Category Archives: lessons

food poisoning sucks


Ugh… on Tuesday night The Deistette and I were doing the evening ritual of  figuring out something for dinner.  It’s been hard lately since my brother and I destroyed the kitchen (a post on that coming soon).

The Deistette decides she’ll just use some left over rotisserie chicken and make a salad for herself.  I can have a sandwich and add a little nutrition with some lettuce.  The boy can have left over chicken and fried rice.  Tah dahhh!… another dinner crisis averted.

About an hour later, Emmie started to feel a little clammy and nauseated.  Not 30 seconds after she told me she was feeling bad did she lose it.  I get really nervous when she hurls her food.  She is so tiny that she needs to keep every ounce in her that she can.  But she doesn’t have a gallbladder so she can only intake so much fat, she has celiac disease (she has to eat gluten-free) and on top of those two things is allergic to a few foods.

Anyway, so she feels better after her little episode and we try to figure out why it happened.  We have no idea since nothing was wrong with me.  Well about 5:30 in the morning Continue reading

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thoughts on SB1070


Well I have managed to calm down a little from the passage of SB1070 in Arizona and a discussion with my brother in-law (my white brother in-law) who is married to my (Mexican) sister.  I also had some online sparring with a few others about the subject as well that got me a little pissed off.

In all cases, none of us are lawyers nor do we know immigration law.  But we were giving it our best shot.  I even thought I had things nailed down when I told my brother in-law the bill is violation of the Constitution.  I thought it especially ironic that I had to give my him a civics lesson and had to explain what the Fourth Amendment is, although he claims the oath he took to join the Navy to defend the Constitution is a big deal to him still.

Anyway… in discussing as many angles as we could think of, one thing was quite clear.

The discussion was an “us” and “them” mentality.  And the underlying basis (at least in my opinion) of what was coming out of the minds of those I was sparring with was “them” are different from “us” and because of that,  “us” doesn’t like “them”.

You know there are all kinds of posturing and defenses the pro SB1070 folks claim as to why they support Arizona’s decision.  Loss of jobs, drain on the economy, crime is higher, strain on school systems, etc.

The fact is, the cost of illegal immigration according to one study I found here says it’s a wash.  Another here says the costs are minimal.  Now, I’m not saying I am pro illegal aliens.  I’m just showing some sources that discount the claims of those who try to justify their racism with economics.

The really sad thing about the passage of SB 1070 though is the underbelly that has been made visible.  It is a sad testament of those in support of the bill.  The line that has been drawn in the sand and those who stand in support of the bill has shown how we as human beings have not evolved at all.  We have lost sight of whatever religion we follow and the teachings that have told us to care for our fellow man.  We are fearful of those different from us. We lack the capacity to empathize with others and cannot see the savagery we display when we devolve down to our reptilian brain.

THAT, my friends, is the truly ugly aspect of this bill.

~~~~~~~~~~

And now… a little comic relief to ease some of the tension.  This is a vid of couple of guys who hop the fence in Arizona.  At about 1:20 is where it gets kinda funny.  My Spanish isn’t very good but from what I can make out of this exchange between these two Mexican fellas goes something like this:

Guy 1 (with camera) “Hey so tell all of us your experience of being over on the other side.”

Guy 2: (the younger guy) oh it felt good. I was even able to speak English for a little bit. It even felt like the tone of my voice changed for a little while.

Ok… maybe it’s just funnier in Spanish.

this quote reminds me of The Deistette


I stumbled over this quote by Kahlil Gibran from his book, The Prophet.  I love that book and haven’t thought of this quote in some time.

love it…

In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

Emmie and I have been married a year today.  It’s been hard. But we’re still chugging away.  I find our best times, our funnest times are when we are by ourselves… no kids, no chores, no obligations… just us being friends.

Those times are very few and very far between.  But even during the mundane, the every day, with the burdens, the stress and tension of life… tension of each other…  we manage to brush off that stuff (might take a week or so but it gets brushed off) and laugh with each other and share pleasure.

[sigh]

We went on a date in early October of ’09.  That was five months ago.  I think the last date we had before that was in June of that year… maybe… I think.

I don’t know.

I love being married to her.  She is an amazing, beautiful, kind woman and wife.

I wish we had dated more though.

Love you Emmie.  Happy Anniversary.
The Deist and Deistette on a date Oct 2009

A life changed in 30 days


I’ve been meaning to write about this for awhile but kept feeling like I needed more time to grasp any meaning or to analyze what happened but I don’t know if there really is enough time to comprehend entirely the how and the why.  So a little more than a year later here’s my take on what happened to my dad and his wife and how their lives were upended.

You know… it can happen so quickly.   Your life as you know it completely changed; unmistakenly different from it was just the day before.  In the case of my dad and stepmother… 30 days.  It took  exactly 30 days for the transformation of their lives to be different to a point that it will never be what it was before.

In December of 2008, my dad’s wife of 30 years went to visit her brother near Dallas.  An important fact I should note is she has a disease that suppresses her immune system.  As a result she needs to be as careful she can about getting near any one who is sick or should cut herself.

Well she wasn’t as careful as she usually is and something got hold of her in December of ’08 that made her very sick.   The bacteria that attacked her body was strong and Continue reading

about name changes


So in my last post I talked about how I changed my name about a year ago from my birth name to, how most of you know me here…. Julian. This post as you can see from the title is an expansion of the topic.

I brought The Little Man with me to work on Monday last week… Columbus Day. He had the day off from school as parents went in for parent-teacher conferences. By the way… he’s doing quite well in his first year of school.

On our drive to work he started talking to me about names. He started off telling me his brother’s last name was McKinley. I said, “no… that’s his third name (The Deistette and her ex gave the boys three names when they were born) his last name is the same as yours, just like your daddy… it’s Durham.”

So as the conversation went on he began asking me about his mom’s name and nicknames I have for her. Then he asked if my daughter had any nicknames. I said, “yes, I call her Little Fawn a lot of times.”

He asked why and all kinds of other questions…

Little Man: “does Papa have a nickname?”
Deist: “i don’t know… um, no.”
Little Man: “what about you?”
Deist: “Well, yeah… I’ve been called all kinds of things.”
Little Man: “like what.”
Deist: “Ummm… it really isn’t important. (my fraternity nickname is probably not one a five year old should hear.)
Little Man: “But what is it?”
Deist: “ok, well you know how my first name is Robert ?… well some people shorten it and call me Rob.” [his expression looks as though he doesn’t believe that really qualifies as a nickname] I continue in an attempt to pull him away from me, “Hey… you know you have a nickname too?”
Little Man: What! (He says that a lot in response to things I say to him. It’s as if what I said is the most shocking thing he’s ever heard. Pretty funny sometimes. For instance… “hey… mommy and I have decided we’re gonna sell you to the gypsies.” WHAT!?!)

Anyway so The Little Man says “what” in his usual shocked way. And I tell him that he’s heard mommy call him his nickname lots of times and that my nickname for him is Little Man.

He sat there silent for a bit… mulling it over a little. He had his thousand-yard stare working then he announced he wanted to change his name.

Deist: “WHAT!?! (i guess it works both ways) What do you want to change it to?”
Little Man: “Mr. Dave.”
Deist: “Mr Dave? Mr Dave Smith?”
Little Man: “No… just Mr Dave.”

I don’t know why he chose Mr. Dave. Somehow, it doesn’t really fit if you ask me. I don’t think Mr.Dave works. Maybe I should come up with a different nickname for him if he’s already decided this early in life that he wants it changed.

Happy Friday everyone!

Here’s a song from a famous Mr. Dave. Hope y’all enjoy.
R.I.P. LeRoi
(sorry for the advertisement at the beginning. I liked the intro though and the song is worth it.)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

brother can you spare a dime?


Hello friendly blog peeps, peepettes and casual visitors.

Today’s post is asking for a HUGE favor.

If you look to the right… right next to the title of this post you’ll see a picture. If you click it, the link will take you to my page on the Lone Star Chapter of The National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s website.

I’m writing about this because I want to let you know I’m riding my bicycle half way across Texas in an effort to raise funds for researchers to find a cure for MS. I’m riding in the 2009 MS 150 Bike Tour from Houston to Austin. It’s about 160 miles or so over two days.

I’m do it for two reasons. One… believe it or not, I find it fun and of course, challenging. (i’ve ridden this ride before) Two… I know I am extremely lucky to be able to move my body on my own and so I feel an obligation to help.

I want to help researchers find a cure for folks who don’t move so well because of this disease.

I’m no scientist. I don’t know much about this disease or what it will take to end it. But I can pedal my bike and ask people to donate to my ride so the smart guys can figure a way to help those who are afflicted with this disease.

So I hope you will.

I hope you can spare ten bucks… or five bucks… or three or even one.

I know five bucks or even one doesn’t seem like a lot but it all adds up.

When I was in the Marine Corps I learned a saying from the grunts… “ounces make pounds.” I first heard it when my unit attached with some grunts for training and we were going on a 13 mile hike carrying all our gear on our back.

A few of the guys took us “non-hackers” aside and said, “ounces make pounds, Marine. Let me see your gear.” They proceeded to show us how stripping every tiny piece of non-essential crap added up to a lot of weight.

“Ounces make pounds” folks. I know times are tough. Hell, I barely have two nickels to rub together but if you could donate whatever you can…

well, every little bit adds up to a lot.

NaNoWriMO – is there a do over


Ugh… I really thought I could pull off NaNoWriMo.  When Lazy Buddhist threw out the idea I thought, “i think i could do this.  Having a friend in the mix might make it a little easier to pull off, too.”   Then Amuirin over at Stop and Wander joined in, also…  and they are both doing fantastic on their word count by the way.

But November hit me hard.

Life hit me hard… [sigh] and NaNoWriMo quickly got put to the backburner.

The Deistette and I have been going through something really tough.  We’ve crammed about five years of relationship into five months and we’ve come to a spot that has been tough to deal with.

The one thing I’m grateful for is that we’re in it together, we wavered a bit but ultimately it’s made us closer.  Kinda the way centrifugal force during a car rollover smashes people in the backseat closer but closer nonetheless. Hey at least i haven’t let go of my sense of humor, right.

Anyway, I’m not letting up on WriMo though.  I’ve had about a week and a half of the nineteen NaNoWriMo days slip away from me because of unforeseen events but I’ll forge ahead to the end.  I’m gonna keep writing. It’s therapeutic in a way.

If you wanna see a new excerpt click on my WriMo page link just under my wordcount badge.

did Jesus visit my UU church


Like most churches, my congregation has potlucks. Almost every event we organize is intertwined with a potluck. We’re lucky we have a number of members who like to cook and as one of the resident bachelors in the crowd, I get to reap the benefits of some awesome home cooked meals when this happens.

So a few weeks ago we had one. There were quite few people there and a bunch of little kids running around like little maniacs… you know, doing their job as kids. We had music going, good conversation, good food and good fellowship.

Well being a small congregation, you know immediately when someone walks in and is a stranger. Alex, had been riding his bike around in our parking lot for several minutes as he scoped us out to see if we were friend or foe, while a couple of the fellas burned up burgers and dogs on a little hibachi.

He timidly and somewhat ashamedly accepted an invitation to come inside and eat with us. You see Alex is homeless. He looks to be in his late 20s and he has apparently made some bad choices that have him in his current situation. Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “Sometimes when you’re eating a shit sandwich it’s because you ordered it.”

Continue reading

gam zeh yavor… this too shall pass


I woke up this morning a little earlier than normal… about ten minutes to six… and with an unusual feeling…

…rested.

And as i began soaking in this unusual feeling i began thinking about why. What did i do different. I mean i need to remember this so it happens again.

I did go for a run last night but I didn’t push myself and it was only for about 20 minutes. Nice hot shower after the run and then a brown ale while watching re-runs. I fell asleep no earlier than normal… about 11:30 or so.

It was chilly last night here on the Gulf Coast Plains. So I had the windows open last night at Chez Jules and i guess all of that together was a recipe for waking up feeling… well, feeling good.

But then it occurred to me Continue reading

Living a Christ-like life


My dad is currently single. My stepmom has been out of town since Valentine’s Day and gets back today. So for the past few days my dad has been gorging himself on Heath bite size candy bars, the golf channel, queso dip and Bush lite beer. This is rather detrimental to his health because of diabetes so the stepmom needs to get back quick.

So last night he tells me to go have dinner with him. “C’mon… I’m your dad. Go have some beers with me. Hey… it’s not every day I’m single and get to do this.”

Basically i get guilted into going. It’s like having a Jewish mom who sounds like a man with a Mexican accent talk you into doing something you know you should do but don’t really want to. Continue reading