Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Looks like Carole read my posting!

Don't ask me how I know. I know who reads my blog -- and when, and from which ISP. I'm magic like that.

I'm sorry, Carole. I'm sorry for being unoriginal, and for calling you on your poor driving and for endangering other (innocent) drivers, and for screaming at other people when they asked you just what the hell you were doing. I'm sorry for replicating other peoples' criticism when I ask why it took you so long to reveal this leukemia, and why you did so at such a seemingly advantageous time.

The message I hope you'll get, whether it's from me or the many other blog posts you'll turn up about yourself in your daily Technorati searches, is that we need leaders. Leaders who seem like leaders, not like crazy shrieking hotheads more suited to the National Enquirer than to prominent positions of power.

This isn't a new story and my comments on it are coming a bit late. That's because the accident I saw yesterday on Solano made me aware of the potentially fatal folly of being arrogant and careless. We should all be aware of that danger.

Oh my God! That thing was crawling on my LEG!

The cutest little weatherman EVER freaks out over a cockroach!

What's happening to the Bay Area?

Last night I dreamt of street crime and guns. This morning I wake up to stories like this -- a 24-year-old man gunned down in broad daylight (and apparently it was a random street mugging and assault) in El Cerrito, of all places. Then this -- crime is up in Temescal, a neighborhood that I've been known to frequent. Not to mention the ongoing homeless dilemma in the city and elsewhere.

Then there was a close call Friday night. Adam and I were driving through Hayes Valley and some drunk and mean asshole was crossing the street -- totally against traffic, and it seemed to be almost deliberate. As we pulled up, the guy leaned on the hood of the car and looked at us menacingly. Scared the shit out of me.

What the hell is going on here?

People are saying crime is up, way up. It could be summer, or it could be something more serious, and does the cause really matter?

We pay a fortune to live here, a fucking fortune. The nature of my job is such that I could work anywhere. The thing that keeps me here most strongly -- one of the things, anyway -- is the Farm. I love where I live. But that doesn't mean I haven't thought about abandoning ship and going elsewhere, to a place a little more clean and sane. Portland? New York?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Carole Migden, were you on Solano Avenue?

Because I could've sworn I saw your handiwork.

There was a car with a smashed-in windshield and -- of all things -- a little white fluffy dog inside, just fine and hopping around.

"It's a straw hat," Adam said, using our code word for it's-got-to-be-an-old-hippie.

Turns out it was. Turns out this woman claims the sun was in her eyes, and that's why she mowed down two pedestrians. One hit her windshield, and the other flew with such force that he went right over her goddamned car.

The sun was in her eyes.


That's why two people who were IN THE CROSSWALK were injured and possibly killed? BECAUSE THE SUN WAS IN HER EYES?

Maybe she has leukemia -- like you, Carole Migden? Maybe she has a million different excuses for driving like a stupid fuckweed, and maybe she's going to whip them all out.

Just like you, Carole Migden?

Oh, and Carole? I understand your staff is calling to harass people who criticize you on the internet. So here it is, Carole: (510) 654-6512. I can't wait to hear from you and yours.
Patti at the Marsh was very gracious about my rescheduling my performance for tonight. I'll either perform there again in the summer or next spring.
I'm always amazed at how people will dick other people over. I used to be a target for that shit. No longer.
Being a housewife and a mother is the biggest job in the world, but if it doesn't interest you, don't do it - I would have made a terrible mother. - Katharine Hepburn

Sunday, July 29, 2007

If you're gonna play the game, boy, you gotta learn to play it right

I just sent an email to Patti Meyer at The Marsh. After a tough few weeks wrangling with my material (and I've been putting serious effort into the damn thing every day), it's just not ready for Monday's performance. I hope Patti's not angry with me for the last-minute notice, and I suppose I could've just put on my best ballsy mask and gone on, but the July 9 performance didn't go well and I just don't want a repeat. I hope she'll be open to scheduling me later down the road. I'll call the theater on Monday if I don't hear from her before then. I have a feeling she'll be understanding, and I hope she is.

In the meantime, I'm relieved at having made the decision. I'll be performing at WORDS FIRST in October, and I've decided to take Charlie Varon's class beginning in September. I need more professional direction. I can't do this in a vacuum.

And now ... Kenny Rogers -- The Gambler:

On a warm summers evenin on a train bound for nowhere,
I met up with the gambler; we were both too tired to sleep.
So we took turns a starin out the window at the darkness
til boredom overtook us, and he began to speak.

He said, son, Ive made a life out of readin peoples faces,
And knowin what their cards were by the way they held their eyes.
So if you dont mind my sayin, I can see youre out of aces.
For a taste of your whiskey Ill give you some advice.

So I handed him my bottle and he drank down my last swallow.
Then he bummed a cigarette and asked me for a light.
And the night got deathly quiet, and his face lost all expression.
Said, if youre gonna play the game, boy, ya gotta learn to play it right.

You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when youre sittin at the table.
Therell be time enough for countin when the dealins done.

Now evry gambler knows that the secret to survivin
Is knowin what to throw away and knowing what to keep.
cause evry hands a winner and evry hands a loser,
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.

So when hed finished speakin, he turned back towards the window,
Crushed out his cigarette and faded off to sleep.
And somewhere in the darkness the gambler, he broke even.
But in his final words I found an ace that I could keep.

You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when youre sittin at the table.
Therell be time enough for countin when the dealins done.

You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count you r money when youre sittin at the table.
Therell be time enough for countin when the dealins done.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

For once, I was pretty much with Mark Morford until he got to "love's little quivering carry-on Chihuahua" ... arrrrrgh. Blorrrrgh. Yuk.

Ward Churchill

The author of the terribly moving "Little Eichmanns" bit is canned by the University of Colorado.

Seriously, read the shit this raving lunatic writes. I challenge you to tell me how it's any different from the rantings and ravings that the hippie burnouts in the Haight photocopy and pass out at cafes.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The death of every website you care about!

Or a lot of them at least:

- Craigslist
- LiveJournal
- Technorati
- Yelp

And many, many more. They're housed at 365 Main, which has been dropping off today because of power outages and other possible reasons.

I can only imagine how many Net addicts are freaking out at their desks at the moment! Uh ... not me. Not yet.
Need one point out that while the actor is on the stage all these desires, aspirations, and actions must belong to him as the creative artist, and not to the inert paper words printed in the text of his part; not to the playwright, who is absent from the performance; nor yet to the director of the play, who remains in the wings? Need one emphasize that an actor can experience or live his part only with his own, genuine feelings? Can one live in ordinary life or on the stage with the feelings of others unless one has been absorbed by them body and spirit as an actor and human being? Can one borrow the feelings or the sensations, the body and soul, of another person and use them as one would one's own? - Stanislavski, Creating a Role

Our decrepit Golden Gate Park

"' I continually see these same homeless people,'' Graham said. "They don't bother me and most are friendly, but . . . they not only make a mess, but defecate just off the beaten tracks, which makes walking on nonsidewalk paths unpleasant to say the least.' "

Look at these pictures and read this story.

C.W. Nevius writes:

"Inevitably when we write a story like this, there are complaints that we are unsympathetic to the homeless. But this isn't a homeless issue.

"This is about a jewel of a public park, more than 1,000 acres of some of the most beautiful terrain in any city anywhere. This isn't about social welfare policy. The foliage must be cleaned along the road sides. The camps have to be controlled week after week after week. And most of all, this can't be a photo op. It has to be a steady, long-term effort."

He's calling on the city of San Francisco to keep this place livable. Why is that such a controversial thing?

Monday, July 23, 2007

"No email on Fridays"

I think this is pretty silly. Forcing people to talk to each other doesn't mean you're forging a working relationship.

And this cracks me up:

"The trend is seen as a backlash against a corporate 'crackberry' culture of impersonal communications. Last August, 400 Radio Shack employees received their pink slips electronically. In 2002, now-defunct accounting firm Arthur Anderson dropped the e-mail hatchet as well.

" 'I think it's been abused over the years,' said Ellison. 'We tend to use e-mail as a kind of a tool to hide behind issues versus getting up and talking to people.' "

Honey, if you're going to fire me, God knows I don't need a personal relationship with your sorry ass.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Very much so.

Since November, I've been seeing Dr. Clinton Young at California Pacific Medical Center. I've literally run up thousands of dollars in debt from:

- Doctor visits: $300 for a 3-minute visit. Not a bad hourly rate, huh?
- Blood tests.
- A CT scan. Horrible experience. And cost in the thousands all by itself.

Not to mention the medication I've been taking and that hasn't done ANYTHING.

Also, his front office is rushed and brisk. You'd better be prepared to say what you want to say, or else you'll be put on hold or snapped at. The billing office is quite nice, though.

Today he called me back after I left two messages for him. When I told him I haven't seen improvement, he basically insinuated this could be the end of the road ... unless I went in for another round of useless exams and tests.

Finally he said: "I'll call a friend of mine in Wisconsin ... get some free advice." Like he was doing me some favor. Supposedly I'll hear from him on Monday. Maybe I will, maybe I won't. I'm not counting on it.

I understand that physicians are professionals just like everyone else. They're not going to hold your hand and cry their eyes out when you express frustration. But I expect a doctor to do his job, and to show some sort of respect to me as a patient. At a minimum.

All you need is ... Luvs?

I'm sure when the Beatles wrote their classic song, they had "premium leakage protection" in mind.

Shake and Wake sucks

Wake 'n Bake, as they said in college, is almost certainly better. This morning's earthquake shook me up. Adam didn't give a damn. Then again, he slept through Northridge, so he's not exactly a reliable indicator.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mid-summer pictures

No, there is no medication for this condition. Picture taken last weekend in Davis.
Nope, no help. None whatsoever.
Present from the Great Beyond, otherwise known as the San Fernando Valley.
At The Pub.

The hammock had been weakening for some time. It sagged and sagged. One day it broke, and Adam got the camera.

Bruce, you the man!

I would never cheat on Adam. But if this guy came along ... well, temptation.
Saw a great exhibit this afternoon at the Berkeley Art Museum. I'd never heard of David Goldblatt, but his stuff is striking as hell.

South Africa -- his homeland and his subject -- fascinates me. I'm also more than a little scared to go there, but I'd love to overcome that fear at some point.

This Saturday: The Lair of Lady Monster

Catch me there this Saturday at 3 pm -- you never know what you might hear.

Here's the 411:

The Lair of Lady Monster
Saturdays 2:00 - 4:00PM
Pirate Cat Radio is broadcast at:
87.9FM in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and at 104.8 in Berlin, Germany.
Listen live via: http://www.piratecatradio.com/
Listen to recorded podcasts and check out the play list at:
I'm listening to this guy do his business via cellphone at Caffe Strada. I've never heard of Bill Schechner before, but I guess he's a TV guy. The only reason I know his name is because I'm hearing him repeat it over ... and over ... and over.

There's also a guy who looks remarkably like Mark Bittner, who I have heard of and who I respect quite a bit.

Fuck Nike


"The Nike culture treasures hard edges and despises weakness." Even when dogfighting is involved? You stupid Swoosh fucks.
I didn't always have the thick skin I have today.

I developed it.

A while back, my brother told me: "I used to put equal effort into every friendship. I don't any more." He's 22. He's way ahead of where I was at that age.

Some friends stayed. Some friends left. Some friends broke my heart and if I found them behind the wheel of a truck I was driving, I'd probably put it in gear and just go.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dunbar Village assaults

These aren't people. They're animals. How the hell could you even contemplate rehabilitating the kind of creature who could break into someone's house, rape them repeatedly, pour cleanser all over them, and then make them go down on their own 12-year-old son?

If this happened in the Bay Area, of course, you know there'd be some people crying out to help these "youth" through counseling. Yeah, good luck.

And another thing. I don't give a shit what these kids have gone through in their lives. That's right, I don't care. I grew up in an angry, abusive home, watched Dad smack Mom, listened to Mom cry and caterwaul, had the ground shifting under my feet up to (and beyond) the time I escaped and went to college. I don't go around torturing people. Fuck these guys. They had a shitty upbringing, but that's no goddamned excuse.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Our neighbor's daughter is home from college. What a spoiled little bitch. She and her buddies have the charming habit of getting high and jumping around the backyard screaming. Beautiful.

'Celebrity colonialism'

And other reasons to dislike Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
I'm continuing to eavesdrop on these girls next to me. I particularly like one of them -- she reminds me SO much of myself, or at least where I am at the moment.

She says: "This is the first time, the first experience I've had of growing, of moving away from people who are where I don't want to be ... It feels weird, it feels like aging."

And her friend says: "I would say you're lucky."

That's so much where I am right now. I'm frustrated with a rather frightening percentage of my friends. There's this distance. I'm tired of being the shrink, the one to talk people through their fuckups. Glad to see someone else is going through the same thing. Gives me incentive to grapple with it and move beyond it.
I'm at Gaylords, listening to this very grounded and interesting conversation. Makes me realize how few people interest me these days. Makes me sad. Makes me want more.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

In the Realm of the Senses

"I'm not even sure I'd recommend it to people under 30, let alone allow anyone under 18 see it. When I was young, and I saw even a censored version of the film, I was repelled; my vision of sex was perhaps more informed by Cat Stevens, and it was all about nice, sweet gentle things that you wanted to do to one another.

"An older person will have endured a few broken-down love affairs, and long periods of loneliness unredeemed by the bruised sweetness loneliness has for adolescents. At that younger age, you have at least the comfort that it's the world's fault that you're alone. Later, you know better. Older viewers will have realized that death is not this cool thing that happens to other people but something awful that will happen to them presently. Sex becomes darker, and all the more precious, because of this insight. 'In the ecstasy of love,' notes Oshima, 'the cry is "I'm dying."' But as one becomes older, the cry becomes 'Kill me now.'"

Amazing movie.

Smug alert

Many Prius drivers are pricks. Go figure!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Hot Ghetto Mess

Just heard about this today. Found an interesting blog post and talk thread about it. I say anything that causes a big ruckus has some merit. I support Jam Donaldson.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Outrage over a cat, not over a human life. I'm generally more of a fan of animals than of people, but this article makes some stinging points.
" When I sit down to write a letter or start the first draft of an article, I simply type on the keyboard and the words appear on the screen. For six months, I found it awkward to compose first drafts on the computer. Now I can hardly do it any other way. It is faster to type this way than with a normal typewriter, because you don't need to stop at the end of the line for a carriage return (the computer automatically "wraps" the words onto the next line when you reach the right-hand margin), and you never come to the end of the page, because the material on the screen keeps sliding up to make room for each new line. It is also more satisfying to the soul, because each maimed and misconceived passage can be made to vanish instantly, by the word or by the paragraph, leaving a pristine green field on which to make the next attempt."

On "Living With a Computer."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Monday's performance

It went okay. It could've gone much better. I have July 30 to make up for it.

I've also decided to take a performance class in the fall. I need direction and editing ... badly.

"What is most disgusting about current political correctness on campus is that its proponents have managed to convince their students and the media that they are authentic Sixties radicals. The idea is preposterous. Political correctness, with its fascist speech codes and puritanical sexual regulations, is a travesty of Sixties progressive values.

"My message to the media is: Wake up! The silencing of authentic debate among feminists just helps the rise of the far right. When the media get locked in their Northeastern ghetto and become slaves of the feminist establishment and fanatical special interests, the American audience ends up looking to conservative voices for common sense. As a libertarian Democrat, I protest against this self-defeating tyranny of political correctness."

Camille Paglia on political correctness.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

This just popped into my head

In another life, one I hope not to revisit, I had a serious career slump. I rock-hopped from job to job in vain hopes of paying the rent.

That was before I really realized the value of my writing, and before I made freelancing a career rather than a hope.

One of my jobs was at a Jewish nonprofit, working directly with a well-known Israeli entertainer.

He treated me like dirt. He acted as though I were lower than the low. He would try out his comedy routines on me and they were so unfunny that I wanted to spit in his face.

Flash forward a few years. I'm in New York at the FRIGID festival. Sophie called me and said: "I saw (Israeli entertainer) at Peets. He was monologuing at a bunch of people."

Some people never change. I'm glad I did.

Soho Coffee and Tea

I loved this place when I was in DC something like 7 years ago. And reading this article, I love it even more.

Monday, July 9, 2007

One addendum to my last post

It's definitely possible to read that and see me as anti-parent and anti-child.

That's not true, actually. Not at all.

But what I see constantly is an exclusive focus on children without regard to the adults in the room. Even if I were a parent, I would not be cool with some chick breezing around a cafe or pizza parlor, carrying her charges as if to say Look At Me! Class, people, come on, learn it and use it.

My favorite NYC neighborhood

An amusing article on a topic that I thought had been beaten to death. (And that I sometimes beat to death.) This part struck me:

One woman had her shirt completely unbuttoned, her pretty pink, lacey maternity bra on display. Another had one breast lopped over the top of her tank top. The third had twins. She wasn’t wearing a shirt — or a bra for that matter — just a hoodie sweatshirt unzipped with a baby at each breast. She walked around the restaurant with them in her arms, her body swaying in a comforting dance.

If only I was a 14-year-old boy! I admired their lack of self-consciousness but had to admit I was uncomfortable — it was as if I had landed in a private living room, and it felt as if I were privy to their intimacy unbeknownst to them.

But open and comfortable breast-feeding is quintessential daytime Park Slope. Moms are just as relaxed nursing at the local pizza parlor as they are in each other’s homes.

I have absolutely no problem with public breast-feeding. I do have a problem with people who treat public places as their own living rooms -- whether it's kids or cell phones they're wielding. (And I've definitely railed against both at times.)

Another great bit:

A couple of weeks later, I was crossing the street. I had pulled my stroller up next to a mother who was carrying her child on her shoulders.

She said to her little girl in a singsong voice, “Look at the beautiful baby,” which her daughter echoed back to her as if they were singing a duet. I puffed up with pride while I crossed the street before the light changed — there were no cars coming.

Then the lady sang in a louder voice — to make sure I really heard her — “Look at the jaywalking mommy,” which her daughter also aped back.

I hated that my neighborhood was living up to its cliché of being chock-full of “annoying parenting types.”
Mommie fight! Bring on the Mommie Fight!

Blatant self-promotion

I'll be at The Marsh tonight -- 8pm, $7 entry. Come check out my new work, KINDNESS AT THE CHECK-CASHING JOINT, along with three other talented people!


Watching Tsotsi tonight reignited my fascination with this city. I can't believe so much of what I'm reading. I've never been there (and probably never will), but it all reads like a fucking disgrace. Rampant crime, 50 murders a day, people basically locked in their homes. Sad and disgusting.

Does he LOOK like a BITCH?

Then why you try to fuck him like a bitch, Brett?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

"If one of us were gone from Tinkture, Tinkture would just collapse and die, you know"

Last night, 16-year-old Roisin Isner, a member of Tinkture, had her hand basically blown off by fireworks. Some idiot chucked them at her and her friends.

I can't take the stupidity. Is it just the Bay Area -- the love-everybody-all-the-time-let-them-do-what-they-want mentality -- or is it the world? All I know is that a teenage musician can now no longer play.

This is what I read on the SFGate comments:

sheabones wrote:

Roisin Isner, drummer for the San Francisco band Tinkture lost her hand in Dolores Park last night watching the fireworks. Her dad sent the email below to some local media outlets... Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2007 4:32 AM To: XXXX Subject: Roisin Isner, Tinkture drummer Hello, I am Roisin's father. July 4th, Roisin and friends were in Dolores Park watching fireworks. Some stupid piece of shit threw an M60 at them. It landed on Roisin's right hand and blew it apart. She will undego surgery later this morning but it doesn't look good. Most likely she will lose her index finger; second and third fingers will also be permanently impaired and disfigured. Needless to say, her musical career is over. I want this fucker. Media attention will help flush him out. People know who did it and I'm offering $20,000 for a name. Please do whatever is necessary to get the story out. Do so and I will reward you as well. Thank you, Chris Isner chrisisner@hotmail.co

Ted Nugent rails on hippies!

Pardon the long post -- it's cut and pasted from the Wall Street Journal and won't be accessible for long due to password protection.

I find this partly accurate, partly not, and 100 percent hilarious. Probably because I'm picturing Eric Cartman reading it and grinning.

The Summer of Drugs

July 3, 2007; Page A17

This summer marks the 40th anniversary of the so-called Summer of Love. Honest and intelligent people will remember it for what it really was: the Summer of Drugs.

Forty years ago hordes of stoned, dirty, stinky hippies converged on San Francisco to "turn on, tune in, and drop out," which was the calling card of LSD proponent Timothy Leary. Turned off by the work ethic and productive American Dream values of their parents, hippies instead opted for a cowardly, irresponsible lifestyle of random sex, life-destroying drugs and mostly soulless rock music that flourished in San Francisco.

The Summer of Drugs climaxed with the Monterey Pop Festival which included some truly virtuoso musical talents such as Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, both of whom would be dead a couple of years later due to drug abuse. Other musical geniuses such as Jim Morrison and Mama Cass would also be dead due to drugs within a few short years. The bodies of chemical-infested, braindead liberal deniers continue to stack up like cordwood.

As a diehard musician, I terribly miss these very talented people who squandered God's gifts in favor of poison and the joke of hipness. I often wonder what musical peaks they could have climbed had they not gagged to death on their own vomit. Their choice of dope over quality of life, musical talent and meaningful relationships with loved ones can only be categorized as despicably selfish.

I literally had to step over stoned, drooling fans, band mates, concert promoters and staff to pursue my musical American Dream throughout the 1960s and 1970s. I flushed more dope and cocaine down backstage toilets than I care to remember. In utter frustration I was even forced to punch my way through violent dopers on occasion. So much for peace and love. The DEA should make me an honorary officer.

I was forced to fire band members and business associates due to mindless, dangerous, illegal drug use. Clean and sober for 59 years, I am still rocking my brains out and approaching my 6,000th concert. Clean and sober is the real party.

Young people make mistakes. I've made my share, but none that involved placing my life or the lives of others at risk because of dope. I saw first-hand too many destroyed lives and wrecked families to ever want to drool and vomit on myself and call that a good time. I put my heart and soul into creating the best music I possibly could and I went hunting instead. My dream continues with ferocity, thank you.

The 1960s, a generation that wanted to hold hands, give peace a chance, smoke dope and change the world, changed it all right: for the worse. America is still suffering the horrible consequences of hippies who thought utopia could be found in joints and intentional disconnect.

A quick study of social statistics before and after the 1960s is quite telling. The rising rates of divorce, high school drop outs, drug use, abortion, sexual diseases and crime, not to mention the exponential expansion of government and taxes, is dramatic. The "if it feels good, do it" lifestyle born of the 1960s has proved to be destructive and deadly.

So now, 40 years later, there are actually people who want to celebrate the anniversary of the Summer of Drugs. Hippies are once again descending on ultra-liberal San Francisco -- a city that once wanted to give shopping carts to the homeless -- to celebrate and try to remember their dopey days of youth when so many of their musical heroes and friends long ago assumed room temperature by "partying" themselves to death. Nice.

While I salute and commend the political and cultural activism of the 1960s that fueled the civil rights movement, other than that, the decade is barren of any positive cultural or social impact. Honest people will remember 1967 for what is truly was.

There is a saying that if you can remember the 1960s, you were not there. I was there and remember the decade in vivid, ugly detail. I remember its toxic underbelly excess because I was caught in the vortex of the music revolution that was sweeping the country, and because my radar was fine-tuned thanks to a clean and sober lifestyle.

Death due to drugs and the social carnage heaped upon America by hippies is nothing to celebrate. That is a fool's game, but it is quite apparent some burned-out hippies never learn.

Mr. Nugent is a rock star releasing his 35th album, "Love Grenade," this summer.

I've got my own idea for a startup.

Don't know if your girl's a virgin?

Don't want to ask ... or don't know if you can trust the answer?

Come to zHymen.com. We've got the goods. We've got the inside scoop. Hell, we've got the pictures.

zHymen. If you can't trust your chick, trust us instead.

Thoughts on July 4th

When you live in the Bay Area, July 4th is less of a serious occasion and more of an opportunity for people to talk about the many ways in which our country is fucked up.

As Adam tends to put it: "We could be better."

Yes, but we could also be much worse. I don't see July 4th as an opportunity to tout how perfect we are, but rather to celebrate the positive parts of our democratic experiment. As someone who's traveled and lived outside the United States, I know how unique this place is -- for better or for worse.

I'm no rabid patriot. There are things that this country does terribly wrong. But criticizing it just to be cool is just as faddish as blind acceptance.

Tattoos and you

Once again, the LA Times gets an interesting story.

My first instinct when reading this: Who cares what employees look like? Let them be tattooed!

Then I thought about my own way of making a living.

I work offsite. That means I can dress as I like -- and that usually involves something worn and comfortable. Though I have no tattoos and have pretty much let my ear piercings (two in each) close up out of lack of interest, I doubt I look very professional most days.

I couldn't care less about appearance and image. And that goes beyond what I wear and whether or not I have ink in my skin. That means not wanting to play politics or engage in small talk. That's a lot of what drove me out of the conventional workplace.

I've made a choice. So does anyone who alters their appearance. It says something about them. Personally, I like people who make unconventional choices, who look different, who say something with their bodies. But there's plenty of employers who don't. And the law states that they have that right.
What a perfect day. Slept late-ish, cycled to Solano, ate at House of Curries, hung at The Pub. Later had barbeque, tried to watch fireworks from Alameda, got dessert at the Merritt, swung by Super Longs.

You've got to cherish days like this because you never know when they'll be gone.

On a less weighty note, saw Mike Daisey's workshop of Tongues Will Wag. Excellent and intense. Lots to unpack and discuss. Well done.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Fourth?

"To be completely fair, I don't have a ton of actual facts to contribute to the debate. I only did 15 minutes of research for this column -- and approximately two-thirds of that time was spent watching some dude on YouTube blow up a sand castle with an M-80."

Yeah, that's typical Peter Hartlaub. With all the layoffs at the Chron, how is it that he and Mark Morford still have jobs?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Marsh

Next Monday, July 9, I'll perform KINDNESS AT THE CHECK-CASHING JOINT at The Marsh. It's a work in progress, and it's part of a longer solo show, THINGS THAT SHAME YOU. It's all about letting bank accounts go bad, the painful joy of lying, and sweetness that comes from behind bulletproof glass. Check it out for yourself -- Monday, July 9, at 8 pm. The Marsh is at 1062 Valencia St. (x-st 22nd), and tickets are $7. Hope to see you there!

That's July 4th in the Bay

Oaklanders keep killing each other. Too bad because all these people seem like fine upstanding citizens who could have really contributed to the community. Who knows what they could have achieved had they lived? A few more drug deals, or perhaps they could've become Oakland Ambassadors.

Confidential to the guy at The Pub ...

The one with the TWO Blackberries set side by side on the table.

The one who interrupted Adam's and my card game with lifeless banter: "I love modern art" -- said as he was playing with one of his cellular leashes.

The one who was hitting on the redhaired Aussie woman whose room he'll be subletting ...

Buddy, I hope you don't get carpal tunnel jacking off, because I don't know ANYBODY dumb enough to fuck you. And if you think telling a woman "let's be each other's emotional garbage disposals" is a good pickup line, you're a bigger douche than I originally gave you credit for.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Wow, this guy's a dumbass. If you're stupid enough not only to diddle a student but leave evidence floating out everywhere, you really do get what you deserve -- which in his case is not only a pink slip but some serious time in the hoosegow.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Paris, je t'aime!

Great flick. One of my favorite lines from the reviews: "It’s a credit to these 19 filmmaking teams, including Besson, that they restore Paris its good name after gossip pages would have consumers equate it with a certain prison-bound socialite."