Friday, October 19, 2012

Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness.

(There are going to be quite a lot of references, or possibly one, to drunk driving through the streets of LA and I'm not at all interested in dealing with your problems with that. Read on or fuck off and know that I love you in the way that only a disgruntled old LA skate punk can "love" another human being. Mostly just fuck off and read on if you want.)

An old man walks down the street and finds himself in front of what once was a glorious jazz club. He blinks. He remembers. He sees himself as a goddamn golden god of the LA night life. He is a fucking king of the night and the city is his. He blinks again and he wonders if he can pry any of the plywood off the doors of this dilapidated building because if he can he will be young again.

An hour later he is standing in a cavernous room. He is dwarfed and old and grey and blind and probably mostly crazy but he is there. And there is where it's at.

The tables and chairs are covered in dusty white linens. The cheap carpet is worn thin and hard and desperate by the waitstaff's countless rounds. Chandeliers once glorious and stunning are strung into macabre beauty by generations of spider webs. The old man, however, is happy and lost in his memories of big bands as a teen and bebop as a man.

I drive through Los Angeles late at night, after work of course as I'm a family man now, and think about the crevices of this city and my mind. They are entwined. My favorite thing to do while drunk-esque and winding my way home is to listen to the soundtrack to "Repo Man." It's perfect for this type of work, really.

The opening track should be a primer for BEING in LA. Not living here. Not visiting. BEING. Being in LA is a daunting task for most people and I think that's because most people lack the creative juice to BE here. Now. Right now. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing in LA you must, at all times BE here. It's hard, I know, and you came here feeling so entitled to be here so really it should be easier.

But it's not.

That's why LA is my favorite. Sure, native born, remember what what with the who who back in the day. OG, triple OG, gangsta whatnot and so on. Fuck me. I'm just a guy who was lucky enough to be born here so I know nothing but I BE. In LA.

So, I was driving drunk-esque through LA and listening to "Repo Man" and feeling like a king. Why? How? Are you sure that's safe, what, with the two kids and the mortgage and the wife and the career? Go fuck yourself for asking. We do this here more than anyone wants to admit but we're quite good at it so... Anyone who tells you this doesn't happen amongst "polite" society here probably doesn't think matronly women didn't earn their Mardi Gra beads the old fashioned way. Go figure.

When you drive through LA listening to "El Clavo y la Cruz" by The Plugz you realize that you rule, that you get it, that you are LA. I say this because I've loved this song forever and it is LA. Don't believe me? Go listen.

Don't get it? I understand.

There was a point to this but I've lost the thread. No. That's not true. I've hit the point where the beers and tequila are making me not give a shit about explaining this to you.

You get it or you don't at this point. Go watch "Repo Man" right now and watch it knowing that it's a quintessential LA movie, right up there with "Chinatown." Or don't. We don't care. We're all going to fall into the Pacific or Angelina's vampire cleavage so fuck us, right?

Point: I love LA and I love watching the bent obsessions of the legions of star fuckers get dashed upon the rocks of reality in LA.

And I think it's time to get a new job as working in Hollywood for the last 14 years has killed me.

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Love means never having to say you're sorry. However, it is with sincere regret that I must now kill all of you.

If anyone had told me what percentage of my day would be spent listening to the irrational and piercing cry of one Hellboy I'd have laughed and told them there weren't 28 hours in a day. I'd have been wrong, of course, but the fact remains that no one can ever truly prepare you for the hell that is an infant.

Wrap all of the worst characteristics of your average person into the miniature body of a human. Remove all reason from said sack of loud and unleash it on two people who feel immeasurable quilt at every cry that comes from sack. Add in Geneva-Convention-violating amounts of sleep deprivation. That, my friends, that is having a child.

Notice that diapers made no appearance in that list of horrors? Know why? Because only an idiot thinks that changing diapers is the worst of having an infant in the house. The diaper changing is easy. It has a beginning, middle, and end (pun fully intended). There's a reason behind (ahem) it, some semblance of logic: food goes in, poop comes out, diaper is changed and disposed of, new diaper applied. Would you like the undercoating with that, sir? Perhaps and extended warranty? No? Well then, good day, sir. It makes sense, as a man, the changing of diapers. The screaming, the piercing, incessant, mindless screaming, that does not make sense and that you cannot stop it does not make sense.

Couldn't make them sing, eh, Life?

The only off button is the breast milk but you don't have breast milk. You have breasts and useless nipples and a screaming mound of suck. Why on earth don't men produce breast milk? How hard could that have been, eh, Life? It's further proof that there is no God for if there were Men would have fucking milk producing breasts for those occasions when the little bundle of joy won't shut the fuck up.

Cruel joke, Life.

If anyone tells you that having children is a blessing or the greatest thing you can do with your life or anything else flowery or romantic or ridiculous please run away from them. They are either liars, idiots, or grandparents seeking to ruin your life the way you ruined theirs. Yes, children are amazing but mostly when they are someone else's and don't live at your quite, orderly, clean house. Or they're old enough to walk, talk, and wipe their own asses. This whole infant thing is a horrible blight. How in the hell did we ever make it out of the trees with these little bastards constantly alerting every predator for a mile around that hey, tasty helpless meat right here! Come and get your fresh hominid! Bicameral mind be damned, we're louder than hell and easy to catch!

Stunning, Life.

Hellboy. The very moment you're ready to call it quits the little bastard smiles, drools, and does his new dog trick of rolling over several times. He'll finish with some baby gibberish and all of a sudden you love him. You love him and want to hold him forever and teach him how to track game, shoot a gun, light a fire, drive stick, surf, take a photo, catch a ball, skateboard, read, drink wine, and smoke cigars. You want very desperately for him not to ever get hurt but you know it'll happen and it'll be fine but still...

Nice, Life. Worked in a little safety valve, did ya?

It's all so very much to take in and it comes in such a rush. If anyone had actually told me what it was going to be like it might have been easier but I suppose nothing worth doing is ever really easy.

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, April 30, 2012

His idea of great R&R was cold rice and a little rat meat. He had only two ways home: death, or victory.

Or spending your free time with your baby boy. That's not death, that's victory. Fuck Hollywood.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage.

I had an epiphany the other day while holding my two week old son. It occurred to me suddenly that I might not live long enough to see my son turn the same age I am now, which is 40. I suppose this kind of thought crosses everyone's mind when they're forty. Reflecting on one's life is what you do at forty, right? I came to the conclusion that I've got one overriding regret now.

After all of the lying, cheating, stealing, drug abuse, cowardice, fear, and assorted bullshit my one and only regret is that I didn't have my son earlier in life. Perhaps his existence would have helped me avoid the legion of mistakes I've made in my life. Perhaps not. I suppose I'll never know about that aspect of the whole thing but I do know I wish I we're younger right now. Younger so that I'd have a better shot at being around for everything.

I'm happy that I'm not as much of a dumb-ass as I've been for much of my life. I think I'll be a better father for not being younger but again, one never knows. Suffice it to say I'm truly excited to be a father to both Number 1 and Hellboy and a husband to Stretch. We'll see how it all goes won't we?

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

You had the wrong kind? I've never had the wrong kind, ever. My worst one was right on the money.

I woke up today completely bummed out that Hellboy ain't been a'birth'd yet. Then I did some yoga and felt at peace with Hellboy not being born yet. Then I drove through traffic to get to work and was glad Hellboy wasn't born yet so it didn't have to sit in traffic. Then I worked on an interview with Shepard Fairey and was bummed that Hellboy wasn't there to meet one of my favorite artists but at least it didn't have to watch the wretched director act like a spoiled cunt. Then I drove home through traffic with a headache because I had forgotten to eat all day and realized Hellboy was pretty lucky to get all of its food through a fucking tube, automatically. Then I got home, with a headache and needing desperately to pee, and saw that The Kid had made a million red velvet cupcakes and cleaned up after herself and I was happy that Hellboy would have such a cool sister.

Oh, and I shot this on the way home because in spite of desperately needing to pee and having a major headache I thought it was funny.

Peace out, bitches!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Just like the guys in Thrashin'.

I recently remembered I'm a skate punk from LA, or rather, I remembered the skater part of the equation. I started skating again a few days ago and it's fucking awesome. I totally suck. I don't care. I zipped around the Culver City Skatepark today and tried a bunch of tricks that every kid today, as soon as they step onto a board, learns in a day. It was great. I'm a total kook all over again at 40 and utterly thrilled.

A happy accident occurred as well- I started shooting photos again. I shot photos of the wife yesterday. I shot this today:
I think my six years of anti-productivity can be traced to the decline and death of my skateboarding. Or maybe not. Maybe the two are completely separate and I'm just looking for an excuse to make sense of the fact that I walked away,  hobbled really, from two things I previously thought I couldn't live without.

I don't really care. I'm just happy to be shooting my little art fag bits of light and zipping around on my useless wooden toy. If this is my mid-life crisis then so be it. Definitely beats having an affair with a younger woman (translation: you need someone to boss around) or buying a sports car (translation: outward manifestation of your needing Viagra) and acting like a douche. I'm enough of an asshole already so...

Peace out, bitches!

Friday, February 10, 2012

You're the best time I've ever had.

Here are some photos of my hot-ass pregnant wife.

We're due right now and waiting, waiting, waiting. It's ok, though. The baby is doing great so far and we're aren't completely crazy yet so...

I surfed today and felt a thousand times better than yesterday when I didn't surf and got sort of grumpy. It happens says me Mum. Anywhy, the surf was awesome and I kept thinking about how much I'd like to get the 10 year old to surf this summer while I've got the newborn out in the great Ol' Pacific. A bunch of longboards, some sun, and some mellow waves sound like a fantastic way to spend a day. Future possibilities floating around the mush that is my mind. Floating.

We're due tomorrow, on the record anyway, and we're very calm and quiet right now. I'm planning on doing some yoga in the early morning and then going for a bit of skateboardin' before walking the dog. Then we'll all take a walk. Then we'll have a baby? Floating.

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Some day this war is gonna end.

This is the 1st draft of a piece I'm working on for my friend's hunting blog. What do you think?

This Are Duck Hunting: Some thoughts on a season past
By Hassan

Regrettably I’ve washed, scrubbed, and hung up the last of the decoys. The boat has been hosed off and tucked under its tarp. The blind bag is cleaned up and organized and in the closet with the rest of the gear. In short, duck season has come to its end once again and I am feeling rudderless and lost and sad. I guess I should take some small comfort in the fact that hogs, of which I’ve successfully killed none, are year round and spring turkey season is just around the corner. I should, but I won’t take comfort in these two facts. The reasons for this refusal of hope (the audacity of nope?) are complicated but I will, if you keep reading, force them down your metaphorical throat. To wit:

This season was, well, weird. The weather never really cooperated and if you don’t believe me check out the brainiacs at Ducks Unlimited and their weather comparison map for last year versus this year. The cold fronts that any self-respecting SoCal duck hunter relies on for massive numbers of ducks coming into gun range never really materialized. That lack of cold weather meant that to get any good gunning one had to travel up to Sacto for much of the year or, at the very least, Kern. (More on Kern and Sacto later.) I don’t mind traveling in fact I love traveling and hunting. Who doesn’t want to find all new birds to miss? The lack of any real weather had the more disastrous effect of making every hunt in SoCal a test of one’s mental and physical fortitude. When the birds aren’t flying and the mercury or digital gizmo or what have you is hitting 80° it’s the rare duck hunter that can hunker down for the long haul and slowly hit a limit. Even with all of that I’m still going to miss duck season for quite awhile.

I like to think that you can learn something new every day and this season taught me that less is more. When it’s hot and sunny and shade is suddenly a rare commodity it pays to not have 5 million decoys and a ton of other gear with you even if you’re only a stone’s throw away from your vehicle. Sure, at 4am it’s nice and chilly and humping a ton of shit 100 yards isn’t really that big of a deal but come 10am you’re going to regret owning most of said shit. I know a lot of guys might disagree but this season I started carrying fewer decoys and tried to match the decoys to what I thought the ducks might be up to on the day. Fewer decoys also meant that anytime I wanted to pick up and move in the “free roam” areas in Kern, Sacto, Delevan, etc. I didn’t need to start looking for a Sherpa army to help me. The main point of duck hunting is to be where the ducks want to be and if you can’t move quickly you can miss ducks. It’s still a lot of work but I miss it already.

This year’s trip to Sacto for my birthday week of duck hunting went a lot like last year’s: saw tons of ducks, missed a few shots, killed a couple of ducks, and worked my ass off. Can’t complain, the wife lets the dog and me out of the house for a week and I get to shoot ducks and quail and rabbits and not have to do dishes or laundry. Happy Birthday to me indeed! Even though I tend to have rotten luck in Sacto and Delevan I love heading up there as the environs you’re hunting in are just amazing and there really are ducks everywhere all the time, even with the crappy nice weather we were cursed with all season. I miss Sacto NWR.

Kern was a lot of fun this year seeing as I only got up there once the whole season. Like I said, it was a weird season. That one trip made the season for me in a way as I was up there with the one and only Rob Knox and we took my duck boat out for its maiden voyage. We shot a ton of teal, figured out some stuff about the boat, and missed a boatload of ducks. In short, it was a duck hunting trip. Kern is one of those places that if you don’t go there a lot you never really get to know it well enough to hunt it so I think our success was equal parts luck and perseverance. I like to tell myself, and I do this at the beginning of every season, that I’ll go up to Kern more and stop being lazy and going to San Jacinto but it never happens and I’m ok with that, I’ve made peace with my slack. However, after taking the boat up there I’m making a solemn oath to get up to Kern more than once next season. I’ve probably jinxed the hell out of myself at this point. I miss Kern and my duck boat.

The real highlight of this season, besides all of the ducks I shot, was introducing several people to the subtle joys and exquisite agony of duck hunting. Oxwooders Chris Hirt and Rob Knox gamely lit out with me early one morning to stand in the sweat line at San Jacinto only to get denied until around 10am, which is basically quitting time for most duck hunters. We sat around the parking lot for awhile looking at ducks and listening to other people missing until we fell asleep. When we finally got on we got a so-so blind and did our best. I was particularly excited to call in a Northern Shoveler who streaked over several other blinds and had then straight into out blind so that Chris could shoot him. What a civilized bird. Rob waited until Chris and I were collecting the decoys and the sun was going down before he quickly knocked down all of the birds he shot that day. He’s a very efficient hunter, that Rob Knox. I also took my brother and my brand new brother in law out to San Jacinto for an equally ridiculous wait to get into a blind. The guys had a great time even though we got on late and into a sort of free roam area with some deep sections. My brother’s waders filled up at one point but he emptied them out and kept right on hunting. We shot a few birds but mostly we talked shit and had a good time and I tried to show them how you hunt ducks. I even got to take my wife and daughter out on a hunt despite my wife being 8 months pregnant at the time. My daughter took a shot at a duck and missed but hey, she’s only 10! She’s got a ton of missing left to do and some occasional hitting of targets as well. My wife managed to kill her first duck on that trip and sure, it was a Ruddy, but you’ve got to start somewhere. I love taking people hunting and now that the season is over, well, I’ll miss that too.

The dog. What to say about Ghost, the little Brittany ya love to hate. No, I don’t hate him, I just wish I could get him out more often. He fell through the ice a few years back on a pheasant retrieve in South Dakota and he’s been leery of water ever since. Not a good trait for a duck dog but I guess I officially got him for upland hunting so I should give him a pass. We did have a few good days out in the shallow marshes where his hydrophobia didn’t come into play. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as watching your emotionally disturbed pup charge through the tules looking for downed ducks. That it’s a rarity for me makes it that much more special every season. Again, I’ll be missing you, uh, image of my dog in the water. Or something.

When I look back on this season I’ve got to say I’m pleased. As always I missed a lot of easy shots but when has that ever stopped a real hunter from going hunting again? The weather didn’t cooperate and there weren’t as many opportunities as there were last season but just as in surfing who the hell wants to hear “You should have been here earlier/last year/before it got lame”? Ever forward, right? I got to take in some absolutely gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, watched noble birds wheel overhead and zip through my dekes, listened to the sounds of the marsh, and guided a few people into what I can only hope is an obsession with waterfowling as intense and enjoyable as my own. What else does one really need to make a good season of waterfowling or anything else? Instead of missing the season I think I’ll start planning for next season.

Anywayway, feedback would be appreciated.

Peace out, bitches!