Weed and War: Getting away with smoking in the Army and why the military should lighten up

Definitely the worst part about joining the military was when I had to stop smoking weed.

I don’t really smoke anymore. It’s more of a casual thing. But I used to. A lot.

It was maybe the hardest part of enlisting in the Army, first because I had to pass a drug test, but secondly because I had to make a decision that changed the very essence of my 19-year-old self.

No weed? What kind of idiot would subject themselves to that kind of fascism? Me, apparently. My reasons for doing so are complicated and dumb. The truth is, I never quite gave up on Mary Jane in the military.  Continue reading

Advertisements

Rubatosis

I have always enjoyed visiting new places and, more or less, living life by the seat of my pants, but I’m happy to to stop, breathe and take in the sights… for once.

I drove through Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California last month, enroute to Washington after three years in Baton Rouge.

Sometimes when I’m driving, I can feel my heartbeat coming through my t shirt. It is soft and rhythmic. The feeling is unsettling. My own mortality is gently beating under a thin piece of cloth, wrapped in a couple layers of flesh, cruising across state lines at 80 mph as semi trucks and other death mobiles weave in and out of traffic for 3,000 miles.

Continue reading

Zydeco music: How I learned to love it

Louisiana is maybe one of the few places where the accordion is taken seriously, not merely as some kitsch novelty in a hipster band.

There was a comic from a while ago:

“Welcome to heaven,” an angel says to newly arrived souls. “Here’s your harp.” The panel below, “Welcome to hell, here’s your accordion.”

I really like the accordion, actually. It’s such a bizarre instrument. But like it or not, it’s hard to take seriously, unless you’re a big fan of traditional European polkas. It looks and sounds so goofy.

Continue reading

Learning Español and looking like an absolute psychotic while doing so

OK, so here’s the deal.

I haven’t been writing nearly enough on my website and I feel hella guilty about that. I won’t apologize because I pay way too much money for this domain and it’s just not worth the humiliation. Buuuuuut, I do intend to start writing a little more, because lol CONTENT #amirite.

Maybe this is a new leaf.

Speaking of new leaves, I stepped outside the other day and the weather was cool for Louisiana (yes I’m still living in the South). It was below 80 degrees at noon. When I came back home from a light day of work, I decided to do my usual 5-mile run around the Louisiana State University Lakes and found that I shaved more than five minutes off of my last 5-miler. (This is about learning new languages, just bear with me.)

Exciting things are in the air, for better or worse…

Continue reading

A few of my favorite things: ‘The Return’ of MST3K is an improvement, but nothing like the original

I’m still only in Saigon,” likely won’t be a phrase that we hear in the not-too-distant future. At least not when Jonah and the bots are making “Harry Potter,” “Parks & Recreation” and Facebook references.

I was laying on a mattress in the living room of my my grandparents’ old home in the country when I was first introduced to the absolute best show on earth: Mystery Science Theater. 3,000. Continue reading

11 great horror movies made in the last 11 years

Article originally appeared in The West Side Journal’s Oct. 27, 2016, edition. I enjoyed writing it, so I thought I’d share.

There is nothing better than a great selection of movies and a large bowl of popcorn to properly enjoy your Halloween, so I’ve decided to provide you with a list of my favorite horror movies to watch this year.

Growing up, my dad and I used to sit down and watch the old black and white films during Halloween. They were the monster movies, usually starring the werewolf, Dr. Frankenstein, Count Dracula and other ghouls, like Vincent Price and his mustache. As much as I have grown to like those movies, I think we often overlook a lot of the more recent horror movies (and sometimes for good reasons).

Continue reading