Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Lawn maintenance

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pay Me in Chicken Wings?

Hello, friends. It's day 21 in the city of LA-la land. I know you're probably excited for me. Maybe a bit jealous, too. You thought you saw me on this TV show or that crazy funny movie? No, no, no. Or maybe you thought I wrote the movie? Again, no, it's not me in any of those situations. I mean, I've been offered a few non-paying internships. And that's awesome. Nothing like getting "paid in experience," or so that's how they put it. Maybe my landlord will accept getting paid in experience when the rent comes due. NOT!

From my list of achievements recently: I went to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles the other night. It was my first time. My excitement for the Roscoe's began some time ago. No reason, really. It's one of those crazy, kooky, touristy things people want to do because this big name actor or some musician said they loved it in some pretty-face magazine. I've been craving it for months, and finally got the chance to go - possibly the best day of my life, or so the stains on my pants led me to believe. I was until then ignorantly under the impression that black women have a certain affinity for yours truly. This might hold more credence in the recesses of Northern California, specifically in the small town from whence I came. And the standards I've set for this are low. For example, if you are a woman, regardless of race, and I smile at you and you smile back…I'm pretty sure you wanna bone me. And luckily for me, I love women of all colors, shapes, sizes and personalities. BINGO!

So I decided it was time to kick up the J-Man pimp juice. (Note: My girlfriend was with me and didn't believe I had the pizzazz to pull it off, mind you.) So we go inside at about 9 p.m. on a Saturday night. And we were the only white people there. Not usually a big deal, but this was a bit intimidating. We were unwelcome travelers in a forbidden land. Upon our entrance, the room quieted a bit, and the weight of the stares could be felt tugging noticeably at our shoulders – encouraging my genitals to tuck inside. Yet still I persevered. I'd made it this far, and my portliness prevented me from turning back now.

No turning back.

The decor inside is minimal. Nearly depressing, even. But the thing about Roscoe's is nobody goes inside for the ambiance. For God's sake, the place is centered in mixing greasy, deliciously seasoned dinner fare with a sweet, buttery breakfast classic. Oh, how I long for thee. The only decorations inside are photos lining the wall of all the celebrities who have frequented the establishment (I think there are five locations). People love fried chicken. I don't...usually. But I was assured by the waitress that the cooks "put a mean scald" on it, and I believed her. So I went with No. 13 - a succulent breast with a waffle.

Succulent, it said.

And I said, yup.

As might well be imagined, the succulent breast lived up to its expectation. It was a sizeable breast - fried crispy to deliciousness. The waitress, a powerful and confident woman, showed no give in my Round 1. A pleasant smile, she did not reciprocate. Flirtatious tone? Nope. But every time she came by, I kept at it. Next thing you know, she brings us our plates with a succulent breast (yes!), a waffle (woohoo!) AND an additional fried wing. Ladies and gentlemen, the fried wing was not part of the meal combo. Moreover, she delivered the plates with a slight smile on her face!

So, either she poisoned the wing, like many people have suggested (I've often been told it's easy to not like me) OR, and this is my opinion, she just couldn't resist the charm of yours truly. No matter which way you examine it, that chicken wing was yet another gift, bestowed upon me by the Los Angeles lifestyle. 21 days: Pay a man in experience, and he'll still be broke. Pay a man in chicken wings, and you've just made his day.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Memories of Camping

This is a little excerpt from something I've been working on.

But the thought of one-hundred foot flames licking the hillside, endangering those who live there is still a scary thought. It was windy and hot and dry. It was a beautiful day to be fire. Throughout the rest of the day it was more of the same: flashy lights, wailing sirens, smoke columns. Rinse and repeat. One column turned to two, then more. By evening all the individual columns, gray brown smoke crawling up see through cylinders, way high up until it hit the ceiling, had converged into one massive plume.

The area was thick with smoke. Campfire thick haze that makes eyes water, throats dry. Smelling that aroma brings back memories, kind of like gasoline. My mind always wandered to my preadolescent youth when my family would go camping. My mom, dad, brother and sister, me and grandma, we’d all load into the Buick station wagon, complete with wood panel siding. It was an ’83, and boy was it a dream. We’d usually head over to Patrick’s Point along with another car toting various aunts, cousins and whoever else seemed to have no specific plans that week.

After the three-, sometimes four-hour drive, we’d arrive at the overcast destination – a true oasis compared to the fry pan heat of the valley whence we came. The rides were made longer noting the cramped, hot breath dishevelment of the car’s interior. Dislodge an arm here, cross a leg there, sometimes the smallest person in the car sat on one’s lap, all for the sake of a getaway. During my later years, when the kids were older, and bigger, the inside of the car closed in at an unfathomable rate. Air conditioning reached my parents in the front seat; whistles and infrequent puff gusts occasionally made their way to the back seat. But nothing could be said of the “far back,” which wasn’t a seat as much as it was a storage area. Remember, this was a Buick station wagon. My childhood chariot.

Every time we needed to stop and go pee – which, by all measurable and rational standards was far too often – it was more of the same. Unfold, dip, tuck push and be pushed out the doors. For those in the far back, we’d have to wait until somebody, once they’d finally made it outside, felt the need to come around and swing open the squeaky corral door. We hot, sweaty kids (I was a chubby little guy) would then use finely-tuned skills of navigating through the honeycomb amalgam of tents, ice chest and suitcases – yes, suitcases – that my father proudly called “packing.” We’d run around, happy to be outside with real air. But too short lived those escapes were. A round of potty breaks and snacks later, it was back to the compacting reality of the weeklong getaway. Crimp, tuck roll and dive back into the car we went. Oh, great. It’s my turn to have somebody sit on my lap. Walls closing, chest tightening. Freedom only through the windows, which were restricting enough to make it all seem fake.

We all knew it was only a matter of time before Grandma called for Jesus music. As a youngster, I enjoyed the tunes. All the classics like “Old Rugged Cross” and “Amazing Grace” sung with the enthusiasm of an aging cow. Singing. Bopping around. La-lala-lala. This is what we’d do. But as time went on, and I rapidly approached the age of neuroses, I felt trapped under a boulder. Seeing glimpses of light and deafened by the car full of people singing with heartfelt vigor. The screams of feral cats in a fight had more talent then my cumulative family. But stop they did not – each singing more off tune than the previous. Even with that analysis, not once do I remember somebody, anybody, let loose an on-key note. Amazing, really.

The last camping trip we ever took, when I was 13 or so, was unforgettable. Stuck in the back seat, music screaming, luggage numbing my stocky legs, I felt something. Heart racing, chest tightening. Sweat glands operating at capacity. Then a slow trickle, up, not down, starting at my stomach. The burning ice-picked its way up my chest, into my throat. And it burned. I wanted to cough, but I couldn’t. My mouth, salivating now, smacked sugary with the unpleasant aftertaste of the afternoon’s soda.

“It’s getting really hot back here. Can somebody roll down the window?”

Grandma, who until then was in a quiescent trance, seemingly content, asleep on a pillow wedged between the door and her seat, would pop up, frantic. Back up went the windows. Apparently the wind coming in – the cool, refreshing breath of life - messed her hair. But her hair’s already messed up from laying on the pillow, I thought. Apparently, I wasn’t allowed to think. Back to lala land went grandma.

“Mom,” I said. Fa-lala-lala. Nobody seemed to hear. “Mom!” this time louder. Down with the music.

“What is it?”

“My throat’s burning. It hurts.”

“Well, you probably just ate too fast, or got too much air when we stopped.” Up went the music. Fa-lala-lala.

“Mom, I’m going to die. You’re killing your own son!” Everybody in the car laughed.

Finally she grabbed some Tums from her purse and told me to chew them. “This’ll help,” she said. So I chewed. One froth crunch after another, I chewed. And it bubbled. The bubbles brought to mind a slide recently shown in science class of a dog with rabies. I panicked.

“You gave me rabies. Mom, I have rabies!”

“You are such a little pansy sometimes. You’ve just got a little heart burn. Chew those and wash it down. You’ll be fine.”

At the time I wasn’t aware hearts were supposed to burn. All I had to wash down the sludge sticky mess was the remainder of the afternoon’s cola. Warm, watery sweet and tangy. “Why are you sweating so much?”

Eventually we’d make our way to the destination. Tuck. Roll. Free. Well, free until my dad called on us to unload the heap of crap from the wagon’s hindquarters. Out came tents and ice chests and no less than three bags for each of the women present, chock full of changes of clothes, make up, battery-powered curling irons and the like. Meantime, somebody would start a fire. Or try to start a fire. A lot of work went into snake charming one consistent flame out of a pile of used napkins and small sticks we found near the campsite. But once that fire got-a-roarin’ we knew we were in for a treat. It was no secret what I looked forward to. I was 13 and pudgy. S’mores. The iconic treat.

Wood cracking, log rolling, parents quarreling over what to make for dinner, children sitting fireside, marshmallow-mounted sticks in hand, screams of teenagers partying a few sites away, sun setting through the clouds, another log on the fire, the captivating prowess of blue orange flames, bigger and bigger yet, licking up and away from the log, reaching for something but never quite making it there, the taste of stirred up dirt on your teeth and piney smoke, made sweeter by the roasting, and often charring of puffy sugar on a stick: this is what camping meant, and this is what I thought about as I watched the land I knew eaten by something with a years-long appetite.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Not a political blog, but...

As you well know, this is not a political blog. However, the following video is a verifiable joke. Sure, the message they intended to pass along wasn't a joke. But the logic surely is. Whether Democrat or Republican, Christian or Atheist, you should all have a watch.

Just listen for the following:

  • The guy sitting down wearing the glasses, pretty much choking on whatever Constitutional Party member's dick he can jam in his mouth. Yeah, that guy. He makes a ton of sense.
  • Whenever the next guy says "marketing." One could easily make this a drinking game - one that even the most weathered alcoholics would find difficult.
  • Listen also when the same guy says "pull your children out of college. They are being brainwashed." Which totally makes sense. This is a 50year plan set by the Communists half a century ago. So it only makes sense that every professor at every college in the US and its territories is obviously succumbing to the Communist Manifesto.
  • When the camera lady calls to "Burn the books!" Really? That's retarded. Not stupid, not ignorant. Retarded.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's been a while...

Seriously. It's been darn near three months since my last post. WTF? I'm not really sure why, but many of you are still reading this, and some of you are still leaving comments. And that's awesome! So, thank you. I don't see any form of logic, but I also have twice as many RSS subscribers and more than double followers of my blog than I did Jan. 21, my last post. So I guess I owe you a pretty good explanation. Honestly, there have just been a ton of things going on (not unlike any of you, I can assume). All that malarkey led to an unintentional hiatus. But just for your pleasure, and to make you think I've been doing lots of cool, interesting things that will ultimately benefit humanity, I've taken the time to recount my recent doings/thoughts/dreams.

Most recently, I fractured a rib. I'd like to say it was due to a valiant doing - saving children from burning buildings or defending the honor of a young lady. But it was much less impressive. As part of my "Mission: Get Hot" get-fit-for-summer regimen, I've been playing in a softball league. And let's be real, I'm pretty darned good. But the fields are that outdoor carpet/astro turf nonsense, and that shit tears you up if you slide on it. Just ask my legs, they've felt the road-rashing sting many a time. So as I was running to 2nd base I knew I didn't want to slide. But out of my peripherals I saw a large white mass, quickly increasing in size and proximity to my head. As I ducked, I made a last-minute decision to slide head-first. But the additional layer of astro turf surrounding the base had other intentions. My toe caught the lip of the material and instead of a graceful slide, I tripped and curled and fell - my knee tucked into my chest. I landed on it and smashed my ribs into my lung. Laying there struggling for breath I reached for the base (yes, I beat the throw), but the fielder, seeing me in a state of pain and pity, tagged me. I was out. And I hurt. On top of it all, I still got road rash on my leg. Case in point: Damn me for trying to be active.

My walkway as of late has been a traveling highway (think intersection of 405 and 101 in LA) for snails. Them shits is ever'where. And the walkway is dimly lit, so in late-night excursions I seem to crush one of the little buggers almost nightly. I feel terrible, but man, they move so freakin slow - which got me thinking. These snails seem to move caravan style. Slowly cruisin from point to point. Time means nothing to them. So thinking about how slow they move, wouldn't it be funny if they suffered from premature ejaculation? And yes, snails do hump. Think about it, just listen to this conversation I taped between two snails:

-Guy Snail: Damn, baby. I've been trailin your fine ass all across the lawn.
-Lady Snail: Hehehe. I know you have. You're marginally faster than the other guy snails.
-GS: When I saw your slime trail I just had to get me some of that.
-LS: Oohh, you know how to treat a lady. What say we consummate?
-GS: We on the same page now. (slowly scoots up to the lady) Yeah, just let me get, yeah we doin' the dirty snail now (.3 seconds later) Oops, I'm done.
-LS: Oh, that was it? I'm gonna have like 100 snail babies, and all I got was that?
-GS: It took me two days to hunt you down and less than a second to show you what real snails are made of.
-LS: I guess. Do you have a smoke?
-GS: Nah, but there's a little dish over there filled with beer. Let's party!

Is it just me or would life be a lot simpler if we were snails?

I also have been having business ideas - what I perceive to be savvy, multi-million-dollar making ideas. For example, there are wine bars everywhere. Chances are you've probably seen a tequila bar. But where I'm from there are no whiskey bars. And I like my whiskey. So, instead of opening a bar dedicated to whiskey, I want to hold an annual (or monthly) event called the Whiskey Dick Social. People just come and get fucked up off their favorite whiskeys. I haven't thought of a prize or way to judge a winner, though a few obvious thoughts have crossed my mind...

This is getting a little long, so I'll pull some more random crap out in the next post.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My Grandma

I love my grandma. Who doesn't, right? But grandma can be a bit of a bully sometimes. It's like she does things sometimes just to see how much of a rile she can get out of somebody. I'd say it annoys me, but I do the same thing. I just now know where I get it. But grandma's hit a rough streak lately.

New Year's Day, she comes over for dinner with the rest of my family. Meekly, she lets out that she got a ticket earlier that day. My mom, cousin and I tried to get out of her what kind of ticket it was:

mom: Mom, what happened?
grandma: I was just driving down the road and I saw the lights behind me.
cousin: Were you speeding, Grandma?
gram: The officer walked up and I said, 'Oh, hello officer. I saw your pretty lights in the mirror. What can I do for you?
me: Seriously?
gram: He asked me for all my papers. I didn't know where to find them. Honey, I don't know these things.
me: Your license and registration?
gram: Yeah. I Showed him these (pulls out a stack of papers). But he said my insurance wasn't in there.
mom: Do you have insurance?
gram: Of course I do! I, well, yeah, I think I do. I paid it last month.
me: Where's your card?
gram: Huh?
me: Your insurance card. Isn't it with your registration?
gram: I don't know. I gave him these.
me: (shuffling through the papers) Gram, these are all old receipts.
gram: Huh?
me: Kohl's receipts. And a Taco Bell receipt, from...2006.

So we finally get out of her that she got a fix-it ticket for no proof of insurance, though he could see that her car was insured. Then this last Thursday, I got a call about 5:45 p.m.

gram: Honey, I've been in an accident.
me: Are you alright?
gram: I'm fine [brief pause] but Ernestine, they're taking her away on a stretcher.

At that point I grabbed the mom and headed down the road. Of course, it had to happen at a busy time of day. And of course, it had to happen at one of the most congested intersections in town. We arrive to quite the scene - two ambulances, four police cars and a fire engine. Luckily, nobody was seriously injured, but we took her to the ER, just in case.

me: [in the ER, waiting for the doc to come back with CAT scan results] What happened gram?
gram: I don't know. We were just going down the road and all of a sudden a big boat of a car stopped right in front of us!
me: Was it moving, or was it already stopped?
gram: I don't know, sweetie. Me and Ernie, we were just so high on Jesus. Singing his praises, then that BOAT appeared. Did you see how large it was? We should have slid underneath it.

I saw the other car. It was a Toyota Prius. Not a big car by any means, and certainly no bigger than grandma's car.

So grandma has been staying with us for the past week. You can have a conversation with her, talking right to her face and she will always reply with, "what?" or "Who?" or, my favorite, "eh?" But when she's 30 feet away, in a different room, and you whisper something about her, she can sure hear that. Silly grandma.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fat chance, wise guy

I got the following diddy from I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing my degree in English doooooesn't weigh in very heavily. Check it out.

I only read the first five paragraphs. Then I beat myself up for not applying. English degrees are totally useful. I can decipher hidden codes in foreign and historical documents. I could do all types of fantastic things, but maybe I was meant to serve my country in the 2012 reelection. By then, the admin will be a little more established, hopefully some sanctity will resume in the'll be the perfect time for me to jump in with a life-changing idea like, I don't know, legalizing stereotypes or reading our funny, sometimes underrated humor blogs, or something great like that. Just you wait, fellow bloggers. Just you wait. Until then...

From Kate Bolduan and Larry Lazo

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- When George W. Bush became president eight years ago, about 90,000 people applied for jobs in his administration. That's about a quarter, however, of the people who are looking for a way into President-elect Barack Obama's administration.

The count: Over 350,000 resumes have been submitted online, according to the Obama transition team. The problem is there are only an estimated three to four thousand jobs available.

Some federal employment specialists say the record number of applicants can be attributed in part to the current state of the economy.

"A lot of people want to work in a stable environment" says Kathryn Troutman, founder of The Resume Place. "They really don't know where else to go to look for a job that's stable and steady and would have potential -- so I think the economy is one thing."

But many experts say the record number of applicants is primarily a reflection of Obama's overwhelming appeal.

That's why Loryn Wilson uploaded her resume to

"I definitely feel the call to serve and to do something that is directly related to causes I care about," she said.

Wilson is a recent graduate of The George Washington University in Washington. She has a bachelors degree in English, and speaks enthusiastically of working for the new president.
Video Watch more on the Obama application process.

"I would actually like to work for the press secretary or the communications director. Ideally I'd be working on the White House side or maybe working for Michelle Obama in her communications shop," she said.

The flood of applicants aren't just college graduates. People at various stages of their professional lives are taking a long hard look at federal jobs.

"I think my understanding of the United States as a society, as a culture, as a government, as an interest -- the national interest of America, as well as my understanding of the Arab world and the Muslim world -- I think I can be a bridge that will help," said Fadel Lamen, a seasoned professional who specializes in Middle East affairs.

Lamen envisions himself working at the State Department or at the White House.

Though Lamen and Wilson have yet to been called by the Obama team, they say they are hopeful.

An Obama transition team spokesman said a team of 50 people is dealing with the applications. The resumes are put into a database, allowing the team to search by specific experience, expertise and qualifications for a particular position.

Troutman says people interested in finding work with the Obama team should apply on, but she suggests broadening their search.

"I do think you should focus the resume toward an agency or a position that you're interested in so that it's easier for the [transition] team. But then as soon as you're finished with that I'd go to USAJobs and look for the competitive positions so you can begin the campaign," Troutman added.

As America prepares to enter a new era with a new president, people like Lamen say they want to be part of it.

"We're opening a new page. What we write in this new page is going to be very important. And I think the American people want to be participants in the new chapter," Lamen said.