Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Here Comes The New Year

Oh damn, it’s the end of the year when everyone’s gonna make new year resolutions we all know they’ll never keep. As the clock strikes midnight people will stumble tall and proud and loudly slur their new year intentions for everyone to hear.
For those who promise to do physical transformations I think we should do photos at the beginning of the year and then at the end of the year to document if they really do do what they say they will do. And next year the before and after photos can be their Holiday Greeting Card.

For those who promise behavior changes I think we should follow them with webcams throughout the year and record them in action, and then post their progress, or disgrace, all over the Internet.

I don’t know about you but I’m tired of hearing my friends say:

I’m gonna hit the gym at least three times a week.

I’m gonna finally lose the weight I gained over the holidays.

I’m gonna stop swearing.

I’m gonna be more tolerant to idiots.

I’m gonna stop being a whore.

I’m gonna only drink on the weekends.

I’m gonna give up eating junk food.

I’m gonna do monthly colonics.

I’m gonna have that tattoo removed.

I’m gonna learn how to swim.

Blah, blah, blah...

Last night I was lying in bed laughing about silly resolutions when I looked up into the mirror and thought, “Oh fuck, this holiday season I’ve gained another inch on my waist and my gym membership’s about to expire and oh hell, I can’t believe that idiot Sarah Palin has a best selling book and that Tiger Woods is a fucking whore hound, and oooh those vodka martinis Monday night were too damn good, and that KFC extra crispy chicken tonight made me gassy and constipated, and why did I ever get that mistletoe tattoo around my johnson, and now it’s way late and I’d better turn off the porn and try to get some sleep, and I hope I don’t have that nightmare tonight where I’m drowning in a sea of doom."

Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ooh Ooh Aah Aah

News stories of the “strange but true” never cease to amaze me. I get a total kick reading them, and sometimes they bring back a memory or two.

This past week I read with piqued interest about the married British couple who’s been issued a court-ordered ban on their noisy lovemaking sessions. Catherine Cartwright and her husband Steve are so loud when they succumb to the passions of the flesh that neighbors describe the noises as “murder” and “unnatural,” with the city council saying the noise registered 47 decibels. Wow.

Okay... either Steve has special talents that belong in the Guinness Book of World Records, or Catherine has an overly active and overly sensitive kitty cat, or they both love putting on a show.

I remember a few year ago having the same problem with neighbors who lived above me. They were like clockwork; every morning at 3:50 AM she would start moaning, actually gasping for air, and then her voice when get higher and higher and louder and louder. She was a chorus of “ooh, ooh, aah, aah” until she reached that moment of surrender with ear piercing glassing shattering noise. Not even the Tabernacle Choir could reach such high notes.

The first night I woke up thinking the fire alarm had gone off.

The second night I got... well... I... enjoyed the rhythm... Aaah.

The third night I was really tired and cursed their overactive loins.

The fourth night I was still tired from the night before and had had enough. When Marcy finally screeched her orgasmic shrill cry of freedom, and Johnny grunted and groaned and finished bouncing on top of her, I opened my bedroom window and applauded them; not once; not twice; but a standing ovation kind of applause.

Marcy laughed. Johnny grunted, “What the fuck, man?”

I slammed my window shut.

The next day in the hallway they avoided eye contact.

They moved shortly thereafter.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

He's the Pimple on the Ass of Life

Joe Lieberman: The Pimple on the Ass of Life.

Senate leaders need to strip him of his chairmanship and seniority, and the people of Connecticut need to make sure he never wins another election.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Murder I Thought...

It’s the holiday season and during this time of forced gaiety we try our best to spread good will and good tidings to all. Sometimes it takes a few glasses of spiked eggnog to get us in that holiday mood and sometimes all the spiked eggnog in the world cannot remove the evil thoughts that lurk inside our otherwise sane minds when someone truly pisses us off.

This week I read with disbelief about the 98 year old woman who murdered her 100 year old Nursing Home roommate. The murderer used the plastic bag over the head technique to strangle, suffocate, and end her roommate’s life. Why did she do this? Something about a table at the foot of a bed blocking a direct path to the bathroom.

This got me thinking about some of the things that have really pissed me off... that made me think, momentarily, about inflicting serious and deadly pain. Luckily for the person bothering me that small wee little voice in the far corner of my mind shouted in the nick of time, “Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Death is not the answer. You’re too cute for prison!”

Here are some of those situations that could’ve ended badly, but didn’t.

When the girl behind the counter at the coffee cafe chose the smallest scone for me when it was clearly the smallest on the tray.

When the Chinese restaurant sent white rice in my delivery order when I specifically asked for brown rice.

When that D-list bitch actress re-gifted me a gift she received from a goodie bag she got at a fundraising event I produced. (Merry Christmas!)

When my friend was so late picking me up that we missed seeing the previews and got in our seats just as the movie was beginning.

When the security guard at the airport threw out my new tube of toothpaste (cinnamon flavored!) because it was more than the allowed amount.

When the mailman put my mail in my neighbor’s mailbox and my neighbor opened my personal letter and saw the “photograph.”

When that old geezer with the pot belly at the gym didn’t wipe his smelly sweat from the Nautilus machine.

When the fat man in the red suit and white beard shouted the weakest most pathetic high-pitched “Ho, ho, ho.”

All I can say is, “Funny the people you meet when you don’t have a gun.”

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Oh Jesus

This week I read an interesting tidbit about a Massachusetts woman who had a divine revelation. No, a bright light didn’t shine before her and speak in a deep voice telling her the winning lottery numbers. What she did see was the image of Jesus on the bottom of her iron. She interpreted this as a sign that “life is going to be good.”

Here’s the photo of the iron with Jesus on the bottom looking rather rusty, but still divine: This has gotten me thinking about the time that I too saw the face of Jesus staring right out at me from the most unexpected place. It sent shivers through my body and has remained a life-changing moment in my life. Father O’Brien would be so happy to hear this.

It happened one morning not too long ago when I took a hike in the park and stopped by the small cafe for a coffee and scone, a blueberry almond oat scone to be exact. I was sipping the organic brew and enjoying the beauty of nature that surrounded me when a bee flew too close for comfort. I swatted it with all my might but the little buzzer flew away.

I then grabbed my half-eaten scone and that’s when I noticed something... something that seemed to be looking back at me... was it the bee I just tried killing... no, it wasn’t... was it something the baker accidentally baked into the scone?.... no, it wasn’t... it was something that had a power, an energy... it mesmerized me, pulling me to it... I leaned closer and closer into that blueberry almond oat scone...

I looked. I blinked. I looked again. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

There in the nooks and crannies of my chewed scone was the face of Jesus.

Aaah... I heard a choir of angels singing as sweet as a flock of pigeons.

I don’t know how long I sat there staring at Jesus in my scone, but it was a feeling I will never forget.

Then that goddamn bee came back and knocked my out of my Jesus trance. Buzz, buzz, buzz... I knocked that thing senseless. Dead.

Then I heard my stomach growl, and without thinking I grabbed the scone and ate Jesus. I swallowed him and washed him down with gulp of coffee.

I took this as a profound sign that next time I need to sit inside the cafe.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Alabama Here I Come

Next week I’m off to northeast Alabama to do research for a film project I’ve been hired to write. I’ve never stepped foot on Alabama soil before and am quite excited to breathe the air, be in awe of the beauty of the Little River Canyon, and enjoy the southern charm.

Geographically the closest I’d ever been to Alabama is Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Did you know...

The state bird is the Yellowhammer.

The state tree is the Longleaf Pine.

The state flower is the Camellia.

The capital in Montgomery.

The oldest city is Mobile.

I could brag and say my high school geography teacher would be proud that I’ve retained this information, but seeing it’s been years since high school and Mr. Griffin was ancient back then, I am quite confident he’s probably dead, and if he were still alive he’d be too old to even care what I retained or not. (True confession: I got the info off of Wikipedia.)

In order to get into that Alabama spirit I’ve been listening to songs with “Alabama” in the title:

Alabama Song by The Doors.

My Home’s In Alabama by Alabama

Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Sweet Home Alabama where the skies are blue... Here I come...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Must Be Santa

It’s that time of the year when everyone blows the dust of their Christmas CDs and plays those holiday ditties ad nauseam. How many lame versions of “White Christmas” do we have to endure before someone (me) screams, “I don’t want a white Christmas! I want it green. I want it hot. I wanna be sitting by the chlorinated pool in my holiday speedo sipping a pomegranate martini. I hate the cold and snow!”?

Maybe I’m the minority here, but the fantasy of a white Christmas is not the reality of a white Christmas. Believe me I’ve survived many a white Christmases with shoveling snow, shivering temperatures, chapped lips, and chattering teeth. It’s not pretty.

With the holidays quickly approaching I brace myself for the onslaught of media madness and merry and maudlin music, and to my pleasant surprise I’ve come across a new Christmas song; one that didn’t make me block my ears with a bah humbug groan. I actually loved it and laughed and felt a pang of holiday spirit coursing through my warm weather veins.

It’s Bob Dylan’s soon-to-be-classic “Must Be Santa” and it’s gonna be my favorite Christmas song this year. Here’s the video in all its Santa glory... betcha you’ll be singing and dancing along...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Is That a Baby or a Plant?

Okay... Michael Jackson is dead, and I don’t like to laugh too loudly about the dead, but today when I saw the photograph of Gerard Butler dangling what looked like a baby from a balcony in London I couldn’t help but laugh my ass off.
The look on Gerard’s face is priceless.

(And yes, it was a plant.)

I think Michael would be so giddy over the spoof (and the publicity) that he’d immediately whip out his “little mikey” and pee in a cup for everyone to see. He liked to do that, you know.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Oh How The Mighty Have Fallen

Last night I was channel surfing and stumbled across Larry King interviewing Carrie Prejean, the hateful “I’m a Christian with Christian values” ex-Miss America with silicone breasts who has suddenly surfaced with magical masturbation fingers in her own “I Touched Myself and it Tickled” video.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

I only caught a few moments of the interview (I was afraid listening to her for too long might induce severe vomiting) and was shocked into hysterical laughing when the idiot said her hero was Sarah Palin. There is something so wrong yet so appropriate with Prejean saying that. Are we really surprised? One narrow-minded hater idolizing another narrow-minded hater.

Then I got to thinking... when Prejean lifted her skirt to amuse herself in her “I Touched Myself and it Tickled” video was she not thinking about the boy taking the video, but rather thinking about ex-beauty bitch Palin? I mean, hey, wouldn’t Prejean have been a huge fan of pageants and seen silly Sarah Palin with her teased mane hoofing it across a beauty pageant stage? A little lesbian fantasy for the Prejean? Now wouldn’t that be a tit twister of all tit twisters!

To celebrate Prejean’s success as a porn star I give you the Divinyls singing “I Touch Myself.” This would be a great song for Prejean to sing when she’s performing at her next Christian values rally.

Friday, November 06, 2009

A Perfect Gift for Me

Have you ever received a gift from a friend and wondered why they’d chosen it for you? You know, the kind of gift that makes you think, “What the fuck were they thinking when they whipped out the credit card and told the sales clerk to wrap it up and charge it.”

I had a friend who came into my life like a firestorm. She was crazy (literally), fun (most of the time), and an emotional vampire (all of the time). I liked her despite the near-insanity.

When my birthday came around we got together for lunch. She gave me a present and prefaced it by saying that she thought it was a perfect gift for me, something she knew I’d love, blah, blah, blah. With a build up like that I anticipated something that was definitely me, something special.

Then I opened the package.

It was the book “Chicken Soup for the Soul.” I sat there grateful for the delicious lunch and bewildered by her choice of gift. That book is as much me as a weekend stuck in a raging snowstorm without heat or electricity. In other words, not me at all.

I smiled my best Michael smile and, in a performance worthy of an Emmy, thanked her.

“Chicken Soup for the Soul” is billed as a book that will nourish you from the inside.

I brought the book home and put it on the bookshelf where it collected dust. Then one day months later while rearranging the bookshelf “Chicken Soup for the Soul” fell to the floor. While picking it up I flipped through the pages and that’s when I found the truth behind the gift.

Just inside the paperback cover was a handwritten note.

Dear Melissa,

Thanks for understanding. I’m glad we’re still friends.

Lots of love,

What? I knew Amy. I knew that Melissa and Amy had a falling out a few months before my birthday and by the time of my birthday had made up and were once again gal pals.

Suddenly the nourishment from the inside turned into a case of botulism.

I was insulted and somewhat amused at the same time. Melissa was a re-gifter, and a bad re-gifter at that.

The book went in the trash, and soon thereafter our friendship petered out.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Oh Pee Pee

With all the media, money-hungry family members, and so-called business associates circling like ravens around the memory of Michael Jackson it should come as no surprise that the craziness that was Michael Jackson continues to flow freely.

Today I read about Jackson’s infatuation with peeing in front of people. Oh yeah, he thought it was funny to whip it out and pee in a cup while everyone sat around watching, including children.

Did Jackson think that the way he urinated was so unique and special, and different from all other men, that his celebrity penis was the fountain of youth?

We all pee, some while standing and others while sitting, but it’s still pee and not something everyone likes to watch others do, unless of course you have a golden shower fetish.

Now I’ll admit I have not always peed in a toilet or a urinal. There have been times I’ve peed in the woods, in an alley when I couldn’t find a nearby bathroom, outside my apartment building when I had to go so badly I knew I wouldn’t make it inside, and against the dumpster in the driveway of a mortuary.

Then there was that time I deliberately peed on someone’s car door to be mean and mark my presence (that was only once...okay twice... three times), but she deserved it. She was a morally uptight bitchy yuppy with attitude who thought, and told everyone, she was better than they were. I was hoping it would ruin her car paint, but it didn’t, so I stopped trying.

And I can’t forget the time I peed in the snow trying to spell my name. I got the M and I and C and H written and then the cold temperature made me shiver, shrink, and stop mid-flow.

But I’ve never just whipped it out in front of people, including children, to pee in a cup.

The only time I’ve ever peed in a cup is when I was at the doctor’s having a physical or taking a drug test, and I did it in the privacy of the bathroom.

Something tells me this isn’t the last we’ll hear of Jackson’s odd behavior.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Dude has Arrived

Every once in a while something or someone comes along that generates a whirlwind of excitement, almost hysteria.

In the 70s there was the Pet Rock, Fleetwood Mac, and sand art.

There was also the Rubik’s Cube, disco, and avocado green kitchen appliances.

Then there was Madonna, shoulder pads, and synthesizers.

And we cannot forget Patchouli oil, grunge, Morrissey, the catch phrases from “Seinfeld,” and the iPhone.

Over the past year it was Barack Obama, Tina Fey brilliantly playing stupid, silly Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night Live," and Aretha Franklin’s inaugural chapeau.

And now it's Gustavo Dudamel, the new Conductor and Music Director for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. There are billboards all over the city welcoming the maestro to the City of Angels. His absolute charisma and musical brilliance is giving classical music a much needed facelift.

PBS is currently showing his October 8th inaugural concert at Disney Hall featuring the world premiere of John Adams’ “City Noir” and Mahler’s “Symphony No. 1.” Check your local listings and be sure to watch it, and you’ll understand why everyone’s saying “The Dude has Arrived.”

Welcome to Los Angeles, Maestro.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I Haven't Forgotten

The other evening I was lying in bed thinking...

About the dead lightbulb that I need to replace in my living room lamp.

About the way that I’m petrified of possum, but completely enamored with coyotes.

About the fact that I have this strange gray hair that keeps growing on my earlobe.

About how I cannot live without ice-cream.

About the merry transvestite who used to live across the hall from me.

About how bored I am with reality television.

About my years trapped in suburbia.

About acne.

About my life when I was a Catholic altar boy.

And then I bolted up and realized that Father O’Brien owes me $8.00. That son-of-a-devil stiffed me out of money when I worked a double-whammy funeral and wedding some twenty-eight years ago.

I remember it clearly. The funeral was first, and then the wedding. When it was all over he told me he had $8.00 for me, but would pay me later. Later never came, but days later he suddenly was driving a new Dodge with all the amenities.

So wherever you are, Father O’Brien, know that I haven’t forgotten. And when I get to the Pearly Gates, and I will, I will make sure that you get arrested and sent to purgatory for eight years; one year for each buck you owe me.

And as a gesture of Christian generosity I won’t demand extra years for interest I could’ve earned from the money.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

No Nuts

Not too long ago I had the pleasure of going to the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles to see Estelle Parsons in “August: Osage County,” the Tony Award winning play by Tracy Letts. If you haven’t seen it, you must. She’s brilliant. The play’s beautifully written.

In the lobby of the theatre my friend purchased a small bag of almonds for the outrageous price of $4.00. The teeny tiny bag contained at most twenty almonds. Yes, a rip-off, but when hunger pangs are louder than the Bell of Notre Dame it’s either chocolate bars, marshmallow treats, candy, brownies, or nuts.
If it were me I would have chosen both a brownie and a marshmallow treat and quickly shoved them in my mouth before entering the theatre, but then again, I’m the one with the tendency towards man boobs and my friend is health conscious with a low fat diet regimen and no man boob tendency. (Mother Nature can be cruel.)

So we go into the theatre to await the dimming of the lights and the start of the play...

My friend opens the almonds and eats a few. Suddenly the usher is upon us telling us there are no nuts in the theatre. He said to either go outside to munch or put them away. At the same time two women behind us were loudly opening cellophane wrapped candy and shoving the sugar filled chocolate concoctions into their lipstick mouths. The usher didn’t tell them no candy.

Hmmm... I sensed a little discrimination here. Health food (almonds) vs. unhealthy food (candy). I think the usher had nut issues.

My friend continued to sneak eating the almonds whenever the usher wasn’t looking.

Finally the play started... and all almond eating anxiety quickly disappeared. (Hey, twenty almonds only go so far.)

However, the women behind us continued opening candy throughout the play, with no regard for the irritating noise their wrappers were making or the saliva sloshing sound their lips made smacking the candy between their teeth.

I shushed them a few times, but they were on a sugar high and refused to shush.

At the end of the play as we were leaving I glanced behind me and noticed the candy whores had dropped their empty candy wrappers on the floor for the usher to pick up.

Go figure.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Silver Spaceship Over Colorado

It’s been quite the week for me. I finished co-producing a wonderful short film and immediately took to the bed with flu-like symptoms.

With a raging stomach ache and back ache and uneven equilibrium, visions of me on a gurney with EMT’s trying to revive my life-less body were pounding in my head when I was jolted from near-death by my television showing a silver alien spaceship flying somewhere over the Colorado terrain.

Had I crossed the line into swine insanity?

Had the Martians finally arrived, as they once told me they would?

I then heard the newscaster excitedly announce that a little boy was allegedly in a box on the bottom of the silver device which he said was a flying weather contraption some man in Colorado had built and tethered in his backyard.

My reality antenna suddenly went erect. Even in my delirious state I knew something was not right with this story.

With nothing else to do I followed the newscasts to the landing and the discovery that the little boy was nowhere to be found. People of the world sat at the edge of their seats wondering where the little boy could be, only to be relieved (and somewhat disappointed) that the little rugrat was hiding in the attic above the garage. And then the little boy makes a slip up when he was asked why he hid away saying, “You guys said we did it for the show.”

Let’s face it, the whole thing was staged, a hoax, an attempt by Richard Heene to achieve a celebrity status he didn’t have the talent for when he trolled the streets of Hollywood as an actor wannabe. Hey, if you can’t succeed as an actor then stage a media event to cement a reality television deal. Well I say no deal Heene; you’re a fraud.

Heene and his wife should be ashamed of what they’ve done and what they’ve put their children through. With parents like that there’s definitely therapy in the children’s future.

I think Richard Heene should meet up with Jon Gosselin and form the “Celebrity-Whore Club for Men” where there’s no dignity, no intelligence, no balls, bad behavior, and bloated egos.

I suddenly feel much better.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Red to Green

I recently read that the average person will spend two weeks of their lifetime waiting for the traffic light to change.

This got me thinking about the things we could be doing while wasting two weeks of our precious time here on earth waiting to go from red to green.

How about waving hello to the person waiting in the car beside you? Roll down your window and actually say hello. Hey, love comes from the most unexpected places.

How about waving hello to the old couple walking across the street trying desperately to get to the other side before the light changes? It’ll put a smile on their face.

How about turning off the blue tooth and the music and listening to the silence in the car, and relishing your time alone? And if silence is too scary...

How about singing along with the radio full voice? It might be contagious and the person in the car beside you might even join in. Sing out! Sing out loud!

How about saying a silent prayer thanking the Universe for all the good things going on in your life?

And if you’re feeling a little edgy, a little sinister...

How about putting your car in neutral and when someone is crossing the street in front of you revving the engine and scaring them shitless? It’s cruel but fun, and before you know it the light’s green.

How about taking a quick nap, and not waking up until the light turns green and the car behind you blares its horn for you to move? For added fun you can stay put until the light turns yellow and then speeding away leaving the car behind you stuck at another red light.

I can’t wait for my next red light.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Holy Cow, I had an Epiphany!

Last night I was feeling rather sluggish and lazy. I didn’t want to work and I didn’t want to cook dinner. I didn’t want to read and I didn’t want to answer the phone. I didn’t want to listen to music and I didn’t want to take a hike. I didn’t want to be with friends and I didn’t want to be alone.

What did I do?

I poured myself a glass of Malbec and plopped my ass on the couch, turned on the television, and channel surfed. So many channels with so little worth watching.

I stopped briefly on my local Cable Access station to watch my local politicians blab on and on and on and on about nothing at all.

I watched a few Mexican soap operas, but since my Spanish pretty much sucks I found it difficult to keep my attention from wandering to the layer of dust on my windowsill that I was too damn lazy to get up and clean.

Finally after the umpteenth time surfing down the channels I stopped at CNN and watched Larry King interview Jon Gosselin, famous for having his sperm father eight children with a woman named Kate. Halfway through his interview something snapped in my head and I bolted up almost spilling my Malbec... I screamed out “Holy cow, I had an epiphany!”

And here is my epiphany: Jon Gosselin is a pathetic excuse for a man; a deadbeat dad who only thinks of himself; a celebrity whore with an ego as big as his imagined dick; a complete waste of media time; an insult to fatherhood; an embarrassment to the human race.

I immediately turned off the television, and started doing something constructive. I cleaned my windowsill.

Monday, September 28, 2009

La Purisima

During my last week adventure to Santa Barbara I took a deliberate wrong turn at the fork in the road and ended up just outside Lompoc, CA at the Mision La Purisima Concepcion De Maria Santisima (Mission of the Immaculate Conception of Most Holy Mary).

This mission was founded on December 8, 1787 by Franciscan Padre Presidente Fermin Francisco Lasuen. It has a long history of prosperity, earthquake damage (the Great Earthquake of 1812), rebuilding, and disrepair, and finally in 1935 it received its current restoration.

Here are some photos I took with my handy Kodak Easy Share digital camera:

Next time you're driving outside of Santa Barbara and you come to the fork in the road bear left and pay a visit to La Purisima.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Panoramic View

Last weekend I journeyed out of Los Angeles and drove two hours to Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara, sometimes referred to as the “American Riviera,” feels like a universe away from the congested, traffic-ridden, cell-phone talking while driving and not looking where you’re going Los Angeles. Everywhere you look it’s beautiful and peaceful.

At first my rate of breathing had a difficult time adjusting. I’m usually a heavy breather trying to stay alive in my world of constant anxiety, but there I could slow down and get lost in the beauty that hypnotized me. Aaah.

After a delicious lunch as a small Danish cafe my friend and I wandered around downtown, visiting a couple of adobes, and ended up on the roof of the Court House for a gorgeous panoramic view. On a clear day you can see forever and that’s exactly what we saw.

While up on the roof we met a bride and groom having photos taken. They were getting married later that afternoon and then heading to Greece for a two week honeymoon. She looked beautiful, but what bride doesn’t? (Well, I have been to a couple of weddings where the bride looked more bridezilla than human, but that’s another story I’ll detail some other time.)

The groom looked good, except instead of wearing black formal shoes with his tux he was wearing black and white checkered canvas shoes you’d wear to the beach. Hmm, I wondered why but refrained from asking. Maybe it's a Santa Barbara groom tradition?

What concerned me more was that if they weren’t yet married isn’t it back luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony? Only time will tell.

I love Santa Barbara and can’t wait to go back again.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Monty Python 40 Years Later

I’m going to admit something to you, my faithful readers, that I have never admitted before: I have never seen a Monty Python skit. That’s right.

I used to think that Monty Python was a person with a strange name who lived across the Atlantic somewhere in England. I assumed he had a big head with lots of curly hair, crossed-eyes, a pronounced chin, flat feet, and was on the rather fat size. I also assumed that this Monty Python man was rather vile and the only way to enjoy his comedy was to be either drunk or stoned or mentally deranged.

Whenever someone would start blah-blah-blahing about this Monty Python I would quietly leave the room and go to the bathroom. I found all that Monty Python talk better than bran muffin. Flush.

So it came as a big surprise last night when I ended up in the audience at The Ricardo Montalban Theatre in Los Angeles for “An Evening Without Monty Python.” Everyone around me was an enthusiastic Python-er and when I innocently confessed to the couple sitting next to me that I’d never seen a Monty Python skit I thought they were going to go into cardiac arrest. When they finally calmed down they assured me that I would love it once I tried it.

And love it I did!

This show is a 40th anniversary celebration of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and it stars Jeff B. Davis, Jane Leeves, Alan Tudyk, Rick Homes, and Jim Piddock. They were magnificent performing The Parrot Sketch, The Bruces, Spanish Inquisition, Argument, Lumberjack Song, Nudge, Nudge, and others.

I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants. I even joined in with the singing of the Lumberjack song. It’s quite the catchy tune.

Being the late-Monty-Python-bloomer that I am, I’ve got a lot of catching up to do so I’m going to log on to Netflix and get me some Monty Python in my queue.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Figs en France

Those wonderful Figs - one of my most favorite bands - recently triumphed in Craponne, France at the Festival Country Rendez-Vous. And from the looks of the video they were magnifique!

So click here for a glimpse of what went down en France.

I love The Figs.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gone, Gone, Gone

Little Angela Torres recently watched her beloved white rabbit, Mr. Henderson, recently snatched by a coyote. One moment Mr. Henderson was hippity-hoppiting along without a care in the world and the next moment his neck was in the mouth of a coyote. The last image Little Angela has of her beloved Mr. Henderson is his tiny head bobbing up and down to the rhythm of the coyote strut.
The media didn’t find the story worthy of even the local Cable Access News.

Little Monique Canard was walking her puppy dog, Demetrius, last week when it slipped out of its collar and scampered away. She chased it around the block, and as she turned the corner she witnessed a coyote grab Demetrius by the hind leg and run, run, run. Little Monique screamed and ran after the wily coyote but the coyote was too damn fast and disappeared into nearby woods.

Little Monique's mother immediately phoned the media but was left on hold for over an hour before hanging up. Little Monique is now in therapy.

So why should talentless attention-craving media-whore Jessica Simpson warrant international media coverage for her pooch in a coyote’s mouth?

You dog is dead, Jessica, just like your career.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

All 50 States

How many of our public officials can draw a map of the United States from memory?

From the way some of them have been behaving lately I think we can safely assume they have their heads so far up their asses they couldn’t find their way home if they were given the yellow brick road to follow. Joe, Dick, Sarah... this means you.

Freshman Senator Al Franken recently drew from memory a map of all 50 states during his appearance at the Minnesota State Fair. Oh yes he did, and here’s a youtube video that proves he truly deserves an A+ in geography.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Every Move You Make

I’m on facebook. I created a profile and I’ve become “friends” with a few hundred people. Some I know well. Some I know only as acquaintances. Some I’ve never met before. Some are people I’ve re-connected with after years of separation. It’s social networking at its finest, and its most bizarre. For instance...

I looked out the window and saw a baby bird in the tree.

I prefer bats over birds.

A couple of times a day I check out the site to see what’s happening with everyone. I enjoy reading some of the postings, but certainly not all. There are some people who post constantly with the most boring postings. Do we really want to know their every move?

I washed strawberries and ate one. Delicious!

I think the strawberry is giving me gas.

I should have bought peaches instead.

Do people who write these inane entries think that everyone of their facebook friends wants to know such details of their daily lives?

I’m meeting Stacie for dinner. Gonna go take a shower.

Have to TiVo “Two and a Half Men” so I won’t miss it. Stacie is waiting.

I have one particular facebook friend who cannot resist posting dozens of updates a day. In person she’s really nice, but on facebook it’s like she’s addicted to posting. She’s a facebook fanatic.

I had the spinach salad with the dressing on the side. Then I had salmon with steamed vegetables. For dessert it was cheesecake.

I’m feeling bloated. That damn cheesecake!

So why do I read her entries? When I open my facebook page they’re there reaching out to me, blinding me until I breakdown and read them. I’ve thought about deleting her from my friends list, but then I wonder if I would miss her hourly updates. Am I secretly a facebook fanatic?

Just watched “Two and a Half Men.” Laughed my ass off.

Time to go to bed. I’m exhausted.

I sleep naked.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bad Ass Behavior

I was appalled when I heard Rep. Joe Wilson from South Carolina yell, “You lie!” during President Obama’s healthcare reform speech.

How can anyone condone such bad ass behavior from an elected official who clearly has no respect for the President? Sure Joe Wilson apologized, but I think the only reason he did was because his rant backfired and didn’t make him a hero, but showed what he truly is: a hateful immature fool. He should resign immediately.

This past week so many people had their panties in an uproar because our President made a speech to students as they began the new school year. There were so many hate-filled rants that, quite honestly, they shocked me. What was the big deal? President Obama spoke eloquently to students encouraging them to study, to work hard, and to succeed. What’s bad about that?

For all those naysayers I say get over it. It’s time to stop perpetuating fear and to stop hating. It doesn’t set a good example for the children, and it certainly doesn’t move us forward into a better world.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Up Close and Personal

During the 80s I was never a huge fan of Hall & Oates, Sure, they had songs I enjoyed and for most of the decade they churned out hit after hit after hit, but their synthesizer sound never hit my musical orgasmic nerve. My vast record/CD collection never included one of their 80s mega-hits.

So it was a twist of fate (and a free ticket) that brought me to the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles last night for the Hall & Oates “Up Close and Personal” tour.

What could have been a schmaltzy trip down synthesizer lane turned out to be a truly enjoyable musical evening full of hit songs and little gems from their pre-80s period.

Their hit songs are numerous and they played most of them including:

One On One
Family Man
Out of Touch
I Can’t Go For That
You Make My Dreams
Kiss On My List
Say It Isn’t So
Private Eyes

The gems included the pre-80s hits Sara Smile, and Rich Girl.

Reaching back to 1973 and their “Abandoned Luncheonette” record they performed Las Vegas Turnaround, When the Morning Comes, and an exquisite version of She’s Gone.

The one song of theirs I’ve always detested was Adult Education and damn it, they played it. I cringed a little, but luckily it was over in less than four minutes.

The one song I anticipated hearing they never played. I suggest ditching the lousy education song and replacing it with the incredible Every Time You Go Away.

Next time they’re in town I’ll probably go, and actually pay for a ticket.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Listen Up

I think it’s safe to say that Mother Nature is one pissed off broad.

There are hurricanes in the east, earthquakes happening in Oklahoma, and raging fires in Los Angeles.

Weather temperatures are not normal; some places abnormally hot, some places abnormally chilly.

And we cannot forget tsunamis, typhoons, and tornados haunting the world.

There’s global warming, global freezing, and global indifference.

In Los Angeles nearly 100,000 acres have been destroyed by raging fires over the past few days. Just think of all the people who’ve lost their homes, and the poor animals that never had a chance against the fire. It’s devastating.

Outside my apartment I can see the fire smoke rising over the mountains, and I can smell it, and I can feel it infecting my sinuses and scratching my lungs.

I think Mother Nature is giving us a huge wake-up call. And if we listen closely we can hear her shouting, “Don’t fuck with me, folks!”

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ocean Air

This past Sunday I had planned a leisurely day. I wanted to read, write, eat, and sleep, and never leave my apartment.

I wasn’t even up an hour when my neighbor called and suggested a local walk and scone. The scone temptation was overpowering and I immediately blurted out a rather aggressive “yes, I’m ready, let’s go.”

Cinnamon raison, blueberry oat, cranberry almond, or lemon poppy? The potential flavors teased the tip of my taste buds as I put on my sneakers.

When my neighbor knocked at my door he suggested forgoing the scone and heading to Venice for breakfast and a walk on the beach. Whoah, this was definitely not part of the day’s plan and would certainly take more than a hour, but I figured “what the hell” and embraced spontaneity.

The sky was bluer than blue with a medley of kites dancing in the breeze. The sun was shining. The temperature was nearly perfect.

Here are some photos I took:

After the beach adventure we headed home, but along the way we veered off for a visit to Lake Shrine at the Self-Realization Center for some spiritual contemplation.

I survived without my scone. I had French toast instead. Delicious.

I came home rejuvenated.

Spontaneity is good.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

2/3 of the Supremes

I was never a Supremes fan. I know their songs, and pleasant as they are, they’ve never excited me enough to purchase them. When they’re played on the radio I don’t turn the station off nor do I bounce up and down and sing along. On a few occasions I’ve probably hummed along butchering the lyrics.

I’ve always thought that Diana Ross shrieks unpleasantly. One time I let someone take me to her concert and I just couldn’t get caught up in the near hysteria of the audience. Maybe one or two songs made my heart skip a beat or two, but certainly not enough for me to cross the threshold into fandom. If I remember correctly (it was many years ago) it was the chorus of “Ain’t Now Mountain High Enough” that caused my heartbeats to burp that night.

So on Saturday it was to my own surprise that I ended up at a Mary Wilson concert (one of the original Supremes) at the annual Sunset Junction street fair in Los Angeles.

She sang many of the Supremes most treasured songs, and people in the audience danced and gyrated and sang along like it was forty years ago. Her voice is huskier than her recordings and she did put on a pleasant show. Ooh, there’s that word again - pleasant - but it best describes the Mary Wilson experience.

A highlight was the standard “Fields of Gold,” which I’ve always enjoyed though the woman in front of me kept repeating how much she hated that song, which dampened the moment for me. I was going to smack her on the side of the head to shut her up, but I held back afraid it would have caused a ruckus or a supreme riot.

Another good performance was on Stevie Wonder’s “Bad Weather,” which I learned was a post-Diana Supremes hit from the 70s; that and “River Deep, Mountain High.”

I can now say that I’ve seen two of the three original Supremes in concert, up close and personal. That’s something, isn’t it?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dirty Old Man John

I’m a serious gym man. Five mornings a week I drag my ass to the gym for at least 30 minutes of cardio and then weight lifting. Each day is assigned a particular body part that gets special attention.

Lately I’ve been writing my bike the 4.1 miles to the gym for that added cardio exercise. Oh yes, that means I ride 8.2 miles per day. And yes, you can only imagine how strong my legs are becoming.

When I’m on the treadmill or stair master I have my iPod distracting me with my favorite music while I secretly people watch. The gym gods and goddesses prance with the confidence of “Hey, look at me. I look damn good and you can’t have me,” while others wear oversized sweats and silently scream “I know I’m out of shape. Don’t look at me.”

For quite a while now my people watching has been distracted by old man John, and yes, John is his real name. He’s always at the gym when I’m there and because of his dirty habit I cannot stop watching him. He grosses me out. I take mental note of the machines he’s using and make sure I don’t use them until another day when I know the gym staff has had time to clean and disinfect them.

What’s his dirty habit?

John brings his own small white towel (actually it’s a shade of grey from being used over and over again) which he drapes on the seats of the machines or he places on the head rest of the machines he’s using. He then takes that same towel to wipe the machine when he’s done, and this same towel he uses to wipe his sweaty face and sweaty arms and whatever other body part he deems needs wiping. He’s a dirty sweat-er and wiper.

One time he asked to “work in” with me and I just couldn’t. I let him take the machine and quickly moved on to my next exercise.

John’s not the only one with dirty gym habits, but he’s the one I’m fixated on and when I see his perspiration covered body coming within ten feet of me I cringe and pray that none of his sweat pellets leap in the air and find their way onto me.

I hope he reads this blog.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Buffy Speaks

This weekend on there’s a wonderful video interview with the great Buffy Sainte-Marie. She talks about her songwriting process and how she approached and developed the ideas for her classic songs Universal Soldier and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, and her newly released No No Keshagesh.

She looks great. She’s sounding better than ever. She’s legendary.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Butterflies and Feet

The English word butterfly is a beautifully melodic word. In French it’s papillon, and when you say it it sings off your tongue.

Butterfly. Papillon.

When we think of a butterfly images of sunny skies, foliage, and elaborately colored insects fluttering from plant to plant come to mind.

Monarchs, Painted Ladies, Crescentspots, Aphrodites, and Tiger Swallowtails dance their dance to the tune of Mother Nature. Aaah...

But did you know that butterflies smell with their feet? Oh yes they do. They have chemoreceptors at the ends of their antennas and on the bottoms of their feet.

What would it be like if we humans smelled with our feet?

Around my apartment I’d be privy to the scent of clean carpeting (I vacuum regularly), and in my kitchen I might smell crumbs from last night’s dinner or the spilled wine that I haphazardly wiped up. Would sniffing the wine give me a little buzz? Would I like it?

In my bathroom the smell of disinfectant would most certainly clog my foot sinuses. I’d need to purchase a lot of sinus medication, which usually makes me drowsy.

If I went swimming could my sense of smell possibly drown?

What would the pedals of my bike smell like?

Or the floor of the gym where many people, including myself, have dropped sweat?

In order to smell what I’ve got cooking would I have to dangle my feet above the food or could a simple jump in the air suffice?

What about the trails I hike? What does a dirt path really smell like? Would it be Nature’s aroma therapy or Nature’s cruel smelly joke?

I’m glad I’m not a butterfly.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Ranch of the Little Hills

My love of adobes continues...

This time I went to Long Beach, CA to visit Rancho Los Cerritos (Ranch of the Little Hills) which is one of the few adobes in Southern California that has two-floors, a rarity among adobes. In this particular adobe the lower walls are three feet wide to withstand the weight of the second floor whose walls are only two feet wide.

This beautiful adobe was originally built in 1844 by John Temple and served as the headquarters for his successful cattle operation. There were as many as 15,000 cattle on the farm which also included a lucrative hide and tallow business.

After years of severe flooding and drought many of the cattle died, and in 1866 Temple sold the adobe to the Bixby family who turned Rancho Los Cerritos into a sheep ranch. During this time over 30,000 sheep were raised and sheared twice a year.

Sadly, the sheep industry entered years of decline and from 1881 to 1929 the ranch fell into disrepair.

In 1930 Lewellyn Bixby remodeled the ranch for his family with a new roof, expanded rooms, electricity and plumbing, but kept the original adobe intact. His family stayed until 1955 when the adobe was leased to the City of Long Beach and opened as a public museum.

Rancho Los Cerritos is now a National, State and Local Historic Landmark.

There are daily adobe and garden tours for all you adobe lovers. Check out its website by clicking here.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Eat, Eat

Patti Smith is an icon; the high priestess of punk.

Her 1996 CD Gone Again is a great work of art and it includes one of my favorite songs: Summer Cannibals. I love listening to this song, and I love singing the chorus. I’ve entertained some and confused others and pissed off a minor few when belting out “Eat, eat!”

Yesterday on youtube I found the Summer Cannibals video and want to share it with you. Below the video I’ve included the lyrics. The song was co-written by Smith and her late husband, Fred Sonic Smith.

I was down in georgia
Nothing was as real
As the street beneath my feet
Descending into air

The cauldron was a-bubbling
The flesh was lean
And the women moved forward
Like piranhas in a stream
They spread themselves before me
An offering so sweet
And they beckoned and they beckoned
Come on darling eat

Eat the summer cannibals
Eat eat eat
You eat the summer cannibals
Eat eat eat

They circled around me
Natives in a ring
And I saw their souls a-withering
Like snakes in chains
And they wrapped themselves around me
Ummm what a treat
And they rattled their tales hissin
Come on lets eat

Eat the summer cannibals
Eat eat eat
You eat the summer cannibals
Eat eat eat

I felt a rising in my throat
The girls a-saying grace
And the air the viscous air
Pressed against my face
And it all got too damn much for me
Just got too damn rough
And I pushed away my plate
And said boys Ive had enough
And I laid upon the table
Another piece of meat
And I opened up my veins to them
And said come on eat

Eat the summer cannibals
Eat eat eat
You eat the summer cannibals
Eat eat eat
You eat the summer cannibals
Eat eat eat
You eat the summer cannibals
Eat eat eat

Cause I was down in georgia
Nothing was as real
As the street beneath my feet
Descending into hell

So eat eat eat
You eat eat eat
You eat eat eat
Eat eat eat

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

All Through the Night

While clicking my way around the Internet I came across yet another interesting fact:

The average person falls asleep in 7 minutes.

Once I turn out the lights I’m in dreamland within two minutes, if not sooner, and the next thing I know the sun is shining and it’s time to rise and shine. I don’t even need to set the alarm; my body just knows when I need to wake up.

Rarely do I toss and turn (though one time I did wake up with a black eye, but it’s still disputed how that really did happen) and even more rarely do I ever wake up in the middle of the night. And never do I have to crawl out of bed in the wee hours for a pee (I attribute that to a strong and healthy and rather large bladder).

Even when I’m not sleeping in my own bed I’m able to doze off immediately.

I have friends who suffer terrible insomnia. It takes them hours every night before they fall asleep and they wake up more tired than when they went to bed.

I guess I can say I’m a blessed sleeper.

I’m above average.

I’m well rested.


Sunday, August 02, 2009

Heavenly Beats

The religious world is abuzz with news that the pope is set to record a heavenly CD for Geffen Records. His voice will be accompanied by the Choir of the Philharmonic Academy of Rome, and the CD will also include eight original compositions performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Now I’m wondering... Will the pope be doing any music videos to promote sales?

With a proper remix and a little back beat I’m certain the pope could reinvent himself as the male Lady GaGa. He could sing and dance his way around the holy streets of the Vatican surrounded by “The Bouncing Bishops” and “The Genuflecting Altar Boys” with “The Habit Forming Nuns” singing back-up from the balconies that line the holy streets.

It could be quite the colorful spectacle. Lord knows he’s got a closet full of multi-colored costumes, gangsta bling, and matching sandals.

I get chills just thinking about it.

Pope Benedict: MTV superstar.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Brand New Key

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago I’ve recently embraced my bicycle spirit and have been doing a lot of riding around Los Angeles.

And as I mentioned before I’ve been singing a lot of bicycle songs as I’ve pedaled my way into stronger thighs.

Today between bike rides I ventured over to youtube and searched for bicycle song videos and found a great video of Melanie performing her 70s worldwide hit “Brand New Key.”

Interesting note: This song was banned from some radio stations because some people interpreted the lyrics as being sexual innuendo. Oh the 70s...

I rode my bicycle past your window last night
I roller skated to your door at daylight
It almost seems like you're avoiding me
I'm okay alone, but you got something I need

Well, I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key
I think that we should get together and try them out you see
I been looking around awhile
You got something for me
Oh! I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key

I ride my bike, I roller skate, don't drive no car
Don't go too fast, but I go pretty far
For somebody who don't drive
I been all around the world
Some people say, I done all right for a girl

Well, I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key
I think that we should get together and try them out you see
I been looking around awhile
You got something for me
Oh! I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key

I asked your mother if you were at home
She said, yes .. but you weren't alone
Oh, sometimes I think that you're avoiding me
I'm okay alone, but you've got something I need

Well, I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key
I think that we should get together and try them out to see
La la la la la la la la, la la la la la la
Oh! I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sicily 1963

At the suggestion of my dear friend Mary I moseyed over to my neighborhood library and took out the book The Almond Picker by Simonetta Agnello Hornby. Mary raved about this book, and a rave from Mary means a lot, so I put it at the top of my “must read” list.

So how was it? It’s wonderful; a time machine back to Sicily 1963.

The Almond Picker is the story of servant Maria Rosalia Inzerillo, known as Mennulara, the almond picker, whose death in the village of Roccacolomba sets off a torrent of gossip and speculation about her life, her loves, her rise to power within the household of her masters, and her supposed fortune and will. There’s lust, love, rape, betrayal, jealousy, friends, foes, family dynamics, and of course the Mafia.

Hornby holds the reader’s attention by slowly feeding the mystery of Mennulara and carefully doling out different stories of this beloved, hated, and often misunderstood woman. For me it was a wonderful character study; one that exposed the class culture of Sicily in a time when woman kept their mouths shut and obeyed the man’s rule often turning a blind eye to what was really happening.

With summer upon us I recommend adding The Almond Picker to your summer reading list. I’m glad I did.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Me and My Twenty-One Speeds

After having just finished working on a film I’m enjoying the time off before the next adventure begins. Because it’s summer I want to experience as much sun as possible. For me the hot sweltering sun is something to behold... aaah.

To satisfy this craving I’ve decided the best way to get lots of sun and exercise would be to ride my bike in and around Los Angeles. To do so I first had to change the flat tires and oil the chain; it’s been a while since I rode. With the help of a youtube instruction video I changed my tires with relative ease, and with a can of Tri-Flow I sprayed and lubed the chain. My Windstream twenty-one speed bike was now like new and ready for action.

On Saturday and Sunday I donned my geeky biker’s helmut, removed my shirt, slapped on some sun tan lotion, and rode and rode and rode. I first headed to the Los Angeles River and rode along the near empty river for a few miles before veering off into Griffith Park. The sun was hot, my body glistened, and I was in biker’s heaven.

Only once was I almost hit by a inconsiderate unapologetic car. WARNING: Drivers need to remember to look to their right when they’re making a right turn!

I flashed the car the finger and continued on my way.

As I rode along I entertained myself singing bicycle songs.

Broken Bicycles (Tom Waits)
Brand New Key (Melanie)
Bicycle Race (Queen)

It was a load of fun.

Today I rode into Hollywood to the gym, did an arm workout, and rode back home.

Tonight my legs are telling me they need some rest.

Tomorrow’s another day...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Another Adobe Adventure

I love visiting adobes. I love poking around and learning the history and imagining myself living there when it was first built. It’s my “I was there and part of history” fantasy. Of course I wouldn’t trade my modern amenities for the rustic living they had to endure, but in my fantasy I can avoid the hardships and concentrate solely on the grandeur.

Sunday afternoon I ventured out in the 100 degree temperatures and ended up at the Catalina Verdugo Adobe. This adobe, at the base of the Verdugo Hills, was built in 1828 and is one of the oldest buildings in the City of Glendale, CA.

Surrounding the house is a 1.3 acre park with indigenous plants, statues, walking paths, and the historic “Oak of Peace.”

The “Oak of Peace” tree was named in 1847 and it’s at this spot that many believe is the birthplace of California. Sadly the tree died of natural causes in 1987, but the spot still contains remnants of the dead tree. It is here that Jesus Pico, representing Lieutenant Colonel Fremont and the United States, met with his brother, Commander of the Mexican army General Andres Pico, and recommended Mexico surrender to the United States. Two days later a peace treaty was signed, not at the “Oak of Peace” but in the area where the Hollywood Bowl now stands.

I walked the paths and pinged the bell and breathed in the surroundings. I learned a little history and can honestly say I'm now a bit smarter than I was on Saturday.

Knowledge is fun.