Monday, February 28, 2011


Last night at a party, a friend of mine let me know that she recently had an abortion. To this, I drunkenly (and I do not use lightly the word "drunkenly") threw my arm up in the air.

"Alright! Good for you!!!" I said, with my arm hanging in the air.

I was waiting for her to give me a high five.

She did not give me a high five.

I'm an asshole.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Carlo (and his dogs)

I expect to be woken up every morning by the buzzing of my alarm clock. I do not expect to be woken up to the smooth sounds that are the bridge of Steely Dan's "Hey Nineteen."

To clarify, the smooth sounds that are the bridge of Steely Dan's "Hey Nineteen" is my cellphone's ringtone. Now that we're all on the same page...

I received a call this morning at 6:30am, which is a wholly inappropriate hour even for a sitting president. I let the call go to voicemail, as this was a strange number (I almost wrote "foreign number" instead of "strange number," but thought that might be insensitive, btw).

No voicemail. Bummer.

So that would be that. Someone dialed the wrong number. It happens and that's fine. This is one of the reasons I let forei-strange numbers go to my voicemail. I make it a point to say both my first and last name as well as my entire phone number, which takes care of the wrong number problem 90% percent of the time. Why only 90%, you say?

5 minutes later:

The Cuervo Gold,
The Fine Columbian,
Make tonight a wonderful thing.

I pry one eye open and look up at my phone. Same number. Damn that 10%. I again commit the call to voicemail as I am in no state to receive guests.

This time I get the voicemail ding. Jackpot! I sit up in bed and call it up. This is a verbatim recounting of the voicemail I received:

"Hey it-what?"

I assume it took this guy until that moment of "what?" process the fact that the information given in my away message and his records assumedly did not match. Annoyed, I tumble back to sleep. A beautiful dream.

The Cuervo Gold...

My furious eye shoots open. Same fuggin' number. I vow to teach him a lesson in the most passive way I know and I again commit the call to voicemail. Again, I get a voicemail. "This had better be good," I warn nobody.

****At this point I've made the decision not to go back to sleep.****

"Hey man, it's Carlo. Just making sure you're gonna be coming by this week to take care of the dogs while we're gone. You got the number, so give me a call back. Thanks again."

Really? Really, Carlo? "Hey man"?? I'm clearly not the person you're looking for (I have no friends named Carlo), and at this point you've heard my name and phone number 3 times yet somehow remain confused. Instead of cross-checking your information, you continue to call my number, and in desperate hope that maybe the "Jeff Newman" speaking is just a cover, you go ahead and leave your message anyway but address me as "man."

What's worse is that in your opinion you've done everything in your power to make sure that your dogs are taken care of while you're gone, and by "done everything in your power" I mean repeatedly called a number you yourself aren't sure is accurate at 6:30 in the morning and eventually left a voicemail in which you don't commit to a name and instruct them to call you back without even bothering to give any of your own contact information. And you're going to to go on your trip regardless without confirmation from anyone that your dogs won't starve to death. You're just "making sure."

Carlo, it's no great mystery how you screwed this up. Enjoy your vacation while your dogs are clearly NOT going to be taken care of.

I'm an asshole.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Last night I saw a gypsy in a van licking a woman's foot.

Go with me on this.

Some times you wonder if you really just saw a gypsy in a van licking a woman's foot, and other times you know for all certainty that you just saw a gypsy in a van licking a woman's foot. This was an example of the latter. I was parked in front of Eclectic Company Theater on Laurel Canyon (across the street from Shakey's!!) waiting for rehearsal to begin. I was early and no one was in the theater, so I opted to walk across the street to the 7-11 to get a decaf coffee for $0.99. It was cold, and I was in need of both warmth and a good bargain.

As I got out of my car, I turned around to stretch and parked two cars behind me was a Chrysler Mini-Van, that I had taken notice had the rear window painted with the words "I am a van." On the side of the Van was written "Jason and Mary." In the five seconds it took me to get a good stretch in, I noticed something irregular. First I saw a woman's bare leg. Then I saw the woman that owned said leg (Mary?) leaning against the passenger seat window. Then I saw a man's hand hoisting the woman's leg by the ankle. Then I saw the man sitting in the driver's seat (Jason?). Then I saw his tongue sticking all the way out and tickle-licking the woman's arch. IT WAS WEIRD.

At this point I should note that the reason I assume gypsy status is that Eclectic Company Theater shares their building with a fortune teller, who constantly has "friends" over at all hours of the night to hang out in the back, blast Eastern European music, and (as near as I can tell) stand in a circle and scream.

I get coffee. Upon my return, Jason and Mary had graduated to aggressively making out. I get back in my car and proceed to adjust my rear-view mirror.

At precisely 8:38pm, an elderly man utilizing an old umbrella as a cane passes by, and distinctly slows down and double-takes the van. I watch the entire affair with the same attention to detail as a serial killer. I'm not a serial killer, though.

8:43pm: The Director arrives. I roll down my window and call out to her for a quick update.

"Chelsea, I need you look at the silver van behind me and tell me what you see."
"There's some guy sitting there."
"Is he alone?"

I'm no gypsy fortune teller, but I don't think he was alone...

...I'm an asshole.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Two days ago I was stopped at a red light on Reseda, and traffic was pretty bad (I had already watched this light cycle twice). A woman in a white car was trying to pull out of a strip mall in front of me into my lane of traffic. I felt bad because she was already denied access by a few cars, so I decided to wave her her in. In kindness, she waved a thank you to me. I then took note of her rear personal license plate holder. It read:

"I am a Scientologist"

I immediately regretted being nice to her. I'm an asshole.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I was people watching a few days ago while stuck in traffic. While staring at some woman in the car next to me (a blue compact of some kind), I had the following thought process:

"Is that woman Cambodian or does she have Down's Syndrome?"

I then took note of the fact that she was driving a motor vehicle.

"She's probably just Cambodian," I concluded.

I'm an asshole.