Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Waiting Game

It seems another day in Goldland: talking deals, with statuses and plans laid before everyone.  The waitress was appeased with a polite smile and large tip, so I had all the time in the world to continue my focus.  Industry speak only lasted so long because this time of year, this kind of place, you get to what you desire: the action.

The man across from me knew my lingo, and perhaps even more so.  Conference TV contracts, polls, the lines.  "That time in Laughlin, after I cashed in from the Belmont, I said what the hell, drove up there..."  You'd be hard pressed to even get a glance from 99% of the bevy of beauties or oh-so-serious shades-wearing crowd with that kind of talk.  But here I am, delicious meal and drink in front of me, nodding, taking it all.

Pleasantries abound, quick eye contact made around me (the kind where neither acknowledge it) and back to the subject.   The World Series is over (its result continued junk shots to Dodger fans) so there is simply one mission.  I've soon realized it isn't even so much about all deals happening, a victorious parlay, or even a push.  It's about the deal itself.  Ask anyone what's more fun: having gold or the day you find it, and the answer is as plain as the brown shades on your face.

Done there, we wander up Camden.  I had little time to discuss "work" as it is, but there's always time for action.  I returned to find that my surroundings were still stuck on discount costumes and planning events that, a week later, they likely won't recall.  Well, carry on.  I'll continue the hunt.

"I got the job done.  Kind of."  You know by the description alone there's a story.  Go for it...

Monday, September 29, 2014

A great moment for the future while stuck in neutral

Sitting in this monitoring cell, the sun begins to blind while those outside squawk their jolly thoughts.  Deal making in progress, however, which reminds me...

The Kansas City Royals deserve your respect

It was all but set coming into this weekend: Kansas City was in there for the first time in nearly 30 years.  If not, it would be Seattle, for the first time in 13 years.  Instead, we are given the encore of a season's-worth of Jeter tributes, nearly all written by old, overfed oafs.  Fox did the same for their afternoon game, a Yankees-Red Sox match-up that was last relevant  in May.  The Red Sox also gave him a "tribute" inasmuch a reminder to its fan base to allow it - we just won the title last year, so temper your alcohol intake, please?  Even for an hour?

Beast or Burden

I'm old now, you know, so perspective creeps in when a "new season" begins on the tube.  The viewing experience is so different these days, and yet we still see the same concept.  This is because of money, sums greater than many may ever know.  The other side of the scale is time, which is tight.  My reaction is quicker now: going for the gut.  "I like the set, but that writing..."  Hey, I made it to the first commercial break.  Sometimes, even more.  Why eat a meal you don't want?  I don't have to look far in any direction to find a junkie.   

I've got it bad, and I've got it good

It was a fine, even entertaining Saturday of college football, but the more research I have since completed, the more I see a slew of even larger games comin' at ya next weekend.  That's all well and good, but when the forecast for next Saturday is a Santa Ana Son of a 93??!!  Look, I appreciate these random hot breaths from Mama Earth every now and then, but this is supposed to be a day of successful relaxation.  Cooperation is the word; isn't that all we ask for in life?  From the weekend weirdos that populate Beverly Drive, the hi-fi in the background, hell, even the parlays...we're keeping up our end of the deal.

Looks like the mug could use a refill.  Back to it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

There's plenty to do here!

Hold still...let me take the picture.

All right.  Should we try the Golden Gate?  Maybe they have some pinball games you can play.  Dad just wants to spend a little time on the black jack tables.

Sure, we can get some food.  Whatever you'd like.  How about a shrimp cocktail at-- I know you had one yesterday.  Hey, how about a nice prime rib!  That's even better...I think we can get a hamburger.  OK, let's go for hamburgers.

You know, a hamburger does sound good.  Maybe they have some in the Golden Nugget.  Let's take a look inside.  Follow me.  Yeah, there's...I know where the restaurant is, I'm just going to ask this cocktail waitress.  Excuse me, are you still doing the black jack tourna-- OK, I know!  Sorry, you are?  Great.

Two please.  Thank you.  Non smoking if you have it.  Oh, she said you can't bring in the soda.  Don't worry, I'll get you another.  Thanks, I'll...oh, you don't have that.  Is 7UP OK?  Yeah, 7UP and I'll you have Busch?  I'll take a Busch.

Do you have to look so bored?  What?  Nothing to do here?  We just have to find it.  They have to have stuff for kids.  Otherwise, why-

Thank you.  Yeah, he'll have a hamburger and fries.  I'll you still have the special for the T-Bone steak and eggs?  Oh, for lunch, sure, medium-rare...yeah, baked potato is fine.  Uh...Thousand Island.  Thank you.

I tell you what.  After lunch, we'll call information and see which casino has pinball.  I'll give you a roll of quarters.  But you have to promise me...Donny...promise me that you won't play the slots.  If they catch you, they toss you out and they don't tell me.  We don't need a repeat of what happened at Vegas World yesterday, right?

Yeah, I understand, but if you didn't like the show at Circus Circus, it makes no sense to go back there.  It isn't going to be any better.  The Hacienda has some?  That's great, thank you, ma'am.  We'll try there after lunch for some pinball. about that?  Looks good!  Excellent, thank you.  If you have A-1, sure.  And, could I get a cup of decaffeinated coffee?  Sanka's fine.  Thank you.

I'm hungry, I bet you are, too.  Mmmm.  Here we go.  Does your hamburger taste good?  We'll get our strength up and then we'll go to the Hacienda.  Nothing to do here?  Come on - look around!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

This time, for real?

(The 1979 Los Angeles Rams, Pacific Gold's official team)

Though it's been 20 years since Dealville had an NFL team, we've heard bullshit from other teams over the years ever since.  First it was the Seahawks, then the Colts, then the Jaguars, and most recently the Vikings (even on this blog, no less). Each time, the city was used as bait for stadium negotiations, forcing the public to turn their head and cough up the bucks to ensure "their" team stayed in town.  Some less than others, but the conclusion was the same: no NFL team.  Those of us living here simply moved on, while so many transplants meet at designated bars to root for their old hometown's team.  (Fan-dom never leaves, but the town's residents?  Goodbye.)

I think I can speak for the majority of the sports fans in this town saying that receiving any of the aforementioned teams would have been a perk...a nice addition...but it wouldn't mean much.  Just another way-station until the team's owner is dissatisfied with the "stadium situation" and they leave.  The Raiders?  No one here wants all the baggage that comes with the team: their fans, their level of success the last 20 years being a very LA reason, but it's mainly because of LA's other team...the first who really left in 1980...

Look, I won't lie.  My arrival out here in Dealville was a constant quest for LA Rams gear: hats, glasses, you name it.  Everyone I asked (NFL fans) never seemed to mind the loss of the Raiders.  But the was as if they lost a love and it moved to Orange County (can't blame them for not following them) and then it's gone.  

But then Rams owner (and Burt Reynolds imposter) Stan Kroenke buys land on the Hollywood Park site.  (Name ready, too)  Each passing month hasn't seen an end to this trend: a return of the Rams.  This week, Inglewood's Mayor Butts went on KJLH (which is, I've been told, is a radio station in town), and said what he could tell the public.  "We are working diligently to make this happen."  He said the official world likely wouldn't be until the 2015 owners meeting, but we all know this gets done...spending all of this season handing out envelopes to all other owners.

This post just might be a historical document of pre-LA Ram insanity...or just plain insanity.  Nothing new around here.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Hail to the...uh...

With the removal of the Washington Redskins trademark this week, sports fans are hearing and reading a lot of hot sports takes on the issue.  Players say it should be changed, players and oafish members of the media say it shouldn't, former players mock the whole idea.  But what I haven't heard that much about in the din of opinions is that of the fans of the team.  Fans buy the merchandise, follow the team, likely say the name more than anyone else in public.  Are any giving up their fandom?  Sticking with the team?

Well...I'm a fan of the team.  They won Super Bowl XVII (lord, I'm old) and I said they're my new favorite team.  Had Miami won, well, Go Dolphins.  But I was a kid and that's what I said.  Unknowingly, I had integrity: I WAS a Redskins fan, and have been ever since.  Simple as that.  It helped that my parents followed different teams, and I could never get interested in the bumbling franchise in the dome.

So, when you're a kid, you get a lot of merchandise as a gift.  A Redskin maroon satin jacket.  (Hello 80's!)  Redskin caps, jerseys, knock-off T shirts (which we'll see again, it seems), trash cans.  If they had it, I was for it.  Then one year I got this as a gift:

This was the NFL's idea to market to kids...maybe even those not interested in football.  Each team's doll is literal: the New York Jets is a cartoon plane wearing a helmet.  So, they went all-in and in my childlike mind, I liked it as I did the rest.  He's smiling because yay, football!  He's not "stoic" like the guy on the helmet, which I took to be the guy in the anti-pollution ad (who, I found out later, was actually Italian...but that's showbiz).

Move forward a year or two, and in Social Studies class a flighty substitute teacher talked to us about how cultural norms change through time.  "Stanford used to be called the Indians!  All these things say Indians at the school.  What happens to that stuff?"  Being a sports nut, I offer that it becomes a new word I'd learned but can't spell, "memorabilia."  "YES!  It's all the past."  It makes me wonder if the Redskins would be changed...but considering I only read the Sports and Cartoons sections of the newspaper, I had no idea if this was actually being discussed.

A successful decade for the team culminated in Super Bowl XXVI at the old Dump Dome.  Through wheeling and dealing, I'd be attending the game.  My clothing of choice was a simple Redskins sweatshirt with a supposed old team photo.  The logo on the shirt was the size of a quarter, and I feared I should make a bigger deal...even if I was in the end zone, upper deck.  For every band-wagon fan there, you'd see an old guy in the full-on Native American gear.  What also tempered my outfits were the known facts of a planned protest by Native Americans in front of the stadium.  And believe me, you couldn't miss it entering the dome.

Game day, my father and I deftly tried to pass the group and walk up the concourse.  Soon, I was accosted by a young protester, Native American, and larger  than me.  All that was showing was my cap, but that was enough.  "Hey!"  I'm grabbed by the jacket.  "Redskins are gonna lose."  Before I can respond, my father (not a sensitive man in nearly any way) grabs me and yells "Go play some bingo."  A fight is avoided due to the sheer amount of people getting into the stadium but the whole event (the accosting and my dad's response) stayed with me for weeks.  I'm just a I doing something wrong?  What should I do differently?  My next hat purchase was a 60's styled R with two arrows at the bottom.  I still wear it and like the look, but no one knows what team it is.  And yes, I guess it means my dad is a jackass in nearly any situation.

The following season, Washington played at Kansas City, and the anticipated protest arrived in full force.  After that season, however, you didn't hear about this issue or see as many protests.  This was aided by the fact, I think, that the team turned to absolute dogshit when Joe Gibbs retired.  They aren't good, they aren't on TV, and it's put to the back burner of cultural issues.

20 years later, it ramped up again, louder than ever.  Why the quiet and then the ramp-up?  I'll never know.  The trademark removal this week isn't the tipping point, because if you're expecting either Redskins owner Dan Snyder or NFL Kommissar Roger Goddell to "make the right decision" about anything you're out of your mind.

So do I think the name should be changed?

Sure.  Change it back then, change it now, change it five years from now.  My question back is: We're not going to have a STUPID name going forward, are we?

The Washington Federals.  What the fuck?  No!  We tried that once already...

The Washington Americans.  Well...all NFL teams are American.

Do you see what I'm getting at here?  There would be a new problem, on a much smaller scale, of course...but a problem.  If the new name was awful, people would STILL WEAR REDSKINS STUFF...maybe even call them that forever.  Can't you see some middle-aged guy?  "Well, I grew up in Wheaton and I've always called them the Redskins.  I'm not changing."

My suggestion: the Washington Razorbacks.

  • Same team initials.  
  • You can even keep the "R" helmets from the 70s (though the feathers would be debated).

  • The offensive line is still referred to as the Hogs, another tie-in.
  • The name is nearly as long as the current name.
The Washington Razorbacks.  Love them Hogs.  Go Hogs!  

There...everyone happy?  What - Arkansas fans are pissed off?  Eh...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"I think we're on the right spot"

(Editor's Note: while looking through a box of paperback books at a yard sale in Los Angeles, Trip Darvez found what appeared to be the diary of a teenage girl.  "How much are the books?" he asked, before finding out for just a quarter, he could share this diary with the Pacific Gold audience.  As a matter of disclosure, he also bought a copy of The Deep by Peter Benchley.  

"This isn't an attempt to invade anyone's privacy; I couldn't find anyone's full name.  It's also written on what appears to be the family moving to California.  The first part I can make out is from Iowa.  All grammar has been reprinted intact.")


I think we're in the middle of the USA right now.  This part of the drive has been boring.  I hope the whole ride isn't like this.  I wonder if we have to stop somewhere but we can't because there's nowhere to go.  Dad is at least letting us move around the radio a bit.  I missed the end of Shawn Cassidy's song which he knows I LOVE!  Mike said he had to hear the scores of something but it wasn't even the right game or whatever.

I wonder what you do around here in Demoin.  (Des Moines -ed.)  I don't know if we're in it.  Dad let me sing along to You Make Me Believe in Magic.  At least I have the back seat to myself.  That's what Mom keeps saying.  I thought we were on Highway 80 but it's really 35.  I don't know how you figure this out.  Oh well, we have a ways to go before Kansas City.  I don't want to drive after dinner but it's staying light out for a long time.


We're in Kansas City and relaxing a bit today.  It's really nice outside.  Last night I think we were all kind of tired.  I was but I couldn't fall asleep.  I had my little earphone in and Mom didn't notice.  We ended up driving around a bit just looking for a restaurant that looked good and now it's kind of hard to tell if we're going the right way.

Okay now I'm writing later but we are lost.  I don't want to say anything but mom and dad keep fighting back and forth.  The only other map isn't of where we are I guess.  We went over to ask someone at a gas station and he was so stupid.  "Where you off to?"  Dad kept saying California and the number of the road but then Mom said "Henry, don't tell a stranger that stuff" I want to just hide and die.

It's now later and I think we're on the right spot.  We had dinner in Topeka, they were nice, and I thought we'd stay there at a Howard Johnsons but dad wanted to drive more.  He is unexplainable!

We're in Junction City.  I think we all want to just sleep.  I'm tired and if it's like this the rest of the move I'll be tired then, too.


Just went to Silina (Salina, -ed.)  This radio station we have on is good.  Even Mike and I are singing the same song.  We can tell Dad doesn't like it!  Har har har.

It's now in the afternoon and we'll get into Colorado.  I hope we see the Rocky Mountains.  The drive so far has been so boring.  I thought we'd stop but we haven't since some random town from the highway and all there was is a gas station.  Dad got me a Reese's Peanut butter cup.  I think he's in a better mood now because we're just driving a lot.

OK we're way later than we thought.  I think he thought we'd make it earlier.  We wanted to see Pueblo but it's taking longer because of the farm roads.  I woner who lives in these places.  It's getting dark but it said Pueblo is close.  I bet we'll eat and then sleep.  I hope we get to see the mountains tomorrow.  Good night!


It's supposed to rain and be muggy!  So instead of going west we're going up to Denver!  Then we'll go through I guess.  Puebo and Colorado Springs were fine.

We're in Denver and I think we're going to be here for the rest of the day!  Mom kept saying that Dad needs a break and we all do I think.  We're looking for a hotel that's not too expensive but then we can go around and stuff.  It's pretty here!

Well it's warm but it's raining and it's hard to get around here.  I think we will go see a movie or something.  Maybe we can see Star Wars again.  I have to leave this in our room.

Okay now it's nighttime and we did see Star Wars again.  I like it.  The radio is playing that song from Fleetwood Mac and I'm starting to have that as my new favorite song.  So the TV says the storm is bad through where we were gonna go so we're going to go north a bit.  I swear Dad better make sure he knows where he's going.

There is a midnight movie The Rolling Stones and Mike tried to go see it.  Good luck, dork.


OK we're going north and we're in Fort Collens but at least it's pretty here.  If there's nothing to do but not drive in rain at least it's pretty.  Mike isn't talking to Mom or Dad.  Did you really think they'd let you out?  They won't let me out!

So now we're in Wyoming?  I didn't know we'd be here and I guess now we're heading west.  Mom said "Why are we in Wyoming!  Turn around!" but then Dad found the road.  I had a hamburger and a milkshake.  I should have not eaten the fries.  I'm just sitting in the car all day and getting fat.

Some guy on the radio is giving away a Shawn Cassidy poster!  I can't even call and even if I did, where would they send it?

We're still CONFUSED.  We passed through Shyann (Cheyenne - ed.) and somewhere else I don't remember and they guy on the radio keeps saying Casper but the map says we're not in Casper.  The only thing I know is that the drive is totally boring now.  I guess we could have gone to Yellowstone but we're already screwed up on our road right now.

We're having dinner in Evanston Wyoming!  I asked people if they know Evanston Illinois and none of them did.  Don't you think I should get some free money for that?  I


Oops I had to stop writing yesterday because the food was there.

Guess tomorrow is Father's Day and we'll be in Utah to start the day.  The route back doesn't have to go to Salt Lake City, so we wen't around and are in Jordan for the night.  You can see some mountains here but it's still Dullsville.

We're driving past the Salt Lake, at least it's nice out here.  We asked Dad what he wanted for Father's Day and he said "Get the hell out of Utah!"  Hahaha!  Mom was mad.  So much for Father's Day in Lake Tahoe.

OK we were going to stop in Elko for the night but now I don't think so.  We're in Nevada now and I'm SICK of the car!  Dad keeps trying to ask other people about the storm but they all look at him like he's crazy.  Like everyone else on this trip!  PLEase GOD, can we get to California?  Even if we're theyre forever to get there, get me out of the car!

(The following page was ripped, and we could not discern where this trip was on the page.  The back of the page wrote about Sacramento and then San Francisco, so it is possible to theorize that they went west on 80 through Reno into California. -ed.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Location, Location, Location

Check it: I'm writing this and it's One Hundred and One degrees (101) outside.  Sweet mercy me, that is hot.  It's hotter than it gets in September when lunkheads start to talk about "Fall" around here and you walk outside and the sun smirks down at you.  "Nope!"  You didn't even get to ask it a question.  It's terse glare consumes all you do that day.  This is twice the high of a large majority of the country, but I temper my consideration in trading my location.  It fucking snowed in Denver the other day.  What in the...

Your author isn't writing about the climate.  I'm writing about location.  I viewed a recent movie where the shy (or...likely disordered) boy moves to a new place.  In a stunning turn of events, one of his neighbors is a sweet girl, one that may look like the others in that town, but her behavior is rooted in complete positives.  I'm aware that you've probably seen this movie, or a situation like it.  Maybe it was the film "A Nerdy Writer Writes About His Daydreams at 15" which as I understand it was released by Fox Searchlight (under different nom de plumes) every other year since 2001.

I started becoming an annoying viewer maybe 30 minutes in, and roped Smiley into my complaints.  "Look, he's purposely ignoring her!  She's on a platter!  What the fuck?"  Yeah, it's a movie.  My street beef wasn't that I knew what was going to occur; we all know where this path ends.  It's not that the real life likelihood of this tango was non-existent.  It was that we knew what good fortune this dunce had in store, and it was barely mentioned by any character his age (and if so, it was a slam): it was the location.  And his luck, of course, but he wouldn't have that "luck" if he wasn't in the right location.

Does where you live cause trouble?  Geography or home?  Does going on a vacation mean leaving a place where most people don't vacation?  Does your school warm you with asbestos?  Did your grandpappy buy land somewhere for next to nothing and now everyone realizes what he did long ago?

Does your office have a window?  Is it near the new girl?  Is it next to the new girl?   Is that how you met?

Did you stay in the left lane?  Did you get an aisle seat at the stadium so you could catch the foul ball?

From the inconsequential to the life-changing (for better or worse) I arrived at the realization that skill and logic only run on one track: location.  Sometimes it makes it easy...seem like that "luck" I mentioned above.  Sometimes it makes it harder...or appear impossible.  Where you are and how you're feeling...I guess that makes up the gold quotient, huh?