"For Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I drew a line in the sand
small but visible
and there you were, father,
on the other side.

I triumphantly dropped my pack
                           off of my back
straightened my shoulders
got the cricks out of my neck
and looked at you

Red faced, unashamed.

You opened your arms
And began to walk in an arc.

I thought, “surely you are not
circumventing the line
my space
my wall!”

My heart.

I looked and my line itself was an arc,
a circle to keep you out
a perimeter you were walking,
arms opened.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dear Colleague

O.K. So, I was supposed to complete a Ne Faculty Orientation for my non-bike shop job at a place we'll name Frayer University. here is an email conversation with some lady who is some professor of something, and head of something else. needless to say, i failed the Orientation, for reasons i still do not understand. Pay attention to the scoring procedure for the asynchronus performance test. im still scratching my head about that one. For all pruposes of me not getting sued and/or hopefully fired, i have replaced the lady's name with betty White wherever it appears. Enjoy.

You replied on 12/24/2011 12:26 AM.

Dear Colleague,

The New Faculty Orientation/Online Training program has officially come to an end. Successful completion of this course is based on meeting the required passing scores on each of the Quizzes and the Performance tests. Your Results Center scores are as follows:

• Quiz (Module 2) 70 Required score to pass: 80 points or 80%

• Quiz (Module 3) 70. Required score to pass: 80 points or 80%

• Quiz (Module 4) 90. Required score to pass: 80 points or 80%

• Quiz (Module 5) 90. Required score to pass: 100 points or 100%

• Discussion (Module 2) 30 Required score to pass: 24 points or 80%

• Discussion (Module 3) 30 Required score to pass: 24 points or 80%

• Discussion (Module 4) 0 Required score to pass: 32 points or 80%

• Asynchronous Performance test: 0. Required score to pass: 0 points or 100%

I realize that there may have been circumstances that may have prevented you from successfully completing this training.

Please notify your Campus Dean or online hiring manager and re-enroll in the next open section of the training program via the online registration portal. Successful certification in this program is required to teach for Frayer University.


Professor White

Business Administration Professor

Full Time Faculty, Online

Frayer University




Betty White

Sent Items

Saturday, December 24, 2011 12:26 AM

I realze that there may have been circumstances preventing you from successfully communicating to me.

1.) where does it list the required percentage to pass quizes? So I can, you know, know for the future.

2.)Since i scored a zero on the asynchronous test, and the required score is zero, but also 100%, did I pass?

3.) Since I may have passed the Asynchronous with a perfect score of zero, will I hve to coplete the entire NFO orientation again, seeing as the Asynchronous Test was rather tedious?



It's a typo William, I gather from your email that you never make any typos (I regret I do on occasion). You needed 100% of the total possible 100 points (it is a pass/fail test). Your "perfect" score of zero will not be a passing score, I know it's surprising :) The requirements to pass the course are in BOTH the syllabus for the course and in a course announcements posted in the course home in week 1:


Betty White,

It is true that I never make typos. Id rather make bread, make tacos, or even make pancakes, not typos. Anything you have percieved as a typo was actually me instigating new spellings for our language. Its a new project I'm working on. In fact, I was so unaware of typos in your email I simply thought you were working on the same project, and merely repeated your clear sentence out of respect, and to show others the greatness of the project we were both apparently working on.

However, my project was put on halt because of my complete failure in the New Faculty Orientation, and after much sobbing in the closet, I have gathered myself and decided not to drink myself into a coma. You shall be pleased to hear that I shall try again! But Betty White, I need the dates to for bthe next one from you, yes you. For my ignorance preceeds my knowledge here, and only you hold the key to allow me to sign up and try again to get a perfect score of zero. My anger at myself and no one else in particular has receeded from my earlier New Faculty Orientation complete failure, and now, Great Betty White, I have centered all that energy into scoring a new perfect score of zero. And so I implore you, how may I again take this exam?

I doo hop yu dontt find any typos iin this email

Yours in making bread, making tacos, making pancakes, and not making typos,



You may register for the next NFO session Online. Go to Frayerelu.blackboard.com and then click on Academics. You will see the New Faculty Orientation information there.

Professor White

Business Administration Professor

Full Time Faculty, Online

Frayer University


Betty White,




Betty White

First off, your name is a really good song by the band Ace Troubleshooter. Secondly, I apologize for giving you a verbal hazing. My other self, the immature one that stays locked in the basement of my head, had me in a proverbial Diamond Cutter, which is a wrestling move.

I would like to thank you for your information. I have successfully signed up again for the N.F.O. Now, one last question before I stop tugging on your metaphorical pant leg like an over sugared child. or scratching at the metaphorical door like a metaphorical dog about to wet his fur, if you don't like kids.

How does one go about receiving feedback on the mistakes I made the first time? I would like to konw what I did wrong as to not make them again.



Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Every night I dream you die,
Some dreams are beautiful.

I wake up imagining my life without you
Dwindling away the hours in the twilight of a bar
Smoke as foggy as my new reality.

Would I touch another girl
Without your love making it cold
The only warmth  is dying with you

Smoke blows in concentric circles around my head
And every circle returns 
The same emptiness

Every thought returns the same thought 
Your death would mean certain death
Any progress or desire for it would 

This fear
Is fear
And this fear
Is smoke
Screening in fear
And fear 

Your life 
Is bright progress

The deceptive self
Fearfully makes a mockery of me,
Fools me into
Fake self realizing
Actual self conscious deception-

I am more afraid of change than of death

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

January 22, 2011

January 22, 2011

I remember
first using cuss words

and it was funny but frightening
and I thought I was brave.

At a camp fire
someone joked about

and we all laughed
for a few seconds

      and then Jacob said
      “Dads Dead”

and I gasped
like I forgot.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dad's Eulogy

I started the night at the Nook, a gourmet Beer Restaurant, which really is the best description for it, with my friend Lee. we were waiting on Meghan to get off of work. Meghan does not like beer but I do. So we were there and mom called and said she had to take dad to the emergency room, but, as far as she knew, everything was fine. I had started that night with plans to have a good beer, and then go to a dollar movie.

I believe that Dad mostly just wanted to be one of the boys. Jacob's "more creative" friends would file into our house one by one hailing him as "Judson." He used to pretend it annoyed him, but I really believe that it made him feel like he was one of the boys.
In high school he wanted to be a hippie, whether it was fashion sense, or ideals, he grew his hair long, grew a grew a beard, and listened to Rock and Roll when it was still Rock and Roll. You know, good Rock and Roll. Jimi Hendrix, Allmand brothers ACDC. He saw Lynard Skynard before the plane crash. Yet, he also played football, running back to be exact. 140 pounds of pure fear. He said the only reason he ever ran so fast is not because he wanted to score, but because he didn't want to be tackled. playing football confused his hippie friends, and being a hippie confused his jock friends. Whether he knew it or not, already at a young age he was breaking boundaries. This, I believe, has been instilled in me, and for that I am thank full.
Which leads me to a story. He loved to tell stories, except that his repertoire of stories was rather limited to a small amount, yet he did not stop in telling them over and over anyway. The night of high school graduation, I dyed my hair green, as if raising my fist against the "system" because dyed hair always received a huge "wagging of the finger" at my high school. I don't know if mom and dad ever knew this, but I got sent home a total of three times my senior year for dying my hair funny colors. About two weeks later I shaved it to a mohawk because mom and dad were going out of town for something. I showed up to youth night at church; Conley was in disbelief. Couldn't believe I had done it. Said I was probably going to get in big trouble. The next morning I woke up a little too early, unsure if mom and dad had left yet. Without thinking it through I put a hat on and walked into the kitchen, feigning morning grogginess. I was actually really scared they would ask. And for all of dad's attention to detail and meticulousness, he of course asked why I was wearing a hat. "Ummm, my head is cold..." I stammered. "Take off the hat." dad said. I did. They freaked. It was funny.
Thats the thing about dad though. He was lenient in places in which he knew that ultimately didn't matter. He let me go through my phase where i thought i was punk rock. He rolled his eyes at but dealt with the baggy pants and loud music. I've never really considered how much that affected me, for the good. Dad trusted me, and trusted my friends. He knew that I wasn't out getting into trouble, doing drugs and wasting my life and my future. He recognized the importance of the important things, and I wish I could have seen that in him then like i do now.

Mom, Meghan, Aunt Kelly and I were sitting out in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit lobby when a doctor with whom we had had no previous acquaintance came up to us to deliver the news. Jacob had not arrived yet. He presented the information in a straight forward, but not heartless way, which we needed. The infection had been caused by a perforated bowel, a side effect of liver disease. Essentially a part of the bowel tears exposing its fluid to the outside of the bowel. My father had five large spots of dead tissue in his lower intestine. The only way to treat perforated bowel is to cut the stomach open and remove the dead tissue, and simply wait, while monitoring the patients status. The surgery is brutal on the body of the patient. and most do not live even if they are healthy. The best thing we could do is try and make him comfortable.

Whether it be social norms I was struggling at fitting into, or a ridiculous self-consciousness that creeps up on me from time to time, I regret those times when I refused to let my father be one of the boys. But I will never forget the night before my wedding. Jacob, dad and I were standing in our hotel room and Dad, who by this time had trouble controlling his flatulence because of the disease, released a rather noisy outburst. There was a short pause, and then laughter filled the mass produced decor of the hotel room. Dad laughed so hard he cried, and we laughed so hard we cried.
Later, my groomsmen, Dad, me, Jacob, and Uncle Mark had beers in the lobby, (dad had O'douls cause he couldn't have alcohol) and we joked a lot. We iced each other. we talked about college stories. and in some assembly-line-esque hotel in front of some baseball game he was truly one of the boys.

Dad talked all the time about his rocking horse and his six shooters he used to play with while watching Roy Rodgers when he was younger. Thats how he came into this world, and he always said thats how he wanted to leave this world. Even when he got progressively sick and lost his job, his will still shone through like the early morning sun. Despite being constantly weary and sore, he re-tiled both of the bathrooms in their house, built a custom fountain, landscaped one entire side of the house, and even learned how to weld. I don't know how he did it. His will to live, not simply be alive, but try and enjoy life, to suck the juices from it, that shone through when he was healthy, and especially when he was sick.

Dad wasn't dad by the time Meghan and I got to the hospital. At times the only sounds we could hear were the machine pumping air into my father's lungs, and he himself gasping as his chest heaved. he slowly rocked his from left to right across his pillow, eyes rolled back, trying to pull at the cords that infiltrated his body. they had to tie his hands down, and despite the breathing machine, he was trying to breathe on his own. Stubborn to the end. He had always said he wanted to go out guns a blazin', like his childhood hero Roy Rodgers. Well, he waited until 7:51 a.m. Jan 22, when the sun was fully up shining in all its glory, to let go of his body.
His body. By this time, his body was merely a prison to him. Both the infection and the pain medication had caused his mind to go somewhere. His hands were cold and his eyes looked like marbles. It my have been the way the tube was in his mouth, but I swear when he finally passed and the nurses cleaned him up, it was as if he was smirking; too far up on his pillow; proud.

After the initial shock of his death, our family talked about how it was the little things that are the hardest to get over. I will always remember my dad as the dad behind the camera. the dad who loved alabama football. the dad who was a meticulous planner. He was the dad who danced in the car when i was 13 cause he knew it would embarrass me so bad I would duck as not to be seen. (By the way, i dance in the car now with my wife.) the dad who learned and loved soccer because his youngest did. The dad who would, at most times, lavish stories about his kids and his wife, more than likely embellishing on details. the dad who absolutely, more than anyone i have ever met, loved Christmas. The dad who taught me how to handle a gun, throw a baseball, ride a bike, shoot a basketball, use a ratchet, and countless other small things i could never remember to credit him with. He was the dad who got baptized with mom and wore tube socks with yellow stripes at the top. He was the dad who loved his family and believed in providing for them.

Before he was moved to Surgical Intensive Care Unit, the last words I heard him say were "I'm going, I'm going." Mom thought he had to use the bathroom but he didn't, and I believe that he knew. He was about to go, go somewhere else. I truly believe that it is a place we call heaven, and I believe that it is a real, tangible place. Dad has a new body there.
1 Corinthians 15:55 says
"Oh Death, where is your sting? Grave, where is your victory?"
Mom will tell you that Dad didn't fear death. He had his moments, but overall, he had accepted that he was going to die a little sooner than he wanted. it was the pain before that he feared. He knew that oftentimes with liver disease one can experience a lot of pain prior to dying, and the pain is what he feared above all.
At the hospital, the doctors reassured us that he could not feel anything. In fact, of the patients that undergo perforated bowel surgery, those few that actually live never remember anything. I believe that Dad was gone even before Meghan and I got to the hospital. This, my friends, is mercy.

What really makes a wedding great for those getting married is the people with whom you share the joy of your love and dedication. What makes a death tolerable is those with whom you can celebrate the life of the one who is deceased. As the shock of my father passes i realize that all of the texts, visits, food, facebook messages, and phone calls were the only way that I stayed and will keep staying sane. You all have proved your love for us and we could not have asked for anything more. In a community, when one person grieves, everyone grieves, and in that way, the weight and the reality of the situation is shared by all, and those who are grieving are relieved of pressure and pain. I could not begin to imagine doing this without friends and family.

O Death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?

One day when i was younger dad asked Jesus to rescue him. Jesus did that, as he promised he would.
As my dad's life exemplified a belief in Christ Jesus, so should his death. Not that I would give you a worn out prescription of systematic theology, but a completed example, a life worth lived. A life that lived full and brimming, a life that was beyond measure. My dad learned what it was to truly live through Christ, and I am so proud of him. May we honor him today, and learn to do the same.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

AT&T angry letter

To whom it may concern,

When my wife and I moved into our house in August, we opened an account with AT&T to receive DSL internet service. We have paid this bill every month and it is fine. In October we received another bill for 148.00 for another account that we never opened. It was billed in my wife's name but for an address that is not ours. We called customer service and they canceled this bill and assured us that it was taken care of. We then received another bill in November of similar caliber, and in similar fashion, we called again and were both excitedly and optimistically assured that this rogue account was taken care of. Sailing happily through Christmas, in early January we received a notice from a creditor explaining that we still owe the 148.00 dollars. My wife and I recently contacted your customer service department to report this discrepancy. Customer service transferred us to accounts receivable, who transferred us to a different department, who transferred us to fraudulent claims, who then transferred us back to accounts recievable who then . . . at that point we lost count of how many times we had been transferred. In fact, we probably had enough people who could not help us at this point that we could have started a softball team. Likewise, with the amount of time we spent on the phone, totaling one hour and 28 minutes, we could have held two practices, with ample time for breaks and snacks. Leaving that metaphor, I am filing a complaint for two reasons. First, how come that the biggest I.P. communications company in the United States can't even train people well enough to handle problems like ours? The problem was obvious, seeing as the addresses didn't match. Furthermore, if its taken care of, twice, why then do we suddenly have creditors seeking our money like hungry wolves? Secondly, our credit is now in question, not because of poor monetary management on our part, but because of your giant corporation, who, though seemingly sufficient to handle some of the worlds leading technologies, can't “control, alt, delete” one of your own mistakes. Now, I'm no phone representative, but I have worked in customer service myself for over 10 years now, and the so called “help” that took one hour 28 minutes to come is laughable at best. The final customer representative that we talked to “understood our trouble,” which is also laughable, and assured us that both the account and the creditor problem has been taken care of. Given our recent “excursions” together, I trust you guys about as much as a politician. I do realize that this verbal “slap on the wrist” may come with nothing but emotional writhing, and possibly some dictionary flipping, on your part. However, given that you are probably a manager of some sorts, and your pay scale covers sarcastic and angry customers like myself, I trust that at least something will be done to ease our woes? I mean, I know that Verizon is the “Aggies to your Longhorns,” but I hear that they offer wireless internet too, and, given the quality of help by the proverbial I.Q of your company, I'm sure they would be more than willing to steal a little more of your business, especially if you are making it so easy for them. In the words of bitter prostitutes everywhere, “Please quit screwing us.”

Sincerely, Meghan and Kyle Medlen

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


When Jim's wife came home early and found him in bed with another woman, he thought for sure that their marriage was over. His wife didn't scream, didn't fight. It was as if she had dropped a mirror and was peering down over the shattered pieces. Later, Jim and his wife were at the kitchen table and she asked him to just be honest. He said that he had trouble being honest sometimes, but he would try.
"It just happened, you know?"

But that wasn't honest. The girl was an interior designer at his architecture firm. She was funny and sophisticated, did her job well, and never complained. Jim had trouble trying to not stare at her breasts. It was three days until Christmas, and he invited a few coworkers out for drinks one night after a huge deal had closed, and even though she didn't know any of his friends very well, he invited her too. Sitting at the table, Jim and the woman held their own conversation. It flowered with innuendos, salacious flirting budded out and the boys knew what was up. They each casually got up and left the two to their peace. Jim and the girl hardly noticed anyone else had left.

"We were really drunk . . .
I uh, I'm so sorry . . .

"honey, wait. honey, listen. I know what I did was wrong."
Her cold back was silent.
"Listen. Honey, listen. Im so sorry. Im so, so sorry." He reiterated "so" like an infomercial, and, although he hadn't planned it, cliches came rolling out of his mouth quickly.

It didn't mean anything and it was an accident. It was an error, a simple mistake.

He felt he could not better make her understand so fell silent, back hunched on the opposite side of the bed as the daylight died. He expected this, and shook his head robotically.

He began to speak again, finding the moment monotonous. He sighed, rather loudly, surprising himself and as his mouth opened he chose not to speak because he realized his wife had been crying. But she had stopped now and simply sat there, unmoving. He could not see what she was staring at. The realization that she was crying moved him, and so he again apologized,

"Listen, honey. I can't tell you how sorry I am . . ." he trailed off and after a distinct pause, when silence became like humidity, she said
"No, its fine. It really is; I promise."
Promise floated off her tongue like the hiss from a boiler. The room got smaller, but still she drifted over to the mirror, let down her hair, and got ready for bed.

That night Jim dreamt he was driving a really nice Italian car. He was speeding through the country for what seemed like hours. He was having fun until he realized he kept passing the same hillside, barn, and water tower. He got out of his car confused. When he turned around a black and white city was hunched there, looming over him.

That morning Jim woke up and took a hot shower. He whistled on his way to work, happy to have avoided a collision with his wife. She said everything was fine, and he felt his blockade of trouble's begin to wash away with the morning rain.

Yet he had trouble concentrating all day. Something seemed wrong, like a tired chess player will without warning give up suddenly and start making fatal errors. It was so sudden, and Jim didn't see it at first but now it wore on him like a blister.
When he came home his wife was reading Fortune 500 and didn't seem bothered. She said "hey" casually, but not too casually, so Jim knew she wasn't hiding any bothered feelings about the incident.
"What do you want to do about dinner?"
She shrugged. "Whatever is fine."

There it was again, "fine." He was looking for some sort of odd tonal shift that might give him an idea that his wife really was hurt or angry. He had recited another eloquent apology on the way home, and now in his mind he was hitting the high notes. But she really did seem fine, almost uncaring. Jim kept waiting for an explosion, or even a whimper. None came.

That night, in bed, she finished her magazine, flipping the pages mechanically. Leant over, kissed him on the cheek.
Still no altered tones. At this point Jim was almost disappointed. She switched off her bedside lamp and rolled over with her back to him. He thought about how her back looked like polished metal.

That night he dreamt in color for the first time. He was limping through the hunched city, and everywhere people were being stabbed to death.