Live From the South Pacific

I'm transferring some older blogs from my myspace account before I delete it. Enjoy this golden oldie, originally posted 12/30/07:

I haven't done one of these in awhile, but I've been lamenting that I am really not keeping up with people's lives as well as I could or should, so here's one little post to update anyone who might stop by on what's going on with me lately.

I'm writing this while I wait for my laundry to finish so that I can start packing to fly back to Los Angeles tomorrow; I've spent the last seven or eight days in Hawai'i visiting future in-laws and it's been amazing.  They claim the weather is awful and apologize profusely every day, but 78 degrees and cloudy with the occasional rain storm is A-Okay in my book.  I'm awful at the photo part of vacations though; I've taken one picture, of Katrina's mouth, since I've been here.  It's not like there isn't awe-inpsiring scenery around every turn.  I just am too busy cooing like a slack-jawed yokel to remember to grab my little digital camera.  I need some new pics of Kat and I though, so hopefully we'll snap a few today.

I still get the occasional confused text message, email, or phone call so I'll put it on blast:  I'm engaged!  Kat and I met in May in Manhattan Beach and just clicked.  All that bizarre movie stuff about "just knowing" and actually being in love and feeling loved is true.  You just have to go through a lot of interesting relationships looking for it before you really discover it, I suppose.

Of course since she moved in with me from New York we've fought like cats and dogs, but I think that's the adjustment from being alone and not living with a female for quite a few years to suddenly sharing a bed with someone again.  It's also her first time co-habitating so there will be arguments, paradigms broken, views skewed, etc.  It's all worth it though.

The wedding's set for October 19, 2008 and will be in Hawaii.  We're scouting for locations today, as a matter of fact.  I'm pretty sure we have it nailed down, but obviously getting to see it while we're on the island would be a big plus and help us commit the investment, which Kat's generous generous parents have put forth as a wedding gift.

That reminds me:  my new in-laws are amazing.  I am acquiring a seemingly indifferent brother-in-law and his wife, as well as their adorable daughter (I'm an uncle!  Sorta!), a hilarious and intensely creative and amazing sister-in-law who I think I connect with in such a way that it makes Kat a little jealous, and the kindest, most loving and generous parents you could hope to meet.  Seriously.  I've never been treated so well as a guest and it almost makes me self conscious that I've never treated my guests this way.  My new family is golden, man.  Having a reason to jet out to Hawaii a few times a year isn't bad either.

On my side of things, my parents are finalizing a divorce they've been inevitably careening towards for the last year and a half.  It's been awful, and magnified by the fact that I feel guilty for being across the country while they sort things out and move.  My dad is getting an apartment near his work and my mom is buying a house somewhere near the old one, I think.  There's just no way to feel okay about it.  I keep telling myself I'm 26 and out of the house and it shouldn't hurt so much but it does.  Not to mention that every spat Kat and I have is amplified in my head to the point where I see us divorcing in 27 years because I left the toilet seat up or something similarly ridiculous.  It's got me all scattered and frantic and manic and I am very thankful Kat can see through the drama to why I am acting so weird and put up with me.  It's time for some pretty intense introspection and therapy, I think.

Back in LA, my cousin Greg is moving back home to the St. Louis area.  He's been out in SoCal for three years or so, and said it was about time for him to head back, but I can't help feel like his decision was sped up by my arriving.  Maybe it's just me piling on some more guilt to carry around.  I don't know.  Either way, Kat and I are looking for apartments in Los Angeles near my work and will be in a new place by February.  Hopefully we'll have a place big enough so people can come crash once in awhile.

Kat bought me Improv classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade theatre.  It's something I've always wanted and have talked about doing since I got to LA but could never seem to pull the trigger on.  Now I've got no excuses and I'm looking forward to meeting some like-minded writers in the area and honing my skills, or at least discovering if I have skills.

That's the news from Holualoa, HI I suppose.  Drop me a line, text or call me sometime if you get the urge.  The two hour time difference can be a pain with my Midwestern friends occasionally but it all works out eventually.  Take care and let me know what's going on with you sometime.


The Best Saturday Night

I'm transferring some older blogs from my myspace account before I delete it. Enjoy this golden oldie, originally posted 9/30/07:

The best Saturday night, in my opinion, is spent hopped up on vicodin and expelling bloody pieces of kidney stone and anonymous tissue via your urethra.

I mean, I could be a whiner and point out the fact that losing my job and getting stranded in Vegas and being too poor to afford gas to get to work should really take me off the kidney stone list, but where would be the fun in that?  Kidney stones it is.

I highly recommend them.  It starts out with the most intense pain you have ever felt in your life.  Like a hot fork is being twisted around in your lower back.  Only it's not a back pain.  It's internal.  And it hurts like Jesus.  Literally.  Watch Passion of the Christ.  I'd go through three of those if it got me out of kidney stones.  Oh PS the pain is also so intense you puke and occasionally lose control of your bladder.

So then you go to UrgentCare and the doctor basically says, "This is going to suck.  A lot.  Here are some drugs that might take the edge off but really, it's going to hurt even worse when they come out."

"How much worse?"

"Like pissing tiny razor blades."

So the vicodin helps the pain centered around your kidneys but there's nothing short of the sweet kiss of a .45 that can take the edge off the unending hell your naughty bits will endure. 
Eventually stuff starts coming out and you start feeling like a sandblaster since you're basically leaving slurry in the toilet with each visit.  And since you're drinking water and cranberry juice like it's your job you'll have to piss roughly every three seconds. 

This might seem like a good idea; hydrate yourself and speed up the process of expelling the stones.  All it really does is ramp up the number of times you have to roll up a wash rag and bite on it while screaming as driveway gravel comes hurling out your urethra.

That's the phase I'm at right now.  I'll let you know if any other phases develop.


The Worst Weekend Ever: Super Bonus Monday Edition!

I'm transferring some older blogs from my myspace account before I delete it. Enjoy this golden oldie, originally posted 9/5/07:

I woke Monday morning, got a shower, threw my clothes in my bag, checked out via the TV, and had the Fiesta valet call me a cab.  I was eager to get to my car, get it in the shop, and at least find out how much longer I'd be stuck in Vegas.

I had kept my phone off for most of Saturday night and Sunday, partly because my mom was ringing me off the hook worried about me and also because I hadn't packed a phone charger.  I had only planned on a weekend stay, and I had a charger in my car.  So now my phone was almost dead.  I turned it on to check my voicemail:


The Worst Weekend Ever: Sunday

I'm transferring some older blogs from my myspace account before I delete it. Enjoy this golden oldie, originally posted 9/1/07:

Sunday morning Kat and I woke up to start packing maniacally so we could make our 11a checkout time.  I had some shirts to throw in a bag; Kat was packing her entire life again to move to New York.  I was pretty bummed.
We got her things together and I made sure to forget a bottle of cologne and some other stuff in the hotel closet (I just realized that yesterday).  We checked out on time but had four hours to kill before Kat flew out of town and I was stuck, alone, in Vegas.


The Worst Weekend Ever: Saturday

I'm transferring some older blogs from my myspace account before I delete it. Enjoy this golden oldie, originally posted 8/30/07:

Okay, Saturday wasn't too bad actually.

Kat and I woke up around 10 or so.  Gary's roommate Jason, who was the only reasonably sane person we had met the night before (and thus he was omitted from the previous blog) had given me a post-it note with some local garages he trusted.  I lost it, of course.

I looked up a shop and called in.  They could get my car diagnosed but they were closing at noon; they wouldn't work on it until Monday.  That didn't help my situation at all, so I resigned myself to finding a shop on Monday.  To a normal person, this would clear up the entire weekend since, you know, there's nothing you can DO about it until Monday.  Me?  I just worry.


The Worst Weekend Ever: Friday

I'm transferring some older blogs from my myspace account before I delete it. Enjoy this golden oldie, originally posted 9/5/07:

DISCLAIMER:  All of the following is completely 100% true.  Those who know me personally also know I have a penchant for embellishing things for comedic effect.  That is not the case this time.  In the biblical words of Job:  "You think I'm making this shit up?"
Friday, August 24 I was to meet my girlfriend Kat in Las Vegas for her 21st birthday.  She had spent three days with me in L.A. before flying up to Santa Cruz to see some relatives and pick some things up since after Vegas she was moving to New York, which I deduced was extremely fucking far from me.

Kat had hammered on me to get a plane ticket and save myself the hassle, but by the time I looked the cheapest tickets were $250 and I could definitely make the drive (four to five hours from L.A.) cheaper.  Plus I liked the idea of having a car in case we needed to get somewhere where taxis dare not tread.  I picked up Kat's birthday present, a rather nice Sony handycam, and hit the road around 11:30. 


Worst. Amateur Night. EvAr.

I'm transferring some older blogs from my myspace account before I delete it. Enjoy this golden oldie, originally posted 3/8/07:

"It's amateur night, dude. We HAVE to go."

My buddy Jeff likes the strip clubs, but he's not a creepy dude. Well, maybe I'm biased because he's one of my best friends. He's a recovering Baptist; a lifetime of sensual depravation, a nasty marriage, decent divorce, and possibly lesbian girlfriend have molded him into one of the most simultaneously depraved yet naive people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He's the kind of guy who will show up with a bottle of moonshine but doesn't know what felching is. Come to think of it maybe that's not a bad thing.

Amateur night at the local strip club is a big deal because Jeff's into "regular" girls. Strippers with huge tits and Cirque du Soleil acrobatics are cool, but I have seen Jeff leap from his seat and run to another stage because some dude's girlfriend had enough mojitos to convince herself to get on stage. It's kind of like how I am with Asians.

I meet Jeff at 9:30 outside the Penthouse Club in beautiful downtown
Sauget, IL (originally incorporated as Monsanto, IL. That's not even a joke). The bouncer at the door asks me for ID. I hand him my license.

"Shit," Jeff says, "I left mine in the car. I'll be right back."

"Nah. You're fine," replies the 350 pound bald man with fire tattooed on his head.

"Wow. You're the graybeard at the strip club. C'mon grandpa, I'll get you a hot dog and a seat near the speakers."

Once inside the door, ANOTHER huge bald man (is there a union for these guys?) asks for our $10 admission fee. Jeff hands him a $20. The guy asks if it's to cover me as well.

"Buddy I would, but I'm broke," Jeff tells me. No big deal. We walk in and grab seats away from the stages. Jeff has a thing about "scoping out" the situation. Aside from the $10 cover, Jeff will spend maybe $9 at a strip club. He prefers to sit at a distance; moving in for the kill only when the perfect stripper hits the stage or some random chick from the crowd gets dragged into the feeding frenzy onstage. This makes him a good counterweight, because of course "perfect" strippers come around pretty regularly by my judgment, and if allowed I will throw $40 at the first girl who pretends to like me. A waitress stops by to see if we need anything. I order a Miller Lite; Jeff gets a Corona. When the waitress returns with our beers, Jeff insists on paying.

"I thought you were broke. I'll get the beers, man."

"No, it's the least I can do. Let me buy these."

"Okay...except this is a strip club. Those beers cost more than if you had paid my cover."

"God...dammit." Jeff hands the waitress a $20 and gets back $4. I hand him some singles to offset the loss, but he is adamant in paying for the beers and refuses. I assure him the next round is on me. We both know this gesture is an empty one, because Jeff does not drink much and will nurse this Corona for the rest of the night.

We spend an hour or so taking in the scenery and I find myself enamored with a girl who reminds me a lot of
Maggie Gyllenhaal. I point her out to Jeff, who agrees with my review, and we ogle from afar. After her set she disappears. A few minutes later Jeff nudges my shoulder.

"Maggie's leaving," he says.

"How do you know?" He points her out to me.

"She's in her street clothes. She's walking out the door."

"Street clothes? As opposed to dress blues? Do strippers have civilian clothes?"

"It's not all G-strings and high heels, my friend." Truer words have never been spoken.

"The amateurs are next. Let's get a seat at the main stage," I say. Jeff can only be coaxed to the main stage if there are amateurs involved. We sit front row center as two local radio personalities "hype" the crowd asking for whoops and hollers and clapping. There is no sadder assessment of humanity than the anemic clapping that wacky DJs receive when they refuse to allow men to see tits unless they make enough noise.

I think it would be really fun to be the strip club voice guy. I worked in radio, so I can produce the voice. I also think it'd be great to fuck with the heads of drunk and horny men:

"Alright give it up for these beautiful ladies! Who out there is nice and hard lookin' at these gorgeous lovely girls? Clap if you've got a big hard cock for one of these girls! Let's hear it for big hard cocks! I just turned you all gay...I'm being told I've just been fired!"

But anyway...

The first dancer comes out and is well received. I would have to question her amateur status: she can work a pole and the crowd pretty well. This isn't the Olympics, so I let her continue unimpeded. She asks me my name. I throw a handful of singles at her ass as she tiger crawls over to the overly friendly biker who insisted on talking to me while I had a nude woman gyrating on my pelvis.

It dawns on me that if an unattractive woman brings me food or drink I will often tip her $5, $10, even $20. Here I have a beautiful woman shaking her shit in my face and I'm giving her $3. I need to rethink my investments.

A housewife named Leather takes the stage and, while she is not the most amazing body to look at, she works the stage like she owns it. I'm pretty sure Leather is on meth or coke, but I don't mind because she is bent over masturbating and licking the floor. She looks like she would a very, VERY angry fuck. Other than that it is pretty standard fare. I order another beer.

Jeff mentions he has not eaten dinner and is starving. He disappears briefly and returns chewing on something. He spits out the rind from a lemon wedge.

"Holy shit man, I will buy you some fucking McDonald's."

"They had these sitting at the bar; I just wanted one. I'm fine."

"A fucking lemon wedge?"

A hippie named Jade gets dragged onto the stage (her boyfriend brought her here for her birthday and, SURPRISE! suggested she dance). Jeff likes her. She's rail thin, with huge boobs, but she has dreadlocks down to her ass. I don't care for dreads on people who have earned the right to wear them, and I really don't like them on white girls.

Jade's a true amateur and doesn't really know what she's doing. She bobs up and down to generic ass-rock and takes off her shirt. Her boobs are store bought, and probably from Wal-Mart. These things have bigger dimples than the Gerber baby. But the show goes on, and soon Jade is completely naked. She has an ill-advised tattoo of a heart or something right where her pubic hair would be if she hadn't shaved. And therein lies the strange dichotomy of Jade: she shaves her junk and her armpits but not her legs. What kind of fucking statement is that? You're only going to let body image subjugate you just a little bit?

Jade is cheered on by her boyfriend, who is friends with the overly friendly biker next to me. They shower her with dollars and hoots and hollers. She comes over my way and I notice she has the biggest clit I have ever seen in person. It could pass for a dick. I burst out laughing. The biker looks at me and is not overly friendly any more.

But Jade is not phased and continues to bob in that weird "I'm white and have no rhythm" bob we all do at weddings and proms. Her confidence is back up and she decides to really shake her shit. She turns around and drops to her hands and knees in front of the biker.

And she exposes a tulip bud of hemorrhoids worthy of a Miracle-Gro commercial. I turn to Jeff.

"Yeesh," he grimaces.

That's all we can really muster on that. There is something very surreal about listening to Freak on a Leash while wanting a Tuck's medicated pad.

"I'm not really as into her as I was before," Jeff tries to justify. "And I know I'll regret telling you this, but I only ate that lemon because in the light I thought it was an orange."

"Why didn't you spit it out when you realized it was a lemon?!"

"I had already committed."

Jade's set ends, but she refuses to collect any of the money people have thrown on stage (take that, establishment!) and she makes her way off the stage to a smattering of applause and the announcers bring forward the next contestant: Smoky. I'm sorry, she's correcting them: it's SmokAy.

And she is 60. Years. Old.

She walks onstage wearing a little plaid mini skirt that stops just above her flaccid labia and a white button down shirt with white socks and sneakers. This is what Catholic priests have to contend with in hell. I imagine Satan appears before them as a sharp-dressed, good looking dude and says "Congratulations on your life serving god, welcome to Heaven. We're gonna make it worth your while, sport!" Then they strap them to the bed and in walks SmokAy, probably to a Tom Jones song, and proceeds to gum them to death. For eternity.

Grown men are scattering from the stage like roaches after someone flips a light switch.

"Oh...holy...fuck, man. We gotta bail. I can't do this," Jeff looks pale. I imagine this is the face he'd have if we ever killed a man and had to flee the scene.

"C'mon buddy. This is gonna build SO MUCH CHARACTER. And think of the story we can tell!"

"She's coming this way!"

I instinctively push my foot hard against the base of the stage, and my chair exits the immediate vicinity. She ambles on, and now she's officially stripping. I have never liked the band Saliva, and after watching a naked sexagenarian gyrate to one of their songs I can say I hate them.

At this point Jeff and I have turned our chairs and we are staring at each other so as to avoid the car crash unfolding onstage. I am laughing uncontrollably, so much so that I actually feel bad because this woman obviously had the confidence to do this and here I am laughing. But Jesus.

"Jeff, I'm gonna put some money in front of you on the stage."

"I. Will. Fucking. Kill. You."

I lean in to set some singles down when I notice she is already on a collision course with Jeff. He fires his rear thrusters but she has him in her wrinkled clutches.

I have seen naked women. Some even in person. Through the miracles of the internet I have even seen horrible, obese, old, and gross naked women. But never before that night have I been physically unable to look at a naked woman. It was like staring into the sun. I even tried to, but my body would not let me.  SmokAy has big fake boobs but everything else is as wrinkly, pock-marked, and gross as you would imagine.  Her ass ripples like a kid just threw a rock into it.

SmokAy grinds on Jeff for what is probably a minute but feels like an hour and a half. He throws her a dollar. She grabs his hands and tries to stand him up out of his chair for god knows what.

"I'm good. Really," he says. She holds the dollar and shakes her head disapprovingly. Like a grandma would.

"Is that all you got lover?" she hisses over the ass-rock.

"I'm tapped out! Sorry!" Jeff is apologizing to this woman for pitying her enough to throw a dollar at her shriveled starfish. UNICEF would not have given this woman a dollar, and Jeff is apologizing for low balling her.

She tucks it into her sock and moves toward me. I panic, but I think quickly enough on my feet that I turn around and start drinking my new beer.

Remember that scene in Jurassic Park when the kids shine the light through the car window and the T-Rex's eye is right there? I can feel her hovering at my spot just waiting for me to turn around. I'm in it to win it, though. Beer is streaming down my chin onto my lap. My eyes are watering. Must. Drink. Do not acknowledge. Drink!

I slam the empty down.

"I'm hittin' the pisser. Watch my seat."

"Fuck you! You are NOT leavi-" I'm already up and gone. I am choking on beer foam from chugging/laughing and I need to throw whiz like it's my job. In the bathroom I stumble across half the guys who left the stage.

"How's it goin' out there man? Is that ol' bitch still walkin' all over her pussy lips?" The bathroom attendant offers me a cigarette. I consider it for a second, then realize this is an entirely bizarre gesture that may cost me money. I decline the smoke.

"I would rather stare death in the face than watch that any more," I say while seeing the proverbial man about the proverbial mule.

"Dude. You just stared death in the SNATCH," says the poser with the spiky hair and sport coat. We all share a laugh; I wash my hands and return to my seat.

We're halfway through the last song of SmokAy's set and it's an endurance trial now. She has moved on to the other side of the stage, which at first was good but now means we are staring at a wrinkled, veiny ass bent over her white sneakers while she flirts with a Pakistani. Her browneye glares menacingly at us like it's going to yell at us to get off its lawn.

I should also mention that during her entire set, none of the DJs say a word. Normally they read off the little bio sheet each amateur has to provide detailing favorite sexual positions, kinkiest place they ever did it, number of times they've gone ass to mouth, etc. Not a fucking word. No words could apply. What would you say? "SmokAy's a sexy grandmother of four who likes it from behind and enjoys Boggle!"

"Oh my god let this song be over," Jeff is losing faith in humanity at this point.

"I've actually seen this before," I point out the varicose veins, "when my grandma fell in the shower." Jeff spits out his beer. The song ends. By my count, SmokAy has amassed three dollars. One of those is the ransom Jeff had to pay to be released from the cold grip of Death.

It's getting pretty late, and I have to work the next day, but Jeff and I agree we can't let SmokAy be our last experience of the night. The next girl, Jersey, looks very promising.

She's gorgeous. Great rack, that-unbelievably-beautiful-girl-next-door smile, and an AMAZING ass. AMAZING. Michelangelo carved this ass out of honey and sugar.

And she's friendly. She immediately makes her way to Jeff and I and gyrates for awhile, removing various articles of clothing. Unfortunately she's keeping her panties on. Since this is our last round of the fight Jeff and I are sparing no expense; we lavish praise and money on this girl. She straddles Jeff and humps like no tomorrow. I am amused.

Then she comes to me and asks me how I'm doing. This is a huge plus. I know she doesn't care. I know I might as well have a giant sign that says "I STILL HAVE SOME MONEY" over my head, but she acts like she cares. And that matters.

She lies on her back and rests her legs on my shoulders. I memorize the curves of this lithe little goddess with my eyes. She reaches her hand down and rubs herself. This getting good...

And then I notice the white string peaking out from behind her black panties.

"I'm done, dude."

"Why? She was hot!" Jeff's into it.

"I'm not down with the tampon string." Jeff leans over as she bounces for the friendly biker next to me.

"Jesus Christ. What the hell is going on tonight?!"

"One would almost think God is telling us not to go to strip clubs."


We leave the club as a beer-bellied housewife is making her way up to the stage, and I advise Jeff to seriously rethink his policy on amateurs. My original justification of "it'll make a great story!" is rendered null, as Jeff makes me swear to never speak of this night again.

He didn't say I couldn't write about it.


Let the Countdown Begin

I'm transferring some older blogs from my myspace account before I delete it. Enjoy this golden oldie, originally posted 2/12/07:

I turned in my notice at work today; for once it wasn't in mid-hissy fit while I lamented some way they had wronged me.  This was a clear-headed and rational decision:  I am moving to California.

Okay I guess those last two sentences can't really support each other, but anyone who's known me very long knows I have sought to live near an ocean ever since I first saw one.  And anyone who's known me since June knows that I came back from visiting my cousin in Cali starry-eyed at the possibility of moving out there.
And then I got back here and sat on the idea.  Time passed and it was a pleasant memory but nothing imminent.  I set a somewhat arbitrary deadline for my move.

Then December happened and I was set back significantly both financially and mentally for the prospect of a cross-country move.  I gave up.  Someday, in the distant future, when the stars aligned, I might try to make it out there.

But my cousin has always had enough motivation for the two of us whenever I needed a kick in the ass, and he made a phone call to convince me.  The fact that it is presently 33 degrees and raining here might've also helped my decision.

So I'm doing it.  I'm fucking DOING it!  I have been bouncing back and forth between the most pumped I have ever been at the possibilities this brings to panic-stricken at what this entails, exactly.  Mostly pumped though.  Before you start to worry/mock, I'm not going out there expecting to step out of my car and be discovered as some musician/comedian/actor god.  I know that sort of thing doesn't happen, and it will take at LEAST a month before I am famous.

As of March 16 I will no longer be a resident of Illinois.  Of course, for two days I won't really be a resident of anywhere, except highway 40.  But shortly after that I will be a resident of the great state of California!

If you are reading this we should get together soon and play Drink the Beers.  Call me!