Monday, September 26, 2011

Do We Really Know Who We’re Playing With?

Do you ever play Words With Friends on your smartphone?

I did once. It scared me.

A simple game of scrabble shouldn’t be scary, but not knowing with whom I was swapping tiles created an anxiety that hindered my wordplay. Instead of spelling clever words I found myself mentally stumbling and arranging tiles to say “soft,” "weak”, and “fear.”

I was paralyzed by anything more than a simple four letter word.

The reason for this mental mishap was I kept thinking about my opponent. Who was it? What did they look like? Were they a terrorist sending me secret messages that would somehow brainwash me into a dangerous international plot?

Was it a Mormon? A tea-party fanatic? A Scientologist?

Were these fanatics sending me subliminal messages through their choice of words? “Heretic.” “Polygamy.” “Born.” “Again.” “Burn.” “Hell.” “Heaven.” “Hate.”

Or maybe my opponent was Sarah Palin? What was she suggesting when her tiles misspelled “cocaine,” “swinger,” “sex,” “black,” “hung,” “slavery,” “whore,” and “mistress”?

Do we REALLY know who we’re playing with?

Those late night scrabble partners hiding behind a fake name could actually be Maury Povich, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Vladimir Putin, Justin Beiber, Charlie Sheen, or even Nancy Grace. It’s all so frightening...

I think I’ll just go back to playing with myself.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

I've Finally Found the Career for Me

I love art. I love to eat. Put the two together and I’m a captive audience with a wagging tongue...

Today I ventured over to the Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale to see “¡Adelante! Mexican American Artists: 1960s and Beyond,” a collection of paintings, drawings, sculpture, and photography.

As I roamed the exhibit I was impressed with the artists, many who helped shape the Chicano Art Movement and inspire a whole new generation of artists. It was a fascinating history lesson.

And then I saw “it.”

Hanging on the wall right before me was “La Virgen de Guadalupe #12” from artist Joe Bravo. It mesmerized me. I leaned forward to for a closer inspection. My mouth watered. I read the little card beside the painting and was astonished to learn that the canvas for the painting is an actual tortilla.

The artist explained, “ I use the Tortilla as a Canvas because it is an integral part of the Hispanic Culture and my heritage. For the subject matter of my tortilla paintings, I use imagery that is representative of Latinos, conveying their hopes, art, beliefs and history. As the tortilla has given us life, I give it new life by using it as an art medium."

Well... that got me to thinking. I’m part Italian and what better way for me to express my Italian artistic ability than to paint on an actual cannoli. I could paint the “Last Supper” across a cannoli shell. Jesus and the Apostles right there on a cannoli. How appropriate is that?

The last time I was texting with the Pope he told me in Catholic confidence that the dessert served at the real last supper was a tray of cannolis.

On my way home I picked up a dozen cannolis to begin my cannoli-art career.

How am I doing? It’s not as easy as I thought. I keep puncturing the cannoli with the paint brush, and not being one to waste food I eat the broken cannoli.

I’ve already eaten a dozen cannolis, but undaunted I will persevere. I’m know I’m on to something artistically delicious...

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Vulgarity, Boobs, and an Upright Citizen

Every day when I jump on my bike to pedal around the city I never know what I’m going to encounter. Some days are rather adventure-less while others are full of adventure.

Today was a bike pedaling day of adventure.

Whenever I pass other bicyclists I nod hello, say hello, or, if I’m feeling really chipper, blurt out “Hello fellow bicyclist!” The nod gets a nod in return. The hello gets a hello in return. The “Hello fellow bicyclist” gets a laugh and then a nod/hello. I consider it good bicycle behavior.

So I was quite dismayed today when I said hello to a fellow bicyclist and he boldly yelled “fuck you.” Loud. My initial reaction was to yell back “fuck you motherfucker,” but I didn’t. Instead I pedaled faster to get away from this unfriendly bicyclist. Maybe he was suffering from hemorrhoids.

Then about a mile later I turned the corner and saw a woman walking along the sidewalk. She was wearing sandals and jeans and no shirt. Naked from the waist up. Boobs that had seen better days, perky days, non-wrinkled days. What struck me most was not the way they hung like limp water balloons, but that there were no tan lines around her breasts. And she had quite the tan. She seemed totally happy with her naked boobies, so I just smiled and said hello. She quickly turned sidewards to say hello back and her boobs collided like cymbals. It wasn’t symphonic.

But that was not all...

About four miles later I was pedaling across a street and a pickup truck pulled out without looking and came within milliseconds of crushing me. Thank goodness I had on my helmut, and my jockstrap. I turned to the driver and sneered, and I might have even called him something not-so-nice. He continued his way and I continued my way. Three blocks later I came to a red light and suddenly the pickup truck was beside me.

I was prepared for a rumble. “I’m sorry” he yelled. He had turned around and followed me to apologize for almost hitting me (maybe even killing me). He admitted he wasn’t looking. What could I say? I said to not worry about it; neither of us got hurt. Then the light turned green. He went left and I went right.

All in a day’s bike ride.