Monday, December 30, 2002

H to the I:

It still doesn't feel right today. Why, oh why, Lord?

must I always live so crazy?

must i be such a ramblin man?

lord, was i born a ramblin man?

am i doomed to ramble all my life?

or am i more of a scramblin man?

god give me the answer please, thank you nicely.



Hey You With the Eye O the Tiger

Once I started to write a song and realized the Cure had already written it. Can't remember which one at the moment.

Then in bed the other day I realized Weezer had done the same damn thing, but they went ahead and recorded it and played it every night with fantastic silver confetti--"Surf Wax America" off the Blue Album. It's a Cure song, I tell you.

That one was a Pat Wilson melody, though. Not Rivers.

I had a dream the other night a new Nirvana forgotten classic came out and it sounded just like Weezer. I woke up right away so I remember how it goes, and even awake, it still sounds like Weezer.

Damn that Weezer, all right.

I'm in love now with my Sloopy baby, but I don't know if I can keep him. It's like getting married to a stranger. I feel so heavy and weighted down all the time. I don't know if I'm ready for this. He makes me want to eat him, he's so beautiful and adorable and completely pure. But a lot of the time, i just don't feel like giving him what he needs. He needs a 24/7 mommy, and I have a lot of things I need to do that don't involve him.

It would be awful to give him back now that he's starting to feel like my baby, feel secure after being alone so long. But it would also be bad to keep him if I'm not the right one for him. Aw, fuck. I don't know. He's perfect for me. But fuck, it don't feel right tonight. I want to be the kind of person who can handle this kind of thing, who can handle a baby. Maybe it's just too soon.



Saturday, December 28, 2002

Yes, You Were Right:

About the door thing, and the key. I don't know what I was thinking. No one ever opened a door with peanut butter before.

That bit about fame and fading away.... you know, there's the other side of the argument, too. Maybe a good way not to fade away is to relentlessly pursue fame like a golden chicken of Mammon until you don't know which way is up. That works for some people.

If that's your goal and all.

It's Saturday night and I'm home with a bum ass and work and shit, so I think I'll reminisce for a moment about boys, to make myself feel better. Do you mind?

Some people hate dating. Me, I love it. And I find as I get older that first dates get better and better. I've had some great first dates in the past couple years....

1. The Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale, which has colored lights and stars, sticker and candy machines, a snack bar, classic disco and some classic disco skaters who go all the way back. Me and the fella who took me there are still friends and he reads my blog (hi you!). I knew he was all right when he said, "let's make out and listen to Boston's Greatest Hits."

2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets at the Vista, followed by drinks you could climb into and swim around in at Tiki Ti. This guy was a real sweetie fucking pie, probably too sweet.

3. Walking around Hollywood and Vine and getting our nails painted crazy at a Vietnamese nail salon. That was the guy's idea. I knew this boy was all right when he chose flourescent orange with a diamond flower on each middle finger. He bought me a necklace at a Pakistani gift shop. I still wear it. I knew he was better than all right when he walked up to a lugguge store and stared in the window for five minutes at the old Asian man asleep in his chair. He just watched him sleeping. (It was very Down By Law.) When we walked down the street, our shoulders bumped and it felt all right.

Some less than stellar dates:

1. Boring drinks at the Rustic where the guy lied to me (I think) about his job, saying he was a college animation teacher. He didn't have to lie to me. I don't care much if you have a job as long as you're passionate about what you're doing.

2. Oh, the Worst: "A Beautiful Mind" followed by dinner at La Poubelle. Thank God some friends showed up to bail me out of eating alone with him. We actually got in a tiff because I didn't want him paying for everything. The date would have ended up costing him fifty bucks and I just didn't feel right making a poor theater director pay that much on a first date that I knew wasn't going to lead anywhere. He got offended and angry and that were that. We were talking about "Vanilla Sky," and when I called it "Vanilla Shitpie," he didn't even smile.

It doesn't bother me much that none of these guys worked out. There was a period when I could only get action when I was visiting other cities--San Fran, Minneapolis, New York. I thought nobody in L.A. would ever want to go out with me. So for me, it was a big step just to finally get a little attention in my own city. Still is.

My friend says I gotta kiss a lot of frogs before I find my prince. That's what I tell myself whenever it doesn't work out, even if it is a terrible cliche.

I'm out.



Friday, December 27, 2002

Awright, Wee Wee Pads:

So I'm sitting here with a pot pie in the oven and a puppy sleeping at my feet. He is a walking pee bomb. At any moment he could unleash his fury, and I will know his wrath. It's a Sysyphean struggle, this housebreaking shit. My house is getting more broken than the dog. Bought those pheromone pads today to make the dog pee by the door. They're called "Wee Wee Pads," and that name's the best thing that happened all day, Jack. The New Age pet store in Silverlake tried to sell me a bunch of forty dollar wholistic vitamins and twenty dollar shampoo and shit and I'm all, sure babe, keep in touch. I'll be at Sav-On if anyone calls.

BTW, yeah, they make these pads with pheromones on them. So why don't they make human pheromone pads--just slip them in your pants before you hit the bar or before your big date, and watch the babes come waggin their tails. Of course, they'd have to work it so that the babes didn't want to pee on you. Unless you swing that way.

When you get a dog, everyone wants you to start talking baby talk. You're supposed to say to the dog, "Go potty." Potty is like the biggest word in the big book of doggy vocab they give you at the pet store. Oh well, what the fuck--I love baby talk and that's OK.

Definitely getting in touch with my maternal instincts these days. I get so annoyed with the kid when he fucks up, but then he gets terribly depressed and I know that he is completely alone in the world. If I turn against him, he's got nobody. And he knows it. When I bathed him today, he held out his paw for me to scrub it. Can you be mad at a kid like that?

So today I gave my Scientologist chiro his walking papers. I can't give money to a Scientologist; it's just not gonna happen. I don't care if Beck goes to him and half the hair metal drummers of the Eighties. What the hell is up with Beck, anyway? Don't his aethetic instincts warn him against these pseudo-Space Age creepo quasi-hippie capitalists and their cheesy pseudo-Space Age aesthetics? If you've ever gotten a Scientology magazine in the mail, you know what I'm talking about. And their overuse of the exclamation point! "Psychology Kills!" their bumper stickers say. Don't they know they would seem much cooler if they cut out the damn exclamation points?!!

All the Scientology peons who go to Mayfair (across the street from the Celebrity Centre--note use of the British "tre") have awful acne and chain smoke, and are the most incredible geeks of the world. I thought that if you were completely cleansed of your alien demons you wouldn't have to smoke. But even higher-ups in the "Church" are all little chimneys. Somehow, when they smoke, it doesn't look cool at all. It looks like what it really is. An addiction born of self-consciousness. Just like Scientology. (Psychology kills? Smoking kills!)

Speaking of religious bullshit: I do adore the Holy Infant Jesus of Prague, and have been known to pray to him in the past when my friends needed that extra helping hand. But I ask you. Would the infant baby Jesus really wear a giant cross around his neck? I mean, if this is really the baby infant Jesus, he's just a kid, and the whole crucifixion thing is 30 years away, and the cross would really have no religious significance yet. I mean, it makes him look like a Christian, and he wasn't. He was a good Jew, and a Talmud scholar. Furthemore, I doubt he was blonde, but whatever.

This weirdo college kid selling magazine subscriptions outside Target called me a Jew for not buying his stupid magazines. He, of course, claimed to be a Christian. I was so insensed, all I could think of to say was "Jesus was a Jew." But WTF, I think it bears repeating, people. Jesus was a Jew. He was not Christian, and he never said anything about starting a new religion.

I have been such a lame blogger for so long, I am embarrassed, especially when I read a truly fabulous blog, such as Twinkle Twinkle Blah Blah Etc.. I love this woman, whoever she is. She makes me want to be a better man.

Also BTW, I am fat right now and I am trying to eat less, because I have heard that this makes you weigh less. I'll let you know if it's true.

pew pew,


(that's a kissing sound)

Enter, Sandman:

I had a dream last night about an old lover, and there were two of him, with two different haircolors, and when I wanted one, I felt I was cheating on the other. It was kind of fucked up. I guess he is a divided person. And I'm like Miss Super Divided! Oh, wow. being human. What a trip.

Lots of people are divided in two. I think Gavin Rossdale is divided in two.

Yesterday I was pulling out onto Franklin Avenue and this huge post-apocalyptic SUV comes charging down the street so I have to make sure to swerve into the other lane. The dude passes me and he's driving like such an asshole--tailgating, weaving in and out. And even if he were driving well, he'd still be an asshole, because he's driving a black Cadillac Escalade, which is the most expensive SUV on the market. Cadillac gives these things to rock stars to improve Cadillac's image. What I want to know is, how can any grunge-based rock star drive an Escalade without wanting to rip his own eyes out of his skull? I mean, Justin Timberlake? Fine. Sisqo? You go-go! But can you picture Kurt Cobain driving one of those? Maybe after the lobotomy.

So I can see in the side mirror it's Gavin Rossdale driving, the least interesting rock star of the past 10 years. His music sucks, his voice is grating like fingers shredding on a carrot scraper, and he cheated on his awesome girlfriend a million times, and he thinks it's some big deal that he's cute. He streaks his hair and he tans, and he shops at Mayfair and drives an Escalade. I have an excuse for shopping at Mayfair--I live there. But he's over in Los Feliz, far as I know. The only reason to shop at Mayfair is that you don't want to shop where the normal people shop, at Albertsons. You see, Mayfair is an expensive, rich people grocery store where you seem to see a lot of actors and shit.

Oh well, whatever. History will not be kind to Gavin Rossdale and Bush (his band. great name, huh?).

Whenever some "artist" totally pisses me off, I say, well, he won't last. He'll be forgotten. It's supposed to be some kind of consolation.

It's amazing how people fall by the wayside--people who were so huge for a while. They just fade away. In the past few years, we've seen lots of stars fade away. Hootie who? Sisqo. Blues Traveler. Sugar Ray. Remember Naughty By Nature? Salt N Pepa? (LOVE Salt n Pepa.) Boyz II Men? Limp Bizkit. GooGoo Dolls.

Semisonic. Ben Folds Five. Cornershop. Spacehog. Backstreet Boys. Buckcherry. Liz Phair. I could go on but I'd rather burn my lip on a bagel. 95 percent of bands fade away. That's why I think it's best to focus on your core fans and love your music and don't worry about fame too much. It's so hollow, man.

The Guru has spoken. Whatever!



Thursday, December 26, 2002

Hello, buttercup

Just a quick note before I head off to the magic cave of edible paint pots.

Sorry for silence, if you noticed. I got a puppy on Saturday and my life is totally different now. Holy Shit. I named him Sloopy, because I love the song "Hang On Sloopy" so. The doggy is a perfect Sloopy. He walks funny and falls down a lot and wobbles like Bambi, because of some horrible disease he had as a baby. It's the cutest thing you've ever seen, next to, I don't know, baby kittens breakdancing.

Jake, my roommate, fell in deep, crazy love with him, and they are out having lunch right now.

If anybody knows any good books or videos or anything about training a puppy, please let me know. He isn't housebroken yet, oy gevalt. It was a yellow Christmas for me.

I don't have anything profound to say about Joe Strummer, except that he had one of the greatest rock names ever, and I hate to see dangerous rock become timeless classics and/or commercial soundtracks, which is what the Clash's music has become. I hate to see rock stars die.

Actually, I do have a lot more to say about Joe Strummer.

After I get back from the edible paint-pots.



Friday, December 20, 2002

Hi Sour Patch Kids:

Have I hit you yet with my ever-expanding List of (Non)Dirty Words? Words that sound dirty but aren't?

Hillary has one too. We both started making them at the same time without knowing it. I think she read my mind and stole my idea but it's possible it was the other way around.

Unf. I don't have the list handy at the moment, oops, but here's a few recent additions and a few I can recall.

1. Bangkok

2. child-rearing

3. play hooky

4. Aerlingus

5. fallacious

5. exacerbate

6. cockpit

7. "come over and see my 7-inches"

8. angina

9. piston

10. coccyx

Feel free to add to the list.



"So you must not be frightened ... if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloudshadows, passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall."

(Rainer Maria Rilke - Letters to a Young Poet, Letter 8 - Excerpt)

Found that on someone else's blog, because I needed it.

Here I was, totally rocking in my life, i felt, and all the sudden, it seems that everything has fallen apart. And not even in a bad way. That would be a little easier, in a sense, because that would presuppose that I knew the way things should be.

As it is, things are falling apart in a maybe-good way. Like, illusions I've cherished--helpful, useful illusions--seem to be crumbling. I'm not sure how I am going to get along without my illusions. I mean, I really used my illusions, man. I got a hell of a lot of work done with those tools, rebuilding my identity from a pile of wreckage.

Three or four years ago, I lost myself for a while. It was pretty challenging to rebuild myself as a solid, three-dimensional person when I didn't have any of the usual structures to hang myself upon: I'd just moved back to L.A. and I had no real job, no apartment, not much family around; no responsibilities; not too many close friends around. These are the usual ways that people form their identities (along with stuff like religion/subculture/etc.). I feel as if I rebuilt myself by hand, out of my own flesh, beginning when i got my first shitty studio apartment in the then-unfashionable part of Silverlake, on Sunset and Descanso, facing a brick wall. That apartment was the saddest place I've ever lived but, in a sense, it was also the most nurturing and triumphant, because that apartment is where I began to fight for my life. And no, I didn't have a drug problem. I still don't understand it, but it was a combination of Irish writer's/female depression/unhingedness; too much free time and too much money (my granny died and left me a bunch of cash); a major late-20s identity crisis, and bad, bad love.

My life improved dramatically after I got that pad and the money ran out. Don't let anybody tell you capitalism and work are all bad: They saved my sanity and put me on the path of righteousness.

I have come to rely on work for my shape, like a vine needs a trellis to grow on. I need it.

But at the moment I'm going through some kind of work-crisis, and I'm really scared.

It's like my buddy Jim, who quit his job and moved to Stanford for a year to study Existentialism and write just for himself. And he's got a wife and two kids to think about. I don't know how he always manages to make things look so easy.

Anyway, I guess I've just discovered in the past week or so that I'm not as "together" as I thought I was. I was really beginning to think I was doing it right. Now I feel all these long-dormant urges coming to the surface and they just won't go away. The voices i ignored when survival was my only goal, the voices that said, "I don't want to do this kind of writing, this is bullshit." Or even, "I don't want to write at all." Or, "I want to write in a totally new way I've never seen before, that won't support me at all."

I ignored them but they refused to be ignored and they came out in bad ways. These voices that confused me so much four years ago. I thought I'd tamed them.

Now I'm starting to think that these voices might be just a normal part of life, forever, and not just a sign of crisis. I mean, maybe feeling unsure of one's identity in "the world" is not a crisis-situation, but a circumstance of existence. And maybe I have been mistaken in ever thinking I could build my identity upon my public life. Maybe I

will never achieve an identity as solid as I'd like. Maybe it will only materialize and dissolve endlessly like an electron, based upon the circumstance of any given moment. Maybe I just have to get used to this feeling of continual transformation. Like what Rilke said--you mustn't be afraid if a restiveness, like light and cloudshadows, passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall.

Even writing about it is an attempt to master it, and inherently ineffectual. I have to just kind of live it and maybe remember that this particular life doesn't last forever. Rilke was real big on shit like "living the questions" and not trying to figure it all out. Now i kind of understand where he's coming from. He's saying, you'll understand it better from inside.

The only thing that seems real to me now is love, and I'm not even sure what that is.

Got to go clean the croquet mallets now.



Thursday, December 19, 2002

Hi Rufus the Lost Teddy Bear:

Just a quick Ebonics question. What is the distinction between "tha" and "da" as used in the album title "Paid Tha Cost To Be Da Boss"?

Is it a question of "feel"?



Wednesday, December 18, 2002

It's Only Forever:

Yeah, Paul is being pretty dopey. How bloated/crippled must his ego be if he thinks, somehow, he isn't getting enough credit? If he's jealous of John's ghost? The guy turned the year after 9/11 into his most successful year in forever. He's alive, and he gets to play stadiums, write new songs, record new albums, fall in love and watch his children succeed. George and John don't get to do any of that. Who the hell is Paul to be jealous? And who the hell is he to think he doesn't get enough credit as a songwriting genius? If he wanted the world to view him more like John, he shouldn't have recorded so much whack shit after the Beatles broke up. Nobody forced him to do "The Girl Is Mine, " "Say Say Say," "Ebony and Ivory," "C Moon," etc.

I mean, if you're going to do a solo collaboration with Michael Jackson, at least make it "State of Shock," baby.

Shit. You never hear Mick going, "Wah wah wah, I don't get enough credit! I'm really an artist, man!"

Mick understands himself and his place in the universe.

He is an artist, of course, but he doesn't expect the world to get it that way. He wanted to be one kind of star, and he understood the costs.

Don't mistake me for one of those idiot Paul-haters. Paul is totally my favorite Beatle, and I love a lot of his post-Beatles stuff. But, once upon a time, Paul understood himself and his place in the Beatles. He chose a songwriting partner who would challenge him, not put up with his shit, and also would provide the band a kind of moral and artistic foundation that would magnify Paul's strengths, and really show him off in the best light. The yin and yang of Lennon/McCartney made them both much better songwriters. Paul is not John and John is not Paul.

So when Paul gets pouty because he's supposedly not taken as seriously as John as a songwriter, I have to go, dude, you've forgotten your special spot in the cosmos. You are taken very seriously. It's just different than John, and it will never be the same as John, and that is how it should be. And you know it.

You can't have it both ways: You can't be the Oreo cookie and the cream.

Last night I was at Axel's recording studio again. I helped on handclaps. It was awesome. Handclaps are the happiest sound in the world.

I wish I could write here about everything going on in my heart, but I can't. To talk about a certain work-related matter would be highly unprofessional. It would hurt some people I care about, too. A certain ass-smashing issue would be boring as hell for you, Dear Reader. And a love-related topic would be just too revealing. I would feel like Tony Pierce's girfriend, the 19-year-old, who always reports on her blog whenever she makes out with a new guy. I just can't bring myself to make this a makeout blog. You have to be a teenager or a groupie in order to do it with the proper sense of innocent narcissism.



Sunday, December 15, 2002

Hello, Sir Lovealot:

Dumb old Blogger just erased two full-length posts about last night. Heck that!

All's I really said was that last night I think I broke my tailbone on the cement floor in Os's garage/time machine. Os's garage is a time machine, because you can be in there for five minutes, and when you walk out, it's five hours later and you have arrived in the future.

It's also a drunk-machine, but that's another issue.

It's also a broken bone machine. Holy fuck, I sat down but the chair was gone and I hit the ground hard, wham! It was painful but also excruciatingly funny, and I was laughing, and moaning, and trying to be serious, "You guys, my ass kills, oww, haw haw..."

They were so sweet to me. Os, Dougie Fresh, Ken and Kim. We sang and played guitar brutally till the sun came up.

This evening my friend Lydia took me for comfort food at Art's deli in the Valley. She cracks me up. She's 89 but I talk to her exactly as i talk to you, and when I say "That driver's retarded," she goes, "Sure is."

Here's a Classic Lydia Joke:

A guy comes home to find his girlfriend packing her bags.

Man: What are you doing?

Girlfriend: I'm leaving you. I just found out you're a pedophile.

Man: Well, that's a pretty big word for a nine-year-old.

I told Lydia about my "assident" and my Lame hangover, and she called Art's ahead of time to ask them what, in their opinion, is the best hangover food. They said protein, not carbs.

Lydia has a lot of experience with men. Back in the day, men asked you to marry them all the time.

My ass is tolly throbbing so I'm going to make like an invisible monkey and disappear.




Thursday, December 12, 2002

Hello to the Rowdy Heffalump:

Yesterday Axel took me to a recording studio in Pasadena where he is doing his demo. It was magical. Very homey, small, humble and warm. We sat down with some of their beautiful old guitars and played some songs. We played "Sister Golden Hair" on a 1970s Gibson and one modelled after the Gibson the Beatles used. We also played electric on some ancient Fender amps. The sound was at once warm and clear and clean and, somehow, instantly classic. I had never heard vintage instruments up close like that, without the distortion of the recording process.

Their jingle bells were like my long-lost husband of heaven.

The whole experience was like the difference between seeing black-and-white photographs of a young George Harrison, and having the actual young George Harrison walk through the door. Once you experience someone or something in linear time, in the flesh, everything's new. Everything's possible. The feeling of linear time is so sexy. It's what makes angels wish they were human. It's got to be one the best creations of the universe, and it's happening every second--for a limited time only!

Got to go grab me a piece of that linear time pudding pie.


Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Hey, You In The Corner, Yeah, You:

So.... "Miguel" informed me some of the staffers at City Pages are doing blogs now. Das coo', whatev.

I always wanted a full time job at City Pages as an arts writer, but they never saw fit to hire me, so now City Pages is, to me, like the fancy university I dropped out of. (By the time they decided they wanted me, it was way too late because I was back in Hollywood.) There were a couple profs at City Pages University who nurtured me (Rob, Will, Keith), and I love the paper itself like crazy, crazy mad. The only good writing I've ever done has been for them, because some editors there believed in me, as "Ice Castles" as that may sound. (And for a while, they let us write 1600-word essays on pop music!) It's my home, you know--it's just not a home that has ever felt all that homey. I ain't got much love for the powers that be over there.

So I'm just glad that when I blog, I don't have to do it as a "professional" or a representative of any organization besides The International Committee on Stuff, Inc., the Unified Church of Rock, and the Super Secret Spy Club of Third Avenue. I represent no one but me and the Voices, man.

kick ass,

Snappy McBlah Blah

Good Morning, Baby Sunspot:

Well, that's more like it, freaks! (See comments in yesterday.)

It saddens me, but I find that you respond best to verbal abuse.

I agree, Tipsy McSwagger, "Runnin' Road" and "Tophat" are excellent solo McCartney titles. I thought of another McCartney one, "Plaids & Stripes," and I really don't understand it. Your Beck ones were good, especially "Eyewash."

Tipsy, are you Ken Basart?


Drunky McTophat

PS: This prose-poem over at Red Clay's site is interesting. Pretty sentimental, but it poses an idea that definitely feels familiar. Don't you feel like you aren't one person, but are two different souls fused in one body?

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Hi, Megamerger:

So, not to be a bitch or anything, but only Ben and "my amigo" came up with any fake song titles at all. What are you all, a bunch of cowards? Don't tell me you have something "better" to do than sit in front of your computer and make up song titles for your favorite group, because you and I both know that's a damn lie.

Maybe you think your contribution won't make any difference. Maybe you think, I'm just one person. What can I do to change anything?

I'll tell you what. If every one of us made just one small contribution, it would add up to a tidal wave of fake song titles. And just think of what that could mean for the children.

So don't tell me you can't make a difference.

And by the way, I don't believe that anyone "got" the Nirvana ones. I know "Liposuction" was a tad Nirv�na-Tap, but WTF?

I'm off to take a bath and then change my life.



Monday, December 09, 2002

Hi, Milky Way Baby:

Hate to be a total Cunt, but come on.

I get this press release in the mail for a band--let's call them Blink-183, to protect the guilty. Blink-183 are on a major label. Their picture shows four supercute rock boys with Strokes hair and little sneakers, dark jeans, little T-shirts. Really fucking original, guys.

Here is what their press release says. It's very hip.

"There's a new sound rising from the wild, wild mid-west.

It's the pulse of edgy pop-rock sung with unfettered emotion. It's pinprick hooks toughened by crunchy guitars and aggressive solos. It's songs that burrow into your head and stay there.

It's Blink-183, an Oklahoma band whose self-titled debut album will be released blah blah on Dreamworks Records...."

Can you believe that shit? I mean, strictly on a writing level, this thing is breaking like seven major laws and committing at least two mortal sins. They include:

1. Use of the phrase "the pulse of..."

2. Use of the word "edgy" in any context

3. Use of tired constructions ("Unfettered emotion")

4. Use of "crunchy" in any context (except food writing)

5. Use of a meaningless catchphrase ("pinprick hooks")

6. Use of cliched imagery ("songs that burrow into your head and stay there")

Words are like little workers. When they are tired and overused, it is cruel to force them into labor. They can no longer do their job, and it hurts them to be so ineffectual. It is not their fault they have become cliches. It is your fault. Let them rest, and pick on some newer, fresh words that are wagging their tails to get in the frisbee game.

The press release also commits another mistake, by revealing the idiocy of the band members:

"Their material is generally derived from real life. Says lead singer X, "It all comes from my ex-girlfriends. All my songs are about simple relationship bullshit. There are different scenarios to each song, so you've got pretty much every fucked-up thing that can happen in a relationship."

You are truly blowing my mind.

I listen to the record with open ears, though, because I'm always looking for new, good music. But, of course, it's insultingly radio-sucking KROQ-ready tripe. Oh well.

Axel and I had our music listening party on Friday and I discovered Soundtrack of Our Lives.

That made up for it.

OK bye already.



Hi, Weirdos!

I woke up too early today and now I'm thinking I'll just stay up. Feels virtuous. The morning, and all.

I had a fantastical weekend. It managed to combine some of my fave stuff: rock 'n roll, whiskey, housecleaning, making meatloaf, cute clothes, walking in the Hollywood Hills, writing, a spectacle of lights, wine, chocolate, baths, guitar, the Zombies, and a crush.

It was like a little trip to a better life.

If I could make every weekend a trip to a better life, imagine how this world could be so very fine.

Also my friend Mark Mallman was visiting from Minneapolis and last night we played Fake Song Titles, which rocked. I added my new entries in the post below.

I guess I better go do some shit now.

ok bye,


Sunday, December 08, 2002

Hello, Young Ramblers:

Before we get down to business, I have two questions.

1. what is the diff between "no outlet," "dead end," and "not a through street"? Why do they have so many different signs to say the same shit?

2. I can't remember the second question, but it had something to do with streets, too.

3. Why can't I stop eating Hershey's Kisses with almonds, wrapped in Christmas foil?

4. Why are they so mysterious?

5. What is love, anyway?

6. Do you want to know a secret?

7. How come you taste so good?

8. Do you remember golden days, and golden summer sun?

Last night I went to see the Christmas light display in Griffith Park, sponsored by the Department of Water and Power. It was in 3-D, and you had to wear 3-D glasses. It was awesome. All the displays were made from strings of lights: City Hall, the Hollywood sign, a surfer catching a wave, LAX... It was a celebration of Los Angeles in 3-D colored lights.

I highly recommend it, but not on a Saturday night. It took almost an hour to get in. That's a lot of car exhaust to suck down, even if you do get to sit in the dark and listen to Boston and America on the radio, and eat Tangerine Altoid candies from a tin, and talk about seeing real, live ghosts.

The X song "I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts" is really a creative high water mark for them, a risk that could have failed completely but doesn't. It's hard to mature and still be cool.

I know this blog has sucked for a while. That's because some creative part of my brain is preoccupied with something (I don't know what) and I lack the bloggy elan necessary for a truly outstanding blog. Sorry.

So fuck it, let's play Fake Song Titles some more.

This time, let's do the Beatles. (By the way, I still want more X ones!)

Actually, let's do solo Beatles.

Solo John

1. Safe As Houses

2. I'm Lost

3. Come Back (another jab at the Beatles)

4. Sick at Heart

5. Got A Need

6. You Got to Go There to Know There

Solo Paul/Wings

1. Captain Jacky's Winterful Journey

2. Pudding In The Pie ("Now there's pudding in my pie/and love on the table")

3. Leave Them Babies Be (benefit for animal rights)

4. Peace In Our Time

5. Take Me Home

6. Wonderful Fingerful (a one-off improv)

Bob Seger

1. Brushfire

2. Last Summer

3. The Faultline

4. Dry Wind


1. Scoliosis

2. Anisette

3. Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (unreleased demo version of a later B-side, "Bloated")

4. Spermicide

5. Feminist Pacifier

6. Liposuction

7. Cracked Reactor (a rare outtake)

8. Thalidomide

Neil Diamond

1. Pennywhistle Tune

2. Doin' My Thing

3. Jigsaw Puzzle

4. Sister of Mine

Elvis Costello

1. Flash In the Pan

2. Spy Glass

3. Pretty Little Plan

T. Rex

1. The Giant

2. Incantational Rainbow

3. Space Junk Boogie

4. Tiger's Tooth

Joni Mitchell

1. I Bought You An Indian Blanket

2. Winter Solstice

3. Juniper

4. Witch's Brew

5. That Night Before the War

Leonard Cohen

1. Poor Claire

2. Deirdre of the Sorrows

3. Hair Shirt

4. Michael's Lament



Saturday, December 07, 2002

Hi, Honey Nut:

I am looking for a real hangover cure. Hit me with your best shot!

I was listening to the Ramones and X today and I heard something real fun. X's song "The Once Over Twice" kind of sounds like the Ramones' "I Don't Wanna Go Down In The Basement." Which, when you think about it, kind of sounds like it could be the name of an X song.

It was just neat because X is one band that never overtly reminds me of anyone else--usually.

Of course, both bands are culling from the same sources. you know, rock 'n roll.

Let's think of other could-be X song titles.

How about...

"seam ripper"

"sugar baby doll"

"the name of this song"

"kind of gone"

Maybe Ben, the biggest X-pert in the Earth, can come up with some more fake-X song titles. Ben?



i luv you!

Thursday, December 05, 2002

Hi Snorkly Fish:

Sorry for the thing about LA Weekly. It's a little nitpicky. I deleted it five minutes after writing it, but Blogger won't erase it from the blog itself, so there you go. Whatever!

At least I wasn't writing like a super-secret top-secret crazy hidden love letter that accidentally got posted!

Dear Love Bagel: Your throat makes me cry. Your tan cords kill me, softly. Your vocabulary is heroic, and your spirit makes me think that I can hang out a while longer in this world. Your voice is like gravy of God. I always regretted not smooching you that night in the balcony. Do you like PB&J?

Haw Haw!

I write lousy love letters. They always feel so cheesy. Someday maybe someone will inspire me properly to really write a good one!

OK bye,



Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Hi, Powdery Grapes:

Red Clay, one of my snot-nosed Commenters, had this cool poem on his "Portry" blog, so check it. It reminds me of a pop song I can't remember. Oh yeah, it's "Ariel," by Dean Freidman. It's kind of Big Star, too. (Sorry for calling you snot-nosed.)




Gary Soto

The first time I walked

With a girl, I was twelve,

Cold, and weighted down

With two oranges in my jacket.

December. Frost cracking

Beneath my steps, my breath

Before me, then gone,

As I walked toward

Her house, the one whose

Porch light burned yellow

Night and day, in any weather.

A dog barked at me, until

She came out pulling

At her gloves, face bright

With rouge. I smiled,

Touched her shoulder, and led

Her down the street, across

A used car lot and a line

Of newly planted trees,

Until we were breathing

Before a drugstore. We

Entered, the tiny bell

Bringing a saleslady

Down a narrow aisle of goods.

I turned to the candies

Tiered like bleachers,

And asked what she wanted -

Light in her eyes, a smile

Starting at the corners

Of her mouth. I fingered

A nickle in my pocket,

And when she lifted a chocolate

That cost a dime,

I didn't say anything.

I took the nickle from

My pocket, then an orange,

And set them quietly on

The counter. When I looked up,

The lady's eyes met mine,

And held them, knowing

Very well what it was all



A few cars hissing past,

Fog hanging like old

Coats between the trees.

I took my girl's hand

In mine for two blocks,

Then released it to let

Her unwrap the chocolate.

I peeled my orange

That was so bright against

The gray of December

That, from some distance,

Someone might have thought

I was making a fire in my hands."

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Hi Turtle Robots:

I was at Trader Joe's again today and this chubby little girl standing in a cart said, "HI! HI!" to me, like we knew each other and she just knew that I would want to see her again. It was awesome. I said, "HI!" back, like it was really important. Her tummy was sticking out over the top of her funny striped leggings, and she stood with a sway back, like a little kid, and she had plumber's butt, too. It was rad. She stuck her finger in her nose with a dazed expression, and then stuck it in her mouth.

She was totally, 100 percent comfortable in the world.


Then I'm driving home and I see a certain rock boy I know walking down the sidewalk. This guy used to be sweet and naive, but I can tell he's changed. His T-Shirt is too small, don't you know, and he's got sunglasses on and he's walking like really slow, kind of loping, as if he were trying to keep time to a really super-k�ol song in his head only he is cool enough to hear. He holds his body just so--he doesn't move any parts extraneously; he doesn't look around at things, he doesn't scratch his nose, he doesn't put his hands awkwardly in his pockets. He moves as if everyone were watching.

So, I had to ask myself: Who's cooler? Kid, or insect-boy?

Well, duh. I am so sure.

I'm all for being cool and looking cool and making cool shit happen, but you don't have to try so fucking hard.

Anyway, while driving I had a complete and total "Bourne Identity" moment. A song came on KXLU, a song I had never heard before on the radio, or anywhere that I could remember, and I began to sing the lyrics by heart. I had no idea what was coming out of my mouth; I just watched myself singing along to this song.

It was very "Bourne Identity," except, like, if Bourne was maybe an ex-indie rocker. You know: He walks into a bar and, somehow, he picks up a guitar on the stage and starts singing that Haircut song, and everybody turns around to listen and claps him on the back at the end and says, Welcome back! And then he notices a strange thirst, and when he goes to the bar, the bartender says, "The usual?" and he goes, uh, yeah, and the bartender serves him a Rolling Rock.

Anyway, the lyrics I was singing go like:

"Just be glad you live in America

Just relax and be yourself.

'Cuz if you didn't live here in America,

You'd probably live somewhere else."

I think it's Camper Van Beethoven.



Monday, December 02, 2002

Hi You Lazy Fucks:

I just found a blog called "My life is crazy! And that's the way I like it..!"

I think it's a teenage girl. Dig the first paragraph of her latest entry:

~ Monday, December 02, 2002

"Ok, I know like, five minutes ago I said I really had nothing to talk about. But I do. Today was really an ok day seeing as the night before I had yet another fight with my mother.Today I went to the Chorus Line dance workshop. I have never taken a dance class in my life! And it definetly shows!...Cassie says I have a natural talent for it, but today I felt Yeah that's the word! Thanks Cassie! But later I was walking around and decided to do it again, and did, wonderfully! Of course, I'm in my room! Although I still don't know if I can audition! My parents have not said yet! I sang my song for dad tonight, and I think he really liked it, but being the "macho" man that he is would not say how much:) I really want to do it though! Oh well..."

Slow down, sister. You are way too crazy.

Actually, I thought it was pretty cute.

I mean, "The Chorus Line Dance Workshop."

Fuck. I know exactly what that scene's all about.

Jazz hands.

All the time.

I'm going to bed. Screw the Damn Personals. I'm damn tired, personally.

My life is so crazy!



I'm waiting for the guy who really, truly isn't impressed at all by fame. Whose values just don't swing that way.

I'm waiting for the guy who doesn't think I'll be a "real" writer once I've written a novel.

I have been cleaning my apartment for a day or so, and it is getting pretty anal. At the moment, I am picking dust bunnies out of my hairbrush with tweezers. This is how it gets sometimes.

You can't save the world, but you can save your hairbrush.

OK bye.



Good Morning Lizard:

Just a quick note to say hello and good morning. I am trying to get onto a "schedule," like they do for babies: you know: wake up at a certain time, eat at a certain time, etc. My "schedule" for the past few years has been pure chaos, because that felt like freedom to me. But now I'm thinking there might be some freedom in a routine. When you have a routine, you rarely feel weak with hunger. You also sleep better. You go to the bathroom at the same times. Your body likes it. And you just don't have to think about boring stuff so much, like cooking. You just do it and that's all.

Speaking of Lenny Bruce, on Thanksgiving night on KXLU they played "To Is A Preposition Come Is A Verb," one of Lenny Bruce's most beautiful routines. If you aren't familliar with it, it's sort of a quasi-beatnik free-association wordplay with a pseudo-jazz accompaniment--I think he's hitting a drum and a cymbal or some shit. He's riffing on the words "to come." It's gorgeous no matter what state you're in, but if you're on mushrooms or any other psychotropic, it's extra-special, because the rhythm of his speech perfectly follows the whimsical double-helices of thought that occur on these drugs. I know because I was having my very first psychedelic drug trip when I discovered him.

This was back when Jake, my roommate, and I were high school sweethearts. My parents went out of town and we bought some mushrooms from that guy Xander, the guy I mentioned before from the Circle Jerks, haw haw! Anyway, so we took the shrooms by crumbling them into Prego spaghetti sauce and making spaghetti. We were always eatiing spaghetti. Prego had just come out. Prego was the best thing ever. Anyway, so we're just kind of hanging out in the TV room at my parents' house on Third Avenue in Koreatown, and we turn on the radio. Somewhere on the left of the dial, probably KPFK, we heard this guy rambling, rambling rambling, in this high New York kind of voice, super-Jewish, and we're just digging his voice, because Jake's Jewish and I'm a total Jew-lover, and you never hear a really Jewish voice on the radio. But then we actually listen to what he's saying, and he's talking about something vaguely familiar--I don't remember the routine but it was classic Lenny Bruce: At once completely coherent and 100 percent high out of his mind. You follow the druggy pathways of his thoughts and if you're high the connections are effortless, because they're often the sort of childhood thought-connections that you start to remember when you do psychedelics. Children think in original but completely reasonable ways.

Anyway, so then I remembered my folks had a Lenny Bruce album: "What I Was Arrested For," a compilation of the performances that got him arrested for obscenity, including "To Is A Preposition Come Is A Verb," "I Just Do It And That's All," "Tukuses and Nay Nays," "Pissing In The Sink" (or whatever it's called), and "Dirty Toilet Joke."

I love him so.

Now I have to go to Target now to buy fairy lights.



Sunday, December 01, 2002

Hey Seahorsey:

Um, if you're looking for something to do Monday night, December 2, a really good band from Boston called the Damn Personals are playing at Spaceland. Their record is pretty damn good. I wrote about it before on the blog. They have a way with the drug song. I have never seen them play before, but fuck, it's free! Can you beat that? No, you can't.

See you there. I'll be the one standing next to Axel, drinking whiskey from a tiny shampoo bottle and arguing about Oasis or some shit.


"Scoop" Sullivan

Hi Bitch!

(and I mean that as a TOTAL compliment)

My life is complete! (Except for the world peace-boyfriend thing.)

Today I discovered I can listen to Cosmic Slop on my computer. All afternoon, every Sunday! From now on! Thanks to Ben for styling me with the heavy memory, dude!

But I mean my life is super-complete, because Chuck and Joel played me the Argent original version of "God Gave Rock 'N Roll To You," which is probably the theme song for 2002. Thanks, guys! It's pretty dorky, except, come on, people, let's remember what we learned with the Run-DMC thing. Originals have the right to be dorky, because they're doing the hard work. And while it was dorky, the Zombie-esque background harmonies toward the end were pretty as a peanut, and made me sure miss the Zombies.

So today begins the Running List of What's Good Right Now:

1. Cosmic Slop

2. Mojo Magazine (Last night I read the White Stripes issue. When it came out, all I wanted to read was the White Stripes article, and I forgot to read anything else! It was an amazing issue, with a piece about the MC5's weird debut shows in New York City, and Marc Bolan's early, pre-superstardom days. I always claim to be such a huge T. Rex fan, but the truth is that I'm a gay-ass record collector, and I really don't know much about his complete discography--therefore, I did not know that he had like four LPs [not counting recordings with John's Children] before he had any kind of success. Every time I read Mojo I learn about some huge band that had like five records before they made it. [Like Queen.] The message? Hang tough!)

3. KXLU, especially Saturday night psychedelia show "She Comes In Colors"

4. Amoeba Records

5. The ACLU

6. Hello Kitty

7. The White Stripes

8. The Santa Monica Pier

9. Orbit gum in the little box

10. Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion Magazine

More To Come...



ps: the archive's back and more archival than ever! :)

Saturday, November 30, 2002

Hi Colonel Mustard:

Dude, I tolly slept for a whole day and night. It's weird. Time and space completely changed. They didn't cease to exist entirely, but they opened up into a bowl, where I swam. It was warm.

If I could explain it, I would, but my brain is wrapped in fluffy stuff.

The thunder is so thick and warm-sounding.

I think I have a brain-fever that makes it impossible for me to talk or think.

The other night me and Ken Basart had another music-listening hootenanny, and while we were listening to Run-DMC's first record, I had an epiphany, yo. Musical pioneers almost always sound really bad later on, or at least really primitive and dorky. You listen to them and you think, how did they ever sound so modern and new?

Like, Patti Smith sounds dorky to me. Or Run DMC, a little. Or, well I can't think who else because of my brain. Anyway, you get the point.

But the reason they sound like that is because they are trailblazers. A trailblazer's job is to go into brambles and cut out a path by sheer violence and will and vision and everything. A trailblazer makes the way, then others come along and pave the trail, and manicure the brambles, and put up signs and fences and stuff. But the first person, their whole deal is just to carve a path in wilderness; to make something from nothing.

That work is heavy lifting, to use another metaphor. It is messy and rough, and doesn't leave much room for subtlety. That's why you listen now to trailblazers and think they're retarded. Their sound has already become so much a part of your ears that you don't even notice it, and the subtle refinements of their followers have fine-tuned your ears to the point where the originator sounds like a primitive version of the imitator.

But you know better.

And sometimes the imitator is every bit as good as the originator, or better. I'll take Bob Dylan over Ramblin' Jack Elliott and even Woody Guthrie. You know.

The thunder sounded like Minnesota just now: A metallic crack, vibrating across the hills. I better get off the dang 'puter.



Friday, November 29, 2002

Hi Wee Willy Winkle Nod:

I am asleep as I type and will return to Le Bed soon.

I am in love with someone new.

And I mean "new" literally.

He's just a wee one, and his name is Sean. Greg and Molli's lovely and charming chicken nugget.

He has a very Serious brow, because he is Thinking about many things, and trying to explain them despite the obstacles.



Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Hi June Bugs

My archives are gone. It may be permanent. And I will have to learn to let go and to start printing out this shit.

A certain jumpy, blue-haired funk-rock bassist told me that he was called in before he was famous and rich to do some session work on a song that would be called "Bust A Move." (He was really poor at the time, actually, selling his possessions to feed his baby daughter.) All he had to work with was the rap itself. Maybe a beat. There was no melody, nothing. So he came up with the bass line on the spot. This bass line made the song, as anyone who knows the song knows. The bass line is the heart, the zang, and the zazz of the song. The producers built the rest of the song from there: the guitars, the backup vocals, everything.

He got paid 200 bucks. The song went on to sell millions, and he got 200 bucks. Period.

His friends told him he should sue, but he was like, I'm not gonna fucking sue somebody about one bassline. There's plenty more where that came from.

This is the appropriate attitude to have toward one's work. Don't fret over lost work. There's plenty more where that came from!



Tuesday, November 26, 2002

PS: Kelly Osbourne's new record just came out. I have to go get it! But anywayz...

I love Kelly Osbourne, but only because she usually speaks the truth. However. Dig what she says in the new Rolling Stone about her new album, called "Shut Up":

"I know that if I wasn't Ozzy Osbourne's daughter and I wasn't on TV, this album would be taken way more seriously."

Hah! If she weren't Ozzy's daughter, she wouldn't have gotten signed! An unknown, fat white girl who's never been in a band?

Maybe on Sympathy for the Record Industry, but not on Epic. Please.

Yo check it:

I thought I knew what cynical was till I read this article today in the LA Times about a woman who is on a hunger strike to save California old-growth trees.

She's not the cynical one.

She's been sitting outside the State Capitol, starving, for 50 days. She sits three hours a day in a chair, but she's too cold to stay out longer than that. I guess she's lost like 20 pounds or something. She looks pretty gaunt. Anyway, she wants Grey Davis to fulfill his campaign promise to save all old growth trees.

He made that precise promise four years ago.

She says that 7 million old-growth trees are at risk from logging in California.

I'm amazed we even have that many left.

Now, I'm no eco-activist, but I'm sure glad some people are. They're doing my work for me. Because I really do care about The Tree.

She wants to put a measure on the state ballot to save trees of 152 years and older. Sounds reasonable, even conservative, to me.

Davis calls it "extremist."

Maybe it is extremist. When the status quo is so confoundingly, extremely unacceptable, a sane and determined activist does seem extreme.

But whether or not I even agree with her, Davis's reaction to her is horrifyingly cynical. It's also insulting to the tradition of crazy-sane activism that has helped to pull our country (and our state) out of the middle ages on a lot of issues.

Of this woman's fast, our governor's spokesperson says:

"Public policy is not made by refusing to eat."

"This sort of thing is a publicity stunt, not an effort for meaningful change."

I guess Cesar Chavez's fasts to help migrant farm workers were PR stunts.

(His views were extremist too, by the standards of the day, you know.)

And I guess Davis would call the hunger strikes of the suffrage movement publicity stunts, too.

Or those fucking crazy-ass abolitionists.

Talk about extremists.

Or, you know, that Indian guy who wore the diaper and all. He was always going on some fast or other.

Talk about your stunts.

Martin Luther King's numerous arrests were publicity stunts too. The March on Washington was a publicity stunt. In fact, the entire civil rights movement was a publicity stunt.

All protests, and certainly all acts of civil disobedience, are publicity stunts.

You can't get anything done in this world without a publicity stunt.

Davis is just mad this woman is making him look so bad, because she actually cares about something.

I wonder if our governor believes in anything enough to starve himself for it.

What really gets me is his arrogant disregard for California history.

We have a proud history of publicity-stunt activism on all sides--the Free Speech Movement, the Anti-Vietnam War Movement, Operation Rescue, Act Up!, the disabled rights movement, that dock workers' strike---just to name a few.

Like, duh.

Of course, there's also a long history of corporate "activism" in Sacramento too, which is a little quieter, a little more tasteful, less daredevillish.

I guess if the tree-huggers had some nice campaign gifts and wore Versace suits, their tactics would be more palatable to our governor. Because apparently that's really the best way to get through to him.

Since they don't, they have to rely on publicity. And as history proves, this kind of activism does work, and it does shape public policy. You old lardass.

(Just by the way: Why are the self-starvers, I mean the people who really put their money where their mouth is, almost always lefties? I mean, why don't you ever see someone doing a hunger strike to preserve the death penalty, or to open up wildlife areas for mining, or to bail out big tobacco?)

NEW TOPIC, same shrill tone:

The Total Awareness Thingy reminds me so, so very very much of good, old-fashioned Soviet-style Communism, it's almost quaint. It really makes me nostalgic for Prague. I think of it, and I get a craving for Becherovka and state-made cigarettes, and I long to hear the streetcar wheels grinding along their tracks, sending up sparks in the dark.

It also reminds me of high school, too, in the 1980s, when I had to read "1984" in one night for a test. I thought I would just read the end, and little bits, but it was so good, I started at the end and just read it backwards. I was kind of a fucked-up kid. Anyway, that book rocked.

Around that time, John Poindexter was being indicted for various felonies against the American people. He liked to lie a lot.

Anyway, back to Total Awareness. Just imagine: the enemies of so-called Big Government promoting a system the Reds would have creamed for.

It's nothing new, but it seems so very old-school. I think this Poindexter guy is stuck in the '80s, like Cyndi Lauper and Erasure.

Maybe he's part of the whole '80s fashion revival thing.

In any case, Mr. America is clearly a Commie at heart.

It's funny how much we really do resemble our enemies at the end of the day. Tres Harry Potter.

Harry has a little bit of potential evil in him. Actually, he has a lot.


What was it Dumbledore says in the new movie?

It's not our abilities that defiine us, but our choices.


Last night driving home on the Hollywood freeway, there were palm fronds lining the shoulder of the highway, looking like dorsal fins. It was like a shark attack on the freeway, dude.

Tonight is the second anniversary of the Hotel Cafe. Hooray!

I haven't been writing about rock lately because I am a little dormant right now. I just did a huge spewing of ass-based philosophy and theory about The Rock while doing my Top Secret Mission. I came up with some OK nuggets of garbage in the process: For example, "The Strokes aren't really rock; they are a 'Rock Pill'." They are an over-the-counter drug, a cheap high, a momentary approximation of "That Rock feeling." It's not the real thing, and you know it, but it's OK. You've been so hungry for so long for the feeling.

ok bye


Monday, November 25, 2002

Hi, The Bunny:

After serious consultation with three different people, the Supreme Council On Stuff, Intl. has decreed that when referring to bunnies--any bunny or bunnies at all--one need only speak of "The Bunny." This is because, like The Unicorn, there is only one Bunny.

If you understand The Bunny, then you know exactly what I mean.

Ex. 1.: You're browsing in Marshall Fields and you come across some baby-blue fur stoles. You assume they're fake, only to discover on examination that they're real dead bunny. You say to your mom: "That ain't right. In this day and age, there is no need to kill The Bunny."

Ex. 2: You're walking on Harriet Island with a friend, and you see a bunny hopping across the front lawn at De La Salle High School. Then you turn the corner and you see a frog waiting for the Cuzzy's Bus, and you also see another bunny crossing the street. You say something to your friend like, "The Bunny, he gets around."

Think of it like "The Guitar": "Do you play the violin?" "No, man, I play The Guitar."

Please make a note of the new rules.

(Sorry for the inside jokes there. Harriet Island is an island in downtown Minneapolis, in the Mississippi River, where there is a Catholic High School, where Jim Walsh went, and a really quaint neighborhood of Victorian houses. The Cuzzy's Bus is seen prowling the area at night. The Cuzzy's Bus is a shuttle that takes you to Cuzzy's, the roadhouse-like bar near City Pages, in the warehouse district. One time I really did see The Bunny on Harriet Island, and a frog sitting on the curb, presumably waiting for his ride.)

So, last night I was tossin' and flossin', tryin' to fill the void heartbreak brings.

Yo, that's an Aretha Franklin song.

How old is the phrase "flossin'"?

See, these phrases are usually like 110 years old, but the white people up north only hear about them at a certain point. Example: "Props." I heard "props" the first time in 1996. But by that point it was 97,000 years old. At the very least there's Aretha saying" Give me my propers when you get home" on "Respect," but I'm sure this phrase can be traced well back to the 19th Century.

If I were a linguist, I would specialize in African-diaspora English dialects, because they have the most supreme slang. I mean, it's true that white people have some great slang too, but come on.

Now, back to my night of tossin' and flossin'. I wasn't really flossin' but I was tossin'. Maybe it was the onset of the Santa Ana winds, which seem to be back again today. I dunno. I woke up around maybe midnight and totally couldn't sleep, total mini-panic attack. It was a terror/war panic attack. Do you ever have these?

I tried singing to myself, which worked last time. I tried singing "Good Morning Starshine," which was fun, except I was having a little bit of nervous asthma, and I was wheezing: "Good mornnneeeenngghhhh starshine, the Earth says Heloggooohggh." (That's supposed to sound like a wheeze.)

Finally, The Becherovka came to my rescue.

Sort of. I finally got back to sleep, but then I kept dreaming about ghosts.

You see, my problem is that I live most of the day in complete denial about the state of the world. You have to do this, or else you will just hate life. But the problem is that you build up all this unexpressed fear and anxiety and shit.

So my plan is eight-pronged:

1. yoga (this clears out the fear a little, I don't know how)

2. get a puppy

3. keep drinking

4. play guitar as much as possible, and sing

5. make up jokes about how horrible everything is

6. boy-actions

7. harass my congresspeople (I know this doesn't do much, but it's a nice way to get back that oh-so fresh-feeling. Eventually it'll turn into something better.)

8. No TV

In this way the Beast of Fear will be castrated, and the Flaming Monkey of Joy will be sustained.



Sunday, November 24, 2002

Hello, Grandmaster:

These are the good things lately:

1. I was doing some big post-Minneapolis grocery-shopping yesterday, "refilling my larder," as my mom would say, at Trader Joe's in Silverlake. Now, I know it's kind of early to get in the spirit, but they had the best little live Christmas trees with fairy lights already on them. Just a tree with lights, no decorations. Very natural. I totally wanted it, so I got it. So what if it's not even Thanksgiving yet?

Fuck it, I'm ready. Bring it on!

2. I saw Harry Potter last night, and it was tops. The best part is the Weasleys' kitchen.

3. Afterwards I went to Tiki Ti, the teeny-weeny tiki bar on Sunset near the Vista. They were calling last call, but the buxom door mistress let us in, as long as we ordered quickly. When asked if people could smoke, she lifted her cigarette and said, "of course."

Everyone was in a good mood inside. It felt like the night before Thanksgiving, when everyone parties. It felt special. Maybe everyone had come from Harry Potter.

4. I had bacon for breakfast and for lunch.

I have to run now. This entry was pretty lame but Tony Pierce said, Something is better than nothing.

By the way, I think I haven't been name-dropping enough lately here.

I'm going to have to work on that.

I'll see what I can do.



Thursday, November 21, 2002

Hi Nutrageous:

I know it's probably not terribly legal and whatnot to reprint stuff on your blog from the New York Times, but check out this recent editorial.

Funny how much "TIA" sounds like CIA.

They should call TIA the "Total Invasion Act."

A Snooper's Dream

The threat of terrorism has created a powerful appetite in Washington for sophisticated surveillance systems to identify potential terrorists. These efforts cannot be allowed, however, to undermine civil liberties. There is a program now in the research stage at the Pentagon that, if left unchecked by Congress, could do exactly that. Ostensibly designed to enhance national security, it could lead to an invasion of personal privacy on a massive scale.

The program, known as Total Information Awareness, is a project of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which helped develop the Internet and a host of cutting-edge military technologies. It is run by John Poindexter, the retired Navy rear admiral who was Ronald Reagan's national security adviser and, in that capacity, helped devise the plan to sell arms to Iran and illegally divert the proceeds to the rebels in Nicaragua. Sentenced to six months in jail for lying to Congress (a conviction later overturned on appeal), the admiral was never particularly contrite about his deceit, asserting at one point that it was his duty to withhold information from the American people.

Mr. Poindexter is pursuing a scheme he thought up right after 9/11 and then sold to the Bush administration. Total Information Awareness, or T.I.A., aims to use the vast networking powers of the computer to "mine" huge amounts of information about people and thus help investigative agencies identify potential terrorists and anticipate terrorist activities. All the transactions of everyday life � credit card purchases, travel and telephone records, even Internet traffic like e-mail � would be grist for the electronic mill.

To civil libertarians, T.I.A., with its Orwellian dossiers on each and every American, would constitute a huge invasion of privacy. Mr. Poindexter says that he has no wish to trample on the Fourth Amendment, and that the technology can be designed so as to "preserve rights and protect people's privacy while helping to make us all safer." His associates say that his main role is to develop the technology, not the policy that governs its use.

This strikes us as disingenuous. Mr. Poindexter is a policy man to the core. Besides, there are enough federal agencies already engaged in the "mining" of information about all of us. The last thing we need is a vast new system of domestic surveillance engineered by John Poindexter.

Congress should shut down the program pending a thorough investigation. It could do this with an amendment denying further financing that could be attached to an appropriations bill or the homeland security bill now under discussion in the Senate. Either way, T.I.A. needs immediate oversight.

Hi Big Toe:

Sorry, I'm feeling gross this morning. Jake, my roommate, just told me that John Poindexter is the head of the sort-of secret Homeland Security deal wherein supposedly every American is going to have a National Security file that will keep track of our every trackable move. This reminds me of the stuff they were trying to plan during the Iran-Contra thing, potential camps where they could herd political dissidents.

This Poindexter guy looks like a bag of trouble. (As Howard Stern said this morning. He used the phrase "she looks like a bag of trouble." I think I like him after all. I am going to start using this phrase and pretending I made it up, if that's OK with you.)

"Poindexter" was our name in grade school for nerds.

This joker, this "president," needs to be taken out and I want to know why the lardass "Democrats" are such cowards. Fuck all of you, every one of you would allow this thing, and who voted to invade Iraq.

My friend Lydia is 89 years old, and she's been active in the ACLU for decades. You see, she was blacklisted, and she lost her livelihood. She was a pianist and composer for film. Lydia always says that McCarthyism could come back, and I'm always saying, no, it couldn't, that's ridiculous.

But now I think maybe something similar could find a way to thrive today, if we let it.

What should we do?

Anyway, on another subject: Chuck, sorry for being such a crab before. I was in "a mood." But I didn't mean to actually be crabby.

Ain't nothing but love up in this bitch, you know.



Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Hi Love:

I just turned on the Kink Kronikles and am listening to "The Village Green Preservation Society."

Do you know the song?

I always thought it was ironical, poking fun at old people. Right?

But check it out. Maybe because I feel such a strong connection to my own place, Los Angeles, as Ray Davies does for his place, I now believe that subconsciously, he means it. He wants God to save strawberry jam, and all its different varieties.

He is the Village Green Preservation Society.

That's OK with me.



So wow:

God, this was a great time to return to Los Angeles. I get in, it's 80 degrees and the sun's going down, it's dry and exciting. It feels like something's going to happen. Something exciting. It's Santa Ana weather, and earthquake weather, and beach weather, and hiking in the Hollywood Hills weather. I drove up to the Observatory tonight at sunset, and looked at the view--you could see the whole ocean, it was so clear, and the sound was really crisp--the car tires made a ripping sound on the gravel. I stood looking out at half of L.A., from Agoura to Compton, and in the air just in front of me a bunch of crazy bats did somersaults with no sound.

God makes most of the beautiful stuff, but L.A. is beautiful and we made it.

This is where I belong.

I mean, God made it too, since we're God.

But that's a whole other topic.

Now, here's the really weird thing: I have been getting all these "Top Secret" mystery emails about money and investments from some businessman in Angola or something. Is anybody else getting this stuff? It's bizarre. Anyway, so today I receive an email from, supposedly, the widow of late Angolan dissident Jonas Savimbi, asking me to help her as she tries to invest her inheritance and flee the country. I did a Google search and in two seconds found similar letters appearing on guestbooks and random places--one from "Mrs. Anastasia Kabo Savimbi" in Johannesburg, one from "Mrs. Gloria Savimbi" in the Ivory Coast, one from "Mrs. Nobi Savimbi" in Angola.

Either this Savimbi dude got around, or someone is very stupid and thinks they're going to actually get away with whatever nonsense they're trying to perpetrate.

Shame on you, assholes

-------Much Later-------

My neighbor-girls were outside drinking and smoking so i pulled my new bottle of Becherovka out of the freezer and headed downstairs to the courtyard. I'm drunk now.

The palm tree in the middle of the courtyard was swaying and rustling under the moon, and when the moon hit the leaves they glistened like stars.

Michelle said, I like to just stand and stare at that palm tree, and listen to it.

The wind is hot and the air is dry and the stars are sharp. I said, and then Marcy said, and then this other girl said, Earthquake weather.

An earthquake would be good, but only a small one.

Maybe that's the exciting thing that's going to happen.

It is also sex weather. Maybe I should do something about that.

Sex and an earthquake would be OK, too.



Monday, November 18, 2002

For Christ's Sake, Chuck, I know the Dead pre-date the Stooges. I'm just trying to have some fun!

Is that so wrong, Mister Literal? Can't we let go of being Right, let go of linear time and all its foolish games, and swim awhile in the magic?

Won't you swim a while with me?



So Everyone, Check out the big brain on Miguel. He thinks he's so smart because he knows "i'm the bleeding volcano" is from "She's So Cold."

OK, fine Miguel, whatever. You're Mister Knows Stuff today. Here's your bleeding haiku:

Miguel loves Mick, yeah

lickin ice cream cones, come on

sticky fingers suck!

Hi Melo Honey:

Chuckie T gets the dubble bubble trash can. But since he replied like eight hours too late, it has to be an invisible one. It's a "concept" trash can, very John-and-Yoko, I'm afraid.

Now for the real tough question, Tommly Chuck: Do you think the Stooges are the original jam band? I do. And I also think Jim Ladd needs to have his bean recounted for all that bullshit about the Doors. (Chuck: He's this super old-school classic rock "freeform" DJ in L.A. who thinks the Doors are bigger than Rod; it's so sad.) Look, I never listened to the Stooges until a week ago when I bought "Funhouse" and "The Stooges," right? I wasn't cool; I didn't know anything about them, not really, except "TV Eye" and "I Wanna Be Your Dog." So now I do, OK, and I have to say, Look, I already went through my Doors phase like 15 years ago.

I know it's not fair to blame them for the Doors, but come on.

At least they're 4,000 times way cooler than the Doorks.

The best best part is the jingle bells on "I Wanna BeYour Dog." I ask you: Why aren't all of you making songs with jingle bells? You could save the world, and you don't even try. So selfish.

You know, a lot of "cool" '60s bands are guilty of the jam band thing, though. Velvet Underground--they could get pretty jammy sometimes. This is the problem with drugs. They make jams sound much shorter and more textured than they really are.

If only bands would get off the psychedelics and the opiates and start drinking and taking speed again, like in the good old days.

Apparently the Beatles' drink was whiskey and Coke. Which is my drink. I have this theory that Paul and John are originally Irish, which would explain the whiskey thing. I also have a theory that Ringo is secretly Jewish. Look at the guy. Gimme a break. Considering the proud history of Jews in rock (Ramones, KISS, T. Rex, etc.), it's seems probable the Beatles had a Jew in there.



Hi, Feckless Drunks:

Quick: Whoever can tell me what the feck "feckless" means in the next hour will receive a fabulous Dubble Bubble trash can from moi.

I just know there's like 5,000 of you feckers out there totally reading my blog every feckin' five minutes, but you're too coy to post comments, because you are trying to work on your "image." It's about time people started thinking of you as "cool," you think to yourself, and not as just some person who writes Comments on blogs.

Yeah, I know you're out there. Nice try, pal.

Hi, P.S.!

I forgot this important thing: November 17 was also the birthday of Jeff Buckley, and Amoeba Records in Hollywood. Thank goodness for both of them. Jeff Buckley is the only rock star I ever sent a fan letter to. It was a drawing, I think. I always wondered if he got it. Oh, sigh.

Poor us. We don't get Jeff Buckley anymore.

ok bye.

Sunday, November 17, 2002

Hi Little Budgie:

Good news today (thanks, Matt!): The Justice Department looks like it's considering a criminal suit against New Times and Voice Media for their low-down dirty rotten deal that killed the LA New Times. (I would link to my old column but the New Times Archives were wiped out. All that great investigative reporting on Scientology is gone, which makes you wonder...)

This news made me so fucking happy this morning.

I don't really know if they have a case but just the fact that these guys are probably freaking out right now is good enough for me.

So today is my birthday, so I'll consider this my birthday present from God. Last night me and some friends went bowling at Stardust Lanes, the classic American bowling alley. At 9:30 p.m., "Cosmic Bowling" started, where they turn down the lights and have blacklights and the pins glow, and they have funny dancing light-projections and stuff, and terrible Top 40 pop. The walls are painted with awesome '70s-style moonscapes, with planets and comets and stars.

They were playing a lot of crap white music like Avril Lavigne and Linkin Park, which was strange since the crowd was 85 percent black teenagers. Oh well, nobody seemed to care.

Bowling at Stardust, someone said, "Where does bowling come from?" I said, "Hey, I think I once wrote a whole article on the history of bowling or something, and I think it comes from.... um.... something to do with Germany?" The article is from a long-ago time when I was still all crushed out on Prague. Six years ago.

Anyway. My friends here are the best. They just want to have a good time. They don't want to complain and leave a party because it's not cool enough. They just want to drink beer, smoke and talk---like Axel in L.A.

I got three or four strikes, and they were all about 7 or 8 miles per hour--really, really slow.

This was a lesson. Just because your ball is going really slowly and sounds dorky rolling along the floor doesn't mean it won't kick ass in the end.



PS: I'll write another haiku for whoever gets the song reference up top ( But don't just type the words into a search engine. that's no fun for anybody--well, except for you, I suppose. But this isn't about you.

Friday, November 15, 2002

Hi Goober Grape:

Can you even believe how many ridiculous names they come up with for foods?

It's a cornucopia of weirdness.

So I am to'lly procrastinating. I should come up with an abbreviation for procrastination. I am to'lly 'nating. Yeah. How about that, I am tolly 'nating.

So anyway, I'm 'nating on a couple articles and so this'll be way short. In order to get inspired creatively I stopped by Dulono's pizza at Lake and Lyndale for 45 minutes to meet my friend John and drink Summit on tap and catch up and talk a little about 'Stone.Yeah, let's abbreviate evything tonight. So me and John talked about Stone, which was the sort of thing I need a lil more of. Being here I need to sort of share a little of how people feel about Stone, and are dealing, and dealt. People are so amazingly flexible; they can get over things so quickly--or appear to, rather. I mean, my parents and lots of people still have their plain green "Wellstone!" signs out on the front fence (it never changed from 1990 to today), draped in black ribbons now--and a lot of people have Mondale signs, but people aren't in shock anymore. John told me that when it happened, day light savings was just ending and it had just gotten really cold, and it was an excruciating two weeks. Although, being a classic Minnesotan, he just said, "It was pretty hard."

People here understand about understatement. I think it helped my writing a ton to live here, because my Californian enthusiasm/hyperbole was curbed, and I learned about the concept of saying stuff by not saying it.

At Dulono's Pizza, they have live bluegrass on the weekends. That blasted bluegrass. It's the new hip-hop or something.

The crowd was wildly mixed among ages and subcultures. I have to say, Minneapolis has a sick percentage of cute rock boys.

The thing about LA is, there's tons of cute rock boys, but they are incredibly screwed up in the head about girls. They are really, really scared and weird. Plus, because of the culture of the entertainment industry, they halfway subconscously think all women are idiots. And it's true that there are many awful, stupid women in H-wood. Plus, in Hollywood, beauty is nothing--incredibly hot girls are a dime a dozen, so looks won't get you all that far, even with assholes.

So basically most cute rock boys that I meet act like they couldn't even be bothered. They so don't give a shit. Now, whenever I meet a boy who's from the Midwest--Kansas, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin--I get so happy and excited.

I want to marry a Midwestern boy.

Gawd, I hafta go already.

Oh yeah, by the way: I couldn't make it to the GnR show at the Target Center Thursday night because I was busy working on my Top Secret Mission. Sorry. Somehow I don't feel the slightest regret about that. It's a historical curiosity at this point. The future lies elsewhere.



Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Hi Food:

So enough with the Central European history, Chamberlain, Chambermaid, Churchill and Churchpew and all the rest. It is now time to talk about Chuck. Chuck hooked me up with the fancy Comments deal, where you can tell me your secrets and yell. Since Chuck showed me how to get Comments, this site has become 300 percent more interactive. Before, you could only throw cheese at the screen.

Go dig Chuck's blog.

My dad is in the next room, the bathroom, talking to the plumber about computers. The plumber has a thick Minnesota "youbet" (you know: the Minnesota version of a "drawl") and they've moved in ten seconds from talking about how much they hate computers to how much they hate the government. I think my dad was on thin ice just now when he said, "They hate big government except when it wants to go to war in Iraq" or something. My dad counts on the liberal skepticism of the working man, especially in Minnesota, home of Paul Wellstone, master of transforming liberalism to populism (as the LA Weekly noted).

Anyway. So. Ever since Wellstone's deal (his death, if you must know, but fuck it, i have a right to live in denial, so screw you, asshole), I have been making a mental list of all that is Good in my daily life, so that I might celebrate and enjoy it now, while I have it, and not just grieve it when it is gone.

Unfortunately I am brain-dead and starved and cannot remember the whole list right now. So maybe next time. And then you can add to the list on the Comments deal. All I remember right now is MOJO Magazine, the White Stripes, KXLU, Breakfast With the Beatles, and I can't remember what else.

Last night I had a fancy-ass dinner for free, courtesy of City Pages, because their hilarious and wonderful restaurant critic, Dara Moskowitz, took me out to dinner. It felt very grown-up. We're two "career girls" with credit cards and really sexy, exciting things to talk about, and incredible gossip that could ruin careers and bring empires toppling.

Haw haw. Anyway, what she said that stuck deep was that, in life, the key to real strength is exposing one's vulnerability. If you can go through life kind of vulnerable, open (kind of like the "softened heart" thing I mentioned before), you build a kind of really solid strength that holds you stable. This is the secret that a lot of people (especially men, I'm afraid) don't get.

Anyway, I also met Dara's new BF, who is just as supercute as she said. Ah, Minneapolis.



Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Hey Googlephonics!

Matt: Thanx for your thoughtful drunken response. (Gentle reader: See Matt's comments on the entry two doors down.) I am interested in the section of your note about the French, Brits et al. selling the Czechs down the river. This seems to be the crucial moment in your note. You are talking about the weird deal Churchill cooked up to pacify Hitler by handing over control of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland--which countries was it? It was called the whatchamacallit deal?

Obviously I've drunk a lot of bad American beer since I left and it's pickled the Czech-history sector of my brain.

I know what you mean about the Czechs and xenophobia. It might have something to do with the fact that Czechs have historically always been under exterior control, and felt insecure. When you are insecure, you always want to feel in-control, even when it makes you look like a terrible insecure asshole. This was one of the great things about Masaryk: He was so confident, so stylish and masterful. He was not an oppressed leader.

But I don't want to make excuses for genocide. The Czechs didn't put up a huge resistance to Hitler.

Of course, most of those who did were shot in Kobylisy or wherever (did you know about the execution range they had preserved in the panelak development on Strelnicna where Barney, me, Wade and a bunch of people lived--it was turned into a resistance memorial)---or like that entire village outside Prague, Lidice, that was slaughtered--or else they died in Terezin or wherever, like that babing GF of Kafka, Milena Jesenska, who died in a camp because she was a flamboyant Jew-lover and a weirdo journalist with a mind and a heart. She was very into fashion. She said, My idea of freedom is a little cafe in Prague.

She said that while she was in a camp.

Imagine being in a Nazi concentration camp, sick, starving, dying, and just fantasizing about wearing your sexy gorgeous clothes and meeting your boyfriend at the cafe on the river and having Becherovka and coffee. She liked Slavia Cafe the best.

This is why a girl should never feel ashamed about loving light physical pleasure--like coffeehouses, clothing, conversation, boys and cigarettes. There's something deeper about it that you might not discover until you lose it.

Got to go.



"I'm not interested in money. I just want to be wonderful."

Marilyn Monroe

(I know I used that before, but it bears repeating, as often as possible, because it is huge.)