Sub Life

That moment when you’re subbing a high school theater class in a repurposed church trying to coerce the outsider student to join in the class activities when suddenly you hear a noise behind you and turn around just in time to see the kid in crutches with a leg brace slip and fall and break his arm requiring you to wait patiently for a half dozen paramedics to arrive while you calmly continue “subbing” or whatever while the rest of the class is rubbernecking and naturally can’t concentrate until the kid is finally rolled out on a stretcher after twenty minutes so now that class proceeds as normal you then approach that outsider student again who promptly hands you a poem she’s been memorizing and asks you to check for mistakes as she delivers a very powerful performance explaining how “Anglos” (what I look like) negatively judge “Latinas” (what she looks like) as the rest of the distracted class poorly sings “Arabian Nights” in the background … is a moment that just happened to me. 

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Apple Store

Whenever I go to an Apple Store for some unfortunate reason I always feel the uncontrollable urge to tell the person assisting me that I, too, once worked at an Apple Store and whenever I aggressively and inorganically work it into the conversation they always pretend to give a shit when they so don’t care and I don’t blame them as I really have nothing to say about it anyway thus the conversation always dies as soon as I bring it up and it’s always awkward yet I still always do it always.

Why Some People Are Not Photogenic

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This is purely speculation, but also common sense, really, to me.

I used to tell people, “I take a thousand photos, so hopefully one of them turns out alright.” With years of practice I’ve narrowed it down to maybe 10 or so at a time, and yes 1,000 was hyperbole.

There are some people that always look like themselves in photographs. It seems they simply cannot take a bad photo! If you hate those people, keep reading.

For many people, when they know a photo is coming they get abnormally self aware to the point that they end up making a face that they’d otherwise never make in their lives. When a camera isn’t around, we’re more or less living in the moment, not concerned with our facial expression. But suddenly, there it is! Camera in 1…2… panic! umm.. half smile, don’t squint your eyes, hands behind your back—AHHHH and I blinked. Result: awful photo. Moment ruined. Experience forgotten.

This is why many people can’t act. Sure you can behave truthfully under imaginary circumstances, but put a camera a foot away from your face and all of a sudden you forget how to be human and start thinking about your facial expression instead of viscerally experiencing the moment. You try and indicate what you’re feeling by changing your face accordingly to how you think it should look, and when you try and do that you look totally fake. Why? Because you’re faking it! Facial expressions happen naturally, without thinking about it, which is near impossible for some people to remember when there’s a camera about to snap.

As a former introvert and chronic head case, I’d get anxiety before taking a photo, just knowing it’s going to come out terribly because they always do! I’d always look unnatural because I was making a face, not living in the moment, but I could never understand why they came out so ugly when I’ve been told my whole life I’m “so handsome.” So I stooped to doing extreme smiles and goofy expressions that would mask my self-consciousness. “Yeah it’s a bad photo, but look at how much I don’t care by this moronic expression I chose!” Over the years I’ve gotten over it. And I think I know how you can to..

When posing for a photo, don’t think about how your face looks, think about how you’re feeling.

Think about an interesting emotion (excited, paranoid, skeptical) and FEEL that instead of trying to SHOW it. Maybe even think about particular events or people in your life when the camera gets ready that’ll result in the right expression, have a couple of those you can go to in a moment’s notice and forget the camera is there (despite looking right at it)—Bring out the actor in you just for a snapshot moment (of 15 as we are all so snap happy) and I guarantee your photos will take a turn for the mediocre, as opposed to the god awful. Happy Instagramming!

TL;DR— It’s more about how you feel, not how you look.

TL;DR— It’s all mental. Get out of your head, just for the moment!. If impossible, meditation can help with that.

TL;DR—Tips:

Imagine a word of phrase that you’re about to say at the camera and just hold it for a moment.

Look at the camera and imagine you’re looking at insert someone you love.

Fantasize about being on vacation, or living your dream job, or driving your dream car, then hold that feeling.

Judge the camera—you like it, but you think it’s up to something.

You don’t always have to smile.

If you know yourself well enough, show your personality by feeling who you are. (wow that’s deep—yeah! If I had a dime..) hey! you’re still reading. that’s very sweet of you.

Larger-than-average-size fish in pretty-average -size pond

Eating breakfast at a local restaurant in my hometown of Vallejo yesterday. Someone walks past the table and says, “Matt?” I look up. “Matt Larson?” Yeah…? “You do the comedy shows! I’ve been to a few of them. Thanks so much for bringing good shows to town. I’ve also been reading your restaurant reviews every Thursday.” Hey! Yeah! Thanks! Working on one right now! Hahha. We laugh, life goes on—THEN, after the moment passed, he comes back later with two mimosas, one for me and mum, and says “I finally saw your COIT commercial too!” Wow! Thanks! And I didn’t even recognize the guy. It was the most famous I’ve ever felt. And now? Now I’m back in LA…unknown….and all alone……

Why Kids Are The Best People

Preschool. And me. Together. For the first time in… 26 years?

Age range was between 4 and 5. I thought I could handle it. I thought right. However some of the things the regular teachers had to do were definitely out of my comfort zone (i.e. underwear full of shit and … just that, really).

Fortunately I was one of three teachers in the room and really just supervised throughout the day.

As soon as I sat down when the day began a little girl walked over to me with a smile only bigger than her outstretched arms and exclaimed in the most trusting and gleeful manner possible: “Can I have a hug?” as she was walking toward me. It was hardly a question. It was GOING to happen, according to her. My first impulse: Don’t touch the children! My second impulse: Don’t make them feel unaccepted!! We hugged. Then I got arrested. Noticing her hug a young boy followed her lead and approached me the same way. I hugged him as well then got arrested a second time.

Kids are nice. I realized that kids at this age are probably the nicest version of people that we as a species have to present. Thus far, generally, people have been nice to them their entire life. Wherever they go they’re often met with smiles and positivity from strangers, and usually only exposed to happy things on TV. But they see people as a collectively nice group of animals (which is not at all true, thought I like to think most of us are and it’s just the meanies that get all the news media attention making us nicies think we’re outnumbered when we’re not, how mean of them!!). But to kids? We’re all pretty nice. Think about making eye contact with a random child out in the world. In many cases you’ll smile or make a funny face if you have a soul that is. Now think about making eye contact with a random stranger out in the world. Usually we look away immediately, pretend it didn’t happen or sometimes give a slight head not to communicate “I’m not afraid of you please don’t kill me”… my mother always told me “Just smile.” Yeah, easy for her to say. I, unfortunately, am not a lovely lady. A smile from me to a criminal-type would definitely be perceived as a threat of some kind.

These kids have yet to be exposed to how rude and mean people can be to each other; they have no concept of race and are completely free from prejudice. Makes me wonder when that all officially changes.. history class? The People’s History version that is.. a book which I’ve yet to get through the first two chapters of as 1. it’s so awful what “morals” this country is founded upon and 2. reading is hard. I need to make time for it. I have plenty of time to read, never do. My bookshelf embarrasses me every time I look at it. fuck my bookshelf. I hate it. For now. Until I read everything on it which at this rate will be in 600 years. C’moooon science. Keep me alive ’til then.

Some of the kids were mean to each other without realizing it. Saying someone couldn’t play with them because, “He never listens to the rules!” or “I’m Elsa and she’s the other one and there’s no more princesses she can be!” which are legitimate reasons to exclude, but to which I responded “If you’re playing a game where not everyone in your group can participate then you need to find a way to include everyone or pick a different game”—a moment that certainly changed all their lives for the better. A life lesson they’ll never forget. Yes I’m sure of it.

I get why people teach. Especially at this age. So much love that goes around. I found myself wanting for the kids acceptance. When I didn’t get it, like, when I come back into the room after taking my lunch and they all don’t go “YAAAY!!” yeah, it hurt a little. Reminded me of when I was actually in preschool……..at time at which I have no memories because I obviously blocked them out. Wait. One memory. Naps. Ahhh naptime.. I was wishing for that today. Jobs should have naps. 30 minute napbreak after 60 minute lunch. ThAt’s how life should be.. I mean, we’re all still children, really. Just look at Congress.

Strangest quote of the day: While swinging (on the swing (at recess)) a kid said to the next kid waiting, “Do you want me to peel my skin off???” He said it about a dozen times. Finally some other kid responded, “If you really want to..” while looking down, playing in the sand. That was weird. and graphic.

Also I went to get lunch and saw this storefront, as pictured below. Yeah free country and all, but the school’s been there for 36 years. This place seemed rather newish. Not sure how I feel about this being in walking distance of a preschool.. Actually I’m quite sure—I’m against it. Am I gonna do anything about it? Nope. Is anyone? Def not. Are the kids going to be traumatized by it? Pfshh no… Have they seen worse things on YouTube? Probably definitely. Will they get a little taste of culture by looking at this storefront and grow up with a greater sense of acceptance for things they don’t understand? I’d like to think so. Should this store be located in walking distance of a preschool? I’m not against it…

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Awww

Just had a heartfelt conversation with “Eric” from the SiriusXM help line. It started with talk of his minions and how they help him with his daily activities, and how they’re not for sale, and evolved to talking about the arts and how he should pursue voiceover work, and how many others have suggested the same thing to him. He lives in Minnesota so he feels there’s no reason to try as it’s SO the wrong place to do it, which is very true. But I told him that me, a complete stranger, believes in him. And he got all giddy, then I got giddy, and before we knew it we were giddy together. Fortunately this was only a phone call. I then gave him some craigslist hunting advice that he seems disinterested in, but still, his life may now be changed forever.

Man Day

The following is a description of my life over the course of the last two days. At least one person will read all of this, I know this for a fact, and that’s what gives me purpose. That and years from now I’ll read this and I’ll be able to reminisce about the those times which are these right now.

Years ago, my dear ol’ dad bought a two-bike motorcycle trailer. Studio quality. See, he and I would go riding together as a pastime of ours. He and his dad used to take big elaborate motorcycle trips together. He and I have done our fair share, but only to Lake Berryessa or Suisun Valley or Napa and back; nothing too extreme. So, he (must have) thought, “If I buy this motorcycle trailer, I could take my son on big elaborate trips to Tahoe, and Idaho and beyond, take our motorcycles with us and have giddy father son times.” He thought that exactly sans the word giddy.

So he bought it. ‘Twasn’t cheap. He brings it home one day as my mother and I give each other that look of, “We’re never gonna use this ever.” And dad and I maneuver it through the side gate to the backyard. On the way we notice our gas meter is in the way. No worries, let’s pick up the side of the trailer. “I can’t do it dad I need your help.” Music to a father’s ears. He comes over to help me. “Ouch,” we both say as we simultaneously pull muscles in each of our backs. Not really, but we would have if we kept trying. It was impossible to lift … He measured the width of the house … didn’t account for the gas main. Honest mistake.

After giving up I’m back in the house, bewildered about how to handle this new situation that my family has to deal with. This expensive burden on our lives that we didn’t need and will never use. Dad comes in the house shortly after, “Okay it’s in the backyard.” He was sweating, out of breath, and very relieved looking. His confidence had returned.

I don’t know how he got it in there. It was like.. lifting a car kinda heavy. But the embarrassment of the measurement mistake gave him the brute strength to overcome; like when a mother lifts a car off of her child who’s getting crushed underneath my father lifted that heavy trailer over a very sensitive gas main and didn’t fuck anything up, except his muscular system most likely. At the time he was probably 66 and really not in the best of shape, war vet and more.

So to store this giant thing, he used a “come-along”, whatever the hell that is, to hoist it up the side of our hill, and there it stayed, until today:

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Here’s a little more perspective on the steepness of the hill. Really dangerous actually..

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And here’s my dad’s method of hiding this outta sight outta mind all these years:

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It was there for at least 4 years, we’re not sure how long exactly as we’ve been blocking its existence out of our minds, but we never used it once. My dad, now 70, hasn’t been able to ride his bike for a couple years now. Physically he’s a lot older than 70 and, well, it sucks. Blame Vietnam, that accounts for most of it. But he thought if he bought this trailer it would inspire us to use our bikes more and do more fun things together. Pipe dreams in his condition. So sad … That, and, I really don’t wanna deal with a trip like that. Dear god that sounds awful. I’m happy with our short little trips. I gots things to do anyway!

As the years went on, an ongoing joke began to develop in our household. Whenever dad would complain about something I did wrong, or my mother or my sister, and went on about it a little too much, a quick vocal jab of “motorcycle trailer” would always end the conversation. We found value in it after all.

We made a deal with our local moto repair man to take the trailer off our hands and he was to come by this morning with a couple of guys to pick it up. He made this decision with my mother—yesterday. I had plans to write a story for a magazine that was due the previous day that I’d yet to start because writer’s block of course, but that didn’t matter to the parentals. NOpe. My day had now changed—as if I’d have started the story anyway, I choose to think I’d have been very productive, no matter—time to prep the trailer for departure.

I had dad show me the damage: all the shit I had to move (a bunch of metal stakes and a giant metal welding table on rusty wheels), which wasn’t much actually. Then he pointed to a tree we’ve had back there forever and said, “That’s gonna be in our way … We’re gonna cut it down anyway, so, I dunno.” Which was his way of asking me to cut it down. There was suddenly a lot to be done. I convinced him I could handle all of it alone and he went inside for more coffee.

I used a chainsaw, big branch cutters, a rake, did I mention chainsaw? It was nice to do something physical for a change that didn’t require mental angst. I finished everything just in time for nightfall. I cleaned up the whole area and look at all the tools I used!
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So manlike. I actually broke a sweat! And that never happens. Because I am a princess.

I finished just before nightfall and had to put everything away. In doing so, I accidentally knocked over a webster on a long stick that fell behind me onto my mom’s Cadillac. It made a loud noise that instantly made me hate myself. It hit the car right on the hood and I saw a mark that is most likely from what just happened. Wouldn’t come off either, permanent damage. Can’t REALLY notice though, so I haven’t told my mom yet. However, she is the one person I mentioned earlier that I know will read this, and may be reading this right now, in which case hey ma! Love youuuu…. Sorryyyy… don’t blame me blame the motorcycle trailer! This is all dad’s fault!! ………..and in case you know her personally and see her in person, please don’t mention this just in case she hasn’t read this and still doesn’t know. If she doesn’t read this then that’s what she GETS for not supporting her son by reading every single one of his daily novels.

I went to my childhood room to finish (and start) that story that was due. Somehow I ended up on my bed and fell asleep. I woke from my procrastination nap at 5 am. Just like college. Got nothing done and went back to sleep.

Morning.

Two guys in their 60’s and a kid in his 20’s show up 45 minutes late to get the trailer. Dad was exiled to the indoors, I was outside callin the shots as I am the reasonable one of the two of us. I told them how it was gonna happen, I warned them about how heavy it was and for all I knew it’ll come rolling down the hill at full speed and kill us all, I braced them all the the worst. I handed them some 2×4’s and some wooden poles to brace the bottom of the trailer as it comes down the hill, while I was going to stay at the top of the hill holding a rope tied to the top of the trailer, weaved between two redwood trees for pulley support. Then one of the guys said “Oh YOU wanna be up there and leave the old guys down here, huh?” He was right. So we switched. I showed him where to sit, brace his feet on the tree and hold the rope. Got the other two guys in position with the poles. I untied the trailer completely AND!!! It didn’t move. It was working! I rushed down to the bottom and grabbed my 2×4 in the middle of the other two guys—the most dangerous place in this whole job. Anyway, ’twas ALL my idea, and it worked beautifully, and my mom was there to watch, and later she said we couldn’t have done it without my ingenuity and I was like “aww thanks mom” and my dad was like “thanks my son” and I was like “thanks dad, and by the way your complaining rights are revoked for life”.

Me and the three guys got the trailer over the gas meter no problem and then it was out of our lives forever, a moment my mother and I thought would never come. I said to my dad, “look at all this space we have out here now” and he responded, “yeah, guess I oughta buy another trailer”…..

The guys that picked it up run a bike shop in town, I hopped in with one of em as my dad’s motorcycle was getting repaired so I had them take me with ‘em so I could drive it back. I rode his bike home and goddamn… if you’ve never ridden a motorcycle before it’s like… amazeballs. It’s one of the best feelings in the world. Up there with sex and roller coasters. Maybe a combination of the two. It’s a Harley Dyna or something like that. 1600 engine whatever. I dunno. But god it’s powerful. Every time I’d accelerate just a little it takes off and I feel like I’m gonna fly. I roar through Vallejo disrupting everyone’s peace and quiet in exchange for my own personal thrill. I’d start laughing at random points riding home as it’s hysterical how powerful this thing is. I can’t believe they’re legal.

Then I got dinner with two of my closest friends and their newborn baby. We ate sushi and hung out at the restaurant for 3 hours and 19 minutes. It was bliss.

Then I got home and finally finished that story that was due two days ago.

Then relaxed and got lost online for a while.

And now here I am.

And now here you are.

But that was then

THIS… is now.

Now this is now.

Actually all of this is then because it was here before you saw it.

Please forgive me.

She touched my body and stood on my back…

Now that I have your attention…

I was treated to a professional Thai-style massage in San Francisco yesterday by my sister and mum, sister’s two friends joined us and we all got massages (separately).

Filling out the info before we went in I had to circle the areas of my body I’d like them to focus on, as you can see below, and I then prepared for the best damn Thai massage of my life:

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Unfortunately I was then partnered with … A MAN. Just kidding. And no I did not give them that perversely circled sheet of paper. But I did waste the paper just to take that photo. When I ripped it out the masseuse almost took it from me, after which who knows of the possibilities! ..

Thing about massages for me … I’ve had maybe 3 professional massages in my life. I’ve lucked out every time in that the person touching me was one that I was physically attracted to (because I see the beauty in everyone. (HA! Just kidding….just kidding actually, I kind of do) But I don’t know… I just enjoy it more when it’s a stereotypically sexy lady doing it. Because I’m disgusting. But seriously, it makes a difference. I’ve never been massaged by a man though so perhaps I’m missing out. Aaaand thus far I’m okay with that.

Once a girl I met in life, who told me she was a professional masseuse, gave me a massage. I asked for one thinking it’d be a great excuse to get together, because I’m an idiot. She gave me a discount, I was expecting to hang out after, but then she left. She WAS interested, even after seeing me topless, but now I was a “client” and she has a rule against that. Talk about a backfire… haven’t seen her since.

Back to the spa place.. My sister got partnered up with some guy who looked like Mowgli from the Jungle Book, I got… a very sexy lady!! WOOHOO! I felt like the luckiest boy in the …room…

For strength of the massage I circled “4” on a scale of 1-5. Haven’t had a massage in a while and I wanted to get my money’s worth! er…my mom’s money’s worth..

Sexy massage lady walked me into a cubicle of sheets and instructed me to change my clothes. She left me alone, I got ready. She came back, told me to lie on my stomach and she immediately got to work.

First thing I noticed walking into the stall were two pieces of cloth hanging from the ceiling. She used those to balance her body as she began violently jamming her heels into the top of my shoulders. The pillow that was supposed to be under my chest was too far down and the face pillow I was using was a bit off center. With her full weight on my trapezius area I felt my head and torso begin to bow, awkwardly, and yeah it hurt, a lot, i even made very faint moaning sounds like a baby sheep. This is when I thought to myself: “I SHOULD HAVE CIRCLED 3…. next time… definitely 3.” And I know I could have said “Hey sexy lady, ease up, I’m a weakling,” but I wouldn’t dare admit defeat, especially in front of a girl. Because I’m a stubborn man with a false sense of pride. Or something. I don’t know. Thanks for reading.

She stopped finally and I adjusted, it was okay after that. Though about 18 times I thought “3!!! DAMN ME!!! AHHH.. maybe 2 next time..”

I was then instructed to lie on my back. At which time I noticed the door curtain was halfway open—I felt so exposed! I said nothing. She kept touching my body. It was good. I recommend it. She kept wrapping her body around me and stretching muscles I never knew I had. It made me think of inventing a new sorta thing called a “cuddle massage” or something.. where the person is cuddling you as they massage you. She was kinda doing that, then I started to get.. excited, and now I’m getting a massage while thinking about baseball and cold showers and then Austin Powers and then the fembots… not helping…

She propped me up into a sitting position. I was trying to sit cross-legged but my body has never been able to do that, so she said I could stretch my legs forward…through the half-opened curtain…awkwardly… I now felt especially exposed. Especially when another masseuse had to step over my bare feet and legs. Fortunately there were no bystanders or public viewing windows like those people who do Crossfit for the whole world to see—I can’t imagine working out to an audience of passers-by… “Hey everyone! See me at my worst…”

The massage was over and she whispered, “Thank you for coming.” and left. No hug?

Nope.

Then it was over and nothing funny happened after that.

(The photo below is merely for advertising purposes. In conjunction with the title I think it’ll help get more views.)

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(I searched for “sexy lady” and that was the first image that came up …. then something else came up .. then something came… just kidding! Just kidding……. just kidding *angel emoji*)

Michael & The Lock

There was a knock at the door today. At my parents house we rarely get visitors and when we do they’re always expected. Protective in nature as I am I immediately made way for the door as I whimsically said to my dad, “Get the gun.” Before I opened the door I realized I was wearing sweatpants, slippers, a grey A-shirt (aka wife beater…….aka gr-A shirt) and an old Lake Tahoe zip-up hoodie that was unzipped…and I hadn’t showered in several days (hectic weekend, fine, judge, smell ya later.. er.. me…I smelled okay though according to me). I hurriedly zipped up my sweatshirt to give the illusion that I’m civilized for whoever was on the other side of the door. As I zipped I was instantly reminded of the broken zipper, leaving me with an open zip-up hoodie connected in the middle by a zipperhead. “GAHHH!” I thought to myself. The knocking persisted and sounded rather troubled so I jerked open the door despite my appearance to find a young man leaning against the stucco wall looking right at me. We made eye contact and there was a moment of silence. (And yeah I called him a young man because I’m in my 30s now and my back hurts sometimes.)

After a mildly judgmental stare he announced, “Okay so.. I hit your parents car.” Wtf? I thought to myself.. “I’ve gotta get to work but you guys already have my license and insurance information..” “Sorry what?” I interjected. “I hit your parents’ car,” he repeated. “I have to go to work,” he repeated. He was a little shaken up it seemed. I asked him to show me what he did … as we walk through the front walkway toward the driveway I think to myself how my car is the only one out there resulting in two simultaneous thoughts: “Figures he hits my car the day before I plan to trade it in for a new one sonofabitchhhhhhhh” and two: “Why’s he think it’s my parents car? What a dickhead 20-something he is!! I’M 30 and nearly independent from mumsy and pop pop!!! I CAN AFFORD A CAR I’M BIG!” Asshole.

We get into the driveway and it looks… totally fine. My car is in the driveway, I see no other car around. And I ask him, “Which car?” He points to a house across the street, two houses up. “That Altima in the driveway over there…” ………Oh… he’s crazy………”Why would you knock on this door when the car you hit is in another driveway you psycho?” I asked him in my mind. “Please don’t kill me you frickin’ weirdo,” I then thought to myself. Wow…. this was really happening. Awkwardness. Judgment. Fear.

He said it was parked in front of my house on the street earlier today when the accident occurred, and that he spoke with them already, and I guess just figured we lived here and then parked it in a neighbors driveway because who knows he’s crazy. He had a small piece of skin missing on the corner of his lower lip, sort of shining with insides but not bleeding necessarily. I asked if he was alright as he did seem a bit shaken, “Yeah… I mean no…” he showed me his arm that had a few marks on it, nothing major. Anyway I told him we didn’t know the neighbors because my family is rather reclusive and that he should go talk to them and leave me and my life alone forever. He took it well and hovered, like he wanted a hug or something. I said “good luck,” and shook his hand. Asked his name, “Michael.” He said, not returning the question. “Salvator,” I responded. He walked off and I went inside, keeping my right hand with his crazy germs on it away from my body, opening the door with my left hand and going straight to the bathroom to rid myself of any remnants of his weirdness.

Time passes. I think about writing this story. And then…

My dad is outside closing our side gate from the front yard to the back. He comes in to say “Someone stole our lock.” Both he and my mother start panicking immediately with a flurry of “oh my god, maybe it was the gardeners •••calls gardeners••• nope not them, this is scary, our neighbors have been broken into last year, someone was definitely here” worry has officially set in. I put my shoes on to help dad find a new lock. I find one and he says “NO! That’s not the right one..” It was a silver Master lock, standard, with a key and everything. “It has to be BRASS!!!” He said, sternly. Goddamn…. can’t even pick the correct lock. Therein lies the reasoning for my constant self-doubt. I hesitated and asked, “Why brass good?” “Because it doesn’t RUST!” he responded. (Let it be known, he’s not “yelling” at me. And not mad, yet. He just speaks very directly and loudly as any 70-year-old disabled war vet would be.)

He hands me a brass lock with a metal chain bolted onto it along with some wire-cutters. “Here, take this off!!!!,” he asks nicely. I cut off the chain part right under the latch/bolt thing attaching it to the lock. Thought I did a great job. Showed him, “like this?” “NO GODDAMNIT!” now mad. He grabs it from me and goes at it himself to take the bolt part off as well—mind you, there was not reason to take this off… would have worked just fine if we left it on.. and turns out he wanted me to take the little bolt part off as well as the chain even though at first glance I didn’t think I even could take it off.. i don’t know.. i can’t do anything right when he’s around. Even if I’m doing something simple like backing out of the driveway and he’s watching I’ll do something different because I can feel him watching and fuck something up to further prove I still have a lot to learn from him and then he tells me lengthy stories about how to properly wash the dishes and I tune him out and think of happier more interesting things as I do said dishes and then come back to the conversation when he says “And that was the craziest day in Vietnam I think we every had… I don’t ever wanna think about that again.” AHHHH… missed it. His fault.

I take the chain-free lock out to the side gate to replace the stolen one. Meanwhile looking everywhere for Michael as he’s the top suspect for someone sneaking into our backyard. No sign of Michael, found some dog shit though. Didn’t pick it up, didn’t feel like it, though I’m never really in an I-wanna-pick-up-dog-shit kinda mood…. I go to the gate and take out my phone which is with me at all times except in the shower. Turn on the flashlight, look around, found the lock on the ground. Hooorayyyyy we can sleep peacefully.

I deliver the good news to mom and dad. “FUCK YEAH!” They exclaim in my direct translation of them actually saying “Oh, good.” But they’re still worried because we’re Jewish. “How did it fall though? I didn’t leave it that way….” So tonight we sleep in fear, as all Americans should.

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Solano County Fair, yay!

We all know the typical happenings at the fair, whether it be the rides, games, food or barnyard animals—we know what to expect, and that’s fine! I had a blast. I was actually at the fair every single day—EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!—performing improv with the Rats in the Alley. The Solano County Arts Council & Creative Arts Consortium collected all sorts of artists from around the county to perform in the “Fine Arts & Flowers” building by the children’s area. For the shows our slogan was: “Come for the flowers, stay for the improv.”

Meandering about I noticed something rather exciting: A robot! A real-life artificial being! (real + artificial / same sentence = oxymoron?) The bot would roll around greeting people as they approached. Kids would ask it questions and it talked back with relevant answers! I knew something had to be up:

Turns out the man in the back, trying to get out of the picture frame, was controlling the robot from his waistpack and the straw in his beverage cup was concealing a microphone! Brilliant!

Turns out the man in the back, trying to get out of the picture frame, was controlling the robot from his waistpack and the straw in his beverage cup was concealing a microphone! Brilliant!

After speaking with Dale (the mysterious controller man, also a representative from Atlas Robotics in Santa Rosa) I learned that his robot was actually quite friendly—it even asked me for a hug!

I think I made the robot blush. Can't you tell???

I think I made the robot blush. Can't you tell???

Meandering elsewhere I came across a tank; the last thing I expected to see written on it was Solano County Anything, and yet, there it was:

DON'T MESS WITH SOLANO COUNTY! OR the sherriff. WOW, can you imagine? That's quite a threat being able to tell someone, "If you break the law I'll either arrest you, or shoot you and investigate your body myself." That's ... quite a threat ... In conclusion: Stanton rules!

DON'T MESS WITH SOLANO COUNTY! OR the sheriff. WOW, can you imagine? That's quite a threat being able to tell someone, "If you break the law I'll either arrest you, or shoot you and investigate your body myself." That's ... quite a threat, indeed: Stanton rules!

Then my friend and fellow Rats in the Alley trouper Stewart Evan Smith walked up to the tank and said: “You don’t look so tough!” The tank had news for Stew:

(Don't worry kids, he's faking it) "That's what SHE said!" Hey! Who said that? "SHE did!!!" ... wHat!?!!!?!??

(Don't worry kids, he's faking it. "That's what SHE said!" Hey! Who said that? "SHE did!!!" ... WhAt!?!!!?!??)