MMXI equals 2011


MMXI began last week. 새해 복 많이 받으세요!  Feliz año Nuevo!  Happy New Year!  That’s it for me.  Three languages: Korean, Spanish and English.  I can functionally communicate en tres idiomas.  That’s all right for 42 years young.

MMXI began last week. 새해 복 많이 받으세요!  Feliz año Nuevo!  Happy New Year!  That’s it for me.  Three languages: Korean, Spanish and English.  I can functionally communicate en tres idiomas.  That’s all right for 42 years young.

St. Tommy’s 3 bunnies: Blackie, Whitey, and Albondigas

The Year of the Hare begins on the Lunar New Year this year, 2011, the first new moon of the year; and that will happen on Thursday, February 3rd.  We still have a full moon to look forward to before that, on January 19th two weeks hence.  I know this on account of my Calendar, which was made by Chepe Escondido and features his artwork on the page opposite the dated column of month at a glance.  The calendar’s cover is a print taken from a drawing/painting of the female adult love in Chepe’s life, a 1980 Monkey, who is quite lovely, and IS The Saviour; or is it, she IS from El Salvador?  I can never remember.  Chepe makes his calendars on an industrial printer in his home studio, and he sells them.  It’s quite a racquet (sic) Chepe’s got.


As far as New Year’s Resolutions go, mine is to be nicer and more personable to people. One would think that drinking or smoking cigarettes – the curtailing of these harmful habits – would be at the forefront of my future promises to myself, since I am such an avid abuser of both.

Chepe Escondido, back in October, made it a point to take me aside and say, just for the record, that he really wished I would just quit smoking cigs once and for all. When people get a certain age, they know people who have died from lung cancer, and that changes everything. Flibby and his wife, both big time cigarette smokers when they tied the knot back in 1995; they both quit smoking cigs on Flibby’s 30th birthday back in the late 90’s and they’ve never gone back. I read Alan Carr’s book. I agree with Carr 100%; but I can’t quit, and there’s a lot more evil in the world than me having a drink or a smoke once in a while. Plus, I’ve got genetics on my side. My father smoked packs a day for 50 years, and on his deathbed, he was still 100% cancer free.  So, I got that going for me; and I eat very well. THIS is my dinner tonight.

Made from raw potatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, green peas, olive oil, salt, red and black pepper, and a bay leaf, with some select spices.

It’s basically the Anderson’s Split Pea, but homemade. That’s gotta cure everything.

What do I aspire to be? I wanna be Dean Martin. I wanna be Frank Sinatra. I wanna be Sammy. I never saw them without a drink in one hand and smoke in the other.

This is my story and I’m sticking to it.  I’m from Los Angeles, born here in 1968, raised here, went to college in Berkeley in 1986, met Chepe and Flibby there; moved back to LA in 1991, moved to Taegu South Korea in 1996.  I spent the next 13 years and change living and working in Asia. In 2003, I lived near the city of Cheongju and first met R.  R loaned me a Dean Martin CD and I lost it, the same night I lost my bass guitar.   The CD was in the case.

In November 2009 I returned to LA and quickly started up a band with Chepe and Flibby. Since then, I’ve written 3 books, possibly 5 depending on the final delivery. I’ve published one, Culturebook Book Two, and it’s selling briskly, slowly, getting there. I know what I’m doing. I know where this is going.

It’s officially the Epiphany, January 6th, the Feast of the Maji.

I’m drunk. I’m smoking cigarettes. I’m at my computer. My mom is in Lima, Peru visiting her 99 year old dad, who’s really just her stepfather, but that makes no difference in her devotion to him, or his love for her.

I’m listening to John Coltrane’s My Favorite Things album in a loop. It’s on my computer. I never bought the album. 

I just acquired it from a friend’s computer library. It’s like back in the day, if I cassette recorded a friend’s record album — it’s really no different, except I ‘recorded’ it onto my computer, so it plays on my laptop speakers while I type onto my laptop. I’ve been listening to these same four songs:


My Favorite Things / Everytime We Say Goodbye / Summertime / But not for me; since May 2009 when I first uploaded them. This is my go-to album while I work. Especially the 11 minute 31 second Summertime, with the extended drum solo, which segues into drums with bass, and later piano thrown into the mix. Elvin Jones’ drum work is pretty phenomenal. Steve Jones played the upright bass, but he’d get replaced by Reggie Workman in years to come. I know that cuz Chepe owned that John Coltrane lineup on a VHS cassette back at Berkeley. My Favorite Things was not only the first of many Coltrane CDs that Chepe purchased back in Berkeley in 1989, but that album originally came out in 1960, the year R was born.  Or was it 1959?  I can never remember.

I’ve listened to this Coltrane album often over the last year, usually at home. I spent the better part of 2010 in my room with the TV off, working on the Culturebooks. For the last year, at night, if I drank, which I did about once a week on average, I put on The Who or Exile on Main Street or Wings Band on the Run. I listen to a lot of the same music. And I’ve recently realized that I don’t really like jazz, as much as I like John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner and others like them.  Like the Rat Pack.

Tonight, driving home, I listened to one of my favorite CDs, again, one which I pirated off the net and then put onto a CD. It’s got the best of Frank, Deano and Sammy. 

Tonight, driving home, I had $5.50 so I visited Frank’s Liquor on Santa Monica Blvd in West LA just West of the Mc Donald’s, near Beverly Glen, where my brother lives. It was too late to visit my brother, but it wasn’t too late to stop at Frank’s. Frank’s charges $5.50 after tax for a pint of Popov brand Vodka, which comes in a plastic bottle.

My brother never shops at Franks, but he knows OF Franks and we both laugh at it cuz we are reminded of Frank Lopez from Scarface. “So you wanna dance, Frank, or do you wanna sit here and have a heart attack?”

My brother keeps on his home mantel a series of framed photos of family members.  With all of us, is Tony Montana, like he’s one of us.

On March 31, 2010, Southpark first aired their Medicinal Marijuana/KFC episode where Eric Cartman plays a Tony Montana character illegally importing KFC from Kentucky into Colorado and Scarface is parodied.  The KFC Colonel plays the Alejandro Sosa character. “Don’t fuck me, Eric!” replaces “Don’t fuck me, Tony.”  Jaime Oliver is the witness Eric is supposed to assassinate, but doesn’t, starting the war that is the film’s climax.  I rewatched this episode tonight online.

I remember first watching this episode, the night it aired, at my brother’s house on Beverly Glen back during the dialysis days when I’d spend time with my nephew while my brother was at the clinic.  Because my bro has Tevo, I recorded the episode as I watched it and over the next few days, rewatched it several times with my nephew and various other people.  I had not seen that episode since April 2010.  It’s almost April 2011.  I’m almost 43 years young.  And Eric Cartman is still is force to reckon with.


Leave a Comment