Archive for October, 2010

Gloria Allred calls Meg Whitman a Liar

I’ve had my head in the sand the past few weeks.  Sue me. But just don’t call me a liar in that cherry red blazer, Ms. Allred.

Now that I’m outside of California, the only source I have for the California mudslinging otherwise known as the gubernatorial race between Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown is YouTube and clips on the Internet.

Is she a liar?  Watch this clip and you tell me.

Gloria Allred giving her the business

But as a legal immigrant and naturalized citizen, I have to call bullshit on Ms. Allred calling Diaz a hero. My dad is a hero. He immigrated here in the 70s — and brought his family in tow and went through years of red tape to become US citizen.

I believe everyone has the right to find happiness and pursue the American dream. I’m sure Diaz Santillan is a hard working woman who deserved better than getting dragged through the political mud as a pawn. But, let’s not make her a martyr or spokesperson for all Hispanic women.

There’s a long line of Americans that stand in front of her who deserve that attention.

– Jose Mallabo

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Driving in the 215

Last year I drove at least 40,000 miles insufferable miles in California. Probably triple of the average person driving in Eastern Pennsylvania. In fact, when you factor in my air miles I’m probably responsible for a 2.5% of the Texas-sized hole in the Ozone Layer. Cut to the quick — I know my way behind the wheel and on the road. Like water I pride myself on getting places.

Presidents or not, don't bother looking for these in the 215

But one month back in the Philadelphia area and I need to be a good citizen and forewarn would-be visitors to get your Garmins now or stay put. Street signs here are nearly non-existent.  And if they exist at all, they’re likely behind a hugely overgrown tree — that you need to pass (along with the actual turn) in order to see the sign.

I think they want you to feel lost so you’ll make your way back to New Jersey or New York and leave the Liberty Bell for those truly committed to finding it.  I’ve resigned myself to driving aimlessly but very aggressively through the many “76” highways here that seem to intertwine like two snakes French kissing. I think the boorishness of my driving is welcomed. Text messaging while driving is kind of treated like pot is in Amsterdam — we know you’re going to do it, just do it here.

In fact, with the lack of a helmet law I almost feel like the governor is encouraging motorcyclists to make calls like to local friends asking: “What the hell is the blue route? Is that the 276?”

– Jose Mallabo

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All my piazzas are dead

When I was a young geek (defined largely by the act of avoiding eye contact with girls at all costs) I didn’t have an iPhone, hundreds of Twitter followers or even this self important blog to create the illusion of cool.  That divide between cool and geek was the Grand Canyon. In fact, I’m not sure if I even considered trying to bridge the distance. Dunking a basketball was more likely than being cool.

Some people have been known to be hung up on those lockers.

While geek has become chic since then, unless you ever had to wear an eye patch and glasses you have no clue what it’s like. Most folks think geeks were loners or anti-social. Mostly we just were afraid of girls.

In reality pre-chic geeks roamed the earth in small packs — like hyenas. In a world of knuckle dragger popular kids with IROCs we found safe haven in small groups. If chased, we’d scatter to confuse the attacker and reconvene at the jungle gym at the local grade school.  Mostly we trolled the aisles of Tower Records where the universal language of music tilted the field of cool our way.  Nowhere else could the guy from the “300 Club” (this was a club in my high school comprised of jocks that could bench press 300 lbs. Most of them looked to be suffering from slight cases of Paget’s Disease. I can blog about this now because as I recall, reading was not requisite for the 300 Club) be humbled by the kids on the AV Squad. It was the projector and audio geeks who knew the difference between pre- and post-Roger Waters Pink Floyd.

There is a difference, you know.  Pink Floyd without Roger Waters is like all-natural organic peanut butter.  It just sucks.  It has no soul and it just thrashes the bread when applied.

Napster, iTunes, digital music and the Internet killed off Tower Records — one less piazza for me and my other sinewy friends to avoid girls in.  What to do, what to do?  Enter the video store.

While we could spend hours thumbing through albums and tapes at the record store, once you’re done there that’s it.  It’s over.  You don’t go home with your friends and listen to an album together.  Only losers afraid of girls do that. But with movies, you could kill an hour or two in the store then go watch the movie.  Including drive time, that’s like 4 whole hours of absolutely not talking to a girl.

All of these memories came rushing back to me as I walked by the boarded up BlockBuster video store in my neighborhood a few weeks ago. It was dark and the signage had been removed from the front of the building.  But anyone who was alive in the past 20 years could figure out what that store once was. They were unmistakable in design and screamed to me: “safety and coolness in here!”

Another piazza of my childhood killed by, yes, the computer geeks behind the Internet, Netflix and on-demand video.

I guess standing there looking at the old video store looked kind of bizarre to passersby.

I caught myself and spun around on the sidewalk and this girl was looking at me from her bitchin’ cool car.

“What the fuck are you looking at?! I have a blog ya know!”

– Jose Mallabo

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