One of the regulars at work, a real estate agent from Lebanon in her late 50’s who wears tweed suits and doesn’t drink alcohol because she likes to be in control, found out that I was going to Tunisia so she wrote down a few phrases in Arabic for me to learn:
shukran - Thank You
marhaba - Hello
habibi - term of endearment (like if you see a cute baby)
      I wonder if I can call a cute guy at the club habibi? I wonder what cute guys in Tunisia even look like? So many questions. In the meantime, I put the sign on my fridge, held up by the gator magnet I got from Louisiana, so I can read it every time I reach for a piece of cheese.

     One of the regulars at work, a real estate agent from Lebanon in her late 50’s who wears tweed suits and doesn’t drink alcohol because she likes to be in control, found out that I was going to Tunisia so she wrote down a few phrases in Arabic for me to learn:

  • shukran - Thank You
  • marhaba - Hello
  • habibi - term of endearment (like if you see a cute baby)

      I wonder if I can call a cute guy at the club habibi? I wonder what cute guys in Tunisia even look like? So many questions. In the meantime, I put the sign on my fridge, held up by the gator magnet I got from Louisiana, so I can read it every time I reach for a piece of cheese.


     I’m back in L.A. and already in the routine.
     Last night The Georgian came over to have a drink and catch me up on all that I’ve missed while on vacation. Our conversation started off light, discussing which idiot at work did what. After an hour of bullshitting, he changed the tone and warned me that what he was about to say wasn’t easy.
      Normally my response would be, “Then don’t say it,” and we’d change the subject, but this time I sensed something and kept my mouth shut. In a very professional and calm manner, he told me that last week his older brother Verne killed himself. He checked into a hotel, popped some pills, wrapped a bag around his head and suffocated himself. 
      I was shocked. I’ve heard plenty of stories about Verne and how much The Georgian looked up to him. I sat still and silent. I didn’t tell him I understood because I didn’t. I didn’t say I’m sorry because I wasn’t.  I didn’t hug him because his body language said no. All I did was listen.  I let him tell me how he’s never felt so much blood rush to his head.  How Kurt tried to hide his keys so he wouldn’t leave the apartment. How he walked down Hollywood Blvd clenching his fists in rage. How if at any moment someone confronted him, he’d kill them, especially Cathy.
     ”I swear,” he said. “When he married Cathy, he became a different person. He wanted kids so badly but she said no. She made him sell his drum kit. Drums were his life. Then she made him move to Athens. When he married her, I saw the life sucked right out of him. Fucking women.”
     ”I know you’re angry,” I said softly. “But you can’t blame Cathy. When it comes to suicide, there’s only one person to blame and that’s Verne.”
     ”And it sucks,” he said. “Why’d he’d have to do that?” 
     I let him sleep at my place and drink all the gin he wanted. I went to bed around midnight, but he stayed up pacing until 4. I slept in to noon but he was up at 9, back to pacing and gin. He told me that he was feeling better, thanks partly to the masturbation session he had last night and this morning. Curious, I checked the history.
       ”Man,” I said. “You really are pissed off at women right now. To be searching triple penetration, you must really wanna her suffer.”
      He started laughing.
      “I was curious,” he said. “I’d never seen it before.”
      I didn’t ask him about the other stuff, like “evils of homosexuality” and “is Los Angeles a place of evil,” because I didn’t want to make him uncomfortable. Let’s just try and keep it light and airy for a bit.

     I’m back in L.A. and already in the routine.

     Last night The Georgian came over to have a drink and catch me up on all that I’ve missed while on vacation. Our conversation started off light, discussing which idiot at work did what. After an hour of bullshitting, he changed the tone and warned me that what he was about to say wasn’t easy.

      Normally my response would be, “Then don’t say it,” and we’d change the subject, but this time I sensed something and kept my mouth shut. In a very professional and calm manner, he told me that last week his older brother Verne killed himself. He checked into a hotel, popped some pills, wrapped a bag around his head and suffocated himself. 

      I was shocked. I’ve heard plenty of stories about Verne and how much The Georgian looked up to him. I sat still and silent. I didn’t tell him I understood because I didn’t. I didn’t say I’m sorry because I wasn’t.  I didn’t hug him because his body language said no. All I did was listen.  I let him tell me how he’s never felt so much blood rush to his head.  How Kurt tried to hide his keys so he wouldn’t leave the apartment. How he walked down Hollywood Blvd clenching his fists in rage. How if at any moment someone confronted him, he’d kill them, especially Cathy.

     ”I swear,” he said. “When he married Cathy, he became a different person. He wanted kids so badly but she said no. She made him sell his drum kit. Drums were his life. Then she made him move to Athens. When he married her, I saw the life sucked right out of him. Fucking women.”

     ”I know you’re angry,” I said softly. “But you can’t blame Cathy. When it comes to suicide, there’s only one person to blame and that’s Verne.”

     ”And it sucks,” he said. “Why’d he’d have to do that?” 

     I let him sleep at my place and drink all the gin he wanted. I went to bed around midnight, but he stayed up pacing until 4. I slept in to noon but he was up at 9, back to pacing and gin. He told me that he was feeling better, thanks partly to the masturbation session he had last night and this morning. Curious, I checked the history.

       ”Man,” I said. “You really are pissed off at women right now. To be searching triple penetration, you must really wanna her suffer.”

      He started laughing.

      “I was curious,” he said. “I’d never seen it before.”

      I didn’t ask him about the other stuff, like “evils of homosexuality” and “is Los Angeles a place of evil,” because I didn’t want to make him uncomfortable. Let’s just try and keep it light and airy for a bit.


Letters From Sweet D

     I had two very important questions I needed to ask Sweet D. The first, which is the #1 thing people ask me when I tell them my Western Whore is marrying a Muslim, is will she have to convert to Islam? The second is regarding the country’s recent revolution that took place in 2011. When I was teaching in Spain, they loved to talk about the cultural explosion in the 80’s when Franco died, so I wanted to know what the vibe was like in Tunisia now that it doesn’t have a corrupt government. Her answers

  • Q: Turning Muslim? A: No, Thankfully because I am a foreign woman marrying a muslim Tunisian man, I don’t have to do anything. His family is slowly trying to show me the light but I just nod politely and think about how delicious pork is.  If I were a non-muslim foregin man trying to marry a muslim Tunisian woman that would be a whole other story. Those poor bastards have to convert legally and prove that they are an active member of their muslim community for like 6 months before they can get married. Totally sucks for them but awesome for me. They say it’s because the man is the leader of the family so if the father is Muslim and the mother isn’t the children will automatically be raised muslim. There are so many things here that I just laugh at. It’s hard to explain to them that I don’t believe in anything but kharma and being a good person. They would rather I be a Christian at least but no can do. I am cool with my kids being raised Muslim with a healthy dose of perspective from me. When they are older they can do whatever they want.
  • Q: Cultural explosion? A: The revolotion is kind of talked to death over here. People are disillusioned and over it right now. Or it could be that I don’t talk to the right people about it so I have stopped asking questions. I think it’s interesting but everyone else is kind of like realizing that now they have to actually run their government themselves and that’s really difficult. You’ll feel the vibe when you get here.

     My last day on vacation was spent in Seattle. I drove downtown to meet up with Baloney and Britney on their lunch break. Baloney walked out with a co-worker. I unrolled the window and shook his hand. His name was Chad and he works in the accounting department of the engineering company. He was friendly and easily excited. I was caught off guard when he made a joke that questioned his sexuality.  As he walked off, I gave him a quick scan— no wedding ring and very jaunty.

      “Is Chad queer?” I asked Baloney.

      “Oh yeah,” he said. “Big time.”

      “Did you just try to set us up?”

      “Hell no,” he said laughing. “He just happened to get on the elevator before me. I’ve told him stories about you, though.”

      “Does he know I’m gay?” I asked.

      “I think so.”

      “Interesting,” I said.

      We met Britney at her office building, which was the headquarters of a very large global percolator. We grabbed lunch at the contracted food trucks parked outside. I mentioned Chad.

      “Would you date him?” she asked.

      “Well,” I pondered. “He is cute. And he’d be perfect for my plan of being a stay-at-home dad. But honestly, he seems like the type of guy I’d go on a date with, he’d talk the entire time, I’d be annoyed yet smile and charm him into thinking things were going well. I’d plan on giving him a hug at the end, not to confuse things, but buckle under pressure and kiss him because I’m polite. He’d call and text but I was always busy when he wanted to schedule a second date. He finally gets it but is upset because I was the one. Then he starts harassing Baloney at work with questions like, ‘Why won’t he return my calls,’ and ‘What did I do wrong?’” 

      “I’d tell him the truth,” Baloney interjected before shoveling a sponge full of Ethiopian stew into his mouth. “That he talked too much. It’s annoying man.”

      “I just need a guy who’ll shut the fuck up sometimes,” I said. 

      By this point, Britney had rolled her eyes so deep back inside her head that all you could see was white. After lunch, she took us on a tour of her office and it was amazing! I felt like I was at fancy university where everyone wore their shirts tucked in. I loved it. Although, I felt a little out of place. I was wearing the Cabo San Lucas shirt Linda gifted me last year that had Speedy Gonzales in a giant sombrero on the front, along with my Budweiser sandals. Britney kicked us out when Baloney tweaked the nipple of the woman on the original logo they had hanging on display.

      Baloney had a few extra minutes on his lunch break, so we drove across the water to Alki Beach to grab a brewski. We talked more about Chad. My favorite part of this video is at the end when Baloney giggles, “Shut up.” He’d had enough. 


The birthday peeps! Brother Cranky (41), sis-in-law G (33), and Brother Duke (35). And then there’s Brother Raider (51) lurking in the background. Our family photos always have a lurker— either we can’t all fit in the frame or someone’s shy or just coming out of the bathroom. I bet Sister Tulip was glad to get her house back to normal once we left. We managed to clog her toilet the first morning. With all those grown men and kilbasas, what do you expect? Brother Grizz shaved his head/beard and Jazz claims that he tried to flush the hair down the toilet, but that hasn’t been confirmed. After that, a plunger was temporarily placed next to the toilet. To combat her hot flashes, Grandma Judy secretly turned down the air to 55 degrees, which froze the AC unit. Her plan backfired. The house got a little stuffy for a bit, but eventually the AC was up an running again. Other than that, we were pretty good!

The birthday peeps! Brother Cranky (41), sis-in-law G (33), and Brother Duke (35). And then there’s Brother Raider (51) lurking in the background. Our family photos always have a lurker— either we can’t all fit in the frame or someone’s shy or just coming out of the bathroom. I bet Sister Tulip was glad to get her house back to normal once we left. We managed to clog her toilet the first morning. With all those grown men and kilbasas, what do you expect? Brother Grizz shaved his head/beard and Jazz claims that he tried to flush the hair down the toilet, but that hasn’t been confirmed. After that, a plunger was temporarily placed next to the toilet. To combat her hot flashes, Grandma Judy secretly turned down the air to 55 degrees, which froze the AC unit. Her plan backfired. The house got a little stuffy for a bit, but eventually the AC was up an running again. Other than that, we were pretty good!


I tried to count all my nephews and nieces, in order from oldest (27 years old) to youngest (4 months):

1) Jonathan
2) Jessica
3) Emily
4) Judith Rose
5) Ryan
6) Brent
7) Tad
8) Sarah
9) Dawn Marie
10) Hailey
11) Katie
12) Dane
13) Karter
14) Faith
15) Grace
16) Braden
17) Isla
18) Raven

Eighteen! My lucky number. I’ve been an uncle for the past 27 years and if there’s one thing I learned about what it takes to be an uncle, it’s to never let your guard down— I got punched in the nuts three times this weekend.


Grandma Judy recently got a perm, so Jazz knew better than to dump a bucket of water over her head. Here she is signing the birthday board. We’re celebrating three birthdays today: Brother Duke, Brother Cranky, and sis-in-law G. When you’re together only so often as a family, you kill a few birds with one stone and combine birthdays. Jazz tried to throw his in their too, even though it’s in September, but that idea got him heckled. I bought a piñata at Fiesta Foods that we’ll bring out after dinner.

Grandma Judy recently got a perm, so Jazz knew better than to dump a bucket of water over her head. Here she is signing the birthday board. We’re celebrating three birthdays today: Brother Duke, Brother Cranky, and sis-in-law G. When you’re together only so often as a family, you kill a few birds with one stone and combine birthdays. Jazz tried to throw his in their too, even though it’s in September, but that idea got him heckled. I bought a piñata at Fiesta Foods that we’ll bring out after dinner.