Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What I say, I mean. What I mean, I say.

This hails from my day of truancy as a sophomore in high school. My grandparents lived a couple blocks from my high school. They went out of town, so Roy and I hatched a plan to skip school for the day. After our parents dropped us off we had our friend Ross drive us the three blocks and then we used my grandparents' hidden house key. Ross had the good sense to go back to school.
Roy's older brother was going to call in pretending to be my dad to get my absence excused. I don't think anybody could have gotten ahold of Roy's parents that day for some reason. At least, I don't remember the plan involving anyone calling in for Roy.
I don't think we really knew what we were supposed to do with our freedom. We had this big ass house full of liquor and cigarettes at our disposal, but we just drank Cokes, played pool, and watched TV in the game room. Until my Aunt Ann came by the house.
When I heard the car pulling into the carport I slapped the TV off, hollered, "Dude, we're fucked. Run!" to Roy, and took off. We skidded past the kitchen just as she was fitting her key into the door. Luckily the shades were down. By the time she was inside were huddled together in a closet upstairs. I'm pretty sure I know what Anne Frank felt like. [Kidding! Geez.]
The hiding spot was perfect because Ann had no reason to come upstairs and she would probably not have looked in the closet anyway. It was less than perfect because we couldn't hear her movements downstairs or see her car to know when she left. So we sat around the closet smelling Roy's farts for what was probably ten minutes but felt like five hours. After that we were still too scared to go downstairs but we decided to at least check out the upstairs bedroom.
We found some of my Uncle Pete's (I assume) old shorts and T-shirts with the sleeves ripped off. We changed into these clothes in what now seems like kind of a gay decision. I think the clothes change reminded me that I had forgotten socks to wear to the Y after school. (I would go to the Y with Wes Tumlinson between school letting out and driver's ed starting.) So I called my mom at home to see if she could bring some socks for me to the Y.
"Hey, mom."
"Matt, where are you?"
"Uh, I'm at school."
"No, you're not, Matt. The school just called me looking for you. Where are you?"
"Uh, I'm at Mamaw and Pawpaw's."
"Well, you're dad's on his way over there right now."
At this point I'm waving frantically at Roy to get our stuff and leave. "Uh...uh...bye, mom."
We grab our bags and school clothes and take off toward school. We decided to run along the railroad tracks instead of on the road in case my dad was driving by. We changed clothes as we ran, pulling on polos over our pilfered ripped tees. Our English teacher saw us walking up to the football field as he was walking home for lunch. He nodded and said nothing.
We went straight to the office to turn ourselves in. I was in full-on panic mode. My heart rate was probably 200. I was scared, but I was pissed too. I thought Roy's brother had me covered, but it seemed he had fucked me. When I checked in with the secretary, however, they didn't bat an eye. "Oh, you were sick but now you're feeling better? Okay then. Go on to lunch and have a good day." Seriously? That's how easy this shit was? Turned out Dwayne had called in for me but only after they had called my mom. I don't remember what Roy told them, but he got off pretty easy too. Hell, Roy used to go to the sick room and make out with his girlfriend so he was practically a pro at this shit.
I spent the rest of the day imagining the various ways my dad was going to inflict pain on me. I seriously thought he was going to beat. that. ass. I had never done anything like this and was sure this would be the end of me. If I survived at all it would be as a crippled shell of what I had been. Of this, and only this, I was certain. Classmates were genuinely concerned for my safety. One girl told me the next day she almost called the cops for me because I was so worried she thought my dad might actually murder me.
Anyway, I don't remember much of the rest of that day. I know that at the beginning of religion class, when we always said prayers and intentions, somebody prayed for me not to get killed. I know that my mom didn't really talk to me at the Y and that I did go to driver's ed. I know that my dad was really late to come pick me up, giving me an extra few minutes to dream up methods of torture he could use.
Finally, he arrived. I got in the car and we didn't go anywhere. We just sat in the parking lot, listening to each other breathe heavily. One in fear, one in anger. Finally my dad said VERY calmly, "Why do you think you don't have to go to school? You can't just choose not to go to school. I have to go to work. I can't just choose not to go to work." And that was basically it. I was almost more embarassed that nothing happened when I went to school the next day than I would have been if he'd smacked me around a bit. But his approach worked. I never cut school again.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


My mom insists on a detailed Christmas list every year. I don't really like this practice as I'd rather the gift be something the giver thought I'd like. Even as a kid I never really made a Christmas list. I don't think Ojo or Snake did either. Maybe it's because we were inundated with so many gifts we couldn't imagine wanting more. After Ojo's traumatic Christmas of '87 or '88, though, things changed.
He was in sixth or seventh grade. My parents knew he'd sort of out-grown G.I. Joe but weren't sure what the equivalent gift for an adolescent boy was.

They chose poorly.

Had they been reading a Zork choose-your-own-adventure book, they would have descended into the well and been eaten by a grue. That year Santa Claus gave Ojo a globe and a desk lamp.
The next year Ojo implemented a strict policy of gifts-from-the-list, and the list was cross-referenced to the exact page and item numbers in the J.Crew catalog. After that my parents came to completely rely on lists, not wanting to risk putting their own thought into getting the wrong gift for one of us. It soon spread to their gifts for each other.
One year my dad saw the exact electric drill he wanted at Sears. He gave my mom a picture, a serial number, the location on the shelf in aisle 32 at Sears. He was very clear about which electric drill he wanted. And he really, really wanted it. Like official-Red-Ryder-carbine-action-two-hundred-shot-range-model-air-rifle wanted it.
And my mom got it for him.
On Christmas morning we all opened our presents and then Mom and Dad opened theirs. Dad opened his up and began with a beaming patented guttural, "All riiiieeeght," and finished with a trademark scowl, "This ain't it, dammit." My mom was crushed but insisted she had gotten him exactly what he'd asked for. Dad quickly backed off on the disappointment so as not to ruin Christmas, but his disappointment was clear. It was as if that close-but-not-quite drill had shot his eye out.*

* To Ojo and Snake, I'm aware that the drill story probably predates the desk lamp and globe by about three years but it sounded better this way to me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

[awkward silence]

This is yet another quote I know only from hearsay, but I've always liked it. To have a passing familiarity with my dad is to trust that he does not sit around at home in a recliner communing with the spirits of Motown. To really know the man, however, is to have seen him kicked back in his dead grandmother's orange recliner full of jelly beans, a beer in his lap, his eyes closed, letting the velvet tones of Marvin Gaye and Al Greene wash over him. Snake happened to be present during one of these episodes. I don't think Dad knew he was there or maybe he just didn't care. At any rate, he's sitting there engrossed in the rhythm and blues and says out loud to the ghost of Marvin Gaye and his own passing youth, "Sing it, brother."

P.S. Make sure you tune in next week for the famous afraidtofail Christmas special!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

we're experiencing technical difficulties

Below is how far I got on a post about me fucking up my computer before I realized nobody cares. Anyway, fucked up computer and internet problems are why there's no post today. I'll get a new post up tomorrow and resume weekly Wednesday posting next week. And just to include a quote from dad, "FUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCK." (You have to imagine me jumping up and down like a two year-old screaming that to get the whole effect.)
I don't know dick about computers. The only thing I know is that armed with enough patience and obsessiveness you can figure out any goddamn thing with google. So of course when AT&T fucked up my phone and internet service last Friday, effectively cutting me off from my only source of knowledge and insight, I took it upon myself to try a complex change to my home desktop.

A few words about my computer. I bought the cheapest new computer I could find about 7 months ago. I doesn't have bad specs to my eyes, 2GHz Pentium Duo processor, 1Gb RAM, but it did come with Vista as the OS. Vista requires GREAT specs to run modestly well. Even after following every tip on the internet for improving the performance of Vista it still sucked up too much processing power to allow me to smoothly use the vector and bitmap imaging editors I like. This pissed me off and I wanted to try going back to XP.

Here's the problem: I knew Lenovo didn't include drivers for XP on my computer. I wasn't sure I wanted to risk dumping Vista in favor of an outdated OS, and I wasn't sure I had the skillset to pull off the change and end up with a functioning machine.

After consulting the hive mind I decided that a dual boot system, while slightly more complex, was probably the safer way to go, because in the end I'd at least have Vista to fall back on. I've been wanting to do this for months, but was always a little scared to try it. I've even had my hard disk partitioned this whole time but was just too scared to pull the trigger.

Well, when AT&T collapsed I decided the thing to do was attempt to set up my dual boot without the benefit of an active internet connection in case things went bad. To quote my dad, "Me fucky uppy."

I successfully loaded XP and it worked, sort of. I couldn't get it to recognize my DSL modem. Not to big a deal since the internet was dead to me anyway. I rebooted hoping to get back into Vista. No dice. Never got the option I was looking for on the boot screen.

I load the Vista recovery disc that came with my computer and reboot. Let's see, the instructions say to select repair system when the disc loads, huh, okay don't see that option. I'll just hit next and

Okay, no big deal, I'll just get all that software back when the internet connection is up again.

Monday, December 8, 2008

sorry, no post this week. Will try and resume next week.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'm living in a stacked deck

Yet another one that's simply a favorite expression of my dad's. I remember often hearing this during Cowboys football games.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Then they just lay there and burn

This is from a story much better told by Ojo. (Why does it seem like I'm always saying that?) At any rate, the short version of this story is that my dad, Ojo, our grandfather, and our younger cousin were out fishing when a nasty storm blew in. (Robo and his dad may have been with them as well, I'm not sure.) Initially my dad thought they could just outrun the stormfront and keep fishing as the storm blew ashore behind them. It didn't take long, however, for him to recognize that this storm was a) bigger than he thought, b) faster than he thought, and c) moving a different direction than he thought.
At this point he decided to just find a spot where the boat was least likely to sustain damage and drop anchor to ride out the storm. Everyone's getting drenched, freezing in the 30+ mph winds, and getting scared of all the lightning tearing through the sky. My younger cousin was hunkered down under the console narrating all the problems that faced them: "The wind's getting stronger. The waves are getting higher. The rain's getting harder."

Those who know Ojo are probably not surprised to hear that he was not a big fan of the strategy of entrusting their fates to the mercy of Mother Nature. So he wanted to come up with a better plan and asked dad, "What happens if that lightning strikes the boat?" To which dad replied, matter-of-factly, "Well, if that happens, we all die." Instant classic, only, of course, because they did not have to put that prediction to the test.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

And a little bit nauseating

My dad just said this a lot. Not sure why. I guess he was a big Tarzan fan as a kid. My aunts all talk about him running around saying this whenever they'd have friends over.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Now my head is going to hurt the rest of the day

My dad actually ripped this off from my mom's dad. Legend has it my alcoholic grandfather would sit on the side of the bed rueing whatever his latest transgression was and mutter "I'm a sorry sumbitch."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Life is full of disappointments

This is a recent one detailed on my other blog here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Maybe I taste better than you

My dad thinks farts are funny. Always has. Always will. At some point my mom gave up, but when we were kids she would gently chastise him for being disgusting whenever he'd let one rip. His response was always the same, "What do you want me to do, blow up?" He really sold the sincerity of his question with his intonation and demeanor, as if he actually thought he might explode if he didn't relieve the pressure within his bowels through flatulence.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'll just go back to bed

I was in college when I first noticed my parents start saying this. I can't imagine that my mom came up with it, so I'm assigning the genesis to my dad. Basically whenever they are concerned about some social issue like not dressing appropriately for an occasion, they end the discussion by saying "You know what we say."

And what they say is, "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke."

I learned that in their hotel room in Waco as they were getting dressed for my Phi Beta Kappa induction. A little yin for that yang as it were.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I've never had one fall on me

This one really requires audio to do it justice, but oh well.

Jessie is this unfortunate soul who was born into a body too hideous for society to accept. She grew up across the street from my dad and still lives across from my grandparents. Apparently she was friends with my dad and his sisters until around middle school, when being a freakish mutant can be damaging to one's social standing.

So they stopped hanging out with her about 45 years ago. But she never got the hint. She still waddles over to my grandparents whenever she sees an extra car or two parked out front. Once I was parked out front of my grandparents with my girlfriend, making out at 11 o'clock at night when she comes shining a flashlight in on us. I think Ojo and Snake have had similar experiences.

Anyway, whenever she pops in on family occasions things get awkward because no one wants her there but everyone is too polite to tell her to go away. (Except for me, I just don't tell her because she's batshit crazy and I'm afraid tipping her the wrong direction could end with one or both of my grandparents being "hobbled".) Eventually she tires of the giant voids in the conversation her presence creates and leaves. Then the jokes start. My dad is by no means alone in the cruel humor directed at this poor wretch. Most of my aunts and uncles have a go, and my grandfather almost never misses a chance. If anything my dad is more tame than most in his zingers. But he always says her name this way, like a narrator revealing some unspeakable horror.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

how can you sleep nights

One night my mom went out, leaving Ojo, me, and Snake with my dad for the night. It was a great night. We played Yahtzee and had Sara Lee pound cake with spray on whipped cream. Snake layed the whipped cream on pretty damn thick, making an eight-inch-tall spire of bleached corn syrupy goodness. My dad saw it start to tip over and called out "Tiiiimberrr!" For some reason we thought that was some funny shit. It doesn't seem that funny now, but that night remains one of my best memories with Dad.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

fascinated by failure

As part of a wedding present from my mom to my then-fiance, my mom went through all the pictures she had of me, from age zero to present. My parents were visiting a couple years ago and my mom found the album she had given my wife. She started talking about how it felt going through all those old pictures. "I thought Dad was going to lay down and cry," she said, implying that my dad was so touched by memories of my youth that he was nigh overcome with emotion.
I think my dad was a little embarassed at this disclosure of his emotional state. So he replied with "Made me want to lay down and DIE." The implication of which I'm still not quite sure.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'll have to admit that sounds logical

Again, in case there is some lingering doubt among those who don't know my dad -- direct quote. This one was actually said to Snake. I'm pretty sure it was after I was in college and had to do with taking out the garbage or some such petty chore. Perhaps Snake can fill in the details for us.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

the proverbial clean slate

Another gem from the peak Port O'Connor days. I don't think this one came from a holiday weekend, but at age nine or so I wasn't always cataloging details correctly. Anyway, again, it's the end of the weekend and my family is left to clean up my grandparents' bay house after all the other families have left. My dad is putting beach shoes and the like in their place on the back porch and notices some kid's underwear on the ground. He picked it up and noticed an unexpected heft. He took a quick glance inside the underoos and confirmed his suspicion. Then, with a look of absolute disbelief, he turned to Ojo and said, "There's shit in there."

I've always thought that was a funny story, but as I got older I found it less amusing. Turns out those underoos belonged to my cousin JT who had some continence issues as a small kid when his parents were getting divorced. Kind of sucks that I wasn't more sensitive to that back then.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I couldn't deny it

More than any other I wish I had been present for this one. Unfortunately the only witness was one of my cousins (can't recall if it was Aterill or Le-ee). Whichever cousin it was was living with my parents while going to VC. Only she and my dad were home one day and my dad was doing some handyman work in the attic. I'm not sure if he was trying to repair some general electrical problem or messing with the air conditioner in some way, but the result was a shock and dimming of the lights followed by my dad silently backing down the attic ladder. He walked wordlessly past my cousin, sitting in fearful silence on the living room couch, to the kitchen telephone. He punched seven digits to ring up KB's dad (the owner of the company that installed the AC) and after a few seconds says, in a perfectly businesslike voice, "James, this is John. Me fucky-uppee." My cousin erupted in laughter. So do I every time I picture this.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

more than just the least

Again, I wasn't personally present for this one. My brother Ojo has relayed the story of this quote on his blog, which draws its name from the same conversation as this quote. He mentions it here, but since his accursed blog lacks the basics of a search function and maintains only incomplete archives, you'll have to wait for his comment for the full story.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

you're looking at me with blank eyes

Some of my dad's classic lines are from good times playing board games.  When playing yatzhee, if anyone managed to get 5 of a kind, a "yatzhee", my dad would let loose this prolonged skreech in celebration.  As kids we thought it was hilarious.  As an adult I wonder why my mom didn't throw away the Yatzhee box.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

incidentally, why do you always have to...

A quote from our Yatzhee games with Dad. Because the game revolves around rolling dice, my dad would inevitably start singing the Rawhide theme song. At some point Snake got tired of hearing Rawhide, so he would retaliate by trying to sing over Dad. Snake would sing a song he made up about our younger cousin Sean entitled "Seaner is a cool dude". My dad hated that.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Not sure if this referred to my Uncle Danny, the coon-ass loud-mouth who constantly berated and talked shit about his kids and wife, or my dad's friend Danny from high school whom my mom didn't like very much. Either way, it's my dad's code for "I need to defecate."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I can't stand it!

A subtle classic catchphrase of Dad's. They don't look like much, those two words, but my dad has used them for years to communicate a range of ideas, from fatalism to disregard to complete disinterest.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

makes you wonder what they're up to

Another one that's not totally unique, but that certainly colors the picture of my dad.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

most of life's problems are too complicated

This is a relatively recent one, from my cousin's high school graduation party in May. I should say the quote is recent, but the reference is quite old.

My uncle had recently had his home absolutely trashed by a derelict kid he and my aunt had foolishly taken under their wing. He was describing the mayhem that greeted them on their return from a weekend trip. This sounds like a hell of a party the kid threw at their house: semen in all the sheets, smell of urine everywhere, brand new (expensive) grill overrun with ash and grease. It sounded like the kid had made zero effort to clean up afterwards.

My uncle mentioned all the ruination wrought on his possessions, but what he focused on was the betrayal and insecurity this aroused in him. Not to mention the anger. In my uncle's own words he was about two minutes from going to prison for a very long time when he first got his hands on this kid.

My dad brought up his similar experience when our house got robbed by our fat neighbor while we were camping on vacation one year. He, too, felt that the loss of possessions was secondary to the emotions effected by the robbery, which he likened unto non-consensual receptive anal intercourse.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I've had my share of other peculiar kinds.

Seriously.  Direct quote.

I have no idea what the context for this was. I know we were in the car driving around Riverside Park in Victoria, but I'm not sure if there was an event for cripples that screwed with traffic or we couldn't find parking even though there were dozens of empty handicap spots or what. It sure was funny though.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Now you know

We were in Brownsville, Texas, for one of Ojo's football games and spent the night there because it's a pretty long drive back to Victoria.  The next morning we eat in the restaurant attached, or very near, to the motel we stayed in.   It took a very long time to get our food.  I don't remember thinking the place was all that busy, but mostly I was focused on not doing anything to draw the wrath I could see brewing in my dad's eyes with each passing second.  I mean, there were two -- not one, but two -- hot high school cheerleaders eating with us.  After we finally eat our cold breakfast tacos and everybody's filing out, my dad goes up to pay for the meal.  The cashier is this teenage Mexican girl, probably 16 or 17.  My dad lays into her, giving her his best look of contempt and finishing with the line above.  Of course, we were never coming back to Brownsville anyway, so his edict was a little hollow.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My heart bleeds for the Snicker-Snack Company

Not the most classic of my Dad's utterances, but revealing nonetheless.  I can't recall the specific instances when I've heard this, but they've all been since reaching adulthood.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

are there any openings on the lunatic fringe?

Really a companion piece to last week's post.  This is another personal favorite from the second worst-night of my life.  Read more here if you didn't previously.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

suddenly I've lost all my enthusiasm

A personal favorite of mine, I've told the story here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

the Sam Snead of music!

I wish I had been present for this one. Snake and my dad were out at the site of my uncle's new house. They were helping out with some landscaping or construction or something. I think there was a family function like Thanksgiving or a big football game or something that night, so my Dad wanted to hurry up and get done. My aunt, whom my Dad never seemed to care for all that much, kept whining about some nonsense or other, delaying the departure to whatever my dad wanted to get to.
When they finally get to leave, my dad pantomimes a conversation with my aunt for Snake. He gets one of his patented "utter disgust" faces and begins, staring into an empty area as if she were there. "I just wanted to say to her, 'You listen here, you silly little bitch.'" This is the one I imaging my wife says about me most often when I'm not around.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It's like trying to forget the H-bomb!

Apparently there's an undertaker in my hometown who doesn't like my dad. I know this because my dad expressly said "If I die, don't take me to him. He might try to cut my dick off or something." As he said it he made a slicing motion with his hand. The fact that he was not kidding in the slightest made it all the funnier. Someone else will have to remember how this came up in conversation.

This post got bumped up the order after Snake brought it up in the comments last week.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

number me among the walking wounded

Sometimes I think a sharp stick in the eye is the worst thing my dad could imagine happening to someone. It's another quote that doesn't have any particular story associated with it because he uses it pretty generically.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

AH, HA!!

I can't remember when I first heard today's quote.  It's sort of like the rising of the sun -- I can't remember a time in my life when it hasn't been there, and I can't imagine a time when it won't be there.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

...patient, kind, and understanding?

No context for this one, just felt I had to confirm for the un-initiated that this is, in fact, a direct quote.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

with alarming frequency!

This one's from way back, so the details are fuzzy. All I remember is we were leaving the Bay House (my grandfather's vacation house in Port O'Connor, Texas) and my dad discovered something extremely unpleasant that had to be cleaned up. Ojo probably has more details.

Thanks to Ojo for coming through with the details (as I knew he would). Here's the story as per Ojo:
At some point in the weekend when we were there [July 4th weekend in Port O'Connor, a big family event with about twenty people in one house, filling up one trash can], though, the trash was taken from the shed and put into that old beat up truck of Bob's. I know, because I was the one who had to transport that fucked up mess. Gagged the whole time. Well, the trash was merely staged in the back of the truck and had been sitting there in the sun for at least one whole day. It further putrified and was dripping out of the bags and out of the bed of the truck in little milky streams. On Sunday I suggested that we go skiing. Mom and Dad were game, but the only vehicle we had that could pull the boat was the truck with the trash in the back. Mind you, the truck itself was a spectacle. It was the brown one that Bob tried to run through two trees that were about 8 inches narrower than his truck. So both sides of the truck were dented and scraped along the entire length. Kelly had also run over some posts or something that dented in the front and back of the truck. We were in the kitchen of the Bayhouse trying to figure out what to do when Mom asked why we couldn't just take the truck with the trash in it to haul the boat. That's when Dad turned to her with a look of astonishment and said in his subtle patronizing tone, "But baby, it's HORRIBLE." And it was too.

But that's not the rest of the story. The rest of the story is that we decided in the end to just take the truck and go skiing. (I think it was my vote that swung things.) So we go down to the fishing center to launch the boat and it's windy as fuck, right. We back the trailer down the ramp and I'm supposed to hold the boat fast while Dad gets in the boat to start it. Of course, it doesn't start and Dad starts getting pissed. Meanwhile, I'm struggling to hold the boat straight but the wind was too much and the boat started getting away from me. It turned sideways between the piers and blocked the rest of traffic. Dad starts hollering. Mom tries to get in the mix to help, but ends up just making it worse. By now, all of the vultures sitting on the benches at the Fishing Center watching people pull their boats in and out are all watching at us, pointing and snickering. The truck that's beat to fuck, (the boat wasn't in much better shape), the overpowering smell of rotten garbage, the crazy man yelling at his wife and kids - you get the picture. My joke of all of that is that I was wearing a J. Crew bathing suit that day and all of those people might have thought we were white trash had it not been for my J. Crew bathing suit.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

afraid to fail

My older brother has a blog entitled Cursed with Ambition. This title, he says, reflects what drives him despite his preference for sloth. The title of this blog is meant to point out one of the many ways in which my brother and I are different. I am not cursed with ambition. Some will argue that I simply must be having done well in school, become a physician, and married the girl of my dreams. Those people are wrong.

A crippling fear of failure, rather than ambition, has been my driving force. I did not study my ass off in college because I was driven to be the smartest or most successful. I did so because the prospect of losing my scholarship inspired visions of hell that Dante could not bring himself to entertain.

Let me put it this way. My brother is like Han Solo. He doesn't want to care. He doesn't want to help. He doesn't want to be badass. But he can't help himself. He never had a chance of NOT swooping in to save Luke's ass at the Death Star.

I am like Luke Skywalker in Empire. Afraid to fail my friends. Afraid that I can't accomplish my goals. Afraid of my father. I hope that at some point in my life I become Luke from Return of the Jedi, but that script has yet to be written.

That explains the title of this blog. What remains, however, is to explain this blog itself. Future installments will look nothing like this initial post. For this sort of rambling, pointless self-examination you can see my other blog, where you can be sporadically treated to everything from warped revisions of children's book classics, to treatises on comic books that no one reads*, to rants against the Veterans Administration Medical Center. With the occasional picture of the prettiest girl in the whole wide world for good measure.

This blog will be entirely different. Every Wednesday for 52 weeks there will be a post (unless I am on call on Wednesday, in which case posts will be on Tuesday). Each post will consist of a strip from Charles Schulz's Peanuts with the punchline replaced by a quote from my dad, who is eminently quotable. If I feel compelled I will provide some context for the quotes used in the post.

This may be really dumb. It may be hilarious. We'll find out, starting one week from today.

And for those who know my dad, if you have any quotes you'd like to see featured, leave 'em in the comments. (I already have a list of 52 quotes, but I'll remain open to suggestions.)

* It's the treatises that no one reads. The comic books are actually quite popular.