Santa Monica City Hall (File photo)

If I have one fault as a writer … I have a thousand.
No, wait, that’s not what I meant to write.
Try again.
If I have one fault as a writer, it’s that I’m verbose.
Voluminously verbose. Liberally loquacious. Garishly garrulous.
See? I need a 12-step.
It’s because I care, I tell myself, not wanting to be too unkind. I start writing about a subject dear to my heart and there’s so much I want to say, and it quickly turns into a novelette.
Then I have to cut, cut, cut, and I’m cutting out the good stuff just to make it fit in the space. Usually the funny stuff is the first to go. I’m really much funnier than you think.
Someday I’ll publish my collected first drafts. As a novelette.
So I thought, why not get a lot of subjects in, ever so briefly, instead of covering one subject thoroughly?
This is probably not a good idea. It’s probably much harder than my usual way. But I’m intrigued, so what the hay.
Is the race for City Council getting really interesting, or turning into a 14-ring circus?
To some candidates I say Later, Mann. I think Rubin and Robin cancel each other, don’t you? Sorry, I don’t have the Boles to make fun of any more names.
I’d rather see just six names on the ballot. That seems like plenty for a small town. And, probably no more than that have a chance to win. But in a small town, I guess you have to grab all the opportunities you can find to entertain yourself. (I’m talking about the candidates.) I’m seeing myself climbing the walls by my chewed fingernails by late September.
There are so many issues. So much to know to make an informed choice. Here’s my bottom line: figure out who has spent a long time serving our community, what their track record is, are they transparent and someone who listens to the citizens? Then you look and see if they line up for the most part with your beliefs and goals for Santa Monica. No one’s going to do that perfectly for you. I think that’s why we have so many running: they all think they’re the only ones who can get it right. Which means, automatically, that they won’t.
If I eat a taco at a candidate’s function, am I tainted? Bought? My journalistic integrity sullied? Do I have to vote for Sue Himmelrich now? I haven’t even endorsed her. Brock bought me, I guess, with guacamole at El Cholo. I think I munched something I can’t recall at McKinnon’s kickoff at his home. I had to leave before the crowd lunged into Feinstein’s homemade goodies (stayed up all night, he did) at his Tongva Park launch. Mr. McKeown has not dangled so much as a crumb in front of my destitute journalist’s lips, and yet I’m definitely endorsing and voting for him, so obviously, the way to a man’s heart may be through his stomach but if you want my vote you’ll have to go through another organ, my brain.
Taking the 4th-5th Street exit, even mid-afternoon, has become a joke. With a really long, drawn out punch line. Imagine how wonderful it will be if the Gang of Four gets their way on all the developments they’ve already approved. We may as well position valet parking attendants at the on ramp. Hand them your keys and walk the rest of the way.
Drivers! The “Give me 3” law goes into effect September 1. Do you know what it is? Probably not, unless you’re also a cyclist. It requires drivers to give cyclists three feet of space, all around. Otherwise, they must slow to a reasonable speed. Please do it. You don’t want to muss up that nice detailing you just got with some crummy cyclist’s blood and body parts now, do you?
I promise to go to some pier concerts now. No more MacArthur Park for me, no sir. (Because they don’t have any more good ones left.) But last Thursday’s with Loudon Wainwright III was exceptional. And though he claims he now focuses on the concerns of his demographic – death, disease, destruction – the teens and barely post-teens I hauled with me, with mostly no notion as to who this guy was, gave unanimous, enthusiastic thumbs ups. (That’s what it would be, right? More than one thumbs up would be several thumbs ups. I like that.)
He worked in some recitation of work by his father, LW Jr. (“you’re getting two Loudons for the price of one tonight, and the price is pretty good” – free), the famous columnist for Life magazine in the ’60s and ’70s. I had heard of him but never read anything, and I was blown away. An insanely good storyteller. I’ve always been in awe of III’s genius way with words, but his dad was a real ace. Guys like that either inspire you or make you want to quit. Both, really.
Getting so sick and tired of stories almost daily of out-of-control cops who kill someone for pretty much no good reason. The five in New York who just applied a chokehold and didn’t stop despite the man pleading over and over, “I can’t breathe… I can’t breathe.” The Sonoma deputy who bravely fired eight rounds at a 13-year-old Santa Rosa boy who was walking down the sidewalk, carrying a pellet gun that resembled an automatic weapon, will not be charged. Yup, he acted according to his training and his rules of conduct. Well, there’s something grievously wrong with the training and the rules of conduct and departments that let their crazies in uniform get away with murder.
On a lighter note – I’ll say it again. I know it’s not manly. I know they have their haters. But I love squirrels. Outside of certain adorable kittens and puppies, they are nature’s born entertainers. But cool, grown up entertainment, like the difference between Bill Cosby and George Carlin, Ellen Degeneres and Louis C.K.
Random quote of the week: “We are all in the gutter … but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde
Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for almost 30 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. You can reach him at

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