home | projects | stories | guests | archive
stories >> home

stories
(all of 'em so far)

Smith Family Robinson What's a poor Southern boy to do when he gets the call to go to McKinney and encamp among the yankees? Facing up to his fears of children and ghosts of Christmas past, he makes the trip, of course. (January 5, 2001)
Spinks' Party We lost young Spinks to the wilds of New York city. We, of course, had to throw a going away party for the young buck. (March 29, 2000)
Salsa Night Early in the year 2000, I was a single man once again. We were playing a lot of Unreal Tournament (yeah, I know) at the time, but the opportunities to meet the opposite sex were pretty lean. "If you want to go surfing, " I told one of my friends, "You've got to go to the beach." Learning how to salsa down at Miguel's seemed like the closest and friendliest beach in town. (February 29, 2000)
All Hands The company has a semi-regular meeting of the entire staff, or "all the hands," hence the name "All Hands Meeting." This particular one was held downtown and there was quite a bit going on that night. (February 13, 2000)
Final Monster Down Some people wish they were back in high school. You will never, never hear me say this. So I approached my ten year high school reunion with my friend Jennifer and more than a little trepidation.
      A lot had changed in ten years. This story is about putting down the bad memories, the old ghosts from your past, the monsters. And coming out, triumphant, on the other side.
      They cannot hurt you unless you let them. (October 27, 1999)
Prague Spring Doug is an old high school friend of mine who got married in the spring of 1999. He married a Czech girl, and I flew all the way out to Prague to see him get married. I had never been anywhere I didn't speak the language at all (other than "Hello" and "Beer Please") and was unsure how I'd fare. I managed to make it back and have a great time in the process. (April 24, 1999)
DJ Spooky DJ Spooky is a semi-famous DJ from New York City. I remember reading about him in Wired or Mondo 2000 years ago. I saw him accidentally, on a night I was trying to see the Poetry Slam.
      The point of the story, however, is that this was the night Jong and I first got together. A bit of a love story, I suppose :) (November 10, 1998)
Butterfly McQueen A night that changed my life: sitting with someone in labor and holding a three hour old baby in my bare hands. What a thing is man.
      The title comes from that Southern staple, Gone with the Wind. Butterfly McQueen had the great line, "I don't know nothing about birthing no babies." (September 17, 1998)
Swimmin' Swimmin' Swimmin' This is the story of the second triathlon I did in the summer of 1998. I was training fiercely at the time, mostly because I had managed to screw up my personal life pretty good and training was a good way to keep busy. Scott Tinley, the great triathlon writer, gave me a great metaphor for your whole life: don't be afraid to start the race because it'll hurt, because "the pain does come, but it's never as bad as the fear was." (August 30, 1998)
City Lights San Francisco is my favorite city in the world. This was one of those crazy trips where I managed to squeeze a bit of work related conference time in between jaunts up to Santa Rosa and San Francisco. (August 20, 1998)
Triathlon My God, man, I've done a triathlon now. I had never expected to be involved in any endurance sports, but at this point in my life I had been running steadily for about two years and entered a mess of foot races. I was always a good biker, so how hard could swimming be?
      I'm still doing triathlons. What a blast. (June 16, 1998)
R is for Redneck Up against the walls, you redneck mothers. Blast down to the coast in the Leper, see the Gourds two nights in a row, torture yourself through a long ass bike ride: how could a weekend get any better than this? (May 31, 1998)
Biking and Dying Lance Armstrong, man among men, a hero of our time, I don't care what Anna says about him. I want to be like Lance when I grow up.
      This is the first Ride for the Roses. This was a format I experimented with, since I had two stories to tell ("Biking" and "Dying", of course). I thought it worked well, though my old man couldn't print it out and was irritated with me.
      Live well or rest in peace, Phlebas, whichever it may be. (May 25, 1998)
South by So What Cantone and I raging destruction on a spring night, preaching the gospel of what a pain in the ass SXSW is and how it's invaded my town. Yes, I understand that SXSW is good for bands and good for business, but it's still a pain in the damn back side. (March 22, 1998)
The Springs When I first moved to Austin in 1989 I never went to Barton Springs. It probably was not until 1995 or so that I first made it down there. Now, you can't keep me away. It's a great place to swim, and in this story, it was a good place to think and remember. (March 1, 1998)
Rolf Freimuth Old Rolf has moved off to California now, and I don't know when I'll see him again. I doubt that his wife would let something like this happen again.
      I'm particularly proud of my nascent photoshop skills in this story. (February 4, 1998)
Half Marathon I had been running for nearly a year straight at this point in my life. I had run in my first rate, the Turkey Trot, in November of 1997 at the insistence of Aj. A few months later, I did something crazy and entered a half marathon (13.1 miles, the Trot was five miles). I hurt like hell but this was one of the most self affirming things I have ever done. As they said in Fight Club, "You are not your fucking khakis," and you are capable of more than you ever dreamed of. (February 1, 1998)
The Ruins of Pompeii The annual ski trip with the Mowers took us to Park City in the midst of the Sun Dance film festival. The run from the title, The Ruins of Pompeii, lives to this day in the Mower/Arvesen Timeshare lore as a freaking crazy stunt. It's right up there with the famous Kong Jump... (January 18, 1998)
Things work out A nice Christmas party, a nice evening of hanging out and listening to Sublime. This was the first weekend update written to be explicitly in HTML as I started to move from emails to the web (not too important, but cool nonetheless). (December 14, 1997)
Port Lavaca I remember this trip clearly to this day. In retrospect, I can clearly see the roots of the big road trip planted in this long, lonesome trip down the coast. (December 7, 1997)
Holy Paris The summer before I went to high school, I went on a 17 day Europe trip with my brother and a school group. It went by in a flash and I had no idea of what we were doing, so most of the cities did not make an impression on me.
      I had been reading some skateboard magazine a few months prior to this trip and they had talked about skate boarding in Paris. "Paris, " I though, "now there's a place I'd like to revisit."
      Even though I caught that terrible disease while there, I loved this trip. (November 16, 1997)
Halloween These updates around this time, especially, feature a lot of drinking. "Drinking, a Fun Story" as someone once called it. The Halloween of 1997 I had taken a three week hiatus from drinking. Carl and I went out on Halloween and broke the fast in fine style.
      This night was incredibly fun, but I am glad that we had the foresight to ride our bikes instead of driving. (November 2, 1997)
The Fast This was the night where I decided to give up drinking for three weeks (which seems like a really paltry number when you write it out, but it seemed freaking heroic at the time). I remember the World Gym workout I talk about here quite well. (October 12, 1997)
The Slave Ranch A typical week in the life of Big Al at the time: a few drinks with Yows down at the Cedar Door, off to see a band I had never heard of Aj (Spearhead, who are freaking great), and then a random party the next day with Rolf and Cantone. I don't know if the place we went to was really called "The Slave Ranch" or not. It's a weird freaking name for a weird freaking place. (September 28, 1997)
Little P This was back when the updates were email only. I've called this one "Little P" after Priscilla's nick name. About six months after this we would split the Motorola marathon in half, each running thirteen miles. That was my third race, and it was just two weeks after the 3M. Crazy man.
      Sometime after that, Priscilla moved herself back off to the North East. The last I heard from her she wanted me to run the Chicago Marathon with her. The last I had heard of her she was crazy over some guy.
      Good luck to you, Little P. (September 7, 1997)
26th Birthday This was the first really long weekend update. It started to stretch the limits of most people's ability and desire to read email, I think.
      I haven't been back to Buckhead in a few years, but we had a great time this night. I don't think Christina keeps in touch with either Andrea or Eva any more. (August 26, 1997)
The School of Bad Ideas The Hoo Koo E Koo was a brand new machine and I was feeling my Wheaties. Jim and I had quite a bonding experience that night, what with the flat tires and the social engineering and the minor amounts of property damage we ended up causing. This was the first, IMHO, great weekend update. (August 4, 1997)
The Bonecrusher Every Friday at 5:00 pm KLBJ used to play a song called "Bonecrusher." Jim and I would close the door to our office and pump up the volume, causing misery to everyone else in that tiny office since the door didn't go all the way to the ceiling.
      The lyrics to this song remind me of Bo Diddley's "Who do you love?":

      I'm the mighty Bonecrusher
      And I live way out West
      I'm a gentle man by nature
      But bone crushin's what I do best

Ah yes, even the small flowers. (June 25, 1997)

The Beginning There were a few other updates in there, which I didn't bother to preserve, many of them just being three or four lines in an email. I kept this one around because it shows, I think, the humble origins of this thing. This was also the last weekend update that went out to the entire company and spawned "theloop" email alias. I think it was the "striking out with 18 year olds" comment that did it. (June 22, 1997)

home | projects | stories | guests | archive
stories >> home