Inauguration Day


So President Obama was sworn in for a second term. I’m glad. It’s simple mathematics, anyone can see, that your first term is a lot of leftovers, and when your predecessor was George Bush, well they’ve been sitting in the refrigerator way too long. I think every President deserves a second term. And frankly, Governor Romney just looked like he’d change his mind depending on who was asking. I don’t think he’s a bad guy. Don’t think any of them are. I believe that they are the same kids that I was, reading about Presidents of the past and believing that maybe, just maybe, you could do it. (Not me, I’m content to write and be a comedian, that job would be, like, hard.)

Should be an interesting four years. I was still living in Chicago on the day in November when Obama won the election. My buddy scored a couple of tickets at the last minute and his wife didn’t want to go. So call in the single guy! It was amazing. Everyone filed in there in an orderly fashion, going so far as to let you go ahead of them! This is the same Grant Park that my girlfriend almost got beat up by this big ole b*tch at the Blues Fest because she asked the woman not to kick the blanket and mess up the picnic.

It was the most peaceful large scale crowd event I’ve ever been to, and I saw Simon and Garfunkel at a ball park. Everyone was so filled with hope and love, leaning their head on their partner’s shoulder. The only thing missing was the soundtrack to “Hair”, everyone singing the Age of Aquarius.

But the feeling didn’t last. Things didn’t change overnight. Unemployment was not wiped out by February of ’09. The war didn’t immediately end, the troops didn’t immediately come home. Everyone’s lives didn’t change.

So cut to four years later and I’m living in Long Beach. This November election night I heard all kinds of firecrackers and homemade fireworks going off. As I lay there knowing I wouldn’t fall asleep I tried to contemplate the meaning. Were people angrier? Was this joyous, “the rockets red glare?” Did they just have leftovers from Fourth of July and they hadn’t had a good reason to use them?

And how was the celebration in Chicago? I saw a bit online and it looked more of a relief kind of applause then the “let the sunshine in” of four years earlier.

So now President Obama’s slogan is Forward. I hope he gets the things done he wants to get done. And leaves the leftovers for Hillary. But when I look at the deficit and the state of the country, I believe, that the road to change has to start with the man in the mirror. I have to work harder and pay off my debt. I have to stop getting angry at people that are asking for money. I can’t really afford to give out, there’s just too many asking and I don’t believe in helping one if I can’t all. But I don’t have to be irritated. By anything. I have to let the sunshine in to my cells and get all of my disappointment, anxiety and fear to leave me so that I can be successful. And then maybe I can help another.

Let’s not wait for President Obama to fix things, let’s fix them one and all.

A Conversation Between Angels XXV

“Morning Dick.”


“He’s going into his second term this week.”

“Yeah, I do not envy him, it’s going to be tough.”

“Tough. Uh, do you remember mine. Oil embargo, Agnew resigning, a little thing called Watergate, I was barely out of the gate on my second term and I’m resigning.”

“Yeah and who pardoned you?”

“True, true. Thanks again.”

“My term was no easier. Taking over the office after you was like moving into a heavy smoker’s apartment. And then I’ve got to get us out of the Vietnam war because you didn’t do it and then the economy tanks?”

“Yeah. Sorry, you did have it rough. Plus you were always falling down on television.”

“Well at least we were Republicans with Democratic congress. He’s really got it bad.”

Let the Sunshine In



The temperatures have finally normalized in Southern California, reaching 80 degrees the last two days. Now before you move on to another blog in disgust, that’s not what this is about, so please bear with me.

It did help when the train was stuck for somewhere between 2 1/2 and 3 hours. We were able to get off and sit on the platform or just hang out on the train with the doors open. 80 degrees in January is not the same as the summer so it wasn’t hot, it was rather pleasant. I luckily had a book and an iPhone with a full charge to listen to music instead of all the complaining.

But it made me think about how people bond more in my old home of Chicago this time of year. There’s something that brings people closer together in the winter. When it’s super cold and the wind chill dips below 0 you think about an elderly neighbor and check up on them. If a friend of yours heat goes out you don’t think twice about offering them the floor to sleep on. (I mean come on, if you live in a studio with a futon couch, that’s all you have to offer.)

And of course, the biggest bond is the snow. Everyone becomes friendly neighbors when you get hit by a big snow, which doesn’t melt and then you get hit by a big snow again. Helping to dig someone out, throwing your coat on and braving the cold because someone’s trying to get down the street and their tires are spinning and not moving and of course, respecting the shoveled parking space marked by two folding chairs. People help each other more under these extreme circumstances without even needing a thank you. That can wait until the summer block party when you love everyone after 8 beers.

There’s not really an equivalent in Los Angeles. But while everyone was complaining about not being able to get anywhere, stuck at the same station, I was grateful for the beautiful weather and that I chose the 32GB iPhone over the 16GB.

Global Warming and Colding




It’s been really cold here in Southern California. Well, cold for here as it dips into the 30s at night. Even though you may think that’s nothing depending on where you live, and after having spent the majority of my life with that being warm weather in the winter I understand, it’s still off.

The whole year’s been off. I visited Chicago last March and it was in the 80s the entire time I was there, not just a day or two. Again, off. So what is it, is it global warming or is it just simply that’s how it went down?

Everyone instantly blames a variance that is not normal on global warming. But that variance is only based on their lifetime. You can look back in history and you’ll find a similar occurrence. You’ll find a ridiculously warm or cold day. Or month. Or even a year. Yet we seem to want to instantly blame some corporation for ruining the atmosphere.

Now I’m not doubting that we’ve been very irresponsible. Let’s face it, we’re lazy. We’d rather use tons of packaging that must be unwrapped to reveal a small meal we can put in the microwave. Cause that cooking thing takes time. So we’re definitely responsible for the waste and usage of things that can impact the environment. I’m all there with our need to clean up our act. But how much of this is the chicken and the egg thing? Which one’s responsible each time?

You know our grandparents led to the invention of the microwave and Tupperware and all the packaging that makes for waste. They did it to make it easier on their kids, to make life more convenient. They didn’t do it to cause waste, that wasn’t part of the plan. But now we know better and have to do what we can for our kids to stop wasting so much. It’s just logic. No need to complain, just figure out ways to stop wasting so much, stop so many chemicals, and don’t make the sun so mad.

Then maybe it’ll be 70 here again the way it’s supposed to be. Or maybe that’s just the way the sun wanted it.

The Science of Farting




Boys love farts. That never changes no matter how old they get. I”m also convinced that girls think farts are just as funny, they’re just often brought up to say how childish it is by their well-meaning mothers.

But they might be able to surpass that opinion if they could only appreciate the science of farting. Think about it, it is often that your finger must be pulled in order to fart. How is that connected? It’s utterly amazing. And how often must we lift one butt cheek in order for the fart to occur? I there some sort of bio mechanics involved that the twisting is necessary? And lastly think about the science of lighting your farts. That the gas produced could cause this tremendous flame to be ignited is simply a miracle of the natural world.

The other thing that might sway more women to be more accepting of the fart is its artistic merit. And that brings us to Le Petomane.

Joseph Pujol, or Le Petomane, was a French flautist, or professional farter, who performed in the late 1800s and beyond in places as famous as the Moulin Rouge. He made sound effects of cannon fire and thunderstorms, played the ocarina and was able to extinguish a candle from several feet away. He actually passed air and not intestinal gas, but it still proves the power of the butt and it is something to be revered.

So us boys should be looked at in a different light, we are not just merely giggling at the sound and the smell, but admiring the art and science of the fart.

Two Great Truths


There are two great truths I believe: everyone should be nicer, and it should not be cold in Southern California.

“It’s always 72 and sunny in LA.” That’s a line from Steve Martin’s “L.A. Story” and in the three years I’ve lived here I’ve found it to be true. So when I found myself today wearing a long sleeve shirt under a sweatshirt and a knit cap on the top of my head, I was sure that the Mayans had just missed it by a few weeks. Now I’m sure that your reaction will be somewhere between “Aww, poor baby” and “F@#K YOU” depending on where you might live. But I was cold!

When I frist moved here it was October and people were wearing fleeces in eighty degree weather. I couldn’t understand it. For the first six months I never wore long pants. The only reason I did switch from shorts is that I got a job as a US Census Crew Director so I had to look official. Shorts and a T-shirt is business casual here, but I had to look a little more respectful. But it was only cargo pants and I still had a short sleeve shirt on, no jacket.

Everyone told me my blood would thin. That is the statement that has been made since I moved here. That I would start to feel the subtler differences. But my Chicago skin has been forged over forty years and so it has not changed. I have not shed the skin for a Southern California wimpy version. Today I was cold because it was cold.

It was 55 degrees.