Friday, March 30, 2007

The Quick Hitter List: Volume 1

The Quick Hitter List: Volume 1

-I went to school with a young lady who had no arms. She was this way from birth. The really interesting part is that she could write… with her feet… Now she didn’t just write clearly… she had beautiful handwriting (footwriting?). I grew up using my hand to write and she grew up using her foot… and her penmanship is outstanding whereas mine is merely passable. The incredibly interesting part is that she has a driver’s license and steers with her foot as well. She is an amazing person and I hope you all feel less capable for reading that… unless of course you have 1 leg and no arms and can do all that… then you can be her hero.

-I went to a high-end car dealership with a co-worker the other day. It was our lunch break and he wanted to see how much it would cost for him to lease a new Porsche Cayman. He was leaning towards this car because, while it is indeed a Porsche, it is not as expensive as a 911 or a Cayenne. We got to the dealership and we quickly found out that a Carrera that is anywhere from a 1999 up to about a 2001, is actually cheaper than the Cayman… has more leg room, is a million times more fun to drive, and holds it value much better. This fascinates me because Porsches have always been my favorite car growing up and therefore have always seemed so out of reach. Yet, someday I could find myself sitting in the driver’s seat of a 911 (albeit one that is 6 years old and has 40,000 miles on it). The sad (very Orange County California) part of the story is that my co-worker friend does not own his home. He rents it. So he will be renting a home with a Porsche out front. Would you rather drive a Honda now and be paying a mortgage on a property that you own OR be paying rent and have a really nice car out front? I am a car fanatic yet I will own property before I buy a Porsche… (or so my fiancĂ© thinks….)

-I am going to Vegas in 2 months. I will be attending a historic “Double Bachelor Party”, that involves friends from both sides of this country. East meets West in Vegas. I am looking forward to it as Vegas is one of my favorite cities in the world. However, upon closer examination it is the most ridiculous and inane place you can go. I am paying the hotel/casino owners stupid amounts of money so I can play simple games…. And I love every second of it. Why do we think it is OK to lose $500 in a game of blackjack, but we may make fun of a friend who just purchased a $200 pair of jeans. His jeans will last for a year at least, but my $500 lasted 30 minutes… and I am now drunk and alone because my friends still have chips and you can’t stand and watch them or you kill their table karma. Does that sound like fun to you? I love Vegas and I can’t wait… VEGAS!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Dusting off an old one....

Here is another screenplay I started a couple years ago and never follow through with... Not as long as the last one so give it a read.



INT. JACOB’S HOUSE - NIGHT – Three men are sitting on a couch watching a movie. The house is very simply decorated, yet the TV is large and the sound system is good. This room is made for watching movies, which is evident by the random stacks of DVDs pileed near the TV. All the guys appear to be in their mid 20’s. Paul Stead is on the left, Derek Andrews is in the middle, and Jacob Marks is on the right. All three are focusing very hard on the action taking place on the TV. The lights are turned off and all three men are intently watching the screen. They are watching “Point Break.” We can see the men’s faces but we hear the TV, it is clearly the main robbery scene in the movie.

“Man this scene is crap!”


“What the hell are you talking about?”

“Yeah, are you serious?”

“Am I serious? Are you guys for real? Everything about this specific pile of crap is weak. Don’t get me wrong, this is an entertaining movie and all, but the robbery scenes are way off.”

“You’re whacked out of your dome. There is nothing wrong with this bank robbery. The scene is great.

“Yeah, this scene fits in perfect.”

“Look, I know we all love this movie, but I have serious problems with the robbery. I mean the “Ex-Presidents,” come on now, that is really weak. They are trying to be these tough and extreme bank robbers, but I just don’t feel it. If Ronald Reagan was pointing a gun in my face, I think I would laugh my ass off. Come on guys, this is our ##th president. Not only that, he isn’t exactly aging well either.

“Dude, I don’t know what you are talking about. Those masks are freaky looking.

“Yeah, those guys are freaky looking.”

“Plus, if a gun was pointed at me I don’t care if they had a Homer Simpson mask on. I would be leaving some easy to follow Oregon trails in my jeans.”

“Yeah, easy to follow trails coming out.”

“Alright, I admit a gun in the face may be intimidating, but the “surf talk” these guys use certainly is not. If I am a teller standing behind the glass and a robber says “Yo dude, pass me some radical greenbacks so I can shoot the tubes of Australia,” I am going to be laughing so hard I hope I don’t miss the button for the silent alarm.”

“Alright Spielberg, are you saying that you could have done a better job?”

“Yeah, Spielberg here thinks he can do it better.”

“I told you assholes to quit calling me Spielberg. I like the man’s work but it isn’t my style.”

“Oh excuse me, exactly what is your style then Mr. I’m going-to-make-it-someday-just-you-watch?”

“Yeah, what is your style?”

“Well, it really doesn’t have a pre-defined category. I like to call it “New-Realism.” It is a new style that is more realistic than the rest of the fake crap that is being made.”

“Well the rest of the so-called crap is making money, which you are not.”

“Yeah, you’re not making any money dude.”

“Yeah I know. Thanks again for letting me crash here guys. I really appreciate it.”

“Well, I just want you to remember us IF you ever get famous.”

“You mean when.”

“Yeah, I think he meant if.”

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Love Is All You Need... You Son Of A Bitch... Unabridged (v 1.1)
road rage
a fit of violent anger by the driver of an automobile, esp. one directed toward and endangering other motorists or pedestrians.

I have road rage... often. Now, I don't do anything dangerous like try to swerve my truck at someone else or something stupid. I just happen to get extremely angry at all kinds of stuff that happens while driving.

Say someone comes into my lane in front of me and does not use their blinker, even if there is enough room for them to do so, it drives me crazy. Or for example, a person might tap their brakes on the highway when there is no reason to do so... I start using obsenities to describe how their mother might perfrom certain acts involved in making love. it's not nice stuff and I know it is overboard on my part, but I dont roll down my windows and scream it at people. I dont give the finger and I rarely use the horn unless it is absolutely neccesary. I simply make myself upset and I can deal with that.

Yesterday an odd thing happened... I was driving up the 405 on my way home from work and I was listening to The Beatles. Specifically I was listening to the song "All You Need Is Love" and and singing along as I usually do.

Just then a car cut me off with no blinker and I went into road rage mode, swearing at this person... all the while, I was still singing the song.

You son of a bitch, use your damn blinker when you want to cut me off... ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE... (BUM BAH BUM BUM BUM)... Oh look, now you are going to go slower yet you need to get in FRONT of me? ... ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE, LOVE... You piece of shit! Stop hitting your damn brakes, there is no one in front of you!!! ... LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED... LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED...

Needless to say, I was quite confused after I settled down and also quite amused. This countinued for the remainder of the drive home...

Hey asshole, if you are going to turn there give me some heads up... AHH LOOK AT ALL THE LONELY PEOPLE... Jesus buddy, I know it's yellow but you don't need to slam on the brakes! ... ELEANOR RIGBY , PICKS UP THE RICE IN THE CHURCH WHERE NO WEDDING HAS BEEN...LIVES IN A DR- Come ON grandma, what the fuck are you doing here? Your car can go faster than 12!... ALL THE LONELY PEOPLE, WHERE DO THEY ALL BELONG...

It was an interesting drive home to say the least.

Other potential titles for this post were:

  • Paperback Driver
  • Live and Let Drive (that's a good one...)
  • Let It Be... I Wish I could...
  • Hey Jude, Get The F*&K Off The Road!

As you can see I had some options here... I feel that the one I decided on fits with the mood though...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

St. Patricks Day ... in The OC, bitch...

I love Guinness... I will start this off the right way and just profess my love for this beverage to set the tone for this post. I love everything about it. From the taste (bitter and sweet at the same time) to its color (the most beautiful black in the brewer's entire palette), it is not just a "beer", it is a beverage to be savored and truly enjoyed.

St. Patrick's Day is a time when people congregate in bars and pubs across the country and raise a pint of the good stuff.

Since I grew up next door to downtown Boston, I know how to celebrate this day properly. You drink alcohol that comes from Ireland, you wear something green, you hang out with good friends (you might even make new friends), you repeat the first step continously, and then you hope a fight doesn't break out at some point. It's a great day.

I don't live in near Boston anymore however... I live about 3,000 miles away in Huntington Beach, California. Smack in Orange County or The OC as a popular albeit canceled Fox show likes to call it. It's actually 2,992 miles from Boston to my street address here, I checked on Google Maps.

People here dress up in the green colors... they congregate in the bars and pubs... and they drink. It sounds the same doesn't it?

It's not.

I didn't start my St. Patrick's Day at a Sully's Pub/O'Hanrahan's/Kitty O'Sheas/Insert Stereotypical Irish Name Here/etc. I started it at a bar on the beach called Chimayo's. That's a mexican word, it has Mayan roots. This is in fact my favorite place in Huntington Beach because it's on the water however it didn't have a St. Patrick's Day vibe that I was looking for. Sure the Guinness was being served, but there were people eating tacos and nachos and I think I saw a few Corona's and Pacifico's being imbibed. It wasn't right.

A few friends joined my fiance (also from back east) and I and we went to our next location which was further up the street away from the beach a bit. The line was long but thankfully I knew the head bouncer. His skids were in need of greasing but it sure beat the very long line. Once inside I thought I was in a better position because the first person I saw had on a Larry Bird jersey. Jackpot! Well... right then his friend walked up and he had on a Kobe Bryant jersey. The guy wearing the Bird jersey on St. Patrick's is fine, the weather in CA is warm enough where you don't look like an idiot, the shirt is green, plus it's Larry Friggin' Bird... show some respect. Now, the guy in the Bryant jersey , he just looks like an asshole. Not because it's a Kobe Bryant jersey, because it's a Bryant jersey on St. Patrick's Day.

I tried to stick to my aforementioned guns (i.e. my rules for St. Patrick's Day, see above if you forgot them already) and drank nothing but Guinness. However, at one point my friend decided he wanted to do a shot, which is fine, but the shot he choose violated my rules.

He ordered Jaeger shots.

Now I was internally conflicted! Should I brush him off because Jaeger is from Germany, disgusting by itself, and violates my "irish-only" alcohol rule for the day? OR do I stick to my other principal about never turning down a free drink (with one exception) and keep the heritage of Ireland alive because an Irishman would most likely drink it regardless? Easy answer... it tasted like shit by the way.

To start to wrap this up here... people all over the county celebrate this day (except in parts of Utah) and it is a little different depending on where you are. People in Orange County celebrate the day as if it is just another excuse to get drunk whereas people in Boston drink like it's their last day on Earth. The result is the same though everywhere even if the feeling is different... you hang out with friends, you make new friends, and you drink. Sounds like a great day no matter where you are, to me...

Oh the one exception to my free drink rule? If someone offers you a drink called a "Three Wise Men"...

punch them in the gut.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

An Oldie But A Goodie... perhaps... maybe not... ah screw it, just read it.

This is a screenplay I started when I first moved to California. I only got 7 pages in and then lost focus on it... I wanted to post it here to see what people think about it. I had to update some of the references but otherwise it is exactly the same as when I started it in 2003.... Let me know what you think.

Jeff Glucker


EXT. Vegas/Night – Shots of Vegas landmarks

Welcome to Vegas, the real city that never ever sleeps. Dreams are made and broken here. Most people think that these dreams revolve around money, and for the most part they do. Men and women from all over the world roll into this town in search of that one big hit. That idea that anyone can find the needle lost in the haystack of neon lights. I can’t lie; that is all that I thought this town had to offer. I believed that it was merely a place to spend as much money as you can while drinking as much alcohol as you can. Boy was I completely wrong about this place…

INT. CAR/Night – Jake, a good-looking man in his early twenties, is driving the car towards the light in the desert. He and two of his close friends, both of whom are also good-looking guys in their early twenties, are heading to Las Vegas.

I love this road. This is my personal “Trail of Tears.” People are so excited when they are heading east on 15, but it is their attitude on the way back that matters. Right now I am surrounded by nothing but excitement. Sitting next to me in shotgun is my good friend Dan. He is definitely the logical one out of us three. Basically, he knows when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. I would be surprised to see him in the hole at the end of the weekend. He doesn’t go for the risky stuff. That is where my buddy in the back seat comes in. His name is Paul, and he is the illogical one. He would drop the last five dollars to his name on black. He doesn’t see anything in this town as a risk, just a chance to put more money in his pocket. I love going to Vegas with these two guys because I get to see the extremes of the betting styles. As for me, I tend to fall somewhere in the middle. I try to play smart by not going for the big rake, just going for the small pulls. I just can’t seem to help my self from going for that stupid bet every now and then either.

Holy shit, where almost there baby! I fucking love this road.

Chill out man, you know your gonna be broke by (CHECKS HIS WATCH AND SEE’S THAT IT IS 12:45am) two-thirty.

Screw that, I am going to be soaring by that time. What about you dude, where are you going to be by then?

I already told you guys, I am just planning on chilling during this trip. It’s not every day you too come out to visit me in California.

Well, shit, you know how fucking cold it is back home. I live for our Vegas trips.

Definitely, I love getting out away from the losers at the Seven-Card No-Ante late nights at the wonder of it all, Foxwoods. This is where real people come to play.

Hey, I miss those late nights at the woods. That shit made us who we are today.

Yeah, exactly who are we?

We are bad-asses heading into the jungle to tear it up!

All right then, the plan is going to be check in, change, and right down to the tables?

Damn straight that’s the plan. You ready Jakey boy?

I told you guys I am just going to chill and enjoy the atmosphere. I just love being in the town.

Yeah anything can happen here.

No, only one thing happens here. Casinos take our money, and we take their alcohol.

INT. THE SAHARA/Late night – Jake, Paul, and Dan make their way onto the casino floor at the Sahara. They pause to take in the sights and sounds of one of the greatest things on the planet, the first step onto the gaming floor of a Las Vegas weekend. The boys make their first move towards the blackjack tables.

Ok guys, we just got here so lets take it easy. This place has limits as low as a buck so it is the perfect place to warm-up and get our feet wet for the weekend.

I agree, lets get cracking.


What… I am a little tired so I just want to start slow. For fucks sake relax, I’ll get nuts soon enough.

Hey Jake, where do you want to sit?

I told you man, I just want to relax this weekend. You pick the table, and I’ll sit there for the drinks, they don’t serve bystanders here.

Here we go, five dollar minimum is acceptable I assume ladies.

Yes lets get going; I’m starting to get the shakes.

The guys sit at a table and start to play blackjack. A few people come and go, as do the stacks in front of them. No big wins and no big losses, it is a good start to a Vegas vacation

Our hands are coming and going, no one is really getting into a rhythm but we are having a great time. We are hanging out, drinking and gambling what could be better. Then “she” sits down. There are two other guys at the table and she sits right next to me. I’m a male human being with more than one drink in my system so I notice her right away. She is very cute even though she looks under-dressed just like us. I can’t really blame here, after all it is 1:08 in the morning right now. That isn’t a guess either, I remember the exact time.

JULIE (sits at the table. She is early twenties just like the guys. She has long blonde hair tied up and a great body that is concealed by her late night attire)
Do you guys mind if I sit here?

No we were actually trying to keep this table strictly sausage only.

…What an ass.

Hi, my names Jake. What’s your name?

JULIE (concentrating more on Jake than the others)
Hello, my name is Julie. Where are you guys from?

I just moved to Huntington Beach, these guys are visiting from back home in Boston. How about yourself?

I just drove in from Salt Lake City. That’s cool, Vegas is halfway between us.

That is cool. Do you come to Vegas a lot?

I love Vegas. I come here all the time. I came here this weekend to watch all the college basketball on TV and maybe place a few bets.

JAKE (bewildered)
Really…? That is awesome. You like college basketball?

Are you serious, it is one of the best sports you can watch on TV?

Wow… I don’t know what to say. I’ve never met a girl who likes gambling and sports. I feel like I need a breather.

Yo this table is dying out. I need to find another place to get some action moving.

Yeah, this table is kicking my ass. They keep moving in the damn Asian dealers on me, and you know how that goes. I am going to take a look around.

Uh… Ok, you guys go ahead. I am going to hang out with this table for a while.

Smart move, I think this table is just about to heat up. I’m glad you chose to stay.

Hours seem like minutes in this town, and right now I can’t get enough of them. This girl is amazing, I thought I knew how to gamble but she is showing me how it’s supposed to be done. She’s also doing it with a smile on her face the whole time. I don’t know how to describe what’s going on. I am just having a blast my first night in Vegas. I say night but I mean morning. It is very late. Dan and Paul have already gone to bed, but Julie and me are still going for blackjacks and rolling for sevens. We both decide that it is getting a little too late and make our way to our respective rooms, but first I make sure that I get her cell number so I can meet up with her again if I am lucky. I get the phone number and I head up to my room with no idea of what I have just gotten myself into. I settle into my bed and check the clock. Right before I fall asleep it reads 7:45am, man I love this town.

Int. Hotel Room at the Sahara/mid morning – Paul is sleeping on one bed and Dan is sleeping on another. Jake is sleeping on the floor after coming in so late. Dan begins to wake up, and Paul does the same. As they are getting ready Jake begins to stir, even though he only went to bed a few hours ago. It is now 11am, and a Vegas Saturday is just beginning.

The first thing to hit the room is the light. Someone always opens the blinds before you do. That light is like God shining down in your face. You don’t know what to do so you just sit there for a minute until you can move out of the light. You can’t go far though because that light takes up the entire room. As the light moves through your system you begin to remember what happened the night before. You are up or down, your are hungover or you are stable. That is what normally happens, but this time all I can remember is the girl…

Jake, Dan, and Paul are moving amongst the lines at a buffet.

Dude, we need to start hitting other casinos tonight so that we are spreading our cash around and maybe meeting some chickies in the process, huh?

No shit, I need to move over to the Hard Rock so that I can get my “shwerve” on. The honeys there are hot as can be.
Did you just use the word “shwerve?”

Yeah, so what? We are in Vegas baby.

Jesus… I can’t gamble near this kid anymore. You just said “shwereve” and you fucking meant it? No wonder I lost $150 fucking dollars last night. I got Jaime fucking Kennedy over here, screaming in my ear about getting his “schwerve” or his “mizack” on. How’s this sound, stay the “fizuck” away from me “dizogg?”

Whatever bitch… I just want to get my groove flowing at one of these sweet clubs and everything will be cool.

Ok, I will let those comments slide if you can direct me to some grade-A Vegas poontang. What about you Jake, what do you want to do this fine Vegas morning?

I could use some grub, and then I wouldn’t mind seeing what Julie is doing today.

Who the fuck is Julie?

No shit, who the fuck is Julie?

You assholes, Julie is the chick I chilled with at the tables. The chick who showed up right when you guys went upstairs to go to bed.

Oh, the blondie? You have her cell or something?

Whatever… congratulations, but lets get some fucking food and then you can talk to her all the fucking day for all I care. First lets hit the buffet.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Hey there... Ferrari Guy... Tone it down a notch maybe?

I decided to put in some hours at work this past Saturday. When you wake up early on a Saturday, your body needs some coffee and some food. This is an undisputed fact. So to give my body what it needed, I decided to stop at a place near work that has a Starbucks and a Bruegger's Bagels side by side.

I pulled into the parking lot and there was a beautiful Ferrari parked right near my spot. For those wondering, it was a 360 Modena Spyder. It was red the way a Ferrari should be... not yellow or purple or something else stupid. It was a very nice car. Sure you see these quite often in Orange County but they are still pretty awesome every time.

As I passed by the car, I wondered to myself if I would be able to tell who the owner was. Could I spot the guy right away or would I be unable to tell...

I was able to tell.

I spotted a gentleman sitting at a table with a friend. He had on a full blue and gold Dolce & Gabbana Track Suit, Ferrari racing shoes, and a hat that just said Prague on it.

I could taste his opulence... it was palpable.

I don't have a problem with someone spending their money. If you have it and you earned, then go ahead and spend it to your hearts content. But I don't think you need to go this route.

The D&G track suit is a little ridiculous to begin with but I can let that slide, really I can. However, the Ferrari racing shoes? Come on now... I don't think he needs to worry about his best "Bagel Run" time. He probably already had that record on lock down. I wonder if he has a significant other at home with a stopwatch waiting by the door. "Alright baby, great time! But I am going to have to ding you a few seconds because I didn't want my bagel toasted. Better luck next weekend." Is he really working on his heel-toe downshifts as he is also pondering how the barrista is going to make his grande-soy-macchiato?

Also, this guy sitting with him... maybe its his pit guy? If he gets a blow out on the way there due to his excessive speeds this guy is ready to hop out and fix that tire in 13 seconds or less. It is really an amazing team they have together, in my head.

The Prague hat really isn't a big deal at all. I often think of being in far off places myself. Though I do wonder if he wears an Irvine hat or a Newport Beach hat when he is in Prague? That would be pretty interesting.

I would like Ferrari guy to tone it down a notch. He already owns the car, the clothes, and the pit crew... I don't think he needs to slam the point home further with the racing shoes.

Maybe I am going about this the wrong way though... maybe we should dress in accordance with the vehicle we own. I drive a Ford Ranger. I think I should start utilizing the bed of the truck more. Perhaps I should also start purchasing lighter wash jeans, hiking boots, and a flannel or two... become more of a truck guy. My middle-class father drives a Ford Taurus so he is already set. The car matches his outfit, title, and station in life perfectly. A co-worker owns a Matrix, what the hell is he supposed to do? Listen to techno and wear full length black jackets well shouting about his post apocalyptic vision of the future?

You don't have to dress to the car you own. Clearly this guy wanted attention. The car should draw enough attention as it is.... he doesn't need to look like J-Lo on top of it.

Ferrari Guy, you're amp may go to 11... bring it down to a 7 please.

Friday, March 9, 2007

I Actually Do Wash My Hands After I Pee... Trust Me...

I am going to assume that most people reading this uses the bathroom or has at least a few times in their life... That is a fairly safe assumption, right?

It is considered good practice and is definitely hygienic to wash your hands after you take a shit. You have just wiped a paper thin cloth across your asshole, which just produced waste material that has traveled through your body. You may have even gotten a little bit of shit on your hand, and you need to be more careful… a light touch is all that is needed, but hey, I am not here to judge you.

The fact of the matter is that you had a thin shit-covered cloth in your hand, so now you know need to wash said hand. I think we can all agree on that.

Where I differ on the bathroom hygiene policy is where it comes to pissing, urinating, pee pee-ing... or Number 1, as the kids are calling it these days. I personally like to call it “evacuating sin” but hey, tomato-tomaHto, right?

This is strictly for the guys now of course, unless we have some pre-op trannies in attendance today, and then, well fuck it, you are already confused enough.

So, guys, you unzip and grab your dick to pee... you grab it and aim your sins into the toilet. Simple, and usually quick unless you have been hanging around with Johnny, Jack, and Jim all night. Then you could be there for a good half-hour… read a book while you are there, it helps to pass the time.

Anyway… you grab your scwhammy in your hand and urinate. You don’t piss on your hands, you piss in the toilet. Why do we need to wash our hands after this? Unless we just got done banging some women of ill-repute, our junk is clean! It has been sleeping all day under at least 1 layer of protection, I say 1 layer because there are the free-ballers out there amongst us. My junk is protected by 2 layers the way God intended... and by God, I mean the fruit of the loom Apple. That guy can sing!

Our junk is clean people! Our hands are probably dirtier than our fucking packages are! We pick our nose, scratch our ass, and shake hands with Steve in accounting, its fucking gross!

If anything, we should be washing our DICKS after we pee! They probably got dirty from our hands. Just go over to the sink, grab the soap and start scrubbing the crap that came off your hands, off your unit.

Ladies, obviously you don’t fully understand because you sit down to pee, and you have to wipe your no-no love hole. Clearly your hands may come into contact with some urine and you should continue your wiping habits.

Guys… stop cleaning your hands after you piss… you don’t need to do it.

(Editors Note: I do wash my hands after I pee... Don't get the wrong idea. I don't think it is always necessary, but I do think it is the social norm and I try to stay somewhere in that range of acceptable behavior.)

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I Am Paying With My Thunder Card!!

I have come to a conclusion in regards to the credit ratings of perfect strangers... if you have pictures of stupid crap on your credit card, then your limit is probably $350-$500 bucks tops.

The person in front of you paying for their Venti Soy Latte is telling alot about themselves when they whip out the plastic to pay for this item. First off they are saying, I don't have enough in my checking account to cover this $3.50 coffee but I really need it right now so I will use my credit card. The second thing they are telling you is what their fico score is. If you see a plain color like, let's say silver for example, then this person probably has decent credit. However, if you see a cat playing with a ball of yarn... odds are this person probably won't qualify to lease a Kia.

The credit card companies are playing a dirty trick on us. They want to entice you with a picture so you might ignore the interest rate or the total limit. "Hey check out this awesome picture of hot air balloons taking off... you don't need to read any of that small print over there though."

They also throw words at you to describe your new card. Platinum is a popular one these days. A platinum card used to mean you were an established customer of that particular company and they rewarded you with a high limit and a low interest rate. Now they throw it on every card they can. The only term on a credit card that impresses me these days would have to be a Black Card from American Express... or as Kayne West likes to say "... Oh my God, is that a Black Card... and I replied Why Yes, though I prefer African American Express...". If you have one of those cards you are doing something correct financially or you are a popular rapper/producer.

Don't find fault with the person in front of you with that lightning bolt on their credit card however. They may be in a rebuilding phase financially and this is the first card they can qualify for. They are using this card to restore their credit rating and move up in the (credit-oriented) world. They just made a bad choice when looking at all the stickers that came with their new offer for a limit of $500 and a starting balance of $150 due to processing charges and annual fees. A better idea is to congratulate them for trying to "grow" their personal finances, and be "proactive" in their quest for a better fico score, and their "use" of corporate buzz words.

I happen to know from personal experience that it the image on one's credit card might not always peg them for a deadbeat, it might say more about them than you think...

What does my card say about me you ask? Oh, you didn't ask... well I will tell you anyway...

It says I am rebuilding as well...

or maybe it says I know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em...

Monday, March 5, 2007

Orange County: The Magic Kingdom Part 3

Chapter Tres: This is how we do it in the OC...

I have an apartment and a car but no job and no bed. I needed to get started on the job thing first. My floors were carpeted, how bad could no bed be after all?

I tended bar back in Boston before I left strictly for the purpose of gaining experience to become a bartender out here for awhile. Not for too long though, I assumed that Hollywood might come knocking at any time. I decided to hit a few areas that I deemed hot-spots in the area.

The first places I went to look at were those littering the sides of Main street in Huntington Beach, or HB. By the way, why the hell does everyone abbreviate so much out here? Sometimes people are so lazy they just cut off the end of a word, like “late” for example. They took later and turned it into late. What exactly is everyone late for I’d like to know? The word is latER. As in I will see you later, and no I won’t be late. See how easy that can be.

Anyway, sorry about that... As I was saying, I went to a few of the local watering holes adorning Main street. First stop was clearly going to be Fred’s Mexican CafĂ©. I had been testing out there product over the course of my first few weeks in the OC and I always seemed to enjoy myself there. Maybe it was the view the staff of Fred’s provided. No I don’t mean the view of the ocean or the street, I literally mean the staff. It was clear I wasn’t a hot enough chick to get behind the bar here. The other spots on main weren’t hiring either. Things weren’t looking good in Huntington, so I decided to take a spin over to Newport Beach. I went to Sharkey’s, Beach Ball, and a few others to find the same result. Sorry try back later. Fuck that, I need money now! The carpet is only comfortable for so long and gas is damn expensive. I needed to find something else, or sell my truck and buy a sleeping bag and a Honda.

Luck prevailed as I was driving home from another unsuccessful round of job searching. It took the form of a help wanted sign in the window of Mr. Keg. What a great place to work. I was surrounded by beer. Since I considered myself a writer, I also considered drinking... often. This job was fantastic. I would take kegs of beer to parties and private keg refrigerators, or kegarators as they prefer to be called. People would tip me with alcohol and a few bucks here and there. There would be company meetings in the back of the store at closing time where we take a few samples of our product. I was having a fantastic time, right up until payday. There isn’t a lot of money to be had in the thrilling career of a keg delivery person. Mr. Keg wasn’t going to pay the bills. I needed to find something new.

One random day, I was searching job listings online and came across an ad for bar backs and bartenders at the freshly renovated resort in Newport Beach known as the Balboa Bay Club. This is how I came to find myself in the most mythical part of the Orange Kingdom.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

What Happened to Driver's Ed in California?

So my friends on the East Coast want to get some insight into what goes on out here in La-La land...

The first thing that comes to mind to discuss is the driving ability of the general populace here in Southern California. It's not good... Here are my major complaints:

1. On major freeways throughout this county, the left lane is the passing lane. You use it to pass vehicles moving slower than you want to go. Drivers throughout the country realize this and move over when a faster moving vehicle approaches. Also, if there is no one to pass you move over.

People here simply use it as just another lane on the highway. This creates serious traffic hazards. Now, when I come up on someone who feels he only needs to go 60 in the left lane of the highway it forces me to go around him. This means I am now making an illegal pass on the right and I don't want to do this. It doesn't mean I won't/don't do this... I do it, quite often actually.

It drives me insane that this person thinks they are driving safely by doing this. This is also the same person who stays in the left lane until they are 10 seconds away from their exit. They must then cut across 4 or 5 lanes of traffic so that they get to where they are going. A sane driver (aka anyone else in the country) would realize they are missing their exit and simply take the next one, rather than risking every one's life just so they don't have to go to "the other Starbucks".

2. The blinker has become a vestigial option. If I am going to make a turn or change a lane, I use my blinker to let the other drivers around me in on my intentions. Out here it seems it is more exciting to just let people guess what your next move is going to be. I imagine the train of thought for someone in this situation is as follows: "Man, I really need to get over into that left lane... let's see, is there anyone coming... yup, there are a few cars over there... OK, lets give it a shot and hope for the best!" This is not a maneuver that will result in a high success rate over time. You will cause an accident and it will be your fault. The best example of this practice is when you are driving down the road behind another vehicle. The person in front of you decides they need to pull into this strip mall/gas station/El Pollo Loco immediately! No blinker, just a sharp turn of the wheel and they are in there. Meanwhile you are stopped in the middle of the street because you just slammed on your brakes... now your jeans are a mess getting the shit scared out of you and your heart is jumping out of your chest. This person is oblivious to this because they are from Southern California and they are all that matters.

3. Why is that person hitting their brakes right now? Let me paint a picture for you... You are cruising down the highway nice and smoothly. Their is a car in front of you but there is no real traffic in front of them and everything is flowing (which is rare with the traffic out here but it does happen on the occasional Sunday morning at 3:30am when it is raining out). All of a sudden you see nothing but red lights slamming in front of you! That's right.. the person in front of you felt that they needed to slow down a bit and the best way to achieve that is through a series of brake slams. This is highly frustrating and usually leads to me passing them on the right, giving them the "I hate everything about you" glare, and being in a shitty mood for the next 15 minutes as I ponder why people drive like absolute shit in this area.

These are the big there and if I keep thinking this post would be way too long... I do have a theory as to why the driving is so terrible out here. Well actually, my fiance came up with this theory, I am just taking it over as my own.

People only care about themselves out here and this extends onto the roadways. Why doesn't that person in front of you use their blinker when they cut into the In-N-Out? Because the only thing that matters to them is their Double-Double with Fries, not the fact that they only caused a major accident. Why doesn't that person get out of the passing lane? Because they think they are going the right speed, they don't care that it may be 10 miles below the speed limit and a line of cars behind them wants to go faster Why did that person in front of you slam on their brakes for no fucking reason whatsoever? They decided they could slow down a little bit and rather then let the car simply slow down by taking your foot off the gas, they need to slow down right now!

A final analogy... the 405 is how I imagine the Wild West was. Anything goes on the roadway and you should only look out for yourself or you will end up dead... (queue the theme song from "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" and fade out...)