Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Get fired up!

There are certain injustices in society that get me FIRED UP! Without beating a dead horse, the trials and tribulations of Carl Romanelli are examples of what makes me ANGRY!

I was recently looking for ways to finance my own television show and learned about the wonders of public access television. As of 2008, Los Angeles has one of the best public access programs in the country, enabling thousands of people to produce their own shows. However, I am LIVID because this is all going to change come January 1st, 2009 because of the combined efforts of sleezy Los Angeles politicians and Time-Warner Cable.

Please read this LA WEEKLY ARTICLE about the ongoing problems and let me know of any ways you think that these injustices can be fought!

*In my first move as Citizen Morsels of Los Angeles, I made an emphatic request for a meeting with my local City Councilman...if he doesn't help me out, I WILL run against him in next year's election!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Nader's Raiders

I just finished reading Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon by Justin Martin and I was extremely impressed. Americans can thank Nader for improved safety involving automobiles, planes, radiation, clean water, and hundreds (if not thousands) of other issues. The man has lived his whole life in completely ascetic surroundings, still maintaining a room in a DuPont Circle boarding house in D.C. Nader has shunned socializing and women to simply get his work done. He works 24/7. This book chronicles Nader's successes and failures. At the end of the day, I believe that Ralph Nader has done more for the American people than any Senator and potentially more than some Presidents.

Two cool things I learned from this book:

I learned that after Thomas Eagleton was dropped from George McGovern's ticket as Vice President in 1972, McGovern offered the #2 slot to Nader.

On a more personal note, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Nader grew up in Winstead, Connecticut, the closest town to my beloved Camp Wah-Nee. The book explained how a flood in the 1950s made it necessary for the army to build dams around rivers in the area. I always heard that Shadow Lake, where I spent some of the best times of my childhood, was created when the army widened a river. This book inadvertently explained everything.

Recession-Proof

In my sincere attempts to maintain a hard-line of frugality, I must inform you of deals to be had:

1. Goodwill: I purchased a pair of NEW (with the tag on) H&M jeans for exactly $7.99. They fit perfectly, and my only complaint is that they've got a button-fly.

2. Local Produce: For the past couple of months, I regularly heard a funny horn on an almost daily basis from outside my window. I never knew what this sound symbolized. This sentiment changed when I happened to be entering my residence as a "produce truck" parked in front of my building. As the horn rang, local residents emerged from their enclaves to purchase everything from avocados to eggs to grapes to onions to strawberries. And the prices (ostensibly because Miguel, the proprietor doesn't pay taxes....but that's another story) are significantly cheaper than the supermarkets. Supporting the little man makes me feel good.

3. I'll save the best for last. There are certain secrets in life that you don't want to let out easily. So, if you live in Southern California and are reading this, think of this as my holiday present to you (for the next five yeas), because it will surely save you tons of money in the future. The One Dollar Book Store has been one of my secrets for the past couple of months. Every single book inside these stores costs $1...!!! It still amazes me how DOZENS of people ask the cashier, "Is this book only a dollar?" when dozens of signs are posted around the store indicating that EVERYTHING costs a dollar....sure the store could be more organized and requires some good eyes to spot exactly what you're looking for, but truth be told, there's no better deal on earth.

Requiem for my beloved Jansport backpack

Before setting off to Cornell in the summer of 2003, my dad was on a mission: To find the perfect laptop bag for my new 15" Powerbook.

He returned home without the traditional laptop bag that I'd been expecting, instead carrying a red and grey Jansport backpack that had a secret compartment to smuggle my computer. It was claimed that the bag was made of bulletproof material, and the secret compartment could surely deter most thieves from gaining access to my most prized possession.

In the following years, that bag waltzed down Bourbon Street, road-tripped to Miami for Spring Break, sat in the White House biefing room, felt the effects of second-hand smoke in Amsterdam, passed through the Arc de Triomphe on the Champes Elysees, stared at the Sistine Chapel, climbed the steps of Gaudi's Sagrada Famiglia, drank at every decent pub in Dublin, witnessed the remnants of the Berlin Wall, trekked through markets in Northern Africa, learned about the history of Malta, slept on the beach in Tel Aviv, sipped wine in a rural Czech castle, frollicked around on the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, drove a Landrover through Belize, ate jerk chicken in Negril, cycled across coastal England, visited Tapas bars in Northern Spain, crept up a mountain in Sicily, and road-tripped from Los Angeles to Washington state - just to name a few of our best shared experiences...

And then a zipper broke on the way from Boston back to New York before Thanksgiving. With yesterday's purchase of a new North Face backpack, the Jansport era has officially come to a close. May the next 5.5 years be a wonderful as the last...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Back from hiatus...

It's been a real whirlwind month that included a 2+ week trip to New York, New Hampshire, and the District of Columbia...now I am firmly back in Los Angeles, at least for now.

Cliche Cliche Cliche: It was great to be back in New York and see everyone, but yes, it really was. However, the economy really does depress me and I feel like in New York it is discussed and felt every three seconds.

Washington was a blast as I hung out with many old friends, learned about political philosophy and successfully completed quite a bit of research for "Capitol Punishment." The artful Wonkette operative Jim Newell sums up my stay most eloquently in this post.

For now, I have an untitled celebrity "project" to complete within the next week...that and writing, writing, writing, should take up most of my time.