badatapologies: (Default)
2009-08-25 02:59 am

(no subject)

The words fly like fire
Burn through me, consume me
What's left now, here,
when late adolescence turns
too late acquiescence

I was a fortuneteller once
But it was fake, a gig for Sony
Had a crystal ball, but all it saw
was half off back catalog.

It gnaws at me now
That part that wants peace more than victory
Make it stop
Stay, enough, no mas.
Is this the turn in the road, then?
Shorter days, shorter seasons ahead
With so much undone, so much not even tried.
What's the consolation? Excuses? Good reasons why.
A list of the wrongs inflicted, the damage done
for the insurance adjuster who will never come.

Let it consume me then.
Let me burn bright, god, please, let me fuel something beautiful,
some kind of meaning in this darkness.
I want a path now, one step,
show me forward
I don't want to look behind anymore.
badatapologies: (Default)
2009-06-25 03:57 pm

Human Nature

Forget the tragic tabloid death, the skeezy 90s/00s behavior, the circus sideshow that was his life from "Thriller" on. I'll always remember Michael Jackson as he was in the late 60s/70s--a joyful, exuberant kid with just boundless musical gifts. I think anyone who grew up in the 60s or 70s knows what I'm talking about. The Jackson 5 were everywhere. Late night talk shows, variety shows, Saturday morning cartoons. The records were fantastic. Listen to the Miracles' feeble original version of "Who's Lovin' You" and then play the Jackson 5 version, and listen to 10-year old Michael school Smokey on how it's done. I didn't share the national fascination with "Thriller"--I thought "Off The Wall" was vastly superior--but I think you see the last of the "real" Michael in the playfulness of some of Thriller's videos, and a few of the tracks are still pretty great. After that, unlimited fame and wealth did what it does. I think anybody who truly wants to be famous has not been paying attention. In the coming days, in the onslaught of tweets, commentary, lionization, deification, ridiculous Al Sharpton news conferences, terrible tribute albums, etc, I'm just going to remember that joyous, soulful kid who rocked the Apollo. And hope he found some kind of peace in the next world, because there's too damned little of it here.
badatapologies: (blonde venus)
2009-03-24 02:44 am

Los Angeles, I'm Yours

I'm momentarily (and unexpectedly) in LA tonight. My sweetie had a last-minute job-interview thing here so we hurried over, and will be hurrying back Tuesday afternoon, but for the moment, hurrah. I've already done my prerequisite watch-the-sun-come-up-at-Canter's breakfast and feel like a proper 80s rock casualty. In the morning it's breakfast at Nat's Early Bite, a visit to the Big Kid Toy Emporium and then back to Phoenix for a bit.

So, a nice bit of news--I don't think I mentioned it here yet, but I'm featured in this month's Curve magazine...the one with Katy Perry on the cover, yes. It's a very generous and supportive profile and it's much appreciated (and it's not on the website so visit your local newsstand/bookseller and check it out...Borders and B&N carry it...)

I'm doing a bit better healthwise since I last wrote. Working on a ridiculous script I kind of love even though it is unlikely to advance the cause of commercial success. I'm hopeful this year will bring good things.

Could really go for one of those Canter's omelets tonight but I need to sleep. Just saying hi. Hope you're doing well.
badatapologies: (blonde venus)
2009-02-07 06:11 pm

Interweb Boomerang

Hey, this throwaway "lost and found" ad I wrote on November 5th somehow ended up on the best of craigslist. I'd totally forgotten about it until one of my Facebook friends linked to it...not knowing I wrote it. The internet is weird.
badatapologies: (criswell predicts)
2009-01-20 03:04 am

Change We Once Believed In

As we enter a new and doubtless marvelous epoch, perhaps you'll enjoy a look back at these wondrous postcard visions of the 21st century as envisioned by a French artist around the turn of the last century.

The site is in French but basically what it says* is that the twelve-panel scenes were likely food-box giveaways that illustrate our grandparents' idea of the year 2000--inventions to improve our daily life and work, studies and travel/exploration (this description sort of glosses over the several innovative new war machines) "but curiously, the fashion (clothing) remains that of the Belle Epoque"--a point not lost on local steampunkophiliacs, I suspect. The link popped up on BoingBoing and MeFi a couple of years back. IT REMAINS EVER RELEVANT.

There are actually several amazing pages on the National Library of France's site looking at past visions of the utopian future (and its nightmarish alternatives), if you're into that sort of thing. And if you don't trust the wily French, how can you go wrong with what the Victorian-era Germans have planned for the 20th century? Utopia, I'll bet! (Bless you, Paleo-Future...)

If none of that will do, enjoy this Criswell album instead, courtesy of these cool cats. I sincerely hope that whatever the future brings, it's better than the past eight years. Somehow.


___
*two semesters junior high school French, circa 1982, thank you very much.
**they were more likely cigarette cards than food-box art if you ask me, which yes you did.
***also, I suspect many of these drawings were intentionally fanciful and over-the-top. Our ancestors were not complete idiots.
badatapologies: (home sweet home)
2008-12-24 03:38 am

Merry Chrimble, Moody House!

Christmas Eve. This used to be the big event for my family, which is to say my mom's side of the family, which was all the family I ever had for at least half my life. We always got together and opened gifts and had our big Christmas dinner and celebrated on Christmas eve, so much so that when I found out most people didn't open their presents until Christmas morning it seemed strange and bizarre and I didn't believe it. Opening presents in daylight? In the morning? How can you enjoy the tree and the Christmas lights in daytime? How can you have Christmas dinner at 10am? Doesn't make any damn sense. Oh, sure, on Christmas morning Santa (aka my Grandma) would have brought me maybe one surprise item, or some chocolates or a satsuma in my stocking, but nothing major. It was just a little bonus stuff. Later I came to understand that for most people it was exactly the reverse--maybe, maybe they'd get one gift on Christmas eve. When I was in my teens I reconnected with my dad's side of the family, and the wisdom of our Christmas eve family gathering became apparent to me. It freed everyone up to go spend Christmas day with another branch of their family. With all those broken homes and in-laws and whatnot, it was almost a necessity. I've had a lot of Christmas day events in the past 20-plus years, but none of them were ever as sweet, or felt more like Christmas, than those Christmas Eves in the trailer with my Grandma and the family.

How are you supposed to sleep with all those unopened presents? It makes no sense! Bah.

I was, and this should not surprise you at all, the Christmas Elf. Starting when I was about 7, every year on Thanksgiving night I'd wait until my grandma was fast asleep and put up all the decorations myself, haul the little artificial tree out of the shed, stay up til 3am trying every bulb in every string until I'd assembled one string of lights that worked. For you youngsters, in the olden days when one Christmas light would burn out, the whole string would stop working. This was to make you go buy new lights every year, but we outsmarted them by never having enough money to replace the lights, so I had to do some electrical engineering. The resulting fires were minimal and easily extinguished.

I suppose it does weird things to you when you're saddled with adult responsibilities (or adult indifference) at that age. I did most of the family Christmas shopping in the discount bins at the Revco or Ben Franklin, decorated the trailer inside and out, bought and signed and stamped and mailed the Christmas cards, sometimes even bought my own gifts, but I still believed in Christmas and Santa and all the magical things youngsters believe in. I used to obsess over how Santa would get in, since we didn't have a chimney. In fact sometimes I suspected that's why he didn't stop. But on the night of the 24th, every alley cat running across the roof of the trailer was a right jolly old elf and his eight tiny reindeer. Eight tiny meowing in-heat reindeer. I believed against all sense, against that nagging voice in the back of my head that says "no, you know, there's no Santa, there's no magic, you're it, it's just you." Same sort of voice that comes up when one's desperate nightly prayers to God are returned Attempted Not Known. Sometimes you need things to be true even when you know they're not.

In the intervening years I did my best to keep Christmas going, and in so doing, try and keep the family together, so that we'd see each other at least one day a year. But my grandmas died a couple of years back, and my young nephew died this year, which devastated everyone, and now the family's just fallen apart. My sister moved to South Dakota, and the rest of us--well. My mom pretty much canceled Christmas, though we're all getting together for some kind of a dinner tonight, at my aunt and uncle's place. I was admonished that there would be no gifts or merriment allowed, but needless to say I'd already got them all a few very modest items so they will have to like it or lump it. I doubt Cost Plus will take back the pretzels. But I get the feeling this may be the last time we all--well, what's left of us--get together for Christmas.

These things happen. Life is brief. You have to cherish the times you get. Etc. I'll be mumbling those mantras to myself later today. And there'll be Christmas with friends, with my sweetie, with my dad's side of the family, and lots of good things. Families of choice. Unwitting members of my karass. What-have-you. I'm grateful for all of it.

And I'm grateful for you, too, dear friends. Since I probably won't have another opportunity to say this, have a happy Christmas. In the words of Lou Reed, "Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or whatever it is you do--happiness, through the years, to you."
badatapologies: (you fill me with inertia)
2008-12-18 02:10 pm

Writer's Block: Under the Same Sign

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Well, let's see. February 14. Emperor Norton was born on February 14th, so claims Wikipedia. That seems more than fitting. Driven to a massive mental breakdown by failure, poverty and homelessness, surviving only by panache, mad genius, and staggering delusions of grandeur. I should start issuing decrees and get it over with. Nina Hamnett, the eccentric bisexual Welsh writer, artist and "Queen of Bohemia"...that's a lot to live up to, but I'm working on it. Somebody get me a picket fence. Nivelle de la Chaussée, a French writer who combined comedy and tragedy to the bewilderment and irritation of many. Jack Benny, who I love--though I might be a bit more indebted to Fred Allen, confidentially. Thelma Ritter, sassy character actress who came to fame at age 45--so, maybe there's still time. Jimmy Hoffa, head of the Teamsters--hey, I was a Teamster at one time. Hoffa disappeared without a trace, an option that grows more appealing with each passing hour. Esteemed newscaster Hugh Downs...I have a box of his neckties somewhere and I sleep on one of his pillows, long story which I've told you at least ten times. Tim Buckley, a talented, unstable, self-absorbed singer-songwriter who managed to squander his talent, alienate his fan base and blow every chance he got. Hm. Teller, who knew when to keep his mouth shut. And Simon Pegg, who I list because I adore him and not out of any obvious similarities, though we've both spent an unseemly of time worrying about the starship Enterprise.

Draw your own conclusions. That's all I've got. Send cake.
badatapologies: (blonde venus)
2008-12-17 04:47 pm
Entry tags:

Writer's Block: Disco Stu doesn't advertise

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No question. Disco Stu. I love Disco Stu. Best throwaway joke-turned-recurring character ever. Runners-up: Sideshow Bob and Professor John I.Q. Nerdelbaum Frink, Jr.

The Simpsons is one of those things that's been around so long it's easy to take for granted and easy to criticize. And I regularly do both when the subject comes up, because I strongly prefer the early seasons (with actual character development) to the rote Homer-gets-his-penis-stuck-in-a-park-bench-which-somehow-leads-to-a-zany-cameo-by-Jude-Law episodes we see more often these days. Lisa in particular used to get heartbreakingly great episodes, but it's way more Homer's-buffoonery-focused now. And still, we should be grateful for it because it's the best thing on--it has a strong claim to being the best TV show ever made and certainly the best long-running one. Sorry, Gunsmoke.




Which reminds me. I miss Life In Hell. Does Groening even draw that anymore? If so, who carries it? Where can I find it?
badatapologies: (criswell predicts)
2008-11-30 03:23 pm

1966 Predictions For 2009!

Greetings, my friends. We are all interested in watching old television clips filled with awkward and erroneous predictions about the future, for that is where you and I will spend the rest of our lives! A new year is coming? Are you prepared? Look ahead now and witness the future events like these that will affect you in the future!

The last sentence Carson utters in this clip will haunt your nightmares.

badatapologies: (Default)
2008-11-17 01:18 am

Tweet


  • 21:10 @stephenfry Oddsocks was perhaps the least intimidating Bond villain ever, imho. #

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badatapologies: (Default)
2008-11-16 09:56 pm

Made Stephen Fry Laugh


Made Stephen Fry Laugh
Originally uploaded by mcbrennan
Perhaps my finest hour--I made Stephen Fry L his A O this eve. I can now die happy. There's no rush, though.
badatapologies: (Default)
2008-11-16 04:51 pm

Writer's Block: Department of Stereotypes

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This is a tough one for me, given my history. I guess what I usually do is try to split the difference and just ask for inaccurate directions.
badatapologies: (amend this)
2008-11-15 03:10 pm

My Mom, Fighting The Power

My mom decided to join me at the Equality Arizona/Join The Impact rally and march at Phoenix City Hall this morning, which was amazing. Better still, we marched to the Arizona State Capitol, eagerly joining in the "what do we want? equal rights! when do we want it? now!" chant. Okay, by the time we hobbled to the ol' copper dome we might have been chanting "what do we want? a ride to the car!" I think I need to start working out.

Lots more pics on my flickr page....http://flickr.com/photos/mcbrennan/
badatapologies: (amend this)
2008-11-15 12:45 am

Stand Up For Marriage Equality - Saturday in Phoenix

I'm in Phoenix this week, and I'll be attending the Marriage Equality demonstration in downtown Phoenix on Saturday. If you're in town I'd love to see you there. My mom's even threatening to attend and she's not exactly PFLAG mom of the year, so this should be a pretty major event, so be there! Aloha!

Phoenix City Hall at Cesar Chavez Memorial
200 W Washington St
Event begins at 11:30 am

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/event.php?eid=33506391597

If you're not in Phoenix, don't fret--there's an event in your state too:

http://jointheimpact.com/

And if you can't get out to an event--it'd be great if you could write a letter to the editor of your paper, write your elected officials, file a friend of the court brief with the California Supreme Court, donate to Equality California, or anything else you can think of to show your support for equality. Thanks.
badatapologies: (suzi quatro color)
2008-11-11 01:37 am
Entry tags:

Writer's Block: 38 for the Eleventh

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Big Star - Big Star's Third/Sister Lovers
The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead
Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
Bert Jansch - S/T
Echo and The Bunnymen - Ocean Rain
David Bowie - Hunky Dory
Van Morrison - Astral Weeks
Sparks - Angst In My Pants
John Coltrane - Giant Steps
Mary Margaret O'Hara - Miss America
The Jetzons - S/T
Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine
Donny Hathaway - Live
Elvis Costello - Imperial Bedroom
U2 - Boy
Judee Sill - S/T
Chet Baker - Chet Baker Sings
Husker Du - Warehouse
Willie Nelson - Red Headed Stranger
Jeffrey Gaines - S/T
Olivia Newton John (and company) - Xanadu soundtrack
Gentlemen Afterdark - S/T (1984)
Stevie Wonder - Songs In The Key Of Life
Aimee Mann - I'm With Stupid
Raspberries - Fresh
Otis Redding - Otis Blue
Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Phantom Of The Paradise soundtrack
The Beatles - Revolver
Suzi Quatro - S/T
Bob Mould - Workbook
Elliot Smith - XO
Osmonds - The Plan
Joe Jackson - Night and Day
Sam Phillips - Martinis and Bikinis
Hedwig and the Angry Inch soundtrack
Kate Bush - Hounds Of Love
Jimmy Scott - The Source
Neil Young - After The Gold Rush
The Dickies - Dawn Of The Dickies
k. d. lang - Absolute Torch and Twang
The Psychedelic Furs - Mirror Moves
K-TEL's Believe In Music

...and any Johnnie Ray, Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, Sam Cooke, Mills Brothers, Laverne Baker compilation you've got. And a bunch of other, more credible hipster stuff I'm forgetting. And some newer stuff. I don't know, Fonzworth Bentley or something. We have iPods now, it should be your top 10 gigabytes. I need a nap.
badatapologies: (Default)
2008-11-04 12:49 pm

Go Team Voter!



Just back from the voting booth! What's young Rusty Venture saying? "I Voted"? Why yes you did. That's a novel way of fighting creepy, crotchety old supervillains. Let's hope it works!
Go Team Voter!

badatapologies: (Default)
2008-11-03 12:17 am

Tweet


  • 00:11 thinking of changing my nickname to "fail whale". #

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badatapologies: (Default)
2008-10-16 01:14 pm

Hey Joe, you're a creep! Congratulations!

So, let me get this straight. Joe the Plumber...

...is not a licensed plumber or licensed contractor of any kind or a member of the plumber's union, and if he's even a plumber at all has been roaming around doing unlicensed work--the mark of quality!;

...hates Social Security, which he calls "a joke", and demands that he be allowed to invest that money in the markets (!);

...faced some pretty skeezy domestic violence charges a few years back, and is a tax scofflaw;

...and is not an independent or undecided voter at all, but a long-time registered Republican with hilarious direct family connections to Charles Keating, and who, after his interaction with Obama, called him a "socialist" and then made a completely classy and totally not-racist remark comparing Obama to Sammy Davis Junior. Unfavorably.



The depth of how much John McCain sucks--and how staggeringly incompetent he is--is a source of daily amazement. Does he ever vet anybody? Nobody derails the McCain campaign like John McCain. He's looking more and more like a less genial Alf Landon every day.