Saturday, July 29, 2006

Labor Ready Freddie

Doubt whom you will, but never yourself.   ---Christian Bovee

    For some reason, hanging out in the Labor Ready hall four or five hours a day gives me the feeling that I've been hanging out at anarchist meetings. My brethren of the holy jeans are a mixture of old military veterans America doesn't give a crap about and twenty-something kids who are dumb as boiling mud.

    So after hanging out in the hall all morning and not getting any minimum wage work, I popped into a print shop in Inglewood and made a quick $90 for 45 minutes of Photoshop work and then ran up to the Sprint offices (pun intended) to pay my cell phone bill. Ahhhhhhhh. I'm communications mobile again.

    I took a nap this afternoon and then when I went over to the Arco (which won't hire me because they think I'm white), they were so short-handed and behind in their work that they paid me a large pizza, two quarts of soda and a pack of cigarettes for a little light beverage stocking.

    Back in San Antonio when I was a Mr. M convenience store manager, my store was one of the top producing stores in the city. I was constantly getting efficiency bonuses and store manager of the month awards . . . but I can't get hired as a simple cashier at the Arco because the Mediterranean owner apparently thinks white people are . . .uh . . . I don't know . . . ambitious? That's a rotten thing to think about ME.

    The Gypsy, a Hungarian callgirl I occasionally drive for the Pacific Coast Entertainment Escort Agency, says I should start my own religion. There's more money in whacky religion in Los Angeles than there is in sex, she says. Hmm. The Church of Jolie, a Jolietharian way of life. I like that.

Tags: , , , , ,

Ads by

Powered by Qumana

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Good Luck, Children!

Tags: , , ,

Dieses Eis schmeckt nach Seife.


Onefugi, day clerk at the Arco, always greets me at the Arco counter with a big smile. She loves the stories I email her, especially the tales of my roommate Creepy. She calls them 'her stories', like women say of their Harlequin romance novels.

"I love reading my stories from you," she says, "I show them to my husband," she tells me, "You know, he says you must be CRAAAAA-ZEEE!"

"A common opinion," I answer.

'My stories'. THAT, my friend, is quite a compliment. I get other compliments; direct ones that warm my heart and indirect ones that let me know I've touched a nerve of truth. I've even gotten compliments that made me check my back pocket to make sure my wallet was still there, but 'my stories' is the kind of compliment I really like.

'My stories' implies a kind of co-ownership; co-ownership of the ideas and thoughts and characters in my stories. Like she can really relate. Like she lived some of these events in my stories THROUGH my stories, if she hasn't lived them herself in her own life already.

My stories are like children. They're all influenced by me, but each has its own personality. Anyone, like The Russian, who says they're all the same, hasn't lived with them very long, didn't REALLY want to know them. Wanna really piss me off? Talk bad about my children!

I encourage my children to go out into the world and make their mark. Maybe I don't encourage them enough. Whatever. But what they do once they're out there is beyond my control. Good luck, children!

Ads by

Powered by Qumana

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Paralegal Mime Patrol

Tags: , , ,

No price is set on the lavish summer,

June may be had by the poorest comer.

----James Russel Lowel

    I woke at midnight tonight, walked over to the Arco station for some cigarettes, startling Mike, the night clerk there, a little, walking in out of the dark night as I do. Most of his customers drive in to the station.

    I made the international hand gesture for "I want to smoke" and Mike knew which brand to slip through the safety box. I hate it whenever they get a new night clerk there. When that happens, I have to do a whole mime routine to explain that I want cigarettes and I want Carlton Menthols. I use "Car" (automobile) and "Ton" (staggering under a very heavy weight) to get my cigs.

    I answered some email for a couple of hours and took a smoke break outside in the motel courtyard. A 14 year-old crackhead and his mother rode up out of the darkness on their bicycles and stopped in front of me.

    "Isn't it a little past your bedtime, young man?" I joked to the boy.

    His mother wasn't amused. 2 a.m. and she's on a mission to the new Motel Marquis candy store ( the new resident drug dealer ). She squinted at me, trying to decide if I was an undercover cop, then trudged up the stairs to her drug dealer as the boy watched the bikes. Everybody around here thinks I'm a cop when they first see me and that's racist. Do all white guys in this neighborhood gotta be cops? No. Me? I'm a paralegal at best. Besides, I'm not white, tete d'epingle.

I looked at the boy, shook my head, and stepped back inside.

Around 3:30, I walked back to the Arco for more cigarettes. On my way past the next door vacant lot, the Vietnamese cat-sacrificing voodoo lot, I noticed a clump of clothes in the tall grass. It was a Colombo jacket, a trench coat. I always wanted a Colombo jacket. Maybe I'll jump the fence where it's torn most of the way down and nab that jacket, I thought as I continued towards the Arco.

"PSSSST!" the jacket said. I turned.

"PSSSSST!" it said again. I looked more closely. There was a man in that jacket. Oh, well, I thought, so much for that, and I continued walking to the Arco.

Mike looked at me through the supposedly bullet-proof, mostly soundproof glass at the cashier's window. NOW what did I want? Couldn't be cigarettes, I was just there a few hours ago for cigarettes. Mike is friendly enough, but a little confused about American appetites. I got him to slide open the safety box enough to where I could talk through it.

"Whatsa matter, Mike? You think I smoke too much? Yeah, that's right. I'm here for more Carltons."

"You live here?" Mike asked as we made the cash/pack exchange. He waved his arm in the general direction of the street.

"I have a mission over there at the motel," I answered, "Very exclusive."

Mike looked confused.

Ads by

Powered by Qumana

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Tags: , , , ,

The Limo Driver

by Jolie Blond


Sometimes I sit at my gas station night window

looking out at Crenshaw Boulevard,

thinking about all the pussy I'm not getting.

The limo driver pulls her black stretch limo

up to pump number five,

pumps gas

and walks toward my window

to sign the credit slip.

She's an ugly little thing.

Her momma cooked with too much lard.

Her skin is as bad as a moldy banana,

and she walks like a man

in her chauffeur's uniform,

and her sassy accent is straight from Queens--

she's got that tough, big city girl posture--

but her body is thin enough,

petite enough,

to make me go for it,

the whole package:

an ugly girl with a nice enough body

and a half-assed steady job.

I give her the look,

a facial expression I've used on so many women,

half carnivore, half smitten kitten

with a dash of

'I think I knew you in a previous life'

thrown in to cinch the deal.

I call it my look of

surprised recognition.

It works.

I've caught the limo driver's eyes in my high beams,

she stands there . . .


She has already signed the credit slip

and taken her receipt,

but she just stands there

caught by my look of

surprised recognition.

I've got her.

She asks what time I get off

and I resist the honesty of telling her

'not too long after I get you under me, honey.'

She asks what I'll be doing in a few days for Halloween

as she tries to walk away back to her limo,

but can't.

She's walking a narrow figure eight

in front of my night window,

in front of my penetrating gaze,

trying to walk away,

but turning back towards me,

circling left, circling right,

a narrow figure eight,


thinking up new smalltalk to add,

thinking up new questions to ask,

parading her body back and forth across my gaze

like a pedigreed bitch

in front of the judges' stand

at a dog show.

I've got her.

Powered by Qumana

Friday, July 21, 2006

Still Discriminating After All These Years


Vegas Makes It Illegal to Feed Homeless
LAS VEGAS (July 21) - In an effort to curb charity that is having unintended consequences, the City Council has made it illegal to give food to homeless people in city parks.
Residents complained that the large numbers of homeless gathering in the parks make it impossible for others to use them, said city spokesman David Riggleman.
"We're trying to empathize with both camps," he said. "We're hoping we can improve their lives and improve the lives of people living around the park, some of whom have people urinating and defecating in front of their door."
The law, which went into effect Thursday, targets so-called "mobile soup kitchens." It carries a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.
Riggleman said that by shutting down such soup kitchens, homeless people will be encouraged to go to a center or charity that offers services such as mental health evaluations or job placement.
Gail Sacco, who operates a mobile soup kitchen seven days a week, said the city doesn't have adequate homeless services and that she is undeterred.
"There's no way for people to get out to those services in triple-digit weather," she said. "My plan is to do anything I feel is needed to keep these people alive."
The law defines a homeless person as an indigent "whom a reasonable ordinary person would believe to be entitled to apply for or receive assistance."
American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada lawyer Allen Lichtenstein said the language makes the law unenforceable.
"The ordinance is clearly unconstitutional and nonsensical," he said. "How are you going to know without a financial statement who's poor and who's not poor?"
"It means they can discriminate based on the way people look," Lichtenstein said.

Powered by Qumana

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Journal of An American Arcology

Tags: , ,


    My story here starts with my discovery of the Arco during my 60 month bout with homelessness, during which time I had gone a little mad from sleep depravation and had come to see the violent philo- sophies espoused in a movie called “The Fight Club” as a homeless man’s epiphany.

    I traveled around the Los Angeles basin from city to city for years, looking for cheap shelter and fistfights. Often that meant crack motels. I would stay a day or two, rattle at least one flophouse resident, then move back out on to the street.

    It was during a two-day stay at the Motel Marquis that I discovered the Arco. Little did I know then that the little gas station would eventually provide me with the stability I needed to stay off the street.

Inviting Low Men In Orange Vests To Join The Fight Club

Aug 10

    Almost got my ass whoopin' a few minutes ago at the Arco station on Crenshaw that I had walked over to for cigarettes. They didn't have my brand (Carlton Menthol), so I was spoilin' for satisfaction. Some road construction workers (orange jackets, jail tattoos and hard hats) were in the station on lunch break. One of them, an Aryan Brothers, goateed, cracker-looking, tobacco-chawing, thirty-something baby-killer-lookin' motherfucker, thought I was finished when I was standing at the counter trying to decide on an alternate brand. He squeezed in and paid for his purchase and I whirled on him, glaring into his hard blue eyes, my face inches from his and yelled, "What am I? Fuckin' invisible, motherfucker? Invisible? Fuckin' invisible?"

    It was on. I was delighted. This guy had bulging arm muscles. It would be a challenge. I'd get a full workout from this chiselnuts. Not like the half-assed flailing I get from the stinkards on the street.

    He started to explain for just a second, then caught himself and changed to something like, "What the fuck is your problem?" and "We can settle this outside, asshole. C'mon!"

    He was pacing outside the door as I decided on Benson & Hedges. One of his co-workers, a tall, smooth-skinned black kid in his twenties said something like "You shouldn'ta cussed his face. No call for that at all." The kid glared as I answered him that there was something wrong with me. The Arco clerk was horrified.

    By the time I stepped outside and up to my ass whoopin', the supervisor had caught on and was frantically calling my cracker to the truck. The cracker reluctantly got on the truck.

    "You better walk on down the road," the supervisor yelled over at me as I walked toward the road repair truck. My cracker was frothing at the mouth, being held on the truck by two coworkers like an angry Pit Bull on a short leash. I walked up to the truck.

    My cracker was yelling something like "Pink, pink". Must be some kind of prison jargon. I was yelling stuff like, "You want a piece of me?" and "Go for it".  Nose to nose, I smelled more than anger and sweat on him. I smelled his need for revenge. Not just on me, but on every motherfucker that had ever held him down, held him back, kept him in his low place.

    The supervisor wedged in between us. He backed my cracker off with a few mumbled words I didn't hear and turned to me. 'He'd kill you if I let him, but I ain't gonna let him,' his eyes said.

    When I saw it wasn't going to happen, I apologized to the supervisor. I felt kinda guilty messing up the supervisor's lunch break. Said I was just crazy. My cracker was pacing back and forth behind a line of men, still yellin' pink, pink.

    "He apologized," the supervisor screamed to him, and then to me: "Walk on down the road. Just walk on down."

    I walked a few steps away and froze at one more 'pink'. I turned around slowly, unwrapping my pack of Bensons like it was the only thing I had scheduled to do all day today and grinned my tooth-gapped crazy street-rat grin. The supervisor herded the rest of the great road beasts into the truck and glared at me. Guess I made his day, too.

    Well, I said to myself as I walked back to the Motel Marquis, that was sufficiently stupid.

Powered by Qumana

Another Mad Turkish Disappointment

Tags: , ,

    I'm really disappointed. The Mad Turk has returned from the desert with his homeless tail between his legs. (see "The Mad Turk Heads Out Into The California Desert") He called me a few days ago from back in the big shitty whining about the hardships of homelessness, hinting around that some kindhearted working stiff could take him in out of the harsh reality of the street for a while.

    What a pussy. He hasn't even been homeless three weeks yet and he's whimpering like a stick-beat yard dog. I'm kind of disgusted. He was a tough-talking hombre sitting on his couch in the comfort of his Hollywood apartment (that his wife was paying rent on) before his wife left him for a rich man's mansion (and a twisted old fart who likes to be tied up, beat and humiliated when he isn't busy stealing money out of employee pension funds ).

    Three weeks and The Mad Turk is cringing already. I had higher expectations of him. I saw him, in my mind's eye, living the solitary, noble artist's life in a cave in the desert, painting his mad surrealistic mindscapes and sleeping unashamedly naked under the desert stars, but instead, he's back in this trashy fluorescent dump of a city, squatting in a rat and spider-infested storage trailer in some sympathetic tattooed Mexican's back yard, painting storefront signs for chump change and handing out flyers begging for lowbrow housepainter work.

    All my artist friends have clay feet.

    Now you may think that I'm just in a sour mood since I just lost that INS government job because I can't blow hard enough (at least I didn't lose it because I couldn't SUCK hard enough), but the truth is that I get pretty testy with anyone telling me how hard homelessness is when they really haven't gotten both feet into it yet. Three weeks. What a jellyfish. Don't talk to me about how hard homelessness is until you've been in it at least a year, bucko. That's when the bone REALLY starts grinding on the pavement.

Ads by

Powered by Qumana

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Who Represents the Expert Sex Changers in Penis Land?

Tags: , ,

Ads by

   Looking for whore presents? Expert sex change? Penis land? I understand, but you're really going to be disappointed when you find them by typing in their URLs.

Powered by Qumana

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Hum of the Heart

Tags: , , , ,

The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions
and not our
---Martha Washington

Sometimes I long for French accordion music. I was longing for it
last night in
my truck as I was driving to work thinking about Grace. You remember
Grace, the
homeless Korean woman who keeps popping in and out of my life every few
months . . .
popping in by phone call with her standard greeting: "James, pick me

I want to write something . . . something meaningful about her,
which isn't
going to be easy because I can find no meaning, to rhyme or reason, to
her life. She
just drifts. I mean REALLY drifts. Grace drifts like I have seen no
other drift.

Ranger Mike is out right now so I can think. Today is payday at
Sucko Security
so I drove him down to Marina del Rey to pick up our checks and stood
right behind
him in line at the bank while he cashed his $500 check. He owed me

While Ranger Mike was in the Sucko Security suites picking up our
paychecks, a
message from his family in Flint, Michigan found him. His grandfather
died. He wishes
he could go to the funeral, but what with having to pay rent here at
U.S. Vets and
pay that $80 traffic ticket he got for being foolish enough to get
caught riding in a
car driven by my homeless attorney and the expense of building his
sound stage in my
room, he just can't afford the time off. I still stood behind him in
line at the bank
while he cashed his paycheck.

It's been a hard month for Ranger Mike. The Gulf War cancer tumor
at the base of
his spine has been bothering him and since he turned over control of
his medications
to me, he hasn't been able to get high on his painkillers like he used
to. These sad
facts he explained to me on our way to the bank this afternoon.

I still stood behind him in line at the bank while he cashed his

Ranger Mike is off catching buses to Redondo Beach right now. He
needs more
strings for his guitars. He's hard on guitar strings. Up until
yesterday he was also
very hard on my eardrums, but I dug and dug and dug through the packrat
plunder of my
milk crates until I came up with the dumpster-salvaged Radio Shacklike
necessary for him to route most of the noise from his guitars through
the karoake
machine into headphones.

Once again the dumpster gods have saved a life, Ranger Mike's or
mine, depending
upon which you think is tougher in a roommate fight: a cancer-ridden
Airborne Ranger
or a street-crazed, White Rhino army journalist.

I've had a whole afternoon ( A WHOLE AFTERNOON!!) of peace and
quiet today. A
WHOLE AFTERNNON! I've squandered most of it just lying on my bunk bed,
soaking up . .
. I mean SOAKING UP . . . the peacefulness of a quiet room. It was
better than
lounging in a hot tub of bath salts.

I could've been writing. I could've been writing about Grace and
the French
accordion music I hear when I'm taking care of her. I could've been
working on
gathering up more of my writing to put on the CD for Louise. Or I
could've been
writing about the Mother's Day fiasco we had here at the shelter the
other day, or
the time travel trip Gordon The Hollywood Anarchist and I took through
Beverly Hills
last week . . .

Ranger Mike is back . . .he bought the strings and a geetahr case
and a blues
book. He wants me to learn to pick the blues on the acoustic so I can
accompany him .

Ads by

Powered by Qumana

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Case of the Anemic, One-Egged, Ten Dollar Omlet

Ads by

Tags: , , , ,

I very recently moved from Los Angeles, California to Marshall, Texas. I am nocturnal. Marshall isn't. I really miss Los Angeles' fine dining at 3 a.m., but I have some high school friends who live in Marshall, so I thought I'd ask about my prospects of finding something non-franchised to eat in this catfish barbeque town:

"Dear Dottie,

How's that "Suzie's Sweets" place next to your job? Pretty reasonable? Good food? Every time I go to check them out, they're closed. I guess me and Suzie's Sweets are temporally incompatible, out of sync, ill-fated.

I'm nocturnal. Is there anywhere decent to eat at 3 a.m. in Marshall? I miss Greek food.

I tried the Waffle House on 59 one morning. Got the $7 breakfast special and a side order of one single, plain omelet. They tried to charge me $17 for the meal. Even acted petulant when I raised a fuss about the $10.00 omelet. Said they "might" have made an adding error.

"Might" my fat Cajun ass. They thought I was a tourist passing through on my way to the boats and tried to gouge me, I'll betcha, I'll bet.

Now, I've HAD a ten dollar cup of coffee (at the Beverly Hills Hotel Polo Lounge) and a ten dollar omelet (at Jerry's Deli in Marina del Rey), but this was no REAL ten dollar omelet The Waffle House was trying to palm off on me, let me tell you, boy howdy! This was an anemic little popcorn fart of an omelet...a one egger!

Foul play, I say! Fowl play!"

Powered by Qumana