Yo Ho, a Pirate's Hat for Me

I got an invite to an ‘80s party and figured that’d wrap up these decade-themed events. I assumed nobody would have a ‘90s-themed party; I’m not even sure how I’d dress for something like that.

The ‘80s bash was in Pacific Beach, and I was told to dress up or be denied entrance.

Growing up, everyone told me that I resembled Judge Reinhold, best known for his ‘80s roles in Beverly Hills Cop and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I figured the only way anyone would guess who I was trying to be was if I wore the pirate hat Reinhold wore in Fast Times.

Despite my pirate hat and fast-food shirt, my girlfriend said nobody would know who I was.

When I walked into the party, it was quiet. I knew they’d be screening ‘80s flicks, but I didn’t think the crowd would be sitting around the TV watching them. They were watching Repo Man, one of the few ‘80s movies I hadn’t seen.

One guy told me that he was at the premiere of that movie when it came out. He started to tell me about it, but someone told us to quiet down so he could hear the movie.

A woman came over and asked me what the deal was with the pirate hat. I said, “Okay, well, my girlfriend said nobody would know who I was, so let me say his catchphrase from Fast Times: ‘I shall serve no fries before their time.’”

Everyone looked confused. I said another line from the film, and a guy said, “Oh, yeah. You’re that dude. Uh, from that movie...with Sean Penn.” I looked at my girlfriend, pleased that I was proving her wrong, that someone knew who I was supposed to be. She said, “Yeah, well, that’s one person out of the ten standing here. And you had to say the name of the movie.”

I saw a crowd in the back yard and figured it would be better to talk to people out there and not worry about having to be quiet for the people watching Repo Man.

I approached a guy who was about 6’9” and asked him if he played basketball. “No. I ran track-and-field in high school.” I said, “The basketball coach there must’ve been pissed.”

I told him about a guy I once met at a party who was about his height. When I asked that guy if he played basketball, he said, “Why, because I’m tall and black?” I said, “Uh, yeah.” He laughed and then told me that he played college ball. I told him how I’d read in Wilt Chamberlain’s biography that Wilt hated when people asked him that or clichés, like “How’s the weather up there?” The guy smiled and said, “I realize people probably don’t normally see a guy my height, so they ask those questions. It doesn’t bother me much. Sometimes I’ll joke about it. If someone asks if I play basketball, I say, ‘No, I’m a jockey.’ A few times, people believed me.”

When we talked about his high school track team, he mentioned someone on his team winning a silver medal in the hurdles at the Sydney Olympics. “He also made it to the Olympics in Atlanta. Remember, the one that was bombed?” I said, “Yeah, why? Did he bomb them?”

As I was walking away to talk to others, he told me the guy’s name was Mark Career. I wondered if I should Google it. I also wondered if he was saying his name was Mark and something about his career and I just didn’t hear him properly. I wasn’t concerned enough to ask him to clarify.

I heard a few people talking about a Bauhaus concert. I told them that I thought that band was overrated, and we had a small debate about it. Someone mentioned seeing New Order in concert and how horrible it was. I asked if they’d assembled any ‘80s songs for the party and was told they’d be sticking with ‘80s movies.

We talked about our favorite ‘80s films. Someone mentioned Breakfast Club. One guy said, “I just don’t think it’s realistic. Would those guys all have become friends?” There was a disagreement as to whether or not Pretty in Pink was any good. We all agreed, however, that Ferris Bueller ruled. Someone else mentioned Valley Girl and how weird Nicolas Cage was in that. I asked, “Why is it that when people talk about ‘80s movies it’s always the John Hughes–type films? Nobody mentions a scary movie such as Poltergeist. Or adventures such as Raiders of the Lost Ark. Nobody mentions classics like Raging Bull.”

Someone said, “I think that was a ‘70s movie.” I replied, “I think it’s 1980. But, my point is, for some reason, ‘80s films have just come to mean those romantic comedies that John Hughes did.”

I told them that I just saw Say Anything a few years back for the first time and that I thought it was overrated. They all loved it and told me I was crazy. A woman mentioned another ‘80s movie John Cusack was in with a kid trying to collect money for his newspaper route. The kid followed Cusack around saying, “I want my two dollars.” We all remembered the scene but couldn’t remember the name of the movie. Someone said, “It couldn’t have been very good if you guys can’t remember the title.” Another guy said, “No, it was great. They had these Asian guys in a car who talked like Howard Cosell through a big speaker. They’d challenge other cars to races.” Someone responded sarcastically, “Oh, yeah, that sounds great. You really sold it.”

I went back inside to grab a Coke. They had food set out, but my girlfriend and I had eaten dinner. I grabbed a few carrots anyway.

I met some people talking in the kitchen. Jesse, who lived there, told me about Vertigo Surfboards, a local company that makes custom boards. Another guy, who seemed as if he’d had a lot to drink, tried to tell me more about the company, but I could barely understand him.

We went into the garage so I could see some of the boards. They pointed out one that was made of aluminum. I asked if that was common and was told that it’s not. They explained that the aluminum is woven in with the fiberglass.

I said, “This may be a stupid question, but do you surf?”

They all told me that they did surf, and I said, “I just wonder if there is anyone who makes surfboards but doesn’t surf.”

Jesse said, “Yeah, there are. They’re in China.”

Repo Man was still playing in the living room. The crowd watched quietly. One guy, who’d had a lot to drink, would occasionally slur something such as, “Oh, yeah, this is a good part. Watch this.”

I went out to the back yard to talk to the tall dude again.

He told me about his recent high school reunion on the Queen Mary and about the people in high school who were popular but now seemed like losers. He added that he was happy to reconnect with his friends.

He told me that the cops showed up because the party got too rowdy. I thought about the crowd inside and said, “We don’t have to worry about that happening here.”

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Well, four people left messages at the Reader offices, letting me know that the John Cusak movie is called "Better Off Dead."

That sounds like an incredibly lame "party."

Apparently in publishing 4 months after the event (it was the first weekend in May) Mr. Board lost track of some key facts. Even his own YouTube video confirms the identity of the movie in question as Better Off Dead. The event was in O.B., not P.B. Jesse wasn't just "talking about" local surfboard maker Vertigo Surfboards, it's HIS COMPANY.

And it might be a good idea to credit and identify your interview and photo subjects a little better--you had every opportunity in the last 4 months, at the very least I am available consistently by e-mail and as the person inviting him I would have appreciated some sort of courtesy followup.

In addition, "6'9" Guy" and I did not appreciate having our out-of-context comments and very bad photos used in one of the interview segments a couple months ago.

Uh....I would guess that the column isn't a plug for companies, it's about parties. And, I'm going to guess the guy who owns the surf company, is the same guy in the video, ON THIS PAGE that Josh (assuming that's Josh filming) says "not only do you make surfboards, but you also make margaritas" (or something like that). So, I think we all get the idea, that this guy owns the company, and makes surfboards. Hell, why not be stoked that the company name was even mentioned in the article? I would be....if it was my company. People are so effin' picky and petty, it blows my mind.

towelheadedcameljockey 9:55 a.m., Sep 28, 2008

"petty and picky" ???

"towelheadedcameljockey" has apparently never created anything of value of their own and, clearly, feels the need to suggest that others seeing to protecting what they have as "petty and picky". What and who is towelheadedcameljockey? >> A socialistic communist adapted to current American cosumeristic mediocrity?? Or really, they're probably just a new entry-level employee to the McDonald's Corporation with no desire for higher education. (Sarah Palin would likely want this one to procreate in Alaska, couldn't she very well? ;))

Notwithstanding, I would suggest that "towelheadedcameljockey" is in dire need of a life and some hobbies while they, hopefully, learn a grander consciousness that can extract the logical significance of the PARTY THROWER'S public reply to Mr. Board's consistently facile analogies. In other words, she doesn't appreciate this articles self-important perspective and that is her public rebuttal to Mr. Board, The San Diego Reader, and those who think "The Crasher" is "dope".

Obviously, I don't either.

By the way, I was at this currently 4 month old party. Not only do I remember it's correct location in OB and not PB, but also, I am the man in the first segment of the video who received no preface to Mr. Board's question (or whoever was representing him and "rolling" for the San Diego Reader and now, YouTube.com) : What your favorite '80's film?

Incidentally, the San Diego Reader is NOT in possession of a model release to publish that live-action clip including myself and therefore is currently in violation of copyright law. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink . . . SD Reader.

Furthermore, "towelheadedcameljockey" wishes to JUDGE the very people that give Mr. Board his content... who wish to participate in giving Mr. Board a place at the San Diego Reader?

I'm not for abolishing Mr. Board or "The Crasher". I just think Mr. Board and The San Diego Reader could help add an element of class and empathy to those of whom VOLUNTEER their time and PRIVATE space for the sake of the "The Crasher" articles. Oh... and make them (the VOLUNTEERS, that is) aware of what they are doing and attempting to accomplish as often as is logistically possible. Which, this did not occur in this circumstance, at this "decade themed" '80's party, one already referred to in rebuttal herein as "lame".

Thanks in advance as well posthumously Mr. Board for that one too. You really know how to keep'em on your side, eh? ;)

Heading to a better party I shall not "crash". "Shall" being the operative word.


Joel B. Martin

PS - Notice the lack of cutesy screen name.

In response to all this...well, the party was 4 months ago. So what. Sometimes I put parties off, and when I had another theme party (60s, then 70s), I thought I'd run them sequentially. Even though, in actuality, the 80s party was first. Big deal.

Along those same lines, moving things around, etc...yes, the movie was identified as "Better Off Dead" later in the party. But you know what? It flowed better not to have that in the story. When I'm working with a strict word count, every detail doesn't always need to be explained. I thought it would read better to leave it as if it was a topic that never came to a conclusion, because the title wasn't thought of. Nothing fun about writing, "Some dude went in the other room, and Googled it." (that didn't happen, but you see my point) I guess it's creative license, and that sometimes bothers people.

And, along the line of people being bothered, yes I did realize that was the guys surf board company. But you know what? He was so drunk, and at times, I could barely understand what he was saying. I decided to refrain from writing that, as I could see that escalating into something where he later said "You know that really hurt my business, you mentioning that I was drunk."

Just as a woman from a previous "dive bar club" party is trying to claim she got fired because I wrote about it. Or, how other businesses beg and beg me to mention them in my column. And often times, I don't. My column isn't about plugging the various business owners or their products. I'll only write about it if it's of interest (as some of his surfboard stories were), or for a variety of other reasons.

I didn't confirm it, when the person said the party was "lame". But I was told I "had to come in 80s attire." I went and bought a $20 pirate hat...all to walk in to see a total of 8 people. Eight people!!! And, most weren't even dressed in anything noticably "80s."

I've had other parties with not many in attendance, but at least they all had great stories and I had a blast talking with them. At this party...hardly anyone was talking. Other than the 6'9" guy, who I found to be very nice and interesting.

To email and say "what was his name again?" only leads to a whole host of other problems. The person wanting to know if I can mention their best friend. Or, not mention the guy that they now broke up with. Believe me, the things I hear after the parties, on what I "should and shouldn't" write.

And, if memory serves (as it apparently didn't on the OB/PB thing...I just knew it was on Sunset Cliffs)....the birthday girl didn't want photos taken of her. I was told that at least two or three times. I didn't need to hear, in an email, "Can you not run any photos? We don't like how we looked."

It becomes more of a pain.

I do apologize to anyone at the party, that isn't happy with how the story turned out. Believe me, it's not my intention to write a piece that comes across as negative.

At the mention of "The Black Stallion" in the video, I got all warm and fuzzy. I'd forgotten about that corny gem. I should admit that one of my all-time favorites from childhood is "The Last Unicorn."

Well Barb, I'm a few years older than you. So, you probably saw Black Stallion on video. I remember my parents friends, setting me up on a date with a blonde girl from Indiana, that was a niece of theirs. We were both in 6th grade, and the movie was on of the only things in the theatre for kids (in those days, movie houses, if they were big, had four screens, tops). I was so scared sitting next to her. At one point she grabbed my hand. She let go after 10 minutes, and wiped the sweat from my hands, on her pant leg. And, she kept her hands to herself after that.

That is one of the few films I've seen, that I remember absolutely nothing about!

Never saw the Last Unicorn. Or Last Samura, Last King of Scotland, Last of the Mochicans.

I think I missed a lot of "last" movies. Oh wait...I did see Last Picture Show and Last Movie, with Dennis Hopper. Damn, when movies come out, I'm like someone with ADD.

In response to Joel: Just you mentioning my videotaping, and "copyright law" proves my point. Dealing with people at parties that all want something done a certain way, is tiresome. And not worth the bother. Obviously, I wouldn't video a group that was doing drugs or use a hidden video. Everyone there knows I'm writing/videotaping, for the Reader to use. And, most are happy about that (minus the birthday girl, and, uh...you, I guess).

For you to insult Towelhead (I feel like I insulted him/her, just writing their "clever" name)...that just shows how idiotic you are. Sure, you create/make surfboards. That's awesome. But who says Towel doesn't create anything? And, if they did, does that give them any more/less credibility to comment on, or give opinions, on a debate?

I'm assuming your point is...that this is your business. And you make surfboards. Since Towel DOES NOT, they can't possibly know why this would be important to you. But, your failing to hear what that person is saying. They are just saying....hey, your business got a mention. That sounds pretty cool, why complain?

But when actors and directors, complain about film critics giving them a bad review by saying "They obviously can't make a film, that's why they are critics"...is just complete B.S.

And who says Towelhead thinks I'm "dope"? They've argued with me, in a few of my blogs and other topics. Yet, we are able to keep it civil, and to the debate at hand. Instead of me trying to say something lame like "Why would your opinion matter to me? You aren't a professional journalist or writer. Until you are, don't bother commenting on such matters."

FYI regarding "model releases" -- such releases are not required for editorial use, a category in which this column fits squarely.

Jesus. Someone got hit on the nerve.

Goody, an Internet game of flexing your muscles. You Joel, are obviously one clever little cookie, coming up with such lines like "you work for McDonalds" and "you're a communist" and "you need a life" and still having enough in you to ad that ingenious little PS at the end, bravo. I see why you have been appointed your pack leader, with such shrewd wit and utter brilliance oozing from your very finger tips. The quickness and originality of your words and thoughts are absolutely superior. Make way writers on Colbert, we now have Joel B Martin on the horizon.

Who said I judged the host or an attendee of this party, completely? I merely pointed out that their public complaint, seemed awfully small and ridiculous. I understand wanting facts straight such as the party being in OB and not PB. However, everything else covered in the article seems to be mere observations of the party and thoughts passing through the writers mind. Even the video, which you're puffing your chest out over, just shows a group of friends standing around, drinking margaritas, talking about surfboards and movies from the 80's. Something which looked to be enjoyable, for the group of people involved.

My point in the previous post was to let the person with the initial complaint know that most readers probably understood that the guy in the video who is talking about making surfboards, probably owned that company. And, those readers who don't see the video, read the company name, learn that they make custom boards and is even noted as being locally owned. So, maybe they should step back, and see that as a positive, instead of what other details they wished were in, were left out.

You (or someone) invited this guy to your party. Inviting him, doesn't mean that you then get to plug all the different companies you work for, talk about your positions within those businesses, and flaunt whatever nifty little things it is you do in life.

This article isn't bad, and doesn't show anyone is poor light. And the theme for the party, is actually pretty....."dope".

Mr. Board, "Towelhead", et al :

There's quite a bit of material to respond to coming from my recent explanation of my strong opinion about the 20080917 published Crasher article. Unfortunately, I cannot currently respond in total to today's fallacious points made by "Towelhead" and Mr. Board.

I will quickly outline an appropriate response to come with a few of these facts :

1 - I don't make surfboards for a living.

2 - I did not invite Mr. Board to said party.

3 - Party's location is not, and never was, my residence.

4 - I barely know the owner of the residence, Jesse.

(Who, incidentally, is the maker of surfboards in this case.)

5 - I am not the "pack leader", by default, or what have you.

6 - I'm a cinematographer and photographer, I would never use or have reason to use images not reflecting how best to tell "the story" -- or present "the images" which others involved, could and would, overtly appreciate. As well, they would be aware, every step of the way, HOW I'm doing WHAT I'm doing. And, of course, why.

7 - I'm not asking for a better reflection of Jesse's business and I never did. I merely backed up my friend and acquaintance's opinion : the PARTY THROWER, otherwise known as Ms. Alison Spencer.


joshb 1:58 p.m., Sep 29, 2008 wrote: "For you to insult Towelhead (I feel like I insulted him/her, just writing their "clever" name)...that just shows how idiotic you are."

I'm not allowed to express the utterly superficial analogy .. uh... "Mr. Towelhead", I believe it is now, made in recent rebuttal?

[Now site US Constitution's First Amendment..] (something which you ought to be aware, Mr. B ;)

Mr. Board, you're beginning to challenge my commitment to civility. Thankfully, I don't work for a rag and didn't use to consider the San Diego Reader one. I STILL don't wish to. But, please refrain and not make that case any easier for me to make in the future. (Bob's your uncle.)

The only point you and yours have somewhat accurate is editorial usage of images. Too bad good Art Direction, Writing, and Law aren't on the same side of the fence at the same time...You'd think that was possible, in a professional place especially.

Nah, I guess that takes real professionals to handle that circumstance.

Or, perhaps I ought to take your advice and not bind myself to such classier restraints while striving for the extreme professionalism about journalism you yourself claim to be bound. What do you think? (BTW : It's rhetorical..)

Congratulations I suppose is in order for simultaneously reducing a good christian publication (SDR) to a rag and yourself as lead paparazzi. Your skills do exceed mine you naughty boy Mr. B.


Joel B. Martin (an : "I haven't practiced for a while" - Catholic)

joshb 2:18 a.m., Sep 29, 2008 wrote :

"And, if memory serves (as it apparently didn't on the OB/PB thing...I just knew it was on Sunset Cliffs)...."

^^ >>

Just a funny side note...from the much more egregious "Board'em/Towelhead" balderdash to addressed later.

Question for you Mr. Board :

So, ahh, where's Sunset Cliffs Boulevard in PB?


Mr. Board, :))), stop while you're theoretically ahead why don't you?!

I'll buy you the drink...

For real...

Joel B. Martin

Dang it, Joel. You got me. Yet again.

Next you're going to tell me that guy was only 5'9"!

I'm a terrible, terrible journalist.

On a side note...what 80s attire were you wearing? I can't place who you were at the party (which is odd, since there were only 8 people there).

joshb 1:20 a.m., Sep 30, 2008 wrote:

"Dang it, Joel. You got me. Yet again . . . I'm a terrible, terrible journalist"

I'm not trying to suggest that you are a terrible journalist, Josh. Although, I think you jacked this one up quite a bit. Mainly because I'm in the all of the imagery without even notice of publication dates (a convention I'm use to working by as a cinematographer/photographer). Honestly though, it's really because I had never been properly introduced to you prior that gonzo-masochistic approach I got the bum's rush on, "Hey!? What's your favourite '80's film?". Call me old school, but I'd really prefer knowing who's asking me questions -- even after a few drinks.

I then read your article to find surprisingly the party had been panned by you, which I didn't think it deserved publicly. Nor would I have expected you to tell the story in that manner : with an added condescending spin I can only surmise, keeps the tone and feel of your writing style consistent with your column : slightly de rigueur, yet personally accessible. Therefore, when the party hadn't met what must clearly be your connoisseur-of-parties lifestyle, your personal conjecture seemed to set in at that point and not to a degree I would have expected. Hence, my motivation to let you know this in no uncertain terms. As well, it's what most of my aquaintance's at that party feel, which I guess makes me a representative for them. Believe me, I never wanted the job.

In effect, all 8 of those people, as you said, including myself, felt slighted by the 20080917 Crasher. There were more than that, truth be told, around 20. These are the very people who invited you to this party in your article from the beginning. You honestly feel good about treating them that way? That is my point, which has been my key point since Sunday. It was never about giving plugs to Jesse's business in your column. I DON'T even want to judge how you to do, what you do. But, obviously, I sure felt the need to do that here. I would have just liked to know "What the eff" is happening when you're going about your profession. In this case, at that moment, four months ago, at this not-so-over-the-top '80's party . Dang . . . I would have helped you facilitate your work, at least the imagery.

For the record, I like the notion of "The Crasher". I believe that as reality would eventually flush out here, your notion of first person is fundamentally different from my notion of first person, as well as what my approach to what that would be. But, it's your column and I can respect that boundary.

Who am I? As I said in the other post, I'm the guy in the beginning of the video. As well, I'm the man in the center of the photograph featuring your article. No, I was not wearing

(hit post by mistake)

...'80's garb. I was told to come no matter what, which I almost didn't. Perhaps that would be better for us both right now. Who can tell?

More to come.


Joel B. Martin (heading to work)

"I then read your article to find surprisingly the party had been panned by you, which I didn't think it deserved publicly."


Where in the article, is the party panned? Please point it out. Because again, this write up, seems to be light hearted and fun. I'm curious where it is you guys are seeing all these negatives about yourselves.

Back to the register.

Too bad the comments on this one are more than a month old. Otherwise, I'd tell Joel B. Martin to unclench his butt cheeks...he'd feel much better.

Yeah, he is the President of the Uptight Citizens Brigade.

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