Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Hometown - The Second Battle in the War of the Newts

We have come to the second battle in the War of the Blogs. This week’s battle topic is “My Hometown”. So, read my post, head over to my enemy’s blog, and vote for the winner in this week’s battle.

Have you ever seen the movie or the TV show “Friday Night Lights”? Congratulations, you have been to my home town. You see, I am from Midland, Texas, aka, the childhood home of George W. Bush, the 43rd President of these United States. Damn straight!

Honestly though, I do come from a town of about 130,000 people, about half of whom I went to high school with. You see, for all its wonderful traits Midland, Texas is a black hole of despair and disappointment.

I like to joke that Midland is where you grow up, go to school, and…well that is it. If you don’t have a baby from the best three years of your life otherwise known as High School, than you were fat, ugly, or intelligent. Please categorize yourself..

I do have fond memories of my birthplace. It was where I whiled away the hours journeying to and from my Granny’s house every week, spent summers riding bikes with Thomas, and categorized the different Rednecks in their native habitats. Honestly, it is still the place I call home, even though I have lived almost a 6th of my life outside of it.

The pros to growing up in Midland, Texas:

  1. We had a water park…in the middle of Southern Texas. It was Water Wonderland and when you live in an area where summer temps reach the 100 degree mark, it was better known as Paradise.
  2. My entire family lived there. That could be considered a con, but when you grow up with both sides of your entire family living in or around the city, it brings a level of closeness that I know my kids will be deprived of, and for that a part of me is sad.
  3. Nothing was far enough away that I couldn’t get there on my bike. Now, that isn’t to say things weren’t a distance, but I was known to ride the entire length of town to go as far as the comic book store or as close as the 7-11. Having this option as a kid was a key experience in my childhood.
  4. Texas Motor Speedway. I would bum along with Thomas and his family, and we would head out to the local dirt track to watch local race car drivers crash into each other. Mostly Thomas and I would go walk underneath the bleachers looking for fallen cash and wallets, but it was a thrill. My dad even did Demolition Derby there.

The cons consisted of…

  1. Living in an area where High School Football was king. Mind you, I was a chubby comic book nerd, so things weren’t stacked in my favor, but the fact that on any Friday night, dumbasses from all over the city congregated to a football field and were overcome with pride for a bunch of grunts in Purple and Gold really chapped my ass. My school was Purple and Gold. Go Bulldogs!!!
  2. The town was small enough it only had “One”. By that I mean we had one movie theatre (not counting the discount show), one comic book store (except in the mid 90’s when there was an odd abundance), and one Wal-Mart, and by that I don’t mean Super. Things got more plentiful as the years progressed but there is still only a Barnes & Noble and a Hastings by way of book stores, and Hastings is a movie rental place as well.
  3. Teen Pregnancy Rates. I am going to make up a statistic and say that during my years in high school, Midland entered the National Teen Pregnancy Hall of Fame. I wouldn’t doubt it. It seems like everyone was having sex…except for me. Not that I wanted a baby, mind you, but I wouldn’t have turned away the practice.
  4. Midland seems to be the buckle on the Bible Belt. Church and Midland were two peas in a pod. I am highly unreligious, but I went to church because I dated, and if you wanted a girlfriend that wasn’t a weirdo, you were probably dating a church girl. Oh, how I wanted a weirdo. Almost every serious girlfriend I had in high school belonged to a church. A Baptist church. I went to more Easter plays, youth group meetings, and Sunday services than I can remember. Ah, the power of the Lord (and by Lord I mean French Kissing).

So, that is my hometown. I honestly loved growing up there and doubt I would be as freakin’ awesome as I am if I had come from anywhere else. Growing up in a Southern Texas town allowed me to rebel into my nerdy world and still not need to turn to drugs and heavy metal to be different. When you walk into school with an Iron Man t-shirt on, you can feel confident no one else is going to be wearing it too.

That is all,


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Airport is a great place to meet people

I just got back from a week in Waldorf, Maryland last Friday and while in the airport, a funny thing happened. I was standing next to the wall near the baggage carousel, waiting for it to come to life so I could get my bag. I had my phone out playing on it when out of the corner of my eye I noticed there was an older woman coming my direct, and she appeared to be ready to faint.

She wobbled over to the pillar I was standing against and immediately I could tell something was wrong so I asked the woman, "Ma'am, are you OK?"

The smell of tobacco and alcohol assaulted me as she slurred, "No" and that was when I realized, this lady was 9 sheets to the wind drunk. I got a better look at her at that point. She was about 5'2, between 50 and 90, thin gray hair, slightly hunching over and dressed entirely in chocolate brown. Her pants and shirt had that velvet look to them and she had a brown purse with her as well. She stared at me, with that vacant look you get when you have had one to many shots of whiskey and I think I could actually see her mind working to try to catch up.

She leaned against the pillar and from out of nowhere a young African American guy who worked for American Airlines manifested himself next to the woman. Their conversation went like this.

AA: "Ma'am, are you all right?"
DW: "No, I'm not..."
AA: "Are you flying somewhere?"
At this point the Drunk Woman just stopped and waited about 6 seconds.
AA: "Ma'am, are you here to pick someone up?"
I immediately thought how that sounded like the worst idea ever but she must have rebooted completely because she started talking again.

DW: "Ahm goin' ta Nashvul."
AA:"Do you have a ticket?"
She looked at him and thought for a second when he added, "Maybe in your purse?"
She actually did have a ticket in her purse and when she handed it over I was surprised to hear the man say "Ma'am, you came from Nashville and are going to San Antonio. Let me walk you to your gate."

She eyed him suspiciously when he offered her his arm but after a second she must have reasoned that she should go with him, or forgot why she didn't want to go in the first place. She took his arm and they casually walked towards the gates. She almost tripped over a man's suitcase as they went.

I can only guess that somehow she got drunk during a layover or on the plane and wandered out of the terminal. She had no luggage and was entirely alone.

Diana came inside to meet me and when we were walking out we found that the AA guy was a liar. Instead of the gate, the woman was sitting in a chair as two police officers were talking to her. We overheard the question, "How much have you had to drink tonight?" as we walked away.

That is all,


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Awesome Memory - The First battle in the War

It is time for the first battle in the Blog War and the topic is "Awesome Memory". After reading my post, head over to my enemy's blog and read his post for this battle. Since my entire life is really awesome, thus my memories are all awesome, it was hard to pick one but after scrolling through my mental Rolodex I stumbled across this gem. I will note that I have mixed feelings about this memory but good or bad, it is still Awesome.

The year was 1989. I was sitting at home watching Full House, which I guess means this was a Friday because it was part of the TGIF lineup on ABC along with Family Matters and Perfect Strangers (Oh Balki). My mother and sister were gone to the grocery store, which left me and my father at home. As I laid on the floor, naked except for a pair of blue jeans, the phone rang.

I was entranced by Candace Cameron and so I was oblivious to the fact my father had answered. It was my uncle calling to ask if my father could come help him with something. Suddenly my father was in the room asking me, "Newt, can you stay by yourself for a few minutes and stay out of trouble until your mom gets back from the store?" I was around 7 at the time and felt the buzz most kids do when they get left home alone for the first time. The trust. The honor. The temptation.

"Of course" I exclaimed, I was just going to be watching TV anyway. I imagine there was some hesitation but whatever my uncle needed must have been enough of an incentive that Dad thought he could get away with it. He told me not to get into trouble and left. This turned out to be a larger mistake than he could ever have anticipated.

The rest of this memory probably takes place over a 15 minute span of time. In my mind it felt like hours. Minutes after my father left I stirred during a commercial break and...what's that? Do I smell smoke? Hmmmm. I walked around the house trying to locate the smell but couldn't. How odd! I went into my bedroom and stared at the couch that was being used as a makeshift bed for me for a few days. Instantly my mind entered a flashback sequence worthy of Lost.

"Mom. Dad. I want a real bed. I am tired of this huge water bed. I want a bed like everyone else, with Ninja Turtle sheets."
"OK. We can get you a real bed."

Through a rush of the day or two that this transpired we drained my water bed (Water beds! Got to love the 80s), dismantled the frame, and moved a couch in for me to sleep on until we could go shopping for a frame and mattress. After the couch was installed in my room I laid on the sheet and realized how cold it was. I had gotten use to the water bed heater that usually kept the bubble I slept on warm.

Well, if it could heat a water bed, surely it could heat a couch. 100 degrees seemed like the right setting for a couch and I tucked the sheet back around it, leaving the heating pad in direct contact with the polyester cushion and went about the rest of my Friday.

Shaking my head out of the thought I was having I walked over to the couch and felt its warmth. The smoke smell was getting stronger and I remember thinking, "Why does the couch smell like smoke?" Using 7 year old logic I knew the best way to figure it out would be to rip the sheet off of the couch, thus exposing the culprit of the odor. In a way I was right. I later learned that directly adding Oxygen to a volatile situation will cause a small suffering flame to rage. Who knew?

Like a magic trick, where once a sheet sat, now a flaming couch appeared. Instantly I knew, the house was on fire. My room was toast and I was scared so I ran to the phone to call for help and...who do I call? I know, I will call the smartest person I know, my Granny. She can help. I dialed her number and explained this situation as best I could. I think it went something like this...

"WHAT? Where are your parents?"
"I'll be right there, call 911 and then get out of the house."
"OK. CALL 911. GOT IT."

My Granny lived three blocks away so I knew things would be OK. Then it hit me. The animals. Our dogs were going to die if I didn't save them. And of course I had to get Peaches. Peaches was our cockatiel and lived in my room. Heroically, I rushed back into the smoking pit and rushed to her cage. Orange and red flashed in the room as I grabbed her and rushed out the front door to freedom. Next I ran back into the house to find our Boston Terrier, Willie. He made it out on his own which left only our black lab Daisy to save.

Daisy stayed outside and would have been fine but the mind of a 7 year old doesn't function at 100% capacity at the best of times so I ran out into the back yard, released Daisy from her dog run, and escorted her to the front yard where she instantly ran away down the street. My father found her later after some time driving the neighborhood after the fire trucks had left.

The reassuring shell of my Granny's white Buick(I think) appeared in the front yard.

"Did you call the fire department?"
"OK. I am going to run in and call them."

She disappeared into the smoky door frame as I was slowly being joined by neighbors in the front yard. Someone had grabbed our water hose and was aiming it at the window to my bedroom. I stood dumbfounded. Minutes passed and Granny didn't come out. Where was she? Is she OK? I started to panic and was considering running back in to save her when I heard it.

"Trinity! Trinity!"

It was her, but where was it coming from? I soon discovered. She couldn't make it through the front door after calling 911 so she had gone out the back and was at the side gate. We kept it padlocked and I clearly didn't have the key but with the help of my neighbor, or more accurately my neighbors flashlight, we beat the lock until it busted off and she joined me out front.

The rest of the night seemed to happen at double speed. My mother and sister appeared, apparently having to fight past the firemen who had tried to stop them from going near the house. My father came back home and to this day I never have thought to ask him where he had gone or how he knew to come home. Firemen did show up and get the fire out and we were left to go through the wreckage or our life.

The damage to the house was bad but the worst was my room. There was a charcoal bike frame, tons of debris, and all of my possessions melted or gone completely. The only things to survive were the belongings in my toy chest that the firemen had pulled out into the yard. My Ninja Turtles collection came through unscathed because of that toy chest and I breathed a sigh of relief.

That is all,


Wednesday, February 17, 2010


The Epic Battle of Newt vs. Newt will commence this Saturday, Feb 20th, 2010.

This battle will be waged on three fronts.

1) Awesome Memory (Saturday Feb 20th)
2) My Hometown (Sat Feb 27)
3) Video Games Gone Wrong (Sat Mar 6)

Each Post will be automatically submitted at 12 PM Eastern.

For the week following each post, you, our readers, will be asked to vote on your favorite post to determine the winner for the week. The best of three posts wins and will be named the true Newt. It is expected that this be an unbiased voting process.

May the best Amphibian win!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I just got some bad news.

This is the worst news I could ever have read.

Why does God hate me so much?


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Aspects of WAR!

To my enemy, the fake Newt.

Here is my proposal for the ensuing war that will be making you cry in your bathtub while all of your Canadian musicians play in the background.

We each write three separate posts about certain topics. We agree to post these at the same time so as to not give a fair advantage to the other person. I suggest topics in the vein of "
Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll" or "Things you don't talk about such as Sex, Taxes and Politics" as our topic ideas. I welcome your thoughts, or not so much welcome them as hold mild disdain for them.

We then open up the floor for comments and have people vote for their favorite. That may be unfair as I have more followers at the moment so I would like to know your ideas. We can have them pick winners for each category. I will demand impartiality from my blog friends but they love me so I can only do so much.

Winner takes all...mind you I won't be changing my name but will add Steve to it as promised.



Friday, February 12, 2010

Olympic Fever? More like an mild cold

I am sitting in my living room with Diana as the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games starts and she is "oohhhing" and "aahhhing" as fireworks go off and people ski down mountains in a montage of Canadian pride. Diana has been looking forward to this for weeks and one of the things that made her super excited about TiVo is that she could record some of the events. I just have to say when it comes to Olympics...


I really don't. It is the most uninteresting thing in the world for me. I love what they represent, Nations sending their top athletes to a single place to compete and see who is the best without having to resort to war. But it is soooo boring. I could fall asleep right now and I am only typing.

I don't understand why this is such a big deal to everyone. Name one medalist from 2002. I can't. It just seems like such a waste of time. Never have cared, never will. Unless one of my kids ever becomes an Olympian...then I guess I will try to give a crap. Until then, I will pass on all the fanfare.

That is all,


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Knock Down, Drag Out War

I have been attacked. Unprovoked might I add. You see, some poser from the land of Canada thinks he can come in with a year of blogging under his belt and steal the moniker of Newt. The nerve of some people, eh?

In a ballzy move that I must say is kind of brilliant, he has declared a blog war. I normally remain all Swiss on these things but he went and defaced the immortal image of my hero, Kermit the Frog, and for that he will go down. HARD!

His declaration of war can be read partly in the comments of my last post but also here. Am I scared? No. Why would I be. Everyone knows Canada is where you go to avoid war so this guy doesn't know what he has gotten himself into.

Once the term of the war are set, yes we will have civilized warfare, then it will be no holds barred. A competition to determine the number one Newt and the loser to be called Steve.

This has only just begun,

Newt(The one and only)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

TBWCYL Day 364 - Update Time

Well, I finally broke down and went back to the Half Price Books where I left my copy of This Book Will Change Your Life and my copy wasn't there. What that means I have no idea. Someone may have bought it but if so they are holding it hostage and haven't called me. Just as likely they may have it and not even realize it, though it was pretty apparent it was completely filled out.

The thing I fear most is that it was found on the shelf and the employees decided to trash it because they thought a filled out copy wouldn't sell. With it being 40 days since departure I am going to assume that I will not get it back. This is a sad development. I was so hoping to keep it and gain a little faith in people all at the same time.

That is all,


Thursday, February 04, 2010


I just saw a headline on the front page of MSN saying something about the secret to staying married 50 years. I have been married just over 2 years but have been with the same woman for over...hold on I'm counting...six years. In proportion to other people that may not be that long but with that many years under my belt I feel I can ask, "Why do people think marriage is so hard?"

I know I don't have a kid yet, and I live the good life of comics and middle class luxury so maybe I should look more towards that sector for this but I just can't understand why things are so difficult for people.

Let's look at a made up couple, Jim and Erica.

Jim has a decent job, not too bad looking, and semi responsible. Erica has a decent job as well and is going to school to become a nurse. They each work around 40 hours a week plus Erica's 15 hours of school.

They argue incessantly over dishes, laundry and occasionally money. Jim wants more sex and Erica wants more sleep. Why are they unhappy? Because they are stupid.

Come on Jim! Erica needs some sleep and can't give you as much sex as you would like. Let it go and grab yourself. That's what the Internet is for. And if she is going to school you should help out around the house more. It will benefit you in the end.

Geez Erica, cut Jim some slack. You don't really want him doing laundry do you? You saw how he shrunk that $60 blouse you just bought. Guys don't think to check for "dry clean only" tags. And I am going to guess it was you who decided to go back to school so you should expect to be tired. Don't use that as a crutch. It's not right, or fair.

See, I just solved their problems. It wasn't hard. People are stupid. I know I can be. I went through some of the same things Jim did. When your wife works 80 weeks and you have had more contact with your keyboard than her body, things can get a little my pants!!! Sorry, I couldn't resist.

The thing with marriage is that it is actually pretty easy if you have a few things.

1. The Right Person. If you married a bitch or bastard who can't sweat the small stuff, than you got yourself into this and everything you get is probably something you deserved. "He was so loving at first but now he is just mean." Whatever. I know there is occasionally that story but if you get with Biff, the mechanic at the garage who plays cards every week, smokes and drinks and suddenly you think a ring on your finger makes him more refined, you are as stupid as you look..and you look pretty stupid.

2. Patience. If you are the kind of person who asks for something to be done once and if it isn't then you start yelling, you shouldn't be married. Or for that matter in a relationship. Don't inflict that on someone.

3. Guilt. I know this may sound unorthodox and many people won't put this on the must have list but I think that guilt is a key instrument in making things work. Here's why. I will use a real example. Say I am at a Hooters. DD brings me some wings and I look at her boobs. Should I feel guilty, probably not. But if I was to start thinking about more than just looking, I would have GUILT. And guilt stops me dead in my tracks. If every cheater had guilt before he cheated instead of after, he might actually not cheat to begin with. This wouldn't have 100% accuracy but it might curve the numbers some.

4. Low Expectations. This is the most crucial thing any married couple should have. If I expect to eat Hamburger Helper every night, anything else is a bonus. If I want filet mingnon then I am going to be constantly disappointed. Men and Women are flawed creatures. Why anyone expects so much is beyond me. I think part of the reason for so many divorces is that couples expect so much from each other that they don't appreciate what they have and instead focus too much on what they don't. I didn't marry my dream girl combo of Jessica Alba and Little Debbie so I don't expect my wife to taste like Sexy Cream Pies. It would just be unrealistic.

I love my wife, genuinely love her. She is great for supporting me, having a conversation with, allowing me my faults, though they may be few, and knowing how to make me laugh. I can't say I am the perfect husband all the time but I bet she would say some of the same things about me that I do about her.

I currently can't think of anything that will change that feeling and it hasn't changed in the umpteen years we have been together, no matter what we fight about. I can't comment about growing apart or straying because I honestly don't see the point, but with divorce rates as high as they are, maybe I am in the minority. If you grow apart your not trying very hard and if you stray, you don't want to be married to begin with. As I get older, I think I am learning to sweat the small stuff more and more. Sure it annoys me that her side of the sink is dirtier than mine, but I just wipe it up and move along. Me cleaning up something that only bothers me seems like a solutions to a problem that is mine, not ours.

That is all,


Monday, February 01, 2010

Bloop, Bloop, Bloop, Bloop, Bloop, Bloop, Bloop

The world is in color today because last night, Diana and I made a huge step forward into the future and got...TiVo. Let me back that up for you...”Bloop, Bloop Bloop... the future and got...TiVo.”

Suck it, VCR. You are going to that home where my dogs all went to roam free in the fields. Maybe that is why I always see old unwound Cassette tape clinging to the fences near the fields. Hmmmm!?!

We went to Best Buy and got our little friend yesterday evening and it was like buying a new puppy. I say that because as soon as we got it home I realized how much shit I was going to have to buy to get it to behave. We had to go back to the store to buy a Wireless Adapter so it could use the WiFi signal but after we plugged him in, our little guy was so eager to please.

“Can I set up a season pass for you?” Sure.
“If you tell me what you like I can look for other shows for you.” Really, you’re too kind.
“Did you miss something on the screen? Let me back that up for you.” Oh, you are the best sir.

Our TiVo is named Archimedes, like Merlin’s Owl from King Arthur times. I thought it fitting since this has to be a box of magic sitting under my TV. It may also be alien as it seems to only communicate through a “Bloop” noise that may actually be a language. I am not kidding when I say that I have been trying to talk back to it by using my own “Bloop” in response.

So far we now have Season Passes to our favorite shows:

How I Met Your Mother
Big Bang Theory
Life Unexpected
Human Target
The Office
Modern Family
Sesame Street (yes, I am abusing TiVo now by recording this but I don’t care)
Oprah (This is Diana’s and I doubt will get watched much but she wanted it.)

I can’t believe I don’t have to remember to set a tape if I am not going to be home. Life is amazing.

That is all,