"" bshawise: February 2008

Friday, February 29, 2008

Moving Day (second time in 6 months)

The move in process started today. Our empty house is filling up. Oh what a feeling...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Rated PG-13

If I were to find an item like this.....>
here would be the probable phone conversation I'd have with Leah...

brad: hi.

leah: hi.

brad: how are you?

leah: pretty good. tired.

brad: oh really?

leah: yeah.

brad: too tired to come see my harry popsicle?

leah: yes. (long pause) you're stupid.

(standard disclaimers and apologies apply)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I went sailing once. Two weeks in the carribean with my mom's side of the family. It was beyond words cool. Except for the throwing up. The entire trip burnt countless memories into my brain. My cousins, brother and I probably saw 10-15 shooting stars a night. We threw coconuts at trees on black sand beaches. We almost got lost in sea when we broke the motor on our dingy. I threw up a lot.

So now whenever I encounter large waves on a boat the puke memories take over. This happened a couple years ago. Leah and I were in Cancun. A city in Mexico. We went on a catamaran snorkeling trip. Hot sun, clear water, the promise of colorful fish. And waves. Large rolling suckers that stalked me from the past. My brain convinced my stomach it was happening. We stopped at the snorkeling spot and I got in hoping the cool water would work as some kind of salty suppository. I put the mask on so I could stare at fish. It smelled like rotten coffee. I instantly threw up. A herd of fish attacked my cloud of puke. Hundreds of them. This made me throw up more. Which multiplied the hundreds into thousands. All attacking my puke. Hitting my face, swarmed around my body, they were everywhere. I tried backstroking to get away from them. With every stroke I puked more. They tried getting into my mouth. They covered my chest and arms like a slimy sweater. I backstroked. The herd followed. I puked, creating another riot. Greedy fish looting my bile. It was a horrible circle of life. I was abused.

Eventually, I got back into the catamaran. Everyone was drinking magaritas. I did not. Leah was confused. I wasn't ready to tell her about the ravenous fish. I tried to focus on the good memories. Shooting stars, coconuts and a broken dingy.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Next week, at this moment, I'll be doing what I'm doing right now. Reading the newspaper and the internets, drinking the coffee and telling miss jackson she can't go on walks yet. Only I'll be doing those things in our restored house, sitting on our new furniture (if it all gets delivered). I'll probably write some boring weblog about how "I can't believe we're back." Leah and I will say similar things to each for awhile I bet. Mid-November was when I last dorked around the house in sweatpants and bad breath. Exactly what I'm doing now in this apartment. Only now, it doesn't feel triumphant. I'm anxious to return to my tiny kingdom. Excited to hear the brass bands trumpet my arrival as I stroll the grounds greeting my freshly painted walls. (iTunes has brass right?). I'm pumped to sit on a couch that doesn't give me scoliosis. I'm thrilled to throw open my door and let our beast limp outside to use the facilities on her own instead of following her out to a pathetic courtyard and pressuring her to go. Imagine the liberating privacy she'll be experiencing in a week. To poop without a taunting crowd. That's freedom. Eat your heart out, Wallace.

Friday, February 22, 2008


There's something romantic about smoking a pipe. A habit that should seem nasty but instead seems intelligent, distinguished. Then add solving mysteries to this under utilized, manly habit..... hoo boy. Sign me up. Seriously, if you're making a list or registering or taking applicants for people who want to smoke pipes and fight clever crimes... sign me up.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Some wednesday knowledge

Lay low on the mutton and russian checkers till they get out of diapers. Then it's go time.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Monday I scanned a bunch of old photos of my and Leah's grandparents. I'm amazed at how cool they look. I don't know if it's the clothes or the b&w factor or just seeing them young. But they seem much much cooler than us. I'm afraid that in the future our grandkids will look at photos of us in our sweatshirts sitting on couches and say, "wow grandpa, you were Xbox." Future slang for boring/lame. Then I'll box their ears. The God-given right of any grandpa, right?

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I went to the monster truck jam at bank one arena friday. It was surprisingly and frustratingly boring. Our friends won box seats in a silent raffle. Monster Jams aren't our scene. But we were curious and the tickets were free. It's the same curiosity I had with the opera. Turns out both are painful. I did stay for the whole Monster Jam though. I left the opera at intermission to go to a nearby bar.

At the jam you spend 90% of the time watching the trucks parallel park into the corners. That takes roughly ten minutes. Then two other trucks move into position. That takes another five. They "race" for five SECONDS. Then they repeat with the parking and the positioning. Then grown men in pit crew gear come blast tshirts out of cannons and people go monstercrazy. After intermission (opera/theater influenced) you come back for the grand finale. Which is what this video is. This Superman character is the crowd favorite. The Hulk Hogan and Sean Michael Murphy of car smashing.

Friday, February 15, 2008

What's your Handle?

I like nicknames. I've started lots in my day. Been around for the conception of even more. Wentworth, Crazylegs, Spacehog, Taint, Douglas, 'Doneyez, Monsterface are a handful that stuck for years. Most don't. I am strangely intrigued by self-titled nicknames. A la GOAT (LL Cool J) a sweet acroymn for greatest of all time. In college I got a real bang out of trying to get my roommates to call me Hurricane. Would've responded to H-cane even. It didn't stick. Sea-salt in that failure-wound was that around that same time another roommate started calling himself Dodger and it did stick. I still suspect a conspiracy. A good nickname is like a delicious side dish. The onion straws that make the rib eye really sing. The bacon that improves everything.

So the next time you see me please (I can't make you) say, "wuddup, Ice Cold." The reasons for this new nickname are obvious. I won't waste your time listing them. And if you're not into Ice Cold for some insane reason....Hurricane is still on the table. I'm flexible.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


This may be useful if you happen to forget how significant today is.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

Super Fun Times

This weekend at RFL (rocky fork lake) was glorious. The quiet was intoxicating. In a renewing, refreshing kind of way. Miss Jackson came. She loves it there. Big woods with lots of stuff to smell, roll in and chase. Bigger lake with lots of water to swim in. She did none of that. She's still on "bed rest" after throwing her back out a few weeks ago. Her left leg still isn't working right. Nor is her ability to proactively poop outside. Nerve stuff we hope reconnects and rebuilds. Anyways, she was quite confused. Every few hours we'd take her outside, help her down the deck stairs and wait for her to lay waste. She'd wait for us to take her down to the lake. Or she'd grab a stick, get all excited and wait for us to throw it. She desperately wanted to play because in her mind she's fine. I really wanted to let her. But my keen human wisdom trumped her disgustingly cute k9 woo. Letting her do what she wanted would've hurt her. Pretty decent lesson to learn from a gimpy dog. Or these guys I guess.

Denying my poor dog of super fun times made me think about things I want(ed) and have not received. And I'm not sure how a book deal or motorcycle or new york city loft or international recognition for guitar skills or appreciation for poetry or rippling muscles without the work or trampoline shoes would hurt me. Maybe someday they won't. And I'll ride my Harley to my SoHo loft with a satchel full of my published work and guitar pics. The guitar would be in the side car. I bet I'll still hate poetry. And crunches.

Or I'll get none of it. And that'll probably be good too.

Friday, February 8, 2008


This is a neighboring village to where we drilled the first well. A casserole of emotions, thoughts, observations gets cooked up when you roll thru a place like this. The impression-order kind of went, "wow, mud bricks. wow, lots of kids. sweet, that woman has a machete. man, this set up is kind of cool." The more obvious and empathetic thoughts of how tough life must be followed. But the pang of envy surprised me. My initial intake was that there was something romantic about this small, tight-knit community that was living, working and playing together. In my simple, naive mind I related it to a Swiss Family Robinson life. The kind of life where your purpose is to survive without modern luxuries. I spent summers in the woods as a kid pretending to live that kind of life.

In the village there was something attractive about the lack of distractions and obvious sense of unity and purpose. They were surviving together without modern luxuries. This weekend, Leah and I are going to my family's lake house with the sole purpose to get away from the "distractions." We need time where our focus is just on each other. No cellphones, no work, bills, fire-restoration or taxidermy. This strengthens our sense of unity and purpose. This morning, I was reading about God telling his people to keep the Sabbath as holy rest days, signposts signaling that he is God, their God. I read that as slow down, eliminate the week's distractions, simplify your focus and rest. Great advice for weekends. But I think what I found so romantic about the village-life was that it seemed like they found a way to simplify their focus seven days a week in their work and play. A strong, tight-knit community seemed to be the result. Whether that's naive or not, it stirs up a good kind of envy. And a strong hankering to build a tree house.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Let There Be Light

Every word of this ad is worth reading. Kudos to the copywriter because I kind of want to start smoking so I can justify having an ashtray made of real rabbit. And I definitely want a hobby that elicits the brand of passion pouring out of the lampmaker's eyes towards his luminary squirrel. Those eyes, that connection, they tell a story don't they? "You and me, Hazelnut, we're gonna light up this mad mad world. We're gonna SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE."

.....in response to my cousin Ryan's brilliant suggestion in the comments section I created a prototype of cougaRack.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


We got our list today. The list of everything we lost in the fire and how much money they're giving us for it. One of those things was a patio chair. A cheap, metal and mesh lounge chair that I got at Meijer when I first graduated from college. Something to relax on while I read literature on my miniature porch listening to 23 geese honk at the cheap water feature/hose in the algae-filled "lake." The company that priced everything thought I had this chair. The Tahoe Chaise Lounge. Which, believe it or not, costs $635. So as much as I'd love to pretend I did indeed lose this handcrafted chaise lounge-I cannot. I have to tell the price-fairies the annoying truth. Stupid morals. I guess I'll just go to my grave wondering if God just really wanted me to have that Tahoe. A divine gift of wooden-relaxation tossed straight into my lap. And I'm blowing it.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Nigeria Recap Video

Here's the video I cut together for this weekend's celebration. It was a fun challenge to tell a 10-day story in under five minutes. Mark Denney shot everything. I think you'll agree that he's amazingly talented.

I'm very proud of the Vineyard for this well-drilling stuff. I believe that as much as we currently understand the scope of this project, the reality is we have no clue how big of a deal this will be for thousands of people. I look forward to hearing the stories of what happens down the road with the kids in this video.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Forgive me Father...

...for I have sinned. I covet my internet-neighbor's bicycle. I have imagined detailed plans (violent and non) to confiscate said 'cycle if said neighbor ever crossed my path. For these sins I am sorry. I feel like You can understand, though. You clearly inspired this creation.