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Reno J. Romero Archive

Reno J. Romero

What’s Wrong with California?

October 18th, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

WOODLAND, NORTHERN CA -

I moved back to California around two months ago. What brought me back home after fifteen years? Well, a few things. Personal things. Some things not so personal. In the end, I was feeling a bit tapped out in Vegas. The bones weren’t tumbling like they used to and I was almost at the point where I didn’t give a shit either way.

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Reno J. Romero

One-Fourth Into It, Buttercup, But Lucky You There’s Three-Fourths Left: Notes From Footballdamus

October 10th, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

WOODLAND, NORTHERN CA -

Four weeks of the NFL season have come and gone. Seems like yesterday some of our favorite professional (and not so favorite) jocks, suited up, started spitting and slapping asses, and took the field to kill each other. I, like many of you, have been there every Sunday bug-eyed and partially insane. It’s been a riot. A pigskin riot.

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Reno J. Romero

Bring the NFL Pain: Gridiron Pesole Revisited

September 16th, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

SAC, NORTHERN CA -

NFL.

It’s back. 

I feel whole and brand new. Like that Stylistics tune. As many of you know, it was a long and brutal wait. I jonesed and bitched. But it’s here again. On time. Just like Christmas. 

I was 13 for 16 in Week 1. That’s right. They were simple picks. The teams you figured to win did just that. Too bad I’m not in Vegas. I could have turned a buck and hooked me up with a couple of hot dogs loaded with mustard and stinky onions.

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Reno J. Romero

One Guitar, Thomas Pynchon, and Spinning Wheels: Moving Back to California

August 8th, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

LAS VEGAS, NV -

Moving.

Here I go again.

(Wait! Isn’t that a damn Whitesnake song?)

Anyhow, here I go again.

Here’s a quick map of where I’ve been. Born in L.A. Moved to Victorville. Moved to Vegas. Then I moved to Charlotte, NC, where I spent three miserable years. Then back to Vegas. And now: Sacramento, back to California my birth state.

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Reno J. Romero

I Speed at Night

August 5th, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

LAS VEGAS, NV -

I’m a night person. I pull all-nighters. No, I don’t do speed (although I might as well). I simply hit an hour of no return and there I am watching the clock roll into the future. Bringing in the next day. Telling me I made one more.

2am.

4:30am.

Usually, if I get to bed before 10:30 then I’m good. But if I pass that time then who knows what’s going to happen.

1:30am.

3:20am.

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Reno J. Romero

Carmen: My Mom

July 27th, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

LAS VEGAS, NV -

I moved back to Vegas from Charlotte over a year ago. The reasons? Too many. But one of them was that my mom (my grandmother actually) was battling cancer and I wanted to be by her side. I spent many sad nights on the east coast thinking about what she was going through. It hurt like nothing I ever felt before. I felt like a horrible son.

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Reno J. Romero

A Thousand Words: Lost in Hollywood

July 22nd, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

LAS VEGAS, NV-

I called Brad Listi from some sleepy little suburb in Sacramento. We chatted. I think I strong-armed the poor fellow and told him that I wanted to read at TNB’s first L.A reading. He’s too kind. Dear and charming.

I got the gig.

So, L.A.  I had to go. Haven’t seen my birth city in years. Memories of crowded streets and concrete buildings tumbled through my head. 

I gassed up and hit I-15.

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Reno J. Romero

Ball In: Basketball Dreams in the Heart of Memory and William Kittredge

July 8th, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

LAS VEGAS -

So, the plane touched down. I sat in between some dude that had a little too much of Vegas and some chick with large pretty brown eyes.

He smelled like he was broke.

She smelled good.

I like girls that smell good. (more…)


Reno J. Romero

Pushing: Seeking the Runner’s Mind in the Shadow of Wayne Newton and Frankenstein

June 22nd, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

LAS VEGAS - NV

I jog around five days a week.

I have two routes.

One route is my neighborhood and it consists of a giant square through a few neighborhoods that are infested with chihuahuas, faded houses, and small apartments.

The other is Sunset Park. A large park loaded with baseball fields, volleyball and basketball courts, etc, and a jogging/walking trail that weaves around a lake. One lap, one mile. Two laps, two miles. You get the idea.

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Reno J. Romero

The Mormon in Me and Other Hot-Ass Stories From the Vegas Front #2

June 10th, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

LAS VEGAS, NV - 

Dude, I’ve Seen Your Balls

I called an old high school buddy to give him my new phone number. It was a business call. In and out. I wasn’t in the talking mood.  

His wife answered the phone. Tammy’s a good woman. Thoughtful. Funny. Pretty good pool player. I met her for the first time last year and we got ripped on margaritas.  (more…)


Reno J. Romero

Job Misery and the Man They Called the Disappearing A-Hole

May 27th, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

LAS VEGAS, NV -

I’ve been working for what seems and feels like a thousand years. My first job was picking up my dogs’ (a black labrador retriever, a pit bull, and a chihuahua) crap. I was in 7th grade and my father gave me five bucks a week for my services.

There I’d be, with a shovel in hand, scooping up three sizes of dog shit. It was dreadful. I hated it. It was then I realized that having to work, the necessity of holding a job, was an ugly part of the human experience.

Over the years, I’ve worked in construction, retail, the restaurant industry, as a teacher, as a guitar instructor, a community organizer. I’ve been around. Unfortunately.

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Reno J. Romero

Distortion and the Picaresque Lion: A Cat Story

May 11th, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

LAS VEGAS, NV - 

Because of a weird set of circumstances, I’ve acquired a cat. Or he’s acquired me. Either way, I’m the one who looks after him. I’m the one who gives him crunchies. I pour the water. I take care of his shitter.

His name is Chaz. He’s an orange tabby. Beautiful, cub-like face. Smallish. I think he’s around eleven years old. He’s a very affectionate cat. Likes to sleep on my chest. His eyes are always low. He always looks stoned.

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Reno J. Romero

Of Clamato and Karaoke

April 25th, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

LAS VEGAS, NV -

The night before I left for Sacramento, I was up until 5am partying with my aunt and my cousin who hails from the soft beaches of Orange County. Both of them are dear creatures. It wasn’t meant to be a party. In fact, there wasn’t a party in sight. They were having a couple of drinks, watching a movie.

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Reno J. Romero

God Bless the Song Dedication, George Michael, B. Francis, and Putting Books on Hold at the Wrong Store

March 9th, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

LAS VEGAS, NV -

I was on my way to the bookstore. I called earlier and had them hold a book for me. Cool thing about where I live is that everything I need is five minutes away. Giant mall. Restaurants. Novelty stores. Markets. Toys R Us and Roberto’s Taco Shop. 

I stepped into the bookstore and poked around. I made the usual rounds. I hit the fiction section. Then I slipped into the poetry section. I checked out the art section. I went into the music section looking for a Frank Black CD that needed replacing because the first one was scratched and sweetly worn out from years of serious rocking. I love the man. One of my favorites. 

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Reno J. Romero

The Terminator, Birthdays, and Special Monkey Cake

February 2nd, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

LAS VEGAS, NV -

I was going through some boxes the other day and came across some pictures my father gave me a few years ago. Old pictures. Me as a kid. Me in Yosemite. Me dressed as a pirate for Halloween. Me and my friend Eddie (my folks called him “Cholo Ed”) standing in front of my father’s car looking as tough as we could.  

Creased pants. Black winos. Vatos in training. 

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Reno J. Romero

Planes, Trains, Porn, and a Man Named Obama: A Year Already

January 25th, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

LAS VEGAS, NV - 

Well, folks, we’re almost a month into 2009 and things are already crazy. Things have happened. A failed president ends his reign of incompetence. A new guy lives in the White House. The Cardinals are going to the Super Bowl. A man in the Philippines took some video of a ghost on his phone. 

And that’s just in the past three weeks. Anyhow, here’s some other natural and unnatural observations:

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Reno J. Romero

Redheads and Steroids: D-List Chingasos in the Land of Amish Ovens and Jack Lambert

January 22nd, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

LAS VEGAS, NV -

Boxing is a manly sport.

It’s not the meek tea party scene of golf. 

Theogenes – a Greek badass - won over 1300 fights and never lost a battle in over twenty years. He pummeled his competition. He smashed in their heads. He broke their will. He made them his bitch. He didn’t give a shit otherwise. 

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Reno J. Romero

Out of the Pan: Restaurant Stories #1

January 12th, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

LAS VEGAS - NV

My first restaurant job was as a cook. A little dive off of Sahara. I’d never cooked before, but the manager hired me anyhow.

“You gotta fuckin’ learn some time. Know what I’m saying?”

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Reno J. Romero

Gridiron Posole: Random Notes from the Badlands of Green Valley

January 7th, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

LAS VEGAS - NV

Wildcard weekend is over. Eight teams went into the weekend with Super Bowl dreams and four teams came out of it still having Super Bowl dreams. The other four teams are cleaning out their lockers, packing up their stuff.

Later. Goodbye. Adios.

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Reno J. Romero

Poor Boys, Panthers, and Steelers and We’re All Going to Graceland: The NFL Playoffs

January 1st, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

LAS VEGAS - NV

Well, folks, the NFL regular season is over and the playoff picture is here. It’s alive. First, let me say that it was one hell of a season. It was a party, a 17-week riot. Tons of drama and man blood.

Heads were ripped off shoulders. Rude things were said. The Hail Mary was chanted. Bones were snapped. Some teams that the experts picked to win didn’t win. Some teams that were written off as dead at the beginning of the season are not so dead. 

Gridiron Resurrection. (more…)