Stories, Thoughts, and Evacuations

…just a place to call my own.

Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

My Sunday Morning…

with 8 comments

I thought I’d write about my morning today since it was a bit out of the usual. Sundays are nondescript laundry days consisting of rest, food, and charging of batteries to deal with the upcoming work week. But today had a weird vibe and contemplative nature attached to it.

7:00am – I awoke to the usual leaves and branches motioning outside my window; some reaching over to flick the pane (later I realized it was actually raining – I do love the cold and rain and hoped it would last throughout the day).

Yesterday I told myself I was going to wake up by 5:30am to get an early bird start and hopefully an empty Laundromat (I enjoy being the only one there – people bug me up close but I do love them… from afar, really I do… if from afar). No such luck on the early rising. A full belly and some late television viewing the night before put that idea to rest.

7:15am – Sorting through the clothes while watching cable TV, I come across a Liam Neeson movie – “Before and After”. While watching a scene with Meryl Streep and Liam, instead of marveling at her greatness, all I could think of was Liam Neeson’s Cock!

Thanks Kevin Smith…(long story)

7:45am – The wife leaves to get morning breakfast donuts for the kids. I load up the car with the laundry and I realize I need bleach (color & white). So, I head over to the store, grab what I need, and high tail it to the checkout line. Here, I come across the better-half in line?! (Instead of buying chocolate milk for the kids at the donut shop, she was buying chocolate syrup for making at home.)

So, the wheels come alive and clank about in my head… I sneak up to *My Lala*, bump into her with the bleach bottles, and in my best Marlee Matlin voice…

[Yeah, yeah, yeah… I’m going straight to hell – I’ve accumulated enough frequent flyer miles to get there and back, twofold – I’ve even sat for the framed portrait, and helped design my own wing complete with cordoned off red velvet rope for the dedication ceremony.]

So… so, I says, “Pweetty Wady! Con yue buy my bleesh foo mee???”

My kingdom for a camera crew to catch her expression. I truly enjoyed the taken aback, shocked, priceless look on her face as she said, “Oh of course you can… wait… what?!”

Love it. 🙂

8:00am – So, we say our goodbyes; I realized I should have taken out $20 for laundry while I was there but didn’t. So, I’m off to 7-Eleven for some cash.

Wait… why is the parking lot entrance blocked off with what looks like yellow police crime scene tape? Why are the windows boarded up? Why does it look like I’m in South Central LA after the Rodney King Riots?

Wow … my trusty local neighborhood 7-Eleven is no more. Just like the corner Mobile gas station…the Big-O-Tires… the Lazyboy furniture store… the Long John Silver’s fish place. All bulldozed clear and clean. Strange… something is up ‘round these parts. Only time will tell. Stay tuned.

We *did* add an In-N-Out Burger recently so I guess we can call it even.

8:15am – I drive back to the market shopping center (where I should have taken money out in the first place) and go to the ATM in the same said shopping center (yep, I could have gone there earlier, too)… I blame it on still reveling at putting it on the wife.

OK, I get the cash… I drive-thru McDonald’s for a quick breakfast… homeless guy taps my window and asks for a quarter. I feel bad because I know my car is empty of change. I get my food and rush over to the laundry to break my $20… rush back to Micky Dees and find the homeless guy and hand him a palm full of quarters. With a genuine smile, he thanks me warmly and wishes me a Happy Holidays. Huh? Because, that’s right, homeless people don’t carry calendars.

(Quick side note on the homeless: Our area is big on homeless people. We live by a major 8 lane highway with miles of fast food joints, stores, restaurants, car dealerships, and strangely… quite a few cheap (price & quality), old motels that cater to the down and out. I use to come across a young homeless guy that for whatever reason at the time pulled at my heart strings. Maybe because he carried a guitar case and had a musician look about him… disheveled as it was. Something compelled me to hand over all the bills I had in my pocket. And, no it wasn’t a knife that he held to my throat. Luckily, for one of the few times, I had bills in my pocket. I rarely carry cash and strictly use cards for purchases. I must’ve handed over around $18 or so that day. This went on for about 3-4 weeks for a total of around $80 until he no longer was around. I genuinely hoped he had made his way out… whatever *out* may have been.)

8:30am – OK, I load up the clothes in the washers… back to the car to eat my food… I think of my $600 iPhone in my pocket … the $150 cell phone bill… the $150 cable bill… the short 10 day pay period at work (less money to spend).

I looked up to the swaying palms out front of the Laundromat. The majestic blue sky and busy clouds (yes, the rain disappeared as quickly as it had materialize).

I look over to the right at the cemetery… off in the distance I see the Veterans Memorial with flags a flutter (I later walked over for a closer look). All the aged tombstones… All the people who came before (some that unfortunately came after)… All… no longer of this earth.

I look over to the left at the homeless guy sitting on the sidewalk drinking his hot cup of Joe; his backpack and meager belongings close by.

This is our living. This is our *out*.

9:00am – I transfer the wash into the dryers. 35 minutes to kill on my $600 iPhone. I open the Notes app and start to write.

My Sunday Morning…

.

Written by REscarcega

May 15, 2011 at 9:36 pm

April 10th – Happy Birthday Lala!

with 5 comments

 

To the most beautiful woman in the world… my Lala.

The Love of my life.

The last person I want to see when I go to bed…

The first person I want to kiss when I wake up.

To the woman who gave me two kids who look like me, but thank goodness are copies of her.

To the sweet kiss I will give her this morning… that will mirror and feel like the first kiss I gave her on our first date.

That knowing magical tingle… I look forward to each day.

I love you, Laura.

And… YES!… you can buy another pair of shoes!

 

🙂

 

Written by REscarcega

April 10, 2011 at 5:42 am

Posted in Thoughts

Snowboarding in Antarctica (or… Mt. Baldy, CA.)

with 3 comments

This weekend I took the family up to the local mountains for some snowboarding. It was my son’s birthday and he wanted to try it out for the first time. He brought a buddy so the three of us boarded while the wife and the 5 yr old played in the snow and went tubing.

We bundled up like crazy and layered like nobody’s business since the forecast was for rain, snow, and wind… with a slight chance of freezing our collective asses off.

The drive up was a little scary in spots with cars sliding off the road and tires spinning on the steep inclines (even with chains). Finally making it to the parking lot, we dressed up like matching Michelin Men and up the ski lift we went.

At 9:30 in the AM the skies were cloudy with the sun peeking through every now and then but as we climbed higher and higher, Mr. Sun dismissed himself from the fun and we were soon introduced to Mr. Dreary Dark Skies.

Exhausted from our initial snowboard riding… well ok… mainly falling, we retreated to the lodge for lunch and the licking of wounds. Little did we know my wife and the little one had retreated to the car down below to take cover from the worsening conditions.

Since they were nowhere to be found above on the mountain, we decided to make sure they were OK, so we went down the lift to the lot and this is when the weather decided to go Sam Jackson on us and proceeded to “strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger!”

Mind you, we were properly dressed for the weather but being So Cal weenies the cold took its toll. Weather.com said it would be in the 40’s but now it was easily in the low 30’s, very dark, and snowing sideways (and this was only noon o’clock). My son’s long curly mop was covers in white snow and ice making him look like a 50-year-old hippie Sherpa.

As I sat on the icy lift heading down, the biting cold blowing through and finding every slight opening of exposed skin, I peeked through my arthritic claw frozen gloved fingers and thought of the many expeditions and wagon trains that drudged and blazed trails early on in this great country’s existence.

These people barely had clothes and shoes and proper means for shelter. They endured through winter frostbite, dangerous terrain, and wild animals with nothing more than a couple of burlap sacks and the sharpened fang of a saber toothed mountain lion. Contrary to popular belief there were no Wal-Mart’s back then. They were truly braving the elements.

Here I was covered in three layers of clothes protected in a beanie and helmet and goggles and gloves and coat and boots… yet, I was seriously thinking of jumping off the lift and diving head first into a giant rock to put me out of this frozen misery. IT WAS FREAKING COLD!!!

I contemplated urinating on myself to feel something warm but decided against it since they’d probably have to stop the lift down at the bottom and pry my frozen yellow butt cheeks off the lift chair. That would NOT have been pretty.

So, to make a long story short, finding my wife and kid safe in the warm heater blaring running car… we decided to call it a day and return the rental gear and try to make it down the hill. But to do this we had to endure another trip up and down the lift!

We bundles up with more dry clothes and proceeded to make the journey up and down the ski lift in worse conditions than before. After the mountain made me its bitch again, we were finally trekking down the icy mountain road, snow chains in place, slowly crawling at a snail’s velocity.

An hour or so later we were back home enjoying the 60 degree weather 4 miles away from the beach. Yes, we really have it rough… a chance to play in the snow in the morning and surf and swim in the ocean in the afternoon.

Lewis and Clark we weren’t… but, it was comical to think we dealt with the same pitfalls and tribulations as they did.

 

 

 

Where’s my iTouch? Damn it… I need a Ho-Ho.

Written by REscarcega

February 20, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Posted in Thoughts

To Grandmother’s House We Go…

with 2 comments

My mom’s an original.  Just back from a trip to visit my parents, I’m left with two things on my mind: my mom’s great cooking and her patented mom-isms.

My mom insists on serving us tasty food morning, noon, and night.  Each time we visit, we look forward to stuffing our faces with yummy Mexican food and great variations of common dishes like: spaghetti, potato salad, and meat loaf.  But her specialty, obviously, is making Mexican food.

This trip’s main food event?  Tamales!  We came home with red chili, green chili and cheese, and sweet tamales.  Oh yeah… not to mention the cooler full of home-made beans, two types of salsa, potato salad, fresh tortillas, and jalapeño chili peppers.

Now, on to my mom’s quirky ways – like…

She doesn’t have a trash can in the kitchen.  My mom collects items needing disposal in a small butter container in the sink.  She then transfers those items into plastic super-market bags, and then off they go into the trash can outside.  I see this each and every time I visit, and still, I sit in awe at this strange ritual of transferring discarded goods.

Next, I noticed her dumping about a glass worth of milk from a gallon down the sink.  My wife and I both caught this and looked at each other and smiled.

The poor milk, in want of nourishing the bones and souls of needy, hunger stricken African children with distended bellies… down the drain it went.

“Be gone with you, Milk!  You are not worthy of being consumed this fine day!  You are banished to the bowels of the sewer… damn you, straight to hell!”

In a small way I liken this to the shrieking howls sperm must make when they discover they’re shooting down the throat of a generous taker as apposed to crashing against the walls of a uterus – its destination nowhere near the intended mark.

Well… maybe not.

I’m guessing mom was *jonesing* for a fresh hit of dairy goodness?  She just *had* to open the new gallon before it expired, right?  Even though *we* (my wife and I) had just seconds before checked the expiration date and smelled the previously redundant milk gallon before using it for the little one’s cereal – something you must do at my mom’s.  Case in point…

On our last trip, I trashed a jar of jelly (into the empty butter container, or course) because it just so happened to be housing a flea circus; fleas, flies, insects – who knows what they were.  But, they sure were having a grand ol’ time in there.  But, I digress…

Lastly, and this one’s the best, my mom makes a great cup of coffee!  She will ask if you want a cup of coffee.  And, she will serve you a great cup of coffee… complete with tons of cream and sugar already poured in!  But, what’s that you say?  You don’t take lots of cream and sugar?  Nonsense!  Everyone loves lots of cream and sugar!  Uhhh, don’t they?

Each time we visit, I forget this and I have to hop on the pony express to cut her off at the pass!

“Ummm, that’s ok, mommy… I’ll get it.”

Not that I don’t like being in a cream and sugar coma.  I’m just weird in that I prefer to concoct my own caffeine infused hot beverage.  I opt for one and one leveled teaspoon of said condiments in my coffee cup as an alternative to a shot glass of coffee in my cream and sugar bowl.

My mom… she’s a keeper.

Oh yeah… I got my mom drunk on my world-famous margaritas this time out.  But, that story is for another day.

Written by REscarcega

December 23, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Posted in Thoughts

It’s a Wonderful Life

leave a comment »

The 1946 black and white holiday classic is my 3rd most favorite movie to watch at Christmas time. This movie in a word is… magic.  The story, the characters, the town buildings and storefronts, the message – all magic.  James Stewart stars as George Bailey, a man given a chance to see how the world around him would have turned out if he hadn’t been born.

As the movie starts, people are praying for George – townsfolk, friends, and family.  George is at the end of his rope.  He’s in need of a large sum of money to cover for his uncle’s forgetfulness and to save the family business.  Everything is crumbling around him and he contemplates killing himself.  But, the prayers of many are heard and an angel, Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers), is send down to help George.

Checkbook in hand, the angel offers to write a million dollar check to solve everything… The End.  Uh, maybe not… but, that would have been a cool ending, right?

In short its a heart-warming trip through the life and times of a good soul.  A man who never thinks of himself, and who continually makes sure all around him are taken care of.

Here are a number of great quotes from this grand movie.

As his brother Harry toasts at the end of the movie, “A toast to my big brother George: The richest man in town.“

George finds out the life he led truly was a wonderful one.

Written by REscarcega

December 17, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Posted in Thoughts

Miracle on 34th Street

with one comment

The 1947 black and white holiday classic is my 2nd most favorite movie to watch at Christmas time.  It’s the wonderful story of a jolly old man dragged to an insane asylum and forced to defend his good name; that name being, Santa Claus.

Who would ever question the fine standing, giving, personable, nobility of a cherished being such as Kris Kringle?  Who are the dastardly non-believers that reject the good nature and superior qualities that encompass such a holy man?  Mr. Sawyer for one and Ms. Walker as well!  At least to a degree…

Miracle on 34th Street is a story of Santa in New York City.  The movie starts with our hero taking a stroll down a mid-town Manhattan sidewalk.  While watching the preparations for the grand spectacle that is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Kris notices the hired Santa inebriated.  Hilarity and high jinx ensues.

Edmund Gwenn who plays Kris Kringle seeks out Ms. Walker (Maureen O’Hara) to report on the shameful display by the intoxicated ineffective pretender.  When the hapless Santa falls asleep on the job, Ms. Walker offers the job to Kris, “Could you be our Santa Claus?  Have you had much experience?”  She convinces Kris to replace the drunken Santa, “The children mustn’t be disappointed.”

The story involves the still bitter and disillusioned (over her failed marriage) Ms. Doris Walker who plays mother to the cynical 6 year old Susan played by Natalie WoodJohn Payne as Fred Gailey with the help of Kris Kringle looks to turn them both into believers.

Here are a number of great quotes from the movie.

I can’t imagine anyone having ever not seen this great movie.  It still plays year after year on television during Thanksgiving and Christmas and will continue to be shown due to its great message of hope and holiday cheer.  Make it a point to catch this favorite… or, own it like I do.

Written by REscarcega

December 7, 2010 at 8:34 pm

My All-time Favorite Christmas Movies

leave a comment »

The following is a list of my favorite Christmas movies to watch during the holiday season:

The Bishop’s Wife

Miracle on 34th Street

It’s a Wonderful Life

A Christmas Carol (1938)

A Christmas Carol (1951)

A Christmas Carol (1984)

A Christmas Carol (1999)

White Christmas

Scrooged

A Christmas Story

Elf

Christmas Vacation

The Rankin/Bass Collection

A Charlie Brown Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Holiday

Love Actually

These are not only some of my favorite holiday movies, but also some of my favorite movies period.  These special movies fall into a “feel good” category that highlights the joy of the time of year and the “good will towards man” qualities we all cherish and enjoy.

The viewing of these movies usually begins on Thanksgiving Day.  We congregate at my wife’s Aunt’s house; various friends and family spend the day conversing, eating, drinking, smoking, and watching holiday favorites.  This day prepares us/me for the movie viewing tradition all the way up to the 25th of Dec.

This year however, I began watching my Christmas movies the Monday before Thanksgiving.  I so looked forward to my favorite holiday movies that I couldn’t resist starting my month-long movie marathon early.  The first movie I watched was my favorite – The Bishop’s Wife.  I will try to highlight and write-up at least my top 5 movies before Christmas Day.  So, without further ado…

The Bishop’s Wife –

The main stars are Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven. The story revolves around a bishop (Niven) trying to get a new cathedral built. Facing insurmountable obstacles and feeling at a loss, he prays for guidance.  Cary Grant is the “Angel” who is sent down to help.  Loretta Young plays, big surprise, the Bishop’s wife.

I came across this movie in my early twenties while working at video stores.  I had never heard of the movie.  I remember the amazement I felt the first time I watched this classic.  The unique original story line quickly sparked or re-ignited my existing love for my favorite holiday of the year.

Various “stand out” scenes and moments include:

Dudley (Grant) saving a baby in a runaway carriage from crashing into a delivery truck…

Dudley helps an appreciative blind man across a busy street while cars screech to a halt right before them…

Dudley starts and continues an amusing “accidental” interaction with Prof. Wutheridge (an old family friend of the Bishop and his wife)… ending with the assurance that the old Professor will finish writing his book.

And, Dudley helps young Debby (the Bishop’s daughter) join in and win a snow ball fight!

These are but a few of the many memorable moments in this great film.  If you haven’t already seen this wonderful movie, you will not be disappointed in searching it out this Christmas.

Written by REscarcega

November 30, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Posted in Thoughts