Why So Many Assholes At The Shoe Store?

August 7th, 2012

Last week I was at Har Mar “Mall” in Roseville looking to buy some new tennis shoes.  I entered Famous Footwear and began my search.  It was semi crowded in there.  Which surprised me because it was Monday afternoon, but I guess shoe shopping on summer break is the in thing to do.

While I was in the back of the store I heard a commotion and began to walk toward it.  Whatever was going on I missed the initial spark but, what I did see was two women in their early twenties and one guy (not sure how old he was as I didn’t get a good look at him) were ripping shoes from the shelves and throwing them.  I found out later during a conversation I had with the clerk  that the two women thought the store clerks were following them around because they were suspicious that they were going to steal.

I hate crowds, so I wasn’t paying attention to anything other than finding shoes I liked and getting out of the store.  So it is hard to say whether or not the clerks were following them around, but the women’s reaction tends to make me think the clerks were not far off on their assessment of the situation.  Or maybe that type of thing has happened before and they were fed up with being stereotyped.  Or maybe they were going to steal some shoes and were put off by the fact their plan had been foiled by those meddling store clerks.  Whatever their reason for the reaction, it was a bit over the top to say the least.

While I was purchasing my new shoes the clerk was giving me the details, and she added that she had just recently moved to the area from Flint, MI.

“I thought Flint was bad.” She said.

Lady, people are assholes everywhere, no specific geographical location require.

The Mall of America Experience.

July 24th, 2012

The Mall of America is a marvel of modern commerce, and a fish bowl for the curious.

You can spend your time shopping, eating and playing in a number of ways. Or you can find a bench, sit down and watch. The speed walkers and the waddlers, the hot moms and the single dads, the veteran shopper and the loiterers. They all have a story, you just have to watch and let your mind wander.

Some of them are shopping to fill a void, some are shopping because they can and a few are shopping out of need. I know when I come to the mall, I am constantly battling the logical part of my brain.  The need vs. want argument is constantly in my head while at the mall.   I am no different than anyone else, I like nice things. Hats, watches, shoes, these are things I desire. However, I can say with some satisfaction, that I can and usually do refrain from making impulse buys.  That is until I get to the fourth floor of the mall.

The fourth floor contains all the bars and restaurants at The Mall of America. And even though I am there during daytime hours, I am still drawn to a bar stool over shopping.   On the fourth floor, there is no time to argue need vs. want.  There is cold beer to pacify both sides of the brain.  I guess the Mall of America has something for everyone.  After all, I want to do my part to stimulate the economy.

The New Beat Generation.

July 7th, 2012

William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg all wrote of the beat generation.  A phenomenon that rose out of the ashes of World War II.  The beatniks as they came to be known as, were responsible for laying the foundation for the hippie counter culture.  They experimented with drugs, sexuality and rejected materialism.  The beatnik Generation died off years ago and it its place we saw hippies, yippees, yuppies and everything else under the sun.  Well, the beatniks never really died, they just changed a bit and are alive and well.  They prefer a different name now…Comedian.

Traveling thousands of miles with perfect strangers, doing drugs and drinking with anyone that is friendly to them,  not having a pot to piss in is the way of the comedian.  This thought dawned on me several weeks ago when I was doing a two week stretch out west.  While in Boise the other comedians in that town really invite you into their circle and try to show you a good time.  Drugs are in a plentiful supply, and everyone there was quick to help each other out.  That is when I realized what comedians have be come.  They our my generations beatniks.

We travel around the countryside in cars with too many miles, looking for a place to perform.  We sleep on the couches of anyone that will take us in.  We spend more time with complete strangers than with our own family and friends.  Alcohol and weed are consumed by the majority of us and we reject material items.  The material item rejection is mostly a bi-product of the fact that we are way under paid, under appreciated and exploited at every turn.  I just hope that forty years down the line our contributions to society will be lauded and appreciated as the beatniks before us were.

A Place For My Soul.

June 27th, 2012

I can’t help but think there is a certain place on earth for everyone.  Whether it be city, country, desert or tundra, every person is drawn to a particular place.  You might not even know where it is yet, but its out there.

As a life long Midwesterner I had never seen the the mountains until I was nearly thirty years old, and let me tell you they were worth the wait.  Maybe its wishful thinking, but to me it seems like if you lived in a place where there are mountains it would be hard to wake up in a bad mood.  I can only hope that is reality, although I am sure its not.

A particular place that really draws me to it is Utah, and even more specifically Salt Lake City.  Seems like an odd choice for a hard drinking, filth writing pervert like myself, I know.  However, there is a certain charm to Salt Lake City that most tourists never see.  I was lucky enough to have a local tour guide there on my two visits who showed me the under belly of the Mormon capitol.  I am not talking about free basing heroin addicts, but rather a certain counter culture that really only exists under the pressure of an oppressive regime.  It reminded me of something that I would have read in a Jack Kerouac novel.   The Salt Lake City counter culture has that vibe.  Really, its hard to explain and a first hand experience is the only way to understand it, but I will try and paint a picture for you.  It’s like the discontent from around the globe said I am gonna find a place for myself and wouldn’t you know it, Salt Lake was that place.  It’s as ironic as it gets.  Which maybe why I liked it so much.  It’s a group of people thumbing their noses at a larger group of people that thumb their noses at an even larger group of people.  America, it’s a beautiful thing.


I Could Be A Writer, But…

May 23rd, 2012

I have always enjoyed the written word.  Okay, I can’t say always.  I never actually read an entire book until I was out of high school.  There is something about being forced to read by adults that annoyed me.  However, once I did actually pick up a book and read it front to back I really enjoyed it.  I also thought, I could to that.  I still believe I can do that, but I have to get past the distractions…it took me a long time to write the word distractions because Fight Club is on while I am writing this (I have the volume down, I am not a fucking savage).

I am no Bukowski, Hemmingway or Joyce but when i actually give a shit and try, I write some decent stuff from time to time.  The problem is distractions in my life make it really hard to get motivated to write.  Relationships, parents, kids all that shit is common place.  Everyone deals with that.  I am talking about the real culprit of time suck in my life.  Xbox, the internet and TV.  These three things alone have kept me from being prolific.

The XBox obsession is my own fault.  I had one for years, got rid of it and then got another one.  While I only enjoy sports games, which probably stems from being a kid and wanting to play professional baseball.  Playing Xbox allows for that jump in reality.  I still love baseball and I still wish I could play professionally.  If only I wasn’t scared of the ball.

The internet is a tricky distraction.  Most of the time I get online, I go on there with the best intentions.  Check my bank account, email or the weather.  Three hours later I just looked at facebook, twitter and more than likely Web MD.com.  (I am a bit of a phobic when it comes to my health).

My love of TV is a generational thing.  My grandfather loved watching TV, and I loved watching it with him.  Same with my Dad.  I still enjoy going over to my parents house and watching 3 hours of The Wire with him.  There was a period of time when I also hated TV.  It was when I discovered reading.  I saw it unmotivated me, keep me sucked in.  I still struggle with this one the most.  It is so easy.  You just pop it on and forget about the world.  It really is a drug.

I have decided I am done being a slave to these distractions.  While they will still remain in my house and I will succumb to their evil siren song from time to time, life is about doing something.  Beating a season of a simulated baseball game on an inanimate object will never give me the same feeling completing a short story, writing five new minutes of killer shit or just punching out a good blog will.

Guys Weekend, An American Tradition.

May 7th, 2012

Kids suck, you’re wife is a nag and you’re boss is a douche.  These are the things responsible for the guys weekend.  The All-American tradition that women fear and guys relish.

For over twenty years now I have been involved in a guys weekend that always falls on the first weekend in May up at my friends cabin.  I began going up for this guys weekend when I was nineteen or twenty years old, and I was always the young buck of the group.  The ages ranged from nineteen to fifty years old.  It was a nice age diverse group.  The older guys kept the younger guys in line, and sometimes the other way around.  Our group activities have pretty much remained the same.  Arrive at the cabin, drink beer, eat good food, play pull tabs, hang around the campfire, go to sleep, repeat the next day.  It has been the same for twenty years.  Sure some years we have been more rowdy than others, mostly in our younger days.  What use to be a vicious pack of wild dogs has turned into a harmless faction of neutered Basset Hounds, but for the most part it has always been good, male camaraderie.  So why is it that the guys weekend is so frowned upon by the female of the species?  I have a theory.  Would you like to hear it?  Well here it is.

I think women have a problem with the guys weekend because they don’t understand male camaraderie.  They don’t understand that men need other men, and not in the River Dance kind of way.  We need someone to share our stories with.  The stories that you women roll your eyes at.  The stories that make you say “I can’t believe you are friends with someone like that”, the stories that every guys has, but only shares in the company of his good friends.  These stories are acquired over years of experience, age and mistakes.  They are the things that have made us what we are.  For a man without stories is not really a man at all.

Toll Roads and Commuter Rape.

April 17th, 2012

Do I have exact change?  That use to be a question one would ask themselves when passing a through Chicago, northern Indiana and Ohio.  Now, there is no point counting your change as you are gonna need your credit card for this trip.

Toll roads were created to offset the initial money used to construct and maintain a road.  Those days are gone.  I recently traveled to Akron OH and found myself at the mercy of the toll man.  I can remember family vacations to Kentucky and having to pay tolls.  My parents would always empty their change jar as that was enough for the trip there and back.  Now each toll through Chicago is $1.50.  It is $7.50 to go 157 miles across Indiana.  That is nearly $.05 per mile.  And to go 180 miles in Ohio it is $12.25.  That is nearly $.07 per mile.  Where does this money go?  Not to repairing roads I can tell you that much.  They were some of the roughest roads I have ever traveled on.

Here is the real kicker.  What am I getting for this money?  The freedom to travel across an already free country?  In my opinion that is not enough.  I am paying more to cross Ohio than I do to get into a movie.  If I am paying for the luxury of your special freeway you better make it special.

First off, it better not feel like I left my kidneys on road after 100 miles.  The main point of toll roads are to generate revenue for upkeep of the fucking road.  Secondly, if I am paying then I better be able to drive this road without any assholes on the strip of pavement I just paid for.  You should run the toll road like its a hot night club in New York.  When an old lady pulls up to get on the toll road you don’t let her past the velvet rope.   Tell her no she can’t enter she is too old for this stretch of road.  Lastly if I paid money to travel down your special road to no where why are there so many cops.  I think the $12.25 I paid to cross Ohio should be look upon as a bribe to the police.  After all, this revenue is to pay for upkeep of the road and we all know that isn’t happening.

Another $1.50!

At no point in time should I have to pay to cross a road in this country.  I am sorry, that is not how this is suppose to work. If we need money to pay for the roads I am sure we can find it some where in those taxes we pay for fuel, auto tabs, licenses and auto sales tax.

My Brother’s Podcast!

April 14th, 2012

Tommy and I have entered the podcasting arena.  Each Tuesday at 9PM Central time you can listen to My Brother’s Podcast on sianetradio.com

Each week we will be discussing different topics and having different guests.  This week will Justin Caesar will be sitting in for me.  The guests on the show will be Chris Caesar (Justin’s Bro) and Keith Goya from the hip hop group Out of Bounds.  Give it a listen.

Stand Up Comedy Is An Art.

April 6th, 2012

Last night I performed at an artist showcase for local Minneapolis based artists.  I knew when agreed to do the show it would probably go one of two ways.  Really great and I would add a different element to my fan base or…..certain death on stage.  Option two was in my cards.

First off, let me say that I think the organization that produced the show (RAW) is really doing great things for the artistic community.  I got to see some really interesting stuff.  It made me wish I had money so I could buy a few pieces of art that I thought were great (Taylor Lindgren had some amazing pieces).  I saw one band, and one spoken word artist who were good as well.  Then there was my performance.

Any comedian that has been doing it long enough knows that any performance outside of a comedy club is taking your life (and ego) into your own hands.  There are too many variables that can go wrong and almost always do go wrong.  Last night was no exception.  I was the second act for the night.  The first act, a band.  Putting a band in front of a comedian make the comedians job very hard, plus when you are already performing to ”artsy” people that don’t really watch or enjoy stand up comedy winning them over is difficult.  I never did win them over, I did mildly entertain them.  I had a small faction of the room that really enjoyed my set, and told me so after I was done.  The rest of the crowd there seemed to care less, which is what I expected. My quest to get Stand Up Comedy to be accepted by the unacceptable was thwarted.

Look at me. I love art and hate Stand Up Comedy


So for now Stand Up Comedy must remain in the comedy clubs, bars, colleges and casinos of America.  Someday though, we will rise up and get the patchouli wearing, skinny jean having faction of America to realize its ok to laugh in public.  Dick jokes, when done right, are funny.  And last but not least they are not the only tortured souls out there.  Comedians are usually one bad set away from a gun barrel.

Mitchell/Rapid City SD

March 31st, 2012

I got to see the Corn Palace this week…ok just the outside. I had no desire to go and see the inside. Not sure why, but a building made of corn just doesn’t do much for me. The show in Mitchell at The Moonlight Lounge was a fun show, rowdy, but fun. They were really nice people in Mitchell and I would go back in a heart beat. Plus I got to work with Simon Zais who has gotten really funny, even if he was suffering from a case of adult chicken pox.

The weekend was in Rapid City, SD. I had been to Rapid City before, but only for one night. This is a great town. Super clean downtown area, the hotel I am in is great (even though it is suppose to be haunted) and the show Friday night was a lot of fun (I am writing this on Saturday).

I think the most interesting thing about Rapid City is the atmosphere here. It has a strange hippie/biker/retiree feel to it. Which makes for an interesting time. Just this morning while having breakfast at Tally’s Silver Spoon (excellent by the way) the entire dynamic of people eating there was incredible. I liken Rapid City to Boise, ID. It has that kind of feel to it, but on a smaller scale.

If you get the chance check out Rapid City, do so. Stay at The Alex Hotel downtown, eat at Tally’s Silver Spoon and check out Paddy’s Irish Pub. You won’t be disappointed. Unless you hate a good time, then you might be really disappointed.