Episode 14: Shoplifting

I absolutely love Devin’s tactics. This conversation reminded me of my own shoplifting experience. I once ate bin candy from Food 4 Less where I basically sampled a few gummy bears and jelly beans. Who hasn’t done this? Well, as I was leaving the store after paying for my groceries I was approached by an undercover security officer who escorted me into his office.

This led to me admitting that I had eaten bin candy for which he pressed charges. Yes, the police were called and everything. They decided not to arrest me because I was being calm and cooperative. The end result was my being banned from the store, a $100 court fee where I pleaded no contest, a $200 fee paid to Food 4 Less for damages, and I had to complete 50 hours of community service.

Was it worth it? Yes.

Tonight’s menu: the number 14 – enchilada, tamale, rice, beans & salad.

Episode 13: The Visitor: Part II

You remember Stony, right? He was “The Visitor,” our friend from Episode 10. He was nice, funny, and obviously down on his luck, and we didn’t mind too much that he hung around during our whole meal that night.

Tonight was different. Stony wasn’t the jovial, singing man we had met few nights earlier. Stony wasn’t sober.

I watched this footage over and over wondering if I could have handled him in a better way after he got belligerent. Maybe if I’d just given him a dollar he would have relinquished my seat and we’d have sung more U2 songs together, but I was annoyed that was charging a toll to sit down. Then, when he started talking about killing people I had heard enough. He just had to go.

So, it wasn’t the most fun night we’ve had. Stony bummed us out, and the food seriously sucked. I gave it a “two sombrero” rating, but in retrospect, it’s a one.

I used to wear the number 13 when I played sports. I thought I was getting all the luck that the number took from everyone else. Well, apparently that luck finally ran out. Avoid the unlucky 13 on the Cinco De Mayo menu, and avoid getting in altercations with homeless people. Nobody wins.

Tonight’s menu: the number 13 – red chile w/ meat, rice, beans, salad & tortillas.

On a happier note…. We’ve spotted Stony a few times since this gloomy night. Todd saw him near the street we live on, and I saw him one morning at Television Park, near Cinco De Mayo, enjoying what Stony calls “a real chill vibe.” Vibe on, Stony. Vibe on.

Episode 12: A Real Hug

Three separate slightly-related topics about tonight’s posting:

  1. We didn’t really love the green chile dinner overall, which is interesting. My old go-to menu item was the wet green burrito. But without a tortilla, and after having discovered the chicken torta (NOT one of the 88 items, unfortunately), I rarely eat the green chile burrito.
  2. Did you know that most red chiles started out as green chiles? I didn’t either until I started growing jalapenos in my garden. Most of the green jalapenos you eat are either fresh or pickled. Otherwise, they just keep going until they turn red.  ALSO, different colored peppers have different nutrients, e.g., red bell peppers have nearly 9 times more lycopene, carotene and vitamin C than green bell peppers.
  3. Yeah, apparently we’re not a super huggie group with each other. Even though the clowns on Entourage have spawned the “hugging it out” phenomenon for guys, we just don’t hug all that much I guess?  BTW, I heard this song on BBC Radio 1 the other day, and it’s not going to change the world, but it just kind of made me laugh a little. It’s called “Bear Hug” by the 2 Bears.

p.s. Guess what the 2 Bears look like….

Tonight’s menu: the number 12 – green chile w/ meat, rice, beans, salad & tortillas.

Episode 11: Jiggle My Elbow

There’s a bit of time that passes between when we eat a meal and when we post the episode online. During this space of time I had forgotten about Todd’s strange story about the guy he saw shaking his elbow which made him “look like a JELL-O.” I had forgotten how confused I was when Todd asked me to describe this “jiggler” as if I were speaking with a blind man. I had forgotten my frustration when Todd would rebuff my descriptions of something that I had never even seen in the first place. “Why won’t Todd accept my answers?” I thought….

All this was a memory. A repressed memory that needed to be unlocked.

Fast forward a couple of days. I sat down to edit Episode 11, and the first words out of Todd’s mouth were, “I’m going to make Dave say, ‘jiggle my elbow.'” AHA! All the confusion returned but came now with greater understanding. Todd wasn’t trying to get me to say some incriminating sexual euphemism; he was trying to help me reach a goal. Thank you, Todd, for the game. I only wish I had said the magic words.

Tonight’s menu: the number 11 – huevos rancheros, rice, beans & salad.

Episode 10: The Visitor

From the moment we arrived at Cinco de Mayo we all felt that something strange was just around the corner; there was a weird energy in the air. Teenagers were running laps around the restaurant, police were cruising by with their sirens on. Dave had grown a mustache.

Then, Stony arrived. Actually, we just call him Stony, a name he came up with as a “higher” alternative for nearby Sony Pictures. He told us he doesn’t use names anymore.

Over the next hour, Stony shared his story. He once had a scholarship to play soccer at a school in Colorado until he dropped out with only one class left to “invest” his tuition money in marijuana. He has spent the last 20+ years living on the streets. He played in bands. He loves U2 and Floyd and reggae. He is now starting a movement to abolish the use of money and talks about the soul-stealing things they don’t teach you in school. He wonders where you go when you dream.

The thing that struck us was that at one point Stony had lived what would be considered a normal life. He could have been someone we know or even one of us. Tonight he was just someone who wanted to be listened to and connect with some people for a while, and we all felt somewhat guilty for hoping he would move on sooner than he did.

Dave explains tonight’s episode like this:

In editing these episodes I look for the most “fun” portions from the evening, but we also knew that not every night would be fun or funny. This is an experiment in reality blogging. Each episode will represent what the night was about. Tonight was clearly about Stony and how it felt to have a homeless guy hover around our outdoor table while we were trying to eat dinner.

Tonight’s menu: the number 10 – Spanish cheese omelette, rice, beans & salad.