What Up Blood: 1st Encounter

When I first moved to South Central, I was aware of the gang violence but I didn’t fully understand the culture. I did have knowledge about the bloods and the crips, but there was a lot that I didn’t know. Thankfully, we live in the information age and I was able to do a lot of research; partly because I was interested in learning more about the culture, but more importantly was the necessity to stay safe.

Initially, I was told not to wear red – I didn’t heed the warning because I thought it was silly. (My stubbornness also played a large role in my decision.) Honestly, the advice didn’t make any sense. Why would I not be allowed to wear red, but blue was not off limits? Further more, I wasn’t involved in any of the gang activities so I didn’t see the need to stop wearing red. Plus, I have a lot of red sox hats and t-shirts, so I didn’t feel like not wearing red. Following this advice would have been a huge inconvenience to me.

I lived in South Central for several weeks and wore whatever I felt like wearing. I have a pair of red Adidas which I wear regularly, and many Red Sox hats, which have a lot of red. Thankfully, I was able to befriend some guys who grew up in the area, and the consensus was that I could wear whatever I wanted and I should be fine. They’re main concern was whether or not I would be riding the bus, which I learned was a hotbed for gang violence. I have a vehicle, so the bus was not an issue. Also, I was told to be careful around teenagers, because they would be more likely to be violent due to their need of proving themselves and building up their reputations in the streets.

One day, I wanted some fried fish and I found a place on Crenshaw, which was only a few blocks away. I drove to the fish spot and walked in wearing a blue Red Sox t-shirt with a large red B on it, my red Adidas, and a blue Sox cap with a red B on the front. Inside, there was a lady receiving her order and two young men in their early twenties waiting on their food. Once the lady left, I stepped to the counter and placed my order.

I stood against the wall awaiting my food. (I didn’t say what I ordered because I don’t remember, but it was probably some fried catfish, which is way better than the ones online that ruin the lives of their victims.) The two men kept staring at me and talking low enough for me not to be able to hear. Their interest in me was apparent (Not in that way…not that there is anything wrong with that.) and the tension was building. Unfortunately, I don’t own a gun, so I was at a huge disadvantage. Suddenly, the cook came from the kitchen, looked at me and said, “I like your hat.” I thanked him and he continued. “Seriously, I like that hat…I am from Boston.” He said proudly.

I let him know that I was from Roxbury and learned that he was from Dorchester. Once I revealed that I was from out of town, the tension ended and one of the guys said, “I figured you weren’t from here after I heard you talking…you should be careful wearing all that red around this hood.” It turned out that I was in the territory of the Rolling 60 Crips (shout out to Nipsey Hussle! Get Victory lap and you won’t be disappointed.), where bloods were unwelcomed, and at the moment I looked like a blood.

The cook made it known that any time I went to the shop, I should always wear my “B” hat. The guys were interested in learning more about Boston, so I answered all of their questions. After a few minutes, they received their food and started to leave. One guy stopped at the door, threw up a “W” with his fingers and said, “west side!” I laughed and he left.

Thankfully, my first encounter with gang members in their gang territory went well. While living in the valley, I ran into the rapper August Blue, who is really cool and talented, on several occasions. Interestingly, he is from the Eight Trey Gangster Crips (They don’t get along with the 60s) and in a wheelchair due to being shot. You may have heard of the Gansters from Monster Cody, who wrote the book Monster, about his life as a member of the Eight Trey Gangster Crips. (A very good read.) The fact that I survived this encounter without any incident strengthened my initial assumption that the color thing was a little overblown; I continued wearing anything I wanted.

So far, I have had a few more experiences, and I will write about them soon. In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy the sun and following the snowy East Coast from a distance!Thanks for reading!



Scary Experience

I am way too exhausted to write anything other than a short post, tonight. Our return trip to Boston was not a one way flight like the one to LA. I didn’t mind since our layover was in Denver. It was the first time I stepped foot in the Rocky Mountain Capital, and we enjoyed some great food while watching an entire football game. (It was actually the most bearable four hour layover!)

We arrived at Burbank Airport, which looks like a small town mall, and returned the rental car. I snapped a photo of the mountains, which are visible throughout LA. I’m going to get used to seeing those mountains from our future balcony.

     The airport is relatively small so we didn’t have much of a wait. After a filling breakfast at the bar, we headed to the gate. That’s when I was completely caught off guard. We had to walk onto the tarmac and enter the plane from a ramp. The plane was the smallest I have ever seen.

     Thankfully, the flight to Denver was less than two hours. The ascent was rather terrifying, but eventually, we reached the cruising altitude. We never really cruised; small planes tend to give you the complete turbulence experience.

The descent was another story. It felt as if we were on a rollercoaster; one with steep drops every twenty seconds. The process lasted a half hour. I did my best not to heave, while we attempted to lose altitude circling the city. (Standing on the ground never felt so good!)

I honestly hope I never fly in one of those small planes again!


Third Day: LA

This day started off on the right foot. We had the best breakfast ever. It wasn’t good because of the quality; it was good because we ended up having to pay $76 dollars. (Room service is definitely overpriced!)

We decided to check out one of the casinos in Los Angeles. The place ended up being decent, but I’m pretty sure I’ll never step foot in another LA casino in my life.

Our next stop was LA Live, home of the cities sports complexes.  We chose to eat at the Hooters across the street from the Staples Center. We figured it was only right to have a comparison to the Hollywood Hooters. I can honestly say that the Downtown LA Hooters is a definite upgrade. The setup is better than the counterpart and the women are way hotter. A bonus was watching the Miami Hurricanes get destroyed by FSU. (My cousin did not find the game to be to his liking!)

We learned that the fight would not be shown there so we walked to the ESPN Zone. They had one of the best Guinness drafts, comparable to the Guinness at Boston’s famous Mr. Dooley’s. The fight was less than I expected, but Pacquiao won, which hopefully will ensure the fight between him and Mayweather.

I honestly don’t want to make the trip back home, because I am not looking forward to the day of travel. The jetlag has taken all of my energy so I will not add any more details. Overall, the trip was a success and we gained the necessary information for our future move.

The weirdest thing about our time in LA was the fact that we weren’t able to adjust to the time change. For some reason, 8pm always felt like 2am. It will probably take us a week or so to make the necessary adjustment, once we move here for good! I was excited to move out to LA, and this trip only increased the desire. I have absolutely no reservations about switching coasts! (I guess it’s a good sign that we have used the word home to describe driving back to the hotel!)

My good friend Mr. Jetlag has decided that this is the end of the post!



Second Day: LA

Today was apartment hunt day. (It was also get your ass kicked by jetlag day!) Prior to the trip, we split the city into two quadrants: North LA and South LA. Our Hotel is located in our North LA quadrant, and one of our friends lives in the area. At the start of apartment hunt day, we basically came to the conclusion that apartment day two, South LA, didn’t make any sense; we wanted to live in the North LA quadrant. The vibe of the city is unbelievable and I can’t wait to return. (The countless hours of research were rendered pointless!)

***This jetlag thing really sucks!***

     Long story short, we found some great places and we plan on living in the area North of LA. We drove around and loved the neighborhoods. We met some more great people, who were all extremely courteous and helpful. The prices are perfect and we almost feel like this city is home!

We have gathered enough information, which has been converted into copious notes. Deciding on which apartment/house will eventually be called home is a process which will be completed when we return to Boston. (The selection is plentiful!)

With the apartment hunt completed, we turned day two into tourist day! We traveled to Hollywood, which is fairly close to our target area. We parked in the main lot, which was centrally located.

**I must warn the people who live in the Boston area; you should sit down for this one!**

     The first two hours only cost $2. (There is no typo; it only costs $2 dollars to park in the center of Hollywood!) If that isn’t amazing enough, the maximum you can pay for the entire day, is $10! (We couldn’t believe it!)

Like all good tourists, we purchased fanny packs! (Just kidding!) We entered the Wax Museum and walked through the exhibits. For an extra $2, we gained entrance into the Guinness Book of World’s Records Museum, as well. We then decided to have some sushi which, of course, was delicious.

@Efidalgo12 decided to have his palm read, which was an experience, I guess! I can’t comment because I was asked to patiently wait outside while she performed her, scam, I mean “miracle,” as she put it!

When the magic was over, she asked me if I wanted a turn. I respectfully declined, but when she was persistent and asked again. I replied, “Sorry, I am an atheist and I don’t believe in this.” (I wanted to add the word nonsense, but I decided to be nice!) She understood my position and we left. This world is small, indeed.

While sitting in a chair and waiting for the magic show to end, I was approached by a mother and her daughter. They apologized for being forward, and blamed it on being from the East Coast, which caused me to mention that I was from Boston. (It turns out the woman grew up in Roxbury!)

We walked around a little more and discovered something wonderful. There was a guy who had a large set of speakers and a microphone. He was standing on the busiest corner in Hollywood and yelling at the passersby. He wanted them to listen to the word of the “lord!” The guy shouted for people to believe in Jesus or else they were headed to Hell. My favorite line was when he said, statistics show that there are two hundred and fifty thousand people who have entered eternity! (I kid you not!)

I don’t know what is more amazing, the fact that he had this elaborate set up, or the fact that he had disciples who were helping him hand out followers. We actually stood there for twenty minutes or so, laughing our asses of, while he yelled to the young ladies. He wanted them to give their lives to Jesus and stop living in sin. *I have some video footage, which I will try to post on the blogs Facebook page soon! The hotel’s Wi-Fi, is some new form of dialup/broadband hybrid!*

The insanity level was a little too high so we made the decision to have some drinks at Hooters. (It’s the best way to get all that Jesus talk out of your head!) Hooters was cool; way better than the Coconut Grove Hooters we ate at during my visit to Miami. (Read about that wonderful experience in this previous post! The Greatest Rapper Ever Is Not Dead)

We spent an hour and a half at Hooters then returned to the strip. I couldn’t believe my eyes, and ears. The crazy Jesus guy was still on the corner, yelling at the pedestrians and motorists. His number of disciples grew and they continued to harass the “sinners.” While walking by, one believer handed me a flier, but I respectfully declined. He wondered why, and I replied, “I’m an atheist and I don’t believe in Jesus.”

Here is our conversation, which I was excited to participate in, until I realized that he was an imbecile.

Jesus Freak’s Disciple (JFD): “Why don’t you believe in ‘god’?”

Me: “Because there is no ‘god’!”

JFD: “What do you think happens when you die?”

Me: “Nothing! You just die and that is the end!”

JFD: “Are you willing to gamble with your soul?”

Me: “Yes! I’ll be fine!”

JFD: “Let me ask you something. Do you like your eyes?”

Me: “Sure.”

JFD: “Let me have your eyes for ten thousand dollars.”

Me: “No, I need my eyes!”

JFD: “What about ten million?”

Me: “No, I need my eyes.”

JFD: “You care about your eyes more than your soul?”

Me: “I need my eyes while I am on earth. You can have my eyes for free, when I die.”

[His example was pure nonsense, so I decided to walk away.]

JFD: “Turn to Jesus and don’t gamble with your soul.”

Me: “I’ll be OK!”

[The End!]

I honestly don’t care what others believe, but these are the types of people which necessitate the term, religious freaks!

**I finally downloaded the clip. I’ll post it on Facebook, after I post this entry!**

     Tomorrow will be Tourist Day Two!


First Day: LA

So we landed in LA. Before I begin with my future home, let me describe the trip. I, along with @Efidalgo12, and a Middle Eastern gentleman, was randomly searched. That’s right; all three of us were searched “randomly.” I swear I heard the TSA employee say into her microphone, “Papi is clear,” once I passed, She probably said, “copy, clear,” but I heard what I heard.

We boarded the plane and @Efidalgo12 was seated between two middle-aged gentlemen. I was happy to sit between two petite women, one of whom was a MILF. @Efidalgo12’s row-mate was a talkative gentleman, who wanted to know everything about him. I was extremely lucky. I read for 90% of the flight, which seemed to be shorter than the five and a half hours. We landed in Los Angeles and connected with some great people. So far the trip has been amazing and I am thankful that this move is unfolding perfectly.

For the first time in our lives, we ate at Jack in the Box and the food was decent. I am currently writing this post at 2:30am Pacific time, which means it’s 5:30am in Boston. I am inebriated and I have two breakfast combo meals in front of me. We drank a great deal at the three establishments we entered, and met some great people.

We look forward to finding some great apartments tomorrow! I really don’t feel like writing anymore, but @Efidalgo12 has agreed to be interviewed about late night food,

Me: “We just ate from Jack in the box, How do you feel?”

E: “Like shit. Not good at all. I don’t know what the fuck I just ate. It was nasty and the Spanish woman was hideous.”

Me: “Do you look forward to eating more Jack in the box?”

E: “Hopefully this is the last time I eat this garbage. The twenty four hour thing is a scam. They know we are drunk and they are taking advantage of us.”

Me: “Do you have a thing for the Spanish guy behind the counter, who had a thing for you?”

E: “No comment!”

I tasted the food and I enjoyed every bite!

I am clearly too inebriated to continue this post, but @Efidalgo12 is calling me a bad brother for not dedicating an entire post to my brother’s 21st birthday which is today, 11-11-11!

Happy Birthday, Justin!


The Little Things

I wanted to write a post which included all of the little things that make me laugh, but for some reason, I can only come up with one. Tonight, on the eve of our trip to LA, @Efidalgo12 and I decided to go over the script and add all of the finishing touches. (It is past 4am, I am finally done packing, and my mind is in remedial mode! Furthermore, we’re leaving at 6:30am!)

We successfully completed the corrections, but I’m sure once I read the script during the flight, there will be more adjustments. @Efidalgo12 will also decide to add new wrinkles. (Writers are never truly satisfied; we always feel as if we can enhance something to improve the project!)

Here is the one little thing which I recalled:

  1. A couple months ago, I decided to create a Facebook page for the blog. Originally, the page was named Peter Teixeira. When I launched the page, I was the first to click the “like” button. For the entire day, the Facebook widget read, “One person likes Peter Teixeira,” and below was a picture of me! (Partly, I wished that it would remain the same forever, but change is inevitable!)

I honestly can’t remember any of the many hilarious little things, but I’ll include an excerpt from Penn Jillette’s book, which I’ve been reading. I found many hilarious quotes, but I have decided to only include this one. When discussing family friends who are lesbians, Jillette writes, “Hey, you talk against lesbians around my fucking family, we take you down to Chinatown.” (I don’t know why, but I love that line!)

I honestly want to end this post right here, but for some reason, I don’t feel as if it is complete. I will take a few moments to try and come up with at least a couple more little things.

  1. Last week, I invited my nephew for some sushi. There is a place relatively close to my neighborhood, and he agreed to accompany me. I parked in an empty spot across the street from the restaurant, and we crossed Washington St without being killed. I would name the establishment, but I always forget what it is called and I am way too tired to look it up. I approached the door and attempted to pull it open; the large wooden object did not budge. “You’re supposed to push it open!” My nephew mocked, while laughing. “Thank you genius!” I replied. We placed our order and after paying, I decided to drive to the nearby fish store to pick up some Cray fish for my Redtail Carfish. (I figured it was only fair to bring home a treat for the fish, as well!) I told the accommodating woman that we would return shortly, I shared the plan with my nephew and we headed for the door. As if I am a complete moron, I pushed. Laughter filled the foyer, then I heard, “I can’t believe it; you’re so dumb! I can’t wait until we come back to see if you can finally get it right! You’re 0 for 2!” All I could do was laugh. I am proud to announce that I did in fact learn the proper procedure, and I will never make the mistake again!
  2. Last summer, on a warm Sunday night, my nephew joined me for one of our many missions to kill hunger; he decided he wanted Wendy’s. For some reason, I decided to drive to the fast food joint in Quincy. (Don’t ask me why; I just love Quincy!) It was an uneventful trip. We returned to the house and I parked the car in the yard. We walked towards the gate, and he waited for me to lock up. I had a bag of food in my left hand along with the keys, the chain and lock in my right hand along with my soft drink. (If you know me, you probably think I ordered a Coke, but Wendy’s is one of those “other cola” only establishments so I went with Mountain Dew!) I’ve done this a thousand times with little trouble, but for some reason, the comedy gods favor my nephew. Inexplicably, my drink crashed, creating a small pond fit for ants and beetles. For a second, I thought I was seated in the bleachers at Fenway Park, during the ninth inning of a playoff game, watching David Ortiz hit a game winning homerun. My nephew was jumping up and down and yelling, “Yay! Great job idiot!” Again, there was nothing I could do, other than laugh!

That’s all I am willing to force myself to produce!

Thanks for reading! (I trust that Jet Blue has a strict policy against drunk pilots so we should arrive safely in Los Angeles!)