Category Archives: What the?

What’s Bugging Me! Ranting Like a 43 Year-Old

I’m getting all the rants out only days before Mom and Dad take over my pad…

With Ma and Pa Barley driving Hell-bent for Hermosa Beach next week, I thought it might be a good idea to get out all the things that are bothering me before they get here. Actually, “Hell-bent” for retirees in their late 60’s and (now) 70’s is setting the “‘ol cruise control at 70 and using traditional maps to find Old Route 66 and stop at every Presidential Museum from Chicago to LA).

UPDATE: As of yesterday, my parents had made Kansas with a plan “to get to Wichita maybe and find a place to stay. Or something like that. We don’t know for sure.” I love my parents.

So, to lighten the mood around my one bedroom apartment which will be housing three individuals for almost a week, I’m getting it all out.  Airing the ire that is stuck in my head. Because none of my friends listen to me anymore, you’re my sounding board for what’s been stuck in my craw: Continue reading

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What is it about tattoos?

holy tattoos

Mom? Can I come home?

I went for a bike ride with my friend last night just before dinner along the strand here in Hermosa Beach up through Manhattan Beach and just past Dockweiler Beach before turning around and coming back. As we headed back south, entering Manhattan Beach, I saw this beautiful young girl coming back from surfing and hitting the beach shower to rinse off the salt and sand. She was in great shape with curves in all the right places and a cute face that could only have come from growing up in LA. She unzipped her wetsuit and I immediately lost all interest in watching her take that shower.

Once upon a time, tattoos were relegated to sailors and bikers. And toothless biker chicks. They used to say “Mom,” or the name of some far off destination that the sailor had visited. Sometime in the mid 1990’s, tattoos became en vogue. Seemingly everyone has one these days. The tribal tattoo. The barbed-wire bicep circle. The “tramp stamp.” The Chinese figure that secretly means “I’m with stupid.” Anything that screams, “Hey, look at me!”

The girl from the beach in question had a new, popular style of tattoo – the scripted words tattooed on her rib cage. Although I am not a big fan of tattoos in general, I think that this is quickly rising to the top of my least favorite tattoo types, just behind full sleeves or angel’s wings. There are some tattoos that I probably COULD deal with, but like the Disney Corporation, I’m not big on seeing them all the time.

Tattoo types (top 5 in order of how much I dislike them)

1.  Scripted words – First, if you’re a petite female, the script you are using isn’t large enough for me to read. Second, if you’re going to write something like a Bible verse, PRINT IT SO I CAN READ IT.

tattoos2. Angel’s wings – Angel’s wings on a woman’s back are becoming popular. It’s ironic that the women who get these tattoos are probably not going to get a set of their own when they die…

3. Barbed wire – The original badass tattoo, usually around one’s bicep, it is now passé to showcase this antiquated piece of art.

4. Chinese characters – Do you ever wonder if the Chinese secretly changed their written language when tattoos became popular so that when they take over the country, they can just round up and separate the people by tattoo type? Douche bags over there! Dumb asses over there! Women with loose morals… over here!!!!

5. Guns, bombs, swastikas, etc. – Stay away from these people. Just stay away.

Tattoo area placement, again “bottom” five

1. Full “sleeve” or leg – I’ve seen this on women and let me tell you, it’s just as ugly on them as it is on guys.

Tell it to me. Don’t write it down.

2. Ribs, torso – Again, popular place for scripting, but when you’re at the beach and you look that good in a bikini, you’re instantly knocking yourself down three to four notches when people see this. Stop it! Just stop it!

3. Face – You can link this with guns/bombs and swastikas. Really, really, really, just a bad idea. How do you go into a bank for a loan or take wedding photos with ink all over your face?

4. Neck – Back of the neck, under the hair or covered up by a collar is something I can understand. But the ones that are on the side of the neck scare me. Even the butterflies.

5. Tramp stamp – One of the most popular placements, this tattoo type can be big or small and composed of flowers and/or any chain of barbed wire, etc. I’ve even seen full script as well. Most of the time you can’t see it, but as my buddy Trey once said, “Even if she’s boring in bed, it will give you something to concentrate on…”

So, if you’re looking to get a tattoo and you’re thinking of dating me and you just HAVE to get a tattoo, shoot for the small, decorative tattoo on your ankle or shoulder. Or if you really want to intrigue me, get it somewhere it will take me time to find it…

And don’t eve get me started on body piercings and ear lobe stretching earrings.

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What’s Bugging Me! Channeling My Inner “Old Man.”

What’s bugging me? Let me tell you.

There is a whole list of what’s bugging me this week. I think that this is what Eric, Kim and the rest of my friends had in mind after my call-in topic on KROQ’s “Kevin and Bean Show” back in early April (waiting on the link from KROQ). Look, I don’t want to be the “people police,” but if I have to, you know I will.

what's bugging me

Crowds and lots of people on their phones.

Last night, I was in Santa Monica for their summer concert series. As the main act was an Aussie country star named Kasey Chambers, no one was there! Hahaha! Just kidding. It was a light crowd with a mix of non-English speaking tourists, kids, and families that were way too big for whatever income they had coming in. Kind of like a disorganized solar system: Mom, pushing the stroller, was the sun; seven kids, milling about as she yelled at them, were the planets; and the dad, eyeing girls in the crowd, including creepily finding ways to eye my date, was a rogue comet hurtling through the whole system, picking up his kids as they were sucked up in his gravitational wake.

The crowds were not what was bugging me. It was the aimless wandering of the crowd as they looked down at their phones, not watching where they were going. Apparently, there was an earth-shattering text or email they just HAD to read while walking! Not stopping and reading it. No, they were evidently on their way to the situation room at the White House and just had to read that important text. Several times, I just stood in one spot and waited for the person on the phone to run into me. Then these people had the gall to give me a look. Eff you, stupid person on your phone not watching where you are going! Eff you! If we would still let predatory species like lions and wolves roam free, you’d be dead. Next time, I’m dropping my shoulder and then you won’t be bugging me so much…

The Olympics

It’s not so much the Olympics, but what everyone thinks are the most popular sports AT the Olympics that is bugging me. At least in LA, we are all excited to see how Team USA is going to do in basketball. I’m sorry, I thought the U.S. Olympic Team was Team USA, not just the overpaid thugs that call themselves basketball players. Correct me if I’m wrong there, Sandy, but when I read Greek history in school (yes, I was educated BEFORE history had become a subjective topic), I don’t remember athletes competing in team sports. It was a nation-state’s best individual athletes against each other, NOT professional mercenaries competing against the best farmers and fisherman that other countries from around the world can muster whose basketball is probably still made of real leather.

On a side note, it is a damn shame that every medal that an athlete wins is taxed by the U.S. for the precious metals IN the medal as well as the prize money they get from the USOC. It could be as much as $8750 for the prize money and another $250 for the metals. And yet, oil companies and those who make millions of dollars get tax breaks and can afford tax accountants who will help them evade more taxes… Amazing…

Drivers who park their cars stupidly

this is bugging me

Look, I understand that some parking spaces were designed when cars were smaller and more “economical” (and looked sh*tty, because well, it was the 1980’s). But, then the SUV came along and cars got bigger and bigger, because in the 90’s and 2000’s who could have thought that people would EVER want smaller, more economical cars? Oh, yes, the Japanese, the South Koreans, the Germans and everyone else who makes cars in the world. But, I digress… What’s bugging me about drivers, and this doesn’t even take in to the fact that every other driver on the road is just AWFUL, is the way they park. There are two lines! They are parallel to each other! It’s called a parking SPACE. They are NOT guidelines, as in “use this guideline to park your car in the center of the line.” Unless it says, “Compact only,” it’s big enough for your car. There is no reason for you to park ON ONE OF THE LINES, especially if I am already parked there! If you can’t position your car between the two lines, then I have to ask how you got your driver’s license…

And don’t even get me started on the d-bag who things it’s okay to park his SUV in the compact space. I may have to start carrying around tire boots with me…

Coal and “America’s Energy” commercials

what's bugging me

Besides being a lie, Pepsi Clear doesn’t exist anymore either…

There is no doubt that we have literally a ton of coal in the United States. But what’s bugging me is this new push by America’s coal producers to tell me to tell my congressman to repeal longstanding EPA regulations so that they can burn more of it for cheaper energy (cheaper energy meaning bigger profits for the company, NOT lower rates for you, the consumer). This is all done under the guise of “coal can burn cleaner these days.” Ah, so someone HAS found the legendary Pepsi Clear of coal out there!! Apparently, now when you burn coal it gives off a gas no worse for the environment than that of raspberry unicorn farts and a slight mist of fairy dust. Nice try coal producers! I tried lighting a piece of coal on fire last week and all I did was repaint my kitchen with a nice gray dust.

Anyway, that’s what’s bugging me for this week. Now that that is off my chest, I can turn my attention to other things like finding a job or starting my own company or finishing up writing projects. Actually, all of those things are bugging me too…

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Summer “Mode” (brain now switching to STANDBY mode)

(it’s almost always summer mode around here…)

The Hermosa Beach Summer Sunset Concert Series

Now that Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of summer, has come and gone, I’m easing myself into “Summer” mode. Summer, the season lasting from June 20th (at 4:09 PST –  which is the Summer Solstice, if you are a member of the Druid faith) to September 22nd (at 7:49 a.m.), actually doesn’t begin for three weeks, but I’m already feeling that inner personal pressure from deep inside the brain to try to get NOTHING done.

“Why, Tim? Why are you turning off your brain now that the days are longer and warmer and the nights shorter?” you ask. Well, thanks for asking. I know most of you readers (few as you are) would miss me if I actually turned my brain all the way off for 3 months. So, just to allay your fears, I am NOT going to totally turn off my brain. I’m just going to put it on the back burner so speak. How could I pass on blogging about politics, “Cold Void,” summer TV, the decay of society, my job hunting prospects and other “off topics?”

We’re “Programmed” to take Summer “off”

What it comes down to is that I’ve been programmed to take the summers off by my ancestors. Thanks, mom and dad! You see, in the “olden times” in the U.S., kids went to school after the growing season was done in the Fall. The school year lasted all Winter (walking 50 miles! In bare feet! Every day!) into Spring and then took the entire Summer off to work in the fields and farms. The only field I worked in during summer was my backyard growing up, throwing crab apples at other kids in epic, cross-neighborhood, running battles until someone caught one in the eye or tempers flared with the heat. There were the 4-week growing seasons where I DID work at Doehne’s Strawberry Farm (Michigan’s BIGGEST U-Pick Strawberry Farm!!!), but mostly my summers were spent devoid of any learning or productivity. At least I played outside most of the time, unlike kids today…

By the time I returned to grade school the following Fall, after slaving away all Summer softening my brain, I would have trouble spelling the word “the.” No lie! I actually spent five minutes in Mrs. Marlette’s class in 3rd grade one September trying to figure out the word “the.” This and the fact that the band director, after my tryout for an instrument, told me to “never play an instrument,” led me into a spiral of self-doubt that plagues me to this day. (Thank God I turned out pretty good-looking and could f*cking care less what people think…) The lesson to be learned here are:

1. Parents – home school your children! Unless, you know, you’re not really that smart and/or you’re just going to teach them Intelligent Design and that Adam and Eve rod on dinosaurs and that science is dangerous. Nevermind, forget this idea. We’ve seen how certain states have (ahem) “benefitted” from this approach.

2. But, kids should be taught year round. It’s great preparation for the soul-crushing reality of life once you graduate from high school: yes, kids, you’re not going to get that WHOLE summer off anymore. Welcome to the real world.

Summer as an adult is NOT summer as a kid

After graduation from high school and needing a job to pay for things when not hitting the books (hahahaha) at the University of Wisconsin, I realized my summers no long existed as they once did. Throughout my professional life, they have never existed. You see, I actually worked each summer. Usually inside a mall, selling shitty men’s clothes to other “professionals.” I saw the beautiful glare of the sunset only as I stared out the doors to the store while standing under the harsh fluorescents. I missed out on deep, even tans and daytime activities that my friends did such as drinking and canoeing, or drinking and fishing, or drinking. Maybe it was a good thing to have a job each summer… Clearly, summer is only for kids. And I am not one.

What the hell, who cares?

As Calvin and Hobbes once said, "The Days are just packed."

Yet, I am still going to pretend like I am a kid again and enjoy my summer. Now that I am back to “amateur status” (aka NO JOB), I am going to go to the beach more often. I already got back on the volleyball court last weekend. Of course, I am still paying physically for that, but it’s Summer; nothing a beer or 12 won’t cure…

Maybe I’ll find a few $20’s in a book on my shelf and I can go golf…

Some days, I’ll just do nothing at all…

I’m going to do some exploring around Southern California. I’ll take little 100 mile road trips and write articles. Maybe I’ll spin this into a travel writing gig…

Maybe I’ll even look for a girlfriend…

(Summer is the best time to find a girlfriend, in my opinion. When you meet your soon-to-be-girlfriend at the beach, you already know what your getting. It’s not like meeting her in the winter and you realize she really wasn’t wearing four sweaters. But, finding a girlfriend during the summer is great because you can easily build a relationship without all those pesky holidays, and plans surrounding them, intruding on establishing something. PLUS, my birthday is in September, just enough time for this mythical woman to learn enough about me to get me a cool present!)

Yes, I think that this summer is going to be fun. Unless, that is I return to “pro” status and get a job… (sigh)

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Coming Out of A Three Day Weekend

(actually, ALL my weekends are three day weekends, or four day… or five day… or six day…)

It's very hard to come back from a three day weekend.

Even when I did have a job (and I am really, really, really looking forward to that again),  it was always tough for me to come back from a long weekend. And trust me I say this, writing this blog today is not that different. It’s really tough to come back to the “reality” of life after a long weekend. And some three day weekends are tougher than others.

So, I’d pose a question to you, my readers: Is it harder to come back from a three day weekend when the extra day off is Friday or on a Monday? I’m going to give you MY opinion, because it’s my blog.

The “Friday Off” Three Day Weekend

Traditionally, I like this type of three day weekend, which usually happens when date-driven holidays, such as Christmas, New Year’s, 4th of July, etc. happen when the date falls on a Friday. With a Friday off, it make Thursday that much more fun as the night out. Your Friday is suddenly a Saturday. Two Saturdays!!! What’s so bad about that? But, the really great part of a three day weekend on which you get Friday off is that Sunday, a traditional rest/recuperation day, holds its place and then you can ease yourself back into the work week again on Monday. If you live in the South Bay, trust me, this is necessary to maintain normalcy and so much better on the liver/body.

And then going back to “work” on the ensuing Monday, you follow the “normal” plan and everything seems right with the world, work seems easier and you’re typically more focused.

“Down For the Count” Monday Off Three Day Weekend

This is the three day weekend that typically screws with my system the most. It’s suddenly Tuesday, not Monday? What the hell? I’m already behind schedule this week? How did that happen? It makes me ask questions such as “What day IS it?” and “Where’s the coffee?” “Is this a trash/recycling day?”

When you come back from this type of a three day weekend, such as Memorial Day or Labor Day, in which Monday IS the day off, you are already screwed. You think your NORMAL Monday is bad? Try a Tuesday/Monday. Suddenly, nothing makes sense. You forget that the Tuesday morning department meeting is today, NOT tomorrow. Your body clock is still on Monday mode, moving slowly, even though today is the big push on that new project. The only good thing is that EVERYONE else is in this same boat. Which makes for a slow business day.

Which begs the question: shouldn’t there be a day off to recover from a three day weekend? 🙂

Now, I’m off to find more things to keep me from actually working today…

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