Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dating awwwww

There's an old (circa 1990s) truism about the milemarkers of dating.

If after three dates you haven't slept with him/her, dump him/her.
If after three months you haven't said "I love you," dump him/her.
If after three years you aren't married yet, dump him/her.

I don't prescribe to or proscribe this schedule but its quality lies in its simplicity, because the reality is much less succinct (if funnier):

If after three dates you don't know anything about him/her, you're just a lay.
If after three months you aren't talking "love," you (i.e. she) will start fighting.
If you keep at it and are with them for three years but aren't married yet, you're going to get divorced whenever you do decide to get married (which you will, because you won't have the courage to dump him/her).

Here's the new truism.

Go on three dates with someone you loved at first sight.
In three months, give them something small but valuable. A word, an object, a gesture.
In three years, go back on a date with this person. It's cheaper than a wedding.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It already smells bad, go ahead and fart.

My month-long sojourn to Los Angeles draws to a close this week. Here are some highlights.

Bald body builder with a titanium leg trolling around the streets of Long Beach with the sun in his face. Tells me to smile when I cross his path. Applauds when I obey.

Every unique, dispossessed, splintered (and in every case very likely schizophrenic) vagabond on the Metro-Blue Line. Including but not limited to the woman who will not protect Curious George, the old man from Washington St. in Arkansas, the gay street punk who kept telling himself his feet will "get cut by the nurses again," and the frustrated black woman who threatened to "cut that bitch (i.e. me)."

Bearded homeless man drinking from a 2-Liter bottle of Pepsi filled with clear water, highlighting in fluorescent yellow, a stack of documents in a manila folder.

Proto-1970s Californian home architecture.

Loud music in a small car.


Chicano English.

Hanging out with Dad, who is now an uncle. Hello, Uncle Dad. I can't reciprocate your new found affection for me because you broke that part of my soul fifteen years ago.

Hanging out with an old flame, who is now a flamer. Hello, boyfriend of a boyfriend. I am curiously flattered by this news.

Hanging out with Mom, who is now my child. Hello, child mom. What do you want for dinner?

Hanging out with a New Yorker, who is now an Angeleno. Goodbye.

Driving Metaphors:
"I don't even have the gas to drive the car to get to the store that has the words I need to find for this conversation."

"Advance 200 feet and U-turn."

"Turn on your blinker."

"Your blinker's still on."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I've always liked to mess with people in my auto-replies. We should definitely have auto-replies for more human situations than absence from the office and customer service confirmation.

Boyfriend Auto-Reply:
"Thank you for writing. Your message is important to me. I respond to every email in the order in which it was received but if you have any pressing questions please call directly."

Bad Ex-Boyfriend Auto-Reply:
"You've reached a girlfriend who is no longer listening to you. Move on. If this is an emergency, please contact another ex or your mother."

Good Ex-Boyfriend Auto-Reply:
"I am currently away on vacation. Yeah, uh...vacation. Not a new man. A vacation... Let's talk in a couple months?"

Bad contractor's Auto-Reply:
"I am currently on vacation in your offices. I will have only sporadic interest in checking my emails from you and will not make myself available for anything other than group takeout orders and my bonus check. Thanks in advance for the job."

Parent Auto-Reply:
"Delivery failure."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Allegory of My Life Today

On the blue line to Long Beach this morning, a morbidly obese woman wearing matching heather grey sweatpants and sweatshirt, white hair pulled up into a high bun, spoke to herself at my 8 o'clock. Canvas bag full of bright objects between her legs on the floor. Despite the elements, a beautiful woman with a clear and bright face.

And in a calm, even tone:

You're dead meat.
You're torn meat.
They're going to tear you up.
And I won't stop them.
I won't do anything about it.
I won't keep them apart.

You're dead meat, Curious George.
Don't ask for a damned thing.
If they beat you up and call you mean things,
I won't stop them,
because it's all true.

Looks like it's gonna rain.
Hope it does.
Cool things off.
Help flowers grow.

Losers get out and drive.
Winners walk.

Yes, George, tell them you're my son.
They'll come back for you.
You don't hit me, I don't hit you.

Is something wrong with my eye sight today?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Inception Within an Inception

So Inception is the movie to beat, eh?

I saw it last night. Thought it was beautiful. Think it's funny that Leonardo DiCaprio played the same exact role in Shutter Island (psychosis within psychosis) and The Departed--gang within a gang. Are we reaching a tipping point here?

What other "X within an X" formulas can Leo play?

1. Line within a Line. Leo waits at the DMV and finds out it was a line to Popeye's Chicken the whole time. He orders a bucket of chicken and then dies of a heart attack but no one knows he's an organ donor because he never got that driver's license.

2. Marriage within a Marriage. Leo marries a hot Swedish model. Turns out she's secretly married to Hugh Grant, which means Leo is now married to Hugh Grant. They have to consummate the marriage in ten days or someone will make another sequel to Saw.

3. Tweet within a Tweet.
@LeoDiCap @@@@@@@@@@@

Monday, July 5, 2010

Plane-mate, Episode "Unemployed"

On my flight to Chicago a couple weeks ago I sat in my window seat hoping no one would fill the middle spot. As seems frequently the case, the more tardy said middle-seater is, the more colorful their personalities. [ibid.]

This time it was a woman in hand-torn black T-shirt, sweat pants and an anklet.
She smelled like a party three days ago in her ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend's back yard, if you catch my drift.

If you don't, try a bowl of salsa with a few stray corn nuts, cigarette butts, beer and vaseline. Put that bowl in the sun and come back a week later.

The woman was a talker. Talked the ear off the man sitting in the aisle seat. Conveniently chose to ignore me. Started calling everyone on her Favorites dialing list once it was announced we were going to be sitting on the tarmac for another hour because of weather delays. She complains loudly that she rushed to the plane for no good reason, not realizing we're actually in a closed cabin on the tarmac.

Flight attendant comes down the aisle asking people if they want to buy headsets.

Woman: How much are the headphones?
Attendant: Two dollars.
Woman: Oh, I thought they were five. Do we get to keep them?
Attendant: Yeah. (Notices she already has earphone) You know your earphones will work just fine.
Woman: I know, I just wanted to know how much they cost. I thought it was five. Two dollars for headsets though...
Attendant: We're all trying to make money where we can.
Woman: Yeah, but two dollars...

Ten minutes later the woman calls for an attendant.

Woman: Do you have a pen I can borrow during the flight? I'll give it back, I promise.

The attendant brings back a pen for her. The woman pulls out a huge folded stack of paper from her huger bag. A ziplock bag full of burnt CDs falls out, along with her CD-man. So ok, the punchline here is her ziplock bag of cds, but when was the last time you saw a CD-man?

The woman unfolds her documents: Laser color printouts of job listings from the internet. She starts reading down the list and circling what I presume are all the jobs she might take. Suffice it to say she circles almost every listing.

I start to feel enterprising. Want to tell her how to be more efficient about her situation. A.) Don't go to Kinko's and pay a buck a page to print out 40 color pages of job listings if you're unemployed. B.) Never not have a pen on you. Especially if you're looking for work.

I sleep instead of proselytizing. Keep waking up to the sound her talking to the other neighbor, who is fully immersed in the Mahut/Isner tennis match. He fails miserably at explaining to her the phenomenon that is taking place on TV: Tennis.

Woman: I don't get it. They only have to get seven points to win a match?
Man: No, each "point" is actually a game.
Woman: So they play seven games?
Man: No, they have to play till someone's up two games in the seventh set.
Woman: You know what, no offense but I don't get tennis so I'm going to watch something else.
Man: (Visibly unoffended.)

When I look back at her screen she's variously watching FoxNews and Friends. I reserve judgement and go back to sleep.

As the plane starts to make its final descent, I notice the woman is switching to listening to her CDs. She pulls one out of the ziplock bag to insert in her CD-man. Scribbled in Sharpie ink are the words:

Three Doors Down

I didn't realize anyone besides AMC theater patrons waiting for their movie to start ever listened to this band. Much less burnt their albums. I no longer reserve judgement; start thinking about how to tell this story.

When we land the woman immediately calls what sounds like her ride from the airport.

Woman: I don't know why they lied to us about the weather to delay us for so many hours. I mean it's all sunny here and shit...
Yeah, just pick me up outside...
What? You want me to pay for gas?...
That's not what we talked about last night!...
If I knew I had to buy your gas I woulda taken the train...
You know what just forget about it. I'll just have to figure it out with my credit cards. I won't be able to buy food or cigarettes the next couple of days but I'll pay for gas it's fine...
No, forget about it...
I'll buy the gas, forget about it...

I hope for her sake someone eventually explained how tennis works.

I Feel Bad For Him

If anyone else watched the Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on TV yesterday, you probably couldn't eat the rest of the day either. I know the meme of the day was "Free Kobi" but that's missing the trees for the forest, in my humble opinion.

After witnessing the drama involving Kobayashi, however, (contest-winner) Chestnut said, “I feel bad for him.”

That's the T-shirt I want.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Tidbits about Chicago:

1. For all the glory of its architecture, downtown Chicago has no clock monuments. In New York you can't turn a corner and look up without seeing at least the remnants of a broken clock. (Observed)

2. There is more oxygen in the Chicago air than a rain forest during summer because the corn crops in Illinois sweat. (Learned)

3. You have to turn in your driver's license if you get a traffic infraction. Any infraction. (Chicago's stupid)

4. Didn't realize it but Sun Ra's from Chicago. (I'm stupid)

5. Rent's cheap. (New York is stupid)
6. And there are possibly as many musicians as there are hot dogs in the city. (Score)