Jello Salad

    “I want to tell people about us.”  I was lying on the bottom bunk facing the top bunk.  My hands behind my head on the pillow.

    “What are you saying?” The Monopoly (registered trademark bullshit) board was between the floor and Tyler’s bare back.  He had a red plastic hotel still clinging to his thick, straight, black hair.

    “I want to tell people about Mormons, like in a movie or book something.” With my right arm, I turned on the indoor Christmas lights surrounding the window next to the bed.

    “They already have all those Church videos about the restoration of the Gospel and stuff. Plus, you’re going to tell people about us for two years when you go on a mission.” Tyler had the silver dog drinking out of the caterpillar embossed scar, from one of the big surgeries on his chest below his right collar bone.

    “I know that. I want to tell people about like how we eat Jello Salad and have a pot roast every Sunday after church.”

    “…”

    “I mean maybe not that…”

    “Who in the world cares that we eat jello salad with all kinds of fruit and whip cream on Sundays with our pot roast? You think Mormons are the only ones who do that?” 

    “Aunt Sally is funny.”

    “Sure, Aaron, aunt Sally is kind of funny.”

    “OK, remember when we were at her house and Elijah was running around in his diaper and his face was all wet and sloppy and blue and Sally snagged him as he ran by and pulled gum out of his mouth like it was one of those magician’s handkerchief things that never ends?  She kept pulling and pulling on it and she looked down and saw in his fist every single wrapper for the whole pack of Bubbblicious.  She was holding Anne on her hip and I think she was pregnant with Sam.  She threw the wrappers in the trash and she grabbed one of the little kids’ pretzel sticks out of the bag and started acting all shaky like she was on drugs and stuff and she was like I NEED A CIGARETTE!  Remember that?  The cigarette broke in her fingers as she was shaking.”

    “I think she was pregnant with Elijah. Anne wasn’t born yet and Sam was the one with the gum.

    “Whatever- it’s kind of funny, isn’t it?”

    “Yeah, but do you think anyone else is going to think it’s funny?”

    Meg Ryan busted into their room and looked at the boys on the ground.

    “Hey Mom, Aaron’s gonna write a book.”

    Meg Ryan looked at me, lying supine, flipping the Christmas lights on and off in July.  “YOU’RE CRAZY!” as she slammed the door and left, as quickly as she came.

    “What did she come in here for?”

    “I don’t know, she’s crazy dude.”

Journal August 22, 2007

Journal august 22, 2007. Emy told me to write something while I was playing on the computer. She was reading Harry Potter 7 and I was playing SimCity. She’s still reading Harry Potter.

Jeff and Alice were over today and we played the new Nintendo Wii she got for her birthday. I haven’t written in a while. I contemplate moving to New York. A couple of days ago I was going to move to a place by Queens College. That would have been about three weeks from now. I would have left in the old Prelude, sans legality, to NY to start my life over because I can’t have people telling me to go to church anymore. That’s what I say anyway. Emy looks really pretty lately. Her Acne is mostly cleared up. A few days ago, I went to the accounting firm where she interns and gave her a snickers bar, but it turned out I left it on the wrong persons desk.  She was off at a client’s all day. A different girl got it.  “Emi, present for you.” The snickers bar was placed between that statement and “Love you, Aaron.” 

5200 dollars in credit card debt.  2300 in the bank. Damn I’ve gone a while without writing and there are things I’ve been forgetting. Not really writing, not really writing the great American novel, and not really doing anything other than blabber to the computer. New plan: Stay here in SD, Move to North Park area, go to city college, buy a motorcycle. Always wonder how I will pay. Pay with credit card? Finance it? I’ll probably have less bargaining room if I finance it. 

I called Jeff the other day, asked him again how it just “comes out”- the whole not reading the book Ray and Jane sent me. They sent me a stupid juvenile book that I read about 5 pages of, and Jeff felt the need to tell them that I didn’t read it. After Jane met Emi, she told me I was too good for her, which is like the biggest bunch of bullshit I have ever heard in my life.

The other day Jeff and Alice came over to my house and went through my stuff. They read an ending to Jr College that I swear he’s already read before, or I’ve discussed it with him. But he was saying,

 “Gwar you write things, you write things Gwar… Ok, we were here to let the dog out and Alice went snooping and she swears she’s just like you after reading what you write man and you write some good things- you walked out of your Jr college class and you stared at the lockers because it’s just like high school I was thinking about making a short film out of something you write and giving it to you for your birthday or Christmas or something.  That’s the only thing I read. I swear.”

 My mom was in the hospital for her hysterectomy. She was in bed on the phone with insurance and she told them her name “Meg Ryan.” My brother and I immediately looked at each other and smiled. She shook her head in anger and disapproval at us. I was going to write all these things about how she’s no longer especially desirable or anything and how that gives me more power or something, like it’s a huge weakness for her- and I can blossom now. I have to give that more thought because I think it’s bullshit.

Enter Title Here

TENSE?

??????

We went to the cemetery on Saturday. Earlier we went to see Emi’s aunt Judy at the building where they keep all the coffins stacked up like a glossy morgue.  We went and part of me wanted her to cry so I could squeeze her and feel her tears on my cheeks. She had cried over Judy before. Judy was a wonderful aunt who took her to swap meets.  Emi planned that day out the night before, at my Mom’s house.  It was the last day of Christmas break before she drove back to Cal Poly. She was so good at those agendas.  She accounted for sleeping in and her leisurely pace perfectly.  She planned for a 10 am wake up, but didn’t have us run the first errand until noon. The night before when she was planning, as she penciled in a 1:30 visit to the cemetery to visit Judy, she casually asked me if I wanted to visit Tyler. Of course I said sure. I should see his grave anyway.  I hadn’t seen him since before I left on my mission.  I went with Jeff, who had to find is. I can never find his grave on my own. I just remember the hillside he was buried on. Memory told me it was just before the the road split.

 

Emi and I pulled up just before the split. I thought he was about three- five rows up from there.  I walked straight up from the spit and looked at the gravestones starting at the third row.  I checked three graves to the right and walked back three graves to the left.  I did this on the fourth row. And the fifth row.  Then I abandoned my little pattern.  I walked around for a few minutes.  I didn’t want this. I didn’t want to be Aaron at that point. Didn’t need to be. I just wanted to find his grave recall a good memory I hadn’t thought of in a while and hug Emi for a bit and go back to her house and finish packing. Her parents don’t like me.  I need a real job. I need to finish college. I know these places are bullshit and this practice is primitive.  I don’t think it’s absurd to think that we need reminders that the person is no longer living and breathing and walking around with us. I didn’t plan on this, on not finding his grave  I didn’t want to tell my family that I walked around looking for it and have them laugh at how typical that was for me. I don’t want to call my mom. I don’t want to hear her cry about me visiting the grave. Nobody needs to know about this. No hoopla. I didn’t want material for a story, I just wanted to see that grave.  What did my mom have engraved on it?  “Lived in Glory, returned with Honor.”  Some bullshit slogan. I refused to let my anxiety get me. I decided to be calm. I walked way past the part where the road split and walked up and down in columns every two stones so I would be sure to find them.  Emi was way off, way past the road split.  Could I yell back to her?  Can you yell in a cemetery? I can’t yell. She can keep wandering. I’ll find it soon enough. I kept going down the isles. I never found him. Why am I seeing names twice?  Why do I recognize Louis Fielding 1939-2000? Why can’t I just find Tyler’s? I began walking in furiously in serpentine lines. Every minute or so I stopped to look around. If this were a movie the stupid camera would have circled me and my face to show dismay or frustration or helplessness. Why that shot?  Wow?  That’s so amazing?  Where’s the fucking crew?  The fucking director and the best boy and the food table? That shot is so fucking incredible. I can’t fucking believe it.  I’m so fucking impressed with Hollywood. They are the real heroes. My columns were getting choppy. Emi needed to go home to pack. She wasn’t going to get upset with me for this is she?  She’s not allowed, right?  I was looking for Tyler. I never make a big fuss over Tyler. I’m not high maintenance. She came over to me.  We’re way out there. Never been to this part of the cemetery. The tree we were near was definitely too far. I told her I don’t really care for this place. I called my mom. She tells me it’s about 15 feet up from the road right before it splits. She was wrong. Fifteen feet up is the first row. Maybe fifteen feet falls between the first or second. If it was she would say first or second row. That’s what you would remember. It’s really about fifty feet up. Right in the middle of this enormous hill. I could see all those people from my life and how surreal it was. The pretty girls I was afraid to talk to in high school were at my brother’s funeral. I watched them play volleyball. Now they were here. Everyone was here. All three of my mom’s husbands. Every fucking body was fucking there. People I hated and loved. Hundreds of worlds. The Mormons. Tons of Mormons. I was still Mormon back then. I hadn’t gone on a mission. I was wearing the suit that was purchased to be worn on my mission.  I had a small laugh with Jeff when I almost tripped. I stepped on the AstroTurf and slipped down a foot because a hole was dug for the purpose of laying that fucking thing into the ground.  I had a laugh with Jeff and abruptly stopped to ask myself if what I had done was wrong?  I was allowed a laugh right?  This was my brother, right?  Do these people think I’m heartless?  I can have a laugh.  I’m allowed. 

 A older lady approached us.  She was Asian and had broken English.  She could tell I couldn’t find the grave I was looking for.  She asked for his name. Tyler Litchfield. 

 We got in Emi’s car. Right after we exited the cemetery, I told her to pull over.  She asked why, then she saw the tears. I threw myself across the seat and wrapped my arm around her neck and I told her that he wanted me to play baseball. He was so mad when he found out I didn’t try out my junior year. I told him I wasn’t good enough and he told me I was full of shit. Junior year you have to make varsity. The previous two years I got cut from JV. He told me to have some damn confidence. He played catch with me and he got furious when he could tell I was taking it easy on him.  I threw a hard one and it hit him in the neck. That was so scary. I wondered for a second if I broke something. It hit him in the neck and he just went inside. I asked him if he was mad at me. He told me to shut up.

 

 

Narragansett Bay

Those nights in Kansas, the first area of my mission, I would dream myself to sleep- just seven years into the future.  I’m moving into a nice three bedroom house on the Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.  I had visited Rhode Island when I was ten, and then again when I was fifteen.  Tyler came the second time.  He came a few days later because he had cancer camp- as he did every summer.  {he loved that place}  I remember watching him walk off the plane.  It was a small plane, so he walked down the stairs like I had seen and envied in old movies.  We saw him from the window.  Why was this such a good memory?  Tyler in his Hawaiian shirt and backpack.  My Grandparents and I had the luxury of looking at him before he knew where we were.  He was looking around, taking things in.  All the while we knew everything. We had plans. He didn’t need to worry.

He looked good.  This was the healthiest he’d been in years.  We walked around Newport together. Both awed by gorgeous tanned women in their early twenties.  We were both hopeless with women. It was there I saw the couple in their fifties on an immaculate little sailboat.  The man knew exactly what he was doing with the ropes and things. Lines, Grandpa would correct. Once a rope enters a ship, it becomes a line.

That was my goal.  I would work hard all my life, to have that pretty wife and shiny boat. The Narragansett Bay was perfect. It was solidified a few months later when I read in English class that John Smith was all over the very same Naragansett Bay. I was born to have that house, a high quality three bedroom, but not gaudy. 

I wasn’t going to pour all my money into a huge mansion.  I was going to spend money on things that made me and the family happy. The boat that sat in the water just beyond the back yard.  House, lawn, and boat in the water. Why in the world wasn’t this everybody’s dream?  The freedom of immediate transportation on both land and sea.  The kids would BEG me to take them out on the boat!  We would take that boat everywhere, the open ocean!

At the beginning of my mission, I would dream myself to sleep thinking about this house and my new wife.  She’s toned and tall.  There are boxes on the floor of this empty, wonderful new home.  She takes a break from unpacking to squeeze me.  I pick her up and hold her there.  She makes her calves parallel to the hard wood floor.  They don’t have hard wood floors in California. She loves me so much.  I am a stockbroker.  We have been saving for this house.  I am going to toss wiffle balls to our son as he perfects his swing on the back grass.  He will be more coordinated than I. The reflection of the sun is a spiderweb on the Narragansett Bay.

Mostly just the squeezing in the living room of the house though.  That’s the dream.  She loves me so much.

 

Seven years later, just before before Sinco De Mayo, I’m on the couch with my roommate Lillian and I tell her I know what will be on the cover of my book- a picture of a missionary (suit and tie) with a bikini top dangling from his fingers as he gawks at a topless blond.  I tell her this is for the sensationalists, this is to sell it, the American Pie version of my story. They can make a movie about it, I don’t even care if they bastardize it anymore. Just pay me. Daring, shocking, laugh-out-loud. I explain to Lilly that I will be listed as the author, though in smaller writing, it’s clear that I needed some assistance from a ghost writer compiling this tell-all: With Lillian–  She  loves it.  It’s so neo-postmodern. I love it. I  am attention-starved, impressing my teacher, her approval is addictive.

On May Sixth, she’s at the entrance to my room and the Weezer posters are still on the floor. I moved in almost a month ago.  I call attention to that, tell her I’m not sure what my plan is.  She says it’s OK, it’s so neo-postmodern.

I should have called her Lilly more. Lillian is not lighthearted.

Sheisse

(circa 2008)

I know what you meant when you said shit, Elder F.  I know.  You don’t want to be here anymore, right?  You want to go home right?  I know you go home in two months, but you don’t want to go home to the parade and showers right?  You want to go home quietly, you want to take that bus in the night.  Listen, you know Elder H, the baseball player, he was telling me about his Greenie you know.  He told me that his greenie was cool but that he doesn’t get it, and I just sat there quietly and asked “Get what?”  And he said “you know.”  And I asked “what.”  I was such a pussy, I lied to his face.  We just ended it right there.  We keep writing those letters home and stuff you know and trying to baptize.  We tell them it’s good that so and so is going back to church.  I hear my brother’s going back to church.  Two years ago my mom caught him naked in the hallway and she asked him what he was doing there, holding his junk and he couldn’t find a goddamn reason why she was interrogating him, and now he’s off drugs and everyone’s singing praises and I’m like this authority figure out here, doing the real work, converting people and in my letters, I just nod my head and smile and tell them to thank God . And Elder H, the baseball player, he just kind of dropped it.  You know Elder Harold right, Runaway Harold, they called him?  He got sent home, he was so crazy.  I know why you said Shit. Elder F.  I know why you said shit.  It’s why I cried into my pillow when I was out only a couple of months and I convinced myself it was because I was having trouble learning the discussions.  I know what Elder H, the baseball player was saying when he told me that his greenie doesn’t get it and I know why Harold tried to run away and I know you know too.

    Cuz they don’t tell us anything, do they?  Especially us, the Stateside ones, We didn’t get into BYU and we aren’t learning a foreign language and we didn’t exactly go into the MTC the day we turned 19, did we?  The mission is even more perfect for us, isn’t it?  Gives us something to do, something to accomplish for once in our damned lives, right?  We aren’t condescending to some third-world nation.  They send us right here, might as well send us to the next town over and they don’t tell us a goddamn thing other than they wish they could go again, they say it’ll be the hardest time of our lives but also the best, right?  You ever figure that one out?  They speak of the glory of waking up at 6:30 every morning and studying and teaching and getting doors slammed in our face.  But they didn’t tell us everything did they?  They didn’t tell us that the same rules apply here as on the outside, that salesman baptize and the poor, stuttering imbeciles, well, they try so hard.

    You know what the baseball player was saying right?  His greenie doesn’t get that it’s bullshit!  It’s all bullshit!  There’s no fucking God and there are no answered prayers.  Lets go home.  L can come, We’ll take J, and of course the baseball player.  We’ll all live together, hell, we’re all from California. We’ll start a crazy business like we talk about.  We’ll be stockbrokers.   

Two Christmases

(circa 2008)

After cleanin up all the wrap, we head out door

We’re leavin to meet Mom off exit four

Stop and get a Big Gulp before we meet halfway

Don’t wanna hear your whinin’/ not on Christmas day

 

double the presents

double the family

double the bad food

double the granny

double the driving

double the fun

Can’t fuckin wait till these two Christmases are done.

Can’t wait till these Christmases are over and done.

 

 I’d rather be at home or out with my friends

My step-Dad’s step-Dad’s givin’ me the bends

Can I have a burger? This ham really sucks

But I’ve got two Christmases, I’m makin the big bucks!

 

 You’re so lucky you get two sets of gifts

You’re so lucky/ why you havin such a fit

You’re so lucky you get two sets of gifts

You’re so lucky/ don’t wanna hear any shit

A letter To My Cousin On A Mission

circa 2008

My favorite band you turned me onto has to be Say Hi To Your Mom.  I’m listening to it right now.  It makes me wish I could bundle up and walk around Manhattan all day long listening to them and watching people on the subways and looking up at the cloudy sky hoping to see Conan O’brien and thinking about Seattle and the time we drove to that restautant The Boat House to see David and we got lost, that was when I first heard Say Hi to Your Mom and we passed Wallingford and we both said it in a British accent at the same time and you told me that it actually wasn’t much of a coincidence because it’s natural to say wallingford in a British way and filming stupid video’s with you and Eli (the star of the show, remember when he said “It’s the middle of the night yo!”) and walking down the railroad tracks at night with you & Lizzie & hearing crazy sounds in the bushes and kicking aside empty 40 oz bottles of beer and laughing about how crazy you are like the day you were baptized and you were crazy as usual and you harassed the Ice cream man, banging on the side of the truck accusing him of being a “Joanna Witness” and birthday parties at the family fun center and feeling awkward next to the local Escondidans as we pumped a Venti cup of quarters into Mortal Kombat 27 wondering when they wouldn’t be able to take it anymore and stab us, running off with the silver coins and did a baby drown in the fountain? And did a girl live in the school house or was it a family? And remember how your Dad asked Patty how many months pregnant she was?  I didn’t get into Ricks when I first moved up there and applied because I didn’t send my transcripts or something.  Your mom and Megan took me out to breakfast at a bagel place by the old Acapulco fresh one Saturday morning to discuss what I was going to do. The plan was, I was going to go to BCC. Bellevue Community College. I even took some test.  Megan came into the fun center and told me that I got a perfect score on the English part. I could enroll in any English class I wanted.  A few days later I was out in the rain by the bridge next to the parking lot and there was hay all over the ground for some reason because even though the Fun Center was open by then, there was still all kinds of stuff to do to finish with construction and I get a call over the radio from your Dad telling me to come to his office all serious and I go up there and he tells me to have a seat and he tells me I got into Ricks because Bishop Mugleston had a talk with the folks up there.  I went on a couple walks with Mugleston. I always liked him. I remember the first time I met his son Drew he was like twelve and he was always adjusting his hat and we got in the van and went to Marymore Parkor something, Holy Cow you can’t beat the summers in Seattle. He was like “Sister Short, I thought of this invention” and he told your mom what it was and I never in my life met a person who made the most of being twelve years old like he did.  I’ll think about the time we were playing basketball at the church and six-year-old Tucker in the middle of an intense play found a resemblance between me and… “y y you look like the guy from grease.”  You know Tucker’s like a supreme football player?  He plays on both sides of the ball.  He scores touchdowns and after the game at Mcdonald’s people come up to him and say “good game Short.”  When you played baseball you were the only one that swung at anything close, you were like Vlad Guerrero. I remember way back in Mount Carmel days, the summer before my eighth grade, you were six. The summer we planned our trip around the world, that we’d take when we were adults. We went to that park by the elementary school and I climbed up on the dugout with my shirt off and these kids rode by on bicycles and called me Fat Lard.  I remember before my mission Adam was up there in Seattle and we watched Monty Python and the holy grail 140 times and we never stopped quoting it and it even carried over into my letters on my mission for like the first six months.

 

Aaron.

Circa 2008

The latest song that I’ve worked into my three-part epic is “This River is Wild” by the Killers and its place is the opening title sequence for the third movie.  A cartoon version of me does some haphazard stretching and painfully jogs out into the barren new McMansion neighborhood landscape.  Brandon Flowers sings appropriately you better run for the hills boy.

Why do I run? Why is that what I expend most of my energy on?  I have to look good.  I need to have every advantage I can get.  I look so much better 15 pounds lighter. I need to be everything. I can’t give them any more fuel for them to argue that I made the wrong choice. I’ve made so many mistakes already- the failed semesters and all the jobs.  I need to be healthy and trim for now, because that’s all I have.  They scoff and argue that these things don’t matter, but they do, they judge everything.

    So I’m running through this desert neighborhood, mostly unlandscaped, into other neighborhoods that are just graded lots, past construction workers who I’m sure loathe my need to purposefully exert energy.   I run past homes whose open garage doors show scenes from my life- There’s the first kiss between Amy and I, meeting Tyson outside the SAT classroom, leaving Amy for Seattle- each garage a small movie theatre.  There I am carrying Tyler’s casket.  Why was I a pallbearer?  Pallbearers are younger boys who kind of knew him.  Boys who have to ask their parents who he was. I more than kind of new my brother, 15 months older. I wanted to speak. They never let me speak.

   This is all very melodramatic and self-aggrandizing. Every thing is sentimental bullshit.

So I’m running and I suppose I start getting artillery launched at me. Monsters throw themselves at me. Everyone and everything is in my way.  The kid who asked me why I bothered playing football, as if he were asking why Democratic Presidents do that long walk the day of their inauguration.  All these fuckers are there. I like to do this to myself.  I’m better running alone, I choke when competing with others.  I never did run the five miles around the lake without stopping until the wrestling season was over, and I was by myself.

The fucking uranium.  Pop worked in a Uranium mine, that’s why we’re all fucked, that’s what they say. I’m an old man, a 26 year-old hundred year-old man.  My joints and ligaments ache.  The bottom corners of my heels sting.  After five or ten minutes I fear I could still quit, I could give up, before I’ve started to run hard, before I’ve warmed up.  This could end up being a worthless run…  I reassure myself that I’ve never done that- at least not when I get into one of these stretches where I’m running every other day.

So I’m a cartoon and I’m running and these monsters and cannonballs are coming at me and there are explosions going on around me.  The sky is orange and on fire.  I’m swatting it all away, hitting all that shit head on.  I’m really fighting it.  The camera starts up close on the left side of my face and sweeps around to the right, showing my perspiration and determination.  It shows my fear and desperation. 

Somewhere in there I grab Nick’s hand.  I’m running so hard that he’s airborne, level to the ground.  Of course there are all kinds of vines and things on the side of the streets grasping out for him. And he’s getting bigger and I can’t hold on.  The camera shows a closeup of our hands, our grips loosening.

Up ahead, we see all the heroes.  Eggers and Rivers Cuomo.  Wes Anderson is there with Luke and Owen. Owen has short hair and he’s dressed up like Dignan, in slim white pants and collared shirt from the 50’s. He’s absently shooting off bottle rockets, wandering around, staring at the ground.  They’re just standing there. They can’t really see this barrage. They can’t see the cannonballs I’m punching away.  It’s just sort of interesting I suppose.

The music slows down and I become live-action.  The film starts and there’s finality I suppose. 

Here’s a Blog Post

In all my years of food and bev, work as a waiter and at the brewery, I never developed any kind of alcohol palette. The first time I had beer, I thought it tasted like ass. My friend Kyle loved to repeat that, as he was there the night I had my first High Life. “Tastes like ass! Tastes like ass!” He said it more than I did. I still think beer tastes like ass and when I say a beer is good I merely mean that it’s tolerable. Like sparkling water or something. Diet coke. But no alcoholic beverage I have ever tasted has tasted as good as a Coke with real sugar. The Mexican Cokes.

As far as what works, a Long Island Iced Tea helps catch you up when you’re coming to the party late, like off of work or something. Otherwise it’s PBR or the Mexican beers, as everyone knows. I’m not going to get into Medori Sours. Just not going to do it today. Anyway, we liked Bone Jolly, at the ravioli place. It was like a $20 red wine. Whatever the fuck it was. Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc or some shit.

Who Let The Dogs Out?

In this one, I tell a mission story. I don’t think I embellish much. I really think the guy was like 6’5″. At the very shortest 6’3″.

I gave it a listen and I just want to clarify that in the story I tell, Wood and I were never in the house. When I say in the podcast that we began to walk out of the house, I really meant that we began to exit the front porch area. Never in the house.

When you’re done with part one, reload your computer before pressing play for part two. If you’re listening on your phone, you shouldn’t have to reload, but I can’t make any promises.

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Here Is The Man Love

image

I was just visiting SI.com, Sports Illustrated’s website about sports, believe it or not.

Anyway, on the front page, I saw two articles about pretty women in sports. One was about beautiful women “on and off the  basketball court” and the other was strictly about the 20 prettiest women in tennis.

Now, as a straight man, my first and lazy instinct is to not really be offended by the objectification of women as it seemingly doesn’t directly affect me, but ultimately I decided that those articles might be annoying to people. Not so much the articles when examined individually, (I didn’t even read them) but the misrepresentation that clearly exists; it’s no question that males dominate pro sports and SI.com’s content, but you find TWO separate articles about pretty women athletes against zero words about pretty men.

Where’s the man love?

Here it is. Here is the man love.

Continue reading

A Christmas Book Review: High Fidelity

We used to have to call and tell each other things. We’d rely on each other to find new music or movies. You called me when I was a freshman in college and you told me to get a pen and write down Dashboard Confessional. (The kids these days, they were never innocent.) I looked him up. And you know what, I still like the guy a bit and you hate him. Is that why you’re a music elitist now, with the whole John Cusack from High Fidelity thing going on? I told you to read the book. Read the book. The movie’s alright, everyone loves Mr. Say Anything, but the book the book THE BOOK, man! It’s in London, not Chicago. It was pop culture seen through a British lens. Why change it? Americans can handle British accents. How about Mary Poppins? Bedknobs And Broomsticks? I mean, c’mon, we watched those in elementary school!

Ahh man.

High Fidelity. One of the first books at the beginning of my journey, within months of coming home from my mission. Elder Smallpants recommended it. But as the Universe would have it, Youth In Revolt would be the lone apostate book I’d read on my mission. Nick Hornby was a British author who said American movies were his favorite. High Fidelity was about all his girlfriends. Sleep-overs and underwear and dating. Relationships. I didn’t know anything about any of that stuff. LIVING with a woman??? Holy cow. My mom always said she pitied the one who would bear the burden of sleeping next to my gargling, jerking, snorting body.

Perhaps smarm “sort of” sent Nick Hornby back to England. And admittedly, About A Boy was good, but evidenced a waning of edge, at least compared to Hornby’s first novel- there’s something classic about it. Wedged perfectly between pre and post-internet. The time, and the man. The modern boy-man, emotionally confused, at least when compared to his female counter-part. That’s why they say artists do their thing- because they’re confused about something.

Anyway, it’s okay. I was always Loyd Dobler to your Cusack in High Fidelity. What’s his name?

The Porsche 356 is a gorgeous car.
The Porsche 356 is a gorgeous car.

 

 

Missionary Terms And Words- You Know, The language That We Used

Here is the latest podcast. How is everyone? How is everyone doing? Is everyone getting their cholesterol checked and taking a few quiet moments a day to reflect? It’s very important.

This part is important:
I’ve explained it before but I don’t think I can do it enough: The podcasts are (obviously) broken up into sections. Computers tend to get confused and have trouble handling it. After listening to the first section, push STOP on your browser, take a big breath in, then push RELOAD (reload probably the most important part,) exhale, then play the next section to be listened to. Do this for each section. Generally, I don’t have problems when I test it on my phone, but I do have issues with the old computer here and I know others have had problems as well. Reloading seems to solve the problem. Anyway, thanks.

If you haven’t listened to any of them yet, just click home and scroll down and listen to the one about Billy Bragg or the first one about my mission. Both of those are probably good starters. Or get crazy and listen to the earliest ones. Those are weird. Do whatever you want to do. Send me a message on facebook about how I’m a freakin reject and I’m wasting everyone’s time with this “podcast.”I don’t care about anything, you know what I mean? I’m a man on the edge.

The author of this post lives a q
The author of this post lives illegally in the Famosa Slough

The First Podcast About My Mission

Hey, this is the podcast about my trip to Africa where I hunted Lions for sport. Just kidding. What you have is about 30 minutes broken into 10 minute segments where I basically give the intro. It’s me talking. It’s really great.

Below, if you scroll down, or click the home button and scroll down, you’ll find other recordings from a cracked iphone 5S where I talk in a jerky, staccato style and play my short scale bass through a used 10 watt electric guitar amplifier.

Broadcasting live from Pacific Beach folks. That's a skate shop. Upon further examination of my skating abilities, I made myself aware that even in my hey day, I couldn't even olly UP a curb- I merely rode off curbs. "Riding off" doesn't even qualify as an olly.
Broadcasting live from Pacific Beach folks. That’s a skate shop. Upon further examination of my skating abilities, I made myself aware that even in my hey day, I couldn’t even olly UP a curb- I merely rode off curbs. “Riding off” doesn’t qualify as an olly.

Podcast

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This is what I’ve been telling my coworkers about. Bear with me folks. It might be rough. We’ll see how it goes, won’t we? Each podcast was more or less recorded in one sit-down, but they were broken into parts. Here’s the first one:

NUMBER 2

PODCAST 3

NUMBER 4/B-Side

The Fifth One, The Music One

YOGA, Podcast 6

I’m just typing here to separate the last part from the video. Don’t really pay attention. I’m learning as I’m going…

 

Oblivious Review (vol 3)

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That last guy, Stephen, was fired. He was no good. I gave him the review job and he did terribly. What he did was disgusting. The Swimsuit thing. It was pornographic. He’s outta here. Out of destructooblivion. I won’t remove his abomination so that it remains as a reminder to what happens when one exercises poor judgement and allows just any sonofabitch to write for your blog.

Disgraceful. The whole thing. I mean, plus the guy tried to mimic my (Editor In Cheif/Supreme Dictator For Life, Aaron L.) writing style. Lame. Not tight.

We’re gonna try a new writer today, his name is Ricardo Griffen. Take it away Recardo.

Thanks boss, alright, politics:

Not too much has changed. Teddy Cruz is still a Luz. Er. (looz-er.) He and Trump are Ones on a scale of One-to-Bernie. Governor Kasich and Hilary Clinton are now tied, landing at Five on the Bernie scale. And lastly, believe it or not Bernie still registers a Bernie on the scale of One-to-Bernie.

Destructo Oblivion thinks that Kasich and Hilary Clinton are essentially the new right and Bernie is the left, with folks like Trump and Cruz just hanging on to their old doggy ways for dear life. Like old dogs. Like stupid, dead, stubborn, dirty, ratty, annoying, yelping, ugly, screeching, racist, ranting, mangy, grating, diseased, xenophobic, blabbering, disgusting, dogs. History is trying to yank their ideals from them so that the modern world can spin free of their burden, but still they cling. Desperate, pathetic, hollow souls. No original thought in front or behind them. Very sad.

You heard Teddy Cruz speak though? Beautiful, isn’t it. Just kidding, he sounds like a sick penguin. Like a toy penguin with a button that you push and out comes a line from the Tea Party or a right-wing talk-show guy. Really original. Really cutting edge. Really cool stuff coming from Teddy “No Ballgame.”

On to Cinema.

Kicking And Screaming (1995) (Not the 2005 Will Ferrell film but the 1995 “indie” film by a fellow named Noah Baumbach.)

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Oblivious Review, vol 2

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  March 28th 2016 Oblivious Review
By Stephen Depper

First off, Politics:

Ted Cruz and Trump argue about their wives. Teddy sounds really frightening. Not. Hilary Clinton’s strategy seems to pretend like Bernie isn’t gaining momentum. Her people are given loaded phrases to tell the press like “How she wins the nomination, not if.” I don’t like it.

To sum up, Rubio is out of the race officially. Teddy “No Ball Game” Cruz maintains his One on a scale of One-To-Bernie. Governor Kasich remains a “High Two.” (He’d be about a five if he didn’t endorse the theoretical Republican Nominee Trump.) Trump himself is a One, obviously. Hilary dropped from Six to Five. Bernie remains a Bernie. He remains a Bernie as he gains momentum. Here is a link to the video of President Bernie and the bird.

Okay.

That’s that. Election stuff is BOOOOOO-RING. We’re really here today to talk about some of the most beautiful women in the world- Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models, of course.

Hailey Clauson

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Hailey made the cover. She’s really good looking.

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Live Blog From Stone Farms

I’m at Stone Farms, working an event. I don’t know too much about this place. It’s my first time here. Most of the events I work for Stone are at the Bistro. I could be better at reading emails and remembering shit as is evidenced in today’s mistake of first driving to the Escondido Bistro where I was informed that today’s event is on the farm. I’m here now and there isn’t a lot going  on so I’m going to live blog.

It’s some sort of St. Paddy’s Day charity event involving cycling. There is an Irish band playing but the guy says he’s from Scotland.

I bumped into a fellow who knows a family I met in Boston. That was probably the highlight. Alrighty, have a good day everyone.

Slab City Is For Bernie

A Mere Update from The Slabs

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Slab City is 650 acres of abandoned Military land located in the southeastern desert of California. Also known as hell. When the U.S. Marines left in 1944, what remained was a bunch of concrete “slabs” and lots of big, nasty bushes spread intermittently throughout. Slab City, depicted in book and film versions of Into The Wild is very very hot in the summer. It’s probably pretty hot in the spring too. On a day in early March, the temp peaked at about ninety. Ninety is like nothing at the slabs. It’s child’s play.

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Leigh

This is the second half of a story that begins here.

I was in her room one night toward the end. In Allston. She liked living in the middle of all the kids and punks but not really having anything to do with them. She woke up early. She studied. She was a great student, she had to admit. There was a small party downstairs. A cheap little disco ball. Bad pop and hip-hop played. We found ourselves on the couch. The two of us. Why she didn’t hang out with the girls more, I never understood. She was one one of a handful of dynamic young girls from Minnesota. They all went to high school together. Sarah, who wrote on the old blog was one of them. Every few months Sarah would introduce me to a new Minnesota Sparrow. This one visiting from DC, that one is the REAL genius. Leigh was always nearby, but at arms-length. In her world, with those middle aged shop owners on Newbury. Her boyfriends with the Boston accents. Yeah, I’m saying her name now. I gave that up too.

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Margaret

-I love this woman. I LOVE THIS WOMAN, Cooperstown.

-No you don’t Jerry. He doesn’t. It’s an act everyone. You’re such a moron Jerry. He’s a moron. Terrible act.

-I’m not lying folks. Look at her! Isn’t she a gem?

-1958 Jerry?

-No, it’s the here and now, and I’m just appreciating what I see.

-He’s a complete moron everybody. We’ll try to have a better show for you tomorrow, okay? GOOD DAY COOPERSTOWN.

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Dirt

Jeannie was doing AA. It was really working for her.

Back in Boston, he went to a couple of meetings, and of course he’d read Infinite Jest, and he knew Mr. Wallace went to meetings, and even church. He had a difficult time with that- DFW going to church. He didn’t like religion. AA was too Christian. He didn’t like everyone calling themselves addicts, diseased. He wasn’t diseased. He knew he was a stubborn overgrown child, desperately holding out, he knew his flaws, but at least he knew what he was. He didn’t like that Letterman and Conan needed a little just a little pill, a little something to get them through. He didn’t like that most of his literary heroes drank themselves to death or more abruptly killed themselves before 50. Yeah, J.D. made it past 90, but only while clutching a shotgun against a bolted door, one by one cutting off friends and family who didn’t live up to his fictitious characters.

They weren’t his heroes anymore. Fuck em’. He didn’t like any of it. He was his own man now. Broke, no health insurance, a pothead again, but he was his own fuckin man.

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Andrew Luck

attended a wedding rehearsal dinner held in the Garden at Stone today. Luck was the first famous person whom I’ve catered. He seemed like a nice guy. For those of you who don’t know, he’s the quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts. Many consider him to be the best in the league.

The most interesting thing that I witnessed was when he almost tripped. It wasn’t really close, he caught himself quickly. I’m pretty sure the laughter that followed was a result of jokes about how sad it would be if he ruined an ankle or knee by tripping at a wedding rehearsal. You know, like how much it would cost the team.