Thursday, April 8, 2010



My apologies, it has been dumb long. Its hard to be legit, and still pay your rent. Work is a hell of a drug.

A month or two into living at my current apartment (and with a month left) I can see why people give me awkward stares about having an apartment in Downtown LA. To put it simply, this area has no fucking clue what it wants to be. On the same block as one another, there exists A) a low-income housing unit and B) a nightclub that I've seen three Bentleys and a Maserati outside of just this past week alone. Some buildings are going for the super-swank SoHo Luxury Loft effect, while others are just pumped to have windows that weren't broken yet. Makes no sense, at least not to me.

What my roommates failed to inform me of is that on the same day every month, my part of Downtown turns into this artsy mecca of youth expression. Its happened twice thus far, conveniently both on days when I really could have used the street parking outside my building. Basically, EVERY little shop or studio or open space in my neighborhood gets turned into a one-night open art gallery. At least ten square blocks get flooded with people checking out paintings, listening to music, getting a soy latte, etc. It would be kind of cool, if 60% of the people out there weren't complete toolbags desperately forcing themselves into a scene, but that's their issue not mine. The point is, this place gets crazy.

My second encounter with this came as I walked home from my car last night, and I was fortunate enough to come across a character I had met during my first experience with it. When I last saw him, he was being "interviewed" by some local student in my lobby. I do not know his name, but he was a pretty average looking 30 year old African-American guy, and my running nickname for him is MC Slash. Here is why.

MC Slash was very proud to proclaim for the camera that he lived on Skid Row. If you don't know, Skid Row is a long stretch of road downtown where many homeless people have congregated to form their own little commune. Like I have said before, I don't make fun of the homeless, and MC Slash is no exception. Because he ISN'T HOMELESS. According to him, he has a small apartment somewhere just outside the city, but chooses to live on Skid Row anyway. I'm sorry, come again? That's like buying a Ferrari, but deciding your just so much happier on your Vespa. Strike number one for MC Slash.

MC Slash then explained his allure to Skid Row. I was all about hearing his thoughts on this one, because there aren't too many things you could throw my way that would convince me to leave "a roof and four walls" on the bargaining table. As Slash proclaimed:

"Skid Row is my American Frontier, man. It's my horizon to chase. It's my 40 Acres and a Mule."

PAUSE. It's your what?! Congratulations asshole, you just insulted Fievel, Captain Jack Sparrow and General William Sherman all in one breath. Skid Row is not '40 acres and a mule'. A plot of land and a donkey-like mammal is '40 acres and a mule', Skid Row is a patch of concrete outside of El Pollo Loco. And the last time I checked, Skid Row has some pretty well defined boundaries. You're not exactly exploring any uncharted territory here, Columbus. Definite Strike Two.

But this guy truly became a clown-legend in my book when our little Barbara Walters-in-training asked him what he did to provide for himself. After taking a brief moment to compile the list in his head, his response was:

"What don't I do, shit. I'm a rapper slash songwriter. I'm an artist. I'm a clothing designer, see I got one of my shirts on now. I'm a stylist. Whatever you need man, I got you. I do it all."

It's most important to note that the shirt he "designed" was a blank white t-shirt with the words "To Live And Die In LA" printed in plain type across the front. I'm sorry, if I can recreate one of your "designs" using MS Paint in under 45 seconds, you are not a clothing designer. That would be like me going to H&M, buying every single blank white bra they have, putting my initials somewhere on each one and claiming to have discovered the secret Victoria's been keeping for son long. Lee McQueen would have slapped this man so hard, it's not even funny.

To recap, MC Slash is a rapper/songwriter/artist/clothing designer/stylist/anything else you can need. Oh, really? All that, and you still have time to foil the Joker's plans too Batman? At least Michael Jordan got the whole Basketball thing down pat first before he tacked Baseball on to his list. (Note: Welcome to the Space Jam.) I'm suprised this guy didn't apply a band-aid to a papercut and add 'Doctor' to that list too. Here's a thought: pick one and stick with it for a while homie, this isn't The Bachelor.

They say there are no Renaissance Men left in this world anymore. They are all sorely mistaken. MC Slash does it all. And he can't stop. Won't stop. Eh eh.


This week's KleanItUp Honoree is Joeseph Velardo from Port St. Lucie, Florida. If you have never heard of this man, it's with good reason. He is not a public figure of any kind. Joey-V is a random ass-clown who found his way into news for doing the kind of shit I LOVE to hear about. As if Florida needed any more blemishes on its image.

Velardo is a twenty-eight year old law student. PAUSE. Really bro? Last I checked, law school takes three years to complete on schedule. Either he's going at an awfully slow pace, or he decided to make one of the most arduous, demanding and challenging careers his fallback option in life. Yeah, real brain wizard here.

Anywho, Joey got tired of law school, but couldn't figure out how to bail. I assume this is because he still lives at home, and his mom has a wooden spoon ready and waiting for just such an occurrence. Since fallblack plans seem to be his thing, he went with plan B: commit a felony and become academically ineligable!

So he walks into a Staples and decides to rob the joint. Somewhere he read that such an act would land him a third degree felony, presumably in his "Law School For Dummies" book. So, he snags some shit, walks out the door to set the alarm, then walks right back and demands to be arrested for what he's done. Foolproof, right?

Apparently dude didn't read the fine print: The robbery needs to exceed $300. The grand total of SuperDouche's spree: $276.88. The resulting charge: a misdemeanor. So not only does he have a shit ton of legal fees to pay, but he's still got to be in class on Monday. I love this shit.

Monday, April 5, 2010

LA has a new super hero

What is up my people?!?!?! It’s been a while since any one has posted anything, I guess Greg didn’t have any good stories and neither did I. That’s a lie, I actually have a gem from this past weekend but I CAN NOT post it for a looooong time (you need to be excited about it though, I am telling you that it is MONEY). Buuuuuut then something interesting happened today…..

Some of you may know that Greg and I are doing a thing called, “The Warrior Dash” on the 11th. It is a three mile run featuring twelve obstacles (climbing bales of hay, traversing through water, jumping fire, climbing under barbed wire, ect.) and so I am in training for the competition. After a depressing 4 hours of reflecting on life and looking for a job I decided to take my mind off of things and go for a run.

At the start of my run I intended on going for my usual 3 mile run but then decided to make things a little tougher this time in order to become a true warrior.  My new rule was that every time my song changed or that I got stuck at a street light I would do 15 push ups or sit ups.  This was fun until I hit the last light on my trip home.

I run up to the light like it was every other one but as I began to reach for the crosswalk button I noticed two cars coming very fast to the intersection.  I probably would not have noticed this if both cars had a green light, but this was not the case.  The cars are racing to the light and are perpendicular to each other, one has a red and the other has a green.

To set the scene imagine if you were on a street corner and if you look at the corner diagonal from you one car is coming from the right of it and the other is coming from the left.  Now, just like in a TV show time begins slow down for me and my brain goes right to work:

Car A is traveling at about 50 mph and weighs, I would guess, 3,500 lbs.  Car B is traveling 45 mph and weighs around 3,000 lbs.  At the point of impact, if no brakes are applied, Car B will have the momentum to travel I would say abouttttttt, oh fuck that car is heading right for me!  The two cars collided and now one is out of control coming in my direction. I literally dive out of the way and go directly into a forward roll.  I convert my forward moving momentum into upward so I can stand up while spinning 180 degrees into a karate like stance, ready for the next vehicle to be coming my way.

I look over and spot that the car that almost took me out.  This car was angry my friends, like an old man trying to send back soup at a deli.  It was engulfed in smoke, gasoline was going everywhere, and I need to do something like right now. I run over to the vehicle and look in the window. A girl is inside crying and pleading with me to get her out of the car.  The driver side door took about 65% of the blow, and I was not sure if I could get the door open.  I grab onto the handle and try to swing the door open but it won’t budge.  I put one foot on the back door of the car and pull the door with all my might. Success! The door is open.  I grab the young woman and pull her from the mangled heap of metal that was once her car.  I can see she is badly injured and with no ambulances on the way and little time I put her in my arms I run her to the nearest hospital. I run her into the E.R. (still in my arms) and make sure she receives medical attention right away.

Tell me that that is not the most ballah story everrrrr!!!!!!  Alright, it would be if it was true. That is what I would like to call the "Hollywood" version of the story.  Here is what really happened. I stopped on a street corner to do some sit ups. Next thing I know I hear tires screeching, then a collision and then the sounds of a car heading right for me.  I cover my head and roll out of the way (I think that part is still pretty bad ass).  When I look up I see a car about 10 feet away from me. It almost ran me over and I had no idea because my back was to the intersection while doing sit ups (I'm an idiot looking at back on it and how close I actually came to death).  I did run to the car and I did have to rescue that girl from her vehicle just like I described it earlier. The car was leaking gas, smoke was everywhere, she couldn't get out of the car, and I had to use my foot to get the door open.  That part of the story is totally true. She was not badly injured (which is a good thing) but she was crying and I tried my best to console her.  After making sure she was ok and that I did all I could, I ran away like a super hero into the night.  No names, no glory, no thank you needed. Now some of you may ask, "Why?  Why did you not give that girl your name?  Why did you not try to meet up with this girl again?".  All I want to do is make sure that the people of my town are safe.  I help because I can, not because I want things in return.

Seriously this left me a little traumatized. Making eye contact with that girl while tears streamed down her face and hearing her say "Please help! Get me out of here!" is something I didn't enjoy. It was sad. But I suppose that is all part of building a good super hero, right?

You can sleep well tonight, Los Angeles. I am here for you.

Love Always,


Note 1: I know I said my stories will be me making fun of myself, but I couldn't hold back.  I had to share this story, I felt too good afterwards.

Note 2: I would have stuck around for the police if I actually witnessed anything.  Like I said my back was turned during the accident, so all that I really did was rescue the damsel in distress (oh and she was a damsel.)

Note 3:  Nick didn’t read this over for me and Klean Up my writing yet (see what I did there), but I had to get this story out there for all of you like I promised.  So trust me, I know it was rough to read but hopefully it was worth it.

Note 4: Please comment!!!! Even if it's you telling me I suck and that I'm an idiot. I want this blog to be really interactive where we can host debates.  You can say things and I can respond, or I can say something and you can respond. It will be so much more fun I promise you.  Hell even start your own blog and react to our blog, that would be fun too.  Just let's get more reader involvement.