Friday, December 30, 2005

At The Closing Of The Year

Choosing a year-end best of list gets me to pulling out more preciously few hairs in frustrating with every passing year. I look back on the scant number of albums that I bought in 2005 (it had initially been my new year's resolution to buy less music this year, though only for financial reasons, and I certainly seem to have achieved that goal) and I'm rather surprised considering what little funds I had to work with at some of the selections that I chose to make: Remarkably mainstream, very rock-oriented, and extremely influenced by the music of my past. No rap or R&B, no blues or jazz, no country or punk or classical made it onto my list this year, which is astonishing considering that I probably spent more time soaking in those genres this year more than anything else. It's just that Miles Davis, Doc Watson, and De La Soul didn't exactly come out in 2005. And I have admittedly been more song-oriented this year rather than album-oriented since acquiring my iPod last Christmas and I like to keep my jogging mix on shuffle most of the time. Yet looking back on the albums that I bought which actually came out this year I can sort of see a trend, a pattern if you will, as to were my mind was at throughout the past 12 months. On second thought maybe it's not such a good idea to go back and revisit all that. But what they hey...

Since I don't really have a particular order for any of these I'm just gonna list them alphabetically by artist.

Extraordinary Machine, Fiona Apple. Which version? Both, actually. Each has its own equal parts strengths and weaknesses, but I think that just the fact that both productions work so well says a lot about Apple's increasingly maturing skills and the sheer strength of the songs themselves.

Aeriel, Kate Bush. She's in some ways very much an altered woman. And yet every fraction the same. She's awakened from an ageless slumber and strokes her long white Van Winkle beard thoughtfully as she describes to us all the dreams that she had. "Mrs. Bartolozzi" is hands down the most devastatingly heartbreaking song I've heard all year, whether it was intended to be or not. Awfully glad to have you back, KT.

Closing In, Early Man. Something about this album reminds me of a Halloween party that I attended back in 1982. A backyard shed lit with a single red bulb, an enormous bowl of dubiously spiked punch, and a slutty girl in a devil suit giving all the stoner boys lap dances as the radio blasted Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath. Meanwhile I sat perched in a corner by the stereo speakers while my drunken ex-boyfriend tries to grope me awkwardly. Ah, to be 14 again. That's pretty much how this album makes me feel.

Blessed Black Wings, High On Fire. Every time I'm out walking with my iPod and the thundering rumble of that rhythm section rolls over me I feel myself pick my feet up a little higher with each step until the bone-crunching guitar chords strike me across the face, gripping me with an icy hand like a rapist who keeps me from screaming and my feet carry me faster in a vague intangible panic state, running away from or towards my assailant, whichever direction leads to my salvation. And I guess its a damn swell metal album, too.

Frances The Mute, The Mars Volta. Earlier this year I described this album as my lover, but although now we have decided to just remain good friends this disk still knows how to touch me in all the right places to make me quiver. A mixture of 70's Led Zeppelin-era metal and prog rock with synapses of jazz and salsa knits everything together in a structure of perfectly well-mannered chaos. Not to mention nostalgia inducing to the extreme. Put me down for "L'Via L'Viasquez" as song of the year, también.

Arula, M.I.A. It took some time for me to warm up to this disk, and once I did I hardly even registered when the transition took hold. All I ever noticed was that when I put on this CD and I was up and moving about I found I had developed a sort of pogo to my step that made me bounce involuntarily to the amalgam of thumping hard sounds rippling through this disk. A few familiar samples here and there mixed with scattered skits, pulsing beats and earth-deep global rhythms makes one feel as if they are strolling through every urban city in the world simultaneously. And I'm still liking it more and more with each listen.

Pretty In Black, The Raveonettes. Y'all didn't think I'd forget about these guys, did ya? Their first album sounded like The Everly Brothers singing for The Jesus & Mary Chain, and I was all over that baby like, er well, like me on Sune Rose Wagner (and please cut your hair this year, son). And I admit I miss the noise. They dropped the B-flat Dogme restrictions and honed in on their love of 50's and 60's bubblegum pop, bringing their influences even further to the surface. Yes, I was initially disappointed with the tame results. But it's grown on me. Little sparkling fragments of real beauty coruscate amidst the newly polished hit factory, and as cool and as static as it can be I'll always be a fan of Sune and Sharin's ethereal harmonizing.

Looking back now I think I was subconsciously, or maybe not so subconsciously, seeking comfort in the familiar. From the hard rock from my childhood to the Kate Bush that I knew and loved in the 80's and the Fiona Apple in the 90's -- now that I think about it all the more, remembering what a weird, wonky, emotional year this became and how difficult it was for me this past spring to carry myself down from high atop my Misery Tree I think I wasn't in the mind frame to introduce something new into my life. I think I instinctively sought out the auditory equivalent of old friends who would pet me on the head and tell me not to be such a silly goose and then proceed to give me a thorough and richly deserved ass beating. I'm not one to spend too much time wallowing in self pity, but sometimes I need to be reminded that I don't, or else, y'know, I'll forget and stuff.

Anyway, out with the old and all that. Rubbing my hands with barely contained glee over what the new year might bring. I think I may do a best of with movies this year as well, but that may prove even more difficult than albums to sort through and cripes!... remember. Seen so much this year. So damn much. Or at least the ones that I was awake for, that is.

Thursday, December 29, 2005


Fri 30: 12-8:30
Sat 31: 12-7:30
Sun 1: 12-8:30
Mon 2: 11-6:30
Wed 4: 4-10:30
Thur 5: 3-10:30
Sat 7: 2-9:30

Altered States

Can I just take a moment here to give a shout out to the miracle wonder that is prescription strength Tussionex? And here I thought Rx strength Guaifenesin was the shizzit. Holy smokes, people. Fucking incense and peppermints everywhere. I mean the colors, maaaan. The cooOOoollllooOOoorsss...

Take The Good With The Miraculous

Thank you for everything. And I do mean everything.

There just isn't enough mg space on any blog or website to list all of the things in which that I am eternally thankful to you. But just know that after 18 years I love you even more than I did when we were just two hormone-driven teenagers during the Reagan Administration, if that can even be possible, and as far as I can tell there is no foreseeable limit to how deep and far and wide that love can just keep expanding. My heart is yours completely, my beautiful, impossible boy.

And now here is a totally smokin' shot 'o Salma just for you ya big perv...


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

How's The Reception On That Thing?

It has come to my attention that I probably haven't shown off any more toy collections from around La Casa de Melpster since maybe around the early part of the year during my piano gang photo shoot. So in honor of Lack Of Substantive Content Week here today I feature the "TV Gang", the usual cast of extras who sit atop my living room television cabinet whilst I watches me some telly.

Group photo here, and by the way I apologize in advance for the inexplicable fuzziness of the photos in this and all following photos. I don't know why sometimes my digital just won't cooperate on random days. I mean there is probably a very reasonable explanation for it all but I guess I'm either too much of a yutz to figure it out or just too apathetic to care. Anyway, in case you're wondering that is indeed a genuine Go-Video Image dual deck VCR that comes with its own built-in digital stabilizer so when it comes to VHS I can laugh boisterously in the face of Macrovision (oooo, but don't tell anyone, shhhh!). I just say this because I think you can't get these on the market anymore for just that very reason. I may be wrong though, but I have a friend who has been questing for one just like mine and he says it appears they stopped making them. I suppose that means I'm SOL if mine finally croaks one day (and as blessed old as it is the clock is ticking). That's why I keep it surrounded by so many worthy little sentinels, their non-stop 24-7 vigil a comfort to me as I sleep with an easy mind each night. I mean who the hell's gonna fuck with the Quisp Cereal corporate mascot bobblehead and... and Sigmund the Friggin' Sea Monster? Bring it on, suckas. So anyway...

... on the Talk Show Showdown! To our left we have Space Ghost. He has a gleaming red desk, a wicked ripped torso, and ummm uhh, a coffee mug that won't stop vibrating off onto the floor for some reason. And to our right we have Nat X. He, ummm, also has a gleaming red desk, a wicked ripped afro, and he appears to be able to raise his fist higher in defiance than Space Ghost can so I guess Nat X takes the prize in the who-can-stick-it-to-the-man attitude most righteously. Which is in my opinion what the whole talk show format is really all about. In your face, Carson Daly.

Nertz. I wish this just wasn't so dang blurry. Then again you probably still couldn't be able to tell that Frankenstein's monster is holding a flaming torch in one hand (Why does he come with a flaming torch anyway? Fire not bad anymore?) and a copy of the Sexy Dictionary in the other, which originally came with my Austin Powers action figure but fits much better in Frank's hands. And you know, since he started sportin' that "Cesar cut" and stylish leather jacket and black dickey ensemble I think he's been bringin' Teh Sexay quite nicely and if it were just (grrr) a better snapshot you could see what I'm talkin' about. Anyway, yeah. Frankenstein's monster. Sexy Dictionary. *I* thought it was funny.

Joe's late grandmother passed on a few knick-knacks from her extensive travels, like nesting dolls from Russia and er, some little Asian boy crying or something. They're cute, tho. Cheaply made touristy doodads made in foreign countries nestled in with the fine, detailed, intricate craftmanship of action figures that were, ah, also probably made in foreign countries. Adds a little exotic worldly flair to our uppity bourgeois American lifestyle. Too bad that none of them fit into the Mach 5 with Duke and Mr. T, though.

I have been informed that this porcelain turkey salt shaker is gay. Gay as in "perfers the company of other male turkeys" according to my gay friend Sef who gave it to me. Fine by me. Hey, I'm all for diversity and whatnot. We're all one big beautiful rainbow of blah blah and yada yada, but damn if this means I need to find another gay turkey for his partner because I have no idea where you buy gay turkeys, and as is his custom Sef never tells me where he buys these things either. Let's see, the Eiffel Tower snow globe Joe bought when we were in Paris several years ago, and, ah... okay, what the heck is that big macho thing with the giant kegger on his back? How embarrassing its it that I don't even know what half the action figures that I own are? I just get them because I think they look cool. If someone knows please post a comment or something because I'm tired of looking like a jackass every time somebody inquires about that piece (or about half the pieces surrounding me while I'm at it -- I might be making multiple photo posts in the near future of unidentifiable figurines and whatits now that I'm thinking about. Ahh sweet, liberating, dignity restoring technology).

On that note let me leave you now with the Square-Off 'O The Stings. Mr. "I WILL kill him!" Gordon "Feyd" Sumner vs the Two Faces of Steve Borden -- blonde totally 80's lookin' Day-Glo pink-n-blue and fiercely lame, and leather-clad still totally 80's lookin' gothwanker and pretty much just as lame on a whole 'nuther level -- WHO WILL WIN?? WHO WILL CARE????? Besides me that is. For you see, I live for this kind of shit. Yep, the party at my crib pretty much never stops. Sigh.

Tune in next week time I do something like this and see if Captain Kirk can beat Holly Golightly in a Jell-O wrestling competition in the bathtub. Or something like that.

Peace out.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

A Twinkling In Every Lung...

So what did Santa bring me this year?

Well for one thing, the Dallas Hack. Right ho, it's back. Long-time readers may be somewhat familiar with this semi-annual affliction but now and today is not the time to dwell on Things That Doth Suck. Perhaps more later, when I'm a touch more, er, in touch. I'm presently way too way snockered on Tussin to think in such linear thought patterns at the moment.

Besides the things that are of probably no interest to anyone else but myself, I did get two items plucked off my wish list this year:

Light Is Calling, from the minimalist classical composer Michael Gordon of whom one other album, Weather, I already own. As I loaded this CD into my PC to play a video screen popped up and the music became the background to what appears to be a silent film on old decaying celluloid, apparently also entitled Light Is Calling by Bill Morrison -- and then it clicked: Good heavens... that Michael Gordon! The one who did that utterly haunting soundtrack to Bill Morrison's Decasia, a film in which a very sweet friend videotaped for me about a year or so ago. This appears to be more of the same, unless this is a clip from Decasia that I don't remember seeing, since Decasia is pretty much a series of these decaying old films stitched together like images from someone's very disturbing nightmare (the album cover is a screen capture from the Light Is Calling film from the video on this disk). You were absolutely right, Mr. Miles, remarkable stuff indeed and thank you so much for recommending this to me back when I was going on about my Thomas Adès kick to you awhile ago. Or heck, I'll go thank you again personally over at The Files.

I also received the Criterion DVD to the 1947 film Black Narcissus which was another tremendous recommendation by a friend. Really eager to crack this one open as soon as I have another free moment in my life. Man, the more I look at these two Christmas gifts, the more I just think about it, the more I am of the opinion that one of the things that I am most grateful for this season is just having a whole bunch of marvelously hip friends that always manage to keep me in The Know.

Hope everyone had a happy holiday.

Uh, crawling back to bed now.

{{sniffle cough cough sniffle}}

Saturday, December 24, 2005


Mon 26: 4-cl
Wed 28: 4-cl
Thur 29: 10-5
Fri 30: 12-8:30
Sat 31: 12-7:30

Christmas Eve Can Kill You

I hope everyone out there who does the Christmas thing has a real good one tomorrow. Me, I'll be spending it with my parents and brother, as is our family's tradition I suppose. Tonight I close the store early and plan on going home, wrapping myself up warmly in bed and watching two Mystery Science Theatre 3000 episodes that I've had on tape since going on ten years: Santa Claus and Santa Claus Conquers The Martians. As is my tradition.

I leave you with the video to what is probably my favorite Christmas song of all time.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Frolic Of The Bears

Grizzly Man is a documentary compiled and narrated by the famed German filmmaker Werner Herzog about Timothy Treadwell, a young man who camped and lived in the Alaskan wilderness with wild grizzly bears for 13 years until Treadwell and his girlfriend, neither of which ever once carried weapons of any kind, were both killed and devoured by one of the very grizzlies that they were attempting to befriend.

Treadwell, with his shaggy blonde surfer-boy looks and hippie "dude" vernacular, had no previous education in ecology or zoology when he decided to make it his life's ambition to study and document the lives the wild bears, attempting to draw attention to their plight by "protecting" them with his presence (despite the fact that these bears lived on the Katmai National Park animal reserve where they were already protected by the government). A troubled fellow with a past history of drugs and alcohol, Treadwell seems to finally find a sense of comfort and inner peace with the bears, announcing that he will "live and die" with them if need be. But solace soon gives way to madness, and like many of Herzog's civilized male heroes battling the foreign jungle element from past films (Fitzcarraldo, Aguirre: The Wrath of God) Treadwell's obsession begins to slowly twist his mind before the inevitable cruelty of nature closes in around him and finally, almost shockingly, mercifully consumes him.

Indeed, as much as he embraces the beauty of nature, it's that inevitable cruel side that the overly-sensitive Treadwell had difficulty accepting. He weeps over the body of a slain fox cub, venting like an angry child who is unable to understand why things have to die. During a particularly bad drought when food became scarce for the bears, Treadwell videotapes himself in his tent, screaming desperately for anyone to hear to bring the rains back to the land because "Melissa is eating her babies!". One would think that Treadwell was pleading for the life of a family member or a good friend, but his energy, his sorrow is for a bear -- a bear he named Melissa because he considered her his dear friend. And it is this illusion of friendship that eventually leads to his as well as his girlfriend's tragic demise. Despite being the self-proclaimed expert on bears, living dangerously close to them for 13 years and coming to understanding their nature, Treadwell never understands fully that bears, like all wild animals, can never be our friends in the manner that us humans reach out and long for in each other. Asking a giant predator like a grizzly bear to accept a human as if it were human itself is an impossibility. And the bear that killed, famished from the past drought and a lack of fish in the river, only did to Treadwell what all bears do in nature.

The movie reminded me of how much we as humans are so ruled by our singular human emotions that we often can't help but imprint them on other living things that aren't quite capable of reciprocating. Each one of us have attempted in some extent to anthropomorphize our own pets because our love for them is so strong that we all can't help but hope that they love us back equally and look for these signs in what are otherwise instinct-driven behaviors. We all think our cats love us when they brush up against our legs and purr, although really the cat is just brushing the glands beneath its facial whiskers over surfaces to mark its territory like most cats do in the wild. We think our dogs love us when they wag their tails and lick our faces when really, like their lupine ancestors who socialize in packs, they are only naturally behaving in the same manner as with the alpha males of their pack as a gesture of obeisance to their leader. As much as we love Fluffy and Rex with all our overflowing human hearts, they just don't mirror that love back to us in the way that truly constitutes a friendship. A partnership based on mutually shared emotional reciprocation.

Treadwell failed to understand that no matter how deeply he loved the bears, the bears were never going to love him back. His love made him reckless and drop his guard around the giant beasts, who are admittedly beautiful creatures with an insatiable curiosity about us. I found the most telling quote of the film coming from Herzog who, when studying the bubbly effusive Treadwell's lovingly directed close-up of a bear's face, looks into its eyes and sees nothing but "the overwhelming indifference of nature." That line alone couldn't sum up the situation stacked against Treadwell any more succinctly. Nature is indifferent to Treadwell's love. Treadwell died in the simple order of nature, to feed another animal even higher up the food chain than he was. But what I found truly touching of all was that it's not impossible to believe that Treadwell died still loving his bears, still believing them to be his friends. Although nature consumes matter, human love still remains untouchable and indomitable.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Is It (Work) Safe?

So anyway being both sick and feeling weirdly experimental (maybe not a combination I'd often recommend) I decided to crack open the pecker pasta for dinner tonight seeing as how it's been sitting on my shelf since, well pretty much since I got it for my birthday earlier this year from Sef, or at least I think it was Sef that gave it to me. It had to be. Heck, I did a whole blog entry about it in the old space but I can't remember if it was S. or Sef that gave it to me, or if it was bought by Sef and handed over to S. with the specific instructions to "please make sure that Senator Pittman receives this very important article" (many of my close friends often refer to me as "The Senator") and Sef is a very resourceful gay man who somehow always seems to know how to, uh, find "articles" such as these but he won't ever tell us where. As if to keep his sources secret for his own sake, and probably his secret sources' sake as well. But anyway for those of you who may not remember, and that may be all of you, it's Mama Peckeroni Traditional Style Pecker Pasta...

As opposed to any other style, I assume. Now I admit I was a tad, um, intimidated by the very notion of "pecker" pasta, traditional or otherwise, and I wasn't exactly sure what I'd possibly have on my hands (so to speak) once they were cooked and "fluffed" up in the manner that pasta does when it is boiled. But being very hungry, slightly curious, and totally wacked out cold meds I figured what the hey anyway, food is food and I've totally blown my diet for the month of December as it is. I mean how big can a pecker really get, right?

Pre-cooked pecker. Small, yes. But still hard. Dare I say... turgid, even. No, I haven't tasted it yet, but I was admittedly entranced by the little holes and air-spaces that make up its design, and I couldn't help but quietly marvel at the notion of what a truly remarkable age in which I live that we possess the technology to create machines whose sole function is to shape and design pasta into the shape of... peckers. Unlike the very same technology that no doubt shapes and designs pasta into little giraffes and monkeys for Chef Boyardee. Sorry it's so blurry, but it always seemed to fuzz out over any light-colored background. The side of my fridge is a little busy, but that's the best I could get the pecker into focus.

A pan o' peckers! They do look sorta cute all bunched up together like that. Like little golden tadpoles. Somehow I could have sworn I could hear Sef sniggering wickedly behind my back. By the way if you decide to try this at home, do remember to add plenty of salt while you boil. I'm serious. Peckers, I've just learned, can be pretty bland without the right amount of seasoning.

After a proper boiling period, drain your peckers thoroughly (oh dear God did I just type that?). And hey, look!... not too big, either. Softer, too. And yet not too mushy. So the softer they are, the, uh, plumper they get. Not too big or too small. In fact I'd venture to say they are just perfect the way they are. I'm no size queen when it comes to my pasta anyway. Hmm, now upon further examination I'm curious: Would this particular pasta dish be considered... ah, Jewish in persuasion? I'm just sayin'.

Mmmm, deee-lish! Too bad Joe doesn't seem to want any. Can't quite figure out why. Oh well. Hey, all the more for ME, baby. All the more for me.

So in summation not the best pasta I've ever tasted, but not the worst by a mile. Definitely the best pecker pasta I've ever had, seeing how it was my very first time. Guess that means I'm no longer a virgin.

Touch The Puppet Head

Many thanks for the Christmas e-card from Mr. and Mrs. Stehlin last night. Here's wishing you two talented folk and the entire CT posse the best this season and looking forward to the new year and the possibility of coming out to see your new digs. Oh, and I want to mention that in this photo from The Misanthrope, which I saw Jack and Jeannine preform back in the spring, Jeannine totally ripped the spotlight right out from under Jack's formidable French Regency platform shoes. Just wanted to put that out there.

Yep, still way out of it. The fever picked up a touch again today but luckily I've had the day off to spend it in bed dosed to the gills, which is the only way to fully absorb and enjoy the whole spend-the-day-in-bed experience. Joe ran down to his store to pick up the advance DVD of Grizzly Man so I reckon we'll be watching that'n tonight.

And for dinner, I am preparing pecker pasta. Yes, that is not a spell check error. Pasta l'Pecker. Mmm, nom nom...

Further details to come.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005


I have to focus.

I must not lose sight of my goals.

I cannot be a failure.

I need to reassert control.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Sick Daze

I don't think I've ever slept as much as I did yesterday since, well, probably since the last time I was under the weather which now that I think about it almost two months ago. Strange, since I rarely ever get sick with the same condition so close together like this and I haven't even been exposed to anyone with a cold as far as I can tell. I guess this is only my little semi-traditional holiday germfest manifesting itself a week earlier than usual. When I was a child I always got sick on Christmas Eve, although it was mostly of the 24-hour virus variety. I can still remember many a Christmas morning sitting on the bathroom floor opening presents so that I could be near the toilet whenever I had to throw up. I have no idea why this happened almost every single year, and to this day my parents still worry over it happening again and always take precautions like stocking the medicine cabinet with Pepto-Bismol. I just know my mother is going to have kittens when I inform her I'm sick again this year. But this time it's only a cold. I can hack a cold any day. And it also means I get to be legally high as a kite on Christmas day and that always has the potential for holiday hilarity.

By the way if anything I just said didn't make a whole lotta sense it's because I am currently high as a kite on last night's residual Nyquil dosage and my head's a tad scrambled at the moment. I probably should have started doing this later in the day uuh ohwell bluuuhhh..

Last night I did manage to slap together my new Christmas mix disk. A little more jazz and swing this time around, one blues track, and nice ethereal goth number, some novelty bits, and a touch of Celtic-lite. My only regret was not getting a rap track on there this time around but Christmas raps that haven't already made it on past disks are getting scarcer by the season. But anyway a pretty decent mixture of sentiments all the way around and that is generally what I am always aiming for:

"The Junky's Christmas" - William S. Burroughs
"Fuck Christmas" - Fear
"The Greatest Christmas Song Of All" - Vance DeGeneres
"The Little Drummer Boy" - Brave Combo
"Mery Christmas, Baby" - Kenny Burrell
"Five Pound Box Of Money" - Pearl Bailey
"Mr. Heatmiser" - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
"Welcome Christmas" - Love Spirals Downward
"Santa Dog" - Poxy Boggards
"Feast Of Lights" - They Might Be Giants
"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" - Loreena McKennitt
"I Hate Christmas" - Oscar The Grouch
"Santa Ain't Coming For Christmas" - Rocket 455
"Blue Christmas" - Seymour Swine & the Squealers
"Little Drummer Boy" - Hoodoo Gurus
"Christmas Sucks" - Tom Waits & Peter Murphy
"Eiri na Greine-The Rising Of The Sun" - Anúna
"Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday" - William Bell
"The Rebel Jesus" - The Chieftains w/Jackson Browne
"Please Come Home For Christmas" - Charles Brown
"Little Saint Nick" - Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem
"New Years Resolution" - Otis Redding & Carla Thomas

Thanks again to Randy and mah posse down at the music forum for pitching in and helping me compile this years' comp. And you're right, Randy. That Love Spirals Downward is pretty durn special.

Wow, I'm sorry I'm so out of it, guys. Here's to hoping my next post is a lot less gripey and boring. I'm going back to bed for a bit before I have to forcibly drive myself to work this afternoon.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Give Me Fever

Guh. I think I'm getting sick.

Blast it all. Why does this always happen every year at Christmas?

Not up to a post tonight, so enjoy this link that cpg hipped me to: The Building Blog. I especially love the post about the globe maps. Many thank-yews again, Professor Griff.

Down to my last Tylenol. Shit.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Return Of The Mecca

Now Casting:

a world premiere by JOHN BUNZEL
directed by ELINA DESANTOS
artistic director JACK STEHLIN

Circus Theatricals is casting the world premiere of Complexity by award-winning playwright John Bunzel. Elina Desantos directs.

Complexity is a dark comedy about love, loss, and forgiveness. Complexity will be the first production in Circus Theatricals' new theatre in the Hayworth Theatre Center. The Hayworth is being transformed from the Vagabond art film theater into a new performing arts center. Circus Theatricals has garnered awards and nominations from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Association, Back Stage West, LA Weekly, Dramalogue, and the LA Stage Alliance Ovations.

This will be a high profile project. All roles are strong. Seeking actors with strong credits. Star names are encouraged.

Rehearsals start January 19
Previews March 10
Plays Fridays and Saturdays
March 17 - April 28
AEA 99 Seat

send pix/resumes to:
Circus Theatricalsc/o The Hayworth Theatre Center
2511 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90057
or email: Jeannine Stehlin


JILL - (Lead) - Late forties. Tom's wife. A lawyer. Attractive, dynamic, intelligent. Likes to look good, but not flashy. Knows how to be aggressive but uses her charisma to conceal a soft, vulnerable core.

CATHY (Lead) - Early thirties. An executive secretary. Pleasant looking but somewhat severe in her appearance and demeanor. Deliberate, vocal, stubborn. Cheerless. Always ready for combat.

GEORGE (Lead) - Seventies. Jill's father. A retired mechanic who is hard of hearing. Although rough and weathered in appearance, he is hopelessly well-intentioned. Lousy at concealing thoughts or feelings.

DAVID - Thirties. A painter. Attractive and mysterious. A strong physical presence. Passionate. Persuasive. Knows how to cleverly manipulate others to get what he wants.

MONICA - Thirties. Tom's lover. An ethnic bombshell. Exotic and brainy. Knows how to play dumb but is no dummy. Has an intense sexuality that she can turn on and off. We are open to all ethnicities in this dynamic role.

Tom and Jill are struggling to save their floundering marriage. Matters get worse as the people around them try to keep them apart...


Sooooo. Whattaya think, honestly? My next ambitious mission to L.A. this season? It will be almost a year since seeing Jack in The Misanthrope, and a year before Macbeth, and since then as I have every year I've been quietly climbing the walls for that next new production, waiting for the Next Big Thing to take me back because pretty much nothing else would make me come over there otherwise. And unlike Macbeth and The Misanthrope, two plays that I had been previously deeply acquainted with, this will be something all shiny and new to me with no preconceived notions of how characters like Macbeth and Alceste are or should be. Jack portrayed each smashingly. Such divinity keeps me continuously flying back to be by his side every year.

And, er, ahem... his milkshake always brings this girl to the yard. {{raising the roof}}

In other news I got my spiffy new bridge put in over my gaped tooth this morning. Sure is mighty weird feeling that little phoneybone just sittin' there with my tongue, not attached to anything but the other fake tooth next to it. But at least I don't look like Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel anymore and by gum dey sher do look purdy in mah mouf. Oh, and Joe--er, that is to say, Grap got me a new Christmas prezzie this week:

I never saw this show when it was on the air back in 2001 but it was created by Judd Apatow and directed by Apatow and Paul Feig, the two guys involved in the creation of Freaks And Geeks, which most of you old-blog readers know is one of my all-time favorite TV shows. The series also features F&G alumni Seth Rogen and Jason Segel, and so far after watching the first two episodes I am already picking up on the similarity in humor and character development in the writing and in general structure. Although the university life portrayed here isn't quite as intensely nostalgia-inducing as F&G was to me (hardly the party girl type on campus, college radio station dweeb that I was) but I am quite enjoying it so far. Wish it could be a tad more music orientated in the way that F&G was. Buy hey, uh... Ted Nugent was in one episode. And the lead character does appear to have a rather, um, unholy obsession with Spinal Tap much like myself. It's a start. Bring it on.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Sat 17: 10-6
Sun 18: 10-5
Tue 20: 3-10:30
Wed 21: 12-7:30
Fri 23: 9-5
Sat 24: 11-7:30

Punks Not Dead (But I'm Getting Better...)

I was more than certain I'd have no voice whatsoever this morning after spending 9 straight hours last night screaming at the top of my lungs GIT YER FALL OUT BOY CDS FOR $15! GIT YER CD AND WRISTBAND AND MEET FALL OUT BOOOOY! but then substitute Natasha Bedingfield, Kaci Brown, Tyler Hilton, Lifehouse, or Gavin Degraw throughout periods of the night and you get a sense of walking a mile in my Mephistos -- though honestly out of every act appearing at the Winter Meltdown last night the only one the kids were truly interested in were Fall Out Boy, so basically my tramping up and down the line outside the door before opening in the face-numbing frozen night air with a box full of Natasha Bedingfield CDs and wristbands were met with blank, bovine-like stares until I cracked open the Fall Out Boy CDs and then the melee of squees commenced. Smelled like teen spirit from then on out.

The actual line for the Fall Out Boy autographs was a rather ugly scene of pissed off teenyboppers and spaniel-eyed emo boys, and the final abrupt cutting off of the line from the band after the autograph session had about the same air of organization as the last helicopter out of Saigon (but a lot funnier) but after all that foolishness was over the rest of the evening was relatively smooth sailing and I could wander the halls of the brand spankin' new ODU Convocation Center and get a good look around for the very first time. Pretty overwhelming, to me at least. The center stands on the very block where over 15 years ago I spent most of my nights at the little punk clubs and college pubs along the strip, which have since been bulldozed to make way for this gleaming new monstrosity. Gazing out into the sparkling multi-seat area it was really hard to wrap my brain around the fact that I was standing right where my old stomping ground, the King's Head Inn, used to be...

Where I saw almost 90% of every punk show that I ever attended. Where Joe used to book bands and DJ our Club Pretension dance nights. Where S. and I used to decorate the walls with black garbage bags and silver spray-painted dried macaroni noodles. Had art exhibits and Dadaist "happenings". Previewed underground movies. Where you could still smoke indoors. Where my old roommate set his hair on fire and ran through the pit. And that old guitar that had been permanently epoxied onto the outer wall. All gone. An entire era. And I was surrounded by a whole new generation of concert-goers who have absolutely no recollection of what was once there before. Not even the girls that I worked with were a day over 22 years.

Anyway, back to the Meltdown, the Gavin Degraw line at 11pm (the last meet-and-greet) was almost equally as long as Fall Out Boy, but a lot less rowdy. And every last one of them were girls. Not a single dude in the whole bunch. I will say though that Gavin was extremely sweet and accommodating to every single fan in line, considering that we had to make it move as fast as we could so that he could get back out on the road. Despite the "no autographs" rule Gavin signed everything every girl handed him with graciousness and even posed for pictures, and hugged every one, even happily lurching his body halfway across the table to embrace a young girl in a wheelchair. Wonderfully nice fellow, and very professional. Actually they were all quite nice, and even though I'm not a fan of any of their music I almost regretted not bringing my own camera to take some pictures of the event myself. In all we made about $7,000 in CD sales and everyone at the event was pretty pleased with the way we handled things. But man, doing an event like this again just reminds me once more how bloody old I must be getting, being barely able to keep up with my younger colleagues who were all about the same age and had the same energy and enthusiasm that I had back in the King's Head Inn years. Another generation takes up the mantle. Meh. At this point I guess they can have it all to themselves.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Sturgeon's Law Usurped

I read Blankets in one night. Ho my God. Wow. Yep. Good book.

Methinks I'm going to the comic book store today.

See you in the funny papers.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Against The 70's

My earliest memories of Richard Pryor were as a child in the 70's pressing my ear against the bottom crack of my bedroom door trying desperately to listen in while my father and my uncles played Richard's albums in the living room, laughing riotously while I practically clawed at the door mewling to be let out and hear what the hell was so gosh durn funny. A little later in life, in my early teens, I finally got to know, and I could never go back after that. Richard Pryor was such a powerful and influential presence from around age 10-15 when my best friend Sheryl and I would sneak off and listen to his records, or watch movies like Stir Crazy or stand up routines like Live On The Sunset Strip, which I had practically memorized by heart at one point as a little girl. Even today I see so much of Pryor's topical and sociological humor in old stand-ups by Eddie Murphy and current programs like The Dave Chapelle Show, and as much as I love both of these comedians I admit can't help but love them because I feel so much of Pryor's influence in them that takes me back to that innocently politically incorrect era in my life. A nostalgia trip for me, perhaps very much in the way that Eddie Murphy in the 80's and Dave Chapelle in the double-oughts will be for others younger than myself. And man, that particular demo's just growing more enormous every damn year for me. I'm getting so blessedly old.

And speaking of nostalgia, Joe and I went to see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe yesterday. Now I have been a huge fan of the novel series since I was a kid so I know this particular story almost verbatim. And yes, they filmed the movie almost entirely verbatim to the book. And I hate to say it, but I think that this may have had something to do with the lackluster quality of the picture itself. In trying to keep things almost absurdly faithful to the book (with a few changes here and there) there was an overall significant skimping of character development and atmosphere as well. In a way it's the same issue I had with the first Harry Potter movie (I have only read the first book so that is all I can compare to). Well, that and it was directed by {{shudder}} Chris Columbus. I was never one to mind too much about taking a few liberties here and there with novel-to-movie translations, so long as the changes help capture the spirit of the story. But in keeping things so perfectly pure, Narnia fell flat for me. It's kind of the same reason why I'm not a big fan of rotoscope animation. Just tracing over someone else's work isn't bringing new life, but just exacerbating the mundane aspects instead of enhancing its attributes. Georgie Henley did a good job as Lucy, and her interactions with Mr. Tumnus were quite wonderful. I always love Tilda Swinton and Jim Broadbent is one of my all-time favorite actors, but even they can't be expected to carry the movie entirely on their sturdy thespian humps. I think the movie is ... okay. Wretchedly lame CGI, and some lifeless acting from the other three kids. But in all I think it was alright. A nice matinee for the whole family. I would more recommend reading the books to your little ones at some point instead.

Ironically watching the DVD to Roll Bounce when I got home gave me a stronger sense of childhood nostalgia than Narnia ever did at any given moment. Memories of mirror balls, rollerstaking rinks and "Hollywood Swinging" take me back to being 9 years old again faster than any Christian allegory children's book.

In all, I got to spend a lovely day off with my boyfriend, even if it was spent mostly milling about some godawful three-story capitalist monstrosity known as MacArthur Mall (I'm certain General Douglas MacArthur would be pleased to know his revered name lives on in the hearts and minds of the good people of Norfolk when they think of going somewhere to buy Starbuck's Frappuccinos and Rascal Flatts CDs). And my dear Jose Vlad (er, I mean Ap) did get me a wonderful Christmas present, something that I have been wanting to get myself for quite a little while:

Blankets by Craig Thompson, a graphic novel recounting the early years of Mr. Thompson's life through kinetic sketches, commentary, and spare dialogue. I've read so much about this but I've just never gotten around to picking it up. Many thanks to my beloved Ap for the sentiment, and for my precious Vlad who forked over the dough when he really didn't have to.

And while I'm on this thanking jag, I wanna give a shout out to all my palies (especially Randy) over at my music forum for setting up our Christmas mix gmail submissions this year, which Randy said was inspired by one of my earlier posts, all of which will help tremendously in compiling this year's holiday mix disk. Randy my man, I'm still having a problem sending my song but it has nothing to do with the account itself -- I just can't seem to find the file in my harddrive even though I know it's there. But I plan on futzing with it further tonight when I get home from woik so hopefully my submission will be next up and fit in with the whole organic flow o' things. You know me and 'puters. Still trying to bang those square pegs into circular holes again.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Dark End Of The Street

Music is always the perfect panacea for my particular ills. And as ill as I felt yesterday I firmly decided that I couldn't leave the store after work without my own copy of Early Man Closing In tucked securely under my arm.

And I'm liking it. Sounds a little like if Ozzy had sung for old Iron Maiden, or maybe Exodus. When I was blasting it in the car early this morning I rolled down my window to get the blistering blast of icy winter air burning the flesh off my lips and cheeks at 65 MPH. My, that was bracing. Something about this music really feels like it should be experienced with the full bitter force of nature right in your face. Like I'm out on a wind-swept glacier dressed only in sabretooth tiger furs, trying to take down a mastodon with a long poison-tipped spear. Oh, if only in my dreams.

Joe and I actually have a day off together tomorrow. Yes, an actually Saturday. Two weeks before Christmas and they don't need me at the store on a Saturday?. Anyway, Mike might be dropping by tonight for the usual evening of hilarity but if not I'll probably just stay up late and catch up on some of my music forums online that I have sorely neglected over the past few weeks. Searching out something new, a new piece of music, or a movie that I have never seen or heard of perhaps. Some days it's like real treasure hunting. That never fails to cheer me.

Then again, I wonder if S. wants to go driving around town tonight and looking at Christmas lights. We do that every year and it's always an absolute riot, since we are usually hopped up and giddy on coffee and sugar cookies while doing it (what we commonly refer to as the "vut-vuts"). I could totally go for the vut-vuts tonight. I must fill my digestive cavity with lethal amounts of toxins and run my mouth and giggle with my gal pal while listening to last year's Christmas mix CD and looking for the tackiest lit house in all the land. It's tradition. It's Christmas.

And as always, it must somehow involve... smoke bombs.

{{twisting mustache}}

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Your Possible Pasts

Reading a book of old albums reviews this evening and stumbling upon one of those rare positive write-ups for Pink Floyd's The Final Cut, it pings my brain in just the right spot at just the appropriate time of year. Because it reminds me of of what time of year this is, and a certain fact that I always wrestle with concerning it.

Christmas, as much as I actually love the holiday, has always been associated with heartbreak.

And being who I am, I always associate holiday heartbreak with certain albums or songs and over all the years the ones that stand out most vividly were the tunes that got me through Christmas of 1987 when I was home for college break. I spent most of those two weeks alone in my room at night with the lights off, with the lonely electric Christmas candle in the window as my only illumination, sitting cross-legged on my bed and playing solitaire for hours as the candle cast long card shadows on the opposite wall. For some reason solitaire never fails to relax me, to center me and empty my mind of anything other than focusing on the next card. It had an amazingly ameliorating effect on the pain I was feeling at the time.

And for some reason, so did The Final Cut.

I also remember playing Talking Heads '77 a lot those nights, as well as the first two Peter Gabriel albums, but I sometimes found them too distracting, or in the case of Peter Gabriel, too emotionally affecting, and often when the first album would finally end with "Here Comes The Flood" my concentration and resistance would break like a levee and the "flood" would hit me hard to where I'd just drop my cards and start crying. As much as I still love all of those albums, it can be just as painful reliving them again, especially around this time of year.

But The Final Cut was different. Something about that album had a way of just soaking up that pain like a sponge, and even had a quiet way of politely waiting for my back to turn so that it could wring it all out somewhere where I couldn't see, like a gentle nurse who cleans up your sick and disposes of it so that you don't have to look at it, smell it, or even think about it anymore. I don't think it had anything to do with the lyrical content of the album itself, because damn if I could tell you what was being said. I've never been one to pay much attention to lyrics in the first place. But there was something... soothing about that record -- tonally, phonically, maybe even the warm organic analog sound of a needle moving quietly across the grooves like a cozy fireplace crackling in the background. It felt like somebody else was there in the dark with me, someone warm and human feeling angry along with me. Feeling sad along with me. Feeling lonely along with me. Every time "Not Now John" finally segues into "Two Suns In The Sunset" I felt as if all the toxins in my body were expurgated for one evening, and I could finally fold up my cards and turn in for the night.

I've actually been considering compiling a CD of songs from that year that remind me of that particular heartbreaking Christmas of '87, some of which would be:

"Not Now John" by Pink Floyd
"Two Suns In The Sunset" - Pink Floyd
"Looking For A Kiss" - New York Dolls
"Win A Few" - Nico
"Burning Flame" - Vitamin Z
"Haunted When The Minutes Drag" - Love And Rockets
"Here Comes The Flood" - Peter Gabriel

Although I suppose that would really be torturing myself, wouldn't it?

Noooo. Part of my New Year's resolution: No more unnecessarily torturing myself. Really, I should know the drill by now. I have no excuse. But I'm a tough cookie. I can take a little necessary torture every now and then.

Have no fear. I promise a considerably more upbeat Christmas comp this year, like every year. I do truly enjoy this season. And I do truly intend to enjoy it.

Truly I do!

Just no more perusing album reviews until next year, old girl.


Thur 8: 11-7
Fri 9: 10-5
Sun 11: 3-10:30
Mon 12: 10-4
Wed 14: 3-1o:30
Thur 15: 12-8
Sat 17: 10-6

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Hey Grandma

So not only does it suck that I missed X play at the Norva this past weekend, but I have further compounded Teh Suck by volunteering to work The Zone 106.1 Winter Meltdown show at the CCC next Wednesday where I will be exposed to a variety of acts that I have little-to-sub-zero interest in seeing, like Fall Out Boy, Gavin Degraw, Kaci Brown, Lifehouse, Tyler Hilton, Natasha Bedingfield, and the cast of Laguna Beach (what the bloody hell are they going to do, stand on stage and wave?). Well not exactly volunteering -- I will be getting paid, dammit, for not only will I need to be a convincing huckster for their wares at the show but they will all be signing autographs at my table and I may have to go into full on talent wrangler mode, unless they managed to bring their own "people" with them. I am reminded of when my friend David was the manager of Tower Records in Manhattan and he had to scream in Prince's face to get him to go out and sign autographs to all the fans lined up around the block outside the store after he decided on a whim he didn't feel like doing it anymore. This was right after Prince left Warner Bros. and he no longer had corporate watchdogs around making sure he did these things. Oh pleeeease give me the opportunity to take a member of Laguna Beach dooown onto the floor for being recalcitrant. I even settle for a dirty look from one of 'em.

I suppose the irony here is that once I used to do all these things happy and willingly, and many times just for free, back when Joe was doing A.S.K. Productions or even just networking throughout the local punk scene back when I was in my early 20's. But back then I was more than happy to man the Buzzcocks T-shirt table just to help out one the best as well as the nicest punk bands that have ever put it out there. So what's happened to me now? Am I officially entering into that dreaded Old Fart Zone, relegated to sitting in my rocking chair shaking my cane at all the kinderpunks passing by in their emo glasses and freshly-pressed Hot Topic wardrobe, becoming the very thing I used to mock when I was their age? I only ever planned to buy a rocking chair for my front porch once I was 90-years old and well past retirement. Although instead of a cane I'd probably wind up with a sawed-off shotgun on my lap and a big painted piece o' wood with the words GIT OFFA MAH PROPERTY staked into my front lawn. And Bad Brains blasting out of every window of my rickety old house.

Can everybody tell that I'm PMSing today? {{grumble grumble}}

Nouveau Third World Hike Boots

More love in the mail yesterday afternoon! Well, er, all stuff I ordered awhile ago for myself so count it all off as a gesture of, er, "self-love" (errrr): The Cold's Limbo's Getting Crowded, a shiny new platter of unreleased songs and alternate versions from Vance's old band during their 1979-1982/1984-85 existence. Track listing goes as follows...

Studio tracks:

You Don't Look At Me
I'm Serious (*an all acoustic version!)
Hot Ride
Marky (*with vocals intact)
Play With Fire (instrumental) (*the band worked through a version of this Rolling Stones song one day when Barbara couldn't make it to rehearsal and somebody in the room pressed "record" on a battery-powered tape recorder, accounting for the ancient, murky sound. The band switched instruments, so Vance is the one playing the trippy psychedelic guitar solo.)
Come On Over
Parnell Pitcher (*finally!)
No Place I Can Go
Missing Hit Man
Talk To Me
In On The Outside
^Modern Beat
^Working Girl

(^ produced by Agent Orange/Berlin producer Dan Van Patten)

Live tracks:

Agnes English (*cover of John Fred single)
I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry (Over You) (*made famous by Elvis Presley and Hamburg-era Beatles)
Limbo's Getting Crowded
+I'm On E (*cover of Blondie track)
+My Way (*cover of Paul Anka track)
+I'm Down (*Beatles b-side w/"Help")

(+ live medley)

A good portion of these tracks I have already owned for several years thanks to a friend who has been sitting on old 4-track demo versions of "You Don't Look At Me", "Marky", "Hot Ride", "Parnell Pitcher", "No Place I Can Go" and "In On The Outside" since back in the day when his own band shared studio space with The Cold in the 80's. It's also cool to see who wrote what, how Vance wrote "You Don't Look At me" and "Marky" (one of my favorites), and that Vance and Barbara both collaborated on "No Place I Can Go" and "Rockman", which I have never heard of before until now.

In all a very good comp chock fulla nuggets that have long deserved official release. I am a tad disappointed that some of the other Vance-centric tunes were left off, like "The Warning", "She Was Born To Drive Me Crazy", and his signature cover of The Easybeat's "Friday On My Mind" which really brought the house down over my head at the Howlin' Wolf back at the 2001 reunion in New Orleans. Would have also loved to have seen "Two Boys" make the cut, and maybe even hear a version of that Bert song that I don't know the name of but I always call "Scared of You".

But who knows. Maybe Limbo might start stackin' up again.

Limbo's Getting Crowded can be ordered through Top Pop Records via paypal ( or write to them directly with $14.00 (already includes U.S. shipping and handling) to Top Pop Reocrds P.O. Box 19272 New Orleans, LA 70179-0272.

Monday, December 05, 2005

My Head Is My Only House Unless it Rains

Thank yews go out to dear Mr. Phung (seen here, on the left, with Vanceypants) for sending me a nice lil' $20 gift card to the California Pizza Kitchen in the mail as a surprise for burning his entire television segment onto DVD-R for him. He appeared briefly in this 2001 report with Vance DeGeneres called "Dr. Feelgreat" on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and I burned it for him about a year or two ago but that disk was damaged so I just sent him a replacement copy free of charge. He didn't have to send me anything, but yet he did, and it was very sweet of him. Hey, at the time all I wanted in return was knowing what it was like to stand within molesting conversing range to my dream boy -- although I suppose there was a time when I have stood just as close to him myself (my photo evidence here , here and also here). Well, myself and about 300 other screaming middle-aged New Orleans soccer moms rolling out their head bands and checkerboard Vans like it was 1982 again (wait, isn't that what all the kids are wearing again these days?). Ack. It's too eerie to think of all those people I met in Nola that weekend, in light of everything that's happened. Gives me the shivers.

It's truly been a mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad weekend only without the hilarity of Dick Shawn wailing for his mama (although there were times when I came close to crying out for my own). Holiday shopping appeared to have died down since Black Friday and now something seems to have galvanized it back into full-on frenzy mode like sharks squabbling over the last bit of bloody human leg stump and the process of coming home feels more like being wheeled into fucking recovery. I absolutely loathe being too physically and mentally worn down to do anything after work, because of work itself. Looking forward to taking another week off maybe in January or February (if I can afford it then) and just hibernate after all things blow over. Maybe even go somewhere. Heck, even if it's just a jaunt up to D.C. for a weekend it means not being here for awhile, and just like last year's trip to L.A. sometimes I really just gotta break away from here every now and again.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Quote Me As Saying I Was Misquoted

The more overall shopping I got done today, the more the pressures of the season seemed to lift itself from my shoulders like the cliché gray leathery bat-winged beast and flutter delicately up up and away. And I did get a good chunk done, I'm delighted to say. In fact all I need to buy for now is my father, who is traditionally the hardest member of my family to buy for so at least I now have a few more weeks to spend concentrating only finding just the thingamabob that will get those last few hairs standing straight up on his head. I welcome the challenge, though. Well, some years I do.

That's not to say that I didn't benefit a little myself from the 40% off merchandise day over at my own place of business. I know I know I know I said I wouldn't get anything else this year as far as music but when it's this much off I don't feel the burn in my wallet like I would in most other instances -- and it's not like I didn't already fulfill my new year's resolution to cut back on music spending this year, although I suppose I overcompensated by buying more, uh, porn instead... but blah blah blah I'm just running my mouth here so on with the used treasure boo-tay. Let's meet our first purchase {{insert Herb Alpert's "Spanish Flea" here}}...

Moby Grape! And their debut album... Moby Grape!

Recorded in 1969, presumably before Skip Spence went woo-woo, and technically one of those San Francisco psychedelic records that didn't quite sound like all the other San Francisco psychedelic records tumbling off the trippy assembly line of those times. I've only heard chunkettes of this over the years and I'm still a little baffled as to why it took me so long to snap this up, given the obsessive 60's phase I went through during the mid 80's. But I've heard good things. Or at least I've heard... things. But I've liked what I've heard so far so I don't expect to be disappointed.

Next we have Big Star #1 Record/Radio City...

Strange how up until now I used to only own Third/Sister Lovers on CD from back in the mid-ish 90's when these disks were re-released, and although I am already familiar with several of the tracks from these albums, like "Mod Lang" and "September Gurls" it took a used copy to float in randomly for me to suddenly discover that I couldn't possibly live without this in my life. How does that happen, exactly. And funny how that does, too. My passions just roll like that, yo.

And then there's, uh, Party O' The Times: A Tribute To Prince...

As half of a two-man Prince collecting collective how the heck did something like this pass me by over the course of the last 5 years after it was released? And on Cleopatra Records, no less. This comp features 13 Prince hits covered by the likes of Buddy Miles, Gary Numan, Heaven 17, Ice T, Mellow Man Ace, and... uh, Rebecca Romijn Stamos doing "Darling Nikki". Well, we'll just see how that goes, shall we.

And joy o' joys... two of my favorite Marx Brothers movies!

Two movies that I have not seen since I was a star-struck little girl kissing her pillow every night and dreaming of one day becoming Mrs. Julius Henry Marx... and I remember all these hilarious little bits from each movie but damn if I could recall which movie they belong to.

I also gave Joe his Christmas presents tonight. Not very traditional I know, but considering that he's an agnostic Jew Christmas in general isn't exactly a traditional thing for him either. But giving him his presents weeks in advance has become a tradition in itself, and his birthday is already so close to the holiday that I usually prefer to go all-out for him then than now. But I took a funny photo (well funny to me at least) and maybe I'll post it later.

Oh, and I'm caught up on my sleep now. I suppose the body just shuts itself down after going too long without. Good thing I landed someplace soft.


Sat 3: 10-4
Sun 4: 11-5
Mon 5: 11-6
Wed 7: 10-5
Thur 8: 11-7
Fri 9: 10-5

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Happy Birthhh-day Missster Sssmithers....

I just thought I'd say that. Somehow watching reruns of The Simpsons brings a sweet sense of normalcy to my day, no matter how many bazillion times I've seen each and every one. And I'm striving for normalcy right now. Oh, and energy. Normalcy and energy. And I wouldn't kick a good night's sleep outta bed for anything. I'll settle for a little offa each plate, por favor.

Oh by the way, I want to apologize if my posts have been erratic and, well, even less than their usual lack-of-substance lately, but things have been busy and when I finally do get to get online to post anything what little energy and even less wit I still possess deserts me when it's most needed. I haven't even really gotten much holiday shopping tucked under my belt, but tomorrow is our store's annual employee discount day with 40% just about everything so I'm hoping to knock out a few folks on my Santa list in one fell swoop.

So tired. It's like I never sleep anymore.

Ballin' The Jack (A New Beginning)

Whoa, nellie. BIG NEWS for Jack & Co. out west... they have a new space for their face! The Circus Theatricals have left their former home at the Odyssey Theatre and have set up permanent residence at the Hayworth Theatre down on Wilshire Blvd. The website has just posted this press release:


Award-winning theatre company moves to Hayworth Theatre Center in the Historic Wilshire District

December 1, 2005 - Award-winning and critically-acclaimed theatre company, Circus Theatricals, has ended its residency at the Odyssey theatre, and has found a new home at the Hayworth Theatre Center. The Hayworth Theatre Center is conveniently located in Los Angeles' historic Wilshire District. A former movie theatre and dance studio, The Hayworth is being transformed into a vibrant new theatre and performing arts complex. The company will call its theatre The Circus Theatricals Studio Theatre at The Hayworth.

The Circus Theatricals Studio Theatre at the Hayworth will house a newly built theatre for productions and professional acting classes, dressing rooms, green room, rehearsal space, offices, and a spacious lobby. The new theatre site offers convenient street parking as well as a parking structure adjacent to the building, with a special low rate for theatre patrons.
“We're very excited about having a place to call our own again," says Circus Theatricals Artistic Director Jack Stehlin. "Our own permanent space will allow us the opportunity to take Circus Theatricals to the next level."

Circus Theatricals will present a season of four main stage and four second stage productions a year. The 2006 season, to be announced, will include a mixture of classics and new works. The company also plans to develop more new works with established and budding playrights, expand its community outreach programs, develop a subscription audience, and add more professional acting classes and special workshops, such as the popular Shakespeare workshop with associate artist Alfred Molina.


Above are some pictures from the site, which you can click on to enlarge: Photo one is the outside of the Hayworth itself, which looks considerably prettier than the glaring blue, er, blueness of the Odyssey Theatre. At least the creamy colors here won't threaten to scorch out my rods and cones just standing in front of it. Photo two is the CT Ensemble, with Jack and his wife Jeannine out in front with three of his lovely young daughters sitting on their laps. Photo three is the site of their upcoming new rehearsal room. You can definitely tell this used to be a dance studio at one point. I can just make out Jack there gesticulating excitedly to what appears to be Alfred Molina in the foreground.

I'm really thrilled for the Stehlins. It appears to be quite a sweet set-up and I'm looking forward to the potential possibilities that this new space might bring to their productions. And GAHHH I wish I knew what the new 2006 season will be right now so that I can start making plans in advance to grumble about not having enough to go out there now -- although I do admit that, if it indeed will be open to the public, I'd be curious to attend the benefit fundraiser that will be hosted by Fred Molina coming up in February. I have no idea what the fundraiser itself entails but I have always tried my best to give what I can afford to Jack and the CT posse in past events like these where I couldn't physically attend but would send a little something via paypal if I could. And heck, I'm always looking for another reason to fly out to L.A. again. Maybe this time I won't be driving down Whilshire Blvd. during an earthquake. I still feel royally ripped off for missing out on the experience because I was already in motion. Dammit! I want my money back!