Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The storm has passed

Apparently we've had some weather in Mexico Beach.

Our house is standing, but it is battered and bruised. I like to think Chez Martinez whispered to Hurricane Michael, do thy worst and then laughed in his face when he rolled out of town like a bully punched in the mouth.

Chez Martinez is a cultured badass.

At times it has been overwhelming. At times it has been inspiring. I always wondered what the Red Cross does with all the $10 texts and now I know. They feed us. They provide household necessities to us. They say yes anytime we ask for help of any kind. And they do it with a smile.

I have also been thinking a lot about a song.

I live in the deep south and, while this city has actually voted pretty progressively, we are still Trump country. But none of that has mattered. Hippies (yes, we have a few), blacks, whites, gays, Trumpsters... all of us have asked only one thing of each other: how can I help? Hell, I went from being the only Mexican in Mexico Beach to being the only Mexican who doesn't speak Spanish. Nobody has asked if they are here legally, nobody has told them to speak English, everybody has simply said thank you and offered them food, water and, an extended hand.

This is the America I have always known. This is the America that has always been great. This is precisely why America will always be great.

In the midst of all of this kindness and parking of political bullshit I keep hearing Frank sing to me...

Take a breath
Try these for size
I don't know
I've changed my mind

There is something good in us all. I wish more than anything it didn't take a tragedy like a natural bomb to bring it out in us.

I love you, awesome nerds.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

This song was playing in my head and these words came out

Just like most (if not all) women have a #metoo story, I think most of us men have a story of making a woman feel like less than. I am not implying that we have all raped a woman or, even been guilty of behaving so deplorably it rises to the level of causing a #metoo moment. I am simply saying that most men have, at some point, and maybe more than once, acted like complete and utter dumbasses towards women.

And if you, as a man, can say I've never been a dumbass towards women, I promise, you know a guy who has.

You should smile more.

My eyes are up here. 

Does that shake come with fries?

You get the idea now, right?

Or worse, we've been dismissive when a woman we know or, love shares her #metoo story.

Like most posts, I don't know that I have a point.

As a guy who has been a pig a time or twelve in my life,  I don't think it's asking too much of us men to shut up and listen.

I don't think it's too much to ask us to say, I believe you.

And mean it.

And behave accordingly.

We have to do better.

Have a day.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Representation Matters

A couple of nights ago I was watching the finale of So You Think You Can Dance and as the four finalists stood on stage, an immigrant, a Dominican, a Filipina and, an all American Blonde were standing there on stage, it hit me: this is fucking beautiful.

I get my balls busted for watching shows like SYTYCD and The Voice and a few other shows (as I should). And really, it started out as nothing more than an excuse to curl up on the couch with TGB.

But as the years have gone on and we've witnessed white-washing of ethnic characters in movies and tiki-torches being bust out the moment someone hints at a black Bond these silly little shows have come to matter a great deal more to me.

A Ukrainian kid who learned English as a second language as an immigrant was up there doing his thing.

A brown skinned Dominican girl who doubted herself blossomed into this fucking badass. I thought about my nieces and, in my head, told them be like her.

A pretty little blonde girl, every bit the girl next door, turned in some of the not-so-girl-next-doorest performances and reminded me that what you see is not the sum of what someone is. Her space was hers and she absolutely owned every inch of it.

And finally, that petite Filipina - the girl TGB expected to win from the get go - blew the doors off the competition.

As we sat there watching them pare down from four to three, then three to two, then finally on to crowning this season's winner I caught myself getting a lump in my throat.

The last performance of the night - a night when they bring back their favorite performances of the season - was my favorite of the season. A man fighting the ideal of what being a man means in the first place. A gay, black man.

Somewhere some kid is watching this show and seeing him or herself up on that stage.

That absolutely matters.

It's not just SYTYCD either.

On Ink Master, watching Oliver Peck encourage a gay, black tattoo artist to keep fighting because he encourages others who, just twenty years ago, would have been unaccepted in the industry matters.

Or The Voice taking people who look not the way you expect pop stars to look because, lord, they can sing.

These shows aren't just silly brain candy.

They do that thing Hollywood has struggled to do.

They represent the sum of us. They put what is best of this country on display. That is a beautiful thing.

TGB ended up being right, as usual. That amazing little Filipina won this season. And, while we know they couldn't hear us from our living room, we cheered because, fuck yeah!

Have a day.

Monday, August 27, 2018

A few lines of dribble

I have a difficult time apologizing for a thing I say if I believe that thing to be true.

Neil Simon shaped a lot more of my thinking than I would ever be able to articulate. #theaterkid

I honestly thought Robin Leach died years ago. I also thought he was in his 70s when he was doing Lifestyles.

I never wanted to be a dad but, sometimes I meet a kid and think, if I had a kid I would want her to be like you. 

Then I think, but, she wouldn't be so I would end up fucking hating her. That little bitch.

I think people think I am better than I am.

I wish I was as good a husband as people think I am.

My friend Shelby should cover Not The Doctor. With her voice I think it would be one of those rare covers I enjoy more than the original. And I FUCKING LOVE the original.

It's not a woman's job to fix your broken shit, man.

I voted for John McCain in two primaries.

Never voted for him in a Presidential General Election.

I've voted in every Presidential election since 1992 (the first one I could vote in) and 2012 was the first time I voted for a democrat.

Tomorrow is an election day.

I think about leaving the US a lot.

I think about California seceding a lot.

I wish.

I want to watch less football than I did last season but, I'd miss Charlie and Anthony so I probably will still watch.

I get paid to drive a boat on weekends because the last guy who did it wouldn't drive into a storm. It is expected of me.

Storms come fast and hard.

I wrote that sentence for you to giggle.

You're welcome.

Have a day.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

I would rather starve than eat your bread

No Tess, I dribble.


I don't feel like writing today. I haven't felt like writing for quite a long time. 

I have things in my head that I want to put out but, I have this overwhelming sense of dread at the thought of it. 

There is this little boy who gets on the boat with his family on weekends. He hugs me now when he arrives. Apparently, I have become one of his favorite people. 

There is this adorable little girl who gets on the boat, points at me and says, "FASSSTTTT!" and I simply cannot refuse her. 

There is this amazing set of siblings who sit and listen while all the other kids are being little shits during story time. I like them a lot. 

I make friends as easily as I lose them and I lose them at an alarming rate. At this point I know it's me. I'm okay with that. The people who stay, for whatever reason, are made of stronger stuff. The people who go aren't wrong for going. I get it. 

Fuck, I'm stuck with me so, I definitely get it. 

I want a boat. 

Have a day. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Everything has chains

That ^ guy    

My best friend is cooler than yours. My best friend took me to see Pearl Jam. In Seattle. Your argument is invalid.

I went into the Pearl Jam show thinking, I'll know enough of their songs to enjoy the show. 

Three plus hours later I was all, holy shit, I know a lot more PJ than I remember. 

Because here's the thing: I haven't really listened to PJ since Vitalogy.

When a band debuts with one of the greatest records ever recorded - Ten - it's really difficult to keep up that momentum. And Vitalogy left me meh so I never really bothered again until Kris came along and gave me their entire catalog. Now, it's on my phone and plays at random with all the other thousands of songs I have.

But seeing them live I realized that A LOT has managed to seep into the deepest parts of my cerebellum.

None of that is the point of this post.

The point of this post is that guy in the photo.

The sun hadn't quite set so it was early in the show when PJ played Why Go. That guy stopped on his way back from a beer/bathroom run and lost his shit. I couldn't take my eyes off of him.

The song starts - and you know how rocking it is - all drums and guitars and this guy just starts dancing his face off. But something about him refusing to join the rest of the masses made me curious.

At one point he bends over. I assume he's spent from being a one man mosh pit. But then I see his hand wipe tears from his face.

Maybe someday another child won't feel as alone as she does...

It was unmistakeable. As to confirm it, a friend of his checked on him and he waved her off but, not before giving her a big hug. She stepped back and watched him for a bit to make sure he was okay before she left.

That's when I decided to grab a picture of him.

He stood there a bit just... watching. Wiped a few more tears then, threw up his hand for the rest of the song.

I like to imagine the song is his anthem. Like, this song speaks about the shit at a time in my life I didn't think I would survive but, I did.
She seems to be stronger...
Maybe I'm overthinking it. Maybe it was just a guy who got too drunk too early.

After the song he disappeared into the masses and I never saw him again.

And I realized I didn't entirely want them to play Given To Fly after all.

Because that's what the best music does to us, isn't it? It leaves us raw despite our best efforts. It takes this thing, this moment you've spent your life insulating yourself from, this thing you survived and it lays it bare on the table.

As much as it reminds us that we survived, it reminds us that this thing that happened or, that we did or, that we witnessed is a part of us and always will be and we have to carry that. Music sometimes renders our defenses null and void.

As I stood there watching him disappear I suddenly realized didn't want them to play my favorite song. In fact there were a couple of songs I didn't want to hear because I didn't want to crumble.

I did not crumble that night.

But that guy in the photo, whatever thing Why Go carried you through, fuck yeah, you made it.

Have a day.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018


There's this little noise she makes when she's asleep, like in that deep, good sleep that comes after a really great day with people she loves. It's not a moan or a yelp but, kind of in between. When I hear that noise I look over and try to see her through the dark. In those moments everything inside of me is screaming, I FUCKING LOVE YOU!

It sounds better than the best Frank Turner song.

Maybe one night I will scream I FUCKING LOVE YOU when she makes that sound. One does want a bit of the surreal in a marriage after all.

But then I think, I want to live.

Anyway, I miss that noise when she's away.

Have a day.

Friday, July 13, 2018

I was just thinking

I met a young airman yesterday.

He has two dogs and two cats but, he wants a lot more.

He casually mentioned that his husband won't let him get more until they buy a house.

It was nothing. It was like me mentioning my wife.

It was beautiful.

It was heartbreaking.

I am old enough to remember the days before Don't Ask, Don't Tell.  We had an airman get booted when I was at DLI for being caught with another man.

And here I was talking to this sweet kid about dogs and his husband like it was the most normal thing in the world.

And my mind turned to #45 and his homophonic supporters. The religious asshats who already made it easy for him to go after trans military members. The same asshats who are pushing to make it okay to deny services to people based solely on how they love.

His kicking out people who were promised a life here in return for their service.

You can't tell me he won't go after gays in the military. I've seen too much to believe he won't hurt people based on the most trivial of differences.

45 is bad people you guys. I don't understand why that is so hard to see.

Have a day

Sunday, July 1, 2018

All the best words have been taken

A song writer friend of mine once said, write a song. I said, all the best songs have been written already.

I have an amazing poster on my wall imploring me to just fucking write something. It was a gift from an awesome nerd.

I want to tell you that I write all the time. I don't.

I want to tell you that a writer is always writing even when he isn't because he is observing, absorbing, being inspired. He isn't.

When I drove Skinny Lister on tour I was reminded that being a rockstar is a lot of fucking work and that work is hard. I knew that from doing comedy but, clearly I forgot.

Why should writing be any different?

Well, Rudy, because all it takes is sitting down and clickity click clicking on your keyboard. Any slightly evolved monkey can do that! 

Yesterday I was taking a piss and it hit me that I missed TGB. She is away in Nashville. As I washed my hands I panicked as thoughts of her dying in a crash on the way home flashed through my mind.

Will she know how much I love her, how rich she made this life as she lie dying on the side of the road?

I should write that story. 

That story was already written and turned into a movie. 


A friend asked me to take him on the road for a week next summer. A short comedy tour.

I haven't done comedy in two years. I need to knock off a lot of rust.

Why haven't I done comedy? Sobriety and happiness.

My particular comedy pulled the funny out of the darkness in my life. Death, cancer, racism, molestation, all ripe for my comedic talents.

Katie is waiting for pages.

Charlie is waiting for pages.

You're waiting for a story.

I'm going to go watch a movie.

Have a day.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Let the hate flow through you

Hate gets a bad rap.

Hating people who believe people who look or love different are somehow less than is not only fun but, the right fucking thing to do.

Hating wannabe nazis is good.

Hating policy makers that advocate separating children from their parents simply because they travel here the wrong way, looking for a better life, is more than okay.

This idea that hate is always bad, that it leads to the dark side is misguided and silly.

If you think Americans didn't hate taxation without representation, you might be a wee bit stupid.

If you think slaves didn't hate slave masters and being slaves or, black people didn't hate separate but equal you might be a special kind of stupid.

Hate is just a word. It is neither good nor bad, it simply is... until you put it to use.

I hate 45 and most of his policies. I hate that people who support him make excuses for shitting on those they deem less than. I hate that his supporters make excuses for deplorable behavior.

45 hates anyone who does not fall at his feet. He hates people he can't understand. He hates those he considers less than. He uses hate to work up his base and they eat it up and love (irony alert) him for it. He uses that hate to advocate policies that would turn so many human beings into other and less than then pointing and blaming those same others for all that is wrong and his supporters eat that shit up.

I hate policies that seek to exclude the marginalized and weakest among us. I hate the people who jump through mental hoops to justify those policies.

I'm a hateful motherfucker.

Have a day.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The world's more interesting than that, Dana

You have to learn to separate the stuff from the stuff. 

It's a favorite line of mine written by Aaron Sorkin and uttered by William H. Macy as Sam Donovan during the Dana Get Your Gun episode.

A known white supremacist takes a role effecting (affecting?) policy with 45's administration. He pushes policies that would seek to harm those who seek asylum or, heaven forbid, simply want a better life.

A human person with no political power or aspirations sees a meme on social media and asks a simple question: what about the people who are here, who did it the way they were supposed to?

Sam Donovan was marveling at the Brown Bess that was sitting in Dana's office. Dana, as a card carrying member of an anti-gun violence group (the name escapes me), Dana was indignant. Then Sam told her the story of a bunch of farmers and nobodies (paraphrasing) who fought off the Brits with little more than a musket and gumption. Then he informed her that he abhors gun violence and, is in fact, a member of the same anti-gun violence group.

You have to learn to separate the stuff from the stuff. 

Have a day.

I couldn't find the Brown Bess scene so here's the Cliff Gardner scene. It's amazing.