Comfortably Dumb

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Sweatpants

Cause – Rodriguez

So yesterday a couple of lights, bombs, bells and whistles exploded off in my head. It’s a been a while. Epiphany on. I was talking to a guy who asked me a simple enough question:

What have you been doing lately?

Rattled off the usual replies.

This.

That.

The gibber.

Grand. As you duu. Until he asked a follow up: Continue Reading »

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The Death Of Pointless Notes

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Two age old conundrums which have confused apes for never: Which is more important, petrol or cake? Tough one. Good one. And the other… What does a bucket and a chariot have in common? That is a tad easier. Starts with an M and ends with an ape. Wuu. Lucky them! If you have been reading my gibber since way back when – when what? – or one of the hundreds of thousands of people to have read my book of gibber, you might remember my love affair with… The Bucket. Remember. Shudder. The One. Heartbreak. Ridicule. Agony. Frustration. Sadness. Despair. Delighted. Well, delighted when I eventually sold my old truck and stopped going on and on and on about it. My old truck which looked like a rusty old bucket. Smelt like fake tan.  Kept breaking down. Which is the technical term for when you run out of petrol. Yes indeed, I am that clueless. Well, was that clueless. Slightly better now. Although this gibber begs to differ… Continue Reading »

A Messy Break-Up, Karaoke, and “The Lads”

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I was going to try and change the style of the posts today and do an informative one about the weird world of Craigslist. However, I’m too hungover and tired to be informative. Plus, its been an emotional day. Break-ups and goodbyes are hard to do.

I get woken up this morning, early, by my phone buzzing next to my ear. Hungover to funk, I answer without looking at it. “Hey, my friend, I’m calling about the horse, si”. The horse? What did I do last night?!! But I know that voice from somewhere…Silvestre? “Yes, I am Silvestre, do you still have the horse my friend?” No, but I have the truck, what happened to yesterday? You never showed! “Que? The truck?…The truck! Sorry sir, I’ll call back” So realizing he rang me by mistake, he hangs up. I try to call back straight away,but he turns his phone off, another weird time wasting scenario. Hungover and reminded about the bloody Bucket again so early (I was just moving on with my life too) I put an ad up on Craigslist (again), basically offering it to anyone who shows, with any amount of cash, or a tow-truck. Take it away. So I get the usual call from some guy, I’m on my way, will you take $300, whats the street, I’ll be there in 15. Sure you will.

Get the call – I’m outside, come on out. The Champions League just kicks off so I say I’ll be right out and don’t bother. Not in the mood to go back out waving at no one again. Except he rings again, asks me can he get into the truck and have a look, bring out the keys. There actually is someone outside, a hyper Californian dude, almost getting turned on by the bad shape of the truck, how its so old, how crap it is, and yet how much of a beast it is. Turns out he’s a mechanic, loves fixing old cars, he’ll take it. Without even driving it or turning the engine on. Im hungover and dumb, nowhere near with it, offer to take him around the block for a test drive. Why, I don’t know. Sure thing, I’ll go for a drive around the block maaan if you want, so we get in, it starts after 5 goes, his enthusiasm wears off a bit. Im thinking, balls, why didn’t I just give him the keys, take the money and run.

So we take off down the street, and the Bucket runs out of gas, breaks down mid stream. Im goosed, very hungover, getting annoyed and just start randomly putting it into neutral, park, drive, reverse, while freewheeling down my street, killing the transmission (I’ve learned a bit more about trucks now, ha). He makes me stop. Laughing at me, he asks if I had too much Bud. I tell him yes, too goosed to drive, plus its out of petrol but does he want a go anyways. He gives me a knowing look – “I knew you were a stoner man, we have the best bud in Cali! I have to buy this thing now! Helping each other out maaan”. I thought he meant booze but this misunderstanding pleases him and the deal is back on! He someone manages to get us to the petrol station in first gear, the Bucket making noises like a cat being raped. I still don’t get why but at this stage he has fallen in love with the Bucket, almost giddy with excitement over this battered truck with no petrol, he offers me $326 for the Bucket. Snap his hand off, even put $6 petrol in it for him to get him home, done deal. I tell him I’ll walk home, only around the corner, don’t want to get into it again now its off my hands. Its on the walk home when its all kicks in though…I’ll never see the Bucket again, the good times we had, the high, the lows, all that jazz. That was it though, the affair was over, time to move on, plenty more Buckets on Craigslist for me to waste my money on.

For a change last night, I was spoilt for choice. Instead of my fairly regular plan of hitting a club with people I barely know, usually meeting them for the first time that night, if not just going on my own, and using the line “Oh, my friend is in the bathroom” if someone asks who I’m here with, I had two offers. My roommates were going to karaoke in a bar close enough to where we live. And the lads from soccer in Robbie’s house were going to Les Deux, or Les Duu, cant remember which, did I want to come along? So, spoilt for choice, I punted for Les Duu, and could always go to karaoke if it wasn’t good.

The guy who texted me about Les Duu says he’ll collect me on his way there. Picks me up, I’m pumped, after a few boozes, come on the lads!!! “Sorry I’m late mate, had to look after Rob’s dog for a while – No problem, are the others already in there? – Yeah mate, I’m meant to be meeting the lads in there now. Should be good”. Meant being the most important word. So we pull up outside the door, and just as we’re going in he tells me “I faawking hate this place, mate, bunch of w**kers”. I’m like, ok, looks good to me though. Its a rock night in there, the crowd is funky, rock and roll style, mohawks, top hats, cool, with a load of hot funky women. Its like the Brog but instead of one gem, there are buckets full of gems here. It looks class. And the music is good, with a band playing in the another room as well. I’m really pumped at this stage.

What are we drinking boss? “Naw mate, I don’t drink much…I faawking hate this place, uuuggghhh, look at the state of her, don’t fancy yours much love” Oh right. Weird. Eh, want to go find the lads so or what. “Yeah, not sure who’s here really, one guy who used to play might be in here, I think he djs.” Oh right. Are the lads even out? ” Not sure mate…don’t fancy yours much either luv, bunch of W**KERS!!!” I’m completely lost at this stage, “the lads” don’t seem to be out, he hates this place that he’s brought me to (which is class), he’s engaged so its not another gay scenario thankfully, I need a drink. I’ll be back in a minute boss, must get a booze. I get two, could be another long weird night, and head back out to my buddy. As I walk back up to him, he tells me, loudly, surrounded by people, “I’m not a racist, but I f***ing hate those…” Then lists off people he doesn’t like. Includes this place. He doesn’t seem to fancy hers much at all. Who wears those w**ker V-neck t-shirts (I was wearing one the exact same that day, ha). This music is s**t (it’s rocking), put on something good MATE!!! Sweet Jesus, this is going well. It’s like a scene from This Is England or something.

I pull the old just got a text trick, I must make a call, back in a minute boss. So I go for a little stroll on my own, listen to the band, then have to head back to the my buddy. Its a lost cause, he’s complaining about a guy who asked him for a light “What the f**k do I look like mate” so I agree with him this place is crap, this is greeted by the first smile all night, is he up for karaoke instead. At least I know what its like now. I’ll be back next week with my buddy who’s in the bathroom, just not with my mate.

Karaoke in Hollywood compared to karaoke in Ireland is like comparing a team in the NFL and an American football team in Ireland. I didn’t have a clue it would be so good, its unreal!!! My past experiences with karaoke in Ireland was the singer mumbling into the mic, eyes trained on the screen, guessing a few words, then hoping everyone else will sing the chorus with them and save them looking terrible. Here, its some old Chinese dude rapping with an R Kelly style guy, and they are savage, its hilarious how good they are. Apparently, people take it really seriously here, hoping for the tiny chance there is someone in the bar who will hear them and give them their big break. You obviously have the few idiots who think they’re better than they are and are cheesy boy-band style apes (two guys ripped open their shirts, being serious, while singing Boys II Men, End of the Road, one guy had nice man boobs in fairness to him). The girl doing the MC was like Christina Aguilera, kept singing between people coming up (hot as well, had a boyfriend though – so do I, we should double-date…it didn’t work). There was a Frank Sinatra style crooner, about 60, slick, groomed, smarmy, who was way too good for there. Serenading the crowd, walking all around the bar singing, reaching the highest of high notes effortlessly, and even getting in a little jig with me while singing, he was brilliant. Two girls rapped some 90’s rap song, and were brilliant. All this on a random Monday night for karaoke. They’d be chart toppers in Ireland. I’m pretty sure the majority were sober too, which made it even stranger, no inhibitions whatsoever.

After a few shots, and before I realized how good everyone else was (I hadn’t been paying attention and by then only saw man boobs strut his stuff), I put my name down to sing. After a few more horrific shots I forgot that I had put my name down as Omar (for the laugh, I’m too funny at times, I tried to explain my joke later to my roommates but they didn’t get it, always a good sign when you are explaining why your jokes are funny too) and didn’t realize I was being called to sing Tiny Dancer. Ha, I missed my chance to shine as Elton John. No wonder my roommate asked if I was gay. Good song but not sure if my mate fancied it much. He kept telling me he didnt fancy the girl behind the bar much, luv, she had charms for faaaaawk’s sake, sort it out luv (chubby arms – he had to explain that to me but at least his was funny).

Turned out to be a great night in the end. Tough day though. After all the bud I had. And the emotional aspect. End of an era. I managed to convince myself I had been productive by selling the truck, and getting money coming in for a change, so I did bob all else but battle my hangover. I texted the Bucket a few times to see what it was up to as well, no reply though. Hard to think of it with someone else, after all the time I wasted trying to make things work too. Best 11 days holiday romance I’ve ever had. I’m better off single and walking though.

Song of the day was going to be Tiny Dancer but too cheesy. This is far better and I can dedicate it to the Bucket…Bruises by Chairlift.

Here’s one last great song that just came on my iTunes…Run To Your Grave by the Mae Shi

Obsessive And Clingy, I’m On The Rebound…

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I realized today that I am obsessed with the Bucket that sits outside my front door and wrecks my neighbors’ heads(One neighbor asked yesterday if I was buying that truck, I said no selling it, she gave a big pheeeeewww, we were hoping you weren’t buying it, it looks awful…nice one!). I have put everything else on hold until I can sell it. For the past few days I have decided to not booze, not to go out, not to look for a job, forget about acting classes, forget about sorting out a visa, and forget about life, until I have sold the Bucket. No more, enough is enough.

Today I got up about 10 o’ clock. This lovely, sound chap who I met last night was coming about 10.30 to buy the truck. The reason he didn’t take it then and there last night was that he needed his wife to drive his car home, and he’d drive the bucket home. So, I kindly listened to his stories about his holiday home in Mexico, the parties, the Coronas, the Patron, the ay ca-rumbas and all the rest. Senor Silvester was coming back in the morning with $400 and taking the Bucket out of my life once and for all, it was the least I could do.

So I have some breakfast, watch t.v, get a few more calls about the truck from interested parties, read a book, have some lunch, watch some t.v, cruise the internet. All the time ringing Silvester to see where he is. Senor Basatardo doesn’t even answer my calls or call to say he’s not coming. Two more guys ring to tell me that they are going to come check it out…no sign of either.

At this stage my agitation is building up a head of steam. I get in a stupid argument with my roommate over a yogurt (one funking yogurt!!!), realize how stupid I’m being, apologize and settle back in to waiting for the first buyer to show up. My phone rings again…Mike. I’m wondering who Mike is, his number is saved in my phone, but I can’t remember who he is…Was he a gym buddy I met? Was he the dude who owned the house in the hills who took a fancy to me? No, it clicks, that funk who sold me the Bucket. Sweet Jesus, I almost drop the phone with the surge of rage that overcomes.

Answer the phone, he starts to give me crap, how he is going to kill me, then he is going to sue me, I better watch my back, he knows where I live, I better take his name off Craigslist, thats derogatory and blasphemous(the idiot doesn’t even know what words he is using or what they mean, I presume he meant defamatory). I had put an ad up trying to sell the truck, and gave his name as the con who lied to me, if anyone knew him, tell him I want a word (tough man and all that I am). He had seen the ad and now his phone worked. I better watch my back, he was going to get my ass killed, or sue me, so I had better get my lawyer ready as well. Funking ape. So, somehow the guy who lied and sold me a heap, is now on the phone threatening me, how the funk did this swing around?!!!

The surge of rage spills out, Im effing and cursing at him “Come up, kill me, I’ll get you first, you effing pr**k, my lawyer is waiting, you cheeky b*****d, wasting my time, you f**king langer” and so on. At the time it was a good rant but typing it out it seems womanly enough, felt good at least. Pity he probably didn’t get what a langer is. Pity as well that I think he hung up the minute I spoke for the first time. I try to ring him back but his phone is back off.

The rant did the world of good. I gave up on waiting for the other fools who said they’d come to buy it (there’s only one fool really in all this but I’ll forget about that for a minute). If they do ever show up I’m always within walking distance of my house anyways, ha, no car and all.

I get a call from my roommates, they are in Chateau Marmont up the road having a drink, come join them. The drinking ban is lifted. Up I go. I know now that the incident was still on my mind on my way up. A hot girl compliments my t-shirt while we’re waiting for the green man to cross the road, and all I say is “Thanks” and walk across, not waiting for the green man and leaving her at the other side of the street. Smooth enough if I say so myself. Smooth. It was too soon after breaking up with the Bucket anyways, it would’ve been unfair on her. Sure.

So, up in Chateau Marmont, my roommates and I, with Cameron Diaz sitting next to us, probably on the rebound too, not looking great though. While I’m busy squirming at the prices – I’ll have a vodka, please($15) – Vodka and? Vodka and…water (Ha, never a good sign) –  Fiji water, sir? ($5) No, no, tap water will do, cheers boss – my roommates point out that my Bucket affair has been a comedy of errors. Cant help but laugh at it all. Another weight is lifted off my shoulders when I admit this to myself. If I sell it, I sell it, if not, its given me plenty of material. I’ve wasted all this time when instead I could be out and about, not being smooth and being surprised at how someone doesn’t look as good as I thought she would. Far more productive.

I was meant to celebrate selling the truck tonight. Instead I’m just going boozing on with my new soccer buddies, celebrating breaking free of the Bucket’s spell. At least I now have a few wingman. And can use the line “Want to come back to my house up on Mulholland?” Ha, wuu huu. I’ll obviously be going home alone tonight.

I know who to blame or thank for all these ups and downs as well, Craig, but I’ll write more about that tomorrow. Here’s a good song to get pumped too and suitable for the Bucket episodes…Stuck On Repeat by Little Boots.

Spanglish, Si, With A Dash Of Sex Pistol, Eh?

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This weekend epitomized the paradox of living in LA. On one hand, cool, random events occurred. On the other hand, annoying, head wrecking events occurred. It is a weird buzz to be put in random, cool, surreal situations, interlinked with time wasting, money wasting, annoying scenarios. As in how many times will I get to use the line “Oh, I was just up at Robbie Williams’ place playing 5-a-side with Steve Jones, yeah, the dude from the Sex Pistols, Jonesy”. Then how many times will I be selling a bucket and be told by ten different eager people that they are on the way, cash in hand, dying to buy the bucket, hold it for me, I’m driving there now, what’s the address again, Im one street over, and none of them to show up. Cool next to plain weird and annoying. LA all the way.

So Saturday starts well. I woke up to lots of emails and texts about the truck. All of a sudden it is en vogue, people have been queuing up all night to get their hands on it, the must have item for the season. I’m surprised not to see a line of people in sleeping bags outside my door when I check outside. I email/text them all back, return calls to the ones who phoned me, give them the address, first come first serve kind of thing. Queue the lies and time wasting. I get told “I’m literally outside your house” to “I’m coming up from San Diego to buy it, hold it for me”. I think they’re genuine and not flakes, as they say here, so I think I’ll have a little bidding auction when they all come, the Bucket could make me some money. Three hours later and no sign from anyone. I fooled myself, waste of time (Weirdly one guy kept calling saying he was outside my house, could he come in, he could see me, can I see him, look he’s waving, wave back – I didn’t wave back. Well, not after the third time of waving anyways, ha).

Sick of my phone and wasting the day away, I get a text for soccer in Mulholland, English against the French, they’ve an Italian, we’ve an Irish man. So I head up with this sound dude, and on the way up he’s telling me who’s on our team, mentions some guy Jonesy a few times. Not being familiar with him from the other games, I ask who this Jonesy is. Steve Jones, do you know him? No, who is he? The dude from the Sex Pistols. Oh, right, him. I actually thought they were all dead. Seems he is doing a radio show in LA for the past few years.

So we play the match, hottest day yet since I’ve been here, absolutely in bits from carrying Jonesy all game, and he’s a big man, we lose, game over. So our team is just sitting around afterwards, small talk and rambling on as you do. Stories are being told like normal, everyday stories. (Cue some name dropping by me here, so be warned). So, I’m listening to stories about Jason, Rosie, Michelle, Cameron, Jessica, Rachel, Bob and others I can’t remember. You can guess the surnames if you like. And the stories are good, getting more interesting, funny as funk, some “Oh Jesus” moments. So, I ask who is this person in this story, who is that in that story, and get told the surnames. I pretend not to know half of them, or barely seen that movie he/she was in. Playing it cool as you do. Sometimes I let slip an old “No way, she did that, in the kitchen, with the spoon?”. Not being used to hearing revealing stories with famous actors in it that you might otherwise read and think Bob Hope that happened, its pretty cool post match banter. Probably arms and legs added on to the stories but at the time I didn’t care, interesting to hear. Then a plane crashed into the pitch.

When I get dropped off at my house I notice a guy sitting on the front step who I’d never seen before. He has a massive turban on and big long beard. When I walk by him, his accent throws me off, really really American, plus I had heard it before. He asks me if I know a guy Mork, or Eric, who lived in this building. Mark perhaps, or Merrick? Yes, thats me. He was here about the bucket. I spoke to him earlier on the phone so remembered the voice but did not imagine he looked like this. Anyways, he tells me he’s very interested in buying the truck, can we go check it out right now before it got dark. So we get in his car, and I’m back on my way to Mulholland, wrecked, thinking my idea of throwing the keys away was looking appealing now I’m so tired, but it’ll be worth it to sell the junk. We stop en route to get petrol to put in it, and away we go on the 20 minute trip there.

Great small talk ensues. My new buddy laughs at anything I say while Im half way through saying something that isn’t really funny at all (I can speak German, for example, “Oh man, that is too funny”). Its either laughing or saying you Irish must be drunk so much. For 20 long minutes. Every minute, one or the other, interrupting all the interesting, funny things I have to say. So we get to the Bucket, put the petrol in, doesn’t start up again, I’m ready to try and smash the thing apart. Not that I could but its the most head wrecking purchase I’ve ever bought. My new buddy convinces me we’ll get one more tank of petrol and it’ll start up, these things need a lot of gas man, were you drunk driving this man? Oh that is too funny, I know you were, the Irish must be drunk all the time!!! For some reason he wont accept the fact I’m telling him the gas gauge is bust so I tell him what he wants to hear and mention how I drank all the poteen.

At this stage I’m sick to death of everything related to the truck. Don’t care about selling it, don’t care about putting more petrol in, don’t care if I’ve wasted all this time and money on it for nothing, just take me home, my back is killing me from Jonesy!!! However, my new bud convinces me one more tank will do the trick. I don’t have the energy anymore to argue. So we drive all the way to the closest petrol station, which is about a 2 minute drive away from my house. One more tank will do the trick. It doesn’t, obviously, it couldn’t be as easy as that. So I ask him to bring me home, I’ve had enough, its been almost two hours since he picked me up. I’ve been back and forth going on six times today. On the way home it all gets a bit weird. First he keeps dropping hints about how much petrol he’s using up, I should really give him money towards it, I’m only joking, I’m using so much gas though man, did you drink it? Are you drunk on my gas right now? Oh man, that is too funny! If these little sayings are annoying you now, imagine two fun filled hours of it. 

Then my new buddy asks who do I live with, looks like its a nice place, can he come see it? I stupidly tell him I live with two girls, it is a nice place. Oh man, the four of us should go out together tonight. or I should come to yours and we drink with them, see what happens. Emmm, as appealing as it sounds, I’ll pass. As we drive past the Viper Room…we should go there tonight man, would be you be interested? Every bar we drive past is the same, I pretend to be falling asleep and didn’t hear him. There are only so many places I can tell him I’ve been once and never, ever, ever want to go back again. I realize then he must want a friend. He never actually seemed interested in buying the truck looking back at it. Oh Jesus, not even I have stooped this low for a wing man. We get outside my house, I make him pull up two buildings down hoping he wouldn’t notice. He does. Asks could he come back in and wash his hands and face, meet my roommates, perhaps. I throw him a tenner for petrol, car still rolling slowly, tell him he cant, we’ve painters in, painting the whole place, looks awful, wouldn’t want guests around, another time.

The look of dejection was not hard to get over. It was also a nutter look he gave me. Fairly freaked and tired I decided to lay low for the night. I’ve gotten a good few texts and emails since. Can he just have the truck for free? Can he take all the parts he wants off it? Can he call over for a beer? What am I doing tonight? Did I get his voicemail? Sweet Lord, its the cable guy.

Sunday starts more promising. I get woken up by a guy ringing me saying he’s on my street, could I show him the truck. I go outside and he’s actually there, with his wife, its legit. I give a quick look for the cable guy, no sign of him in the bushes. We go back to the truck(I could drive there blindfolded now I’d say), get in, starts up perfectly, the Love Truck is back. We take it for a drive, going well, swing it around in my buddy’s driveway on Mulholland if you like, ha, ape. He says he’ll mull it over, get back to me tomorrow about it. I don’t really mind now, the Bucket is back running, at least I can get it back outside my house. 

When I pull up outside my house, there are two little Mexican chaps waving me down. I pull in, and somehow figure out they’re here to look at the truck. I also figure out quite quickly that they can speak almost no English, one guy can say truck and three, the other can just look at me grumpily, as if he wouldn’t mind shooting me for some reason. Also, I have no Spanish except “Que, si, noo, Rauuuuuul” and some chat up line which I don’t even think makes sense any more. So for the next few minutes the grumpy dude checks the car out while I have a good, free-flowing conversation with the other guy. So do you want to buy the truck? “Si, 3″. Ok, pardon, 3 which? 3 hundred? “Noo, 3″. Ok, 3 what? “Eh” Si? “Eh?” What the funk, and why does the grumpy dude hate me and keep throwing me dagger looks. I try to speak German to him for an unknown, hopeful reason. Nothing. Irish perhaps? A phrase or two of French? My Spanish chat-up line? None of the above work. I tell him I’ll take 300 dollars for it. All I get back is “ehh?”. And then they just walk away, get into their car and drive off. That was the last bit of haggling they did…”Ehh?”. If he had said si I would’ve probably given it to him for 200.

I give up on selling it today, at least people were showing up, still wasting my time, but in the flesh at least. I go to play soccer downtown again then tonight. We’re playing a team of all Mexicans, a few don’t seem to like me either, elbows thrown, 4-1 down, we win 5-4. Horrific game but at least we won. And its clear that the gays might like me, but the Mexicans don’t. 

I get home about 9.30, see I’ve a missed call and a message saying a guy is on his way to look at the truck. And he actually shows up on time. And is sound. And wants to come back in the morning and buy it for $400(wants to bring his wife in the morning so she can drive his car back for him). And he actually seems genuine. But its not sold yet. Close though. And, weirdly enough, I think he was Mexican and not gay. And we got on well. Pretty weird, pre-tty weird.

After writing this horrendously long post Ive realised very few cool things actually happened. A few did. A lot of annoying things happened. And then just weird things too. Unfortunately not one acting related incident. At least now though, I know who I have to sleep with to get a break, just like…did, and like…did for a good while, and who likes a spoon where in the kitchen??!! Ha. Duu.

Here’s a great song for the day…You Only Live Once by The Strokes

Transformer

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We’ve all been there before. You go out, have a few drinks, meet a truck, its dark in the club, the truck looks well. Then you wake up the next morning, paint and make-up scrawled all over the place, fake tan all over your sheets, rust everywhere, this was not the same Love Truck as last night. The Bucket in full effect.The Bucket

Here are a few photos of my street and area I live in too, Sunset…