Wednesday, November 19, 2008

#1332 www.starplane.blogspot.com/ sweetdango@hotmail.com

...various notes I recently put into my voice recorder, amplified upon, including:
Kurt Yaeger, actor in the upcoming movie called Tenderloin - see http://www.sfgate.com/ for an article called "Actor brings a little extra to the job". He plays a wounded Iraq War veteran who manages a T.L. hotel. I'd pay to see this, when it gets to theatres. Wonder how they use the good ol' bad ol' 'hood...

And then there's Berkeley - haven't been there in quite a while. Last time was because my Odd Fellow brother Pete Sellars sent me to get pictures from an archive for inclusion in his history of Odd Fellowship in San Francisco. Feel a calling to get over there again. (And speaking of Brother Pete, he has just received copies of his latest volume of S.F. Odd Fellow history, called Calling Out from the Past. Contact me at the above e-mail address for copies, or inquire of the elevator operator at the 26 7th Street at Market building. Another labor of true love and truth and friendship from a man I'm very proud to consider a good friend, as well as lodge brother.)

Then there's the Eagles - finally got to take in the song and video for a track from their new one, Long Road Out of Eden - called "Busy Being Fabulous". Great as any of their past fine work...see
www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt51uPCdOrM - classic sound. Monkey walking around in a party scene, even. Henley lyrics, sounds like - he comes home and a woman he's with has left him alone for the evening. Band vet Timothy B. Schmitt as a waiter. Joe Walsh in there too, I guess, and Frey.

Also, Yoga Toes - saw these in some magazine - maybe a free one from Rainbow Grocery - and liked 'em. Never tried 'em myself, but they probably work well:
www.yogapro.com/ts/toestretcher.html - "instant refreshment", says this ad. I believe it. I can think of at least two people of my acquaintance who'd like these, not including myself, which I must.

And a friend and I were talking about AC/DC recently - he maintains that the Aussie rockers have "quietly outsold" both the Eagles and Led Zeppelin - in overall sales, I believe he means. I think this is probably true. Their new one, Black Ice, is selling amazingly well. Saw the video for "Rock 'N Roll Train" and can verify it's the same sound, they've not become a Carpenters cover band or anything:

And at another friend's house for five days last week, got a chance to use a computer 24/7, tuned in some Elvis Costello, tracks from his first one, My Aim is True. So many great hits on that...try "I'm Not Angry" - not my favorite of this collection, but there's the fine line "there's no such thing as an original sin":

And that made me think of a title for something: Unoriginal Sins. Attributed to my newest nom de blog, "Vic Trola". And another title Beat the Dusk - was leaving my friend's house and wanted to catch the bus before it got dark.

And happy to have gotten two packs of nice stickers for Madison, the 4 (or 5) year old girl child of my friend's older brother. I don't have a lot of children in my life, certainly none of my own - and that's the way I like it - but I much enjoy seeing Madison when I do. Didn't happen this last short visit, but on Thanksgiving I should be graced by her wonderful presence.

And...another video seen recently, the Monterey Pop performance of "For What It's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g9PiEgYYUU. Peter Tork of the Monkees introduces, which is a nice touch I hadn't known happened. Not sure if he's one of them that could actually play music - Nesmith for sure...and...here's a little something unusual found about Tork and Janis Joplin: www.whosdatedwho.com/celebrities/couples/profile/joplin-and-peter-tork.htm. Fascination with celebs, in years since, has become even more obsessive...

And speaking of celebs, my friend and I also talked a bit about Martin Mull...I related to my friend a joke Mull told on the tube years and years ago that somehow stayed with me, about the two types of humor. Won't get into it now, but it made my friend smile...so got me thinking about Mull. Know him really only for that joke, and for his turn in the movie version of Cyra McFadden's Seventies Marin parody The Serial. And also, he was a pharmacist in the post-Fast Times Phoebe Cates flick Private School. Here's a trailer:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeCJPXGW81w. No Mull. Seems to owe a lot to Animal House...whatever happened to stony fox Betsy Russell? Had less of a career than even Phoebe Cates, I think... www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betsy_Russell. Hmmm...was in several of those fuckin' Saw flicks...and Cates...www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoebe_Cates. Yeah, not working at all - nothing since The Anniversary Party seven years back...the name of a Fast Times reunion/remake could be Faster Times...

posted by Velcro  # 7:35 PM

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

#1331 www.starplane.blogspot.com/ sweetdango@hotmail.com

Letter to Lola 1

In your last e-mail you wanted me to keep you informed about what's going on in the city, now that you're in the wilds of Wyoming. I guess I'm slightly qualified for that task of reporting for the entire city of San Francisco, but I'm more qualified to report merely on what's going on in my mind. I've got a few pages of notes from recent days that I can work from. If it's a little disjointed, well, that's just the way my mind works, mostly.

I like this place called Mason's at Geary near Mason - open 24/7, it's a nice place to go if I'm up early, say 4am, and want to get out of my lavish domicile. There are five or six other always-open joints in that immediate area near Powell Street, but I like Mason's the most, for the decor, the lighting, the over-all ambiance, the comfy booths, plus the team of cute, slim, young Russian women servers. I only always get a Coca-Cola - buck-95, 17 cents tax, 88 cents tip. That's a pretty hefty tip, don't you think? Close to 50%. But I like to be a big shot, even with limited financial means.

And...there was recently the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation's pool toss. Celebrities - or what pass for celebs in this area - are thrown into the pool at the Phoenix Hotel at Eddy and Larkin to raise money for, I think, Tenderloin children, of which there are a lot, many beautiful ones, judging from my observations after four years there. Stayed at the Phoenix once overnight with a friend a while back - nice, the kind of low-key Bohemian aesthetic I like. Owner Chip Conley, I've read, opened it as a place where traveling rock and roll musicians might stay. There are big buses outside sometimes, and I like to think such musicians, or their roadies, are inside.

And so...I was at Mason's one early morning, going through a newspaper, and was picking out items - Governor Arnold at some magazine conference in the city. Nothing I'd attend, or be able to attend, or really want to attend, but the item registered. Was just watching TV news and heard that Dianne Feinstein's a good pick to replace Arnold when his term is up. Jerry Brown also named as a possible. The activities of Arnold or Mayor Newsom, frankly, don't really interest me that much. But they seem like good men, doing the work they've chosen.

Also in the newspaper that morning, color photo from the funeral at Duggan's Serra Mortuary in Daly City for that Hell's Angel leader Mark Guardado, who was shot in the Mission a while back by a member of the Mongols, a rival motorcycle gang - I mean, "club". One Christopher Ablett is responsible, or is a suspect. Haven't been following this story since - these are not people I ever want to meet. Although Pete has some affiliation with the Angels - a couple of 'em were working in the Hall some while back, and I had a chance to chat with them a bit - one was nice enough, the other scarcy in some weird way - and Pete wears a shirt that indicates his hellishly angelic affiliation.

And there was a recent concert by musicians David Byrne and Brian Eno at Davies Symphony Hall. Again, something I'd never go to - for one thing, I don't have the clothes to get into that particular Hall. And it's likely the concert would bore me mostly - I like aspects of Byrne and Eno, but I'm strictly a rock and roll kind of guy, and like mainly to hear that kind of music from a jukebox, or a simple player - I'm still not into the MP3 world too very much - cassettes for me most times, or a transistor radio. But I'm glad such higher culture is occurring in San Francisco - someone's gotta do that and attend to it, I guess.

And Tibet quake news made the newspaper that morning, in a place called Gedar Village. Made passing note of this - Tibet's interesting, but I don't want to go there. Knew a couple of friends who went to nearby Nepal. Good for them, they can have such an excursion. One good thing about you being out of S.F., little or no quake danger in Wyoming. Felt a tremor not long ago that shook things a bit, but nothing major. I don't even think about it.

And then there's the haiji extinction - I believe it's some form of aquatic mammal in China. Not coming up in my search engine...so maybe it's already extinct and off the map? Wrote down that 25% of wild mammals are facing extinction. Not a nice fact.

But in better eco-news Solyndra, a company in Fremont, is producing solar tubes of some kind. I have a little faith and hope in this green, solar technology. Efforts are being made in San Francisco to be more green, and I'm all for that. There was a victory garden in front of City Hall for several weeks, showing what could be done in terms of growing food even in the middle of an urban environment.

And also in the paper that morning: the name Zoellick, of the World Bank - says the G7 is obsolete. A grouping of the most powerful industrial nations, I think that is. (Yeah, just looked up details on this - Robert Zoellick, head of the World Bank - suggests "a new multilateral steering group" to replace the G7, which he considers ineffective. So...that's it for now...got a lot more notes to send you, will get to them by and by...how's that wild antelope meat?)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

#1330 www.starplane.blogspot.com/ sweetdango@hotmail.com

Want to mention J.G. Ballard's The Drowned World, available in audio cassette format from the San Francisco's Mechanics' Institute Library, of which I'm a proud, card-carrying member. Got to thinking about Ballard because I get V. Vale's RE/Search newsletter through e-mail, and he's way into Ballard, way more than I am, tho' I can see why he likes him so much. Me, more into Burroughs, William Gibson, than I'll ever be into Ballard, as far as I can see. Anyway, will probably get that Ballard audio when I return to the city in a few days. Have currently got out from the Mechanics' Gibson's Neuromancer, complete, on cassette - am really burning that one in. Am still considering the fiction thing, getting my head around that, to try it myself, and that'll be the role model. Neuromancer really rocks and rolls, and I admire it greatly - still works magic after repeated listenings.

And The Ebony Tower, by John Fowles, has also been on my mind recently. Was with a friend at the excellent San Francisco Brewing Company a recent rainy day, enjoying a pint or three of a homemade brew - "Bock Obama" was what I selected, for the name - this was just before the election - my friend had selected his usual favorite, named after Emperor Norton - and I mentioned the Fowles to him as being a recommended bit of DVD action - should be out in that format by now - saw it myself on the tube in the mid-Eighties, in a BBC production, I believe, with Olivier. The original book consists of five interlocking short novels, but this TV work was based only on the one about Olivier's curmudgeonly painter. Got a copy of the book a while back and didn't get all the way through, but the Fowles language is just amazing, dense, poetic, and if you can handle it I'd say go for it. My tastes are more plebian, usually, but such verbal richness can satisfy sometimes.

Also...a recent posting on my blog featured iambic pentameter couplets, tributes to five authors I like, not necessarily in this order of preference, tho' not necessarily not: Iceberg Slim, Robert Graves, Robert Anton Wilson, Oscar Wilde, and William Burroughs. There are others that I was going to pay this tribute to, but moved on to other matters - maybe in the future will get to this. If I do say so myself, I'm a pretty decent hand at this couplet deal - been working on the form on and off for a good twenty years. Entire fuckin' poems are written this way, but I believe I won't be going there - it would be a trifle contrived, for one thing - but I surely do like the occasional one to pop in here and there - like raisins in a loaf of bread, it might be said. I'm really rather prosaic, when it comes right and left down and up to it, but I like to bring out rhymed lines just to show there's a bit of the poet in me, perhaps not unlike the Vogon commander's horrific versification in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - which, after all, is only the third worst poetry in the Universe. (The worst was written by one Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Greenbridge, Essex, England.)

And had set aside some Fred Williamson material in a special file, to look at more carefully...a mid-Eighties King Cobra malt liquor commercial, a short scene from a blaxploitation flick in which the man leaps over a car, and a clip from Three the Hard Way. Plus two Jim Kelly clips. I cut some cinematic teeth on those B-movies and have much love for 'em and their stars.

posted by Velcro  # 10:59 AM
#1329 www.starplane.blogspot.com/ sweetdango@hotmail.com

She and He Said

"Romolo address, North Beach, near Broadway and Columbus," she said.
"Saw the Channel 29 cable access program a couple of times," he said.
"Mal Sharpe comments on the presidency of Barack Obama. In the newsletter. Good reading, very informative."
"Vale in Barcelona for some show about J.G. Ballard, including a conference. Vale very into that British author and, it seems, Burroughs, to a somewhat lesser extent. I think he thinks Ballard had the more important voice."
"And two new books coming out - one about Burning Man, another about Tim Leary. The Burning Man one features material from thirteen years produced, printed, and distributed at the event itself. Sarcastic wit a-plenty, says a write-up, and it's reportedly fun and sexy. Works for me."
"It's all about the intersections, in this city and in the others."
"Brion Gysin mentioned in the newsletter. Post-industrial culture?"
"Extraterrestrial as well."
"And...George Kuchar...over six-hundred films made...was on Vale's cable program, something was...Vale says Kuchar also deserves a lifetime achievement award, which Vale got from the Guardian...Wikipedia says the man's known for the 'playful use of no-talent actors, plotless plots, and themeless themes'...was in the same underground film scene as Andy Warhol, and Kenny Anger."
"Scorpio rose."
"Beware thorns, in the unevolved ones of that tribe."
"Search - RE/Search - on 'coyle and sharp' for the Pranks book featuring Mal Sharpe...Vale took notes during a call with Sharpe, who commented on Obama in the White House...short shrift given to Palin by Sharpe..."
"A major redaction of the newsletter is in order."
"A bit of a prank."
"Becoming household names isn't what they want. They're not malicious - funny, poetic is what they are."
"Vanished into the ether. Or did they?"
"Janis Joplin reportedly lived there once upon a time."
"Opened her golden gate, she'll let no stranger wait..."
"Classic Frisco styling...as original as pure energy...more spectacles than in an Indonesian sunglass factory."
"Making trouble. Not conforming, in general."
"Countercultural moving and shaking...conversations at these intersections...city life..."
"Steampunk also? Thought that was over long ago..."
"Burroughs, Laurie Anderson...language is a virus from inner space."
"How are things in Barcelona?"
"Accurate prediction of the future. What about William Gibson?"
"Gaudi hunt, said to be obligatory."
"Antoni. Architect. Gaudy."
"Ballardian, adjective."
"Translation earpieces help."
"Providing magical experiences."
"Printed and oral and electronic words in relation dynamically with art, science, and religion."
"City Hall Dirk Dirksen Alley hearing..."
"Fettucine Fellini - served up at several Italian eateries along Columbus."
"Improvements in restoration technology has allowed this...each flashback has its own color scheme - deeper emotions, and higher ones."
"Not depressing, it's said...catharsis ensued...unknown in most of America."
"Ballard's Cocaine Nights on audio...missing from the S.F. Public. Stolen."
"Big cars burned by anti-auto extremists."
"Ethics of the ecologists."
"Considered pagan, in some quarters."
"Godard quoted - says the point is not to make political films, but make films politically."
"That's San Francisco for you..."
"10-4 - we've got ourselves a convoy..."
"10-4. Tea time - the yerba mate's brewed, and strong."

posted by Velcro  # 10:18 AM

Monday, November 10, 2008

#1328 www.starplane.blogspot.com/ sweetdango@hotmail.com

1. Doubtless this crank call is funny, but can't get the sound to work on this computer I'm on now...have heard some of these before and have laughed my ass off...am away from the city for a few days - really need to dry out a bit - have gotten five "Notice to Appear" tickets from the S.F.P.D. in the past month due to public drinking - that's got to stop. My landlord is not liking behavior on the street I'm indulging in while into the wine and King Cobra - basically, fucking with cars and drivers to show my disdain for fossil-fueled vehicles - and if that continues I'll be out of the nice place I'm in now...so it's time to reflect on my ways...have 24/7 online time so I can occupy myself in that way out here in the wilds of suburbia...

2. Thanks for this reminder about the neighborhood clean-up day and the usual It's a Grind Middle Polk Neighborhood Association meeting - will be out of town the day of the clean-up, most likely, but should be back in time for the meeting. Also, thanks for organizing the holiday party next month - should be there.

3. Yeah, Hunter Thompson's hat and cigarette holder, a distinctive look - I can put an incense stick in my mouth to simulate a cigarette holder...he's been popularized lately due to at least one documentary, so that helps with the recognition factor...he was one of the writers who really made an effort to be a personality - helps with sales, for one thing. Guys like Charles Bukowski and William Burroughs also played it up to be distinctive...these days, writers, if they want to sell, have to tour like rock stars and make public appearances at signings and readings, even tho' most scribes are probably basically introverts who are by themselves a lot...have seen William Gibson a couple of times in San Francisco - seems, tho', like it's not something he likes doing all that much - doesn't strike me as a big ham like Bukowski...and...I'm over at Chez Tipperary for a week - really need to get out of the city and I'm very, very fortunate that your mother's so welcoming...been behaving badly again, drinking a lot all day, blowing all my cash, fucking around in the middle of the street with cars and drivers, getting police citations - and not the kind for commendable behavior, either. I'll be able to have time to reflect on what I'm doing with myself - cannot continue how it's been this past month, 'cause the landlord has seen me out there and says he's fed up with what I've been doing. I like it where I am and don't want to be sent back to the Tenderloin...

4. Ha, Neal Conan on Talk of the Nation thought Gore Vidal's phrase "African cadence" related to Obama's style of speaking was a racist remark? Funny...nice phrase...could have been worse - how about "that Obama sure talks like a coon"? - haven't heard the word "cadence" in a while - that's why I like listening to someone like Gore, for the magisterial - how's that for a word? - use of language...I like your use of "namby pamby" also...Wikipedia - a favorite source of yours, I know - says the phrase means "affected, weak, and maudlin speech/verse"...origins in a poem from 1725 written by one Henry Carey as a satire of another writer named Ambrose Phillips, whose style Carey found laughable...

5. Hey, thanks for the birthday e-mail of Felix the Cat! I'm out here at my friend's South City suburban house for this week - my natal day's Friday, four days from now...great to have a friend with a house...really needed to escape from San Francisco for a few days - getting the f*ck out of Dodge, it could be said...got to look at more Felix material - headed to Wikipedia...caption for a picture from a 1930 cartoon says the animated feline had a famous pace - hands folded in back, head down, pensive, not happy about something...the entry says he was the first animated character to be so popular as to draw audiences based only on his star power...more so than Disney's mouse, apparently, tho' the rodent's stature has subsequently outpaced that of the cartoon kitty...

6. Ha ha! I thought this celebrity housing thing was straightforward until I got to O.J.'s prison cell! Saw a bit of him on the tube, in court, shackled like the commonest of criminals, which, I guess, he basically is. Fallen from the heights he has...I remember back in the Sixties he was lauded for his high school ath-a-letic ability...well...even putting aside the Nicole shit, and his recent law problems, he deserves some sort of harsh punishment for the very, very bad movies he took part in...and...thanks again for inviting me to watch Felon with you, but, as I said, just wasn't the sort of thing I wanted to watch then...just not into movies at all right now, of any kind - it can be a major investment of consciousness and attention...maybe in the future we can take in a flick together...the new Bond, Quantum of Solace, is out in a few days - may go to the theatre with a friend to see that one...me and James go back a long ways...


01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004   02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004   03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004   06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004   07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004   08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004   09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004   10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004   12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005   01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005   02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005   06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005   07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005   08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005   09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005   10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005   03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006   04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006   05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006   06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006   07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006   08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006   09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006   10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006   11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006   12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007   01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007   02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007   03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007   06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007   07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007   08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007   09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007   10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007   11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007   03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008   04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008   05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008   06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008   07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008   08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008   09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008   10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008   11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008   12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009   01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009   02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009   03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009   05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009   06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009   04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010   10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010   04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?