Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Vacation is Over

No need to talk about it.

Mendocino Coast

Founders Tree, Humboldt Redwoods

Friday, May 27, 2005

What Came First, the Bun or the Bun?

During our little jaunt up in the wilds of Northern California, while we were talking about food and hair, my curious husband asked me, "What do you think came first, the bun or the bun?"

"Like the hair and the bread?"


"The bun," I replied, making it clear that I meant the bread. It seemed so obvious to me.

"Oh, really," he snided, giving me the sly look of someone who thinks something much trickier than I had imagined could have gone down. Like maybe the hairstyle was first (people always had hair) and they named the bread bun after the hair bun.

I quickly reminded him that left handed people seem to reverse the logic in almost any analysis. Plus, since necessity is the mother of invention, which I learned as a fact in the seventh grade (by wrote, not by experience), I assume it must have always been true. And bread was necessary long before Puritanical coiffures.

I imagine it wasn't until one day when some finicky man during the Middle Ages looked into his wooden bowl and decided he couldn't take another gagging bite of his wife's offerings. So he yelled at her over by the fire while she stirred the meal under the roof of their thatched cottage,

"Hey, keep your dirty hair out of the soup."

And being that she did not like beatings, she put it up. And eventually someone must have said,

"What the hell is that on your head, Catherine? A bun?"

Thursday, May 26, 2005

My Travel Poem

Mendocino in the Rain.
Old Whaler Ghosts, peeking from the drain.

What is the fish special?

The Redwoods so tall. And I fall for nature.
Oh, I do indeed fall.

It's not made with cream, is it? And sorry. All you say, in your apron, is sorry.

The Muds of Calistoga. To float.
Cucumbers on puffy eyelids. Makes me think of nuns deep knee-bending.

What is a Daikon radish? Does it sting the tongue?
This is the best meal I've ever had.

Monday, May 16, 2005

California To Join the E.U.

this is an audio post - click to play

Audioblogging for Jesus

this is an audio post - click to play

What I don't understand, ultimately, is who pays for all this? I mean, it's hosted and there's a phone number and it's all free. I wonder how they do it. These forward thinking beavers are pretty busy.

Heading up the coast. Tune in.


Friday, May 13, 2005

It's Just the Way it Is

War, the Death Penalty.

They exist because a certain group of people enjoy killing.

There is no other explanation.

The only things human beings do are the things that they want to do. So they do them.

If people did not like to kill, then they wouldn't.

When I was a child, many boys loved to play war. It was fun for them.

There are men who, in their hearts, look forward to a career in the military. They may say it is for the protection of our country. But ultimately, they want to invade and kill.

In some primitive cultures, if a member of a tribe commits a crime, the punishment is simply that the perpetrator is ignored by the rest of the tribe. No retribution. And this is punishment enough.

But in most cultures, there is a certain love of punishment.
And in many cultures, there is a certain desire for aggression and killing.

We live in such a culture.

Have a nice day.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Worse than an Abba Fag

While sitting in too much traffic today, heading East on Venice Boulevard, I was listening to Lyle Lovett. Then, I got to thinking about the other old tapes sitting in my ancient collection. They're all stuffed into a black cassette holder that my brother gave to me as a going away present in 1993 when I drove across the country in my swanky new Geo Prizm, which I still drive to this day. The car has 140,000 miles on it and I won't throw it out until it completely dies.

So I reached into the discolored vinyl tape case (black turning brown) because I had nothing else to do and there among the old gems was some Hall & Oates. It's been years since I popped it in. I felt downright mischievous.

An amazing compilation of popular Eighties tunes, I must have taped it off my greatest hits record before I sold it off with all my other albums when I left New York City. I adjusted the bass to get that driving beat going. Made sure the volume was just right because my speakers tend to distort when the music is too loud. And there I sat in my hot rod, doors locked, windows rolled up and I sang along with that Hall & Oates and nobody could stop me.

It's such crappy music, I'm surprised no one has made a Mamma Mia type musical out of it. But you know what? It's also kind of good in this completely bad, time warped way.

Who can resist the swooning Sara Smile?

And how about that visual memory of the awful Eighties video of Private Eyes with everyone in trench coats?

And does anyone else besides me have trouble singing along to the syncopations of I Can't Go for That? Just download it and try it now...You'll wonder who thought up such a rhythm. Or simply sample it if you can't bear to own it:

Hall & Oates Sampler---Amazon

I know. I'm so uncool. But how surprising can this be from someone who drives a slightly altered Toyota that is repackaged as a GM product and still has his faded out cassettes? Plus, if you're going to be as big a nerd as I am, then you might as well take full advantage of audio time travel.

H & O radically peaked with Maneater, sure. And even I know how bad that one was. But hell, whatever it takes to drive across LA.


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

First Rule of Medicine: Do No Harm

Second Rule: Get the Kids Involved

It has become nastily noticeable after any medical procedure that the first mailing of correspondence to most health insurance companies goes immediately into the shredder. This saves the office the trouble of having to reimburse you for anything. Endless phone calls ensue. Upon repeated attempts, one may receive satisfaction but only in the form of cursing at the functionary on the other end of the line. And once finished with slamming and crying, one is forced, for fear of onslaughts of endless billings, to write a check and send it to the demons who have set up our wretched healthcare system. This system, run by thugs and thieves, reminds one of small town governments operating in Sicily during the nineteenth century. However, the American Medical Dons who collect our protection money are far richer than any high ranking citizen of Palermo.

It has also become nastily noticeable that the children in public schools in most cities are not receiving an education. Many students are merely warehoused, forced to watch television in the classroom so the teacher can have a quiet nervous breakdown instead of having to discipline the kinder, never mind teaching Biology or fighting with the Creationists. Though conservatives smugly blame the exhausted, working poor parents and the scantily funded schools for why José-can’t-read-so-he-has-to-join-a-gang, clearly, the ulterior goal of the wealthy is to insure an ignorant underclass they can eventually throw into jails if for only the sheer joy of watching others suffer while they race their Johnny to Harvard-Westlake in their S.U.V.

This vast chasm between the educated wealthy and the uneducated gang members must be closed for the obvious reason that nature cannot maintain such a high voltage for long without a huge jolt of paralyzing electricity. And since all people, the rich and the poor, are being taken to the cleaners by our middleman-heavy medical establishment, it becomes sparklingly clear even to a victim of great cataracts (that aren’t covered) that the Mafioso behavior of insurance companies should be immediately taken over by the gangs of inner cities; so that they may run more efficiently, bring hope for employment to today’s uneducated youths and streamline the whole operation so all Americans can receive proper healthcare in a timely manner with dignity and affordability. This change of personnel is the clear choice for a healthier, less frustrated America.

The ten obvious advantages to this approach:

1) The current system, which does not work, will be dismantled. Gang members will take the place of the organized crime insurance cartel. The transition will hardly be noticed.
2) The Ex-insurance workers will be euthanized and will have to pay for it themselves.
3) Since gangs of most inner cities are better organized than the offices of medical insurance companies of soon-to-be-yore, the common man will spend much less time haggling.
4) Gang members answer their phones on the first ring and have no phone menus. This creates good will toward all mankind.
5) Gangs, such as the Bloods and Crips, will be guaranteed income, so they will probably not be that into turf wars.
6) These Bloods and Crips will be able to deal in legal drugs.
7) Public schools will only have to teach rudimentary math and how to read fee schedules.
8) The entrenched class system will continue to benefit the wealthy and the wealthy can rest easy at night knowing they are helping the disadvantaged by a guarantee of this very lucrative medical business.
9) Most importantly, the disadvantaged youth of today who suffer from the natural alienation and anger that comes from the prospect of a future without opportunity can change their mad and nasty attitudes knowing they are inheriting a business that will never go away. This will diminish their need for displays of power and automatic weapons.
10) Movies that glamorize the gun and drug culture that epitomize the desperation and fear of the inner city will stop being made and will be replaced by movies that glamorize very healthy people who aren’t afraid to go to the doctor for fear of paperwork.

There will be no more paperwork. And if anyone has any complaints about it, go to that guy in the school parking lot who just hangs out and collects money all day.

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Terrifying Threat of Emma Lazarus

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to clean my house."

Photo *40

Friday, May 06, 2005

Last View on Energy before Leaving Town

With raised levels of C02 and decent rainfall, it seems to me we are in a good situation to grow more plants which should improve the atmosphere greatly. With a well maintained population and an improved atmosphere, we will survive.

So, no more than one baby per family for the next fifty years. The earth will be grayer for a while, but after the die off, it will be better.

The population will be less or at least stable.

With the extra plants growing, there will be a natural cooling effect on the planet.

Extra plants must be grown on private property since farm land must be used to sustain the population. We will become a more arboreal culture. We will develope plants that root firmly and won't threaten houses.

We can use all the extra plant material for energy. We must use very efficient machines that produce no carbon as a byproduct. Someone has to figure that out.

Please join my cult.


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Lighter Fare: My Grata 'tude

Okay, it's been a bit rough lately.

Let's find some things to be really happy about:

1) There is an LA metro.
2) My dog is still young.
3) My friends tolerate me.
4) I haven't been to a funeral in years.
5) I don't have to work.
6) I'm not so fat.
7) Relatives requiring it are properly medicated.
8) Food is still cheap.
9) I've been fatter.
10)Higher gas prices=less emissions.
11) My husband isn't so fat.
12) Old friends put up with my vanity.
13) Bad teeth but good dentist.
14) I own great walking shoes.
15) My piano always sounds good.
16) I don't live in Mali.
17) Tomorrow I'm going to Santa Fe.
18) George Bush cannot run for president ever again.
19) The only people who have ever called me fat were my mother and my husband.
20) Jews.
21) Butter never has an off season.

Encouraging News: Nothing at All has Changed.

What thrills me to endless happiness is that since George Jesus Bush has entered The White House, there has been no innovation in our culture. None. Nada. Zero. Zilcharoonie. This is a much more encouraging record than what transpired during the 1950's, the only comparable time in recent history to this period of conservative hell. And similarly, innovation poked along as the institutions of righteousness swirled stupidly and wasted valuable human energy. But take heart. What followed was enormous. And if the political swing of the pendulum is symmetrical, (and on what part of earth isn't it?), then we are in for quite a fun, uplifting ride.

And the news gets even better when we consider the numbers. During the Eisenhower administration, though stultifying and oppressive, some sort of freedom of thought prevailed, much more so than what is happening today. There was the rise of Elvis, James Dean and Ms. Monroe. We made great advances in Rocket Science. We invented The Neutron Bomb, the Polio vaccination, the Hoola Hoop, Thorazine and T.V. Dinners. The Beats were reciting their poetry around New York and San Francisco and anyone who was anyone got down to the serious business of taking L.S.D.

All this and the McCarthy Era, too!

What is the one new thing that has grown to great heights during the Bush years? Reality television...and that was a European import. (Boo! Why couldn't you send us socialized medicine across the Atlantic, instead?) Absolutely NOTHING is going on. So in absolute terms, the last five years have been creatively dimmer than any five year period during the slavish age of bleating that sheepy tune, I Like Ike.

The 2000's make the 1950's look like the fucking Renaissance.

This harsh, greedy, delusional, earth destroying culture of today, where the creative spirit is cut and twisted until it looks and feels even more tired than Mamie's hairdo, is the calm before the storm. Let us take great happiness in this age of complete stasis that is even deader than Roy Cohn's wretched, lying body. Think. Feel. Look around. Rest up. Get your teeth fixed. Clean out your closets. And take that trip to Trenton. 'Cause friends, if the Teens are even more to the left than the Sixties, and the pendulum makes that major swing toward humanism, innovation and dynamic social change, then living on this planet in the near future is going to be such a wild ride that in absolute value, it is going to make the summer of love look like a peck on the cheek from granny.

The other day I optimistically made a list for the future. I'm loading up on tye-dye, condoms, weed and getting ready for the British invasion. I am considering a stylish pageboy wig and a visit to the moon just so I can spend a few minutes on a celestial body where global warming isn't a problem. I'm buying iodine tablets, constructing a bomb shelter, learning to play the electric guitar and then, I'm going to lose about twenty pounds so my hip huggers won't look so disgusting while I'm burning my big gay bra on national television in front of the Lincoln Memorial. I suggest you make a similar list.

As Mark Twain Said: History doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes.




Monday, May 02, 2005

My Doppelganger is a Hideous Monster


Jesus AND Texas.

Cher Works on So Many Levels

Sometimes, you just have to go see Cher on her farewell tour at the Hollywood Bowl. If for no other reason than to make your husband happy.

And your gay Armenian couple friends are great company for the night. Did you know Cher is Armenian?

So, no reason to go into her whole concert. You can rent the DVD of her tour and see for yourself. It's a total circus. Complete with acrobatic performers and a fake elephant and Cher changing her costume and wig after almost every song, and entering each song from some new chandelier or staircase. With major video and great psychedelic graphics. This was not Chuck Mangione at Chatauqua in 1978.

The thing about Cher is, even though her songs are awful and her vampy burlesque is ancient network news, and she’s a diva bitch just like the ones she invites to follow her, you can tell that Cher is absolutely smart and hilarious and even though she truly enjoys jumping around up there making a spectacle of herself (and why not?), she also understands that the whole thing is completely ridiculous. It’s self referential, stays within the bounds of its gaudy world and invites us all to be stupid and sparkly.

She works it like a super carnival pro, and you have to give her a big hand for what she does. However, all night long I was mostly interested in the unseen backstage person who flops on Cher’s new wig with each costume change...the last and proudest person in the row of proud dressers, crowning that silly self-imitating drag queen with some fright wig and then scooting her out to hit the crowd singing another tacky song.

After the show exhausted all hair colors and hair materials, the finale's fireworks display spelled out, in fireworks, "Follow This You Bitches." It was so over the top, you kind of had to let out a big this-is-ridiculous howl.

She was warmed up by The Village People. And like being at a Nazi youth meeting, when they performed Y.M.C.A. as the encore, if you looked behind you, you could see the entire Hollywood Bowl, standing up, doing the moves. It shudders the spine.

I don't get this whole shiny gay thing. But at least it isn't mean spirited and the whole romp does poke fun at its own vanity while at the same time making grown, gay, Armenian men cry.