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Brian? Shut up and eat.

Issue Date: Thursday, Feb. 23, 2006

Hi. How are you today? Really? You slept well and feel rested and content? Well, that is fantastic.

Here... let me share my hot chocolate with you. I know, I KNOW. This damp chilly weather shit is for the birds. If the said bird in question happens to be a penguin of course.

Yanno, I was thinking about you yesterday and into last night. I was hoping that you are doing well. I hope that things in your life are totally rocking along smoothly. That your job or job prospects are fulfilling and that someone out there is at least telling you, “Thank you” on a pretty constant basis for your contribution to the company or for just making their lives a little easier. I hope that you are fed well and that your body is feeling nourished and loved.

Yeah, I know… I need to exercise. We all need to move. I just want to dance but shaking my ass at company functions is sort of frowned upon. I will though, I will… I’ll start getting some motion and exercise in the next few months and continue forever because dayum… have you seen the size of my ass?

Well, that is not all I have been thinking about.

No, no… it isn’t anything bad or twisted. Or even snarky.

I’ve been thinking about my mother. Yeah, she is sweet. And I have been thinking about an old friend of mine, Brian.

While my mother was living in Dallas (before they moved to Denver in ’92) she used to set up the ironing board in the kitchen, right outside the door to the laundry room. The kitchen had a built in china cabinet with glass doors on the top, a shelf in the middle and wooden doors on the bottom to hide stuff like her platters, her fondue pot and all of the paper napkins she hoarded.

On the little shelf in between the top and the bottom of the cabinet my mother had a tiny black and white TV and almost sixty framed photographs.

She called this her Spray and Pray corner. She would set up the ironing board and iron the clothes of her family while praying for the people in the photographs… friends, family and the like. My mother is beautiful, old fashioned and has a degree in Home Economics. She irons pillow cases, handkerchiefs and my father’s undershirts. So she had plenty of time to pray for those she loved while ironing.

I had a friend, Brian that lived one door down from me while we were growing up. He was a very intelligent and well mannered boy. We met a few days after our family moved in, he came to the house and introduced himself and we became instant friends. We were always together and started calling each other Bro and Sis by the time we were in the seventh grade. We would walk home from school, go to his house and have green beans and popcorn and settle in to watch the Thunder Cats with both of us sitting in the same chair.

Click to make all pictures bigger. Thank you.

Brian and Susan 1985
Yes, yes… I was wearing leg warmers and my thighs are the size of a pencil. But, aren’t we cute otherwise? I am sure my mother was asking us to throw snow for an action shot. She normally asks people to run at her for full dramatic effect. “Run at me… Run at me!”

We went to the same church so it was very comfortable to see one another just about every single day.

When his parents were working late, he would have dinner at our house and being a very gregarious young man he would talk, and talk, and talk. Sometime during most of these dinners my father would turn to Brian and say in the most loving way, “Brian? Shut up and eat.”

One day Brian asked my mother what all those pictures were for and she explained to him about the concept behind her spray and pray corner.

The next day, after school Brian asked for me to go on to my house and he would be down in just a bit. When Brian got to the house he handed my mother a tiny little inch and a half high picture frame with his photo inside and said, “Would you add this to your spray and pray corner? I need all the help I can get.”

Brian and Susan 1986
Brian’s mom took this picture when we went to a Baylor football game one weekend. Their mascot, a bear, drinks Dr. Pepper. “Thanks for that totally random fact Sue.” My pleasure.

Looking so much alike the two of us were usually mistaken for true siblings … and? We acted like it. He fostered my love for all things Steve Martin and the movies Airplane, Kentucky Fried Movie and even Bob and Doug McKenzie in Strange Brew. We were in choir together from sixth grade until we graduated high school in 1990.

Brian and Susan 1990
This is the last day of school in 1990, we were graduating. This picture was taken in the choir room.

He went on to Baylor University and grew into a very intelligent and well mannered man. He ran a radio show that spotlighted his love for Classic Rock and his beautiful deep bass voice and the talking? This time he got paid for it.

Brian and Susan 1991
Brian came to my college one weekend to take me to a dance. Awwwwwww.

When our family went to Destin (we go every other year and have since I was wee) in 1992 I asked if Brian could come. My dad replied, “Will he ever shut up?” I replied, “Probably not, but can he come anyway?” Heh. I drove to Dallas from Nacogdoches and Brian came in from Waco and we all piled into my sister’s car and headed for Destin. By the time we hit Lafayette my sister was chewing a hole in her face from trying not to scream “Shut it college boy!” at Brian. He and I talked the whole way to Destin and had a blast.

We even had more fun when we got there, as it was my 21st birthday (he had turned 21 in January) so he and I spent most of our time at a great bar down off of 95 called Fish Heads. We would drink and dance and he would protect me from creepy bikers and I would protect him from creepy bikers. Heh.

Brian, Susan and Reb 1992
That is my sister next to me. Brian and I looked so much alike, hair color… eye color. Neither one of us could shut our mouths.

Fish Heads was later closed due to a shooting. Ahem.

After he graduated he moved to Tyler and produced a new show for one of the large networks. The network moved him around from Tyler to Austin, Austin to Phoenix and most recently to Oklahoma City. He is close enough that he can come see his parents (who still live in the same house) and go cheer on the Baylor basketball teams.

Brian married a beautiful woman named Jessica in September 2002. They met while teaching a Sunday School Class in Austin.

It was at his wedding that I realized that I was lonely and a month later (actually, not even three weeks) I met Mister.

So, I’ve been thinking about my mother and her spray and pray corner. And Brian and his praying with and marrying the woman of his dreams and that got me to thinking. This little page is sort of like my spray and pray corner. I don’t iron anything but I do conquer the mighty white page and blinking cursor to post information. And I think about each one of you who come by, even if you don’t say anything in the comments, notes or email. I think about you and I go to your pages (if the information is left) and I read about your lives and your talent and your everyday deals and I hope you are doing well. I thank God for those friends I have made through this little piece of web space, and I thank all of you for inviting me to share a part of your lives.

I hope your Thursday is smooth and without trials. I hope your February has been and will continue to be a milestone month for happiness and self reflection and I pray that your 2006 will continue to bring you health, grace and peace.

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To understand this dear reward (above) at all, you must hie thee on and read gatsby’s grape ape entry and my comments.

And because of said comments he sent me my very own dream turtle in an email titled wee gift with these words attached, “my purple monkey is booked solid so i ordered you a tangerine turtle. hope he proves helpful.”

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