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Oct. 12th, 2008 12:14 am
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  • 10:40 A moment of self realization--I am pro-Zorro. #
  • 13:04 To clarify: I am not a professional Zorro. Rather, on the question of Zorro, you may score me firmly in favor. Fairbanks si! Banderas, meh. #
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badatapologies: (suzi quatro 1974)
"I'm going to stop playing when I'm 67 and work on what I really want to do, which is to be a minister, like Little Richard." -- Carlos Santana, in an interview with Rolling Stone.
badatapologies: (plan 9--tor and vampira)
I also note the passing of the original Mr. Clean, House Peters Jr, a journeyman character heavy in westerns and sci-fi serials of the 40s, 50s and 60s, and son of the silent film actor. Peters gets short shrift at wikipedia, but Mr. Clean's entry is a ripping good read, with a bizarre stream-of-consciousness timeline that is written, as the Wikipedia editors like to say, in an in-universe style. Some highlights:
"In the winter of 1963 Mr. Clean played a police officer "Grimefighter" who really arrested dirt problems...In April 1965 Mr. Clean got mad at dirt and appeared as "New, Mean Mr. Clean." In the spring of 1966 Mr. Clean played "two-fisted" grime fighter, who knocked out dirt with one hand and left the shine with the other. In spring 1966 Mr. Clean...grew whiskers for brute strength, had a black eye to show floor "shiner" and testified in court against dirt. In Spring 1968 Mr. Clean was a "Changed Man" and was reformulated to include pine aroma and better cleaning "in the bucket." In the summer of 1974 "Two Fisted Mr. Clean" was introduced, who was great at cleaning on one hand and on the other hand he leaves what's shiny gleaming."

Yes. And in 1991 Mr. Clean was found slumped over the wheel of his Lexus in Newport Beach, smelling faintly of astroglide and ham, a loaded revolver and a baggie containing a gram of "magic eraser" on the passenger seat. Mr. Clean told authorities that dirt had "set him up" and that this time he would "get that son of a bitch once and for all."

No, no. I can't prove that happened. But dirt had better have one hell of an alibi for the night of Mr. Peters' death. Did you know that in Europe, Mr. Clean is known as "Mr. Proper"? Because Europeans took one look at that package and said "how can we make this gayer?" Why not just go all the way and call it "Mr. Fastidious, Extremely Handsome Bachelor Who Wears One Earring And A Tank Top, Lives In A Loft, Works Out A Lot, Likes House Music, Has Numerous Male Friends And Bakes A Heavenly Tiramisu"?

Typography issues, I'm guessing. In Mexico he's known as Don Limpio, which, I mean, write your own joke there.

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Sep. 29th, 2008 12:11 am
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  • 16:27 Separated at birth: WNBA President Donna Orender and Moonlighting's Allyce Beasley. It's eerie I tell you. #

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Edit: No, seriously:

The WNBA's Donna Orender and Moonlighting's Allyce Beasley: Separated At Birth?

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Sep. 22nd, 2008 12:10 am
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  • 15:51 wishing I was at the Emmys with Hodgman. #
  • 16:32 Yankees just introduced Lou Gehrig and Casey Stengel--who then ran onto the field. Hey, it IS the 1930s again! #
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My father loved George Harrison. No, it was beyond that, but I don't know the right word. "Idolized" doesn't feel right. But George inspired my dad musically and spiritually, and their lives had many parallels. And it was one area where I knew I could reach him. For what ended up being his last birthday, I'd bought him George's final album Brainwashed, which he loved. The night he died, I ran out and bought a copy of All Things Must Pass. I thought maybe it would be a comfort for him to hear it.

So the other morning I was up early. I drove Wendy to work and then, on the drive home, "All Things Must Pass" came on the radio. At that moment I was driving by the cemetery where my father was buried. So I thought--well, that's odd. Perhaps I should go say hello.

I pulled off the highway, down the frontage road and through the old iron gates. Past the unbearably sick-smelling mausoleum where my grandfather sits uneasy on a shelf, and past the long dead, the strange and ancient headstones out of a Hammer horror film, to the new section. My father's buried in a grassy field, a field that's mostly empty, still waiting patiently for its happily oblivious future residents.

I parked in the usual spot and walked to the usual place in the usual way, triangulating by that big bench-headstone over there and that huge marble orb on the north.

And he wasn't there.

I mean, what I mean to say is, his headstone, anyway, was gone. I walked around that field a dozen times, front to back and side to side. He wasn't there. Just grass in the place where he should have been. A sensible girl would have gone to the office and asked if he'd left a forwarding address. I was too bewildered to think of it, too unsure of myself despite the comical thoroughness of my search. My aunt had mentioned, a few weeks ago, that his headstone had water stains, but when I called her--and brother, did I call her--she knew nothing about it being removed or replaced.

I checked on another couple of relatives--who knows, could be plan 9?--but they were fine. Poorly tended, but fine. I scraped off the layers of leaves and pine needles and crabgrass and dirt, paid my respects and went on my way. A lot of my family is buried out there. I don't expect I'll ever be one of them. When my dad got sick, his sister/my aunt was diagnosed with cancer almost at the exact same time. Ever the optimist, my grandmother immediately decided to buy funeral plots for everyone in the family so they could all be together, so she bought my dad one, and my aunt, and my aunt's three children. Everyone in her family. Pointedly omitting yours truly. The first and hopefully the last time I will ever have my heart broken by somebody not buying me a grave.

The stupid things I get upset about. I'd rather be eaten by a chupacabra than have to spend eternity in Phoenix, anyway. Maybe my dad felt the same way? One more tour? I don't know. Maybe that Javert-wannabe cop who hounded him till the day he died over petty and meaningless drug charges had him incarcerated post-mortem. But I hope not. I hope he and George are up there playing dueling sitars on cloud nine. Or something vastly better and impossible to conceive.
badatapologies: (suzi quatro 1974)

Gentlemen Afterdark at the Stumble Inn, January 29, 1984 Brian Smith, Gentlemen Afterdark reunion, Club Congress, August 30, 2008



It has been a long time since I dropped everything and drove a few hundred miles on the spur of the moment just to see a band. Okay, I'm starting with a lie: I did it three weeks ago for Brian Wilson. But when I went to see Brian Wilson, I was a serious grown-up music aficionado going to see an exclusive chi-chi VIP taping of a not-at-his-best music legend on a movie studio lot. Tonight I was a kid again in all the right ways. Tonight I saw the band that used to be the future of rock and roll. Tonight I saw Gentlemen Afterdark. Live.

Read more... )
badatapologies: (Archy)
Well, it's that time again. Time to put answers to the most pressing questions of our time, as submitted by the Livejournal Writer's Block apocalyptic suicide cult. Keep your testicles on, boys, it's only a meteor.

once more with detachment! )
badatapologies: (Default)
The fine folks at KOOL-FM were out at the ballpark tonight and I pried from their hot little hands the Rhino 2-disc special edition of Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul, one of my favorite vinyl LPs. Because I love soul music. They also gave me sunscreen and lip balm. Because I chafe. And they gave me a KOOL-FM notepad. Because I forget stuff. I salute you, KOOL-FM.

When I was a kid I was a frequent guest on their sister station on the AM. I would call in and say annoying genius kid things. Commenting on current events, answering callers' questions, explaining convoluted scientific principles in layman's terms, handicapping upcoming elections, you name it. They'd talk to me for 20, 30 minutes at a time, a couple of times a week, it was a regular scheduled thing. At the time I felt this was my well-earned big break in the show business, but now I think I was only entertaining because of my extreme oddness. And that it was only cute when I was nine. But I did get tons of free albums and t-shirts out of the deal. Stuff is the consolation prize God gives us for failure and death, you know. It's swag from the Demiurge, a nice parting gift, the eschatological equivalent of a year's supply of Rice-a-Roni. Play your cards right and you can console yourself with Van Gogh's Irises, or a mint Honus Wagner card, or a stereo first-state butcher cover, or...what I've got, which is the home game--a bunch of unboxed, beat up old toys, 8,000 LPs of varying quality, a few crates full of TV guides and Beta tapes and 8-tracks, and the "A-An" volume of every encyclopedia printed between 1969 and 1978. See, back in the 70s, grocery stores would often sell encyclopedias, and the first volume was always either free-with-purchase or under a buck, which means that every birthday, every Christmas, my dirt-poor (or dirt-cheap) family would present me with yet another "A" volume of whatever encyclopedia was in vogue that year. Future volumes were always some insane amount like $2.99 or $5.99 or something, and as you know that alphabet has got a lot of goddamn letters, and Pabst Blue Ribbon isn't going to buy itself.

So I'd sit there like a chump and voraciously read everything I could about Roald Amundsen, or the Aardvark, or Albania. Damn you, King Zog.

The B's through Z's remain a blissful mystery to me. Because I was educated in--yes, you guessed it--Arizona. And it was awful. Abysmal, you might say.

So somewhere I still have the A's. I worked a lot as a kid, saved my leks and eventually bought a secondhand encyclopedia set from a going-out-of-reading sale at a library in Raton, New Mexico in 1983. I still have that too, but it was an encyclopedia from the 50s, which is why I'm so hep to Dave Garroway and Mr. Muggs, I assume. Speaking of trained monkeys doing tricks on talk shows.

But yes. I have many things. This is what we literary types call symbolism, the physical embodiment of some nebulous concept. In this case, I assume the hamhanded author in question is trying to convey to you the idea of baggage, emotional or otherwise. It's not all me. A lot of it is leftovers from people who've died, which seems weird to me now. At one time I thought of it all as a treasure, and I still do, but lately I've begun to wonder if it isn't all some kind of beyond-the-grave way of them making me look after them, as I did in life, still, forever. Preserving these small pieces of who they were. No, wait, it sounds like a treasure again. But you know, when it's dark like this and I'm riding this annoying melancholy thing, I wish they'd cared as much about me as I care about all their stupid crap. Even half as much.

It's not my fault, it's Otis. He's got the blues. He's dead too. Left me one of his treasures here.

Anyway. We'll stop that right there, because it's Friday, and everybody's a winner on Friday. You, especially, so get out there and slap life right on the ass, champ. I'll be cheering for you.

The Diamondbacks won, by the way. And Ketchup won the condiment race again, the bastard. I had everything on relish. Relish was due.
badatapologies: (please stand by)
They tried to warn you it would destroy the universe. But no, you wouldn't listen. You dismissed them as crackpots, kooks, pseudoscientific quacks. But now, witness the full horrors science has unleashed. This is on your head, skeptics. J'accuse!*


*yes, I also oppose the unlawful jailing of Richard Dreyfuss.
badatapologies: (Archy)
When you're writing a treatment and typing the word "history" and you look down at the page and you've inadvertently typed "shitroy".


Remember, shitroy is written by the winners.
badatapologies: (blonde venus)
Periodically, noted American minx [livejournal.com profile] mcbrennan answers pertinent, cutting edge questions from the befuddled hive mind, helping to cut through the fog of 21st century living and tell it like it is. Also, sometimes she writes about herself in the third person.

now is the winter of our dis content )
badatapologies: (iron eyes cody)
Just between you and me, I'm starting to feel a little like Colonel Henry Blake's plane.
badatapologies: (caitie austin 2006)
Just a reminder: Peter Frampton watches you when you're sleeping, and he wants to take your love.


I'm in Phoenix. The lovely girlfriend and I took in a Diamondbacks game this evening. They lost by nine runs to the Kansas City Royals, so you can tell that was a real whopper of a contest. But we had a great time, and after the game we were lucky enough to see Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers in concert. You'll hear younger bands, hipper bands, edgier bands in your life, but I don't think you'll see a better live rock show than these guys. Clyne was in the Refreshments back in the 90s and you've heard their hits even if you can't name 'em (he's probably the only alternative rocker to name-check Jean-Luc Picard in a hit single). If they come to your town you will enjoy seeing them perform.

I'll be down here until late in the month, when I will no longer be down here. Beyond that it's as much a mystery to me as it is to you, dear reader.

Current events commentary: I am sorry Tim Russert died, because I quite liked him. I am doubly sorry R. Kelly was acquitted. I am also sorry John McCain's adult-baby lifestyle has not yet been revealed to the public. That last one's just between us. "Senator Woogums", she calls him. It ain't right.

I am looking forward to wildly misinterpreting Sunday night's all-new episode of Venture Bros.


Now here's a video to brighten your Sunday. You have probably already seen it as you are cooler than me. Enjoy.


badatapologies: (KTTV)



Gonna miss you, Mr. Korman.

Excuse me?

May. 18th, 2008 12:45 am
badatapologies: (matterhorn mel)
I was browsing some old Disneyland brochures and I came across this one from 1962, extolling the virtues of the old Mine Train. And what virtues!


Larry Craig, Happy Mouseketeer



And this is nothing. Just wait till you see Reacharound Caverns.
badatapologies: (Default)
The last slice of bread in the house. The last little bit of peanut butter. Me, hungry. Barren cupboards. It's this or half a purple onion. I make the half a sandwich. Hm, smells good.

The housemate's big brown dog jumps up on me, to try and steal my sandwich. Repeatedly. Oy with the jumping. I set my sandwich down on the desk and forcibly eject the very bad dog from my room.

...and the housemate's little chihuahua sneaks up behind me, jumps up on the desk, gobbles the sandwich in three big gulps and runs like hell.



When you're 25 it's all bohemian and cute. When you're 39, it's a cautionary tale for others.



The Michael Powell marathon on TCM was some comfort. As are these Rudolf Valentino silents they're showing all morning. Fun.
badatapologies: (grandma shoots)
Up all night researching the wonderful history of the Sutro Baths (even in ruins, still my favorite place in San Francisco) and whether the Large Hadron Collider is really going to destroy the universe or rupture the Poincaré-Einstein-Minkowski manifold, spewing out mad little D-brane wormholes into which I could escape across time to...the Sutro Baths. Because at the end of the universe, a good solid Victorian...swim is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Being a bit dyslexic, I really enjoyed typing and then retyping "Hadron collider" five times just now. Remember, physicists, take Leonard Cohen's advice and don't go home with your hadron.

So yes. Still have this blog then. The lease was up today but I renewed it, so you'll have another exciting year of infrequent and scientifically unsound posts to look forward to. About 20 of 'em, if present productivity is any indication.

Lots going on. Nothing I can pin on Poincaré, but lots of chaos and speedy changes. Back in Phoenix, lovely girlfriend is recovering well from the DVT so that is very good news. Here in Berkeley, lovely housemate had a good job interview today so that looks promising. I am writing while concurrently preparing for a potential move in the near future. Lots of non-fun (but non-acrimonious, really) legal stuff with the ex going on, a process that can surely only be improved by a planet-destroying chain-reaction-fusion-strangelet-cascade.

Then again, let's not. Despite the fact that its sheeting action would leave the galaxy virtually spotless.

My great-grandma Ida Mae Owen, who raised me from the time I was six, was born on this day in 1901. Here she is now, off to college in 1917.

Ida Mae Bell Owen - 1917

She was amazingly cool. Lived a long and adventurous life. Filled my head with a world of stories about places and people long past. She would have loved the time-travel. I miss her.
badatapologies: (blonde venus)
Happiest of birthdays to the amazingly awesome [livejournal.com profile] tender_buttons, who is, as I may have mentioned, pretty darned great. May this year bring you much happiness!

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