11.26.2003

So here is a brilliant holiday idea gaffed from Lisa --> to avoid the usual confusion and disappointment that usually surrounds the holiday season, I’m encouraging my family and friends to sign up for a wish list on Amazon. It’s easy, it’s fun…I’ll know what to get you. Check it out. I bet you’ll spend an hour window shopping like I did. Oh yeah, and register with your real name so I can find you on there, ok Auntie Zoltan?

Here are a couple of pictures from the infamous Tingel-Tangel taken at the Gypsy night. Unfortunately, they are ¾ Ali and I (dubious math?) with a hint of Jason Ditzian and Rob Reich in the background. If anyone has more, send them over.

AND…it’s off to the ‘No (that’s Fresno for people in the know about the ‘No) for Thanksgiving and such. Luckily, half the posse will be there as well for $2.50 gin and tonics at Livingstones and karaoke at Tokyo Gardens Friday night. (Anoush is right, there is no “s” in Tokyo Garden, but it just sounds better that way!) Adrienne can’t make it this year, but promises to take me by her grandfather’s Denny’s when she goes down next time.

Today’s Meditation:

BadgerBadgerBadger: Thanks Melissa.

11.25.2003

Here's LA Weekly's write-up of that Feral House Party.
See NOV 11 for my take on this event...
The Man Who Saw the World (From LA Weekly)
Feral House has made a reputation publishing subversive and transgressive literature, with subjects ranging from the occult to pop culture to Muslim extremists. One of its recent offerings (and the inspiration for the club Bricktops) was MEL GORDON’s Voluptuous Panic: The Sex Industry in Weimar Berlin. Publisher ADAM PARFREY kicked off a reading series with a salon featuring Gordon, and a Weimar dress code, which only chanteuse LYDIA LUNCH and members of THE VELVET HAMMER attempted to re-create. Gordon began his lecture on the decadence of Germany between the wars by handing out embossed boxes containing aphrodisiac Chinese herbs, a popular treat in Weimar Berlin. Gordon’s tales were full of rampant morphine and absinthe abuse, homosexuality, prostitution, and wanton female cabaret performers urinating onstage when the audience displeased them. There were film clips of nudist camps and opium dens, but most fascinating was Gordon’s dissertation on Erik Jan Hanussen, the subject of his latest book, Hitler’s Jewish Clairvoyant. Not only was Hanussen a mystic who made a number of accurate predictions, and published his own magazine, he specialized in a wildly popular nightclub act hypnotizing socialites and SS wives into a state of orgasm, without laying a hand on them. Mesmerized by Gordon’s tales (and no doubt all in a glowing state) were musicians HOWIE PYRO and JAMES INTVELD, filmmakers JULIAN NITZBERG and AUGUSTA, DJ SENOR AMOR, writer BRENDAN MULLEN, and ZAMORA THE TORTURE KING, fresh from his month long stint at Knott’s Scary Farm. After Gordon’s lecture concluded, Hollywood legend KIM FOWLEY (no stranger to decadence himself) shook his head and mused to no one in particular, “David Bowie saw all this shit first!”
—Pleasant Gehman


>^..^<
It still feels like there's an encampment of gypsies in my throat (no offence to anyone of the Romani culture), but I managed to go to work today and tinker with the same paragraph of corporate apologia for approximately eight hours. I was so out of it that I didn't even remember to take a lunch break. This flu-shot flu is kicking my a$$.
After sleeping all day yesterday, I woke up in a panic that I would starve to death because I only had licorice tea and chocolate flavored soy milk in the house, and I just couldn't imagine walking down the hill to procure anything from the...uh...what do you call them? Food Holes? Luckily, Mark called and offered to bring over some Tom Kha Gai, which might have saved my life, or more likely my craving for Thai food. But of course, all soup comes with strings attached. He made me an Offer of a Lifetime, but I was too sick to give him an adequate answer. He said I could think it over.

SOMETHING IMPORTANT FORGOTTEN WHILE SICK:
DORY'S BIRTHDAY is NOVEMBER 30th!!!
Here's a song I wrote for her. This song generator is a little limited by its vocabulary, so you have to get creative.

11.24.2003

Despite the fact that I'm as sick as a dog with a cold, I still find time for...

Today's Meditations:

Subversive Cross Stitching.

The Wrong bananas: More nonsense from RatherGood!

Mein Scheissige Kampf: If Hitler won the war.

11.21.2003

So the All-Girl-Workshop was greater than great. And no, Ali, we didn't take our clothes off. But there was involvement of a leather couch. And Adrienne did speak the words, "Make her have sex with his pants!" Everyone is working on such interesting and challenging stories...I'm really looking forward to the future of our workshop. I got some useful discussion on my story and I feel more excited about it than I ever have.
New excerpt:
“Uh, yeah. That’s weird,” I said. The bar was filling up with the new breed of ‘80’s Kids that had cropped up in Fresno recently. These kids, in ironically dated Flashdance-style off the shoulder numbers and tight, pegged pants, were actually born in the ‘80’s and seemed to live to snort cocaine out of the filters of their Parliament cigarettes. They were attractive and androgynous in a way that made me want to eat them…just take bites out of their heads. I remember when Ellie and I used to dress like that, but that was actually in the ‘80’s.

****
I've forgotten to take all my pills again for the second day in a row. I'm turning into the old man Patrick warned me I would become! In other news, this is day four of the NO COFFEE challenge inspired by Nils. It will all be OK as long as there is tea...

On the topic of changing a cat's name: I'm really glad that Maggie came with her name, otherwise I would have named her something lame like "Joseph K."
Today's Meditations:

How Takeru Kobayashi does it: Cabbage and jogging. Thanks Paul!

How about a nice cup of...

The Victorian Interweb: This is so G-ddamn clever.


Devastatin' Dave: Some very bad and very obscure album covers.

11.20.2003

Shows/Events this weekend that everyone should know about:
This Friday @ The Odeon: Rube Waddell, 10pm
Sunday @ Amnesia: Tingel-Tangel, 8:30pm onwards. I hear Ariela is singing Kurt Weil!
Monday @ 111 Minna: Citizens Here and Abroad, 9pm
This BLARG entry brought to you by Nick Drake's Bryter Layter. Why'd you have to do it Nick?

I'm done with feeling like a ghoul for writing about someone else's misfortune. I need to feel free to fictionalize it and let the air in. That's how to add life to death. I am looking forward to tonight's All-Girl-Workshop action.

Lisa and I are going to tag-team marry Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal. We are confident in our chances.

Jason Chavez just informed me that the DVD of the They Might Be Giants documentary GIGANTIC has a special bonus clip of them hosting Nick Rocks from 1987...that's where I first saw them and fell down while watching them fall down. I'm getting all teary.

11.19.2003

I’ve spent every Sunday night for the past five weeks with my dear friends Ali and Max at the womb-like Amnesia bar for Sol Crawford’s Weimar/Klezmer Madness/Champaign Party called the Tingel-Tangel. Sometimes you just meet people who are complete social catalyses and Sol is one of those guys. This is the fellow who convinced droves of people to dress up like Robert Palmer and the girls from the “Simply Irresistible” video and invade all the hipster bars in town after Mr. Palmer’s death. I wasn’t there, but from all accounts, it was legendary. I told him I would make it my mission to follow him around with a video camera after that. I guess I just have to buy a video camera now.
These nights at the Tingel-Tangel have been no less legendary in my mind…where else can I hear excellent live ethno and vintage music, surrounded by well-dressed, like-minded people (saucy ladies mostly), run the complete spectrum of emotions from life-affirming celebration to deathly despair in conversation with Ali ("Von Himmelhoch jauchzend zum Tode betruebt"? Thanks Goethe), all while getting completely trashed on Champaign?! By the way, I now know that Ali and I can finish a complete bottle by ourselves in about one hour, which makes for the shittiest of Mondays at work, lemme tell ya.
Last Sunday was probably the most devastating yet. It was Gypsy Mustache Night, with a screening of “Latscho Drom”, Gaucho (a Django Rheinhardt influenced band), and Kugelplex (the rockingest of klezmer bands, besides the Klezmatics). The guy from Gaucho plays just like Django Rheinhardt, except he has all of his fingers. And Rob Reich and another friend Jason from Kugelplex absolutely whipped all the drunkards into a frailach induced frenzy. Beth Anne, I’m sorry I dropped you.

11.17.2003

Today's Meditations:

How the world will end: This is a pretty accurate flash animation. Thanks Lisa!

Don't even look at it: The new "No Contact" Jacket...Make sure you watch the Assault QuickTime. Recommended by Anoush.

Strange Sisters: Trashy pulp novels from the Isle of Lesbos.

Leggo my...whatever: Famous album covers rearticulated in Leggos.

The Bloggers' Conciousnce.

~And hopefully later tonight...the low down on Amnesia's Tingle Tangle nite (or Weimar 2000, as Ali called it.)~

11.11.2003

Feral House Weekend
I just got back from a four-day trip to LA where I was submerged in Feral House's weekend of Weimar culture events. It was my obsessive-nostalgic dream come true.
Thursday was an invitation only (good thing I'm friends with Paul) salon at the Feral House house in honor of their two newest books on the era, Mel Gordon's Hanussen: Hitler's Jewish Clairvoyant and a naughty, female-empowered coffee table book called The Hot Girls of Weimar Berlin.
The Feral House house was exactly how I had always dreamed and hoped it would look, from the framed portrait of Aimee McPherson to the Hansel and Gretel architecture of the house itself. It was just like that Simpson's episode when Bart looks into the office of Mad magazine and sees Alfred E. Newman riding around on a unicycle. It blew my mind.
As anyone who would actually be reading my BLARG already knows, I've been pushing Mel Gordon's books on everyone for the past three years. It was quite the experience to hear him talk on the subjects that are near and dear to me...fast girls, narcotics, the occult. He even handed out some sort of elaborately packaged Chinese aphrodisiac (once used in Magnus Hirschfeld's "Sexual Institute") that he claimed contained the ground penises of three different animals. If that doesn't work, I don't know what would. Unfortunately, the supply ran out before I got one so there will be no first-person DeQuincey orientalist drug experience rant from me...but I'll look into it.
Friday night Mr. Gordon spoke on Erik Jan Hanussen, whom I've been looking for info on since I tried to write a paper on Istvan Szabos 1988 film "Hanussen" for a German Cinema class at CSU Fresno (go dogs!). Even though it's a Hungarian film (but German language), I insisted on writing on it because my father had mentioned something once about Hitler having a Jewish psychic and I was just amazed to have found something on the topic. The libraries in Fresno eight years ago yielded no information on the actual man and the film is pretty lacking, so I think I must have written a pretty shitty paper. Now I'm reading Mr. Gordon's book and it's just amazing that history seems to have forgotten or misinterpreted this important political and cultural player.
Saturday night was the final night of Feral House's events...further delving into Berlin's girl culture. There were some amazing slides projected...Weimar domms, clown sex, opium parties.

Here are some memorable quotes from my time in LA:

"Those buttwads at Starbucks and their T-Mobil!"

"I'm bi...centennial."

"I'm here with my friend."
"You mean the guy with the tits?"
"No, the other one."

"Have you met Torture King?"

AIRLINE BILLBOARD: "Non-Stop from Leno to Letterman"
That just says it all about LA, doesn't it?

11.09.2003

THE FUN THAT WAS HAD AT HALLOWEEN: The Pictures.
SEE how adorable Lisa is as a Brownie! BE AMAZED by my "date" with Jane, the Mongolian Princess! DON'T MISS David looking like a 6'4 Phoebe from Friends!

11.04.2003

"This song is about taking a look inside yourself and then quickly turning away."
-- John Flansburgh tonight at A Clean Well-Lighted Place For Books promoting TMBG's new book BED BED BED.

Monday night was Beijing Street Punk night.

Well, it finally happened; David and I went to a punk show last night at UC Berkeley’s Bear’s Lair (whatever.com) and I felt OLD. But that’s kool. I knew it would happen someday. There comes a time in everyone’s life when they realize that they would rather be sitting down in a chair than be in the pit. We showed up a little late and only caught the last song of an all-girl outfit from Beijing called Hang On The Box (bad translation?), who were as musically together and competent as they were maddeningly adorable. But the headliner was Brain Failure, the first punk band to ever self-release an album in China. The lead singer Xiao Rong seemed to be really excited to be in Berkeley and (I think) was trying to explain how cheap beer would be for Americans in China. He had so much to say and wasn’t about to let a language barrier get in the way. I think old school Chinese punk might be the wave of the future.