Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Sup girl. The name is Zander - Zander Slate. Yea, this is my real voice, raspy like the sexy version of a senile chef who just tried soup that was far too hot in temperature. That turn you on? No? Not yet? It will.
I'm here to pick you up for our night on the town. I thought it'd be great for us to see the sunset, count the stars, and watch the moon rise over the city of angels. Luckily, we can do all of these things from the safety and comfort of my 2004 Volvo S60 sedan. Yea, it's the black one I'm sitting in right now, while you're still standing outside the passenger window, contemplating whether or not this blind date was a good idea to agree to. Trust me, you'll thank our mutual friend Leonard at a later date.
By the way, I don't have much money right now, I'm going through a pretty hard time. Just wanted to get that out there at the beginning, because I'm an open, caring person who loves to share their soul, and I can already tell we may be joined at the bosom for years to come.
Truth be told, my mid-twenties have hit me harder than the mid-twenties hit rural America. You know, the Great Depression. Or as I like to call it, the Big Sadness. See what I did there? That's a joke. I do comedy on the side of my part-time job as a bouncy-house operator. You might not laugh now, but that punchline will land with you later while you're sleeping...in my bed.
Wait don't go anywhere, that was just another joke I was adding to the conversation. Let's get this date night started. Have you ever seen the beautiful sun set over the hills of LA while moving at the speed of a peaceful breeze? No? Good, because we're headed straight into traffic on the 405-North at 7pm on the dot. Perfect time to grab a glimpse of those amazing colors. Don't mind the brown and grey, that's just smog from this overpopulated city, baby.
No, I don't have air conditioning, I don't believe in false air - it takes all the real sensations out of breathing the life forces that surround us. Also, my AC has been broken for about three years, and I haven't been able to pay to fix it just yet.
Don't touch that dial! Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you. Unless, you like being startled...no? Ok, sorry. But seriously, don't touch the radio knobs. They tend to spark when people's fingers create fiction.
You having a good time so far? I know we've been sitting in this merge lane for the last 17 minutes, but I promise it only gets better from here. Look up there! It's the Hollywood sign! Have you ever seen it before? Bet you nev- oh, you have. That's right, you live in LA.
Well, we made it. We're officially on the 405-North, and the sun has set. Guess it's time to kick this night into high gear...
Uh-oh. Looks like I'm low on gas. Forgot my fuel gauge is broken. Would you mind pushing the car to that gas station while I take the wheel? Thanks baby.
Sure, I'll stop calling you baby.
Alright, we made it. Would you mind chipping in a few bucks to cover the gas? I was hoping we could go dutch on this first date, then maybe switch off starting with you for the next one. Wait, where are you going? You jumping in a cab to go grab us some food? Was that a middle finger or the thumbs-up sign?
Damn, I gotta thank Leonard for hooking me up, that went way further than the last one.
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Brent - “Fuck.”
This is a real conversation that has begun and ended in similar fashion many times in the past two years.
For those who don't know, Isla Vista is a small community adjacent to the campus of UC Santa Barbara, where I went to school. My reaction to the friend’s opening sentence of conversation is naturally negative, because I’m now trained to react to any recent news emerging from Isla Vista in such a manner. What normally follows those two lines of dialogue is never positive, such as:
“Remember our virgin friend Reynold? He got laid out there by 18 Harvard-educated women!”
“A big balloon of M&Ms popped and it's been raining candy for eight hours!”
Instead, what follows is typically:
“A few people got stabbed, there were nine fights and a crowd of rioters started crushing cars.”
Fuck. That's the only word to respond with.
I’m greatly anticipating the day when the small neighborhood town of Isla Vista becomes a place I’d be happy to visit again, instead of a location I dread going back to for literal fear of my own life. I heard there was a shooting tonight in IV – a place I called home for two years in school – and the saddest part of hearing that news was I wasn’t surprised. It seems like ever since I graduated from UC Santa Barbara I’ve been hearing more and more horrific stories of crime and violence, from robberies to stabbings to full on riots in the streets. I can honestly say that neither my friends nor I remember this type of community decay going on within the IV borders while we were enrolled at UCSB. My initial reaction to hearing tonight’s news is that I hope with every ounce of energy that nobody was harmed. My second reaction is the same I have every time I hear of the next violent crime that occurs in Isla Vista – when will it end? A better question would be: HOW CAN it end? With people coming in to IV every weekend from out of town, we're witnessing a breeding ground for disruption and misconduct forming on a weekly basis. Those looking for a scapegoat often air vague accusations toward “gangs” from neighboring cities like Lompoc, Oxnard and Ventura. Some people are quick to blame the “wild and crazy” UCSB students themselves, which make up more than 80% of the population in this one-square-mile plot of land. The latter accusation unfortunately gets bestowed upon students because of UCSB’s reputation as a ‘party school,’ with its annual ranking on “best party colleges” lists online and in magazines (Princeton Review, Playboy Magazine). Personally, I think a mixture of the two groups: out-of-towners (not necessarily gangs) looking for a good time and willing to go to any lengths to get it, mixed with UCSB students, will lead to nothing but danger for everyone in the near vicinity. This has become quite clear.
It’s important to remember that the culture of Isla Vista is peaceful. It’s organically and fundamentally friendly, and it’s been that way since it grew into a college community in the 1960s. Will it ever go back to that? CAN it ever go back to that? I wrote for the Daily Nexus for two years while at UCSB, and I remember reading statistics about how the vast majority of arrests and crimes committed within Isla Vista throughout the course of an average weekend can be majorly attributed to out-of-towners. I also remember there being zero shootings. A while back there was a rule instated that no music can be played in excess after 12am. What’s the next rule? That rule may have curbed the partying, but obviously there need to be more restrictions or else Isla Vista will literally implode on itself. What’s next? Shutting down the borders every weekend to IV similar to closures that happen each Halloween in the town? Should residents ID everyone who walks into their parties, making sure their guests are all students? Should the 12am rule be changed to 10pm, or even harsher at 6pm, to guarantee no late-night partying? Should we force every out-of-towner crossing IV's borders to don a clown costume, so we can be on alert when they walk by? Should the city take massive control by buying out various Isla Vista properties and converting them into additional student housing facilities, regulated by UCSB staff and security? That last one would take an insane amount of time, money and planning, I know, but we’re just throwing ideas into the breeze here, people. I believe that the community of Isla Vista alone, even partnered with local law enforcement, student organizations and individuals teaming up together to solve this problem of consistent violence, is not enough support. I’m looking forward to what the government within Santa Barbara county does next to help prevent these types of incidents from occurring. I don’t know what the next step is toward reviving Isla Vista’s peaceful, friendly atmosphere, and I don’t claim to know what it should be, I just hope there is one, so that no one has to witness or experience the same amount of shit that happened out there tonight.
This entry is a random assortment of thoughts and ideas from my own brain, free-written into opinion-piece form for this post. To follow the best legitimate coverage of the events unfolding in Isla Vista, from the people who are experiencing it firsthand, go to www.dailynexus.com.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
OMG Clarvinda, I was DYING to put a photo on Instagram today. Like DYING like honestly almost went to the hospital and told them I was on the verge of DEATH because I wasn't BREATHING because I was DYING to put a photo on Instagram. So of course I made breakfast - my classic toast dish - and I wanted to show people how great this dish is really badly by putting in on instagram, but how would they ever stand to look at it in its natural state? So I had to walk myself ALL the way over to the counter, rip out a paper towel, walk ALL the way back to the kitchen table, and slowly brush off the sides of the plates so there weren't any crumbs. Then I realized, sometimes plates have crumbs on them! So I - being the natural artist that I am - places 8.25 crumbs back on to the plate in aesthetically pleasing positions. I then realized that this is wheat toast - not white toast - and therefore was reacting to the interior lighting of my house in a different way than was expected. I immediately ran to the garage to find a change of bulbs, but of course that bitch BRUNO had taken them all to use for his "bedroom." I can't wait until he moves out. So I came BACK to the kitchen table and had an epiphany - everyone loves photos that are outside! I picked up my plate and raced out the door, balancing the toast and crumbs so neither would lose their perfect positioning. I placed the toast right next to the PRETTIEST bush I could find, but then took a second glance at the bush - and remembered that no one likes bush. I don't like bush, that's for sure, and I'm pretty sure bushes haven't been popular since the 60s. Bushes went out of style fast - so the fact that I had one was immediately troublesome. What was I to do? There was but one solution - shave the bush. But did I have big enough clippers to handle all that bushiness? As a matter of fact I did - because the only person I know who has a bush is BRUNO (that bitch) and I know that he keeps his weed whacker hidden for bush-shearing purposes only. I snuck into his room and grabbed the weed whacker, came back downstairs, ready to get rid of this bush once and for all, and then looked down...THE PLATE WAS EMPTY!!! I couldn't believe it! Some rodent must have taken advantage of my absence and snuck away with my perfectly groomed plate of toast. Needless to say, I went to work on that bush, and the stump behind it has never looked so good.
(Tags: Brent Pella Bruno Toast Comedy Writing UCSB UC Santa Barbara IMDB Film Music Video News Article)
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
The latest: Just saw the movie NEIGHBORS in theaters tonight - Thought it was pretty consistently funny, those guys probably accomplished everything they wanted to with that story - and I don't think a single scene went by without a joke or game written in to play out. That doesn't always work, but when it gets close it's a great feeling. A shirtless Zac Efron is definitely not what drew me to the theater...but of course a few excited female screams came up from elsewhere in the audience every time he came on screen. The movie had some awesome party references, some of which brought me back to happy times at UC Santa Barbara aka UCSB aka paradise. They did some really creative, cool camera movements and editing with the interior action sequences that I haven't seen before. Saw a few familiar stand-ups in there with small roles as well which is always awesome to see. Check out the IMDB page for the movie - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2004420/?ref_=nv_sr_1