Monday, March 29, 2004

A Tribute To My Sloopy,

The love of my life, the sunshine in my morning, the laughter in my evening, the knees of my bees, the warm belly on my lips, my A major chord on D minor days. He lived stylishly up to his name and understood nothing but love. A nonsense word in doggy form is a proud thing to be.

Sloopy lives in a very bad part of town

and everybody tries to put my Sloopy down

Sloopy I don't care what your mama do

Cuz you know Sloopy, yeah, I'm in love with you.

And so I sing,

Hang on Sloopy, Sloopy hang on

Hang on Sloopy, Sloopy hang on!

Thursday, March 25, 2004


Can't write cuz I'm too tired and stuff, but an update:

I saw Keanu Reeves' new band Becky at Spaceland with Lauren Whitesnake. They sucked but it made me like him more. He was very good and he was a real team player. He's a good guy. You can tell. Plus he's a big nerd. Really geeky. I can't go into the details but just trust me. Keanu Reeves' big secret is he's a huge nerd. And that's OK.

My dog's all sick and stuff so I've been spending a lot of time dealing with that and trying to nurse some life back into him.

American Idol gets better and better every week.

Love and sun,


Sunday, March 21, 2004

two cutest things last week:

i was working in my garden and i saw two ladybugs getting romantic. the boy was much smaller than the girl.

that day i also fed my dog an orange from my tree, by hand. he gets a really serious look when he's eating something important, and he makes snuffling noises.

also, there's a mean terribly depressed dog next door who always barks, but i have been trying to make friends with her. today was the first day she let me put my hand through the fence and pet her. she has stopped barking at me entirely and she has even started wagging her tail. i can't tell you what this means to me.

the thing with dogs is, unlike people, it takes very little to entertain or cheer them--almost nothing. but if you don't give them that teeny-tiny bit of attention they are utterly destroyed.

dogs are mirrors of their owners to a degree. i always feel proud when sloopy licks some UPS guy's shoes, because it means i've been loving him enough.

dogs are teaching me some things about life, i mean it.

anyway i got to go now.


Wednesday, March 17, 2004

are YOU the froggy peat?

I can't barely write nothing today because guess what! Today is spring! And today is the first day in a long time I don't feel sick! And so I am going to go outside and get up close and personal with mother nature and her minions!

By the way, did anyone watch American Idol last last? God, it was impressive. My God, there were some really great people up there. Strictly in terms of vocal quality, my fave was the IHOP waitress from Hawaii with the rusty scratchy thing goin on, who sang "Son of a Preacher Man." Delicious, delicious. But then in terms of genuine eccentricity and flava, I had to go for Fantasia and her kinda classier Macy Gray thing-thing. But then in terms of true blue wide-open heart, I had to go for George Huff. He actually made me burst into tears. I could feel his need to be loved--everyone's, really. Then again, for just earth-mother soul, ancient and so damn fertile, I had to go for Jennifer Hudson. I have never heard anyone on this show (or any other?) sing an Aretha Franklin classic and not sound like a complete tosser. You just can't do Aretha--no one can. But she did "Baby I Love You" and she did it so her own way, I believe Aretha would have been proud.

And then there was the judges' favorite, LaToya, who reminds me so much of Mary J. Blige--but kinda busted out a rock, Tina Turner vibe last night that was also totally genuine and sexy. She probably deserves to win it, yet I feel that she is the one who needs it least.

Jennifer and Fantasia are my favorites. They both come from poor families and neither has ever been to a real concert, yet they both carry within them this insane musical wisdom, as if they had somehow inherited or absorbed the soul of all their ancestors. It's church. That's how it happened.

Fantasia gets grief because she talks black and she talks ghetto and she said she wants to work on her grammar. Fuck that. Grammar is a beautiful math but we don't need pop stars to talk white.

The best part last night--see, my friend Lauren has gotten me into reality TV shows a little bit--anyway, the best part was flipping back and forth during American Idol's commercials (and the boring boy-singers) with America's Next Top Model and High School Reunion.

The reunion show sucked because the girls were all phony cows and everyone was way too "hot."

The model show, however, is truly winning. I have to support this show. What's great is that even though these are ostensibly megababes, the reality is that they're just girls and they're really not that sexy and definitely not confident. The show is a deconstruction of all the smoke and mirrors of the fashion world. Plus, Tyra Banks is a cool cat. She should think about not becoming a pop singer but instead having her own talk show. She's got a kind of native Angeleno vibe that cuts through the crap. Plus, as you know, she went to my crazy high school.

But anyway, I'm not kidding, you guys. American Idol last night was for real!

Ok now I'm really truly going to go outside and commune with God!



Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Greetings, People of Earth:

So I did my Texas talk-radio thing... It was super fun! We completely agreed with each other on everything. So who knows what "conservative" even means, especially when it comes to ideas about radio.

I'm afraid I said some dorky things because I was asleep... like I got a little too positive on the whole "let the market decide" argument about broadcasting quality. I mean, I basically believe that the market, not the government, should dictate the tone and quality of the bulk of radio content; yet I feel that the market itself has to be set up properly in the first place before it can do that. And we need government for that.

I'm going to write some ridiculously long screed now about it.



Monday, March 15, 2004

hi freaks.

If I manage to wake up in time, I'm going to be on a conservative talk radio morning show tomorrow in San Antonio, home to Clear Channel. The station is a CBS affiliate, though. I wonder what it's like to work for Viacom in a Clear Channel town.

I have never been on a conservative show before. They said they liked an article I wrote a couple weeks ago in the LA Weekly on Howard Stern. I am surprised. I thought it was sort of dorky, myself. Maybe they're ambushing me.

I am a "conservative" in the sense that I hold personal freedom very, very dear. To me, personal freedoms are the canary in the coalmine of democracy, and I fear Big Government's encroachment into these freedoms. These would include the freedom to listen to crazy radio commentators while running errands; the freedom to wear a pony tail while balding in front; the freedom to march in whatever kind of political rally you want; the freedom to choose when and how to die; the freedom to responsibly own a gun; the freedom to choose when to have a child; the freedom to marry a consenting adult of whatever sex; and, of course, the freedom to rock at all times. That latter one is the main one I'm concerned with now, since radio consolidation has seriously damaged my freedom to rock at all times.

I am "liberal" in the sense that I also understand certain personal freedoms, ultimately, can only be defended and promoted by government and courts. These freedoms, which I believe to be American birthrights, include the right to education and the right to health care--and the right to rock at all times. Some people think national health care equals socialism. I wonder, is that what people said before the Post Office was invented? Or the library system? Or the public school system? Or the fire and police departments?

(I know, the post office pre-dates socialism. I'm just yakking.)

Look, I'm not a political writer. I'd much rather talk about the MC5. Bye.

As a Sag rising I kind of dug this horoscope. I didn't understand the Nietzche part though. Maybe someone can explain it to me, like my favorite Nietzche expert, Jim Walsh.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

What time is it, boys and girls? It's SHADOW TIME. Are you ready to negotiate with the chaotic, confusing feelings you usually hide from? Would you consider tunneling down into your soul's darkest pit and hunting for the hidden treasure there? Here are a few morsels to take with you on your journey. 1. "That which we do not bring to consciousness appears in our lives as fate." -Jung. 2. "Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave." -Rilke. 3. "The great epochs in our lives are at the points when we gain the courage to rebaptize our badness as the best in us." -Nietzsche.

ruby red:

I was flipping thru an old entry for reference purposes and found this quote from Hoagy Carmichael about "Stardust"--do you remember?

This melody was bigger than I. It didn't seem to be a part of me. Maybe I hadn't written it at all. It didn't sound familiar, even... I wanted to shout back at it, 'Maybe I didn't write you, but I found you!'

How does that happen? Is it a trance?

Do you have nights when you feel mediocre--so crushingly mediocre, you think it's unkind to the world to inflict your work upon it? Out of sympathy for others, you think maybe you'll stop trying?

And how does that happen? Is that a trance too?

It's not true, I know it. It's not true. It's just the jealous demons. There are demons, dead demons, who are so jealous of the living, and our wild freedom and beauty and action, that they whisper into our ears things to make us afraid of having fun, all the fun they can't have. They're rotten, I tell you what. Rotten demons. They seek to turn the living into zombies. I have come so close to being a zombie, and I have been a zombie at times, I think; these jealous demons are tireless because they have no bodies, nothing to do but poison our spirits.

I'm going to name mine some uncool names like Fred and Marge and make them wear 1950s aprons. I'm gonna teach them they can't kill my spirit and if they get too close they're going to be blown away by my solar wind.



Friday, March 12, 2004

What an ugly way to commemorate 2 and a half years. My deepest sympathy to all my Spanish friends and friends who live in Spain or have family, friends and loved ones there, including David and Vince! It's just horrible. I'm so sorry.

Thursday, March 11, 2004


I dreamed this morning about "The Love Below." I dreamed about "Prototype" and talking to God. It's taken me a while to really understand it. What I understand about it now is that it's done the thing good art has to do to become important: It's all about Love. I'm sorry to be laying down rules about the creation of art and music but I have this feeling the difference between talent and greatness is love. Which is why Tupac is greater than Eminem. He's got the Love. And I don't mean love in a sentimental sense, either. I mean it spiritual-like, fierce flaming and truthful.

I'm still sick, so if anyone knows a great general practitioner in Hollywood or somewhere on the east side, let me know. I am getting bored and I need to get into the garden and get to the gym and get back to my life. This trip to the distant galaxy of snot was ok but gimme a break.



Wednesday, March 10, 2004

hi sooth sayers

Your comments the other day (yesterday?) really cheered me up! Cara, I love what you wrote. The LA Weekly fucked up the name of Lenny Bruce's routine, though: It's called "To Is a Preposition; Come Is a Verb."

I have been "feeling" Lenny Bruce a lot lately. Just feeling him around me. I found a poem recently that I wrote in college about him. Warning: there are some "pot" references.

poem for lenny

Lenny I love you

because you never tried to pass

for straight or goy

happy dumb or dead

You shook your grassy ass in the face of fascism

You did many bad things very well

and I wish I could have done them with you.

I want you to come and do bad things with me.

I'd pray to you but I think that might disgust you.

Sometimes I do it anyway though.

Well, you're sort of dead, but you need to know

that I think about you a lot

and your picture hangs next to my dirty toilet

And you always look like you're waiting

for an answer to a question you just asked me.

The answer is Yes, Lenny. I promise.

I saved a bowl for you.

You never could take No for an answer.

I have this funny book of transcriptions of his stuff--his syntax is so fantastic, his syntax and rhythm alone, beyond the literal meaning, say everything about freedom, music, awkwardness and drugs. On the page at times it reminds me of Lester Bangs, and I'd guess that's because both these guys were jazzy types. They use words like bebop guys. Plus, you know, the drugs.

Lenny goes, "Chicks are boss. Just boss boss." He means, like, well--I'll let him say it: he goes, "Chicks are always calling you a faggot. Yeah, it's really weird. Chicks are boss. Yeah. Chicks are boss boss. For every Frick, Carnegie, Du Pont, and Big Daddy Mellon, there's always that one chick that he'll pay the dues for. Yeah, I know that [Lyndon] Johnson stands in his underwear for some chick, like a schmuck, saying (PLEADING MALE VOICE): Just touch it once. Will ya just touch it once? Please, touch it once."


There's a whole bit about touching it. Then he goes: "We're all the same people, man; that's what I dig about it, man. And it discourages me that we try so desperately to be unique. Man, we're all the same cats, we're all the same schmuck--Johnson, me, you, every putz has got that one chick..."

I don't know about you, but to me, that sounds real romantic and shit.


what more could i want? i'm inside with my new raindrops CD, and i just don't know what to do with myself. i feel i've discovered the dead sea scrolls of american pop music. i don't know where to begin with the beauty and the love. but i definitely see now how the beach boys and the beatles were growing off the same shoot. but who cares about them; i've got the raindrops!

it's girl power in its raw form; i never knew the beatles and the beach boys had such girl power roots but oh how they do. the raindrops weren't a girl group like the ronettes: ellie greenwich cowrote all the songs, for real, with jeff barry, and she coproduced, and she sang with such a tough cool voice, so offhand rock 'n' roll like with a smoke hanging on her lip and a casual flip in her hip. she was so tough.

anyway, i just read the cutest thing in this book. it's an interview with donovan, recalling the trip he made to india with the beatles. just one more reason to love john lennon:

"It was 1968 in India, we were all gathered together in the Maharishi's bungalow, four Beatles, one Beach Boy, Mia Farrow, and me. Maharishi was sitting cross-legged on the floor, but the rest of us were all still standing around as we'd just arrived. Anyway, there was a kind of embarrassed hush in the room and John Lennon--always the funny one--decided to break the silence, so he walked up to the Maharishi, patted him on the head, and quietly said, "There's a good guru."

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

WELP, APPARENTLY none of you care about this stuff. Aw, maybe you do. maybe you're just shy. that's ok. i'm shy too.

I'm sick still so I really hafta go back to bed. It's strange to be in bed on this day. This day is a perfect day of heaven. It is quiet where I live, like Sunday, dry and warm; there's this breeze going through my house that smells like jasmine and lemon blossoms, and outside the one million little yellow wildflowers seem to be radiating some light of their own. My landlord is building a fence and a bench for sitting outside my house. I'm so lucky. I had fever dreams this morning that made me feel relieved to wake up: one was a 9/11 nightmare where i was in one of the buildings and I managed to get out in time, but I went into some nearby tall building where i could see everyone in the other building getting ready to die. It was awful. everyone was naked and burned and some people were making out, some people were making some kind of collage of a girl's face and a flower. i couldn't believe how people will make art in the worst of circumstances. of course, it was just a dream.

I think I dreamed it because of the Bush advertising campaign that the 9/11 families are upset about. I wonder if his utter lack of taste and humility will, at any point, be his downfall?

(Or maybe it was because thursday it will be exactly two and a half years. for some reason, two and a half years is an important time increment to me. I lived in Prague two and a half years. I dated someone two and a half years.)

Then I dreamed I was living with my parents again. I had no money and I had to live with them, but I had been living with them for so long that it had stopped seeming weird. I wondered if I would ever find the strength to live on my own again. In my room the walls were peeling huge sheets of paint and I had no storage. I won't go into the details but I felt powerless. It was such a blessing to wake up and to know I have my own home, that I pay for, and my own friends here, and a garden, and the walls are fine, and I have decent storage. I think that dream was a sort of flashback to high school.

i never had enough storage.


fever dreams are weird.

i have to go pass out.



Sunday, March 07, 2004

hey y'all:

If you care about radio, and L.A. radio, and public radio, and humor on the radio, you've got to check out Matt Welch's blog. Apparently, humorist Sandra Tsing Loh was unceremoniously fired from KCRW last week for accidentally saying fuck (at 7 a.m. Sunday), and Matt has the Loh-down (oof!).

We are in scary times for free speech, it is true. At times like this, we need our broadcasting leaders to stand against creeping cultural paranoia and to defend intelligent writers, thinkers and talkers--even when they fuck up.

Those who don't are the hollow men. You know, the ones who go out not with a bang but a whimper.



even more delirious now, so everything seems tweaky. like did it seem weird yesterday when i signed off with that quote from the darkness song? it was meant to be a nonsequiter, and i like it because it reminds me of "sweet caroline" by neil diamond, when he goes, "warm touching warm, reaching out, touching me, touching you!"

this day is amazing. is summer beginning? it's good to be delirious on a day like this. you just sit outside on a step in the sun and think of nothing and let the time eddy around you. now i'm eating macadamia nuts. they are a superior nut.

so. it's getting to be guitar season, too.

possibly, doing dishes season.

i never told you about seeing the corvids--they were fun, man! ken always looks drunk and troubled onstage--but genuinely so. i like that in a country rock singer.

the band that followed them were a surprise--a local band, the faces meet motley crue, essentially, and shockingly good for a local band you've never heard of. they're called chelsea smiles.

if anyone has any info on them lemme know.

also if anyone by some miracle knows how to contact jeff barry or ellie greenwich, i'd give you my big toe or something if you want it.



Saturday, March 06, 2004


i'm tolly sick. it's making everything go gooey in the brain. can't write or anything. i'm becoming ever more obsessed with jeff barry and, now, his old best friend, bert burns, whom i just discovered, who wrote both "twist and shout" and, holy radness, "hang on sloopy." anyone who knows me knows how much that song means. it means just about everything.

bert burns produced van morrison's "brown-eyed girl" the same year, and on the same label, that jeff barry produced neil diamond's "cherry cherry" etc. bang records. this is why they sound the same. but i already bored my brother and his twisted friend v. about all this.

thanks you guys, if you're reading, for listening to me so patiently. it turns out i was delirious with fever. you know how it goes.

touching you 'cause you're touching me,



Tuesday, March 02, 2004

i know i'm being a jerk. look, it's a situation, ok? it doesn't mean i don't love you. you know that.

i was watching a show on sex changes and they were talking to a man who had just started injesting the substance which shapes my psyche most--estrogen. he said he immediately felt "the mood swings" and started crying at a phone commercial. welcome to my world, little man, i said. if every man could take estrogen for just a week, i think we'd have a much more interesting world. i think men would understand, for a moment, why women are such an enigma. estrogen is the chemical signature of female beauty, intellectual complexity and, you know, our certain je ne sais what.

and now i got to go. i'm sorry for being absent. i've been doing "work" and taking care of myself and sleeping and gardening, and doing important preparations for a spring revival. i am already in love with the coming spring, and it's barely begun. but isn't our city goddamn beautiful in the spring? try and tell me we don't have seasons. open your eyes and your hands and feel the air against your palms. this is spring.