Halloween in Da “Wood”

October 28, 2008

I love Halloween.

Other than my birthday it’s one of my favorite holidays.

If your birthday is in October, more likely than not if you have a party it’s going to be a combo birthday/Halloween party. How cool is that? October is the one month out of the year when I’m not the only one putting on a costume for the party. Bring on the “Naughty Nurse” or “Slutty School Girl” outfits, mommies. It’s great when the mommies at parties get dressed up and try to prove to other mommies that they are a “MILF.”

Unfortunately, this is not true for all mommies.

I had a one-hour clown in Inglewood, i.e., “the Wood,” for a child’s birthday/Halloween party. I showed up and none of the adults were dressed up, unless you count having major attitude as a costume.

I did my usually thing and played with the kids. Halfway through the party the mom came stomping up to me and looked pissed off.

“You better do face paint. I paid for face paint, I’m gonna’ git face paint, god damn-it!” All this was said while she waved her fat finger around in my face.

“Ok. I can do that.” It’s the least I could do since you asked so nicely.

So I painted faces, god damn-it.

Once I was done I started to put my paints away when the mom came over and plopped herself down in the chair in front of me.

“You ain’t done yet, clown!” She exclaimed as she put her fat finger back to work and pointed to her face.

“What would you like me to paint on your face?” I asked as nicely as I could because that’s my way.

“I WANT you to put a fucking red heart on my left check. And don’t make it look all stupid and stuff. It better be fucking cute or I ain’t payin’ yo’ ass. You got that, clown?”

“One very cute, red heart coming up.” You stupid bitch.

“And once yo’ done wid dat, I WANT you to paint my baby daddy’s name on my arm. Right here, clown. Do yo’ hear me?” And she stuck out her tremendously huge arm. If she had asked me to write the Declaration of Independence on her arm I could have, her arm was that big. And yet her arm was dwarfed by her ginormous attitude.

“I can do that.” I should’ve gotten an academy award for my performance that day as, “The Patient Clown.”

“Yo’ betta’ not fuck it up either. Or I ain’t payin’ yo’. Yo’ got that, clown?”

Someone took her “I’m a bitch” pill today.

The baby daddy came over to watch me immortalize his name on his baby momma’s arm. Lucky guy.

“Hey, clown. Do you know how to do anything with helium balloons?”

“No.”

He didn’t need to know that I once worked at a balloon store and could make balloon sculptures that would blow his mind. If they had been nicer to me I would’ve most likely done something small, yet impressive.

I’m a pushover that way.

Too bad his baby momma was such a bitch to me. I feel sorry for the guy.

Note to self: Don’t knock up a crazy bitch.

I AM a Purple Dino Type

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LOVE VS. SMOKING

September 19, 2008

“What’s your name?”

“My name’s Kimberly, Santa.”

“That’s a beautiful name Kimberly. How old are you?”

“I’m eight.”

“If you just ate then you’re not hungry.”

Kimberly laughed, “NO! I’m eight years old.”

“Sorry about that, Santa must have snow in his ears. Do you know what you want for Christmas, Kimberly?”

“I want my dad to stop smoking. If he dies, I won’t feel bad ‘cause I’ve asked him a thousand times to stop and he won’t. He must love smoking more than he loves me.”

Yeah… What do you say to that? I was not expecting that at all. A hush had fallen over the room. I could see all the adults’ faces frozen in shock. I’m sure my face was also frozen in a state of shock, but it couldn’t be seen because it was covered in a fake beard and sweat. I composed myself and did what every adult in that room wanted to do. Change the subject.

“Do you like Furby’s, Kimberly?”

“Yup.”

“That’s good. I do, too. Maybe you’ll get one for Christmas this year since you’ve been so good. I think I have a gift here for you.” I quickly grabbed the gift for Kimberly from the adolescent helper assigned to me by our hostess. “Merry Christmas, Kimberly. Ok, who’s next? Is there anyone else left?”

Now I know what you’re thinking: Why a Christmas story in the middle of September?
Well, Kimberly’s words have been reverberating in my brain and in my thoughts frequently as of late. My mother is a smoker and last week it finally caught up with her. She had a heart attack.

Am I sad?

Yes.

Am I shocked?

No.

I’ve always told my wife that I knew that this day would come. I was never sure who it was going to “attack” first, my Mom or my Dad. You’re never really ready for it, even when you know that it’s inevitable. No one ever wants to be reminded that his mother is mortal and will not be around forever.

Every time I tried to sit and write for my blog (or write anything for that matter) my thoughts always go back to my mother. Finally, after many hours suffering staring at a blank page my wife said, “Just write about what’s on your mind.” So I am.

It has been many years since I heard Kimberly’s sad insight, but I can hear her voice as clear as if she just spoke to me. She was so brutally honest. I, too, had begged my parents to stop smoking when I was younger. Now that I’m older I have a better understanding of why it’s so hard to give it up. But I know that it is possible to quit. My mom’s mom, who everyone referred to as Nana, used to smoke. I once asked her how she was able to stop.

“I had a heart attack. The doctor said that if I didn’t quit I would have another one and eventually die. I came home, threw away all my smokes and have never touched one since. It was easy.”

My Nana was a very “tell it like it is” gal. She had her heart attack when she was around 70 years old and lived to be 90. She had 20 extra years with us, and I know that we all benefited and are thankful for her strength. My mom is a virtual carbon copy of her mom. I pray that she continues to be, and follows the lead laid down by her mother.

I’ve had a lot of friends offer up personal stories of hope of someone close to them having to go cold turkey and succeeding. “My dad quit 10 years ago and we just celebrated his 70th birthday.”

I’ve also had friends tell me stories with a not-so-happy ending. “Your mom got really lucky and has been given a second chance. My dad had one; it was his first and last.”

My mom works in a hospital and I believe that is what saved her life. My parents live so far out in the “boonies” that you have to drive 20 minutes before you reach the “Middle of Nowhere” just south of “Where the Hell Are We?” If she had been home when it happened who knows how things would’ve played out. The hospital that she works at is so small that she had to be airlifted via helicopter to Dartmouth Medical Center in Hanover New Hampshire. I thought that was pretty cool. Mom, not so much. I guess a helicopter ride is different just after you’ve had a heart attack and are in need of emergency angioplasty?

I thought long and hard about going back to visit her. Money’s tight, my wife’s seven months pregnant and there is a lot of work to be done (and on the cheap, to boot). Hell, when I asked my Mom about visiting she said, “Why? I’m fine.”

But, as my wife put it, “Are you going to remember our credit card bill or that you spent time with your mom?”

My plane ticket is booked and my writer’s block has been lifted. To my readers, thanks for being patient in these, my emotionally trying, times. I love New Hampshire in the fall.

I AM a Purple Dino Type… Now go hug a mom and tell her how much you love her!


Listen to the Purple Dino Type Interview Here

August 30, 2008

Hello All.

For those of you that missed the live interview that I did with Marc Germain over at Talk Radio One… here’s your second chance to give it a listen. Just click on the following link and press play.

Purple Dino Type Blog Interview on Talk Radio One 08.28.08

I want to personally thank everyone who did listen in live and have already given me feedback.

“Thank you and thanks for the support.”

I AM a Purple Dino Type… are you?


READ ALL ABOUT IT! PURPLE DINO TYPE RADIO INTERVIEW!

August 24, 2008

That’s right folks, yours truly is going to be interviewed by Marc Germain on his online radio program at Talk Radio One this coming Thursday. Here’s the info in bold so you can’t miss it…

THURSDAY, AUGUST 28TH, 2008 AT 8PM PST AT http://talkradioone.com/

Here it is again underlined…

THURSDAY, AUGUST 28TH, 2008 AT 8PM PST AT http://talkradioone.com/

One more time with the works: BOLD, UNDERLINED, AND ITALICIZED

THURSDAY, AUGUST 28TH, 2008 AT 8PM PST AT http://talkradioone.com/

Here’s some info on Marc, direct from the source (http://talkradioone.com/)…

You may have known him as Mr. KFI or Mr. KABC where he created and hosted top rated shows. His honest, straight-forward manner has won him many fans as well as a series of stalkers resulting in both adulation and restraining orders.

Born deficient of the sports gene, he compensates with an uber-love affair with all things internal combustion. Mr. K spends his copious free time sequestered in his tarpaper shack where he scribbles furiously on his latest manifesto.

A local boy from the mean streets of Woodland Hills, Marc is a graduate from U.C. Santa Barbara (class of ’89) with a degree in Political Science, where he was voted Boy Most Likely to End Up In Radio. Not one of the more prestigious awards, yet proof he is living his destiny.

Marc lives with his wife, two children, a dog, a cat, and other various and sundry animals of varying life expectancies.

Now a little something about me…

I like green.

Thanks, and hope you can listen in.

I have no idea what I’m going to wear? Suggestions?

I AM a Purple Dino Type


“Steven Spielberg and Cindy Crawford Know How To Do It Right”

July 12, 2008

“Don’t step in the elephant poop, Barney.”

I looked down to see a big steaming pile of shit right at my feet. “Thanks for the heads up.”

“Can you believe all THIS for a two year old’s birthday? Must be nice to have money.”

Judging by my surroundings I would have to agree that “Yes, it must be nice to have money.” Too bad it can’t buy common sense. At this particular party it wasn’t the elephant rides that seemed the most odd to me, it was what was next to the ten-foot tall beverage fountain placed inside a temperature-controlled tent: A life-size ice sculpture of the parents holding the birthday child. It was more creepy than impressive.

I’ve seen more people piss away boatloads of money throwing birthday parties for one and two year olds than the government spends on “defense” in a year. I mean really, come on people. I realize that out here in L.A. everything is a competition, and kids parties are no exception. L.A. has a gross abundance of peeps that make more money in a month than some countries make in a year. And if they don’t, they try to make it look like they do.

“Can you believe their last movie only made 75 million? Ours always make at least 150. And that’s not including international grosses.”

People of all tax brackets are catty. It’s just that us common folks’ incomes aren’t splattered across every rag mag for all to see.

Then these people feel the need to throw their kids a birthday party that rivals that of any state fair. I hate to break it to you folks, but your kid is never going to remember a single moment of the event. Let’s be honest with ourselves rich folks – and you know who you are – the party is really for you, so that you can show all your “friends” (and I use the term very lightly) the size of your dick… Oops! I mean the size of your bank account.

If you’re going to blow that kind of cash at least wait until the kid is old enough to remember it. (I would say “appreciate,” but very few kids nowadays appreciate anything. There are some that do, but they’re a rare breed and if you yourself have an appreciative kid, commend yourself as a parent on a job well done.) I was at a party once where the dad hired the gymnast from the U.S.A. Olympic Gymnast Team to come and perform. His son was turning eight years old and could at least enjoy and remember the party. So that was money extravagantly well spent.

I know it’s your right to spend your money how you want. It’s also my right to bitch about it. After one of these parties I would sit at home eating my watered down tomato soup and think “How the fuck are you people good at business?” Wasting that much money on a child’s party does not sound like very good business to me, unless of course you can write it off as an entertaining expense for business relations? Hmmm?

Thankfully, I have come across some publicly wealthy people that kept it simple for their kids’ first and second birthdays. Two people whose parenting skills I was truly impressed with were Steven Speilberg and Cindy Crawford.

For one of Steven Speilberg and Kate Capshaw’s daughter’s second birthday, he (and by “he” I mean one of his many assistants) hired me and a few others to be the four Teletubbies – oh, sorry, the four Alien Babies. We danced and sang songs while some of the kids watched and a few joined in. Nice and simple. I did get the opportunity on my break to discuss with Steven the intricacies and fascination that kids have with the Alien Babies.

“Why do you think that the kids love the teletubbies so much?”
“Well Steven, I have a few theories on that subject.”

I, of course, went home that night and updated my acting resume since I had discussed my acting strategies for my character with Steven. Plus, he was running his home video camera so technically, I was directed by him.
Purple Alien Baby with purse played by Jason Lassen – Steven Speilberg director.

Similar to the Spielberg’s, Cindy Crawford wanted to keep her son’s first birthday party simple and basic. Just how a first birthday party should be. Cindy had a small list of things that she wanted the performer to do: sing, dance, bubbles, puppets, parachute games, and Ring Around the Rosie. She was also nervous about having someone show up in a costume, but was willing to take the chance that her son would like Elmo, aka Red Monster, in person as much as he does on TV. Cindy requested that the performer be gentle, and more importantly, be able to do the Red Monster voice; two requirements that made me the man for the job.

Cindy was the best. She played all the games with us and insisted that “Red Monster” take a break halfway into the party. When I was in the kitchen taking my break she came in to visit me.

“You’re doing great. The kids are having so much fun, and my son’s not even scared of you. Take as long as you need before you come back out.”

And yes, she’s more beautiful in person than on TV or in any magazine, both inside and out.

It’s nice to see that some of the wealthiest people here in L.A. know how to keep things real. Small child equals small party. If I were rich would I throw my kids a humongous grossly overpriced and unrealistic birthday party? You bet your ass I would! But not until they were turning four or five, and might have a shot at remembering a thing or two about their party.

My final words of advice to parents of soon-to-be one or two-year-olds: Keep it simple. Family and close friends are all you need; there will be plenty of time to spend lots of money on your kids and their birthday parties. So save your money while you can, the bigger the kid, the bigger and more expensive the toys get.

“I AM a Purple Dino Type”


A Mother’s Day Tip From A Clown

May 9, 2008

“You’re such a nice and handsome young man.”

“Thank you very much. That’s very kind of you.”

“I have a grand daughter that’s available. Tell me sweetie, are you Jewish?”

“No, I’m not.”

The elderly woman took my hand, caressed it and said, “We can’t all be perfect.”

And this is how it goes every year when I do the Mother’s Day event at an elderly home here in Los Angeles. The day usually begins with us (the clowns) handing out corsages to all the elderly ladies while being escorted by some cute young volunteer girl. Another clown and I always start the day at 8am being escorted by a volunteer, that’s always a cute young girl, and handing out corsages to all the elderly ladies.

“They ALL try to set me up with their grandsons all the time. At least you only have to hear on Mother’s Day. I hear it everyday I volunteer. I had to stop telling them I was Jewish because once they that got that little nugget of info they never let up. But they’re sweet,” a young hottie volunteer once told me.

It’s a really fun gig to work. I have experience working with the elderly; I worked at a hospital that had a retirement home wing for six years in my youth. Some days when I would go to work I would bring my guitar with me and play and sing for them. It never mattered what I played, what was important to them was the fact that I was spending time with them.

I think that even if I didn’t hand out flowers to all these woman they would’ve just been happy to have someone, anyone, come in and wish them a happy mother’s day. So coming in dressed as a clown and bearing gifts made it all that more special. I love seeing the women’s eyes light up when I stroll into their room with a flower for them. Unfortunately, it can also be very sad. Some of the women are comatose, have Alzheimer’s, or dementia. Still, EVERY woman, patient or not, at the elderly home gets a flower.

“That’s so nice of you, young man, but I’m an old maid. I never had any children.”

“I’m allergic.”

“I used to be a man.”

It didn’t matter to me what the excuse was… They all got a flower.

It’s also not uncommon to do this event and not see the same faces as the year before.

“It’s really tough when one of them passes away,” a twenty-year-old female volunteer named Danielle, who was assigned to escort me one year, told me. “It’s sad. Really sad.”

We pass out flowers from 8am to 10am (we are always there until 10:30 or a little longer) then we drive to the main complex where the real party starts at 11am. From 11am to 2pm the families of the residents are all invited to show up for a free lunch, singing, dancing, face painting, balloon animals, and more flowers. It’s a big event and the local news cameras show up and cover the event. It’s so big that four more clowns show up for the 11am to 2pm shift. In total, there are six clowns running around entertaining everyone. The event crescendos with a great big sing-and-dance-along lead by a live band that even the elderly in wheelchairs join in on.

Sadly, some families don’t show up.

This is where we come to the reason why I am posting this before Mother’s Day (and I’ll try not to sound to preachy). Spend time with your mom if you can. I live 3000 miles away from my Mom (I moved to L.A. from the East Coast to be and actor) and can’t physically “see” her, but I always send her something and call her on Mother’s Day. If you are geographically close, take your mom out and treat them extra special. If you can’t do that, then spend time with them and let them talk about the “old days.” I noticed that the residents who were actually taken out for a few hours before the big party were always the happiest ones at the party. They love to tell us clowns how their son or daughter is so wonderful and how they went out for a “special” breakfast.

Moms are human. They will not always be there. Appreciate them while they are, and let them know you love them by giving them a little bit of your time.

And if you can, make them a flower bouquet out of balloons. If you can’t, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to have a clown around to make one for you.

I AM a Purple Dino Type.


A Father’s Love Has No Boundries…Or Does It?

May 5, 2008

I hate being late to work.

I may have up to four parties in one day but to the clients it’s their ONLY party of the day. I’ve made it a habit to treat every party I work as if it’s the only one I have that day. Some don’t appreciate my thoughtfulness and still feel the need to bitch. On this particular day I was running fifteen minutes late.

At least I wasn’t a Purple Dino. I was dressed as my clown character, “Sleepi,” so it was nice that I could arrive, park, get to work, and not have to worry about changing and being even later than I already was. Did I mention that I hate being late?

I parked at the first space I found; oddly, it was closer to the house than one would think considering that there was a party going on. “Maybe a lot of the guests are late and the client won’t mind, or even notice, that I’m late? Excellent!”

As I got closer to the house I could see a bunch of kids behind a chain link fence playing and running around in the front yard. They all looked to be older kids, from seven to thirteen-years-old.

“Strange,” I thought to myself, “The party is for a two-year-old girl named Kim, and from what I could tell she was the only one in her age range.”

As I got closer, one of the older kids saw me approaching and pointed me out to the birthday girl.

“Look Kimmy! It’s a clown!”

She was petrified.

Kimmy hid behind one of the older kids, not even peering around him to gawk at me curiously. I prepared myself mentally for what looked to be the beginnings of a very looooooooong two-hour gig. What kind of kid doesn’t like clown?

I opened the gate and let myself in. I started to open my mouth to introduce myself but was stopped by a car racing down the street honking its horn. It drove slightly over the curb and stopped right next to house. Inside the lime green convertible Cadillac were three men covered in tattoos and wearing the same brand of dark sunglasses. If I had to guess, I would say they were around twenty-years-old.

“Hey clown! Come over here.” The guy in the back seat yelled over to me as if I were way down the street and not just five feet to the side of him. To emphasize his need to speak to me he motioned to me with his hand to come over.

I thought maybe they wanted directions so I went over to the fence to explain to them that I wasn’t from around here.

“No man, come here.” The guy in the passenger seat said and pointed down next to the passenger side door.

Isn’t this how some bad news stories start? “Clown abducted. News at eleven.”

I went over to the car anyway. What can I say? I like to live life on the edge. Like my cousin James always says, “If you’re not living life dangerously, you’re not living.”

“Hey clown dude. I’m Kimmie’s fatha’. Where da’ udder clowns at?”

“There are no other clowns. Just me,” I informed him.

The guy in the front passenger seat chimed in.

“How’s it goin’ so far?”

“I just got here like a minute ago. Kimmie’s afraid of me.”

“Meet us up round da’ corner,” Kim’s dad said.

Once again, isn’t this how some bad news stories start? “Clown abducted. The stupid bastard went around the corner. News at eleven.”

So I followed them around the corner. I’m a sucker for anything out of the ordinary.

The dad was out of the car by the time I caught up with them. The better to grab me I guess.

“Yo, check dis’ out. I told da’ dude on the phone tha’ I wanted three clowns fo’ two hours.”

“I don’t know about any other clowns. My sheet shows that it’s just one clown for two hours. I don’t know what to tell you.”

“Dat’s cool. Tell ya’ wha’. You tell ya boss tha’ we all cancelled it and shit.”

“If that’s what you want…I can do the party. It’s not a problem.”

“No, no, no, check it out. I’m gonna give you dis’ here fiddy bucks. And yous gonna go back fo’ just fifteen mo’ minutes.”

“Did you already discuss this with the mom? Because I haven’t met her yet and no one told me anything.”

“I can’t do tha’ man. That bitch’s got a restraining order on me. I can’t go within one hundred yards of the house. I can’t go to my own baby’s party. Isn’t that fucked up?”

“Completely.” I agreed.

“We cool clown?”

“Yah, no problem.”

“I don’t think you understand clown. I SAID… we cool right?”

“We cool.” I said, as ‘cool’ as I could say it while being dressed as a clown and having make up on my face.

“Thanks man. Give ma’ baby anythin’ she want.”

I walked back to the house and was greeted by one of the children.

“Where da’ fuck you bean clown?”

Excuse me? When I left, these kids seemed happy to see me. While I was gone they turned into filthy mouthed little monsters. They must have abandonment issues, or else Kimmy’s not the only one whose daddy got a restraint order for Christmas. If you think about it, deep down inside don’t we all have daddy issues?

I decided to spend my fifteen minutes making balloon animals. With every passing second the children exponentially got more and more unpleasant. It was like the plague. One kid would get it and pass it on to another. Before I knew it they were all dropping the “F”-bomb on me. The two boys who started it all were the worst, AND THEY WERE EIGHT AND NINE YEARS OLD!

I’m glad I was only staying for fifteen minutes. I thought about leaving earlier but I could see Kimmy’s dad one hundred and one yards parked down the street. So that thought went right out of my head. It’s a long walk to my car. Long enough to get shot a few times.

“Ok, who’s next?”

One of my “shit starter” nine-year-old boys spoke up, “Me man. I’m next.”

“What do you want?”

“Make me a pussy, man.”

“Why do you want a pussy cat?” I asked knowing what he really meant.

“No man. I said a pussy. So I can fuck it.”

What do you say to that? “OK?” I don’t think so. I didn’t say anything and just shot him a disapproving look. Then he changed his request.

“Make me a woman.”

I tapped him on the head with a balloon and said, “Poof, you’re a woman.”

All the other kids laughed at him. The boy didn’t like that too much. One of the other boys spoke up.

“You’re my old lady, man.”

What does that even mean?

“I’m fuckin’ talkin’ to you clown.”

Am I on candid camera?

I gave them lollypops but they couldn’t care less. I was done with them. My fifteen minutes were way up. I glanced down the street and saw “Daddy” hold up a thumb to me and drive away. I kept my promise. I told them I was leaving.

One of the girls said to me, “You can’t leave until we say.”

“You’re wrong. I’m leaving NOW.”

As I was packing away my balloon pump to leave, the mother finally made an appearance.

“Where you goin’?” She asked.

“I saw Kim’s father and he told me he wanted to cancel the show.”

“That mutha’ fucka’!” She turned around and ran inside the house.

So that’s where the kids learned how to use the “F”-bomb.

The kids were all yelling obscenities at me as I was leaving. I closed the chain link fence door behind me, turned, and addressed the children. And by this point when I call them “children” I use the term loosely because it implies some sense of innocence. A quality lost on these little ones.

“By the way, you’re all a bunch of little foul mouthed brats.”

“Fuck you, clown.”

Oh, no…. Fuck you. “Have a nice day.”

I AM a Purple Dino Type.