Friday, October 15, 2004

prime directive

It's official, I've patronized that car wash down on Sunset by my girlfriend's place for the last time. Pulled into one space & saw that it was out of order. The next space had a fucking snow-cone cart parked in it. The last one was out of order, too, & one of the drunken louts standing around pointed a scribbled piece of paper taped up on one of the walls: "no service." So I was backing my truck out, right? And as I'm putting in in drive & getting ready to bail out I see 'em all staring at me. So I'm staring back like "What the hell are you looking at?" & promptly drive into three-foot concrete post that's in the parking lot for some reason. That got 'em pretty riled up, I guess I was disrupting drunken snow-cone time. It kind of cheered me up that it bothered them so much, I was was actually laughing when I drove off. I took a look at my truck there's a small dent on the fender, not really noticeable except for the small amount of paint that rubbed off from the cement. I consider it a testament to the durability of Ford trucks, I put my vehicles through a fair share of punishment, & the last 3 have been Ford trucks. I should have my own Ford commercial: "Only Ford trucks can endure my catastrophic road rage!"

On another, less psychotic note, I started my private investigation training at Nick Harris Detectives. Pretty cool stuff. It was weird to get the actual lowdown, it wasn't too far from what I've been looking at on my own, mostly free stuff, public records and shit like that. What a bunch of nut-jobs in class with me though! I can't imagine them thinking the same about me, the walking talking picture of normalcy. The instructor was pretty cool & said I could "sit in" on the classes & pay the fee later. I normally feel bad about paying for that kind of stuff since I was totally ripped off by some correspondence-course ruse. But these guys are legit, several of the agencies I've called looking for work have said to call back when I took this class. And these guys let you get some hands-on experience. Yeah, they let you pay to work for them, goofy huh. But you get to socialize with other P.I.'s & use their databases & they give you equipment & shit like that. So I'm excited about it. It's Mondays & Thursdays, 7-10, so I bid a tearful farewell to Monday Night Football. This is the one thing that I'll take over football though, so it's all good.

To wrap it up, let me leave you, the earnest reader, with a nickel's worth of free advice: If you like spicy food, try not to scarf down your meals in less than a minute, lest you be stricken with explosive diarhea. I'll spare you the gruesome details, just enjoy the opportunity to learn from someone else's mistakes.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

...and if those...Bar Wars should ever end...

It's no secret that I'm a huge Star Wars nerd. When people claim to share my geekish obsession, I ask them a few simple questions that easily weeds out any impostors:
1) How fast could the Milenium Falcon complete the Kessle Run?
2) Name two Bounty Hunters BESIDES Boba Fett (no, Greedo doesn't count).
3) What did Jabba intend Han, Luke & Chewie's method of execution to be?

If they can't answer those questions, they probably only saw the trilogy a few times, which I can't relate to. It's funny, sometimes to annoy my girlfriend I start reciting one of the episodes. That always goes over great. Now, as for the "new" episodes, the jury's still out as far as I'm concerned. Maybe they'll grow on me. I've only watched them like, 5 or 6 times each. I liked Qui-Gon's little Zen quips in Episode 1, those helped carry the movie. They just seem so child-friendly. I guess even Lucas has bills to pay.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

archie bunker's revenge

Washed my truck today @ the place on Santa Monica & Cahuenga, but forgot to clean & dry my towels since last time so they were all mildewed, & I had to buy those stupid fucking paper towels out of those dispensers. Costs a little more but the equipment works fine & the change machines work. Tried out the "scratch remover" that I bought last week, I guess it worked ok. It's annoying how many little nicks & dings you can get living in the "big city". I guess it beats having to pry a deer out of your radiator grill. This may not make me any new friends, but I'm going to go on record with a sweeping generalization that seems to be holding true: people from El Salvador can't drive. There's a stretch along Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood that goes through a Salvadoran neighborhood & those fools just can't get it together when they're on the damn road. My theory is that they just don't have that many cars down there, what with it being a third-world nation. So put 'em behind the wheel in a crowded part of town & watch mayhem ensue. In all fairness, it's a pretty small neighborhood that would have congested streets no matter who lived there but COME ON, PEOPLE! It's a fucking obstacle course.

So, they made a "Daredevil" movie, & the Kingpin was played by a black actor (that giant dude from "The Green Mile"), which was kind of an interesting twist, I guess. Now they're remaking "Kojak", & the title character will be played by a black actor (Ving Rhames). They're also making a movie out of "The Honeymooners" starring Cedric the Entertainer. The Wayans Brothers are remaking "The Munsters". Not that I watch 'em, but I heard that the MTV Awards looked like the Source Awards. I know I must sound like a total racist but COME ON, PEOPLE! It just doesn't make sense.

While I'm on this politically-incorrect tangent, I work in an entertainment-industry related field, I'm sorry to say, & a few weeks ago all these Jewish holidays started popping up. There was one day when anybody who was Jewish had to be home by sundown & stay home the next day, I guess they couldn't turn the TV on or drive a car or whatever. Is that "Yom Kippur"? That sounds like an Israeli FM talk radio host: "Yom Kippur here, taking you to traffic at the top of the hour." Also I understand that they can turn the TV on the night before & that way they can finnagle around the rules. Very convenient. I guess there's a way to justify anything. Anyways that one day there was like, no one at work, apparently all the bosses are Jewish. And I guess all the hard-asses that work in the industry are Jewish too because it the mellowest, most easy-going day at work I think I've ever had. Next year sometime I should be moving into a different line of work, I'm trying to get into the private investigation business, & I wonder if it'll be the same then. Probably not, I think this is just one business where Jewish holidays are just a fact of life. Yuck. It's funny because I used to take that Krav Maga, you know, what they supposedly teach the Isreali Commandos or Mossad or whatever. Sheesh, gimme a break! Some advice if you ever go toe-to-toe with an Israeli soldier: fight dirty & protect your groin. Plus the classes consisted of two groups: total posers & total assholes. People either checking themselves out in the mirrors the whole time, or trying to convince the rest of the class that they were bad-ass mother-fuckers. Can you imagine, once they made us work out while they played Britney Spears! I mean, COME ON, PEOPLE! What in thee hell?!

77777 <------that was courtesy of my girlfriend's cat, & is as good a closing statement on the subject as I can think of.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

acid rain

You know, when I had my old truck, I refused to wash it. People would make all kinds of stupid comments, you know, since you could barely tell what color it was. (It was red, under the quarter-inch layer of dust & bird shit.) When they asked me why I never washed it I would tell them that since it wasn't really mine (my reasoning being that I was still making payments on it), why the fuck should I wash it? Let the finance company come downtown & hose off the fucking truck! Anyways I guess I'm a little less...I don't know, whacked out of my head these days. So I've taken to washing my new truck a little more regularly. Of course, since I'm a man on the go who also happens to be a miserable cheapskate, I go to the self-service car washes. Oddly enough, it kind of relaxes me. I used to rush through it like it was a chore to be dispensed with in as little time as humanly possible, but now it's an almost meditative experience. The place I usually go to, a few blocks down from my girlfriend's house, is convenient because it's a few blocks down from my girlfriend's house, but the change machine never seems to work, & there are invariably a ragtag assembly of middle-aged Mexican dudes who stand around the parking lot drinking beer & pissing against the walls. Kind of like an inner-city "King of the Hill". I'm such a creature of habit that it's already hard to imagine patronizing another car wash but it looks like I'll have to spread my wings & take flight. Maybe the one up by Santa Monica & Cahuenga, it's just that there's so much traffic up there, it doesn't seem like it would be as relaxing. But hey, maybe it'll teach me to "tune out" my aggravating surroundings, now THAT would be meditation!

So Rodney Dangerfield died today. It's not like he was cut down in his prime but I'm still bummed. I always thought his character in "Easy Money" was the most admirable portrait of the modern day "everyman". Fuck that "HCE" shit, James Joyce was too in love with his own writing anyways. And what the hell would someone from the UK know about being an "everyman" anyways, all that aristocracy & criss-crossed bloodlines. How can an "everyman" sit down to tea-time?! And if Joyce was such a genius, how come no one can wade through "Finnegan's Wake" & be able to tell one page from the other without checking which page is dog-eared! Genius isn't worth squat if it isn't accessible, right? I mean Van Gogh was a fucked-up guy & no one really knew what kind of bizarre ideas were floating around in his one-eared head, but even a small child can enjoy looking at a print of one of his paintings. What was I talking about...oh yeah, Rodney Dangerfield. He was one comedian who consistently made me laugh, & who never seemed to be copying anyone else. In fact, I would say he set the standard. Seems like he was just being himself when he was doing his act, which is always a huge plus. Not like these smug dipshits & ghetto-tastic stand-ups who think they're rock stars.

By the way the melatonin isn't making a difference yet. Maybe I could dissolve it in a shot of Jager.

Monday, October 04, 2004

endless sleep

So I'm starting to take Melatonin before I go to bed, it's this kind of herbal supplement that's supposed to help you get a more restful night's sleep. I keep waking up in the middle of the night, thinking about work, & my car payments, & how I'm getting gray hairs even though I'm only 29. My girlfriend warned me that possible side effects of taking Melatonin may include "vivid nightmares." She's up on things like that so I have no reason not to believe her. Anyways I hear that a good night's sleep can do you a world of good, so what's the harm in trying. If I start having vivid nightmares I'll probably just go back to polishing off a few Miller Lites before bedtime. Right now I'm kind of concerned that if I drink too much before I pop one of these I'll like, sleep for twenty hours straight.

On a totally unrelated subject, I went to Meltdown, this comic book store in Hollywood, for the first time last weekend. I've lived here in Los Angeles my entire life, a few failed attemps to relocate aside. And I've liked comics for as long as I can remember. It's only been this last year or so, though, that I've started reading "non-action" comics, so I've had to branch out & find new stores that sell more than just Batman & Superman (D.C. Comics have always been a steaming pile of crap anyways). Hi-De-Ho in Santa Monica is where I've been hanging out now, I started going there because I was working just a few blocks away. This year I was transferred to Hollywood, so I figured I'd stop in at Meltdown & see what all the hype is about, people keep saying it's such an awesome place, but I was disappointed to learn that it was basically a glorified toy store. They had more action figures & collectors' cups & baby-clothes & pez dispensers than comic books. AND while they had an extensive selection of "Love & Rockets" (should have been my first warning), they only had two titles by David Collier, & I went there specifically looking for the "Vietnam" issues of American Splendor that Collier illustrated. Suffice to say, I'll be driving the extra few miles in the future. Plus I'm already "in the system" at Hi-De-Ho, if I buy like, fifty bucks worth of comix I get like, one free. Or something like that.

Anyways that's enough ranting & raving for one night, eh? I think I feel the Melatonin "kicking in". If I have any vivid nightmares here's hoping they involve me having to drink my way out of the Rolling Rock brewery.