Saturday, August 30, 2003

Did I mention that -Northfork- sucked?

Yesterday, drove. Into the smog. Cabazon (books); Souplantation in Upland (Alta Loma)?

Spend too much money in AZ; coming in a little over my monthly budget. Good reason to do more work, earn more money. If I'm honest, the trip was sort of a washout workwise; but what isn't. Today I should be writing about Lacy and Rudd, but I've been listening to public radio all day. What's with me?

"People can't define a musical genre without being racist." Best thing I've heard Stephen Merritt say in a long time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

desert deserter desertest

blankflag snaps towel-stiff against the canton of the

Sunday, August 24, 2003

je vous drais un sange (sp?)

moldy bread found in street
during monsoon
as if it had come down with the rain
and rotted on the way

hear storm outside movie theater
like being in a fiction oneself

cartoonist in Ike's

better today, reshuffling

embellish/Cinderellish (E.Y. Harburg's my D.F. Wallace)

album-length cover of Roxy Music's -Avalon- (Buckner)

-Best In Show- outtakes (Craig)

great new Hammond in his studio

Saturday, August 23, 2003

More work frustrations the last couple of days. Thurs. revised (on paper) about 14 pages, started entering them Fri. morning, rented laptop ate my floppy w/in three or four saves. Re-did a little of that work this a.m., realized I didn't really want to do it in shitty wordpad or Word Perfect (on which I couldn't see my footnotes), went up to Kinko's, forgot my disks, back to Congress, picked up disks, dithered in the bookstore I like but hadn't been into yet this trip, back to Kinko's, figured shit out -- including a screwy system of sending myself the files to I could work at Filthy's Internet Convenience Store (where I am now, during a monsoon, having just closed all the porn windows that the guy two computers away from me had left up), which seems to be ok, except the monsoon cut the power here for about 10 minutes -- fortunately, all I lost was a graph on fictional worlds, thanks to autorecover. Anyway, back at Kinko's (2nd trip), next to thoroughly annoying people trying to color-print wedding reception invitations (blah and bleh announce the formal union of their families) with an attention-seeking kid in tow. Coudn't concentrate on getting a certain point right (dumb, too, just something about the origins of intention based semantics), so after a while, and 12 dollars of paid for time, got a burrito and went to the -other- bookstore across the street, where I bought books on natural language semantics and ab ex like it's a nervous habit. Then to nearby library, where I did manage to at least REARRANGE my 75 plus-page typescript into the appropriate sections. By the end of this trip, I'm going to throw said away and have a clean running copy -- there was more maundering in there than I thought. Must, just -must- do about 10 pages of -something- a day between now and Bree's return. (Spoke to her again yesterday a.m., by the way, continuing to improve and about to go to London.) Then to Filthy's, where I am now and which I already in part described, managed to enter the same revisions for what seems like and may well be the THIRD time before the monsoon hit.

I'd rather be writing a poem or a song but I feel guilty and have no inspiration. In a different mood, I'd be going over to Wavelab to see how Buckner is faring, or going with Nick to Bisbee, or something, but all this crap between me and my mind is making movement impossible. Yeah, and -other- books, inc. an old edition of Tennis Court Oath yesterday (I bought -Meditations In An Emergency-, which I'd never had, a few days ago). This is exactly the kind of spewing use of language I kind of hate; I want precision, and I've got a slurry. Did buy some thrift-store shirts/shoes at Value Village for a change. Oh yeah, and I bloated myself like mad at an Indian lunch buffet yesterday. What am I resisting; what has drained my will and inspiration. The great irony is that as I feel more empty, I get more 'famous' -- I win a Godard tape on eBay and the seller asks if I'm Franklin from Nothing Painted Blue, same from a random Friendster contact who wrote b/c I put Cavell on my favorite authors list and she took his last undergraduate class, plus Pomona College wants to do a short interview (how can I -not- come off badly in that one?), even the guy who rented me the laptop vaguely knew I'm in a band. Oh, Rael got me about $300 on eBay for some tapes and posters.

Jenny's suggestion for writing fiction: Get two ideas for stories, write one in full on braniac style and the other in the terser style I would -like- my fiction to be in. Only take a week or so on each, so they're not the biggest deal in the world. I don't know about this, though I've got the ideas -- first a story about identical twin contemporary classical musicians ('Independence of Parts') and the other about that piece of mail with $400 bucks in it I got the first week or two I lived on Bronson. Put everything in, take everything out. But she's partially write -- what's wrong with my creativity right now is that everything is a big deal. I've written great songs, so every song has to be a 'major work.' Maybe I'll go see 'Northfork' tonight.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Later on Tuesday -- finally got Bree on the phone, though it still looks as though emails aren't going through. She seems to be better -- apparently the problem has been tardive dyskenesia caused by the ephedrine, and the headaches were caused by trying to control it. She sounded really relieved, and a lot happier. Had lunch w/ J and Convertino at Pico de Gallo, J left town, I didn't do much after. Saw some of Drive-By Truckers' set -- seemed like together, reasonably exciting Southern rock, w/ one singer a lot better than the other, but w/o the lyrics' being audible, I couldn't judge what's supposed to be special about them.

Wed. More dithering, saw swimming pool, finished a David Bromige chapbook and -Art Into Pop-, started Philip Roth's -I Married A Communist- (I don't know why I wanted to read this, Roth doesn't usually appeal to me, maybe it's the connection with Cohen's ex-Marxism). Saw -Swimming Pool-, more than decent, nicely composed and paced, rather Highsmithish with a good matter-of-fact bury-the-body scene. Met Buckner and drummer briefly in bar in early evening (Nick Luca Trio playing lowkey set), more approachable, even goofy, than I'd have thought. Forgot I'd played a show with his old band The Doubters around '94. I do get around.

Thurs. Felt like I didn't do much, but did in fact write one poem-like thing, my KSPC program guide piece, and did some MS revisions on Chapter 1. Which I'll now enter. Saw some of The Human League's show at what was, in all particulars, a dimly-lit Hooters called City Lights. Looked good, and it was fairly interesting watching the backing musicians (good dreadlocked synsonics drummer adding to the programmed rhythm, gtrist/keyboardist who looked like Jennifer Jason Leigh playing Dorothy Parker, and a fat guy on laptop and fan.) Oakley's shorter than you'd imagine and in almost unchanged voice, the blonde gal is well preserved, the brunette less so, but their combined singing ability is limited to getting the words right. Highlight by far, "Seconds."

5 by 8 by 15 pallet of new Harry Potter books, a few taken and slightly disarrayed like a Carl Andre but bluer.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Mon -- Incredible frustration (and finally, no success) with getting my remote call forwarding working. Richard, Bree, and my mom persist in leaving messages at home, even though they have my goddamn cell number. Otherwise -- found new/used bookstore near Congress that opened since I was last here. Owner (?) is a poet, knows Martin and Cathy in Utah, had some excellent small press stuff. Sold the books I'd intended to take to Bookman's to her Wed., got a new Elmslie/Trevor Winkfield chapbook, Blegvad's -Leviathan-, and a few others. Pico de Gallo in evening, amazing as always. '80s night, not so hot, it'd be more fun if Jenny was much on dancing
Oh, yeah, we also saw Le Divorce; J. review: "Le shitpile." Apparent ref. to Rene Clair footage (wrong to call it a documentary) I saw in LA a few weeks ago.
Today -- Similar, more non-response from emails to France (though phone msg says she got my mom's; and that she's a lot better). Will probably see Drive-By Truckers.

A little poetry this morning and yesterday afternoon, nothing brilliant. Not really in a productive mode yet, partly or entirely b/c of this suspense about Bree's condition.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Got those 3 cmj reviews done yesterday, under duress and having very little to say about one of them. That was the bulk -- otherwise, read a late, weak Highsmith short story collection and a bit of Frith's -Art Into Pop-. Big plate of ribs and tripe (paradilla) for dinner, more rummy and tequila with Jenny. Fairly relaxing except for trying to tear bad prose out of myself.

Haven't actually spoken to Bree -- hard to do international calls from a hotel-room rotary phone. (That's a title, also: 'Aimless Class.'

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Wed. Trip to Cedars -- Bree dizzy (anxiety or physical symptom) before I got there, stern lecture from one Dr. Katz on the completely unregulated nature of 'nutritional supplements,' ibuprofin and one under-the-tongue Atavin (making her horny as wine), plus some Vicadin for the road.

Thurs. I spent a calming hour in the French-colony-in-Africa-styled cafe (can't remember name) on Sunset, while readin the Highsmith novel, which has a similar setting. Will go back Blackout that afternoon, just after I sent a pitch to The Believer, which got queued for days. That sounds like -I- had a blackout; no, it was New York. Got Bree off on the plane later Thurs. Overeating. Th. and Fri. also, tons of errands, little real work. Managed to get Stark Reality piece done this a.m. at 'rents before driving to Tucson. Made great time, 7 hrs and a little change. Blacky Ranchette, Isobel Campbell (B&S never came), Stones Throw comp., Stroffolino's record (better than I'd feared). Pleasant dinner (BBQ) with Jenny, rummy and drinks in her room, I vented about Bree (also had discussion with parents until almost 3 a.m. last night). It's trying.

Article about the high-school assembly industry. Death and the musical. We might not have seen eye to eye/but at least we were facing each other.

Funny how these Highsmith novels do seem to reflect my life in various ways. Elaborate?

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Stigmata : Cross-ventilation

Situation with Bree has not improved, at least her symptoms haven't. I've convinced her, I think, to stop going to Dr. Charny (sp?). The last patch of dropper-bottles included colloidal silver (snake-oil bullshit) and fucking DOPAMINE! (Of which John D. said, it's good for a hot night on the town.) But she's still got this pressure in the head, and the Benadryl hasn't relieved her symtoms. A visit to my parents helped calm her down temporarily, but I have to tell her frequently not to panic. I honestly think this will work itself out, but her mental state is not good. I'm taking her to the emergency room at Cedars' today.

It's all horrible; and making it damn hard to get my own tasks done. Selfish, but this is so tiring, and my concern is balanced (cut) by my feeling that it's self-inflicted.

Sunday -- Lucksmiths at Sea Level, Party of One at Spaceland. Monday, my radio show, but the computer was down so coudn't blog in the playlist. Doing Padgett's show Thursday, so maybe I'll be able to go back and find Mon's playlist as well. Tuesday -- about 1/2 of Eastside Sinfonetta's set at Echo, left after a few WACO songs; didn't seem like the songs were that well integrated with the orchestral stuff (about a dozen players on stage), and that Stephen guy plays piano too hard.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

T and W, up in SF with Chris Lee and Michael Zapruder. Nice, well-received show, ran into Chris Stroffolino and a friend of Annick's. Wed. went out to San Leandro, bookstore was closed but found a few things at Salvation Army, and had huge luck at Green Apple -- near complete run of Nancy's Magazine, and better credit than expected, courtesy George Albon.

Bree had a terrible reaction to the Chinese medicinal herbs while I was gone, stayed at her half-sister Drew's one night and friend Harry's the next. (The latter was very sweet and calm, attempting to do some online research into the drug, with little luck -- the translation of the Korean name is 'Cold Wind.')

The above is very trying -- Bree's problems (which are caused by her own actions in complex ways) are wearing me down. I don't know if I can imagine living out my life around this sort of thing. "I need you so much." I need someone who I can need -- I'm no pillar of strength. I could go on quite a bit about this.

This a.m. took her to her car and went to see Shockproof in Santa Monica, an ok Sirk noir it seems I'd seen before. Maybe a waste of my time, but hell. Tonight, Only Angels Have Wings and To Have and Have Not at LACMA. Going to try to watch Ray Johnson doc at D&K's inbetween.

Reading more Highsmith, now on the 2nd of the Ripley novels.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Paper, someday: Does the notion of 'moral progress' hide consequentialist assumptions?

More than a week since last entry. I think that all that's happened is: Finished off the logic class, saw Ted Leo/Oranges Band on Tue. 29, played piano for Chris Lee in SD on Sat. and here at the KF on Sun.. Clams galore, though the new Korg came in handy. Nice hanging out w/ him and Michael Zapruder, who opened -- latter has interesting job analyzing musical similarity between pop songs for some online search service. His songs show it, kind of -- "Don't Say A Word," is a successful enough "Don't Explain" rewrite to have fooled me. Anyway, same gig tomorrow in SF.

Nice response from booker at Club Congress. Driven crazy by consumer-goods threads -- am I that guy? (I know I'm not explaining this.)

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