How Can I Freak You Out Today?


I’ve said in the past that I’ve always been an excellent judge of character and that those I keep in my small, close-knit circle of friends – online or IRL – deserve to be there. There might have been a few mistakes along the way but deep down inside I always knew something wasn’t right.

And those who get cut from the circle? I have no problem cutting them off because they proven themselves to be not worth my time and therefore, I have zero emotional investment in them. In other words, it doesn’t hurt to say goodbye. You might even say I welcome the departure – one less problem.

I’m talking about emotions and feeling here, and I’ll be the first one to tell you that I’m a strange duck. Granted, “strange” is a subjective term but the strangeness I embrace is on an artistic level. Again, emotions and feelings.

For the past month, I’ve been doing a little research on empathy and while I don’t have all of the most common characteristics (read: introversion), I do have most. And I have a few examples of that.

Last week, I decided to walk through downtown Long Beach during lunch and take pictures as opposed to my usual bike ride near the beach. This alone was unusual and it sets up the rest of the story.

While walking past Hamburger Mary’s, one of the many LGBTQ establishments in the city, I noticed an addition to their outside wall:

Photo May 30, 2 10 03 PM

It seems every city has a pair of angel wings somewhere and these were completed in time for Pride Weekend. Not satisfied with just taking a picture of them, me and a coworker Neena went back the next day so that I could pose in front of the wings and have a new social media profile picture.

Photo May 31, 1 01 16 PM

(Why yes, I’ve lost 10 pounds!)

I was pleased with the result but decided to add some effects to it before I made it my ubiquitous profile picture. It reminded me of my friend Ray’s profile picture, the last one he would post. He passed away unexpectedly in July 2017 at the age of 43. I miss him.

Photo Jun 04, 9 09 50 PM

Where is this going? We’re getting there.

Later that same day, after posting my picture everywhere, I get the following Facebook notification.

Photo May 31, 1 58 42 PM

You’re reading that right. On the day I took that picture, Ray and I had become Facebook friends seven years prior. And if I had not taken a walk instead of going for a bike ride the previous day, I would have never seen this or made the connection. It seems I knew, or felt, this and had to act upon it.

Moving forward to today. During my Sunday morning bike ride yesterday, I decided to do something completely out of the ordinary. Instead of riding down the bike trail, I made use of the city’s many bike lanes. I had no itinerary; I just went wherever I wanted to go.

My adventures would take me 18 miles down streets I’ve never been down and even some alleys I never knew existed. It was while riding down one alley that I came across a bunch of dumpsters along the rear of a shopping center. Exciting stuff, I know.

But my coworker Neena sees them as art. Her Instagram account is filled with abstract images that were mostly on dumpsters we’ve discovered around downtown. At any rate, I saw one dumpster in particular that I figured would be a good fit for her account. I took this shot and sent it to her.

Photo Jun 03, 7 19 03 AM

She didn’t see it until this morning but when she did, she immediately said it looked like a pastel she did about three years ago.

Photo Jun 04, 10 05 44 AM

If you’re not entirely sure if they look the same, here’s a side-by-side.

Photo Jun 04, 11 28 44 AM (1)

The big, black splotch. The diagonal lines on the right. The dominant yellow-and-red theme. The fold on the bottom left of her pastel and the black on the bottom left of the dumpster picture. Note that this is exactly how I composed the picture – I did not crop it at all.

There are definitely lots of similarities that again, if I had not had the urge to try something different, would have never been tied together. Something told me to do it. This is the result.

And yes, she slightly freaked out.

So when it comes down to it, yes, I consider myself in many ways an empath. There’s just no other way to put it. I acted on instinct and it turns out I was picking up someone else’s vibes, and the proof is all up there for you to see.

As for that vivid dream I had the other night of the plane crashing near my neighborhood? Let’s hope it remains that. (It was about a mile away from my house but I can still see it.)

That’s a wrap for this one, folks. You didn’t think I was this deep, did you?

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Romantic Comedies


Holy mother of effs, I’m getting old(er).

The family — I refuse to use the currently popular and obnoxious term “fam” — was out decorating for Christmas Saturday night, mostly concentrating on the positioning of our new laser light display.

We’ve been looking at them for some time now and found them on sale at OSH so we caved. And for $20 I have to admit they are pretty spectacular.

The colors, man! The colors! Plus we’re feeling exceptionally lazy this year so we’re only putting this up with a few strings of lights. Humbug!

While all of this was going on, our beloved neighbor* was in his frontyard listening to some music through his Bluetooth speaker. I didn’t really notice it until Ann said something.

Ann: The jackass** is listening to that Sam Smith chick-flick crap that you’d hear in those romcoms.

A beat. I heard what she said loud and clear, but I wasn’t sure exactly what she meant by the last word.

Me: What?

Ann: He’s listening to crap you’d hear in a romcom.

There it was again.

Me: (looking bewildered) Uh, say that again?

Ann: What, romcom?

At this point, if this were a phone conversation using a wired GTE Phone Mart landline, I would have tapped it several times on the nearest hard object to make sure I was hearing things correctly then continued.

Me: Yes.

Ann: A romcom? Romantic comedy?

Me: Is that what it means?

Ann: Yeah, I heard it on the radio the morning.

Keep in mind I don’t listen to morning radio — I’m a Spotify guy and hate blithering morning jocks trying to elicit a laugh at any cost. I’m not entirely surprised they’d use such a stupid term.

Me: Oh okay. Well, don’t ever say that around me again.

Ann: What, romcom?

Me: (shuddering) Yes.

Deal.

Here we are taking a break from the decorating in Season 24 of our own little romc…uh, romantic comedy. Hats off to the kid, now taller than Ann and almost eye level with me, for taking this picture.

You all decorated yet?

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Footnotes:

*Sarcasm **Absolute truth

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Composed on an iPhone 7 Plus app using the WordPress app because I’m feeling exceptionally lazy tonight.

Space Shuttle Endeavour in Inglewood


It was about three weeks ago when I wrote a post about the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s tour of southern California and until yesterday, it was stationed at LAX where it was waiting to be removed from the transport jet and onto another vehicle for its final destination: the California Science Center.

For its ground travel, locals were discouraged from gathering to see the shuttle because it needed plenty of room to travel. We were lead to believe that it wasn’t going to be a parade; this was serious business.

But the pictures on the local news pretty much told the story: nobody was going to let this historic moment pass them by and I was one of them. Once I saw it was in Inglewood this morning I rushed the family out the door, stopped for some donuts, and headed out to see what we could see.

And the following shows just that. Enjoy!

Space Shuttle 008

Space Shuttle 009

Space Shuttle 010

Space Shuttle 014

Space Shuttle 015

Space Shuttle 020

Space Shuttle 021

Space Shuttle 030

Space Shuttle 022

Space Shuttle 033

Space Shuttle 036

Space Shuttle 035

Space Shuttle 038

So far I’ve seen it in the air and on the ground, and the family is looking forward to see it on display at the end of the month. It’s been an amazing trip and a lot of fun to watch.

Jordan Knight’s Birthday


First of all, this post is the first to fall under the new “Life with Dave” category, formerly “Dialogue.” It will cover conversations between myself and the family. It gives you an idea of what it’s like to live with me – and what Ann has dealt with for 19 years. I will go back and tag the previous conversations I can remember blogging about within the same category.

There is a chapter in Cameron Crowe’s classic piece of American literature Fast Times and Ridgemont High* called “Ritchie Blackmore’s Birthday.” In it, Mike Damone takes every April 14th to celebrate the birth of his favorite guitarist by listening to nothing but songs that showcase his guitar work  all day. When his mom asks him if he would rather go and hang out with his friends because she and her husband can’t stand the music, Damone simply replies, “Nope. Suffer.”

Mike Damone loved his Ritchie Blackmore and probably still does (since the book was based on a true story).

I can’t say the same thing for and Ann her love for New Kids on the Block. She was a fan back in the day but not so much now that she’s in her 30s.

This was evident when KTLA’s Morning News was going into a commercial break and showing NKOTB’s “Step By Step” video. The lower third read “Happy Birthday, Jordan Knight!”

Ann, checking her email and not knowing the reason why the song was being played, voiced her displeasure.

Ann: Oh Lord, why are they playing that?

Me: It’s Jordan Knight’s birthday!**

Ann: So what? They haven’t been a group or even together in over 20 years!***

Me: How can you say that? They said they’d be loving YOU forever!

Ann: (shrugs) Whatever. Not me.

Sorry, JK

So anyway, Happy Birthday to Jordan Knight, you older kid on the block you.

I think.

Maybe.

Eh, whatever.

*SPOILER ALERT! As is the case most of the time, the book is NOTHING like the movie. I thought it was better and could have used more scenes from it.

**A fact I wouldn’t have known if not shown on the lower third.

***Obviously unaware of their recent tours.

The East Coast Family


Yet another dialog with Ann in which she plays a guessing game with me.

She started off by telling me she was watching Family Matters today – for whatever reason, I don’t know. I guess The Snorks weren’t on just yet.

Ann: Hey, guess who was the musical guest on Family Matters today?

Me: Boyz II Men?

Ann: No…

Me: ABC?

(Growing agitated)

Ann: No!

Me: BBD?

(Raises voice)

Ann: NO!

Yes, this is what it’s like to live with me. And poor Ann has dealt with it for 18 years.

In case it wasn’t painfully obvious, that was a reference Boyz II Men’s “Motownphilly” and yes, I was wrong on all three guesses. Turns out it was All 4 One, yet another popular R&B harmony group from back in the ‘90s. Hey, at least I didn’t say it was these doofy honkies:

I could keep this list going and going all night long but for now, I really must move to the jacuzzi…ooh, that booty…smack it, flip it, rub it down, OH NOOOOOOOOOOO!

By the way, this is Post #900 on ye olde blog! Go me!