Thursday, May 28, 2009


Today, I went to the driving range for the first time in months. There's something about whacking the crap out of a little ball that seems so therapeutic. It doesn't matter how bad your day has been, if you go hit balls on the range, it will make you feel better every time. Unless of course you suck. Then it might make you even more frustrated.
I think that more professional athletes should take up golf. I know a lot of them do when they retire, but I think that pro athletes have a lot they could learn from golf. The main thing is humility. If you mess up on the golf course, you don't have anyone to blame but yourself. If you're a pro golfer and you don't win a tournament, you know it's no one's fault but yours. The only thing stopping you from beating anyone else is you. As Will Smith said in The Legend of Bagger Vance: "Golf is the only sport I know where you can call a penalty on yourself." And golfers do. Imagine an athlete like Terrell Owens always blaming everything that happened in a game on himself. It's just not going to happen. Or imagine Kobe calling a foul on himself. There's no way. That's the beauty of golf. When you lose, it's no one's fault but yours. But when you win, the feeling is total because you know that all those hours at the driving range have finally paid off.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I Just Ate Your Baby- Do Something About It

Lately, I've been trying to catch up on movies. When I was growing up, my parents didn't expose me to a lot that was out at the time. It wasn't that I didn't see anything worth while. But as I started getting older, I realized how much I missed. I made some new friends through my girlfriend, and through them, I've been exposed to a variety of action films, and I'm so glad for it. I finally saw all of the Die Hard movies (awesome!), Predator (some of the best lines I've ever heard in a movie), and I recently got some more movies with Steven Seagal, Arnold Shwarzenegger, and Jean Claude Van Damme. The Van Damme movies came in a box set, and looking at them, I realized something. The man only has one look. It's not quite a "Blue Steel," but it's like a "I Just Ate Your Baby- Do Something About It" look. The only thing that changes in the posters for his movies is the background and the angle he's facing the camera. In two of the posters (The Quest and Timecop), I'm 100% positive that they used the same picture.
I guess that was the thing about action stars back then. Give the audience a few snapped necks and a one or two fancy karate moves (Seagal, Van Damme), or just show a lot of muscle and shoot a lot of guns (Arnie), and to hell with a story, you had a film. Now things aren't so easy. Today, people demand plausible plots, character development, realistic action sequences. While this has undoubtedly led to some really good films, to me it feels like the fun is missing. I love movies that make me think, but sometimes it's just fun to be entertained. I guess we still have people like Michael Bay for things like that, but now it's saturated with product placement and actors who don't belong (Transformers, Pearl Harbor). Maybe some audiences still like to laugh at how ridiculous it is for a gun to fall down stairs and somehow shoot and kill every bad guy in the area (True Lies). Maybe sometimes things are fun because they don't make sense. Yeah, a van isn't going to blow up if it falls 10 feet into water. But isn't it more fun if it does? There must be someplace in our hearts still for an actor like Jean Claude Van Damme. Sure he couldn't act, but how much fun did people have watching his movies? There has to be a way we can put the fun back in the movies, and put the "I Just Ate Your Baby- Do Something About It" back on the big screen where it belongs.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Peckerwood Park

About a week ago, I decided to do a piece on the Salton Sea for my journalism class. I'd been wanting to see it for a while, so I thought that this would be a good chance for me to explore a place I had never seen, and to write a story about it in the process. I had heard from a few friends that the sea is a weird place, but nothing could have prepared me for what was waiting for me there.
My piece was originally going to be about an abandoned resort town called Bombay Beach. I thought it was a cool name, so I picked it, and I thought that there would be plenty of people to interview there. When I got there, I didn't see anyone. The place wasn't just a trailer park, it was an abandoned trailer park. Crap. What was I going to do? I found a liquor store off of the main street and went in to try to find someone to talk to. There was one guy working there, but he was less than friendly. Then two guys came into the store, and the store manager said I should try talking to one of the guys, "Patch." It didn't take me long to figure out who Patch was. One of the mean was missing an eye and had a big black eyepatch over it. I asked him a few questions and then he said that he and his buddy were going over to "Peckerwood Park" to go drink, and he invited me to go with them.
Peckerwood Park turned out to be a park bench that Patch had put under a tree and a swing bench next to it. Patch and his friend, Terry, spend their days hanging out in the park and reminiscing. In the few hours I spent with them, we were visited by a few other guys who were residents of Bombay Beach. Listening to them, I heard a lot of stories I don't think I would ever have heard in San Diego. Let's just say that they do things a little different in Bombay Beach. One of the guys who came by complained about how his wife had hit him with a shovel the night before, so he had to beat her with a chain. As if that wasn't a big enough trip, I looked at his arms and saw not one, not two, but three swastika tattoos on them.
Leaving Peackerwood Park a few hours later, I left with more information than I can possibly process into a story. I've decided to forget about writing about the town and instead write about the park and the strange men who spend their days there. I'll probably never go back to Peckerwood Park, but I don't think I will ever forget the few hours I spent there.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Do You Have a Brother?

First of all, let me start by saying that I love my name. I think it's really cool to have an original name. I've only met one other Walker in my entire life. It's not that I have anything against more common names. I just like that there's something about me that sets me apart from most people right off the bat.
However, as you can imagine, especially with a certain TV show around which starred Chuck Norris, the name Walker carries certain connotations, and therefore makes people think that by saying my name, I've directly set them up to make a joke. The list of knocks I get on a nearly daily basis is endless and very repetitive.

"Like the Texas Ranger?"...You got it!
Oh, so do you have a brother named Runner?"...Hilarious!
Did your parents name you after Chuck Norris?"...*slaps forehead*

I can understand people saying something about my name. It's not a name most people hear every day, so I'll give them that. What I don't get is how every person who asks me if my parents named me after Chuck Norris expects me to start rolling on the floor in fits of laughter. Usually, I give them the courtesy "that really wasn't funny and I kind of hate you now, but not enough to make you look like an idiot in public" laugh. If I'm not in a giving mood, I'll tell them that no, my parents didn't name me after Chuck Norris or that I was conceived way before the writers for Walker Texas Ranger decided to use my name.
So here is the message I'm really trying to get across. People: think! If someone is named Whoopi, it's probably safe to assume they've heard a few Whoopi Goldberg jokes through the years. If I'm meeting you, I want to like you, I really do. So do us both a favor and leave Chuck Norris out of it.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Us humans have strange ways of connecting with one another. The longer I work in a place where talking to people every day is part of the job, the more I've realized that there's always a way to connect to someone. This doesn't just apply to customers. Sometimes, there's a new worker and they're really shy, and you want to help them, but you're not sure how. As a shy person, I can say that it's definitely true that some people just don't want to talk sometimes, or even at all in some cases. There's always some way to get through to someone, the trick is just finding it.
In a lot of cases, maybe the person isn't talking, but you notice something about them, say, a tattoo. If you bring up that tattoo, (note: this doesn't work in cases where the person has a tattoo that they really regret getting. In those cases, bringing it up will just result in a really angry glare) chances are that person is going to start talking, and it's going to be hard to get them to stop. I think that's one of the things I like most about having tattoos. Even if you just have a one inch star on your wrist, or a ladybug on your foot, having art as part of your body gives you an instant connection to anyone else with ink. Maybe a ladybug isn't going to get you crazy street-cred, but it puts you in a sort of club that only people with tats have. It's a bond through the process and the pain and everything else involved with getting a tattoo. And that bond is something that's easy to build on.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


There are times when I love having big feet. There's something empowering about having bigger feet than someone you don't get along with. Don't get me? Let's go with an example (not based on fact):
You're at the bowling alley with a bunch of friends, including your girlfriend. You get in the door, and some short guido with greasy hair and single frame sunglasses sees your girlfriend and starts hitting on her while you're all waiting in line. You're talking to your friends and giving him the stink eye, but he's not catching on. You get to the register and he decides to invite himself to bowl with you guys. So you get your lane number and the cashier asks for your shoe sizes. Right after the short guy says "8," you stand right behind him and say "13," in the lowest voice you can, and slowly put your arm around your girlfriend. You can see he's getting nervous, and when he sees the cashier put your clodhoppers next to his, which now look like the shoes of a 6 year old girl next to yours, he says, "Alright, catch you later," and then runs off, nervously looking over his shoulder. Yeah, there are times when having big feet is sweet.

And then there are times when having big feet is about as sweet as having a TV that's specially programmed so that all you can watch is reruns of Kathy Griffin's "My Life on the D List."
Take today for example. I work at Trader Joes; a store known for its good prices and food, but not it's wide aisles. When I stock products that are on the lower shelves of the store, I have to get on my knees to do so, thus blocking half the aisle with my outstretched legs and feet. Today, in the minute and a half it took me to stock a case of pasta, two old ladies tripped over my feet, and one of them almost dove headfirst into one of the frozen cases with a loud "Aaahhh!"
So it's really the situations that you find yourself in that determine whether your feet are going to be used for good at your command or for evil against your will.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Do The Right Thing...

I can't help but feel like there are certain cities that are in need of overhauls in the area of sports team names. Since I am an avid follower of the NBA, let's just start with the Utah Jazz. The team was founded in New Orleans. A team called the "Jazz" makes complete sense in a place like New Orleans. Not so much in a place like Utah. So when the team moved to Utah in 1979, it would have made sense to change the name (much like recently, when the relocated Seattle Sonics became the Oklahoma City Thunder), right? Apparently, Utah didn't think so.What's even more ironic is that now New Orleans now has a team called the Hornets. Why is this ironic? Because Utah is "The Beehive State."
When some teams move, the team name is not site specific, so it still works in other places. Case in point: The Memphis Grizzlies. The team moved from Vancouver to Memphis in 2001. Maybe Memphis doesn't have many grizzly bears running around, but the Grizzly is still a fierce animal, and a good mascot. The same goes for the Oakland Raiders and the St. Louis Rams. When those teams left L.A. in 1994, there was nothing "L.A." about the names. However, there is something very "New Orleans" about "The Jazz".
So, Utah, it's time to do the right thing. Give New Orleans it's "Jazz" back.

What's in a Name?

When choosing the name to best represent this blog, I struggled a little bit. A name should say something about what the blog is going to be about. Hmmm... And that led to the bigger question: What was my blog going to be about? After thinking for a while, I decided that there are too many things out there to write about. Why narrow it down to one area of interest? My blog would be completely random. However, I hesitate to use the word random. "Random," in my book is one of the most overused words out there, primarily by flirty caucasian females. No way I'm trapping myself like that. Therefore, this blog is henceforth dubbed "The Unsystematic." Let the unsystematic-ness begin!