With apologies to Orange County Register sports genius Randy Youngman, notes, quotes and observations from yesterday’s sojourn to Sacramento, where I received a Latino Spirit Award (honoring Latinos who have made a positive contribution to California) from the California Latino Legislative Caucus:
*Hosting me for two days was the saintly, ever-hilarious Matt Coker, longtime managing editor of the OC Weekly, currently editor at the Sacramento News and Review. Clockwork Coker remains as troublemaking as every—the latest cover story involved furries. He’s currently very happy because your Anaheim Angels are kicking ass.
*Latino Spirit Award winners included longtime Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett, legendary playwright Luis Valdez, teacher Jaime Escalante (of Stand and Deliver fame), other worthy businessmen, activists, and movie producers—and me. I was the youngest of the honorees by at least 20 years.
*Why did I receive the award? Blame Hector de la Torre, assemblyman from South Gate. A couple of months ago, we met for breakfast burritos at Athenian Burger #3 in Buena Park, where he interviewed me to see if I was worthy of the award. It wasn’t De La Torre’s decision alone—he nominated me, and the other members of the Latino Legislative Caucus had to approve it. Gracias, cabrones.
*Before we were recognized on the Assembly floor, staffers herded us into a room named after longtime Speaker of the Assembly Willie Brown. Without warning, Chuck Devore burst in. “Did you bring my book?” he said with a grin, referring to China Attacks, his 2001 tome you can find at San Diego State’s bookstore for 24 freakin’ cents.
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*Although De La Torre nominated me, the assemblymembers who escorted me to the floor were Mike Feuer and Patty Berg. Feuer was a hoot and said he hears me often on KPCC-FM 89.3’s AirTalk with Larry Mantle; Berg had never heard of me in her life.
*For posterity’s sake, De La Torre read some Ask a Mexican questions into the Assembly’s record. Bastard bowdlerized the hell out of them.
*After posing for photos on the floor, coming up to congratulate me were Assemblymembers Jose Solorio of Santa Ana and—surprisingly—Van Thai Tran. Nowhere to be seen were Jim Silva, Mimi Walters, Todd Spitzer, and Tom Harman. Fuckers.
*Later in the day, there was a reception for the winners on the north steps of the Capitol. I met staffers from various Orange County assemblymembers, and I mentioned how the OC blogosphere refers to Tran’s acolytes as Trannies. “That’s nothing,” offered one. “We call Chuck Devore’s workers ‘Devorks.’” For the record, the one Devore staffer I saw was muy caliente and definitely not a dork like her boss. Read Clockwork Coker's take here.