Thursday, May 29, 2003



Hi, Lester Bangs:



Today I went to my first-ever anti-media deregulation protest! This is a new wrinkle in protesting. As you can imagine, the chants at such a protest don't exactly roll off the tongue. ("media consolidation"? "deregulation"?) After hearing the founder of the LA Weekly talk about the impact of deregulation on delivery of the news, i feel more certain than ever that this issue is about two things: rock and democracy. In other words, it's about American freedom. I interviewed a woman who said that she watched the same thing happen to her cousins in China that is happening to us right now. That spooked me out, man!



And for all you eligible men out there who didn't make it, all I can say is: There were SO many cute girls there. Plus, I ran into an old musician friend from Minneapolis at the rally, and we're totally going on a date tomorrow. One of the many side-benefits of activism. Everybody wins.



love,

Kate







Hi Jam tarts:



I'm writing and was looking thru old clips, trying to see if there was anything in there to suggest I should even try to write about anything. Here's a couple articles i think are Ok. I apologize for all the talk about my broken heart in these articles. I was being dramatic. My heart's fit to bursting with love--good love, god-love, righteous love, and I have nothing to complain about. Cept the whole robber thing.



This article is about love songs, sort of.



This article is about the White Stripes, sort of.



kate

Wednesday, May 28, 2003





HI, You Damn Turtles!



Oy god, how bad am I procrastinating on an article? THIS BAD.



So i can't go running no more, shit, cuz some damn robbers have taken over my neighborhood, in fact, the very street where I go "running," (ha ha ha, old lady terrycloth jogging is more like it), at the very time of day when i go "running," and they're doing ridiculous crazy shit like: going into people's houses and pretending to have a gun, somehow, and forcing people to drive them to south central, then take out two $700 withdrawals from an ATM. I guess that's what you do if you're a robber with no car in L.A. Audacity and creativity are the keys to success in Hollywood.



"Um, cool, so, I'll rob you, but-- i know it's kind of out of your way and everything, but would you mind dropping me off?"



So now i don't know how I'm going to get ready for summer. crime is definitely putting a crimp in my workout schedule.



where's mcgruff when you need him? down at the bar. i tell you.



fuuuck. i have to write.



Blogger's all weird and cut off the end of the previous post, oops.



Like Tony said today, I need a lover who won't drive me crazy. I am crazy enough all on my own. Love is crazy enough. Sex is insane. It's all madness and I could use a little of what George Michael called Faith.



That's my mother's name. But we won't think about that right now. I saw a picture in Molding Scone magazine yesterday that made me puke. Fred Durst has a fucking Kurt Cobain tattoo on his chest. He's lifting his shirt and pointing at it, like he's Mr. Integrity, Mr. I Remember, Mr. Goodheart.



Just because you have a tattoo of someone does not mean you have absorbed any of their qualities through your skin. That would be like me getting a Lester Bangs tattoo on my ass. Actually, I bet he would love that. Maybe I should rethink this.





i can take a hint:



it doesn't mean i'll follow it.



obviously nobody likes when i go on about radio. well, that's too fucking bad.



as it happens, though, today i am bored of that subject.



Yesterday, for a minute, I was suddenly bored with rock music. Rock culture, even. I was bored with my life, and some of the things I seem to build my life on. For a minute, I felt the limitations of rock, and of youth itself. For a minute, I felt that one day, in spite of myself, I might outgrow rock 'n' roll. I was thinking about all the assholes on the cover of RS this week, and all the money they're going to make from their tours. So many rich motherfuckers on the cover of Rolling Stone.



And then I felt sad to be jaded. I thought, is this how people become horrible and old?



Then I thought about Jim Walsh. Jim would want to talk about this. What would Jim say?



He would ask for all the details, and then this is what he would say (I think).



"I think it's interesting that you got that feeling right after reading Rolling Stone. Kate, that's not rock. That's not what made the Replacements play the greatest punk rock ever."



In my limited exposure to big-money rock, and the touring world, I've been fairly grossed out. Weezer and few bands excepted, sometimes it seems like a real fucking crucifixion of the rock 'n' roll spirit. They have these incredible spreads backstage, jets and helicopters. Masseuses and acupuncturists. Scooters and motorbikes. We made it, they think. We fucking made it.



I didn't like that feeling that one day I might outgrow something that mattered so much. But if there's one thing I've learned from rock, it's that you've got to follow your heart, and your instincts. If they tell you to forget it all and plant a garden, then that's the rockest thing you could do.



George Harrison was a master gardener. Rivers Cuomo went to college at the peak of his success.The Beatles quit touring altogether. Ozzy Osbourne has a collection of delicate paintings of Victorian ladies' shoes. Bob Dylan is a painter.



Anyway. Last night I went out with my gf Lauren, a.k.a. Little Lauren. We saw Ash at the El Rey. What a fun band. All they want to do is have fun rocking, and rock you out. They're Irish. Maybe that's why they're not so scared to rock. Good God, man, that whole post-Radiohead scared-of-rock UK moperism was such a party foul. And I actually liked a couple of those bands for a minute, before it became clear they wanted to throw a grey wet scratchy blanket all over my daisy lawn.



The girl in Ash is very sexy and cool. She reminded me of Chrissie Hynde. I was a little bit scared of her. If I were a guy, I would be terrified.



The boy is a total pinup. But we already knew that.



Little Lauren and I went to the Roost after with Axel. The Roost is the best feelgood, goodtime fun pub ever. The popcorn was outstanding. Lots of cute boys, all of them looking insane. Like, literally. I never know how to talk to boys. Insane ones are a little easier. I mean, I can talk to them because I don't really want to date them. They're too young, too crazy, too much bullshit. Like




i can take a hint:



it doesn't mean i'll follow it.



obviously nobody likes when i go on about radio. well, that's too fucking bad.



as it happens, though, today i am bored of that subject.



Yesterday, for a minute, I was suddenly bored with rock music. Rock culture, even. I was bored with my life, and some of the things I seem to build my life on. For a minute, I felt the limitations of rock, and of youth itself. For a minute, I felt that one day, in spite of myself, I might outgrow rock 'n' roll. I was thinking about all the assholes on the cover of RS this week, and all the money they're going to make from their tours. So many rich motherfuckers on the cover of Rolling Stone.



And then I felt sad to be jaded. I thought, is this how people become horrible and old?



Then I thought about Jim Walsh. Jim would want to talk about this. What would Jim say?



He would ask for all the details, and then this is what he would say (I think).



"I think it's interesting that you got that feeling right after reading Rolling Stone. Kate, that's not rock. That's not what made the Replacements play the greatest punk rock ever."



In my limited exposure to big-money rock, and the touring world, I've been fairly grossed out. Weezer and few bands excepted, sometimes it seems like a real fucking crucifixion of the rock 'n' roll spirit. They have these incredible spreads backstage, jets and helicopters. Masseuses and acupuncturists. Scooters and motorbikes. We made it, they think. We fucking made it.



I didn't like that feeling that one day I might outgrow something that mattered so much. But if there's one thing I've learned from rock, it's that you've got to follow your heart, and your instincts. If they tell you to forget it all and plant a garden, then that's the rockest thing you could do.



George Harrison was a master gardener. Rivers Cuomo went to college at the peak of his success.The Beatles quit touring altogether. Ozzy Osbourne has a collection of delicate paintings of Victorian ladies' shoes. Bob Dylan is a painter.



Anyway. Last night I went out with my gf Lauren, a.k.a. Little Lauren. We saw Ash at the El Rey. What a fun band. All they want to do is have fun rocking, and rock you out. They're Irish. Maybe that's why they're not so scared to rock. Good God, man, that whole post-Radiohead scared-of-rock UK moperism was such a party foul. And I actually liked a couple of those bands for a minute, before it became clear they wanted to throw a grey wet scratchy blanket all over my daisy lawn.



The girl in Ash is very sexy and cool. She reminded me of Chrissie Hynde. I was a little bit scared of her. If I were a guy, I would be terrified.



The boy is a total pinup. But we already knew that.



Little Lauren and I went to the Roost after with Axel. The Roost is the best feelgood, goodtime fun pub ever. The popcorn was outstanding. Lots of cute boys, all of them looking insane. Like, literally. I never know how to talk to boys. Insane ones are a little easier. I mean, I can talk to them because I don't really want to date them. They're too young, too crazy, too much bullshit. Like

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Hi, Freedom Fighters:



OK, I'm not gong to lie to you, I was late to the meeting with Waxman about FCC deregulation. At least I went!



Now, Thursday, there's going to be a "National Day of Protest" against FCC deregulation. This is not just about good rock. This is about democracy. Who owns the media owns our information. In some cases, it's also about life and death.



The radio was invented and originally conceived as a publicly owned service, kind of a quasi-utility, that would connect people and entertain them, but most of all inform them and keep them safe. Like the fire department, the police, and voting polling places, it would be a free service available to all that would improve the people's quality of life and strengthen our democracy. For very good reasons, our fire departments, police and voting booths have not yet been privatized. (We've seen the disaster of deregulating utilities.) Radio has been. Here's an example of one of the many consequences of a privatized, deregulated media:



"It's like something out of a nightmare, but it really happened: At 1:30 on a cold January night, a train containing hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic ammonia derails in Minot, North Dakota. Town officials try to sound the emergency alert system, but it isn't working. Desperate to warn townspeople about the poisonous white cloud bearing down on them, the officials call their local radio stations. But no one answers any of the phones for an hour and a half. According to the New York Times, three hundred people are hospitalized, some are partially blinded, and pets and livestock are killed.



Where were Minot's DJs on January 18th, 2002? Where was the late night station crew? As it turns out, six of the seven local radio stations had recently been purchased by Clear Channel Communications, a radio giant with over 1,200 stations nationwide. Economies of scale dictated that most of the local staff be cut: Minot stations ran more or less on auto pilot, the programming largely dictated from further up the Clear Channel food chain. No one answered the phone because hardly anyone worked at the stations any more; the songs played in Minot were the same as those played on Clear Channel stations across the Midwest."



That's from MoveOn. Anyway, the vast majority of Americans are opposed to corporate control of the media (I hear, anyway), but they just don't know what the hell is going on because there's no coverage of the issues on TV. We have no choice but to do little shit like protests and stuff and hope that the issue will gradually snowball. I hope people who care aren't too jaded to get out and shout a little.



LOS ANGELES, CA



WHAT: Stop Clear Channel and the FCC



WHEN: Thursday, May 29th 2003 Noon - (the Thursday before the FCC votes to dramatically deregulate the media)



WHERE: Los Angeles, California



Location: Clear Channel's KFI AM, 610 S Ardmore Ave. Los Angeles California



Contact: Lorinda

310-827-9137



(I have no idea who Lorinda is.)



For info on your local protest, go to MoveOn and sign up for action alerts. There's some way cool reporting there too on the whole deregulation shebang.



Love,

kate

Monday, May 26, 2003





Well, Tony has done it again. He makes me feel like such a chumpy chump. He's got two new photoessays plus the usual blog entries. Tony loves L.A. a whole lot.



It is Monday but I am so fucking tired I am going back to bed now. I need my beauty rest and since I wrote last night I've decided not to feel guilty about this, but to savor it.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Good lord



I just found out that New Times journalist Marnye Oppenheim died last week. She was my age, 32. Nobody reads my blog, but I'd still like to send my deepest condolences to Marnye's loved ones, especially Rick Barrs, former NTLA editor in chief.



The LA Examiner comments section has become a sort of online memorial for Marnye, with fond memories and wishes from many people who knew her.



I don't want to sound like one of those phonies who acts like they were best friends with a deceased person when really they only onetime were standing behind them at a show and got their hair up their nose. Basically, that was the extent of my relationship with Marnye. We met once, at dinner with Rick, after I got hired at the New Times. Marnye was grabbing a drink with us before her photog showed up for their weekly Bite Me jaunt. Of course, like everyone I read her column when I could stand it (most times it just made me terribly jealous of her freewheeling unpretentious snazz. She had snazz. And I mean that in the best way.) Marnye had a big drink, a margarita I think, and talked a mile a minute about everything. She thought I was a lot younger and treated me kind of maternally. When she asked who I wrote for and I answered, she said, "Oh, you're fancy." I knew exactly what she meant by this, and it was both a slight diss and a compliment, but mostly it was just the best use of the best word that no one ever uses anymore. Every time I use "fancy," which is a lot, I am copying Marnye.



Shortly after our dinner the New Times LA was killed. She went to the Phoenix New Times and kicked ass.



I guess Marnye really loved her last column, and felt it was her best ever. (The site is screwed: go here and then click on "Wing Ding.") What I love about it is its subtext, like all her columns: everyday people really matter. My favorite lines are:



"You oughta have much more beer by this time of night."



And the last line of the piece:



"It's like anything. If you say you rock, you're gonna suck."



Like I said, I barely knew her, but even from this distance I can see that Marnye's life was lived with passion and purpose, and that she had a potty mouth like crazy that made everyone around her happy.



"You glide with pride, man. Go on with your bad self."





Kate




Hold me Closer, Tiny Monkey:



I like this girl's blog. She lives in L.A. Her blog is a real but peculiarly non-self-indulgent look at being 19, female, and way too smart. She is a really fine writer, specially for 19. I don't wanna sound age-ist, but what makes a 19-year-old capable of great rock is what can make a 19-year-old insufferable as a writer. But not this girl.



I wonder how Drew Barrymore feels about dating someone so much younger than her. She doesn't seem to have the greatest judgment in men, but what the hell. How could you not date a Stroke if you had the chance? At least for a minute, just for your biography.



I have this fantasy of what their relationship must be like. A lot of phone calls, emails and planes, special telephone rings and maybe a secret necklace. Kind of like the Matrix II. I mean, Neo and Trinity have to spend a lot of time apart, since they're superheroes saving the human race and all. They can't just make out 24/7. But their time apart saving humanity makes their time together much more fun.



(so who sounds like the 19-year-old now?)



It would be just great to have a lover like that, where you both had your own thing going, and your time together was really special, not just empty habit or fear of solitude, and it didn't mess up your life's work.



It's really hard and really important to always be your own person, remember your agenda. For one thing, if you don't, it ruins your relationship.



I love you, Paul Wellstone.



Paul Wellstone and his wife Sheila were kind of like Neo and Trinity.



rock

kate

Saturday, May 24, 2003

Oh Divine Master:



Call off the dogs, I found a place to live. It's so magical I can't sleep, just thinking about moving in. This is a huge, heavy crush and I'm obsessed. Oh, wow. I knew I could start a new life if I tried.



What's new with you, blue?



Matt told me I should link to the White Stripes piece I did for Nerve.com, but I can't do it. If you really want to check it out, it's not hard to do.



My friend Leigh, my last roommate in Prague, is visiting from SF. I guess tonight is her last night so we'll probably barhop or something. I really just want to go to the Roost, my new favorite bar. The Roost used to suck ass but it's gotten much better in the past year. So relaxed, so many cute boys, such cheap drinks, great jukebox, free popcorn, cozy vibe. Like what the Rustic used to be in the day.



I'll have to figure out a secret mountain route to the Roost from my new pad, over the 2 to the 5 or some shit.



I'm happy about Reuben winning American Idol. It was a curveball, and that's what I love about humanity. Always throwing curve balls at you.



I had a realization yesterday about why certain TV actors become successful film actors and some don't. It's very simple. The more a TV show looks and feels like a movie--"E.R.," "Dawson's Creek," "Buffy," etc., the more likely the actor will succeed in films, because people are used to seeing them in that context. But throw in a laughtrack, shoot it on video and make it a half-hour, and you're going to have a much harder time becoming a movie star.



the end.

me

Friday, May 23, 2003

Hey You Kickass Motherfuckers!



here's the info on the L.A. meeting on FCC deregulation. Be there or be totally LAME!



Full Offices of Rep. Henry A. Waxman

Meeting Date/time: 5/27/2003, 10:00 AM

Meeting Location: 8436 West Third Street, Suite 600,

Los Angeles, CA, 90048



Luv n sparkles

Kate

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Hi, CrimeStoppers!



(I know that's a rerun but it's too good)



I interviewed Rodney Bingenheimer the other night. There's a movie coming out about his life, called "The Mayor of the Sunset Strip." It's a wonderful piece of rock history, of secret L.A. history, and of radio history. All rolled up into one chewy little nut goodie. (Studded with an endless parade of celebrities, of course.) The director is George Hickenlooper (of "Hearts of Darkness," and "Man From Elysian Fields" fame) and the producer is Chris Carter, of Dramarama/Breakfast With the Beatles fame.



Rodney helped launch the careers of bands from Nick Gilder to Oasis to the Strokes. (I interviewed him in his apt. and of all the gold records he has, the one for "Hot Child In the City" was the most exciting.)



The amount of money he has generated for Viacom and their predecessors is colossal. It's weird, because he lives in a little apartment in Hollywood. It's not fair. The problem is, his ear is too good for corporate radio. There's no room for really good ears like that to stretch out and do their thing anymore. Because ears like that take risks, and there's no margin for risk in post-deregulation corporate oligarchy. So Rodney gets midnight to three a.m. Sunday, and his show is packed with commercials.



Dig. Next week Congress will be back in their home districts, and there are going to be local meetings between we, the people, and them, the weirdos, to tell them that they suck if they support media deregulation. Click this link to find out more info on your local meeting. Some of them have not been finalized yet but it's a good link to have anyway.



I am very fucking psyched to go. And just think about the way cool people to meet.



Love,

Kate



PS: I just realized, my one-year blog birthday just passed and I didn't even notice. So now let me take a minute to thank you with every alveolus for reading my blog. And a very special, soft hug to Tonykins, my blog-baby daddy. Tony, you made my life happier and you did no harm, and you never asked for anything in return. Dude! Are you some kind of secret agent for the Magic Police?



PPS: I saw Le Matrix Deux Tuesday, and it felt good in more ways than I can tell you.



Note: The ending would seem to suggest that my theory (mentioned in past postings) will be supported in the last episode. I knew it!



And no, I didn't just ruin anything.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Hi Snogmaster!



I had a very rock weekend whose diamond-studded centerpiece was the show by Tsar at Spaceland, which was sold out! Kim had to wait in line during their set to get in. That sucked for her, because, ouch, it was the best Tsar show I've ever seen. And I've seen some Tsar shows. Their sound is still dirty but they're tight as fuck, and they've hit a whole new level of technical mastery that enables them to relax onstage a bit and sell it proper. (Did anyone dig Solomon's falsetto harmonies? Is there anything this man can't do?) Whalen is such a true rock star, and he seems to be letting it flow through him more freely. Do you dig. It's kind of like the Force. It's a beautiful thing to see.



I am way overdue on deadline, so bye.



Tony has some cool stuff about it.



Afterwards at the party I met Katie maybe Katherine, a fellow girl blogger, and hung out with Moxie, too. It felt wonderful to party and drink and take pictures with two other girl-bloggers. We have a special connection, even though we barely know each other.



I also drank some absinthe and stuff. I wanted Tony to let me play my portable record player, because I thought everyone needed to hear "I'M Alive," by E.L.O.:



I'm alive!

And the world shines for me today.



(It's from Xanadu). But Tony was worried about his neighbors. Oh well. I guess instead of listening to that song on Saturday night, we lived it.



xoxoxo me
hey!



If you have any leads on rentals, I'd be grateful for a heads-up. I'm looking to move between now and August, depending. I'm flexible. Here's what I need:



* A free-standing cottage, house or duplex (ground floor)

*.A yard with gardening potential where my dog (who never barks, for real) can lie around and sleep, which is all he does

* At least one bedroom

* Wood or tile floors



I am looking anywhere from Laurel Canyon to Eagle Rock, but not much south of Sunset.



Thanks people.

Kate

Saturday, May 17, 2003



Hi Supertroopers:



I was caught in traffic today on La Brea and Hollywood, listening to "Badfinger's Greatest Hits," and I discovered my favorite sleigh-bell song of all time.



Now that I have "sleigh-bell ears" on all the time, I continually discover old favorite songs that, secretly, have had sleigh bells in them this whole dang time. Yeah, there's Radiohead, Sheena, I Wanna Be your Dog, Kiss Me On the Bus, Beach Boys, etc. But my latest discovery makes me even happier. It's "Baby Blue" by Badfinger. The sleigh bells are a lot lower in the mix than they usually are (see above songs), so it's like even more of a secret treasure.



(And yes, I know it's not just a tambourine. I have sleigh-bell ears, remember?)



I wish I could have been there in the studio with them while they recorded "Baby Blue," like a ghost from the future. I wish I could have seen whoever it was standing close to the mic with headphones on. shaking those sleigh bells, because I wish I could see what it looks like when someone creates my happiness



I'm on deadline. plus I have about 10,000 things to do before the Tsar show tonight at Spaceland--be there with jingle bells on!



Love,

kate



Thursday, May 15, 2003

Hi, Patriots!



I just called Barbara Boxer's office. It was super-easy. I just hit redial a couple times and it only took about five minutes total. The guy on the other end sounded super cute and I could tell he totally agreed with me.



Phone calls to Senators are worth more than emails but they're really more fun. It's so easy and fun to do! Afterwards, you can reward yourself by getting a big cheeseburger, or an ice cream, or some drugs. Or maybe you can maybe try and make out with that special someone. You're a good red-blooded patriot, go ahead!



If you don't know who to call, go to this link and click on "Get Local," then "Your Elected Officials." They're all there with emails and phone numbers and stuff.



love

kate


Hi Kids:



I got this email today from Move On, and I'm going to call Boxer soon as my roommate gets off the phone. If you get on the horn to your politican today, I will write a fabulous gold-plated haiku for you and dedicate it to you and post it on the blog. xoxomoi



******

The response to our petition on media monopoly has been enormous. In collaboration with Media Alliance, Global Exchange, and United for Peace and Justice, over 150,000 folks have signed in less than a week, and thousands more sign on every day. For an issue with little media coverage, it's a clear sign that folks are outraged.



But despite growing opposition, FCC Chair Michael Powell seems intent on pushing through the new media rules. His plans, which were released to several media outlets this week, are as bad as we feared -- and they now stand a good chance of becoming official policy.



We need to escalate. Since Chairman Powell won't listen to the public, our Senators need to make him listen. The Senate Commerce Committee has the jurisdiction to hold hearings on and possibly delay the FCC rule change, but it won't use that power without grassroots support.



Your Senator, Barbara Boxer, serves on the Commerce Committee and needs to hear from you today. Ask the Senator to stop the FCC's rush to deregulation, hold hearings on the rule change, and work for a diverse, balanced, competitive, and fair media.



Please call your Senator now, at:



Senator Barbara Boxer

DC Phone: 202-224-3553



Chairman Powell is trying to rush through these changes under cover of darkness. But the effects will be very visible: we're moving toward a society in which a few big companies control the entire broadcast media. The Senate's sleeping on the job: please make a call today and help wake them up.



Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Hi Punk:



I'm up writing an essay about the White Stripes, which has been predictably impossible, because as you know i can't write about them at all. I guess I knew I'd have to try at some point. Anyway, I was flipping through old articles about them and found one in RS. There's a picture of their appearance at the MTV movie awards, when they had all those candycane children dancing onstage. It's funny but I just realized I'm in the picture, just another body in the crowd, about an inch tall, with my big white-jeans black ass sticking out. It's just my backside. Well, since I know I'll never see my name anywhere in the rag, i may as well get my butt in there. i know this sounds like i'm bragging, and that's because i am. i feel kind of cool to be in a picture with them, even though I look like some faceless clone drone, and they're the stars.



xo

me

Tuesday, May 13, 2003





More Dirty Clean Words:

(from Hillary)



1. blowhole

2. split 7-inch

3. cockpit

4. Sally Rider

5. split lip

6. dangling participle

7. my browser accepts cookies

8. Nippon

9. nodules

10. rectify

11. pumpkin

12. Ry Cooder (I don't get this one)

13. scrum

14. SlimJim

15. spreadsheet

16. tongue in cheek

17. Dick Button

18. hard drive

19. Harry Potter

20. rear-ending

21. heavy cream

22. hedge trimmer

23. Ho Ho's

24. honeydew

25. kumquat

26. labrys

27. Lake Titikaka

28. cocktail

29. fissures

30. piston



Saturday, May 10, 2003





You could say I'm broke and alone on Saturday night,



OR you could say I'm full of good ideas.



In my days in Hollywood, I have discovered a few good bargains, or services, or whatevers, through trial and error. And now, in honor of The Day of Our Lady of Scrambly Nags, I give them to you. Here is a little bit of my life, distilled for your use.



1. The BEST gum in the world, Orbit, which comes in cute little packets that feel Japanese, and also like cigarettes, is way expensive. But at the 99 Cents Only store on Sunset and Normandie-ish, you can get a three-pack for $1.07. They probably should call it the $1.07 Only store.



2. Hey all you whiskey lovers out there in computerland: Mayfair has a really fine cheap whiskey in big bottles for 5 bucks. Every day. It's very un-Mayfairy of them. Look for the label that says something like "Kentucky Blended Whiskey--a blend."



3. If you ever need a mechanic, you have no choice, unless you're nuts, but to see Jim Matson (323-939-2171). Cheap and honest as C natural.



4. For a super reasonable and really great massage, you have to go to Linda at Nail Station at Hyperion and Rowena. (323-667-1688) It's 50 bucks for an hour or 75 for 90 minutes.



5. For high-quality, carefully planned acupunture treatments, Dongguk Royal University on Shatto and 4th St. is your place. After the inital consultation, it's $15 per session--which often includes massage, hot packs and all kinds of radness. (By the way, my friend Garth, who is black, corrected me when I said that "rad" is a white phrase and only white people use it. Today I got it when this crazy black man sitting on the steps of Cheremoya Avenue Elementary School, wearing socks, with his shoes lying on the sidewalk like they were napping, told me he had painted a "rad" portrait of Kirsten, whoever that is.)



6. If you're ever walking around and you see a tall, middle-aged black man wearing sunglasses, playing a small guitar, with a little Toto-dog on a leash, you can smile and say hello for me. His name is Ken, and he is not crazy at all. He's a beautiful person. He also doesn't necessarily want to waste his time shooting the bullshit all afternoon. He's doing his thing.



7. Oh my God, I felt so bad today. I was in the Coffee Beans, right? The one on Hillhurst. So anyway, I'm on the phone with my brother, probably talking really loud. And I look out the window into the parking lot and I see Angelyne's pink Corvette. And I blurt out, oh my God, Angelyne's here! And then, of course, I look around the coffeeshop, and there she is, over in the corner, sitting at a table with some lanky man. For some reason, this blurting out seemed rude. It didn't sound the way you would say, for example, "Oh my God, Drew Barrymore's here!" It lacked awe and delight. It was more of a, "Oh my God, Grandma's wearing her underwear on her head again!" vibe.



8. I know you know this, but Amoeba has the best cheapest vinyl, man. So cheap you're losing money if you don't buy it, somehow.



9. If you're totally mental and you want your head shrunk, but not your wallet, have I got the place for you! Southern California Counseling Center is a miracle, and it's right across the street from an old-school African-American barbershop called The Headmasters.



10. If you want a really great facial that will change your whole life, call Leetal. It costs $65 for an hour or $80 for an hour and a half with massage. But she owns her own business so you don't have to feel obliged to tip. She's a very gentle and wise person. (323-655-5138)



11. If I've said it once I've said it probably five times: Fred 62 has the Best shakes in the universe, and beyond.



12. A cool boy I know listens to mystery books on tape to help him fall asleep. It's the cutest thing.



13. "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" uses sleigh bells on the B section and it really adds special magic.



14. Friday nights at 10 p.m. on KROQ they have a great show called Spin Psycle, DJ'd by Mix Master Mike. No playlist, no station IDs every two seconds. Of course they're punk-ass bitches for limiting it to one hour. Fuck, even KISS-FM does the in-the-mix thing all night on Friday. (Last time I checked, anyway.) Spin Psychle a weird mix of rock and hip hop and electronica mushed together with the spirit of excitement of the old KROQ. There is a soul and a brain behind the song choices, and this makes me feel not-alone in the cold universe.



15. Tsar is playing Saturday night at Spaceland, and I wanna go if only to see what T-shirt the singer will wear. They're a really fucking great band, and it seems weird and kind of secret rabbit-holey to me that we can go see them in a small room for five bucks or whatever it'll be.



16. Little Joy, on Sunset one block west of the Shortstop, has 2 dollar beers and they let you smoke, and a crazy-ass jukebox with the Small Faces, the Sonics, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson and a bunch of taqueria music, because it's essentially a Mexican bar. You can get some pretty cool aural mismatches going if everyone's contributing.



17. As you know, The New Beverly Cinema is the best movie theater in the world, especially for cheapass movie fans like us.



18. The Matrix reloads Thursday!



Love,

Kate



Friday, May 09, 2003

Hey You GUYS!



The FCC is going to dismantle essentially all regulations regarding corporate ownership of the media. Or that's the plan, anyway, if we don't get off our lardasses and do something about it. There's a place you can go to effortlessly speak out, where your words will be added to many other people's, and presented to your representatives and senators, as well as the FCC.



Here's what that website says:



"On June 2, the Federal Communications Commission intends to lift restrictions on media ownership that could allow your local newspaper, cable provider, radio stations, and TV channels all to be owned by one company. The result could be the disappearance of the checks and balances provided by a competitive media marketplace -- and huge cutbacks in local news and reporting. Good, balanced information is the basis for our democracy. That's why we're asking that:

"Congress and the FCC should stop media deregulation and work to make the media diverse, competitive, balanced, and fair."



rock on,

Kate

Wednesday, May 07, 2003



Hey, Man:



My dear friend Matt Welch suggests that my remembrances of IH are fantastical, while someone on his blog named "Lloyd" suggests I need a "reeducation" in reality. I don't know what frozen star you're camped out on, L.L. Boring J, but I don't wanna visit. And as far as what happened at Immaculate Heart goes, believe me, that was barely a sketch, and as soon as Debbie Urlik or my sister Maggie get their lazy asses in gear, maybe I'll have a little backup from my sisters. Maggie's probably got way crazier stories than me, even, since she was there in the swinging Seventies.



I didn't even mention the Senior Prank Day when the older girls completely redecorated the school to look like the set of "M*A*S*H," draping buildings with camouflage, setting up those goofy "Tokyo: 750 miles" signs, erecting a cemetery with gravestones for the staff and faculty, renting a real tank and parking it across the street in the Rite Aid lot (then Ralph's), and wearing bathrobes with cowboy hats and martini glasses. I also failed to mention the girl who came to school on Halloween dressed as a pregnant nun, and the big picture she got in the yearbook.



I also didn't mention the time Rodney on the Roq DJ'd a dance, and afterwards left in his car with a gorgeous 13 year old Asian girl and her friends.
Hold My Hand, Yeah, yeah:



Funny little link, where you can see Rivers Cuomo's daily calendar more or less reproduced from the day he was born through to his haircut and appointment with "Dr. Schnitman" on October 23, 2002.



Being a rock star takes a lot more organization than most rock stars are willing to admit.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Oh, Girlfriend:



The Books I'm Sposed To Be Reading:



1. The Introvert Advantage: How To Survive In An Extrovert World

2. Nick Hornby Songbook

3. Witness to Integrity: The Crisis of The Immaculate Heart Community of California

4. Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes From the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991

5. Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Rock

(and, because I started it for fun)

6. E=MC2: The Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation



Instead I'm mainly into the Archie's Double Digests.



The Immaculate Heart one is about the nuns who founded and run my junior high and high school in Hollywood.



I went to my high school reunion on Sunday. It was amazing. It wasn't so much amazing to see old classmates (only 8 people showed up from my grade) as it was to see the hundreds of old ladies who'd come back--one was from the class of 1933, in a wheelchair. My school was founded in 1906. It started as a convent school on a big plot of land in the foothills, a school for rich Catholic girls. It was a boarding school. Immaculate Heart also had a college, which was shut down in the early '70s, I believe. Now it's the American Film Institute. But if you go up there you can see handprints in the cement from old IH girls.



(In the late 1960s, the nuns rebelled against the Church. They believed in the liberalization of the Church; they were feminists and they believed in Vatican II. They also didn't like wearing habits. So they actually left the Church, and continued their lives as nuns without official status--or Church funding.)



The sprawl of the land, the hillside and the lawns, and the panoramic view from the cafeteria, are part of the identity of the school. The school has a kind of glamour to it. At the same time, it is really poor, and the nuns who run it can't scrape two dimes together. In the library, they still have the same old chairs and tables from the '70s. They keep tuition relatively low because part of their mission is to reflect the economic and ethnic mix of L.A.



Immaculate Heart has been such an influence on my life, I would have to put it right up there with the Beatles and KROQ in the way it shaped my consciousness.



This is my school; maybe you'll understand why I'm kind of weird:



When I attended Immaculate Heart, it was a school where the nuns wore normal clothes. We sat in a circle and called our teachers by their first names. When there was a religious service, attendance was optional. At the service, the principal, a nun, gave a sermon and the nuns gave us communion--hippie bread. We sang songs like "We Are A Gentle Angry People."



We had lots of assemblies about political issues: a debate on the nuclear arms race; an address on the U.S. funding of death squads in El Salvador; a presentation by a survivor of Bergen-Belsen camp; an assembly about Nestle's baby-formula bullshit in Africa, etc.



In 7th grade we had a Passover seder, served by Sister Jan, the math nun. At Christmas we played dreidel. Sister Jan taught us how.



My Spanish teacher screened "Harold and Maude" for her classes, which became my all-time favorite movie (and which I've seen 31 times).



Also in 7th grade I had my first Welcome Day, when every grade comes dressed with a theme, and you get to hang out with your "big sister" (an eighth grader), and there's an assembly with skits and songs, and then dancing on the lawn, with music provided by Poorman of KROQ. Hundreds of girls, dancing barefoot on a sloping lawn.



Typical class themes were "Jamaican Juniors," "Senior Citizens," "Flower Power Freshmen," etc. Our grade had a knack for screwing it all up, though: In 7th grade we were the "Punk 7th," whatever the fuck that means. I guess it's kind of punk rock that we got it wrong. Our names always sucked after that: "Funky Flourescent Freshmen," "Toga Tenth," "Jailbird Juniors," and "Seniors Suffering From Smog." (whuh??)



In ninth grade, I got a sex ed curriculum so complete I kind of blush even now thinking about it. We didn't only learn about the rhythm method. We learned about every birth control method from abstinence to abortion; oral sex, Cowper's fluid, periods, everything. Nothing was off-limits, because there was an anonymous question box.



Also in ninth grade I got kidnapped by my big sister the night before Welcome Day, which was a big tradition. I had to put on a horrible dress, go to fraternity row at UCLA and go on a hunt for a list of weird items: a beer, a sock, etc. Gross, man.



In ninth grade I read Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own," George Eliot's "The Mill On the Floss," and a bunch of Dickens. That's when I first discovered ee cummings, too. That changed my life a little bit.



Sophomore year we had a close-knit English class led by Miss McNamara, a kind nun with a calm, gentle voice and insanely sharp mind. I wrote a Sapphic love poem for my best friend, called "Inside Your Body," and she gave me an A+. She wrote, "One day when you're a famous writer, I will be able to say I have a Kate Sullivan original!"



One day in class for no reason, except maybe being in love, I passed a note around the room that said "You are a beauty." When it came back around to me, someone had written on it, "(so are you)."



Miss McNamara works in prison ministry now.



Junior year we read a bunch of Romantic and Existentialist stuff because our teacher, Mr. Vliet (Captain Beefheart's brother, remember?), was way into it. Now he teaches a whole course at Immaculate Heart devoted to Existentialism. I wish I could take it. No: He's retiring this year. Mr. Vliet was forever trying to quit smoking. He was always chewing the brown gum, gaining and losing weight. He had a leather purse. Mr. Vliet had refined tastes and you always wanted to know more about his personal life, but it was a big secret.



At the beginning of the year he told us one of his classic jokes. On the chalkboard he drew two stick figures with a circle in between them, with a dot in the middle. "What's that?" he asked, and none of us knew. "Two men walking abreast."



Every year on the last day before Easter vacation, we had an assembly. I think this is the one where the teachers would give us a skit. I remember Naomi, the ancient librarian, dressed as the Easter bunny? (Can anyone help me out here?)



At this assembly, every year, Mr. Vliet would read us Oscar Wilde's "The Selfish Giant."



Mr. Vliet had a lot of Oscar Wilde in him.



I took Shakespeare from Carmen Hill, one of the funnest classes I ever took. I loved reading all those plays out loud. That's where I discovered my favorite Shakespeare play, As You Like It. The gender fucking in those plays was out of control.



There was a club for the promotion of black consciousness or something. I was the only white member. We planned an MLK assembly. I was so PC.



We read most of the Old Testament and learned all about Judaism. We also learned about all the major religions in the world, including Taoism, which was my favorite.



I also read The Great Gatsby, A Farewell To Arms, Lord of the Flies, Of Mice and Men, The Crucible, The Color Purple, the Catcher In the Rye, Franny and Zooey and Nine Stories; The Cocktail Party; poems like the Hollow Men and the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock; The Importance of Being Earnest; 1984 and Brave New World; Pride and Prejudice; A Room With A View--you can see where these teachers were coming from.



I went to Washington DC to learn about the government and learned about gun control.



Senior year I took Women's Studies, where I read the early feminist canon, including writings by Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony. Our teacher, Frances Snyder, a nun, introduced us to the concept of goddess worship. She wanted us to think of God as female. I got an award for that class because it turned me on so much, and ended up majoring in Women's Studies in college.



A lot of the faculty were gay, but the only out-of-the-closet nun I remember was a math genius ex-nun with the flare-power pants. The IH faculty, being poor and usually brainiac geeks, was rife with bad polyester '70s fashion (well into the late '80s), which only made them much more lovable. Anyway, like I said, she was the only out nun I remember, but I tell ya, most of those nuns made you really wonder.



The campus was decorated like crazy with framed lithographs by Corita Kent, the great graphic artist of the '60s and '70s. You might know her from the rainbow "Love" stamp. She liked to make collages with Beatles lyrics or radical or soulful quotes. They have a gallery for her art now at IH, and I just bought a print with a Whitman quote:



"I am larger, better than I thought.

I did not know I held so much goodness."



Corita was an Immaculate Heart nun and I think she provided the aesthetic soul for the school, even though she was long gone by my time.



In senior year I was studying in the library and I heard "Anarchy In The UK" coming through the glass partition of a classroom. The hip new history teacher, I believe, was playing it for the students.



Senior year one of my teachers invited students over to her studio apartment in the Valley to study for the AP Spanish exam. Three of us showed up, including the student body president. It was a Friday night. Anyway, our teacher, an incredibly hot Dominican 26-year-old, said, Why don't we go dancing! We'll go to the salsa club and you'll practice your Spanish there!



It turned out the guy she liked, a beefy Italian, owned the biggest salsa club in L.A.--which, I found out later, was also a notorious coke-den.



We drove to the president-girl's house and she snuck in through her bedroom window to get clothes for us to wear out--skintight black miniskirts, of course. Then we drove back to our teacher's and got dressed. I looked 12, at best, and was debilitatingly shy with guys. The others were a little more developed and suave. Oh, Lord.



We went to the club and hung out in the office for a while and met all the brothers--like five Italian brothers, probably all coke dealers, all hitting on us. Well, they probably didn't hit on me because they could tell I was completely terrified.



We went and hung out around the DJ booth for a while. All I remember is flashing lights and the student body president dancing in the DJ booth with her chosen friend, the DJ brother.



Later, the two girls drove off in separate Mercedes Benzes with two different brothers. Me and our teacher lost them, and drove back to her place and stayed up waiting for them to come home.



She told us that if we ever told anyone, she would be fired. I think she must have wanted to get fired.



I got a 4 on the AP exam. She was a hell of a good teacher.



Another girl in our grade had a big affair with the music teacher.



Did I mention that Heidi Fleiss went to Immaculate Heart?



Our school also had a jazz band. They would play at assemblies, and we all thought they were great. They were more of a soft-rock band, really, and they played the theme from "The Rockford Files."



In my senior year, a bunch of us were really pissed off with how conservative the school was becoming. The nuns were becoming like military types, so tight-ass, so cold, so weirdly different from what we had expected from IH. They had gone back to the Church. They brought in a fucking priest, like we ever needed a goddamn man around. Jesus Christ, a priest at Immaculate Heart. I still can't get with that. A gay Latino priest who seemed to have nothing but contempt for girls, no less.



They also spent a million dollars building a chapel, and Archbastard Mahoney came to campus so our principal could kiss his ass and he could "bless" the chapel. What?



First of all, Immaculate Heart needed computers, books, scholarships, new classrooms, a gym. But the Church decides what we really need is a fucking church. And we're supposed to be all excited about some stupid chapel, when they know damn well that a high percentage of us are not only non-Catholic, but we're not even religious. The school always had had a kind of welcoming vibe toward atheists and agnostics. Before.



Senior year health class, a certain nun wants to teach us about AIDS prevention. But the fucking Church says they can't. So she does what any upstanding Immaculate Heart nun would do: She teaches it to us anyway. She just tells us not to tell anyone.



How sad is that?



My grade was the last grade to really experience the old, liberal Immaculate Heart, and we were the ones who really felt the anguish of the school's move back to the Archdiocese. We didn't really know what was going on, but in our guts we knew: Immaculate Heart was losing something beautiful. It was sacrificing some of its hard-won independence, and it would no longer be able to teach us through example how to be openly rebellious women.



And, of course, the only way to teach is through example.



Senior year our grade organized a walkout from one of the liturgies. The official reason was the priest and the principal had screwed with our plans for the liturgy. But the real reason was that we couldn't stand the clampdown anymore. Things had gotten so absurdly strict, we felt almost like we were being treated with real contempt, like they hated us, like we didn't belong there anymore, we didn't fit into their plans anymore. They liked men now: They liked Archbishop Mahoney; the liked the Pope, they liked the campus priest. I wasn't used to seeing my nuns submitting to men and it felt strange.



The walkout girls were called into the principal's office afterwards. I tried to explain how I felt; how I didn't understand how they could have changed so much, but I think I was too scared of her to articulate it at all.



A few days later they held an all-school assembly, where the principal told us: If you don't like certain school policies, you will use the "proper channels" to express your opinions or you will be expelled. period. Case closed.



Well, what could we say? It was a private school, after all, and they had every right to control the students that way.



It hurt, though. The women who had taught us to stand up to authority had just told us to bow to it.



Today, we all know the truth about Roger Mahoney, and about the corruption of the Archdiosece's patriarchy, and its contempt for young people; the dirty old boy's club that protects criminals and exiles rebels. Today, we have proof. Today we can point to headlines, and not just to our own hearts. But back then, we were just teenage girls who felt like something weird and not-fun was happening to a really fun school. A school where I was taught to be myself, to be outrageous and smart and definitely talk too much.



I have a feeling that the spirit of rebellion is still there at IH, in subtler ways I can't begin to know, since I don't go there anymore. Maybe it's in the curriculum and nowhere else. Maybe that's OK.



The nuns always told us that they loved the Church. They believed it was a living body, and as such, it was changeable. They wanted to try and improve it, because they loved it. And maybe that's what they've done since rejoining the fold. That's certainly what they did before. They were visionaries, futurists who believed in a world that didn't yet exist except in their immaculate hearts.



And whether they liked it or not, they definitely taught me at an early age to be an independent thinker.



Anyway. At the reunion on Sunday, one former faculty member gave a speech, saying that in light of all the scandal in the Church now, she likes to think of the Church like Noah's Ark: "Sometimes the stench is unbearable, but it keeps us afloat."



So in a way I guess I'm still an Immaculate Hearter: I love the school but, just like the nuns with the Church, I guess I'll always feel like an outsider there. Not Catholic enough, not girly and sweet enough, not obedient enough, not studious enough. Fuck it.



I'm not the only one. If anyone's looking for me, I'll be up in the bell tower with Debbie and Kristy, Vanessa and Ruth, Tracy and Janet, Pam, Elexa, Aida and everyone else, smoking cigarettes.



My class is the one class that never shows up to reunions, never donates to the school, never sends personal updates to the alumni newspaper. And it's not like we were all punk-rockers, either. A lot of us were just really smart girls, A students who didn't like being told how to dress, act, look, talk and sit every second, upon threat of detention or worse. Especially when some of us were kicking ass on behalf of the school, winning awards and scholarships left and right. (And especially because the school's grading system at the time was so jacked, we suffered enormously when it came time to apply to college: an A was 95-100, a B was 90-94. Our GPAs were artificially deflated, which meant that I had no chance of getting into a school that would give me a commensurate education to what I had received at IH. On Sunday I asked the principal about this, and she told me that they have since changed it. Thanks a lot!)



On Sunday, every grade with a five-year anniversary (10, 15, etc) had a class representative give a few words and present the school with a check. When they called out for my class, we all kind of looked at each other, like, uh.... whoops. We held up our hands and waved at the assembly and everyone laughed. It was just too typical.



At our high school graduation at the Hollywood Bowl, my dad gave the speech. He asked me what I wanted it to be about, and I told him rebellion. So that's what he talked about. I love my dad. The one thing I remember from that speech is this: If you're smart and you rebel, and you fight for change, eventually you'll win. But just be prepared: In the end, the powers that be will always take the credit and say it was their idea.



I think maybe the nuns understodd this speech a lot better than we did.