Thursday, October 26, 2006

irish quesadillas.

okay, yeah, so this is going to sound a lot like an episode of "curb your enthusiasm," but today i was walking back from lunch at timmy nolan's on riverside (notorious for its horrible service [though today wasn't bad] and to which i only go because it's the closest bar to my office) and i came across a homeless man. not just any homeless man, mind you. no, it was none other than guitar man.

i have a long, storied history with guitar man (he's called "guitar man" because he carries an electric guitar gig bag over his shoulder [actually, not any more. i don't know what happened to the bag. now he flies solo]. i used to theorize what was in that bag. everything from candy canes to a million dollar bills to tiny pieces of dead children...) that stretches over the last 5 years (oh, by the way, WOW. i just realized today is my 5 YEAR anniversary working this damned job in television. huzzah.) he's probably the only person that's been hanging around riverside drive longer than me (though there was a period of time that he was thought to be dead. maybe about a year. he just wasn't around. i don't know where he went. and once i saw him walking up laurel canyon from the west hollywood side). i guess. maybe not. other key things to know about guitar man are that he smokes, he sometimes stares at women walking up the street, and he's very dirty. and sometimes he gets haircuts. anyway, ever since my first day of work five years ago, i've come into contact with him many, many times, but have never spoken to him until today.

so i was walking back from timmy nolan's with three pieces of my chicken quesadilla (i know what you're saying. "quesadilla from a irish pub? wtf, man?!" but trust me, it's one of the best things on the menu...), and guitar man suddenly appeared on the grass between the sidewalk and the street (which supports my theory that many hobos [that's right, i said "hobos"] are actually the devil in disguise, able to shape-shift and bend the laws of physics at will [the wild eyes are another dead giveaway]...), kind of just staring into space, so i offered him my leftovers. it kind of went down like this:

me (extends arm to offer the styrofoam box to guitar man): hey man, do you want some quesadilla?

guitar man (abruptly, cutting me off): no. (explodes into the biggest sneeze possible, barely missing said styrofoam box and said arm)

huh? are things so fucked up in this post-9/11 world that there are hobos in the streets turning down free food? after years of eating rats and dirt, have their palettes become that sophisticated? look, i don't make the most money in the world, but i'm nowhere near homeless. and yet if someone offered me a free quesadilla, well, i'd at least take a moment or two to consider the offer.

and i used to feel bad for this guy. holes in his shoes, sleeping in the post office lobby, smoking women's lipstick-caked cigarette butts. i can tell you one thing: if he dies from starvation the blood's not on my hands.

i guess the terrorists have already won.

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or maybe not. maybe los angeles hobos just have spoiled palettes. because this all reminded me of a time, many many years ago, when i was walking back to the u.s.c. campus from the trashy 32 market across the street at university village, and a homel-- i'm sorry, a hobo-- approached me asking for change. being a starving blue-collar student at a university largely filled with trust-fund babies, i honesty didn't have any money to spare. but i did have a roll of powdered mini donuts i was eating, and i offered them to him. this one went down like so:

hobo: do you have any change?

me: sorry, man. but hey, do you want some donuts?

hobo (in complete disgust): dammmmn, I don't want no DONUT!

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yes, what you're reading is true: the fact that i offered the man a mini powdered donut enraged him so much that he actually slipped and used a double negative.

so maybe it's not the jihad. maybe it's just me.

Monday, October 16, 2006

trapped by aids.

i try not to do this too often on here, but i want to get serious for a second. do i have your undivided attention? good.

you may not realize this because it's not the 80s anymore, but aids is actually still a pretty big gosh darn deal. and while thousands of starving africans that are in africa starving are getting aids everyday, it's not just a problem on a world scale. no sir-ee bob. it effects us on a national, statewide, and local level. hey, let's bring it in a little closer to home... my home.

every year in october, on a non-descript, unassuming sunday morning like yesterday, i get trapped in my apartment by aids. from about 10 a.m. to noon-ish. and let me tell you, it's a horrible experience. because every year i manage to forget it's coming, so i'm totally unprepared. i usually end up going out the night before and getting tanked, then going to bed around 2 a.m., only to be awakened four hours later by deafening cheers coming from melrose. then the dog gets all antsy and i have to take him out, only to have him go nuts when he sees all the people walking up the street. i'm not sure if he's just pissed that no one asked him to walk with them, or if he actually wants to kill all these strangers disrupting the flow of his neighborhood.

when i'm finally able to drag the dog back into my apartment, we both realize that there's no food (not even snacks!) and we're going to be stuck for another hour and forty-five minutes without breakfast. talk about starvin' in africa. yikes!

anyway, things always seem calm the day after, but i guarantee you that if we don't find a cure for aids within a year, the same thing will occur next october. we cannot let this happen again. we must not let this happen again. i don't think i could take another sunday morning being trapped by aids.

things as they are (the world with aids):

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nothing in this world is free. not even aids. here is a link where you can donate some of your hard earned cash so we can end this horribly inconvenient epidemic once and for all. the donation goes through my friend emily. i think she won the race or something. anyway, yeah, the minimum is 25 bucks, but hey, that's like two beers and a movie on a friday night. five beers if you skip the movie. a small price to pay for ending the disruption to one sunday morning in october each year.

yes, yes, i know the race is over, but it's not too late to donate. it's never too late as long as aids is still out there, being all annoying and getting in my face and stuff. plus starving me, my dog, and the africans. together (or separately) we can beat aids.

the dream (a world without aids):

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speaking of aids, apparently it originated in cats. here's a picture I found online of aids:

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here's that same picture, magnified one trillion times:

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