Friday, July 27, 2007

Back to the Future

I'm taking a break this evening from my always on-going short story, THE ROAD TO NOWHERE (PART I and PART II), to give you a short update on my own goings on (you liked that play-on words huh?).

Well, for one, I am now officially an Assistant Manager at the FL! I went down to the Northridge store on Wednesday and I had a ninety minute conversation with C.J. who is my District Manager. He grilled me about some things and I seemed to give all the right answers. Well, I must have since I am now an A.M. I'll probably get my keys to the store in about a week. I have to be able to competently open and close the store before I can get them, so I have a couple shifts the next week with either Jose or Romique to open or close so I can learn how to do so. I'm excited! My pay raise should take effect on Sunday, as it is the beginning of the new pay period. That is even more exciting :) Probably the most important part of all is that this is the first step of several for me to prepare for moving out of my house. Lots of big things are in the planning stages and I am looking forward to how it all works out. . .

I have also officially registered for classes at CSUN! Wednesday was my day for registration (yes, the same Wednesday I went to Northridge for my meeting - - plus, I got a little head cold on the same day - - it was a stressful day to say the least) and I got four out of the five classes I wanted. I had to grab another class on a Friday morning so I will be at CSUN on Mondays, (4-645, 7-945 pm) Tuesdays, (2-450, 5-645 pm) and Fridays (9-1150 am). This means I am available to work either open or close shifts on Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday and I could work Monday morning and Friday night as well. The only thing I have to work out is when I'm gonna do homework. . . hmm. . .

While I'm thinking about it, I have to recommend a couple movies to the masses:

RATATOUILLE - the Pixar-animated film (written and directed by THE INCREDIBLES' helmer Brad Bird) was a surprisingly sweet and wonderful film that I enjoyed a great deal. It is towards the top on my yearly list thus far (right up there with ZODIAC).

TALK TO ME - Heather and I got to see this fantastic film over at Arclight last week and I loved it! Plus, following the movie, we were asked to participate in answering some questions about it for one of those audience-reaction commercials that so many movies are putting on TV nowadays - so look for me and Heather promoting TALK TO ME on a commercial near you :)

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Also, thanks to those of you who are reading my short story. And I have to mention this because I just don't know what you do after you finish reading it, but there are just two things that I would ask of you following your completion of a post (it doesn't just have to be THE ROAD TO NOWHERE, but that one in particular):

1. Comment

2. Tell Someone About It

If each of you who reads it does both of those things, I would greatly appreciate it. Just mention it to a friend in passing - "Hey I read a cool story the other day on the internet" works just dandy! And come on, it's not like they're THAT long, right. . .

Thanks again :) I'm enjoying writing it and PART III should be hitting the internet waves sometime this week - so look for that!

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I could continue on about things like the whole Tim Donaghy scandal (the NBA ref who is in trouble for betting on games and such - it's stupid but I believe that this one guy is an idiot and that not all refs should be investigated; at least not for that - they should be on trial for their incompetency as referees), what I think about the whole Michael Vick thing (he's an idiot - focus on football numnuts!), or even the popularity of that little wizard boy named Harry (Heather already finished book 7 - she read it in like three days - I wish that I had started from the beginning with everyone else way back when) but I won't.

Instead, I'll leave you with one link, several pictures, and two videos that have made me giddy, excited, and laugh respectively.

The link:

THE DARK KNIGHT teaser site

I could not be more excited for this film! Holy crap!!!

The pics:

In the same light as the site, here is the first high quality, in-action photo of Heath Ledger as the Joker in TDK. I was skeptical at first with the casting, but I'm loving it more and more!

Also, here are the pictures that my family took for our church directory a month or so ago:

They turned out really good! We're a good-lookin' bunch!

The vids:

Here is the phenomenon that is Pearl. . .

The Landlord:

The Landlord

Good Cop, Baby Cop:

Good Cop, Baby Cop

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Good stuff all around everybody - - -

Hope you enjoyed something! Let me know, howabout? :D

Have a weekend,

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Road to Nowhere: Part II

For Part I, go here

. . . . . .

With his hands firmly in place covering his face, Michael sat all alone in a booth in an all but deserted Johnny Rocket's. Sure, the restaurant had been closed for a half hour, but the workers could clean up around him. No one could convince him otherwise. Depression was slowly setting in through incessant flashes of past wrongdoings and mistakes. It was his most recent slip-up that was causing this particular inconsolable heartbreak. Words he wanted to take back. Images that he wanted to delete from his memory. Anger he wished he had restrained. And now, he believed in the deepest parts of his quickly-breaking heart, it was too late to fix what he had done.

Michael stood a head above most people and his long brown hair was considered beautiful by most girls (guys just told him to get a haircut). He was not muscular, but he was deceptively strong. He had an odd sense of humor that either was appreciated through belly-laughing or scoffed at through shrugs and the like. Michael was the kind of person who brought up random facts and discussed them aloud - the content filter between his brain and his mouth rarely worked. Discussions with his friends had actually led to comments like:

"Have any of you noticed that keyboards and calculators have the number 1 in the lower left and count up from there while phone keypads have the 1 on the top left and count down? Couldn't they have just come up with one way to do that?"

"Why is it a pair of underwear when it is just one item?"

"Instead of food, shouldn't we be sending condoms to the hunger-stricken areas of the world? Yeah, your kids are hungry and so are you - so stop having more children!"

Michael was not the most sensitive guy in the world either. He says himself that he doesn't want to seem "gay or anything like that," as if gentleness was a characteristic that only the homosexual maintain. He enjoyed being heard above everything else - as long as someone was listening, the guy could just go on babbling on without an end in sight.

His one soft spot was for the female gender. Michael did just about anything for any breasted individual. He was the biggest flirt amongst his compatriots and had the worst ratio of girls-hit-on to girls-laid in his group of friends. Michael talked a lot, sure, but he certainly was not everything that he claimed to be.

He had grown up in a neighborhood with two other kids, one boy and one girl. The girl and him were always closer, though, despite him being nearly two years older. She seemed to get his humor and was able to see through his assholeishness (a "term of endearment" she claimed). Michael would make fun of her freckles and she would politely mock his lack of muscles (especially when he wore cut-off, or "muscle," shirts). They grew up together and learned about everything together. They took free anatomy classes at the age of seven behind Michael's giant eucalyptus tree ("I don't have one of those!" his penis-less friend had exclaimed). They discovered elementary school hierarchy together (like, for example, "That's Sherman and he will stuff you in a trash can if you don't give him your PB&J"). Michael was a shoulder for her to cry on when her parents split up and celebrated with her when her father returned home. And they were both secretly jealous when, at their senior prom, they prepared themselves for their first sexual adventure.

It was those beloved memories that rushed through Michael's head as he wondered why he had tried to do what he did. Part of the blame he placed on his penchant for alcohol. But he had been drunk before and never had he done something so stupid, so terribly ignorant as he had this horrific Friday night.

How could Suzanne ever forgive him?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Road to Nowhere: Part I

Curled up in the smallest ball possible, alone yet again late on a Friday night, Suzanne wept softly to herself. Her pillow caught most of the tears, but several stayed home on her cheek. The bed that had seen so many milestones in this nearly 20-year-old young woman's life (all those infamous first steps that every woman must take: first cry-yourself-to-sleep night, first period, first sexual experience) was now the only object - inanimate or otherwise - that would provide any consolation.

This day had begun with yet another ten-to-six work day (an eight hour shift without a break, mind you - state rules and regulations don't mean a thing when it comes to her job). She despised working the long hours but she desperately wanted them. Well, she actually just wanted money, but rumor has it that money does not grow on trees. Throw in the fact that no rich uncle of hers was on death's door and Suzanne was not in a position to choose an occupation of her dreams.

So she had settled for a waitress job at a small bistro called Alessandro's. It merely sounded exquisite. Displaying the dreaded grade B in the front window, the restaurant did not pay either her, or the other four waitresses who worked six days a week, very well. The others worked the morning/afternoon shift so they could bartend at a local Coyote Ugly-type bar at night. Five hours of sleep was considered hibernation for these women. That's just how they lived. And Suzanne was creeping ever-closer to joining them in their hedonistic ways.

However, Suzanne was most unlike her co-workers' appearance. While the twenty-somethings that lived it up displayed their character through heavy makeup, skirts that would make Daisy Duke blush, and half-hidden lower-back tattoos, Suzanne (or Suze for short - pronounced "sooz" - she hated the nickname but who was she to stop everyone from using it!) did her best to appear innocent. The final step in her morning ritual before work was bending over with her back to a mirror to check if her full-bodied panties could be seen even just a little. Thongs never did reside in Suzanne's dresser - "I'm not that girl" she told herself.

It was if Suzanne was from a different generation, that is if that time period was the one where tan and scandalous was considered "whorish." Pale and liberally freckled, Suzanne stood an average woman's height and was no heavier than her compatriots. Her 34 double B's were perfectly proportionate to her stature and she had that hourglass figure that many women yearned to share. Her lack of flaunting (or even accentuating, for that matter) led many to believe that this girl (would a woman ever dress this simple and unmemorable?) could never be capable of "living it up." It was that constant doubt of bystanders that caused her to have the night that precluded her depressing staring contest with her lacy pink pillow.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Look Out Emeril!

Hey all - - -

I am once again reporting from Heather's Pomona apartment as she works away. I have been holding down the fort a little bit today, but was gone for the last two hours.

Where did I go?

Well I first stopped by the Montclair Plaza, which is a Mall about ten minutes east on the 10. I stopped by to say hello to my former General Manager Wes, who is now the GM over there. We caught up on things and that actually took almost an hour out of my day. I also bought two CSUN shirts that they had there (gotta represent, right?). Then I went over to Olive Garden and bought a jar of their delicioso Italian dressing.

Well why did I do that?

I decided last night right before I fell asleep that I was going to cook dinner for Heather tonight. She gets home around six, and I didn't feel like going out again (especially since we will most likely be going out to eat tomorrow night). So this morning I planned out a menu and then went shopping this afternoon.

I spent $15 on the following items:

1 lb. of Ground Beef
2 lb. of Spaghetti noodles
1 loaf of French Bread
1 two-liter of Ginger Ale
1 jar of Prego Spaghetti Sauce (Italian Herb and Garlic flavor)
1 package of pre-made salad (Iceberg lettuce and such)
1 bag of Marie Callendar's Croutons

I think that's it. . .

So in about a half hour or so I'm gonna begin my first real attempt at cooking. I'm scared. I've already called mi madre three times to ask her simple, 1o1-level questions about cooking, and I'm sure to call her at least once more.

But I think it will be worth it! I hope she's surprised and happy :)

O, we went to Raging Waters yesterday and had a blast! It was the best $31 I have spent in a while (you save $4 if you buy your tix online!). I even went on one of those open-air slides that are really high up and go straight down - - yep! It was called Dropout and it scared me like crazy. . . but it was awesome! The thing said it was 7 stories high and sends riders to speeds of 40 mph. . . Why did I ride the damn thing! Holy crap! Well here's what it looks like:

Yes, I did that. . .

Anyway, I had planned a little short story for today, but since I have to cook, I'll postpone that til probably Sunday. . . Gotta make it good :)

Besides that, all is good on most fronts. I've been down here since late Wednesday night and am not going home until Sunday morning (I have to work at noon). I had off yesterday, today, and tomorrow and Heather has off Thursdays and Saturdays so I decided to stay here. . . fun times!

Not sure what's happening tomorrow, but I'm sure it will be fun!

I'm gonna go do some magic in the kitchen now. . . I hope!

Have a safe and fun Friday and I'll holla at you again on Sunday!

Until later,

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Another Week Goes By

And I don't blog like I planned. . .


Recently I have been contemplating ways to make this blog more entertaining - you know, straying away from the frequent incoherent drivel about my day, weekend, or whatever. . .

So here's what I came up with:

- More Stories!

When I say stories, I mean a mixture of my own special stories about funny customers at the FL; my version of what is going on in the world of news, entertainment, and the like; and maybe even a fun short story here or there that I have written. This will undoubtedly prove to be easier for me to write and also will be more fun for you to read!

- More Videos!

I have been slacking on the YOUTUBEing. My apologies. There are so many videos or snippets of film that are either funny, interesting, or a mixture of both. I will be bringing you more of these more often for you to enjoy to the uttermost.

Here's one example of what I'm talking about:

O how the tiny-mighty have fallen. . .

- More Ramblings!

After having recently discussed both my SPIDER-MAN 3 and SHAKESPEARE versions of A RAMBLER'S RAMBLING that I did back at the end of that last semester, I realized that I should resume my so-called niche. My idea is to occasionally throw out some of those to you to further my experience writing them. That's that whole two birds with one stone thing. . .

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So even though I'm looking into a very near future of busy days at the FL, CSUN registration, and a few days with my wonderful Heather (!!!), you can count on me for all of the previous topics - - -

I guarantee it. . . (just like that guy from the Men's Wearhouse haha!)

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Until next time - - -

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Grab-Bag: The Things I Love Version

So it's been almost two weeks since I posted (which seems to me as impossible as that time has really flown by) and I feel like that's how I begin so many of my posts. . .

O well - I guess that comes with a busy life. And that is what I'm in the midst of at the moment.

I suppose my idea for this post is just to list some things that mean a whole helluva lot to me and throw in the reasons for their importance as well as their role in the last two weeks of my existence.

So enjoy another good ol' GRAB-BAG in all of its non-chronological goodness. . .


You knew that one was coming :) my wonderful lady friend of 3 1/2 years and I were able to spend a couple days together in a row last week (Monday night thru Thursday morning) and it was completely wonderful. When the two of us actually get to spend a special length of time together, it is truly fantastic. What I love is the people who say things like, "You guys must be used to that distance thing that when you are together, it is either only great because you are actually together or you get tired of each other quick and just want to go back to being at a distance." Well, no and no. Of course it is great to be together just cuz it is finally true - but it seems to always be that great. The feeling I have when I see Heather for the first time is the same one that I have five minutes before she leaves. And I can tell you this in plain English: There is NOTHING better than waking up to the one you love. NOTHING. The first thing I see on those special mornings is her beautiful face and, if I'm lucky, her closed eyes, behind which I can only assume are the sweetest dreams ever. I cannot wait until I get to have that feeling every morning. . . 3 1/2 years down, 2 to go. . . hopefully!

- VACATIONS (kinda)

So why did we get to spend some time together? Well Tuesday was the much-planned family trip to Disneyland. Caleb is turning 6 in a couple weeks (the 19th) and that's what he wanted to do - he had never been to the Happiest Place on Earth! Do you remember your first Disneyland experience? I don't, now that I think about it, but I am pretty sure that he will. I figure that because we got him on pretty much every big ride at the park. He rode Splash Mountain (Twice), the Matterhorn (One and a half times - more on that later), Thunder Mountain, and of course the kiddie rides (like Dumbo, Peter Pan, etc.). No Space Mountain for him (too quick - and dark - for the youngin) or Indiana Jones (too scary). But time will cure those things. He really enjoyed himself and I was happy to be there for his first experience there.

So how did he ride the Matterhorn 1 1/2 times? Well, it broke down with us on it! We were at the top of the mountain (not too long after the initial hill) and the ride came to a screeching halt! There had been prior issues with the ride, but we tried it anyway. Well either way, we had to have two Disneyland workers come up and get us and we hopped off the "toboggan" and got to go inside of the mountain to get back to the bottom! We walked down several flights of stairs and saw all sorts of wires, hooks, and the like. It was worth it :) I really thought it was cool and certainly an original experience.

The rest of the trip was a lot of fun - certainly better than the last time that I visited Mickey and friends (That would be Grad Night haha!). I got to ride the new and improved Space Mountain not once, but twice (it was just awesome!) and saw a fantastic fireworks display. Good times all around!


It's incredibly fantastic. Enough said. Grade: A-


The working out has been going well (I am starting to feel improvement!) and the off-season in the NBA has led to a lot of talk, and absolutely no action (relatively speaking). However, my SUNS did make one move that I am very excited about: we signed an aging veteran with a lot to prove. Usually, that would not be exciting at all, except for who this is and what we are paying for him. A former NCAA champion, co-Rookie of the Year, All-Star, and a fantastic playmaker named Grant Hill. We got him for the veteran's minimum and I'm excited about what he is going to bring to both our team and the locker room. Very cool.


I watched the series finale (only one season, though) of STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP, the NBC drama that I have plugged many times here in this space. Unfortunately, the show will not be returning for its sophomore season because NBC refused to pick it up. I don't know what both the hating critics (of which there were many) and the American viewers (of which there were not enough) wanted. I loved every episode of the show and I will miss it greatly next year. The chemistry between the actors (Especially Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford) and the witty writing from Sorkin was enough to have me begging for more every week. I will be purchasing that one and only season whenever it hits the streets in DVD form and my new goal is to rent the seasons of THE WEST WING, the Sorkin-written drama about the inside track of the White House (basically the same type of show as STUDIO 60, only with the White House as a setting). His prior series to that was SPORTS NIGHT, another short-lived show (two brilliant seasons) and I am a huge fan of that one as well. I will be watching whatever he does next, and I will guarantee that. Just let it be soon - please Mr. Sorkin!


Please everybody. . . It's SO simple!!!


I was able to have dinner last weekend with my good buddy George when he was in town for the day. We ended up staying at BJ's (I'm certainly allowed to eat there!) for nearly FOUR HOURS just chatting about life. It was awesome. Him and I click, I guess. We were never THAT close in high school, but we started talking more when we shared a certain College Algebra class back in the Fall of 2005. While talking, I realized something (and of course, vocalized): I have very few actual friends. The ones that I have known for a long time (e.g. Cy, Justin, Tom) seem to be just reliable friends. No matter how long between conversations or hanging out times, we pick right up where we left off. The difference is that none of us are all that close. I know a little about their pasts (like before we became friends) and I know their respective families (hell, I call Mrs. Serrano "Mama"), but we aren't that "tell anything to". The only one that really holds that title is George. I also have sports friends (e.g. Romique, Rico, Leshin) that I either played sports with or continue to work out with that I can just talk about basketball or go to the park and stuff like that. I do this with George as well. The other thing about a lot of my friends is that they all have other outlets. Cy has his countless church and volunteer-type groups that he is a big part of. Justin is very often down below, either for his internship or to see his girlfriend. Manny is married. Romique has so many people he knows, it's ridiculous. I just know all these people - I don't really have a group, per se. Neither does George. Down in Murrietta, all he really does is work and go to school. Most of the guys he works with are younger as well. So we have that in common as well. We also have common ideas about religion, philosophy, and those types of things. Essentially, George has become my best friend and guess what - he lives at a great distance. Why does that happen?!?! I see Heather once a week (maybe). I will see George almost never (he actually is going to Georgia for nine months in September). Why do I do this to myself haha - - -


Which I will be heading to here in just an hour - - - the perfect game is coming. . . I just don't know when!


For the Fourth of July, Heather and I went to her dad's house down in San Clemente and enjoyed a day on the over-crowded beach, followed by a relaxing afternoon watching the unnoticed BLACK SNAKE MOAN, and completed by a fantastic dinner (tri-tip, pork ribs, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, caesar salad with homemade dressing - Holy Crap it was fantabulous!) and the local fireworks show put on by the city of San Clemente. The entire day was a lot of fun (despite the sun burn!) and I look forward to the next time that I get to go down there - it's always good!

And with that, I'm gonna head off. Hope you enjoyed it - - -

Let me know what you think - - -

Have a nigh