Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Money Where My Mouth Is

My love/love relationship with the 99 cents store is well documented in my blog. If you’re in Los Angeles, call me up and tell me your cross streets, I can tell you where the nearest 99 cents store is*. Yes my mom is very proud of me, in case you were wondering.

My local noventa y nueve store is in a parking lot with a really hip organic market. This market is the real deal. They sell grass fed beef. I’m told that’s much tastier and a lot better for you than beef that’s fed grain. The market is great and relatively inexpensive but at a huge disadvantage being right next to the 99 cents store. The 99 cents store has an extensive grocery section to go along with stuff like, “Hello Smitty” knockoff coloring books. I occasionally wonder into the local organic market when the 99 cent store doesn’t have eggs. I like local market but not enough to shop their exclusively or go there before I poke my head into the 99 cent store. I do however want the organic place to stay in business.

I have decided to go in the market once every other week and purchase one or two offerings to help them stay afloat. Last week it was a 5 dollar bag of Farina. Week before some tasty but “send you to the poor house” prawns. I’ve got my eye on beef with grass between its teeth. Basically, the local market will be where I go to buy my metaphorical sneakers.

I learned a long time ago that you can skimp on your outfit as long as you kill’em with some fly sneaks. I’ll skimp at the 99 cents store but go to the market to make my cupboard seem flyer than it really is.

VISITOR 2MY CUPBOARD: Wow, high end Farina, Prawns…somebody has stepped their game up. By the way…you should probably keep those Prawns in the freezer.

* I can also do this for Starbucks locations and I’m not too shabby on Ross Dress For Less locales as well.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Gotta Idea...That I Wanna Share

A teenager in Mexico City is on a Hunger Strike until she gets an invite to the Royal Wedding. Kinda crazy but I think I now have the perfect plan to get my own show:

See me starve in front of CBS.
And know, that ‘til I get my own show, I vow not to ingest.
Talk show is cool but a sitcom is best.
Is that a Wetzel Pretzel?!
Ahhh...screw it I guess…CRUNCH!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Overhead Dread

We often hear stories of heroism so selfless that they fill us with hope that maybe just maybe we humans will make it on this planet after all. Someone jumps on a train track to save someone else or shares a kidney with a stranger, or “likes” one of your wall posts.

For me, these stories don’t exactly restore my faith in mankind. For I travel and I believe that until we can share overhead space on an airplane, we can’t really expect any type of peace on earth. How can countries compromise on borders when individuals can’t even team up to ensure no one has to check a bag? When people put itty bitty bags overhead or put their bag in sideways against the constant urgings of the crew and the big instruction label inside the bins, they’re not screwing some stranger out in the ether. No, they are sticking it to someone they’re about to spend 5 hours with. There’s no I in “fellow passenger.”

It’s just amazing that 100 people with enough money to fly on a plane need to get to territorial and petty. I have no qualms about moving someone’s bag or loudly saying, “who’s tiny under the seat bag is here taking up precise luggage space?!” And how lazy and uncaring do you have to be to not turn your bag 90 degrees?! It would be okay if the flight attendants didn’t plea with people to put their bags in wheels first 10-20 times while boarding.

Come on folks. Let’s ensure human existence on this planet. Let’s share overhead space. And after we do, we can work on people who take up two parking spaces.

All this, of course, is contingent upon the machines not taking over. 

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Icing Like Tyson

For a boxer, being bequeathed a nickname is a sure fire sign that you’ve arrived on the boxing scene. If Mac “The Killer” Jones is fighting Ralph Henderson, “The Killer” has to be the prefight favorite. A sure fire sign that you have completely permeated pop culture is having a dance named after you. Iron Mike Tyson has both.

I was reminded of the reason why today when I watched a bunch of his early knockouts. A barrage of extremely powerful but even more accurate blows turned men into drunken incoherent mice. My amazement shifted from how can he hit that hard to why would anyone let themselves be hit that hard. I derived amusement from Mike’s competitors, dead men walking, realizing only at the moment of first impact, just how hard Tyson punched. There’s something purely entertaining about seeing the exact moment when a person accepts truth. That moment is even more entertaining when it’s accompanied by an uppercut that lifts them off the ground. The truth hurts.

Brutality aside, there was beauty in Tyson’s precision and raw power. Boxing is called the sweet science and Mike Tyson’s practice of the science turned the ring into a revolving lab where grown specimens could visit but not stay longer than a round or two.

I think my buddy and I enjoyed seeing Tyson’s targets drop a little more than we should of. Partly because of an innate desire to witness anything shocking but mainly our laughter was that of the nervous variety, knowing full well that we would have met the exact same fate and probably in half the time.

With fear comes intrigue and Mike Tyson had intrigue to spare. It’s a shame that his quest to legitimately be considered the greatest was derailed by all of his troubles.

Our attraction to beauty and perfection is even greater than our infatuation with shock. When all three are in the same package, it’s unlikely that purity will be left alone to fulfill its promise (see Michael Jackson). There’s also the sadness that most people extremely gifted in one area are necessarily deficient somewhere else. We don’t celebrate balance and consistency. We exalt talent and then feign shock when the other shoe drops.

But now twenty years after he first burst unto the scene, we are still intrigued with Iron Mike; Of course partly because of his antics but always because will be forever indebted to him for blessing us with his talents.

Mike Tyson is from Brooklyn by the way.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Broke Down Communication

I think there’s some benefit to wearing sunglasses all the time. Sure you’re “that guy” and you lose out on some quality interactions with people who’ll have none of your pretentiousness. On the flip side though, you avoid uncomfortable exchanges.

I don’t wear tinted bifocals, more out of a fear of losing them than a fear of looking like a jerk. I have a practical work around but having your sunglasses hang from your neck like a granny in between crossword puzzles is even too un-cool for me. So as I passed through security at Cleveland International with the windows to my soul exposed, I made eye contact with a friendly airport staffer. This gentleman was African American so there was the obligatory “Keep fighting the good fight” nod that black people often give each other in non-black environments. Also, I had just done 6 sold out shows and already established during my last show that an audience member would be on my flight. So it’s possible that the staffer was at one of the shows is all I’m saying.

All the aforementioned factors led to me nodding and that leading to small talk: Something about me going to a warm place and him wishing he could get away from the cold. So far so straight. Then he asked me if I had had a Cleveland tour guide. “Uh… No” Now I’m thinking Cleveland airport is all about hospitality. Like Cleveland is banding together as a city to make sure visitors leave with a good impression.

Then the airport staffer offered to show me around next time. I still wasn’t sure if he was at the show or making small talk or what. Since I was on my way out of Dodge I said “Sure, thanks…I guess…” I still didn’t know what was happening. Then he said he was on Facebook and I thought “Oh, he is a fan…whew…” Then Mr. Friendly proceeds to write down his Facebook url, number and email. And as I walk away he says “Call me anytime!”

Finally, I knew what was happening. He was a fan alright. Now readers, in my defense, black people can be very informal with each other and I’m constantly trying to make sure I’m not being standoffish like some snobby New Yorker or even worse an aloof Angelino. So I thought this was an example of down home folk being down home folksy.

To each his own but not my own. I’m straight like Indian hair. I suppose women go through this all the time, never knowing if a friendly guy has an ulterior motive. Well that’s easy. Of course he does. But for same sex encounters in non-gay situations how is the straight person supposed to know? It’s not like this guy wore a pink boa and flashed jazz hands. Maybe gay guys need a sign to identify each other. There’s the rainbow but that might lack the subtlety needed by some. Also, Hawaii is still all WTF about their beloved rainbow being co-opted by gay bars. There’s got to be at least one bar with a rainbow outside of it that is really just a straight Hawaiian spot.

Perhaps some odd sequence of words might better serve as the gay sign and something far more intricate than “how’s it going?” Maybe something like “Cream style corn is better served warm” and the response to let the other person know it’s on would be something like “And French Cuff Links shine brightest at dawn.” Now there’s still a chance that a straight person could say the cuff link line without knowing it was a code but in my case there was no exchanges of non sequiturs.

To avoid straight guys with tourette’s getting hit on. The best thing to do would be to have a secret gay handshake. Of course this would have completely shot holes in the otherwise very believable movie, “I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Steve”

I now pronounce myself a sunglass wearer.