Put a bird (in) it: I built a birdhouse

For the first time that I can remember, it actually snowed here in Austin on Dec. 7. As temperatures fall below freezing for the first time each year, I always think of people who don't have anywhere to go, who are in the cold outside overnight. Then I get really sad. I noticed there were… Continue reading Put a bird (in) it: I built a birdhouse


Native Americans did gift-giving right

I wrote this column in 2008 for a newspaper at which I worked. I think it's still relevant: It's December, which means my parents are going to ask me what I want for Christmas. I assume they pass my wish list on to Santa Claus. Santa has yet to bring me most of the things… Continue reading Native Americans did gift-giving right

What I want for Christmas

Since my mid- to late teens, the inevitable, though heartfelt and always sincere, question from my mom and dad has been a source of heartache for me: What do you want for Christmas? The older I've gotten, the harder it is to answer that question. Isn't the season about Jesus Christ, a renewal of faith… Continue reading What I want for Christmas

‘Listen closely, as our options have changed’: Why all the changes?

I was on the phone with the fine folks at a large retailer the other day, but before I got to talk to a person, I went through the chain's automated system so I could be directed to the proper department. "Listen closely, as our options have changed." The familiar robotic voice we've likely all… Continue reading ‘Listen closely, as our options have changed’: Why all the changes?

I’d rather go to Paris, Texas, than Paris, France, anyway

There's a commercial from the folks at Signet Jewelers that has been making its rounds lately, and it features a young couple—the woman is blindfolded and wearing a necklace from what I assume is Signet's Interwoven jewelry line—throwing a dart at a map to decide where to go on a trip. The dart lands on… Continue reading I’d rather go to Paris, Texas, than Paris, France, anyway

That time we worked in a race car pit

There's a saying out there that I love: "Friends help you move; real friends help you move bodies." I helped my Capricorn brother and close friend, Matt, move a few times during college, and one time during our college years we found ourselves moving not bodies, but stock car tires. Through someone who he knew,… Continue reading That time we worked in a race car pit

5 Texan phrases I find myself usin’

I've lived in Texas for 11(!) years now, and it's been a great experience. I knew in my heart, even as a little boy, that if I wasn't living in my beloved Dayton, Ohio, I'd be in Texas. I even dated someone when I was in my mid-20s who told me I didn't have what… Continue reading 5 Texan phrases I find myself usin’

My 50th post plus a look behind the scenes of ‘NTYA’

Somehow I've managed to make it to 50 posts of "Not That You Asked," a (hopefully) humorous blog in the vein of Andy Rooney and Rick Reilly with some Midwest-Texan wisdom you never wanted in the first place. I can't really tell if I'm successful or not yet as a blogger, but I think I'm… Continue reading My 50th post plus a look behind the scenes of ‘NTYA’

5 bygone things that should come back

I'm a sucker for nostalgia. Here's five things from days gone by that should come back—and would help us build character: • The return of duels would be a great way for us to settle disputes again. Don't like what I said about you on Facebook? Let's fight to the death with swords! Not only… Continue reading 5 bygone things that should come back