Life's our oyster and we're gonna suck that bitch down with a champagne chaser.

  • Behavioral Therapist
  • MA Developmental Psychology, Columbia
  • BS Psychobiology/ French, UCLA

  • Movies to See:
    Mission Impossible
    A Dangerous Method

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    The Life & Times of Tim

  • Book to Read:
    Game of Thrones
    by George R.R. Martin

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    El Camino

  • Person to Hate:
    Newt Gingrich

  • Group of People to Despise:
    Fox & Friends


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Tuesday, August 12, 2008  
Little Bigotry
Generally speaking, I am not a prejudiced person and save for a few instances related to graduating from UCLA, I would never want anyone to think I'm racist or bigoted. My interests, intellectual, music, movies and otherwise, span different cultures from around the world. However, in some contexts, no matter how hard you try to avoid it, you will be labeled as a racist or a bigot. Certain locales and venues are traps for the timid caucasian.

One such venue is Roscoe's Chicken n' Waffles. While the neighborhood not akin to Beverly Hills is a welcome atmosphere change, the employees sniff an outsider a mile away. When chitlins is on the menu, and you've never lived in Biloxi, you know you're out of your element. Upon ordering the only thing you should order at a place where the entree is in the title of the restaurant, I was questioned about my meat preference.

"White or dark meat?" To which I immediately responded, "White." I don't actually prefer white meat, it's just what I decided to blurt out at that moment.

"White.....I mean dark."
"Mixed, do you have mixed?"
"Yes, we mix white and dark."
"Ok mixed then. Both white and dark....together."

Under typical circumstances, my immediate response in favor of the Aryan meat would have gone unnoticed but at a loaded eatery such as Roscoe's Chicken n' Waffles, I felt the eyes of every patron on me. In all likelihood, however, no one noticed or cared what cut of chicken I ordered. Some of them probably ordered white meat themselves. But, as a natural egotist, I could not help but feel that my dramatic shift to a mixed plate was a step forward in 21st century civil rights. The likes of which not seen since the black and white cookie or an Obama/Gore ticket.

In truth, the chicken alongside the waffles worked well together, and perhaps that is the true integration, across food groups, rather than within species. Have other caucasians come to this ridiculous epiphany upon dining at Roscoe's? It's possible...but not probable. What is more alarming is the fact that these inane thoughts have crossed my mind. When people from West Virginia with regards to voting for Obama say, I kid you not, "Ah don't feel comfortable votin' foh a black man or a Muslim," it's no surprise that we still have to think about white vs. dark meat.

7:11 PM


Saturday, August 02, 2008  
The Grey Harlems
As the weeks are winding down, and the transition from one big city to another begins, I am getting a vibe from Los Angeles. It is a self-centered feeling, naturally, but has been a recurring theme for me recently. These events, which I shall clarify momentarily, are beyond a reasonable doubt being over-analyzed and given meaning by yours truly, but nonetheless, even if they're meaningless in the long run, they are still occurrences that are essentially unique to this city.

Back in June, when I was still employed, I was woken by the nerve-wracking sound of a helicopter hovering over my building. I didn't give it a second thought other than the fact that I wish it would either fly away or have something slightly more violent happen to it. That night on the news, local of course, Paul Moyer revealed to me, personally, that a robbery had been attempted at Lawry's Steakhouse early that morning. At Lawry's, located about 10 feet from me, two up and coming criminals decided to show up at 6:30 in the morning to rob the joint. Unfortunately for them, the only person there was the chef who did not have access to the safe. Spooked and decidedly disappointed, the two GED recipients bolted. Double unfortunately for them, the cunning forces of the BHPD were onto them and were already staking out the steakhouse during the whole failed robbery. I suppose the chef, had he been shot, would have been collateral damage. The robbers were pursued by the LAPD, while the BHPD went to Urth Cafe to have a coffee and cruller, and shot one of the robbers on San Vicente and Fairfax, located approximately 16 feet from me. What does the botched robbery of a mediocre steakhouse and the shooting of a ne'er-do-well burglar have anything to do with me? Basically, I took to mean that when burglaries and gunfire begin to move away from the seedier locales in this fabulous city, as well as away from my HDTV, maybe it's time for me to move away as well. Of course, the contradiction in this is that I'm moving from gang-banging Beverly Hills to prim and posh Harlem....I mean Morningside Heights.

From violence we move to what this Hollywood haven is truly associated with and that is the entertainment industry, celebrities and gay people. How can one event possibly encompass all of these factors at once (besides all of them)? At a bingo tournament at a gay bar to benefit a theater company where my girlfriend works hosted by a transvestite named Bridget of Madison County with guest ball caller Tyler Mane, of X-Men and Halloween fame. We unfortunately didn't win any of the gift baskets or other prizes, however sitting at Sabertooth's table with Sabertooth, playing bingo side-by-side with his wife was a surreal experience on its own and to add the transvestite, who was hilarious by the way, calling numbers and spanking Asian girls with a paddle who went up with false wins just added to the acid trip aura of the whole event.

I remember back in the summer of 2000, I was taking Geometry to get ahead of the game, or something. Coach Mitchell was the teacher, don't ask me why. I remember how he ogled one of our fellow classmates who happened to be gifted in the bosom department. And on one sweltering July day, after class, I went to the 1:25 showing of X-Men at Century City with one of my friends. I saw it again the following week. I now realize telling you this story does not advance my point in the slightest, other than the fact that I was sitting next to Sabertooth and I am an X-Men fanatic. The point really is that that bingo game is the most all-encompassing West Hollywood experience that one can have, other than going to Gay Mart USA followed by Tiger Heat, which I am not prepared to partake in. George Costanza always said to go out on a high note. I believe that that would be the one.

I have now cited South Central in Beverly Hills and West Hollywood send-offs I have experienced. Finally, I have the pure Beverly Hills evennement. Following a scenic brunch at Shutters in Santa Monica, a visit to the stereotypical Beverly Hills shopping locale, Barneys of New York on Wilshire. As I hate shopping for anything that isn't battery powered or plugged into a wall, I was eager to leave. This sentiment was quickly reversed when I spotted Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords shopping in the men's section, complete with rectangular glasses and scowl. Rather than say something, I naturally began stalking him. As he was descending the stairs to exit the store, I still tailing him, I detected the faint odor of human-created gas. Jemaine being the only person on the stairs, other than myself, I was led to the only sound conclusion I could muster: Jemaine was saying a big "Fuck you" to me for following him around. That, or he thought no one was around. This occurrence could be interpreted in various ways. As Flight of the Conchords is based in New York, and they were only in LA for a gig promoting the second season of the show, his fart could be telling me to stay away from his homebase of Manhattan. It could also mean that I don't belong in LA anymore and should continue on to the Big Apple. Or could mean he had too much curry at lunch.

In truth, none of these events really have any universal significance other than they are unique Los Angeles experiences. Had I been living in Murfreesboro, Tennesee, I would be talking about how my Butternut Squash finally won first prize at the fair because Jed MacGruder's fell off of his tractor on his way to the contest and that when I was hunting geese with my buddy Jimmy Sue I accidentally shot the side of Mr. McBessie's chicken coop and all his chickens ran free. But I'm not from there, so I wrote about celebrities, transvestites and the LAPD.

Now I don't actually want to leave necessarily...but I really should. I have lived here for so long and while I'm not riding off into the sunset, primarily because that's so cliche but really because I don't have a horse, I'm just starting something new, which isn't an action I'm accustomed to.

And for those wondering about the title of this entry, I don't actually believe that there are multiple Harlems nor do I think they are grey.

6:13 PM


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