Monday, April 13, 2009

Meat Truck

A few weeks back I performed an autopsy on my deceased car to rescue my personal effects. It had taken me a while to find a batch of time for sorting out what to keep and what to chuck but Saturday afternoon I found myself with a few hours free (before the Jeff and Greg cleaning bonanza) and decided to move some stuff to Black Lighting.

I had just dropped some materials into the trunk and was placing some cd's in the center console when I heard a vehicle approaching. I shut my car door, turning back towards the house when I spied a small catering truck with a large picture of a steak plastered to the side. Seeing me the driver of the truck pulled to an abrupt stop and I was eye to eye with a man in a white, dingy catering outfit.

Mean Man # 1: We just came from (unintelligible) restaurant down the road.

I had been expecting a question, I assumed they were lost asking for directions. I had no answer to this so I nodded.

Meat Man #1: (Mumbling) prime rib and steak?

I figured this was a restaurant related question so I shook my head no. The man in the dirty white outfit looked confused.

Meat Man #1: (Suspicious) You DON'T like prime rib and steak?

In retrospect I should have replied "No, I don't. I'm vegan. Good day" but the way he asked "Hey MORON you don't like prime rib and steak?" brought out my defensive side so I shrugged with a "Well yeah..."

That was all the answer they needed. The driver pulled the car over and they both hopped out.

Meat Man#1 held out his hand and introduced himself, Meat Man #2 nodded at me. Throughout this odd little encounter he would never say a word. Meat Man #1 gestured towards the truck and opened the back (I stood several feet away for fear of them clubbing me and throwing me inside) and began throwing boxes of meat out onto the road. Meat Man #1 lines the boxes up on the sidewalk and opens them all so I can see the various cuts of beef (from hamburger to fillet mignon). I keep trying to say "No, I'm not interested" but he keeps cutting me off, offering to drop the price. While Meat Man# 1 tries desperately to haggle with me Meat Man# 2 wanders down the sidewalk, just looking at houses.

I tell him I can't afford any of this so he pulls out a pamphlet to show the other things they sell. This is when I observe that his left hand has been terribly injured. He wears a black cast and he can't seem to move his fingers, everything he does is one handed and the mangled hand remains 100% stationary the entire time we talk. As he tries to show off the pamplet his partner returns and leans down to hold one of the meat boxes. He seems as if he could care less and proceeds to spit chewing tobacco onto the front yard on his right. As Meat Man# 1 tries repeatedly to entice me Meat Man#2 continues spitting onto this well maintained lawn.

I thank the pitchman for his time but assure him I have no funds for this and return to my house. In all honesty they might have just been two harmless salesmen but really, who the hell sells meat out of the back of a truck to people they happen upon on the sidewalk?

Just a wonderfully bizarre episode from Saturday.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I take requests.

Following my announcement on Facebook yesterday that a Grilled Cheese Invitational was coming to Los Angeles (!!!) I was indirectly challenged to construct a blog devoted to grilled cheese. Being someone who prides himself on having a story for any occasion I was horrifed to realize I really didn't have any specific gem ready to go. That is until a golden oldie, over a decade past, came to mind. It's a trifle, some stories are more epic than others but it made me smile then and now.

In Oneonta there is a small little diner which looks like the extension of your great Aunt's kitchen only restaurant size. While this in and of itself doesn't make the diner stand out, the fact it's full of creepy fucking dolls has burned itself onto my memory. All sorts of dolls line the walls and counters but even more off putting is the little dioramas all over the place. Fine detailed dioramas, resembling the ones you used to have to build for school are everywhere just filled with dolls.

-Little girl dolls
-Cowboy dolls
-Farmer dolls
-Soldier dolls

You get the idea.

One afternoon a while back it's my father, my grandfather (the ex boxer) and myself sitting down to lunch. Up until college I was a really picky eater, no salad dressing on salad, no jelly with my peanut butter, no frills in general. I was probably eating a burger of some sort, I forget what my father was having but my grandfather ordered a grilled cheese sandwich. On that day the idea of myself eating grilled cheese would have been met with an eye roll and the idea of years later anticipating a festival devoted to this culinary delight would have been met with horror. We talked for a bit, the conversation probably covered the time my grandfather defeated the Mexican World Champion because he liked telling that story but soon our food arrived.

My grandfather took one bite of his sandwich before a curious expression crossed his face. He set the grilled cheese down and opened the sandwich up, revealing tomatoes sitting upon the cheese. He looked up at us "It takes a real man to put tomatoes on a grilled cheese".

We burst out laughing as he closed the sandwich and resumed his lunch. That phrase would make my dad and I laugh for days to come. We would pitch each other scenarios with policement, firemen, superheroes and in each case no, these men were not heroes. The REAL men were the ones that put tomatoes on grilled cheese.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

So yeah, that happened

Recently its come to my attention that someone came to this site looking for an update and were disappointed not to find one. We can't have that now can we?

Despite some larger hallmarks (turning 28, my car's untimely demise etc.) I felt weird posting because isolated incidents didn't really seem to demand their own entry for fear I'd come off as whining ("I'm a year older...and?", Wah, my car's dead!" etc.) Let the record show while I'm all for a good timed rant every now and again I am not cool with whining in just about any form which is how I felt these posts would come out. Suffice to say now that I've crossed the five year mark here in Los Angeles I feel a page has been turned and look forward to the next five years, may they be even more action packed.

Moving on, what have I been up to? I gave up movies for Lent. This was mostly met with widespread disgust given I love them so but the method to my madness was:

1. I've been half assing it the last couple years. I can't tell you what happens once you shuffle off this mortal coil but I have faith in the concept some people like to call God and owe that some sort of thought. 4o days doesn't seem all that long.
2. It would give me more time to devote to writing. Following Devil On My Shoulder I was scribbling more and more notes down on napkins and was shocked to find I've had 21 ideas for features. This is from someone who used to struggle to think of a short film to shoot for class. If 3 of these are remotely workable at the end I will be a very happy camper.

With Lent ending in three days I am already planning a massive movie binge in addition to resuming the humble WTF Movie Night which has become the Sunday staple.

Speaking of movies you may be wondering, wasn't I working on a feature of some sort? Devil On My Shoulder is insanely close to being done. I know this has become my stock answer but we are literally at the tweaking audio levels phase. The holdup has been the studio we are working with is doing the sound work for free since their original technician screwed us over. While this arrangement is easy on the pocket we have to work around their schedule since they need to also concentrate on paying gigs. We are probably one session away, odds are that session is sometime next week. I can't wait to have this behind me, it's been a wonderful process but I just want to mark it *complete* and move on.

Ok, that's it for now. Hopefully work is almost done with me and I can enjoy a three day weekend.

Side Note 1: Congratulations to Brendan and Rabia on the announcement that she is with child. I've known Brendan since 7th grade which seems so long ago now and I am overjoyed at this news.

Side Note 2: A quick shout out to Amy & Jeff's blogs ( & which are so well done I find them inspiring.