Sunday, November 09, 2008

I bleed Raider Red

I may have said this last post, but I have been a Texas Tech Red Raider fan since 1995, my freshman year.

I have never been more proud!  Regardless of how the rest of the season plays out, I bleed Texas Tech.  These guys have poured their soul into this season and have been rewarded with a 10-0 season.  Graham Harrell is on pace to win the Heisman and I hope that Michael Crabtree gets to accompany him on the trip.

3 more games to go to get to Florida.  ou is next, but...

I believe.

Sorry to the Nuthmans and Pembletons (Courtney at least), but I believe Tech will be victorious in 13 days and prove once and for all that Mike Leach is a genius and put together one of the most talented group of young men this country has ever seen.

GO TECH!!!!!!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A Night to Remember: Wreck 'em Tech!!

There is no way that I can let this day pass without blogging about the greatest football game I've ever watched.  I will watch the last 1:29 for the rest of my life and smile.  I will remember standing in my living room, heartbroken, that after watching Tech DOMINATE Texas in every single category all night long, a late surge by one of the best quarterbacks in the country was going to leave Tech short one more time.  I've been there before, many times.  So close, yet so far away.

But I am a true fan.  And I believe.

I knew 1:29 was enough time for Tech to march down the field and score.  We'd done it 10 previous times this season.  Why should tonight be any different?  I was a bit nervous that we were out of gas.  We had certainly left it all on the field.  But I believed.

How could I not?   We have arguably the best quarterback/wide receiver combination in the country.  Of course the winning drive/touchdown was going to involve them both.  Mike Leach wasn't going to trust this fate to our "stellar" kicking team (sorry Matt Williams (I know you're REALLY new at this) and Donnie Carona, but seriously guys. kick. ball. through. uprights.).

And then that throw, catch, and touchdown that I will remember for a lifetime.  It capitalized, highlighted and symbolized a changing of the tide.  Tech CAN will the big one.  We CAN hold on and not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Our gauntlet is just beginning.  OSU will be tough, but they're very similar to Texas, and they haven't won in Lubbock in many years.  Thankfully, we have a week off to prepare for OU in Norman.

Last, but certainly not least, the Big 12 Championship game.

I just saw that we're #2 in the BCS.  With our strength of schedule, if we win out, we play for the National Championship.

Miami, here we come.  

Remember, I believe.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Financial Peace...almost

Anyone who has been is the same room with either me or Beth in the last 7 months has heard us talk about Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace University.  Well, thank God for Dave.  I mean that.  2 weeks ago we took Beth's car in for an oil change and front end alignment.  4 days later, we noticed an oil spot in the driveway.  Come to find out that the cooling system was mixing with the engine oil and overflowing.

Unplanned car repair: $430

Thanks to Dave Ramsey Emergency Fund: $1000

Not fighting or worrying about where the car repair money was going to come from AND not having to pay some stupid credit card company even more in interest:  PRICELESS

The other thing I did today was stop the RIDICULOUS amount of credit card offers that come from the credit card companies.  It's EASY.  Take 5 minutes and go to this website.  Answer a few questions, print the form out, sign it, and then mail it in.  All that junk mail will STOP!  Yea!!!  I also called my credit card company to get them stop sending those dumb convenience checks.  That took less than 5 minutes and I did something positive for the environment.

I say "almost" in the title of this blog because we still have one credit card bill and my car left to pay off before we are debt free.  Yes, I'm ignoring my Medical School debt for now.  Wouldn't you?  But once the credit card and car are paid, we are essentially debt free.  But Beth and I have found peace about money in our marriage.  We still argue, but not about money.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I just read my wife's blog and thought I would put my thoughts down on paper as well. It was actually suggested by one of the guys from church that spent the night with us at the church last night. I believe that he is right. We should record our thoughts, now, in the moment, because 6 months from now, we won't remember how we feel.

So my Ramblings are as follows:

My dad was right (he'll LOVE me putting that in writing), I didn't take this storm serious enough and I had no idea that I wasn't prepared.

Looking back, I'm not sure I could have been prepared until I went through it once. Perhaps, it was the near-miss of Rita that left me somewhat apathetic. I never have been the type of person to get excited when there's bad weather. I grew up in Tornado Alley and we practiced tornado drills in school where we would line up in the halls, hunched over, with our hands over our heads facing the wall. I think thunder storms are cool and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to sleep through rain.

Yes, I knew there was a hurricane coming. Yes, if I had lived on Galveston Island, I WOULD HAVE LEFT ON WEDNESDAY 3 FULL DAYS AHEAD OF LANDFALL. Yes, I THINK PEOPLE WERE COMPLETELY IDIOTIC TO NOT HAVE LEFT! But I live 45 miles from the coast. How bad could it be? Right?

I was wrong, Dad was right. (there, I've said it twice, Dad.)

I am very glad that we left. I would have been fine hunkering down in our house. But Beth was nervous and wanted to leave. Our neighbors talk about how the wind was HOWLING; SCREAMING; Siren-like. I'm sure that would have freaked even me out, the guy who wasn't nervous. Beth probably would have divorced me. OK, I'm kidding, almost.

The other reason that I didn't worry too much was I had no idea what it means to lose power. Sure, we've all been without power for a few hours when a bad storm rolls in or when a car hits the electrical pole. But the house stays cool, the food doesn't spoil, and you can check your email that night before you go to bed.

After this weekend, I understand what it is like to not have power for DAYS. We lost power about 3:30 a.m. Saturday a.m. September 13th. It's now 4:00 p.m., 60 hours later, and I still don't have a home with power. Yes, I slept at the church last night on an air mattress in the a/c, but my home is without power. The food in the fridge was spoiled 24 hours ago and thrown away. I can't wash clothes, cook a meal, watch tv OR check my email (he says with sarcasm).

After fleeing the storm and spending a mostly sleepless night in an apartment with no a/c that was literally suffocating, I can home, unpacked, packed again, and spent another night away from my home against my wishes. This is not vacation. It's not taking a trip and being glad to be home. It's forced evacuation. There is angst, separation, and the anxiety of uncertainty lingering in the air. There's a sense of sadness and the realization that you're never going to be quite the same again. And I've basically lost nothing. Believe me, I am very much aware that there are MANY people who have suffered and who will suffer far more than me. My cousin, JNM, who's not really my cousin (his grandmother and my grandmother were sisters) has (maybe had) a house on the west end of the island. He can't even get there to see if anything's left. I don't even pretend to imagine what he or the others of Galveston Island et al. will endure in the coming weeks and months as they pick up the pieces and try to move on with their lives.

It's like we all felt post 9/11/2001, or how you feel after someone close to you dies. You're never the same. You have to learn to live in the new reality. The reality of a parent being gone, or a nation and it's citizens attacked. It's why the motto for 9/11 is "Never Forget." Someone much wiser than me once said, "Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it."

So that's how I feel now. I am learning to live in this new reality. The new reality of having lived through a Category 2 (almost 3) Hurricane that has done millions of dollars worth of damage. My dad and his wife came to visit recently. We went to the Kemah Boardwalk for sea food. Kemah is gone. The restaurants are shells of buildings. The ferris wheel and Merry-Go-Round will have to be completely replaced. Kemah last year was the 6th most visited place in Texas. It will be months, perhaps YEARS, before people can enjoy it again. There is hardly a fence left standing in my neighborhood and most of the cities south of Houston proper. How we managed to escape with only one section coming apart (and I think we can simply nail it back together) is beyond me. Yesterday, we threw away at least $100, maybe more, of food. We almost couldn't get to our house yesterday because the streets were flooded and there are so much debris on the roads that it made them unsafe to travel.

Another bad thing about hurricanes is the anticipation of impending doom. With a tornado, you have 5, maybe 10 minutes warning. We were able to "get ready" for Ike for DAYS, almost one full WEEK. So your mind plays games on you. You get anxious. "Do I stay or do I go." And we all know that the media LOVES a story!!! It's ALL THEY HAVE TALKED ABOUT FOR DAYS. And now that the storm is gone and done its damage, it's all they CONTINUE to talk about. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week since Wednesday or Thursday of LAST WEEK.

And while Beth and I were fortunate, I guess we didn't escape completely unscathed. The church has suffered a significant amount of damage and we spent about 4 hours trying to clean up. It will likely be 4-6 weeks before we are able to worship in the auditorium again. But our congregation is a pilar of faith. I dare you to find a group of people who love the Lord and serve him unfailing more than these folks. There are many who are equal, but none who are more. Their committment to the love of Jesus Christ and his people astounds me.

So let the return to our "new normal" begin. Beth and I are back at work and there's nothing that screams more normal than that. The power will be turned back on, whether it's tonight or next week. And 6 months from now, I'll have to come back here and read this to attempt to remember how I feel.

I guess that's why I started this blog more than 3 years ago. Because we forget the further from the "whatever" we get.

Thanks for letting me ramble (even though it is MY blog) and thanks for reading.

Because of His grace,


Saturday, August 02, 2008

Long overdue

It's safe to say that my postings have been lacking.  What can I say, I'm a busy guy.  However, I am enjoying my last day of vacation before I start on the Medicine Ward service at LBJ.

So where to start.  It's been a busy summer.  I am now a fully licensed physician and hoping to be able to start moonlighting in September.

I think Facebook may well be THE greatest invention since sliced bread.  I have been able to reconnect with many friends from high school and college.  Most recently, I have found a dear friend of mine from middle school and high school.  Courtney Hailey!

Courtney and I met in middle school choir.  We were fortunate enough to be able to go to Vienna, Austria with our high school choir when we were freshman.  That's really where the friendship took off.  Her mom also went on the trip and made sure that we got the full experience.

I lost contact with Courtney sometime right after my freshman year of college.  So it's been AT LEAST 10 years since we've talked.  I tried to find her when Beth and I got married, but to no avail.

Anyway, another friend from Cooper H.S., Tim, found me on Facebook.  We started talking and I asked him with whom he had kept in contact.  As it turns out, Courtney was one of those people!!!  After some delay, we finally talked this past week.  It was SO GOOD to talk to her.  I actually talked to her mom first.  Then, got her cell phone number and sent her a text message.

I made her play 20 questions to guess who I was!!!  It was CLASSIC!  She tried to call me after asking like 2 questions b/c it was driving her crazy.  The great thing about that is, since I got the new iPhone, I hadn't set up my voicemail.  The message was still the generic, "You have reached 713-xxx-xxxx. The person you are trying to reach..." SO SHE STILL HAD NO IDEA WHO I WAS!

Since I didn't give in and answer, she HAD to play!  It took her 9 questions to figure out it was me!  She asked very good questions.  Her last question was, "Is this Jeremiah Brown? (that's what she called me)  Instead of answering her with a text, I called.

It was GREAT!!   The reason behind this little scheme goes back to the 7th grade.  According to those around me, I think I threw THE party of the 7th grade.  I was Captain Oblivious back then (still am, really) so I had no idea at the time.

Anyway, Courtney was invited. Duh! and she kept talking about her friend "Vera" that she was bringing to the party.  We didn't go to school with anyone named "Vera" and IT DROVE ME CRAZY for WEEKS!!!  I had NO CLUE who was going to show up to this party with my "friend" Courtney.

The night of the party came and Courtney showed up.  Turns out her "friend" Vera was...

wait for it 

are you ready for this...?

an ALOE VERA PLANT!!!   Absolutely HILARIOUS!!!  I don't remember when I've laughed so hard as that night.

Unfortunately, Vera met an untimely end when the family moved to Tyler.  Someone dropped her and broke her roots and she died.  But I never forgot the TORTURE that Courtney inflicted on me over than plant.

So the 20 questions was a little payback.  Yes, that was 19.5 years ago (MAN am I getting old!), but well worth the wait!

I may have said this before, but my personality is one that makes friends easily, and for life.  It can be a bit of a curse, but I cherish friendship more than just about anything in this life.  Case-in-point: I still know and talk to my 3rd grade teacher.  I sang at her wedding and she and her family drove from Abilene to Guthrie for my wedding.  I just remembered, I drew a picture of her in the 5th grade when she was pregnant with Sarah.  What possessed me???  Only God knows.  I still keep up with first and best friend in Abilene.  There are MANY others over the course of the past 22 years (that's when we moved to Abilene) that I still keep up with.

It's who I am.

I have been blessed richly.

One of my favorite movies is "The Shawshank Redemption."  In it, Morgan Freeman it talking about the time after Tim Robbins breaks out of the prison.  He says,

" I guess I just miss my friend."

Courtney, I have missed you and I am glad that we are reconnected.  You and your mom helped shape who I am (as have many others).  Get yourself an email address and stay in touch.  That's an order!  Michelle, it was an absolute joy to hear your voice again.  You guys call when you go to Abilene...we'll see what we can do to meet you.

OK:  Beth and I are going to see John Mayer tonight and I need to get some things done.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

It's done...

...and it only took me 31 YEARS!  I received word from the Texas Medical Board yesterday (Friday the 13th) that my application for my medical license is complete and will be voted on my the Texas Medical Board during their June 26-27th meeting.  I guess that means I can finally do what I've always wanted to do; practice medicine.

Now just to refresh:  I am a doctor.  I have been since I graduated medical school in May 2005.  I started my residency June 24, 2005 in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics (explained in earlier blogs) and will finish June 30, 2009 and be board eligible in both Internal Medicine AND Pediatrics.  This latest milestone means that I can now apply for a DPS and DEA number and on months that I'm NOT on call (which is VERY few) this next year, I can moonlight and make $50-60/hr instead of the $9.00/hr I make as a resident (remember, I work 80 hours a week...the math's not pretty)

It also means that for my 4th year of residency that starts July 1, I will be practicing medicine under my own license and not the "Physician-in-training Permit" that I have used for the past 3 years.

Even though we already had last night planned before I found out about my license, Beth and I celebrated the occasion with some dear friends at Cova (with some REALLY great wine) and then some good music at "The Mucky Duck".  It was David and Sarah's 21st Wedding Anniversary and we had a really nice time.

Some other updates since my frequency of blogging (as if this surprises anyone) is not what my adoring fans would like it to be (can you hear the hysterical laughing in the background?)

-Beth and I have completed Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University.  We're on Baby Step 2.  It has really changed how we manage our household and is forming our goals and attitudes as we prepare to move to Lubbock next year.  Dave likes to say, "Live like no one else, so that later you can LIVE like no one else."  You will now find us paying cash when we go out (like we did last night).  We have delayed some of the things we want (a new car, a flat screen TV) until we can pay cash for them.  No more charging, anything really, to the credit cards, and when we get the cards paid off...we're cutting them up.  And next month when the new iPhone (I'm so excited I can't stand it) comes out, I'm paying CASH!!!  I've been saving my mad money since we started Dave's class.

-Beth has a birthday coming up in 2 weeks and I still haven't bought her present(?s).  My mom and her step-mother will both be here.  We're are looking forward to their visit.

-We will be going to Southern Illinois at the end of July to see family and to pick up family heirlooms that belonged to Beth's parents.

-Our dear, dear friends the Daltons are leaving us (only temporarily) for Lubbock at the end of this month.  We were all going to move to Lubbock together next year when Vanessa and I finished residency, but they have the opportunity to move now and let Vanessa finish in Lubbock closer to family.  This is great because Talitha can be near her grandparents, aunts and uncles.  We will miss them A LOT in the next 12 months, but we will be there soon.

-Tomorrow is Father's Day, so I have to give a shout out to my dad.  Thank you for always pushing me to be the very best that I can.  For teaching me that it's never ok to do something half-way.  Thanks for being my sounding board when I don't know how to fix something, or move something.  Thanks, Dad.  I love you. 

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A GREAT quote

I just remembered this quote that I in the past tagged onto the bottom of my emails.  Don't be surprised if it shows up there again very soon.

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; 
to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; 
to appreciate beauty;
to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; 
to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. 
THIS is to have succeeded."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

2 words

David Archuleta

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Help the chilren of my hospital--PLEASE VOTE

Colgate is offering to build a fun room for one of the pre-selected children's hospitals based on who gets the most number of votes. My hospital, Memorial Hermann Children's Hospital is in the running. We're in third place as I type this post.

So PLEASE!!!! go there and vote. You can vote once a day, everyday, until Feb. 29th.

The link is:

Click on the city of Houston and then select Memorial Hermann Children's Hospital.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy 60th birthday Mom.

So tomorrow is my mother's birthday. As the title of this blog implies, it's her 60th. We just returned from a weekend in Lubbock at my sister's that served 2 purposes. First, it was to meet the newest addition to the family, Alyxandria Kay or "Xan" or "Alyx" or "Aly" or "Isabelle" as Tori is wanting to call her. She was born on January 2nd, 6 days before her Mommy and Daddy were expecting.  She is ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE and looks just like her Big Sister Tori did when she was born...all I can say is that my sister sure knows how to grow 'em.
We also spent the weekend celebrating the fact that tomorrow my mother turns 60. First of all, let me just say, that she is living proof that 60 is the new 50. I'm fairly sure it was me who convinced her to stop dying her hair some 5 or more years ago. If she were to dye it again today, you would swear she's 45. Mom was quite adamant that she didn't was anything new to dust.  We thought for a long time about what we wanted to get her.  We decided that I would make her a Powerpoint presentation of family pictures and that Kristina would write her a poem.  Having a 2 week old in the house doesn't lend one time to being Kristina has until our April family vacation.  Tori has also promised us a musical rendition of something worthy of Broadway.  Beth is also going to put together a Scrapbook of pictures from this weekend and give it to Mom.  Mom doesn't know about any of these other than the Powerpoint HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!
Lastly, I will apologize for my absence.  I know it's been too long since I last blogged.  Things here are going really well.  I am working in a Med/Peds clinic in Pearland that has been a GREAT experience in showing me what a true private practice is like.  Beth and I are doing well and hope that 2008 is the year of the baby, more specifically, our baby.  We're trying, ok.  There.  It's said.  In Public.  Now you all know.  And yes, we realize that January 6th was our 7 year anniversary.  But James and Shelly waited 15 years before they had Echo, so we're not THAT far behind.  But the offer has been long standing.  We were happy to have children at anytime before now so long as someone was willing to move in with us and offer to take care of our baby for free.  It's one is 7 yrs even hinted that they were willing to do that.  Anyway, I digress.  I am studying for the last part of my U.S. Medical Licensing Exam: the USMLE Step 3.  I take it on February 13th and 14th.  Then I can apply for my state license and look for moonlighting opportunities.  But I still won't write you a prescription for Vicodin or don't ask.

Lastly, this weekend was the first time that my luggage has managed to NOT make it to my destination with me.  Long story short.  Delayed 2 hours in Houston.  Original flight from Philly diverted to Dallas.  New plane to fly from Houston to Dallas.  Changed planes in Dallas to original plane from Philly that was waiting on us.  The 25 of us from Houston to Lubbock managed to make the plane change.  Our luggage did not.  We arrived in Lubbock at 11:45, 2 hours later than expected.  Our luggage arrived at 10:00 a.m. the next morning accompanied with a $50.00 travel voucher.  Gotta LUV Southwest!

We have less than 18 months left in Houston, so if you're going to come see us, the clock is ticking.