Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Corn, Over My Dead Body?

Why get behind all that corn for fuel? It takes so much energy to grow.

Biomass (carbon based refuse) really is the way to go. We can turn anything into fuel. And frankly, I think we should start with dead bodies.

Imagine yourself being used to get someone across town! The precious holiness that one projects upon a corpse could be used in a much more rational way: Is this trip to Ralph's really worth a portion of this dead man's life?

Side Note: My idea of moving tunnels for the movement of goods under every road, house, business and store has yet to take off. One could just bar code the boxes and palates and they would be automatically switched to where they need to go. And the tunnel sections would only turn on if there were goods that were going in that direction. This underground transportation network could also be used for garbage. This massive, well coordinated system could be fueled by my dead body.


Monday, May 29, 2006

Elephant Hill

Our lovely hosts, Mary and John, opened the summer season with a barbecue at their beautiful home in Monterey Hills/Hermon in the Northeastern Section of Los Angeles. Their backyard abuts the largest piece of open space left in Northeastern Los Angeles, an area called ELEPHANT HILL.

After dining on sausages, chicken, beef and an orzo salad filled with cheese and vegetable bits, many of us charged up the hill behind their house to see the great view of downtown Los Angeles amid the three-hundred and sixty degree view from the top of Elephant Hill. Hawks glided. A dead rattle snake baked on the trail. Civilization approaches. But we had the joy of going to the top of the hill.

And the joy of living in such a whacked out city with good friends. Should Elephant Hill be developed? I would rather it was not. Perhaps a park.

Friday, May 26, 2006

My Mother Made Sauce

Thursday, May 25, 2006


My parents are visiting for ten days.

You know, you can love your parents or find yourself annoyed with your parents, or both, which is probably the most common situation. Moreover, I find these three things very interesting:

1) Parents have the faces that you have seen for the longest time. There must be something very imprinting about that.

2) To watch these people get old is the human condition way too up close.

3) In most cases, parents are the people you have known longer than anyone else. You can be estranged. You can be enmeshed. That these people inspire both your warm love and your cool disdain is just an extreme example of how one probably feels about every single person one knows.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Rolling My Eyes with The Mona Lisa

The DaVinci Code

It was like watching paint dry. Oh wait, oil paint never quite dries. Yeah, it was like watching that.

You know, I only read about five pages of the book. I couldn’t bear it. But I was looking forward to the movie. I figured, “Hell, I missed out on some big populist wag, I might as well catch the visual Cliff Notes.”

According to the attending party who I saw this thing with, all appreciative readers of the book, the movie was not clear. I thought it was a bit muddled. But I pretty much got who were the bad guys. And of course, the whole thing about the Holy Grail. How couldn't I as it was being spelled out so flat by the two professors, arguing in the most obvious way in order to get across the point of the Priory and the Opus people and the Whore Mother Mary-Jesus descendants thing. And in the end, who really gives a holy shit? This goofy movie was about as silly as that damn Blair Witch.

I hate treasure hunt stories. Especially ones with puzzles to solve. I find it all so tedious, I could just nail the son of God to a cross.

But I have one fundamental question about this whole ridiculous story. Why didn’t they just mow down that Louvre curator on his way to the market? I mean, if these Opus people are basically the mafia of the Vatican, why not just behave accordingly and whack who needs whacking in a much simpler way? And then Tom Hanks wouldn’t even have to get involved at all?

Je dois dire.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Call me Trashy

But I liked Catalina plenty. I mean, there were all these South Bay people there chain smoking, braying about getting drunk, even with a loud guy on his cell phone saying, "Dude, I got so drunk, Bro. I'm gonna open up a liver shop. Make millions. That's what this place needs, a store where you can get a new liver."
Funny enough.

There were really fat people making out on town planters at midnight.

But honestly, maybe those things just sort of stick out in my mind because I haven't seen such behavior since the last time I was at a tractor pull.

On the other hand, the place feels oddly European. Looks enormously like the town of Cassis in Southern France, sitting on its own crescent in the Mediterranean.
This little town of Avalon feels so far away. Much further than the one hour boat ride from Long Beach.

The food we had was nothing to praise. But the atmosphere, overall, the island thing, the hill thing coming down to the island, the well cared for houses, the boats and the sea. Well, it felt a whole lot like going away to some place romantic and magical, even though Catalina is just a big sea locked rock in Los Angeles County.

Friday, May 19, 2006


Nazis, not a good bunch. Tonight, we went with our very close friends to see the Klimts at LACMA. Story: Escaping the Nazis and getting the paintings long after

The paintings are so beautiful. Klimt is one of the originators of Modern Art. And when you look at them, you feel the great force of nature, human and otherwise. Never mind the incredible story of how they ended up here in Los Angeles. (Will the Nazi intrigue ever end?)

What is so wonderful is how the art survives. The beauty always lasts. The Nazis always die. No matter how hard they tried to sell it, their evil intent did not prevail.

Here’s some more evil intent. Click on the one with the girl blowing on the dandelion. It’s so eerie. You just won’t believe it:

CO2, Life

Thursday, May 18, 2006

An Optimism

I’ve been enjoying an enormous optimism. It has to do with many things, but mostly, it’s because I decided I had to gain an optimistic perspective.

It’s so corny. But somehow, the cornier things are, the more often are they true.

Everyone knows what the thing is that makes them feel awful. Whatever that is, you have to stop doing it. If you are an obsessive worrier, you have to stop worrying. If you can’t make a decision, you have to make a decision. If you are jealous of others, you have to be more generous. If you are paranoid, you have to stop smoking all that pot. Not for any other reason than it will make you happier.

You know, we’re social animals. And somehow, you have to find your good place in the pack. With ease. With a light touch. It’s all there.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

My Dog is Old

If she is walking for a while, she is fine. But if she sits for a long time, and this is what she mostly does, when Louise begins her walk, she is very stiff. She is old. It happened last week. I love her so much and I cannot believe she is mortal.

But when the day comes and she dies, I will be so very happy that she came into our house and lived.

I am preparing myself for the inevitable.

And while time passes and I know, too, that my own future corpse is an absolute must, I am sad to accept that I had to live during an era ruled by bullies. Bullies in the Gulf, bullies at the border, bullies giving each other demeaning nicknames, bullies who understand their ego motives as the shimmering rays of God, bullies who are rapacious and terrifying, bullies in the wood pile. And they just have to know who you’re calling.

Our dog is so sweet. She came into our house in October of 2001 and she reminds us every day what it is to be a decent mammal.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What Does the Shadow Know?

Fresh comment from yesterday’s blog entry:

This is not new! All of this has been tried before, to wit....The Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and Japan and currently Red China.

Redistribution of wealth....your are nuts!

Now let’s use this as an example. Here is, most likely, a Right Wing person. Moniker: The Shadow. He found me on Robert Reich’s blog (in a comment from a friend of mine on that blog) and he popped over to me and lay in.

Look how righteous this person is. (S)he does not consider the facts of what I stated, which is no big deal, really. But what is interesting is the overreaction and righteous rage, using The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany as sledge hammers to my ideas. And if there are scared sheep around, I am sure they would listen to The Shadow. Soviets and Nazis are pretty scary to most Americans.

As far as the reference to Japan goes, I don’t quite get it. And Red China? Who says Red China any longer?

The final statement however, “Redistribution of are nuts!” is really the one. First of all, redistribution of wealth happens every single day. The small wealth of average people gets kicked up to the hoovering wealth of rich people. And, as far as me being nuts goes, though this may be true, the attack on me as a person is the obvious tool of a righteous (wo)man. Sheep love to follow angry retort. It makes them feel alive, like they’re at a football game. So an attack by the righteous, again, keeps them on message. The believers on the Right side of our nation never waver from rage and righteousness.

Now, let’s use The Shadow’s method for our own gain, but with less emotion and more clarity, with an eye toward efficiency. We can simply say to the Shadow, “The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were not efficient nations. The Soviets mismanaged the wealth of their entire populace and did not do anything to encourage incentive. Nazi Germany was SO inefficient, using the energy of the nation for expansionist war and genocide. Bad idea. As far as Japan and China are concerned, both of these nations have had varying degrees of success with their management of finances. Chinese citizens also efficiently know how to save money, which is reflected not only in their personal savings, but in the national psyche that has created a trade surplus. It is inefficient to use examples that have nothing to do with the efficient use of hard earned American dollars.

It is quite inefficient to redistribute wealth to the wealthy since these are the people who do not need any more money. Thus, not only are average citizens inconvenienced and forced to live inefficient lives of overwork and organ stress (which costs the nation more money, thus more inefficiency) but the funnels set up to move the money upward is also inefficient, as the money is being forced there unnaturally since nature, in its normal state, tries to balance things out by diffusion (maximizing entropy) and does not concentrate energy by pumping it to an already highly energetic place.

It is an inefficient use of language to call someone nuts when there is no basis for such a label. Misusing labels is always a waste of time and energy.

So, we can see here, that staying on message, calmly, efficiently, with no heed to righteous rage other than showing how much more efficiently one can use one’s energy.

Efficiency: clear, bright and unwavering. This is what is needed. It is understood by everyone. It is not sloppy. It cuts to the bottom line. It removes the fog of fear. It empowers. It lets people know that they are cared for and that their money is not being wasted.

Let’s get things lean and functional.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Efficiency Party

In the near future will be a presidential election. Even though we have a Constitution that divides things up, it is very apparent that people are animals and behave according to a pecking order with the president as head rooster. It’s disgusting, but then, so are chicken livers.

The president, as we have all witnessed much to our sadness, sets the tone for the country. What I love about our Constitution today, more than anything else, is that GWB cannot stay in the White House after January of 2009.

Lucky us.

After he goes back to hell, wouldn’t it be great to have a Democratic President? Sure, I’d accept a sane, Moderate Republican president, if it comes to that. But another Billy C. would be wonderful.
And since the Democrats cannot only stay on message, but can’t even find one, I suggest this: THE EFFICIENCY PARTY.

The Republicans have been THE RIGHTEOUS PARTY. And no matter what, they stay on message. They are right. End of story. It’s all a moral prerogative. They never answer opposition because they are always right. It’s actually a brilliant scheme. It is totally dismissive and moronic, but since people are sheep, this act of shepherd-hubris wins the days.

A strong Democratic leader could do the same thing. However, (s)he could choose a real approach that is germane to today’s real problems. The Democratic Party can be the PARTY OF EFFICIENCY. (Or pick a better synonym.) And in this global market, BOTH SIDES can’t help but love the idea of efficiency. Being efficient will make us lean. It will make us more competitive. And, it will make us cleaner, calmer, happier and richer. And everyone can get their brains around the very rational bottom line. No matter what anyone ever asks, the Democratic leader will have ironclad answers. The simplistic mantra of constant efficiency will always be the answer. Imagine this:

1. The government provides universal health coverage, because it is the most efficient use of tax dollars per person and will save everyone money on health care.

2. The government raises the minimum wage according to a respectable standard of living because then, workers will be able to make more efficient use of their time.

3. A national fund for the development of alternative fuels is in place because this will be the most efficient use of citizens’ tax dollars and will save money not only in the long run, but in the short run. And, it will remove us from the perils of dealing with corrupt, oil rich nations.

4. The Death Penalty is illegal, because this is the most efficient use of the nation’s tax dollars which, in the past, was wasted on appeals in such cases.

5. There is a national fund for campaigning. Tax dollars will be used efficiently in fair elections. Americans will not have to spend enormous sums to corporations in the hidden fees of retail in order to pay for corporate lobbyists.

6. All National Parks are to be forever protected. This is the most efficient use of these spaces as it will always be clear what their use is for and tax dollars will not be wasted in law suits to protect them. They will always be protected.

7. All preemptive war is illegal. Tax dollars should not be wasted on a hunch.

8. All people who work in this country right now are legal citizens. This will efficiently expedite their being part of this nation and so they can operate as legal citizens. No more wasted money on reforms. The borders will then be patrolled. And, we will put political force upon Mexico to normalize the terrible class discrepancies in their country.

9. We will normalize the terrible class discrepancies in this country. CEO’s and other top executives of large companies must have salary, bonus, exit fee and stock option caps. It is inefficient for a society to endlessly kick upward to a corporate goon.

10. Public transportation will be the number one national budgetary item. This will provide the most efficient use of resources and will efficiently improve the moods of Americans as they are able to enjoy the company of their fellow travelers.

Everyone appreciates the efficient use of time, resources, money and land. If you like the idea of efficiency, spread it around. We, as Democrats, need to do our part to help the leaders with their message. And since we ARE Democrats, what better place for the message to come from: us.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Splashy Flick

It opened. Shelley’s body is barely cold...and here it is.


I wonder why they did it. Is it really just remakes from now until the end of time?

The Mann’s Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard had its first screening tonight at 10. So we went. It wasn’t an event. The place was about 10% filled.

I mean, the movie is awful. If you are talking about script.

And the acting is just, whatever.

But the design of it. The fear of it. The water always coming at them. The suspense. The filming. The effects.
Honestly, it’s quite a good ride and we were entertained, with adrenalin rushing through our arteries almost the entire time.

But the poor waterlogged actors. The unknowns, well, they had to do it. But you get the sense that the known ones didn’t have much else going on. Kevin Dillon played the bad boy. He doesn’t last long. Kurt Russell is the big hero. His character was once the mayor of New York---a cheesy nod to Giuliani in a crisis. Richard Dreyfuss got an “And” credit at the beginning of the movie. He plays the old guy, but in this movie, he’s gay and sports a diamond stud earring. It’s just ludicrous, but he soldiers through it. I imagine he must have insisted when he agreed to do this role, “I’ll be in the Poseidon remake only if I don’t have to die in it.”

Hispanic actors are done away with quite harshly. The absolute survival aspect is what this movie is all about. And it’s rough and it’s hard and the pretty people (but not too pretty) that survive, well, they’re pretty.

I somehow appreciated the lack of character. It helped to point up the base survival instinct of human beings. So Das Boot.

The original Poseidon Adventure was about thirty times better. I mean, the cast alone. Come on. Shelley who, “In the water was a very skinny lady.” And the amazing Stella Stevens and Ernest Borgnine. And Gene Hackman, no less. Jack Albertson as the hang-dog Manny. And frigging Red Buttons. There just HAD to be a morning after.

I’d say, rent The Poseidon Adventure and then go see Poseidon and trace the plot connections. This remake is somehow scarier, what with its 9/11 disaster overtones (and a crucifix that saves the day). But the original movie, of course, is the one.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Leaving Los Angeles

I vowed today that I will not stay in Los Angeles any longer than necessary.

I drove from Marina Del Rey to North Hollywood.

It took almost two hours.

For those who don't know LA, it's about a twenty mile trip.
I mapped it on Yahoo Driving Directions. According to them, it should take twenty-one minutes. And true, it would take twenty-one minutes at 4AM.

And even at Rush hour, I'd be okay with forty minutes.

But close to two hours???

Why would anyone live like this?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Split

I have been in this mode lately. The "Get it out there" mode. This includes passing my days with phone calls, the organization of production, emails, drinks with "people" and a general attitude of a salesman/entrepreneur.

I don't mind it.

In fact, it puts me in the world in a very active way. I actually think it improves my mood.


When does one find the time to write when one is hopping around town sucking down red wine and chatting with producers and directors and other writers?

Balance it out. Must find a way.

Wouldn't Thursdays and Fridays be great days to write?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Paint and the Stubborn Jesus Fetishists

1) My Recognized-by-the-State-of-California-Domestic-Partner and I, Adam, painted our two front rooms over the past four days. It was purely maintenance. The old plaster walls were cracking in many places. The original paint job was eight years old. It was time. I like doing very physical work. It feels good for the body and the mind.

2) I applaud Christianity, and other very organized religions, for bearing the brunt of the load for helping people realize they can choose which aspects of their animal behaviors to enhance. Without any real Science, some people figured out that by repeating certain thoughts and rituals, they could train themselves to be kinder, more generous mammals. Must be good for the species. (It is interesting to note there are not many religions organized around ancient philosophers who were NOT charismatic. People like the charismatic, a reflection of the vanity of the crowd with a good dose of sheep mentality.) The Modern Era brought us psychology and the idea that an animal could better its behavior by using thought and ritual, (but not centered around a charismatic leader) is a very intelligent and interesting freedom. One can be in charge of oneself. And of course, this will all keep evolving. Why don't the religionists want to move forward?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Conventional Wisdom Faced Down

1) I am not afraid of China. They are expanding too fast and they do not have a good system of government. They will collapse.

2) So many Christians are insane. However, perhaps they would be even more insane if they didn't have Christianity holding them together.

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Friday Blog


I will offer this, however. Sarah Schultz, from the old days, is here visiting her brother in Redondo Beach. She visits her brother a couple of times each year and during each trip usually comes here for a day and a night. Since Redondo Beach is on the Green Line and I live on the Red Line, she took public transportation (Green to Blue to Red) to get here yesterday. She particularly enjoyed waiting under the Freeway in Compton for the transfer to the Blue. It took an hour and a half. Let's pick up the pace, MTA.

When in LA

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I'm So Pumped

Gas prices are high.

And guess what?

Traffic has decreased. Driving around Los Angeles during the past three days has been like time travel: to a former era when there were fewer people on earth.

These are joyous times.

Raise the prices! Raise the prices! I won't be happy until gasoline is $5.00 per gallon. Then, each time someone takes a trip, they'll really have to think about whether it's worth it.

You know what I want to hear every day, as often as possible?
"Where's the bus stop?"

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

May 3, 1974

I went to this thing called mini courses. I took a course on making movies. We got some real fags in that group. We will make cartoons and everything. Goodnight.

This was Sixth Grade. I remember, this little class was taught by Mrs. Dowler, the school librarian (who was also my reading teacher who had us read Newberry award books and gave us a shiny star for each one read on a big piece of public oak tag. Kind of silly for Sixth Grade. But alas, it did encourage people to read. Wrinkle in Time. From the Mixed Up Files..., Miracle on Maple Hill, It's Like This Cat, Etc.)

So, this mini course took place over four Friday afternoons, or something like that. There were about eight kids in the group. We all made plans for our movies, little outlines. Eventually, when it came time to actually write and make the movies, the other kids lost interest (and there was no grade for this class) and I was the only kid who actually wrote one. It was about a lemon-aide stand. When customers came and drank the juice, they would fall down and then come back up as a monster. The monster was literally a warty, green Halloween mask. Richie Brown, the handsome and hip future football star, played the role of the lemon-aide salesman. He was a great actor and I was so glad to be filming him there on the front lawn of Washington Avenue Elementary School in Suffern, New York. The movie ended with Richie wondering why everyone he sold the lemon-aide to was turning into monsters. So, he drank some of his own product, fell down, came back up with the Halloween mask on and then ran off as a monster. He actually played the monster better than anyone else. The End.

We shot the whole thing. The only thing the little class ever did was shoot this one film, such genius that it was. Mrs. Dowler sent it off to have the film processed. We all couldn't wait to see how it turned out. Mrs. Dowler said the film didn't develop correctly. We did something wrong during the shooting. And she had no idea what it was. I guess we had some sort of aperture set incorrectly. I was very annoyed with her and wondered how someone could teach a course and completely mess it up.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Blue Monday

I did not wear my onesie today. I had a lot of errands and appointments and things. And, I just couldn't bear to have to answer to a whole bunch of people about my new religion.

There's something about the onesie. That single zipper. Being all naked inside and just knowing there's only this silly bag of denim between you and the world.

The simplicity of wearing a skin that has the same overall shape as your own.

Maybe I'll wear my onesie to bed.

Am I looking for mother's milk?

Is it an odd tribute to Barry Gibb?

Oh Onesie, what are you, really, to me?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Walking in a Winning Onesie-Land

So much in the newspapers lately about Cuba.
Shouldn’t we be happy there is a nation in the Western World that is committed to consuming less?

I have had this desire for many years to give up my clothing and spend my life in a series of jumpsuits. Coveralls, if you will. My good friend Dan had the nerve and follow through to get on Ebay and purchase a couple. He showed up in his at Jeff’s (his brother) for dinner. He brought me mine. I was so excited, I wanted to split my pants. Thank you Jeff, for the delicious chicken.

I couldn’t wear my jumpsuit last night, as it wasn’t yet washed and had the rough feeling of a tarp. But today, after two washings, I donned my hard denim gas-station man outfit and went out into the world.

First stop: House Warming/Meet our freshly adopted son at the lovely home of a very skinny gay couple in Beachwood Canyon. It was one thing when all my straight friends over forty were having children. Now the gay ones, well into their forties, are procuring little brown ones. My suit was met mostly with indifference (How dare these parties be about children instead of about me?) I received a warm compliment from the fabulous actress, Amy Hill. We both loved the lemon parfait desserts. While very thin, well dressed gay men ran after their chicly clad children or carried them around like the latest Gucci bag they received at a Hollywood Swag give-away, I stood motionless in my onesie, wondering if someone would dare ask to change my diaper. Mostly, I was asked to change the oil in people’s cars.

After this event, and don’t get me wrong, I do love children and I hope gay people keep having them, we went to my Recognized-by-the-State-of-California-Domestic-Partner, Adam’s, book club. These are very old friends. All of them straight (Okay, one of them is into Trannies) and there were two little girls enjoying themselves on the carpet. These loyal friends loved the onesie. But then, they understand my ironic clothing choices, my loathing of convention and my need for attention. They are used to me trying on ridiculous get-ups, the scary tight bathing suit, the occasional fright wig.

And though I do like a lot of variety in living, I also long to keep things simple. My onesie is a stab in that direction.

We must simplify. On the subject of global warming: the last time the earth heated up like this, after a while, the ocean currents really did change. When the currents changed, 95% of all living things on the earth became extinct.

Onesie, anyone?