Saturday, September 30, 2006

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Library, main branch – revisited a copy machine on the 3rd floor which previously had allowed me to use the same nickel and dime over and over and over to add money to my copy card. Repeated the procedure about twenty times before deciding to avoid excessive greediness and the, I suppose, technical violation of propriety. This time, the magic didn’t repeat.

And got to a computer, but it wasn’t working, couldn’t get onto the Internet, couldn’t print a Word document, so skipped it. Began heading to the Odd Fellows lodge for the twice-monthly meeting. At the Friends of the Library store near the Groove Street entrance, paid a dollar for a paperback copy of Mona Lisa Overdrive, the William Gibson novel. Wanted the tiny Penguin collection of Basho haiku for the same price, but it was already sold. It was to be a gift for my Former Lady Roommate, who is secretary of the lodge.

And: rationalizing the putting of non-legitimate money on that library copy card. The charge is 15 cents a page, normally, and that seems a bit steep. Five cents would be the fairer price.

And to the meeting – or rather, the pre-meeting socializing hour and dinner. Just wasn’t feeling it then, so I said my usual hellos, had some of the Chinese food, and left before the actual meeting. Brother Sami there, always with the kind word for me. Told Brother P. that I had in general a short attention span, and grew easily restless during the prolonged formal procedures during meetings. And had a little chat with Brother Hugh in front of the elevator – he said the usual procedure is to begin as a door guardian, learn that role, then proceed to the several other positions. Am totally slacking in terms of moving up that Odd Fellow hierarchy.

Then up towards the hotel. Met guy, John, who had a bag of VHS tapes for sale, including two of the Terrence Hill spaghetti Western parodies in the Trinity series. Also a box of three James Bond ones – later in the series, not any Connery ones, as I recall. Didn’t buy. But got him the five bucks I’d owed him for cans of beans and peanut butter and I think something else that he’d advanced me a few days ago.

And back into my room, turned on the Stephen Davis Morrison biography. Tickets for those late Sixties concerts were just six, seven dollars! Cost these days, probably, of a Cherry Garcia bar at a Pink concert nowadays.

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And Jimbo Morrison is said to have said this to the audience at a concert in upstate New York which wasn’t going well: “If this is Troy, I’m with the fucking Greeks!” Huh? Is that the right reference? Troy was in Greece, right? Shouldn’t it be “with the fucking Spartans”?

And: “learning to loathe ‘Light My Fire’” – phrase about Morrison, after having to sing that so many times. Not always easy fun being a rock god.

And it was 7:45pm that Thursday evening, in my room, listening to the audio book. Thought over to the lodge hall – the meeting was probably still going on. Feeling a bit bad about not participating. Went down to the deli on the block for a bite to eat – counter guy asked me where he could buy a pillow. Told him the Walgreen’s at Eddy and Van Ness, probably the closest place at that hour. Bought a buck bag of a Doritos variant with a handful of pennies, nickels, and dimes. I’m one that can count pennies.

Then close to midnight, got a call, which is unusual at that hour. Didn’t answer – turns out it’s Brother P. Maybe to berate me for not attending the meeting – didn’t get back to him until the next morning.

And had a vivid, very, dream that night, about Berkeley, a party in a big garage of a house where a guy was making food laced with marijuana and LSD. Was feeling like I had to get back to the other side of the bay. Turned down the acid, but took some pot ice cream.

And at a quarter after 4am, Friday morning, yesterday, called Bank of America to check on my account, on money that’s downloaded into it in the middle of the night at the beginning of the month. It was there. And was still affected by that dream quite a while after waking.

And checked on the message that P. had left. He said I should get to the lodge building at half after nine in the morning so he could give me an envelope to drop off at Washington Mutual. No berating for non-attendance.

And thought of a line for some fictional character: “Certain peculiarities of speech and behavior.” And out to use the shared toilets. Left in there, two pages of photos of performers from at Atlanta strip club – one was hanging upside down from a horizontal bar. Reading material, those pages.

posted by Velcro  # 4:10 PM
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Now, a very special edition of this blog, from the sfmuseum.org site, which I encountered during research for something along the lines of Sopwith Camel. It’s called the “Chronology of San Francisco Rock – 1965-1969”, part of the larger Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco. About two-hundred separate late Sixties Frisco rock items altogether, and I found 31 that most interested, as follows:

August 13th, ’65: Jefferson Airplane at the opening night of the Matrix, at 3138 Fillmore. Site now a somewhat expensive nightclub.

November 6th, same year: San Francisco Mime Troupe Appeal Party at a Minna Street loft.

March 15th, ’66: California Attorney General Thomas C. Lynch, in a statement to the State Senate Judiciary Committee in Sacramento, condemned LSD.

May 18th, ’66: The PH Phactor Jug Band at 40 Cedar, near Polk and Geary.

May 27th, ’66: Andy Warhol and the Plastic Inevitable at the Fillmore Auditorium. (Not popular in this city, Andy and his crew.)

July 3rd, ’66: band called Group B at the Fillmore.

July 10th, ’66: Fillmore concert including the San Andreas Fault Finders. (Like Group B, PH Phactor Jug Band, amusing era band names.)

August 25th, ’66: Yardbirds at the Carousel Ballroom – on the second floor of the building at the southwest corner of Market and Van Ness.

September 30th, ’66: First day of three-day Acid Test at S.F. State.

October 6th, ’66: Sale, possession of LSD made illegal in California.

October 27th, ’66: Bay Guardian debut.

November 8th, ’66: Ronald Reagan defeated incumbent Edmund G. Brown by almost a million votes.

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November 13th, ’66: The Dead and others at “Zenefit” at the Avalon
Ballroom for the Zen Mountain Center. And same year, December 1st: Print Mint opened at 1542 Haight.

January 5th, ’67: Reagan inauguration, at midnight. He turns to a senator and says: “Well, George, here we are on the late show again.” Same year, February 10: “Tribute to J. Edgar Hoover” at California Hall.

February 14th, ’67: Doors at S.F. Whisky-a-Go-Go, 568 Sacramento Street.

March 5th, ’67: Warren Hinckle hosts a benefit in honor of the Citizens for Interplanetary Activity at California Hall.

March 24th, ’67: W.C. Fields Memorial Orphanage event at 120 Julian near 15th and Valencia. (Only Mission area listing, I think.)

June 2nd, ’67: KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival on Mt. Tamalpais – benefit for the Hunters Point Child Care Center.

October 13th, ’67: Music event at the Western Front Dance Academy at Polk and O’Farrell.

March 3rd, ’68: Dead farewell concert before leaving the Haight for Marin. And on the 22nd: Lynda Bird Johnson, daughter of the President, ordered off a cable car for eating an ice cream cone.

And to consolidate the information in order to keep it to two pages, all this for the rest of ’68…April 19th: Frumious Bandersnatch at the Carousel Ballroom. May 31st: S.F. Museum of Art display of the works of Robert Edward Duncan – part of celebration of the city’s underground art from ’45 to ‘68. June 4: Voters defeated a nearly sixty million dollar measure to acquire the Sutro Baths and the Cliff House for a park. Also, same day, Robert Kennedy assassination in L.A. July 14th: Bill Graham left the Fillmore to take over the Carousel. October 14th: 27 soldiers protesting the war in Vietnam charged with mutiny at the Presidio.

And for ’69…October 21st: Kerouac death. November 20th: Seizure of Alcatraz by native Americans. December 6th, Altamont.

posted by Velcro  # 3:49 PM
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Montgomery and Sutter, one of the three-way pedestrian intersections – the third being the diagonals.

Paused momentarily when the green lit up – usually not in that Financial District area and the third option for walking wasn’t familiar. There to deposit money at the Bank of the West for Odd Fellow brother P. Made my way north on Montgomery through the shadows of capitalism – don’t think the sun ever shines in those concrete canyons.

Into the bank – teller asked if I was P., and I said no, that I was just his emissary. Then out and heading back to the lodge building. Through the Crocker Galleria, a shortcut. At Tully’s, a besuited seated customer – thought of that vernacular term for the anal sphincter. Really not sure what he is up to in San Francisco – probably just sees it in terms of money making, and any resulting detriment to the city is just the cost of doing business, of no concern to him.

Onto Post – there’s the Mechanics’ Institute Library. Will probably within the year pony up the 95 bucks for a year’s membership. Have begun visualizing going there. Went into the lobby and picked up an application, and the guard gave me related publications. Their newsletter is called The Stereopticon and listed several dozen new acquistions to their collection. It’s instructive to read through this carefully, circling what interests me.

Then through Maiden Lane – the name is ironic. Former location of many house of ill repute. Gumps in there – a famous San Francisco name. Thought it was no longer in business. Remember it from childhood. And in the lane, interesting touch, a big boulder in the sidewalk.

Then to the Macy’s for the second part of the job Brother P. had me go on, mail a letter to Oroville at the downstairs post office. Then up and heading out – impressed with the twelve big screens flanking an exit pathway, with Dior ads. And took note of art deco architectural details remaining, from, I guessed, an earlier incarnation of the store. There was a large mural-like golden rising sun above a western exit set of doors onto Stockton that was pretty.

Then down towards Market. The defunct FAO Schwarz toy store, the new Cody’s. Paused outside – the Telegraph Avenue one just closed, or soon will. Wasn’t my favorite bookstore – preferred the more casual Shakespeare & Company.

The Virgin Megastore. Into it for fifteen seconds to check if the new free Vice magazine was there – no. Glossy, I think from Canada, with unique content.

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Then west on Market, having caught a free Muni ride, past the new Westfield Centre – KRON satellite truck outside. Protestors against Bristol Farms’s anti-union policies still outside – I had been there earlier, been inside, mainly to see about the new multi-screen movie theater. Detail I hadn’t noticed – basketball players in second-floor windows of the Adidas store. And eye caught by the plate-like super-defined lower abdomens on photos of models at Abercrombie & Fitch.

Then off the bus. Pigeon gore of one squashed ex-bird. Thinking back to guy I talked with on the short bus ride to 7th – wasn’t impressed with the five dollar movie deal at the new Westfield movie theater. Figured it was just a way to get people hooked so they’d pay higher prices. And he was also concerned about gun-wielding youth using their weapons inside, prompted to violence by the presence of a rival gang. And moreover, he was a customer of bootlegged movies, so he could see the new releases, have a copy, even, for that five buck price.

Then to P. with receipts from the bank and the post office. Then planning the next bit of time – go back to the hotel, then back to the library for a 5pm computer – had notes from the previous Odd Fellows get-together that I wanted to compose into a blog posting to share with other members. Then at 6 get over to the lodge building for the pre-meeting meal and socializing.

Then north, having crossed Market – through the artisan market – it was a Thursday, two days ago. Wanted to get change so I’d have dollar bills to perhaps buy more music cassettes selling on a Leavenworth sidewalk.

And paused at the sunglasses vendor – 15 bucks each. Have long had my eye on a pair with blue mirrored rectangular lenses, but this particular one wasn’t there, and I didn’t care much for any of the dozens of others. Absolutely had to be that one. And noticed blue plastic hearts on one of the magnetic bracelets I like – a new variant. Picked this up, wrapped it around my wrist, considering how it looked. Seemed a little too busy with that addition. Was about to buy, when the vendor said it was five, not the usual three, and that totally put me off. Really, too busy, anyway, too much, with those blue hearts.

And still wanted to break a five or ten so I’d have dollars for the street music seller. Looked at the rasta guy’s buttons – mainly Marley, and I wouldn’t wear him. A single Hendrix – there’s a bit of an overlap between Jimi and reggae fans – but didn’t wanna wear that one either. Then up Leavenworth to the seller – had a buck bill despite not transacting anything at the artisan market – bought Outrider, a solo late Eighties Jimmy Page tape, with the liner notes. Covers “Hummingbird”, the Leon Russell song, which is an interesting choice.

posted by Velcro  # 3:01 PM
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McDonald’s Books, 48 Turk. First time there in a while – didn’t go in, just looked from the outside. Dirty and ill-lit, or at least more so than it was after their recent refurbishing, and I like that. Haven’t been at that new Cody’s on Stockton – too clean and well-lit. But at least it’s a bookstore.

Then up the street to the Dot Com Boutique. Wanted to see what VHS and music discs and music cassettes they had – it’s a thrift store. Cursory examination of the movies – a Carrot Top one, and that was the primo. And a couple of dozen cassettes of music, nothing I wanted. You want to add Speck to your collection?

And an hour and fifteen minutes until the Tenderloin computer center was open. And could get an hour on a library machine later in the afternoon.

And dropped off a blog copy at the Faithful Fools print shop near the hotel – welcomed by the guy there, who said “Thanks, man!” – mentioned them in it, and their current art display.

Then into the hotel room, started up the Stephen Davis Morrison biography. The Doors actually once opened for the Monkees, strangely enough. Warhol person Nico was intimate with Jimbo – apparently there are traces of Morrisonisms in lyrics in an album by her.

And Warhol – once gave Morrison a gift antique telephone and said that he “could talk to God on it.” He didn’t care for it and just gave it away to some New York homeless guy, passing it out through the limousine window.

And line by Davis about Morrison and friends, how some club “rudely threw them out”. Isn’t that redundant? I suppose they could be discreetly thrown out. Morrison not on his best behavior that night, reports Davis, as he climbed up to high shelves to get at the more expensive wine.

And have currently got two Walgreen’s coupons for their sale, which ends today, the last day of September – for cans of white albacore tuna, and Duracell double A batteries. This works out to about 50 cents per, the right price.

And: after the success of “Light My Fire”, the Doors were under pressure to

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come up with material for the next album. Sgt. Pepper was also out around then, and that had raised the musical…what’s the metaphor? Pole? Maybe ante. Bassist for contemporary L.A. rock band Clear Light, Doug Lubahn, was hired to help on the album, which would be called Strange Days. (Knew pretty well guitar player for that band, Bob Seal – had worked with him in L.A. at the same company for years.)

And about this time checked out the two dollar VHS movies at the Little Flea Market near the hotel. An acceptable double feature: Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Can’t Hardly Wait, and Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday. Yeah, I’m the sort of person that can tolerate Hewitt.

And waiting at the CTC computer place for it to open – friend K. talking to a guy, Jerry, who was on a collapsible bicycle. Turns out he had ordered it from England at a cost of nearly two-and-a-half thousand dollars. And also turns out he’s a mural artist and did the excellent one at the Naan ‘n’ Curry 24-hour location on O’Feral – most definitely noticed this and liked it. Got his e-mail address and have added him to my Contact list.

And found most acceptable what I took to be a faux Bruce Lee shirt on a passing guy. Yellow tracksuit from The Game of Death, but I’m pretty sure it was not Bruce himself, but one of his many imitators. So that takes the statement to another level of…irony?

And Odd Fellow brother P. called, saying he had a job for me, so headed to the 26 7th Street lodge building. On the way, guy selling audio cassettes, so I paused to check them all out, buying Surrealistic Pillow for a dollar. He would’ve taken half that, probably, but a buck’s my standard price. Had the j-card with the album’s band picture, but no liner notes.

And to P. – deposit a check at the Bank of the West on Montgomery, then get to the Macy’s Union Square post office to mail a letter to Oroville. Got to it – free Muni ride down Market. Got off, guy selling anti-Republican buttons on the corner. Checked these all out – gave him a dollar for a “Take a Hippie to Lunch” one. Most were making fun of politicians. The seller said he was a hippie, used to make money as a musician doing Yardbirds songs. Dropped the Jimmy Page name, I did – his band before Zeppelin. And the guy had short hair - but I guess it’s not just the hair that makes a hippie.

posted by Velcro  # 10:18 AM

Friday, September 29, 2006

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And more from the Stephen Davis biography of Jim Morrison: Alan Watts was at the January 14th, 1967 Be-In in Golden Gate Park. 40th anniversary of it coming up. And: “People are Strange”, one of the Doors songs that I think is very appropriate at certain times, was first performed in San Francisco at the Matrix nightclub, ’67.

Phrase in the Davis: “artisanal Purple Haze” – acid from Augustus Owsley Stanley the Third. Like that adjective – an artisan is “a skilled manual worker, a craftsperson”. Owsley made a religion of making it.

And, locally: Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up continues at the Foreign Cinema on Mission. A very Sixties movie. Read in the Davis that Morrison took it in when it was first out – he wrote the name in his notebooks on a list of movies he’d seen.

And: phrase I liked said by a British man who ran into Morrison at the Copper Skillet restaurant at Sunset and Gower: “the sure sign of civilization” – that is, the open book Jimbo had in front of him. (Google-happy me, searched for this place and got the Wikipedia entry for Gower Street. I’m a student of Los Angeles, especially particular parts of its history and geography. Begins in Hancock Park, does Gower. Not nearly as well known as Vine, but it has played in role in Tinseltown history. Many of the original movie studios were located on it or near it.)

And: learned that Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarak lit a stick of incense before each performance. And: typographical error in the Davis – he says there was a Mount Tamalpais music festival sponsored by local radio station KRFC. Thought the two middle letters should be switched, and I was right. Called the “Fantasy Fair and Magic Festival”. Moby Grape was there, and, perhaps unusually, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.

And phrase I liked – not sure about what, but it’s a general purpose one: “interacting with that reality”. Morrison used it in an interview – Jimbospeak.

And a bit of trivia: Paul Newman met with Jim Morrison to discuss the possible creation of song for Newman’s movie Rachel, Rachel. This didn’t work out, but it says something good about Mr. Newman.

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And apparently Frank Sinatra was upset at Morrison for sounding too much like him, especially on “Light My Fire”. Davis says “the Chairman of the Board” even said something along the lines of Morrison needing to have “an accident”. (Well, there’s a conspiracy theory I hadn’t considered – Ol’ Blue Eyes putting a hit out on the Lizard King.)

And there was a Dick Clark interview with Morrison that Davis quotes. A pretty odd couple. Jimbo very well-behaved.

And out one recent morning on the way to a free Western Addition computer. About two dozen really tourist-looking people at the corner of Eddy and Hyde. Asked several where they were from, but got no response. One man finally said “Bonjour!”, so I knew where they hailed from. I replied “Vive le France!” What the heck were they there for?

And farther west on Eddy, paused at poster for music for the just-over LoveFest (though for me I guess the love never ends). Recognized Paul Oakenfold, a deejay, but the others might just as well have been from another planet. Liked names like Dyloot, Aphrodite, and Company Truck. And Anubis Warpus named, I guess as a ticket source. Like this store on Haight – a good amount of counterculturally-oriented books.

And bent to look at a Chron street box – color photo from a Treasure Island ceremony with British Prime Minister Tony Blair huge on a big screen. The Mayor and Arnold there, too. Something about global warming. And, in other news: apparent suicide attempt by football star Terrell Owens.

And farther – made a wide, respectful berth around an elderly Asian lady hobbling along on her cane.

Then down Van Ness to see if the new Books, Inc. was open – yes – every day at 8:30, which is a surprisingly early hour. Peet’s is next door, so there should be a synergy. Went in briefly – new book called A Writer’s San Francisco: A Guided Journey for the Creative Soul, by Eric Maisel, great drawings by Chron regular Paul Madonna, looks very, very good, twenty bucks, and an excellent small size. A real winner. Much like Madonna’s style – a unique view of the city. And Maisel’s some sort of “creativity coach”. I’d buy this one – and it’d be a good gift for many I know.

posted by Velcro  # 3:34 PM
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…and, the Stephen Davis biography of Morrison – am listening to that a second time. Had to let it be for a few months, but this repeated hearing is rewarding. Picking up some details missed the first time. Jim was very into Rebel Without a Cause when it came out – the Dean character is named Jim – his father, played by Jim Backus, calls his son “Jimbo”. That’d be a good way to refer to the Lizard King. In fact, recall a while back that my friend Bob Davis called him that.

And – Alameda – the teen Jimbo and his parents lived there for a while. Was attracted to the burgeoning Beatnik Bohemian scene across the bay in North Beach and was a frequent visitor there. Father stationed at the large naval station in Alameda.

And there’s a joke that could be made about Jimbo and his UCLA student films. And: inadvertent iambic pentameter in the book, related to Morrison in Venice in the very early days – “at night the moon became a woman’s face”…and: Davis notes the use of “Sunshine of Your Love”-sounding drums in “Hello, I Love You” – didn’t pick up on that. Have to listen for it.

And half after two Thursday morning, yesterday. Was getting to the last pieces of a free loaf of bread left in the hotel lobby – using my sauce pan and hot plate as a makeshift toaster. Also, was pressing down the slices with a ceramic bowl to make them as crispy as possible – basically, ironing them. Ultimate bread for me would contain nothing but crust.

And at one point, Morrison suggested to the three other band members that they use “elemental images” for song lyrics – that is, earth and air and fire and water. So Robby Krieger comes up with “Light My Fire”. (Created after previous tunes “Drink My Water”, “Dig My Earth”, and “Breathe My Air”.)

And in real life, loud and generally incomprehensible middle of the night street voices from five floors down, screeching tires, these probably related.

And was lying in bed, looking over at a rubber-banded roll of papers stood up on its end. Reminded me of Coit Tower.

And learned that it was Ray Manzarek’s girlfriend, Dorothy Fukikawa, who suggested the boys put the Brecht-Weil tune “The Alabama Song” on their

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repertoire. German Expressionism.

And the line “when the music’s over, turn out the light”? Well, Davis says Jimbo got this phrase from one of the Sunset Strip club owners talking to a bartender.

And Morrison’s main woman, Pam Courson – extensive discussion of her significance in the man’s life. Played by Meg Ryan in the Stone treatment of the Doors story. (Just saw some of her restaurant booth very vocal orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally – trailer for that at the beginning of the Autumn in New York tape I just bought for two bucks.) Courson born in Weed, the Northern California town. Would’ve been sixty this year.)

And learned that rock magazine Crawdaddy! was partially subsidized by Elektra Records. Conflict of musical interest. And: adjective in this Morrison book: “naked-except-for-panties”.

Discussion of use of tranquilizer trimar for recreational purposes by Jimbo and some woman who had it. She knew one of the Iron Butterfly guys who had access to a hospital’s pharmacy, a day job connection. This in Laurel Canyon, a very happening hotbed for musicians of the ’65-’75 L.A. era. Am currently waiting for a library copy of Hotel California, the new Barney Hoskyns study of this area.

Observation by Davis about how the Doors were simultaneously creating the counterculture of the time as well as infilitrating it.

Doors in San Francisco in ’67, opening for the Young Rascals and Sopwith Camel. (Can’t resist the Google…second of the big Frisco bands to be signed by a major label, after the Airplane, before the Dead. Reportedly began at the Big Little Bookstore on Polk Street when two founding members connected. One of the guys had been a student at the San Francisco Art Institute. And on and on. Big hit is “Hello, Hello”, but can’t bring to mind the sound of that. Not a band of that era that’s too remembered now.)

And: the Golden Gate Park Be-In’s 40th anniversary is next year as of this typing, on January 14th. There’s a big poster show next month, mid-October, in the same park. The Rock Poster Society – TRPS – handling this.

posted by Velcro  # 1:48 PM

Thursday, September 28, 2006

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McAllister and Polk, the guy at the Annie’s Hot Dog cart across from City Hall. Haven’t bought from him. Reminded of Dirty Harry eating that hot dog. Maybe Clint should come back and do another one in that series, if that’s doable. Just saw the poster for the new one he’s directed and produced, military-themed.

Was heading to 400 McAllister on a little job for Odd Fellow brother P. Tight security – had to put any metal in a plastic basket, even my belt, which set off the alarm – it was the buckle that did it.

And had to wait a little for a window. There was a rotating sign above the clerk – reminded me James Bond’s Aston Martin license plate. And: wasn’t there long – gave the envelope from P. to the woman behind the thick clear plastic and got in return very quickly the desired document. Marble counter top, drummed fingers on that stony heaviness.

Then out the door – had nine seconds by the intersection countdown meter to cross McAllister, which is a significant distance, so skipped that to wait for the other one. The clerk had said that the envelope she gave me with the document was used, and I’d said that it’s good to recycle.

And thinking back to the curse against white people said by an angry black guy leaving as I got in line. He was in a real huff, stalking out – not happy with the city’s bureaucracy. Flashed on him returning with a weapon – that’s why they’ve got that half-inch thick clear plastic in front of the clerks. But there’s an oval opening for speech that could be reached through for throat-grabbing. That’s when the hidden guillotine makes its appearance.

And Muni poster for the “completely remastered” iPod Nano. Would want one of those, I suppose. Then past the Ashurbanipal statue near the Asian Art Museum. Cute detail I hadn’t noticed, the curling metal S-curve of the tail of the lion the big guy’s holding.

Then through the farmers’ market – amused at smiling little girl child chasing after daddy’s back pocket, to stick her hand in there – their little game.

And did a double take, which I rarely do, at pictures on the second floor

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along windows of the currently non-used Strand building.

And considered a paraphrase of the humorous line by, I think, Yogi Berra: “The game is fifty percent mental, fifty percent in your mind, and fifty percent what you think about it.”

Then up Leavenworth – paused at the posters for the new Jerry Garcia solo collection of music. jerrygarcia.com is the address. The logo features his left hand with the missing middle finger – childhood accident. Rhino affiliation. Read in Rolling Stone that that company’s handling all the Dead catalog.

And got the documents to P., who was very happy with them – the related court case was weighing on his mind, and this is a real vindication. And then back in my room. Called neighbor S. about maybe seeing the five buck Bullitt at the new Westfield complex the next day, which is today – left message. State of the art screen and sound system is a draw.

And went through the poster for the new Books, Inc. – featured books and upcoming events. Jamie Lee Curtis, none other, to be there in October, to promote her new children’s book. Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design, would make a good gift for the aforementioned S. As would a Kenneth Turan new book about movies. New Annie Leibovitz celebrity photo volume. The Joke’s Over, memoir by artist Ralph Steadman about years with Hunter S. Thompson. Also The Rejection Collection, about cartoons not picked by The New Yorker. And there’s going to be a discussion of Lady Chatterley’s Lover at the Marina Books, Inc. And Deborah Santana, wife of picker Chuckie, promoting book Spaces Between the Stars.

Then out the door, on the street – Snow Patrol poster – new disc. Not sure about them. I need, I want, to listen to new music by anyone, but don’t know this band’s sound. Poster also for the new Jessica Simpson movie – slogan is “Shift Happens”. I think she’s playing some convenience store clerk.

And then this and then that – then to Al’s Palace on Turk – bought the two dollar Cindy Crawford ’92 exercise video I’d seen previously – good to have that on, get physical. Al and I talked a bit – he said that High Definition will soon be replacing DVDs. Heck, I still use tape, and will be.

posted by Velcro  # 2:24 PM
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Took a bit of the law into my own hands – or rather, finger – yesterday. A racing car driver went through a red, and I waved my right index digit back and forth. Though the violator was already far down the street and probably didn’t see me anyway. Lot of kids and old folks in the ‘hood.

And new Maggie Gyllenhaal movie – really had to Google on her last name – too many ls and as. Her brother also in movies. Got me thinking of something different – which of them has the double x chromosomes? Guys have the x and y, right? (Not into her. Not glamorous enough, I guess. She did that secretary one with the spanking and other abusive behavior…)

And noticed the Turk-Larkin Deli yesterday – 85 cent cup of coffee, and liked the old school look of the place. 9am to 3:30 Monday through Friday only – really limited hours. And, it’s not that old school – this year celebrating its 27th anniversary. ‘79’s in my memory.

And passed the THC office – stuck head in and waved to Nate at the desk. Good man.

And at The Fence, music tape labeled for two shows at the Philadelphia Spectrum. Looked like a Dead tape, but I wasn’t totally sure. Gave the seller some coins for it, taking a chance. For sale also was a Kingfish cassette, which is a band Bob Weir played in, so that would lead me to believe that the other one was the Dead. And: guy selling these, out of the blue, said something to me about a woman who’d just walked by – that he could tell with pretty much total accuracy if a pregnant woman was going to deliver a boy or girl. Related to where the weight was added on a woman’s body.

And then into the Faithful Fools copy shop – local artist’s work on display. One framed image was called “Better Than Dead”, numbered 4th of 7 prints. Traces of Picasso, and comic books in the sequence of images on the page. What reminded me of Pablo was a horned man-like creature with an erection.

And on another wall was a set of five framed images, with handwritten text beneath each. Sample line: “I can only really see my life by looking backwards through the changes.” Liked this work well enough. Though he used the word “really” in each of the text portions – not sure if that was a deliberate choice. Overall, thumb up for this display.

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Then into the hotel – in the lobby, the Wednesday coffee hour, plus a job event. Woman running it said to one of the participants, who was seeking employment in food service, that he needed to “beef up” his resume, which was appropriate for that field, but I think this humor was inadvertent.

And to my room – turned on that tape – song about El Paso. Dead did a lot of cowboy/Western songs like that, but this didn’t quite sound like them. One side was a ’73 concert, the other one from ’85 – so that span of years would indicate that it was the Dead. Also, a side had a Roman numeral one, so that could mean it was the first set. I’m not unfamiliar with the tapes Deadheads made, and their designations. And the guitar sounded like Garcia.

And Odd Fellow brother P. called about 15 to eleven that morning, said to be there in a half hour for a little job. And on the tape about then, “Jack Straw”, so that pretty much determined it for me that it was the Dead, and that pleased me. Was going to find Raychell, who sold it to me, and give her (or him – she’s a transsexual) another dollar, which I figured was fair.

And was considering about then the Mickey Mouse coffee mug I’d recently bought. Might make a good gift for Tiffany, a young woman at the Western Addition computer center I go to – I was there earlier this week when a mouse was scurrying about and she was most distressed. But not sure what she’d make of this gift – maybe she doesn’t want to be reminded of mice in any context. And there’s a slight chip on the lip that she might not like.

And that Dead tape – the next song was “Playing in the Band”. Liked the extended improvised instrumental. Then out the door to get to the lodge and see P. – jaywalked across Eddy, and also jaywalking right in front of me two beat police, who ignored my flagrant violation of pedestrian law. Guess they’d have to, being in violation themselves. And went down Hyde especially seeking Raychell to get her that extra dollar, so happy was I with the new Dead tape. Good thing to be listening to just now.

And then Brother P. – my job was to take two letters to 400 McAllister and there pick up court documents related to the Odd Fellows Hall Association recent court victory over a guy who’d been causing a disturbance outside the building. Through the farmers’ market – a scene with many little San Francisco kids. Sign in Arabic at the date seller. Usual pleasant vibe.

posted by Velcro  # 11:51 AM
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Confession of a mistake made yesterday on way on foot – my bicycle still down – to the Western Addition computer center: didn’t bring along headphones, which I use when transcribing notes from my digital voice recorder. For me, something of a major blunder.

Noticed: poster at a Muni stop near Van Ness for the latest Texas Chain Saw Massacre – a prequel this time. How Leatherface, that beloved figure of the silver screen, got to be the very special person he is, it looks like. Don’t think Biel will be in this one in her tight white top and tight jeans – currently getting good reviews in The Illusionist, she’s moved on to better things.

Passing the EDD building on the west side of Van Ness – smiled to see a mother lifting up her little child so he could put a letter into the mail box slot, which was a good foot above his head.

And jogged about this time for a few steps. Am missing the cardio work on the bicycle, so that might be a thing to do at intervals. Too much impact for me, though.

Then to the computer center, did my thing. Notable, a mouse scare there – two of the young ladies working were very put off by the rodental presence. Me, no big deal – told them I think mice are cute. They agreed not.

Then fifteen after ten yesterday morning, about 23 hours ago, to be precise about it – surely missed having those headphones and was thinking of heading back to the hotel to get them – always a part of my wardrobe, such as that is. And: 45 minutes until the next free machine.

And: an e-mail received that morning from former high school classmate Carmen, about “Red Fridays” – we are urged to wear some item of clothing of that color, to represent the blood of American soldiers in Iraq. Carmen’s son, one of them, has just been sent over there, on a ship, so she’s concerned. Wrote her as much of a comforting e-mail as I could.

And heading back east to the Tenderloin – a student at that culinary school walking in the same direction. Asked him about the program, but he was not, apparently, in the mood to talk. Had on sunglasses, even, and the firmament’s orb wasn’t out. He crossed to the other side of the street ASAP,

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so I got the hint.

And went into a side entrance of the Opera Plaza complex – sign for the deli there reminded me of that business. Studied the menu – “cotlet” pieces for sale. Is that an actual food? Did they mean “cutlet”? Well, also, “lentil” was spelled “lentel”. And a poster for the S.F. Ballet in the window attracted my attention for a few seconds. Didn’t go in, not hungry.

And was happy to see that the Books, Inc. new location was open – their first day. Poster in window for the City Arts and Lectures series – the very funny Amy Sedaris to be in The City in October, followed a week later by the far less-funny (though he has his moments) Stephen King. Also, another author series with the fantastic Gore Vidal in town to be happening.

And went intside – a lot better lay-out of the books than at the previous Clean, Well-Lighted. Stuffed dogs, big ones, here and there – interesting touch. Would prefer, would much prefer, cats, though.

And a touch I liked, a staff review handwritten card for a volume called The History of Love – features, said the staff member, “one of the most beautiful characters ever written.”

And good sale books also: a Borges biography, at 9 bucks down from 35. And his The Book of Imaginary Beings, 8, down from 26. And a Taschen best movies of the 70s that caught the eye.

And decent magazine selection near the front door – minimal, especially when compared to what the former presence offered, but still solid. Me, only regularly reading Rolling Stone these days, and that only because friend Cathead got a subscription for me at, like, 50 cents an issue.

And much like it that it’s open every day at half after eight! Maybe some of the Peet’s people filling up on next door on caffeine will amble on over and get their literacy groove on. And: when I’d gone into this new Books, Inc. place had emphatically said something to the checkout people about being very glad the space wasn’t taken over by “another stupid restaurant.”

So, this is, putting it poetically and occulty, a blow for the Frisco Logos.

posted by Velcro  # 9:59 AM

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

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And thinking about a game we all can take part in: it’s played on a board that measures seven by seven squares, or spheres, even.

And tuned in last night to something literary on KQED radio, an interview with British novelist Zadie Smith. Person like me can get into that kind of bookish talk. Knew her name and a book of hers, White Teeth. Picked up on a line of inadvertent iambic pentameter from her: “I love to be in universities.” Very successful with her books, and at such a young age.

And, Smith talks with a British inflection – for instance, she pronounces the word “semi-colon” with the accent on the third syllable, which I found unusual.

Then sleep – the radio had been on all night, and had worn my jeans and tank top all night as well – usually sleep naked. Awake – this is this morning, about twelve hours ago as of this typing, about 5am. On the radio, Richard Branson talking about how Virgin, his airline, is trying to be more ecological by not having planes sit there for an hour doing nothing but burning fuel and polluting the air. Yeah, Richie, you do that.

And had a Winona Ryder dream – she’s in zero gravity, on some spaceship, I guess, floating there. Like the zero gravity in Barbarella – but Winona’s not doing a strip tease. Recalled Alien: Resurrection – no zero gravity in that, I think, though plenty of the spaceship.

And turned on around then the Richard Carlson Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff audio book again. Recommendation is to breathe before talking, let the other person have their say before your own two cents worth.

And had split infinitives on my mind. The Star Trek phrase “to boldly go” is an example. Googled on the grammatical idea and got to good information at askoxford.com: split infinitives often indicate poor style, but they aren’t, strictly speaking, bad grammar. In the Star Trek phrase case it works well, since “to go boldly”, says the site, is weak, and “boldly to go” results in “over-formality”. Further: the use of “either would ruin the rhythmic force and rhetorical pattern of the original. It is probably good practice to avoid split infinitives in formal writing, but clumsy attempts to avoid them simply by shuffling adverbs about can create far worse sentences.” Oxford has

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Well, watching some of Autumn in New York was probably what got Winona in my dreamland vision. There’s a scene with her huge anime character eyes used to strong effect. And in another scene, she’s wearing formal evening dress, low-cut, and her breasts seem really large as well. And this is not to mention the birthmark on her right sternocleidomastoid.

And got around this morning to toasting up free bread in my sauce pan on my hot plate – a very adequate toaster substitute. The label says the loaf was made from “only wholesome ingredients”, but the label gives evidence of the case being quite otherwise: a component is ethoxylated mono and diglycerides. Right, just like good ol’ grandma used to use. And the texture is gummy. But toasting improved that aspect. And some cheap peanut butter – not the organic kind, but the price was right – helped as well.

And turned on a CD I bought for cheap recently, a collection of Diana and the Supremes. “You Can’t Hurry Love” speaks to me a lot, currently. I recalled that Phil Collins version.

And took notice, perhaps even literally sat up, at the spoken word part by Lady Diana in “Love is Here and Now You’re Gone” – “…you close the door to your heart…” Very effective. I believe she also does that more famously in “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. Can’t immediately think of any other singer who has done that – kind of a trademarked move by Diana.

And the most funnily peculiar track on this disc is “The Happening”, I guess the theme song of the Sixties flick of the same title. “Fickle finger of fate” is in the lyrics – that used also in the Laugh-In TV series.

And for some reason got to thinking of a line for a Bond villain, and it goes exactly, precisely, like this: “We are not so different, you and I, Mr. Bond. But unfortunately, this school of electric octopi are here to teach you a most, shall we say, shocking lesson.”

And more about the Diana and the Supremes disc – twelve tracks, 34 minutes, a nice length for a kicked back half hour. A little glitch on “Back in My Arms Again”, but despite that it keeps playing.

posted by Velcro  # 6:16 PM
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At the 26th 7th Street location – Odd Fellow brother P. offered me forty dollars to move pieces of wood, and not really many, downstairs. Turned that job down – not so able and willing to perform such manual work. The pay was much more than he usually gives me for what I do for him, but just wasn’t into it. I appreciate it much that he offered, anyway.

And had a period of waiting yesterday – P. had sent someone to the WaMu – Washington Mutual – a block away to cash a check – money owed me was part of that. So I waited and waited, which I normally don’t have to do at the lodge building. The guy sent had just been in the hospital – we figured maybe it was really slowing him down, his physical condition.

Eventually the fellow got back, and I got my cash. Plus P. gave me an additional dollar to go to the liquor store downstairs for a Diet Dr. Pepper, apparently his favorite drink. Glad to run that errand, glad for the buck.

And on my mind, a screening of Bullitt at the Century Theatres new Westfield Centre location – this tomorrow, five bucks. Just Googled to find the time – related to the CineArts chain, which I don’t like as much as the Landmark chain. Can’t find the time – maybe I’ll just walk over there tomorrow, which will be the very first day for the entire shopping complex.

And believe I have a third in a series of names of young ladies: Miss Colusa Sandstone. The first was Miss Abscissa Descartes, and second was Miss Nebula Pendragon. Abscissa, I think, studies mathematics. Nebula, astronomy. Miss Colusa is, I’d say, a student, even a muse, of architecture.

And back to the Westfield – glanced through a store listing. Apart from the nine-screen movie theater and the Borders location, not much of interest. There will be a place called Teaz Me Fusion Café, with “inventive tea drinks”. Might meet my exacting standards for herbs steeped in hot water.

And thought of a phrase: being “over the weather”, for feeling good, as opposed to being under it. Reminds me of George Carlin humor I’ve heard – like “cheese fon-don’t for those who hate cheese fondue”.

And yesterday, at Al’s Palace, purchased Autumn in New York, the Winona Ryder one with Richard Gere, from six years ago. Have begun collecting

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VHS tapes from Al’s Palace – good deal at two bucks and a quarter each. Just today bought a 1992 Cindy Crawford exercise video - already picked up a good move for the obliques on the sides of the abdomen. And the next one to buy is maybe that Avengers remake with Uma Thurman.

And another purchase yesterday, at the new little store very near the hotel – right next to it, in fact – a Salsa Verde buck size of Doritos. And spent some time looking at the several Cheetos variants to be had. Nothing if not inventive are these Plano snackfuhrers.

And thinking about a possible e-mail to friend Cathead about a letter I might write to the Examiner, complaining about the misprinted text in a recent issue’s article about the new Beat Museum up in North Beach. The last part was omitted. I’d tell Cathead, with the kind of humor he likes, that I’d write along the lines of: “…I mean, I pay good money for your publication, and this is what happens?” The joke being that, of course, the thing is free.

And in my room, waiting for the half hour to be up until the next free computer yesterday. Cranked up that Gere-Ryder movie – opens with a, I think it’s called, crane shot from above Central Park in New York, Gere walking alone. So very Big Apple this one is. And very Chinese – Joan Chen directed, and a Ruby Yang edited, and there was another Sino name in the credits. And: then there’s Gere as some Manhattan restaurant owner, applying a blow torch to figs. Very convincing.

And there was, I believe, Elaine Stritch, as the Ryder character’s grandmother. Didn’t immediately notice the several strands of pearls around her neck, a detail that my hotel neighbor S. would have immediately picked up on. In days and nights past S. and I have watched many movies together and for sure his observations have improved my solo movie-watching experience –for instance, in the picking up of a detail like those pearls.

And: the Winona character’s supposed to be 22. She can pull it off, though she was closer to a decade older than that when the flick was made. And: Elaine Stritch. I remember a Chris Rock joke: “Who the hell is Elaine Stritch?” Googled…figured she’s some grand dame of the New York stage. Was a student with Brando in years past. All manner of acting credits – four-time Tony nominee. Broadway Lady O.G., basically.

posted by Velcro  # 5:14 PM
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And the day being described, was desiring sun on skin, that gentle warmth. And on my mind, a set of discs I’d requested at the library, the recent Stephen Davis biography of Jim Morrison – was due any day. Couldn’t say the same about the Barney Hoskyns book Hotel California – have about twelve before me who ordered it. But there are nine copies in the SFPL system, so I might get it within two or three weeks.

And sign near the library for the 40th anniversary of the Bayview Hunters Point riots – happening today, in fact, September 27th of two-thousand-six. Sign said the community was still occupied by the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and City Hall.

And had on my mind that Sheryl Crow Nineties L.A. song “Soak Up the Sun”. Maybe that heliophilia played a part in her cancer. And also on my mind, a place to sit with a tea or coffee. The Gyro King across Groove Street from the library didn’t have those, else it would’ve been an okay place to pass the time until the next keyboard.

Then thought of Ananda Fuara, the overtly-spiritually inclined veggie place – maybe get some of their Prana Life Force tea. Recalled with something of a smile taking a malt liquor can into there once upon a time.

And then there was the Fox Plaza Starbucks. A bit against my general principles to purchase at such a chain, though. Prefer to spend at independent stores of all kinds. Then looking at the Ananda Fuara menu – they serve espresso, which surprised me. And the price of a small house coffee was looking very right, so in I went.

And there, did my thing. Buck-35 for that coffee, and after some deliberation when leaving left the change out of two for the server, who seemed like a nice bloke. 50% - hey, look at me, the big shot.

Then time for the keyboard – paused to inspect the tiny books at the counter of the Friends of the Library store. Excellent item, a Penguin collection of Basho haiku for a mere dollar. Heck, totally one of the best buys The City has to offer, eh?

Then did my thing again, then two more hours until the next computer, about

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noon, yesterday, this was. Call from Odd Fellows brother P. – would give me five bucks if I knocked on hotel friend Patrick’s door and get him to the lodge building for work.

So up north, on Hyde – passing the Asian Art Museum. There was the café on the side, the Fulton side. Recalled being there the first Tuesday of this month, the free day, the two British lady tourists near me. Nice day yesterday to be sitting out, not too hot, no particular need even of the parasols at each table.

And got then to transcribing notes I’d written at Ananda Fuara – would’ve seemed too strange or at least disruptive to fellow patrons to have taken voice notes aloud into my digital recorder. First thing, the pleasant bamboo flute music on the sound system – very much adding to the atmosphere.

And selected from the many free cards with sayings of the guru, Sri Chimoy. A lot about the heart from him. And on the Sugar in the Raw package I added to the cup of house coffee, yet another saying. Pretty expressive guy, him. And was going through the San Francisco Daily I’d just picked up. No wonder it’s free, since some of the pages were 95% ads! And noted happily the large size of the white cup the Ananda Fuara coffee was served in. And had asked my server about the spiritual nature of the coffee. He said it was Fair Trade and organic, so I’d say that would get Chinmoy’s up thumb.

Then at The Fence – bought a Thai Mickey Mouse cup for a dollar. Was resisting it but finally gave in. Liked the text on it: “A LAUGH RIOT IN SOUND & SYNCHRONY!” And the Mickey image was, I believe, the first visual incarnation of the rodent – the “Steamboat Willie” version.

And walking down Hyde, hotel case worker M.K., just after I’d made the purchase. Showed it to her, smiling. I said she might look around and perhaps would find something. But she expressed her concern that any money made by these sellers would be used for drugs. A good point.

Then into the hotel. Knocked on Patrick’s door, but no answer. Then this then that. Then out on the street again. Then figured it might be worth it to go in again, knock a second time, and my hunch was right. Got P.’s message to him, so that meant, for me that day, a few dollars more.

posted by Velcro  # 1:54 PM
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The Examiner – have begun reading it carefully every day. One problem I noticed with the article yesterday about the new Beat Museum at Broadway and Columbus – the last paragraph was cut off. The sentence ends “They just” – that’s it. Wanted to read the entire thing. Well, anyway, gotta get up there and look at Kerouac’s liquor store check and other memorabilia of the era – am into the Beats enough. Am currently partway through The Dharma Bums, the novel that Kerouac published after the more popular On the Road.

And: got onto the 38 Limited on Geary through the back door the other day, took a free ride west to the Western Additional for a free computer. Had been at the Naan ‘n’ Curry on O’Feral near Mason for a not-free drink. Got off near the Japan Center. Walked past the recycling center in the Safeway parking lot – was there many times in the past, getting change for bottles and cans. Did that dozens of times, I’d say.

Walked along Laguna – thought that it was an anagram of the Carlos Castaneda sorcerer word “nagual”. Googled on this – Wikipedia extended definition: “one facile with words” is one – also “witch” and “shapeshifter”. The specific Castaneda meaning is “one who is able to lead people to new areas of consciousness”. And there are many more paragraphs and links there for anyone curious.

And south into the Western Additional proper – past a tennis court – reminded of friend and former co-worker and great writer Mike Cromwell – we played a game there once. He’s better at it than I am, but I was able to get the ball back to him enough to make it worth his time.

And noted that O’Feral and Eddy and other streets that cross the Tenderloin continue on that side of Van Ness.

And to the park near the computer center – sign said “DOG PLAY AREA”. And thought that it might be best to avoid the grass if that was the case. And little birds seemed to really like that grass as well – several dozen of them, finding food, I guess, then lifting off and circling away in formation of the avian kind.

And new signs posted for “The Creator of the 10 Mac Commandments” – rap star, new work out, from Mac Minister. It said “You’ve read about his

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case everywhere!!!!” – yes, four exclamation points. (Apparently similar to the Snoop Dogg situation some years back – a rap performer with actual legal difficulties. Great ink to move product.)

And was a few minutes early, door closed. Noted flower with white petals, big, resembling lacy cuffs on a shirt, with a falafel-size round yellow core.

And attempted some “bar dips” where waist-high metal railings met. Couldn’t do even one – an exercise using one’s body weight. Need to work on that.

And again, did my thing, then leaving the Western Additional, about 10:15am. Could use a library computer in 45 minutes – good to get a little break in there, cleanse the psychic palate a bit.

And was thinking about the most recent Mel Gibson media furor – he’s comparing the sending of U.S. troops to Iraq to the human sacrifice perpetrated by the Mayans during the decline of their civilization. Related ideas from David Icke. And there’s something about mass human sacrifice in Robert Anton Wilson’s early Seventies novel Illuminatus!

At Franklin and Golden Gate, shattered car window. Thought it’d make good art material, just whisk it up, glue it onto a surface. Some sort of statement about…oh…whatever you’d make of it.

And about then picked up a publication new to me, the San Francisco Daily, plus the latest Papercity, which seemed particularly heavy. Getting on, I think, to high society’s season of galas and balls and soirees, much activity among “the Fabulous 400” of Frisco’s elite, and this additional weight would reflect this.

Past City Hall – extensive play area for children I hadn’t noticed to the side. Must be for city workers – they surely get great benefits.

And then seeking somewhere to sit for a half hour until I got to the next computer, go through the free publications I’d gathered, reduce that quantity. That mostly in the “carrier weight” of the paper itself – the ink’s the drug. Or, rather, what the ink transmits, the meaning.

posted by Velcro  # 1:09 PM
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As previously recommended, Ex Libris, by Anne Fadiman. All about the love of reading. Liked this line: “the ice cream disenchantment that reportedly overtakes every Baskin-Robbins employee.” I could relate – when first I went to Berkeley to go to the university, worked for a while at the B.R. outlet next to the campus.

And she quotes the line The Tempest: “…we are such stuff as dreams are made on…” It’s misquoted at the end of The Maltese Falcon by Sam Spade as “the stuff that dreams are made of”. But, well, he’s a hard-boiled detective, not an English major given over to textual precision.

And she talks of grammatical mistakes: splitting an infinitive, and dangling a modifier. I believe I recognize the first, but I’m unclear on the second. From a Googled-on UCLA site, the definition: “A dangling modifier is a word or phrase that modifies a word not clearly stated in the sentence.” An example is: “Having finished the assignment, the TV was turned on.” Correct would be: “Having finished the assignment, Jill turned on the TV.”

And about quarter after one one recent morning, sleepless in San Francisco – turned on the last of another audio book I’m listening to, Dark Star Safari, by Paul Theroux, an African travelogue.

Then sleep, then the next morning. Turned on the radio to get a little news from KQED – story about the new Mel Gibson movie about the end of Mayan civilization, Apocalypto. Said to be very violent. Human sacrifice is a theme. You know Mel’s capable of presenting a very visceral depiction.

And was then pulling out a few music CDs I have shelved, partially pulling them out – reminded of the scene near the end of 2001, Astronaut Bowman turning off renegade computer HAL’s memory. Then, brewing up a cup of yerba mate tea, burning incense, listening to Don Henley’s The End of the Innocence – a usual scene, alone in my room, about 7am.

And then looking through articles and such I’d collected, including a review of Jet Li’s Fearless (maybe his last movie), notice of the DVD of that Mary Harron Bettie Page movie (not a long turnaround time for that, maybe two
months?), a write-up of a new workout that combines yoga and martial arts,
the original Night Gallery TV series out on DVD, and long article about PF

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Sloan – he wrote Eve of Destruction – and will be appearing at the Café du Nord.

And other noteworthy items: screenwriter Joe Estzerhas has a new book and will be reading from it in Corte Madera, a map of the parking close to the new Westfield Centre, a page of photos of the fabulous in their finery at a party for that new shopping place, an H. & M. ad for kids’ clothing – liked the heart-shaped knee patch on a pair of pants on a little girl, ad for the opening of the Books, Inc. at the former site in Opera Plaza of A Clean, Well-Lighted, underground comic book artist S. Clay Wilson at the Edinburgh Castle, and a review from The New York Times of From Counterculture to Cyberculture by one Fred Turner.

Then out the door, on the street, fifteen to eight that morning, bipedalling it to the Naan ‘n’ Curry 24-hour joint on O’Feral near Mason. Figuring, after a cup of their tea, to catch the Geary bus west to the Western Addition, for a 9am free computer. And passed the Coronado Hotel across from Glide – checking if friend Keith was still in the house after his overnight shift – no.

And the thrift shop there, photo of Will Smith in character for the movie he filmed in the Tenderloin, The Pursuit of Happyness – sign said it’s due soon. And big mounted poster for four-girl singing group Bond in window – guess they were capitalizing on the success of the more popular Spice Girls.

Then crossing over to Hiltonspace, a stone’s throw from the many congregated sidewalk sleepers across from Glide.

And to the Pakistani place, where I looked over several items of interest found in that morning’s Examiner: London having a “fashion week” – a top model now is one Lily Cole, said to be “lithe and brainy”, photo of the aforementioned Mel for his human sacrifice flick – and looking pretty old, I must say, with that sagging neck skin. And notice of Jack LaLanne’s 92nd birthday, article about the opening of the Beat Museum at Columbus at Broadway in the former location of Black Oak Books – go there to see a check Kerouac wrote to a liquor store. And photo of Hitler – sale of watercolors and sketches, death of the man who wrote music for The Bridge on the River Kwai. Recalled the stirring whistling when Alec Guinness gets out of the Burmese hot box the Japanese camp commandant put him in.

posted by Velcro  # 10:18 AM

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

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And was leaving the library recently after having done my thing on a computer. Happened to see a Vogue with a cute woman on the cover – took me not very long to flash that it was Kate Hudson. She’s one of the blondes of Hollywood that stands out in my mind. Not the least because of her excellent funny work in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Or, at least her work in the first half of that – don’t like the movie as much, or her character as much, after about the mid-point.

And about this time picked up from a Tenderloin sidewalk a copy of the arts section of a recent New York Times. And: there were a couple of Jello Biafra burned music CDs for sale at The Fence. Passed on those – would’ve perhaps been more interested in spoken word material by him.

And spent a dollar on a VHS copy of something called Rise of the Roman Empress. Was going to pass, but the guy selling it said he’d just gotten out of the hospital, and I felt some compassion. Figured it was porn. But selling with it was a low-budget Spanish-language Christ epic, so I was thinking it might just as well be some sort of historical epic.

Well, turns out it is hardcore porn, and of a particularly crude kind as well, not the sort my taste prefers in that genre. Googled…from the late Eighties. Featuring superstar Cicciolina. She had unprotected sex during filming with John Holmes, not knowing that by then he was HIV positive.

And on the way back to the hotel, bought some food at the new deli on the block – four falafel, a pint of lentil soup, a can of Starkist – that last at the amazing price of 69 cents, a full dime less than at another local place. Didn’t think it could go any lower.

While waiting for the food, tried to interact with the little girl whose parents run the store. A very skeptical person she seems. When entering had joked to her about not fooling with the newspapers stacked in front, and she turned and smiled and ran off. At the cash register, her sitting there – noted that the TV she’d been watching before was gone.

And: A Scanner Darkly. That day – yesterday – noted in the paper that it was still at the Four Star, with an “ends soon” note. Well, soon was today, since it’s gone. Might see it at the Red Vic in October.

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And got up to the room, put in that Roman Empress tape, which, unrewound, was in the middle. Yeah, hardcore alright, and not the pretty kind. Watched a mere few seconds of it and shut it off so as not to spoil my appetite.

And realized I had twenty dollars from Odd Fellow P. in an envelope for hotel friend Patrick, so went down to his room – was there, and he seemed surprised to get that. And remembered the Charles Bukowski book I had for him also, so went up for that, and gave it to him, which gift he liked.

And then alone again in my room. Had on my mind the pint of Ben & Jerry’s “American Pie” ice cream I’d seen at a corner market – had the cash for it, hadn’t had any of that stuff in a long while, so was determining if I should make that buy.

And: in those few seconds of that porn movie I’d watched, oral sex being performed. And by that verb I do not mean it in the sense of its use related to the thespic skills of a Lunt and Fontaine.

And then it was 15 minutes until a midnight. Unusual for me to be up then. Had twenty-one dollars, mostly in paper. Went downstairs to get an iced tea from the lobby. New front desk woman Ann still on duty, and asked if she wanted a soda – she did, a Coke. And was thinking that she failed a test – is she really, technically, supposed to accept any gifts from tenants?

And turned on my recently-acquired Bowfinger tape. Scene just north of Hollywood Boulevard – there was the distinctive cylindrical Capitol Records building in the background. And liked an Eddie Murphy line written by Steve Martin: “She wants to inhale my gonads!”

And half after midnight, decided to go ahead with that American Pie pint purchase and was out on the street. Apple pie ice cream with pieces of actual apple pie. Kind of too close to their raw cookie dough flavor – at least this dough was cooked. A thousand calories in a compact form. 40% of one’s A needs in the pint, 60 of calcium. And rBGH – recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone – B & J oppose it. Pie chart on lid represents the “Federal Discretionary Budget” – a lot of text about how 30 billion dollars is spent on nuclear weapons programs, and how a mere 2 billion could provide healthcare to a million uninsured American kids. Too true.

posted by Velcro  # 6:55 PM
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And transacted that check, got ten tens. Hello to Kirk, banker there I know. Told him that it seemed like there were many more than usual on his side. And out again, heading back to the lodge hall. Paused at a Chron box – football news: “49ers Grit Can’t Overcome Miscues”. Yeah – someone was telling me that they’d lost to Philadelphia, and majorly.

And it was definitely a day to have it made in the shade – was cleaving to the cool sombra and avoiding the direct rays. And several punkish-looking young folks sitting across from the Warfield – one asked me for a cigarette. Had none to give. Guess they were waiting for Flogging Molly.

And at Radio Shack, looked with favor upon the 80 buck boom box I want – the exact model I had before, before it stopped working, that after a long life of music-producing service. My current one doesn’t have a remote control, and that is an absolute plus in terms of just kicking back and not having to get up from off the bed.

Then to Can-Cun – often voted tops for the Best Burrito in town by the freebie papers. Odd Fellow brother P. had written down specific details so I’d get it right. Put in my order and sat to wait. Considered Spanish that would work as names of a couple: Mojado for the guy, Lengua for the girl.

And got the goods in time. Guy behind the counter didn’t pick up on my “Muchas garcias!” joking mispronounced thanks. On the way out, noted big plastic container of chopped meat. Outlaw-looking couple still eating – had been discreetly checking the girl out – kind of cute. Liked it that she used the shortest linguistic unit of “babe” when speaking to her fella. The word can be elongated in the saying, but her form was the most curt possible, sounding like “beb”.

And was making a voice note on this and didn’t notice guy who works at the barber shop near the lodge building walking my way. As usual, he made some comment towards me of a jokingly insulting nature. The last time I’d seen him, up in P.’s office, I’d let it go, but this time I gently but firmly confronted him on this and he backed down. He was with some woman and he just had to say something derogatory about me to her. He said he insults everyone, so that’s probably true enough.

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And got the burritos up to Alex and P., then immediately headed out to get
those envelopes and staples. A bit of a hike – my bicycle would’ve made it so much easier. At one point, realized I should be zig-zagging streets to make the stroll shorter. And found the location of Road Rage, a bicycle shop I’d heard of, but it’s closed Mondays.

And got some thinking of a creative kind done during the walk, including this line: “It is most definitely meant to be useful, although the use is that it is not utilitarian.” And was thinking of the early impact upon my consciousness of the James Bond movies, the Sean Connery ones. For sure I’m interested in the upcoming Casino Royale with new double-oh-seven Daniel Craig. 44th year of that film franchise.

And passed a coterie of sullen, slumping pre-teens, trudging back home from school, I imagine. And paused at the menu of a bit out-of-the-way Peruvian restaurant. Two items on the menu could serve, as at Can-Cun, as names of a man and woman: Lomo Saltado and Yuca Frita.

And there was an expensive wine bottle-quality wooden box propped up against a light pole, stuff inside. Found art – an empty instant noodle cup, for one thing. Looked deliberately set up. Perhaps by an artistically-inclined homeless person with more talent than money and lodgings.

And got to Staples, sought out the stuff P. wanted without asking for help. On the sound system, an Eighties song I recognized, but didn’t know who did it. Just Googled on the lyric part I could make out: “there is freedom within, there is freedom without” – Crowded House. And: it was very nice and cool inside the Staples.

Then began the way back. Passed the Gene Friend Recreation Center. That name…imagined Genentech choosing to enact a friendlier corporate image and renaming themselves Gene Friend. The avuncular global bioengineering megafirm. We love you – now roll up your sleeves and bend over.

And up colorful 6th Street. Very low-fat woman in a short skirt, the tendons and ligaments of her legs extant in a most prominent condition. Was walking up unseen behind her – she turned to cough and I was glad she had the couth to cover her mouth else I would’ve received that expectoration full on.

posted by Velcro  # 6:51 PM
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The Birth of Venus! Yes, perhaps a constant psychological manifestation, but it’s also one of the audio books I’m listening to just now. Set in Medici-era Renaissance Italy. Lots of Catholicism. There’s a Reverend Mother, who reminded me of Frank Herbert’s peculiar vision of the far future and the Bene Gesserit order of telepathic women.

And the author of the novel uses the word “groin”, which I haven’t heard or read in a while. The Tendergroin? The Tindergroin?

And have been listening much to The End of the Innocence, the solo Don Henley post-Eagles work. Well, after that first incarnation of the Eagles, anyway – they’ve reconnected since – not much in the way of new songs, but they’ve toured.

And was thinking of Ramadan, which Muslims have just begun. The Naan ‘n’ Curry place near the hotel observes – guess they can serve food during the day, just not eat it. And the Hispanic workers in back, well, I suppose they aren’t required to observe the daylight abstinence from la comida. Yes, feed those infidels, fatten them up – gastronomic jihad, by Allah!

And out this week, says a poster I’ve seen in the ‘hood, a new Jerry Garcia package. “Dear Prudence” included – Mia Farrow’s sister, about her. Sixteen tracks from the five studio albums.

Googling on that Beatles song – got Wikipedia…it’s Lennon’s. The actual Prudence was with the Fab Four when they went to India to visit the Maharishi. Just read details of this in Donovan’s autobiography, The Hurdy Gurdy Man. In ’87, Lennon’s original handwritten copy of the lyrics auctioned for nearly twenty-thousand. Paul on drums – Ringo had just walked out of the band. Not sure what the Garcia connective relevance is. Maybe it’s on the new package because it’s such a Sixties throwback.

And: about this time, got the Janis Joplin disc I’d traded an herbal pill for on the street to Rosalinda of the Tenderloin computer center. Have heard her in the back office listening to J.J., knew she was a fan. Includes a song called “Flower in the Sun”, which is probably new to her. A good gift, very.

And a line of iambic pentameter thought of: “Pure calculated spontaneity.”

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And Odd Fellow brother P. had work for me – take a check to the Bank of America, cash it, get to the Can-Cun at 6th and Market for burritos for him and elevator fella Alex. Then hoof it to Staples at 5th and Harrison for envelopes and staples – yes, staples from Staples. Then fold invitations for upcoming lodge events and seal them into envelopes.

Stood to make about fifteen, which is for me a tidy sum, to not coin a phrase. And was already considering: P. had offered to buy me a burrito as well, but would prefer the money.

And details of those burritos – Alex wanted “the Wetback”, one of the specials there, with chicken. And P.’s was to be tongue - lengua en espanol - and as hot as they could make it, and it must absolutely have refried beans, not pintos, which are utterly anathema to P.’s palate.

So got to it, check in pocket. My bike was and continues as of this to be down, so had to go on two legs. Passing the Warfield – Flogging Molly coming up. Axl Rose and his guys had just been in town for two nights. Once worked with a guy who was really into Flogging Molly – they must appeal to those into tattoos and piercings. Googling…four-leaf clover logo. “Whiskey” in title of new album.

And for a certain stretch of market, thought of a noun: “Africanization”. Like the Manhattanization of previous (and current) times. Can feel like a bit of a gauntlet. And was thinking of that novel I’m listening to now, The Birth of Venus. Pretty much a standard fictionalization of history, seems like, but probably better written and researched than the run of that literary mill. Spunky female lead.

And crossed to the north of Market, Noma, at 5th. Metal plaques from 1988 still at that corner for the San Francisco Shopping Centre, which is…being displaced by the new Westfield complex? Or is it just adjacent?

And before going into the Bank of America, there was, at rest, dancer Edward Jackson, seated, virtually pontificating to someone. The vibe of a wise man imparting knowledge. His card indicates that his dancing is of a spiritual nature. More power to him and his feet of fury.

posted by Velcro  # 6:50 PM
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Flashback Books! On my mind, that source. Googling – “Rare Books on Psychedelic Culture” is a slogan. San Francisco post office box. 9-4-1-4-7 zip.

Furthermore: Rick Griffin illustration at the Website for Flashback. Stock categorized into several sections, including “Drug Erotica”. For example, three issues of Snatch Comics for a hundred-and-50. Robert Anton Wilson’s Sex and Drugs, first edition, fifty bucks. (Copy of a one-volume Illuminatus! by the same author for twelve at Bibliohead – might get that soon.)

And been continuing the second listening to the audio book of A Scanner Darkly. Liked his use of the word “filched” and “pilfered”. “Purloined” not used – perhaps too archaic a verb, a Poe word. And got out my Roget’s to seek other words for stealing. “To pinch” is one. “Swipe” and “lift”, also.

And in terms of music discs I could sell at Rasputin’s, five currently, including a two-CD Chicago best of, a Henley solo, 10,000 Maniacs on MTV Unplugged. They might give me a dollar each.

And watched about this time maybe a minute of the Bowfinger tape I bought for two bucks at Al’s Palace on Turk. One of my favorites, of all-time, even.

And: that Phil Dick book got me thinking of the idea of selling organic and vegan foods as if they were drugs. Someone would be dealing in pound amounts of tofu. Someone would have four ounces of primo bee pollen for three dollars.

And like the Southern California references in the novel – Brea, for instance, which is in Orange County. Guess Dick was living in Santa Ana when he wrote it.

And about twenty to 9am this recent morning, heading to the computer center in the Western Addition.

Did my thing there, then out the door – next computer, at the library, in 45 minutes.

At Franklin, sign for the “Civic Center Historic District”.

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At the Opera House, big signs for shows this season, including Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. Described as the “apotheosis of love”. Almost five hours, in German, with English subtitles.

Remembered reading about Garcia, Lesh, the Dead in general, interested in Wagner, going to a performance. And Die Fledermaus also to be staged – Johann Strauss, Jr. – father or son of the Blue Danube guy? “The party never stops in Old Vienna,” says the poster, “where practical jokes and amorous intrigues abound as the champagne flows.”

And the magazine racks, official ones, in front of City Hall. Sun-worn copy of Yank, for a dollar.

And looked into the adult literacy tutoring program at the library. A year’s commitment, maybe three hours a week, 15-hour training. Thinking of really doing this.

And the Friends of the Library store, checked out the VHS tapes, two bucks each. Of the dozens there, guess I’d go for Clueless. Pretty familiar with it, but I like it well enough that I could see it, oh, at least once a year, and be entertained.

Had 20 minutes until the computer – walked through the artisan market. CD of Himalayan chanting, handmade frankincense soap, official hand-to-hand combat military manual. Then did my thing again, then out the door, up Hyde towards the hotel. Black icons on shirts – first Tupac, then Malcolm. Expected the noon siren in four minutes. The next computer in an hour.

Young Asian woman walking towards me, making the most of her sizeable breasts in a low-cut blouse. Looked natural. Turned around to look at her receding from my vision. Her, uh, haunches looked pretty full, not slim, which would lead to me think that she’s just all-around full of form.

And got to The Fence – black and white had just rolled up, officers getting out to roust the unlicensed sellers. Kept walking – picked up the day’s Examiner from a trash can. Cover story about a new workout that combines yoga and the martial arts – curious about that. Had that hour until the next computer. Easy to fill time without stressing, usually.

posted by Velcro  # 3:33 PM
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Ramadan! Well, we’re in it now. Laid on a bit of my not extensive information about the subject on a clerk guy at the New Princess near the hotel. Had started the day before the day I’m describing here. Mentioned the fasting from sunrise to sunset – if Hef was a Muslim his show would’ve been Playboy Feasting After Dark. And it goes until the 22nd of October. He didn’t seem to care one way or another particularly about my knowing this.

And: from the radio – turn that on at random to get blips of information – apparently the next major military challenge, later this century, will be, for the U.S., with China. Something to think about.

And was glad to get an e-mail from the Cartoon Art Museum there on Mission, across from the California Historical Society, inviting me to join. Have put them on my Hotmail contact list – I’ve been a fan of that form of artwork for years and years.

And: been listening to Ex Libris, an audio book about the very love of books, by Anne Fadiman. Learned something about French philosopher and essayist Michel de Montaigne – his last name contains three syllables, not two, as I’d been pronouncing it. Of course, educated fellow that I am, I am dropping his moniker not less than every minute throughout the day, on average, so this new bit of information will surely serve to separate me even farther from philistinism than I already am.

And then back in my room. Usually, the sounds of children are pleasant to me, but this day a kid across the street was for far too long a time uttering a two-syllable word – guess in Vietnamese – that was truly getting on my nerves. A low pitched sound followed by a high one. Was saying to myself, finally, “Will someone shut that child up?”

And: like the L.A. connection with Fadiman – she grew up there. She recited a heroic couplet she’d written as a teen while waiting in line at a Hollywood Boulevard movie theater. And: two fictional characters I’ve been working on, Miss Nebula Pendragon, the more recent one, and Miss Abscissa Descartes. Perhaps students at an all-girl school. Taking an English class together.

And: dietary indiscretion recently, paying for it – ate an entire three dollar bag of Lay’s Classic potato chips. Felt like it was making me

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irritable – my unhappiness at the aforementioned child’s cry for attention might be related to all that salt and oil and fried potato. And there was about this time some low hum outside from, maybe, a city cleaning machine – that also was bugging me more than sounds usually do.

And: have been listening to the audio book of William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition. Liked line a Russian character says about “freedom, art, things of the spirit.” Related to a Moscow party among youth that lasted seven years without stop. (Slowed down a bit during sleep, of course.)

And liked it that Robert, a guy I know from the Tenderloin computer center I’m at all the time, actually knew about Fan-Tan, a recently-published novel of intrigue and South China Seas lady pirates co-written by none other than Marlon Brando. That impressed me – can’t think of any other of my acquaintances I can say knows this. Always fun talking to him.

Then the next day…recently-acquired burn of First Rays of the New Rising Sun, the Hendrix disc – put that on. Wasn’t sure about the sound – he was beginning to explore new musical territory beyond the pop/rock he’d been known for. Well, the first track was pretty standard, and wasn’t something I wanted to hear just then. Googled for the song list – think I had this some while back. Doesn’t have the one Jimi tune I am really wanting to hear, “Spanish Castle Magic”.

And turned on the radio for some random news – from Iraq, guy interviewed about being kidnapped, having his arm and leg broken during torture. Fourteen others with him had been killed, right nearby. Saved because it turns out he’s a Shi’ite, or a Sunni, one of those. (Reminds me of the Herb Caen pun about not giving a Shi’ite.) And: have begun listening to the audio book of A Scanner Darkly again. I think it’s totally gone from Frisco theaters now. But in October it’ll be at least one night at the Red Vic.

And was considering about then the Scanner character Donna. A drug dealer, low-level. Many details of dealing drugs in the novel. Two characters are speaking openly about it in a phone conversation – it’s explained that there are too many calls like this involving small amounts of money and whatever substance in question to merit surveillance. But now, there’s more of a threat to dealers from the increase in computer and Internet scanning technology.

posted by Velcro  # 11:52 AM
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And…at the Friends of the Library store noticed a few days ago a nice little book that I wanted to give as a gift to a lady I know – maybe two inches square, if that, called The Literary Cat – each page had a quote about felines from various luminaries. Had been circling it for some days before eventually buying – next time I see the intended recipient I know she’ll like it.

And recommended listening recently, Ex Libris, by Anne Fadiman – all about her love of books and reading. Daughter of the famed Clifton.

And recently pared down my Hotmail contact list to fifty, the most that that e-mail system will allow to be sent to at one time. A good round number, and it includes me, so the number is actually forty-nine. Which is appropriate for San Francisco, since that’s the square mileage of this almost island. Seven times seven, very symmetrical, numerologically-speaking.

Then around then up at The Fence at Turk and Hyde, where many sell stuff spread out on the sidewalk. Noted the Charles Tart counterculturally-favored classic, Altered States of Consciousness, and also a paperback, Signet edition, of All’s Well That Ends Well. (Signet particularly good for Shakespeare non-specialists since the facing pages have extensive definitions of Elizabethan terms, as well as explanatory drawings. Get a lot of Shakespeare information, for what that’s worth, just by glancing at these glossary pages.)

And there was also the Garson Kanin book on Hollywood, hardback – would’ve made a good gift for hotel neighbor S., who’s very into movies and reading and thinking. From a few years ago, but I’d say that some essence of movies and moviemakers would be described.

And just Googled on Kanin’s name, one I recognized, but I don’t know much about the man himself. Born 1912, died in 87 years later. Several professions listed, including director, comedian, jazz clarinetist, actor. 1945 Broadway hit Born Yesterday is his. Associated with George Cukor. Well, he’d be a very appropriate one to write about the movie biz.

And: have got William Butler Yeats on my mind recently – there’s a volume of his poetry at the Goldwasser rare books place on Geary, displayed eye

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level in the window. Took it as some sort of sign that Anne Fadiman mentioned the Irish poet in Ex Libris. She’s the kind of person who would go to his grave and read a poem – which she actually did.

And recently acquired, in trade on the street for six herbal pills, six compact discs of music, including a burn of Dylan’s Sixties classic Blonde on Blonde – 14 tracks, about 73-and-a-half minutes. Possibly copied from a recent re-issue, so that quantity could include alternate takes, additional songs. Don’t know the album as a whole, just certain famous songs, like the first one, the one about how everybody must get stoned. Circus-y sounding – didn’t really want to listen to it and shut it off. I’m not a big fan of the man’s – I’m not shy to admit that Don Henley’s songs have meant more to me.

And back to that Fadiman book about reading. She tells of one she read with many words she didn’t know, twenty-two of them, and she riffs extensively on this idea. I also didn’t know them except for one, “grimoire”, which is “a book of magic spells”. I would’ve defined it along the lines of “an ancient book, perhaps about witchcraft”.

And about this time was thinking of a line of iambic pentameter: “Their plastic artificiality.” Maybe make it “artificialities” to add the juiciness of an additional “s”. (“Juiciness” itself is a very juicy word, don’t you think?) And, consider the magnificent construct “artificialities” – seven letters!

And got around to getting that tiny cat quote book for my suburban friend – put it on my credit card, which is once again maxed to the five-hundred-dollar limit. But that’s manageable, and I’m getting Bank of America what they want each month. Sample page from an anonymous source: “No self-respecting cat wants to be an artist’s model.” And also a line about how a dog is prose, while a cat is poetry. Excellent gift for my friend.

Then back up Hyde…heard a familiar sound from a southbound car on that street, took me a sec to name it and the band: the old school timeless classicism of War’s “Slipping Into Darkness”. Not my favorite of their catalog, but it sounds good. Chorus of male voices, or at least two guys in vocal harmony. Then to Wa’il’s corner market near the hotel, maxing out my plastic on a three-dollar bag of Lay’s Classic chips (allowed myself that – not a daily indulgence), soy milk from Boulder, and a stick of butter.

posted by Velcro  # 10:11 AM

Monday, September 25, 2006

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At the Pakistani restaurant near the hotel – little blonde girl in a lavender shawl, precious, with her mother. The father and an even smaller child, not yet walking, already out the door – they’d all had a meal there. Like it about the place that it attracts families. The father looked like a Deadhead, but one with arm tattoos. Night was just beginning to come on – the neon “EL” for part of the hotel sign across the street was beginning to be effective.

Then back to my hotel – chatted a bit with Black Patrick outside, and Alphelus. Patrick has a room in another part of the Tenderloin – can’t say the same about Alphelus. The evening seemed a little cold and I told Patrick I’d go up and brew him a quantity of tea. He’s pretty resistant to the chill, it seems, but even he said something about the “Arctic wind” that evening.

And up to the room – used three bags for the liter-and-a-half of boiled water in the empty Carlo Rossi jug: yerba mate, peppermint, and a Chinese yang tonic. And continued with the audio book of William Gibson’s latest novel, Pattern Recognition. Don’t enjoy it as much as Virtual Light, but anything by him is way better than most of what’s out there, for sure.

9/11 featured in the novel – came out about two-thousand-three. The WTC – just had the fifth anniversary of that. Last time I had a regular job was just a few days before that day that will live in infamy – was let go from that on, I think, the 8th.

And noted to myself about looking into being a literacy tutor at the library. Just got details for that today – 15-hour training, a commitment to a year of doing it for about four hours a week. Plus you pay 25 bucks. Sounds like a very good thing for me to do.

Then the rest of that evening, then sleep, then the next morning, about half after five, Sunday. Preparing tea. Took one of the pot pills. Continued with Pattern Recognition.

And Gibson’s humor: reference to a person buying “Stephen King’s Wang” – his computer, that is.

And thought of a humorous line of my own: “Like high-priced porn stars, they don’t come cheap.” Or would that be “cheaply”?

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And was thinking that I wouldn’t mind that expensive edition of William Butler Yeats poems I’d seen at the Goldwasser rare books place on Geary.

And from the Gibson: the Greek drink retsina said to not be a good mix with any other kind of alcohol. Main character Cayce Pollard remembers this from college. That beverage mentioned in the Steely Dan song “Home At Last”, from Aja.

And about this time this early Sunday morning, motorcycle on the street setting off car alarms, it had that much of a vibration. Imagined tossing eggs at vehicle and driver – really get that goop into the mechanism so that it would be totally messed up. Frankly, the noise is just really irritating to me, but it’s worse to the working folk in the neighborhood, on their weekend, being disturbed from their well-deserved sleep.

And about 15 to six a.m. – Muni outside. The first one of the day? Weekdays, it’s closer to five. And: from the Gibson novel…details about the British class system – how people are put into their places by the kind of shoes they wear.

And called POPCORN to find the exact time, at least according to that standard. My cell had the hour and minutes precisely, but the digital table clock was slightly off. Then 15 to seven, light coming up outside. Looking like it’d be another cloudless day.

And thought of something to add a fragrance to a letter – let incense smoke waft onto the pages just before sealing it into an envelope.

And: there’s a James Bond thing happening in Pattern Recognition. The international locations are part of that. Gibson mentions the first Sean Connery one. And part of it’s set in Soho, in London. Thought that San Francisco’s Soma has some global cachet of its own.

And out to take a dump in one of the two fifth floor toilets. In that place away from the room, seemed like I was feeling the pot pill. Was in there for longer than usual, partly to experience that sensation, and partly because of some slight excretory difference from the norm – had eaten nearly three pounds of beans the previous night, and that might’ve been affecting me.

posted by Velcro  # 5:28 PM


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