Monday, May 21, 2018

A Treasure Within the Pages

Every year the Griffith Park Senior Center of Los Angeles hosts a spring fair. It features craft booths, live music, dancing seniors, baked goods for sale, plants for sale, food trucks… and my favorite, the coveted book sale.

Hundreds upon hundreds of books are offered at prices so low it’s criminal. Hard covers are $1.00 each and paperbacks are $0.25 each. The books are all organized according to category for easy shopping. Hardcover Novels. Paperback novels. Mysteries. Biographies. Music. Reference. Cookbooks. Etc.

As a bookaholic I can barely sleep the night before the fair, knowing that the next morning I will be searching the shelves for books to add to my already extensive reading collection.

This year I bought 12 books for a whopping $7.50!

Every year, the first thing I do is make a beeline to the cookbook section. I love collecting cookbooks, and yes, I do make meals from the recipes I find in the books. This year I added three cookbooks and one wine book to my vast collection.

I then moved to the paperback novels.

As I perused a paperback of David Guterson’s Snow Falling on Cedars, I noticed between pages 188 and 189 a piece of canvas with what appeared to be a painting on one side. Had I found a treasure within the pages that could possibly be worth a fortune?

Here is a photo of the lovely painting:

It’s 4 inches by 3 inches.

On the back written in pencil is:

To: David
From: Brad

B-day ‘95

Frame it!

From Artist in Mexico

Will I someday be on Antiques Roadshow and be told my little find is a long-lost masterpiece from a famous Mexican artist?

Well... David didn’t frame it. He apparently used it as a bookmark, and apparently stopped reading on page 189.

I think the painting is beautiful. It makes me smile. It also makes me want to make a fruit smoothie.

David’s loss is my gain.

I will definitely frame it, and when anyone comments how much they like it, I will have a tale to tell about how it came into my hands.

Who knows? Maybe Brad is reading my blog and will recognize the painting he gave his friend, or maybe David is reading my blog and will recognize the painting his friend gave him.

One thing for certain is that it’s mine now, and they’re not getting it back.

I love art.

As for Snow Falling on Cedars… I promise to read past page 189.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Deviled Eggs and Me

Some people fear clowns.

Some people fear spiders.

I fear deviled eggs.

My body tenses and my taste buds scream “Noooooo!” every time I see a tray of deviled eggs.

When I watch people savoring a deviled egg and raving how delicious it is, I have to excuse myself and leave the room before nearly succumbing to dry heaves. There’s something about deviled eggs that ignites my sense of fear in the worst way possible.   

I have never put a deviled egg in my mouth, so my taste buds don’t know what a deviled egg is supposed to taste like. I just know having a deviled egg near my mouth is out of the realm of possibility.

I can only imagine that in a previous lifetime I was captured and tortured by an enemy and force-fed deviled eggs until I told my tribe’s secrets.

Or maybe in a previous lifetime I entered a deviled egg eating contest and stuffed so many deviled eggs down my mouth that I choked to death.

Or maybe in a previous lifetime I ate a bad deviled egg and got food poisoning that killed me with a painful gut wrenching slow-motion death.

I looked up the basic ingredients of deviled eggs and love them all.

I often eat hard boil eggs for breakfast and enjoy them with a slice of sourdough toast.  

I truly love mayonnaise and have enjoyed kinky dreams about mayonnaise.  

I have indulged many times in many kinds of mustards, from French’s to Grey Poupon, and like mayonnaise, have often dreamed quite the dream where mustard plays a main role.

Paprika is a favorite spice, along with pepper, so it’s definitely not the spices.  

It’s just all of them together and I want to gag.

I’ve never confessed my fear of deviled eggs to anyone before. All my deviled egg making friends have no idea I’ve never tasted their eggs. I’ve always politely declined their offer with “I’ve already eaten and cannot eat another thing” or “I’ve already had one and wow, it was the best deviled egg I’ve ever had.”

I cannot lie anymore.

Maybe in this lifetime my life’s journey is to reconcile my fear of deviled eggs. If so, then I am going to need Divine Intervention to get a deviled egg past my lips.

Until that happens, #NoDeviledEggs is my favorite hashtag.


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Unfortunate Incident In the Gym Locker Room

If you saw someone coming out of the bathroom with a long piece of toilet paper stuck to their shoe would you tell them?

If you saw a woman coming out of the ladies room with the back of her skirt stuck in the top of her pantyhose would you tell her?

If you were meeting with someone and they had a large piece of spinach stuck to their front teeth would you tell them?

If that was me, I’d surely want someone to tap me on the shoulder and whisper my faux pas. Sure, I’d be mortified and embarrassed but it’s better to have one person notice and tell you than a large group laughing at you behind your back.  

Recently, I had an unfortunate incident in the gym locker room where I had to decide whether or not to tell someone something that was embarrassing for them, and in this case, a delicate situation.

After finishing my gym workout, I headed into the locker room. As I approached my locker, I saw an older man whose locker was next to mine. His back was towards me and he was naked, bending over to grab his towel out of his gym bag. I immediately noticed hanging out of his wrinkly ass was a long piece of toilet paper. It surprised me. I mean, how people do you see in a locker room with toilet paper hanging out of their ass?

Others around noticed, and I could see the concealed laughter.  
I figured he’d wrap the towel around himself as he headed to the showers, but that didn’t happen. He walked across the room holding his towel and as he walked, the piece of white toilet paper was like a tail wagging from his jiggly wrinkled ass.  
I saw someone point to him giggle and that’s when I jumped into action. I bee-lined to the man and tapped him on the shoulder and whispered, “Hey man, you have a piece of toilet paper hanging out of your ass.” He let out a little gasp and immediately reached behind himself, but in that gesture, he didn’t quite find it.

I said, “It’s still there.”

He backed up against the wall to hide his ass from view. I had no reason to stay so I told him to have a nice day and I left.

The next day when I saw him, there was an awkwardness when he saw me. He didn’t know how to react, and I didn’t know if I should make light of it and say something like, “Hey man, did you ever get that piece of toilet paper out of your ass?”

I couldn’t. I didn’t.

Instead, I just said hello, and continued on my way.

(true story)

© 2018 Michael Coscia

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Saga of the Ungrateful Millennial

I was born at the end of a rainbow
A millennial child with a great gift of self
Mommy and Daddy said I was so perfect
They put a trophy of me on their shelf

I was given a gold star for going to school
In every contest I entered I was given a prize
I get what I want and I always want more
My star shines brightest in my own blue eyes

I am special
I am special
I am special, damn it!

I love me
You love me
Everybody loves me
Me, me, me, me, me!!!

I joined the work force to be living my dream
I expect a great title but never expect me to work
My boss keeps demanding I do what he says
Telling me I’m an ungrateful millennial jerk

But… I love me
And you… you love me
And everybody… loves me
Me, me, me, me, me!!!

Mommy and Daddy told me to quit
I’m too good for that job and that horrible boss
They said I don’t need to work for someone like him
He is jealous of me so it’s truly his loss

I am special
I am special
I am friggin’ special, damn it!

© 2018 Michael Coscia


Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Underwear Art

I was roaming downtown Los Angeles recently and found myself in the Arts District feeling all artsy fartsy. All I needed was a beret, a paintbrush, a blank wall… and some talent… and I would have created quite the art piece. But alas, I had no paintbrush and I left my beret at home.  

Walking through a corridor I looked up and saw clotheslines strung with various styles of white underwear. It brought me back to childhood when mothers hung their “unmentionables” on clotheslines because they were too “delicate” to be put in the dryer.

I saw thongs, boxers, briefs, and boxer-briefs dangling above me.

What kind of art installation had I stumbled upon?  Was there some socio-political message being subliminally sent via the underwear?  

Whatever its message, it got me wondering how this happened.  

I decided it was a group of art-minded hipsters gathered together and instead of doing a flash mob with a song, they removed their underwear in unison and hung it on lowered clotheslines and cheered as their undies were raised up. I decided what they did was a liberating experience, freedom from the confines of underwear constrictions, a political statement of sorts.

I suddenly had an urge to remove my underwear which got me thinking… Wouldn’t it be great if I copied the idea but made mine interactive?

This is what I’d do:

I would hang clotheslines across Hollywood Boulevard, high enough so they would not be hit by any tall trucks. On the clotheslines I would hang my underwear: white briefs, black briefs, red briefs, blue briefs, and boxer-briefs, too. I would also include my treasured collection of multi-colored jockstraps (red, yellow, blue, and white).

I would name the installation Underwear Revealed… Boxers or Briefs… Or Not?

At designated times each day, new clothesline would be added for passersby to step out of their underwear and proudly have theirs hung with mine. It would be the ultimate underwear performance art!

Because it’s Hollywood, it would certainly generate the interest of celebrities who would make public appearances adding their undies to the ever-increasing clotheslines. I foresee underwear hanging above Hollywood Boulevard for as far as the eyes could see...

Aah…  Inspiration… Damn, I love art.

Mother was right when she said never leave home without clean underwear.  You never know when you’ll get the urge to take it off.