Mar 26, 2020

Normal Food Kirk Wont Eat Part 1. Coronavirus Edition

I hope you’re reading this at home, in bed.  Sheltering in place a safe social distance from other warm blooded humans as possible.  I’m taking this break from regularly scheduled normal life to tell you about a particular aspect of myself that people slowly learn about me as they get to interact with me.   Since we’re not eating at restaurants any more it might be hard for new friends to experience.  So here we go. It’s a long one.


   As some of you already know there’s a pretty strict list of things I wont eat.  Most of which are not for medical reasons…or any practical reason for the most part.  There’s a few things I chalk up to genetics but much of it is just because I think it looks gross. There’s a lot of things my dad didn’t like or eat so we never really had it in the house growing up.  He’s always said that he’s a “super taster” which is why he wont eat a lot of things.  He describes it as having a more developed sense of taste which allows him to experience flavors differently.  Things many enjoy he finds off-putting…which I totally get because I experience this too with certain things which is why I feel like I may have inherited some of that super taster DNA. My mom on the other hand eats all kinds of weird shit.  She grew up as a kid in Panama.  And then brought to the United States raised by her overbearing Okie father who ate a bunch of weird southern shit.  Pig’s feet, Okra, all kinds of different seafood, canned anchovies,  like pickled eggs and shit.  This stuff existed in our house but it was so freaky that we all just stayed away.  Mom knew we would never touch any of it either so it never made it into the family menu.   My dad has gotten more adventurous with his culinary choices in his old age but I think that’s just because he’s slowly lost some of his sense of taste and smell from a lifetime of smoking cigarettes like a locomotive going uphill.   The second hand smoke while I grew up may have tamed my tastebuds from the level he had as a kid but I still am averse to many foods. It’s funny, now he gets mad that I wont even try the things he raised me to dislike that his super-power has started to fade.  Whether its nature or nurture, I am an enigma when it comes to food I wont eat. 

Here I will compile as comprehensive list as I can come up with from memory.  I will try to separate them into categories which might make this harder or easier.  We’ll see.  If at any time you need to get up to sanitize or wash your hands, I’ll wait for you to come back. 


Food Allergies:  I thought for a minute that I was allergic to ginseng. Remember ginseng from the 90’s?   Touted to make you think better, they started putting it in products like tea and other soft drinks.  There was a brand of canned iced tea that I liked and they came out with a ginseng version of it that made my tongue feel numb.  I stopped drinking it and started thinking I might be allergic to ginseng.  The fad ended and I really don’t worry much about ginseng anymore.

Another thing that’s gotten popular is gluten allergies.  I don’t think I’m officially allergic but there’s some good science that says the way we farm wheat now is just bad for us in general.  I sometimes feel like I could be sensitive to it so I try to not eat a lot of bread.  That’s to say that bread is definitely NOT on my list of things I wont eat. 
As with the others mentioned above, I have never been officially diagnosed but I’m pretty sure I have some level of intolerance for lactose.  I discovered this while out on tour with my rock band when I was in my early 20’s.  One cheap and easy food we all kind of lived off of was breakfast cereal.  I would have a bowl or two a day, with real full-lactose milk.  Also around this time I was afflicted with bad farts.  All the time, almost on cue, horrible foul smelling farts.  It was funny at first but then it got to be concerning.  We were playing a show and had some pizzas back stage, a fan turned down our offer for pizza citing something I’d never heard of before. he was lactose intolerant or as he put it allergic to dairy.  He described his symptoms and thought that maybe that was why I was farting so much.  I cut milk out of my diet and the farting situation improved.  From that moment on I’ve pretty much only use nut based or lactose free milk if I eat cereal.  And before you ask, no I don’t  “just drink” milk.  That’s fucking disgusting.  Not even when I was oblivious to my fart problems did I ever just straight up drink a glass of milk.  That’s not part of my intolerance, or from my dad because he still will just chug a glass of milk.  I think it might be associated with my next category: Dairy foods. 


Dairy Foods:  I love most, what I call normal cheeses. You know the ones you can get on a sandwich at a deli.   Cheddar, Jack, American, provolone, mozzarella. Even gouda, especially smoked gouda, Muenster and the occasional Havarti.  Never Swiss tho.  Fuck that shit.  Here’s where my DNA kicks in.  I think whatever flavor is in swiss and cheeses like feta, chèvre and other pungent cheese like that is amplified in my mouth and to me much of it tastes like vomit.  Literal stomach acid bile flavor.   There are a ton of other cheeses like Brie and Bleu Cheese type cheese that I either know or think tastes like cheese I already don’t like or it just looks weird and I’ve made an irrational decision to stay away.  Cream cheese for sure is a nope. Including anything made with it, including Cheese Cake.  Sorry, yea.  Part instinct, part being raised by a super taster.    So if it stinks or smells sour I’m out.  I’ll tolerate some cheeses that are in the Swiss cheese spectrum but I still can taste the barf a little bit. 
People really seem to love some of this shit so it sucks too feel like I’m missing out on a good time.  It just tastes like puke to me. 

Another realm of dairy that I’ve completely  cut from my life are things like Sour Cream and salad dressings that are basically sour cream with flavoring in them.  Ranch?  Nice try,  that’s sour cream.  If it’s creamy, white and dairy but not whipped cream or a desserts I most likely will not eat it.  Part of  is knowing it’s gonna taste like shit, or fear that it could.   Yogurt is a weird one.  Most of the time I’m ok with pre-packaged fruit flavored yogurt but plain is gross.  I used to eat cottage cheese as a kid a lot but I really don’t like it anymore.

I mentioned earlier I don’t like Cheesecake. I also said desserts were ok. Ice cream, milk shakes, etc obviously is totally good but I don’t really like cheesecake and I’ve never had a Canoli but I’ll probably never try one because of the cheese factor. Any other weird cheese shit in a dessert or other balsamic ice cream topping bullshit I’ll never eat either. 
Short story about cheesecake tho.  A few years ago I had to get a tooth pulled and an implant put in.  Part of that process is having cadaver bone grafted into the socket so they have something to mount the implant too.  Yes, dead person bone.  While I was healing I could only eat soft food.  I showed up late to a party and the only food that was left was cheesecake.  I helped myself with the intention of only slurping up the whipped cream topping. But I was hungry and slowly started trying the cheese parts.  I was surprised that it didn’t taste horrible and ended up finishing off 2 slices (not the crust tho because of the surgery).  It was probably because this particular cheesecake was homemade by one of the best bakers in the county.  My girlfriend likes to joke that it was the cadaver bone.  Whoever’s bone I had in me was a fan of cheesecake and their soul was somehow now merged with mine.  I’m not as afraid of cheesecake as I was but still cautious. 


You’re probably wondering about my lactose allergy and all this cheese I like.  Well, some dairy food does not really affect me as much as a bowl of milk does.  After a hard pizza binge I could end up on the toilet for the rest of the night but it’s pizza.  Pizza, ice cream, deli sandwich, totally worth it.  Yogurt and cottage cheese, not so much.  I gotta pick my battles.  Before, I mentioned Ranch dressing, which brings me to my next category. 



  Dressings & Condiments:   Ranch got really popular in the 90’s and people started putting it on, and dipping just about everything into it.  I didn’t know exactly what Ranch was but I knew it smelled funny and was most likely made out of Sour Cream or Mayonnaise.  So no Ranch.   No dressings at all for that matter.   Spoiler, I hate pretty much everything made with vinegar too.   But since I mentioned Mayo, lets talk a little about condiments.  I love mustard but I hate vinegar so how is this possible?  Something about the balance of spices and artificial flavors that evens it out for me.  Same with Dill Pickles.  I love the things but put a sweet pickle, relish or any other pickled thing that they add sugar too in front of me and I’ll stab a motherfucker.   But back to condiments,  I’ve hated mayo my whole entire life but I can’t say for sure I’ve ever actually eaten it on purpose.  It’s just another one of those things I was raised to not like.  My dad hated it so in turn, fuck Mayo forever.   When I have eaten it on something by accident I honestly don’t feel like it had any distinct flavor at all.  Just pointless, greasy, white goop subconsciously fucking with me.  Don’t try to fool me by calling it Aioli.  That’s just flavored Mayo. Along with many other dips and dressings and toppings that are just Mayo with flavorings in it.  This brings me back to salad dressing for a minute.  I don’t put any salad dressing on my salad.  People lose their shit when I say this and ask "WeLL wHuuT dO YoU PuT oN YeR SaLaD?!?!"  I put, shredded cheddar, bacon bits, croutons, olives, onions.  I like the taste of iceberg lettuce and my salads are fucking delicious. No one ever has all that stuff so I never order a salad with my meal unless there's a salad bar.   I am convinced that people don't actually  like salad.  They hate lettuce and vegetables so they drench it in gross fattening sauces.  I wont eat any of the dressings not French, not Russian, not Vinaigrette, not Ranch of course, not even Honey Mustard.  People assume that because I like mustard that I like Honey Mustard. I don't know what that shit is but it aint mustard.   Thousand Island is another salad dressing I wont put on my salad but it was introduced to me as a kid as “Secret Sauce” on hamburgers and I really enjoyed it.  Then as I got older people told me it was actually Thousand Island dressing and that it was essentially Ketchup and Mayo mixed together.  That physically repulses me to think about but for some reason my taste buds are ok with it as long as it’s a secret and on a burger. You can  call it “spread” like they do at In N Out too and that's fine.  

Also, Animal Style Fries!

On the topic of salads and mayonnaise I won't go near macaroni or potato salad.  It's just cold dinner leftovers mixed with mayo.  It's not salad.  Throw it in the garbage. 


Ok, back to vinegar for a second.  Oh hell lets make it a category.


Who ruined the Olive Oil?
Vinegar: It’s in a lot of foods that people really like.  But I can smell or taste it a mile away.  And Balsamic Vinegar can fuck off too.  “Oohh its just like Chocolate put it on ice cream”  die you psychopath.  Are you not smelling that?  or hey just drink Apple Cider Vinegar to make you feel better.. NO!  Some people even use it to clean their coffee maker.... WHAT?   It smells like the feet of someone with a glandular disorder.  No!  So pretty much most pickled things, dressings and a lot of sauces are off the table for me.   My dad may play a part in this he says food with an overbearing vinegar flavor has a “wang to it”  that sour tinge in the side of your neck when you taste it.  Maybe it’s the DNA talking again but I know what he’s saying.  But I like dill pickles and olives so I dunno.  Again maybe it's the balance of flavors? Part of this could stem from some dumb kid science experiments I did in the alley behind our garage.  Me and my friend learned about the baking soda and vinegar volcano and made a huge mess.  I swear it smelled like vinegar back there for like 20 years.  


Some have said that it’s the vinegar in my next category that makes me not like it but it’s way, way deeper than that. 
 
Ketchup:  If you’ve known me for more than a minute you’ve probably been waiting for this part of my list. It’s technically a subcategory of condiments but it deserves it’s own category and you’ll see why in a second…and just to be clear, I’ve never associated Ketchup with vinegar so don’t think that has anything to do with it.   Now, this is not just a casual  dislike of a common condiment or even hatred at this point.   I have what has developed into what I think is a full-blown phobia.  The smell, the texture, the reddish translucence,  even the shape of the classic Heinz bottle makes me nervous and uncomfortable.  My whole family ate and enjoyed this stuff growing up so there’s no genetic or family influences going on here. I think it’s more psychological trauma from an event in my childhood that is the base of my aversion to America’s favorite condiment.  Just like most kids I happily dipped my French fries in the stuff until something happened.   It was a hot summer day in the mid 1980’s.   My family and I wen’t to see the San Francisco Giants play at Candlestick Park.  It was kind of a big deal for me.  I’d only been to one other game that I can remember before that and it was a night game.  A day game on a sunny San Francisco day was a whole different experience.  The grass smelled different.  Everything was brighter, people were out of their seats enjoying the stadium.   We decided at one point to get hot dogs.  The perfect meal for a baseball game.  My parents wanted beers of course so I went with my dad to the concession stand.  I was in awe, taking in all the sights and smells.  A professional baseball stadium has a very distinct aroma that conjures up all kinds of great memories for me now as an adult.   But one specific odor has haunted me my whole life.   On our way back to our seats, both hands full with a hotdog for me and one for my brother I was just a dumb kid awestruck by my surroundings, I stepped
on a full, hot ketchup packet that some asshole threw on the ground.   It popped open and squirted all over my shoes and my pants.  I didn’t even notice until we got back to our seats and it had time to cook in the direct summer sun.  I kept smelling it like maybe I had it spilled some on my hand or my shirt from my own hotdog.  At one point I went with my dad to the bathroom and made sure to try to wash my hands to get it off but for the next few hours I kept smelling it.  Finally I realized it was coming from my feet and lower legs and after sitting there with it all that time I had spread it all over the ground under me and the seat in front of me and smeared all over my pants and shoes.  The smell, hot and baked into the fabric was one of the worst things ever.  I was so upset and it was all I could think about and I don’t even remember the rest of the game or the day.  Ketchup took that whole wonderful experience from me.  Ever since then I just really have not liked Ketchup.  The older I got the more it became a thing.  Ketchup bottles on every restaurant table, every fast food order they give you PACKETS of ketchup without even asking you.  Every time I order a hamburger, I always make sure to say “no ketchup” then they still ask if I want some for my fries…  really?  Just about every person around me putting it on fries and burgers and hotdogs.  Always being offered ketchup.   All I know is that Ketchup really fucks with me emotionally now.  I play it off like I just don’t  like the flavor but its way deeper than that.     

Anything that’s mildly close to Ketchup is also off the table.  Sweet & Sour Sauce is a no-no.  Most hot sauces are just spicy ketchup to me.  Some Barbecue sauces lean ketchup too.  Basically anything red with a vinegar/sweet flavor is out of the question.   One time I was at a diner back home having breakfast and asked if they had salsa to put on my hash browns.  Nine out of ten times they pick up the bottle of Tabasco on the table and give it to me.  I decline, and ask for salsa, not hot sauce. Tabasco, as with most hot sauce is just vinegar with chili powder in it. Fucking nightmare in a bottle.    Most of the time they bring me a little cup of Pace Picante or similar off the shelf stuff.  Which is not as good as home-made but acceptable.  The waitress said they had Tabasco, as I expected and when I asked again for salsa she paused and said “be right back” .   She comes back with a cup with something red in it.  Whenever I get salsa, or sauces I give a quick smell test.  Usually testing for vinegar or ketchup essence.  This time I got a hard ketchup vibe and then did a visual inspection.   Instead of salsa this piece of shit gave me a cup of ketchup with black pepper and chopped up onions in it.   I almost barfed all over the table.  It’s things like this that push me farther into my psychosis. 


Seafood:  Another thing that I get from my dad ether directly or indirectly is my dislike for seafood.  We never really had fish or seafood around other than fish sticks or fried prawns with Chinese food.  Fried prawns are essentially fish sticks anyway.  So I’ve never eaten crab,  lobster, oysters, most fish.  I’ve eaten shrimp in several different forms.  Depends on how it’s cooked.  I mean if you drench dog shit in garlic, butter and bacon it’s gonna be tolerable right?  I think a lot of this stuff actually does taste like shit which is why it’s cooked
in crazy spices or garlic butter all the time.  I also have a theory that much of this stuff, like oysters was at one time the only source of food but since it was considered food for people over time it became a part of our cuisine even tho it tastes like shit and probably should not even be eaten because we have better easier food available.  It’s just how my dumb brain works.  I’ve tried some fish and calamari and it just has this distinct seafood flavor to me that I don’t like. It tastes like it smells to me. Like rotting fish guts mixed with stagnant creek water.  This is definitely part of my super taster genes.  I can pinpoint that flavor in a lot of foods and a lot of people really like it but to me, it’s off-putting.  Sauces and even those seaweed sushi wraps throw me off.   Some people hate cilantro,  I love it.  But that is genetic.  They taste it a certain way and say it tastes like soap.  Sucks for them because they’ll never like cilantro.  It’s coded into them just like vomit cheese and pond water seafood flavor to me.  So because of this I just tend to stay away from seafood.  Plus it’s just gross looking.  Seafood is one of the only foods that look like the animal still when they serve it to you.   Also some places the shit’s still alive.  What the fuck is that about?  

Mushrooms:  I’ll keep this one short.  Two anecdotes that I think are apt here.  A friend recalled a conversation they had with someone when I mentioned I didn’t like mushrooms.  They said that they didn’t like mushrooms and didn’t like what they were about.  She asked what were they about,  they answered “they’re fuckin’ fungus man”   Agree with that statement.  Fungus should not be eaten. They sell products at the pharmacy to kill fungus.  My dog agrees.  My dog will eat anything I drop on the floor, except for mushrooms.  He’ll pick it up and then spit it right out.  It’s because he knows by some natural connection to the earth that animals have. He knows that fungus is not food.  Fungus is somewhere between plant and human being.  There’s an intelligence at work there which is another reason not to fuck with it. 



These are the main ones I can think of at the moment.  To be continued…. wash your hands, go to bed. 

Mar 16, 2020

This Shit Tryin' To Kill Me

Stay safe everyone.  This Corona shit is getting pretty serious.  They say it's the same type of virus as SARS and Bird flu and stuff but I've never seen it cause so much of a ruckus around the world. Especially for me personally here in California.  All these epidemics I was able so safely watch from the sidelines but now it's creeping to my front door.  All these closures and orders to stay home.  Don't congregate in groups of 1000, then 250 now 50.   Italy is shut the fuck down.  I was supposed to go to Italy at the end of April but now unless something major happens we're grounded. 

The election stuff was stressing me out already and I'm a pretty low-stress dude normally.  I go on Facebook and rail against people who seem to be settling for Biden.  Fighting the fight for everything Bernie has been talking about since he got me hooked over 10 years ago.   Trying to talk sense into idiot Trump supporters.  

Worrying about another 4 years of Trump,  along with Bernie getting snubbed, and now something that seemed like just something that was going to ruin my vacation is now a full blown pandemic situation.  I'm having a really hard time keeping my cool.  I started having tightness in my chest last week and finally went to the ER on Friday to make sure I wasn't having a heart attack.  Short story I wasn't, it was just GERD.  They said most likely stress induced.  I wast surprised.

Sitting in an overcrowded emergency room during a viral pandemic with a motley group of sick people wasn't helping my stress and paranoia.   I spent most of my time just people watching while I waited.  An older woman with spikey hair and white sunglasses in a wheelchair with bleeding leg wounds wrapped loosely in fabric was talking with another homeless looking woman in a wheelchair who looked like she just goes to the ER to hang out and bum cigarettes all day.   I overheard the spikey hair lady say softly "I used a bong" and then repeat louder to the other woman who didn't hear her "I use a bong, I don't smoke joints"  OK that was interesting. 

There was an elderly Chinese woman with a surgery mask sitting across form me coughing endlessly.   There was an elderly man dressed like a 25 year old Weed farm owner who sounded like Slingblade.  The way the room was shaped his voice sounded like he was next to me.  At first I thought it was the teenage boy sitting 2 seats from me who was talking into his phone quietly and it was weirding me out.  

I ended up being there pretty much all day.  Luckily tho if you say "my heart" they take it pretty seriously.  They saw me pretty quickly and did an EKG and took blood.   Later I was called back in for a chest X-ray.   So during all this I would see people come and go.  I even got called into the back to get various tests.  When I came back a Vietnamese family had just walked in the main entrance.  A husband and wife with a teen and adult son.  Another man who could have been like an uncle as well.  They didnt sit together because it was so crowded but the couple sat near me and the mom kept coughing into her hand.  I made note of the seat so I didnt sit there when they got up the next time I came back.  Little things like that.  You could tell most people were on edge about the COVID19 stuff.   Many people asked for masks.  A few were wearing gloves.  People would nervously get up and use the hand sanitizer dispenser next to the door over and over.

They test the blood for some enzyme that builds up if you're having a cardiac episode.  Unfortunately for me, that test takes for-fucking-ever.  Like 2-3 hours to get the result the need and then they have to do it again to compare. So yea, I was there ALL FUCKIN DAY. 

Some friends of mine come see me but wont go inside.  I get it.  I couldnt stay out very long because I was waiting to hear them call me back.  Another friend who's been in the ER a few times recently came and brought me lunch.  My friends are the best. She leaves me when they call me in for my X-ray. 

Some time after I get back from my X-Ray a woman kept wailing and complaining in the other part of the waiting room.  It's separated into two rooms with  the doors and the reception desk in the middle with a small security guard kiosk to one side.    I was on the side sitting right behind the security kiosk.  This woman goes to the reception desk and I can make out more of what she's yelling about.  She keeps saying it hurts and urging them to let her in sooner.  Then says something like "I know it's because I'm an addict you wont help me, but I'm in pain!!!!"  And kept saying shit like that.  They told her to wait and she did for a minute but then she kind of started arguing loudly with the reception people but backed down.  Then a few mins later she goes over to the security guy and asks to use the phone.  She says she doesnt want to be at this hospital anymore and wants to go to a different one.  She dials 911 and starts saying she wants an ambulance and wants to go to a different hospital.  "THEYRE DISCRIMINATING ME!!" she yells. Then the main lady from reception comes and takes her away.   Then the lady comes back and kinda yells at the security guard for letting her do that. 


Trump is on the TV in the waiting room officially saying we're in a national state of emergency.  I get up often to get fresh air and take my mind off Coronavirus on TV and I notice that while I was getting my X-Ray they've set up a big tent next to the emergency room entrance.  No one's talking about it that I can tell, but it's kind of scary.  Like something from a Zombie Apocalypse movie.   I go back and sit down and kind of look around to see if anyone else is acknowledging it. But they really aren't.

I go back to the room with the chairs and the TV.  A woman with a toddler asks if she can change the channel and the lady comes out from reception and puts on cartoons.   I think a lot of people were happy about that.   More people come and go with various levels of emergency.  A lady came in asking if someone could help her daughter out of the car.  She looked like she was in her 20's.  From what I could overhear she had some kind of reaction and was really bad off.   Later the father came asking where they were.  There wasnt any crazy cut off limbs or anything like that. It was pretty boring.  Busy but boring.  They said they were at capacity and had no beds.  When I got called back for my second blood draw and EKG I asked if it was because of Corona and she kind of shrugged and said that it was always like this.   Good news was that at that point she said it was looking good for any heart problems.  EKG's were both negative and my first blood test showed no signs of heart problems.  Mentioned that it could be heartburn related and that it is brought on by stress.  She asked if anything was stressing me out lately and I mentioned that I was supposed to fly to Italy to have a relaxing vacation.  We both sad-laughed. 

The sun is blasting now through the big windows across from me in the waiting room and I've been there now several hours.  I put on my sunglasses and doze off.  Not sure how long I was sleeping or if I was snoring loudly or not I'm woken up by a nurse shouting my name.  I wake, and stand up quickly and head into the back with my sunglasses still on.  She tells me to sit in the same blue vinyl padded chair int he hallway I had the last couple times.  It has arms that swing down in front of you so they can take your blood and blood pressure.   I then just sat there waiting for a while.  Nurses and doctors and techs racing back and forth.  The husband from that Vietnamese couple got taken into the room across from me.  He was having problems with his Gout and the nurse asked him to take off his shoes.  I morbidly wanted to see his gnarly feet, and maybe got caught peeking. The nurse got up and shut the curtains.   More hustle and bustle then some cops come in from some other entrance.  They end up standing right near me waiting for someone to talk to. Everyone is buzzing and busy they completely ignore the police officers. Finally the tech who had taken my blood helps them and no one knows who called them.  They're just standing there like "WTF"... we make eye contact and we both shrug our shoulders.  Eventually someone figures it out and they head further into the hospital.   

Still sitting there now a doctor has talked to me a bit, and I've signed some papers she tells me they were still waiting for my last blood test to be done.  At one point a doctor and a nurse grab a chart and were discussing some patient.  I could make out the word "Vaginal..." and more words I couldn't make out "something something"  Followed by "Copious milky discharge"   Medicine is so gross sometimes.  #reallife tho.  A while later finally the test is done and it's ok.  She tells me all about GERD gives me some gross slime that's supposed to help and they say to take omeprazole to help with the acid.   Kind of a boring diagnosis but that's what it was.  

I walk out finally, past the Outbreak tent where they're now hooking up a large ventilation system with big hoses and shit.   Oh yea which by the way no one there really knew what it was for either.  We joked that it was for a wedding reception.

So now back in the real world.  This pandemic shit is getting worse. People are freaking out.  Trump is as dumb as ever and it's looking more and more like people are just giving up on Bernie's revolution.   It's really going to be hard to shut this shit out and try to relax.   Every time I turn on TV or Facebook it's just more and more and I feel my chest tightening up again. 

I'm going to try to make this noggin be the last I stress about this shit.  Focus on jokes, and art and music and skateboards more from now on. 

Stay safe, stay clean. 

Mar 6, 2020

Weed Stores, Stop Pretending to Be Health Clinics

I’ve been noticing all the new pot stores popping up around town now that it’s legal here.  And yes, I call em pot stores because let's be honest that 's what the are, a fucking weed store.   They still call them dispensaries or wellness centers and have words like health or patient in the name or try to make it sound like a brand of lotion you get at a pharmacy.  Why are they trying so hard to sound like a fucking doctors office or some kind of  place for healing when the names of the weed strains are still called Green Crack and Strawberry Cough.   If you want to sound legitimate  stop calling your “medicine”  Girl Scout Cookies, OG Kush or Gorilla Glue.   You went from 'Walk-In Heath clinic' to 'stoner cartoon names' after we start looking at your products.

They should tighten up their shit and start naming their marijuana things that are more in line with the names of the stores.  I’m not a pot smoker so I don’t even know where to begin with this but boring things like, for example if it makes you sleepy call it “Sleep Aid” or if it makes you high and silly call it “Satiiva“ or “Energy Booster” and maybe some numbers from the formula they used to make it.   Or if it’s purely medicinal just label it with the percentages of CBD. If that sounds lame it’s because it is. They must  think all of us are as high as they are.   Weed is weed … they should just go all-in and name the stores like they’ve been naming the weed.   There's already Doctor Green Thumb's which is a good start but it still has "Doctor" in the name. 

Here’s some fun ones to get you started; 

  • Sticky Ricky’s Doobie Den
  • High as Hell (devil theme design)
  • This Bud’s For You
  • Stoned to the Bone (mascot is a dog with bloodshot eyes)
  • The Magic Bus (hippie VW bus and tie die theme)
  • The Dank Tank (have aquariums to zone out on)
  • HERBie’s
  • Maybe one that serves food called Munchies. Actually there was a sandwich shop chain in AZ called The Cheeba Hut that might be able to cash in on this idea.  Their sandwiches were named after classic kinds of dope.
  • Oh and we can’t forget about the classic from The Simpsons, Stoney’s Pot Palace
Your Interior Designer
And while we're at it, can these places stop looking like they sell lattes or repair cell phones?   Just make them more inviting to their target demographic with tie-die tapestries, beaded curtains, Bob Marley posters, bong water stained carpets and a 100 year old coffee table with hash stains and burn marks.  Less modern white tile and more red, green and yellow color scheme.   Less,  GreenMed Health Center and more Jerry Garcia Cover Band Garage.   It's cannabis man, get fuckin' high on your own supply and start coming up with fun ideas.

Jan 27, 2020

Noggins...At The Movies.

I’ve been seeing quite a bit of movies lately and I can’t really remember feeling like I needed to discuss any of them immediately.  I was going through some of my old movie reviews and one thing they all had in common was that I felt like I needed to say something about them, but this latest batch of theater goings has left me underwhelmed I guess.  Let me try to remember what I’ve seen recently and come up with something to say about them.   In no particular order.



Ad Astra - I love sci-fi but I hate sci-fi that ends up being a backdrop for a drama or horror movie.   This was a fairly decent looking space/future movie but it wasnt about space or the future really.  It was about a guy and his relationship with his father.  Some of the science part of it was pretty far-fetched and hard to believe.  Also, can someone make a movie or show that's set on Mars without using red filtered lighting for every scene?  I get it, Mars is the "red planet" but come on.  The air isn't fucking red. 

Jo Jo Rabbit - Odd but good and funny at the same time.  This one  is a total goof ball idea about a German kid during WW2 is all stoked about being a nazi youth but he's kind of a dork.  Hitler is his imaginary friend which he struggles with as he learns more about what the Nazis and Hitler actually represent. All while learning about his mom’s role in the resistance.  It’s a well written off the wall comedic take on the period from a unique perspective. 

Little Women - Pretty standard period piece love drama.  It’s the same Louisa May Alcott story.  I never saw the Wynona Rider one or read the books so I didn’t have much expectations.  I was lured by getting Thai food before going to the theater.  Also, Bob Odenkirk plays the dad who’s sick or injured from the war and is not there for most of the movie. Then suddenly “we finally get to see the dad” and it’s fucking Saul Goodman. I chuckled in the theater.   I was waiting for a Mr. Show punchline for the whole last part of the movie.

Parasite - From the trailers and from what friends said who saw it before me I thought this was going to be a lot darker than it was.  I wished I hadn’t seen or heard about it before hand because my expectations kind of ruined what was actually a really good movie.  I guess that’s all I will say so that you’re not fucked over by my review. 

Honey Boy - Shia Labouf gets a lot of shit but I dig this kid.  This movie made me like him even more.  Imagine the balls it took to play his own abusive shitty stage-dad.  Did I just ask you to imagine Shia Labouf’s balls?  Sorry.   Anyway, yea. If you just remember him as a kid actor being all happy and funny then see this and the absolute fuckstorm of a life he had off screen during that time.  No wonder he fucking went crazy.  He wrote this in a mental hospital by the way.  Good flick.

Joker - What else can be said about this one?  It was barely a comic book movie which I kind of appreciated. Take out references to the Wayne family  and it really could be a stand alone movie about a troubled man with a troubled past, victim to a fucked up system.  Powerful in certain ways for sure.  I was thoroughly entertained.   

Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker - I’m not a huge Star Wars nerd so I wasn’t bothered by some of the little things that the die-hards were crying about.  Just like the last couple new movies it had all the things. All the StarWarsy things.  If was fun, exciting and generally enjoyable.  My only gripes was with Fen and the lady he met who he had like one thing in common with and a day later are like fucking soul mates who can’t live without one another.  And Lando creeping on the (might have been the same) girl at the end.  Not to mention that they were both black.   Even in a galaxy far, far away, people of similar skin color must stick together.

Doctor Sleep - I really was skeptical about this one.  The Shining is so iconic now and was afraid it would be totally cheesy. I honestly didn’t know Stephen King wrote a sequel but this was really well done.  The movie itself wasn’t phenomenal but I really liked the way they took the story and added to it.  I never would have even thought of taking it in the direction they did but it totally worked. 

The Irishman - Caught this one on Netflix and watched most of it half sleeping.  It felt like it should have been a season of the show Fargo and not a (very)full-length movie. As episodes  it would have been able to focus on the details of different characters and situations.  I also have to say that the story itself is not good enough to stand on it’s own without the powerhouse names behind it.  

Hustlers - Sometimes I regret telling Meg that I’d see anything with her if we see it at the Minor Theater.  Table service and ginger snaps win me over every time.  How this movie got Oscar buzz is beyond me.  It’s a movie about strippers taking charge.  The only real saving grace for this one is that it was based on a true story. 

The Good Boys -  Laugh out loud funny comedy about 3 kids who use a parent's  expensive drone without asking then unknowingly steal their big sisters' drug stash and destroying the drone in the process.  They go on an adventure trying to get a new drone that takes them well out of their comfort zone.  Their nativity sort of helps them Mr.Magoo their way through it all. 

Knives Out - Pretty engaging who-done-it sorta dark comedy with some really good actors.  One of those take it or leave it movies tho. 

Tigers Are Not Afraid - This is a movie set in Mexico, it's in Spanish with subtitles. I'm fine with that.  Pretty unique film about the gritty street life of the slums in urban Mexico.  Part fantasy, part ghost movie,  part movie about kids getting chased by drug dealers.  

Downton Abbey - Again, ginger snaps and hanging with friends will get me to see anything.  Have you seen the show?  Imagine a really long episode where the King and Queen come to Downton.  That’s this movie.

The Color Out Of Space - Woah dude.  Nick Cage in an H.P. Lovecraft movie.  More or less follows the basic plot of the original story but updated for present day.  Plays like a typical "dont drink the water" meets "Meteorite lands on a farm and makes weird shit happen" movie.  I enjoyed it although it starts out a little slow but the payoff is some really good body-horror effects (that looked to be traditional and not CGI) and twisted visuals.  Also Cage Rage.  I should probably mention Mandy here too even tho it was a while ago.  I think I found a new appreciation for Nick Cage with him finding a new home doing off-beat low budget horror.  Mandy is a fucking trip.  Literally.  It's about a couple living out in the woods who crosses paths with a crazy cult and some methed out, demon-like psychedelic biker mutants. Also, much Cage Rage in this one.

Midsommar - Speaking of psychedelics.  There's like 15 minutes of this movie where it's like the audience is tripping balls on acid.  It's about a young couple who should have broken up but ends up staying together and going with friends to some retreat in rural Scandinavia  which ends up being some ancient cult that has a few fucked up traditions. 

Once Upon a Time In Hollywood - It was fine.  Cool retelling of a well known event in the late 60's.  Some neat period nostalgia and Brad Pitt baddassery.  The 'Tarantino' doesn't really kick in until the last act of the movie but that's when it all comes together and you're like oh fuck this is what this movie is.



I'm sure there was more and some of these came out a while ago but this is what I remembered just now.  Like I said, if I forgot about them it's because well, they just weren't that memorable to me.   See you at the movies!



Nov 14, 2019

The Ink Shop


My first job just out of High School was making ink.  From scratch.  It was a very dirty job.   On one hand it was kind of neat and I learned where ink comes from. On the other hand it was very gnarly.  Basically it involved busting some resin chunks out of a drum of hardened amber-like resin with a hammer and chisel. Then measuring out a few different toxic, flammable solvents and cooking them down in into a slurry. Then I would pour some carefully measured powder pigments in and mix it with a power mixer from 1942. After that pour the chunky mixture through a 3 roll mill from 1930 with no guards on it.  Imagine 3 2ft wide, 10” diameter rollers, spinning at a crazy speed with a millimeter gap between them.  A few times I accidentally got my spatula caught and it sucked it in and busted the wooden handle off not before the machine making a scary loud noise.  And it turned a cloth rag into soggy paper.  I would often picture worst case scenarios in my head where I wore a long sleeve shirt and it gets caught and sucks my hand in turning it into chunky catchup.  

It was a learning experience for sure.  It mostly sucked.  It was summer and I had long hair which I ended up cutting off because it was caked with dye by the end of the day.  The shower floor would be black and purple.  My boss was this old lady who inherited the business when she was like 30 from the guy who started the business in the 50’s.  The recipes were on handwritten (cursive) note cards from the 60's.  Honestly in 1995 I'm not sure how she was still in business.  She was old school and was like "just dump it in the gravel behind the building"  chemicals... the place was like 20 ft from a creek that emptied into a bay that was like 100 yards from the shop.   But I was a dumb kid and just did what the boss said.  Earth Day taught me this was wrong but it was money.  I remember the old dude from the Fire Dept. did our inspections and I'm pretty sure she was giving him favors for a clean write up. One day a new young guy showed up and we had all kinds of violations and we spent a ton of time cleaning out storerooms and stuff.  Pouring shelves of old ink onto newspapers and letting it dry so we could throw it away.  I'm sure with bigger companies it's all above board but this was a little hole in the wall legacy business with only a handful of old customers. 

One of the inks was for printing on meat.  Since it had to be FDA approved it was basically like making Kool-Aid but with no flavor. Those were the good days.  I remember one customer’s ink was used for the plastic jars of Icy Hot .  I can only imagine some foamer in charge of packaging at Icy Hot was like, 'this new eco-friendly ink is crap, find us a company that still makes the old good stuff.  The good cancer-causing stuff that actually sticks to the jars’  Some of the chemicals were so gnarly though.  I remember nitroglycerine was used in something I made. It scared the shit out of me thinking it would explode if I handled it wrong. Especially while mixing it with that old fucking mixer you could see sparks in the vent holes of.    Looking back it was probably the medicinal, non-explosive variety.  It could have been for this one horrible, horrible ink I used to make for this one customer. It was  so fucking bad.  One of the main ingredients was this stuff that came in a big 60 gallon drum and it was the worst.  I wore rubber gloves all the time but this stuff would burn me through the gloves and turn the gloves yellow.  It smelled like 1000 proof bourbon mixed with rotten milk and cow vomit.  One other main ingredient in this ink was tar.  Old fashioned roofing tar.  It was in solid form in a drum that I had to use a drum heater for.  I never knew such a thing as a drum heater existed but I used it to heat up the tar so that I could ladle out the amount I needed for this crazy death ink.  It still stunk like tar and fermented cow barf after it was finished.  She said he used it in felt tip pens.  I never looked at Magic Markers and Sharpies the same way again. 

I'm sure if I ever get a get cancer or a superpower it's gonna be from working there.  And now you know this.  Thanks for watching. 
















Oct 30, 2019

Like Ants, to the Taco Bell


I got some ants in my house a couple months ago so I went into my "junk drawer" in my kitchen to see if I had some of those liquid ant baits.  Everybody has a junk drawer right?  Box of staples, pens, tape, glue, that half of hoodie string that broke off you thought you needed to save for some reason.  But this is the junk drawer, not the Taco Bell Sauce drawer.  Distinctly different things.  Of course there's soy sauce packets, ketchup, the occasional oversized mayo packet in there but primarily it's Taco Bell sauce.  Taco Bell is a place that begs you to take too many packets.   You need one, two packets tops for a chalupa but there's a big, open tub of sauces. Four levels of hotness too.  You know you're too much of a pussy to ever use the Diablo sauce but you still shove your whole paw in there and grab a handful of that shit.  Really tho Taco Bell has 3 levels of heat.. first level, Hot. You drive a convertible but it's a 93 LaBaron.. then you step up to FIRE!  ooooh then what could be hotter than FIRE!?  DEEAABLO!!! Spanish for... THE DEVIL!!   A fucking fast foot taco place has satanic sauce.  Honey, I feel like having my head spin 360 degrees, stabbing myself in my vagina  repeatedly with a crucifix and then projectile vomit pea soup,  grab me a handful of the DIABLO SAUCE.   ..........Then there's......... Mild.   That's the one I like.   I feel like I'm rolling the dice by just being at Taco Bell already I don't need to tempt fate by summoning a demon with my Quesarito.   But even tho you know better, you grab the biggest wad of each you can and toss it in the bag.  Which is why now you have a dedicated an entire kitchen drawer full of hot sauces you're never gonna use.  But you never know!  😀    

So here I am sifting through pen caps, dead batteries and a warranty card for something I don’t own anymore to find some liquid death for these tiny persistent shits.  I find a 3 pack, and I put em all out for those little fuckers.   I wait a week and they’re ignoring the shit so I got to the store and buy a new box.  I put a couple out and they’re gobbling it up like it’s packets of sauce from Taco Bell.  YES! eat that poison you motherfuckers.   Then as I’m putting the box away into the void of faded  receipts, loose paper clips and my Blockbuster card, I notice on the back it says to replace them every six months.  In my head I had a vision of these ants seeing millions of their fallen brothers and sisters succumb to a plague and little post-apocalyptic ant scientists using samples of the poison residue back to their little any laboratories spending years to reverse engineer the poison to create a cure to build up resistance to the deadly ingredient in the ant baits.  After three generations of any civilization they finally become fully resistant.  But like, it’s exactly six months in human time.  

Make sure to change your ant baits everybody.  

Oct 21, 2019

Phone Etiquette Lesson 2341


If your talking with someone in a room with other people around and your phone is ringing off the hook with an annoying ring tone in your pocket its actually considered more rude to let it keep ringing than to excuse yourself in order to take it out of your pocket to silence it.

It goes without saying that you should just put it on silent in advance if you know you're going to a meeting, or movie. But this particular incident was  from this morning where a lady was talking to the veterinarian in the lobby about her dog. Her crazy fucking ringtone was like a classic telephone type but had a weird space-age effect. People in the lobby kept looking around sort of concerned because it sounded like some kind of alarm, and the dumb bitch didn't acknowledge that it was her phone. It rang like 200 times I swear.  The vet even tried to drop a hint and nicely said "sounds like someone is trying to get a hold of ya" and she said loudly so everyone could hear her  "YEA ITS MY PHONE"  but still let the fucker keep ringing.. There's sick pets in there too starting to freak out. Dumb fucking old people. 

Just reach down, press literally ANY button and it will stop. This is a 2004 problem happening in 2019.

Sep 24, 2019

Skunk Dream

I once had a nightmare about skunks.
You say skunks aren't scary but there was a bunch.
My friend stole skunk weed from his momma.
But this song's not about marijuana.
I'm not afraid of bad luck if I break a mirror
Not like Star trek 2 when Khan put those bugs in their ears.


Anyway....
I wear plaid shirts and relaxed fit jeans.
I think the judges on American Idol are too mean.
If I miss your birthday I'll say happy belated.
When I have leftovers I keep them refrigerated.
I like warm coffee and I like it black.
Too much red meat can give you a heart attack.


But listen...
My lawn is brown and my trees are overgrown
But you gotta stay on top of these things if you own a home.
I can't remember the last time I talked to a Librarian.
I like red meat but lots of my friends are vegetarians.
If you hand me a baby I'm not sure what to do.
When the server says "enjoy your meal" I say "you too".


Where was I? ....
I like the smell of sharpies when I use them.
I makes dents in the paper with a Bic pen.
I can't drink milk cuz it gives me the farts
Why's there always one wonky wheel on shopping carts?
My dog likes to jump up on the couch lay down and relax
It really takes it out of him after he chases the cat.


So yea....
I dont always fully stop at stop signs.
I've never had a reason to have my shoes shined.
Kailyn Jenner used to be a dude named Bruce.
And writing in cursive... c'mon what's the use?
I sometimes wonder that if I was the Hulk
I would shop at Costco more and buy in bulk.


Like I was saying....
There's a ton of crumbs down in my keyboard
I've always wanted to find someones dog and get a reward.
My shoe size is 10 and a half.
And my waist size is 38...cuz I'm fat.
Everyone thinks that I was scared because of the smell.
But it was like 40 skunks in that dream and they were mad as hell.





Jul 25, 2019

Lion King, Can you Feel the Love Tonight?

Just saw the new Lion King movie. It was weird. I never saw the original Lion King so I had no nostalgic connection to the story. My first thought was about how humanized the animals were and that the 'prey' animals were just cool with the circle of life bullshit and must have a lottery or something to decide who gets eaten by the lions each feeding time. 

Meanwhile having a nazi style rally with all the other victimized herbavores to praise the new king to whom they sacrifice unlucky souls as the price for living in peace on the plains. A large expanse that is ruled by the governing race of meat eaters. It really is an unrealistic representation of animals in the wild and I feel sorry for the kids who see this before they watch National Geographic nature shows.

And not to mention that while they address, albeit kind of brutally for the food animals how eating your neighbors is somehow justified, they really treat bugs, catipillars and grub worms like soulless nothings.  Where's the Bug's Life movie where they're constantly in fear of being eaten or having their entire home destroyed without a thought?

And the poor Hyenas are like fucked over for everything. No wonder they're so pissed. An arbitrary monarchy basically shuts them out of the peaceful life why? Because they have nothing to offer? Because they aren't food? Because they are competition to the lions? I kinda feel bad for them.

Once I got over how odd it was watching an episode of Planet Earth where the animals talk and do people shit I started to get into the story. But even then it seemed like a cheesy 80s Disney movie. I did really enjoy the Billy Eichner parts tho. He's pretty funny.

Overall I felt like it should have never been remade. Besides my usual hatred of Hollywood's lazy money grabbing, to me the story feels outdated and predictable. Also personifying animals works better in cartoon form. It wasn't Uncanny Valley but something like that but with animals that left me feeling uncomfortable.

If you loved the original you're probably going to see this anyway so nothing I say here will matter. Even if you know you probably won't like it.
$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Jun 12, 2019

Fuck Gardening

Some people have what is gleefully known as "a green thumb"  Not me. I have dead grey thumbs. I hate gardening.  I hate planting shit.  I hate it all.   I put you in the ground, you have dirt, I water you, you have plenty of sun... yet you just fucking die.  Why are you not working like you're supposed to nature?  Too much god damned work if you ask me.  


This meme speaks to me.   Every single  time I try to plant anything and watch it die while random shit I didn't even plant magically propagates like crazy.  Why can't the plant scientists take the gene that's in weeds that makes them grow literally anywhere with seemingly no sun or water or soil and put them into the plants we actually want??  WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY!!!!!!   GMO that fucking shit.