Brit bloggy journalist Ben Hammersley linked to my Naughty Flapperssite and gave this assessment:
"Thoroughly disturbing 1920s semi-erotica."
Garage Sailing into the Sunset

At the hellacious hour of 9:00am on Saturday, Ukiah picked me up and took me to the “sale of the century” (Ukiah speak for tube amps, old turntables, records, etc.) in the East Bay. He’s a pro (like good ol’ mom) and knows all the ins and outs of garage sailing. To prepare he advised that we drink huge cans of Diet Rockstar and suggested various emergency scenarios to act out in order to get good deals (which he called “Playhouse 99”??? I might have gotten the number part wrong here.)…for instance, if he wasn’t getting a good deal on something, he would signal me and I could act out the roll of a mean girlfriend/wife who says she won’t allow that thing in the house. This would elicit both pity and panic from the most-likely male seller, who would then drop the price. I’m used to such scenarios as my parents have pimped me out on the flea markets of Europe in a similar fashion: the starving kid who only has 200 Forints in her pocket but needs this porcelain figure, the flirtatious teenage tourist who must have that Majolica plate…
After the sale I took the opportunity to get that autographed AXE album over to Jason P’s. I’m sure that it’s priceless and I’ve been meaning to give it to him for ages now. But why stop at one gift? Nothing goes better with an autographed AXE album than a framed shag rug painting of a marlin. And since everyone loves surprises, I convinced Ukiah to leave it on Jason’s doorstep, ring the door bell, and run, while I smoked his cigar in the running pick-up truck. I think the truck actually left skid marks on the street.
Approximately 15 minutes later my cell phone rang – it was Jason and the gig was up. But oddly enough, the Jason household was convinced the shag marlin was from a different anonymous donor.

Gifts of the Mogwai:

I’m not self-absorbed. I’m self-absorbent.


Everything I need to know I learned on FresYes:

Good ol’ FresYes has provided a link to further evidence that Chipotle is in fact owned by McDonalds…the Chipotle Nutrition Calculator. Well, one burrito ought to take care of your caloric needs for the entire day…how economic!

Funny stuff that happened the other night:

The realization that Rob and I were actually trapped at Brainwash’s comedy open mike night.

The guy who stood up and finally called one of the unfunny stand-up comedians at Brainwash’s comedy open mike night a “Peckerwood.”

“Girls just don’t get free drinks at the Eagle.”

Jason P actually text-messaged me a one word message: “Schlock.”

“What’s that person doing to that portapotty?!”

“So, I was reading your blog the other day…”

Teaching Brits how to play Thumb War.


What does it mean when a charter bus full of cops pulls into the neighborhood?
Does this mean the Castro is a particular hub of terrorist activities?
Perhaps a murder took place last night while I was watching Les Diaboliques.

Lisa wants a robot dominatrix that will follow her around all day, telling her what to do. That is so much more proactive than my life-time dream of having a helper monkey.


"Behind the clown nose, however, this man appears to have been supporting an industry that trades in the exploitation of children."

I knew there was a reason I didn't like clowns.


Today's Theme: Recommendations from Friends

I've been to the gym three times in the past week. Isn't this one of the signs of the apocalypse or something? The gross thing is that I'm actually starting to like it. It's all Adrienne's fault. She's gone all Olivia Newton John and looks great! I predict Heather is the next to fall under the health club spell.

Brian was right, The Japanese/Polish film Avalon (2001) about a futuristic Eastern Europe dominated by an illegal interactive video game was pretty great, visually. But I have to admit that I often feel like I'm missing out on something with Sci-Fi...like I'm understanding with a 75% accuracy at all times. Doesn't mean I can't enjoy hot Polish chicks with guns.

AND speaking of Polish...
The Good Book: Adam P alerted me to this Polish piece of genius. You have to "manually" turn the pages of the book with your mouse to see all the sky-clad ladies. (Retro raunch...not exactly work safe.)

Ukiah has decided that my next career move should be gaining the title of Sludgette of the Month for Metal-Sludge.com.

My People:
Unearthing Hungary Husband Murders -- Max sent me this article about the interesting phenomenon of the mass extinction of husbands in the village of Nagyrev around the time of WWI.

"The women used to come to Mrs Fazekas with their problems," Mrs Gunya recalls.
She said that when they complained about their drunken or violent husbands, Mrs
Fazekas told them: "If there's a problem with him, I have a simple solution".
That solution was arsenic, distilled by the midwife by soaking flypaper in water.

A Hungarian film called Hukkle (2002) (tagline: "Life, Death, Hiccups") is loosely based on these husband murders...and actually pulls off being a wordless comedy. Parts of Hungary function like a wordless comedy as well.

And as if all this wasn't enough...Joe recommends this gallery of Reflectoporn (yes, photos of reflective items sold on EBay (teapots, etc.), with the naked reflection of the photographer captured therein. Brilliant!


"How do you expect mankind to be happy in pairs when it is miserable separately?"
--Peter De Vries

When a man is stabbed, does the pain lessen at all when the knife is removed?
I've lost my best friend. Will the pain subside when he gets on that airplane?


Pansies and Rough Guys

Bethanne just sent me the lyrics to this old Ruth Etting song about Taxi Dancers:

"Ten Cents a Dance"

Ten cents a dance, that's what they pay me
Gosh, how they weigh me down
Ten cents a dance, pansies and rough guys
Tough guys who tear my gown

Seven to midnight I hear drums
Loudly the saxophone blows
Trumpets are tearing my eardrums
Customers crush my toes

Sometimes I think I've found my hero
But it's a queer romance
All that you need is a ticket
Come on, big boy, ten cents a dance!

Tonight Lisa and I are meeting about the upcoming plans for SpeakEasily! It's really coming together. Prepare to be astounded.
Thanks so much to everyone who has been sharing their ideas and references to bizarre entertainers of the Bay Area. Special thanks to Paul, Count Fink, Joe, Saul Goode, Indra, and of course Lisa ~ cultural revolutionary extrodinaire.


Quote of the day, from Abdel Malik Ali, an imam affiliated with Oakland's Masjid Al Islam mosque, as quoted from his speech at UC Berkeley in an East Bay Express article on Berkeley's dwindling sense for tolerance:

"The Zionist Jews done really messed up," Ali said. "I'm talking about the Zionist Jews, not all Jews, not the Jews who are down with us -- because not all Jews are Zionists. I have to say that, otherwise I'll get called an anti-Semite."

Jews, Heebs, Kikes...lend me your ears. Are you down with us?
This is what Rob would call the appalling state of our peer group today. (Am I right Rob? Please feel free to reword the phrase for maximum Robness...) My Weimar guru Mel Gordon sums it up best earlier in the article:

"It's an obnoxious Berkeley tradition, bringing political agendas into the classroom. And since Berkeley always wants everything in the world to be about Berkeley, Berkeley wants the Israel-Palestine conflict to be about Berkeley."

When the world gets too heavy, look at really hot vintage pictures of Bellydancers and Harem girls.
If that doesn't work, try this extensive collection of Vintage Lovelies.
Or you could always survey the carnage of a pillow fight gone wrong! (Joe...this is really weird! I love it!)


“We have different relationships to our writing.”
That must mean that I’ve been published and he hasn’t.


Am I doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again, caught indefinitely in an unfunny version of Groundhogs Day? At this point, my heart is made entirely out of scar tissue.

The ride home:
An older man with a cane sits next to me at West Oakland station. “Now why would a girl like you look as upset as all that?”
“Men,” I say, as if that were even the tip of the iceberg.

>>The pilot replied: "Why not? WHY don't you like Jews?"
"The Jews sank the Titanic."
The pilot tried to correct him: "NO, NO !! The JEWS didn't sink the Titanic,
It was an ICEBERG !"
"Iceberg, Goldberg, Rosenberg .. no matter ... ALL THE SAME !!"<<

Later, I transfer to a Muni. A very tall, better than average looking fellow whose been staring at me follows me to an empty side of the train. I of course figure that he’s been staring at me because I’m not dressed appropriately or he’s crazy. But I don’t really care. I’m preoccupied with keeping my sunglasses on to cover swollen eyes and testing how long I can hold my breath without getting dizzy. After I sit, he sits right next to me and looks me in the eye. I start to get the idea that he doesn’t speak English. Russian? I try to appear that I’m really interested in the baby in the seat in front of me who is also staring at me, but she’s also singing and eating cookies. The fellow continues to stare at me, so I turn around and look him right in the eye, hoping to give him the opportunity to launch into whatever disturbing stranger-exchange he’s been working on in whatever language. But he doesn’t. He just stares. I do the only rational thing I know how to do…I start laughing. It works. He starts laughing too. But then he stops. And then I stop. I look out the window. He puts his hand on my leg. I can’t believe in this day and age that anyone would ever take such a chance at being slapped/arrested/kick-boxed/sued. While I run through my possibilities (get up and move, lecture him on appropriate behavior, scream rape, cry, deck him one, apologize, ask for his phone number, stab his hand with the pen in my pocket), I sit motionless, looking down at his hand. Castro Street station arrives, which gives me the courage to say, “Excuse you” and then I exit quickly.


Today was Hawaiian shirt day at the office.
Kafka saw his job as a "running start for suicides," as though he were obeying an order that says "You have to earn your grave."
Besides all that, I've also realized that I'm so afraid of being taken advantage of, of being emotionally swindled, that I often do it to myself to beat anyone else to the punch.
It's amazing what a Hawaiian shirt will do.


I couldn’t figure out how to hitch-hike to Ukiah to see Adam’s show at the Ukiah Brewery, but I did get to catch BoyJazz and the Hard Placewith Lisa tonight at the Bottom of the Hill. BoyJazz is really something…imagine the band from Revenge of the Nerds if each member had aspirations to be Ted Nugent. Amid much crotch grabbing and threats from the lead singer to show his piece, these dudes seemed like baby-fat-leaden younger brothers who snuck onto the stage when no one was looking. They played songs with titles like “You +Me=Fight” and “Potfinger.” More bands ought to take a lesson in theatrics from these guys. I hear they are all classically trained musicians. Oh, music majors.

Wog Day Afternoon:
Happy birthday to Paul (last week actually)…he’s invited all of his friends to a gathering in Golden Gate Park Sunday (today already) for his momentous 40th. It’s certain to turn into Ultimate Frisbee madness, at which point I’ll have to take my leave. In the great tradition of most friends of mine, he’s turned his birthday into a weekend long event. Unfortunately I had to miss Day One’s activities: Ironic Party at Hooters. Speculation has it that it is probably only half-irony.

Planning for the upcoming soon-to-be-disclosed project (not so secret anymore, really) has led me to post this on Craigslist…please pass it on to all of your entertainer-type friends!

NEEDED: Magician/Psychic/Mentalist/Entertainers for Weimar-era club
Reply to: speakeasily@gmail.com
Date: 2004-05-07, 9:36PM PDT

A soon-to-be weekly kabarett at a new club opening in Oakland is seeking to book entertainers of the following ilk: magicians, psychics, mentalists, hypnotists, fakirs, occultists, raconteurs, freaks, geeks, strongmen/women, expressionistic dancers, snake charmers, actors who can pretend they are snake charmers and charm me, Magnus Hirschfeld-esque lecturers, burlesque troupes, Apache dancers, hunger artists…you are our people.

Our Weimar-era club is looking to put mystical, sexy, and possibly befuddling acts between music and burlesque sets. Ideally, we’re looking for Hanussen, but we’ll probably take Tiny Tim as well. Our goal is simple: to provide Weimar-era perversions for the fine people of the Bay Area, Oakland style.

Please email me with links to your website or a detailed description of what it is that you do. Please only send photos if you do not have a website. I’ll contact you with an audition date, which will take place at the club.


"My friends and I are always talking about being from Fresno," he said. "It's one of those badge of honors to say you are from the Valley."
--Mark Armstrong of FresYes, quoted in this Fresno Bee article.

I was planning on catching Bart Davenport at the Bottom of the Hill tonight, but I’m feeling a shut-in moment coming on. Besides, I'm getting up bright and early to sell merch with Desmond at the Fair Oaks block sale! Please swing by Fair Oaks and 23rd, especially if you are a size 3-6 in dresses or if you like really used books.

For Ukiah:
You watched The Adventures of Ford Fairlane over and over again until you vomited blood.
Your book was chosen to be an Oprah’s Book of the Month Club selection.
You eat yellow snow.


Fragments (because that’s just how I am):

Monday night Lisa called with FREE (my favorite word) tickets to see Air at Oakland’s historic Paramount Theater. It was a groovy laser light show worthy of Pink Floyd and now I can’t stop listening to “Talkie Walkie.” Nicholas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel are pretty funny for being French. One of them (I can’t remember which one) said, “It’s great to be here in San Francisco!” Everyone in the audience just sort of looked confused. Later Dunckel says through a vocoder, “It is our last night in America and we are sad, but we still want to dance.” It was really great to have some time with Lisa.
By the way, you can play Pong on the Air website.

Tonight I’m researching Weimar perversions for an upcoming cabaret project, which will be disclosed at a later date. But I will say this about that: It's going to be the bees' pajamas, ok. If anyone knows a psychic/magician type ala Hanussen, please get in touch with me.

A coworker came across this while searching Google for bacon: “Fischer's...The Smile Makin' People.”

Let me tell you all a thing or two about Flexeril…uh…what was I talking about?