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Monday, October 21, 2013

A Mother's Story


So, my 16-year-old left his Facebook page open on my cell phone and I read his messages. I could tell you it was a mistake-that I thought I was my connected to my account, but I would be lying.  I was looking for evidence to confirm that he is or is not smoking marijuana. Instead I discovered--he’s not a virgin any more. It’s important I come completely clean, I looked through his private messages and he was telling a friend how he wanted to have sex with his ex-girlfriend. I didn’t even know there was an ex-girlfriend. I felt like a fool. Not long ago he was still saying he was going to wait until he was married to have sex. I know that sounds crazy. His 13-year-old brother told him that was a stupid idea Robert, “What if you’re not compatible in bed together,” Andrew asked.

I never expected him to actually wait until marriage, but 16? He’s too young to be having sex and I thought I would know. That would be weird right? If my teenage son came to me, sat me down and said, “Mom, I’m having sex.” I just thought I was cooler than that or we had some intuitive bond, like I would know by just looking at him. I was just getting used to seeing him hold hands with his current girlfriend Bailey whom I adored, I wasn’t even aware he had a real girlfriend before.

He and Bailey met at church, became close friends, and she began hanging out at the house, swimming in our pool, staying for dinner. One day, I walked past the window to the backyard, I see Robert brushing Bailey’s hair, my knees buckled, and my heart starting racing and I hid in the pantry,  careful not to seen. I felt as if I were watching the most romantic love story ever. Then he wrote a short film for both of them to star in, and he showed me the finished cut and the kissing scene where she-her character-takes control and pulls him towards her with his back to the camera. By camera I mean laptop-that’s how they filmed their six minute love story.  I nearly died. They were sweet and creative and I’m watching my son in an “on screen” performance and I played it cool, all I said was, “wow, very believable, guys. Nice work. ”

Then she asked him out and next thing I see is them making out in the Jacuzzi, and all I could think was about him getting his heart broken if things didn’t work out which I knew was likely because they’re 16, and then he did get his heart broken.  She broke up with him because she wanted a white picket fence, and he aspires to join the military, and he told her so, and she didn’t like that one bit, and after she tore his heart out, he regretted telling her that he didn’t want the white picket fence and the dog and 2.5 kids and here’s where I should have earned a Mom medal. Inside I wanted to tell him that Bailey was a bitch, that he was better off without her. When she still came over to hang out, I wanted to give her dirty looks, and I didn’t say a word about the fact that I knew they were still making out every time they were together even though they were broken up. I knew because she joined us at my partners work softball game and they went walking around the park for hours, and when they returned you could tell they had been macking on each other the whole time.

One day one of my friends asked me if I’ve had “the talk” with Robert. “You mean like the birds and the bees?” Yes, he knows where babies come from and how they are made, and every one of his four parents has talked to him about protection and about respecting women. We’ve had the talk, we go to church, I keep a parental setting on the TV- -What am I supposed to do?

I want to protect my son from harm and broken hearts and all the stupid mistakes he’s going to make, but I can’t. He’s not six. He’s 16. He has his own ideas about life, and he has to make mistakes and fall and fail and get hurt so he can learn to get up, brush himself off and try again. I would give anything for my boys to be toddlers again, those years when I had them all to myself-when no other girl mattered more than I did. Sure chasing them around was exhausting but I feel as if I’m still chasing him, and the more I do, the farther and faster he runs. My protective behavior shows up in many different ways. Not allowing him to watch Boardwalk Empire when he asked me if he could, and by the way, he had sex pre-watching Boardwalk. I’ve tried steering him clear from the wrong type of friends, and yes, even reading through his Facebook. All of this medalling on my part are my ways to try to keep him from harm.  My intentions come from a good place and like my dear friend Jimmy continues to tell me, “he’s 16, he’s going to be on his own soon, you have to give him space.” Some parents here may sympathize with me and agree that as a parent our job is to take the reigns and do whatever means necessary to protect our children. I’m struggling with the balance and the boundaries.

Recently, in order to communicate better, Robert and I started writing daily letters to one another. These short letters, either hand written or in email, have given him a chance to not hold back about what I’ve done that’s pissing him off. If he had told me to my face, I wouldn’t be able to hear him, really hear him. What he said that stands out the most was this: “The more you try to hold me back from being myself the more I resist. It's that forbidden fruit element I guess you could say. I know you’re trying to help me and protect me but I'm going to be in the military soon, do you really think you can protect me from the world for much longer? I've decided to put myself in harms way time and time again. Whether it's to become a runaway or join the Army. It's just who I am and I apologize for that a thousand times over.”  

Did I mention my son is a Republican?  I hate war, people killing people, and I will never under why. He plans to join the military after he graduates from high school. Don’t think I haven’t tried every tactic to steer him from making this choice, but the more I tried to manipulate the situation by turning on Dateline or Frontline when there’s an exclusive about soldiers returning from war and what they really think of the US military, the more we fought, and the stronger his passion becomes.  And so I’ve decided while he’s still living at home, while I can still hug him and say good night to him each night that I don’t want to fight with him. So I don’t.  Time is short, but sometimes I just wish I could fast forward 15 years and know that everything is going to be okay. 




Friday, October 11, 2013

I Love You, Ice Cream


        Oh Ice Cream, how I love you so. What the hell is wrong with you Ice Cream? You’re just too damn good. When I finish off an entire pint of you Ice Cream, I feel like I’ve just assassinated all the time I spent to perfect my 8-pack and tighten my glutes at the YMCA. I really should have eaten you before I worked out but as you probably already know, I’m not that smart Ice Cream. I mean I did vote for Bush twice.
        Don’t judge me Ice Cream I was going through a physically conservative phase it my life. It’s so hard to eat healthy when you’re around Ice Cream. You’re like the T.C.T.F. girl Ice Cream. You know, to crazy to, well you know. I don’t want to curse in front of you Ice Cream, so you get the idea. Sometimes Ice Cream, well I’ve been eating healthy all week and then I open the freezer and our glances align. I see you and you see me.
        It’s a fatal attraction Ice Cream. You know I want you and I’m pretty sure you want me too. There are so many different flavors of the Ice Cream. Did you know there are Ice Cream shops that have ran their entire campaign slogan on that fact alone? Oh I can have you in so many ways Ice Cream.
        Oh Gosh! I hope that didn’t come out wrong Ice Cream. I’m willing to take this relationship slow if that’s what you want Ice Cream. I won’t pressure you into doing anything you don’t want to do Ice Cream.
       I’m just so in love with you Ice Cream. But once again, the amount of flavors you provide is unmatched by any other desert. I mean its “Any way you want it, just the way you need it.” Wow! You like Journey too Ice Cream? Oh My God! The 1980’s are also your favorite decade for music! I love you Ice Cream, and I know this was meant to last.  

Mr. Shakespeare


        Do to a recent catastrophe Champs Charter High School has lost one of his best and it’s brightest. The English known as Mr.Bailey was found dead in an explosion at the Phoenix building. It is believed that the explosion was caused by Mr.Bailey himself during a Chemistry lab experiment. What was a High School English teacher doing in a chemistry lab, you ask? Well, with a collection of police files and LAPD investigation reports it is speculated that Mr.Bailey was attempting to cook methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

        My journalist partner Sean spoke to Mr.Bailey a few weeks before the explosion occurred and he vaguely remembered a strange smell coming from the closet. When Sean asked about the smell, Mr.Bailey said that he had been eating a lot of Taco Bell, a fast food distributor often renowned for giving customers an intense case of the diarrhea. Working so hard these past couple days Mr.Bailey said that he hadn’t even left his room, and he had now built a porta potty into his classroom closet.

        When Sean asked to see this hypothetical porta potty, Mr.Bailey became infuriated as he often does when people ask to look at his excrement. Sean said he had no interest in looking at Mr.Bailey’s excrement and only wished to see if there was truly an existence of a porta potty in Mr.Bailey’s closet.

        Though Mr.Bailey refused and Sean was left with even more questions. When he came back to me with this strange story, I asked myself if they’re anything fishy about Mr.Bailey’s recent activities.

        It was true, Mr.Bailey hadn’t left his classroom in days, and he had been spending an awful lot of time with the CEO of Taco Bell. Now looking back on it the two men must have had something to do with the explosion.

        After speaking to the LA Fire Department Sean and I were informed that in the debris and rumble they found the body of Rus Bane, the CEO of Taco Bell. Half of Rus Bane’s face had been completely blown off during the explosion yet miraculously his suit remained untouched.

        It is believed by many that Rus Bane’s suit has magical properties that only extremely rich elitist douche bags possess. The suit was given to him by the Cartel, specifically a man named Zucco. Zucco was a Cartel enforcer in the Northwest and a notorious meth kingpin.

        But how could this be? How could Mr.Bailey be connected to a meth kingpin? Sean and I only had one choice at this point. As dedicated journalists we did what we had to do. We broke into the deceased Mr.Bailey’s apartment and looked through his DVR. It was just as we had suspected. Mr.Bailey was a fan of AMC’s Breaking Bad.

        Few men in this world aspire to be great. But Mr.Bailey reached for the stars, and he ended up biting the bullet. Well actually, we later found out that Mr.Bailey had a roommate at his apartment, and he actually got shot in the face. So much death and so much sorrow. What other horrors will we discover about our dear Mr.Bailey.

        Apparently a lot. Because after breaking even more house invasion laws, Sean and I decided to go through Mr.Bailey’s personal library and w found just what we were looking for. An entire collection of books, all addressed to a pseudonym name, Mr.Shakespeare.

        It is only become prevalent in the past couple days do to police reports released to the public that the pseudonym name Mr.Shakespeare was used to buy a semi-automatic machine gun on the black market. That same machine gun was later found in the trunk of Mr.Bailey’s car.

        The bullets from the gun match those used in a recent gang shooting on a number of white-power skinheads affiliated with the Aryan Nation. The shooting took place at a warehouse on O’Melveny Avenue near San Fernando High School. When police went to the scene to investigate, they found a young Champs student, named Jessie Linkman, who was chained up at the time and covered in a pool of his own blood.

        Jessie was being held captive in an underground bunker at the Aryan Nation warehouse. When forensic blood spatter analysts tested the pool of blood they discovered some of the DNA samples matched that of Mr.Bailey.

        When Jessie was questioned by LAPD about his affiliation with Mr.Bailey he refused to talk to the cops, repeatedly referring to the police officers as female dogs. Jessie demanded that he be allowed to speak to his lawyer before talking to the cops.

        Jessie’s lawyer, Paul Roodman has put out a statement to the press stating that Jessie will be released from police custody for lack of evidence. Though the police were unable to prove Jessie’s involvement in the explosion or any of the recent deaths that have occurred, it is believed that Jessie might have been able to tell us much more about this mysterious Mr. Shakespeare.  

Worm Hole


        I would be lying to you if I said that I could easily picture Jay-Z and Beyonce filming a reboot of Romeo and Juliet. I can’t imagine that the Producers of Wicked would recast Christen Chenoweth to put in a beat-baking bootylicious beauty like Nicki Minaj.

        Nicki can rap about how many hoes are at the club tonight and she can convince me to rave and rap and raise my hands like I just don’t give a damn but Champs Charter High School would not be the best fit for our beloved Nicki. Does that mean that Champs hates rappers? Oh for heaven’s sake no. Have you ever heard of Get Lit, the protégé child of the legendary Mr.Kopenick? Have the words Pen to Mic every crossed your lips?

        For some strange reason the Eminem’s and the Puff Daddy’s don’t flock to our fields of amber grain. Our souls belong to Reggae and Rock ‘n’ Roll. We remain untouched by the modern day gangster rapping that has enveloped many other schools in the Van Nuys area.   

        Being here for so long it feels as if my feet are like tar, stuck to the 1960’s. The dimension in my cranium keeps reliving Woodstock, over and over again. But why? Why is this? Why are we trapped in this time portal? Do to a recent discovery it has become prevalent that Champs is in fact in a dimensional loop. Back in 2011 a dark hole the size of Texas transported our school into a worm hole which sent us to a parallel dimension where art schools defy the laws of social stereotypes that exist within the inner cities. 

        The real dimension that we were born in is right outside our reach. We are currently trapped in a force field that is keeping us from returning to our own dimension. But Thank God because if we went back only chaos would be waiting for us. It’s a dark, dark dimension now. Mel Gibson has his own show on FOX News now and Miley Cyrus has successfully petitioned for Twerking to become an Olympic Sport.

        In the real dimension the official currency of Champs is now pure Columbian cocaine. A bag of Hot Cheetos costs 1 Molly and if you want to leave campus for lunch a gram of Mary Jane in the security guard’s pocket will do the trick. If you want to get an A in Geometry, buy Mr.Yosefian a bong for Christmas.

        In the real dimension Mitt Romney won the 2012 Presidential Election and now every man is being forced to embrace Polygamy and convert to Mormonism. It’s a terrible thing when a young husband is forced to take four women into his life, it must be God awful in that other dimension.  But truthfully we did this to ourselves? We got what we asked for. In the eyes of a bunch of pretentious artists who think they own the air they breathe, Van Nuys is like Compton to them.

        No disrespect to anyone who lives in Compton, I heard they’ve really cleaned up their act since the wartime era of the Bloods and the Crips when a young pre-Hollywood Ice Cube was on the rise and an unknown young dog named Snoop was just starting to make a name for himself in the rap game. In all the time I’ve been at Champs Charter High School, I’ve never seen a gangbanger, hoodlum or a thug walk these halls. Yet schools across the San Fernando Valley are filled with a sea of young Al Capone’s in the making.

        I should have known that there was something very wrong. But now I’m afraid it’s too late. For the ghost of Bob Marley will haunt these halls forever and we will never be graced with the luscious sound of Lil Wayne’s auto tuned vocal chords.




Another West Side Story



      “Maria! Maria! Maria!” we’re her last words. As Janna Conolly died dying in a pool of her own blood she whispered, “Long Live Art Club.” As she laid on the concrete jungle of Van Nuys Boulevard, she knew that this was her battlefield and she would have died a thousand times to show those Zine Club gangsters the nature of a true warrior of the streets. Champs was Art Club territory and the Zine Club wasn’t going to impede on their turf.

       Like any young adventurous Puerto Rican woman Janna Conolly wanted to move to the States where a better life was awaiting her. After coming to Champs Janna quickly aligned herself with the Art Club, much to the dismay of notorious street thugs like Cheyenne Moore who already flew the banner of the Zine Club.

     Cheyenne had seen Janna’s art and she knew it deserved to be with the Zinesters. The Art Club didn’t deserve that kind of talent. Cheyenne nearly pissed herself when she saw a Janna’s drawing of Roger Rabbit, Hollywood’s reincarnation of the Playboy Bunny.  But thankfully all Art Club Freshmen are padded with adult diapers so the urine was quickly contained.

      When I spoke to Cheyenne herself she stated that a number of Art Club members were running for Student Council positions, friends in high places you see. When asked what Art Club members are interested in doing on Student Council she said that once elected they would implement a law in which all Freshmen would be required to wear diapers.

     “The level of comedy at this school is ridiculous,” Cheyenne explained, “I piss myself all the time listening to these kids talk. They’re absolutely hilarious.”

     I know what Cheyenne is talking about. I’ve seen people wearing skulls on their top hats, arms around their neck, offensive ghosts costumes and most importantly I’ve seen guys where potato sacks like they were dressed. This school is absolutely ridiculous when it comes to the kind of creative outlets people use to express themselves.

       Now even more forms of self-expression exist then every before. They eccentric artists are organized. They are like Nazis only without the cool moustaches. Zine Club and Art Club are only another straw in the hay sack. It was ridiculous enough to have 1 club for artists and writers at this school. Now there’s an abundance of them. We have Art Club, Get Lit Club, Zine Club, Drawing Club, you name it, we have it.

     Champs as become the COSTCO for talent shopping. If only we had a something normal like a Chess Club, then maybe I wouldn’t think this was all so strange. We’ve jumped straight from zero clubs at this school whatsoever to 100 clubs over night. Its preposterous and I’m baffled by it.  

      I got the chance to speak to Janna Conolly a few days before her death. She said, “Those Ziners think they can come around here. Taking all our artists.” Janna wouldn’t have any of it. I told her, “Janna there are enough artists to go around.”

      Janna looked at me with her glass eye, which she had received in a knife fight with rival gang member, Cheyenne Moore, a mob enforcer for the Zine Club. The eye seemed to droop about and I stared at it, transfixed, Janna slapped me in he face. “I don’t care for folks looking at my eye like that. Get’s me all self-conscious and what have you. You see I got this from a certain somebody. They call her Cheyenne.”

      Janna might have received the injury from Cheyenne. But under what context? Did they just start fighting randomly? No, the Champs Clubs have gotten out of control. There’s been a sudden outburst of Clubs and now all of them will stop at nothing to have their membership lists sore, high above the heavens.

      But if all we get is death, and young girls like Janna have to lose their lives for the selfish greed of a few elitist mobsters that live under the guide of Club Presidents, then is it really worth it?

     We know what all these Clubs are really about. This is a warning to all Champs students, stop joining so many clubs; they’re only out to gain popularity for their own sick and twisted need for notoriety.