Tag Archives: tecate

The Greenest Thumb

Image result for farm romania black and white

Almost every nine months I pick my head up and there’s no one bringing me lunch at 12:30. I’m just alone, at home and over-caffeinated, wondering what the fuck I’m doing with my life.

So I start to plan for my future. I think about cutting back. In 2010 I sold my truck to pay my rent. That actually didn’t work out terribly other than not having a car in Los Angeles. That was problematic. What got me there was a couple weeks in Paris, then Spain, then a jaunt to the bullet-shroud coastline of Beirut. Unfortunately, I came back and well—what I’m saying is I know feast and famine. Famine more so than feast, but today I came up with a plan: self-sufficiency.

But in achievable doses. There’s a small team of small men who wear safari hats, cut down the weeds that constitute our lawn and then they blow it onto the cars parked nearby. That, I think to myself, is a job I can do. And the money that I’ll save? Come on, it’s a no brainer. Sorry Safari Silvio, I’m unemployed, grappling with what to do with my days and I’m coming for the $40 bucks you’re raking in like a bandit and dividing 3 ways every 2 weeks.

Image result for home depot mexicoSo I go to Home Depot, as is my practice, and I walk the aisles quickly, having no idea where I’m going for an hour. I work methodically through lumber, then power tools, door handles, combination locks, toilets, bathroom cabinets, sliding glass doors, 37 types of refrigerators, washing machines – this place goes and goes – and so do I from aisle 20-something to the far wall – ah, gardening shit. Succulents for me and my sucker friends who can’t keep anything alive. There are also shovels, the thing I used to dig a hole for a fence post, really too many tools to account for. I stand on the edge of the aisle for 7 long minutes trying to wave down someone in orange. They blow past me on scissor-lifts, motorized carts and on foot. Finally, I stop a 15-year-old girl with the name “Grissy” etched on her vest.

Hi, I’m looking for a weed whacker.

Like an edger?

Um, maybe. It’s for a lawn.

Lawn mowers are on 2 at the end of the aisle.

No, like a hand-held thing that you see guys sort of hacking away at ankle high stuff.

She waves me over – These are the lawn edgers. You’ve got gas, which have the most juice, cordless which are the next best and then this kind you plug in.


You probably want a battery operated one.

She darts off and I pull out my phone. I log into my uncle’s Consumer Reports account and read reviews of about 70 different “Edgers/String Trimmers.” All the best ones are out of my arbitrarily pre-determined and based on nothing price range. I pick up the cheapest one. Black and Decker. Yes, good old, maybe American… steel? I guess I’ll find out when I open it.

An hour later, I make two shocking discoveries: the first – it’s pink. The second, it’s neither gas nor battery operated. It plugs in. Fine, I’ll make do. These are the moments when I’m most resilient.

The device, which is apparently not a weed whacker, but still looks like one to me, doesn’t have a blade at all. Instead there’s a little green string with a pink hood around it. For the next five minutes I walk around my front yard like those old guys running metal detectors down at the beach. I don’t really have a technique yet. Swing and hope for the best. Weeds seem to be getting cut, some higher than others. Occasionally, I miscalculate and grind down to the earth flinging rocky dirt into my shins and Vans. I’m inching along when the extension cord rips out. It’s apparently about 45 feet too short to get the other half of the lawn. While I’m looking for another outlet, I pick my head up and notice two Mexican guys across the street. They’re smiling at me and I smile back. They toast me with their Tecates which they’re keeping in the bed of the truck they’re leaned up against.

For the next hour, I massacre half of the lawn. I kick up dirt and fill the walkway with all manner of plant shrapnel. I leave myself sprinkled with prickly plants, Bermuda grass and dirt. My once white Vans are now anything but.

But when I look across the street and I see the two hombres crushing Tecates, laughing until they’re crying at the hatch job I’m doing to my lawn, well, it brings a smile to my sunburned face. There are only so many moments when we can provide this thrill, this pure-unadulterated joy to a stranger. And you know what? I did that this morning. I made two guys, who apparently know the right way to use the thing that I’m using that’s not a weed whacker, basically piss themselves with amusement.

As I finish up, they guzzle the last of their Tecates, open the bed of their truck, wheel out a lawn mower and a blower – a fucking blower – I knew I forgot something at Home Depot. And they proceed to brilliantly mow my neighbor’s lawn. When they finish there isn’t a speck of dirt or grass on the walkway. Everything is blown directly on my neighbor’s recently washed and waxed Cadillac.

I’ll tell you what, those guys did a hell of a job and earned every drop of those 10 AM Tecates. And if I contributed in any way to what they accomplished across the street, well, I’m grateful to have played my small part.

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Filed under House Hunters/Home Improvement, unemployment

Fast Times In Thai Town

No matter what I say. No matter how convinced and indoctrinated I seem. Do not believe me. Do not press on. You will be disappointed. Because after all, Thai Angel is not all it’s cracked up to be…

What is it lately? Why do all these Asians operating shady afterhours spots think I’m a cop? When did I all of a sudden start to look like a cop? What does a cop even look like in LA? I’ll tell you—Filipino. And a chick. That’s what a cop looks like in LA. Want to know what I look like? I know a guy named Domingo, he told me I look like the Brawny Man. Does the Brawny Man look like a cop? I don’t think so.

But the fact remains; I can’t get a drink after two am to save my life. Maybe it’s for the best. I disagree.

And it’s not restricted to Los Angeles. For example, in September I found myself in Boston. Yes, you read that correctly. Found myself. Not in the Existential sense—no, I literally woke up on a plane that had just landed in Boston. It was 7:30 a.m. and a Friday.

So there I was in Boston. A day passed. I saw some things. I saw the American Revolution. I saw Sam Adams. I ate a lobster roll. Then, all of a sudden it was two a.m. Like any god-fearing, unslakeable fool, I was looking for some cold tea. That’s what they call it out there in New England. A drink after two, is cold tea. Fine by me. I’m not picky. There was a group of us. There we were, in the North End, or the South End, or maybe it was Southie, or possibly Northie… actually probably not Northie. Northie, after all, is Maine. Wherever we were, we were looking for Asians because Asians serve the good stuff. They serve that cold tea.

Try as we might. Try as we did. Try as we were told we should. We got shut down. Everyone thought I was a cop. The 5-O. Johnny Law. The Fuzz. I was accused of all sorts of terrible things. Entrapment. Bribery. Trespassing. Public Indecency. Tax-Evasion. The list goes and goes. How they knew all this? I do not know. But that’s Boston for you.

Fast forward to last night. The clock strikes two somewhere near Bunker Hill. I’m speaking Spanish to a girl who’s as tall as Lamar Odom. Literally, the tallest chilango that ever lived. Tecate all around. Tecate didn’t look good on her. No sir. Know who Tecate looks good on? Super models. Why? It’s an awful beer and it takes a super model to make it look appetizing. But like I said, I’m not picky…

I make a proposal. Yes, I do. I want to say, I know better. It’s possible I might, but thus far I’ve never proved it. I propose we go to Thai Angel. Charming little place in Thai Town. Shit attitudes, angry staff, awful glass noodle salad, over-priced booze in a Styrofoam cup. It’s just up the street. I promise, it’ll be fantastic.

We get to Thai Angel. I saunter over to the bar and the conversation went like this:

-Booze, por favor.

-I don’t speak Spanish. This a Thai Restaurant.


-You want see menu?

-Let’s cut the crap, you don’t have a kitchen. You’ve got a microwave. I’d have to be twice as drunk as I am now to eat anything from here. I would know. I’ve done it before.

Then she stares me down. We’ve met before. Usually, she asks my name, tells me I’m cute then charges me for one or two more drinks than I’ve ordered. We have a rapport. We have history.

-Two whiskeys, two vodkas. Ice. Comprende?



She goes on to accuse me of being a cop. She tugs my beard just to make sure it isn’t a costume. She says she recognizes me, but not in a good way.

Finally, we establish I’m not a cop. My cohort wants to know what the fuck is going on. After all, I promised a good time. Hookers, cocaine, midget ballerinas, HBO, the works. So far, I’ve come up with zilch. She looks at my ID. She says, now I know where you live, in case you’re lying.

I say, OK. But truthfully, I’m a little weirded out. The address on my ID is in fact a P.O. Box 365 miles from Thai Town.

She tells me, there’s a new place. Tonight’s the first night. We’ll be the first guests.

-Eighty dollar.



-How about forty?

We strike up a deal. All of a sudden there’s a train of SUVs leaving Thai Angel, following a woman who thinks I’m a cop to an undisclosed location.

We get there and there’s an old man at the door. I know this old man. We go way back. I shake his hands. Great to see you, I say.

-Eighty dollar.

-Talk to Esmeralda. We’re paying forty.

We walk in. We shouldn’t have walked in. I wouldn’t walk in again without a Ruger. Queasy fluorescent lights. An asbestos ceiling. The owner’s next of kin. One table. They say a DJ is coming later. Great. They plop down four Miller Lites. The only thing I hate more than Miller Lite is Miller High Life.

We sit for three minutes. We drink our beers. We pay. We leave. Some party, right?

The next time the clock strikes two and you and me are side by side, remember what I’ve just told you. I might promise that we’ll be sipping martinis with Melanie Laurent in a sprawling estate on Point Dume, but in all actuality, we will end up in Thai Town. We will drink warm beer. We will be scorned. I will apologize for the French colonization of Vietnam. No one will understand.

And then, my friend, we will leave. Our livers better for the failure. Our minds worse for the effort. Thai immigrants wealthier for our indulgence.

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