Friday, July 28, 2006

The Truth Is Out There


As I told the blogger, this reminds me of something out of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Love this story. And the movie, if you haven't seen it in awhile, is all time great.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Aargh!



I saw that pirate movie Tuesday night, something I'd thought to avoid, but rather enjoyed watching Johnny Depp flip-flop about. He really is hilarious, though they could have cut out all the rest of the scenes, so far as I was concerned. Or they might simply have written him into each. That would have been alright with me and my bladder which, after two hours, was hardly content to abide the next twenty-five.

I think if I were Keira Knightley, I would have intentionally botched the big kiss scene over and over again, so that many many more takes would be required. Johnny Depp with kohl blackened eyes, a drunk gay affectation, gold teeth and dirty fingernails, is still Johnny Depp. Maybe even more alluring to get the shades of goofball when he's usually so unswervingly cool. As my previous (and straight, btw) roommate David once wrote, "He is the sexiest fucker alive; there is no female equivalent. He makes my gay nerve twitch."

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Shocker du Jour

Homosexuals in Boy Bands? Someone bring me the smelling salts...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Sex Without Love

How do they do it, the ones who make love
without love? Beautiful as dancers,
gliding over each other like ice-skaters
over the ice, fingers hooked
inside each other's bodies, faces
red as steak, wine, wet as the
children at birth whose mothers are going to
give them away. How do they come to the
come to the come to the God come to the
still waters, and not love
the one who came there with them, light
rising slowly as steam off their joined
skin? These are the true religious,
the purists, the pros, the ones who will not
accept a false Messiah, love the
priest instead of the God. They do not
mistake the lover for their own pleasure,
they are like great runners: they know they are alone
with the road surface, the cold, the wind,
the fit of their shoes, their over-all cardio-
vascular health--just factors, like the partner
in the bed, and not the truth, which is the
single body alone in the universe
against its own best time.

- Sharon Olds

Monday, July 24, 2006

Sintax

I get so many viagra, penis enlargement, and otherwise sexually dysfunctional messages delivered to my yahoo bulk bin, that I have taken to calling it "bulk sin." Generally they get deleted without a second thought, but sometimes the subject line's to good to pass up. Today it was:

But now I can penetrate hardly and give the pleasure to every woman!


Of course the claim is both hugely ambitious and utterly feckless. I imagine the testimonial after using this product, "So, were you able to bang your mistress effectively?"

"Hardly!"

Here's the body of the message, in case you're curious:

Hello! Thousands of couples broke down because of them, making both
parties unhappy. Safe, efficient and covering all aspects, Extra-Time will
help you forget the premature nightmare. Don't let your partner leave
you because of being unhappy with the duration of your acts. Come in
here: "florexx." She just won't be able to leave you at
all! Be her number one forever! You'll have a huge crush on each other
again.


I don't know what the unidentified "them" is, but I always knew that "they" were behind it.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

It's Just a Game to Them

This seems custom built for the east side Hipsters in LA. Love it.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Gettin' the Skinny on the Fat


A word to all you carbophobes: the scientific community has once again bowled me over with their astonishing insight and groundbreaking findings. I read this morning, get this, that obesity was linked diets low in fiber and fruit intake.

What? That's crazy talk.

Seriously, who comes up with this shit? More importantly, how much of our taxpayers' dollars subsidize studies that produce conclusions a common-sensical eight-year-old knows? Peas and carrots, peas and carrots, an apple a day.

I haven't been this underwhelmed since the LA Times ran a front page story proclaiming a link between air pollution and childhood asthma in California. What a complex cause-effect relationship that is.

And to all you diet freaks running amok about these parts: to hear frosted bubblegum-clawed bimbos and neckless weight lifting douchebags expressing horror at the calories in fresh juice or a slice of grapefruit, while they guzzle processed power drinks and swallow vitamins with growth hormone mimickers rankles all sense of reason. AND BREAD IS NOT BAD FOR YOU. Just get the really grainy kind, it'll work out fine.

Ok, that's enough of my sarcasm, I have to go figure out why my I'm so tired all the time. Do you think it could have anything to do with working in the oppressive heat every day? I should run some tests... Could it be making me irritable?

My Ancestors


I apologize for the glaring flash in the center of the photo, someone needs to cough up some dough for a scanner. The woman in the rocking chair is my Cherokee great-great grandmother. Her husband, a Scottish farmer, stands behind at their farmhouse in northern Oklahoma. Please tell me all those people didn't live in that tiny shack, packed in like clowns in a VW Bug. I guess having a black dog is part of my heritage. But my question is, why didn't any of that dominant gene Injun skin trickle down so that I might have just a pinch of melanin in my otherwise Anglo body? Even grandpappy is pretty dark.

Anyone out there know period costume well enough to say what year that is?


Monday, July 17, 2006

Durga Durga Durga

A fellow student gave me these two figurines this morning after a particularly strenuous yoga class. The deity on the left is the Baby Krishna stealing butter, which my friend felt suited me because, "you have a bit of the puer eternis* in you." Krishna, incidentally, wears a peacock feather in his hair. The other deity, on the right, I'd never heard of. She is the goddess Durga, with a lion and a man at her feet.

You might recall that I have a particularly strong relationship to the image in the tarot card, Strength. So here she is again, the lady taming the big cat. In this case, she rides it.

Synchronicities aside, I am reminded of how much I love knowing the traces of confluence in world cultures. All these things eastern that worked their way into the makeup of the West, it's a lush history. Except for the Bible, of course, spontaneously generated as it surely was. Nope, no influence there but for the hand of God. Right.




I might add that for the last few days I've been asking for a sign that I'm on the right track. Before receiving the gift this morning, I had been walking my dog on the neighbor's hill. I had a rather dark thought - something about feeling like giving up on some major things if I didn't see any movement in the next several months. I woun't tell you how dark a thought it was, but the moment it completed, I was startled by a large red-tailed hawk taking flight some fifteen feet away. The snap of those immense wings cleaving the air was quite loud, and the visual intense. Immediately I felt it as a warning to snap out of my bad attitude. That's right, go ahead and shake your fist at the universe; holler at the Gods. Real bright of me.

I also recalled that hawks are the symbol for "messenger." Which, incidentally, is synonomous with my name. Anyway, I think I got the message, or at least that hawk let me know another was on the way. So now I'm reading up on Durga, the beautiful Lion taming Goddess and killer of demons, and her nightstand companion, fat Butter Boy Krishna.

(*eternal youth. sometimes known as a Peter Pan Complex.)

Emotion can have two options:

Either it becomes devotion,
or it becomes commotion.
If it becomes devotion, and
devotion enters the subconsious mind,
then there is no pain.

- Yogi Bhajan

Dooced!

Why I think I really might want Heather to watch my kids, if I had 'em.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Hamburglar

Don't know why exactly, but I think I'm posting this one for the Huckleberry. Probably to do with love of meat.

A man was arrested for bacon theft, in the Mormon capital of the world, Salt Pork City.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

So Not Kidding About This



I can't even describe how I feel looking at the photo, except that it's a mixture of pathos* and mirth. Not laughing at it really, just a bit incredulous. Maybe it's too dear to bear, just like the little dog on wheels in Babe: Pig in the City.

Anyway, my other favorite's the fawn.

(*In terms of tragedy, there is both pathos and bathos, but does anyone know the term for humorous feeling? Is it just called comedy?)

I Made This

No Cause for Alarm

What my last roommate, David, likes to say when Duff is inspecting visitors with his muzzle: "Don't worry, he's just a cancer sniffer."

My dog, when he's not hanging his head upside down off the bed, likes to dangle his generous limbs. Oddball.








When Animals Attack -




Thursday, July 13, 2006

If These Old Walls Could Speak

If these old walls, if these old walls could speak.
What a tale they’d have to tell, hard headed people raisin' hell.
A couple in love livin' week to week.
Rooms full of laughter, if these old walls could speak.

If these old halls, if hallowed halls could talk.
These would have a tale to tell, the sun goin' down and dinner bells.
And children playin' at hide and seek.
From floor to rafters, if these old walls could speak.

They would tell you that I'm sorry.
For bein' and cold and blind and weak.
They would tell you that it's only that I have a stubborn streak.
If these old walls could speak.
If these old fashion window panes had eyes.
I guess they would have seen it all.
Each little tear and silence step fall.
And every dream that we came to seek,
And followed after, if these old walls could speak.

They would tell you that I owe you,
More that I could ever pay.
Here's someone who really loves you,
Don't ever go away.
That's what these walls would say.
- Jimmy Webb

Reduce, Dispute, Recycle

I am grateful to people who plow through the blue bins every Thursday looking for deposit bearing cans and bottles, for their economy, thrift and perpetuation of goodly earth-honoring habits. However, I can't help wondering when I espy two on my street at the same time, do they have their own little turf wars?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Remedy

I've been thinking a lot about what could possibly be wrong that all the boys and girls I know are so impossibly set against falling in love. Or maybe it's just the boys, but there are some things I cannot know. What I do know is I'm tired of politely sitting on my feelings out of respect for where someone is "at." I don't want a jaded life. I don't want affection measured out a teaspoon at a time. Love isn't a runaway train, but it should feel like abundance. It should be clear that that someone is happy to see you when you come in the door because, well, because you just like each other. And if you don't, why are you wasting your time and hers?

I'm tired of people putting the clamps on and squeezing the life blood out of romance in an attempt to control their environment and stave off future hurts. Life hurts, get used to it. It hurts worse when you're denied the authentic feeling of really being present with another human being. People should be reaching for one another. I should feel confident about calling on you in my time of need. You should feel you could slip under my covers and curl up beside me until you feel alright again, if that's what you need. I want laughter and I want tears without the fear that I might seem crazy for living what every person experiences. Emotion isn't wrong, it's a wave that passes over you and delivers you to the shore. And I dare you to turn your back on it.

Here is possibly the best thing I've read about the experience of love in a long time. May we all grow up and start to live the philosophy of the guy on the long-haul.

“Suddenly the world had a center, and that center was Marianne.”

-A Trucker

Liquidation

I was requested to expand on an old comment about the rigors of my mother's "Stalinist Purges." Trauma rhymes with momma. Let me first say that I have done a TON of work on my relationship with her. I love her very much, and though she has apologized for nearly everything, she will never really be what I need(ed). That's ok, I suppose it's the lot I drew for myself.

Let's start with moving six times by the age of fourteen, not including the months we spent nomading up and down the west coast when she left my father. I was 5, and she was relying upon the kindness of family and friends. Each move necessitates a major unloading of garage sale fodder, and generally means you will never again see your friends, even if it is only a change of neighborhood.

What of importance got tossed? I think it was the indifference to my artwork that bothered me most as a kid. Somehow none of it got saved, except for a few ceramic pieces and those funny plastic plates I did when I was maybe four (you sent your drawings in to some company that would immortalize your scriblings in plastic), the contents of which are ridiculously telling. In one, the Man, dressed as cowboy, ties up wife and child to tree. In another there is a torrent of blue, green and maybe black scribblings, with figures barely discernible beneath the maelstrom. In yet another, the Man is separate again from woman and girl. The females, as I always depicted them, have absurdly long eyelashes which encircle and radiate from the irises like sunbeams. Each wears a crown. There is a mirror mirror, and the Man is on the other side of it. The girl wields a magic wand. There is a perfect acorn. Acorn? Don't know why, maybe it's the seed of something.

Mom loves to tell the story of my apple watercolour, which I painted while studying at the Children's Art Museum, at the ripe old age of four. Apparently they wanted the drawing for the permanent collection, because it looked as though it were drawn by an adult. I can not vouch for any of this, as I have no conscious memory of it, but it seems I was not amenable to such a donation, and my mother honored my wishes. Good for her. However, when we left my father behind, she decided to leave the painting with him, because she "didn't want to leave him with nothing." Again, a noble gesture, but ultimately tantamount to putting it curbside for Thursday morning pick-up. It's sad to me that I will never see it.

There were old records (45s from her youth, mostly), porcelain dolls, and even her vintage clothing that I would love to have. Mostly what was painful was being pushed to decide what I would throw away, when I wanted to turn loose of nothing. It was a task that became more and more difficult for my mother, as I became increasingly obstinate.

I know that from a Feng Shui standpoint, my mother was quite in the right - clearing out the clutter of your life prevents stagnation, and allows for new energy. Out with the bad air... The trouble was, I was being asked to give up so much so often - the real important stuff. Life demanded sacrifices of home, father, school, old friends, a dog, and even three siblings who I barely saw again. So I'm sure I clamped my little fists as tightly as I could around any artifacts of our former lives, especially the one we had when we were a family. It's a materialism born of trauma. To this day I will save a scrap of paper if it is some marker of memory. I am nostalgic. I am sentimental. I can't always let go of it. How much more could I be asked to give up? The answer to that seems to be, life will strip you clean. Is that why it's next to Godliness? If so, I've probably failed to absorb the lesson.

Then there are the things they make you release, things non-material, things you have to turn loose because they get you caught in a bind. You get squeezed so tightly that your very ability to breathe requires it. So in a way, it's your own fault.

When I was five I began studying piano with a well-known instructor - a woman who had graced the New York classical music world in the 60s. She was a comtemporary and friend of Eileen Farrell's; she was chair of the state music teachers association; there are scholarships in her name at the state university; she has students who have won international competitions and wound up at prominent music conservatories. After five years of continual success pushing me through city and state competitions, as well as testing for some sort of musical certification (the name eludes me), I was ready to become one of her proteges.

She told my mother I had "Bach hands," which meant something like my reach was greater than an octave; my fingers, like every limb on my body, were long. She said I could read and assimilate music faster than just about any other student she'd had. She wanted to turn me into a concert pianist, which meant a far more rigorous course of study. If I wouldn't commit, then she wouldn't teach me at all.

I knew there was a reason she dressed up as a witch every single Halloween. Perched in the post and beam structure over the front door, she would shriek like a Fury once the kiddies had rung the doorbell. It terrified them every time; Hell was looming. Of course, my daylight experience of her, though somewhat cold, certainly rigorous, and always tainted by the unhealth of age-worn enamel and coffee breath, was not entirely unpleasant. She did praise me when I succeeded, I liked playing the duets, and sometimes she let me play her antique harpsichord.

But consider the implications of a teacher giving a child this sort of ultimatum: if you won't devote the bulk of your life to what I'm teaching you, you can't have it at all. So, though ninety percent of my life I was demure and compliant, I did what I always do when someone really gets to a childhood quality my mother would describe as an unmoveable core: I said 'no.'

This was an act of self-preservation, there's no question about it. But it's a real shame, because it cut me off from something I was good at, and something I could really have enjoyed. It also severed the development of a part of myself - I dream musically from time to time. Music I've never heard before. Usually there is only melody, but somtimes it's lyrical. (Once and only once, I dreamed what seemed a complete Musical. Show tunes, sheesh.) Sometimes I get little bits during my waking life, but it's the nighttime when the melodies are more resolved. And harder to pull over into the day. Ephemera wants to dissolve like wet crepe paper when you hold on to it. So maybe it's not really there at all, like my bygone piano skills.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Mild Sexual Mischief

...my favorite kind, or How Laughter Evolved. It's just a theory.

Superbia Amoris

This image came my way last Thursday. I was getting a birthday reading from my dear friend who reads the stars and flips the cards. She used an unusual and beautiful deck I found for her in a Roman flea market, instead of the usual tarot. It has cards like "il lladro," the thief, and "sospira," the longing lover. Anyway, I got "superbia," which is a peacock with his tail feathers fully up and open like a fan. The card fell into the house of love relationships. Sounded promising, if you want to ignore the fact that the Italian word means pride, the deadliest of the seven deadlies. I Googled "superbia + peacock," because I know that iconographies tend to come out of established traditions, and because this is one way I have fun. Here's the first thing I got:




"Superbia eius humiliabitur. Osee 7 (750-725 BC)

Si l'orgueil veut hausser la creste
L'Amour luy fait baisser la teste.

L'Amour diuin est humble & debonnaire,
L'Amour mondain superbe, & temeraire;
Mais le diuin est bien le plus puissant;
Car le mondain voulant hausser la creste,
Ces deux amans luy font baisser l'aigrette,
Et de leurs traits le vont humiliant."

In addition to the line from Osee, the page seems to list both Ovid and Petrarch, each corresponding to the two stanzas, and respectively. But I'm unsure. Here's my hack translation:

"If Pride wants to raise the crest
Love for him lowers his head.

Divine Love is humble and good-natured.
Worldly Love is prideful and reckless;
But the Divine is the most powerful;
For the Worldy wanting to raise the crest,
These two lovers lower his tail feathers
and by their deeds* humiliate him."

(*this can also be a line, or harness)

Any of you Latin and French lovers are welcome to jump in here at any time.

So I'm meant to be wary of prideful love? In myself or in a mate? I agree with the poem's sentiments, but not sure how it applies yet. I've certainly suffered my fair share of humiliations in Love. One might argue I could stand to be a touch more prideful, though not in the "showy" sense. Or maybe it has something to do with a recent declaration that I intended to marry Bob Dylan. That's hubris for ya. Cuddled up at night to that craggy old face... but God I love him.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Addendum to The Beermuda Triangle, or How We Almost Became Thelma and Louise

RPP would like to add -

"You forgot to mention the extremely large knife he was holding in one hand less than a foot from my face and a shot of tequila in the other when declaring his need to get drunker before lighting them off. You also forgot to mention the $5,ooo in the file cabinet. shhhhhh...."

Why a guy tells complete strangers (ok we were friends of a friend, but still), that he's got five grand in his file cabinet, is beyond me. But funnier was the REASON it was there, to stand as bail money if he got arrested later! Presumably he thought he might be nabbed for the fireworks. The guy was mad as a hatter. The knife she's referring to was only a kitchen implement, and he was cooking (those ground steak empaƱadas were truly one of the best items of food I have ever tasted - the dough was like 600 thread count pillows), but the wild manner in which he wielded, well...

Anyway, the mad cash gave rise to fantastical plots of scheming. I mean, who gets that bargain basement bail price, anyway? But we are good girls.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Beermuda Triangle

The evening of the Fourth was spent at a party up in Whitley Heights, an area that looks like a valley in Mediterranean Europe. At dusk it is quite beautiful, a quality less commonly seen in Los Angeles as we keep her these days. Up in a large 20s Spanish style estate, the festivities were hosted by a 50-something music producer, who looked like someone who might have run around with the cast of My Best Fiend. He was like a gene-spliced hybridized love/hate child of Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski. To be fair, he was maybe something less dark and more akin to Christopher Lloyd, as the professor-inventor type with crazy hair and totally outer limits.

RPP was kind of freaking out over the massive table load of pyrotechnic charges on display in the dining room. She's worked in the ER, and has seen the consequences of explosions on the human form; the effects are decimal. Having expressed her concern to the white-maned host, he replied, "YEAH! I've got to get really DRUNK, so we can set those off!"

Meantime, we four nestled into the couch-lined terrace. The air was balmy, and we had a view in the direction of the Hollywood Bowl, where the big show takes place. There really weren't very many people there, so the traffic was light, which can be a relief when you are tired at a party.

Still, for whatever reason, and maybe it's just that they were all drunker than I thought, every two to three minutes someone knocked over or dropped a beer bottle or glass in that 15 x 15 space. It was uncanny. I've been to plenty of parties with plenty of mishap, but I have never seen so much toppling with the tippling. It was like the necks were greased and the bottoms rounded. Laws of gravity were more strictly enforced in this zone. The constant clamor of thick glass on terra cotta tile gave me an idea for a drinking game, but one I was not rambunctious enough to instigate that particualr night, and at a stranger's house.

What if you took all the sandbagged beers (in college, that's what we always called it when people left the half-drunk and remnant bottles sitting around, 'sandbagging'), arranged them in pyramids, and did a little beer bowling? What's not fun about THAT? Somehow I think our host would have been up for it, but I'd already had a Stella Artois douse my white halter dress, and I wasn't in the mood for sticky feet, any more than I was up for tripping over that ottoman or having my flip-flop break as we were headed back down the hill.

One last thing. Think of this as a caveat to fumbling boys - do not use, "Don't I know you from somewhere?" as a pick up line. Furthermore, when it becomes clear that no amount of "where could I know you from," "did you work on this project," and "what school did you attend," is going to resolve the matter, LET IT GO. Because, face it Buddy, you HAVEN'T MET THE GIRL BEFORE. And no amount of wanting to know her is going to rewind history. Best to look forward and find something to actually talk about, so that some sort of bond can be formed. Devices don't work on all women, particularly when the conceit is so cleanly laid bare as deceit. So it doesn't really matter that you are a very good-looking twenty-something Director, if you haven't a speck of charm. At least, not to this one.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Call PETA on Me

and I will end you.

“If you bring forth what is within you,

what you will bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within you,
what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

- from the Gospel of Thomas. Gnostic text, c. 2nd C

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Passing Strange

Today I feel akin to the Director's cut of The Magnificent Ambersons, potentially wonderful, but quite possibly lost forever.

Perhaps tomorrow will find me, "passing light in spirit."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Monday, July 03, 2006

More Evidence That I Am Quite Like an Eisenhower Era housewife

(though the graphic might not be)


I am thrilled to discover that fruitflies cannot outrun the vacuum cleaner.

Now, who's ready for a cocktail?

My fingernails are filthy

...I've got beach tar on my feet
and I miss my clean white linens
and my fancy French cologne...
-Joni Mitchell

For the last three weeks I have been building and remodeling every day without a break. I built a deck, retrimmed a living room, removed an a/c unit, ripped out kitchen cabinets, plastered, sanded and painted. Most of it has been filthy work. The last two weeks have been uncharacteristically hot and humid for June in Los Angeles, which makes the physical work more exacting and dirty. I'm sore and all dinged up, but I can tell my body's stronger, my wallet's fatter, and I love being in the company of the woman for whom I am working. She's a yoga teacher friend of mine, a brilliant, funny, beautiful, and exceedingly kind Aussie.

We are beginning phase two of the house project next Monday, but until then I plan to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. At least nothing that requires to do anything resembling construction work. Not because I dislike it, but because I need to rest myself. So, I will be poolside, reading and writing, beating my dog who chased a skunk late last night after I got home after a 12 hour plus day, hanging down on the Franklin strip, practicing yoga, and generally enjoying myself.

Saturday, July 01, 2006