Saturday, December 31, 2011

Rise and shine

Remember that movie, "My Cousin Vinny"?  With the super and the karate kid and my absolute WIFE Marissa Tomei-Watts?  Remember the train?  When he was sleeping and the train came by at 5 am or whenever it was?  That happened to me this morning.

Apparently, Indian reservation water is hard.  And there is a water softener.  In my room.  At 5.30 am I woke up to the loudest hissing, destructive sounding racket ever.  I seriously rolled off the bed and took cover.  I thought for sure either the Russians were finally coming or the hot water heater was gonna spontaneously combust.  Or the spirit world was mad at me. 

This wasn't like a short lived little snake hiss.  This was a primordial, birth of the earth, Satan's demons coming to take over the world sustained 'I'm not going anywhere' hiss.  Now that it's past eleven, it's gone.  Guess the legions are mounted for battle.  So ya.  Got a sweet wakeup call from the water softener.  And the kids had a screaming competition for a smooooooth half hour.  Being the rookie that I am with kids, I asked, "all screamed out?".  Ya.  Mistake.  Round two.  No one has any right, ever, to question the way a parent treats a child.  Before you get all bold in McDonald's when mom is literally screaming in the face at her toddler, take a step back and just assume there's a reason.  Everyone has a breaking point.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Let me tell ya

I can't get around him!
Had to take care of a few things today up in the good ol Pac Nor West.  The roads.  The drivers.  First, let me say that all the smack I'm gonna talk about these shitty drivers and Canadiens and Asians and Asians that are Canadiens is nearly completely mitigated by a simple fact.  There is literally no concern for how big of a fairy you look like absolutely slappin Rick Astley 'Never gonna give you up'.  Came on when I was driving.  Don't worry about whether it came on a cd I was listening to or the radio.  It was on.  I started to roll my window up.  Then I was like, "who gives a shit?  It's Washington."

That being gotta be kidding me.  The deal up here is Canadiens roll down cause apparently stuff is cheaper in the land of Wal-Mart.  Go figure huh?  One quickly notices that while Washingtonians drive the speed limit, Canadiens just invent rules of the road.  So I'm on the freeway and this clown in front of me right blinkers.  Starts to get over.  I pick up some speed cause we were going like 45 in a 70.  Then this dip shit gets right back over right in front of me.  I start to go around and left blinker from Canadien.  I hold back.  He changes his mind.  No problem.  I got Rick to keep me company and it's only like 30 seconds into the song.  Well, the same thing happens for three off ramps in a row, until we both get off.  He's going left and I'm going right.  Of course I look.  Yep.  Canadien old ass Chinese hunched over the steering wheel, inch thick glasses and an old ass wife with a smurf hat.  Sweet driving Wu.  Eh?

Long story short.  This happened a couple times.  I even invented a few rules of my own, cause there were a few awkward ass lane arrangements.  The heirarchy of just deplorable drivers goes like this:

1-Top of the list is Canadien Asians in a landslide.  Just fumble fucking the road like you never even heard about. 
2-Coming in second is old Asian drivers-anywhere you see them, be it Cali, Texas-NM, don't think there are any in Texas, or Washington.  Not trying to be mean.  Just the way it shakes out.
3-This is a close call, but I'm gonna go with Canadiens of any stripe.  Just too busy trying to get comfortable with their backpacks on while driving.
4-Young Asians.  The young Asian is a mixed bag because some of you guys have adapted an adequate level of skill.
5-Your run of the mill Washingtonian is a bit slow, but not entirely unpredictable.  Eeked out the 5 for the inconvenience of slow driving, but not hazardous.
6-So Cal.  You LA drivers are at the bottom because however reckless and gridlocked you may be, you keep the head on a swivel.  No points taken away for obliviousness.  Just got to get the gloves on and compete on the roads down there.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 29th

Tor man's birthday.  Should be a national holiday.  Listen, I understand that we speak well of the dead and generally keep the negative to ourselves.  In the case of Tor-man, there is really no ill that could be spoken of.  I'm not even exaggerating.  There are three people who have not liked my dad, to the best of my knowledge.  One of whom was my mom.    And she liked him on the whole, but I'm sure there were times she didn't like him.  Don't misunderstand.  They liked and loved each other, but I really have to dredge to think of anything negative about my dad.  Another was my brother's mom, Patty.  She'd slit his throat.  The other was our landlord on Jeffrey Ave.  This silly clown's name was Bob Porta.  Bet you read that and pronounced it 'port-uh' huh?  Ya?  Well this silly sumbitch introduced himself as Bob Por-tay, like some lilly little frenchman in a fedora.

He and dad didn't get along.  So after we moved out, Deej and I took the old Elco and gave him a lawn job.  Deej was hanging out the passenger door tossing eggs like the hammer brothers on Mario world.
Looks about right

Anyway, that had nothing to do with my dad.  He sure as hell approved of it though when I told him.  He was into mischief of the innocent variety.  When Deej and I were young, we turned everything we did into an incursion behind enemy lines.  Like the time we were throwing water balloons at cars that drove by.  We drilled this clown in a drop top Jeep.  He slammed the brakes.  We retreated to the green zone, which was the bushes of the house across the street.  Jeep guy came charging back and asked my dad, who for all I know was watching and laughing inside the house.  "Hey!  Buddy!  Did you see a couple kids?  They just got me in my car."  My dad was like, "I don't know man, I saw a couple kids going into the school a second ago.  So, they uh, got your car huh?  Looks like it was just a water balloon.  You'll be alright."  The guy left and we emerged.  I wasn't sure how much trouble I was gonna be in, but I thought I'd be in some.  He started laughing and called us little shits.  Then he called the guy driving by a pansy or something.  And he tousled my hair.  Ah Tor man.

I know what you're thinking.  Irresponsible parent.  Not so.  Just measured and deliberate in his meting out of discipline.  My dad had me sooooo checked when I was a little kid.  I don't know what it was, but he could get pissed and put the fear of God into any kid.  And not just those of us who got spankings from him.  The kids he coached on my little league teams were equally checked.  Except Deej.  Deej was beyond checking.  The rest of us knew to always hustle on and off the field and throw the ball overhand.  Some one needs to bottle up what my dad had.

Hopefully I will.  In my opinion, his combination of discipline and freedom was the perfect mix for me growing up.  There was something good inside of him.  A dear friend said simply, "Hey.  Corey, man.  Your dad wasn't a hater."  Well said Larry.  My dad was not a hater.  He was clear like water and cool like ice.  My dad was a beautiful character.  I don't say character lightly.  Stories could and should be written about him.  It seems they are.

When he died, my brother and I both agreed that he lived his life on his own terms.  Though it wasn't played out the way anyone would draw it up, it was well played.  Those who knew him loved him.  Those of us who love him miss him.  And even as we miss him, he still makes us smile.

PS-Now that I think about it, he was an irresponsible parent.  He shot my brother with a bb gun.  Ha!  Sorry Buzz.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Come on man

This picture seriously makes me wanna climb that tree and hang out in it
It's gotta be getting old to you, and it's killing me, but man.  I got islands on my mind, I can't hold back, now's the time.  I mean damn.  Just look at that.  A picture may be worth a thousand words, but I'm speechless.  Listen and listen close.  I'm going.  This spot right here?  This spot right here?  I'll put up the map just so we all understand each other...

And some Earth, Wind and Fire.  Don't worry about it.
To the right of Africa and above Madagascar
So that's deep.  And that's a strike.  But I found a flight bullshit...United Arab Emirates Air for like a thousand bucks.  No clue how they're competing with Delta who wants to charge ten grand, but whatever.  I know everyone's like "dude, you gotta do this and that and blah and blah."  What's wrong with just following your heart and doing what you know you have to do?  I have to get there.  Maybe not out of the gate, but some time soon it's gotta happen.

I planned on a trip with my dad but his health wouldn't allow it.  I had the money to go for a while, but not the motivation.  Now, I wanna be free.  Like a bird.  Or a fish.  Or a cloud.  I'm just talking.  Who knows?  But one thousand percent right now I have to get to this island.  I'm like Truman on that movie with Jim Carey.  And I really want to play that song on a piano right now.  Really.  When I get to my island, I will do that.  And it will be the most poignant moment of my life, till that point in my life.  Gonna leave it alone for now...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I wanna say it was 1993.  Me and pops were living on Jeffrey avenue.  It was early summer or late spring.  Another sunny day in California.  As was my habit, I was sleeping in on the couch.  I woke up to the sound of arguing.  At first it was just voice.  Then, I was able to distinguish two separate voices.  Now fully awake, I pieced together some of the scenario.  There were two people arguing.

"You stole my wine!"  This was my neighbor.  I recognized his yelling voice because he was always yelling at his kid with the humongous head.  I heard some indecipherable babble that was close to my front door.  Kevin, my neighbor yelled again.  "You stole my wine off of the front porch!" 

Now I could make out the counter argument, "Maaaaan, I didn't steal no wine.  What would I be doin stealin wine?"  A fair point, I thought.  "Why you got wine on the front porch anyway man?  If you don't want it took?"  There's way too much here to break down fully.  I think the main lesson here, as we'll see, is that anyone who asks a rhetorical question in their denial, or two or three, is for sure guilty. 

There was more arguing and a knock on the door.  Hmm.  Let's see what this is about.  So I opened the door and saw a cross between golden voice guy and the most interesting man in the world...

And that, my friends, is Rick Mendoza.  I had no clue who this guy was, but he looked if not homeless, borderline homeless.  He asked in a raspy kind of jive voice, "ya man, is uh, Bob around man?"  Just then my dad came from the hallway in his bathrobe (he slept in too.  We party) with this look on his face that said, "What in the blue fuck is going on out here?"  But he saw Rick and relaxed.  "Hey Rick.  Uh, come in?"

Two things happened after Rick got in the house.  First was my dad put his gun away.  Immediately following that, Rick pulled a bottle of wine out of one of his four layers of clothing.  Priceless.  So Rick asks what's going on.  My dad asked what was going on.  Rick wanted to know if he could wash my dad's car for some coin or something.  That was that.

But then somehow my cousin Jeremy ended up at the place and Rick wasn't washing a car.  I'm hazy on the details of whether or not this was later in the day or another day.  Bottom line?  It's still Rick going on.  And me.  And Jeremy.  And Rick starts talking about fornicating ugly women.  I'm 12.  Jeremy is 10 or 11.  Standard fare at the Watts house.  So he's in his cool, jive, and raspy voice.  "Man, I messed with this uuuuuggly girl.  They say put a bag over her head when they ugly.  Shiiiiit.  I'll put a bag over my head."  And that, my friends is as good as it gets.  Hope the picture I painted of the wine thieving, yet interesting in appearance guy brought it all together for you.  If not, pffft.  I got a bag over my head anyway.

Too soon?

That's the indoor pool

Front room
And the view.  Yawn
Lookie here.  Dub's got an idea.  The details are hazy, but the broad picture is I'm at the very least gonna rent one of these pads for a week or ten after my sojourn to Alaska's frigid waters.  I'm not bragging or anything.  It's just a fact.  As real as any fact can be like four months ahead of its coming to fruition.  If you recall, when I had something on  my mind, I freely admitted that not only am I not scared of islands-I seek them out.  This is how it went down...

For those of you at home, who have been paying attention, you know I'm headed out to sea.  Not gonna be fun, but will for sure be worth hearing about and make a little coin.  It's not all Donald Trump lotto like you here about on Discovery channel...yet.  But I'm thinking to myself, "self, what's the end game here?  I know we're gonna dominate this so bad that there's gonna be a life in free fall book, but what else?"  Self, I'm glad you asked.

Dub's charter service.  That's right.  I'm gonna learn about boats, ye land lubbers, sterns, aft, squalls, bilges and all that shit.  Then, I'm gonna take my happy ass to some remote island getaway-peopled with savages-but with the aesthetic value that white men and women can't resist.  And this, my friends is where I come in...
What's that?  Your daughter's afraid of sharks?  Better keep close dear.
Now, I don't know the first thing about boats and for sure can neither afford, nor will I soon be able to afford a yacht.  But every new ship has to go through it's sea trials, right?  So I'm gonna see what the island life has for me.  It'll be a good investment.  How can I realistically plot my life of fighting off pirates and dragging the Neusbaums through the Caribbean if I don't test it out first?  And it wouldn't hurt to have a Caribbean queen or six either...
So there you have it.  Long term-Captain Dub.  I wanna post Lakeside's Fantastic Voyage again so bad here.  Short term, taking a trip.  After the sea voyage, I'm going to vacay on an island.  And real talk, these places are big enough for a gaggle of free loading jerkoffs, so I don't know, take a number?  That's not a bad idea.  If fools wanted to come along, pack their bags, get on the floor and chip in, then it could be a true fantastic voyage.  Deej, you in?  I don't know who else even reads this worthless rag anymore.  Let me know if you're in.  Don't be shy.  Just do it.  I might be onto something here.  And I couldn't resist either...

Monday, December 26, 2011

And I'm spent

That's the bloody pickle that the kid whittled on Bad Santa.  Maybe literal blood didn't end up on my home made gifts, but figurative blood did.  Up here in the north, my only currency is hastily concocted art gimmicks and words.  Some of the words had good effect.  This isn't to say that any of it was disingenuous, but it was art and words all the same.  I've been hanging with the seven year old since I've been here.  I'm turning into one.  I made a card for Shelli with a picture of a tree, a flower and three snow flakes.  I was like, "The tree is Rich, the flower is you, and the snowflakes are Preston, Kendall, and Trevor,"  Wow.

Oh, and I was talking to a 'guy'.  It came up that caffeine was banned in NCAA.  Then it came up that I took ephedrine before playing.  He said, "That stuff is no good for you.  I used to make ephedrine."  Me, "Huh?  You used to make ephedrine?  o Oooooh.  I got it."

Let me introduce you to John.  Zinga linga ding dong!

And if you still don't get it, he said that if it weren't for his faculty with the law, he'd still be locked up.  Do the math.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Do you know Him?

If you aren't into the King, then you can just skip this part.  But the question remains: Do you know Him? Ya I know the portrait is too candid for preachy type stuff, but the portrait is real if anything.  There is no thing that is more real.

The Bible says my King is the King of the Jews.
He's the King of Israel.
He's the King of righteousness.
He's the King of the ages.
He's the King of Heaven.
He's the King of glory.
He's the King of kings, and He's the Lord of lords.
That's my King.

I wonder...Do you know Him?

My King is a sovereign King.
No means of measure can define his limitless love.
He's enduringly strong.
He's entirely sincere.
He's eternally steadfast.
He's immortally graceful.
He's imperially powerful.
He's impartially merciful.

Do you know Him?

He's the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world.
He's God's Son.
He's the sinner's Savior.
He's the peak of civilization.
He's unparalleled.
He's unprecedented.
He is the loftiest idea in literature.
He's the highest personality in philosophy.
He's the fundamental doctrine of true theology.
He's the only one qualified to be an all-sufficient Savior.

I wonder if you know Him today.

He supplies strength for the weak.
He's available for the tempted and the tried.
He sympathizes and He saves.
He strengthens and sustains.
He guards and He guides.
He heals the sick.
He cleanses the lepers.
He forgives sinners.
He discharges debtors.
He delivers the captives.
He defends the feeble.
He blesses the young.
He serves the unfortunate.
He regards the aged.
He rewards the diligent, and He beautifies the meager.

I wonder if you know Him.

He's the key to knowledge.
He's the wellspring of wisdom.
He's the doorway of deliverance.
He's the pathway of peace.
He's the roadway of righteousness.
He's the highway of holiness.
He's the gateway of glory. Do you know Him?

Well, His light is matchless.
His goodness is limitless.
His mercy is everlasting.
His love never changes.
His word is enough.
His grace is sufficient.
His reign is righteous.
His yoke is easy.
His burden is light.

I wish I could describe Him to you.

Yes, He's indescribable.
He's incomprehensible.
He's invincible.
He's irresistible.
You can't get Him out of your mind.
You can't get Him off of your hands.
You can't outlive Him, and you can't live without Him.

Well, the Pharisees couldn't stand Him,
but they found out they couldn't stop Him.
Pilate couldn't find any fault in Him.
Herod couldn't kill Him.
Death couldn't handle Him, and the grave couldn't hold Him.

I wonder if you know Him?

Friday, December 23, 2011

It's hard to say goodbye and getting harder

A good friend, and my dad's best friend recently passed away.  Daryl Fisher wrote of him, apparently in contravention of Guybert's wishes.  If you knew either Daryl, my dad Bob, or Guybert, then this is really no surprise.  Daryl described Guybert as his only 'hoodlum' friend.  While I never knew Guybert the hood-who was apparently domesticated promptly upon marrying Jan-I was witness to their banter enough to understand that promises were made and kept with a floating scale.  "Hey, let me take the 'Vette to the store.  I promise I won't punch it."  That kind of promise is one that slides all the way off the scale into non-promise territory.  The implied promise of lifelong friendship is on the other end of the scale.  So strong that they didn't have to say a word.  It was written all over their faces, and lives.

After losing both of my parents, I figured death had no hold over me.  I considered myself jaded to the point of finding this passing-or breaking through to the other side, as they would have put it in their heyday-to be a mere formality.  Like the removal of Christmas decorations when the season ends, this, another piece of scenery is merely removed.  At the end of the season.  This season.

Well, seasons come and go.  And come again.  And go again.  Good friends do not.  These friends are forever.  They are a polestar.  And when they are extinguished, a piece of our heavens dies out.  Those of us who knew G man feel the vacuum.

Guybert and his wife and his children were family.  I remember when my mom and dad split and my dad was doing some soul searching, the Pierce family took him in to their home.  I know it was done graciously because there was no taboo, hat in hand awkwardness.  There was Jan, "Oh shit!  Now I gotta deal with two of you fuckers?!"  Apparently it's no big deal for a friend to love a friend.  It is the greatest demonstration of love to live love.  These lived love to, for and with eachother.

And it was hard not to love G man.  With his lopsided grin, he would peddle the most asinine pseudo-facts.  When I bought my 66 El Camino off of him, and when I say 'I bought', I mean 'dad bought', we sat around his driveway, endlessly talking about the car.  Guybert said, "hey Coreman.  You gotta get some hub caps."  I asked, not skeptically, but for my own edification, "Why?"  He said, "You'll get a ticket for indecent exposure.  Your nuts are showing."  It literally did not stop.

It didn't even stop when I came to see him more recently, when he wore his stoic face, in the face of fate.  I'd walk through the neighborhood.  It was even money that he'd be in his garage, monitoring Park Blvd.  "Hey Coreman.  Did you hear the one...?"  Of course I heard the one Guybert.  You told me that joke when I was 6.  But I'd let it play out, and even if the punchline was expected, his grin made the wait worthwhile.  He spoke fondly of my dad.  I spoke fondly of my dad.  Jan would come out.  "What the fuck are you two doing?!"  I laugh even as I write it.  I love you too Jan.

Guybert, I'm not too jaded.  I miss you already.  And I love you.  And I feel the void where a star once dwelt.  Say hi to my dad for me.  And my mom.  I'll see you soon, when every tear is wiped from my eyes.

Strange coincidence

I've posted about being the Road Warrior previously, so I'm not gonna get into it again.  It's recommended reading, in case you missed it.  The point here, is that the day after I announced to the world that I was going on the craziest adventure yet, Jeremy put this picture on my Facebook wall.  I know this guy doesn't read the blog.  That's a fact.  But however unlikely it seemed that he'd check the portrait, it seemed far less likely that he would nail this to the day.  Welp, he nailed it to the day.  Had no clue what I was talking about when I mentioned fishing in the Bering sea and boats but no hoes.  Besides, I knew he would have photo shopped something like this if he had...
Except he would have done it justice and put my face on it.  I'll switch it out when he inevitably does.  The larger issue here is that despite the odds of this coincidence happening, Jeremy knows I'm a road warrior.  He probably tried to call me but my cell went straight to voicemail because I'm in an arctic wasteland.  Homie knew something was up, so he sent out the road warrior signal.  Basic math there.  And here we are.  Got a fish on the line, ship's ahoy, and yo ho ho and a bottle of rum sucka!


"Hey, is that coffee ready yet?"

The guitar played in the background.  The three were sitting in the middle of palm trees on a warm summer night.  The air was damp and the light front of Methy John's trailer.  Just to set the scene, we three were hanging out on the porch of John's trailer, which was actually quite serene.  There were herbs as well as this fauna ;).  Basically, we were high and settling in for what I would find out was one of the more entertaining episodes of recent life.  Homeless Dave was harshing the mellow a little bit.  "Is that coffee ready yet?"

"Oh yeah.  The coffee.  Let me go check."  I checked.  I didn't start the coffee yet.  I came back to the circle and told Dave. 

He was bitter.  He wanted his coffee.  I was curious.  "Hey Dave, is coffee to a meth guy like vicodin to a heroin guy?  Is that what's going on here?"

Methy John chimed in, "yeah man.  It's kinda like that.  If you can't hook up, you get some caffeine going.  That's why you see guys at 7 -eleven with 64 ounce cups for coffee refills."  It occurred to me that that's something I would do even though I've never even seen Meth, but I just agreeably nodded and said something like 'far out man'.

"You know, it seems like a lot of people around here are on that shit."  I don't know when it became common enough knowledge that these guys were on this stuff to just readily talk about it, but I made the assumption and was right.

"Lotta that going on around here, like if you go to a store at night, a guy will ask, 'hey man, are you all right?  Do you know Christine?'"

"Christine?  Ahhh.  I see what you did there."

"Is that coffee ready yet?"

"Oh for fuck's sake Dave.  You're harshing my mellow man.  I'll go check."  The coffee was indeed ready.  And me being the excess kinda guy I am made it up to methy standards.

After sweetening and attempting to lighten my coffee, John settled in.  He settled in with the soothing monologue that has become one for the ages.  He began...

I pictured a Miami Vice like scene
"The first time I asked for coke in public was in Los Angeles, 1988.  I walked into this club and up to the bar next to this girl. I sat down and asked her, 'hey, do you know where I could get some...some coke?'.  She looked at me and said, 'sorry, I don't have any.  But that guy over there probably does'.  She pointed out this guy in a bright shirt and I walked over to him.  'Hey man, you got any coke?  That girl over there said you had some coke'.  He looked at me like who the fuck are you to be coming up to me asking for coke? 

"But he got up and went to the bathroom.  When he came back to the bar a few minutes later, he set a book of matches down on the bar and said, 'that'll be thirty'.  I gave him his thirty and left.

"I got back to the hotel room and emptied out the match book on this glass table.  It wasn't coke.  It was crank.  The only crank I'd done before was really yellowed and brownish.  This stuff wasn't.  But I could tell it was crank and I cut up a couple lines.  I snorted the first one and it was the worst tasting thing I could imagine, just burned the shit out of my nose (insert heavy metal power chord here).  Then I snorted the other line."  John was looking down as he said this and paused for a beat.  He looked at me and declared, "And then I was up."  I bet you were John.

"And then I drove.  So I take the company van-I was in LA for a sales meeting, training thing-and just started driving around.  You know, I was driving around Los Angeles looking for some hookers, scoping the scene, trying to find the party.  Anyway I had to put gas in the van cause I was driving around all night.  I had no idea where I was or where I was going, but the sun started to come up and I thought shit!  I gotta get back to the hotel.  I drove around a little longer and figured out I was in west Hollywood. 

"I somehow made my way back to the hotel and knew I wasn't gonna make the sales meeting."

I asked, and believe me-I was hanging on every word, fascinated, "So what did you do?"

All blase and ho hum, he said, "I told them I got food poisoning at dinner the night before".

"Was that it?  How'd the job go?  What the fuck man?  This is priceless!"

"I went to the rest of the meetings and worked for them for a couple years after that."

I started playing my guitar again, just feeling the mellow and marveling at the destructive forces before me.  After a few bars of some progression, I stopped.  "Hey John.  You know how to party man.  You have got to tell me more stories".  I slowly began strumming again as John smiled with what was left of his teeth.  I could tell something was gonna come out of his underbitten and lopsided grin.

"You mean like the time I woke up in my car to the sounds of waves slapping against my passenger door?"

"Yes John!  Just like that!"

"Well we were getting loaded on the beach sometime after high school.  I lived on Pismo Beach.  Anyway, I was here with this nice young lady friend I had and we were listening to the stereo in my 72 Dodge Dart.  I guess we got away from everyone and went down to the beach, you know so we could look at the stars while listening to The Doors and maybe get some action.  Well high tide came in in the morning.  I was dreaming about a helicopter or something and all of the sudden I'm awake and hear the whoosh of waves slapping my car door..."

And on it went.  If you aren't into it, that's fine.  But this really is a person and this happened. I see an independent film here, just you know, that's more of a story of redemption.  You know if the musical montages were thrown in when he was driving around and hit the club that would have been sweet.  I didn't even get started on homeless Dave.  His story is a bit simpler, I believe.  I'm sure the tale about him just beaching his $50K boat and walking away from it has some merit, but he doesn't have the artistry of John's delivery.  Dave basically pulled a Tyrone Biggums and had a $300K meth party with his inheritance and couldn't shake the habit once the money was gone.  That's just simple arithmetic...

"Hey, you got any more coffee?  John, what are we doing tomorrow?  Are you gonna pick me up and then we'll go to that site?  I gotta feed Priscilla.  What'd you do with that crescent wrench?  Can I ride this bike to go get my bin..."

"Come on Dave!  We're sitting here talking about coke in the eighties and seafaring Dodge Darts!  And you're on scrap metal?  Harshing my mellow man..."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Jesus was a fisherman, right?

Holy shit.  Doubleyu is hitting the open sea.  By open sea I mean open sea.  It's deadliest catch, dub edition.  No bullshit, I'm going on one of those boats.  It's gonna be a test of will.  It's gonna be foreign.  Every notion of self that I have or think I have is going to be called into question.  It seems that it's the life that I should know, but don't that's going to help me find my way.  I'm kinda hyped, at this point.  Just stubborn enough to say, "yes I can".  So, come along, pack your bags, get on the floor and dance.

There's not a lot I can really say about it now because I have no clue what is in store for me.  The water has always fascinated me, however, and barring an extreme disposition toward sea sickness, here we go.  After all, we just want you to feel musical pleasure.  What on earth am I getting myself into?  God help me.  And please, keep me out of the drink.

So now it's clear that there has to be an end game to this little odyssey.  I'm not saying I'm the only one who has gone through some interesting times in life.  I'm not suggesting that I'm the only person to hop on a boat in Alaska and fish.  Nor am I suggesting that I'm the only person who can whip up a decent yarn about life's little quirks.  I am suggesting, however, that I am among a small number who has had these experiences and the skill, or twisted mind to bring them to life.  One other comes to mind...uh...Hemingway, anyone?

Yep.  I said it.  Now, we know how it ended for him-and I think that's a testament to what kind of deviant has both the imagination to put this life into prose and the reckless attitude to endure some of this stuff.  Hopefully I'm not quite as twisted as he and will die of something else.  But, it's looking like I'm close.

And the reason there are so few of us is simple.  Most people who have the talent or skill or whatever to write in an even reasonably coherent fashion also have the life skills to avoid fishing vessels in Alaska.  It's a tautologous argument, like world class swimmers don't drown in kiddy pools.  It's true that Superman can't walk anymore, but isn't that shit ironic?  It doesn't happen every day.  In the same way, those of us who have skills and have been educated find jobs to keep em going.  And plod through their dreary existence, trapped in their steel coffins-gridlocked on overstuffed freeways-trying to find their way through the maze.

Somehow, against all odds, I don't find this dreary at all.  It sucks.  It's going to suck worse very soon.  But it's also just sweet sweet irony.  And I'm twisted enough to look at this as isolation therapy.  Which brings me to my next point.  The Portrait of a Life in Freefall is going to be a book.  I don't know where it's going to end, but the ground is coming quick.  The chute is gonna have to open sometime after this little excursion or it's gonna be splat.  So, with a little fine tuning here and some dramatic liberties there, and for sure some more about Methy John and homeless Dave, this little compilation will find it's way to a page near you.

Did you know there are Ethiopians and shit on these boats?  Do you have any idea how effing awesome it's gonna be to document this experience?  Well, neither do I.  But I hope it's more awesome than living it.  90 days on a god forsaken vessel working 16 hours a day.  That, my friends, is no picnic.  That's not even boot camp.  That's like if the friggin Normandy invasion lasted 90 days.  Oh, and I can't stand the smell of fish.  Don't eat it.  Don't look at it.  And up to this point, haven't particularly cared for catching it.  Cest la vie.

I'm gonna be tougher than rawhide when this is through.  My thoughts have lingered on the depths my mental toughness and apathy have sunk to.  Well, it's literally sink or swim.  And when I say literally, I mean figuratively, but somewhat literally because if I fell off the boat, those would be my two options.  I hear Bloomfield in the recesses of my mind.  As this trip comes nearer, I'm sure he will occupy a prominent position.  "Are you a friggin rat or a mouse Watts?!"  Hey Bloomer, once a rat, always a chief.

Solicitors welcome...of prostitution, that is

Hard to argue with that

 So I'm trying to have an IM war with Pete.  He called me soft for complaining about the cold.  He had no sympathy for the sound of the wind, particularly after I told him I was all bundled up with three layers in the house...where it's like 65 degrees.  Whatever.  I wear pants to pool parties.  So he suggested I do something rugged.  It actually went like this...

 me:  Ya you got dude here
 Sent at 10:11 AM on Wednesday
 Peter:  caught any salmon in your mouth yet?
 Sent at 10:15 AM on Wednesday
 me:  No.  My notions of bear like life in the wilderness are thwarted by the reality of this cold
 Peter:  get some tights
 Sent at 10:17 AM on Wednesday
 me:  Ya.  That.  Or, huddle up in my room completely layered in under armor, flannel pajamas under my jeans and a few extra shirts with a blanket around my shoulders.
 Peter:  soft
 me:  Ya.  somewhat soft
especially since it's like 65 degrees in here.
 Peter:  real soft
 me:  the wind
I hear it.  It defeats my mind
the clouds.   They don't stop
 Peter:  go do something rugged
 me:  I raped a deer
and haven't shaved
 Peter:  did you wear its head?
 me:  no
 Peter:  soft
 me:  I gave her a cigarette and a fiver
 Peter:  shoulda raped a buck
 me:  That would have been rugged.  With antlers, I might have worn it's head
 Sent at 10:22 AM on Wednesday
 me:  I guess if that didn't impress you, maybe the fact that I saw a girl on the side of the road with a cardboard sign that read ' visions of a motel' will.
Which brings me to my next point.  This friggin skank was on the side of the parking lot in a crowded mall, and I mean a mall that is the only one of its kind for miles and that Canadiens actually drive to-from Canada-where everyone leaving the mall passes.  In terms of product placement, this is only second to the Lane Bryant (fat woman store) being wedged between cinnabon and sees candy.  I'm actually not making that part up.  Nor am I making the part up about the motel girl.  She wasn't bad looking either.  But she did look like another couple months of whatever program she was on would suck the last little bit of the red on her life-meter away.  You know, like Street fighter two?  Where each time you get hit the little life guage at the bottom dwindles?  I suspect a little meth would be like the turbo star, or a heart from Zelda, nudging it up a little for a little stint of invincibility.
Basically, I'm just a little humbled by the boldness of this move.  That's aggressive.  I think Pete would have respected me way more if I was like, "nah bro, no salmon.  But I did catch a down on her luck hooker at the mall."  But the best part was that I was there with Shelli's dad, who's like a biker guy from the bay.  He was 100% sporting an Oakland Raiders long sleeve tee shirt with a leather vest over it and a Hulk Hogan like silver Pony tail.  It occurred to me that he was an authority on the subject, so I was like, "Did you see that shit?  That chick had a friggin cardboard sign that read "visions of a motel" on it.  Is that solicitation?"  He replied, "Well, not necessarily.  She needs a place to stay and if she has to put out, she will."  Welp, guess that covers that.  Maybe I should do some more Christmas shopping?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

That's better

I don't know how long that took.  But my guess is about thirty minutes.  Went from feeling a little down and out of sorts to my old self again.  Sometimes these things happen.  If ever I'm a famous manic depressive this little episode will be a case study.  You know what else would make me feel better?  If the sound card or whatever infernal technological doohickery it is that makes a computer compute sound and play it coherently worked and I could listen to this coconut head marvel me with his rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.  If you haven't heard it, listen to it.  Stat.  If you have heard it, then I know you're gonna listen to it again.

You know, I kinda feel bad for calling him a coconut head.  But I think I'd feel worse if I edited it out.  So hopefully the more sensitive among you will take it in stride.  I mean, I'm a rock head and 99% are taking a coconut over a rock any day.  So it's not really an insult, right?  And whatever his coconut is made out of, he has a heart of gold and the voice of...Oh I don't know...A cross between Jesus and Fergie?

You know, I kinda feel bad about that F bomb I dropped in that last post too.  But I gotta tell you, this cold is kinda wearing on me.  I don't like being cold.  Even when I'm warm, I feel cold.  And I can't even listen to Eddie Murphy Party all the Time because of the computer.  Nor can I listen to the final countdown or Rebel Yell-acoustic version of course.  And now that I'm thinking about it, I wanna hear Everybody Plays the Fool by The Main Ingredient.  Well guess what?  Surprise surprise...

You're welcome.  But I still can't listen to it.

And on a candid note, can I share something without being judged?  I used to judge my dad harshly when he'd look at younger women.  I'd be like, "come on man!  Get it together!"  Welp.  I went to the mall to do some Christmas shopping today.  And when I say I went to do some Christmas shopping, I mean I went along for the ride to do some shopping with someone else.  I managed to dig up a couple hot wheels for the kids.  Anyway, now that I'm a washed up old guy, I noticed that the line between teenage and adulthood is blurred.  I mean, it's aggressively blurred, like trying to read an eye chart under water with no goggles.  So, sorry pops for being so judgmental. Well, not totally sorry.  I think you had some of the McNasty days living a little too prevalently till the end.  But I do understand somewhat.  And when I say somewhat, I mean I totally understand.

That's the sound that lonely makes

In this new and pleasing locale, it seems that my spirits sink with the sun.  The shadow world also shadows my inner light.  And I'm not sure what to do about it or how to cope.

Sometimes at night, I hear crying in my sleep.  And I wake up to find out it was me.  It's kind of odd that in this place that represents a very clear indicator of creation and beauty-two things that I'm high on-I can sink low simply because of the sun's setting.  It's as if I'm a child, playing peek-a-boo, and believing that when I can't see others, they can't see me, or in this case, that when I can't see the world, it ceases to exist.  It feels like I'm in a barren, arctic, moonscape when I hear the wind howl and my mind tells me I'm cold.  Without the illusion of familiarity, even that familiarity that is destructive, I am alien.

Among the last of my family, up here in Washington it becomes clearer that this is the last of my family.  I have no cell phone that functions, so I feel cut off from the world I know.  When I reach out to those voices that are so familiar and comforting, I feel only a vacuum.  No one here understands or appreciates my jokes and I even find my own sense of humor waning.  It is cold.  I can hear the wind.

But with the sun comes renewal.  A new day is a new life.  My life is meted out one day at a time.  Indeed, my life is measured with each breath.  Those breaths in the stillness of a peaceful day are like nirvana.  I understand Schopenhaur and his aesthetic contemplation in these breaths.  When I see this native land across the waters of the sound, I am quite free of will.

The moment, in these moments, simply is.  It isn't as if I want to eat the land, or roll around in it, or even take a picture.  On some instinctive level, I know that there really isn't anything I can do to enhance the experience.  It isn't like some drug or spirit, where a little more has more effect.  It is, in itself, the effect.  And it is sublime.

But then the punchline of the cruel joke is delivered at dusk.  Seriously, I don't know if it's because I'm out of contact with the world I thought I knew, or because I don't yet know the world I should, or the winter depression you hear about in Moscow and other northerly points.  I am becoming aware, though, of the erosion of what I thought was an indestructible optimism and permanently jovial attitude.  I am becoming like the water that swells and troughs with the wind.

But I am confident and even sure that this will help me.  That this will further hone a character and spirit that perseveres despite itself.  And one other thing, I need to get my hands on a piano.  Stat!

PS-This is just how I feel right now.  If any of you doubt that I'm down to get weak or that I still keep it po flo, mix in an email since you can't call me and I'll dominate whatever it is we're doing.  But seriously, the psyche is in the repair shop at this moment.  Maybe I need a drink or something.  Or a fucking heater!

Monday, December 19, 2011

From Padawan to Jedi

Up here in Washington, there is a lot going on and much to talk about.  I'm sure I'll put my memory to use and talk about some of it here in the days to come.  I need to take some pictures.  Or at least paint a picture with words about this place.  The kids need some attention too.  I could cover the food fight we were having at the table the other night.  I'm sure I'll get to the mental meltdown I had the other night listening to christmas music.  Right now I gotta talk about Shelli, mother of the year.

When I was younger, she baby sat me.  And even then she was very domestic and tidy.  She went through the rigorous training of my mom giving her the assignment for the day.  Mom was like Mr Miyagi, just giving unreasonable jobs for the young learner to do-as training for the years ahead.  As it turns out, my mom was pretty particular about how to get stuff clean.  For example, she had Shelli clean the windows with razor blades on the parts where windex wouldn't cut it.  And that was just the start.

It seems that the table was being set for a domestic super force mega vortex of cleanliness and motherhood  back in the late 80's and early nineties.  She has now reached the unstoppable black hole event horizon where no mess can escape.  It's funny that she was influenced by my mom in so many ways, but the household here is so much different than the one I grew up in.  It's as if the old adage of do what I say, not what I do actually worked.

I think a good example of her domesticity was yesterday, when her dad was like, "this is the type of weather for grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup".  He said this to me in a kind of wistful, and off handed way, like, it'd be sweet if Oakland won the superbowl.  Welp, six minutes later, 7 of the cheesiest, golden brown grilled cheese sandwiches were whipped up with tomato soup.  Unbelievable.  At least it was to me.

She is a force.  She gets it done.  She is Shell-tonia.  And she wins.  Her training is complete and she is now a domestic Jedi.  She wills soup and sandwiches to being... Impressive.  Most impressive.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Just when you thought it was safe...

It felt like the beginning of a horror movie.  Waking to the pleasant voice of Shelly, through the door of my room, where I lay in an overly comfortable bed after a restful sleep, I emerged to my new world.  At night, the scenery is a monochromatic and monolithic shadow world.  I had to accept the word of these who I'm staying with, that there was water beyond.  And that it is beautiful in the spring and summer.  I accepted their word that this town on the water-adjacent to the Puget sound-was the sleepy fishing village one would expect to see on the silver screen.

And so it was.  Moving through the house I enjoyed a panorama of water sights.  Every cardinal point in the house was the resting place of a window to this Pacific north-westerly world.  The overcast sky lit the home from every direction and all the while Shelly narrated new promise in this frontier.  It occurred to me that we had only just begun to live.  It was nearly comical, the feigned disappointment she would speak, with gems like, "I don't know if you like juices or snacks, but we only have snack like foods up here and some juices (she pointed to an over stuffed pantry with every manner of snacks and a branch of the Ocean Spray warehouse with every thirst quenching aid one could conceive of)..."  "Oh, and we have steaks and stuff too.  I don't know if you like steak."  And she'd say it all skeptical, like there was ever a question about whether or not I like steak.  Yes Shelly.  I think I'll be able to make due.

It felt like the beginning of a horror movie because everything was so perfect.  If this were on the silver screen-and rest assured that the town fits any prototype of a happy fishing town-we'd be waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Like she's showing me around and there is happy string music in the background, and then we get to this one house in the neighborhood and she's like, "But you can't go in there, or even look at that house.  The Jenkins family was massacred by a crazed shark-man hybrid and his portal to our world exists in their garage."  And I'd ask, "well, why don't we just destroy the house and garage?"  And she'd be like, "Uh, we really think their stucco guy did an excellent job and we don't want property values to go down.  Plus, not having that house there would throw the balance of the street off.  So just make sure that you don't look at it when you walk by.  Especially if you hear screaming from a little kid who tells you he just needs you to come and untie him from the hot water heater.  He got the Smiths like that last March..."

If you can't tell by now, I'm speaking ironically.  This place is friggin awesome.  When Shelly invited me up here, I made a point to not have any expectations about it and just be glad to have a trip up to see cousin Shell-Bell.  It turns out, however, that they have an awesome pad in an awesome area, and most importantly this is an awesome family.  Shelly's bona fides are not in question.  I've always known her to be overly sweet and my closest relative of my youth.  She is totally Po Flow and it would be reasonable to expect her husband and family to be Po Flow as well.  And there are really no surprises there.  Her old man, Richard is just a cool ass mellow dude.  His nature of just being the cool mellow guy compliments mine and Shelly's more extroverted nature well.  I'm not sure how long it will take for my exuberance to shift from being a compliment to a liability in his eyes, but for now it's complimentary.

And don't get me started on the kids.  And when I say don't get me started on the kids, I mean, 'by all means get me started on the kids'.  They are Trevor, Preston, and Kendall in descending ages.  Ken-doll is the youngest one at two?  He's just a little terror who is always smiling and up to no good.  It's hella funny how he'll just flagrantly  involve himself in retrieving things from around the house that he shouldn't and bring them to mom with a big ol smile on his face.  A Christmas ornament managed to unhook itself from the tree, work it's way into his hands, and from there he walked it to Shelly.  She says, "Kendall you know you're not supposed to have glass ornaments...(she says this in a voice completely devoid of any rebuke)".  And he just smiles the winningest smile any have likely seen lately, and hands it to her, palm open.  It's a gift Shelly!  Yay!  I've seen the kid scrub a few times and have yet to hear even the beginning of a cry.  Just a little man child who mixes it up and smiles a contagious smile that spreads quicker than a rumor.  One of the unique things about Ken-doll is that he has the eyes of a man.  In and on his face are wisdom, intelligence, and mischief.  But his mischief is playful, and the innocence of his young spirit is transparent as the summer water of the sound outside.

The oldest child, Trevor, is somewhat mild mannered and polite.  He was the first of Shelly's children that I saw.  I knew he was hers before I even registered his face or was told his name.  He looks like my cousin in a profound and creepy way.  If Shelly dressed as a boy when she was 13 years old, she would look exactly like Trevor.  In fact, back when she was thirteen in the eighties, I'm sure she did dress like a boy on a few occasions.  And I'm sure she looked just like Trevor.

The last of the kids, but certainly not the least is Billy Preston.  His name is just Preston, but I like giving nicknames and I liked Billy Preston so there you go...
Young Preston is just as lovable as his brothers and as polite as any, but has a sweet quirk of going a hundred miles an hour.  We could call this borderline ADD, but I prefer fully entrenched awesomeness.  The kids saw some of my art with a pen last night and Preston asked me to show him how to do it, or maybe I offered to show him once I saw how much he liked it.  Whatever the case, I gave he and Trevor an art lesson, Bob Ross style, where I took them form for form through a little sketch.  Preston was super eager and tried to maintain a lead on me, the one who was showing him what to draw.  I loved that he was trying to show off and sate his thirst for art with such abandon.  It was with the gentlest of urging that I got him to slow down and allow the lesson to proceed.

I love the kids.  I love my cousin and her old man.  I'm very encouraged by what I see up here.  I am restful in what I feel up here.  There will be more, for sure.  But for now, we are in the first act of this horror/thriller movie, where there are no horrors, but only the thrill of life in this familial paradise.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tis the season

It looks like it's that time of year again.  The Anderson brothers are having their mustache growing contest again, I've noticed that more and more I'm waking up cold, and the mad scramble has begun for me to figure out what I'm going to do with myself for the holidays.  And who with.

I use the term 'mad scramble' loosely.  What it really is is the holiday coming and going with plans on my part being neither made nor executed.  There are living relatives who live in the area, yet they remain elusive in the final quarter of these last few years.   If we were honest with each other, it kinda bums me out.  It's not a secret to any of my friends that I don't look forward to the holiday season since my parents died.  I've managed, however, to keep it in some box that's defined by the absence of my mom and dad.  There's actually more to it than that.

But the season isn't here to bum and I'm not here to blog anything bummy.  My long lost cousin Shelley invited my up to her pad in Washington state.  And I'm off on the 14th.  And I'm excited about it.  And it's with family.  Cousin Shelley was always very sweet and identified with my mom (who's name was Michelle.  Michelle, Shelley.).  I remember my mom once bleached her upper lip when Shelley was too young, in her mom's mind, to wax.  Pointless anecdote, except for the fact that my mom and she had a slightly conspiratorial relationship and mom was creative on her behalf.

Shelley used to baby sit me when I was younger because she used to stay with us.  And my mom and dad used to pay her pretty well, or at least it seemed to me to be pretty well.  I saw an Aerosmith video as a young kid, and when I say young, I mean like 6 or seven and I was trying to describe who the video was by to her.  She guessed Guns and Roses.

For 45 minutes, I thought 'Rag Doll' was by Guns and Roses.  Again, it's a pointless anecdote, but these and other things are the beautiful impressions I have of a loving family member in my oh so happy youth.  It reminds me of my parents to talk to Shelley again.  I hope that during my visit, I'll not only have fond memories of the past, but a lovely time meeting her new family and getting closer to the woman she has become.  And it's likely that my future self will be influenced positively by her present self the way my present self was influenced positively by her past self.  You can't step into the same river twice.

Oh, and this morning I'm helping yet another one cheat on her term paper for college.  Her identity will remain in confidence, but I'll let slip that she's angelic, an overachiever (maybe her eternal self will influence my temporal being to yada yada yada...), and she just whipped up chorizo and eggs for me so I'll be heading over to the pawn shop pretty soon to get her a nice ring.  She may be slightly coy, but everyone on the west coast knows that chorizo is the way to my heart.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bump city

I had an itch.  It was my car and it's refusal to play nice.  I found out that in addition to the water pump repair, I needed to replace the head gasket.  So, for those of you keeping track at home, I've spent about seven hundred dollars on this car that I still owe 800 on, is worth maybe 1500, and is gonna cost another rack to fix (thousand).  So, I don't know how you are at math, but in my world, when you add all of that up it equals a trip to Reno and a whole box of bad decisions.

Let's be clear here.  By the time I got back to Sac at six am and had sat on the porch for four hours without a wink of sleep and was wide awake, I made a pit stop at the nearest church.  I brought a helmet too.  Just in case.  But let's get to it...

My boy from the eighties, going back like atari and parachute pants, was like "hey Watts, let's roll to Reno.  On me."  I was like I'll go, but I'm about to be on Reno.  Now, this decision wasn't made with the same haste it sounds like.  It percolated for a good couple minutes before I said screw it.  And naturally an idea formed.  Ten bucks on ten games.  850 to 1 odds.  8,500 dollars.  Duh.  Ya, well it didn't quite work out that way.

We hit the road and stopped for party favors.  You know, hats and whistles and stuff.  Then we had an energetic trip to Reno.  About half way up the mountain, I was somewhat overcome.  I saw the trees passing by on the side of the road in a blur against the lazy progress of the farther mountains.  And this against the seemingly inert sky.  I got to thinking about perspective and relative motion.  I perceived mockery from the gods, who know so well the optimism of those who go up the hill.  From the King, I felt something else.  I still felt love.  And even this depravity was no surprise.

So I bumped into something and couldn't think straight.  It was looking like the bets were gonna have to wait. Walking through the casinos, I felt the anonymity of a thousand glances.  Between checking my pulse and surveying, I noticed no one would engage me.  I saw the story of these multitudes in quick glances, where a good looking guy would walk with his over weight girl with a pained expression.  It was written all over his face.  He didn't have to say a word.

And the girl who doesn't fit in with her friends that have seared their conscience to the point of being obstinate.  She was worried about abstinence.  And it was written all over her face.

The lonely men would bet when the hungry girls watched.  Months of Social Security can buy a smile.  These marionettes danced on their strings, but their wooden faces were painted on.

In the dark lights of a club, the girls would say hello.  Depending on their profession, they would discuss their favorite topics.  And their favorite topics revealed their profession.  The professionals would ask what you did.  They would ask if you were having a good time.  They were asking if you could afford to pay for a good time.  The others would share their preferences in popular music over drinks and lay backward across the bar.  Or they would rest their chin in their hand with a look of concentration normally relegated to math problems, feigning interest in the facade that each character hid behind.

But let me tell you, the facade at the Orchard club was painted by Picasso.  Though I resisted their charms outwardly, I found them uh...charming...and nice.  A pretty girl who could have been a hundred pounds sat next to me.
She said her name was Harley.  I said my name was Jenkins.  She laughed and said we were both using aliases.  I said something about the irony of being honest about lying about your name.  I called her closer.  She put her ear next to my mouth.  I told her, "Listen Harley, you seem really nice, so I don't want to waste your time.  You won't get a dime out of me.  But the guy next to you is unhappily married and loaded with cash.  And the guy next to him is completely unhinged, so don't push it over there."  Welp, she must have the scent down or something, because even though I was completely full of shit in my scouting report, she couldn't have known that and went straight to homicide McGee and talked him out of like three dances.  After all, they are professional.

One of them was more persistent.  I gave her the run down that I wasn't gonna buy a dance et cetera.  She asked if she didn't excite me.  She asked this more explicitly than that.  I told her good luck.  Annie May must have been Dirty Harry or something cause she was feeling lucky.  And I was appalled when she grabbed my junk.  But if I was honest with myself and everyone else, it did appeal to my more base instincts.

And then one of the gang, who by the way was the class of like 92 Christian Brothers, said he had to go home.  He needed a ride.  Offered money that it would later turn out was already spent.  I said I'd take him home.  We got up and I was humming a tune to myself.
I fell in love with like 4 or 5 or 12 or 22 strippers.  A good facade indeed.

I bumped into something again and had an energetic ride home.  The scene below the red lights haunted me for the ride home.  I was repulsed and intrigued.  The expressionless expression of this exhibition felt like so many mannequins, advertising their coverings and accepting the implication of emptiness.  I even caught Harley, when she wasn't talking to Unhinged, having a faraway look.  It was written all over her face.

So I left with my companion.  I bumped into something and had an energetic and reflective ride home.  And even now I wonder if and when I'll go back.

If you're wondering about the bets, I left before I made the hail mary, but the night before, we lost 2500 because some no talent ass clown on ASU couldn't catch a touchdown pass and it bounced off him and into a defender's hands in the end zone.  So, I don't want to talk about it.  I didn't place a bet, but I had a ticket for a bill in my hand on it that my buddy gave me.  I'll massacre everything.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Allahu Akbar

Ya so my car broke a few weeks ago.  We're ofer two with the foreign cars so far.  Anyway, I begged, borrowed, and begged some more to get an advance so I could fix the thing.  Welp, the ol' mechanic, Elvis, who is Mexican (I know, it's freaking awesome) gave me the good news, "jor car?  Eez new wadur pu-ump.  Buh joo have a know ther prolem?"  Head gasket.  Ya.  Sweet.  I drove it off, with a new water pump because everyone knows I can't pay for a head gasket repair.  And it broke down at a mosque in the back hills of Orangevale or something.  So...hopefully it won't explode when I go to get it.  Or, maybe hopefully it will.  My bad, that was insensitive.  I'm getting close here.  Getting close.  Don't push.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I can't even talk about it

No, really.  I can't even talk about it.  This is some risky business.  I kinda thought the freefall situation was situated a little and I'd have to change the name.  No chance.  The rip chord is just fluttering in my hands and a bunch of pots and pans are falling out of my pack.  This is really not recommended by the coalition of good gestures.  On a brighter note, I have another movie idea.

Not gonna get too far into it right now, but it involves a methy kinda guy in a trailer park and his life.  It's an interesting life.  Far more so than creative minds could devise.  It's gonna open with a quote, like in a narrative, with the guy saying, "The first time I bought cocaine in public was in Los Angeles, 1988...".  Boom!  Hooked, and it only gets better from there.  I really can't talk about some of the other stuff that's gone on.  But really, yikes!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mixing it in

Basically, I've neglected the portrait lately and so I'm gonna mix one in.  If you've been keeping up, and by keeping up I mean if you read the last post, then you know I have a job.  While the job is at this point drastically insufficient in terms of its monetary value, it is possibly the sweetest gig on earth.  And when I say the sweetest gig on earth, I mean it's the best job I've had outside of playing baseball.  Outside of playing baseball, I've had precisely two jobs in the last ten years.  One was working in a warehouse in the armpit of California, Fresno.  The other is at Image Health in Roseville California.  For any who are even remotely familiar with central and northern California geography, a fair comparison of the two jobs is the comparison between the two cities.  Fresno, a place that I have openly referred to as the dingleberry of California offered a similarly grand employment opportunity.  Roseville may not be Bel Air, but next to Fresno it seems like an all inclusive, paid vacation to a twelve star resort in the Bahamas.  Or a cruise around the world on an opulent and eccentric Russian billionaire's Yacht.  With the girls included.
Ya, next to Fresno, Roseville is something like that. 

And the job is pretty sweet too.  Apart from the perks, which include me dropping thirty pounds and building muscle that would have otherwise taken me four to six months and hundreds of dollars worth of supplements to acquire, I work with cool people and at the service of cool clients.  If you remember the post, 'A cut above the rest', my employment in Fresno began with me cutting my finger and getting eight stitches.  Somehow, it got worse every day after that.  I worked with a group of ten that had a collective IQ somewhere in the neighborhood of my bank balance.  Did I mention that I'm flat broke?  Ya, so the Fresno crowd didn't get jokes.  Nor did they crack jokes.  And they breathed out of their mouths.  The Image Health group are at least in triple digits for the most part and are generally a jovial bunch.  And things just keep getting better.

So my boss, Rachelle, who I have openly characterized as some mutant hybrid of Mother Theresa and Demi Moore has welcomed two of her children to town.  One of whom is a seventeen year old high school senior named Jacqueline who is very lovely and nice.  The other is a fifteen year old named Alex.  And this is where things get better.  After school, Rachelle drags the yard monsters to work where it would seem that my job (barring any pressing matters that have to do with the business we conduct at Image Health) is to hang with the young man.

This kid is a character.  Since my maturity level hovers somewhere in the pre-pubescent range of ten to thirteen, we get along well.  Before they came to town, Rachelle related an anecdote to me that pretty much summed up Alex's deal.  At a Subway sandwich shop, the kid saw a bearded old freak and asked this guy if he would take young Alex as his  padawan learner.  That's Star Wars for you commies out there who don't know great American cinema when you see it.  It's this kind of smart assedness that makes me feel at home with the youngster.

I don't think he is literally smoking any weed yet, but he has that stoner look to him.  And he has the kind of witty disposition that would otherwise make me suspicious of indulgence in the alternative medicine that makes us giddy and hungry.  I mentioned to Rachelle that I didn't want to be responsible for corrupting her young son.  She told me that it'd be more likely that he would corrupt me.  Well then.  I might have gone a little too far today when I told him that one of my old room mates tried to pay his rent by pawning off a hooker on me for his rent.  Don't worry, I didn't accept those terms and made clear to Alex my opposition to such licentious bartering.  I did relay my colorful response, however, and in hindsight it may have been better to edit the response.  I mean, the kids are from Utah, where there may be hooking, but I imagine it's the sanitized hooking that can only be found in the most conservative locales.  I hope the kid doesn't respond to his first proposition by telling the girl he wouldn't give a squirt of piss for her.

But I digress.  It isn't that there is really any tedium at this job at Image Health.  But whatever monotony there is is now lessened by the company of my bright eyed and fresh faced friend.  He doesn't have red hair, but I think ginger ale may be his new nick name.  BTW, we are gonna make a movie about some of the characters we deal with at Image Health.  Dancing Dan is for sure gonna be portrayed by Alex with a goatee sharpied in and a generous amount of flour across his face and chest area.  We're just thinking in rough terms at this point, but Dancing Dan is gonna be the staple of this piece of art.  And maybe I'll get Rondell to come and play Nike.  Oh, it's gonna be priceless.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Positive flow

You guys have been missing out.  And I've been a bit selfish.  There have been antics and mayhem going on that would for sure have been best served, or perhaps better served humanity if they were documented.  And it's all been positive flow.  And this is positive flow in the good sense, not Reynaldo and Stephen positive flow.  Or, as my bud Dev would say, "PoFlow neg".  Whatever the case, things are awesome at work.  Somehow, even though I'm being paid next to nothing, I find my job fulfilling and gratifying. 

It would be dishonest to suggest that the most major contributor to my feelings of optimism were anything other than myself, and my choice to just bring a better attitude to life.  However, there are some other factors at work.  Some of which were and are instrumental in my ability to bring my A game positive attitude day in and day out.  The chief factor among them is my boss, Rachelle.
Rachelle-second from the right
Now, it's true that she occasionally hacks into my facebook and leaves interesting updates.  Another glaring shortcoming of her's is that she rarely has seen the movie I use as a reference to make whatever pointless point I find myself trying to make.  And her most criminal offense may be the fact that even though she had a cameo in the movie "License to Drive", which is by any accepted standard, among the sweetest 80's movies there is, she hasn't seen the film.  Yet even so, she is a pleasure to work with.  I find that that's the most accurate characterization of our working relationship, that I work with her.  Even though she is the boss, and makes the rules, she is open to suggestion and easy to talk to.  I feel like we are a tag team when working together, and no matter how busy we may get, she keeps her cool and I find that the work gets done with high marks in quality and glowing reviews in customer satisfaction.  Truly, she is a treasure to Image Health.

I can't realistically recall and explain the antics that we engage in at work in any way that would do justice to the fun that ensues.  I can say, however, that she is not above laughing with me when I reference Gargamel from the Smurfs when selling a potential costumer on the phone.  Nor is she above rating my paper airplanes' when I beat the boredom by folding a piece of paper and tossing it across the office.  And it warms my heart to see she and the other mothers with whom I work dote on their children.  It reminds me so much of my mom and the way she talked about me to others.  Rachelle always has a ready ear, too, when I get nostalgic and reminisce on my parents and their antics.

Rachelle is not alone either.  When it comes to work, nearly everyone there has a unique contribution to the tapestry.  There's Helen, the laser hair removal woman who leases space in the office and is also my piano student.  She is another striking beauty with the physique of a nineteen year old girl and playfulness of a child, yet with the sharp wit and intellect of a radio talk show host.  She too brings her A game most of the time.

And Rudie, who I affectionately call the Image gnome, not because of his height, but rather because he is always there, like a lawn ornament.  He could be the most engaging person I've known, well, apart from Jason Randall, the Las Vegas magician who had legitimate mind control.  Rudie could sell snow skis to a quadriplegic that lives in the desert.  He was a client of my father's back in the day and always has a good story as well as some new insight.  He is a very smart man and quite curious about the world around him.  We love Rudie, but he'd better give me a pay raise sometime soon if he doesn't want to be skiing from his wheel chair.  Naw, I'm kidding.  But seriously Rudie, it's about time for an increase in pay.

Let us not forget Dirty Dan with the dancing hands on sometimes women but he prefers a man.  Dan is my counter part technician.  He hooks the men up to the machine when I'm not around and is also a Masseuse. He's not really dirty, but he told me his nickname in the 70's was dancing Dan.  And you know what?  It doesn't surprise me for a second.  Basically, when you look at Dan and think about him in the seventies, you know for a fact that he did boat loads of Coke.  And that he danced the night away is a certainty.  I could go into detail, but that basically sums it up.  I'm not saying he still does drugs, even though by the sound of things, his eagerness to talk would indicate that he starts every day with a little bump.  I'm sure it's just a quirk of character.

Not to drag it out here, but the other manager is a woman named Nike who looks like either Cecil Fielder or Mr. T.  Take your pick.  Oh, and apparently her store (the next one to open) will have Zebra patterns on the couches in the lobby.  I think I saw this before on Soul Plane.  No biggie, just a little cultural sensitivity.  And we just hired three more girls to help out with some of the duties at the new store.  All of whom are fun and pretty effing raw.  Rachel is an ex-marine who just gets it done.  Deandra is a sweetheart/angel with a ready laugh and a penchant for men with questionable character.  Sandra has a foul mouth and a bad attitude.  It's kinda strange, but I think I like it.  All the girls are very beautiful and full of character.  And they help the day go by in the blink of an eye.

So, don't for a second consider yourselves caught up.  Most of the stuff that's noteworthy is stuff that I can't even blog for fear of reprisals or consequences.  And the stuff that is blogable...I just didn't get into it.  But that's what I've been doing with my day.  And when I look back on the abortion that was the Fresno experiment, I think only good riddance.  I deodorized the arm pit of California by simply extricating myself.  Smell ya later Grizzlies.  And hello Roseville.  Good morning, Image Health.