Welcome to my soapbox. Here you can typically expect to find my various and sundry diatribes, vituperations and general jawing on whatever it is that's on my mind at the time that I decide to post - you know, typical, self-indulgent blogging for the sake of externalizing what was previously a perfectly content internal monologue and putting it on the page for all the world to see. Again, welcome. Thanks, The Management

Thursday, July 12, 2007

It's about time

It's been far too long since my last posting. In the coming days and weeks, I will be trying to get back into some semblance of a creative mindset to share my insights, perceptions and flat out wrong interpretations of the world around me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


August 24, 2005

50 Cent
C/O Universal Music Group
1755 Broadway
New York, NY 10019

Dear Fitty,

I’m writing you with a business proposition. You see, in times like these, it’s getting harder and harder every day to hustle. I’m looking to make a move to enable myself to clock the type of grip befitting a homie like me. When you’ve got the sheer number and quality of bitches I maintain, their lifestyles can take a pretty serious toll on the old pocketbook. And that toll doesn’t even take child support, alimony and hush money into account. I’m sure you can relate.

That being said, I have noticed a tragic under-representation of the Caucasian man (“white man,” in street parlance) in the G-Unit posse and your entourage, at large. I have a solution for this. You see, I am well aware of your legal travails (I know you’re innocent on all counts) - most recently, a shooting outside of Hot 97 FM in New York - and see an easy solution. Add a white guy to the posse. I have a long history of getting out of traffic citations, driving under the influence, property damage, vandalism, drunk in public, marijuana use and possession, and conduct deemed threatening to myself and others, for no other apparent reason than the color of my skin. I can do even better.

We can choose to pull the wool over our eyes and claim that race has no bearing on citizens’ treatment by the law enforcement community. Or we can call a spade a spade and take action to aid in your immediate defense when the police get involved, as they inevitably will. Add me to your crew. Knowing your well-catalogued run-ins with the police, the dividends will be appreciated very soon, if not immediately.

To boot, I’m willing to work for no more than $150,000, cash, annually, one ounce of the chrizzle per month, five-star hotel accommodations, reasonable access to some freaky bitches and a travel budget for limousines (stocked bar), chartered jets and a modest yacht (less than 100 feet in length) ride now and again. (What can I say about the last part? My baby daughter’s momma has always wanted to ride on a yacht.) If you feel generous, I’d love to have a calf-length fur coat and a pair of snakeskin boots, but I can live without. My services are all about you and your best interests (as I’m sure can be said of all your entourage members), and the last thing I want to appear is greedy.

Please consider the arrangement and feel free to contact me directly with questions, concerns, and/or an offer letter. And on a personal note, I’m a really big fan!


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

What is it with 30-something women anyway?

Not that I've ever pretended to understand women, but I'm certainly wiser to their ways today than I was, say, yesterday or the day before that or the day before that...you get the idea. But what is it about women - once they hit the ripe age of 30 - obsessing about their age? I have several friends in this age group that can't go five minutes before spinning the conversation into some self-deprecating comment about their age.

In listening to one of these women you would think she had gone to prom with Sir Galahad of Camelot and slow-danced to the melodies of a bard on lute. That her corsage was made of flowers now extinct. That the Prom Committee had to hire extra security to repel a potential Visigoth invasion (one of the other students' dads had seen some unsavories mulling about whilst he worked the fields of the fiefdom). Please!

My girlfriend's best friend, for instance, is in her early thirties and often asks me for advice on the male thought process: how we think, what it means when we don't call within 6 minutes of arriving home from a date, why we sometimes employ the Dutch oven moments after a sexual interlude and find it funnier than Dave Chappelle doing Rick James, why the only time we can talk to another guy beyond ten minutes is when we're communicating purely within the script of the Big Lebowski or Caddyshack. I always oblige and answer these and other questions to the best of my ability. Inevitably, there's always a problem with my advice because, well, "that may be true, but I don't think it's that way for someone my age."

Of course, let's give credit where credit's due, and acknowledge considerable progress. I met this woman about 6 months ago and think she's wonderful. She's attractive, witty, intelligent and frankly, I would've never guessed she was older than me...had it not come out 3 minutes into the first conversation we ever had. At that time, she had stated very clearly what her ideal type was. After many years in the dating pool with successes and failures, she had narrowed her search down to two oh-so-important criteria: 1) he can be no younger than 32, and 2) he must be tall.

I couldn't resist cracking a trademark sarcastic remark: "well, it's a good thing you've taken your dating wisdom and really applied it in coming up with such important man-characteristics." Mind you, once the woman began dating a 27 year-old (hooray, evolving ideals!) who appears to be a pretty damn decent guy, she considered calling it all off because he wore Tevas with socks. Granted, Tevas with socks is punishable by death in some Pacific Island countries, but it's not a decision-making criteria in assessing a relationship.

Perhaps we're not dealing with an age issue at all. Perhaps we're looking at an issue of self-targeting torpedo-ism. I'm not a psychologist and I won't pretend to be, but either way, there is an issue and that's one thing I do know about: we men have a lot fewer of them than women...typically because we deal less in the realm of feelings and more in the realm of football and farting. And women don't seem to ever understand this. Nor do we understand their angles. Their frames of reference center on their own worldviews (of course), which happen to be rife with emotional sensors and complexities that we men will never possess or even begin to comprehend.

As they say, "women are from Venus and men are from Mars." Though I must say, there is definitely more cosmic symmetry to the planetary system than the relationship between men and women. At least planets are predictable.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

You Say Tomato...I Say Organic Good Luck Globe

Department of Parking and Traffic
Administrative Review
1380 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

To whom it may concern,

On Tuesday, June 21, 2005, at 6:45 am, I was issued a parking ticket on Ashbury Terrace - in the Ashbury Heights neighborhood - for parking in a red zone. It appears I was targeted out of a misunderstanding. You see, I fully espouse the traditions of the Chinese culture and have since my cognitive years. Of course, I can not expect you to know the ways of the driver of an unattended automobile parked, in your eyes, illegally. But I can tell you my story.

It should be noted that in my surrogate culture, red connotes good luck, among other things. Imagine my delight when I found the only parking spot available within a 10 block radius, marked in none other than my favorite color, and that which might bring me good tidings in the days ahead, no less. I leapt at the good fortune and smoothly parked my vehicle in this most fortunate of spots, taking special care to avoid any colorless concrete.

Now, I wouldn’t expect the good folks at the Department of Parking and Traffic to be familiar with my traditions and perceptions of color schemes, nor how they relate to my worldview. Analogously, I would offer that DPT shouldn’t expect me to know that red, in your parlance and understanding, means NO PARKING (as I discovered upon subsequent examination of the informative “Color Curb Program” area of the SFGOV website).

In essence, I ask you to exculpate me of my $50 parking violation, to let it stand as a first warning, if you will. I will gladly pass by the next red-marked parking space, no matter how tempting. Your benevolence and cultural understanding promotes that in others, and karma is very powerful. Thank you in advance for your consideration and teaching me the ways of the Department of Parking and Traffic culture, and America, at large.

Best of Luck,

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Lono's Eye On America: The Man-Hug

With love spreading like wildfire in and around America, the resurgence of the "man-hug" should come as no surprise. Perhaps you've seen, perpetrated or pondered this physical salutation. Or perhaps not. For the latter, let's take a closer look.

There are so many derivatives of this popular shake-twist-pull-pat that it's become difficult, at times, to differentiate between the "man-hug" and good, old fashioned socially awkward man-to-man heavy petting. In the interest of simplicity, let's first examine what I believe to be the locus: start with a handshake, lead into a 90-degree hand twist into thumb-lock, mutual pull to align forearms and chest, and finish off with left fist to right shoulder-blade. Simple and versatile enough to use in a greeting or departure. It should be noted that the finishing "pat" can be varied by opening the hand, or even adding a second tap for good measure. It should further be noted that more corpulent users of the man-hug may add an unavoidable belly bump.

Previously seen only amongst athletes and hip-hop stars (oh, and Justin Timberlake), the man-hug has become firmly entrenched in the culture of everyday Americans. As it grows in popularity, however, we must examine how and when this ultimate mano-a-mano salutation is utilized most effectively.

Greetings between old friends are a no-brainer man-hug situation. In recent months, however, I've noticed a much wider sphere: seldom-seen neighbors, friends-of-friends, bartenders, bouncers, even the occasional homeless-to-homeless shake>twist>pull>pat (necessarily in that order).

Let's take a look at a classic example of when one should employ the man-hug:

Man #1 (spots Man #2, an old acquaintance he hasn't seen in a couple of years, no more than a block away): "Walter? Holy shit, Dog, I haven't seen you in moons. What's up?"

Man #2 (moves briskly toward Man #1): "You said it, Holmes! How you been?"

(Men #s 1 & 2 extend hands, a la prototype handshake, but quickly execute quarter-turn/thumb-lock and left-hand reach-around for the back-pat finisher. Man #1 goes with the open-hand pat. Man #2 offers a fist and two taps. Both are equally appropriate with neither upstaging the other.)

Of course, every situation has an antithesis: when the man-hug is inappropriate:

Man #1 (stopped, sitting in his car)

Police Officer (on his loudspeaker with gun drawn, parked directly behind Man #1): "Slowly step out of the vehicle with your hands on your head."

Man #1 (moves quickly toward officer with hand extended, prepared to engage in man-hug): "No problem, Officer. I's cool."

Officer (takes quick evasive action, breaks hand and forearm before wrestling Man #1 to the ground, eventually handcuffing him): "What the fuck do you think you're doing?"

At this point, the man-hug neophyte may be asking himself what exactly went wrong here. In times such as these, when something like the man-hug reaches such prevalence in social interaction, a large segment of Americans are unable to differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate operation of a powerful move or comment. This example brings up an important issue that is often lost on the average American Joe: never approach a gun-wielding man with the intention of issuing a man-hug (*Note: knives, blunt objects, crow-bars and whips are also considered "don'ts"). There are, of course, a few other man-hug no-no's, but for the average American, those situations are obvious and present few, if any, tricky signals to derail the successful use of a strong bond.

So, now, go on, man-hug yourself silly and see the new friends you make, old friendships rekindled, free drinks you receive, and who knows, maybe you'll even find a way to man-hug a solution to the homeless problem.

You can't see it, but I'm throwing out a great big virtual man-hug right now to all of you...and I'm slightly aroused.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Warm weather, fewer clothes...and skeeters

Spring time in San Francisco is here! We're just wrapping up May, arguably our best weather month in the city known for cold, foggy summers, brilliant seafood and flamboyant gentlemen with penchants for leather chaps and feather boas. This past weekend saw 70-degree temperatures, low-cut tank tops and citizens out en masse to enjoy the weather that non-locals would never associate with our haven by the Bay.

Yes, the beaches were packed, the barbecues were sizzling and roofdecks bustled with sun-drenched neighbors cavorting over beers.

This month, along with September, is crucial to keeping us sane during the summer months when surrounding areas enjoy 80- and 85-degree days, thanks to San Francisco's omnipresent fog layer and onshore winds.

Needless to say, after spending the weekend basking, barbecuing and beering, I was more than ready for a good night's sleep.

Imagine my shock when I awoke at 3 am, hovering 2 feet above my bed. The 15 or so mosquitoes had been working diligently to carry me off through the crack I had left in my window. I knocked enough of the weight-bearing virus carriers off to land with a thud back on the bed below. Like an old man turning on his lights, I gave a few quick claps and killed off another five.

It would take another hour of swatting in the dark before I had thinned out the herd enough to mitigate the drone of the mosquito minions. With a mere three or four zinging around my head, I was able to fall back asleep, content to wait until morning to survey the damage on my shoulders and ear-lobes. Now, I'll just wait for the onset of West Nile.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Say Cheese!

As if his legacy as frontman for the cotton candy band Hootie and the Blowfish wasn't enough, Darius Rucker - better known as "Hootie" - has timed the release of his solo debut album with an appearance in arguably the strangest commercial to come along since the Noid. Looking like a Liberace cowboy interpretation, Hootie dons a purple rhinestone cowboy blouse and sings his way through a psychedelic wonderland where burgers grow on trees, men wear ludicrous pastel rhinestone getups, and Brooke Burke rides a swing seemingly pushed by the creepy king in Mr. Rogers' neighborhood. Yes, Hootie and the Blowfish sucks, but you'd think even a mediocre agent could get a fad-band frontman a better gig than a fast-food commercial.

In other news that effects our lives in tangible, meaningful ways: John DeLorean has passed on at the tender age of 80. Best known by my generation as the father of the car used in Back to the Future, DeLorean apparently had a little trouble with the law when he started shipping cocaine into the country in the wheel wells of his cars. It seems Mr. DeLorean had some trouble securing operating capital to finance his car company. GM CEO and Chairman Richard Wagoner issued a statement saying DeLorean, "made a name for himself through his talent, creativity, innovation and daring." Nothing says daring like a court case for conspiring to sell $24 million worth of cocaine to finance your car company. Kudos to you, Mr. DeLorean, you daring innovator you.