Monday, March 31, 2008

True Montreal Stories #1: When Strippers Attack/Why National Health Care Might Just Suck

My friend Jason had his bachelor party in Montreal a few weeks ago. Being in New York, I hoped on a bus to Ithaca where he lives and drove up with him and his friend Joel to Montreal. The rest of the crew flew in that day. But this story concerns Joel.

Joel is an innocent boy, perhaps a little naive. Born near Boulder Colorado, but just outside the hippiy left-wing college part, and schooled in North Dakota, he lead a normal, healthey wholesome life. Well, one Thursday night his ideal world of honesty came crashing down against the hustle and bustle that is big city Canadian life.

We were at a strip club and Joel went to get a lap dance from some lady and never came back. Turns out, he kept getting dance after dance and wound up owing her two hundred bucks. He gave her his id and went to the atm across the street, came back and gave her the money. They start talking, everything is cool then he asks for his id and she tells him, oh, first you gotta pay me.

"I did already."
"No you didn't."
And they went to talk to the bouncer who actually took Joel's side in the matter. There is a lot of fighting and screaming and then the bouncer takes the id out of her hands and tells her, "look we will figure this out, but first let's give this back to him so we don't forget." And he gives it back to him.

Well at this point the girl looses her mind. I mean looses her mind. Starts screaming at the top of her lungs some absolutely horrible things in French and then winds up and slaps Joel so hard across the face that the echoes of which could be heard and felt reverberating halfway across the club.

Joel leaves and the bouncer proceeded to handle this girl in a manner I have never seen a woman handled in public nor private. It was truly impressive. He throws her out and I grab my coat and go outside and as I walk down the stairs I see Joel holding the back of his head, blood everywhere.

Joel, standing out in the cold street, his sense of right and wrong eternally shattered, his moral compass ravaged, actually walks up to the stripper and asks. "Why would you lie? Why would you do that? You are a BAD person!"

And the stripper's response was to open her purse grab a 7 inch stiletto heel, and smash him in the back of his head. Blood was everywhere. And I come out to see him holding his head screaming bleeding all over his coat. An ambulance pulls up, the bandage his head, we go to the emergency room and wait about 7 hours for him to get stitches.

7 hours we waited. I know, it's insane. Meanwhile, sitting across from us is some kid who went out and over the course of the evening got all fucked up and coked out and put through a plate glass window. Half his ear was falling off and he had a Kleenex stuck to it to stop the bleeding. He had to wait too.

A Review Of Cities I've Been To In the Last Month:

Milwaukee>>Montreal>>New York>>Providence.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

True Albuquerque Stories #2: My Day in Court

I'll say this, Hillary or Obama, don't care, but on the off chance either of them picks Bill Richardson as their running mate...hell no.

Why, because let's just say that on a good day, the State of New Mexico does not have it's affairs in order, and on a bad day...shiiiiiiiit.

My first or second week in town I got a speeding ticket. It was fast, I won't get into specifics but I was going 66 in a forty. Or at least that's what the officer clocked me at. I have a litany of excuses as to why and how I could not have ever possibly been traveling at such a high rate of speed but this is neither time nor place. What follows is the story of how I got rid of this ticket, and the far-too-long-and-complicated-process involved.

First day in court.
In regards to traffic tickets, the American legal system works very well. You go to court, meet with the prosecutor or the judge, act sad that you went that fast, and they raise your fine but drop the points. Not in abq. I go to court and find out my only way out of this ticket, which I need to find a way out of as it's an 8 point offense, is to attend traffic school or plead not guilty and take the whole matter to court which never turns out well. I plead guilty and agree attend traffic school which I then find out is a three (3) day commitment.

Traffic school day one:
I arrive at traffic school and have a near catastrophe. You have to pay there, in cash, and it's $155. I run to the ATM at this grocery store next door but my new Bank, the Bank and Trust of New Mexico only allows a person to withdraw a 100 bucks a day from an ATM. After some scrambling and buying and returning of unnecessary groceries, I get the cash and race back to traffic school.
I sign in and too my surprise I see all sorts of photos of the traffic school teacher/money taker/traffic school business entrepreneur with the recently late Pimp C. We start talking about Pimp C a bit and then he asks if I can get an of the UFC fighters that he manages into the film I'm working on. I told him we only had a couple more day of shooting but i'd see what I could do.

Let's take a step back. Traffic school not only is friends with rappers and display this friendship via photos in his place of business which just so happens to be running a traffic school, but he manages UFC fighters. I know, Renaissance man extraordinare.

Traffic school starts and the first hour he gives the rules; no cellphones, no talking, no Spanish (unless you want to attend the Spanish traffic school, where there is no English) no messy food, no fighting (and don't try him, he just had to kick some clowns out for fighting a week ago) so on and so forth. The fighting thing got to me, cause who the fuck brings their beef into traffic school. I don't get it.
Also, they sell nachos there.

The first day ended and we had to report back to school the next day at 8am which I was not going to do because I went home to see the Packers beat the Seahawks. I called the court to reschedule my second day of school but there was a snafu because I had already rescheduled the class I attended and in between when I rescheduled the first time and now the city had passed a new law making it illegal to reschedule more than once. Long and short, I would have to go back to court.

Second day in court:
I got to court, but not court court, just the bottom floor where you pay fines and talk schedule your appearance and the what-not. I'm talking to the lady behind the counter who informs me there are two warrants our for my arrest. One is for my original court cost from my first day in court and the second is for failure to show up for my second day of traffic school.
the first warrant costs 155 and the second costs 250. I got confused because I thought the fee I paid at traffic school included my initial court cost, and the fact that it was the exact same amount of money was too much of a coincidence. After much grief and consternation, the lady agreed to go re check my file to see if I had paid.
Well, she walks away a cop walks over to me and stand literally an inch away from my face and breaths down my neck and leans into me and asks, "how you doing buddy? Everything alright?"
And out of nowhere the lady returns and asks, "so, are you willing and prepared to pay the entire amount." A fucking shakedown. So I did. I got another appointment and day in court before I left.

Third day in court:
I go to court nervous as shit having absolutely no idea what will happen to me. My boss was ready to get the call to come and bail me out of jail. I go up to court and wait my turn. Now I've been to court a few times and it's always you and some other speeders, usually the worst is a few drunk drivers get thrown in there. So imagine my surprise when a slid ding door opens and a group of ten or so hardcore felons, chained up and shackled and all wearing orange jump suits comes waltzing in. I start to loose my shit.

So one of these guys gets up and has his turn to go. He's in court today for the state to decide whether or not to revoke his probation and send his ass right back to jail. And let me tell you, one look at this dude and you would most certainly agree to revoke his probation as fast as humanly possible.

It's not clear what he did to land his ass in prison in the first place but he was a good boy and was let out and now he may or may not have blown his second chance at straight time. The judge offers the prosecute a few minutes recess to look over the case file cause he's new and hadnt seen it. He opens up the folder looks at it for a minute, not even, and almost laughing says. "your honor, it's alright, I think I got it under control."

There are a few cops there who clearly arrested this guy and they go up on the stand and break it down. The cops were out patrolling by the airport and they see some pickup truck smashed to shit against the side of the road. The go up to it and inspect it and there's no one in the front seat but in the back laying down, bloody as hell, passed out snoring, holding a tall boy of Bud Light, is a guy that may or may not be the defendant.

For his part, the defendant claimed it wasn't him, but someone he met in prison on his first bid did it, and gave his name to the police. Fair enough story.
Meanwhile the cop is telling about all the awful terrible things this guy said when they woke him up and the judge stops him cold.

"officer I see it says in the file you took photos of the scene and of the suspect?"
He tells her yes.
"Well why are we talking, show me the photos and let's get down to brass tacks here."

the judge looks at the photos and then gives them to the public defender who looks at the first one, the very first one, and holds his arms up at his client in a digested look that says, "what the fuck dude?"

He puts his hand on the mic and whispers to his client, "you said it wasn't you, I dint know what we are supposed to do now." The judge overhears this and gets a little mad.
She addresses the defendant directly "you said it wasn't you, the photos clearly show it's you, passed out in the back of the pick up truck. How do you explain yourself."

And here's what he said, which could be the greatest thing I've ever heard in my life, let alone in court.

"Your honor, I thought it wasn't me."

Amazing, absolutely amazing.

Movie Review Number 3: There Will Be Blood

There Will Be Blood=Not the best movie ever.

Acting was amazing. Cinematography was amazing. That being said, take away those things and you got just shy of three hours of a bunch of dudes rolling around in the mud yelling at each other. Not sound like my mom who hated Children of Men because everyone was too dirty and the baby didn't look like a real baby, but come on. Give a me a bit of story.


No way. I wouldn't go over $12.99.

Amazing Bun B Interview

Awesome interview Tom Breihan did with Bun B for his status ain't hood blog at village voice. Clearly, this character is all up on Bun's dick, but after all, he is the best rapper ever.

"A lot of people wouldn't know that every UGK album is a concept album; they're not just albums like that. Like Too Hard to Swallow was about making music and beats so thick that it was literally too thick for you to take in; you had to step back a bit to really embrace it. Super Tight was about sonically everything being mixed perfect, all the music and instrumentation being perfect: not just using fake keyboards but actually getting a B3 and a Leslie and playing that stuff out, not just sampling a guitar but getting a guitar player. Ridin' Dirty was about a day in the life of the average drug-dealer in the hood. It was about the good things, the bad things, the shit that most people don't really know, the going home with the stress, family issues; all that shit encompassed that. Dirty Money was about someone who was trying to overcome everything and who had built this foundation that was based on dirty money and the way that you could turn around and do positive things with dirty money in the same way that you're beholden to certain shit when you deal in dirty money. A lot of people don't realize how in-depth Pimp and I would go into making these albums. We were very serious. Underground Kingz was just about us being self-explanatory; we going to be doing exactly everything that we've always done, and we're just reinforcing who we are."

Long Overdue Post #2: Congragulations New York

Best Superbowl Ever?

Yes. Hands down.

Long Over Due Post #1: Fuck the Giants (gaywatch New York)


Since I started gay watch, I've tried very hard to expose gays and the gayness that lurks in our midst. I have focused my efforts on Dallas and Seattle, dutifully exposing the extreme level of homosexuality just bubbling beneath the surface in those cities. But now it's time to take on the biggest challenge yet, New York. Yes, New York, the city and the whole goddamn state, who was to know that the self described "center of the world" just might be the single gayest place in the history of the entire world. Here are a few facts: 1. Eli Manning will wear a glove on his left hand. While this isn't nearly half as gay as Seattle kicker josh brown's heated pants, it will most certainly lead to similar results. 2. The new york giants, their full name is in fact "The New York Football Giants." This is very telling, as it not only is the single gayest name in the history of professional sports, but it also points to what assholes the gays that love the team are. Get one of them talking, and in no time you will here how every single thing is better in new york. Oh that bottle of water you are drinking, it tastes better in New York. The piece of yarn that just blew by in the wind, in new york, the yarn would be more beautiful. Why is everything better there? Because they bless it with gayness. 3. The second gayest name in the history of professional sports? The Knicks, full name, "The New York Knickerbockers." Wow. So basically, if you ever go to see a knick game and someone asks you where you are going, you have to say, "I'm going to see the Bucks play the Knicks, no homo." Because it's that bad. 4. In Wisconsin, a man can make a right turn at a red light. 5. We all know that the giants play in New Jersey, but did you know that in 1987, right before the Giants won the Superbowl, Ed Koch, then Mayor of new york declared the team to be "foreigners" that would not be entitled to a ticker-tape parade in New York City. (which actually is the only argument against writing off the whole entire region as a bastion of homosexuality.) 6. In Wisconsin, a man can smoke in a bar. This is not allowed in New York because the smoke gets inside their vaginas and irritates them. I know a lot of Giants fans. One of them broke a glass next to his bed because he woke up in the middle of the night and had to go to the bathroom but got scared, and another one never got out of bed for an entire year. If anyone going to the game reads this before they leave, be vigilante if you see these fucks. These people have flown into "fly-over country" and will be quite confused. They are expecting to see nothing but farmers and cows and a possible factory every now and again. So if they open up their mouths and start talking about how they are in the middle of nowhere or drink a beer and claim it's "just not as hoppy as our beer back in the city" or generally look down upon us, well, then hit them in the fucking face give them a nice taste of our Midwest hospitality. Don't let them speak loudly and act like the own the place.

Real New Yorkers:

A real man from Wisconsin:

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Concert Review #1: Black Crowes=Best Concert Ever

Couple things about the Black Crowes:

People that love this band really fucking love this band. They go on and on and on about what a great band they are. They tell you the Crowes "are a really great band, people just don't respect them because when they came out no one played rock n roll and they are just a rock n roll band and all they want to do is play rock n roll and they don't come with any bullshit cause they are so rock n roll and don't have time for bullshit because all they want to do is play rock n roll." I'm guessing that these guys grew up listening to a lot of rock n roll.

In the course of seeing them the other night, I came to some similar conclusions.
1) These guys play some honest to God rock n' roll.
2) These guys seem like big fans of the music they play, ie, they grew up listening to rock n' roll.
3. These guys are not bullshitting, they love rock n' roll.
4. They are a fucking awesome band.

It was really one of the more impressive shows I've ever seen, let alone from a band I'm I wasn never really too crazy about. That being said, I totally dig em now and would see them in any city that I was in that they were in as well on the same night.

Other random things:
My friend Jon is boys with them and got me the tickets and we went backstage and then to some weird bar/restaurant that could only exist in New York and kicked it. A few of them were at there and they are really cool guys. Not assholes at all. Chris Robinson has an incredible amount of charisma, and it's not just being a rock star. This guy could walk into a room and own the place if he was a bum. Also, he's a super funny guy, gives a lot shit to his friends and is super self-deprecating.

And I got it on a good authority that he's a Jew.

True Albuquerque Stories #1=Guns

The dirty little secret about Albuquerque is that it can be an incredibly violent place. Ask the locals about it and they have all types of different theories why it is the way it is, but they will all agree with pride that they are not a little small desert paradise in the middle of nowhere, but will emphatically tell you that shit goes down there, and goes down quite hard and quite often.

And to some extent, they are right. I'm not going to say the place is as fucked up and bombed bed out as they would like you to believe, but it's worse than you might think at first glance. i guess being out of the Midwest and not having old abandoned factories and warehouses everywhere, you wouldn't think of a city as a violent place. But instead of old warehouses, they just have a whole bunch of random shit thrown all over the desert with no rhyme or reason.

But I digress. This is not about the perception of violence in Albuquerque vs. the reality of actual violence, this is about me. And so now, I will tell a story, about me.


The night before we got for Christmas break (we get off for Christmas break in the movies) the whole crew went out to this bar downtown called Burts. For some reason in Albuquerque, Burts is the Thursday night place to be. The other place is called cowboys, but you don't' go there because it's a)on the other side of town and b) the bouncer killed two dudes there in the last eight months. Real talk.

so we are all at Burt's and stay there until it closes and then we decide to go to this kid Tyler's house who lives three blocks from the bar. The production rented a real kick ass place for him. His apartment was in this parking garage that on one side had a condo attached to each floor so the elevator from the ground floor opens up into the unit and functions as the front door.

Two hours later a few people are smoking out on the porch. Now the porch to his place has a back door which connects to the parking garage itself. Anyway, these kids are out there and they see these two weird beams of light coming up the parking garage. The way they are moving, there''s no way it's a car. In fact, there is no way it's anything they've ever seen. After a few minutes, two fully decked out swat team dudes come around a corner with flashlights and guns and the whole nine yards.

The swat dudes are going up to every car in the lot and shinning their flashlights into them. When they turn around and see the kids on the porch they yell at them to get back inside, someone just got killed outside the building and fled into the parking garage.

so they do and tell us the story and we all give a collected cry of "ABQ," which is what you say when you are in Albuquerque and some only in Albuquerque type shit goes down.

so another hour goes by and I realize I can't find my digital camera. I start looking for it when I see my friend Justin leave. Thinking he has my digital camera I chase after him and run down the hallway only to see the elevator door close. So without breaking a stride I open up the door to the stairs, throwing it against the wall. I mean after all, it's 4.30 in the morning, who the hell would be in the stairwell.

So to my surprise, when i throw the door open, i see two cops coming down the stairs, one with a shotgun and a fucking strap over his front shoulder with shells glued in for easy access. The other one had a glock in one hand and a flashlight in his other crisscrossed hand.

Needless to say, slamming the door against the wall scared the shit out of them and they both swung their guns around on me right in my face. As I threw my hands up and shouted my new mantra of "what the fuck" over and over again the door shut and separated us.

They knock on the door and I open it and let them in. At this point, I'm shaking, and I look at the cop with the shotgun, and he looks bad, and we both make eye contact and convey a sense of "some shit almost just went down here" to each other. he's happy he didn't shoot me, and I'm clearly happy I wasn't shot.

So they come in and search for the murderer. They say he was wearing such and such a shirt and they go through the party making everyone take off their jackets to see what type of shirt they are wearing. They open up every bathroom and closet door, and they do it with one dude standing to the side and another one holding his gun on the closet. Some real tactical shit.

So people are drunk and the sight of two cops with their guns and all that in the apartment causes a little bit of a commotion. Tyler goes up to them and gets in their face asking them who let them in and the cop with the shotgun yells at him "Dude we don't care what is going on here, we are looking for a guy that killed a guy outside your building. We'll be out of here in five minutes."
Tyler said something else and the cop just shouted "Look, I almost killed your fucking friend. Shut the fuck up and we will be out of here in five minutes."

On their way out, the cop with the shotgun comes up to me, puts his hand on my shoulder and said, "I want you to know, In all my years of being a cop,t hat's the closest I've ever come to shooting someone and still been able to hold back pulling the trigger."

ABQ dude, ABQ.