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Weekend Shenanigans: Hanging out with the Fat Boys edition

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So, it’s Friday night and I’m sitting here, fingers rested on my computer.  I’ve got Apple TV on shuffle.  It’s grabbing random songs from my itunes and I just heard a song by Junior from the “Beverly Hills Cop” soundtrack.  Never underestimate the power of technology.


Earlier, I heard the song “House That I Used to Live In,” by the Smithereens.  I never realized how pumping the bass is.  I love hearing songs again for the first time.  You know, the Smithereens were one of the ugliest bands of all time.  I mean, the lead singer made Bun E. Carlos look like a male model. 


Well, okay, a plus-sized model, but still.  Bands like this used to get heavy rotation on MTV.  It was about the music, believe it or not.  I know, I know...there were a lot of lame bands back then.  We’d mock them as all flash and no talent.  But almost all of them wrote and played their own stuff.  Duran Duran?  Influenced by Nile Rodgers and Chic.  That’s why John Taylor, though a pretty boy, absolutely shreds on the bass.  I plead with you to listen to the Duran song “Last Chance On the Stairway,” not so much for the bass, but for its overall musical depth.


On the Nile Rodgers tip, I found out something cool today:  He had his own band which was a soul act kinda just going through the motions.  He saw Roxy Music in London and left thinking, “I need to be doing stuff like that.”  So, he went home and started Chic soon after.  Yeah, you can knock them for being disco and so on.  I get it.  But the band kills.  You can hear John Taylor stealing the bass lines.  They were a tight-ass band and I would see them before seeing most any band today.  Indeed, I’ve had lots of time to listen to and analyze music this weekend.  I’ve spent it alone.


Date Chick?  Well...she’s gone... She left Friday morning...


            ...to go run a marathon (I had you going there for a second, eh?  A little cliff hanger).  Here’s the funny bit:  the marathon’s in Humboldt (how’s that for a contradiction!?)


Yes, Date Chick runs marathons.  This will be her 21st or 22nd.  She says she’s sort of lost count at this point.  So, DR is sitting here, blasting itunes in his boxers.  Nothing to do but get tired and go to bed.

I was dragging today, but managed to get myself to the gym wherein I increased my free weights to 20 pounds, thanks to a good review from the physical therapist (see workout thread for further detail).  I did some planks, stretches and yoga poses in order to stretch out my back.  I’m only slightly embarrassed to relate that I took a gym-selfie for the Date Chick.  She liked it.  It’s a 12 ½ hour drive to Humboldt so I probably could’ve sent her a pic of the Hindenburg crashing and she would’ve been entertained.


Feeling a little healthy, I stopped at Von’s to grab a head of lettuce, but I got sticker shock when I saw it was $2.59.  Ridiculous that I’ll pay $4 on occasion for some burnt coffee, but I wig out spending an extra buck for lettuce.  Ain’t that ‘merica?


I took a good shower (not a shave, however.   Date Chick likes that I have some scruff, so I’ve channeled my inner-hipster for the un-shaven look.  Driving me nuts...itches.  Feels foreign, like an a-rab).  Then, I heated up some left over Flame Broiler purchased by said Date Chick the night before.  I added some avocado and sour cream.  Ever notice how angry the Korean folk are behind the counter at Flame Broiler?  I’ve nearly banned the place because of their lack of hospitality.  But it’s a good and healthy alternative to a Del Taco blow out.  Faster, too, oddly.


I cancelled my Directv about a week ago.  First time in the modern era where DR don’t have no cable or satellite.  Un-‘merican.  It’s been a great relief.  I thought about it upon my return from France.  I didn’t watch any tv while abroad, and it was so peaceful.  I would light a candle, tune in Radio Nova and chill; thinking about my wife, France, the cost of experience and life.  The price of experience is life.  Amazing what a little solitude and music will do to clear the mind.  Not only that, but I feel more productive.  I don’t have a choice.  And if I get bored, well, imagine the porn I could find on the internets if I really put my mind to it.


The one hard thing is not watching playoff baseball.  But there’s an answer for that:  I’ve learned to time my gym visits -- where there’s tv everywhere -- if I really want to see a game.  Or, imagine this:  I listen to games on the radio.  It’s a wonderful thing to get stuff done around the house with the game on in the background.  The more things change...


Yes, the biggest fear of cable/satellite executives is coming true:  one by one, we are adapting to life without television as we knew it.  They thought we’d stand by with every price jump, every additional fee, every unconditional and expensive upgrade.  Nope.  Not me.  To quote Killing Joke from their song ‘Eighties:’  â€œGet out my way, I ain’t for sale no more!”


Saturday kicked off early.  I had a one-day class at Orange Coast College.  I’m getting my notary license, or commission or whatever it’s called.  It’s like I’m making up for lost time this last year.  Without being able go out and do much the previous years, I’ve been making up for it with a fever pitch.  Travel, gym, music, reading.  I’ve had a thirst for checking stuff off an invisible list I didn’t realize I was keeping in the back of my mind.  One of these is being a notary public. 


I don’t know if I’ll ever use it, but it seemed like a useful tool to have.  Sort of like having a real estate license, which I’m doing next.  Not sure if I’ll ever put either to use, but in this economy, which will be slow and crappy for some time, you’ve got to make yourself more useful.  I’m building a war chest of licenses and knowledge.


The class was a killer.  All day:  8:30am until I finished the test around 5:30pm.  Predictably, there were a few characters in the class.  One dude enrolled with his mom.  I heard him talk to the teacher during a break.  Seems he’s concerned with the required background check.  “I got into some pervasive trouble when I was younger.”  Who didn’t?  Except, if you’re mentioning it here, I wonder why you wouldn’t have thought about that before walking in the door and spending an entire day in a stinky, stuffy 1960s classroom with a couple fruit flies zipping around?


I had a big gal sitting next to me.  She had a little bag full of treats which she would bring forward onto her desk about every 10 minutes.  She had that gift of where it took her about three minutes to unwrap whatever goodie she was trying to make it look like she wasn’t trying to get at.  The sound of plastic wrapping, back and forth.  Twist and turn, crackle, crackle, then, alas...release.  And onto the next noise:  chomp, crunch heavy breathing, crunch, crackle, COUGH.  Repeat every 10 minutes.  Chug water as necessary.  Cough. 




I looked over at her a couple times.  Her face was flush.  Periodically, she would let out a heavy breath.  “Oh jeez!” I thought, “She can’t breath!  Someone call 911!”


I moved seats.  Couldn’t take any more and I was missing key words such as “conveyance” or “substitute witness.”


At the half-hour lunch break, I hauled ass to Del Taco:  two tacos and a Del beef burrito.  The post-lunch gas was distracting.  People got hurt.   But not plastic wrap snack chick.  She bailed early, perhaps to find an oxygen tank.  Or Del Taco?


The class ended with a couple of ol’ biddies coming in to administer the test.  They took it seriously as only retired people can.  They delivered the rules for test taking with determined gravitas.  The SALT II talks had a better sense of humor then this two bit dog and pony show.  One of the ladies looked and talked like the Church Lady.  “We are here as representatives of the California Secretary of State’s office...”  Easy, comrade. 


(Right now, I’m listening to Cameo’s song ‘Single Life.’  I got into it when I heard it the first time in Paris, France.  This song started me thinking about life without television.  Cameo, you have changed me so.)

Word up.  Cherry Coke.  It’s very cherry.


I got home after having my fingerprints scanned at OCC from the weirdo couple who ran the class.  They drove all day yesterday from the Bay Area to teach today’s class.  “My head’s not all there today,” said the dude.  “We were on one of your freeways yesterday.  The 101?  A cement truck spilled its gravel.  We were in traffic forever.”  Really, homeboy?  We call that a regular day on any given freeway.  “I learned what a sigalert is.”  Judas H. Priest, dude, grow a pair!  No wonder the A’s choke every year! 

It took me a bit to clear my head.  I did some stretches for my back after feeding my pissed off cat a bit of tuna. 


Night rolled in and I thought about getting a bite to eat somewhere.  Date Chick, ever the woman after my heart, texted that Domino’s might be a good idea.  We’ve gotten the thin crust on more than one occasion.  It’s legitimate.  But this night, I was too lazy to call or order online.  Plus, I knew if I ordered one pizza I would eat one pizza in one sitting.  My ‘roids would act up in no time.  I want to avoid the ‘roid.  (see if anyone gets that).


I made a salad of chopped iceberg, and threw in sunflower seeds (unsalted) and half an avocado.  I get my salad dressing from Mario’s in Newport.  Formerly a Gina’s pizza (more fun when you pronounce the ‘i’ in Gina’s as long, such as my friends and ‘I’ do.).  They have a remarkably fresh I-talian dressing and they’ll pour a bunch in a soda cup so you can take it home and put it in your own bottle for safe keeping.  Which is exactly what DR does.  The vinegar preserves it for weeks on end.  Our troops coulda lived on this stuff in the trenches of WWI.


I watched this new show on HBO GO called “Hey Ladies” from Steve Merchant who co-did the English version of The Office.  It’s a fair show...a little earnest for my taste, but I was lazy and not in the mood to find something else.  After, I put on episode seven of Game of Thrones.  Season 2.  This particular season has sort of – what’s the word I’m looking for? – sucked, so far.  But this episode delivered. 


Next, I shut off the video and put on some candles and music.  Right now, I’ve got ‘North Winds Blowing’ by The Stranglers.  “I wish I was a believer, I’d spend so much less time being sad...”  Hmmmm...


Sunday found me not waking until about 8am.  It would have been later had the cat not made herself known.  I debated getting a chocolate croissant, but ultimately, decided against it.  I settled for some granola and Greek yogurt.  It’s my new thing.  Just enough sweetness mixed with a side of wholesome.

My a-rab friend who we call ‘W’ because it’s the initial of his last name, and it is appropriate to confuse him with the former President George W. Bush was in town and we’d made plans to go to lunch.


Since he was staying in a hotel in far, west Irvine, and didn’t waken until my text hit him around 11:30am, I volunteered to get on the freeway and meet at Wholesome Choice on Culver.  I texted W to look for me in the store:  I’d be the caucasian. 


I had only been once before and the assorted food choices are pretty good.  W went for the Iranian food while I took on the Indian.  They give you way too much rice considering the small cup of chicken tikka masala, but it was safe and tasty.  And W got a giant thing of Lebanese yogurt to mix with his Iranian food.  He didn’t want to carry it around all day, so he gave it to me.  Score!


We went back to my place where I put W to work fixing some computer issues I’ve had.  He’s a bit of a computer expert and I tricked him into taking a look at my printer which hasn’t worked in over a year.  Sho’ nuff, he got it cracking.  The smartest thing he did was move my laptop closer to the router so it would download the driver faster.  I’m not as savvy.  I sit there at the desk, pounding the table and turning the printer on and off.   And on again.  “Well, I guess it’s broke.”


Here’s a pic of me putting my a-rab friend W to work.  In the words of Queen, “friends will be friends...”



I also put W on the case of my new blu-ray player.  Because I kildt my directv, my plan was to install a blu ray player with wifi in the bedroom and watch that late night, as necessary.  But it hasn’t been working.  It don’t like my tv or something. 


W immediately went to his car, “I’ve got an extra HDMI cable...”  I love how techie types carry this stuff with them like I carry hand sanitizer (especially when going to parts of town with foreign folk).


He walked back in the house with a gym bag.  For a minute there, I thought I was going to get whacked.  W took on the persona of a ‘cleaner.’  He pulled out an HDMI cable.  And his own blu ray player.  Who the hell drives around with this stuff?


After some plugging and unplugging, it was determined that the blu ray needed some sort of re-set, or an update with its blah blah blah.  W told me that’s why there’s a USB port in the front of the blu ray player.  And here I thought it was for my iPhone. 


“You might want to do some research, next time, before you buy,” said W.  I silently wondered how long it would take to wrap that HDMI cable around his neck.


He was most helpful.  I rewarded him with some dark chocolate.  He didn’t like it.  Wasn’t sweet enough.  He split around 4pm.  Off to La Jolla to see family.  His dad’s in town from the Lebanon.  The dad is a bit of an angry man, but I would be too if I were kicked out of my childhood home, rendering me a nomad the rest of my life.  Plus, his name is Chablis.  Like the wine.  How’s that for a kick to the huevos?


Date Chick texted that she completed the marathon in just over 4 hours.  I’m impressed.  Who wants to do an AngelsWin marathon?  That would be a hit.


With the late afternoon to myself, I needed to get out.  The last month and then some, Date Chick and I have been going for afternoon coffee.  I’ve missed it this weekend.  So, I went by myself and got a latte.  It was good.  There were a couple clouds peeking in from the coast as the sun started its descent.  I watched it all from a little outdoor nook.  No one noticed me and that’s just the way I like it.  I texted a couple friends, catching up on the ones I’d neglected earlier.  One of them suggests I shave off whatever is growing on my face.  It does look a little shaggy now.  And it itches like a motha’.  I need to take it down tomorrow.  It helped me fit in at Wholesome Choice, so it’s served its purpose.


I spent Sunday night loading songs in my itunes and adding tunes to playlists.  My friend Dave the Dentist is imploring me to listen to Bill Nelson, who was the songwriter for Be-Bop-Deluxe, of course.  Dave informs me that if I add Nelson’s tunes to the playlist I’ve made for Date Chick, it will be ‘panty solvent.’  Ever the romantic, Dave the Dentist.


(Listening to the song ‘Hyperactive’ by Robert Palmer now.  This song was released as a single but never got it’s due.  It’s a great gym tune.)


Date Chick’s back tomorrow and I want to look sharp so I think I’ll hit the gym and have a shave.  Might even go for a run.  Naaaaah...



Edited by DowningRules
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A 12 hour day in a gross OCC class room will tame anyone's weekend.  This Shenanigan was spent on maintaining stuff at home and improving my personal worth.  Anyone ever been to an Anthony Robbins seminar? 


I do miss the Date Chick.  She exudes a positivity and appreciation for the smaller gestures.  In the words of Billy Ocean at the intro of 'Carribbean Queen:'  "She's simply (pause) awesome."



One of your more tame weekends in quite some time and there was no Miami Vice mention.  Still, I always look forward to your post.  Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of DR's life. 


Dare I say that you are missing date chick?

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Props on sneaking in the photo.

Props on the notary. I grabbed that and the real estate one as well many years ago.....never used them much, but help out friends/family and make a couple bucks. Mainly comes in handy when you can do stuff for yourself and save or even make money.

Props on the Cameo drop. "Candy" is the jam.

With the Tony Robbins stuff, I recommend it. I think innately humans at a simple level know how to get the things they want or be successful, but having someone else tell you these things reinforces it....much like other things in life. Never done a seminar for him, but my first real estate mentor made me do one of his series and about a year or three ago I bought some late night infomercial deal that had a bunch of series. I don't know how to explain it, but I like the bubble it creates. Many times we see people join a self help group, whether it's something like Crossfit, self discovery group, or things like Tony Robbins and you see how negative people are and dismissive around you....this place is a perfect example. But these people still are always positive and they have this it factor most people strive for and genuinely or maybe even artificially seem happy. At a bear minimum I like that aspect. But overall, anything you do to better yourself is fantastic.

Edited by Brandon
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With the Tony Robbins stuff, I recommend it. I think innately humans at a simple level know how to get the things they want or be successful, but having someone else tell you these things reinforces it....much like other things in life. Never done a seminar for him, but my first real estate mentor made me do one of his series and about a year or three ago I bought some late night infomercial deal that had a bunch of series. I don't know how to explain it, but I like the bubble it creates. Many times we see people join a self help group, whether it's something like Crossfit, self discovery group, or things like Tony Robbins and you see how negative people are and dismissive around you....this place is a perfect example. But these people still are always positive and they have this it factor most people strive for and genuinely or maybe even artificially seem happy. At a bear minimum I like that aspect. But overall, anything you do to better yourself is fantastic.


Interesting perspective.  I mentioned Robbins in semi-jest, but I think the dude is great for the right person.  My wife told me a story how, like alot of 20-something chicks, she was working at a bummer job and pounding a bottle of wine a night.  Ultimately, she wasn't happy.  I think someone gave her a Tony Robbins CD (this was the '90s) and she started listening to it mostly as a 'why not?' proposition.


She got into it.  Within a short time, she listened to the entire set.  Tony told her to write out her goals, how to do it, what she's doing about obtaining goals, etc. 


Within a short period of time, she quit her dead-end job selling faxes (this was the '90s), stopped drinking as much (she was still in her 20s) and found a new career path which allowed her to buy two homes in short order.  I was the last thing on her list of goals.  She wanted a boyfriend that she might marry.  Someone better than the losers (as she called them) she had settled for in the past.


Some of us are better at listening to our own advice and don't necessarily need/want people like Tony Robbins to tell us this or that.  But I think every once in a while, a different voice is a great help. 

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Like most people that buy workout equipment or start diets I still have yet to finish a series. But found it profound how it altered my state just doing the ones I did...sort of a placebo effect where simply taking something makes you feel better. But the info is beneficial.

I popped in a series recently because a business venture I've been working on has been beyond difficult to where it's almost just a test of wills to keep going and not give up. This newest listening session has been simpler and I found a lot of what he was saying to be common knowledge now (I guess with starting companies you go through a lot of important mindsets that are necessary for success) and more just someone reinforcing what I know and in a sense becoming a motivating factor opposed to an educational one.

I've been to another "life transformation" seminar out here in OC that did absolutely nothing for me. I actually got confused and almost upset because people were crying around me and seemed to be affected while I just sat there with a "I don't get it" feeling......come to find out, I simply didn't harbor a lot like some that had finally let go or realized what was holding them back.

Which brings me to the types of people. There are generally two types of people that you see consistently. The successful person that found out money isn't everything or they kind of enjoy life but aren't truly fulfilled. The other is the most common and the person that has finally had enough of being unhappy or where they are at in life....the "why not?" type. These people are so motivated for change they really absorb and alter their mindset.

But yeah, kind of what I mentioned initially, I think people in general can break things down to a simplest form and see for themselves to be successful or change they need drive, self motivation, persistence, etc. People can figure it out for themselves while others need to or prefer to be told. I think even people that already know and understand these concepts likely strive for excellence and thus enjoy learning and will give something like this a try because even one new idea or premise makes it worth it.

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General response posting:


1.  I already have Cameo's "Single Life" on the playlist, titled Artisan Craft Mix(ology).  That picture of Cameo is for realz.  No wonder Cameo got so much play.


2.  I understand Tobias' consternation re:  The Fat Boys.  They were in an episode of Miami Vice, however, so once you've worn out your copy of "Disorderlies," purchase the Miami Vice episode "Florence Italy" off iTunes, sit back, and enjoy.  They have a cameo in the teaser where one of them tries to sell a joint to Tubbs.  Tubbs whips out his badge and says, "Make it disappear."  The Fat Boy eats it.  The joint, that is.


3.  Brandon makes good points.  I think most of these self-help types sell one thing:  Common sense.  The twist is how to apply it. 


.4.  And finally, YK wanted more Big Gal stories.  I don't have much more to offer since she cut out early.  However, if you're hung up on it, I would defer you to The Smiths song "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others."  It's worked for me.  It contains one of my favourite lyrics of all time:  "Lend me your pillow...the one that you dream on."  If you say it in a dignified English accent, it's more fun.  Go ahead...try it right now.  Fun.  Say it like you're giving footie scores on the BBC. 

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One of my fav Sopranos ep was of the fat chick married to the NY capo.  She hid her loot of candy in the laundry room and Johnny had to return home unannounced and there she was powering Snickers, etc. 


Johnny Sack.  Yeah that scene was pretty f'd up.

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Purchased Smiths poster back in the day when I lived in London.  I think it cost me about 5 English pound.  You used to be able to buy these posters if you knew where to go.  They were made when the record companies had budgets and the posters were everywhere:  the Underground, bus stops, etc. 


It's massive and I had it rolled up for years.  I kind of stumbled upon it when I moved about five years ago and thought it would look cool framed.  It's a tour poster from 1984, I think, giving all the English tour dates and cities.  The tour was with the band James.  I've gotten more compliments on that poster than any thing else in my house.  I also have a huge Sisters of Mercy poster (not a big fan of the band, but I liked the graphics) and another Smiths poster for the album "The Queen Is Dead."  I want to get that framed some day.  It's really cool.


I eventually got a head of lettuce at Sprouts for $1.49.  The romaine lettuce is a bait and switch for me since I don't like the dark green edges and cut it all off.  You're left with a handful of the crunchy stuff.  But I applaud the head's up!  As they say in Santa Ana, gracias.

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