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  1.  (10288.1)
    Goddamnit man, you had to go and write the sad dog story.

    I love dogs and have two myself. I've heard stories like this before and there are few things that make me want to harm my fellow humans worse. I would have had to talk myself down from going over to that guy's place with a baseball bat and forcing a confession out of him. And of course it makes me glad now that I'm an adult and I can keep my dogs inside when I'm gone.

    RE: the punk band story, a buddy of mine who was in the Houston punk scene in the early 90s claimed that most skinheads were gay--there was a group of queer skinheads that fought the real skinheads, sure, but he said a lot of the real skinheads were closeted gays as well. Can you support that?
  2.  (10288.2)
    I can't speak to the existence of skinhead gangs here in Houston... I didn't grow up here; I grew up outside Chicago. I only moved to Houston in '07. I've heard about a few nazi gangs in the past, but nothing solid. I knew a group of, I guess what you call True-Skins, as in non-racist skins, but didn't get close with them. Typically enough, they were very clique-ish. As far as gay skins, closet or no, I've never heard anything either way, but again, that's a bit before my time here.
  3.  (10288.3)
    Not much of a story, per se, but a memory, after my fiance and I discussed our fathers' alcoholism.

    My father was in and out of work, quite a bit, and couldn't seem to hold down a job. I was 10 or 11, that early pre-teen age. Anyways, about every other weekend, I would sleep over at his apartment or his house, wherever he was staying at the time.

    At one point, he got a job cleaning up a country and western bar called the Circle K. So Saturday morning, after I woke up, he would take me to this shitty little redneck bar while it was closed, and he'd take out the trash full of bottles & cans and ashtrays and sweep & mop the floors while I sat & read comic books or played the claw machine (in which case I eventually learned to beat this one, and won every stuffed animal, cheap plastic beer mug, and every craptastic wristwatch that they had).

    Upon remembering and discussing this period of my life with my fiance, she remarked that it was very depressing. *Shrug* maybe it was.

    Today, knowing what I know about my father, his drug and alcohol addiction, and his personality, I think back on that time, and I think my dad was brave.

    How ashamed I would be to have my only son watch me as I cleaned up bar trash. How easy it would have been for my father to bail on that job. That guy quit just about everything he ever started. But he tuffed that out, for as long as it lasted, and he took me to work with him every weekend that I stayed with him. Yeah, on one hand, it could sound quite depressing. But I choose to look at it another way, that somehow, my Dad got up off of his ass and went to work, even if it meant he felt ashamed or embarassed, even if it was degrading work.
  4.  (10288.4)
    Remembering some teenage stories; apparently I make a shitty criminal.

    The whole time I lived with my folks, it felt like they didn’t trust me. I was a good student, and until about my junior year, I was pretty trustworthy. Personally, I feel like their lack of trust in me, and their over-reactions to honest mistakes made me feel like if I was going to be treated like a bad kid, I might as well start acting like it. That way I would actually deserve whatever punishments they threw at me, instead of always feeling like I was so oppressed all of the time.

    Anyway, so while I was a sophomore in high school, I met this guy Penticoff, probably one of the first real punk rockers I ever met. They guy gave me a hard time a lot, and fucked with me a lot, but deep down you could tell he was a really good person. I guess that’s why we got a long; I’m very similar. I like having a tough-guy exterior, but deep down my values are very honor-bound and chivalrous. So Penticoff kinda took me under his wing. He would pick me up in his piece of shit car and we’d drive around and check out record stores and t-shirt stores and shit, and generally fuck around town.

    But since my parents didn’t trust me for shit, they didn’t let me have access to my own bank account. To withdraw any cash from the account, I needed a parent’s signature on my withdrawal slip. So I usually just forged my mom’s name on my slip and never had any problems. Because I was such a terrible fledgling criminal, I assumed the bank tellers gave a shit who kept signing my slips. So this last time, I decided to forge my Pop’s name, but I wasn’t as good at it as I was with my mom’s. Well, the bank people figured it out, and called my Pop at work, and I got all scared and thought I was going to be arrested, so we burned off.

    When I got home, my mother was already there. She had went looking for my checkbook to see how many times I had made these withdrawals and decided to search my room. My weed was out on the table (the whole fucking bag; I hadn’t smoked one bit of it yet); along with two aspirin and a picture of a girl in a swimsuit I had downloaded off the internet.

    I got interrogated. When my Pop called my mom about my attempted withdrawal from the bank, she searched my room. I had kept the weed in a fanny pack hidden in a nightstand inside the drawer that spins out sideways instead of opening like a normal drawer. Great hiding space. Unless your mom is the one who gave it to you. Anyway, she also found two strange pills on the floor next to my bed, and a printed girly picture.

    The weed was fairly self-explanatory. What my mom really wanted to know was what the pills were. I calmly explained that I had no idea what they were, I assumed they were aspirin I had attempted to take while I had a headache and must have dropped on the floor. If they thought I was a major druggie, I wouldn’t have let good pills go to waste just because they were on my floor. That didn’t help things.

    Then came the picture. My mom wanted to know who the girl was. I told her I couldn’t remember; I thought she was pretty and just printed out her photo. Mom wanted to know how long I had been talking to her online. I must have looked pretty confused. I told my mom she didn’t know how the web worked, because I never talked to the girl, I just liked her picture. Thankfully, Pop somewhat stepped in and asked my mom to move on from that one.

    They made me flush my weed. They made me flush my weed! I remember hearing Pop say in the other room “that was some really good shit!” and sounded somewhat remorseful. So was I. I regretted not smoking it before they caught me.

    Needless to say, I was grounded. My parents had caught the world’s dumbest teenage criminal. They found my weed I didn’t smoke, and stopped me from stealing my own money from my bank account.
  5.  (10288.5)
    STP in Chicago

    After I had healed from my wrist injury, but before my folks had found my weed, I got a job at a local fast-food/pizza restaurant called Panino’s. It was an alright place; it felt like it was staffed from the cast of Capitol Records, but more hippies-ish. I’d never heard more Phish anywhere in my life. It’s also where I learned to love P-Funk. A couple friends of mine worked there, and I went there for lunch quite often. It was a pretty fun after-school job, and at the end of my shift I usually got to bring a free pizza home.

    Right after I got hired, some friends had offered to take me to Chicago to see Stone Temple Pilots. I had only worked there a couple of months, when my folks had found my weed, so I knew my current situation with them was not good enough for them to trust me on an unsupervised trip to Chicago on a school night. I told my folks that I had to work really late. I have no idea if they bought that or not.

    So, we hit the road to Chicago. It was a fairly fun show, but that more to do with the friends I was with. It was in a stadium theatre, so you could only see so much. The opening band was Local H, and I kinda liked them, but I was really there to see STP. I think this was the tour after the Tiny Pictures album. They opened with some black guy in an African tribal mask singing, and then several songs later the guy turned out to be Dennis Rodman. About midway in the set, another stage was lowered to the main stage from the ceiling above, and they played an acoustic set from that stage. For all the negative shit about that album, and Scott Weiland, it was a fun show. I’m still not a fan of stadium concerts, but I’m glad I went to that one.

    During the show, an older (and by older, I mean mid-twenties) woman kept buying me drinks. She was trying to teach me how to whistle with your finger in your mouth. *shrug* I dunno. I guess we were flirting; my buddies said I could have hit that. *shrug again* I was a kid. Either way, I got buzzed.

    So sometime after midnight, I make it home. I try to get into my room through my bedroom window, but it is mysteriously locked. So is the backdoor screen door. And the front door. I had a key, but both doors were secured with latches from the inside. That isn’t normal. They had locked me out. So I had to knock.

    My mom opened the door. She gave me a dirty look and said, “We will not argue about this right now.” Then she smelled the beer on me. “For right now, your punishment is that you have to go to school tomorrow.” Then she let me in.

    I went to school, hung-over, felt like shit, and suffered throughout the day. I think (except that time on New Year’s when I was like 6) that was my first real hangover. When I got home, I was informed that I would have to quit my job. My parents decided I was too irresponsible to have a job.
  6.  (10288.6)
    Dude, you seemed to have some really paranoid parents.
  7.  (10288.7)
    Still reading, and enjoying the stories; and agreeing with the earlier suggestion. This stuff should be made into a book.
  8.  (10288.8)
    So around father's day, I talked to my Ma & Pop, and we were catching up and somehow we got onto the subject about when I lived at my Dad's house. I mentioned the police searching the house for Dad's crackwhore's dead body (although she was just missing, and fine), and when I later moved out because I had heard drug dealers were going to shoot up the house (I think they only ended up shooting a car). I was telling the stories in my humorous, anecdotal way, and I think my folks just listened, horrified. The might feel a little guilty about throwing me out and sending me to live in a crackhouse (although they didn't know that's what was going on at the time). I guess part of me got a little sadistic kick out of their reaction, *shrug* I dunno. I think we probably both deserved a little of that; me with satisfaction, and they with guilt.
  9.  (10288.9)
    Sounds like a beautiful time. :D