Ten Things that I've laughed at in the Last 24 Hours

I was going to post 'Ten Ways Things have gotten Worse" since I didn't feel like being witty in the wake of the worst national disaster in U.S. history and having seen so much suffering over the last 2 days. But then the topic came to me: Honor the tragedy and our idiocy as a race at the same time with a little humor...

Ten Things that I've Laughed at in the Last 24 Hours
1- Looters stocking up on candy + beer rather than medicine, water, toilet paper & dairy products
2- A caller on Larry King asking snootily how much other countries had pledged in aid so far. My thoughts went to the idea of Donald Trump losing a mansion to fire and seeking donations from the rest of us to cover his losses
3- People waiting in line for hours for gas when there is no electricity for miles. Gas pumps need power to pump
4- Analyst calculating that Mississippi stands to lose $500 thousand a day since its gambling barges were destroyed. Was there going to be a plethora of gamblers with expendable cash at the tables if they were still operating?
5- Hearing our ever poignant alpha male Bush say "This recovery will take a long time. This recovery will take...uh (long pause) years"
6- A grossly obese woman complaining she hadn't had a HOT meal since yesterday. Picture yourself as an obese person and say this outloud. It's hysterical
7- Footage of a looter getting mad at other looters who tried to dip into his basket
8- Tragedy footage interrupted by a commercial of a publisher Clearinghouse million dollar winner celebrating. Way to jump on that strategic air time slot guys!
9- Pat Robertson I was just channel surfing and it was old footage. I didn't stop or hear what he was saying but ANY time I see his mug I have to laugh out loud
10- Catching myself grumbling about the new $3.29 gas prices at my neighborhood pump


Ten Disturbing Visions from the Last 24 hours

Kalani is right: TV is evil... Most of the time.
However TV is also information, a lot of it true and valuable information. This has been one of those times. Right now TV, and the images that reach us, can elevate us and our humanity to new levels. From it we can learn things we were never aware we didn't know. We can feel emotions that are far too often foreign to us in our hectic self focused lives. We can be motivated to act in positive ways when we would normally let such opportunities pass us by. It can put our lives in a little clearer perspective.
In Buddhist terminology: It can help us be aware of impermanence and suffering and awaken our compassion.
Today, TV wasn't evil.

Ten Disturbing Visions from the Last 24 hours

1- Red 'X's' painted on 3 houses in a row (signifying dead bodies inside that cannot yet be moved)
2- People sitting on roofs of their houses for over 36 hours waving desperately at helicopters that have to pass them by
3- An empty wheelchair in an alley
4- A man too much in shock to cry as he told a reporter that his wife was torn from his and his child's arms by the wind and had no idea where she was
5- A man being axed out of his attic who only had inches of dry crawl space remaining
6- A bird struggling valiantly against the winds being tossed along the ground
7- A seal that had been tossed onto dry land that couldn't be saved and was shot
8- The roof of the Superdome (once touted as the sturdiest building ever constructed)
9- The famous Bourbon Street sign (no longer there)
10- My kitchen (with full fridge, running water, and working appliances)



Ten Bands I Wish I had Seen Live

1- The Ramones (i had the chance and skipped it!!)
2- Talking Heads
3- Bob Marley (i saw The Wailers open for Santana in 2002)
4- The Clash (i had the chance and skipped it!!)
5- The Police (i had the chance and skipped it!!)
6- The Who (i've had three chances and skipped them all, im an idiot!)
7- Pink Floyd
8- Stone Roses (i had tickets and they cancelled!!)
9- Jerry Garcia Band
10- Mitch Hedberg (a comedian. i had tickets for April 29th, 2005. he died a few weeks beforehand)



Ten Things Aspen Shall Have Learned from Me

1- To require respect from with whomever she is in a relationship
2- To not base friendships on who is popular or how much $ somebody has
3- To say 'please' and 'thank you' everytime
4- To be cautious but not afraid
5- To feel the music
6- To never kill a sentient being (not even spiders)
7- To roll with life's punches
8- The difference between use and abuse
9- How to do an ollie and a wheelie
10- To think for herself



It's All In The Timing (and in the attitude!)

Last week I noticed at jambase.com that String Cheese Incident was coming to town in October. Ovens Auditorium is an all seating venue usually hosting more formal and intimate events. It is literally 1 block from where I work. The cool thing is that you can buy your tickets at their box office and bypass the Ticket-Master-Rape-Me-Till-I-Bleed "convenience" charges. So this morning I walk over there just to ask what day tickets go on sale and how much they will be.
The kindly old woman at the counter responds " In 12 minutes"! And that all tickets are reserved seating and $30, not general admission. I had no idea today was the day they went on sale!
Pleasantly surprised by her answer, I look around. There is only 2 other people in the shadows of the lobby waiting for that 12 minutes to pass.
How can this be? SCI sells out most shows within minutes. It must be the age of online buying that now makes actually getting off your ass and going to the theatre itself an advantage.
I call Miguel and tell him the surprise situation and how it looks like were set to get some good tickets and is he in?
He is. Good.
For the next 12 minutes I let myself become encompassed in the depth and serenity that are the pale blue eyes of the oh-so-tasty hippie chick in front of me as we share stories of our common love for music. At the same time there has entered into our private little flirting bubble an annoyance of great proportions in the form of another ticket buyer in wait who is hell bent on annoying everyone in the room (me, blue eyed hippie chick, quite ticket buyer with kid in arms, kindly old lady, and second ticket seller lady at second window). He repeatedly, loudly and agressively asks each of us if he can give us cash so we can max out our purchase of tickets for him so he doesn't have to wait his turn (2nd in line in his window!!) Then proceedes to yell over our shoulders repeatedly to the ticket ladies if they can start printing out tickets now and just hold them for the remaining minutes. He must have asked this 4 times in that brief period and gave attitude every time the answer was 'no'. All of us are beginning to look at each other with rolling eyes.
Finally the 12 minutes goes by. Hippie chick requests 2 tix and completes her transaction in record time. Apparently the kindly old lady at the helm knows EXACTLY what she is doing and appreciates just how much in competition she is with the onliners around the U.S. since all tix went on sale at the exact same time.
Hippie chick looks at her tickets. 2nd row! She quickly winks at me and moves aside with all due promptness. I force my eyes away from hers and back to the business at hand.
I tell her "2" and slide my debit card (one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century - hmmm, that gives me an idea for a 'tens list'). My tickets are printed out...
Orchestra... Row 'C'
Hmmmm... I jump into math mode A =1, B=2, C=3!! 3rd row!! I look at the seating chart on the wall. 3rd Row CENTER!!!
Take that Ticket Master!!! In your face!!
Annoying guy, who once more yells over me to both ticket ladies "Can you print out my tickets now?!", moves behind me because the quite guy with kid in arms who he was behind is purposefully counting out his cash quite slowly to start that negative karma repayment to annoying guy as quickly as possible (nice move quiet guy!!!). He ends up getting his tickets 45 seconds after me and got row 'DD'!! That would be row 30 for you non-math types!
"Damnit! Row 30" he says with extreme agitation "Thanks for your help guys" he emits sarcastically as he turns around to head off.
"Wow" I say to the ticket lady "They sold that many tickets That fast?"
"Oh yeah" she responds looking at me with a wry smirk emerging from her kindly old lips "SOMEtimes they sell that fast" as she throws me a completely sinister wink!
Thank YOU kindly old lady who doesn't put up with annoying people's shit!! You HAVE the power!!!
Take THAT irritating guy!
Don't forget your binoculars!!
Heh Heh Heh


Ten Things that Really Piss Me Off

1- People throwing cigarettes from car windows!!
2- Putting a quarter in the parking meter and only getting 4 more minutes!!
3- Crossing rails that come down 2 minutes before the train shows up!!
4- Maseusses charging extra for happy endings!!
5- Rude, obnoxious, speeding drivers!!
6- Drivers that wont get out of the fast lane when I'm riding their ass and flashing my brights!!
7- Product commercials intermingled with movie previews in the theatres!!
8- Ticket Master charging me $4.00 extra for a PDF printable file of my tickets so they don't have to waste a stamp sending them in the mail!!
9- The entire idea of mail in rebates!!
10- The concept of being able to 'flag' somebody's blog!!



"I ams what I ams!"


Garaj Mahal

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This is why Fareed Haque is one of my favorite guitarists. I took this a few months ago. Please forgive the audio quality. It may take a minute or two to load but it DOES work.
Now might be a good time to light up, enjoy!
Mega thanks to Kalani for helping me out with this


Ten Reasons I'm No Longer A Teacher

1- Refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance based on 'religious reasons'
2- Kids got tired of my inquiring "So, does your mom ever ask about me?"
3- Kept sending kids to the nurses office during dodgeball games
4- I wasn't allowed to take naps during nap time
5- I kept losing the weekly speling bee
6- I thought it was funny to put tacks on the kids chairs for a change
7- Got caught smoking in the boys' room
8- Bullying kids out of their lunch money
9- Got sent to the principal's office one too many times
10- Kids complained about my always saying "My daughter can do it. Why can't you?"
*that's for you doc*


Cliff Hanger

northern point of cape breton island, nova scotia. the cabin in the midground was my home for close to a year in '93. the ocean in the background was my entire view upon going to sleep and waking up. it may not look like it from this view but it sat RIGHT on the edge of the cliff. over a hundred yard drop. i never quite got used to the feeling of the strong winds that would blow out or in or around and under the floorboards. you could hear and feel the strain on the nails that kept the place togetheras they loosened just a bit each time. when a real heavy gust emerged i would sit up and turn my feet toward the door. THAT scenario could have made my list as well!


HOW much?!!

"youre going to need a new johnson rod, mr. trout"

Son Of A...!

how is it that the strongest part of my paper towel roll is ALWAYS at the perforated area? what they need to do is make the entire roll perforated then use it instead of that problematic foam for the insulation on the external tank of the space shuttle.
situation: resolved!

"the weather dictates everything from frost to naked trees"
j. buffett - mile high in denver



Exiting Samsara?

november 1999



Ten Things I've Been Known To Do On A Blind Date

1- Ask right off the bat if she brought a toothbrush
2- Request a strand of hair for my collection
3- Inquire if she has told any friends who she is with tonight
4- Ask if she doesn't mind if I refer to her as Evelyn since that's my mom's name
5- Casually bring up the subject of male enlargement products and how they really work miracles
6- Mention that protection won't be neccessary because I've been outbreak free for almost a month
7- Tell her how much I love her child bearing hips
8- On our way to dinner, insist that she show me exactly where she works
9- Tell her that if we happen to get pulled over to slowly reach for the glove compartment and wait for my signal
10- Ask if I can take a quick picture of her from waste up because all my blog readers will be expecting it to be posted by 11pm



hey you kids! get away from my car! Posted by Picasa

The Last Laugh

This was probably the biggest laugh I ever had the privilege of enjoying...

Scene 1: In my girlfriend's college dormroom. Early afternoon. Alone. Doing what college sweethearts do in such a setting. Shortly afterward her phone rings. Its her mom. She takes the call and starts chatting. I seize the opportunity and give her a lesson in self control. I don't want to get graphic or turn this into a smut log so use your imagination. She does her best to contain herself and not let on to her mom what exactly is going down.

Finally the phone call is ended and I am slapped repeatedly in a fun a good natured way. We laugh it over for a few minutes...

Scene 2: About a week later. She and I are relaxing in my dormroom which I have to myself for the weekend. Nothing is going on at the moment. The phone rings (these are the old phones when they still had cords). I pick it up. Its a fraternity brother (that's right! Sigma Chi!) needing some top secret info or something. So I take the call. And my ever so playful girlfriend decides to repay the favor from a week earlier. However, my bro only needed one or two quick questions answered. That was it. Two really quick yes or no questions and he was ready to say "okay thanks, gotta go"

Now, I KNOW exactly what's going to happen: Im going to say goodbye and the ever so playful girlfriend is going to decide that play time is done now that the call is over. Thats all. Have a laugh. Go back to what we were doing before (nothing)


And I get an idea: I refrain from saying the words 'goodbye' on the phone. I cant let him onto what's going down or all bets are off. I have to make it sound like the conversation is important, urgent, and complicated. He keeps saying goodbye but all I say is "okay" and "that's fine" and "sounds good then".
He eventually hangs up. I quietly reach over to the phone base and gently press down the button with my finger so as not to disturb girlfriend's concentration.
Now all those years of childhood acting and improv class are about to pay off (thanks mom).
I keep the receiver to my ear and keep on talking...
"how long will it take Yoach to get there?"
"can Tripod make it instead?"
"no? how about Sleastack or Digger"
"okay, then tell Chud to stop by and pick up the kegs after he and Noodle are back from getting the dry ice"
"what do you mean they didn't order the dry ice?!"
"so how far is that?"
"okay, this is not good. that was Stork's job to order the ice so if Chud has to drive another 20 miles to get then Stork is paying him for the gas, that's ridiculous."

Keep in mind, I'm making this up on the fly. There IS noone on the other end. And it would be a cold day in hell before Yoach or Chud would let me tell them what to do anyway.

So about 3 minutes into my monologue, girlfriend doing her very best to keep me distracted, me in deep conversation on the phone, what do you suppose happens?

the very phone on which I am supposed to be having a long conversation is now eliciting loudly and clearly the message that 'noone is using this phone at the moment despite the reciever being off the hook and pressed to Trout's ear'
I freeze. I have to think fast. All positive sensation that I had been enjoying for the last 5 minutes quickly subsides. Girlfriend's face begins to appear from behind her long hair.
I try to save the situation from complete chaos!
"Um, hold on Skeeter, I got another call coming through" I try to fake it.
Of course, I don't think there even WAS call waiting at the time and even if there was the phone doesn't ring out loud when a second call comes in.
Her look changes from confusion to realization to anger. I am unable to restore the previous situation, the gig is up. I answer the phone once again as I try to avoid the coldest and most vengeful-promising eyes I had ever seen.
I can not contain myself and I burst into uncontrollable laughter as a sharp pain begins to encompass my lower region. I have to hang up the phone to save myself from further injury.
Lets just say that I didn't look too far off from Ben Stiller's plight in Cameron Diaz's bathroom in Something About Mary.
I was never able to find out who that second call was from, what they wanted, or most importantly: what they heard.



Inside A Kaleidescope

it was NOT easy getting my camera into that tiny eye opening Posted by Picasa


why do they call it grey matter?

whose going to guess this first? cheeseball throwing duff or tattoo loving kalani? Posted by Picasa

but when does it close ? Posted by Picasa


what my magnifying mirror reflection looks like after 5 tylenol pm's and some nyquil at 3 in the morning on a tuesday. and thats with the lights out. Posted by Picasa


Ten Benefits of living in America That I Shouldn't (But Do) Take For Granted

1- Women showing midriff in public is socially acceptable
2- Parks like this are free and plentiful
3- Posting something like "I think our president should be overthrown!!" won't land me in a secret "experimental" prison (oh god, I hope that's true!)
4- Nowhere else in the world will you come across this
5- 37 different kinds of rum at your local liquor store
6- Jimmy Buffett is constantly on tour here somewhere
7- Lots of roller coasters
8- Direct T.V.'s NFL Ticket package!
9- Most good restaurants have at least a couple of vegetarian dishes these days (except in Nebraska - I try to stay away from Nebraska)
10- Any hobby, interest, pastime, etc that you undertake, nowhere in the world is it easier, more affordable or more acceptable to do it


The Alligator Episode

This is my daughter's favorite story that I tell from my youth... you get a good idea of just what kind of youth I was (is?)...

Scene: A bird/wildlife sanctuary near the Louisiana bayou. There are many inlets of water coursing through extended quiet greenways nice for walking. Great undisturbed area rich with trees, birds, alligators (2 of which we had earlier fed an entire can of cheeseballs to - THERE'S and ad that a marketing firm has yet to employ), etc.

The Setting: Mom and stepdad are sitting on a bench about 20ft off a lagoon's edge staring out over the water at the abundance of birds and reeds in the breeze, enjoying a quiet moment to themselves (or so they think).

I (about 12 years at this time) see my opportunity for one of my favorite pastimes (pranks), particularly when said prank involves scaring the living bejesus out of someone, especially when that someone is a close relative, and even better when that relative is out in public view!

This was a prank factor 10! No question about it! I was already grinning ear to ear just waiting for the right moment!

...And then it came...

I sneak up ever so stealthily behind said parental units sitting obliviously on said bench overlooking said spectacular view.

Once I'm about seven feet away I get down on my hands and knees (they're still unaware of my presence and I'm about to pee my pants in anticipation of the next moment - just like when you're playing hide and seek and you are the hider)

I open my mouth and let out my best (imitating voices and sounds has always been a talent of mine - keep that in mind) version of an angry alligator hiss that I can muster while down on my knees (we had heard this sound several times over the course of the day - try telling an alligator that is needing his cheeseball fix that the can is now empty and see what YOU get!)

Now I was hoping/expecting to get some kind of reaction. A quick jerk, a mild startle effect, something like this. I guess my alligator hiss imitation was FAR better than I gave myself credit for because within a fraction of a second the entire scene changed.

Once that sound filled the immediate area and my folks were under the assumption that an angry, cheeseball-craving gator was right behind them 2 things happened:

1- In an acrobatic move that could not be repeated by even the strongest of athletes or flexiblist of contortionists, my stepdad IN A SINGLE MOVEMENT, moves from a standard bench sitting position into a 180 degree turned around standing position ON TOP of that very bench. If that wasn't enough, in that same motion he adopts the crane position made famous by Ralph Machio as if to not only scare away and intimidate the gator (me) but to also defend his loving/adoring wife who...
2- Is by now 20 yards away arms flailing in the air as she runs, screaming as if a gator (me) was about to make her lunch. So much for her sticking beside her loving man in times of a crisis.

As a direct result of 1 & 2 happening, 2 other occurrences quickly followed:

1- I fall to the ground and roll on my back in absolute uncontrollable laughter. Equal parts pleasure at having done such a good job and elation that the reaction exceeded all expectations.
2- The few people that were in the vicinity cognizant of my shenanigans (I guess a preteen crawling up on two adults in a park gets some attention in and of itself) erupt in cheers and applause and pointing fingers.

Wits were quickly collected, flailing arms went back down to a standard resting position, raised crane legs were lowered, benches were descended, eyebrows also were lowered, deep breaths were taken, hair was straightened, grass was brushed off clothing, and crowds slowly went on their way.

Fortunately for me the prank was appreciated in due course of the afternoon no thanks to the occasional passing tourist at the park who pointed in my direction to his family laughing and nudging his kids.



Ten "To Do's" Before I Exit Samsara

1- Kayak in the Fjords of Norway with Rebecca Romijn
2- Pull off a heist
3- Venture down The Amazon with Yamila Diaz
4- Become fluent in Ebonics
5- Motorcycle through the backwoods of Chile with Kate Hudson
6- Learn to play that mouth twang instrument thing
7- SCUBA dive off The Great Barier Reef with Nicole Kidman
8- Fly a glider
9- Spend some alone time here
10- Sit down and explain a thing or two to this guy



Just a Coincidence

Due to a blogger that I recently discovered I was reminded by this coincidence that happened some 15 years ago...
In college I had a good friend, Kalani Larsen. She moved up to San Francisco sophomore year. I missed her. She was a very cool chick.
After senior year I found myself in San Francisco and took a chance. I picked up a phone and called 411. I inquired if there was a Kalani Larsen registered. No, but there was a K. Larsen with a listed number. "Okay, I'll try that one then."
moments later: RING
"Hi, is Kalani there?"
slight pause and a hint of awkward stammering and confusion "Um, yeah... hold on"
a slightly puzzled Kalani "Hello?"
"Yes. Who's this?"
"It's Brico, from Redlands. How are you?"
Long pause. One can sense there is confusion and bewilderment on her end of the line "I'm uh good. How... how are you?"
"Im good. Say, I'm in your neck of the woods this weekend and was hoping we..."
"I'm sorry man... How did you find me here?"
"Excuse me?"
"How... Where did you get this number?"
Now I'm confused "How did I find your number? I called information. You're listed under K. Larsen. What are you talking about?"
"What?" says a slow Kalani
Now I'm really confused. Not exactly the reception I was expecting. I spell it out for her "I called 411 and asked for a listing for Kalani Larsen. They didn't have one, but they did have a listing for a K. Larsen. So I called it. So here we are talking. Kind of the way it works, no?"
"Uh... no. Hold on." She speaks to the person who answered the phone "Kristen, what's your last name?" I hear faintly in the background "Larsen"
"OH MY GOD!" she screams into the receiver.
Now I'm beginning to understand myself.
The number I called, the number listed under K. Larsen, was not Kalani's number at all! By some bizarre coincidence, the odds of which I couldn't begin to calculate, Kalani happened to be at this residence of Kristen Larsen (a friend of a friend) for only a few minutes for that very first time.
I happened to call that number at that moment on that day. Any other day and Kristen would have said "Sorry bud, wrong number"
Kalani and I did get together for a bite the next evening, but the coincidence overshadowed the evening. I failed in convincing her that it was a sign we were supposed to hook up.
Like I said, she was a cool chick.



Schwinn pic

whats missing? anyone? anyone? Posted by Picasa