Los Angeles, CA
Valentine's Day. Sunday. Early morning. Too early. Nicky and I ate breakfast at the coffee shop, packed as per usual on the weekends. The first breakfast shift (pre-11am) is mostly families with young children and the Church crowd. The second shift consists of hungover hipsters, the post-Church crowd, and everyone else in the neighborhood who decided to sleep in.
The owner's son waved us towards the only available area... the counter. Two empty stools. I sat down next to an elderly woman. Old. Very old with some wrinkles on her face that were older than me and Nicky combined. She was at least in her 90s and wore pink pajamas. Seriously. I guess when you are that old, you can roll out of bed and go eat breakfast in your PJs and no one is gonna say shit.
The teenage granddaughter of the coffee shop's owner sauntered and stood in front of the old woman. She took her order, but I couldn't understand what the old lady requested. The young girl nodded and scribbled something on her pad. She returned a minute later with a small container of fresh salsa and butter. The old lady muttered something. The girl quickly returned with another container of salsa.
The old lady turned to me and said, "I took two buses to get here."
"This morning, I took two bong bits before I came here," I said.
"I took two buses to get here, too."
Seven minutes later. A huge plate of crinkle cut fries appeared in front of the old woman, with a hint of grease glistening in the SoCal sunlight that rushed through the front window. The old woman picked up a fry with her left hand and scooped up salsa with a spoon in her right hand. She carefully covered the top side of the fry with salsa and then inserted said fry into her mouth. Repeat.
Two minutes later, a plate of dry wheat toast arrived. The old lady spent the next several minutes lathering up her toast with butter before she returned to her careful routine of painting the tops of her fries with a layer of salsa.
I ate my scrambled eggs and grits while I looked at my CrackBerry (more specifically UbetTwitter) glossing over all of Kevin Smith's ire after getting tossed from a SouthWest flight for being too fat.
The other morning I walked to the coffee shop just as it opened. A couple of Beverly Hills police officers had arrived at the same time to eat their breakfast. Their vehicles were... two Smart Cars. Seriously. One cop per Smart Car. I had never seen an American police force use Smart Cars. In Europe, sure, but never here.
I spend a significant amount of time at the local Jack in the Box when I have a craving for a BIG ASSED ICED TEA. The plight inside the fast food eatery is always abundant, especially during non-peak hours. I dunno why, but that join attracts all the freaks in the slums of Beerly Hills. On my last trip, taken around 2:30pm in the afternoon, the place was somewhat crowded with normal-looking late lunch eaters. One guy in a suit sat in a booth eating a burger. In the adjacent booth, a 50-something-year old guy punched away at his laptop. I assumed he was a writer of some sorts who set up his office inside of Jack in the Box for that particular day. The only power outlet was located in the ceiling above his head. His plugged in anyway and his laptop's power chord dangled from above while he sipped on a shake. Foolish to display any hardware inside the store if you ask me. He's asking to get jacked by hooligans.
As I walked out with my BIG ASSED ICED TEA, I peeked down the alley behind Jack in the Box. Two twenty-something white guys in a blue Altima were in the middle of a ripping lines of coke.
The other day, I walked inside Jack in the Box and one disheveled junkie with his mouth agape looked like he was sleeping in a booth. I approached the counter to order my BIG ASSED ICE TEA, and the cashier, a 50-something squatty Mexican woman with a lisp, instantly screamed, "Oh my! Ith he dead? He'th dead! He'th dead!"
"Uh, no ma'am," I reassured her. "He'th just nodding off."
The Olympics. Sigh. NBC can suck my big root. The entire notion of watching the Olympics on TV in America is ruined because of Twitter. I'm in LA. Pacific Coast. Same time zone as the Olympics in Vancouver. Yet, I'm on a tape delay from the East Coast feed. All my friends in that time zone are tweeting their reactions as they watch it three hours ahead of me. I don't care about the spoilers as much as I can't see what the fuck they are talking about.
Plus, friends in Canada, Norway, or Australia are getting extensive live coverage in their respective countries and I'm super jealous that they can view the Olympics without all the bullshit , commercials, and cheesey stories that NBC layers their nightly watered-down coverage.
And don't get me started about Bob Costas. What the fuck is up with his hair? I guess he's taking Clyde Frazier's advice and dying his head. Sometimes it looks like Costas is buying his toupees at the same rug store where Marv Albert used to buy his.
On a good note, I prefer to turn off the sound and Twitter, and watch the Olympics with music blasting. Makes curling and luge much more interesting. I did it today when I watch the opening hockey matches for USA and Canada, which are essentially a pair of NHL all Star teams, with a handful of other stars scattered among the Scandi countries, Russia, and Eastern Europe.
I have a couple of prop bets against Canadian and European friends that I'm sweating, so as much as I think the entire Olympics as a whole is a farce... I'm gambling on the daily outcomes of that farce.