Blogroll addition: Mostly Grocery (“Exaggerated” Stories of a Grocery Worker”)


If you were “fortunate” enough to read my Blogroll Addition post about the “Jack Goes Forth” blog the other day, you should have a pretty good understanding of my assessment of the state of bloggery in this day and age. You’ll realize that I’m a firm believer in blogging as a tool of the democratization of mankind’s global voice.


I have no doubt that the supposed art of blogging will eventually evolve to a point in which it is literally transformed into a global beehive consisting of billions of tiny voices all speaking and blogging and tweeting simultaneously and finally the old science fiction notion of a “hive consciousness” will become a reality. The human race will blend and coalesce into one immense amorphous mass of individual….STOP!


Why do I do this?

Inevitably, and without fail, I get myself worked up and turn into a raging buffoon when an idea takes hold of me. A trait which is incredibly and shamefully pronounced now that I’m maintaining a blog where I am the sole master and proprietor of my own market of ideas. I appear to have no self-constraints! In this…market. Market of ideas. Cool phrase! Speaking of which, you know what I have always loved, and I mean loved more than just about anything? Going to the market. The market completely captured my fancy as a child; the aisles were like little cities with towering buildings, all scrunched in this area and co-existing in one big buzzing and hectic framework, just like a city. Over in aisle 1 someone was squeezing a lemon or reading the label on a bottle of juice while here in aisle 10 someone might be weighing the advantages to buying one can of sardines over another. A mass of different worlds each with its own group of inhabitants going about their business here in this grand village.


Yep, that’s how I saw the markets as a kid. I was a peculiar child. And I’d like to report that I outgrew my peculiar-ness…but I’m sorry, I can’t. I still love the grocery store although the aisles no longer fascinate me nearly like they used to and definitely not for the same reasons. The market is a magical place and recently I became acquainted with a blog entitled Mostly Grocery run by a fellow from Oregon, PkWynn, with the tagline “‘Exaggerated’ Stories of a Grocery Worker”…and guess what? He delivers a refreshing take on what it’s like to actually work and run a grocery store, from annoying customers with lame jokes to customers who feign blindness in order to bring their mutt shopping.


It’s Triumph of the Mundane. I hope Mr. Wynn does not take unkindly to the “mundane” label but I mean absolutely no ill will. The simple act of living, day in, day out, the rigmarole of waking up and going to work, the incessant and ritualistic greetings we must share with all those we come in contact with…those are the nuts and bolts of the infinite and beautiful living moments which form our waking lives. There is beauty in that; there is an omniscient sorta rapture to realize that there are millions and millions and billions of such moments occurring throughout the day on the stages which are our lives. And bloggers, by relaying the routine happenings of their day are responsible for capturing but a fraction of the world’s stage at any one point in time. PkWynn does it wonderfully; his blog provides but one snapshot into one man’s life, a life I never would have known had it not been for the bloghive.


I’ve learned to value the mundane and the routine; which when communicated with originality and humor is nearly untouchable. I absolutely celebrate the mundane on this blog (see Moments in Time). Remembering a specific incident from earlier in the day with startling detail can actually provide a sense of catharsis; and for this reason I celebrate the celebration of the ordinary that Mostly Grocery is such an integral part of.



A very leggy Moment in Time

Pseudo homeless dude. I have a question. Dying to ask it.

Pseudo homeless. That is you.

I see the pseudo homeless all over L.A. It seems we have such an abundant and bottomless supply of transients that even they are stratified into levels of existence which are delineated by relative measures of misery.

You were one of those high-end homeless types. Your beard was too neatly groomed and that jacket, while encroaching upon raggedy was no worse than some of the “distressed” shit I see kids wearing all the time. Granted you had no shirt underneath that jacket, but that could be mental illness. Your pants…the same. Worn, faded, but by no means were they necessarily handed to you at the local church cafeteria.

I want to ask you a question semi-homeless dude.

As we approach each other there on the sidewalk near Sunset and Gower…your stride is not really a homeless stride but it is very aimless. Your pseudo homelessness confuses me.

And I see you’re holding a magazine. A shiny magazine, glossy, but you’re too far away so I can’t see what it is. Very strange to see a homeless person reading. It’s as if the state of homelessness strips you of all desire to expand your knowledge…not when even mere survival is a luxury.

As you draw closer I dip into my memory banks and sort out templates and ah ha! I can recognize that magazine as a smut rag without even seeing it up close. It has the obligatory smut front page. Big blaring letters and a curvy female outline…ah yes. You, pseudo homeless dude, you are walking down Sunset Boulevard in broad daylight, looking puzzled and lost and excised from the concerns of civilized man, and you are carrying this magazine:

And it’s a very fresh-looking copy. Did you buy it? Did you rip it off from the newsstand up on Cahuenga? Pseudo homeless dude, you got some serious explaining to do!

And still I want to ask.

As you meander along this busy street looking like an urchin with a thing for pantyhose and heels, you seem mesmerized by one sight: a homeless woman, one of those low-end homeless, the type who look like they might go to sleep on the sidewalk and not wake up, the kind who, when they do fall asleep on sidewalk, look like they are ready to ride the Coroner Express right out of town. She is sleeping on top of a low brick wall planter in front of a foo-foo restaurant and she is surrounded by a special plague of filth that undoubtedly tracks her around. The kind of homeless who make me instinctively hold my breath for fear of catching a whiff of something wicked, something that will stay in my nose all night.

Pseudo homeless dude cannot stop looking at her. He even appears to loosen his grip and attention on the August issue of Leg Show, so enraptured is he with the comatose homeless woman.

I gotta ask pseudo-homeless guy…what on earth is so interesting about this wretched woman when you, you of all people, are the spectacle worth beholding as you trudge around this very busy street in a borderline state of existence while tenaciously holding on to a fetish magazine. What is so interesting about her? You need a mirror?

Blogroll addition: Jack Goes Forth (“the blogging bartender”)

Ya know when I first began this blogging schtick over a year ago (that’s right, this is not my first trip down this lonely path) I convinced myself with utmost sincerity that my blog would be a vehicle for grand, sweeping statements. Unused to the public attention, I took this global podium seriously. Too seriously. Only after maintaining that blog for a few months did I realize just how isolated and barren this podium could be…especially when you consider there are literally millions of other podiums populating the barren wasteland.

When looking back at that blog it’s hilarious to see just how seriously I took myself. I depended primarily on links for my material, with a heavy emphasis on news items. I attempted to stir up fiery political discourse. However, I realized over time that the most mundane and ordinary daily life was potentially great blog fodder if it was presented and written well. I learned that the most ordinary and insignificant (let’s face it, we all…) lives, injected with a unique dose of humor and fresh viewpoint, can be rendered entertaining and readable to the masses.

One such blog which I found linked through Roissy in DC is Jack Goes Forth written by “the blogging bartender.”

There is nothing politically groundbreaking or internationally politically upheaval-causing about this blog…it basically is a blog about the daily adventures of Jack Lauterback, a bartender in Richmond, Virginia, whose bartending sojourns have earned him a column at Style Weekly, an alternative Richmond web “paper.”

He is able to take a daily existence that might not seem otherwise noteworthy and injects it with an awesome dose of addictive originality…and voila, you have a Seinfeldian Blog About Nothing.

I think you cannot discount the power and importance of such blogs in this day and age of big flashy current events blogs employing staffs of writers and commentators. Blogs ultimately are the collective voice of the silenced masses…and it’s only through the open and widespread expression of “regular” people that blogdom will reach its maturity.

Classic overthinking in the grocery line

What does this mean. How do I interpret it. Is it flattering? Or not?

At the Vons supermarket on Saturday. Buy some stuff, deal out some coupons, save a few bucks, the cashier rings me up swiftly and efficiently. These grocery cashier folks are worth the big bucks man, swiping that shit like a magician flips through cards.

Yes I’m vaguely impressed…but the bagger steals my attention and curiosity. A young girl, not unattractive, and to the starved male eye, maybe even a little…cute? Cute, the anti-sex word. Describe a girl as cute and you are condemning her to sisterhood, or even more grotesquely, daughterhood. Blah.

Soooo…in my illustrious (questionably) life I’ve seen it all when it comes to women. I’ve received leering and unabashedly sexual eye contact (boing boing boing), the bells go off, it’s like winning a fucking game show. She would do you. No question about it. Her eyes tell the story.

And…there are the times women have basically yawned in my face and made it a point of dramatically demonstrating disinterest. They can’t trouble themselves to even waste the energy to focus their eyes on me. If you feel like a pauper from the gutter sheathed in dirty clothes, good, that’s about the effect the bitch wanted to inflict on you by virtue of her ignoring your pathetic ass.

But Saturday. WTF?
WTF is this?

Obviously this is just a photo I nabbed off the web, but it’s the best approximation I could come up with that most accurately convey Ms. Vons’ cock-eyed stare. At least she smiled. Problem was, I couldn’t tell if she was smiling at me. Was she looking at me? Her eyes seemed to look at me, but not! It was like those damn eery paintings that hang in your grandparent’s house with the strange eyes that you swear are following you around. They are eyes painted by a painter in a distant time and land but they follow you! They friggin move. Well that is how this bagger chick made me feel on Saturday. She was smiling at me…or any of the other dozen people milling around the cashier lines. It was impossible to tell.

What I really wanted to know most of all…was her inability to look me directly in the eye the result of a physiological problem or an emotional problem?

If it was physical, I might as well just stop writing now. But…if it was emotional or avoidant, why? Do I have that affect on this shy young girl? Is that a good thing?

Do we strive to intimidate?

Intimidation is good…I suppose. I don’t know what to think anymore. Doesn’t mean I’ll stop.

Good help is hard to find…

And by that I mean lifeguards and headline writers.
I couldn’t help but chuckle. The website for local TV station, KTLA, posted a story about the discovery of some dangerous bacteria lurking at local beaches.
And this is how the headline appeared on the internet for the world to see:

Interesting that they spelled it correctly in the body of the story.

Update: The mistake was corrected and you may once again safely consort with the staff.