Monday, September 27, 2004

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Muammar Gaddafi's son's name is Hannibal. I don't know why I find that funny.
Wow, Jewish settlers are abandoning the Gaza Strip. I never thought I'd see that happen.

*AND* Pinochet lost his immunity, opening the gates for that fucktard to fry.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

I just read that California accounts for one fifth of the nation's auto sales.
Road Trip [revised]

I’d heard that Siouxsie was playing Hollywood soon, but somehow my brain dumped it near the bottom of conscious thought. The week before the show I saw the listing on Ticketmaster and flipped. I didn’t know if we’d be able to make it on such short notice. Good thing the show was on a Wednesday so I didn’t have to worry about calling in sick or just quitting. Siouxsie is worth more than a job. She’s about 46 years old now (not really older than my dad, actually two years younger) and I don’t know how much longer she’ll be touring. She certainly doesn’t scream and yell like she did in 1976. She billed the event “an Evening with Siouxsie”, mixing Banshees and Creatures songs in the setlist. I emailed Dani the show information and mostly gave up hope that I’d be able to make it on such short notice. She’s seen Siouxsie before, but being an Art-School-Girl-of-Doom a pack of wild capibara couldn’t keep her away from such an event. We’d rent a car Wednesday morning, get a hotel, go to the show, go to a club, sleep, and then hit LACMA on Thursday. Sounds simple, no? Well, Dani is always late, my roommate becomes a total ‘tard when facing even simple traffic, and I can’t stand to be in a fucking car. Oh, and we always get lost.

Math problem: “You want to go to a concert. The doors open at 7:30, the show starts at 8:30. You know that it’s a 5-hour drive and you have to get a hotel before the show. What time do you leave?” The answer? “An hour before we did.” Just kidding. We’d agreed I’d be picked up between 11:30 and noon, but she got there at about one. Not critical, but cutting it closer than I’d have preferred. Whatever, I was so tired and delirious that I just wanted to hit the road (and I didn’t want to stress myself out or have a panic attack or anything.) I should have started pounding beers the moment I got up, but I was in such a haze that I didn’t think about it until 12:30 or so. Still, I had time for two or three before the load-out. I put the rest in an ice chest as we started west.

I’m so glad Dani was driving. She’s not the best driver in the world, but still confidant and in control. My roommate’s driving makes me want to kill something then puke. We started on I15, a meandering diagonal that stretches from Sweetgrass, MT on the Canadian boarder down to San Diego, CA. Of course the only part of it I’ve ever seen is from Las Vegas towards the Pacific. After about an hour and a half, we exited the interstate in Baker, CA. The town is so small that I couldn’t fine census data on it. The school district has about 200 children enrolled. I’ve had classes with more people than that. I didn’t understand the need for this rest, but whatever. I was told I’d be able to have a beer or two so what the hell. Along the side of the road, we saw a man in a black suit followed by a woman in a long black dress. Goths, of course. They must have broke down on the way to the show. We made some “beached-up Goth corpse” jokes (just because it would be funny to see Goths wash ashore like whales or sea lions or something) and drove on to the Mad Greek, some insane restaurant in the middle of nothing, a stone’s throw from the world’s tallest (and most useless) thermometer.

The Mad Greek menu is a diptych; Greek food on one side, Mexican on the other. Have a Horchata with your falafel. Of course I had a Mythos with my falafel. My roommate tried a different Greek beer; I think it was called Marathon or something. I didn’t really like it. I keep reaching for my cloves, momentarily forgetting I’m over the state line. Tossing some Kraftwerk in the stereo, we speed off again (most people take this leg of the interstate at 80+.)

I15 meets I10 in San Bernardino, a city that owes its existence to being a crossroads of sorts. The major freight rail lines, two interstates, and several highways all converge on that pile of dirt and desperation. This is the outer ring in what can be considered Los Angeles’ sprawl. Of course that means it gets the table scraps after the dogs have had their share. I’m glad we can’t see much of it. This intersection means two things: first, we only have about sixty miles left and second, the real traffic is about to start. I’m amazed at how it’s changed since I that area for Santa Cruz in 1995. We could always make it to Santa Monica in under an hour. One would be lucky to make this drag in an hour today. Somewhere around West Covina we slowed to a standstill. Dani isn’t used to this kind of driving. There are a few places that gridlock in Vegas, but that’s usually only rush hour. She wouldn’t be driving in those places in Vegas, anyway; they’re all in the suburbs or on the strip. I’m starting to stress the time issue a little, but at least we know we won’t be late for the show.

From I10, we catch US-101 - eyes on the prize. We pass under downtown LA, whizzing past the murals and concert halls. I thought we’d be leaving earlier so we didn’t book a hotel room the night before. That was a mistake. I thought we’d have an hour or so to drive around and find a cool place, but whatever. We found the Day’s Inn that we’d thought about booking the night before and settled in there. Well, by “settled in” I mean frantic dash to get the fuck ready. As I was down at the car, my roommate called from the door of the room, “You have the key, right?” just as the door was closing. I’d set the key on one of the beds. It was almost 8 when we left. I worried slightly, about getting in, about parking, about not missing any of the show, but it turned out okay.

I worried about time for nothing since Siouxsie didn’t go on until rather late. I got to hang out with some cool, chatty people in the smoking section (a.k.a. out back by the dumpster.) I thought I saw Rodney Bingenheimer, but I could be wrong. I stayed inside for the beginning of the set, but a few songs in I went outside to smoke some more. Two attractive women were allured by the rather aromatic odor of my cloves and asked for one. I wound up bumming out several more, but that’s okay. They all offered me a buck each, but I only took one. I pay a bit less than they do for smokes. After the band cranked out some Creatures, I retreated back inside. I don’t listen to the Creatures much (I don’t even have any mp3’s) so I wanted to hear more Banshees songs. I was looking forward to something a little more punk. Somehow, I wound up right behind the two women I was chatting with outside. They must have thought I was stalking them. If I lived near by or was by myself, I would have tried to hang out with them after the show. I didn’t think it a good idea with my small entourage.

After the show ended, we left for a small club called Ghoul School. I didn’t know anything about it. It was in a smallish bar and only had maybe two-dozen people, most of them outside smoking. The music was more low-key than usual, all DR and no EBM. I danced some and played a game of pool (very poorly at that.) Overall it was enjoyable. We passed out quickly when we returned to the hotel.

Of course check out time was 11a.m, about 10 minutes before we woke up. I didn’t get to shower or brush my teeth, but I wasn’t out to get laid so who cares. It would have been nice to scrape a layer of crap off before starting my day, but that’s what I get for not bringing an alarm (or asking one of my companions to set their phone to alarm.) Our load out was quick enough; we headed for LACMA.

I’m amazed that my loose itinerary went so smoothly. When discussing what to do on Thursday, my companions deferred to my experience with this sprawl. We didn’t want to just window shop on Melrose or something like that. We’ve all done that enough, and besides we’d wind up spending the rent on rare records at Vinyl Fetish or Amoeba. I recommended LACMA, MOCA, the Getty, the Huntington, or even the Norton Simon in Pasadena. We agreed on LACMA, mostly due to my raving about Jean-Jacques Feuchère’s Satan and Georges de la Tour’s Magdalen with the Smoking Flame. Plus it’s in West Hollywood. It was good that we had some direction and didn’t just spin our wheels in awful traffic.

I haven’t been to this museum since 1995 or so. I went several times with my girlfriend at the time. We managed to catch a Bill Burroughs and a Pop-Art exhibit. They’ve added a lot since then. I wish I’d brought a notepad; there was so much I wanted to write down. It’s a good thing that their website has so much to look through. We took metered parking over the $5 garage. I think it cost about the same, but we would have to pay twice if we left to get something to eat. I should have stopped to get something to put in my flask, or at least pounded a few beers but I wasn’t really thinking. Plus I was exhausted from the night before, it was better to wait some before getting liquored up.

We started with the Japanese collection. There were two rooms open. We started in one room that had quite a variety of pieces. 5000-year-old pottery doesn’t do much for me I have to say. Seeing a samurai suit of armor was a treat. The woodblock prints were amazing. I don’t know much about the genre, but I can really see how this stuff affected Patrick Nagel’s work, at least the prints involving geisha. There were some other odds and ends- textiles, lacquer boxes, and the like- but not much else that caught my eye. Oh, except this little fox sculpture. He had the wickedest smile and a poofy tail. My companions like this room more than I did, I think. That’s okay since we still had hours to roam around.

We left that room into a smaller gallery filled with netsuke (buttons used to secure a small carry-all box to a kimono.) Some of my favorites: the skeletons, the “no evil” monkey, a stylized bat, the octopus, all the foxes (I didn’t realize the Japanese have such a thing for foxes,) and the caricatures of foreigners. There are hundreds of these little things on display. I can’t wait to see what they put in the other galleries.

The next building was all western art. We started on the second floor so I could see Magdalen and Satan. There are tons of antiquities on this floor. German glasses, Roman statues, Persian stuff, even a mummy! In the same room as Satan, Ian found one piece called la Liberté that Dani recognized from a book she has. Unfortunately that one isn’t on LACMA’s website yet and I can’t find a picture of it. Hidden in an alcove in front of the [by-appointment-only] photography archive, Dani found small Polaroids- Andy Warhol’s snapshots of Halston and Farrah Fawcett.

We grew hungry. We went by the restaurant to look at the menu. Bad idea, it's nothing but overpriced garbage. We’d passed a vegan restaurant at some point, but I couldn’t remember it’s exact location. We drove down Fairfax towards Sunset just looking around. I spotted a place called Eat-A-Pita that looked decent. Every other restaurant in this area is kosher, I think. Or Russian. The pita place has a good-sized patio and a walk up window to order, but no beer. Trees surround the patio, the canopy completely covering it. A water fountain full of fish sits in the center, providing quite an attraction for a group of small birds darting to and fro. We have to swat away the flies every few minutes. A school lets out and we become surrounded by young brown-skinned students. I don’t look closely enough to tell if they are Hispanic or Middle-Eastern or whatever. A few of them order sodas, the rest just make noise and annoy me. Some black girls arrive just after the first group. They’re louder and more bothersome. Fortunately, most of them leave when a bus arrives. I order falafel again. For some reason I never get tired of that stuff. I really hate it when the pita splits open and you have to eat it with a fork.

[more later]
Dude, Asia Argento is playing Courtney Love in Gus Van Sant's new film Last Days. Fucking whack.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

My work advice for the day:

"Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings, they did it by killing all those who opposed them."

Monday, September 20, 2004

Looking at my Netflix queue, I realized that the next few films in line I first (and last) saw about 10 years ago. They're all subtitled as well: Babette's Feast, Belle de Jour, Il Postino, and Belle Epoque.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

[I didn't write this, it's just funny]

A Day in the Life of Joe Republican

Joe gets up at 6:00 a.m. to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards. He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised. All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal union member fought his/her employers for paid medical insurance, now Joe gets it too because his employer needs to offer competitive benefits to hire the best people.
Joe prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry. Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.
Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air.
Joe drives to work in one of the safest cars in the world because some liberal fought to raise safety standards and emission controls.
Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with good pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.
Its noon time, Joe needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC up to $100,000 because some liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from greedy, unscrupulous bankers like the ones who ruined the banking system before the depression.
Joe needs to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his life-time.
Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans. The house didn't have electricity until some liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural Republican's might still be sitting in the dark!)
He is happy to see his dad who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to. After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home.
He turns on a radio talk show, the host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. (He doesn't tell Joe that Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day.)
Joe agrees, "We don't need those big government liberals ruining our lives; after all, I'm a self made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."
--- From the people who brought you the the eight-hour day, the five-day work week, vacation time, and much more. Don't take any of it for granted.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

I'm so tired. A friend of mine got her own apartment after a few months and my roommate and I went over to help break the place in. There were also a few other women around. We helped unpack a little, had some pizza, and then drank ourselves into oblivion. I got up at about noon and walked home to take a quick shower and bus to work. The Flamingo bus was late as fuck (fucktards) so I wound up being late for work. Oh well. I think I might go back over to her place tonight and see what's up. Oh, and she doesn't have a computer or a TV! Imagine me going that prehistoric.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Johnny Ramone just passed away. We so recently lost his brothers Joey and DeeDee. I feel sad even though these men are older than my father.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Now in news of the odd, I share my birthday with David Faustino (well he was born a year before me but still on March 3rd.)
Every now and then a really good pool player comes into Cheers. Last night there was a guy who apparently learned how to hustle from Fast Eddy Felson, a guy that is famous enough to have two films made about him (the Hustler and the Color of Money.) The guy I was hanging out with is named Vinnie, oddly enough one of the characters in the Color of Money is named Vincent.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Last night, I hung out with someone I haven't seen in two years. It was very odd.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Hell, out of all the great upcoming shows I totally blanked on Siousxie in LA next week. I hope we make that.
Got the time off for the Skinny Puppy and Cramps shows, plus Halloween! This is such a great year for concerts.
Various news agencies are reporting that a 4km mushroom cloud was seen near the Yongjori missile base in North Korea. The first thing on my mind was that one of the flare-ups had finally started. Russia and the US always had too much to lose to start a nuclear war, but the smaller flash points like Korea and Kashmir were always considered dangerous enough to draw those superpowers into face-to-face conflict. We’d never go at it on our own, but if we were drug into protecting an ally then we couldn’t back down (and the same goes for Russia.) Adding India and Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities is frightening enough, but for the Koreans to possess such technology would make life very uncomfortable for this nation (and I don’t even want to consider how nervous Japan, China, and Russia would get.) Colin Powell stated on ABC’s “This Week” that there was “no indication that this was a nuclear event of any kind. Exactly what it was, we’re not sure.” If it were nuclear, then Japan would already be screaming. They’re rather twitchy about air quality there and monitor the winds coming from Asia onto their fragile island. We’re safe for now, but I hope North Korea (and the South, for that matter) just chills the fuck out. India and Pakistan are at the peace table; it’ll take them a generation to come to some terms, but at least they’re talking and not nuking each other. The Koreans could learn a lesson.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

I know, I'm posting too much but one news story caught my eye. Richard Butler died. Of course not the Richard Butler I know and love (the singer for the Psychedelic Furs) but some neo-Nazi POS. Let’s hear it for common names.
"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
-- Oscar Wilde
Talking to a friend last night, she was surprised to hear how many schools I've attended. I said 13 schools in 12 years but I miscounted. From first to twelfth grade, I attended ten schools. The other three schools were colleges, making 13 schools in total. I have no idea about kindergarten or preschool; I don’t remember it so I guess it didn’t happen.
Yesterday I had about 4 beers and 6 cloves from about 6pm to 1am. I was a little shaky, but I managed to distract myself by playing Knights of the Old Republic, this silly Star Wars computer game. Those games are so involving, you almost forget about everything else and smoking requires a hand that should be on the keyboard.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

My roommate picked up some frames for various art prints he has laying around, but one didn't fit. He asked if I have any use for it. I put a copy of Munch's Puberty in it. It goes well in the hall.
It was raining. Of course it only rained long enough to make me late for work, then stopped. Maybe it will start again before I go home.
The Ministry show was cool. My Life With the Thrill Kill Kilt was kinda boring, but whatever. I just went with a friend (the promoter for the one goth club left in town.) She picked me up so I wouldn't have to take the Strip bus down to the House of Blues. I've done that plenty of times, but it's still kindof a pain. There weren't any people waiting in line, but it got crowded as the show went on. I've seen more shows this year than just about any other year, I think.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

A friend got me a rubber duckie dressed like Dracula! It's the coolest thing ever.

Monday, September 06, 2004

I'm so bored I'm reading about first-order Peano axioms.

Las Vegas Indymedia Center

Las Vegas Indymedia Center
One of the local political candidates has signs around town that proclaim "Protect Marriage, Borders, Social Security". I wonder if he realizes how those things don’t go together. Tight borders and a rigid definition of marriage are conservative ideas; Social Security (beyond being an unsustainable pyramid scheme) is pure socialism. At least try for some sort of consistency, people!

Sunday, September 05, 2004

How many people jump off the Golden Gate Bridge every year? More than 1,000 people have jumped to their death from that bridge since it opened. What is it about San Francisco?
Some of the news reports of the storm in Florida are funny. Is it really a good idea to send a bunch of reporters into a fucking hurricane? It’s amusing to watch them getting blown around by 100mph winds, but I don’t think it’s all that smart to have them out there.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Leave it to the Russians. Just when you thought school violence couldn’t get any worse, a couple hundred kids got blown away after a 3-day standoff with some “terrorists”. Makes those pussies at Columbine look like they were shooting Nerf guns.
"i think your style is fighting with comprehension here"

Thursday, September 02, 2004

I've been listening to too much English Beat. I should pick up some british ska records.

Insert bad joke here.