Sunday, October 30, 2005

Thursday, October 27, 2005


You know that Cobrasnake dude? He's this kid who has made a name for himself crashing hipster parties, and then taking candid photos of said hipsters while they are fucked up. He'll write some cute little captions on the pictures and stuff. He started his own little website, and got all hip himself, and now he has a regular column in the LA Weekly and just had a piece written on him in the LA Times.

We had a party once that got crashed by a bunch of Vice Magazine people. They trashed our apartment, and the Cobrasnake was here. He took pictues of a lot of people, but my roommate and I weren't cool enough to make the cut, it seems. We only cool enough to have our belongings tossed out the window and our building pissed on.

Can you tell I'm still bitter? These people were just so... disresepctful. They didn't even bring beer. They were like locusts. Locusts that pee on your stuff.

Anyway, a friend of mine has been proposing that we make a spoof of the Cobrasnake page. Slam the hipsters. Fight snark with snark. And another friend of mine got mad enough after reading the LA Times piece to hop onto MySpace and rant. I love funny ranting:

Oct 27, 2005 9:28 PM
a poignant quote from the fucking Cobrasnake guy

did anybody read that ridiculous (front page!) article about the Cobrasnake guy in the LA Times? for all who didn't, you may now drink from the wine that is his philosophy of modern life, and be filled with inspiration:

"That's what so exciting about the time we're in right now. There's so much space for creativity. Our parents' generation had to deal with wars and Vietnam and all that. Ever since the '80s and '90s, it's been a real good time." - Cobrasnake guy (LA Times Oct 05)

it was actually my friend Stacie who had the vision to drive this guy's words out there on the information superhighway... pretty bracing stuff, you'll agree. for someone who doesn't spend as much time at hot tub parties and lingerie shows as this guy, I'm just gonna have to take his word for all that. "dealing with wars" and stuff sure must be a bummer -- fortunately THAT'S all over with. (I think the last one was "Vietnam".) and if you wanna know what creativity is all about, just check out the guy's pictures...!

I love my friends.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Do the Mummy!

Halloween is upon us, and the Europeans are mad.

Why? What on earth is wrong with Halloween? It's my favorite holiday, but then again, I also love theme parties. The whole dressing up thing is fun, even if I can never, NEVER figure out what to dress up as. I have a bunch of wigs, so I usually slap one of those on and head out for the evening.

And I love carving up pumpkins. LOVE it. One year, I did about 8 of them, all in a cat theme, with a big white pumpkin as the centerpiece. I lived in a neighborhood of old cat ladies and they went batshit. They took pictures of them and asked if I had patterns, and then got all nutty when I said I did it freehand.

I also very much enjoy passing out candy to little (and bigger) kids. I really do. It's fun to make the older kids work for it - and I get a kick out of playing something creepy like Bauhaus or Nick Cave in the background all night and having the occasional parent identify it.

So the Europeans think the Americans are further invading their nations with our witches and candy and jack'o'lanterns and stuff. .. the mayor of Rankweil, a town near the border with Switzerland, has launched a one-man campaign disparaging Halloween as a "bad American habit" and urging families to skip it this year. By midweek, the mayors of eight neighboring villages had thrown their support behind the boycott. So had local police, annoyed with the annual Oct. 31 uptick in vandalism and mischief.

Ah well, that's too bad, but I understand. To each their own. I'm still waiting for the day when I get to Oaxaca or the island of Janitzio for some serious Day of the Dead action.

There's plenty of stuff to do here in LA this weekend, and here are some of the goodies. I wish I could attend them all...

Miss Kitty's Erotic Discoteque & Cabaret presents Halloweekend!

when: Fri 10.28 & Sat 10.29 (9pm)
where: Dragonfly (6510 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood)
price: $20 per night

One word of advice this Halloween weekend: Don't get into a drinking contest with a transvestite dressed as Tina Turner — you will lose. This is a lesson many have learned the hard way at Miss Kitty's. This consistently shocking club has enough John Waters-type sass, S&M drama, Mad Max fashion, and burlesque swagger to make you reconsider your sensible life choices. Redoubtable host Miss Kitty leads you through an entire weekend of post-apocalyptic, rockstar-style debauchery, including a Saturday performance by burlesque superstar Dita Von Teese. Bring your nipple clamps, squeeze into your latex, and be prepared to dance and drink whenever Miss Kitty says so.

Hollywood Forever's Day of the Dead

when: Sat 10.29 (4-11pm)
where: Hollywood Forever Cemetery (6000 Santa Monica Blvd, 323.469.1181)

The absolute coolest party in Hollywood... hell, they've even got vocalist of the undead Yma Sumac on board to sing as the sun goes down! How wild is that? The event features Jack Skellington look-alikes, tasty treats, Aztec dancers, and mariachis. While you're at it, check out the uber-creepy LifeStory kiosks and don't miss the "Women in Black" — they're self-appointed mourners for Rudolph Valentino.

Gomez & Morticia Addams Groove Up the Burgundy Room!

when: Sat 10.29 (10-2am)
where: The Burgundy Room, Hollywood
price: your immortal soul

Well, it ain't actually the Addams family, just me & my pal Iiad. But we'll be dressed up, and the bar will be in drag as well... as a ghost ship! So expect me to be a dead passenger from the Titanic or something, in a ball gown with blood dripping from me and seaweed in my hair, while spinning the likes of Bloc Party, the Supremes, X, BRMC, Ladytron, Joan Jett, the Descendents, and a whole lot of rock and roll. I guess we should throw in the Cramps, Bauhaus, the Cure, Siouxise, and Electric Frankenstein cuz, it's like, almost Halloween. Duh.

Get carving, you pumpkin killers!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain

A couple of my friends are currently in New Orleans, finishing up a record and taking stock of what's left. The studio my friend has been using was in the French Quarter, and is ok. My other friend has a home which narrowly escaped the floodwaters (they crept up to his back porch) only to have a tree fall on his roof during Strike Two. And all of their friends are ok, save a few lost homes. They were pretty lucky.

Today, I was sent these pictures, and I'm sharing them with you. Remember, it's not nice to fool Mother Nature.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Neither Fish Nor Fowl

Beware Bodega Bay.

Thu Oct 20, 7:03 AM ET
BODEGA BAY, Calif. - A surfer received a bad gash Wednesday when a 14-foot shark bit her leg in the waters off northern California and pulled her underwater, authorities said. Megan Halavais, 20, was paddling into the water off Salmon Creek Beach in Sonoma County around 11 a.m. when the shark attacked her from behind.

Evidently, there have been a couple snippy sharks in Bodega Bay in the last few years, mistaking those kids in wetsuits for seals. Perhaps.

Bodega Bay is a beautiful part of the Bay Area, just north of San Francisco. It's a small quaint town with an artisic sensibilty, cute shops, outdoorsy things to do and it's really close to all kinds of neat stuff. Oh, and great views from all around.

It's also where Hitchcock filmed The Birds. So if you visit, make sure you pose like you're dead on the steps of the schoolhouse, which still stands. Hell, it all still looks just like the movie.

And if you visit, watch out for the wildlife. Seems the creatures in Bodega can get a bit ornery.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Come On, Get Happy

Before I went to Berlin, my friend who I was flying out to visit said to me, "Oh man, you're going to blow their minds out here."

"What? Why? I'm not all kooky or anything."

"Oh, you will. Trust me."

I suppose I kind of did, but not because I'm a terribly outlandish individual or anything. I'm just different from most Germans. And my father's family is German too, so I've got a little of it in me, but I'm a California girl through and through with a heavy Latina influence and a smattering of glamour just by virtue of living in L.A. (A tiny smattering.)

Here's an example of why someone like me can stick out like a sore thumb there:

Feel-good ads target dour Germany

All you mutterers with knitted brows, listen: It's time to get happy. We're talking $35 million worth of feel-good, throw-your-shoulders-back giddiness. The future is yours, don't despair, things might be in the dumps, but this is the land of Beethoven, Einstein and all those giggling little garden gnomes.

Perk up.

Such is the message trilling through Germany's largest-ever public service campaign. The aim is to lift the country out of its funk with a blitz of inspirational TV messages from famous soccer players, actors, figure skaters and various wild-haired geniuses... This nation seems less in need of platitudes than a collective Prozac. Unemployment is high, consumer confidence is low, the government came together only after weeks of public bickering. Germans have a high quality of life and their country is the world's leading exporter, but they have been unable to shake off a deepening national gloom.

Sooooo... why did I feel like a bit of a circus sideshow at times? Because I DID get attention. Occasionally, little old ladies would walk right up to me and stare at me, puzzled, and walk away. I look kind of exotic, with a healthy SoCal tan, and clothes that were ordinary but not reflective of a bad thrift store circa 1985.

Mostly, it was just me. I talked a bit loudly, but not in a obnoxious way. I'm just a bit animated. And too illustrate that point, I hand gesture like crazy. I hardly saw anyone else there do that at all. Anytime my hand fluttered about, somebody on the train took notice.

But lastly, and most obviously, I laugh. Loud, and often. I have been complimented on my laugh, and I have friends who sometimes call me up just to make me laugh because they like to hear it so much. I know it's not a bad thing. I started, however, to feel self-conscious about it while I was in Berlin, though, because when I would laugh it would startle someone. Not in a bad way, more in a "how curious" way. I tried to tone it down. When I explained to a friend that I was doing that, that I felt I was starting to hold myself back, she said, "Oh no, don't do that.They love it. It's just different for them but it's also fascinating in a way. Don't stop being yourself."

And I couldn't. I kept laughing and gesticulating and yapping like I always do, trying to not feel as aware of the staring. I got used to it by the time I left.

After I had been back in the States a while, I got an interesting email from my friend. He said that recently, he had read a newpapers report based on a random poll which discovered that most Berliners feel there aren't enough interesting people in town to interact with. I met plenty of interesting people while I was in Berlin, so I don't know what they are talking about, but this is a land with a diminishing population, so perhaps they think the fun people have left.

Nah - they're there. Listen for the laughing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Oh, No...

I was running around work today like a crazy person when I heard my boss' line ringing. Since she'd stepped away, I ran over and grabbed it. "Hello - So & So's office..." And a husky masculine voice on the other line said, "May I speak to her, please? It's Eddie Grant." So I yelled for my boss, who was around the corner. "It's Eddie Grant!"

She said, "Oh, goody!" and started to sing, "We're gonna rock down to - ELECTRIC AVENUE..." as she went back into her office.

I was surprised."It's THAT Eddie Grant?"

"Of course," she replied.

"Wow," I said. "I thought he was dead."

"Oh, that's nice, Mo!"

"No, really, I swear I'd heard that he got killed over drugs or something."

"Oh no, he's not like that at all!" she gushed.

I should tell you that I work in music publishing and we administer Eddie Grant's work. It's not unusual to get calls from well known songwriters. However, I was convinced this guy was dead. I hopped on the internet to find out that not only was he totally alive, but did a hell of a lot more than just that one song. He was in a biracial British ska band called the Equals in the 60's which scored some chart toppers (now that's first wave, kids), he did production for the likes of Prince Buster, had a label in the early 70's promoting reggae, and owned his own recording studio. During this time he had a heart attack which nearly killed him (hmm, maybe that's where I got the idea) not due to a party lifestyle, simply a hectic one. He was well established by the time the 80's hit, having also pioneered soca music and become a political singer, and then he hit on that Killer on the Rampage formula that got him those gold records and stuff.

After that all faded, he had already started a studio in Barbados. He was also mentoring rising soca stars and created ringbang, yet another style of music. He started a music publishing company which mainly consists of old calypso and Carribean artists, and provides their back catalog to a thankful audience.

This does nothing to change the fact that "Electric Avenue" is one of three songs I hate more than anything else in the world. The other two are "Carribean Queen" by Billy Ocean and "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor. Really. I hate them all. Very much.

Sorry Eddie.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

In Honor of Shopgirls Everywhere

Well, that new Steve Martin movie is coming out soon and I CANNOT wait. Shopgirl. Yay!

Why can I not wait? Because I have been a shopgirl. A long suffering shopgirl. And I love Steve Martin movies. And I love Steve Martin stories. And this particular novella was pretty darned good, I thought, so I'm fine with it as a movie.

So here's something I wrote a while ago, which seems appropriate now.

And it's also a Happy Birthday to Warren, who observed me in some classic shopgirl moments many years ago.

Rantings of an Annoyed Shopgirl

If I were to be elected President of the United States, I would institute a law that would make it mandatory for every citizen of our fair capitalist nation to work, for at least one year, at a customer service job. Retail, food, information, gift wrapping, whatever. Everyone should do it. I guarantee that had Bush done this while he was babbling about points of light, we may actually have seen a kinder and gentler nation.

Perhaps you think I’m kidding. Well then, you obviously have never worked a customer service job. These types of jobs are necessary and tedious, mildly entertaining and extremely convenient for the consumer. In these times of financial prosperity, people are starting to realize the importance of having folks employed in these jobs. Have you ever waited a bit too long for a refill of coffee because there was only one waitress serving the entire room? Wanted to try on shoes only to wait 20 minutes for a salesperson to appear? Tried to lodge a complaint against your landlord but there was only one person handling the desk and thousands of complaints to be filed… oops – that’s just Oakland politics. Anyway, many have experienced the frustration of people leaving these types of jobs. And why should they stay? Customer service jobs suck.

If you are the kind of person that would get angry in any of the scenarios described above; you have most likely never worked in a job serving the public. Because if you had, you would understand the strain those few workers are under. Having worked back and forth in the retail world for more than half of my life, I think I’ve seen quite a bit. There’s the regular stuff like customers treating you like you haven’t a thought in your head, to the more exotic like having a guy slap his dick onto the counter. Needless to say, the establishment I worked at did not take Penis as payment.

First of all, THE CUSTOMER IS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT. They usually do not know the policies of the store (because they haven’t read the information on a plaque on the wall next to them). They think their platinum card places them above such pedestrian things. Just because they had to reach two feet above their head for a handblown glass vase, which broke when they failed to grasp it, doesn’t make it their responsibility to pay for the item, does it? I mean, the shop put it up so high… And if you ask to look at “that,” it would help if you actually told us what “that” was. A blanket? A stereo? Your lack of common sense?

I am amazed when I see men order 110 LB girls to carry a couch to the SUV. I have witnessed professors screaming at counter help to “WRAP FASTER,” as if intimidation is actually key to the whole process. And I have seen women buy a $2 item and then ask for boxes, ribbons and bags to go along with it, complimentary of course. I guess it doesn’t hurt to ask, but no need to get pissy if we say no. And please, most of us girls aren’t really there for you lonely guy types to ask out. Sorry to be harsh, but we’re required to be nice to you.

Try to imagine what it is like to spend 8 hours a day on your feet with people treating you like an idiot. Then remember that you need those people behind the counter as much as they most likely need that job, so be kind. The girl showing you earrings could be your brain surgeon ten years from now, and you might be purchasing that waiter’s best selling novel, the one he’s writing while paying his rent by mixing your salad, as a Christmas present in 2008.

Monday, October 17, 2005


Um, I forgot about my alphabet thing. You know, how I'm going through the alphabet musically? Well, I went to Berlin and completely forgot about it.

I believe I've left you hanging at the letter T.

Martina Topley-Bird.

You may know her best as the vocalist on the Tricky albums, but she put out a really beautiful album all by herself back in 2003. Well, with a little help from her friends.

In August of 2003, I was lying on the floor in Greg Dulli's living room, drinking Maker's in the middle of the day and playing with his (dearly departed - RIP, Clyde)cat. He had some movie on (ah hell, it was probably porn) but he was really dorking out over music. He'd been playing DJ for hours. I was kinda of contributing to the conversation, but mostly these sort of afternoons were more about Greg being really jazzed on something he'd just found or just heard and he really wanted you to be equally as jazzed. This particular afternoon, he finally got the "OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS" reaction out of me that he hadn't gotten so far.

"Okay Mo, you're really gonna love this," he said, picking up a CD off the cluttered coffee table while I said, "Uh, huh... yea" and kept on scratching Clyde. He cranked up the stereo, and a crackled bluesy old man voice echoed out... "Too tough to die!" And then a really deep groovy bass kicked in, and a woman's cackly soulful not-quite Billie Holliday voice kicked in: "I always wonder why my mama left town..."

I was no longer lying on the floor. "Dude, what is this?" Greg sat there nodding and grinning like a Chesire cat. I listened a bit more and couldn't believe how great it was... "Is this the Tricky chick? What's her name? Marina?" "Martina," Greg said, exhaling cigarette smoke and looking very pleased that I was pretty much losing it over the one song. "Yea, my band's gonna cover this song." "How?" I said. I genuinely could not see how he could possibly cover this song... it was just so... hers.

I checked out the liner notes to find that this CD, Martina Topley-Bird's Quixotic, had been released only a month or so before in England. Greg had a copy because his friend Mark Lanegan (and current collaborator on a project called the Gutter Twins) made an appearance on the CD, along with Queen of the Stone Age's Josh Homme, on the second track "Need One." The track I was currently going ga-ga over, "Too Tough To Die," was a bluesy rocker co-written and produced by David Holmes, a sort of cinematic dark hop artist of the late 90's who has gotten regular work scoring Steven Soderberg films (like Ocean's Eleven) and more recently tripping the DJ lights fantastic with sixties style blue eyed soul electro remixes.

So after that track, Greg goes, "Okay - you've gotta hear this one." He skips to a tune called "Lying" which puts Martina's voice back in the familiar context of the Tricky songs I was accustomed to hearing (and most people reading this have at least heard "Makes Me Wanna Die" from Pre-Millenium Tension). It was a pretty, contemplative number with somber beats and her breathy yet earthy voice, and words like this: "I walked out of the house in your girlfriend's clothes... They fit me better than I would have supposed..."

"Man!" Greg said. "I wish I'd come up with that. Isn't that fucking excellent?"

We listened to the whole CD, many times over, for the next couple months. I was too broke to buy the import, but he'd burned me a copy anyway and finally I saved my pennies and got one. In the meantime, I'd been turning other friends on to it. It made my Top Ten list of last year. Then the album was released in the States under the title Anything, and the cover is now a bit sexed up. A few of the songs have been dropped too, including "Lying"(so buy the import anyway).

Oh, and Greg did cover the song on his last covers CD. I like Martina's better, though. Sorry, dude!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Better Late Than Never

Oh, where did I go? Too busy to blog, and I already have quite a schedule! It certainly has been a ROCK-tober so far, and there are stories to tell, but today, I let a friend do the talking...

The adventures of Cristina, going to school in Austin, having an up close and personal Rock'n'Roll moment.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

I got hit on by the bass player from Slipknot!

I am kind of a congenital jackass, and so as a result, I am often in situations where I don't really understand some very important aspect of what's going on. Being hit on by the bass player from Slipknot the other day was definitely one of those times.

Wednesday morning, I had a random craving for a bagel at the Einstein's on Guadalupe, across from campus. My plan was: go get a bagel, sit at the cafe, study until my sociology class at 1:00. I walked in to the cafe and joined the end of the line, and as I was putting My Precious, El iPod away the person next to me says:

"So, you have an iPod, huh?"

I look over. A very short man completely bald of any hair on his little head had fixed a pair of big brown eyes on me, expectantly. He seemed kind of anxious about something, or a little intense, or just a little too tightly coiled for a conversation about an iPod. Not wanting to exacerbate whatever was vexing him, I say, "Yeah, I just got it. But I think it's already not so cool anymore." I smile, hoping he'll relax.

"Yeah, I have a Nano," he says, with a small smile and a sense of satisfaction. "It holds 1,000 songs. What about yours?"

There ensues a brief conversation about how many megabites or gigabites or whatever hold how many songs or something. He claims to be explaining how this all works; I smile politely and resist the urge to reach down and pat him on his bald little head. I realize that he is missing four front teeth, and I wonder if it's hard for him to eat? Does he have dentures? That's a lot of teeth to be missing...

I tune back in as he asks me where I'm from and what my name is. Cristina from Arizona, I tell him. He says he's from Iowa, but he's been to Arizona because his band has toured there.

Riiiiight, I think to myself. Your "band" has "toured" there. Who in Austin doesn't have a band? Probably 40he people in the cafe at that moment had bands that had been on tour to random places like Arizona.

Strangely however, he continues with his whole 'I'm-in-a-band' schpiel by saying that his band is currently on tour and they've stopped in Austin. In fact, they're playing the Frank Erwin Center that night.

"But the Erwin Center is huge," I say, not bothering to hide my surprise.

"Yeah, well, that's the only building around here that would fit all our fans," he says, puffing his teeny little chest out a little.

"Really?" I ask, puzzled and openly skeptical.

Just then, it's *finally* my turn to order my bagel. I tell him good luck with his show, and think that will be the end of the conversation, and hope that now I can order my low-carb bagel with cream cheese and tomato in peace and go study.

Somehow though, we end up talking more as I wait for my food. He starts in again on the whole I'm-in-a-band thing, and so just kind of out of boredom with this line of conversation, I ask: what's your band's name?

"Slipknot," he says, putting milk in his coffee. Somehow, when he says 'Slipknot,' my mind flashes on an image of that word in red paint streaks on a black background-- like it's art from an album cover that I might have seen somewhere? But I'm not sure? It certainly seems like that word is somewhere in my consciousness already, so this can't be a totally random local Austin band. Right? I think? I'm a little taken aback, and struggling to put words together, so I say:

"Oh, wow, I think I've totally heard of that band somewhere!"

He nods and sips his coffee, big eyes fixed on me now. "Hi, I'm Paul Something, bass player from Slipknot." He extends his hand out, and I shake it, in a kind of shock. Still completely out of ideas for what I should say, I dig the hole a little deeper.

"Well, good for you!"

He sips some more, nods.

"That's great! Really, congratulations."

"Can I tell you something?" he asks.

"Sure," I say, wondering if he's going to ask me how I got to be such an asshole.

"You're gorgeous as hell," he says.

Well, that totally throws me for a loop. OK, he's five feet tall and has no front teeth, but when was the last time a bass player from a band YOU had vaguely heard of told you in no uncertain terms that he found you attractive?

Laughing into his coffee, he calls me on my embarassment: "You're blushing like crazy."

More conversation somehow happens here about what I'm studying, speaking Russian, and his thoughts on going to Buffalo Exchange that morning.

"Buffalo Exchange is kind of lame," I offer, realizing how bad that sounds. "Well, I mean, I don't know, they're in every college town, so it's kind of passe." OH MY GOSH, who *am* I? I attempt recovery: "I mean, but you never know, maybe you'll find something interesting there."

He nods, and again upends the conversaion with: "Can I ask you something?"

"OK," I warily assent.

"When I told you you were gorgeous as hell, why did you look at me like I was crazy?"

"Well, I just don't hear that very often."

"No? You should. It's true. How old are you?"


This is the first chink in his armor-- he was obviously not prepared for me to be 28. His head actually recoils and cocks to the side as he apraises me anew. "Oh, I thought you were younger. You look younger."

Torn between the flattery and a rising feeling of being pissed that this midget of a toothless man has the audacity to be nonplussed by my age, I say: "um, thanks?"

He says I should come to the show, that he can hook me up with tickets, backstage, etc. I say, well, sure, it was nice to meet you, but I've got a low-carb bagel with my name on it. Take care.

We part ways. Whew. That was the weirdest Einstein's encounter ever. Of course, I can't study, and end up calling an ex-boyfriend who was into extremely harsh music, thinking he'll know what Slipknot is. He does, and before I can tell him what's happened, he offers "I think they're from Iowa, and they're on tour right now, I'm pretty sure." I call Rachael, the Music Guru, for help in interpreting what's just happened.

Then I look up Slipknot on the Internet, and that adds a whole new dimension to the encounter. Paul, the bass player, wears a Hannibal Lecter mask on stage when he performs. The band plays songs with lyrics like:

The system has failed and you have failed with it
No time to care, just time to say "Who gives a shit?"
My mind boils as I've decided I'm through
Fuck your position in life. I'm taking vengence on you

Apparently, this band is really heavy, for people who like songs about self-mutilation and suicide. Which is OK. I certainly enjoy Nine Inch Nails once and a while, and in high school, I thought about Trent Reznor more than I should have and was surgically attached to my copy of Pretty Hate Machine (it's true! getting it detached was way more painful than when I got my eyebrow pierced). But I really wonder if he would have started talking to me if he had known that I have LL Cool J, Pink, and Jennifer Lopez on my iPod...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Stray Cat Strut

Do a good deed! I'm a cat dork, so read on:

Mega Yard Sale to help feral cats in L.A. AND LA!

Clear out your closets and cupboards!

Please contact me at for drop-off information. All saleable items accepted.

If you want to shop, the sale will be held at 8818 Dorrington, just west of Robertson, just south of Melrose on Saturday, October 15 from 9-3.
(We also need volunteers on Friday night Oct. 14 for set up and on the day of sale).

For more info, check out The Feral Cat Alliance. Muchas gracias.

Monday, October 10, 2005

No Sleep Till Brooklyn

Or Berlin, actually.

I've been sleeping like absolute shit for a couple of months now, with the exception being my time in Berlin. I guess my friends' crashpads set me more at ease than my own lovely, lovely apartment. Or perhaps it was just the fact that I was on vacation.

Last night, after being awake half of the evening, I finally dozed off for a few minutes of sleep. And I had a dream which featured (former Screaming Tree/Queens of the Stone) Mark Lanegan. I ran into Mark Lanegan with another friend at the airport where I was making a connecting flight to Los Angeles after my arrival from Berlin. He and my friend were arriving from Italy, and were on the same flight back. Go figure! My friend went to get us some drinks, after introducing Mark & I, and I tried to chat him up a little but he was very quiet. I got the feeling I scared him a little, which my friend confirmed later.

So, it was somewhat mysterious that he turned up in my dream.

It went something like this: I was at work, and trying to convince my boss that I just had to change my schedule around a bit to suit my vampire lifestyle. He wasn't having it, so I walked outside and Lanegan appeared, acting as if he were the wise man on the mountain, saying "If you truly had a calm mind and a calm spirit you wouldn't be so restless all night" or something like that. And I said to him, "Wow - I thought I totally freaked you out at the airport by yapping too much." And he closed his eyes and shook his head at me, because he realized what a poor misguided soul I was...

I emailed the details of this dream to the friend who introduced us, and he sent back this:
"If you bring forth what is inside you, what you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is inside you, what you do not bring
forth will destroy you."
- Gnostic Gospel of Thomas

The Gnostic Gospels, to the best of my understanding anyway, are
early Christian texts with a "divine" understanding (as opposed to
actual witness) of religious events. The Gnostic Gospel of
Thomas in particular claims knowledge of Jesus' secret teachings.

First of all, my pal sure does know his religion. Second of all, was
Mark Lanegan channelling Thomas to let me know that my stress
was fucking up my sleep? Strange coincidence, and itrequires a bit
more thinking from this lapsed Catholic.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Son of the Morning Star

I have some good friends here in Los Angeles with major ties to New Orleans. They have property there, record music there, and have lived there (and I mean LIVED). New Orleans is a city that inspires many. It's creative and wild, sleazy and fucked up, joyous and frightening. There are not many places in the world like it, and I fully expect it to recover from its current state of devastation.

Last week I was making dinner for a friend who has just found out that his house had survived the floods. In a satellite photo, you can see the waters creeping right up to his back porch... "Well, I guess now you have a pool," I said. "I had a pool." The second storm knocked a tree over onto his roof. One of his housemates was finally able to get back to the house and reported back that they were lucky - damage was minimal.

Another friend of mine, who has lived and routinely records in N'Awlins, is headed back this week for about a month. "How do you know it's safe to go back? I mean, is there water yet and shit?" "Mo, when the cops in the French Quarter are beating the crap out of old black men, then New Orleans is back, baby." "What?" And so he showed me the AP footage of a bunch of cops beating up an old drunk black man till blood flowed from his head to the gutter.

The Big Easy is a place that routinely looks the other way when it comes to drunks, drug dealing, and fights. I think they are generally trying to prevent murders - it's an extremely dodgy place. And yes, the police have been under unimaginable strain. But a bunch of white cops smashing up an old drunk man? And then threatening (ON CAMERA) the AP reporter who was happening by with his cameraman?

I've been arrested once (and after living in Berkeley for 14 years, that's kind of a feat). It was for protesting after the Rodney King verdict came in, and those LAPD cops got off for beating the shit out of him. There was a rally on campus, and then everyone took it to the street and wound up on the Bay Bridge, royally fucking up traffic. I remember, however, people in their cars cheering us on, and I'll never forget the camaraderie that all of us felt on the bridge - the 300 protesters and the people honking in support from the cars - before we all got hauled off in buses to Santa Rita.

While in Germany, what I heard from people was that the US was no better than a third world nation, yet trying to pretend that it was way better than that. That the "bungled rescue" of New Orleans, as my friend put it, was more evidence of our fast slide down the slippery slope. I'd like to thank those cops for just pushing us further down the toilet.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Here Comes Sickness

This is, unfortunately, something I know a lot about.

Merck: Cervical Cancer Vaccine Effective

TRENTON, N.J. - The first major study of an experimental vaccine to prevent cervical cancer found it was 100 percent effective, in the short term, at blocking the disease and lesions likely to turn cancerous, the drugmaker Merck & Co. said Thursday.

Gardasil, a genetically engineered vaccine, blocks infection with two of the 100-plus types of human papilloma virus, HPV 16 and 18. The two sexually transmitted viruses together cause about 70 percent of cervical cancers....

...Cervical cancer is the second-most common cancer in women and their No. 2 cause of cancer deaths, resulting in about 3,000 deaths in the United States and nearly 300,000 around the world each year. At least half of sexually active men and women become infected with genital HPV at some point.

Ideally, vaccines would be given to girls in elementary school. This seems to be a very young age to give someone a vaccine against what is, essentially, a STD, but be realistic - some people become sexually active at an alamingly young age. The main objections, so far, come from (predictibly) religious groups who don't want their children exposed to such thinking. I guess being exposed to a transmittable form of cancer is just so much better.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Meow Meow PORN Meow Meow

Man, I posted more often when I was on vacation... Damn dayjobs! And is it me, or does Rocktober truly ROCK? I'm hitting a series of great shows this month which are keeping me up to late when I have to get up too early.

Here's something silly to read that Scott sent me:


Dear cat,

The girlfriend is away for three weeks, and though I am a person of strong
will, three weeks is simply too long to bear without working one out. I
don’t expect you to understand this need as you no longer have your ovaries,
but trust me when I say, I NEED to.

If you ever took the CAT SATs, you might have seen this example analogy:

Getting off : me :: licking your ass : you.

Having established that, I request of you: Please do not disturb the fucking
blinds when I'm watching porn!

You’re a cat, not a dog, so don’t give me that puppy-eyed look. You know
what you’re doing. As soon as I settle back in my chair with some hot chick
doing all the things that my girlfriend won’t, full-screen, you awaken from
a dead sleep and run through the floor-to-ceiling blinds. I often shriek and
my hard phallus, brilliantly backlit by the glow of the monitor, falls limp
like a rhubarb stalk at the bottom of a Safeway bin. This wouldn’t be so bad
if I didn’t have an entire row of apartments whose living room windows
directly face me. For the love of my erection and reputation, or my love of
my erection and reputation, keep on sleeping when I’m a’ jerkin.

I should have gotten a ferret.

Hugs and purrs,

Your owner.

P.S. And don’t stare at my balls. You give the same look to a string before
you’re about to pounce on it. That frightens me.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Midsummer's Night Dream

There was one night in Berlin that I was able to do something I haven't been able to do in California for many, many years... ride a bicycle.

Don't get me wrong, there are many opportunities to ride a bicycle in California. You just need a helmet and knee pads and shit. And the front tire on my ten speed busted years ago and I don't know how to fix it.

In Berkeley, there was this thing called Critical Mass (I know it happens elsewhere, but my experiences with it were all in Berkeley). Basically, a group of bicyclists (like, hundreds of them) would meet at one place, and then ride through the city, taking over streets as they passed through, stopping traffic, yet proving that they were a viable source of transportation while following the rules. I don't know how much fun they were having while they were busily trying to make their point.

When I was growing up, I had a pink and white bicycle with a banana seat. My friends and I (there were six of us) used to ride to the top of our street, stand on the seats of our bikes, hold the handlebars, and ride... ride... ride to the bottom of the hill, turning a curve which could have presented us with a zooming car but never did... and slow to a successful and thrilling stop in suburban San Diego.

My night ride in Berlin was around a lake. Two lakes, actually, in Wansee (I think, Warren - you'll correct me?). I had a nifty girl's bike from the 60's that my friend had recently acquired, with a weak headlight which made me freak out once we were off the city streets and onto the lake trail at 10pm on a Tuesday. My friend kept saying, "It's not far!" And then I would remember that he once rode his bicycle across the United States (the Rockies included), for fun. "Not far" for him could be 200 miles... It wasn't. The ride around the lake consisted of me thinking this: "Okay... there are no fences or guardrails, so if I fall to the right, I hit trees. If I fall to the left, I'm in the lake. Or I just get scuffed up on the dirt road, and hope no wild boars come out for me." (Berlin has wild boars.) Instead, I cruised on the bike, seeing people having bonfires along the lake, coming to a lovely restaraunt on a wide shore opening, seeing the stars unobstructed by a gazillion street lamps, and feeling the same kind of thrill I felt as a kid... whzzing along the open roads, pedalling, pedalling, pedalling...knowing nobody was going to kill you with their cars.

In LA, if you jaywalk, you could die in a second. No cruisy bike rides here. But hit the Venice Boardwalk, and cruise for days... Not the same though, I have to say.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

It's About the Cheese

So, how about a nice Wensleydale? I fancy a lovely gorganzola myself...

I got to see the new Wallace & Gromit movie today. F---in' brilliant. I hope it makes gazillions of dollars. I've always been a big fan of the Wallace & Gromit series, and not just because Wallace is waaaaay into cheese, as am I. They are just so insanely well done, the storylines never fall flat, and Gromit is the best sidekick/hero around today.

Don't ask me about "The Corpse Bride."