Adjustment Period
Now that the session's over, those of us who have been living at the Capitol for the past month or so can finally pay the bills stacking up on the coffee table, throw out the milk that's been in the fridge since March and feed our starving and alienated pets. My friend John got his first haircut in four months today. He was unrecognizable.

Things we're happy about now that our lives are returning to normal:

- Temperatures above 48 degrees (for some reason our lawmakers like it cold in the chambers)
- Not hearing the oft-used Capitol phrase "I'm not advised" 4,582 times a day
- Not spending $9 on a crappy "Applewood Chicken Salad Sandwich" from the Capitol Grill
- To sleep, perchance to dream

What I'll probably miss:

- Goofing off with so many people everyday, and pretending it's actually work
- Using terms like "point of order", "I fail to recognize you for that motion" and "I'm not advised" in regular conversation
- The Sergeant-at-Arms boys in the House
- All the huge parties.. with all the free booze.. that go on all session long
Posted by E
| Link to this post | 0 comments |

You Can Take the Gavel Out of my Cold, Dead Hands
Where have I been? Let's just say the Texas House went into complete meltdown. Had it gotten any worse we would have seen a brawl on the House floor of Taiwanese parliament proportions.

Some would say the trouble starting brewing back in 2003, when the House elected its first Republican speaker since Reconstruction. Since then, that speaker, T0m Cr@ddick, has been accused of centralizing power, punishing enemies, and being too close to special interests. Oh, and being Tom Delay's bitch.

This session started with a speaker's race -- when a challenger failed to unseat the speaker. The session ended yesterday with turmoil, but not a race. Why? Cr@ddick - in a stunning display of raw power, decided that he will NOT RECOGNIZE any motions from the floor to "vacate the chair". The parliamentarian quit in protest. He installed former lawmakers in her place. Now the new parliamentarians have interpreted the rules such that the speaker has "absolute authority" to recognize members or not. He no longer recognizes even motions to adjourn. Angry members walked out en masse to protest Craddick early Monday morning.

They put him in, but they still can't take him out. And we gaveled out the session last night with Craddick still in power.

Video story, and the photos...via pinkdome
Posted by E
| Link to this post | 1 comments |

It's 11:13pm. Do you know where your bills are?
I am sitting on the Senate floor, as Senators rush to pass bills before a midnight deadline. It's almost midnight and they have 54 to go.

In my right ear I am listening to the live stream of action on the House floor. It sits just 100 yards away, but a girl can only be in one chamber at a time. So I'm listening to both at the same time, which is like listening to a painfully bad fugue. J.S. Bach wouldn't write this shit, that's for sure.

Right ear, the House: "Some people, or the appraisal districts, are, interpreting that a little differently..."
Left ear, the Senate: [gavel SLAMS!] Senate bill 1250 is finally passed.
House: Following amendment, clerk will read the amendment
Senate: You've heard the motion by Senator Hinojosa
House: Mr Coleman, following amendment, clerk will read the amendment...
Senate: Is there objection? Senator Hinojosa moves passage to engrossment, Senator Hinojosa moves to suspend the parliamentary rule...

I am about to lose my friggin' mind.
Posted by E
| Link to this post | 1 comments |

Badass Men of the Week
James Comey
Tony Soprano
The Chief at Seattle Grace Hospital
Stromberg's friend Brad, who bought dinner for twelve of us out of the blue

Badass Snippet from Stiles

[Reading headline] "Conroe truck driver strangles attacking pit bull. Wow. You know you're a bad motherfucker when you strangle a pit bull."
Posted by E
| Link to this post | 0 comments |

Turkey for Me
Due to my depleted cash flow, I am now attempting to eat homemade turkey sandwiches from now until next Friday (payday). The first few have been good, but the idea of "diminishing marginal returns" is already coming to mind.
Posted by E
| Link to this post | 4 comments |

Dirty Dozen
My blogger friend in South Cackalacka -- Sappy Chick -- has long been reminding me to take part in a blogger photo project called 12 on 12.

The rules are simple: Take 12 pictures from a single day in your life, which happens to be the 12th day of the month. Add a timestamp and description. (I actually forgot the timestamp part, and UPDATE -- I found another pair of photos to make twelve.)

These are taken May 12th in Tucson, Arizona. It happens to by my little brother Roger's birthday -- and graduation day. I started the day at Costco.

Lunch. Can you believe this deal? Costco sells huge hot dogs (we're talking at least eight inches here) and a 20 ounce drink for a buck and a half. No kidding. I ended up getting two hot dogs and two 20 ounce drinks because I was so stunned by the bargain. Delicious. And Kosher.

Hotel room. Getting ready. Roger tries to figure out how to wear his hood, so he tries it on me. His girlfriend Wendy is helping out my Aunt Betty.

We embark upon campus. The U of A campus is shockingly new. It seriously looks like a spankin' new shopping center in a posh, uptown area of some up-and-coming midsize city.

The most interesting part of this photo is almost cut out of it. Here's my little brother Roger walking to the graduation site. Behind him is his ex-girlfriend of four years, Tracy, walking with my dad. Behind Tracy is Wendy, Roger's current girlfriend. Apparently this is not weird? What?

Mom, snapping the same shot of Roger, only I'm sure hers is artsier and actually in focus.

Roger gets hooded! It is strange that my little brother now holds an advanced degree. Reminds me of that one episode of Sports Night where Dan reminds Casey that he's always had a complex about people who have advanced degrees. Not that I have a complex about it. Nope. :)

Congrats to grads. Congrats to me for sitting through that painfully dull ceremony. Even still - the graduation speaker was STILL BETTER THAN OURS.

Awww... my little brother now gets to enter the real world. Little does he know of the world of crushing debt he's about to be welcomed into. Oh wait, he just got a Masters in FINANCE.

There seems to be a wait for the all-you-can-eat sushi place we plan to go to for Roger's Birthday dinner. So the whole family (plus the current and ex girlfriends) wanders into Big Lots. That is where I find these awesome knock-off perfumes. If you love Glow by JLo, you'll love "Sensuale".

All you can eat, baby. The big boat is rolls and nigiri, the smaller boat is straight-up sashimi. Bring it on. Out of my way!!!

When I said out of my way, I meant it.

After dinner, Roger gets some birthday green tea ice cream. (We WERE at a sushi place, after all.) Dad tries to feed his sister, Aunt Betty, a bite of "ice cream" which is actually the Japanese hot mustard -- wasabi. Laughter ensues.

I hope you enjoy my first time (doing 12 on 12) as much as I did.
Posted by E
| Link to this post | 6 comments |

The Sun Won't Stop Shining, Damnit
TUCSON - It's 152 degrees. This year Roger's getting his masters so the entire family is back here in lovely, brown Tucson. My chatty Aunt Betty is sharing a room with me, so I've been pretending that I'm asleep almost every time I'm in the room just to get her to quit talking.
Posted by E
| Link to this post | 2 comments |

Ballsy Men of the Week
State Sen. M@rio G@llegos, Governor for a Day
Roger Clemens
Street Sense
Judge Michael T. Sauer, sends Paris to the pokey

Snippet from Stiles: Feed Me
"Your blog is on the top of my RSS reader, babe. That's true love."
Posted by E
| Link to this post | 1 comments |

Never Stop Learning
I got a little catalog in the mail for "Informal Classes" offered by UT. When they say they offer something for everyone, they mean it. Here's an idea of what you can choose from:

Indian Head Massage
Basic Pistol 1 (Hey, it is Texas after all)
How to Start a Profitable Greeting Card Business
Cruise for Free
Crystal Healing
Working With Your Spirit Guides ("In one evening, you will meet your guide through an escorted meditation into the spirit realm," according to the class description)
Posted by E
| Link to this post | 4 comments |

The Search Begins
I've decided to buy a house! They are turning my apartment complex into condos (an epidemic here in Austin), so instead of renting again I'm just gonna do as my Media Management professor, Mike Dunn said - and get myself a crib.

I met with a pretty chill real estate agent on Thursday and she threw all this information at me that I really didn't "get". Eventually I'll catch on and then I'll have all kinds of room for guests and parties. Come on down!
Posted by E
| Link to this post | 1 comments |

Reason #482 Why Sprint Sucks
I have a long history of hating Sprint. One time, in college, I tried to cancel my Sprint contract only to get put on hold for 42 minutes and then lectured by the customer service rep who told me "most customers learn to be patient".

I didn't get to cancel, because Sprint threatened to charge me $200 to do so. And since then I've repeatedly had problems with random charges.

Alas, I'm still with them, because my contract seems to automatically extend every time I take a call. I believe I'm locked in until 2037. Or something.

Now, Sprint is charging me - and all the rest of their Texas customers - a new fee. You see, the lege passed a business tax increase that BUSINESSES ARE SUPPOSED TO PAY. Due to a quirk in the bill language, lovely Sprint decided to pass the tax onto customers, instead.

Lawmakers - who also hate Sprint - are trying to fix things.

"When I die, I'm hoping that I go to heaven and Sprint goes to hell so they can't get me." -Rep. John Smithee, R-Amarillo

9/27/2004 Sprint PCSuck
10/2/2004 Sprint PCSuck Update
Posted by E
| Link to this post | 1 comments |

Email Me
My Profile

Blog Button...

    By the DMAs
    1.New York
    2.Los Angeles (but traveling)
    5.Dallas-Fort Worth
    6.San Francisco
    Lil' Lost Robot
    Sappy Chick
    Political Junkie
    79.Columbia, SC
    Will's Ladies
    137.Columbia-Jefferson City
    141.Beaumont-Port Arthur
    Mark Hancock
    Foreign Bureaus
    Jason (Hong Kong)

    You are visitor #...

    Free Hit Counter
    Free Counter

    Blogroll Me!
    Site Feed
    Add to Google

    Listed on BlogShares

     View My Public Stats on MyBlogLog.com

    Who Links Here