Thursday, October 6, 2011

Out for a Wander


I am never more at home than when I am in the Sonoran Desert, but I suppose it’s because I was born and raised there. The heat, the sounds, and the smells seem to make me feel better, more alive. Sequestered in Los Angeles the past ten years this became more apparent when I was back there for my sister’s wedding in September (see my wishy-washy post below).

The wedding was at an enormous compound on the far west side of Tucson, an isolated location for sure and perfect for a wedding. You literally drove for fifteen minutes due west to get there, never straying from the road. Then the road turns to dirt, and there was the house. Amazing directions: turn right on the road, then take it until there is no more road. No, really.

One of the many pre-wedding prep trips I decided to go for a wander into the twenty-acre backyard of the house to do a little photographing. I was really hoping to bump into my old friend the Gila Monster. Sadly they are still as elusive as ever, but the bug up my ass to take a picture of one quickly turned to shooting the terrain instead.

My father was always the photographer of the family. He’d spend hour after hour  in a dark room, creating some of the most impressive art I have ever seen by way of photographs.  When he’d finally exit he would always stink of chemicals and his brown hands had turned orange from the soaking in Fixer he’d given them.  Dad, I thought putting your hands in Fixer was bad? It was, as he would say, but he didn’t give a shit, it was his process. He was never on for rules.

Though I know I’ll never be as good as he was I gave it my best shot. Nothing fancy, no stained hands or a chemical contact high just an iPhone 4 and some editing apps. After all I am my father’s son.












Friday, September 30, 2011

Turning About-Face


About a month ago I managed to kick the Facebook Habit cold turkey.  I got sick of it. No, that’s not all the way true. I got sick of myself incessantly checking it on my iPhone and computer. It was as though I was waiting for some critical piece of information, almost as though it was WWII and I was waiting on a wire for Intelligence about a foreign enemy’s whereabouts. But I wasn’t, just nosey.

After you see some girl you know posting a picture of her and her girlfriend’s, doing the Charlie’s Angels pose, hands cocked like a pistol, with a dapper look on all of their faces, you may come to realize that nothing important happens on Facebook. Unless of course you’re a serial rapist or a pedophile, then I’m sure it’s spellbinding.

As an actor/writer I am friends with many of the like living here in Los Angeles. Another thing that drove me fucking crazy was the nonstop daily affirmations that these people (usually actors) gave to the public in the form of a status update. “Today is the day you make it happen, take control of your destiny,” or “live life to the fullest by perusing your dreams!” It’s all a crock of shit, and it’s bad for you. Stop it before you or a loved one gets AIDS or cancer.

The same goes for quotes from a famous and/or person of note. Many of these quotes used as a status update is 99% of the time taken out of its original context. And this isn’t just the creative types I’m friends with. This most often applies to someone’s own political agenda or opinion.  If you know an ultra-conservative Tea Bagger, then you’ve probably noticed that they love to quote fucking Ronald Reagan ad nauseam. There were a shitload of his quotes referring directly to the Cold War and the Soviet Union that where cut & pasted to apply to the free health care debate. But that’s not here nor there… for now.

I made no pomp and circumstance with my exit from Facebook. I played with the idea of some sort of self-loathing message to friends, but decided to scrap that bullshit. I think I did mention something about following me on Twitter before it was too late. And poof, I was gone.

I did hope this would force the hand of a few to get in contact the old fashioned way. You know, phone or email. Sadly only a few checked in with me. I had one acquaintance say “I guess that’s a sure way to see who your true friends are.” No, not really. I don’t need a website to know who my true friends are. Maybe she did, but my quantifier is far different, maybe even better than hers.

The few who did take it to task asked why I defriended them on the All Mighty Facebook. How dare I? Sadly this was by text message. Nothing personal, friend, I just deactivated the goddamn account. Now go worry about more relevant shit.

I’ll just go ahead and blatantly contradict myself by saying I’ll probably wind back up on Facebook. After all people watching is fun.  I do plan on cleaning out the house of friends when I venture back. Mostly the people I went to High school with who I haven’t spoken to since, well, high school. I have zero problems with affecting someone’s high score on the friend count.

Snake



Thursday, September 22, 2011

To my sister on her wedding day…


I begin to write this on your wedding day. I think this piece is going to wind up more self-serving and cathartic than anything else.  For me, that is.

Right now we’re hours away from the big event.  My nerves are shot, my stomach is in knots and I can’t stop sweating. The sweating part has nothing to do with the fact it’s mid-September in Tucson, Arizona… It’s because I know I’ll be walking you down the aisle on your wedding day.

Eleven months or so ago, when I learned of your engagement it felt like a sledgehammer to my chest, it knocked the life out of me. I called mom and wound up drinking more than half a bottle of Bulliet bourbon while trying to make sense of it. How the fuck did this happen so quickly?

It had nothing to do with the man you were now planning to marry. I like him; you know that, so that wasn’t what took me down like a sick fucking animal. Last year when we were all in Santa Fe I wondered when this guy was going to finally marry you. I cried a lot during that conversation. It was going to happen eventually.

I guess it was another revelation that you were no longer a little girl anymore. Very similar to when I finally learned how complicated your job really was as a clinical dietician. For longest time I assumed that all you did at the hospital was telling people not to eat this or that, not the horrors of what you’ve seen and who you’ve cared for. I remain impressed to this day.

And it’s not as though you’re a teenage bride either. You’re closer to thirty than either of us wants to admit, every year you get older the older I feel. Maybe it’s the six year gap we share, but I think it’s why I took your engagement so hard, simply put I still viewed you as my as my little sister.

It’s cliché to say, but you and I have been through some shit together, some very rough shit. Thanks to Dad dying days after your birthday, days before Christmas, and less than a month before my birthday neither of us liked to celebrate, well, pretty much anything after that.  Birthdays and holidays were definitely fucked. And thankfully, it didn’t last too long.

Whenever I come back to Tucson I seem to miss him more and more. Today, nearly thirteen years later, I really wish he was here.  However for once, I am not angry about it, just sad.

Now I am off to the wedding location, the below will be continued after the wedding…

After participating in the some prep work for the wedding, I have now seen the payoff of what I can only say must have been a colossal pain in the ass.  Jesus Christ, how the fuck did you not kill someone in the last few months, weeks, etc? The massive house in the desert where the wedding was held looked amazing.

When I got to the house I wanted to see you right away. However, Ma was quick to throw her hands up in protest. “No men are allowed upstairs,” she said. I was pissed. I’m her goddamn brother, what if she needs me! What if she’s changed her mind and I’m the only one at this compound of a house who can save her?!? But that’s absurd; you have a cell phone and would call if in fact you really needed me.

I quickly let it go and continued on helping do whatever last minute task I was able to help with (it was carrying multiple 50 lbs. bags of ice for the beer by the way). I ventured off to the guest house (which was more of a locker-room for a baseball team), where your husband-to-be was and his groomsmen were getting dressed.

I had told myself weeks ago I wasn’t going to have a drop of booze before the wedding due to the fact you wanted me to possibly say a few words after the ceremony. My adrenaline was now at a highpoint, and the fifteen year old single malt scotch in the guesthouse was looking good. Sympathy for the devil at this point or perhaps it was Dad’s as well as my own yen for a good scotch. I poured some over ice and sucked it down while bantering with the boys.  The scotch was no help.

Soon thereafter I was suited up and ready to start my rounds among the family and old friends of the family. Of course many were Ma’s co-workers, all of whom I had seen in the last week leading up to actual day. Besides my stomach already doing hula-hoops around my asshole, I knew soon enough friends of Dad would soon be finding me, and talking about him and the inevitable comparisons they see in me. Fuck me…

My social duties were probably very poor. I felt like I was in a spy movie, eyes darting throughout the crowd watching for the enemy, or my European contact. Not one of these conversations had my full attention. The sweating continued and my nerves were now shot. Still I had not seen you and could only assume you were upstairs.

I also realized I hadn’t seen Ma since I arrived. I had family near me, and my best friend. Yet I was still nervous as a wild deer when Uncle Walt walked into the forest (in fact that goes for any animal when he enters the woods). I started to worry that everyone could see I was a mess, but I kept it together, never spending too much time in one specific conversation. Soon they’d all be on to me.

Finally, the word was out that everybody needed to take their seats. From the balcony near the bedroom where you were getting ready, your soon to be sister-in-law shouted down to me to block the patio door to the where the ceremony was to take place. She said no one was allowed through anymore. I also herd something about photographs.

I wandered over to the massive archway to the kitchen. Several of your guests were stuffing as much free food as they could into their faces. I find this is a common sight whenever I have been to a wedding.  Had this been a Jehovah’s Witness wedding I would have packed a sandwich myself.

Along with one of the hosts of the house we managed to politely usher them away from the troughs. Go find a goddamn seat you fucking pigs, my sister is getting married!

Finally the house was empty. I looked back up to the high above balcony and saw your photographer taking pictures close to where the two large metal chandeliers hung. Was this asshole taking pictures for his collection?  I had no idea what the fuck he was doing. Then I looked to the adjacent wall, where several days ago I had noticed hand-carved double wooden doors with a wrougt iron guard rail.

And there you were.

Thankfully my sunglasses were on. Thankfully no one was near me. Thankfully I looked up when I did. You stood there, posing for the photographer in your wedding dress, hair done, make-up on.  I went to pieces. I think I felt exactly how Dad would have. You looked beautiful, although you were doing one of those silly wedding poses. You know the one, hands on the arch of the doors looking up at whatever it is you were supposed to be looking at.

The finality and the reality of this event had finally hit me. I was as ready as any brother could be. Though I knew time was short and we had to get this show on the road, I managed to get your attention. Though briefly, we made our usual across the crowd silly faces at one another as we typically do, and I finally calmed down choking back my tears.  I suppose making awful faces moments before your wedding was better than drinking bourbon from a flask at our grandmother’s funeral…

Ma finally made her way down from the top floor and I knew the next time I would be seeing you was when she and I would be waiting for you at the bottom of the outside staircase and off to walking you down the aisle. Whew!

You are my most trusted advisor, more than just my sister. You have put up and made time for so much of the bullshit in my life during a time when your attention was better spent on the planning of your wedding, your career, and your personal relationships.

When you and I were younger, acting like assholes to one another, Ma would always give the same adage, “one day your dad and I will be gone, and all you’ll have is each other.”  Thankfully Ma is still here, but now more than ever I know what she meant the hundred thousand times she’s said it.

No matter what happens through the years you’ll always have a protector, you’ll always have me for whatever is needed.  If the call comes and you need help burying a dead body, I’ll be there.

I love you poop mouth, and I’m so happy for you today.

Your brother

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Un-Social Network


Recently another social networking website has popped up and it bothers me. Scratch that, it’s fucking stupid. Basically it’s a website where people share/update what book their reading; if they’ve started it, what page their currently on, and of course when they’ve finished it. I have to leave this site unnamed; again, I think it’s fucking stupid.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m on Facebook and Twitter constantly, in fact I’m even on my iPhone more than my computer going to those sites (In fact the last twenty minutes were spent playing Angry Birds). Fuck the term smartphone, because it’s really a social networking device. Don’t believe me, try not sending a text message for one whole day, I guarantee your head will fucking explode.

I also don’t participate in any of the “here’s my location” apps or websites, like FourSquare, which is basically Where’s Waldo for Sociopaths. For one I don’t want you or anyone else to know where I’m at, secondly who gives a shit where I’m eating, spending money, or what goddamn movie I’m seeing? I’ve seen a friend check-in to their shrink’s office three times in one week for six consecutive weeks. Chances are they’re not getting any better.

I do enjoy (most of) these sites, but come on, one for what book you’re reading? Really? That is some pretentious bullshit, comrade. If you happen to notice a friend posting this information, usually via one of the two aforementioned sites, it’s probably by that chum of yours that’s a little snooty, maybe a bit condescending, and sometimes an asshole. Either way, they carry themselves as though you were just a piece of dust they can easily brush away at any time. Chances are you don’t give a shit either way.

If tomorrow a site was created where you could tweet which jock itch medicine or tampon you used, no one would want to know and possibly that long lost high school buddy would no longer be a follower or on your friend list. They’d drop you like the itch on their cock they’re trying to get rid of.

Personally I’d love to start a Twitter-like site called Shitter. Basically you’d post (let’s call it Shat) about your current bowel movement: color, consistency, scent, noise, frequency, what you were reading (I know, somewhat contradictory, fuck yourself), comfort of the seat, etc. There would also be a geo-tagging feature, so all your friends and followers can know you’re dropping a deuce at the Chevron in Blyth, California on your way to Arizona. Lastly, who doesn’t want the ability to add some nice color hi-resolution pictures or HD video? No one will want to shit without their smartphone. I don’t.

Maybe I would end up on CNN one night, hopefully on Anderson Cooper’s show. Can’t say why, but it seems like he would love the topic. I’d like to be asked to explain why Shitter was socially relevant in this age of online social networking. My explanation: if someone can post, update, or tweet something as uninteresting as what page of a book they last read, then I can go online and say I do give a shit, and now everyone can know about it.

- Snake

Of course you can always follow on Twitter @SnakebiteReport

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sorry for the delay


Fear and Loathing
Los Angeles, CA

July 19, 2010

In regards to: Not writing a proper blog since December 2008

To:Danger, my attorney in Europe
Somewhere in Europe

Attention: All other readers

Subject: New article on The Snakebite Report coming late summer 2010


Dear Danger (my attorney in Europe),

Message received. I am currently writing a new piece for this seriously neglected blog.

I am back in full effect with this thing and will be working double-time to complete it .

Hopefully it won’t be a colossal piece of shit.

Regards,

Snake

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Don't make your loved ones Digital Douche Bags this holiday season


I avoided mentioning the Digital Douche Bag in Prêt-à-Porter Douche (May, 2008). And to my audience I am sorry for failing you. However I can no longer take it. Maybe I’m in the Christmas spirit of giving, or maybe I just miss baseball season…

The other night I really wanted to take a pipe up the side of the head of a Digital Douche Bag. And I know you’ve seen him or her; usually it’s him, sometimes her… Okay, close to never a “her,” but sooner or later you’ll see a lesbian who you’d swear was a man and call her a Douche Bag thinking she was a dude. I’m just saying, but you know exactly what and who the fuck I am talking about.

Short hair, taped boobies, men’s clothing…I digress…back to business.

Back in the mid-1990s the Digital Douche Bag was training for the new millennium. It was the kid who walked around the campus of your school wearing headphones connected to their portable CD player all the goddamn time. Typically it was a Sony Discman, and they were pretty cool I suppose, but these kids never unplugged it seemed, anti-social pricks.

That same asshole now seems to go everywhere with a Bluetooth headset on his ear. Bothering me and everyone else around him with a little flashing blue light pulsing from the side of head, fooling us into thinking he is shit-house crazy when we see him talking into thin air. That guy grew up to be part of or society’s downfall, with his illuminated skull beacon announcing he is indeed a Digital Douche Bag for all to see and fear.

This past weekend I accompanied my girlfriend to her company’s holiday party. It was held at any typical resort, she looked as stunning as ever in her black dress, I in black on black suit without tie. We took the time to look good, but like any company party there are going to be a few people who just don’t try.

At least three individuals, each dressed okay, decent, and little bit better locked and loaded with Bluetooth in ear (this is the part I mentioned where I wanted to take a pipe up the side of someone’s head), sitting there, eating prime rib (possibly chicken), talking with friends and coworkers, hopefully having a good time, but for some reason or other they decided to sit there looking like a retarded person from a lame-ass sci-fi film.

Seriously Neo, is there any event, much less a time of the day when you can unplug from The Matrix?

Today the Digital Douche Bags of tomorrow are training on iPods while on family trips to the mall or movie theater. Sometimes this new generation will be traveling in packs and every one of these little assholes is wearing headphones. Making the rest of us wonder how the fuck these kids communicate with one another when apparently they’re all listening to music?

Oh yeah, the text message.

Which brings me to “close to never” for women in the role of Digital Douche Bag. Ladies, look, we boys had our Nintendo’s, Game Boy’s, and Sega Genesis’ alike in the late 80s early 90s. I can’t remember any girls ever playing video games during those awesome days.

So it’s very fitting women have adopted the Blackberry as their source of entertainment and cellular device in the post 2000 era. Just texting away like they’re writing the next great American novel.

But please, put that motherfucker away for five minutes when you’re in polite situations. You don’t need to be sending text messages every five seconds when you’re at a restaurant or bar. It’s that behavior that has given you digital douche bag paranoia, where although the phone has not vibrated or rang, you incessantly pick it up and look at it for your next message. Stop it!

So whether you’re on a date, out with a mixed group of people, or with the girls drinking Cosmo’s in your gold jumpsuit, fake n’ bake tan, and pretending you’re on a dead TV show, put that son of a bitch down; leave it in your car, in your purse, or up your ass. Because like any male wearing a Bluetooth headset in the same type of situation, you too will end up looking like a Douche Bag, digital or otherwise.

I myself am victim of Bluetooth usage. However I live in California and by law I have to be “hands free” while driving. Supposedly it makes the roads safer, reducing the driver’s distraction behind the wheel. I say it makes it easier to light a smoke, stir your coffee, eat a cheeseburger, and fuck with your radio.

I will say Bluetooth headsets have improved the likelihood that my phone conversations will not suddenly end. I simply put the phone in part of home where I actually have reception, and then carelessly wander my home talking away like a character on Star Trek.

But if you ever see me outside of my home or car talking on one, feel free to shoot me in the head. And let it be known I was killed in order to never be known as a Digital Douche Bag. Thank you for saving my dignity, and bear in mind I too am probably packing a gun.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Some new stuff

So after a long time away a new blog is here. However it is a piece of fiction as opposed to my usual bullshit. I’ll be getting back to the normal stuff soon enough, otherwise Danger my attorney in Europe is likely to come back to the states and fuck me up.

Sorry Danger, I will fix your lack of Snakebite Report soon enough.

So without further ado part one of an ongoing story.

-Snake