And… Friday.

After yesterday’s screed, I’ll try to keep today’s post short and sweet.

Doug Benning wrote yesterday to remind me that his roommate’s cat is named Dogfish. I think that edges out Cuppy for creativity, even if dogfishes really do exist.

Tables are now available for STAPLE! We’ve got twice as much space this year, so we’re hoping the entire affair will be twice as kick ass. I’m trying to think of wildly original things for Frequency Press to do that day. We’ll see.

This weekend’s agenda: rest, write, and find someplace cheap to try out. Any suggestions?

Rock and Roll, Porn, and Names

My week has been filled with drama I don’t feel like talking about, so I thought I’d tell you about something that gets me going, more often than not in a bad direction…


I got my first dog at the age of four. I named the little runt Cuppy. Why? Hell if I know. It’s just what rolled off the tongue when I saw this little booger of a pup. For some reason, nobody argued with me about the name, and Cuppy (a firey thing that ran like Pepe le Pue) was with us for many years, until she was shot by hunters. That’s not the sad part, though.

What’s sad is that Cuppy is still the coolest pet name I’ve ever heard.

As I’ve grown up, the names of my pets and other people’s pets have become more mundane. They’re still good, just lacking that certain nonsensical something. My cat Simon, Randy’s dog Corrigan (which is pretty cool, I admit), my brother’s cat Rusty, Shawna’s dog Greta. All servicable, but without much pinache. These are good names, though, because they weren’t named after something.

It irks me when people name their pets (or worse… their kids) after something.

Shawna’s family is fond of naming pets after Beatles songs. There’s Maxwell (Maxwell Edison, majoring in medicine), Ellie (as in Rigby), and Sadie (Sexy Sadie). It’s kinda creepy. Maybe they think the Beatles would be honored with this naming scheme. I, on the other hand, think the Beatles would inspect the house for alters made of Lucy in the Sky and Penny Lane’s bleached skeletons.

When Shawna brought home the new lab, I protested by naming it Boris. I wanted to see how long it would take for anybody to realize he was named after a Who song.

Nobody ever did.

For shame.

You think the Beatles thing is scary? I can’t even count how many of Shawna’s mother’s pets have been names after Lord of the Rings characters. It’s staggering. Her current fishtank is on something like its third Gilladriel (and I don’t care if I spelled it wrong).

There are season names, as witnessed by my mother’s Christmas dog Noel. Noel, I believe was a replacement for the first Christmas dog, who might have been Holly.

It continues, of course. In my circle of family and friends, there’s a Bogie and a Lebowski. There’s a Mosely (who was named after a series of phone pranks). We have friends who named their kid Cosmo (as in Kramer)! I feel bad for the kid. He’ll probably be beaten into retardation on the playground by the time he’s ten.

So I’m protesting again…

…with porn.

Next female pet is Asia (good cat name). Next male is T.T. Bone (perfect for a dog). I’ll have an August, Chloe, Loni, and a Ron Jeremy.

If I ever have a daughter (I won’t)?

“Hi. This is my daughter, Faith Adams Southard. No, you may not give her a facial.”

I’m getting in so much trouble for this one. Have a good one, kids!

I’m soooo bored!

Doesn’t seem like there’s a whole lot going on. Okay, there are actually two things in the works, but I can’t talk about them yet. Too early.

Serenity comes out on Friday, and I’ll be seeing that with Randy, Dave, and Shawna. With any luck, tickets will start appearing on Fandango soon. And why’s Randy so excited to see this movie. He’s seen it twice already.

Oh, Shawn sent me something interesting this morning. He found the website of artist JR Barker. JR is apparently as much of a Satan’s Cheerleaders fan as I am, as evidenced here, here, here, and finally…

Cute, huh?

Fear of a Tasteless Planet (week 6)

North by Northwest
10010 Capital of TX Hwy N

North by Northwest is a restaurant and brewery in Austin’s Arboretum area. It’s big place, full of glass, steel, and wood. You have to drive through another restaurant’s parking lot to get to the Northwest lot (it’s also possible that I was simply turned around). Whatever. The point is, North by Northwest is a nice looking place.

Now, I have a few self-imposed rules for fear, which I’ll break down before I continue. Rule 1: the place must be local. Rule 2: no big chains. Rule 3: I should spend less than fifteen bucks there. North by Northwest made me break Rule 3, but not by much. If I hadn’t ordered that screwdriver, I might have even made budget.

Anyway, Shawna and I went to Northwest on Saturday, after doing a little research online. We were seated and quickly ordered calamari as an appetizer. Y’know, if somebody had told me five years ago that deep fried squid would one day be my favorite appetizer, I’d have called them crazy. No, however, I can’t get enough of the stuff. Northwest’s calamari was okay, but we kept finding pieces that were waaaaaaaay too salty, like they were right out of the ocean. Maybe this is the way it’s supposed to be. I hope not.

For my entree, I ordered Pasta san Giorgio: linguini, spicy sausage, mushrooms, and red peppers with red sauce. Tasty stuff… and a lot of it. I ate as much as I could (I was in love with the stuff), but my stomach refused to expand to the necessary size. With a manly tear in my eye, I set my pasta aside and picked up the check.

Shawna and I agreed, North by Northwest is a pretty damn good place for the money. The pretension factor is low, and the food is great. Hey, and they make their own beer. Tough to go wrong there.

Highs: Pasta, Atmosphere
Lows: Ack! Salty squid!

Rating: I Shall Return!

The Weekend Update

Okay, so it’s Monday, but I’m writing about the weekend. There. Aren’t you happy I explained it?

The Rita-related problems we were supposed to experience in Austin this weekend (tropical storm winds, rain from heaven, etc) never appeared. This ruined my weekend plan of attempting to pee in 50mph winds. Man, I was looking forward to that.

So, Shawna and I decided to celebrate the weekend by doing nothing. We went to lunch at North by Northwest on Saturday (which will be this week’s Fear of A Tasteless Planet subject, but I’m writing that tomorrow), and I swung by Best Buy afterward to finally buy the fifth season of Oz on DVD.

I realized a few things regarding my kitchen fetish on Saturday. One, I’m about to go off the deep end. I spent five minutes Saturday morning staring at our plates and wondering if this was the presentation I wanted to go for. Two, I’m never going to be anything more than a hobbyist. I need to get used to the fact. I’m twenty-eight, starting ten or more years too late to make anything of myself. Maybe if I had stayed at Arogsy, started working a broiler in Bogart’s, I might have stood a chance. I wouldn’t have been a writer then, however. I made the right choice. I know this. I might have to start inviting people over to dinner more often, though.

See you tomorrow with Fear of a Tasteless Planet!

Slow News Day

Not a whole big bunch going on, really. I wrote the first three pages of Saint James last night while drinking some wine. Hopefully, it will still look good today. I also have the first eight pages of Savage Tom written and roughly the first eleven pages of The Program. If I can find artists for these, it should make for an interesting con season. Too bad nobody knows who the hell I am yet.

How can I fix that?

So, Rita’s coming. Shawna went and bought water. I went and bought crackers. I also went to KFC, where extra crispy (AKA just crispy enough) still whomps original recipe’s ass.

Tonight, I hang out with friends. Might end up seeing a show with Tess, too. I plan on doing nothing but writing this weekend. We’ll see how that goes.

Out of the blue, into the black.

“Hey, Hey. My, My” is pumping over the speakers. My blood is thrumming through my bloody blood vessels. Life is good.

Had a short little discussion with Shawna last night about the state of our kitchen, mostly about how we need more stuff for it. Hell, we only have one baking sheet and one cutting board. We only have seven cook books! I can’t work like this. Shawna gave me that look that says “You’ve gone insane again, haven’t you?” and the conversation was over.

Fun kitchen story number two. Shawna decided to make brownies during Lost last night. I gave her an odd look when she said she was halving the recipe. Her reply? “We don’t need that many brownies.” As long as she admits we need some…

Right, and the Lost premiere rocked significant ass. My world is full again.

Worked a bit on the first issue of Savage Tom last night, did some brainstorming for the restaurant story. I have to do a rewrite on my short story “In the Clearing, Beneath the Firs.” It’s not where I need it to be yet. That’s a shame, because I’m really proud of what I have so far.

We’re expecting to get tropical storm conditions in Austin on Saturday, fallout from Rita. You’re a whore, Rita. I want you to know that. You’re a whore with a saggy ass, and I hope you catch with the herpes.

I have my first dental appointment in six years today. This can only end badly.

Ideas Bouncing Around

This falls squarely in the “thinking out loud” file, just me trying to make sense of an idea and seeing where it winds up.

As I said yesterday, I spent quite a few years working in kitchens: McDonalds, Little Caeser’s, The Argosy Casino. Each one of these bastards was full of entertaining folks and experiences. There was the guy at McDonalds (can’t remember his name) who stabbed a guy in the hand and was simply told he couldn’t use knives in the kitchen anymore. There was Laura at Little Caesers, who slept with every cook who was single. I wasn’t one of those cooks until about a year later, once she had left. I consider giving my friend a free pizza in exchange for *censored* to be a petty form of revenge.

And then there was Argosy.

Where to start? There was Jim, the manager who went through waitresses like used tissue, eventually convincing one of them to have a threesome with him and his wife. There was Tree; 6’5″, well over 200 pounds, and jovial as a man on helium. His first words to me were “Hey, do you like anal sex?” There was Scott, who always kept a jar of moonshine in the cooler and string to stitch up the rest of us.

Rich and interesting people.

I tried to incorporate some of my Argosy experience into a screenplay I wrote called Doc’s, but the whole thing ended up reading like Empire Records with food, so it’s just been sitting on my hard drive for three years. I’ve taken it out and polished it once or twice, but nothing ever really stuck.

I still wanted to do a kitchen story, though. Something funny and wicked, maybe with a little love story thrown in for good measure, but mostly about this strange assemblage of people and their love of food. Then I heard Kitchen Confidential was hitting the airwaves, and I quickly decided the time was gone.

Until the other night.

The other night, I went to Arby’s. I hadn’t been to one for years, and I had grown up on the stuff, so I was feeling nostalgic. I drove to the Arby’s near my house, the one that was set to close in an hour or so.


It was deserted when I showed up, but by the time I was done ordering, there were ten people in line behind me. And they all looked the same! Longish hair, heavyish build sad eyes, sweaty. There was something about the strange quality of these people that struck me. They didn’t seem to belong anywhere else. They hadn’t come to Arby’s together. They had just found each other. And I, wearing a tropical shirt and Chuck Taylor’s, belonged with them in some odd way, an outcast looking for some nighttime grub.


A restaurant where nobody belongs. Where the losers go to eat. The staff there is weird, maybe frightening. It’s this strange little hole in the universe. Kitchen Confidential meets The Twilight Zone meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

And we’re off…

An Absurd Story About Demon Summoning

An Absurd Story About Demon Summoning” went live on last night. Man that was a pleasant surprise on a Monday evening. This is a fun one, silly and sick. It was birthed about a year ago when I started laughing uncontrollably at the dinner table. Go check it out.

Watched the season premiere of Arrested Developement last night. Tons of laugh out loud moments, and I’m waiting for George Michael and Maebe to just snap and get it on. Wasn’t a lot of Buster last night, but there was plenty of Gob, and that’s always a good thing.

Also watched the series premiere of Kitchen Confidential. I have a soft spot for kitchen shows because A) I love food and cooking it and B) I worked in a kitchen for three years. Okay, it certainly wasn’t a five-star establishment, only a casino buffet, but it was still an experience. Shawna didn’t buy some of the debacles of the series opener, but I’ve stepped into enough walk-in freezers just in time to witness a blow job to know that this sort of thing goes down quite often. I’ll be watching Kitchen Confidential as long as it’s on.