Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Holidays..you piece of shit or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love False Yuletide Cheer

Thoughts from a ghost of Christmas past

Someone recently said to me that Christmas was the "fakest holiday". Correction: it’s not the most fake...but it’s the most in your face.

What I like about Christmas:
When people get annoyed with the rudeness of others and they sarcastically say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" with venom soaking through their words. As if hearing those words will make the socially foul person realize the time of year and their transgression. I believe the intended result is an apology or a make good deed. Easily the best part is when they still don't get a reaction and they repeat the false yuletide greeting for effect...and then follow it with a death stare. Getting cut in line @ a crowded department store is a lock for this scenario. Grab a bag of popcorn. Watch the scene develop. The irony of it is they're out buying Christmas presents. After re-thinking it I do believe these people get knocked around all year (you know the type, that person @ at party people instinctively know to make fun of. The type of person that gets bullied by telemarketers. Even dogs can smell the weakness on them and start humping their legs, regardless of sex) and they expect a reprieve during the post thanksgiving-pre NYE window. When their little desperate vacation from torment is not acknowledged they snap like Michael Douglas in "Falling Down". When they say “Merry Christmas” what they’re really saying is “Test me! I have waited on line for over an hour for a Furby, my madness knows no bounds!”

I saw it today. I was eating it up. My shit was grinning from ear to ear...till my ears fell off from the 19 degree weather.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Reverse the Hex: or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love Time travel

The bad mojo has found a new dojo. Finally. Nothing bad has occurred to me since my last blog. Even better I found out that I'll be needed in NYC for 2 weeks for some training at work. This means Thanksgiving in NY!* With that in mind, and no flight booked for Christmas, I present to you:
Wednesday November 21st 2007 9pm-?**

Top ten reasons to go to the Grandstand on Christmas Thanksgiving EVE

10) A jukebox that never changes: Some might consider this a con, not I. Thanks in part to a total disinterest in keeping w/ the times, there is no chance you'll be subjected to hearing "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy". You really can't put a price on that.

9) Fine art & sports memorabilia decorating the walls: All preserved under layer upon layer of dirt and smoke residue. The Mona Lisa should be so lucky. Their collection of NY sports newspaper clippings from the late 60's to the mid 80's is unparalleled.
90's and the 00's...not so much.

<-Fine art indeed...sans this of course.

8)Gaming: Not only do you have the ubiquitous pool table, but as an added bonus there is Shuffleboard. A rare find.

Note: You haven't lived till you've been subjected to a black out drunk's shuffleboard smack talk. Other games include: "OverUnder"***, "No Way"****, and "Mystery Meat*****"

7) Time Warp TV: Who needs those fancy plasmas? "The Stand" has a BIG Screen TV. Yeah it's from 1982, but it's still a big screen. I bet it was a big night when that TV found out who shot JR.

6)Interesting local "characters": I've never been brave enough to snap any good pictures but please take my word for it. The Grandstand is all about quality, not quantity. It might not be wall to wall packed but you get an eyeful. The best part you ask? There's always a good chance you'll see someone wearing zubaz.

You probably can't make it out but the date stamping on this pic is 01/18/2005. I shit you not.

If you've decided to enter "The Bar That Time Forgot" chances are you're either:
a) on a "Grandstanding evite" for that one particular night of the year
b) in that stool EVERY day.

There is no in between.

5) Under the Radar-itis: There's a 0% chance of an awkward stop and chat w/ any unsavory people from your past (not including the people reading this of course). This is something many other bars can not offer.

4) The Black Hole: Make sure you've taken care of all your planning before you've arrived because cell phone coverage is nonexistent. The Time Warp strikes again. If you have to get in touch with someone you can use the pay phone that is almost certainly covered in ear herpes. Added Bonus: Watch as I frantically flail my arm around in a vain attempt to get a cell signal to send out a text. Yes I am addicted. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.

3) Finger Sandwiches: It takes a brave man to sit down at one of the rec room-esque tables @ The 'Stand and commit to ingesting whatever food they are offering...but people do it. Mind you these people are usually drunk as shit...or named "Sal".

2)The soiled recliner: Under any other circumstances you would never consider sitting in such filth....but the stand lolls u into a false sense of security. Its the dirty old basement/ rumpus room that you never had...or had but your crazy old alcoholic lesbian aunt lived there so it was no fun to hang out there.

and the # 1 reason to go the grand stand on Thanksgiving Eve.......Cheap Drinks. Buy rounds like a rock star and still receive change.

The bottom line: I'm beyond excited for Thanksgiving Eve. What's the weather forecast for next week? It looks like they added an outdoor "beer garden"....

Ed notes:

* my original plan was to spend the holiday w/ the Terry family and Rockband. A pretty solid backup option....except for the fact that they judged me and my request for milk at the dinner table. (Little did they know as recent as two years ago I'd normally drink whole milk instead of 1%).

**?: A party so kick ass that no one knows the end time? Hardly. I left it as a question mark as I was unsure what time the Health Inspector would be closing the bar down for countless health code infractions.

***Over/Under: To see who will be buying the 1st round everyone guesses how many people will be in the bar when we enter. Stick w/ single digits on the low side and you're in line for a free beer.

****No Way: This is when you see someone you haven't seen in 10+ years and there is no semblance of that person's previous self in their new aged shell. You uncontrollably belt out "No Way". Keep score. If you find yourself saying "No Fucking way!..." score it as a double.

Note: If you've never said "No Way!" chances are people are saying it about you.

**** Mystery Meat: A game I don't recommend for the sober or weak of stomach. While playing pool you bet "sandwiches". If the other person misses their shot they have to eat the mystery finger sandwich of your choosing. They sink the shot, you eat the sandwich. Adds a bit of strategy when you're picking the poison.

Now playing: Queens Of The Stone Age - Sick, Sick, Sick

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Carried Away: or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Scion

Jorge from Toyota couldn't have been more wrong about my experience w/ the scion, or as I like to call it, the box of death. First lets talk about Thursday

Thursday Night was a rough one. I've come to the conclusion that I'm officially done with redbull and vodka. Nothing good can come of it. This point forward someone else can be that guy. I was a mess. Celebrating a friend's birthday, in a low key manner, In mere hours:

I went from this:----------------------------->to this
Classy, I know. I'm thinking my tolerance was cut in 1/2 by a few pills I took for a toe injury and the fact that I had to work late, hence no dinner. Sure the toe hurt...but I probably would have taken the pills regardless. Bottom line: I was a useless drunk in a cool ass t-shirt. Moving forward my body is a temple. A temple that serves light beer....but a temple none the less. Nothing else. Mark my words. Now that we have all that out of the way we can talk about the Scion.

I woke up w/ a pretty filthy hangover. The red bull & vodka taste lingers no matter how many times you brush your teeth. It never takes. It's kind of awful. I stumbled through my shower and went down to the garage to get in my rental scion. Wouldn't you know it the "sweet" ride would not start. My first thought was to check to see if i left the lights on (something that is impossible to do on a Prius btw) and I was in the clear. What a piece of crap car. I had to wake my roommate up and we attempted to jump the car. Of course when we hooked it up the car didn't start and even wore the jumpers began smoking and melting. I was way too hungover to process all of this. Damn you red bull. I called Toyota and they called their tow guy and he came and jumped the car right away. He explained the gauge* of the jumper cables we were using was too small. Who knew. Sadly even after it was jumped the car would not accelerate. We had to get towed back to Toyota.

Unbelievably the good people of Toyota (including Henry Molina) stated that I was liable for any damage involved from my attempted jump. That knocked the hangover right out of me. A wave of blinding rage washed over me. I told them the only reason I was driving that piece of shit scion to begin w/ was because they had let a cat have a piss party in my prius. This didn't seem to matter to them. I now had to wait as the car was examined by some mechanics and pray that my tiny gauge didn't fry any components. As I waited I decided I'd go on my laptop and do some work. Always the model employee. Sadly the laptop was riding shotgun in the tow truck on its way to the 10 Freeway.

I'm officially king of the jackasses.

Luckily i realized quick enough and was able to get Henry Molina to give the tow guy a call. WOW, who knew Henry Molina was good for something. Not I. After a few hours the mechanic confirmed that the car was in fact not damaged by my amateur jump job. Turns out it had a bad chip or something. I tuned out the diagnosis once I heard "not liable". Even better news: my prius was ready to be picked up. It now smells like Sucrets.

I suppose you could do a lot worse than cherry sucrets.

I was a content man. Finally. To celebrate I called the previous day's birthday girl and got us Bay Cities for lunch. It was my self anointed penance for my poor performance from the day before. A lesson to learn: you can buy a girl's forgiveness with Bay Cities**...that's how good their sandwiches are. I ended up making it in to work at 4pm. The old bizarre 4pm-7:30pm flex hours work day. I wonder if i can do that every Friday.

Good times.

*guage: this has been a big learning week for me when it comes to gauges....and "rebar"

**Bay Cities: You can order online. Trust me its a must do. Bay cities is the only good deli in Santa Monica and its a shit show in there regardless of the time. People swear by the "godmother" but i go w/ a foot long meatball sub

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bad Moon Rising: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Poverty

"You know the kind of guy who does nothing but bad things and then wonders why his life sucks? Well, that was me: every time something good happened to me, something bad was always waitin' around the corner. Karma. That's when I realized I had to change. So, I made a list of everything bad I've ever done, and one by one I'm gonna make up for all my mistakes. I'm just tryin' to be a better person. My name is Del."

Karma is a dirty dirty whore.

We all know the car story. I hate to carry on about this but it still smells. It now smells like your old aunt who has thrown in the towel when it comes to personal hygiene and instead just takes a perfume bath every morning. The old and the delusional think this is a perfectly passable masking agent...but we know better. It creates a super funk. For old people it turns into a drugstore perfume & old lady BO* comet tail that can be smelt well after they've left the room. For a car it turns into a super funk that will not disappear no matter how fast you drive with all four windows down. My other plan of attack was to take Pico all the way home from Applepan and hit every light possible so the car would carry that scent. The Pan aroma got dominated the second the bag was removed from the piss mobile.

Back to Toyota...."Oh what a feeling!"

Jorge (luckily Henry Molina wasn't there) explained that they'd be calling in their "expert" cleaner. She is someone they bring in when they need a trade in car cleaned. She, allegedly, has the magic touch for making cars smell brand new. The question you have to ask yourself is "Why the fuck wasn't she called in the 1st place?". Actually don't bother asking yourself it. I asked Toyota that question and they didn't have an answer...so why would you.

Jorge was kind enough to have a "sweet" Toyota rental ready for me this time. Lucky me. As I headed to my temporary wheels Jorge said "Enjoy the Scion. You might end up liking it so much you'll want to buy it!". He either had amazing faith in the power of the Scion or really liked fucking with me. My money's on the latter. I responded with a Costanza-esque "FUNNY GUY!" and sped off...awkwardly in my weird box of car.

So the promise of "The Cleaner"** taking care of the car today had me feeling pretty good. That was till my cell phone rang. It was an 888 number. I'd usually just hit the ignore button and carry on with whatever mindless work nonsense I was dealing with but for some reason today I decided to answer and the call went like this:

Del: "This is Del..."***
Caller: Good morning Sir, this is Citibank. I'm sorry to bother you but can I ask you a question.
D: Shoot
Citi: Are you planning many trips in the near future
(hearing that can never be a good sign...especially w/ zero trips on the horizon)
D: Um no...
C: Could you log into your my.citi and verify some charges.
D: Grrrrrrrrrreat. Sure. (logs in) FUCK my checking is at zero!
C: Soooo sir...are you disputing the activity of late.
D: Well I don't think I'm planning any trips to Oklahoma City or Tulsa..so yeah.

From there I got transferred to an outsourced operator who I could not understand. I'm sure my patience was less than normal as when you have zero dollars in your checking account having language issues is just about the last thing you want to deal with:

Outsourced Citi: Sir where were you when you lost your card..
Del: Just to be clear my card is not lost, I'm holding it in my hand as we speak. I'm calling to fraud alert numerous charges.
Outsourced Citi: Very good. OK, so when you lost your card...
Del(poor man's rage): Please just give your main # and I'll call back. I know you're trying but I can not understand you and you clearly can't understand me.
Outsourced Citi: Is there anything else I can do for you today?

Throughout this phone call I realized that no matter what I said to this guy he was going to stick to the script laid out for him. That was more annoying than the language barrier. So that has been the last 24 hours of my life. To recap: I'm broke and driving a rental car. It seems like small potatoes compared to the fires that have ravaged California...but still, very awful luck****

The question that needs to be asked is why is this happening? Is karma finally catching up to past transgressions? I've always thought of myself as a fairly decent person.

I watched Davey and Goliath as a kid for Christ's sake.*****

Sure I didn't have a talking dog to stick my nose in my mistakes whenever I fucked up or was contemplating something evil but I wasn't a monster. When will Lady Karma pull back on the throttle? Please tell what to do you bitter bitter whore.

Do I need to pull an Earl and make a list?

As a kid:
  1. I broke my brother's foot as a result of our fighting at the beach when we were in 8Th grade. I then kicked sand in his face when he said he was too hurt to walk w/ me to the arcade.******
  2. I put a smoke bomb in my neighbor's house via an external air duct...which spread the rotten egg smelling smoke through their entire house via the central air.
  3. A neighbor paid me to walk their dog when I was a kid. I'd purposely walk it near deer droppings if I saw them because the dog would roll in it and I thought this was hilarious.
  4. I plagiarized Shel Silverstein
As a jackass teenager:
  1. I pulled a fire alarm to cock block my house mate from hooking up w/ a girl we'd both been fighting for over the course of a night. In my defense he bribed her w/ some sweet sweet candy she was addicted to. I had no recourse.
  2. When a friend passed out I got Nair from a girl and put it on his eyebrows. Worse though he had a uni brow and I left the uni connector Nair free. He ended up w/ a Hitler eyebrow.
  3. I made out with a girl at a bar after i puked. I knew i puked. She didn't.
  4. An old trusting religion professor told everyone to leave their finals papers in his staff mailbox. I went into the mail room the day before the due date and grabbed two for me and my friend. (Easiest A ever. I toasted many a shot in Amhir Blah Blahs honor that night. )
As a stunted adult:
  1. I side swiped a parked car and left the scene. The damage was far worse on my car...but still.

Future Bad deeds:
  1. Blowing up the Toyota dealership. (so karma won't be too mad I'll evacuate the building...sans Henry Molina)
Wow, that's less than 10! Hardly the Satan level that karma is responding at. That said moving forward I'm going to be a a friggin saint. Let's see if that helps.

Asterisk notes:

* Old Lady BO: When i was a kid my dad's old senile alcoholic lesbian aunt lived in our basement. Of course her name was "Aunt Helen" (aren't they all). She invented the over abundant perfume trick. This led to us taking her blanket, which we cleverly named "the aunt helen blanket, and throwing it on unsuspecting guests. If you were really lucky and caught them completely off guard you'd try for the blanket in the mouth score. It was a long shot but well worth it. "Taste the Helen!" I suppose with that story you can go ahead and add one more evil deed to my list.

**The Cleaner: Did anyone else conjure up a picture of Harvey Keital in Pulp Fiction..or to a lesser extent "Le Femme Nikita"?

***"This is Del...": This is the ultra douchey way I answer my phone when I don't recognize a number.

**** awful luck: I realize in the grand scheme of things these are merely speed bumps. Thanks in advance for indulging me.

*****Christ's sake: When again will I get to take the Lord's name in vain AND reference a creepy ass Saturday morning claymation parable. Probably never. I had to do it. To think, D&G are only ranked 4th! all time.

****** Brother's broken foot: A truly great jackass story that will require its own blog.

Now playing: Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

We Are the Champions: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Frisbeer

Last Saturday was the big Cal /UCLA game. LA was abuzz. For months my friends and I had planned an elaborate tailgate w/ tons of food, frisbeer, and flip cup.

The degenerate's alliteration.

Bonus points for it being the UCLA homecoming. It was a guaranteed shit show. Last year was a fall classic...

The tailgate that is, not the game...that was a bit foggy. This year promised to be more of the same. Sadly none of this "planning" incorporated actually looking at the start time for the game or getting tickets. Good to see our priorities were in order. The day before the game I got a ticket head count and hit Craigslist. It turned out everyone wanted $50. I could live w/ that. Sadly I could not live with the game time. Why the fuck would UCLA's homecoming game be played at 12:30pm??? Talk about an extreme disservice to the student body. The head count shrunk exponentially once people learned that they'd be paying $50 to wake up at 9am on a hungover Saturday to watch a game they really didn't care about.

On to plan b.

Plan B consisted of killing our livers on Friday night at Cabo Cantina* and then planning on an all day frisbeer fest** for Saturday.

What you need to know about Frisbeer:

1) Much like wiffleball there is little to no running needed.
2) Much like wiffleball, it is awesome.

Look at that focus!

What you need to get a game going:
  • Four people
  • Four 3' rebar*** poles
  • Four 6'3" PVC poles (large enough to slide over the rebar)
  • one frisbee
  • beer
I was introduced to the game last year and I became an instant fan. Its simplistic nature and its friendliness towards beer makes it the best "made up"**** game since "Cornhole". The gist of the game is as follows:

Teams of two compete against one another in a high stakes game of throwing frisbees at PVC poles to knock cups off....while having beer at all times. The first team up to eleven wins.

Ways to score points:
  • knocking a cup off of the PVC pole = 1 point (the point is negated if the other team catches the cup before it hits the ground)
  • splitting the uprights cleanly w/ the frisbee = 2 points (the points are negated if the other team catches the frisbee after its passed through the uprights)
  • knocking a beer out of your opponents hand via a frisbee toss = 3 points
I realize I did a craptastic job of describing the game but no words can match the fun of it. I know it sounds like bullshit but trust me. Of course the drinking helps. A game from Saturday instantly joined the hall of fame of sporting events, right next to the US Hockey win over the Soviet Union and Game 6 of the 86' World Series.

Game Recap - After finishing our first 30 pack of beer it was decided whichever team lost would have to go to Strand St and then lug back an iced up dufflebag w/ a new 30 pack. Not a terrible chore by any means...but our opponents relentless smack talk and cockiness made it a must win. They'd been the Yankees circa the late 90s' for the day. A powerhouse team that was ready for an assumed three-peat. As they predicted, much to my chagrin, they got to eleven first. Fortunately like in baseball the home team gets last licks. I of course was up to bat and threw a patented Del floater that was primed and ready to make sweet sweet PVC love. It hit the pipe and sent the cup in the air triumphantly. If the cup hit the ground we would have a sudden death. If they'd caught it, they'd won. Neither happened. The unthinkable occurred. One goon missed the launched cup while the other tackled the other PVC pipe in a drunken attempt to save plummeting cup #1. Awesome teamwork. Both cups hit the ground. Final Score 12-11

The good guys won.

Disney bought the rights to our story.

I had my doubts that the losing team would actually come back with the beer as I'd never seen such a sore reaction to a loss in my life. A combination of blinding rage and petulant pouting. Sad really. I suppose hearing me say "lose w/ some class for once in your lives" maybe helped to further enrage them. It was that intense. Who cares. They eventually came back with the beer and Team Good Guys went on to a four game win streak.

Good times

* Cabo Catina: The new one has an amazing streak of kicking my ass going. True story: I "liquid burped" outside of Cabo a few weeks ago. All over the Promenade. The tourists and panhandlers were quite impressed. Hardly my fault as the terrible food coupled with the buy one get one jager shots and double red bull and vodkas were a recipe for disaster. Thanks to this incident the next time I was there I was introduced to a friend's co workers as "Hey this is the guy who puked on the promenade". Awesome. Line forms to the left ladies.

**fest: As much as I've gone off on the use of "fest" lately it just worked well with the frisbee

***rebar: Its impossible to go to Home Depot and ask "Where can I find the three gauge rebar" with out sounding like complete white trash. I guess asking what aisle the Skoal was on didn't help matters.

Fact: Chicks dig guys who dip...and drive trucks.

****"made up game": My jackass friend asked me if Frisbeer was a "real" or "made up" game. What a deep philosophical question. It sure felt real.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Detour: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Festival Fighting

Yesterday was LA's much anticipated "Detour Festival". Again I hate the use of the word "festival", but I'll allow it here as there was a Ferris wheel on the premises. I learned from Coachella and ACL that getting to all the desired artists would be impossible so we had to have a plan of attack.

  • 4:50-5:30City Hall East: The Noisettes (from the Beer Garden) - They sounded really good. I think the short set did them justice. I have their CD and its a bit much after awhile but they did well in a short set environment.

  • 5:30-6:20 City Hall South: The Shout Out Louds - I was most excited for this band as I love their debut album "Howl Howl Gaff Gaff".
As it turns out the blond keyboardist, Bebban Stenborg, sang the female vocal at Coachella 2007 for Peter Bjorn and John's "Young Folks". She's dreamy. I said so in my Coachella blog when she was a mystery to me. The lead singer was a bit of a douche but he did do a cool ass medley from their track "Please Please Please" into The Clash's "Train in Vain" and then back to "Please Please Please". Very cool.

  • 6:20-7:00 City Hall East: Kinky (from the Beer Garden) - They're my Manu Chao of the day. Eerily similar to my Coachella experience. Both were Mexican, both were new to me, and both kicked ass. I'll buy their album from www.secondspin.com soon.
  • 7:30-8:15 City Hall West: The Raveonettes - Good, not great. I think they're more of a studio sound. So far its been the United Nations of lineups. Sweden, Mexico, and Denmark.
Where's The Boss when you need him!
  • 8:30-9:00pm Beer Garden - They're all out of Bud Light. I had to order a Kirin. It's official, America is getting dominated by their international brethren. Interesting enough the fries were listed as "freedom fries" at the food court.
  • 9:10-10:00pm City Hall South: Justice - French! Who knew our tastes were so worldly. This set raised the roof, tore the roof off and did whatever else a band can do to a roof. I use the term "band"* loosely as it was two french dudes dj'ing. Picture Daft Punk w/o the futuristic helmets. Better yet maybe envision a french version of the Chemical Brothers. The crowd had a huge boner for them. I had to say they were pretty awesome but I can't get down with the kookiness of remixing Gillette's "Short Dick Man". It's an awful awful song, regardless if you try to make it cool again by being recasting it w/ french hipsters.
Funny side note: my roommate in college used to rock out to this song along with countless bad hits such as**: Ina Kamoze's "Here Comes The Hotstepper" & Shaggy's "Boombastic". He did however introduce me to Doug E Fresh & Slick Rick's "The Show" and Audio Two's "Top Billin" so it wasn't all bad. I do wonder what songs are currently on his iphone. I'm sure I don't want to know.

  • 10:00-11:30pm City Hall east: Bloc Party - Awesome. Again. I suppose I should have gone to see Turbonegro as I just saw Bloc Party but that wasn't in the cards. I just can't pass up the Bloc. Also no one i was with had seen them before so it was a no-brainer.

For all you scoring at home that's a shut out for America. 8-0 if we add the kirin beer and what you're about to read. A Del blog, or a Del day for that matter, would not be complete with out some sort of ridiculous story or awkward incident . Lucky for you this day was no exception.

While chilling in the beer garden during Kinky there was a bit of an "incident". Some rather large dude was taking up a great deal of space at the picnic table we were sharing. No big deal as 1/2 of us were on our feet rockin out to some mexican funk and some cheap beer. My friend Lucy showed up to the scene late and made a b line straight for the lion's den. Bad move. Apparently this guy's name was on the table because he grabbed her by the arm and said "Someone is sitting there!". She of course responded how any person would by saying"Get your hands off of me!". There was a bit more of a dialogue that was peppered with the word bitch and then I came on to the scene. I turned around oblivious to what occurred and reacted in typical Del fashion. I said "WHOA WHOA WHOA, what's going on here?" The rest of the dialogue went like this

Del: Hey, let her arm go. No one needs to sit there...
Cholo Steroids: Do you want to fight? Let's go right now? (takes off his jacket)
Del (amused, confused, and nervous all at once): UH, are you serious?
Cholo Steroids: As serious as a heart attack!
Del: (trying not to laugh at the lame ass comeback. Laughter would have been a game on signal for this maniac) We're all good over here at this table. Lets go Luce
Cholo Steroids: That's right bitch.
( I pretended he was talking about Lucy with that last "bitch" remark, but down deep I knew that wasn't the case.)

Fact: this guy would have eaten me alive and my three man "posse" was in varying degrees of drunk indifference. There were far too many cute hipster girls present for them to be on high alert. I couldn't blame them. I would have been on my own. He mean mugged for the rest of our time in the beer garden. I was certain his bark was worse than his bite..but I also didn't want to find out. No outcome would have been good. Kicked out of the show, arrested, bloodied and bruised. All terrible options. Good times.

My only regret, besides not sucker punching the cholo (and then running for my life***): Missing Teddybears. If their set was anywhere as awesome as this one track than I'll be quite annoyed with myself. Damn my lack of Teddybear knowledge and my addiction to beer gardens. They wear friggin giant TeddyBear heads while on stage too! Damn it why didn't anyone bring this band to my attention sooner.


*Band: Justice is as much as a band in my mind as my band "Handsy" is a band. I'm the drummer btw. We don't have our first gig till January 08 (at the West side #1 live band venue: The Loop"). Strictly a cover band. More news to follow.

**Such as: It's impossible to use these two words together now thanks to Ms Teen South Carolina.

***Running for my life: We were penned in. It was a drunk Internment camp. I wasn't going to get very far.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Cat Scratch Fever: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Leasing

Consumers, heed my warning: Don't buy a Prius!

"But Del, you touted the awesomeness of your Prius (sans the terrible pin stripe)."
Well that day is long gone.

Blasphemy you say? I say Hindsight. The Prius seemed like a great idea at the time. By no means am I a green tree hugger but the Prius spoke to me. It's over the top techie and I'm a sucker for gadgets and tech heavy anything. It was a natural marriage. It didn't hurt that the car was an instant ticket to be self righteous and smug.

I was right in Toyota's wheel house and they knew it.

Of course all marriages end badly, or drag out in a battle of who can outlast the other despite the fact that you clearly hate each other. This holy union was no exception. Remember I said my dashboard went off like a firework display? Well I was ambitious on Saturday so I brought it to the dealership.

Prius, why have you forsaken me!?

The warranty for this car sucks by the way. The touch screen died in December...eight days after the warranty on it expired. Of course. Toyota wanted $1200 to fix it. I have since been operating the car without a functioning touch screen. Not that big of a deal. I don't listen to the radio and I can easily gage the temperature for the heater/ac. However every so often the screen will turn off the cd player. Kind of annoying, but manageable. I hoped the ABS light would either be a false alarm or be under the warranty. No such luck on either front. They called yesterday with a quote of $2500. WTF! There goes all the money I'm saving from the awesome fuel efficiency. Oh wait, I wouldn't reach $2500 in savings till 2020. Hmm, I wonder if the power train is under warranty till then. I have a sneaking suspicion it isn't. Call it a hunch.

I went to the dealership to question the quote. At this point I should list the places where I feel like a confused foreigner, completely out of my element:

1) The DMV
2) GNC
3) Car Dealerships
4) Doctor's office

This usually leads me to poor decision making done out of my extreme desire to get out of the situation as fast as possible. Recognizing your flaws is the first step to redemption. Knowing this I made a point to stand my ground on the ABS. I met my technician and explained my dissatisfaction w/ my car. For a person who lives in LA it's shocking how little I drive. It's an amazing gift. That said, there's no way my car should be having these issues so I had the following conversation:

Del: I've put less than 10,000 miles on this car. There is NO REASON for me to be having these issues. I can live with the screen not working...but this is ridiculous
Henry Molina AKA King of the Douchebags: It's an 04 man...It's an old car.
Del: LESS than 10k! Give me a break. I barely drive it.
Henry: What can I say the parts are old man.
Del: That's it?
Henry: That's it.

I've never been one to think "I'm going to write a letter to file a complaint" and I still wasn't at that point yet. I'd certainly never come back to this Dealership...and probably hold it against the entire Toyota Corporation, maybe even all of Japan, but I wasn't at the crazy letter writing mood. That is until they brought me my car....

As Henry dropped it off to me and said, rather curtly I might add, "Here you go." I opened my car and saw this
and the dialogue continues:

Del: WHOA WHOA WHOA what the hell is this? There are paw prints everywhere
Henry: Looks like your dog or cat?
DEL: What? I don't have a pet...and this was spotless when I brought it in.
Henry: Oh...must have been a dog or cat.
Del: Oh, do you think so? Get your manager.

What is lost in the recap is the way Henry spoke. It would drive Gandi himself into a blinding rage. So detached from the situation and totally indifferent towards his job. Picture the look and sound of Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite. That's Henry Molina.

The manager came out and really had no more input on the situation:

Manager: Wow...I've never seen anything like this.
Del: What kind of place is this? Whose animal was in my car?
Manager: I bet the neighbor's cat got in here.
Del: How the hell did it get in my car?
Manager: Oh, we leave the windows open.
Del: Why do you leave the windows open?
Manager: Well, after it gets out of the shop we bring it out to the lot so we roll down the windows.
Del: um ok...but WHY do you roll down the windows?
Manager: Well, like I said after it gets out of the shop we bring it out to the lot so we roll down the windows.
Del: Riiiight...but what purpose does having the windows down serve...besides for letting stray animals into my car?
Manager: Well you see after it gets out...
Del (head about to explode): Just have it cleaned.

After it was cleaned the manager asked me what else he could do. I said short of fixing my car's problems I wanted nothing to do w/ Him, the dealership, and Toyota all together. If I could I'd trade the damn Prius in on the spot and be done with them. He said, without an ounce of sarcasm in his voice "Well if you want to talk about trading your car in call me tomorrow and I can get you a good price."

He just wasn't getting it. I wanted to tell him that he, and Toyota, were dead to me....but I was tired and hungover.

Update: fast forward to this AM. I got in my car and was overwhelmed by it's new found smell. Damn my heightened sense of smell. Of course I could have a cocaine ravaged septum and I'd still smell this god awful funk. That damn cat pissed in my car! Have I mentioned that I fucking hate cats...and that I'm allergic to them? My lungs close up after being exposed to those evil creatures for more than 10 minutes. Not a good time.

They are evil evil animals

Friendly tip: Don't park your car on the open air rooftop of your office's parking structure in a vain attempt to eradicate the funk. No amount of window cracking will be able to get that foul stench out...and the sun beating down on it will just make it worse. Trust me on this. I know from experience.

Back to Toyota tomorrow morning. I'm going to urinate on Henry Molina's desk.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

License to drive: or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the DMV

I never really committed to living in LA. I enjoy holding on to my NY roots and my Prius didn't want Cali plates, regardless of the cushy "car pool lane" benefits it was entitled.

Never really...till yesterday.

My registration expired months ago and my NY license was soon to follow. Monday to be exact. I had to do the dreaded deed. Switch to Cali info...and I had to go Satan's hellmouth to do it.

FACT: I'm a horrendous driver. I'm a danger to anyone and everyone around me. Its been documented in previous blogs but allow me this brief chance to reiterate: My poor vision coupled w/ my lack of an attention span makes me a 4 wheeled missile...that gets really good miles per gallon...but a missile none the less.

Knowing this, I decided it was in my best interests to get to the DMV before my license expired. The shame of retaking the driver's test...and failing as countless teenagers snickered as they waited for their passage into adulthood would have been too much to take.

The car inspection went smoothly, as I actually had my paperwork in order. I'm fairly neat, but when it comes to "important paperwork" I'm a disaster. It should really be the other way around but I haven't been able to pull off that switch. Fortunately by some stroke of luck I had my title in my important paperwork bag

SS card, Birth certificate, & car title all in one easy to lose bag. Genius.

Not so luckily it seems to be missing from the bag now. This isn't the worst thing however as I'm sure its at the DMV. We'll find out on Monday. I left it there( i think) in a panicked rattle after I took my written test. That's right, I, as a new driver to California, had to re-take the written test.


How hard could it be. All I had to do was get 6 or less wrong and I was golden. The girl with the braces and the old mexican lady w/ the cataracts next to me seemed to be breezing through it so why shouldn't I?

When a heavy fog occurs you should:

a)use high beams for best visibility.
b) park off to the right side of the road with you parking lights on.
c)park at a rest area or truck stop until the fog has lifted.

It's a pussy answer but clearly C is the way to go. I was on on my way. I breezed through the questions like my name was Chris Knight.

Feeling quite good about my answers I gave the lil old Mexican lady a wink (i can't be sure if she saw it..what with the cataracts and all) and walked to the desk to hand my answers in. Imagine my horror as I watched the DMV employee red mark answer after answer. Once she got up to seven, knowing full well the limit was six we had this exchange:

Del: (rattled) Ummm, are you marking off the right ones or the wrong ones?
DMV: The wrong ones...did you read the book?
Del: No, I already have a license.
DMV: (while checking off two more incorrect answers) So...do you want to take it again?
Del: Yes, can I do that now?
DMV: Sure, I'll give you the easy one.
Del: sounds good.

I sat back down and hoped to find redemption. Hmm, many of the same questions...I wonder which ones I got wrong. Which way do you turn your wheel when parked on a hill? Crap. Easy one my ass. I don't know what the hell a C1 form is. Bastards. I took my answers back up sheepishly and hoped for the best. The DMV clerk pulled out the red marker and went to town. I think my test gave her carpel tunnel syndrome. 7 Wrong. WTF. Was I getting punked? Please tell me that that ass clown Aston Kutcher was right around the corner laughing his ass off in a trucker hat. Then I remembered I wasn't a celebrity and I would not be saved. Time to turn on the charm:

Del: This is nuts, lets go take a drive right now. I'll make sure its extra safe.
DMV: My goodness, how long have you been driving for?
Del: Listen, I'm here because my ID expires on my birthday which is Monday...You wouldn't want to spoil my birthday would you.
DMV: OK honey...I give you passing grade.

That's right. I stooped to a new low. The charm worked on my lil dmv lady friend, even though I was covered in the stench of shame. I still got it.

Sidenote: When getting my birth certificate examined the DMV clerk brought it over to her supervisor to inspect. On her way back she said as she pointed to my name on my birth certificate : "That lady told me to tell you not to name your son that!"
I wanted to yell out "what the hell is your name!?" but since I had just been gifted a passing grade I dialed my retort down to "Its the same exact thing as Robert. Is Robert a weird name to you?" We all had a great chuckle...and I cursed them under my breath.

I hate the DMV. (The hate will subside if they find my Title)

Sidenote II: What was my reward for getting my Cali License and Cali plates you ask? My dashboard yesterday lit up like a Fourth of July firework show. Three different icons that are Greek to me. The good people of Toyota were kind enough to let me know its most likely not going to be covered under my warranty..and that they'd need to keep my car till Monday...at the very least. I wonder if the DMV put in an emergency call to them to keep me off the roads. I could hardly blame them.

Time to head out for some blacking out. Taking a cab.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dr Strange Love's TMZ: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bombs

Finally! After 50+ blogs I can finally TRULY honor my blog's entry titling inspiration, Dr Strangelove. Even better, the double entendres are off the charts as this quick hit blog is about both my "Strange Love" and "bombs".

Fact: One of the guilty pleasures of my miserable office life is hitting WWTDD, TMZ, and The Superficial for my morning fix of celebrity T&A.

Please quietly judge me from afar, Thanks.

Since Britney and Lohan are under wraps and not spreading (LIT-TRA-LEE) their love anymore, the good people at TMZ needed new inspiration. Well they found it in spades outside of Crimson on the 24th.

They got their inspiration...and I found my one true love. Never has a woman so entranced me with her combination of class, wit, sophistication, social graces, and what else...


Watch the video

But again, its mostly her cleverness. I've always had a weakness for clever/feisty girls.
She's clearly got tits wits pouring out of her. Or something close to that.

Bottom Line: I think I'd forgive her if she puked spaghetti up in my bed.

Now playing: Explosions In The Sky - Magic Hours
via FoxyTunes

Friday, September 21, 2007

Smell Ya Later: or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Double Entendres

How do I start this blog? A friend recently sent me a url that has me at a loss for words. That doesn't usually happen. This however has me tongue tied.

Let me just provide the link: www.smellmeand.com (NSFW)

Vulva? Really? I mean....Really? I suppose the sense of smell has long since been ignored when it comes to porn. The Scratch and Sniff Hustler just never caught on...and for good reason.

Good luck with this you sick sick bastards. Though I do have to say its a hell of a clever domain name. For you connoisseurs who insist on vaginal scented variety rest assured that the good people at Vivaeros are developing two new scent lines: "Eighteen" and "Exotic".

I'm holding out for "Stripper w/ Baby Daddy drama".

Now the big question is will Blogger block the attached video...

Now playing: Lynyrd Skynyrd - That Smell

Monday, September 17, 2007

So Long Lonesome: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love leaving Austin

2:30 Austin Airport: Austin might be "the live music capital of the world" but I'll tell you this much: Their airport food court sucks...hard.

I was hoping for more Wendy's, but instead I got Earl Campbell's All Star Cafe.

I don't know how to put this...but he's kind of a big deal down here.

The menu was pretty skimpy. Hot dogs and sausages a plenty though. I ended up with ordering a LoneStar beer and a "Campbell's family recipe" sloppy joe. I think the Hunt's Manwich people can rest assured knowing that the Earl Campbell recipe has got nothing on them.

There wasn't much sloppy or joe to it.

I've never been so happy for a layover in Phoenix. Wifi and a real food court await.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Austin Day Three - 6:30pm Wilco

This was one of the bands I've always wanted to see but for some reason or another it never panned out. Today was the day. They were awesome.

If only they played "Misunderstood"

Too bad the crowd for them SUCKED. It seemed like the rednecks of the world have adopted Wilco as "their" band for the weekend . Lots of Hootin and Hollerin. This one slack jawed yokel would wait for a nice quiet part of a song, tap his girlfriend (or sister...perhaps both) on her shoulder and say "Watch this". He'd then proceed to do some crazy Lone Star mating call. Of course that would be followed up with a power high-five.

He was very excited

Wilco was on their game today...but I gotta say Jeff Tweedy has seen better days.

I wish i could say "on to The Decemberists" but they are way on the other side and 1/2 through their set. If today taught me anything its all about the front. No shot I'm going to sit in the back for a 1/2 set. Bob Dylan...maybe next time. I'm officially done w/ ACL for 2007.

Austin day 3 4:30: Bloc Party

Sitting through the horrendous Ben Kweller set and the hour set break in the blazing sun was totally worth it. Bloc Party killed it. Its my third time seeing them and they never get old.

The hour wait was pretty rough. Made bearable only because I made friends with two angry women from Charlotte who were "spot nazis". They wouldnt let anyone get past them. They were pretty intense. I think they made a fourteen year old kid cry. Needless to say I thought they were awesome.

Two things I noticed during the bloc party set:

1). Crowd surfing is borderline impossible in this day and age due to camera phones and digital cameras. The crowd is a sea of Rick Allens.

Surfers can not be supported by the one armed masses. I learned this when I saw the one attempted surf come crashing down to the ground straight on his back. Poor bastard. When i say poor bastard I mean ME because I didnt have my camera ready for the impact money shot.

2) Garreth from the BBC's version of "The Office" is the guitarist for Bloc Party. I have photographic evidence to back this up.

on to Wilco..

Austin day three: 2:42 Ben Kweller

How do you top an awesome set by The National? Ben Kweller is not the answer..but thats exactly where I am. Figured I'd beat the crowd for Bloc Party by sitting through Ben. I think the median age for the Kweller crowd is twelve. I blame FOX, The WB, UPN, and whatever that hybrid channel is ("The CW"?). Damn you Gilmore Girls!

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Austin day 3: The National Pre and Post

And we have our first ginger siting of the day. They must breed them down here.. Guess thats how i'll kill time, counting gingers.

I hate to be repititive but, two things:

1) Sweat is officially pouring off of me.

2) I wish this damn blackberry had a camera.

Pics will have to added later as I just set up direct blogging from my blackberry.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Update: The National were, taking everything into consideration, the best act I saw.

You just appreciate the music more when all the sweaty douchebags are in your rear view mirror. Case in point:

Austin city limits day three

Im here and im super early for the national. Best seats so far...but i do have 60 minutes of solo del time...wonder if i can catch a nap
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One Man Band: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Being a Lone Wolf

You see you're instantly drawn in to this blog by my use of Wolf!. I'm on a solo mission from this point out. No more getting silently judged when I'm caught leering at girls. The plan of attack today is:
  • 1:30 - The National
  • 4:30 - Bloc Party
  • 5:30 - Amos Lee (who may get punted so I can get a good spot for Wilco
  • 6:30 - Wilco
  • 7:30 - The Decemberists
  • 8:30 - Bob Dylan
This is clearly the strongest day. I know this because Sara Hickman isn't scheduled to perform. Thank God!

Go back home already Hickman! GOSH! Oh, you're from Austin. I see. Carry on.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Austin Day Two: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love LBJ

11:00pm Baby Mama Drama: Our cabbie was having issues with his ex wife. I was giving some awesome advice. Some real nonsensical shit. Sentences peppered w/ "You hear what I'm spittin" and "a'ights". I wish i had a better recall of it but I was in a Wendy's zone...and a bit drunk. Bottom line, he was so upset he didn't take us up on our offer for a free frostee. Shit's gotta be bad to pass up a frostee.

10:30 Cab Line:
This might take awhile. Now I have zero regrets about my bathroom break during the Arcade fire set. Game plan from here is Wendy's, shower, and then crash for tomorrow.

Wow...that lasted longer than I expected. Sorry people. I'm sure it was 100% beer anyway. No harm No foul. Your sneakers reeked anyway.

Lucky for you the cup went forward...it could have been 10X worse.

God what a relief that was. The game after that was the shift to the left and see how long the cup stayed vertical...mind you it was full to the brim.

Unreal. I have to piss again. There's no shot I'm leaving this set though. What do we have here....Hello souvenir cup. Please God, let my bladder only contain 22 ounces.

8:30pm Arcade Fire:
The heat and BO was all worth it as Arcade Fire was awesome as expected. I'd hoped to hear "Cold Wind" as an encore. No such luck.

Big Thanks To Tiffany, Larry Bird and Co for saving us our spots.

7:30 Clap Your Hands Sort of:
Executive decisions were made. Beer and Bathroom runs (seriously I need a Cather at this point) and getting back to our friends for the good spot for Arcade Fire take precedence over Clap Your Hands. Fortunately I had to cross through the CYHS crowd so i got to catch two of my favorite songs: Satan Said Dance & Skin of My Yellow Teeth". Good Times.

Winner of the "I couldn't have said it any better" award for Day II

Arctic Monkeys 6:30:
I have to say I was pleasantly pleased with them. They're kind of like an English Strokes...or a Less Heroin Infused Libertines. I think setting up camp early and getting a good space also helped.

Cock n Balls 5:55:
"Tattoo man, I'd like to have a cock and balls tat on my back...but can you make it subtle and maybe futuristic? Oh and its gots ta have wings!" DONE!

Andrew Bird Bathroom 5:30:
We met some cool people from St Louis. We had a lot in common. St Louisianans LOVE White Castle. After that we hit the bathroom line, which was LITERALLY a shit show.

The influx of people for day two made things a bit more challenging. There would be no way to pull of the scheduling. Time for an audible. We'd have to punt Andrew Bird...and Clap Your Hands (sort of) and anchor down for the Arctic Monkeys and Arcade Fire...as they were on the same stage. It sucked because I was very excited to see CYHSY. On the plus side, this allowed us more beer time.

Beer Time 4:30:
This is step it up time for beer drinking. The plan is to pound three tall "souvenir" cups, eat, and hit the bathrooms all during this short break. Time for the game face.

Mr Mook comes out to play

Gingers 4:oopm:
There are ginger spottings everywhere. Quite frankly its an alarming rate. I thought there were rules about this. Gingers can only go out in the sun for 15 minutes and they have to have umbrella hats and spf 1000 spackled to their faces. This one looked like she might be melting from the heat and sun. I'd warn her...but I fear Gingers.

What a world...what a world...

Some kid just dropped right in front of us...at friggin 3:3o. Someone should have told him its a marathon not a sprint. He was sucking down bowl hits like his name was Woody Harrelson. Getting a picture was a bit tough.

"Brah, you shoulda worn a mesh hat. Shit keeps you cool...while looking cool!

Kid went down like Glass Joe in Mike Tyson's Punch-out.

People were yelling "Stay Down!" at him every time he tried to get up. He was ACL's very own Rudy Ruettiger.

Cold War Kids 3:35:
Some pretty solid drumming. It's a shame that their name makes them seem like they're in the same class as Fall Out Boy and Panic At the Disco. That said, they were a pleasant surprise.
It's nice to see Woody Harrelson in the spotlight again.

3:10 Austin City Limits: Officially sweating.

Cab 2:30:
Sharing a cab w/ two concert goers. Both voted for Muse over The Arcade Fire. What am I missing here?

Austin Hilton 1:30pm:
Apparently LBJ was a HUGE fan of Cisco's tamales. Who knew. Weirdly enough they were not on the menu. I got the "wolf omelet". Can't go wrong with throwing the world "wolf" in front or after another word to sell me on something everything. Wolf Omelet, Teen Wolf, and TV on the Radio's "Wolf Like Me". All awesome.

Cisco says: "No wolves were harmed in the making of this omelet!"

Now we're regrouping at the hotel before the show. Regrouping = showering for the second time thanks to the Austin heat. Good times. Should speed up the blackout process...that is if we can stay for the whole show. I did manage to pick up a puma wristband for today. It's so on Austin. Watch out!

Austin Day 2 11:00am:
We were early arrivers at the concert yesterday and what did that get us? An ass kicking by Lady Karma. Yes I know I need to blog the reasons for missing Queens of The Stone Age (kind of a big deal) and The Killers (I'm over it) but I can't do it just yet. The wounds are still too raw. Too soon.

Today will be different, I can feel it. We've decided to get to the show at 3pm. That will give Lady Karma less chances to fuck us. The plan is to see:

  • 3:30 - Cold War Kids
  • 5:30 - Andrew Bird
  • 6:30 - Arctic Monkeys
  • 7:30 - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  • 8:30 - The Arcade Fire
Many a person is telling me I should be seeing Muse over The Arcade Fire...but I just can't do it.
Let me add this, there's NO SHOT I'll be catching Blue October, Stephen Marley, and WHAT, Sarah Hickman again??? WTF...How does she get two sets for this concert? She must have incriminating pictures of Austin's elite. That's the only explanation.

Maybe Hickman has evidence that fingers LBJ (One of America's biggest seekas* and the pride of Austin) as the mastermind behind JFK's assassination. We're headed to his old hangout for breakfast. I'll let you know if everything tastes extra salty in his LBJ's honor.

Putting JFK on your re-election buttons...a true seeka move.

*Seeka -
This is a word that got invented in college. It is a synonym for Scumbag. It was invented after one of my college roommates, whose name was Seeka, would do things like
  • filter his bong water in my other room mates Brita
  • urinate in his roommates bed...
  • light people's shirts on fire at the bars
  • Slam the top of people's beer bottles to make them overflow...and in true seeka fashion his overzealous slams would cause the other person's beer bottle to break. I always regretted showing him this trick.
There are countless others but its still too early for me to think. I'll add more later. Bottom line people across the school, and even the "townies" began using the term "seeka", often including a fist pump a la Jerry Seinfeld's classic "Newman". the practice still goes on to this day, much to his chagrin.
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