Friday, March 05, 2004 at 12:09:47 (EST)

Look away, baby, look away
Do any cat owners out there ever experience this? Mr Bones seems to need to be watched when he eats. I've been feeding him for the past couple days and I notice that even after he gets fed, he keeps waddling out and trying to get me to come back into the room with his food bowl. If I follow him, he'll start eating but if I make to leave, he looks all anxiety-ridden and comes after me.

Obviously, he still finds time to eat unobserved.

Tonight I will be attending the show at Freddy's Back Room, featuring Matt and Dana of Stupid who will be doing an acoustic set. The show is a benefit for Ben Hoyumpa, Stupid's drummer, who broke his arm in a band-related car accident. Matt and Dana played together in a band before Stupid called the SOBs, so perhaps we'll get to hear some of their earlier work.

What else are people doing this weekend? I fear I am getting into a rut in terms of the stuff I do on the weekends. Generally, the weekends tend to be vast wastelands of cultural enlightenment. I love not having to work, but with an entire day at my disposal I often end up doing less than what I do during the week. I make lots of plans for the weekends: shopping, cleaning, writing music, going to museums, buying pickles, cooking, painting, brunching ... But who schedules time for lingering in bed, reading the New York Times Magazine, staring hazily at your coffee cup, wondering why the magical elixir within doesn't' seem to be doing the trick today? Thus, many a weekend day passes into insignificance.

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Thursday, March 04, 2004 at 12:27:47 (EST)

Bears see things pretty much the way they are

Despite the oddity of the whole thing, the show was kick ass! Read a very long account of it, with pictures.

I had really wanted to write about it right when I got home last night. I was full of what I am sure were really witty remarks, and I even had some phrases I wanted to include. But instead I just went to sleep and now I can't remember what I wanted to say. It's fitting I just had a request for more drunken rants on this site, so even as we speak I am mixing up a Long Island Iced Tea so my audience can receive my words as god intended: with me drunk off my ass. Sure, my day job may suffer for it, but Hemingway never let a little web-coding get in the way of his drinkin'.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2004 at 15:57:09 (EST)

Let's face it pal, you didn't need that eye surgery
Is anybody going to the Don Caballero show tonight? I totally thought it was later in the month, but luckily Zack reminded me. They're playing tonight at North Six with Detachment Kit and Sir Prize Fighter, whoever they are. This totally sucks, as MRK is in Cleveland right now.

Of course, this isn't your father's Don Cab. Damon Che, magnificent drummer and magnificient bastard, has been touring around with some guys from Creta Bourzia and calling it Don Caballero. The other original members of the band had no idea he was doing this, and I don't think they like it. Anyway it should be interesting, as long as Che doesn't take his pants off.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2004 at 11:01:34 (EST)

I'm a man with a mission in two or three editions
I was very happy to go to Symphony Space last night for the McSweeney's Writing Center fundraiser. This is mostly because I really like that reading series they air on WNYC on Sunday afternoons, the one in which famous actors read worthy short stories. This is is good idea since it's normally a crap shoot when it comes to authors' speaking voices. For every Paul Auster there's a Bin Ramke (okay, none of you will know him, he's a poet and a damn good one but if i ever have to hear him read again, I'll stick a screwdriver into my ear). Anyway, many a lonely Sunday afternoon has been spent with this surrogate bedtime story factory.

But back to the fundraiser: Abby and Liz & J were there; in fact, we were all in the balcony together. But they were on the other side of the room and I'm sure they just didn't see me, for ignoring a fellow blogger in a public place would be tantamount to a slap in the face with a studded leather glove covered in hallucinogenic frog poison. Look it up, it's in the rules!

So McSweeney's started here in Brooklyn a few years ago, in my old neighborhood in fact. But it grew larger than life and so had to move to San Francisco. There it started its writing tutoring program, which it now hopes to duplicate in Brooklyn. It's a good idea, and if the selections they read last night of student work is an indication, they're doing very well already. The reading was pretty good (if loooong, with no intermission!) My favorite author for the night was Jonathan Safran Foer, perhaps only because his story is about a precocious kid who, like I did as a lad, comes up with a lot of much-needed inventions for the world. I also liked Chinaka Hodge's poetry, mostly because everybody rolls their eyes when they hear the dreaded P word, but her work is of the explosive, performance variety. I still think of it less as poetry and more rapping for people who don't like to rhyme, but maybe the difference is negligible. Roddy Doyle and Nick Hornby were also very good, but they both had shaved head and from where I sat I couldn't tell them apart.

Does anybody know the name of the band who played? They were cute, and further evidence that Philadelphia might be the Cradle of Civilization. It's been coming up a lot lately, the arts scene in Philly sounds very communal and supportive of weird-ass stuff. Makes me wanna take a field trip there to take the Poe House Tour, in which Tom Devaney takes you through his empty house and you experience nothing.

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Tuesday, March 02, 2004 at 11:30:56 (EST)

Get out of my dreams, get into my golf cart
It happened again. I overslept with NPR on the clock/radio next to my head, and so had a dream based on the information disseminated by Morning Edition. This time I was fleeing the scene of a crime with two other people. Our leader: Soterios Johnson. Yeah, the guy who always sounds like he vaguely hates his job on WNYC. As usual, in my dreams he is a black man, and in this one specifically he is a professional assassin. We are in Haiti, amidst the revolutionary turmoil. Soterios has just shot and killed somebody, possibly Aristide, possibly Brian Lehrer. There is panic in the streets, as hysterical people run around and remind us that "today's high will be right around 60 degrees!" Car bombs go off and the only escape is on a golf-cart we ride to freedom which for some reason is underground. Soterios is absolutely cool; he brushes his dreadlocks out of his face and mentions it's "Super Tuesday" and that polls will be open until nine. How can he think of the Democratic primaries when he's just shot either the leader of a country or the host of a topical radio talk show? We speed on but realize the catacombs we've been racing through are actually some kind of mall, like one would have found under the World Trade Center. We forget all about our problems and browse at some kind of retro-80s fashion shop. While sifting through some Cyndi Lauper-style plastic-and-plaid outfits, Soterios turns to me and smiles knowingly: "It's twenty minutes before the hour."

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Monday, March 01, 2004 at 11:54:20 (EST)

I've got the straight edge
I spent a good deal of Saturday on Staten Island. Apparently there is a movement afoot to recast the Forgotten Borough as a beehive of artistic activity, a new SoHo, if you will. Visiting there, I certainly saw little evidence of this, and it's probably just as well. When SoHo first became a viable artistic area, how did people describe it? Did they say it was like Paris at the turn of the century or something? Probably not. I wish we had some way of defining things besides comparing them to previous feats. I guess that's the price of living in these postmodern times.

Anyhow, Staten Island was fun. Nice to place to visit ... but you know. Not quite New York City. We were there to buy some art off a mildly weird artist guy who slightly resembled Spalding Gray (which allowed me to indulge in 'faked his own death' fantasies for a few minutes). Then we went to a local bar, where I was sorry to learn that beer is no cheaper on Staten Island, and the smoking ban seems to persist (I had sort of thought nobody would pay attention to rules dictated from Manhattan). I want to spend more time there, but probably not any time soon. Maybe I'll take my folding bike over there once the warm weather is here to stay.

Saturday night I found myself the subject of an impromptu Queer Eye for the Straight Guy judging. At a birthday party over in Carroll Gardens, one of the party-goers (who was what I like to call loudly gay) took it upon himself to rate all the straight guys present. I'm not complaining, as he gave me a rating of 'fabulous'; others were not so lucky. Now I'm trying to figure out the chicken-or-egg basis of that show: did Queer Eye give our culture the notion that all gay men have an innate ability to judge fashion, or have they always thought this and the show is just capitalizing on it? It's probably the latter, but again, as long as I pass muster, who am I to refuse praise?

Also at the party I met a guy who has one of the coolest jobs ever. He works at a swanky hotel and his job is simply to get the higher-profile guests whatever they want. There is a rule against procuring things that are "illegal or immoral," but beyond that he gets to do things like buy white socks for famous rapper/actors and the like. This seems like it could be tedious, but it makes for quite a wellspring for amusing anecdotes.

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Monday, March 01, 2004 at 10:07:44 (EST)

We can't rewind we've gone too far
Using J's pilfered camcorder, we videotaped ourselves practicing the other night. Then I spent a lotta time whittling the video down to one song, which is now posted over on the Motico site. The real trick was getting the video in Quicktime format, which streams nicely and is small. But I am totally hooked on DV now. You just hook it up to the computer and capture the video. Voilà, you're a music video director. Of course, our video is one stationary shot of the band, and we mostly just stand there playing our new song, which needs a lotta work and the sound quality is dubious at best. But once I figure out how to strap a camera on one of the cats (probably Mr Bones, since he has the most, um, surface area), then we'll really start to innovate the medium. Like Journey.

J, I owe you a tape. Remind me when ya get to town!

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