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April 9, 2007

Intersting thing 

So, I'm fooling around on my computer tonight (cuz "Heros" isn't on for another two weeks) and I log onto my host site and decide to check the statistics for my site and lo and behold! Holy shit, people are looking at my website! I really expected to see no hits or maybe 3 a month, but no! I've been getting around 100 hits a month. OK, so it's not a big deal in the scheme of things, but it caught me completely off guard. It would even seem that some people came just to see the update on my blog.... I didn't know you cared.

So, in lieu of that, I promise to write on this damn thing more often. And try to be coherent at least 50% of the time. I was planning on writing the next installment of the Cindy and Victor story, but I started poking around on the web and now I is tired.

Apparently, I'm getting old, because it's only 10:30 and I feel like I'm gonna pass out. So much to say, and I'm too busy at work to say it there. So unfortunately, you'll have to wait until next time, but I promise you it won't be 2 years before I come back.

Peace out, Bitches!

Skinny Black ManThis has been an offical message from The Skinny Black Man

April 3, 2007

Tuesday Night 

You know what's funny? I started this blog as a device to help me get my ex-girlfriend back. Yep, it's true. I had just redesigned my site and was heading to Scotland and had just bumped into her and told her I would be writing here and she could read all about it. Guess what? It worked! Don't ask me how, but it did.

Now don't get the wrong impression, I didn't think of it on the fly when I "bumped" into her. In fact, to be completely honest, I didn't "bump" into her, in the random sense of the word. I knew, or at least suspected, I would see her for about 3 months before I did. So, I had plenty of time to plan what I was going to do. Although I didn't come up with the blog idea until shortly before, and all the other ideas I had, flew out the window when I saw her.

You know, it occurs to me that you don't know me very well, or haven't known me for long enough to know the story, so maybe I should tell it. You probably want to go grab a glass of wine or something. No, go ahead. I'll wait. Comfy? Ok, I'll start from when we met....

It was a little over 6 years ago, in February of 2001. I was in rehearsals for a show called 'Feet.' Great play, although to this day, I have no idea what it was about. Anyway, it was the first day of tech rehearsal on a Saturday, and I was early (very unusual) to the theater. I was hanging out in the theater talking to Jessie (director/friend) when this girl walks in (cue "Rolls Royce 'I want to get next to you'") and says 'hello' to Jessie. Jessie introduced us, and told me that she was going to do the sound for the show. I was standing there thinking "how can I be down!" Having recently acquired a manly amount of confidence with the ladies, I began to flirt, and much to my liking, she was receptive.

(I guess I should interject here and say that this is the first time I remember us meeting. Apparently, a few weeks prior to this, we were both at a party at Jessie's house and met there. She says she was sitting next to me and we spoke briefly, but I swear I don't remember. Please, don't tell her I told you that....moving on)

I have to say that my intentions were less than honorable. The previous relationship I had, had left me wounded. I thought it was going to be the last romantic relationship I was going to have. She was the first woman I had ever lived with and the first woman I seriously thought I was going to marry. But alas, it wasn't to be so and it took me about 7 months to get over her. Since I got over it however, I realized that my stock value was high and I was taking advantage of it by sleeping with whomever I could. So when I met Cindy, that's exactly what I had on my mind.

The flirting went on for about 5 or 10 minutes, before she decided to drop the B bomb on me. That's right, she had a boyfriend. Now, being the guy that I was at that moment, it didn't faze me. After all, I was here and where the hell was he? If he wasn't around, I was pretty confident I could work my magic and have my way with her, so I continued my flirting. Suddenly, the guy who is going to do the lights for us, Sean, comes in, and apparently he's doing double duty, because not only is he the lighting guy, but he's also.....wait for it....Cindy's boyfriend! Well, balls! Oh, well, there were other fish in the sea, and I was going to go fishing.

The show ran for 6 weeks, and audiences enjoyed it, I never understood it and saw Cindy and Sean every single week. That was my first show at Sacred Fools and I like the people there and plus there were a couple of actors who were the shit and I wanted to work with and be around them, so I stuck around. This was my first time being apart of a theater community and I was loving it. I had just stopped working at Universal and decided long before that I would take time away from working 9 to 5 and concentrate on acting. It was the best time of my life. I had saved some money, so that wasn't an issue and there wasn't a show that someone asked me to do that I said 'no' to, so I was a busy bee. Concurrently, I developed into "Captain Rebound." I'm not sure how it started, but I started hooking up with girls who had just gotten out of a relationship and hated men and wanted to take it out on some poor unsuspecting man, with sex. Enter me. I had absolutely no issues, being used for sex. Hell, I asked for it. When I wasn't hooking up with Alanis Morrisette driven women, I found that I could get laid in a way I never thought possible. Honesty.

Now let me be clear, honesty isn't for everybody. Especially when it comes to being a single man trying to get laid. Previously, I had seen men do it and was absolutely amazed that it work. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would work for me. Nonetheless, I found myself in a bar having a drink with a woman I meet 5 minutes ago saying, "Look, I know we just me and you barely know me from Adam, but I'm kinda feeling a vibe here. I like you and if you like me and you wanna get out of here and do something about it, then why not? We're both adults who know what this is all about and if we're both looking for the same thing, the why would it matter if we actually went on a date? let's just get to what we both want and be happy, because life's too short. Now don't get me wrong, if you're offended by what I just said, or that's not where your head is at, that's cool. I have no problems with that. I just don't want to bullshit for most of the night and then go home alone. I'm looking for company, what about you?" As cheesy and pretentious as that sounds, it worked more than I'll ever admit to. (I'll only admit that it worked once. Good luck finding out the truth.) I think most of the time it worked, because it was true. I wasn't asking them for a 1 night stand, I was asking for a 1 night stand with the potential for more. Completely different.

Anyway, I was living my life, seeing Cindy and Sean every now and again at the theater. They were cool. I even got to know Sean a little bit and felt a little bad for intending on sleeping with his girlfriend. (Not really, but it's the polite thing to say.) So everything was great, nothing lost.

Nothing until the night Cindy came to see the show I was doing and said that she and Sean had broken up....

(to be continued)


(What do you want? It's 11:30am and I have to be at work at 7!)

Skinny Black ManThis has been an offical message from The Skinny Black Man

August 22, 2005

6 shows/9 days 

Only 6 shows left, but 9 days until we actually go home. Cindy got here last Wednesday, which is GREAT!!! I then proceeded to get sick on Thursday, which sucks. I was trying to brave through it, but then Cindy got sick on Saturday. (Oh, for feck's sake!) So we've spent the last couple of days at the flat at night, trying to get better.

Cindy was supposed to go to Loch Lomand earlier today with one of my flat mates from last year and I was going to meet them in Glasgow for dinner. It was going to be fun. Instead Cindy stayed in bed because she couldn't sleep last night (which in effect means I couldn't sleep last night. if you have a girlfriend you know the speech I speak.), while I got up to go do "Pick of the Fringe" with Dean. After the showcase, I went back to the flat and work her up and she decided to come out because she was sick of the flat. I wanted her to see "Basic Training" a one man show by this guy I know, Kahlil, but he took the day off. So she came to see my show instead.

Afterwards, we went to see a show that happens after ours. I was mislead to believe it was a show about jazz, but it so wasn't and I was so disappointed. Cindy started doing yoga towards the end of the show, to make some use of the time.

Now I sit in the drawing room of the flat I stayed in last year trying to muster up the strength to go and do something, because sick or not, staying one more night at the flat feeling sick, is a shitty idea.

Maybe I'll take Cindy to see Steve Hughes tonight...oh wait, it's already too late for that.

Well, maybe we'll find something else to watch.

Maybe I'll try and drink this cold away.

Maybe, I'll catch pnemonia.

Maybe, I'll die.

Who cares, we'll be back in LA in 9 days. Hells yes!

Skinny Black ManThis has been an offical message from The Skinny Black Man

August 14, 2005

14 days in... 

Well, we left America 2 weeks ago now. And already, I don't know what that means. Cindy is coming over (Thank God!) in....uh....3 days (sorry had to check what day it was) and it seems like an eternity away. Time has slipped away from me. I know we have 14 shows left and that's the only concrete thing that I can think of at the minute. The show has been going very well. We've gotten great reviews, nices houses (we had 108 people yesterday, that's 30 more than the capacity of our venue last year and it's only the first full weekend of the festival) great feedback and....I've drank lots of Guinness. There is a solid offer on the table to do the show in London (I don't know where) and Malayasia (where?) and still, New York. My penis has been viewed by an audience of about 200 people, the incident was written up in "Metro" (a local paper) and I have been asked to take place in a naked comedy showcase, as a direct result. Mission accomplished.

I'm not quite ready to come home yet, but I do miss my girlfriend terribly. Last year, I had no one to miss, and I wrote about Dean being miserable, because he missed his wife. I lamented about how good it would be if I had someone to miss. I stand by that now. Although, I hate being apart from her now, I am very thankful that I have her to miss. I just wish she were here. Now. Right now! Alas, she is not, so I sit here and write and lament. She called me at this morning, drunk. She told me she was stuck at a party, because she was too drunk to drive and wished I were there to take her home. Yes, she misses me, too. It's a good thing.

Until next time!

Skinny Black ManThis has been an offical message from The Skinny Black Man


August 4, 2005

Surprise! It's raining! 

Yep, that's the big surprise of the day, I woke up at around 2pm (was out until 5) and got a message from Dean, asking me to bring the umbrella he left at the flat. Long story short, I forgot it. I showered and headed out to do the show and about 2 minutes into my walk, it started pouring. I find it hard to believe for a second year in a row that this isn't typical Scottish weather in August (as everyone keeps saying)especially considering the only experience that I have is rainy and cold. Oh well, at least we have the show. And speaking of....

The show was great today! We had about 40 people in the audience (apparently one of them was a reviewer) and we kicked their asses. Last year when Paul Provenza was directing the show, he was setting up the laughs in the show to build to certain points so that by the time we got to the first phone call, people's stomachs would be hurting. Today, we achieved that. By the time the first phone call was over, we could have stopped the show and the people would have been satisfied, but we continued on and just kept building on the laughter, and by the end when Dean introduced me, he had to stop and let the applause die down, before he could introduce himself, and he was met with equal applause.

It's shows like today that make me remember why I still like to do this. Some people like to do it for the art, to say something specific, to try and better people. And while I don't think you can escape doing that if you do a show correctly, that's not my main purpose. My main purpose is to entertain. And today (and almost all of the days we do this show) we did that. And we did it well. I love this shit!

Skinny Black ManThis has been an offical message from The Skinny Black Man

July 28, 2005

4 more days...AGAIN! 

OK, so it's really 3 3/4 days, but whose counting? We did the show last night, which was good. I found myself a little nervous before the show, but I think that was more about leaving for Scotland, than performing the show.

Nightline interviewed Dean right before the show. He's such a fucking pro! I think it was a really good interview. Now let's hope they use it.

The show last night was good, and very necessary. We needed to knock a little rust off, especially since we start previews the next day after we get into town. And as much as I thought the show was a little off, the audience seemed to enjoy, so damn what I think!

I'm getting really excited about going back to Scotland. Well, except for the rain. And the fact that it's only 50 to 60 degrees right now. And the fact that we have to walk EVERYWHERE!

Wait, why am I excited again?

Oh yeah, the show! And drinking Guiness until 5 in AM when the sun has already come up. Yeah, some parts will suck, but most if it will kick ass!

Look out Edinbugh, here we come again!

Skinny Black ManThis has been an offical message from The Skinny Black Man

August 25, 2004

The Olympics 

Another post that I started, but never got to finish. I'm not sure where I was going with this one, but I remember being inspired at the time. 4/3/2007

So, I've had the opportunity to watch some of the Olympics coverage here in Scotland, which is pretty much coverage for the United Kingdom. As with lots of things, it's very different from American coverage of the Olympics. It struck me as odd at first because I couldn't figure out why, but then it dawn on me. In America, we enter a couple of hundred athletes and a huge amount of events. In the United Kingdom, they don't. Several times over the last 3 1/2 weeks it has struck me how small this country is. It takes about 3 hours to go from the east coast to the west coast of the country, that wouldn't get you through California. And since it's so small and they don't enter nearly as many people, their perspective is completely different. When they have an athlete competing in a race, it's a big deal. Even if the athlete loses in a qualifying round it's like "What a brilliant and valiant effort he made! Great form! I believe next time he will do much better! He really looked good out there!" They do personal interest stories on things that wouldn't even show up on the Amercian radar. Athletes who have been to 3 Olympics and never managed to make into the semi-final round, but this year is there year....or not.

And low and behold when they actually win, it's a national event. I watched the woman's 800m final, which was truly a race for the ages, and Kelley Holmes (a brit) won the gold medal. Now in all fairness, this woman had won the silver at the last 2 Olympics, losing to the same person both times, so the backstory to the race was great. And for her to actually win was quite exciting. I can't and don't want to take anything away from that. The thing was is the announcer's lost their collective minds. It must have been equivalent to the USA beating Russia in hockey in 1980. They went on and on about the race for about an hour

August 22, 2004

Having a good time...ready to go home 

We have 8 more shows to do and 10 days until we come home. I've been having a wonderful time, but now I'm ready to go home. I've met some ultra-cool people, drank absinthe for the first time, partied until way past dawn most days and nights, performed a show that has been a success in every facet that I can think of(we just got another good review today: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,1288019,00.html), people are talking about us in a good way, I have walked more in the last three weeks that I walked in the previous year, I've experienced more rain than I have in the past year and drank more than twice my body weight in Guinness alone, it's time to come home. Home to sunshine and brownish-blue skies, to rush hour traffic and live telecast car chases. Home to life in the fast lane, when I feel as if sometimes it will swallow me whole if I can't keep up. Home to a place where I'm finding it hard to catch a break, but I keep banging my head against the wall, because I somehow enjoy the pain. Home to the city of lost angels and hollyweirdness. The only place I've ever felt comfortable calling home. Los Angeles. So start my car and cut up some sushi. I'll be home in less than 2 weeks and none too soon.

Until next time!
This has been an official message of The Skinny Black Man

August 20, 2004

The Home Stretch 

Wow! It's hard to believe I've been here this long already and have less than 2 weeks left until we come home. We've performed everyday since August 4th except for one day, and I don't find myself tired of the show at all. I assumed that by this time I would be begging for the show to be over, but that is not the case. Everyday with the show is a challenge because each audience is different and that keeps everything interesting. 2 days ago we had our most difficult show in that, they didn't respond the way any other audience had responded so Dean and I were constantly making changes on the fly and just when it seemed like we had them they pulled back and we had to find them again. That lasted for the entire show, but at the end you could tell they enjoyed it just as much as any other audience, so we knew we had done our jobs and that is a great feeling.

My liver flew back to California last week. It didn't even bother to tell me that it was going and I don't know how it came up with the air fare, but I woke up to find a note saying that it was tired and feeling abused so it left. Funny thing is, I haven't missed it that much, apparently it was slacking off before it left, so it is good that it left, so it can be fresh when I get back to Hollyweird.

I've made quite a few friends here (oddly enough) and we end up hanging out until well after the sun comes up (it comes up at about 4:30). It reminds me of my days in Vegas when I worked the swing shift from noon to 8pm and would go out every night. The major difference is, it rains here a lot. We were spoiled for the first couple of days with nice weather, and apparently that's all we were allowed. It's funny because sometimes I wake up and it's sunny, but sure as the wind blows, before I leave the house it's raining. I'm tired of being wet for all the wrong reasons. I can't wait to get back to the comforting heat of California. Yes, even thought I'm having an excellent time, I'm starting to get homesick. Luckily, I'm not like Dean and don't have a wife, or girlfriend who I miss and would like to come home to, who would welcome me with open arms and kiss me and tell me how much they miss me and playfully ask me never to leave them for that long ever again. Yeah...I'd hate that....boy, would I hate...that...(sarcasm is lost on the internet)

OK, I'm off to eat and maybe see a show. Until next time
Skinny Black ManThis has been an offical message from The Skinny Black Man.

August 13, 2004

2 weeks now 

It's hard to believe we've been here 2 weeks now and only have 2 1/2 weeks left. Time is flying by. This week we had several reviewers come see our show and 2 different reviewers interviewed us afterwards. The buzz for the show is going around. The comedians who have come to see the show have been recommending us to everyone and apparently having comedians recommend us is another huge accomplishment. Paul (our director) is working all the angles to see if this show can get it's own legs and tour around the world (relatively speaking) once the festival is over.

I was hoping to be able to update the blog more, but computer time is scarce. There are a couple of stories I'd like to tell here, but they may have to wait until I get back into the country and actually have a chance to sit for a couple of hours to compose them. Until then, I will try and update every couple of days if I can.

Suffice it to say, I am having a good time! The show is going well, and there is lots of partying. I find myself being overcome by tired in the early evenings and either I take a nap or just push through it and continue on late into the night. There has only been 2 nights when I've gone to bed before the sun came up (granted the sun comes up about 4:30-5:00am) but that's to be expected at times. I have to say, I'm a little scared, because as long as these nights have been, people are saying "This isn't even the good stuff yet." Meaning that things are going to get more intense over the next two weeks. I just hope my liver can handle it! Until next time!

Skinny Black ManThis has been an official message from The Skinny Black Man

August 12, 2004

And the skies opened up 

UPDATE: This was a post I started on our first trip to Scotland (8/12/2004 to be exact) that I never got to finish. I know the end of the story, but would feel disingenuous if I finished it now, so I publish it as it was. By the way, it's April 3, 2007

Whew! What a week. Everything has definitely got a little more intense and apparently this is just the beginning. I was hoping to be able to update the blog more frequently, but do to the internet situation and a lack of my own computer, it has been difficult. There are quite a few things that I would like to talk about, but I'm not sure if I'm going to have time. So, if the blog seems a little discombobulated, I apologize, just trying to get the most info in it, in the least amount of time. OK, here goes!

Over the weekend, for the first time in my life, I had Absinthe. For those of you who don't know what it is, it's a kind of alcohol (I think) that has been banned in many parts of the world, because it's been known to drive people mad. So, of course, I had to try it. It was rather bitter in it's taste, even though it had sugar in the shot glass, but not too bad. On several occasions I have had an opiated brandy from China that tastes worse. I must admit, I did feel a difference initially, but nothing too major, just a different sort of buzz is all. I figured I should stick to just one shot, so as not to miss my show the next day. Did I mention this was the beginning of the night? So on I went with my normal night of drinking and partying. Paul (Provenza, our director) toured me around to a couple of different late night shows and introduced me to a couple of people, some of whom had already seen my show and had nothing but good things to say. We ended up at a venue called "The Guilded Balloon", in the Library bar. Things were good and I felt normal up to this point, I had been drinking and having a good time, then I decided it was time to go home (at about 5am) and said goodbye to everyone and left. As I was on my way home, I started mulling over things in my head, as I usually do when I have time to myself, except I was becoming angry. Suddenly, things that didn't seem so important became massive. I trudged on home becoming more furious with each step, and not really knowing why. Once I was home, I was delighted to get into bed because the late night schedule was really starting to wear on my body, unfortunately my head wouldn't stop thinking and getting angry. So about an hour and a half pass by and at this rate I knew I wasn't going to fall asleep. Having suffered from an overactive brain my entire life, I have not been able to fall asleep for the same reason before, but this time was different. It was so completely clear that I was not going to be able to sleep. I decided to go running in the park across the street from the flat. Yeah, that will work, I'll get out some aggression and wear my body down even more. I ran for about 20 minutes and then came back to the flat and laid down again. Nope, that wasn't working. In fact, suddenly sitting still was pissing me off. I put on my pants and got up and headed for the door. Luckily, before I left I had the sense enough to grab my camera, just in case a photo opportunity came up. As I headed out I remembered that I wanted to walk up to "Arthur's seat," a mountain on the east side of town. I headed east, not knowing exactly how to get there, but knowing I would find it. Part of me thought that I would get tired and just want to head back even before I got there.

Skinny Black ManThis has been an offical message from The Skinny Black Man

August 6, 2004

1 week and counting 

So we've been here for a solid week now. I have to say it has been an
experience. We started our previews 2 days ago and we had 25 people
in the audience, which is apparently pretty damn good. EdCom4, the
company that is producing our show, has never had a show do that well
on a preview, especially on the first day. Their is beginning to be
buzz about our show around the festival, and everyone is saying it's
going to be a hit. I won't hold my breath just yet, but it does look
good. Our second preview had about 32, although we officially opened
today and only had 20. Tomorrow business should pick up because it
will be Saturday and loads of people come out apparently, but that
won't be the busiest time. I'm told that the festival doesn't really
pick up until about 2 weeks into it and then it gets really crazy.
We've already had an article in "The London Times" about the show,
which is apparently good as well and if the reviewers come and say
much of the same that everyone else is saying we will definately sell
out. It's all very exciting and I can't wait to see what happens.

Other than the show, life in Edinburgh is very interesting. Of the
Scottish food that I have had, I haven't liked much of it. Thankfully
there are quite a few resturants in the city and some of them have
American quisine. The first day we were here we found a "Subway" and
I tried to hold out, but on day 3 I ate there, since I have found a
few resturants "Favorit" and "Negotiants" that serve good food.

Luckily, alcohol is international and I haven't had a single problem
finding a drink. And I have to say, the Scotsmen do live up to their
reputations as being drinkers. The first couple of nights we were
here, I was sure that my liver would request it's own passport so it
could go home early, but luckily I have been able to say "I have a lot
of work to do in the morning" and since it's for the festival, they
let me go, or should I say the point me in the right direction and
give me a good hard push.

Our living situation is quite communial, which at present time,
doesn't bother me, but I believe it's beginning to wear on Dean a bit.
Having known Dean for the last 8 years, I know he likes his alone
time and if he can't be alone, he would appreciate it if you didn't
talk to him. Well, here in our own little version of "The Real World
- Edinburgh" there is little, if any alone time. And everyone is so
ridiculously polite that they are always asking if you need anything
or making polite conversation. Not so good for Dean. Claire, the
woman who we rent the rooms from and also our savior on the day of the
preview, is almost too considerate. This morning I woke up cranky and
not feeling too well, but it's normal for me to come over for a cup of
tea and to check email and what not (they have broadband, but only in
one of the flats) and I am used to a small amount of conversation, but
this morning was exhausting. I guess to her credit, I didn't look
well (Later on Dean asked me if I was ok, because I looked pail(which
is somewhat of a feat for me to pull off)) so she kept asking me how I
felt and what I needed. I just wanted to say "Shut up!", but I
couldn't because she was just trying to be nice, however annoying it
was. And she did cook me breakfast and make me some tea that actually
made me feel better, so I can't complain. At least not yet.

So that's it for this week, I'd like to write more but down time is
getting harder to come by so that I can sit and write a blog, but I
will try and update as often as I can. Until next time!!!
Skinny Black ManThis has been an official message from the Skinny Black Man

August 2, 2004

Day 4 

So we've been in Scotland for a few days now and have settled into sort of a rountine that is about to change. Normally I wake up and stumble across the hall to Claire's flat for a spot of toast and a cup of tea and some early morning conversation with the flat mates (there are about 8 of them.) Then it's out for a walk about, trying to get a lay of the land. Then it's back to the flat for an unavoidable nap (I'm not sure if it's still jet lag or the fact that I've been up until about 5am every night.) I wake up sometime in the evening and stumble back over to Claire's flat for some dinner (if you can call it that. Of all the wonderful things in Scotland, the food isn't one of them) and some wine. Then it's time for more wine, followed by conversation followed by even more wine. I dare say in the beginning of the evening, I will personally polish off the better part of 3 bottles of wine by myself. Once we stopped drinking wine, we move on to beer! Yes, the rumors are true, the Scots drink like there's no tomorrow. Once we've finished the beer, we generally move on to something harder. The first night we were here, we went out and I convinced a few of the mates (hehe, I love saying that) to have shots of tequila. That's right, my influence over people's drinking habits has now officially extended to Europe. Since then, however, we've been home and I've been privy to a 16 year old single malt scotch (they just call it whiskey here, oddly enough) and let me tell you it's fantastic. There's nothing like ending your day sipping on good whiskey and having good conversation. That tends to go until about 5 in the morning and I head off to bed only to repeat it again the next day.

I have to say, I'm not sure I can keep this up for a month, but I'll be forced to try, and apparently this is just the calm before the storm....yikes!

Skinny Black ManThis has been an official message from The Skinny Black Man

July 31, 2004

Skinny Black Man in Scotland 

We're here! We've made it! In fact, we've been here for a day now and it awesome! Having never been in a European country before I find myself being the stupid American saying "Um, does that mean the same thing here?" The Scottish are very kind don't laugh at me, although I can see the smirk in their eye.

I'm horribly jet lagged. I didn't sleep much on the plane and was ridiculously tired once we arrived. After a brief misunderstanding of where our apartment was (the cab driver mis-read the address) we were welcomed to our flat by our hostess, Claire. Claire is a wonderfully sweet and attentive host. Immediately when we walked in, she showed us our flat (which is directly acrosss from hers) and then told us she was cooking dinner and we were welcomed to join her. Anxious to get out and see the city we politely declined and went on our way. We got out into the city and found Dean something to eat (which apparently was horrible, he took 2 bites and tossed it) then we found an internet cafe and went in to send emails to let people know we made it ok. Unfortuantely jet lag began to set in quickly and it was apparent to the both of us that we were heading home after the cafe.

Dean left before I did, and when I went back, I was able to find the building ok, but couldn't get my key to open the flat door. Luckily there were only 2 flats on our floor, and I was positive on the correct floor. So, since I knew Dean was home, I rang the bell. I was greeted by 2 girls I hadn't yet met and figured they were flat mates. I said "Hi, my name is Victor." And they opened the door and said, "Come on in, you belong here." Actually, I had entered the wrong flat, mine was across the hall, but as the showed me into the "drawing" room, I discovered about six people all sitting down to dinner and wine. I initially thought there was some special occasion and I should excuse myself, because I didn't fit into the group, but as I was to learn, this happens just about every night. I was fairly quickly handed a glass of wine and conversation went round and round about everything, stopping only briefly for someone to re-explain to me what had just been said (sometimes I can't understand what they are saying. I know it's "enlish" but the accents kill me.) A while later we decided to go to a pub and much to my surprise, Dean joined us. After a few pints (I'm beggining to enjoy saying that) we headed off to another bar/club where there was dancing as well as drinking. All and all it was a good night and it wasn't until the sun came up that I realized, I was tired 8 hours ago.

I went to bed and immediately passed out. When I woke up, I discovered it was 2pm. Yikes! This was going to put a serious damper on my plans to roam the city. And since Dean hadn't joined us at the second bar or for the conversation that followed so I figured he would be up already. I wiped the sleep out of my eyes and stumble across the hall to Claire's flat, where I was promptly greeted with juice and rolls (a standard breakfast.) I sat and chowed and woke up and finally asked, "Where's Dean?" "Still sleeping I believe," responded Claire. What?!?!? I marched over to the flat, a little worried, and knocked on Dean's door. A groggy "yeah." I open the door and ask Dean if he's ok. "Yeah, what time is it?" "About 3." "3?" "Yes, in fact, it a quarter after 3." "3?" "Yes, 3." "Holy balls!" I must say it was quite humorous. So we're up and off for the day.

Skinny Black ManThis has been an official message from The Skinny Black Man.

July 26, 2004

2 more days and......OH MY GOD!!!! 

It's 3 days until we leave and I'm completely freaking out! I feel like I have a million things to do (I still haven't finished packing(see earlier post)) and not enough time to do them. So, instead of talking about that, I'll tell you about last Saturday night.

Saturday was long and tiring, and I was in need of some serious relaxing. Luckily, I already had plans to go to a party with my friend Walsh. I show up to the party, fashionably late as always, and the gang (Walsh, Tim (Walsh's brother), Hunter (another party friend), Sarah (a girl we hang out with sometimes) and Sarah's friend, Angela (who Hunter is hitting on)) are all there. The party was not too exciting and a little weird (some girl walked by me and touched my butt, and didn't have the common decency to introduce herself) so we decided to leave. We decide to head over to "Fox and Hounds", a bar we've been to many times before, and I knew that would be an interesting choice (I'll explain later).

As I was walking up to the bar, I noticed Summer standing outside. Summer is the lead singer of a band called "The Jagermeisters." A band we've seen many times before, enough times for them to know who we are for various reasons. (I'm keeping you in suspense on purpose.) She didn't see me as I slipped past her and I was a little relieved, I thought I might make it through the night unnoticed. Nope. I went inside and the others were already there. I sat down at the table and immediately the waitress comes over to me and says "Hey, are you going up tonight?" I giggled a little and said "I don't know." Walsh looked over at me with a shit eating grin on his face and nodded. Walsh knew what was going to happen. The waitress took my drink order and left. Sarah had ordered some chicken fingers before I arrived and the busboy came to deliver them a few moments later. Apparently he didn't see me at first, because when he did, he said "Hey, man! Are you going up tonight?" Walsh, Tim and I all started laughing. "I don't know. We'll see." "I hope you do," he replied. Sarah, Angela and Hunter are now completely confused (as you may be) and ask what's going on.

About six months ago, on a Friday night, we stopped into the Fox and Hounds for a couple of drinks. It was a good night. Lots of people, lots of drinks and the Jagermeisters were jamming as always. It was getting pretty late in the evening, when suddenly Summer starts beat boxing. "We should do some rap," she says. The odd thing about that is the Jagermeisters cover rock songs, exclusively. "We should do 'California Love,' but I don't know the words. Does anyone know the words to 'California Love?'" Like I said, it was late in the evening and I had about 5 'Black and Tans' in me and was feeling pretty good. I stood up and shouted "I do!" before I even had time to think about it. "Come on up here!" I made my way through the crowd and started thinking "What the hell am I doing?"

Obviously, I'm no stranger to the stage, and don't have a problem having attention focused on me, and while I've always had dreams of being a rock star, I realized long ago I couldn't sing. And with the exception of "The Untouchable Posse," a rap group I was apart of when I was 13, I've never rapped before. All that didn't matter now, though, because I was standing behind the mic. The drummer asked me if I wanted a specific beat, and I told him to play whatever and I'll just jump in. He started playing. The beat was a little fast, but that was the least of my problems, because as I looked out over the crowd, I realized I couldn't remember the first line of the song. I started bobbing my head, and trying to run through the lyrics in my head. Suddenly, I got it! And right on time, I started "bustin'" lyrics. The crowd was getting into it and the performer in me started to get a little comfortable. It wasn't until I was almost done with the first verse that I realized, I couldn't remember what the second verse was. And it was impossible to try and run lyrics in my head, while saying other lyrics at the same time. I hit the chorus and Summer started singing.  My mind was on hyperdrive trying to figure out the first line to the second verse, but I was quickly running out of time. I was in full panic mode and yet trying to look cool as each beat went by "I'm going to look like an ass!" Then it happened, right on cue I just started freestyling. The crowd who was into it before, suddenly erupted. People were getting up out of their chairs, clapping and dancing. I started dropping in things like "The Fox and Hounds" and "the Jagermeisters" and "the girl sitting over there," and the crowd took it up to the next level.  I don't know how long I went on like this (couldn't have been that long) but I finished the verse and the crowd cheered.  The band was still playing, like they expected me to go on, so I obliged.  I went into everybody's favorite "Baby's got back."  It was officially "on" at that point.  But once again, I couldn't remember the second verse, so I started freestyling again.  And then I noticed, the band was following me!  Having never lead a band before, I didn't know how I was doing it, but they were watching me and changing up exactly when I did. I t was AMAZING!!!  I freestyled for a while and ended the verse very distincly and right when I did, the band brought it down.  The crowd was going nuts.  So, I talked to them a little bit (still don't know what I said) and then went into "You know what I like? I like, I like, I like big butts!!" Chanting it over and over again and then the band started in with me singing in the breaks.   And exactly when I was ready, we ended the song on the down beat.   The crowd went absolutely bananas!  I walked back to my table and everyone was giving me high fives and pats on the back and when I got back to my table the waitress came over and bought the entire table a round.  After the band wrapped it up for the night, Summer came over to me and told how great she thought I was and that she had a recording studio and wanted me to come in and work on some stuff with her.  Um.....What!?!?  Needless to say I was on cloud nine and that lasted for a couple of days.  I meant to call her, but never did and chalked up the night to a one time experience...until a couple of months later when we went back.  As soon as Summer saw me she said "You'd better get ready, cuz you're coming up here!"  And I did, but it wasn't as good as the first time, which I figured would happen.  After that I kinda knew the next time I was there and the Jagermeisters were playing, I would have to go up.

So, in fact, when Summer came back to start the next set she spotted me and said "Hey, you're coming up here!"  And it didn't take her long either.  About 2 songs later, I was up rocking the mic and I have to admit it was better than the second time.  More cheers and high fives and some people went out of their way to come over and tell how cool they thought it was.   I ended up having a converstation with a guy who lives in Hawaii and works in LA 3 days a week.  (That is a hell of a commute.)  And when he's in Hawaii, he gets together with some musicians and they jam every Monday night.  He gave me his card and all but invited me to come and jam with them if I'm ever in Hawaii.

As hesitant as I was to do it, it turned out pretty cool.  And they are starting to treat me like a rock star there.  The funny thing is, I don't think I rap that well, I just think I know how to work a crowd.  I told Summer the next time I come, I'll be prepared with something original.  It makes me giggle just thinking about it, but since I said I would do it, I guess I'll have to.

Stay tuned, I'm sure I'll end up talking about it here.


This has been an official message from The Skinny Black Man

July 22, 2004

6 more days and a wake up!! 

So I only have 7 more days until I leave.  Normally a week is a decent amount of time to do things, but suddenly I feel like I don't have enough time.  I officially started packing today.  Why so soon you ask?  I know myself better than I would like to at times and I know if I wait until a reasonable time to start packing I won't start until the day I leave.  I'm just a procrastinator like that.  As it is, I meant to start packing last Monday and just got started today. 

The other problem is that I'm a notorious over-packer.  I'll pack a full suitcase for a weekend trip to Vegas.  If I'm leaving for a week, I require two full suitcases, so you can imagine the problem I anticipate now that I'm leaving for a month.  I think what happened was, I was almost a Boy Scout, was taught to be prepared for every possible situation.  Now I know a few former Boy Scouts who were taught to be prepared and are not over-packers, I think where I went wrong was that my Scout development was halted at the Weblos level (just before boy scout), and I assume as  Scout the need to be prepared is tempered by some form of practicality or something that would stop me from packing my entire wardrobe. 

I tried to subtly solicit some help by asking Dean what he was packing.  I figured Dean's a fairly practical guy, maybe if he tells me how little he's packing it would make sense to me and I could do the same.  No.  I spent about 2 hours packing this morning and I'm still not done.  I kept packing and unpacking trying to figure out what I should and shouldn't take.  How many pairs of jeans should I take?  Socks?  How many sweaters?  It's going to be ridiculously cold there and you know you don't handle that well. (see previous post)  Good point!  Sweaters are important, I must be warm at all costs.  So how many do I pack?  How many do I have?  OK, I probably shouldn't take 16 sweaters with me to Scotland.  Yeah, that's probably a few too many.  How about 10?  That way I only wear each sweater 3 times...assuming I wear a sweater every day.  What about turtlenecks?  Great idea!  I have 5 black turtlenecks, I'll pack them all!  The great part about turtlenecks is there versatile.  I can wear them by themselves or with the sweaters, or with.....Button up shirts!  Of course, why didn't I think of that before?  Yes, button up shirts will be great in case we get invited to some high brow party or something.  Oh crap, I guess that means I should bring some form of slacks.  2 pair, in fact, 1 black and 1 brown.  Yeah good idea, just in case there's a formal event....although if there's a formal event, I might need a suit.  Crap, of course I'll need a suit.  There might be an awards banquet or....or....Maybe the Queen will come see our show and love it so much that she invites us back to the castle (the one in Scotland) for some tea and crumpits.  Wait a second...for that I should have a tuxedo!  I don't have a tuxedo!  I wonder if I could rent one for the month, just in case.  It would probably cost a lot of money, but maybe they'll give me a deal because I'm taking it for a month.  Yeah, I'll walk into the shop and say "Hey, man!  I'm just a skinny black man trying to look good!  Can you help me out?"  Yeah, and.....Ok maybe the tuxedo is too much, but I will need a suit. 

OK, let's see what we got here.  This is too much stuff, we have to lose some of it.  OK, I really don't need this much underwear.  Sure, it would be nice to have enough underwear so that I could wear a different pair everyday and not have to wash until I get back home, but that's not necessary.  I mean, do you really need the g-string?  When was the last time you wore it?  Exactly.  I know the small working handcuffs are cute, but somehow I don't think anyone is going to get close enough to use them.  OK, so the g-string goes, but there's still too much stuff.  I'll unpack everything and start over again.

So I did that.  And then I did it again.  And again.  Currently I have 7 pairs of socks packed....white socks, and 3 pairs of black....and a pair of brown, just in case.

Skinny Black ManThis has been an official message from The Skinny Black Man!







July 20, 2004

8 more days and a wake-up 

So it's official, I leave in just 9 days for Scotland.  I have to say as the day gets closer, it becomes more real and scares the bejesus out of me.  (What exactly is "bejesus" anyway?  Anyone?)  It'll be the first time I'm off the continent (I've left the country several times, by way of Mexico) and the longest trip away from "home" since I was in the army back in the 20th century (the first gulf war was alright, but the sequel sucked).  Everyone keeps telling me what a wonderful time I'm going to have and how I'm not going to want to come home.  I think they underestimate my love of smog, celebrity, and the misleading and alarmist "What's in your water could kill you!  Tune in Monday." news teasers on Friday.  And while most of what I hear about Edinburgh is that it is beautiful country, the food is "ok," and the people there are very nice even though you can't understand what they are saying,  there is only one problem I have foreseen in my research of the region:  In the midst of summer the high temperature averages around 15 degrees celsius...
 
That's right I said the HIGH!!!!
 
If you're not appalled by this then you probably don't know that 15 degrees celsius roughly translates to about 59 degrees farenheit.  Those are winter temperatures in the midst of summer.  Why doesn't Michael Moore do a movie about that?  Cuz that **** ain't right!  Ladies and gentlemen, if you haven't noticed, I'm just a skinny black man trying to keep warm.  The reason I live in Los Angeles is because for a decent portion of the year the temparature is above 70 degrees.  Anything below 70 and I have to have 90% of my body protected from the elements.  If the temperature gets below 65, I absolutely have to wear head gear.  At 60, I'm wearing long johns.  What I'm trying to say is I get cold...easily!  And to add insult to injury, it rains there quite often.  In my opinion, there are few things worse than being wet AND cold.  When I'm wet and cold I look like one of those rat dogs that just climbed out of the pool, hair matted down, dripping wet, and shivering uncontrollably.  It looks like there's an earthquake in his liver and you're afraid the poor little guy is going to shake himself apart.  You stand there looking at him caught somewhere between laughter and pity, as the poor thing keeps yelping. 
 
"Bark!  Bark! (What are you looking at!?!  Can't you see I'm freezing here?  Somebody grab me a freakin' towel!)  Bark! (And who the hell thought it was funny to throw me in the pool?  You know I can't swim!  That's ok, whoever it was you better not go to sleep.  Cuz you maybe laughing now, but we'll see how funny it is when you wake up with my pee in your mouth!)  Bark! (Now somebody pick me up dammit!)
 
So needless to say, regardless of how beautiful it will be (don't worry, I'll take pictures) and I don't doubt that it will be, with highs of 59 and lots of wetness, after a month I'm sure I'll be ready to bring my skinny black butt back to So Cal to catch the tail end of the summer sun loving.  That's all for now!
 
Skinny Black ManThis has been an official message from the Skinny Black Man.



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