how monicas mom is partially responsible for the world famous busblog

monicamany moons ago, long before i was lured by the underground santa barbara mafia, the xbi, i was a mere high school lad with an afro.

on my first day of school i was nervous beyond belief for i had known all of my friends since kindegarten and never had problems finding amigos since i was the one newbies had to meet, not vice versa.

the year all of our little junior highs merged into one huge supergroup, i was scared for several reasons. at the top was the fact that being one of a handful of black kids in a school of 100 was difficult, but not impossible. but being one of 1,000 was daunting to say the least.

but then first period of my first class on my first day the prettiest girl i could ever imagine sat next to me and introduced herself as monica. i could barely get a hello out from my braces but after we did we became super close friends for the next four years.

not only was she easy on the eyes but she was super smart and played clarinet in illinois’ best high school marching band. eventually she would convince me to join my senior year and it turned out to be my favorite part of my whole high school experience.

next to sitting next to her of course.

these were the days before cell phones and the internet and text messages and skype but there was electricity and landline telephones. and one of the things that i will never forget is trying to call monica at her home and having to deal with the family’s call screener, her mother, a very stern German woman who saw no good in young boys phoning up her eldest daughter, and made it known if not verbally, psychically.

still we would chat and quickly the conversation would be interrupted, which was ok, because it would lead me to write her all sorts of notes in school, including stories and perverted poems and drawings, which later would lead me to a life of writing on blogs like this one.

often for pay!

so thank you monica’s mom, my success in the creative arts, is due, in part to you and your (rightfully) protective behavior.

first day of high schoolbecause of the work i was forced to do via the xbi, i was forbidden to go to any high school reunions or keep in touch with anyone from my innocent past. but thanks to the miracle of facebook, i have been able to catch a glimpse of what has been going on with my longest friend bob, a few of my fellow general managers, and this pal or that. a few christmases ago i even got to reunite with a high school crush who first turned me onto led zep.

when i returned to LA the xbi reminded me of how dangerous that was and i agreed and reluctantly passed on a milestone reunion a few months ago when i was in my old hometown.

of the few people i would have loved to have seen was my dear friend monica, who reached out to me yesterday on facebook by friending me. i had no idea she was even on facebook, nor did i have any clue that she has blossomed into an even prettier version of what i remember.

but what i really remember from being one of her bffs during those super important adolescent years is how important real friends are. monica was as genuine as could be, honest, sincere, and sweet. there was never anything up her sleeve, she was a good sport, and she was everything you’d expect from a midwestern girl who would commute to downtown a few times a month with her hot friend sonja to go to German class.

one reason i’m rarely without my Cubs hat is to remind the xbi that no matter what ive done with them or what they hope to do with me, at heart i am a goofy midwestern boy with a dirty story to slip your way when you least expect it on the bus on the way to winning best in state. inspired and encouraged by mythical babes like monica.

photos: above: monica today. below: me on my first day of high school 

during an interview for a gig in nyc i mentioned my old marching band director

Mr Kenneth Snoeck was the first person who ever taught me what giving 100% meant

in the video above is the Ohio State Marching Band from Saturday doing a neat trick

they did a really great Michael Jackson tribute including a fancy move in the middle

but one thing that i thought of while i watched it was how simplistic the music and choreography was

mr snoeck used to always tell us that even though All of our competitors

marched up and down the yard lines – because it was easier – we would not do anything easy

our music would be complicated and our moves would be unpredictable and anti-traditional

i cant find any video from when i was part of the state’s best drumline with Lake Park

but heres something from 1991 that shows you how much more crazed Mr. Snoeck’s demands were on teens

than Ohio State is on college kids, who, id guess, were from all of the great HS bands in the midwest

the lesson i learned was: always be creative, always push the people no matter how old or young

and never do the bare minimum: your goal should be the absolute maximum.

rest in peace Mr Snoeck, you’re still being thought about.

when i was in high school the hottest girls in class were the Lancettes


even though in this photo they look like cheerleaders, they weren’t cheerleaders,

they were better than cheerleaders.

sure at parades they’d bust out the huge pom poms and throwback outfits

but at halftimes of games and pep rallies they did routines that made every one in the house stfu and stare.

something was magical about them when i was in school.

they were like Mean Girls, except they werent mean.

they were sexy as anyone, but not the slightest bit slutty.

and as far as i remember they were all like straight a students.

all while floating around with an air about them like they were barely trying.

after our senior party i woke up in a hotel room in Schaumburg wrapped in cassette tape

in my leather jacket hungover on Malibu rum surrounded by snoozing Lancettes

we were all clothed (no one had sex in my class) and i’m pretty sure zero kissing took place

but when i woke up i was all, yes, i can die now because im already in heaven. and i was 17.

last night while at a going away party in Echo Park on Sunset Blvd at Little Joy Cocktails

i noticed a young lady who had a bit of a little magic about her

the lancette and jose

she came over and shook my hand and introduced herself and commented on my Cubs hat

and she said oh my parents are from the northwest suburbs, i said thats where im from

she said Bloomingdale?

i was all, Lake Park High?

she was like no way did you go there.

i was all, blow my mind and tell me you were in the marching band.

she was like, nah i was a Lancette.

so yeah, the world is the tiniest place in the entire galaxy.