Ventura is a very small town, and sometimes you meet people whom you realize you have a ton of connections with and such is the case of Jesse Armitage. Jesse is the Educational Director of The Ventura Improv Company, which is hosting the Ventura Improv Festival this weekend. We know like a million of the same people and yet, have never spoken before the conversation presented here. We talk about improv and comedy and how they have influenced each other. I reminisce about the Livery Theater back in the day and Jesse admits to finding all sorts of evidence of the punk rock shows we did there. I reexamine an embarrassing incident that turned me off to improv in college and Jesse tries to fire me from a job screwing wooden handles into plungers. I neglect to warn everyone about the suicide triggers contained herein. Our conversation starts at 8:10. I rant about Ted losing faith in the tooth fairy.
I have a conversation with photographer and long time friend, Sarah Alvarado. She's a graduate of Brooks Institute, which recently shuttered its campus in Ventura and had been shooting the devastating Blue Cut Fire in the High Desert, so I thought it would be an opportune time to check in with her to pick her brain about current events. We talk about her chosen profession and how she deals emotionally with the stress of the job and encountering people on the worst day of their lives. We chat about old times, Jack and Cokes, and she refers to me in the third person at least twice. We reminisce about the impact of "Brookies" on the Ventura music scene. I marvel at Sarah's need for adrenaline, and she admits to turning into a cranky old lady yelling at kids to get off her lawn. I, once again, sing the praises of Periscope. Our conversation starts at 17:07. I rant about Rush Limbaugh, The Dead Milkmen, and what the Queers are doing to the soil.
I love the Twitter account @GodsPlanDaily. Here is the premise: If God is the author of everything that happens, he must be responsible for some of the most unfortunate days and bad ends met by the people of this earth. @GodsPlanDaily reveals God's plan for some unfortunate person each day. Is your fate laid out in today's tweet? You'd better hope not. It's a dark and hilarious voyage into the mayhem and chaos that is everyday life for some poor soul, somewhere on earth. I've been a fan of this twitter account for a while and check back from time to time to make sure I don't miss a single one. I reached out to the anonymous author of this account to find Tim, a school teacher from Texas who takes the task of speaking for God very seriously and who doesn't seem to think much of being at the helm of a Twitter account with 42k followers. We talk about the inspiration for the tweets and his view of religion as expressed by them. We talk about having kids, making music, and his background growing up in a religious family. Our conversation starts at 11:20. I rant about my daughter's first day at Kindergarten and she tells me some terrible jokes.
Deann reached out to me on Fiverr. Her husband Paul is taking a trip to Disneyland with the grandkids soon and wanted some tips on good travel pants. She also wanted to know how to get a good fit in the seat for a guy who doesn't have much of a rear-end. She is considering a tailor. She included two pics of Paul for a critique.
I hope the trip to Disneyland is fun. Certainly being able to get items tailored solves many problems, especially if you develop a rapport with one who does a good job. Ideally, you'll be able to buy pants off the rack to save money and also know that you can drop by a store anywhere and find brands you know fit well. Knowing you can drop into a chain retail store and grab a backup pair of pants wherever you are at can reduce stress traveling or else one spilt cup of coffee can wreck your whole trip.
In the case of a guy like Paul who is a bit bigger on top but does not need "relaxed" or "husky" pants, look for slim fit or straight leg pants, not to be confused with skinny jeans. Slim pants are an overall cut and proportion, so you should be able to find them in large sizes. 44/32 is a pretty common size even in traditional department stores. Obviously, there are going to be variations from brand to brand, so if you know of a particular pair of pants that look great on him, take note of the brand and always go back.
I have a conversation with Chris Jay and Aaron Goldberg, writers, and co-producers of the new comedy The Bet available now on all VOD platforms. Chris and Aaron are long-time friends of mine and members of the long-lived Ventura band The Army of Freshmen. We talk about how two music guys ended up writing a movie and pulling every favor they could to produce and shoot it in Ventura, with tons of Ventura locals in the background (My children and I included.) We talk about Ron Jeremy's crocs, sexy nuns, and when to put boobies into your movie. I ask how they managed to hustle their way into Hollywood. We talk music, creativity, and hitting up one's parents for cash. Chris alludes to an alternate universe where Army of Freshmen is famous. Aaron weighs in the importance of casting hot chicks. Our conversation starts at (10:40) I rant about how I learned that nobody gives a fuck about your list of grievances.
I have a conversation with Michael Sullivan, editor of the VCReporter, Ventura County's source for weekly news, entertainment, and local politics. Michael has been at the creative helm of the free weekly for eight years, the longest serving editor, and I take this opportunity to ask her about running the paper, dealing with the public and responding to critics. Michael, a Ventura native, bounced around the country and ended up in pursuing journalism at the encouragement of her mother. She landed back in VC and just happened to be at the right place and time to apply for the recently open position of editor at the paper. We talk about local politics and the woes of the Oxnard Police Department. Michael recounts reaching out to mentor at-risk youth, and I wonder aloud if gangs are in fact more stable, loving environments for youth than ending up in the foster system. Michael answers my questions about raising her son as a single mother and surviving cancer. I rant about my week away from national politics volunteering for Camp Quest West, and I officially endorse a candidate for president with an analogy about a man on a diet stuck at a buffet that only serves bacon cheeseburgers and dog shit. Vote for There's No Time to Explain in the Talk category at VenturaCountyMusicAwards.com.
Jason Amelio, my guest from TNT2E #10, returns for another far-ranging conversation about anything that happens to come up. Jason is a member of The Velveteen Band, voicing the puppet Foe the Destroyer, and author of the urban fantasy novel, Jake Swift: Knight. Given the intense character of national news in the last few days, I really felt like bouncing some ideas about current events off someone and Jason was the perfect guy. We talk about Steam Punk and the origins of Goth, and what the relationship is between subcultures that seek to find identity in some older version of values and practices. We talk about cooking on cast iron and why cemeteries are the best places to be a delinquent. Jason admits to playing Pokemon GO, and we talk shit about people who talk shit about Pokemon GO. We discuss the case the Dylan Noble, the police shooting victim you haven't heard about in the news, and we discuss the many issues that may be the root of America's policing problem these days. I propose that our sanitized politically correct culture is the reason we completely missed all the racist people who still exist in America and voted for Trump and Jason passionately defends Hillary Clinton and talks about his girl-on-girl political dream. I suggest Berners are falling into his Cult of Personality and Jason says you all should listen to the German 12-member operatic metal band Avantasia. I rant about the reasons why Dylan Noble's death hasn't been a national news story. If you like this podcast, consider voting for it in the Talk category in the 2016 Ventura County Music Awards. Fill out an online ballot at VenturaCountyMusicAwards.com.
7 Straightforward and Completely Unsatisfying Reasons Why No One is Talking About the Shooting of Dylan Noble
You can hear and audio version of this article on There's No Time To Explain Podcast #23 at timecode 04:48
Last week was the sort of week that will be mentioned in history books when, years from now, we discuss the confluence of cell phone video, police brutality, and the ascendancy of the Black Lives Matter movement. Starting with the shooting of Alton Sterling on Tuesday, July 5 by two police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, followed very quickly by the shooting of Philando Castille in Falcon Heights, Minnesota by an officer during a traffic stop the next day, each in their own way is a perfect, headline-grabbing example of the systematic over-policing of Black people. Before anyone could catch their breath and process these shootings, the next day, July 7, a group of police officers were ambushed in Dallas during a Black Lives Matter march by a military reservist who killed five officers and wounded another nine officers and two civilians. The man, later assassinated by a bomb delivered by a robot, claimed these shootings were in retaliation for the July 5th and 6th killings of Black men
I have a conversation with Stephen DeBaun, known to me as the Reverend Stevo, a community activist and founder of the Sparks Network, a platform to connect volunteers with events and organizations. We discuss the ins and outs of his company and how he hopes to shape the face of volunteering, enabling our natural desire to help out which hasn't been served well by technology up to this point. Stevo and I chat about Karaoke, accordions, and alcoholic root beer. He talks about the importance of local politics and his experience being involved in the Occupy Movement in Ventura and the Westside Community Council. I wax poetic about the value of volunteerism and talk crap about goddamn Liberals. I rant about the Six Flags Flash Pass and attempt to do the math on how much time a general admission rider waits in line on behalf of people who skip to the front of the line with a Flash Pass.
My wife, Victoria, recently took our oldest kid on a two-day Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor getaway for her birthday. It was a grand time for the two of them, and I was happy to guard the home front and allow them a girl's trip. Because it was just a treat for two and not our entire brood of four kids, they splurged on Flash Passes for the two parks; paid access to shorter lines to get on rides and waters slides faster. Victoria sent me a text message in the middle of day one letting me know how many amazing rides they had managed to get on in the short amount of time they had been there. Jokingly, I warned my wife not to accrue too many hexes and bad juju from the hot and sweaty people whom they breezed by to move to the front of the line. My wife admitted to feeling like an asshole doing it.
I recall a trip to Hurricane Harbor a few years back. My kids and I stood in line to ascend one of the park's many water slides. The accent was a concrete staircase split down the middle by a metal handrail, one side packed with sweaty masses, waiting in the oppressive heat, ready to advance a single step at a time, up the multi-storey tower for the opportunity to bolt down a waterslide. The other side was empty most of the time, punctuated by the occasional group of teens who would sprint past us on their way to the top of the tower. They held Flash Passes and that allowed them to wait in a shorter line, whose members were cycled in at the top of the slide tower at a much faster rate than the people waiting in the general admission line.
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