How I spent (and didn’t spend) my summer vacation

I didn’t spend summer in the hospital. [Fox applauds, then passes out.]

I feel like I won the lottery by not going in, though the pattern for me has long been one without summer hospital stays. With falling leaves, colds and other viruses on the way, you can bet that I’ll soon be returning to hell.

Ebony and Ivory, living in perfect harmony on the beach

I didn’t spend June, July or August coughing up blood, though summer hasn’t officially ended.

And if you’re a betting man or woman, I’d bet on the blood thanks to the blood thinning shots I’m stabbing into my McGriddle-fattened six-pack twice a day. And I’ve just tempted fate by mentioning it on the blog, which means I’ll probably be in the hospital coughing up blood within the next two or three days.

I did spend June working on what the Donald would call a “super-big, important, super-large” project at work. It was a success and once again I proved it’s better to be lucky than good, and assembling a talented team always makes one look better than they truly are. Go Team Unknown.

We did spend the summer with a new puppy – a goofy, mischievous, shower-squeegee stealing, whining, scared of her own shadow, mystery of a black lab that I wanted to give away, but was outvoted by my wife and daughter, who are both attached to the black shadow-thief. (That’s all I can write about the dog, otherwise my friend @onlyz tunes out at this point and starts to read the back of the vegan muffin package.)

I didn’t spend this summer blogging or watching TV, but I did spend it reading. I read over 8,000 pages and enjoyed every minute, staying up late and making the most of when time takes its mandated-by-law break.

Malibu coastline on a nice summer day.

I did spend the hot months milking every bit of fun I could. I filled every weekend with an activity and dragged my wife and daughter to all kinds of places. From the American Idol concert, to the beach, the circus, a dog agility trial and canyon roads we’d never driven. We didn’t take a summer trip this year thanks to the blood-thinner shots, but we still had a great time and spoiled ourselves by eating dinner at restaurants more often.

The end of a great concert at Theatricum in Topanga. Check out a play here if you're in Los Angeles.

Monday, Labor Day, we ended the “holiday to holiday” summer with the annual benefit concert at Theatricum in Topanga. What an amazing afternoon filled with talented singers singing Burt Bacharach songs. A great way to finish my favorite season of the year watching some of Los Angeles’s most talented musicians, like Inara George and Sara Melson, play music for two hours.

So, I’m happy with the job I did having fun this summer. I cannot guarantee I’ll see another one. I hope I do, but it’s not written in stone that I will.

Now it’s time to focus on autumn and the Denver Broncos winning and me staying out of hell and not catching colds or the flu or coughing up blood. I’m optimistic, but know sometimes there is nothing I can do but ride out ill-timed surprises.

Here’s to a healthy fall and winter to all.

What not to do when someone tries to break into your car at 2:30 in the morning

[As if readers of this blog needed more proof of my stupidity, here’s more evidence. Clearly, I could place “what not to do” on most of my posts, but this is more glaring than the rest.]

I was having a bad dream, which is not to be confused with the parts of my life involving cystic fibrosis. This one happened while I was sleeping and woke me up at 2:30 a.m. I’d also been fighting a virus all week and my body temperature was screwed up, which made me feel more discombobulated at that hour (building the excuse for my idiot behavior right now).

What's a leek?

As I am the most paranoid guy in the world, I looked out the window of the front door on my way to the bathroom, as I always do, and noticed a white SUV in front of our house. Double take, it’s really there and the door is open.

Unfortunately, I’d been too lazy to replace the bulbs in the fixtures near our garage because I would need to find the step-stool, and because the light fixtures are a pain in the arse to unscrew and there are spiders in them and I didn’t have bulbs and hadn’t gone to Home Depot to buy any because even though I’ve passed the store 50 times in the last two weeks, I was too lazy pull into their parking lot, get out of my car, lock my car, walk into the store, find the bulbs, pay for them, get in my car, drive home and find the step-stool.

So, the driveway was darker than it should have been thanks to me, creating the perfect environment for thieving scumbags to go to work. Oh, and I didn’t have my eyeglasses on either.

So, I moved to the bathroom window to get a different view and I saw someone standing next to my wife’s car with an object in their hand – a tire iron? I don’t know what it was. All I know is after all the years of people stealing shit off of my car at night, I was pissed. A spark ignited in my brain, or what there is of one, and any chance of rational thought fled it as I walked with pace to the front door.

I didn’t disable the house alarm when I opened the door because I wanted the high-pitched squeal of the 30-second countdown to start in case one of them came running at me and I had to shut the door in a hurry. I can’t hear the sound anyway thanks to years of IV tobramycin, but I figured they would hear it loud and clear in the dead quiet of night.

Geek does Rhyme with leek

I opened the door and in what my daughter would call my “big voice,” I yelled “Hey you guys, get away from that stuff.”

I had to confirm this is what I said with my wife at least a dozen times because I couldn’t remember and I thought I must have yelled something like “get away from that car, low-life scum, before I come out there and rip your bowels out of your throat” or something cool like that.

But no, I didn’t say that. I said “you guys.” Not “you scum sucking criminals’ or “demon-spawn from hell car thieves.” No, instead I said, “you guys.”

Oh, and by the way, while I was using my big voice, my wife disabled the alarm because I’m always activating it by accident, which she thought I did again, unaware I was having a conversation with criminals.

At about the time I opened it door and yelled, it occurred to me at the very second the words left my mouth that I was yelling at exactly the kind of people in Los Angeles who worship and carry guns. The kind who probably don’t like being told what to do in a loud voice.

And there I was standing in my t-shirt and J. Crew boxer shorts covered in a charming “carrots and leeks” pattern (picture included) in the glowing light of the porch.

Could there be a more perfect and easy-to-shoot idiot in the history of targets?

I’m a lucky idiot because the perps ran to their SUV like the vermin they are and pulled a U-Turn in front of our house as my wife and stood in the doorway watching like dopes – defiant dopes – providing yet another possible double-homicide, target-shooting opportunity for the crooks, and headlines for tomorrow’s newspaper, with our daughter growing up parent-less.

And though I was calm during the incident, after I shut the door I was wound about my stupidity and it took me two hours of replaying my missteps before I could go to sleep.

Now the hindsight part of the story.

Though everything turned out okay, I’ve been flogging myself daily for not calling the police as the criminals did whatever they were going to do, which is a mystery still stuck in my mind and a question I can’t answer for friends who hear the story. What did I really see in the street-light dim of night?

I would have loved for the police to catch these guys. I love stories like that. But I blew it. I blew it. I let my anger overcome my rational thoughts and even endangered my family by opening the door, a key defense (the sound you hear right now is the whip hitting my back).

Though I may have saved the $500 deductible for my car insurance, it cost me almost a grand to have an electrician, locksmith and our alarm company come to the house on Friday. We now have new motion detector lights around the house, stronger locks in the doors, and a soon to be upgraded alarm with a panic button for my wife when I’m not home – and a different tone control panel I can hear when I am home.

Oh, and I did drive to Home Depot to buy five bucks worth of light bulbs. And I did take out the step-stool and climb up to unscrew the tops of the light fixtures to reach in past the spiders and cobwebs to unscrew the bulbs and replace them, which had they been replaced may have stopped all of this from happening by causing the criminals to go to a different house with a different idiot lording over it.

The silver lining: when I’ve away, I’ll feel a better with my wife daughter at home with improved security. But I’m not done yet. Soon to be installed: a fence or wall. A good fence may make for good neighbors, Mr. Frost, but an electrical one with barbed wire makes for a big FU to criminals when they’re flat on their backs unconscious waiting for the police to scrape their electrocuted, bloody bodies from the sidewalk.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. This is a lesson is what not to do when criminals pick your house to rob. Call the police. They like to catch bad guys. Unless you own complete body Kevlar®, of course, which means you can walk right up to them and beat them with your flail, which would feel pretty satisfying.

Stay safe.

Some weekends are different than others

Last weekend started with the American Idol concert and ended with a 1 a.m. Sunday night visit to the emergency vet. That’s the beginning to the end without a middle. Oh, and there were police and fire trucks, too. Not an average weekend.

The American Idol concert was my daughter’s first large-scale concert. It wasn’t The Who or Springsteen or anyone great, but it wasn’t bad for karaoke.  It did convince me that America doesn’t vote for the best singers. And the show manipulates the results and finds ways to push favored singers to the end.

Oh, and Pia was robbed. How did she get voted off so early? She sounded better, looked better, and was more poised than second-place Lauren Alaina, who danced like a Disney Animatronic bear.

Being in a large crowd at the Nokia Theater also reinforced my theory that people are getting angrier these days. Two knuckleheads sitting on the isle seats next to us got bent every time someone had to leave to get food or use the restroom. Then, they didn’t want to move to let my wife and daughter back to our seats. It’s an American Idol concert you twits, not a play where if you miss one word the meaning is lost. You’re at the end of the aisle, what did you expect when you bought the seats?

I’m not good in crowds anymore.

Saturday and Sunday were filled with me spending a lot of time reading the Game of Thrones books, dinner with friends, watching Team USA lose (heartbreaking), and a faux ABBA concert Sunday night. Nothing like Swedish pop to put a smile on your face and at the same time create the contradictory feeling of queasiness that you’re about to bring up your tri-tip sandwich to the opening bars of “Dancing Queen.”

But then there was late Sunday night.

At around 10:30 p.m., I noticed four police cars outside, which made me think that shredding my jury notices for the last 20 years wasn’t such a great idea. But they didn’t come for me – yet – instead they were after one of my neighbors.

So, of course I had to watch a bunch of police officers standing around – it takes 7 to arrest one person – throwing their gum wrappers on my lawn. Then, two fire trucks showed up and the fire department ambulance. That led to my neighbor being taken away screaming, handcuffed and strapped down to the gurney.

All of that took almost two hours.

Stick an electrode on her head and activists would be breaking her out of my house.

Then I went outside with the dogs and noticed our yellow lab had a lumpy head, gross, and a swollen muzzle. A dime of blood blossomed on her head. Executive decision: Trip to the emergency vet where they gave her a steroid and Benadryl cocktail for the mystery insect bite and me a $200 enema for owning the mutt who stuck her head in the wrong plant.

My dog also received the make-over bonus of a 4-inch square shaved on her head for the oh so 70’s look of a laboratory research animal. My daughter broke into tears when she saw her in the morning, having slept through the fun during the night.

So, that was the weekend. Thanks to Game of Thrones, it’s taken me three days to finish this post. I can’t wait to finish the last book and get back to my life and blogging.

Happy summer.

The simple bumper sticker that stuck in my craw

A bumper sticker from a week ago is still irritating me. I saw it on a Prius in the McDonald’s drive thru while ordering my breakfast of real champions, a McGriddle, which I’ll defend to my grave is the best breakfast sandwich in the world after eating over a 1,000 of them in recent years.

I'm eating one of these right now

Back to the bumper sticker, which read: “All you have is now.”

Harmless, you say. What’s the big deal? Exactly, I agree.

But then I started mulling it over in line, getting bothered by it, which may have been because I still hadn’t received my tasty goodness. Or, could it have been the bombardment of McDonald’s signs working me over to eat myself to an inner tube of jelly around my midsection?

Beef and bacon covered ice-cream sundaes, coffee desserts, quadruple burgers covered in chocolate, 50 oz. sugary smoothies, 10-pound bags of french fries covered in candy sprinkles and cheddar cheese.

The reason the bumper sticker bothered me was because the “all I have is now” attitude got me in a lot of trouble years ago. And because I have a daughter now, which made want to change the bumper sticker to the following: “All you have is now, but your children have tomorrow, Jackass.”

Clearly, when I see anything talking to me, it calls me Jackass, which is appropriate after a 1,000 McGriddles.

Here’s the rub.

We have a lot of conversations at our dinner table about the future of the planet: Oil production is peaking, global ice is melting, a very large pool of plastic is floating north of Hawaii, our natural food supply contains harmful chemicals, we’re getting bigger and have more ailments, and Earth can’t support its predicted population growth.

All of this adds up to a potentially bleak future, which is a post for the future, if I had one, which apparently I don’t according to the Prius driver.

So, when I see a bumper sticker “All you have is now” on a Prius, which is ironic as that car is better for the environment than most, I feel that’s the attitude that got us stuck in this mess in the first place and that if more people made harder choices and put the future higher on their priority list we’d be in a better place.

By the way, I’m doing my part by not taking as many showers and wearing the same clothes for a week, which saves water and keeps more detergent from flowing into the water supply or ocean. My wife clearly has mixed feeling about my strategy.

Back to the bumper sticker. Maybe I misread it. Maybe it meant “all you have is now to make a difference and that’s why I’m driving a Prius and not an oversized SUV, Jackass who eats McGriddles every day.”

It didn’t say that. But for my own sanity, I’m going to pretend it did and let it go.

There, done. It’s off my mind. I feel better now. Go about your day. There’s nothing to see here. Insane man back to enjoying the weekend. You do the same.

Mother’s Day is not just for Moms

As the event planner for our family, I scheduled quite the weekend of fun. I made sure I did what I wanted to do and brought my wife – the mother of our child – and said child along for the ride.

Yes, I am the world’s least thoughtful husband. I stopped just short of buying myself a gift.

At one point, my daughter thought it hilarious, in her 9-year-old way, to state all of the work my wife does and compare it to how little I do. This wasn’t on my list of events for the weekend. But that didn’t stop her from delivering this bonus gift to her mom, at my expense. Ouch.

This is what you'd call industrial size fun if you were into washing clothes. Is anyone into washing clothes? Wouldn't it be better if we wore plastic and hosed each off? Creative Commons: Cherrycoke

Then my wife joined my flogging and asked me if I ever did laundry before we met. I must have. But to tell the truth, I don’t remember how I did it.

I don’t think I can operate our current washing machine. I’d have to stare at it and hope my Jedi powers would jump start it. But I do remember putting quarters in the machines I once used. Quarters in, wash. Quarters in, dry. Walk away without a date.

I can say this: I hated washing clothes.

Anyway, that was a long time ago. I’m sure I’ll get another beating on Father’s Day. But, the male lion did defend himself with the building of our bathroom, a deck, the furnishing of the house, and the planning of this weekend, which without me would have left the two ladies in my life sitting around playing Uno and watching HGTV – all in the house that I built with my bare hands while wearing a manly tool belt and oozing a certain man musk that attracted every feral cat in the neighborhood.

I saved my wife and daughter from the mundane and episodes of “House Hunters.” Growl. Now let me take my 16-hour nap while you hunt for my dinner.

Every angle of this building looks cool

The fun started Saturday with “The Songs of Patsy Cline” at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. We’re not big fans of Patsy Cline songs, but we were of the talent singing the songs. And, having never been to the amazing hall, an attraction in itself,  I decided it would be a fun thing to do on the evening prior to Mother’s Day.

Come along, ladies, you’re my invited guests.

Five jammed lanes of L.A. traffic killed our plans to eat dinner in a historic downtown firehouse, now transformed into a restaurant. So, we improvised and ate chicken curry, peanut butter and jelly, and saltwater taffy at the concert hall cafe.

Oh, and what a building it is. It lived up to every photo I’ve seen of it. And the inside – equally jaw-dropping.

The concert delivered voices best appreciated in person. Inara George of Bird and the Bee fame and The Living Sisters hosted and brought tears to my eyes with their harmonies. Guest stars included John C. Reilly, the actor, who is an excellent performer, John Doe of X fame, who my wife couldn’t stop talking about after the concert, as if he would be a better husband than I, because as we all know, rock stars make great husbands, and Zooey Deschanel, who my daughter knew of from Elf, the movie.

I had to take a picture of the empty stage because I wasn't allowed to take a picture of the performers. No, one wouldn't want a picture promoting them on a blog now, would they?

Sunday included a trip to our favorite local secret hideout of talent – Theatricum Botanicum. I used the term “secret” because this outdoor theater is one of the best values in L.A., and showcases incredible performers.

We watched Momentum Place presented by Take Note! and Lexi Pearl. The show  mixed acrobatics with comedy and the reading of the written word. It was fantastic.

The highlight for us was a comedian/juggler/contortionist named Scot Nery. Here’s his web site: http://jugglegood.com/#home  If you ever get a chance to see him, do it. He put on one of the funniest “clean” shows I’ve ever watched.

I’m grateful to have weekends like this one, as we made the most of the two days we had. I only wish they weren’t so fleeting.

I can’t wait to see what my wife plans for Father’s Day. Probably a mani-pedi, or something delicious like watching reruns of Sex and the City, or talking about our feelings.

Payback can be cruel.

BREAKING NEWS: Blogger derails in midnight crash

Mar 10, 7:32 PM EST

By HENRY CHINASKI
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) – An obscure blogger was injured in a mental derailment in a northern suburb of Los Angeles early this morning. The incident happened at approximately 12:30 a.m. Many details are still unconfirmed at this time. However, KCBS reported on its 9:00 a.m. news broadcast that the blogger was high on M&Ms while blogging late into the evening.

In confirmed witness reports from LAPD, the blogger experienced unusual pains like those of indigestion or heart-related troubles. He also felt anxiety over an upcoming trip to the state of New Jersey and a general sense of worthlessness. Mild hemoptysis is also suspected in adding to the feeling of dread experienced by the blogger.

The mental breakdown comes after weeks of staying up late writing blog posts while running on fumes and anxiety.

Rumors also persist there was constant pain in his back, which may have led to the heightened anxiety throughout the day and leading up to the episode in question.

Two witnesses, a large furry mutt and a lazy yellow Labrador, were on the scene and witnessed some of the events.

“I thought it was odd when he pushed my hindquarters off the couch. But then left within . . . what’s Time again? Well, he walked away soon after whenever,” said the yellow lab, clearly shaken by the behavior of the blogger. “I’m still upset. He does that to me every night. I have the spot. It’s mine. He just takes it like he owns it. Sometimes he grabs me by the collar. I feel bullied. It’s awful. But I still love him. I can’t explain it. He has it. Do I earn a treat for this interview?”

Family members who slept through the nightmarish agony and drama had no comment at this time. However, the furry mutt did provide additional details. “I saw him with his head in his hands for a long time. I was worried. Then he ate something small and round and drank some water,” added the mutt. “Later he went back to his couch and fell asleep. But he didn’t look so good this morning. Maybe it was bad kibble? It can happen. Eat some grass, that’s what I tried to tell him. He never listens.”

Though the blogger himself had no comment when the AP contacted him by phone, it was reported by KABC that he fell asleep at his desk several times today and felt lousy.

Unconfirmed reports indicate he stood on his front lawn at approximately noon today waiting for a meteor to fall on his head and crush him. However, AP sources have yet to confirm whether his wish was granted. No meteor sightings were reported in Los Angeles today.

According to both dogs, he ingested at least 200 M&Ms of various colors this afternoon in an effort to recapture his work “mojo.” A source who asked not to be identified confirmed the plan failed.

AP will continue to monitor the situation and bring you live updates should events warrant.

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It’s time for an Academy Awards makeover

I moved to California to become an actor and failed. I can’t say I gave it my best effort. That was when I peaked as a screw-up. I spent more time watching movies, up to three a day, to escape, than I did practicing my craft, though I did take lessons. And when I took the time to memorize my lines, I did well, but that was the exception.

Perhaps if I’d spent more time acting instead of watching movies and the Oscars, dreaming that one day I’d be up there thanking my agent and everyone at William-Morris, including the lowly assistant that once brought me a diamond-studded bottle of Evian when my mouth was dry from negotiating the size of my trailer’s hot tub on the set of my next blockbuster movie, I would have had an acting career.

So, as a long-time Academy Awards freak, who used to watch every minute of every show, I feel they’ve become so “yesterday” and stale, delivering the same formula every year. Even worse, each year is more sanitized than the previous year, going as far as casting two harmless young actors to host for fear a comedian might tell a joke making fun of spoiled millionaires who have the greatest career in the world and can order anything they want from the Pottery Barn catalog. Poor, sensitive show-biz folk.

Where did the surprises go? The unpredictable moments? The politically incorrect? The causes? It’s definitely show “business” now, wrapped in a sterile Kraft cheese-slice wrapper. How many thank you’s to agents, mothers and God can one take in three-plus hours?

There’s something disconcerting about watching all of these masterpieces of make-up and genetics get up on stage to receive a reward for having the greatest job in the world – and thanking others who have the greatest job in the world. They are rewarded for being the most pampered of the pampered.

Then there’s the apples to oranges problem. How do you compare these talented people and works of art to each other and say one is better, or the best? It would be easier to get over this hurdle, as it was in previous years, if the show was better. Now it’s lack of meaning and quality opens it up to criticism and the picking of rotting meat from its bones.

I say blow it all up and give it an Ultimate Fighting Championship flavor mixed with a dash of Wipeout and spoonful of Survivor. I’d like to see the actors battle for the award. Put them all on stage, the Oscar in the center, and let them run for it like a Barry Bonds homerun ball. Spray wet cement and margarine on the stage while they fight it out. The actor who comes up with the Oscar, keeps it. Perhaps, the Oscars could go Pay-Per-View?

Even this concept might get old after a while with the winners constantly thanking their trainers: “Thank you to my Ultimate Fighting Coach, Busta Cap, who taught me how to crush a man’s ribs with two fingers. Sorry about the hurt I put on you, James Franco, but the Oscar is mine. All mine. ‘F’ all of you. I am the best actor – and I got the gold in my hand to prove it.”

It might get old eventually, but it would keep me off my DVR remote’s fast forward button for a few years.

Stay fresh.

Day Tripper to Ventura Harbor

At the beginning of February, it felt like summer. Now it’s cold and windy and feels like winter. We went to Ventura Harbor yesterday. And even with three layers of clothes on, the cold and wind were brutal.

This harbor was cool, but the area around it had a solid 80s vibe to the decor. Here are some pictures.

It had rained the day before and the last clouds of the storm were still hanging in the mountains.

I thought this was interesting. There were a lot tile works around the harbor.

Like this large round tile dial buried in one of the inner walkways.

There were several metal boats in the harbor. I thought they looked cool.

This photo shows the foam and white caps. It was hard to stand up in the wind. In the distance, there is a small rain cloud. In the next photo, taken 10 minutes later, it’s gone.

I like the color of the water in the photo above.

I’m standing on the beach in this photo. Yesterday’s snow is shown in the distant mountains. The flags to the right show how hard the wind was blowing.

I don’t like clowns. One day, this one is going to escape his box. I don’t want to be hanging around when he does.

Stay warm and healthy.

 

 

Would You Like a Filter for that Dream, Sir?

My wife and I visited a new friend this weekend. He has three Harley-Davidson motorcycles in his garage and is quite the collector. The bikes looked pretty inviting standing there ready to go, an adventure waiting to happen.

I know nothing about motorcycles. However, this morning I thought to myself, “I should buy a motorcycle.” I really did. And for about two minutes I believed I could do it. Yes, I thought I could go out and buy a motorcycle and ride it. I pictured myself flying down PCH, speeding past cars and enjoying the ocean air. I was so cool.

Then I remembered I have CF and the dream burst like my lung during an infection. Play the emergency braking and motorcycle crashing against a wall sounds. Dream over.

How did I believe I could maneuver a heavy bike through L.A. traffic, breathing all of those exhaust fumes? I’d be coughing up blood 30 seconds into my first ride. Do you know how difficult it is to ride with the inside of your face mask covered in blood?

These two-minute fantasies are one of my least favorite parts of cystic fibrosis. I have them a lot. Yeah, sure I can fly to Europe on business. (Count to two minutes.) No, I cannot fly to Europe. What was I thinking? I’m a complete idiot. Did I really believe for a minute that I could do that? That it would be smart to take an 11-hour flight? How did I let myself believe it?

It’s almost as if I have the thoughts of a normal healthy person and it takes these thoughts a couple of minutes to reach the “CF filter.” Some thoughts pass through this special strainer just fine – go to McDonalds and buy a McGriddle. Eat the McGriddle. Wish you had one more McGriddle. Other thoughts? Well, they get filtered – ride your Harley to Malibu and meet two Brazilian supermodels who are only interested in a one-afternoon stand.

Oh, yeah, and then there’s the “I have a wife” filter.

My romance with craigslist

[Adult Language]

I love craigslist. I hate craigslist. But I love it more than I hate it. I only hate it when I don’t love it, which isn’t very often, as I love it most of the time.

How did I decide on this topic tonight?

My brother from another mother, Josh of Joshland, emailed me and asked me what I had been up to lately. I’m been absent on Twitter and haven’t tweeted about McGriddles and the Broncos and other fascinating topics. Nice of Josh to check in.

And my answer to him about what I have been up to was craigslist, or one of the things I’ve been doing, along with searching for a used car, which I’ve been using craigslist for (and if the 2002 Volvo V70 had had leather seats and not fabric, my search would be over).

I can’t remember if I’ve written about craigslist here in the past or not. If I have, you can stop reading now, which you may have already done. I don’t care. That’s not that I don’t care about you – I do. I don’t care if you continue reading or not. Well, I do, but I like sounding like a tough guy tonight, hard on the outside and inside. No Jay Cutler softness here – my skin is thick like an alligator’s.

Back to craigslist. I’m a huge fan of it. And my OCD makes me a pro when it comes to hunting down items I want. I’ve furnished most of my house with furniture from craigslist. It’s one of the reasons my wife thinks I’m crazy, but she likes the thousands of dollars I’ve saved. And though I like chasing down the perfect item, the money saved, and being “green,” I also like the “meeting interesting and cool people” part of it – most of the time.

There have been a few odd individuals and people who tell you the item is in great shape but it’s not – like the elderly couple who told me the red leather Pottery Barn chair only had “minor wear” and a small hole. When I got there it looked like a cat had fucked it a thousand times over. There were scratch marks everywhere and rips. And it smelled like cat piss. It was all I could do not to let loose on the two geezers and give them a little cat scratch fever of my own. But I didn’t. I was polite and drove the 20 miles home fuming about the waste of time and misrepresentation of the item.

The good and kind and friendly people have outweighed the not so nice and bad. I have this fantasy of writing a book about all of the people I’ve met. I think I remember most of them. That’s another part of craigslist I really like – the items I buy have a story behind them, like the dining room table and chairs I bought from a famous disc jockey, a total L.A. story. I have a signed headshot from him to show my friends when I tell the story of the table, though they’re all tired of hearing it. I look at the different things I’ve bought and they say something about my life and the lives of others and the moments when our lives intersected. It doesn’t get better than that.

That’s all for tonight. I have some searching to do.

Stay well.