Things I Believe In…

As of today, the following are the things that I believe in. This list may change tomorrow. Shit, this shit might change in an hour.

All I know is that I believe in:

  1. Lonzo Ball — the pride of Chino Hills just dropped his first-ever triple double. The talking heads can keep talking. I believe in Lonzo Ball and his weird-ass jumpshot.
  2. Frank Ocean — I listen to Nostalgia, Ultra., like, once a week. The man can sing and just like the Geto Boys, Frank Ocean doesn’t give a damn about a Grammy.
  3. 35mm cameras — I still own my Canon Elan 7 that I bought from Samy’s Camera over 15 years ago. Whenever I get tired of digital, I grab for the film, and I shoot.

To be continued.


Lessons in Writing, No. 24

When life gets difficult — and especially when it gets difficult — write. Write every day. No matter what.

Get that flow.

Easier said than done, I’m learning. I’m fixated.

On the table, salt-and-pepper shakers served as towers of demarcation, posted in between his hugging hands and her reddening elbows, and I watched from the sidelines, my body floating above the demilitarized zone and listened to them talk about writing and its place inside anxious minds.

“The world is sick,” he said.

“But the world’s always been sick,”she replied, “People have always died. Wars always fought. Presidents in shame, hearts dimmed. But underneath those dark skies, writers wrote.”

So I left and I wrote.


Career Change

I quit exacty a year ago. I said to myself, “This can’t be your life.” So I quit.

I told my wife “Let’s move back to L.A. I’ll take care of the kid, and in between,

I’ll follow what I’ve always wanted to follow – be a writer full time.”

So I quit.

“See you later, Baltimore. It’s back home I go.”

Now it’s been a year since. This time last year I was preparing for a cross-country trip, from the Mid-Atlantic to the West Coast.

And now I’m good.

My friends always ask:

“Hey, man, are you good?” I’m good. More good than ever.

I feel like I did my time in those cubicles, sitting in front of those computer screens, slouching low on those conference room chairs, e-mail after e-mail after e-mail.

I feel like I’m finally doing me – and so – I’m good.

My next step is to completely unplug from the unnecessary and focus on the necessary — to wean myself off of social media. I need a sabbatical. I just feel nasty when I engage nowadays. Posting photos, tweeting. It’s just too much out there. I no longer want to contribute. I want to get out of the conversation and find my voice again. There’s so much noise that I started to miss the silence.

I’m not ghosting. I’m simply on sabbatacial. No judgement served either. I can’t wait to get back into the mix.

These days, I prefer the comfort of my personal blog. This right here, a blog about me and my relationships with the world, especially with the citizens of L.A., my hometown, the freeways, the streets, the playgrounds, the sights, and the sounds. My kid, my wife, and my dogs.

I quit and now I’m good.

L.A. Notes

L.A. on Light

Cap back. Sunset on low.

Dippin’ down the block.

The kid enjoys his long drives around the neighborhood.

Got me pushing him around in his mini-me car, battling the uneven sidewalks, the rolling stops, dogs, territorial birds, overall non-gangsta shit in former gangsta lands. I’d rather stay in, take him — and his whip — out some other time, but I just can’t say no — so we drive on and on and on and on.

When the L.A. sun is out, that quiet whisper of a gleam, that light that lands so gently on the body, feels like it welcomes more than it brightens, all spirits heighten. In the land of fame and spotlight, the L.A. sun is prime resident. Everyone else abides.

“But ‘L.A. sun?'” she said. “There’s only one sun, fool. The SUN.”

“No, no. The L.A. sun is the L.A. sun.”

That late-afternoon light, that “cotton candy sky.”

(See: An article in The New Yorker about the glow of L.A. by Lawrence Weschler).

L.A. Notes

L.A. Corner On The Cob

Also known as elote.

Classified as goddamned street food.

Found with a strong sense of exploration and don’t-give-a-fuck-ness.

Eaten under the L.A. sun.

Made of hard work, resilience, and flair — with a dash of L.A. smog.

The recipe according to Chef Roy Choi:

Corn (shucked)
Vegetable oil
Butter (softened)
Cotjia cheese

See: L.A. Son by Roy Choi