Saturday, September 28, 2002


Just finished reading Fast Food Nation, after slogging through it for the past three weeks. Eric Schlosser, the author of this finely crafted expose, has awakened something within in me that has been lying dormant for some time -- anger at multi-national corporations. I won't profess to having anything of value to add on the subjects Schlosser so thoroughly covers, but I strongly recommend reading the book, if you haven't already, to educate yourselves on just how the fast food industry works and how it affects what you put into your body, if you haven't already.

Friday, September 27, 2002


My good friend John E. Slapperstein, a.k.a Johny Ratchet, returned this morning from a month-long sojourn to Thailand. He seems refreshed and inspired and is thinking about teaching English in Chaing Mai for a year. His rough plan is to work for a year here and save a few thousand dollars to pay for the flight and supplement his Thai teaching salary. I must say, it’s quite ingenious. But when I think about it for me, all kinds of thought bubbles rise to the surface. Bubbles about accepting responsibility, settling down, forging a career. Bubbles about the kind of life I’d like to lead. Bubbles about whether or not I want to live a life of nine to six with an hour off for lunch. Bubbles about what the hell I’m doing with my life. If I go there and teach, I could potentially use that experience as a springboard to dive into a career as a teacher here at home. In turn, that brings up bubbles of where home should be. Do I really want to build a life here in Los Angeles or is there somewhere else I’d be happier? You know, I came in here expecting to take a quick shower, not a bubble bath!

Reviewing the photo album that Slap put together this afternoon after picking up his pictures, I’m reminded of my lone excursion abroad to Europe in the summer of 1999. I felt so alive during that time and I want to preserve the memory and share it at the same time. So I have decided to create another blog which will feature my journal and photographs from that trip. Details available soon at your local Piker dealer.

Thursday, September 26, 2002


Quick tidbits from the scraps of Piker's table:

My favorite beverage is now the Arnold Palmer -- half lemonade, half iced tea.

Ate last night at a place in Burbank that calls itself a churrascaria. I know it as "The Meat Place." You help yourself to the fixins buffet of salad, garlic mashed potatoes, fried bananas, and olives, then a variety of waiters, known as gauchos, repeatedly bring skewers of meat over to your table until you turn the little wood thing from green to red. There was the house steak, filet mignon, tri-tip, chicken wrapped in bacon, parmesan chicken, Brazilian sausage, and more. Insanity. But delicious.

Hiked yesterday at Paseo Miramar, my favorite trail in the Santa Monica Mountains. I've been hiking there for a number of years and hiked with dogs many many times. Yesterday, my friend got a ticket for having his dog on the hike. Tool, his most excellent, most obedient canine, was on his leash at the time and no one else was in sight. The State Park Ranger could have easily given my friend a warning, but insisted that the park has adopted a "zero tolerance" policy because too many folks have ignored the "no dogs" sign on this trail. Then we went to the Reel Inn, my favorite seafood place in Malibu, only to find a sign on the door that said "no dogs allowed on the patio." I have personally eaten there with dogs at my feet in the past and was shocked to find this new policy posted on the door. So then we drove along PCH until we hit Ventura County because we wanted to take the dog to the beach and L.A. County doesn't allow it. Bogus.

You must read this profile an amazing writer and LA personality from the LA Weekly. Ain't she pretty.

Monday, September 23, 2002


Although you wouldn't know it by the 102-degree mercury reading here in Los Angeles, today is the Autumnal Equinox, the first day of Fall. It is a day of balance, as the sun shines on both hemispheres in equal measure. Balance is exactly what I need. So far this year, I've ventured to Pittsburgh, Ft. Lauderdale, Durham, Emerald Isle, Cape Cod, Seattle, and San Francisco. I've spent time of the highest quality with My Family, My Girl, My Girl's Family, and friends both old and new. I attended weddings on both coasts and I swam in the Atlantic and the Pacific. I've read a bunch of books back to back, I've launched this blog and written part of a screenplay, I've gotten myself into outstanding cardiovascular shape by hiking and running, and I've entered my first serious relationship in quite a while. All this while earning a fixed income of 330 dollars a week on unemployment.

After spending the Spring and Summer unemployed and roaming the nation, I now must settle down and work in order to retroactively earn the vacations I've already taken. I'm ready to work. I'm ready to earn money. I'm ready to have disposable income again. I'm ready to sit on the couch on the weekends and watch football. I'm ready for the new TV season. I'm ready for less extreme heat and cool, crisp evenings. Indeed, I'm ready for Autumn.