it any easier to stomach.

Over the past week, I've said adios at the gym, at restauraunts, on the street, in my car, over the phone, at the bank, in houses, and I even experienced one really awkard last call in a public restroom (where nothing good ever occurs).

The catalyst for this barrage of sentiment is my impending move to Austin on a full-time basis thanks to a job offer at a start-up firm in town. This change will eliminate my weekly commute between Austin and Plano, where I was still working as a personal trainer until today when I threw in the towel (pun intended).

It's not easy telling people goodbye when you 've been seeing them several times a week for the past 4 years.

Like most things that become routine, there will be a void where a dozen or so people used to be and that number swells considerably when you add in other acquantinces who I used to see at the laundry or the bank or at the Wendy's by my old apartment where I am still extremely popular with the largely Hispanic waitstaff.

But it's my old clients that I will miss the most.

It's an interesting phenomenon when you get thrust into someone else's life. Over the years, I've heard about hellacious children, traveling husbands, family pets, hired help, catastrophes big, small and imagined, slights and reconcilliations, pop culture trivia, emergencies, Junior League, fashion, vacation trips and everything else in between.

I didn't always agree with the comments and opinions that were tossed around, but at some stage a shift occurs where you start to overlook certain aspects of someone's personality and simply focus on the positive attributes that we all have to some degree or another.

Besides, nobody's perfect (although I must point out that my nickname in high school was "nobody") and I realize that my own personality is far from ideal.

Another bad thing about goodbyes is that they really wear you down. All week long I've felt like I've been sucker-punched except I can't ever seem to locate the culprit.

Of course, it doesn't help matters when you're attending lunches and dinners every day for a week, where you wind up eating copious amounts of food and drinking far too many Grey Goose vodka tonics and Negro Modelos, which ulimately leads to the foolish decision to smoke a large cigar, but I digress.

My problem with telling everyone goodbye has only been compounded by the sinking feeling that this severing of ties and shift from the gym to an actual office is the thought that keeps running through my head of "this is where the fun stops."

From here on out, it feels like it's time for an "adult" job and all the politics and bullshit and responsibility that runs along side of it.

So, not only have I been saying goodbye to a lot of good people, it also feels like I'm burying the last remnants of my childhood as well.

I really thought that it would help my pysche to write this blog, but looking back over this drivel is only adding to my uneasiness because it's exactly this kind of self-absorbed crap that makes me hate blogs in the first place.

But I guess that writing about how I wish that Freddie Prinze Jr. would be eaten alive by leeches has to occasionally take a backseat to real life issues, eh?

Then again, even the entertainment world has kicked me when I'm down because Fox recently announced that they were cancelling "Arrested Development," which narrowly beats "The Office" for best comedy on television.

When will the madness end?

I can't say I have an answer for that question or that I would be foolish enough to even venture a guess. All I want is a break from goodbyes, a new liver and a winning lottery ticket.

If I can't have all three, I'll take the first one for now because it's been a rough week and it's only Wednesday.

On the other hand, as Steve Earle once noted, sometimes "goodbye is all we've got left to say."


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Motorists Who Just Made The List . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, November 14, 2005 0 comments

As I mentioned last week, I've been doing quite a bit of driving these last few months and now it is not only turning me slightly deranged, but it's also making me into a mean bastard who hates the majority of his fellow drivers.

I have come to loathe these people driving beside me with a fierce passion that has left the simply misanthropic and is currently veering crazily toward wanting to run them off the road and into a ditch before lighting their cars on fire and roasting marshmellows over the flames.

That might sound harsh (and it looks really harsh onscreen), but it's true.

On my most recent journey, however, I tried to turn this unrelenting anger into a productive outlet and so I started a list of motorists who need to die a horrible flaming death.

I found this excercise extremely therapeutic and would recommend it to anyone who feels that they have experienced too much stupidity, buffonery and just plain embarrasing behavior on the roadways.

And with that in mind, here's my list which is subject to change at any given moment:

Motorists Who Need To Be Put Down Like Dogs:

1) Anyone entering a freeway at less than 40 MPH
2) Anyone with a personalized license plate that isn't your initials or that classic Van Halen album "OU812"
3) Anyone gesturing wildly while talking on a cell phone
4) Anyone who doesn't wave to acknowledge that you just let them into your lane to fix some dumb mistake they just made
5) Anyone with a Calvin and Hobbes sticker where one character is urinating
6) Anyone going the speed limit in the left lane of a highway
7) Anyone driving an 18-wheel truck in the left lane
8) Anyone driving a car (not a pickup truck) with more than 1 animal inside of it (unless going to the Vet)
9) Anyone over 50 and bald driving a Corvette (let's try and not fit the exact stereotype of that car, eh?)
10) Anyone driving a PT Cruiser

Much like myself, this list is ever-evolving, but I would strongly recommend trying to stay off of it because my mental state is rapidly detoriating and you can buy marshmellows anywhere.


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Getting Weird On I-35 . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, November 01, 2005 0 comments

I think my twice weekly commute between Dallas and Austin is starting to turn me sideways because lately I've been having strange thoughts nearly every time I find myself on I-35.

For instance, this week I was fixated on a scenario that involves James McMurtry (a musician I enjoy), his song "Ole Slew Foot" and someone dressed up in bear costume. But first a little background is needed to fully appreciate the sequence of events.

McMurtry's new album, "Childish Things," has this song (Slew Foot) about a troublesome bear who boasts a humungous rump, a prediliction for stealing honey and a very quick and agile gait.

I've seen McMurtry in concert numerous times, and I could not shake the idea that it would be intensly funny to rent a bear costume and attend his next musical set while holding a homemade sign reading "Ole Slew Foot."

I would stand near the stage at The Continental Club in Austin to make sure that James could see me, and once he started playing the song (because who could refuse a request from a rabid fan in a bear suit) then I would throw the sign to the ground and start charging around the dancefloor and chasing people around the room until they threw me out.

Just think of the visual.

Now that would be a concert that nobody attending would soon forget. The only problem with my scenario is that I wouldn't get to enjoy the scene as I would be inside a bear costume and unable to see the crowd's reaction.

Therefore, the only solution that makes any sense would be to pay someone else to be in the bear suit and then I could just sit back with a cold Shiner Bock and enjoy the rampage.

I spent all my time from Dallas to Waco thinking about this scene, and I could not shake a smile from my face nor the certainty in my heart that I could make it happen.

Besides, as Dr. Hunter Thompson once wrote, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

And nothing says professional like a man in a bear suit.


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