School is back in session which means only one thing for me: My parole officers, (pardon me, my employers), will be sticking me back inside my 6' x 6' cell of solitude for the next 4 months. Better known as a tractor cab, this state of solitary confinement has yet to institutionalize me. I still plan on conquering the world of comedy, writing, and town politics. But concessions must be made in life.
The Summer Olympics begin tonight in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. And I couldn't be more excited. Yes, I said excited. I am aware the games come with a laundry list of issues. The Zika virus is rampant in Brazil, the bays and shores entertaining many events are toxic with waste water, and it all takes place in an impoverished country that has doled out billions to host an Olympics – all while incapable of providing for their own people.
Pack up the kids, the girlfriend, the dog, or nobody – whatever it is you require for a few days of camping. The San Joaquin Valley summertime heat can drive a person mad. Luckily, Manteca is situated just a few hours from some of the best camping/cabin spots in NorCal. From Dillon Beach to Kennedy Meadows, or Clear Lake to Santa Cruz, we are close enough to keep cool when necessary. I met a couple inside our Wal-Mart from Boston last week, stocking up on provisions for a Yosemite trip. They'd just landed at SFO that morning, and had ...
Was it just me, or could this past week not end soon enough? Politics, Shootings, Racism, Anti-Pokemon sentiment – the United States acting in a very estranged manner. Let's all take a deep breath, and have a short Manteca to a T type powwow about these issues (I can hear the collective sigh of every family member and friend right now - "Oh no Chris.")
Am I losing my mind?! While driving through town recently, I saw a couple sitting in front of a local business. They appeared to be of the free love generation – though I think they missed the memo by roughly 50 years. What I found curious was the rather large sign they held in front of them, that many panhandlers have. No, not "Will work for food" or even the once funny "Who am I kidding?! - I need beer money"...These folk decided to forego those somewhat acceptable begger's billboards, and take a stab into a social narrative that myself ...
I'm often reminded that people who have lived in the city their entire lives do not understand the rules of the country. And believe me city dwellers, when you cross that city limit sign – the rules have changed.
"Hey tough guy, there is nothing tough about walking into a night club and unloading round after round into unsuspecting people. Tough is a kid being bullied because they are "different." Tough is never being who you really are because it is unacceptable. Tough is watching the one you love struggle with telling her parents the truth. Tough is coming back to a town where you grew-up and knowing everyone is whispering.
While attempting to write this column over the last few years, I've taken great lengths to make sure I don't repeat subjects with frequency. One can only assume a weekly column about Tony Coit and myself hitting on cute seniors while freshman would've been as short lived as our success in doing so.
The pizza delivery driver had just left the tractor when the fear hit me. And yes, you read correctly. Kudos to Jack's Pizza Cafe and greatest driver ever Mike Garibay, for having the wisdom to realize people south of Woodward Avenue also enjoy a large pepperoni now and then. (Wait, that sounded terrible – but is a wonderful lead into where we are headed)
Its Thursday morning 4:30 a.m. and I'm up writing what should be a sweet schmaltzy piece about how much we all love our mothers. But as is often the case for Manteca to a T, we are forced to deal with a pressing social issue that has been permeating my thoughts for the past five days: Rude and incompetent convenience store clerks.
We are less than a quarter of the way through 2016, and the world of music has seen more than its fair share of tragedy – Prince, David Bowie, Merle Haggard, Glenn Frey etc. – have all made their way to the big concert stage in the sky. The word "tragedy" is probably a bit of an overstatement. People of note die every day. Veterans, actors, scientists, athletes, inventors. But when a musician dies, we are instantaneously allowed to reminisce and universally mourn through their musical legacy. Music is, and will always be, that tangible intangible that connects generations, genders, races, and ...