April 29, 2010

Sartorial choices...

I've just recently come to the conclusion that I'm the type of person whose wardrobe choices are often dictated by which pair of jeans already has a belt in them....

April 27, 2010

Children at play....

It was me.

I was that little jerk that pounded on your door as the moon shone white with my young group of marauding miscreant cohorts. Those stifled giggles weren’t coming from your fence or a feverishly sentient raccoon that patrolled your front yard.

No, that was just us laughing at you. Because we were bored and had nothing better to do with our time than waste yours and steal precious hours of sleep that you desperately needed.

I do recall having to branch out to other areas, or make new friends so we didn’t have to keep doorbell ditching the same handful of people who actually got up and answered the door. That would mean my parents could have found out, which would put me on lockdown for a couple of weeks.

At some point we’d get caught and have to apologize, which was worse than running in scattered directions when the old guy threatened to shoot us with rock salt. I don’t know if that’s even possible but to this day I fear the lawns of white haired men in flannel.

Playing hide and seek was another way for us to run around the neighborhood unsupervised, albeit with less chance of getting beaten or having vicious canines sicced on us.

There was always something oddly exhilarating about playing a block-wide game of hide and seek with thirty five kids, doing your best to climb under cars, in trees, or stay stationary just long enough to find that perfect hiding spot...only to have it spoiled by having to pee as soon as your in it.

I had the hide and seek bladder of a small infant. I would keep moving from spot to spot because I left whiz tracks wherever I went.

Then there was the curious schoolyard game of Butts Up. A group of kids throwing a ball against the wall in hopes of one of them muffing it. Then, someone within the group pounces on it and rushes to chuck the tennis ball against the wall before the muff-ee touches said wall.
If that person drops the balls three times, then he or she is forced to face the wall and take a firing squad of one throw per Butt’s Up participant. There’s something to be said for simplicity.

Another simple game concocted by seemingly homophobic children is the ever popular, and always schoolyard banned, Smear the Queer. Poetic, no?

Anyway, this one revolved less on rules, and more on brutality to maintain it’s dominance throughout the decades. One person has a ball. Everyone else does their best to smear his or her face into the ground until everyone is roughed up to the point of bloodied submission.

Oh, how the games we play in our youth rarely translate to adult life. Or do they? You screw up, your Butt’s on the line. When you’re on the ball, everyone wants to Smear you into the dirt. Hiding from the masses is usually good for the soul on occasion.

And doorbell ditching? Well, okay, not all games translate. But you have to admit, you still want to. But not at my house.

I have rock salt...

April 18, 2010


In casual conversations with my two-year-old nephew Zach, he's fairly
liberal with his usage of the English language.

At this point, he's got a rudimentary understanding of verbal
communication and giggles his way through discussions about food,
baseball, motorcycles, and constantly reminding me about the F bomb I
accidentally muttered. Again.

There are words he likes to share with the rest of the world that he
knows aren't appropriate to utter. So instead of singing it out loud
and letting everyone know about it, he quietly saddles up next to your
ear to share these words with you.

There's something about a curly-haired little blond kid whispering
curse words to you with a sly Cheshire grin that makes it really
difficult to chastise him.

But there's another word that he utters. A word I don't understand,
yet I've become acutely fascinated with it. Perplexed and infatuated
with a term I can't possibly comprehend and with the thousands of
words I've pounded into my keyboard, this one utterance still haunts


Six innocent little letters spoken from the mouth of grinning little
towhead. With his eyes quietly laughing at me, as if I should know
what he means. He taunts me with vocabulary I can't possibly decipher.

I've even tried every permutation to figure out what he's trying to
say. I've Googled it. I'm beginning to think it's not even English and
might be some type of global infant conspiracy.

It usually starts with me simply saying the word to him. I'm a glutton
for punishment and I can't help myself. A typical conversation is as

"Hey Zach…Imoway."

This simple sentence usually resets his demeanor, and he'll sit down
next to me and look me straight in the eye and tell me:

"No Cowey…Imoway",

He says this with a stern face as if warning me of my foolish adult
transgression. If I repeated the word imoway, he'd become more
insistent and sit on my lap to remind me, that he himself was…imoway.

I thought this was just a fun game for him and me to play until recently…

I was having lunch a few weeks ago and a young lad had freed himself
from his parents and was walking around greeting people waiting in
line. Jokingly, I shook his chubby little hand and instead of hello, I
said "imoway".

As he walked past me, he stopped dead in his tracks, turned and looked
me straight in the eye. He knew what I was saying. Realizing I knew,
he promptly walked in the direction of his parents.

Just to test my theory, I had my wife say the same thing to a
kid at Island's last week. He glared at us and sat down while the
whole time sneaking sideways glances at us. He whispered something to
his younger sister, and I swear they spoke into their wrist like
secret service agents.

As I write this, I feel like every child I see looks at me like I'm on
to them. I know conspiracies are for the mentally unstable but they're
after me. Seriously. The Imoway Society knows my every move.

Try it for yourself. The next time you're around a little rug monster,
mention the word imoway. Watch their reaction. Then kiss your ass
goodbye. They're on to us. You've been warned…


People watching...

People watching is a wonderful activity, but you people are freaks.

I was lucky enough to sit at the Coast News booth during the Encinitas Street Fair. I sat there with the intrepid Jean Gillette of "Small Talk" fame and a couple other fine scholars that the Coast News employs. We all spent a few hours trying to get passers by to fill out surveys about our local papered blog.

What started out as a simple grass roots fact finding mission for the newspaper became a people watching event of mythic proportions. And that was only after two hours.

My attention was initially sparked with the amount of grubby people that were walking around without shoes on. Shabby hippies that reeked of patchouli and parental disappointment. I was starting to think that a small percentage of people living in Encinitas were born in a barn.

I’ll admit, I wear my slippers in public, but the thought of walking around without shoes on is just repulsive. Dodging spilled drinks, toppled funnel cake swirlies, and roughly ten million stinky dog bombs dropped on the 101 is not the proper arena to shed your shoes. Nasty...

Then a nice lady was talking with us about some local piece of news that she liked (we’re much more patient when given compliments) when I noticed that she had a large slash of chocolate across the right side of her chin. Apparently the idea of having to eat chocolate-covered strawberries and talk was too tough a task. I didn’t bother telling her either because she was on a roll, and like I said...we like compliments.

Even though the weather was overcast and a tad on the chilly side, there were clearly muffin tops as far as my sad eyes could see. A vast ocean of belly and back fat cascading over the top of jeans that wouldn’t have fit these women in high school.

Please, stop wearing tight jeans and cropped shirts. We don’t want to see your Grateful Dead tattoo anymore. After fifteen years, it looks like someone set those poor stoned bears on fire and used a baseball bat to douse the flames.

I’m so tired of seeing Mom’s dressed like their daughters and daughter’s dressed like their for sale. Have a little self-respect. There were children present. And I have eyes.

Speaking of children, I was curious... when are people not related to a child allowed to punt them? I’m not sure of the legalities just yet, but I’m pretty sure if a kid is a whiny little twit and the parents don’t attempt to rectify said brattiness, we as a society are allowed to drop kick them into the ocean. Just a thought.

Then to top it all off, there was a bright orange electrical cord near our booth that seem to attract those with three left feet. Instead of just leaving the little orange wire, they put a large black plastic piece over it as a "safety" precaution. I wish I was a lawyer...

I was sitting there with another employee marking down how many people tripped over the black plastic precautionary device.

Final tally: 60+ in less than three hours.

Another street fair comes to a close in our little hamlet, and Encinitas has once again been proven to be the eclectic dwelling of ethnic, cultural, and socio-political melting pot that it’s known for.

Now if only we could get deep fried Twinkies like those rich bastards in Del Mar...