Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cold & Lonely where I used to play

Things have been strange of late. I have been living with my Brother in a house that he inherited from my Grandmother. The strange thing is that my Grandmother is 90 years old and still very much a live. The house is paid off and my Brother has gotten himself quite the deal. He did invest almost $10,000 in fixing up the house and it does look like a completely different house, but it's strange in the sense that I now lay my head in a house, nay a room where I once slept after a long day of playing, riding my bike, playing basketball, football until dinner was ready. I use to expel so much energy on these streets as a kid. Somewhere along the line, I just got fat. So now, at 32, I'm trying to do something about it, ...again.

I wake up everyday at about 9am and go for a mild run through the neighborhood. Nothing too intense as I'm only starting out again. Then I delve into the nutritional food I've purchased for a few small meals a day. After my first meal, it's over to my late Mother's house, the house I was born in, to continue emptying it out and getting it ready to put up for sale. This is a process that has lasted quite some time now. In my own opinion, it has lasted too long. I must admit that I never in a million years thought it would take this long, but now several dates for my moving to New York have come and gone as a result. As I type, my own girlfriend is living in Brooklyn and I am engaged in a long distance relationship. I drove her up two weeks ago in a uhaul and then flew back the following Thursday.

I can't say it's easy living here in San Antonio. It's a city I tried so hard to leave 15 years ago and even harder to not have to come back to, but alas, when the matriarch of a family passes, it is difficult not to have to come home to reconcile everything. So I'm making the most of it. Trying not to spend any money while maximizing my potential for the future by looking for jobs, making money and setting up a place to live in NYC, which I'm hoping will come at just the right time. Until then, all I can do is be patient. It's just the thought of wasting time at my age kills me.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Life gets in the way

Being back in San Antonio has stirred some interesting feelings these last few months. I've realized that I've spent more time in this house at 13407 Monte Leon in the last six months than I have in the last six years. It's unfortunate that it's happened now that my Mother has passed away and as time passes there is a feeling sinking in that maybe I made the wrong decision. That I should have been here more.

It has been a long time since I last scribed into this worn down excuse for a blog. To be honest, it's been a long time since I've written anything that could pass for a journal entry, but my heart and mind can't allow this "break" to continue. When I first started this blog, it was in part for a way to people I know, love, care about, called friends, to keep tabs on me. It was also an outlet for me to regurgitate the happenings in my life into a vessel that would last "forever." I could post my photos and do what most people do with blogs, - vent & archive.

My life seems to have reached a turning point and it is something that has come with difficulty. I'm not one that subscribes readily to faith, or even coincidence for that matter. I tend to think that whatever happens in our life, happens. Simple. Easy to digest, (the action, not the consequences necessarily). I am one with the ways of the Universe and am usually fine with accepting the knots on my rope of life. I find it futile and pointless to extend any kind of stress, anger, or concern with matters that have passed before me on the timeline, but in doing so, I may have extended my ever-so-great philosophy into the way I think about the future.

Some people refer to it as "living in the moment." Day-to-Day. One spends less time thinking about the future, worrying about the past and just exists and during a time when my world was getting rocked & turned upside down, it seemed like the most logical decision. That's not to say I have not accomplished anything in the last six months. I have worked on several film/video productions for the duration in various stimulating positions. Some VERY rewarding, some a tad boring, but all experiences I can say I have learned a thing or two from. I have met and am in a relationship with a girl I never in a million years thought I would be in a relationship with, which in turn, has made every moment we spend together nothing shy of interesting.

Now I'm faced with new decisions. Geographical relocation. Serious fiscal responsibility. A new and beautiful young lady I currently call my partner and the search for a new direction career-wise. It's all pretty horrifying. Couple this with the fact that I have had the not-too-fine displeasure of losing a few more acquaintances this year in addition to my Mother along with this strange cosmic force that continues to exert a unseen force for me to remain in South Texas and I'm pretty much coming up with very rotund question marks.

I still know what I want. Out of life. For myself and for the people I hold Love for. So I have decided to spend the last few weeks of 2010 directing myself to those much desired runways, ladders, and canons. In 2011, I will make a fresh run at everything in hopes to cement a path that can lead me to fulfilling my dreams. For some people dreams die. LIFE GETS IN THE WAY. Sometimes it can be really easy to let it. It is LIFE after all and being distracted by it is something every soul on this pale blue dot succumbs to. BUT, if you can align life with a cemented path by focusing on the near future and realize the potential we all possess, then getting yet another step closer to the things you desire most in this world becomes a gratifying possibility.

A funny post of Facebook the other day: "Life gave me lemons, so I slit my wrist." -- Sam Eidson. It is HARD to saddle yourself day-to-day with the realities of the world in which we live. It's part of aging, but I would be willing to bet that if you asked anyone in decade long increments if they think the world is getting worse as they get older, the answer at mid-age would be a resounding, "yes." It's on our computer screens, TVs and portable devices every day, staring us in the face. People die. We get older. People we know and Love die, we get even older. Gray hairs start popping up. Suddenly that lower pain in your back is un-diagnosed arthritis that you'll find out about in five years when you HAVE to go to a Doctor because you can't take the pain anymore. Then, people start losing hope and some give up paving the way for a new more "optimistic" generation that will more than likely begin to feel the same way in ten years time. It's a cycle. Like Life. I see it now, very clearly, but I am choosing to remain on the side of optimism and to attempt to keep my hope intact.

I am choosing to let life get in the way, as long as it's in the way I want to go. Because I know where I'm going. Simple. no?

Friday, April 10, 2009


My, My, My. It seems that I've neglected my little creation here for well over four months now. I've waited an entire season (winter, for anyone just joining us) to pick up the keyboard once more and trickle down some thoughts. I genuinely don't know how much longer I can keep my introspections innocuous and the thought of starting a new blog, with a new purpose and goal seems more and more attractive to me each day. For now, I'll write some words about me so that those of you who wish to have a greater peak than Facebook will allow, into my life, can do so, calmly and comfortably from the safety of their home. My next blog will definitely be more picture driven as it would seem that I usually collect at least 100 photos a month.

So let's start with the picture above. It was the premiere of a movie I acted in last year sometime. I had almost forgotten I was in it until I started getting etraffic from the producers about it's acceptance into South By South West, which happens to coincide perfectly with the arrival of my good friend Chris Tilly, imported fresh from London, England. Chris has found himself attracted to this city and especially the magic of SXSW. He has come here four times in three years; every year for SXSW and once for ACL.

There's Chris and I at Pangea, one of the more douchey clubs in town. He had managed to meet one of the owners who had us over for table service. Yeah, that's right, I said it, table service, Austin, TX. Douchey.
Anyway, we watched many good movies together and I have to say I enjoyed the film festival way more than the music festival this year. There were highlights for the music fest, no doubt: Metallica
BUT, there were just so many great movies to see. Case in point, this man right here

That's Sam Raimi and I. Me and Sam. He doesn't know it, but I'm thinking to myself in this picture that this man is partially responsible for my foray into film school. He was very humble, and nervous, and real, and short. His movie, "Drag Me To Hell," is amazing. It would be his first horror film in 20 years. Mr. Spiderman himself has returned to his roots. If you get a chance to see this movie, please do. I'm not really in to scary movies at all. I close my eyes when the music swells. I prepare myself mentally for the scary parts. I really had to let go and give myself to this film and as a result, I screamed out loud and grabbed Chris Tilly, so hard, in fact, that he screamed too. Fortunately for us, the other 300 people at the paramount that night were screaming as well. Great night.
The weather has been really amazing here. For the most part we're still in a drought and when it rains I love it. There have a been a few instances where the days have ended so beautifully, that I've been forced to pull over with my camera and take some photos down at Auditorium shores and other relaxing spots.
There's always people out after work doing very relaxing things around Town Lake, or as it's now called, Lady Bird Lake.
I suppose the weather is primarily responsible for setting Austin up so well for SXSW. I mean, every day was gorgeous. If you happened to be stuck at work during the day, like yours truly, than all you could think about was getting free. It was a little more difficult breaking free of the store where I work, simply because now that I'm General Manager, they expect me to be there 24/7. In fact, when I negotiated my salary back in March of last year to be Bar Manager, the owner explicitly said, I would have to forgo South By South West. The request actually made me hesitate, as if that was a gigantic piece of my lively hood. I had literally been attending the festival in some capacity since 1998. So this year was tough, but not because I didn't have access. Chris Tilly sorted me out when arrived from London with extra press credentials from the news organization he's affiliated with. No, the tough part was finding the energy that had come so effortlessly in my 20s. Finding it was hard, rationing it, ...even harder. I spent most of the week following St Patty's Day (Busiest day of the year at my work) exhausted. If there was one thing I had come to realize about SXSW, it was that there was just sooooooo much to do. From the moment you woke up to the moment you, well, actually, you didn't even have to go to sleep if you didn't want to. And the reach of the day shows has made some hefty strides into East Austin as well. So many new shops have opened up over there smack dab in the middle of gentrification central. Bird's Barbershop, a hair salon that has become locally trendy and fairly successful have opened up two new shops. One in East Austin and another to be opening soon right next to Magnolia Cafe on South Congress. My buddy Mike cuts hair there and knew where all the free beer was hidden, after the other free beer had run out. Here's Mike really drunk Did I mention the free booze?? Everywhere??
Here's one of the boys outside. It got up to about 87 degrees that day. Travis and Mike still sport the cancer stick accessories.

Speaking of Travis, he's still on the runway of trying to get certified by the state to teach youngsters here in Austin or in surrounding cities. Meanwhile, he's met a lovely lady named Leann, well, her real name is Adriene, but we call her Leann, and they have spent tons of time together of late. Of course Travis is looking to get off the runway in that department as well. I think he may have found the right one for him, ...again.

I've made some changes to my diet. It has recently, like a slap in the face with an iron fist, come to my attention that I can no longer eat whatever I please. Unfortunately, everything I eat at my restaurant has found a way to come back out the way in which it came in and so last week I decided that I would no longer eat anything we sell. I also realized that I would have to start cooking for myself so I leaned on Gwenyth Paltrow and her bad ass web site for a couple pointers and simple recipes that I could make here at home. Wednesday night comes along. I have a LOST viewing party where I invite two couples over (everybody seems to have a significant other except me these days) and I cook Sea Bass, make my own pesto and have an amazing dinner where everyone is pleased. This is something I have never done before. Unfortunately it all got eclipsed by LOST, but that's okay, I knew it would be good. What I didn't know, was that I could cook. That impressed me.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


So there I was this afternoon, standing outside the back door of the establishment to which I am currently employed and I realized that my back was sweating. It occurred to me to remove my sweater and the thought of going home to change into shorts actually crossed my mind.

Then the wind came. A Norwestern. In a matter of hours the mercury had dropped almost 35 degrees.

And as I sat watching "Six Feet Under," I heard what sounded like rain, but not quite. What I thought was rainfall had a more slushy noise to it. I walked outside and to my surprise, it was snowing. REAL SNOW!

It's only December 9th. I think we're in for some colder weather considering the snows usually only come in January or February.

Staying warm has become tantamount.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Change is upon us

Barack Obama is the President of the United States. I'll say it again, because I'm not sure it has quite set in yet. Barack Obama is the President of the United States. It would be easy for me to say "I can't believe it," but the bottom line, the truth of the matter, is that I've been believing 'it' for well over a year or two now. I've followed Barack with every word, every sentence of every news article I could get my hands on. I would look and look and look for that one sentence that had the potential to thrust Barack Obama out of the stratospheric pedestal I held him in. It never came and the person I wished would lead this country was only further delineated with every speech given; every action taken. Through the nay-sayers, the pundits, the haters, the right-wingers, and even the wacked-out Hillary fans, I held my ground because I believed. I believed that simply by the way the man spoke, the eloquence of this speeches, the sound of his voice and his soothing intonation, ...that, was enough to tell me everything I needed to know about him. It was that glimmer of intelligence that attracted me in large part to what he had to say. Not a day has gone by where I'm not impressed by who this man is.

Now, today, he has been elected to be our 44th President. In one night of overwhelming news coverage of the election, the United States came to see exactly what is possible in this country. President Obama is the very personification of the American dream. When I was younger, my Father always told me that I could do anything I wanted to in life, as long as I put my mind to it. I believed every word, but somewhere along the way, somewhere in the last 8 years, I lost sight of that vision. That ambition. That vacancy was to become filled with mundane jobs, meager wages, and what I can only describe as an under-valuing of myself.

Seeing Barack on stage tonight with the whole world watching him speak, I realized my Father's words once more. He asks no more from all of us that our parents did when we started school and he touts the rewards made available by that very same hard work.

Earlier in the year, I wrote a blog where I coined a catch phrase for the year 2008. I said "hardcore GREAT in 08." And so far, this year has been really good to me in precisely the way in needs to be, right now. As for the future, 08 has become a springboard year for the acceleration of my ambition and a foundation of hope for the change that is to come.

Today I'm happy. Happy because I listened to all the phone calls from the rest of the world stream across the BBC last night. I'm happy because I know that our country can finally start healing from the last 8 years. I'm happy because I know that when my kids and and grandkids talk about the day the first African-American was elected President, I can say that I watched it all go down, and it was a great day across out country, ...a great day indeed.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

New York I love you, but nothing...

That's right, I'm all about Analog. When it comes to class, there's not much digital can do to compete with the tradition, history and foundation that analog devices carved out for us in almost every area of life such as watches, film, vinyl, and I'll just go ahead and throw this one in there because I invented it. That's right, I have invented the first Analog GPS system that gives me all pertinent information to operate in any given area of the world. Specifically, I just took a trip to New York City and surrounding areas (more about that later). While walking the city streets and taking trains to and fro, I relied upon my Analog to get me where I needed to go and to tell me where I was without seeming too much like your average tourist. I suppose the best way to describe it might be like taking the average or the split difference between an I-Phone and a giant map of the city, although, everyone who used my analog in NYC (and there were many) would stop short of calling it anything, but average. Smaller than a giant obnoxious map that says, "hey, I'm not from here," and blinds you to the fast pace that's vitally required to be on the move at all times. Quicker and more accurate loading time than an IPhone, the analog combines the best of both worlds. It took me exactly one hour to build and was worth it's weight in gold, oil, or milk, while walking the streets of New York, not to mention, the black, vinyl exterior proved to be very fashionable as well. Couture for sure.

New York was amazing!!

It occurred to me en route to JFK airport that I hadn't actually been to the city since before 9/11 and not only that, but not since I turned 21. I had been with family around that area tons of times when I was a kid, but obviously it takes on a whole new meaning when you go circa 30 years old as a full fledged adult. My flight arrived just before 4pm four Thursdays ago and right before my train from the airport went underground to head towards the city, I saw a dark, ominous rain cloud. When I emerged from the station, it was pouring rain. I had dropped my umbrella and jacket on the floor of my house here in Austin right before the cab took me to the airport, thinking it would all be too much to carry. So there I was kicking myself, under an awning of some drug store on Houston & 2nd Avenue, holding my bag (which had broken), trying not to get wet with the other poor bastards who hadn't planned on rain. There was literally no more room and as I stood there, for the most part dry, watching people running without umbrellas to get home, a young girl grabbed my arm in shock right as a giant bolt of lightning struck about 200 yards away. "Did you see that," she said. My right bicep tightening, I calmly replied, "yeah, that was pretty cool." Really, I had just shit myself. I couldn't believe that I was in the middle of this crazy electric storm at one of the busiest intersections in NYC during rush hour no less (massive honking). I did the only thing I felt comfortable doing, I started talking. Before I knew it, 45 minutes had past, the rain was just about to let up and this girl, Katy, who I had just had the most lovely Manhattan moment with, was asking me what direction I was going in. After consulting my Analog during the hell storm, I knew what direction I was going in, and as it turned out, Katy was going that way too. She was on her way to her "ghetto" gym as she called it. I asked her why and she said it's because how cheap it is. I thought it looked lovely from the outside once we arrived and noted the people running on treadmills inside. We parted ways and exchanged phone numbers as it turned out she lived right down the street from where I would be staying. Already my Vay-K was an adventure with romance. Amazing.

The air was cool later that night as my Uncle Joe Velez (Que pasa Puerto Rico!), who works in the city for Con Edison took me, his wife Cathy, and his very grown-up daughter, my cousin, Kayla, to dinner at some nice Italian joint. I say nice, because the food was good and it was very small and quaint to exist in such a big city. I thought how cool it was to be out on the sidewalk one moment and then isolated from the outside in what would seem like any normal restaurant. No windows and the only doors are at the front and back. My Uncle Joe took us down the FDR South to see the waterfalls.
I was developing a headache from all the motion (planes, trains, and automobiles) all day and Kayla and my Uncle rolled the windows down to smoke. Being "off cigarettes" was also changing me after all this time as well. I had an adverse reaction to smelling their cigs that potentially worsened my headache, but I just rolled my window down, admired the view as the Brooklyn Bridge came up on the left side of the car and the cool air blew over my face. Absolutely beautiful. I got dropped off back at the place I was staying on East 7th Street, said goodbye and headed up to my buddies who were waiting with beers and party faces. I on the other hand, could only think about a nice, long, bath. Something my 6'2" frame has denied me for years now.
And so I took 45 minutes, turned the lights off, lit some candles and got in a giant, bathtub, filled with hot water and placed a cold compress upon my face. All I could hear were the sounds from the city. It was calming, soothing even, and by the time I had dried off, I was 100% again and happy. There was always an undercurrent of excitement and happiness that never went away, the whole time I was there, was always there, like a drug, and when I got back, I missed it, wanted more of it. I'm not sure a city has ever had that affect on me. Of course it may have had something to do with the beautiful apartment I was staying in and the view from the roof.

Anywho, I won't bore you with the intimate details of my trip, instead I invite you to live vicariously through my memories. I lost twelve pounds walking around the city in my Chuck Taylors, which, on the final day were no longer conducive with the well being of my dawgs. I could also feel the bones on my left ankle starting to rub together with every step. Painful, but more on par with nails on a chalkboard instead of actual, physical pain. I set out to buy new shoes, but believe it or not, no one could send me to a place where I saw anything I liked. Day two was spent in Battery Park, going to a installation by David Byrne called "Playing the Building,"

and taking the Staten Island Ferry which was magical. Right before they let the large group of us onto the ferry, we were held in this foyer where a musician with a cello started playing the bass line to "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," from the beginning. The lyrics are, "Picture yourself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies..." Then the doors opened, we were hit by the breeze off the water, and everyone started walking. It was by very definition, a perfect moment. It was magical and I thought, in that moment, that memory would forever be imbedded in my mind, better than any picture could represent. The ferry ride was no let down either. Every second was picturesque as the city faded away with all it's bustling and noise which cross-faded nicely with the sound of the water and the 5pm view of the Statue of Liberty.

I thought it unfair that I was stuck with some shit eating permagrin, but when I noticed the same on the face of Jason, Jeff, Adam and David, I knew I was not alone and my happiness was re-enforced with the notion that I was sharing those moments with my friends.

Later on that night Adam and I went on to Brooklyn to meet up with our good friends and Brooklyn residents Lee Eddy and Liz Wakehouse-Werzner. Jeff and David were coming late for some reason. Oh yeah. Adam seriously doubted my ability to lead and navigate us to the Radegast Hall and Biergarten in Williamsburg. He doubted the Analog's supreme capabilities, like most upon first glance, but then he realized that not only was the Analog one of the most amazing inventions he had seen in some time, but more importantly, I had my shit together. Bottom line peeps, navigating is about to become one of the lost arts of the human race with the advent of GPS and Google Earth. There is something romantic, nostalgic about sailors who stared into the stars for direction, and for me, navigating has always come second nature. Trying to convince others of my ability is the hard part. Adam didn't have a choice, so I won out by default and he certainly wasn't down for the challenge. We arrived at the hall and it was big, dark, smelled of freshly cooked brautwurst, and they played nothing but hardcore gypsy music, (Gogol Bordello included). I drank my liter beer (Blanche De Bruxelles) and chatted with Lee and Liz who seemed to have only become more beautiful and cosmopolitan. I made sure to let them know. Jeff showed up and then we started barhopping around Brooklyn.
Five bars in total, all fun, most of the recommended to me and downloaded to my Analog. It was a late night, but the craziness was yet to come. We took a late trip by cab to Bed-Stuy and then back to the East Village. We chatted and then fell asleep in the living room.

Saturday was the night of the play Jeff, Jason, Omid, Natalie, and my new friend Jeremy Sexton were working on, entitled, "Sad, sad, sad." I got out of the apartment as early as I could to do some shopping. David Higgns was down, so we met in Chinatown near the Walkerspace, which is the name of the theatre. Things kind of got out of hand. David and I walked up and down Broadway in SOHO shopping. I mean, power-shopping. We went to some crazy soap shop where they make your hands feel like they did when you were a baby (bought some of that shit for sure!), and then we went to various clothing stores and spent way too much money. No shoes though. David and I walking with our bags in hand, looking slightly schleppy, although, to be fair, David looked very chic and I was primarily schlep-a-fied. We watched the play, which was sad, went to a Tavern in Tribeca, which was rad, and watched Michael Phelps win his 8th and final gold medal, which was mad. Before his swim, there were maybe twenty people in my general proximity, but when Phelps was swimming, that number jumped to fifty. People were on their chairs, everyone was chanting "USA," and Jeffery was yelling "swim," which I thought was appropriate.
Here's Jeffery now expounding on fluid dynamics and the Phelpsian nature of swimming

That would not have happened in Austin. Omid doesn't drink beer, so him and I were going back and forth, buying shots of tequila, getting everyone drunk, including ourselves. We went back up town afterwards and wound up at some lounge on East 11th between 1st ave. and Avenue A. That's when I realized how pricey everything was. I had just opened a tab at the other place and let it ride, but when I called for five shots and a beer and she shouts back, "That'll be 65," I was like, "What!?" Yeah, that was the last round I bought, but they DID give us tickets to go get some free pizza in the back. We went back to the pad around 3am and went up to the roof which has an exceptional view to say the very least. We hung out up there in a circle and made each other laugh until the sun came up. But to be fair we had help from Chicken Elmo.

Sunday was the first day I realized I would be leaving it all soon and something about that bothered me. I was having way too much fun. Our next stop would be just as huge though. We all headed to Coney Island. Adam, Jeff, and myself got off on the last stop on the Q train and met Lee and her man Macon on the beach. It was nice being near a huge body of water like that. The boardwalk was bustling with life and music and really intricate smells. I made sure to indulge in a Nathan's chili dog. I even got one without chili to make sure I wasn't missing out on anything. Word on the street is that they're closing it down soon. Shame. It was all so surreal, even the fact I was desperately searching to purchase a large, Puerto Rican Flag beach towel, but no luck.

In the days that followed, I got to go to the MOMA, I ate lunch in Bryant Park with Brent, LIz, Jeff and Adam and I bought a new bag somewhere near Radio City Music Hall. Central Park was a doozy too, but very pretty, ANd central.

I got to see my very good friend Nina and her husband Jason and her unborn child (but not really because it's still inside her) on the upper-west side. My time with them was short, but I brought them tortillas and Obama paraphernalia, and Jason shared some of the German rum she had just brought back from her trip to Germany. Nina immediately instructed Jason to make breakfast tacos with the tortillas I had brought for dinner and like the amazing person he is, he obliged. It was nice seeing Nina one more time before the baby will be born, but in retrospect, I don't think i appreciated the moment fully and felt like I'd forgotten to say something before I left due to the rush I was in to get all the way to Prospect Park, Brooklyn in time for some Mexican food with the gang. That's the funny thing; I really took for granted how much time it takes to get places on the subway. Even when the trains were running fast, I continually underestimated the time it took to get from one area to the next. It was a good lesson for sure.

Anyway, on my last day, I made sure to thank Jeff for making my visit so awesome and had a brief brunch with Natalie and Adam before leaving for the airport. The flight back was quick and Adriene picked me up at the airport, and that was nice.

I can't quite pinpoint what I miss the most about my trip. I did feel a certain giddiness when I came across Jason and Natalie after I had returned to Austin and run into them at a party. They were giddy as well. It was like we all were sharing a secret that was totally bad ass and no one else knew about and it made us feel like those old people in the movie Cocoon after they had been swimming with the pods in the water. We talked about our adventures and the things I missed when I left and Jason left, respectively.

So I'm still not sure what I miss most, I just know I'll need to keep going back and, so, real soon, that is what I'll do. Plus, I've always wanted to see the Christmas tree at Rockafeller Center.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Goodbye July, Goodbye.

Thought this would be funny as I was just prattling on to someone the other day about being flagged for using the word "terrorism" on Facebook. David Rees is brilliant and I’m glad that this cartoon has now officially premiered online. After reading the comic for years now and again and seeing a play, aptly titled, Get Your War On here in Austin, I knew that it would make a perfect introduction to my last entry for the hot ass month of July.

Speaking of hot asses, mine was very much on fire today, …and I’m not just talking about the normal level of enticement by my ass, I mean the mercury got up to 101 degrees today down in South Austin where I call home and the heat index, which is what the “weatherman” says it actually “feels like” outside, made it seem closer to 107. August, will of course be even hotter and it appears that for the next week, temps will climb and stay in the land of triple-digits for the next 7 to 10 days. It makes me sick to think of what life will be like when I’m fifty and the summers get so hot that people are forced to work from home, tires melt, water evaporates, and chromosomes are inexorable altered for future generations. It kind of reminds me of that Twilight Episode entitled The Midnight Sun.

Here’s Rod Serling’s introduction:

“The word that Mrs. Bronson is unable to put into the hot, still, sodden air is ‘doomed,’ because the people you’ve just seen have been handed a death sentence. One month ago, the Earth suddenly changed its elliptical orbit and in doing so began to follow a path, which gradually, moment by moment, day by day, took it closer to the Sun. And all of man’s little devices to stir up the air are now no longer luxuries - they happen to be pitiful and panicky keys to survival. The time is five minutes to twelve, midnight. There is no more darkness. The place is New York City and this is the eve of the end, because even at midnight it’s high noon, the hottest day in history, and you’re about to spend it in the Twilight Zone.”

Well at least California knows what to do. They’re suing the EPA.
That’s right, they’ve filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency for “ignoring its duty to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.” They wouldn’t be alone and this wouldn’t be the first time. As many as 12 to 18 other states have filed similar lawsuits on more than one occasion calling for the resignation of the EPA Administrator, Stephen Johnson and accusing the organization of violating the Clean Air Act.

Why would Mr. Johnson violate laws and mandates for cleaner air and water in the U.S.? Just follow the money.

Anywho, to be totally honest, I’ve spent a large portion of my time this summer indoors exactly for the above stated reason. I wake up, usually in a dark, cooled home, cringe at a warm shower, get in my hot car, ridden with guilt about even turning the key, blast my way to work, and remain inside for eight hours while I watch the asphalt and the people walking on it bake. I’ve even started going to a gym and running on a treadmill because as much as I’d like to think running outside at 4 o’clock in the afternoon is the ultimate in being a hardcore member of the Y chromosome world, it’s just really become quite dangerous.

Besides, you can still be hardcore indoors, right? I mean, yesterday, on my day off I answered the call of a very good friend of mine who just took the helm at a local theatre company here in town called Salvage Vanguard Theatre that was not left in the best of condition, to say the very least. He needed some sort of archived video clip of a play my theatre company, the St Idiot Collective, put on last August at SVT’s space on Manor Road, for a grant submission. I immediately jumped onto my computer, plugged some wires into shit, and put together a two minute, rrrrrrough, ohhhh so rough trailer for the show and threw it at him across the ether into his computer. I also posted it on You Tube. It’s called The Rainbow Family of the Serendipitous Now and it would be the last show we all would work on together before taking a hiatus.

Have a look:

Oh, I almost forgot, look what finally came in the mail…
That’s right, my very own Obama car magnet. I haven’t actually decided where to put it on my car, or maybe I’m thinking of a way to quantify my emotional state when I find out that someone’s realized it’s a magnet and stolen it. Until then, it’ll have to stay cool and undamaged by the threats of the outside world, sort of like our next President, Barack Obama. BAM, SUCKA! WHAT?

I’m flying up to New York City in two weeks to visit the plethora of friends I know cohabitating in places like Manhattan, Brooklyn, and even New Jersey. I’ve been to NYC several times, but not since 9/11, so I’m expecting it to be on par with my visit to post-Katrina New Orleans last year, just way more intense. Especially with the weather. When I was younger, my parents sent me upstate every summer to escape the heat of the inner city and let me just say this, that area, is the SHIZNIT and everyone living in NYC should be putting money away to buy real estate up there to escape to so the heat doesn't make you want to kill someone. No shit, it's absolutely gorgeous and possibly one of the best kept secrets in this country with the world's attention aimed at NYC. While visiting the hot, hot city, I will do many things. The list thus far includes, but is not limited to: The Met, The MOMA, David Byrnes Installation in Battery Park followed by the Staten Island Ferry, check out the waterfalls, and see a play my friends are in during the New York Fringe Fest. There is also talk of a comeback from my basketball retirement for a one-time-only, West coast v. East coast battle somewhere in Brooklyn on Friday night, but I have to buy high tops first. My ankle deserves better. Suggestions?

This Saturday, I will go back to the IMAX to view The Dark Knight once more with friends as it pushes it's way well past the $300 million dollar mark amassing the economic and mythic strength to de-throne the number 1 money making movie of all time. Titanic. This time, I will be taking notes to write a full review when I get back home. I realized two nights ago, that the movie had been carrying some weight with me since I saw it last. Interviews and commentaries heard on NPR throughout the week about the way the world is spinning, intermingled inside my head with thoughts of Christopher Nolan’s fatalistic interpretation of Batman and I totally spat out a very dark and dystopian comparison of his new film as metaphor for the very uncertain world we live in now, while out with friends at a bar the other night. It definitely made for some interesting conversation. To be totally honest, I really enjoyed talking about the stresses of pushing through the first years of the 21st century, but it felt like our conversation ended in stalemate, with no pragmatic answer for hope in the near future. I digress, too much.

Other than that, tonight, before I head to dreamy land, I will put that last ‘X’ on my calendar signifying that it’s been 65 days since my last cigarette. “How’s it going,” you ask? For the first time in my adult life, I FEEL good. I feel free from the almost 600 additives that people in white coats are getting paid exuberant amounts of money to synthesize. Additives that make me, ... that force me, psychosomatically, to want nothing more than to burn the aforementioned additives, turning them into very toxic chemicals you never hear about and since you're not actually buying the shit you inhale, the FDA could care less. I've given ten years of my life and money to big tobacco so that I can slowly kill myself, fuck my body chemistry, damage my genes, and do God knows what to people around me. So "how's it going," you say? Fucking great!