Monday, July 27, 2009


In the fall of my 8th Grade year, they came and took away our Yo-Yo’s.
Over the period of a few weeks, the Yo-Yo craze had spread like a wildfire through the open air atrium at Bedford Jr. High.
By the coke machine Robert Everly and John Mcintire stood, “Shooting the Moon and “Walkin the Dog”.
In the Cafeteria, Suzi and Tracy watched in wide eyed amazement…Julie was a natural and was giving a clinic on how to “Rock the Baby” go “Around the World “ and even the near impossible ‘Two-handed Loops”.
But in the Resource Center…

Ah yes, the fabulous Resource Center, that’s what we called it, it wasn’t a library any more, it was a Resource Center. You could view some kind of Microfiche or something on a personal projector and listen to tapes about Indentured Servants and the Louisiana Purchase and stuff. I actually stole a set of headphones from there to listen to my Black Sabbath with, but mom found them and made me take them back to Mrs McNeese the Librariian, so I started taking Sabbath to the Resource Center, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. Right now I am supposed to be telling you about Yo-Yo’s.

Over in the Resource Center, Gary was demonstrating his version of ‘Split the Atom” which was to douse his Wooden Duncan Spin-master with a little lighter fluid and set it afire just before performing his trick. Gary was working on another trick at home with a Yo-Yo filled with a little black powder that would go off just as he finished the last move of a ‘Double Gerbil”, that’s how Gary rolled, but I seriously doubted that trick would ever take off.

But if anybody could pull something like that off, it would be Gary. His Dad was a Gunsmith and Gary was a Champion Muzzle-loader marksman since befor he could walk. There were kegs of black powder all over Gary's house.

Anyway, after dousing his Duncan with lighter fluid, setting it afire, he went into part one of “Splitting the Atom”. But it was then something went terribly wrong.
Not only did his string break just as he spun the Spinmaster over his head, causing the flaming Yo-Yo to jet straight towards Mrs. Mcneese’s very blue-grey hair, but everybody in the Resourse Center was about to find out that Gary was using the wrong Yo-Yo.
Unknowingly, Gary had brought the one filled with black powder from home!
The only thing that saved McNeese from a face full of flaming Yo-Yo that day was the fact that it exploded into tiny splinters 3 feet in front of her face.
No one was more surprised than Gary himself.
Gary “Split the Atom” alright, and the next day the Principle and entire coaching staff confiscated every Yo-Yo on Campus and forever banned them from the hallowed Open Air Atriums of Bedford Jr. High.

But, you know kids are resilient. They make the best of things. It didn’t take long before we found a replacement for the dangerous Yo-Yo’s.
What was it, you may ask?
Before too long the school was filled with the tap-tap-tapping machine gun like sound of a brand new toy.
Clackers! (click here)


Gary, receiving his "Order of the Eagle Feather" Award for a perfect score at competition, 1971.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I have no doubt that if we had not become so inefficient here at work, I would be long gone.
In fact, if we get any more inefficient, I'll need an assistant.


I found something a while back that has really helped me at work.
I susbstitute 'workmates" for 'family members".

1. I will practice self-restraint as a *top* priority today.
2. I will act *the opposite* of how I feel, when angry.
3. If I feel that my anger is about to erupt, I will *quietly* leave the situation.
4. I will find truth in *all* criticisms directed toward me today, especially from my partner..
5. I will say, "You are right," in a sincere, meaningful way, when I am criticized. (Notice that it does not say, "I will say, 'You are right, but...'")
6. I will give an example of how the person who criticized me is *right*.
7. I will repeat the following sentence to myself today: "I am better off being *wrong* because when I am right, I am dangerous."
8. I will avoid explaining myself in any way by saying, "I have no idea why I did doesn't make any sense to me either."
9. I will listen sympathetically to my partner when she tells me about her day.

10. I will not give unsolicited advice to my wife or children.
11. I will avoid blaming family members for anything today, especially if it was their fault.
12. I will avoid trying to make any family member "understand" anything.
13. I will avoid trying to convince my child or spouse that I am being fair.
14. I will look for an opportunity to sincerely praise everyone I live with, especially the cat I don't like.
15. I will humbly commit myself to removing my angry behaviors today, as my contribution toward a more peaceful world.

Monday, July 20, 2009


My sister has started a Blog, (click here) and she left a comment on my post from last week.
I don't know where she may take her blog, but she has started by commenting on my Journey, which she has felt deeply and been a part of.
Here is her comment, and I hope soon she has a post up...

She says:
"There is an enormity to this day.
Bullethole’s story from the prospective of his Sister:

I am bummed that I have to submit this in part’s because you can’t understand one part without the others. I skip around (I have ADHD). I couldn’t decide the order in which to tell our story. I think that I am starting with the worst part. I hope that as I go, I can explain how it got this bad. Then I want to talk about now, which is really the best part. Everyone else I have lost has stayed lost. This time though my brother who was lost to me has been refound.

I can tell by the wonderful responses that have been made to my brother’s blog that many of you care for him deeply. I thought that some of you may want to know more about this man, this wordsmith who literally IS Lazarus. To me, he has risen from the dead. As siblings our stories are intertwined. For many years I felt that there was little emotional connection between the two of us. In alcoholic families (yes, our parent’s were very high functioning alcoholics) siblings either grow very close to each other because they need to support each other. Or, they grow distant as one sibling wants to talk about it (me) and one sibling doesn’t (him). Kids from addictive families also get assigned roles. Who gets what role is the luck of the draw. There is the hero, the saint, the comedian, the scapegoat, the lost child. For those of you not familiar explains some of this.

What made our situation a little more insidious is that our parents where unbelievably attractive and gracious people. There wasn’t anybody lying around on the couch with a bottle of liquor in a brown bag. My father was a highly successful and admired man. He was a good friend of John Connelly (yes, the Governor of Texas who was riding in the car with JFK when he was assassinated. I have a great story of when I met the Governor’s sister who figured out that I was the daughter of bullet holes senior and her great admiration for him, but that if for another time.) In his prime, he was hand picked to run for the head of the Texas Railroad Commission. Bullet holes senior told me about, and I have some memories of frequent breakfasts at the Governors’ mansion in Austin. We came through the kitchen door.

So, I didn’t understand until almost 6 or 7 years after they died that there was a drinking problem. I learned about this from my mother’s best friend before she died. It was further verified by Dave Mow’s Grass’s mother, my sister in law. My mother was the primary alcoholic. Her friend Jean, wife of the infamous Bruce we all have come to love and laugh at had no idea that I didn’t know when I finally asked her about it. After I came to understand alcoholism I could recall incidents that spoke to our father’s romance with it as well.

Bullet holes drew the black card, the addict. I spent a lot of years being angry with him about it. A couple of years ago, I realized that I owed him. It could have been me. Oh, God. It could have been me.

It seemed that the endless string of losses sent my brother further into his addictions and me into mine. The fiend of a drug that would eventually suck my brother under and almost take him away forever.

Friday, July 17, 2009


One year tomorrow, not so much as a glass of O'Douls psuedo-beer, nor a Wine Sauce with my Pasta, or a Benedryl or Vicks inhaler. No Opiates, Amphetamines, or Barbituates.
No Mexican Fireweed, White Robots, Pink Witches or Strawberry Fields.
If you had told me I would do so a year ago, to stay clean and sober, I would have asked you "What for?".
I'd have told you that I would have to use, eventually and soon, if for no other reason than to settle my ass down a little, make myself a little more quietly bearable.
And to get that sinkfull of dishes done.

I have since found lots of reasons "what for".
I have gotten used to my loud-ass, over-the-top, in-the-center-ring-spotlight self.
I can look my kids, my friends and my past in the eye and spit.

Fuck the dirty dishes, let 'em pile up to Kingdom Come...I ain't usin' no matter what.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Still clean, you bet. 355 Days!

But here is why I am on a long break...Blogging was starting to have a rather obnoxious affect on me. I found myself doing two fairly detestable things...
1) Practicing a yet to be written post on an unsuspecting public (in line at the grocery store, or such)
2) Trying to recite an already written post to someone in lieu of an impromptu story, and pretending like I was making it up as I went along.
Its really hard for me not to do those things, its happened before, and I come off as being quite scripted, especially if I start telling the same "impromptu" story to the same person twice.

After I have written a story down, maybe even one that I have been telling for years, it seems to affect the way I tell it and usually to the detriment of the story.
And as much as I like writing these stories down, I like telling them more, face to face.

But I’ll probably be back to it after a bit, after I recover from this affectation and forget some of what I've written.…