Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What the hell do the attorney general, the state department, or even the President of the United States know about one god-damn thing that's going on up here in Harlem?

Some facts about my neighborhood:

1. Developed in 1928 by Walter H. Leimert and designed by the sons of one Fredrick Law Olmstead of Central Park fame.

2. Considered to be one of the first comprehensively designed communities in SoCal. Traffic was controlled around around schools and churches, utilities were buried or hidden in alleys, trees were planted everywhere for the middle and upper income families the area was sold to.

3. Host to Project Blowed (longest running hip hop open mic night), several historical theaters and homes, and Tavis Smiley has a studio here.

4. Demographics: 91.7% African-American, 1.7% gringo, 1.4% Latino, 1.2% Asian or Pacific Islander, and .3% Native American. Anyone else here? Sure, probably, but these are the significant populations.

5. Median household income is $21, 443. Median family income is $36, 709. Per capita income is $11, 253.

6. 36.1% of individuals and 33.9% of families are below the Federal poverty line.

7. According to the latest stats from the LAPD, in the last month we've had 51 crimes. The majority of them were smash and grab bs and a few assaults. A finer perusing of the crime stats shows that the assaults were between acquaintances.

8. The level of stupid in this neighborhood is astounding.

I recently read an article about Herman Cain's alma matter, Morehouse College, and some of its current students opinions of Mr. Cain. One young man stated he was probably going to vote for Mr. Cain because, "He is a Morehouse man, after all." I was stunned. How is it that after all these years a modern black man could say something so stupid? Herman Cain has about as much to do with Morehouse's spirit of civil service as W does. It's just as dumb as all of the people who voted for Obama just because he's black. Who gives a fuck?! What in the hell does his race or his college past have to do with a rational argument for or against the man's policies? Nothing. Stupid kid.

Most of the people who drive in Leimert Park drive aggressively for no apparent reason other than they think traffic laws don't pertain to them. I've come to feel that it's part and parcel of a culturally acceptable aspect of African-American life wherein acting like a douche bag is cool. Brash and brusque are cool. Driving like a dick on side streets is cool. Needless confrontation over trifling matters is normal. Why? I'm sure it all goes back to slavery and, more importantly, the Reconstruction but I don't have time or space to deal with that right now.

Many of the young people around here are about as wild as feral cats although always well dressed. I often wonder if their parents even know what their kids are doing. Half the time I want to knock the shit out of the kids around here. The other half of the time I want to knock the shit out of their parents.

I love this neighborhood and my neighbors but there needs to be some changes made. Maybe I need to stop bitching and start a neighborhood committee. I dunno. It just seems like there's a lot of wasted potential. What's a jackass know-it-all to do?

Peace out, bitches!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

It real simple... we live back in here... dis is our home, and nobody don't fuck with us.

I shot ducks today and it was glorious.

I got on for the morning flight. I drove. I parked. I packed in. All told that was an hour. Then I set up shop and that consumed another hour. The sun was just beginning to say hi when I sat down for my pre-shooting cup of tea. Glorious.

One of the best parts of being a duck hunter is watching the sun come up while listening to an absolutely beautiful chorus of marsh birds. Everyone rehearses at night, I think. The song of the sun is astounding as it never really sounds like it should all fit together and yet it does. I'll never grow tired of the visual splendor of watching another day start with a sound track straight from Mother Nature. That bitch can play.

As beautiful as the initial spark of sunrise was it was over quickly. The fog rolled in thick and fast. It looked like something out of a movie. It took everything in me not to start making  the crazy nasal whine noise that Lance makes in Apocalypse Now. I had the cammo, the facepaint, the weapon. I didn't do it. It would have been rude.

Shooting ducks in the fog is fucking hard and fun and all other things that wingshooting should be. They come in fast and low mostly and you hear them splitting the air just before you see them and then they're gone. I killed a Shoveler to start. Three rounds, though, as he had the good angle on my position but I put him down hard. The fog thinned out a bit after an hour and another Shoveler came up from behind me but I swung around and dropped him in the dekes. A flight of Greenwing Teal came screaming through like they were on a strafing run. There were so many I opted to let them go rather than take one or two and wise up the rest of the crew. A couple came back so I shot one of them. He died like a real champ: flying low and fast and dodging the first shot and taking the second one as he rose. He spun into the drink in the most dramatic fashion. Such a drama queen, the Greenwing Teal. Next up a Bufflehead decided to dive bomb the dekes. He came in over my head, whistled past, and shot through the dekes. I got on him about 50 yards out and that was that for the little kamikaze.

There were a lot of misses in there as well. Two Mallards almost took my head off while I was having my second cup of tea. I got two rounds off but they were hauling ass and disappeared in the fog as quickly as they had come out of it. A couple of Gadwalls came in low off the south levy but busted me and went vertical immediately. Looked like they were suddenly on a fucking elevator. Good for them. More Greenwings came through and made a fool of me but such is shooting Greenwings, the little drama queens.

When it was all said and done and the fog cleared and the sun came out and I started regretting having thermals on underneath my waders, it was a beautiful morning spent afield. I strongly suggest you do something similar very soon because one day there'll be no hunting in SoCal.

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

You ever feel as if your mind had started to erode?

I am experiencing an extended period of frustration with my fellow Angelenos. Every day I'm on the road and stuck in traffic is another day that I feel like pulling away from society. Leaving them all behind and finding somewhere to just be alone. I feel like retreating into the wilderness or what's left of the wilderness.
Everyone else just seems so trivial lately. That's a horrible thing to say but at least it's honest. Last night as I was sitting in two hours worth of traffic to go 20 miles I heard a news report that stated that the latest tech boom was at stadiums. Everything needs to be wired apparently. Pretty soon you'll be able to watch instant replays on your smart phone while placing a beer order so you don't have to wait in line. One woman who was interviewed said she was a huge sports fan and having every replay right in your hands was something everyone would want. Personally, I don't see how you need more than just watching the game that you're physically attending. I guess I'm a Luddite like that, you know? "Hey, I'm watching something in real life! Maybe I don't need the smart phone!"

I dunno. I'm just tired of everyone just assuming a 24 hour news cycle is necessary and that your smart phone should be jacked into your head at all times. Digital doesn't mean instantly better. Five million channels of what? Junk. Anyone really care about the Kardashians? We still can't seem to design livable cities or utilize our resources with any semblance of efficiency or fairness but fuck, we've got instant access to every "famous" person's personal life. Whatever.

I feel like fading away from all of these people and their bullshit. No one cares about real life anymore. Recently I was talking to a friend of mine while fishing at lunch. He asked me how I thought things were going to end since it didn't seem to him that life as it's currently lived was sustainable. I told him that it was going to be like Nicaragua's jungles: all the mammals were eaten during the civil war so now it's just insects and the bush. Humans are going to overbreed and eat themselves out of house and home and there'll be massive die offs and the next thing you know it'll be the bush and the bugs and that's about it for awhile. We ruminated on this for a bit, caught some fish, apologized to them and put them back in the water.

Where am I going with this? Nowhere really. I'm just tired of other people right now. Well, tired of people in the general sense. I'm assuming that this too shall pass but then again...

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Conan! What is best in life?

I used to think the answer to this aged question was crushing your enemies, seeing them flee before you, and hearing the lamentations of their women but these days, no so much.

I'm aging, you see. I recently turned 40. I bought a house. My wife is pregnant with kid number dos. I have an old car that doesn't run and I'm not sure I'll ever find the time and money to make it run.

Nowadays, I think the answer to the question is this: calling in ducks and watching your friends and family shoot them while your gun sits loaded and unfired in the blind, spending time cleaning the house with your wife and daughter and everyone is happy and getting it done, watching your daughter's face when you give her her first shotgun, getting to surf, working enough to afford to your castle and your provisions, having a shoulder to cry on, staying in shape long enough to watch the new kid grow up and go hunting, having all your hair at forty, fucking like a champ, having a grown-ass man's club house of your own, waking up and feeling lucky, not feeling like you're lost.

It's a bit of an eclectic list of "best in life" moments but that's what I've got today. I'm feeling frisky, melancholy, fat, and motivated all at once and I'm gearing up for a trip to Ikea. Whatever. I'll hunt ducks on Wednesday then we'll have Turkey day here and I'll go look for deer on Friday. Could be fun. Maybe the brothers will want to chase quail with me. Who knows.

I know what's best in life and it isn't what it used to be but it'll do.

Peace out, bitches!