Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Accidential calm. And datum of a deliberate variety.

I have been blank for a few weeks now, and it's pleasant. Living in the moment, doing small things, hanging out, socializing, reading book. I am a lump of cold oatmeal and it's a pretty good feeling.

I also haven't had my feverish compulsion to regurgitate for a while, so now I regurgitate:

25 cool or odd things that I have done or have experienced, for real and true.

1. Won a pony named Billy Blazer at the Walnut Festival when I was six.

2. Had a cool friend in High School, Dave. I wanted to show Dave my room, then decked out as a shrine to the Who (this is '84. I was fourteen.) Dave was really, really into the Who, so his opinion WAS EVERYTHING. He came over, checked out the Roger Daltrey at Leeds glossy, the Union Jack poster, the Maximum RnB poster... "Cool".

Thanks, Dave.

It's different than I expected.

What dyer mean?

I was picturing a poster of an orangutan in a Hawaiian shirt slapping his forhead and saying "I Hate Homework!".

Dave was kind of a dick.

3. Tried out for the gameshow, Jeopardy. Passed the written test with flying colors, then froze during the screen test portion. I spaced out and didn't hear them answering me question. Important skill on a quiz show.

4. Was briefly a CHILD STAR. Did impersonations of celebrities as part of a revue that performed in Sun Valley Mall. I was washed up at nine.

5. Shook hands with Gerald Ford at age six.

6. Commissioned John Doe from X to do a cajun version of "See You Later Alligator". Got to watch him and his band from a couch. Awesome.

7. Christopher Guest directed a web video I wrote. Awesome. It starred Fred Willard. Awesome.

8. I took acid once and went out with my friends with out telling them. TWICE!

9. First time I smoked pot, I was with J. and T. (13 years old) Climbed out of the bushes and went and bought a Coke. When I got back J. and T. were masturbating. I left.

10. Got to tour the Moeller SkyCar factory in Davis, CA. The PR lady who showed me around was hot. (The SkyCar is, in my opinion, a crock. But I don't know anything, so there you are.)

11. Was an exchange student in Japan my 18th summer. The trip was wasted on me, because I was more interested in the beer vending machines than, say, Kabuki. Got stung by a jellyfish, got a swelled up ankle from a lacquer plant, and dated a 24 year old Japanese woman. Good summer.

12. My wife knows the lyrics to "War Pigs".

13. My dad died when I was eleven. I had my big toe bitten by a crawfish that day at the creek.

14. I know a few published authors, a couple of film maker, a toy maker, and a soap opera star.

15. The people who visit my blog are nice and interesting.

16. I have, somewhere, a letter from Herb Caen, a dead newspaper columnist. I also have, somewhere, an autographed 8x10 glossy of Bob Wilkins former host of the seminal Bay Area late night crappy monster movie show, Creature Features. I have an email from comedian David Brenner, a couple of emails from blogger Andrew Sullivan, and an email from weirdo experimental guitarist Elliot Sharp.

17. The last gift I ever received from my mother (she died five years ago) was an anal sex video. This is actually true. And it's a very, very long story.

18. My father-in-law has a FREAKIN CHERRY '54 T-Bird

19. My friend Abe once gave a short biography of Petomaine, a French cabaret performer who could fart at will.

20. I got my driver's license at age 31.

21. The worst thing I have even done: I used to work with a guy named "M." who had sort of bulgy eyes. In an idle moment during a long meeting I wrote on my pad "M. is a bug eyed freak." and showed it to the guy next to me. We giggled.

Flash forward like four months. I am adverse to throwing out old notepads, so I had this thing lying on my desk (god, this is awful) and M. is over at the next desk. My wife-then-fiance had just started working at this little ad agency and she stopped by desk to say hi. She reads aloud "M. is bug-eyed freak! Who's M.?" Ahhhh, shit.

22. When Ruby was about four, we were watching a documentary about famous American method actors being trained in classic Shakesperean technique. Whatev, it was sort of interesting. Charles S. Dutton was on screen, kicking ass doing Othello's soliloquy. Ruby, who was playing with her Legos, stopped to watch this scene. She then gave me an explanation of what Othello was saying... and it was basically... right. I was creeped out and proud. Mostly creeped out.

23. I lived in Colorado for about a year. I had no friends, I went on one date with a really nice girl who I liked very much and she liked me, but she moved to Texas the week after our date. And an insane woman I had dated in California kept showing up at my townhouse unannounced. "Hi! I thought I'd visit."

Being young and plenty immature, I still slept with her and everything, but I didn't like her.

Oh, and you could only buy 2.5 beer on Sundays, which pissed me off to no goddamn end. Anyway, I was miserable.

I came back after a year and one of my first night's back, I hung out with my friends Michael and Jenna (now married. Michael the afore mentioned soap opera star, Jenna a radical and beautiful mother) and got shit-housed drunk on Jamieson's. The night was foggy and their 2nd story flat had a little balcony. I went out there on the balcony and was so happy to be back in the fog that I stripped nude. Michael brought me a blanket after a while.

24. My wife has these two incredibly foul-mouthed girlfriends who come over almost every week to share a couple of bottles of red wine while our pooled children run around screaming. It's pretty great.

I realize now that my parents were drunk a lot when I was growing up. My dad would down about five glasses of cheap chablis every night while I rubbed his waxie bald pate. I'd mix vodka and 7up for my mom. I think I probably poured them as double. I was all of nine at the time.

25. I also realize now that chase certainty can cause you a lot of grief, and you (or, rather I) am hugely better off poking around and being curious for the sake of being curious. Ask questions, respect the answers -- even if they're wrong -- and read a shit load of books. Know that you will never, ever know anything about anything. Make an effort to understand your own conditioning, and whenever it's eyhically correct to do so, mind your own business. That's the ticket.

Oh, and if you get the chance, eat some mushrooms every five years or so. Just to blow all the shit out of your head.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Puzzling Synchronicities

Meat space pal Mac recently interviewed meat space pal Toby about Toby's efforts to have a statue of George Plimpton put in Manhattan. You can read the piece here.
The story is sort of inspiring, in a dreamer taking on City Hall sort of way.

The point of this post is, Toby and Mac, both people I know from California, didn't know that the other one knew me. It's also confounding that I wasn't brought up, EVEN TANGENTIALLY, when I am sort of a rad guy.

Thrilling factums about this meeting:

*Toby has met Mac's stepbrother Abe.

*I have slept at Toby's house. I have not slept at Mac's house, or I might have. I spent the night at SOMEONE'S house in Santa Cruz one night years ago. It may have been Mac's. I don't know. Mac was in the room as I slept.

*Mac sort of asked me about becoming a copywriter years ago, a conversation that I in turn had with Toby years ago. I took Toby's advice. Mac took my advice. We're both better off.

*Neither Mac or Toby have choked me, though I'm sure Toby may have come close a couple of times.

*I used to eat breakfast with Toby regularily. I had lunch with Mac last time I was in New York.

*Both Mac and Toby are writers.

*Both Mac and Toby have massive blue eyes and giant heads. If a myopic person saw them walking side by side down the avenue, I'm guessing they'd look like Cerberus, but with a limp because Toby is taller than Mac. Also Cerberus had three heads, so scratch the whole thing.

*Both Mac and Toby know I guy I know sort of of, Jim Hanas.

*I interviewed Mac's dad here.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Union that Works for You

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Best alarming keyword search term ever

Someone in Texas was looking for "aleister crowley poem about farting". I salute you, sir.

(I nearly posted this accidently to my wife's blog.)


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

My inexorable slide into punditry

We're all talkingheads. It's unstoppable. In this great and glorious era when we all have ideological opinions about every piece of estorica, I am standing up and saying "I'm an idiot! And I want my share!"

And you will be, too. The dialetics of the thing are too strong to ignore!

The lash:
The private life is dead! We all are conscripted into ideological battle whether we want to or not. Secret thoughts, such as wondering what we’re having for dinner tonight or if plants know that they’re plants, are foolish and more importantly, suspect. Elitist even. We must have our reactions sorted out and correct ahead of time to whatever contingency bubbles up de profundis. Our minds have been given to us in order to agree with bloggers and think up clever t-shirts to insult each with.

In fact, are there really such things as contingencies? They are, after all, the laser-targeted result of conniving by our satanically clever ideological opposites, whether it’s the pansy-fresh hippy relativistic secularists – with their nihilistic nipple rings and sassy fashion sense, or the pig bristle fringed ass baboons that hate poor people, worship a dead god, and violently sublimate their latent homosexuality by beating people of other ethnicities.

The carrot:
Blathering emotional exploitive diarrhea is sound business! And if you get sub-junior high enough with your blather, you are speaking truth to power! Nuanced thinking is for eggheads and technocratic baby killers! And there is some good, good money in talking shit.

So it’s obvious what a playa needs to do: DEFINE THE DEBATE. So that is what I am intend to do right here.

Here are my hugely controversial opinions on the issues of our time.

The Iraq War: Me, I’ve never served in the military. I wish I had, but that fucking weed wasn’t going to smoke itself, and I was needed elsewhere, namely manning the check out counter at Olympic Video.

I have, however, read many issues of SGT. ROCK and I caught a Hogan’s Heroes marathon recently, so military matters are fresh on my mind. The THIRD LEG of my STOOL OF MILITARY COMPETENCE is my ace in the hole: RISK.

And in playing RISK, I had developed a technique that consistently overwhelmed my opponent, whoever that poor bastard may have been: THE ARMIES HIDDEN IN THE CORE OF THE EARTH STRATEGY.

When I was down to a single territory, I would make the announcement that I had been in extensive negotiation with The King of the Mole People and he had committed hundreds of units, units that were ready to come in from off the board and WIPE MY OPPONENT OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH. The earth would then enter a PAX GREG/MOLEMAN REX, with me and the King of the Mole People ruling in a consort over a glorious epoch of peace. It was pretty much an unbeatable strategy.

What I propose is, sending me to talk to Ali Baba and the Iron Sheik, or whoever the enemy is (note to self: read up on our NATION’S ENEMIES) and drop a few less than subtle hints that, yes, we have established an accord with the King of the Mole People, and yes, they are assembling their Molish Dragoons and will burrowing upwards, post-haste, with their mole guns a-blazing – unless these treacherous Hindoos drop their filthy heathen habits and start acting nice.

I can’t spot any flaws in this plan and am predicting Peace by May Day.

Abortion:If a sluttish-type woman gets knocked up, she will be able to access termination only if she first washes the feet of the saintly locals in her town on hands and knees, while being ridden by a saintly, and portly middle-man who will loudly quote scripture to her. This will allow for abortion while meeting the spiritual cleanliness quotient that is so desirable these days.

Everyone is happy.

Agricultural Subsidies: Justice rarely looks better than it does when it comes in the form of a check made out to one of our nation’s sainted hard-scrabble apple cheeked farmers in payment for not actually growing crops. Well, selected crops anyway. Neer-do-well hucksters that grow things other than AMERICA’S VEGTABLES™ (such as tobacco) should be allowed to die horribly, hopefully on television.

The subsidy system is so fucking unbelievably JUST that I would like to expand it into other domains, namely paying me to let my lawn die yearly. I’ve tasted justice, and I want more.

Racial Slurs:If you’re like me, you’ve had it up to here with reasonable speech. Expanding my subsidy program, I would like to provide check to commentators that have the GUTS to raise victimhood by attacking entire races for claiming victimhood. I would like to provide lucrative contracts to these people, so they can sit in studios and wear pancake makeup, occasionally posing in patriotic windbreakers and casual slacks when they want to reach the young and with-it. Down with political correctness! Support our commentators! The crimes perpetrated against them by the Elites deserve our pity and our funding!

So, that’s it for now. I’m sure you’ll be seeing me on your TV real soon.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Experimental Marionette Troupe to Launch U.S. Tour of Abandoned Copier Shops

The improvising puppet ensemble, "John Cage Memorial Marionette Touring Theatre" will take off next week on 135-city U.S. tour of abandoned copier shops. This report came from Gavin Newsome, former pole dancer and mayor of San Francisco. Newsome, recently shamed by an illicit affair with former mayor Willy Brown's hat, has left his post as mayor and decided to act as tour manager/dresser for this ground breaking tour. "I'm through with politics", said the swarthy and sexually ambiguous former mayor, "and marionettes? That shit is hot right now. Improvisational marionette theater is extremely hard to perform and rarely interesting for the audience, but the thought of spending time in all those creepy old copier shops is kinda exciting for us. "

The 1,202 city tour, crossing every state in the U.S. some three or four times, is the first of its kind. The groud-breaking marionette troupe will play only at abandoned copier shops, desktop publishing custom programs on the spot for patrons. Audiences will be encouraged to drop off mail and packages, which the troupe will then deliver.

"We want to create as much of a feel of a working copier shop as possible", states 2nd Marionettist, Duncan Endpaper "It'd seem pointless for us to have spent all this time tracking down these sad, ugly little venues without referencing the experience somehow."

"We wanted to encourage people to both write letters and watch some improvisational Marionette theater,"Endpaper added. "It just seemed like the right time to put that dual-message into action."

Wherever a venue's original cashier wrap is intact, the group will be using the counter space to sell t-shirts, cannabis-club brownies, energy drinks and crudely sculpted nude minuatures based on whatever audience members are in attendance at any given show.

"Dwayne, our driver, will be busting out small sculptures of interesting looking audience members", Endpaper explained "He's not really good at sculpting... he tends to focus on noses, breasts, buttocks and penises. But we'll be heading into some pretty creative arty towns, so we might be able to cage him some art lessons as we roll. Late in the tour, he should be pretty fucking great at sculpting and what not."

Condoms will also be provided gratis.

"Marionettes are sexy" Leonard Cohen, Canadian heart throb and tour hanger-on opined "The puppets make me wanna fuck, real good."

The troupe is cutting corners by staying at Montessori pre-schools across the country. Lakshmi Bettendorf, troupe string waxer explains:
"It was a no-brainer -- no one uses those spaces in the middle of the night, and those vinyl nap mats are just going to waste. And the veritable Golden Horde of juice boxes! I think we can say that this will be the first national tour we've been on where not one member will have to be taken to the emergency room for dehydration. Puppeteers sweat like pigs."

The troup is optimistic about audience turnout for this tour. With the success of shows such "Make Me a Marionette Star America!" and "Amusements for Poor Sicilians", marionettes, particularly experimental marionette theater, has been pegged as the latest "IT" thing. Large media companies are in a veritable arms race to sign Marionette troupes to their rosters, launching the careers of superstar troupes such as 2 Live Marionette Posse and LOS STRING TEAM!

But Duncan Endpaper see Marionetteering as the path to something far more sublime that the shiny baubles that Hollywood may offer:"Marionettes -- and puppeteering in general -- has certainly gotten trendy. I think 2008 will be the year of the Marionette. We've been approached by certain pop stars, sad people hunting for some glimmer of relevance. But experimental marionette theater isn't just something you can buy your way into. You need... you need the aficion."

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