3/18/85 - 6/27/04

Even with all the beer we drank together, all the music we listened to, all the shows we rocked out at, all the hamburgers we ate, all the playfights in the yard, all the bonfires, all the late night swims, all the parties, all the deep thoughts, all the patches and pins we swapped - it wasn't enough. There should still be more.

Derek, we miss you.


Bad Idea, Buddy

Dailey want to "bring back" Lake Jackson.

Mostly by filling in the sinkhole and any new sinks with dirt and limestone. First off, how well does that actually work? Everything I've read about sinkholes suggests to me that the groundwater will simply eat away at the fill until it, too, is gone. The guy who wants the contract filling in this and other sinks gave an estimate of $100,000 each. I may be wrong, but I would call that the very definition of "throwing money down a well."

Second, draining and refilling are part of the cycle of that lake (and many others in the south). I know our county commissioners don't often seem to know the differences between their asses and a hole in the ground when it comes to the local ecology, but damn. If the Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and water quality specialists all agree that it might be a bad idea, maybe you should actually listen to them.


Everyone's Full of Fight

I don't know if it's the drenching heat, the lack of any recent thunderstorms, not enough loud punk shows, or simply a city-wide case of cabin fever, but anger issues seem to be the fad of the day. Friends that wouldn't harm a soul trying to pick fights with strangers, couples in love sniping at each other, hippie guys in old volvos infected with road rage - hells a'poppin in the capital city these days.

I hope things calm down soon, or it's going to be a long summer.



It happens around my office all year: folks take a week or two off, go somewhere exotic (or at least expensive) and show back up groaning about how they now need a rest from their vacation. Not me, though - I like to take a week off in the summer and just hang out, clean my house, connect with friends I don't usually see, spend too much time drinking beer on week nights, and generally enjoy being a local bum.

Since 2000, I've been waking up around 7 am to get to my 8 to 5 job at least five days out of seven. It still takes less than two days for my body to completely revert to my natural sleeping patterns of staying up until dawn and then snoozing hard until after the hottest part of the day burns itself out. Put me on that schedule and I'm a happy man. One of these days I need to figure out how to apply my meager work history and skills to a night job that'll actually support me.

Until then, well, here I am. I'm awake, and that's about all I can say about it.


31 and Rising

As a little kid, birthdays meant spreading a sheet in the yard and the whole family eating outside. Juicy Juice - a treat! - and good food and one of mom's amazing cakes (chocolate with chocolate icing, my request every year). A few friends sleeping over. Presents to unwrap: books, first and foremost. A toy sword or bow. Maybe something especially cool like a new pocketknife (I still bear a faint, slim scar from where my very first closed on the end of my finger when I was 9).

Since then I've had big city birthdays and small town celebrations. Drunken weekends complete with candles stuck on beer can to be blown out and birthdays when I didn't drink anything stronger than gingerale punch. Theme parties of all flavors, friends dressed like pirates or bible thumpers or trailer trash stereotypes. Cook outs and pizza dinners and pot lucks.

Some folks don't mark their birthdays, preferring to keep quiet and ignore the whole thing. Me? I like gathering my friends and family, throwing a bash as a present to myself and everyone, marking another year still kicking. For my 31st, I put together a punk show. Two local bands, friends of mine, making noise at my favorite bar. A sheet on the lawn or a gig at St. Mike's - it's not so bad getting older.