08 January 2010

Leases on Life

I've decided it's time to revert back to that tangential-esque thinking that got me started on this blog in the first place. You know...short, punchy quips with absolutely no point whatsoever.

I got up at 4:30 this morning (due in part to a slight hangover) and decided that sleeping was a futile effort. So I showered and walked to Starbucks around the corner. Pretty typical stuff for me, in terms of morning activities but even more so now that I got a $25 gift card from my brother Mike for Christmas. Thanks, buddy. No, seriously. Good gift. Anyway, as I stood waiting for my coffee and breakfast sandwich, it occurred to me just how much I hate the phrase "new lease on life".

Generally, this phrase is relegated to those who suddenly change something drastically in his or her life. Maybe they have this great new job, or this great new significant other, or this great new drug habit...who knows, could be one of many things. And when this shift occurs, you might hear someone's mom utter the phrase "hmm, sounds like he/she's got a new lease on life".

"Yeah, for sure he does. He got a sweet deal on an 18-month term but I'm concerned that once this lease is up, he'll revert right back to his old ways of panhandling on the streets of LA and eating meals consisting solely of crack and throw-away bear claws from Yum Yum."

A new lease on life...why is it a lease? A lease is finite. It has a definite beginning and more importantly, a definite end. It suggests just what I've alluded to in the interjection above...that at some point, the lease will be up and renewal will not be possible. Why don't we say a new "mortgage" on life? That way, there's at least the possibility of paying it off and eventually owning that life. If we choose to make another change, we can simply "refinance" this "mortgage" on our life and do something different. Because it's not a lease, you see. It's a mortgage, and it's an equitable proposition. It's an investment in one's future, is it not? And theretofore, shouldn't pretty much everything we choose to do or not to do be classified as an investment into our futures? My morning coffee is an investment into my very near future, ensuring I'll have that quick burst of fake energy that it takes to walk my lazy ass back to my apartment, no more than 200 yards away. This is where I choose not to give seventy-one more examples of inane activities that are preposterously alleged to be "investments" into my future.

Ahh...feels good to write a bunch of nonsense again.

04 January 2010


Why do we make New Year's Resolutions? What, so we can look back a year from now and realize that we most likely failed miserably in attaining any of those lofty goals we set for ourselves in a drunken haze on NYE? I love those people who vow to be a better person this year. I'm sorry, what? Yeah, generally people who make that resolution have NO SHOT of succeeding in holding it up. Once a bad person...

I did make a couple resolutions and quite frankly, I set the bar pretty low for myself in 2010. Hey, it gives me a better shot of looking back next year and gleaning some modicum of pride from the accomplishments. I want to work harder; I want to get back into a routine of working out, rather than the 1-2 times-per-week routine that I've been mired in for over a year now. I'm not totally out of shape, but if I'm not careful my body will end up resembling that of Stu from the Hangover...it's in my genes and Dad, you can attest to this. I want to write more. This one won't be too difficult, since I've pretty much ceased all writing (for the public eye) for the last several months. And this entry is a good start. I am also resolving myself to making less bets with my lady friend, Ms. Renee. I'm like 0-for-16 since mid-2009 and there's one bet pending that could prove DISASTROUS if I lose. I will not divulge the stakes, but I drunkenly bet her that the C's would beat the Lakers in the 2010 NBA Finals. Yes, I realize all the contingencies involved here, but when both teams are healthy they're clearly the two best in the NBA. I'll say this: if I lose this bet, you may be seeing a new blog entitles "Homeless and French in LA".

Highlight of my holiday season: mushroom hunting on the central coast of California with Renee's father, Alex. We got up at 5:30 and drove to Cambria to hunt porcini mushrooms. At 2pm we had gathered about 25 pounds of various types, most intriguingly being the amanita muscaria; or more commonly known as a psychadelic shroom. But we managed to pick about 6 pounds of porcinis and they were fantastic. We promptly dried most of them for soups, but the small batch we immediately sauteed in garlic, butter and olive oil and consumed. Amazing. I'm telling you, if you're in search of a low-maintenance, low-cost hobby, go buy a book on mushroom hunting and get out there in the spring (if you're in MASS). It's relaxing, fun and you can most certainly eat some of what you find. I'll try and remember to post some photos later on of the haul from last week.

That's about it for now, but I hope to remain in contact with the one or two loyal souls who still check back to see if I'm writing again. If anyone cares to view another blog that I've recently started (written as my current roommate), give me your email address and I'll add you on. I will not be making it public, though.

Here's to a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to all in the blogger world.


10 June 2009

After All...

Ramon Ramirez was due to get touched up a bit. I haven't seen him pitch more than a few times on the season, but I know the numbers. When you rely on box scores, numbers become deliveries and swings. They define what you remember most about a given player. The guy has been lights out, much like the majority of the Sox bullpen this season. Tonight, he challenged both Damon and Teixeira and gave up two blasts. Francona never flinched, outside of chewing a bit more anxiously than usual. He's not out of the inning yet, but I like sticking with RR here. Anddddddd he's been pulled. Never fails.

Damon is impressive and I wish I didn't have to say that. Banned substance investigation (pending?) aside, he has 13 HR's on the year and he's arguably the MVP of the Yankees this season. I really must say that living outside of my beloved Boston has allowed me to get a totally different perspective on the Yankees (or all sports team, for that matter) and it's kind of a relief. You do lose a lot of the stressful anxiety by removing yourself from the thick of things in Boston; I still love the hometown boys across the board but the placebo effect of surrounding yourself with people who are equally as rabid and excitable as you can be detrimental to one's health and psyche. I'm just saying, it can.

I'm giddy about Buchholz returning to the staff. Speaking of lights out, he has been absolutely dealing (albeit at an affiliate) lately. The Braves may want Penny, the Sox should probably swap him out...On paper, the rotation when all are healthy could be laughable. Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka, Wakefield, Buchholz/Smoltz. Good gravy. Who matches up in a series? I don't know if the All-Century Team matches up, 1-5. Well, ok...but you get the point. The bullpen isn't anything to sneeze at, either...to say the least. Also, Wake is the MVP to this point for the Sox. Or Co with Youk, injury time included. It's to the point where I focus on Youk's at-bats because he ALWAYS has a good AB. He gets knocked for being a baby when he makes an out, but I think I'd be the same way if I always had quality ABs. Advantage: hitter; in those situations.

Simmons' article on a certain #34 in Boston might have actually worked. He's looking sharper of late...I'll say no more.

I'm saddened by the state of affairs for Glavine and Pedro. These are two of my favorites of all time to have taken the mound and I can't decide if it's more on them or on the teams who aren't interested. It's not quite Favresque, but it's in the same book.

Channing Crowder has inquired about a cage match with Rex Ryan through the UFC. You heard it first here, remember that. Because he did...Crowder. He did. He asked them. Straight up.

Rex Ryan agreed to the match eagerly, based on the assumption that the UFC will allow him to use a chain gun.


09 June 2009

Up For Air

I typically have a very difficult time complying with the occasional assertion that I should be posting more/something/anything. I had no defense of the latest one, as it caused an audible "wow. fuck." Thanks Bowen...very effective words. Maybe...

I have a few announcement to make, thus this entry will be of the chronologically ordered variety. Side note here: I feel as though the chronologically ordered entry is oft ignored and markedly unappreciated.

1. I'm OFF suicide watch. JESUS. It would be this particular barb that catalyzed the "wow. fuck."

2. I'll be the first to admit that I've passed on several opportunities to post in the recent past. Let's see, April 7th was the last post...over two months ago. I really should have written about my Coachella experience, but I read enough reviews and reminiscent euphoria to assure me that my words would never suffice in delivering an appropriate recollection. Seriously, that's not simply an excuse. There's just way too much to cover. My only note is that everyone should try to make it to Coachella for all three days at some point in his or her life. It will change it, if only temporarily. If you have a chance to view any of the Cure videos on YouTube, do so. It's a big part of what I just noted.

3. I moved. Again. I've held more addresses in the past year than your average vagrant. Although, a vagrant doesn't change his address with the USPS and take advantage of the coupons they mail you. Of course, most of them are available in any Sunday paper but still. It's convenient. Shit, anyway...I live across the street from the Staples Center now, in a part of LA that they are desperately and unrelentingly trying to build up and populate. It's kind of working, and they built a veritable Faneuil Hall-on-Steroids next to Staples. Well, maybe not. It's more like Route 1 in Saugus smooshed into a ball.

4. It's true that there are hordes of beautiful women in this city, but the majority of them are about as fun to talk to as LeBron after losing Game 6 to the Magic. It's comical, though...I'll say that. I like to lie to them about who I am and what I do, get them interested in my faux fortune and then invite them to Carl's Jr. for a value meal. I don't get it...Carl's is soo good.

5. I hate the Lakers. I've always hated them, but now it's just beyond any reasonable consideration. It's really more to do with hating Laker fans, though. I'll be the first to praise the historic franchise that is the Lakers, sure. I know what they've accomplished. I remember the 80's (errrr...). How can you pay no love to the Celtics franchise? It's just so absurdly ignorant that I shouldn't waste any emotion on it whatsoever. But it alarms me to no end.

6. I haven't watched much television in the last 6 months and my sports fixes have been few and far between. I had the regional sports package for a while, but the games on NESN were always blacked out. I suppose I could get the MLB package, but I'm not there yet. I've become very close with GameCast, which really isn't that terrible at all, but I miss watching the Sox on weekend afternoons. I'll probably break down and order the MLB package. Anyway, watch "Californication" if you get a chance. Highly entertaining. Duchovny had to go to rehab for booze and sex addictions after shooting Season 2 of the show. I'll say no more.

7. I'll close by saying that you can find a good woman in LA. You should steer clear of Hollywood in order to do so, but there are instances where it's possible to come across a young lady who's "just along for the ride" and prefers a place like the Edison Hotel. If you find yourself in downtown LA, don't miss it. Seriously. Maybe the best place to have a drink in California.

Oh and in case you're wondering what I did with the noose, I gave it to the super. He's a d-bag that suspects I'm gay and makes no effort of discretion in asserting that. His name is Mr. Roper and...did that work? Most assuredly not.

Thanks again, John. Dick.

07 April 2009

This Seventh of April

I guess I have weekly shots of reality, wherein I'll audibly utter an alarmed version of "fuck" wherever I am. Not always an appropriate thing, like the time it happened in front of the avocados at Ralph's on Lincoln. I know, I know. I seldom forget about self-cognizance of little kids, but when it's February and the avocados still just get pumped out in delicious mass quantity...tact escapes me.

My shot of reality arrived at 1:05 pm this afternoon and thankfully I was in the comforts of my own apartment (yes, clothed AND sober). I had anticipated this day for months, but it was actually this day that was supposed occur yesterday. And then something happens that NEVER happens in Boston: inclement weather in April. I'm not sure there's anything worse than an opening day rainout. Disppointment lasts about nine seconds and then sharply breaks into vicious anger, followed by bouts of incredulous eating (note: incredulous eating is when you find yourself eating something you don't want, tastes terrible and makes you lightly ill...and you actually say "why am I eating this?" as you continue to consume) and finally, the inevitable toss of the arms skyward.

Any inkling of resonant anger from yesterday was suffocated the second I heard the sweet baritone of Mr. Don Orsillo. Wait, no. It was the sight of the increasingly attractive Heidi Watney reporting from inside the park. But yeah, Don's voice was cool, too.

I can't say I sat through the whole game because it was the middle of a Tuesday afternoon...there it is. That's the minute I was blasted by the weekly shot of reality. It's 1:05. I'm not watching Sox in 2 or Classic. It's 74 degrees outside. I'm wearing shorts. The avocados. Where am I? Oh, right. I'm LA. I'm watching NESN in fucking California while Joe Maddon dons some kind of earflapped chapeau and Beckett and Shields blow on their pitching hands incessantly. It's not going to get any less shocking any time soon...the whole baseball thing, that is. I had to order my 2009 Sox shirt online instead of taking a stroll onto Yawkey Way. I'm seeing more games in Anaheim and Oakland this season than at Fenway, which is mightily saddening but remarkably exciting at the same time. Not quite equal parts, but close.

My thoughts from the 9 who play 9:

-think Pedroia was pumped about that delivery in his first AB of the season? There's one thing a back-to-back R.O.Y./M.V.P. thinks leading into the season and during that first game or first week or month of the season: make sure you prove it's not a fluke. Maybe that solo shot doesn't make the season, fuck no. But you saw how quickly Pedro got around those bags. Weight lifted for a few days, perhaps. Also, I fucking love Pedroia.

-the pitching displayed precisely what I knew they would. JB was strong, accurate mostly and overall dominating. That's why he's still our number 1. Pap was electric. Oki was...well, Oki in a lot of ways. We all know that he'll give up baserunners, but he's still steady. It took him 2 batters to settle but the Crawford at-bat was vintage. Masterson is really raw. And talented. And his delivery is sick. I hoped to see Ramirez, but we'll be seeing plenty of him this season.

-honestly, I was totally floored when 'Tek homered. I literally expect nothing from him offensively this year. Nothing. So when he offers something, it's magical. Defensively, he was flawless. Naturally.

I guess that's all for now. I thought I had a little more in me for the inaugural baseball post, but overall I'm satisfied. You might not be, but alas, who the fuck are you? If you're my dad, you need not dignify this question. All else: soul-searching time.

Pacific Purification

Swimming in the Pacific is like an enema. It's uncomfortable to the point of tears, the initial shock is enough to send a man's genitals upwards into his body and you find yourself asking why the fuck you are doing such a thing.

However, the aftermath delivers an invigoration and rejuvenation that few other things can afford. I suppose you do kind of waddle around for a while...but it's all part of the experience. Of swimming in the Pacific...not an enema.

18 March 2009

March of Dims

You got it right, dims. As in dimwitted.

I'm pretty sure I first heard the word 'dimwit' from my father. Dad, feel free to refute this allegation. Regardless, I knew that a dimwit was on par with a twit, a numbskull or a turkey. Sure, each has its own little nuances thrown in with the literal meaning, but the commonalities are in the majority. Personally, I can't think of a better way to insult someone than to call him a turkey. It has all the undertones of a 'chicken', but it's faaaaaar worse. Don't just listen to it...hear it ringing in your ears: "You're nothing but a turkey."

I've come upon some unfavorable circumstances since I've been French in LA, or land of a thousand people who think they're really a million but they're really only a five-spot, at best. I'm sorry, I don't know what that means either. And now I'm beginning to get self-conscious about my commas, which isn't good, but isn't necessarily bad, but either way, is bad. Oh, the horror.

Listen, the point of this whole thing is merely to point out the consequences, should you find yourself waffling after calling someone a turkey. What not to do:

Don't start making turkey noises and movements, as if you are indeed a turkey yourself. Don't gobble and pull at the skin-laden portion in the front of your neck. Don't form wings with your arms and flap them while bending slightly forward and jutting your head forward intermittently, yet consistently. And under no circumstances should you engage in the act of laying an egg, although facetiously.

Do not back away, however. Do not utter the word "turkey" in order to offend someone and then just run away in cowardice. If he's indeed a turkey, he must be treated as such. Inspect his rib meat and the fatty parts under the armpits. Ask him about Thanksgiving and if he'd prefer baking slowly at 350 degrees or being tossed in a vat of scalding oil for 45 minutes to and hour, depending on weight. Tell him you like to eat your turkey with a bit of cranberry sauce and oh-so-tiny of a bite of mashed. Paw at his skin and tell him you hope it gets nice and crispy, because that's your favorite part.

Lastly, you should probably refer back to the previous paragraph and do the exact opposite. Run as far and as fast as you fucking can. This isn't the fifties, when you could really insult someone by calling them a butthead or a maroon. Call someone a turkey and you're most likely going to be beaten to death. Bludgeoned. Dental records will not be able to help in identifying your corpse. I feel for you.

Well, I hope this has been informative. Tune in next time, which could very well be in 2011.

18 February 2009

Researching "...For Dummies" Books For Dummies

I'll admit that I own a copy of "Personal Finance For Dummies". At one point in my life, I came to the realization that I was about as responsible with money as Magic Johnson was with his penis. I'm still trying to figure out what it means that I never actually read the book after purchasing it...that's right, bask in the glow of the fucking irony. Mmmm...feels good.

I went to a local Barnes and Noble today with three objectives: buy a map of San Diego, buy some new reading material for my flight to Boston on Sunday and finally, find the most ridiculous Dummies title out there. Not to toot my own (french) horn, but I was wildly successful on all counts. Let me add that these successes were most imperative because I was fresh off a fucking deplorable haircut, courtesy of Liliana at SuperCuts in Marina Del Ray. If you're reading this, Liliana, there's hope for you yet. There's still time to pick up a copy of "Giving Someone A Trim When He Asks For One For Dummies". Take your $20 in tips for the day (I'm being incredibly generous in my estimation here) and go buy it.

In no way am I devaluing these books, because I am fairly certain that myriad individuals have benefited from the likes of these offerings. How am I so certain? Oh, I don't know. Could be the fact that there are such categories as "Happiness" within this line of self-help publications. This tells me that following their initial successes, the publishers of the Dummies books got a little loopy and started to take full advantage of the impressionability of Americans. Side note: right next to "Happiness For Dummies" was "Depression For Dummies". Hooray for product placement! Way to go, guys. Genius.

I spent a good amount of time perusing the Dummies offerings in the self-help section. Two titles in particular struck me. First, Sex For Dummies. I didn't open this one, in fear that I might realize that I've been doing it wrong for the last ten some-odd years. But I'm fairly certain this one included a cartoon-like sketch with arrows and captions like "insert here" and "not so much here". But I wondered if they make such assertions as "sex is reserved for married couples", or "it's not sex if both parties don't reach climax". Well shit, if that's the case I think the lot of us dudes are actually virgins. I may or may not fall into this category...not saying. Sex For Dummies. Are there chapters on ways in which to get your partner in the sack? Do they talk about the wonders of alcohol, or the sweet sounds of Barry White? Do they offer assistance for the occasional awkward locale, like the bathroom at a Howard Johnson's (with a preamble about disinfectants used by the corporation) or the back seat of a Ford Festiva? Wait, does a Festiva have a back seat? (note to self: write "Ford Festivas For Dummies") The final question: who the fuck qualifies him or herself to write such a book? Ahhh, wait. Co-authored by JC himself. Phew.

The second title that drew particular intrigue from me was "Schizophrenia For Dummies". I couldn't figure who they were targeting with this one: those who are living with a schizophrenic or schizophrenics themselves. Look, I know and understand that this is a real and serious condition but isn't there something horribly fucking wrong with a book for Dummies on such a subject? I'll say this. If this book was meant for schizophrenics themselves, I think there's an inescapable paradox here. Which personality is going to read the book? Oh, fuck me...I think I just figured it out. The aim is for all personalities to read it. Then once they all understand the condition, they can work in harmony to rise as one against it. Well, I am impressed, authors of "Schizophrenia For Dummies". Now, if they could only award Noble Prizes to those who truly deserve it, this would be a truly great world. Truly great.

The religious section contained titles on Christianity, Mormonism, the Bible, Buddhism, Judaism...Zoroastrianism...ok, no. I'd have bought that one if it existed (dear Santa...). Does anyone else see some issues with making a conscious decision to purchase a book on a particular religion that also includes the word "dummies"? How do you simplify the Bible? Which bible are they referring to? Although, I suppose that if JC can co-author the Sex edition, he best have been the top advisor to either or both of the one on Christianity or the Bible. I then started to wonder if religious studies classes might be employing these publications as their text of choice. I'm trying to imagine sitting down at my first Sunday School class and instead of receiving a copy of the Bible, Sister Anne slaps down a bright, yellow copy of "The Bible For Dummies". Maybe then she gets up in front of the class of budding Catholics and says something like "ok class, I'll save you all the knuckle lashings when you laugh about the burning bush by giving you this how-to on the holiest book of all." That's the point where I raise my hand and demand an explanation of how she can refer to the Bible as the "holiest" book of all, only to ask that we read a book for Dummies explaining such a book. Hey man, sometimes knuckle lashings are inevitable.

I encourage all of you to venture into your nearest book dealer and take a look for yourself at all the ways in which a total fucking birdbrain can learn about anything he or she can surmise. Be sure to check the shelves in Summer of 2009 for "Admitting To Steroid Use For Dummies". No, A-Roid was not consulted for advisory on this matter.