Tonight! Josh’s much awaited East Los Angeles Reunion Gig! And yes, my old band “Bad Influence” is playing too

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Sorry for weird ass dimensions of this pic, click for better view!

Ahh! The music writer has become the written about, haha. Well, isn’t this a hell of a way to bust out of this month long writing hiatus (more on that to be covered on next post but in a nutshell…SCHOOL!)

Believe it or not, the East L.A. alternative post-punk rock community is a pretty close knit bunch. Poffy and David Loks of Fotogrofia Desmadrosa will be there documenting this whole urban shindig so make sure to smile and flash those guys. Poffy will also be selling his handmade jewelery “Shit by Poffy.” Word on the facebook street is that there will also be vegan avocado tostadas for sale!

Yup, the good ol’ golden era of punk rock in East Los Angeles is to be relived tonight at Josh’s pad, one of the few legendary “raid-proof” backyard venues ever. In the true spirit of punk rock, I have no idea what time my band will go on, also, I haven’t bought a new guitar yet so any temporary donors are welcome (hoping on my little cousin’s Squire). I’ll buy you a beer! I’ve shunned my band mates these last two weeks so don’t expect too much synchronization between us, haha.

That is all for now, cheers, more beers and fuck you stay punk.

Finally Amongst My Own Kind! My First Group Scooter Ride and an Ode to My Bajaj (San Gabriel Valley Vintage: Pasadena)

Ok, so this post isn’t either food, alcohol or music related but its just as cooool!

So as many of you know, I chose the two-wheeled way of life instead of the conventional safety cage when I graduated High School. Just like pretty much every other aspect of my life, I decided to go counter-culture in my way of transportation too! Haha. Yup, no used, 90’s Honda for me! Instead, my heart fell in love with the scooter way of life. I bought my baby back in 08′, a pitch-black 06 Bajaj Chetak, off a craigslist and that was it, scooters and motorcycles it would be for the rest of my life!

l

Maybe it was my endless fascination with motocross growing up or maybe it was the U.K mod influence listening to British Punk Rock, whatever it was…I’ve just always wanted a motor bike of any kind. So, when push came to throttle and it was time for my dad to HELP me pay for a vehicle (I worked hard for it and paid most of it myself man!) I went for the Bajaj baby!

my baby back from the shop
my baby
my baby's behind

Bajaj isn’t technically a “Vespa” but it looks a lot like a P-Series one and much of the same parts are used and its still vintage-scooter-clutch style, so, it still gets some respect from the sometimes-snooty vintage scooter crowd. Bajaj is an Indian, 4-stroke scooter (no pre-mixing gas and oil for me thank you very much!) and its built like a freaking tank! Not to mention it requires very little maintenance, which is highly ideal for one, extremely busy and lazy me!

Of course my parents warmed me about the consequences of riding beforehand: “Y que cuando llueve?” (How about when it rains?) Or even the motorcyclist essential…”te vas a matar menso!” (you are going to kill yourself!) But if you are of the two-wheeled way of life, people and parents can try to stop you all they want but it won’t mean anything after you go on your first ride…

Anyways, this last weekend I partook in my first “group ride” through the San Gabriel Valley Vintage Scooter Club . The ride was themed “Here comes the summer!” and it was one of the best experiences in my life. They get together and ride on the first Sunday of every other month – meet at 11, ride at noon. My hardcore hangover didn’t stand a chance against the combined positive energy formed by a bunch of loud, two-stroke beautiful scooters. We met at Lucky Baldwin’s in Pasadena and rode to the Rose Bowl, down Colorado…all thirty of us!

backside
hang a left
fill her up
looking back
the last resort shirt wearing guy
I like your red vespa
scooters invade suburbia
posted on his lambaretta
photo opp!

By the end of the day, I realized I rode over 100 miles as I also use my scooter as my car, not just for leisure! My skin was left extra crispy by the sun and my left wrist hurt after holding the clutch all day. But I finally felt amongst my own kind. People that decide to ride a scooter in their life are unique individuals, in a geeky way but also a passionate way. Not really accepted by the majority of riders out there (Harley’s and Pocket Rockets) so to be amongst so many other like-minded people felt goooood.

There is a new awesome scooter exhibition and ride going on next weekend at the Petersen Auto Museum called “Scooters: Size Doesn’t Always Matter” on Wilshire and Fairfax. So check that out if you guys want to find out more about this powerful two-wheel phenomena.

Even if my bike wasn’t technically “vintage” or a Vespa, I didn’t really care. Like my very good friend from East LA Carlos “Pee-Wee” Escamilla–the only other guy amongst my group of friends who decided to buy a motorbike too (a sweet 250 Ninja) said, “It doesn’t really matter what you ride man….as long as you ride”

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Me on My Bike the Very First Day I Bought It

How Low Can A [Food Writer] Get?: A Flustered Five-Year Blogiversary Post

I tend to dwell and dwell hard. Some things just really are a trip if you think about the many other ways you could had handled a certain situation, in particular, the ones that turned out for the bitter-ass worst. But see, the problem with me is that, well, I dwell until I hit something hard. And when you get to that point…there is no turning back. I have grown to accept this neurotic quality of mine but it still wrecks some emotional havoc sometimes.

It was yet another night of senseless partying, the fifth day in a row to be exact. I now knew why the “#partylikeajournalist” stupid twitter hashtag existed. Although, technically I wasn’t a “real” journalist (ie. not getting paid–or correctly paid–therefore, not “real”) it sure as hell felt like it with all this OC Weekly and Saveur stuff happening as of late.

It was Sunday, 1 AM, and I found myself fairly intoxicated with the two people who knew me best in my life for who I really was and not for who I was in my blog or twitter. Both…just friends. In our drunken reverie, they actually walked in to the Ralph’s on 9th and Flower and bought a copy of Saveur Magazine (Issue #138). The one that featured a cover story I produced entirely by myself. They asked me to “autograph” it. I did.

critical coleslaw
The Critical Coleslaw that Started it All

Several Mexican beers later, it was 4 AM and they found themselves hungry for the elusive “Fourth Meal” of the day. And in true “triiiiip-oooouut” fashion, we found ourselves in the birthing grounds of my entire “professional” food writing career: The Pantry in Downtown Los Angeles. “How does it feel man? To come full-circle?” my buzzed friends would ask me. And as I scooped The Pantry’s signature, soupy, slightly-sweet coleslaw on top of their thick-cut slices of grilled sourdough bread in their “Pantry Set-Up” menu option, I stared back and stayed quiet–I didn’t know how to respond.

Nighthawks at the Café was my first ever assignment from Saveur, it was published in issue #127, otherwise known as the “L.A issue” exactly two years ago. It was a 200-word assignment given to me by the editors of Saveur. I guess they must had liked me.

Exactly five years ago this day, I started “Teenage Glutster” as an alternative coming-of-aging distraction
. I fell in love with good food instead of a girlfriend, and I fell deeper in love with my old love…prose. Jonathan Gold became my weekly food sherpa and I did not want to end up venting away on snobby, message-board sites like chowhound and yelp. Foodblogging became my direct output for my unbalanced teenage emotional upbringing. My friends smoked lots of weed and drank 40 oz. to medicate themselves, I took one puff and drank one beer…and then left home early to write about it.

Now, I am twenty-two and find myself jobless, and staying home to write this post instead of going to a match class that I already failed three times. I remain stubborn on my passion of food writing and refuse to let go of my dream job of one day, making a living out of it. Hell, I already got a cover story on Saveur, right?

Well, not so much. For as far as neat and awesome that feature may have been, as much painstaking time and effort I may put into writing every single word and recipe, the ultimate question arises….now what? My great Zen teacher, Edward Espe Brown of San Francisco Zen Center, used to tell me “As a cook, you are only as good as you’re last dish”, so if you’re a writer…are you only as good as your last piece of published work?

I can’t, won’t will not be a one-hit food media wonder but as my inbox remains without reply of L.A Times, Saveur and other food powers and my bank account keeps on shrinking, as I continue to fuck-up in school and have problems taking it seriously, I ask myself….how much longer can I last?

How much longer can I last before I just give in, like a normal member of society? How much longer before I just get a job at a 9-5 to at least have some money to buy lunch with? In the brilliant words of the great 80’s Hardcore punk band Bad Brains in their song “How Low Can A Punk Get?”


I didn’t mean to rip off
I thought it was a get off of mine.
I tried to make the scence off.
The plan was doomed to set off on time
The time that I was wastin’
I spent chasin’ in the pits.
And now I pay the price
To make the sacrifice of a fool.

I was on me.
I choose not to be
Cheated on part of thrill.
Bargained was not fulfilled.
Lost in a crazy scheme
That got strapped up in my dream.
And now my time’s run out.
Oh, what’s it all about?

“Hopefully, this is the start of something special.”

–The Teenage Glutster on his post “Yay”, (published on May 13, 2006)

Wanna Know My Secrets? Kombucha Tea Workshop at Peace Through Culture Festival (July 25th)

So, as I mentioned earlier, it is not always food, food, food with me, believe it or not. For that last five percent of me, I actually try to be pretty active in local youth activism as well as my non-food related community. Gotta be well rounded somewhere in my life (if not in my physical stature…)

Recently, I’ve been hanging with the guys of the The Amar Collective as much as I can, meeting up to discuss, have fun and simultaneously take action in local issues in whichever way we realistically can. Each passionate with their unique medium of expression, I feel as one with these guys. A nice change from my usual, lethargic malt-liquor sequestered same age-ranged peers.

They are “a community of artists, musicians, filmmakers, writers, activists, and all around dedicated people with an aim to promote social justice through creative expression.” (Amar Homepage)…and I dig that.

That being said, I will hold an informative How to brew your own “Kombucha Life Elixir Homebrew” workshop at around 12:30 PM in The Peace Through Culture Festival. A co-op event Amar is helping with, it will be held on July 25, 2009, which in the Mayan Calendar is considered a “Day Out of Time”.

So if would like to know one of the most vital of the “Glutster Food Writer Ways: Kombucha” Come by, I will be selling fertile S.C.O.B.Y mother’s (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) for your own anti-industrial “G.T Dave’s watered down $4-5 bottle revolution”.
freak of nature

Just try it, you’ll like it.

Peace Through Culture Festival
Glutsters Kombucha Workshop
Saturday July 25
12:30ish PM
Tierra de la Culebra Park
240 S. Ave 57
Highland Park, CA
90042