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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Three Dog Twilight

When I was 16 I was visiting my father in Houston when I discovered Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (2/3rds of Led Zeppelin) would be performing in the Bayou City just after I was scheduled to go back to Oklahoma.

I begged my mother and step-father to let me stay an extra week so that I could see the legendary Page & Plant play together . . .

I begged hard. It didn't matter. I have always lamented missing that concert.

Until last night.

I saw Three Dog Night play live at the civic center in Odessa last night. And there is something just a little bit sad about aging rockers. I'm not sure I'll ever listen to "Never Been to Spain" again without picturing a pot-bellied old man with long gray hair and great jowls in droopy black jeans sporting a "Vote for Pedro" t-shirt and a microphone.

I would never want to have the same picture while pounding away at the Immigrant's Song.

I had great fun, I did. I mean, Three Dog Night was a great band. I'd bet more people can pick up on the lyrics "Jeremiah was a bullfrog . . ." than could finish the the line "There's a lady who's sure, all that glitters is gold and she's buying a . . ."

But they have slowed down. Waaaaay down.

The concert started right on time, at 8pm. A rock concert. Starting on time. Imagine that.

And it ended promptly at . . .

9:25. 1 hour and 25 minutes later. No, really.

Hey, its fine with me! I had work today.

Thank God for aging rockers who need to be in bed by 10. Afterall, can't miss Law & Order.

But it has had me thinking all day long . . .

So many of us at least once in our lives had the dream of being a rock star. For every person that has ever picked up a guitar, or perhaps a pair of drumsticks, you know there was at least once you imagined looking out over a stadium full of screaming fans . . .

But I never once stopped to think about what my old age would be like---until today. And so I decided to make a comparison to see which would be better: being an Aging Lawyer or an Aging Rocker.

I've made my mind up, now you tell me what you think . . .

Aging Lawyer: Gets to wander around the office peering into associates' offices telling jokes and all the old war stories.
Aging Rocker: Gets to wander around the country peering into dark county livestock show and rodeos telling jokes and stories about how "in 1972 I was sitting in my garage getting stoned when . . ."

Aging Lawyer: Gets to wear whatever he pleases to work, within reason, and no one is going to say anything because he built the firm up to what it is today
Aging Rocker: Gets to wear whatever he pleases but cares little for reason as he looks like some old pervert who'd been skulking around the mall checking out the teenage girls when Hot Topic threw up on him

Aging Lawyer: Started as a lowly associate with a small, bare office and dreaming of the corner office with the big leather couch and all of the game trophies . . . and worked until he got it.
Aging Rocker: Started as a young rock star with a dressign room stocked with girls, beer, a bowl full of black jelly beans and dreaming was done in a smoky haze . . . and smoked it all until he lost it.

Aging Lawyer: Once argued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court . . . and won for his oral advocacy.
Aging Rocker: Once urinated on the steps of the Supreme Court . . . and was arrested for his, uh, non-oral advocacy.

Aging Lawyer: Recently hired to argue another case before the Supreme Court again because of his stellar reputation.
Aging Rocker: Recently urinated on the steps of the Supreme Court again because he couldn't control his bladder.

Aging Lawyer: A working evening consists of smoking a cigar in quiet club with other old attorneys throwing stories at him.
Aging Rocker: A working evening consists of singing in a smoky club while old women throw their bras at him.

Aging Lawyer: Woke up one morning and realized that Enron and Global Crossing stock had taken about 10% of his retirement
Aging Rocker: Sobered up one morning and realized that the manager, the drugs, and the few hundred different girls had taken about all of his retirement

And last but by no means least . . .

Aging Lawyer: Has enough money so that a young blonde 20-something would marry him hoping he'd quickly die so she could have his money.
Aging Rocker: Has enough fame so that a different young blonde 20-something will sleep with him every night so she could have his "celebrity."

I should have kept up with the guitar lessons . . .

(O, if you are curious, she's buying a Stairway to Heaven).

Friday, July 14, 2006


Tuesday, July 11, 2006


It has been brought to my attention that I left a couple of things out of yesterday's post.

With the news regarding our expected new addition to the family, my wife has been quite persuasive regarding my need to lose the weight I've gained since we got married.

I thought--hey, Days Inn has a swimming pool, right?! I'll swim some laps each day and exercise like that.

Hmm. It is a sweet sweet fantasy world in which I live. Perhaps one day I will share it with you.

Now, I know I am not that big . . . but I swear to you from up here on the 3rd floor, i am pretty-darned-sure that "swimming pool" is juuuuust barely wide enough for me to swim in. Alone. Very Straight. And as long as I don't splash much.

In fact, its not so much a pool as--perhaps--a, oh I don't know, a crack in the cement? That a stray dog relieved himself in.

And then, I thought--When I am done swimming I can relax in the hot tub and prepare myself for the next day.

Except, of course, that I guess Days Inn has taken the curious view that it might attract more guests by offering a mud bath instead. Straight from the "pool" to the mud to the "pool" again. Great idea. But I have yet to try it and probably won't without someone offering the cucumber slices to place over my eyes. I am guessing that is why no one else has taken advantage of this lovely amenity, either. I am sorry, but I'm just not that adventurous. And the feel of mud squishing into every crevice of my body hasn't really been all that appealing since I was about 10 years old.

So, okay, I say to myself . . . forget the exercise and lets cook some food.

Thinking of the frozen chicken breast and fresh salad I brought with me, as well as the reassuring pronouncement on the Days Inn website that "dishes and pots and pans are available upon request" . . .

I called down to the front desk.

Front Desk: Front Desk

Mr. Misery: Yeah, uh, there are a couple of things I need. I need batteries for this remote so I can sit my lazy butt down and not have to worry about the 3 foot walk to the t.v. And I need pots, pans, and dishes to cook my chicken so as to chow down while doing nothing.

Front Desk: We don't provide dishes and pans.

Mr. Misery: Pardon?

Front Desk: We don't provide those for you. You do.

Mr. Misery: Uh, yeeeeah, you haven't by any chance read your website lately have you?

Front Desk: No, sir.

Mr. Misery: Well it is under the mistaken impression that these things are provided.

Front Desk: I don't know nothing about that, sir, but (if it will make you shut up) I can look.

After a return call and a promise she'd found pots and batteries, I walk to the lobby.

Front Desk: Here are your pots and pans. We don't have any dishes.

Have you ever heard the phrase: "He doesn't have a pot to piss in." Well, if it was missing, I found it.

Mr. Misery: Uh, yeeeah, I don't know about this. How about the batteries?

At this point I was now to tired to eat and thought I'd go straight to being lazy.

Front Desk: Let me see your remote. Here you go. Do you know the code?

Mr. Misery: Uh, nooooo, I don't think so.

Front Desk: You mean you don't know how to program a code into a remote????

And now she's looking at me as if I am the stupid one here.

Mr. Misery: Oh, yeah. Thanx.

She just changed the batteries. Not the remote. It didn't need a code, freakin' Marie Curie!

When I got back to my room I logged on to the internet to check the website again. Apparently I forgot to read the fine print.

Dishes and Pots and Pans Available Upon Request At Walmart . . . sucker.

Monday, July 10, 2006

I'm Alive

Yes, I am alive . . .

But barely.

If Days Inn continues to have its way with my tender psyche, I'm not sure for how much longer.

You see, it all began a long, long time ago. A dedicated reader and friend found out we would both be working the second half of the summer in the same city. So, we decided, why not room together?!

Great idea?

Sure. I think if he wasn't around, I probably would be flying my boxers on the antenna of my car and the picture I sent my mother of the view from my office would instead be the last thing I was to see before teaching myself how to fly.

So he has his firm start looking for a 2 bedroom furnished apartment willing to rent for one month. But, there being a housing shortage here as a result of the Oil&Gas boom, the only thing available was a 1 bedroom.

Unwilling to give up our ill-fated plan to room together, and with very little time left, I call up the Days Inn -- the only hotel (ha ha) in town with a kitchenette.

And after what I conceded to myself was a bit of smooth talking I had the price reduced from $99/night to a more reasonable $50.

I wasn't the one to check in.

He was. His wife, with him at the time, told him she wouldn't be visiting.

I'm sure, rather, what she meant was . . . she doesn't want to catch some mysterious disease. I only hope that if he brings one home she will understand that it was the result of no ill-behavior on his part.

It was, he can explain, Mr. Misery's fault.

But, then again, I'm not sure that would make things any better either . . .

Well, needless to say . . . $50 is hardly a bargain.

As I sit here staring at the odd colored walls, two questions come to mind:

1. Where was the clearance paint sale whose selection was limited to this the weekend the good people at Days Inn had the bright idea to redecorate, and . . .

2. I wonder what the genius at Kelly Moore named this lovely shade of puke shortly before he presented it to his bosses and was summarily dismissed as a result of his affinity for cruel practical jokes?

It is a smoking room, and smells it.

I suppose the maid did make some attempt at cleaning the afternoon we moved in. Afterall, the ice bucket was turned upside with a fresh baggie and two unwrapped cups place atop it.

I'm sure it was a mere oversight the cabinets full of Ramen that were left, and the bread fermenting above the stove.

And perhaps housekeeping was nice enough to believe the next guests to come by the pleasure of visiting our little wonderland would appreciate the half-empty bottle of Vagisil Cream awaiting us on the back of the toilet.

But I do have a hard time believing that the maids had no clue that the molding towels hanging over the sides of the bathtub probably needed to be washed.

I mean, c'mon, they would have had to have held their noses while reaching across the tub to hang the clean towels in their place.

They were kind enough today to remove them from the middle of the living room floor where we piled them last night, fortunately . . .

As if that all weren't enough to grate upon my delicate nerves, then I finally snuggle into bed and in the quiet of the night I hear:

Click. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Click


Click. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Click.


Of course, the toilet would have to run too!! What a fool I'd be to think I wouldn't be serenaded to sleep by the sweet sounds of the plumbing in this magical world I call Hell in a Motel.

Okay, so it sounds pretty bad right?

Y'know, though, I could've stomached all of that . . . but one last event just ran my flag up the pole and had me swinging in the breeze.

Have you ever seen My Cousin Vinny, where the great and wise attorney Vincent Gambino stays in an old hotel only to be awoken by a train blaring its whistle and shaking him awake at 5 a.m.?

Funny stuff, huh?

Now imagine that happening 6 times in one night.

6 times.

One night.

Goodbye sanity.

Each time I would be rudely woken by the blaring of the freight train's whistle, and then gently rocked back to sleep by the vibrations of the train as it rumbled along the track just outside my 3rd story window.

I have yet to imagine the genius that would choose to build a hotel right next to what I have come to conclude must be the busiest freight train corridor in all of the great state of Texas.

But when I find him, I'll invite him over for a sleepover.

In the meantime I've decided to utilize the foam wonders of modern technology that are Ear Plugs (provided free of charge by the Wonderful Texas Tech School of Law Library).

I just hope I hear the alarm in the morning.

Lose my sanity or lose my job: your choice.
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