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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Surrender, Dorothy.

All good things must come to an end.

Today is my last day working in Manhattan Beach, the sweet location by the beach.

Moving on, better things, all that.

The blog will continue, so don’t worry about that.

I am moving work digs to just down the road.

And there is a Starbucks nearby, what do you know?

I lead a charmed life.

I am walking up the hill, the reverse walk to my car from the office.

Sun is shining, birds are chirping, there are a few ladies wandering around in bikini’s.

And there is a homeless guy that resembles a scarecrow standing in front of Starbucks, shouting at people.

Now, I am a people person, we all know this.

I like to talk to people, all sorts of people, usually homeless people.

Because nothing says funny like crazy.

And, like striking gold when you are digging for worms, I find something special.

There is something special about the variety of homeless guy that chemically peaks into that shouting zone.

People react to that in such an interesting fashion.

By pretending he is not only not there, but by obviously pretending he is not there.

Putting your hand next to your face to supposedly keep from seeing the guy is just plan rude.

I like to view this as a street performance.

And his act? Its a classic.

He has the usual homeless appearance, complete with wild hair and scraggly “Unibomber” beard.

I cannot seem to shake the image of the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz.

In a twist, Scarecrow appears to be a gypsy homeless, despite the fact that most scarecrows are rooted in place. He has a bicycle with a child trailer containing a non-smiling german shepherd. (Never a good thing when they don’t smile. But, given the circumstances, would you?)

“Don’t go in there! Bad fucking news in there! They could give fuck all about y’all!” This is being shouted at the top of his lungs.

Eye contact seems to be in short supply, so when I stop and look right at him, he takes the bait and focuses on me.

“Stay outta there!” Complete with an angry finger jab in my direction.

“Why?”

Just from his enthusiastic reaction to a simple question, I might be the first person not wearing a badge or high on meth that has talked to him in months.

After a second of orientation, he continued.

“You can’t be homeless in Starbucks!” The shouting really makes it a little difficult to chat.

That seems harsh. Starbucks as a corporation, would have a hard time defending that policy in the media. Best to dig deeper.

“Are you sure?”

Ok, that pissed him off. It cranked the agitation level up a few notches. I am safely out of lunging distance. Hunter S. Thompson said that you can turn your back on a man, but not on a drug.

Fine, no turning my back.

“FUCKIN’ A, I’M SURE!” The dog growled.

“Hey guys.” A very mellow voice came up behind me.

Ah, the police.

The rest of the conversation was not something I was invited to, so I left.

The police always prefer private conversations, they are picky like that.

 

I will miss this Starbucks as my daily stomping grounds.

I have written close to 500 blog posts sitting mainly at these little tables.

In life, the only thing that is a constant, is change.

So, I will move on, and remember all the scenes and people that I have witnessed here.

And I will miss you most of all, Scarecrow.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Meth heads, natures little clowns.

There comes a point in every man’s life where he has to take a second and figure out if he is a douche or not.

Some of you are wrinkling your nose right now and your lips are compressed into a disapproving line.

But, I have given it several minutes of thought and rewritten that line 3 times before I arrived at douche.

It fits and its funny (To me), therefore, its what we in the business call Golden.

To be a douche or not a douche, that is the question.

And a good one at that.

There are two young men sitting at the next table who are pondering that very issue.

They are not phrasing it that way, but that is the question.

Here is what they are deciding:

One of them is selling what sounds like a crappy car to a friend of his.

And the guy at the table, who sounds like a friend of the other guy who is buying the car, wants to buy the same car.

To them, it may be a simple thing. Just sell it to the friend at the table, instead of the other guy. Simple.

Not so.

Here is where the douche thing comes in.

This is a part of those formative years, where a man finds out about what kind of man his is going to be, step by step, and this is one of those steps.

You may think this is minor, but what is at stake is this guys word, and how it will be viewed by himself and those around him for the rest of his life.

If you squint your eyes and take the blurry view, this is an epic scene of the formation of morality going on at the next table.

Of course if you take the straight on, clear as day view of this, its two punk kids conspiring to burn some jagoff they know.

View it how you will.

There is always the chance that this will mean nothing in the long run.

Maybe. Maybe not. However, for the sake of the blog, lets say it does.

Depending on what this unwashed weasel decides to do, could set in motion a whole series of events that will last until he is dead and buried.

If I were just to judge by the slack look on his face, the friend that is not here is about to get screwed out of a car.

This could lead to a hostile situation at school, turns out the burned car buyer has a huge cousin that goes to the same school. Big kid, a little slow, love cats and has a talent for beating the shit out of people.

So the car seller starts ditching school to avoid the looming ass whooping that is waiting for him at the hands of the modern day Lenny. (Steinbeck)

And that leads to his being expelled for excessive absences. His parents will find out too late to do anything.

He goes to work at some no name burger joint near downtown, because that is the only place that will hire him without the HS diploma.

It pays minimum wage, but the assistant manager always has good weed, so it works out.

His big brake comes when the cashier is deported and he gets to move up, but on the same night, the assistant manager tells him how he can make big money, driving a van back from Mexico.

By the time he gets out of prison, he is 40 years old. (That speech was stolen wholesale from John Cusak in The Sure Thing. Well worth the plagiarism.)

And, his partner in crime is going to be the little dipshit at the table with him right now.

And their drug of choice for all of these little misadventures?

Meth.

Meth heads, natures little clowns.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Where do bad girl’s come from?

Where do all the bad girl’s come from?

And I am not talking about the ones we went to high school with, we all pretty much KNOW where they came from.

I mean the next generation of questionable floozies that are coming up thru the ranks as we speak.

Two of them, at least are in Starbucks right now.

It is Saturday afternoon and I am taking a break from a bike ride along the beach because my ass falls asleep if I don’t.

And, if the idea of it being sunny enough in Southern California to ride along the beach in short while the rest of the US is snowed in and warily eying each other trying to figure out who to eat first, please remember that its all relative.

Not relative in the usual sense, I mean that my relatives had me in a place that the weather rocks most of the time and your relatives decided freezing to death was muy bueno.

Not my fault.

Now, back to the evil with cleavage that are waiting for their lattes.

The management of Starbucks can thank their lucky stars that I do not find women half my age to be viable or they would have a major scene involving the police because I am not above humping a leg in public to make my point.

These girls figured out what men like and the Almighty has blessed them with extra.

Some might argue that showing enough cleavage from a DD cup that there is danger of public nipplege is unecceptable in some part.

I disagree.

However, if either one of these Barely Legal (Girls, not the Hustler video series, not that I’d know.) youngsters was my daughter, the police would be involved.

For homicide.

Modesty is a dead thing in this country.

I saw an interview with a young woman who had put off going to college for a few years because, and I quote, YOLO.

She admited to being 30 years old as the reporter explained that YOLO means “You Only Live Once.”

Two things.

The first one is that putting off college for 12 years is not putting it off, its refusing to admit that you flunked the entrance exam.

The second thing that comes to mind is that, indeed, you only live once, so why waste it as an aging hipster consistantly soaked in Ecstasy, cheap alcohol, and semen from random hook ups.

Two are bad for your complexion and the other will get you aids.

(A friend, reading over my shoulder, just asked me if I am intentionally trying to piss people off. Guilty as charged.)

An interesting flip side of the coin is watching the older men in a locale react to these low-rent ho’s.

Its just an opinion, but a man in his late 40’s that finds an 18 year old girl hot could be a pedophile.

I stopped reading Playboy years ago for this very reason.

She’s not hot if she’s young enough that I could have fathered her.

Argue that one all day long, its not gonna work.

Tell your story walking, Short eyes.

(Found that phrase on Google, prison gaurd slang for pedophile. Thank you Google)

My father once told me, (Source of MASSIVE amounts of wisdom) you are free to look and dress anyway you want to in life, but don’t ever make me embarrassed to point you out as mine.

Words to live by, ladies.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Who did this to me?

Pain is kind of funny.

I like to think of it as nature’s way of saying “Knock that shit off!”

But in a really annoying way.

I recently did something that made nature bitch slap me to get my attention.

I am in my 40’s.

That is not a bad thing, but it is something that needs to be given some respect.

Respect for the things that hurt and avoid them if you can.

That being said, here is the snapshot.

I began going to a new gym last year.

The gym focuses on the martial arts.

Good work outs.

Lots of jiu jitsu, judo, muay thai, you name it.

Hard, make you sweat type classes.

Hard enough to make a chubby 40-something think a grappling tournament is a good idea.

I was one of the first to arrive at the grappling place.

I signed up and then sat there for the next hour or so, watching the late teens, early 20’s competitors come in and register.

It was at this point that two things began.

Swamp ass and worry.

The two seem to go together like peas and carrots.

And sitting on a plastic folding chair does not help.

In fact, plastic seats only exacerbate the issue, ass-wise.

However, not an unknown condition, so its kind of par for the course.

Its a little daunting to realize that there is enough of an age difference between yourself and everyone else in the tourny that you could have fathered everyone else in it.

And not just at 18, like you could have held off of fathering an entire dojo of grapplers until your late 20’s.

It makes you pause, and perhaps shit yourself a little at the same time.

Here is the really silly part.

Its a type of grappling that no one in the building had ever done before.

A recently revived Norwegian grappling form that is being promoted by a few, but no one you have ever run into before.

Great.

In the end, it was a lot of fun, and I managed to come in third.

Good for me.

Did I get hurt?

Jury is still out.

We will know more tomorrow, once my aged body has had a chance to think it over and freak out properly.

I am sure I have a whole slew of pulls and tears that I am currently unaware of.

Like I said, par for the course.

The next tournament is 3 months away.

Just enough time to heal up and be prepared.

And, whats missing is that there should be a little thought in the back of my head that says “You are old enough to know better.

Perhaps my head has decided its had enough of my shit and it trying to get me hurt.

And how do you fight that one?

Turns out I am my own arch nemesis.

Like a split personality that turns out to be Lex Luthor. (Old school.)

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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What’s the going rate on a soul these days?

Prostitution is never a pretty exchange.

Here’s how it starts.

The guy, really no more than a boy, enters the Starbucks looking confused, then he spots someone and his face lights up with a smile from that the book he read last night on “Power Interviewing.”

The introductions are brief.

The kid gives him the Chapter 5 “Winning handshake”, and they sit.

The pimp is fairly low key, as far as pimps go.

Fashionably faded jeans, loafers, a shirt that could be a dress shirt if it was buttoned up with a tie. As it is, unbuttoned the top two, and the sleeves rolled up.

The working man’s pimp.

And the dance begins.

The pimp pulls out the kids resume, and begins to pick it apart.

Spying from the next table over, the kid’s resume is better than most.

Graduating with a finance degree from a decent school, interning for a CPA, then a law firm, then an insurance company, the kid is now a senior, and looking for a job.

The pimp looks it over and tisk-tisks a few times, then tears it to shit.

The critical moment in any pimp/whore relationship is right in the beginning.

The pimp has to break down the whore into nothing.

Its a brutal thing to watch.

All the kid wants is a job.

That is what the last 3 years of his life have been about.

He is doing it the way they all tell you it should be done.

The pimp knows better, he knows the steps to this dance, and he can help.

For a price.

As near as I can figure, he is a new-grad bounty hunting kind of pimp.

He gets his money by vetting grads and presenting them to the johns.

The companies.

Its a new spin on an old tale. (And not a happy tale at that.)

And the new version is just as distasteful as the old one.

About 20 minutes in, the subject turns to money, and this is where the serious soul crushing begins.

The kid has read websites and done his research, he knows how much he should be gunning for in his first job.

The pimp, on the other hand, needs to break him of that, convince him that everything he read is bullshit, and deliver him to the companies ready to accept their crappy offer.

Do the math. The pimp is not doing it out of love, the company is paying him.

And where does that money come from?

Money for the kid, of course.

And, while I didn’t get enough to figure out how, the kid is paying the pimp something.

Wow.

That is a tough deal to broker with a straight face.

Don’t get me wrong, I love haggling a deal, but this vile, leaves a stink.

I may need a shower after watching this, I just feel dirty.

All told, their meeting lasted 45 minutes.

The kid shook the pimp’s hand and walked out the door, smiling.

You poor bastard. God help you.

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Haggling for other peoples crap.

There is something in the air at a flea market.

Its a mixture of desperation and ass.

And nothing beats ass.

Follow the logic here.

You have some old stuff in your garage or attic that, in the back of your head, you think of as shit you don’t need.

So, rather than do the responsible thing and throw your crap out, you decide to sell it to someone else.

And the flipside of that mentally twisted coin is that, even though your house is no doubt already filled with your shit, you are on the prowl for more shit to stuff into your hovel.

Suddenly that comment about desperation and ass seems even more appropriate.

It seems like an easy concept to get.

Moldy, smelly clothes in your closet will still be moldy and smelly in my closet.

When I was a kid, I used to love when the new school year was coming up.

Because that meant new clothes.

And I was always too short you get hand me downs from my brothers.

Lucky me.

And I see nothing with adults catering to the hipsters within and wearing nothing but vintage.

But leave your kid out of it.

Second hand clothes, no matter how cool, is still going to get your little progeny picked on.

Even with the current anti-bullying campaigns.

To paraphrase, there is nothing more pathetic than an underaged hipster.

So, feed your ego and dress your kid how you like, but understand that he will know the taste of water flavored with urinal cake.

The other disappointment of the morning is that no one haggles anymore.

One of the few things I love, without reservation, is haggling a little off of the top.

Like I always say, its important to have a hobby.

The greatest haggle I ever took part in was in Ensenada Mexico.

The shop keeper planted himself in the middle of the sidewalk, and would not move.

He began pitching in a loud voice when I was 20 feet out and closing.

By the time I got to where he stood, towering over me, and I realized he was not going to move, I decided that this was a man intent on making a living today.

Game on.

“What do you have worth buying?”

His eyes lit up.

A rapid fire inventory started as he herded me into the store.

The second I indicated a watch that I liked, shit in the fan in a real way.

I love the motivation of a man who understands that if he doesn’t sell me, he doesn’t eat that night.

The watch was $350, and well worth the price, according to my new found friend, “Hector”.

Time to counter. $5

Outrage, screaming in 2 different languages, the display was incredible.

However, Hector said he would run it by his boss just to show me the respect.

His boss screamed at him, thru a cup at the wall, slammed a phone book against the desk, pointed at me and may or may not have called me a bastard in Mexican Slang.

This went on for the next 40 minutes, yelling, screaming, back and forth, haggle, haggle, haggle.

It was glorious.

I eventually bought the watch for $20, and yes, I know its a piece of shit that I probably could have talked them down to $10 eventually, but thats not the point.

This was ART, in its purest form.

I tipped Hector $20 in a handshake as I left.

Fair is fair.

I have thought about that haggle many times since then, and especially today.

Hector would have been a god at the flea market.

Oh well, can’t have it all, where would you keep it?

You could always sell it.

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Time to pay the fiddler.

With great power, comes great responsibility.

Also, power corrupts.

I don’t buy that, by the way.

I think a weaker mind simply does what those flaws allow the weaker mind to get away with.

However great men wield power to accomplish great things.

At the table next to me, power is being used to settle a petty grievance.

Here is what I know from 10 minutes of serious evesdropping.

The semi-feminine guy with the ferret face is the head of a home owners association. Due to the air of uncaring elitest attitude this guy exudes, I have settled on the name Nero.

Nero, among his other powers, controls what parking spots are assigned for 3 month periods to residents in his little high end community.

The whiny, pale guy sitting across from him, has evidently been given the shit spot to park for the better part of a year. Lets call him Golum. (Golum seeks the “Precious” parking space. Its weak, but I like it.)

“This is getting unacceptable! My car has been broken into twice in the last year!”

The hiss whisper remains my favorite method of public arguing. It is so ineffective in terms of making what you say private that it actually carries further than regular speech.

I am making the assumption that the parking spots are all located together, with the exception of Golum’s space, which is evidently located in the ghetto somewhere.

“We have security people that patrol, what more can we do?” Nero has a smarmy sneer that makes you want to choke him out, UFC style.

“You can give me a better parking spot, this is unfair!” Golum is just barely keeping it together at this point.

“Fair? The spots are assigned at random, every 3 months, you know that.”

Translation: You’re fucked and we both know it, but only one of us cares.

“I would like to witness the “random” picking next time.”

I wonder if he realizes how lost his argument is if he is even discussing it. Probably not.

“No.”

Translation: Fuck you, Golum. Go suck eggs.”

What is it you do in a situation like this?

Nero has a little bit of power and is abusing the hell out of it.

Golum is a little slug of a man with a so so backbone and has no pull whatsoever, and deep down knows he is screwed with no hope, but he feels compelled to try.

Its like a really whiny version of a greek tragedy, without the death and murder and stuff.

And the really shitty part is, Golum bought a house at the beginning of this. Paid good money, and now he is being screwed with, without any sort of recourse.

Ain’t life a bitch.

This is some peoples American dream.

However, if your dream depends on some little bastards swollen ego giving you the “good guy” nod? You may be SOL.

Because there will come a time that you have to knuckle under to whatever Nero wants.

We call this “Time to pay the fiddler.”

The nickname Nero suddenly makes a lot more sense to me.

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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