Monday, April 30, 2007

The lamentable spectacle of late-night cable

Art Boy is at Coachella, which means I get to hog the remote and watch unimproving movies all weekend. Unfortunately, a spring cold has rendered me unable to enjoy this privilege until tonight, and tonight all I can do is complain. My preference is the movie channels, and I am unsatisfied with the movies being shown. What is this "Elizabethtown"? The plot appears to turn on the notion that traveling from Louisville to E-town (as the locals call it) is a difficult thing. It is not. It is a straight shot down I-65 and only an idiot could get lost. Next channel. I wanted to see "Constantine" in theaters and am gratified that it is now airing on television, but there is a great deal of mumbling. The demons are not particularly scary. Keanu Reeves does not resemble John Constantine and I am weary of Rachel Weisz. Next channel. Why is it that "The Remains of the Day," which I love, is always on but it is always the scene where he is busy with the big dinner party and his father is dying? Perhaps this scene is the entire movie. I haven't actually watched this all the way through since second grade. Oh, fuck this. I'm getting in the tub with a book.

Monday, April 23, 2007


I'm back! Florida was lovely. Did I miss anything here?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Gotta go

Off to Miami for the world's largest gathering of copy editors! Dear God. //REALLY WORLD'S LARGEST? NEED CHECK// Fortunately, we are a heavily drinking lot. And unlike my last excursion, to Santa Fe, I am unlikely to be made utterly foolish by the altitude. I shall instead be made foolish at the hotel bar. But not too foolish, as many bosses will be there.

Right. Gotta go cover the carnivorous plants with a tarp (the hose-wielding gardeners come today) and mail Mom's birthday card and catch a bus. See y'all next week.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


It's Friday night. I'm having a big ol Manhattan and a wonderfully smooth, appallingly large cigar labeled "Diego de Ocampo" that was a gift from a friend. Art Boy is down in Redondo Beach, which is of course the name of a Patti Smith song. I need to find an independent music store and get a copy of "Twelve," if only to hear her version of "Gimme Shelter." Anyway, I hope you all had a lovely Friday the 13th.

The main thing I wanted to say here is that this Defamer headline reminded me of why I lurrrrve them. Every single goddamn Vonnegut appreciation on the wires had that headline; we used it too. (I have no authority in the book section. I hope that will change someday, although by the time it does there will probably no longer be a book section. A diminished version of the existing tabloid launches today.) He probably wouldn't have minded. The only KV book I've ever read was "Cat's Cradle," while traveling through the West with Betsy. It was fine; I remember liking the apocalypse a lot. I just always had the feeling that KV was happy over at his table and I was happy at mine, and there was no sense in shaking up such a nice peaceful arrangement.

Am rereading "We Have Always Lived in the Castle," as do every spring. As always, highly recommend to all.

Carry on, then.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Good thoughts

Frank (above) -- who could probably be described as a family friend? extended-family member? he's Stella's brother and belongs to a good friend of ours -- is extremely unwell. His people are having to make the worst decision this week. Please send them all your good thoughts. Frank's Catster page is here. The Quakers like to say "hold [ailing person's name] in the light," and I think a cat would rather like being held in the light. (I in fact have a very needy kitty on my lap trying to get the maximum amount from a sunbeam.) I am remembering what we went through with Stella in September (why can I not link to a single post? Stupid Blogger) and feeling very sad for them.

Also, am adding Tim to the blogroll because it's just about damn time. If Art Boy freaks out I will take it down and edit this post accordingly...

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Elvis chimes in

Happy Easter, Elvis!


One funny thing about moving is that you've reviewed all your belongings, but can't always remember what you decided to throw away. I've already found one coat that I could have sworn I had given to Goodwill. Yesterday I opened the closet to look for some shoes to wear dancing, since I knew my favorite pair had been thrown away.. I remembered taking a memorial picture of them last year. But there they were in back of the closet. Guess taking the picture made me think twice. I was ecstatic to see them and strap them back onto my feet ... it has been many, many months.

After work I went to Disko Nekro, squired by a very sporting Art Boy. The club is home to other goth nights on other nights of the week as well, and I wanted to see if it would feel safe for a solo outing. I think it would be OK: it's on a big street, and the entrance is surrounded by people milling around outside, like the Warehouse's used to be. The bartenders/bouncers seemed friendly without being creepy, and the dance floor was small but very respectful. I enjoyed it a lot. The club itself is apparently called Nicotine (DN is just the name of the night), but as it is in Hollywood, there is no sign. I drove around the block three times scrutinizing the door and wondering if it looked like there might be a club inside, rechecking the address I had written down, then finally just parked and walked in.

It's a tiny space: a narrow bar with red side walls, decorated with just a single giant mirror in an ornate frame and small hanging lights. Near the door is a cut-out space lined with black and white wallpaper and containing a single table, so the scenesters can sit there and judge you as you're walking in. I think every club needs just one table for this purpose. The dance floor is about the size of our dining room and completely black - no strobes or mirrors - which I really enjoyed. There's a ledge so you can put your drink down and guard it. The crowd was thin (everyone was at a concert, Wake the Dead, one bartender explained) and the music better for skulking than exuberant dancing: Touch, Worlock, Lullaby. (You know you have found a skulking rather than an exuberant club when Touch is the preferred "Spectators" track over Once in a Lifetime.) Still, everyone on the floor was just super about sharing the limited space, and nobody was skeevy. Everyone was very much dancing as if they were lost in the forest, so I joined in and had a ball in my own tiny forest. It felt great to wake up with sore feet this morning. The music may have been getting livelier as the hour grew later, but we were tired and bailed shortly after 1.

I will go back, possibly on a weekday; I can see that place getting impossibly crowded on a Saturday. I will also stock up on cash for future visits: There's no cover, but a gin & tonic, unsurprisingly, costs more than three times what it does at The Dock. But one of the bartenders gave us shots, which was very nice of him and which certainly never happened at The Dock, to me anyway.

Resurrecting my love of going dancing feels very appropriate for today. Happy Easter!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Exit, pursued by a bunny

We celebrated Easter Week by watching "Night of the Lepus" recently. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Just a few reasons:

1. The cast. DeForest Kelley in a dashing mustache, Janet Leigh in what appears to be a fright wig, and Rory Calhoun - Mr. Burns' favorite actor. ("Look at him standing on his hind legs, like Rory Calhoun!")

2. The bunnies. They are utterly adorable. What happens in this movie is that Janet Leigh and her husband do some experiments on bunnies to try and interrupt their breeding cycle, as they are taking over Rory Calhoun's ranch and getting on his nerves. Unfortunately, the experiments go awry and result in what are intended to be giant, carnivorous rabbits. It is hard to tell how giant they are because the monsters are just regular bunnies filmed in close-up without any context. Finally, a character describes them as "the size of wolves." Whatever their size, they're awfully cute with their twinkling noses! Especially the darling black-and-white ones!

3. The horror effects. The carnivorous bunnies attack anything that moves, including an unlucky cabbage-truck driver (this is referenced in "Curse of the Were-Rabbit," we're pretty sure), a family having a picnic, and a herd of horses. Yes, horses. It's just like "The Ring"! We see the horses freaking out and running, being pursued by close-ups of bunnies running in slow motion. Finally, a man in a bunny suit jumps on one. Close-up of bloody rabbit teeth! It is awesome. The bunnies also terrorize communities by running in slow motion through specially built dioramas. Picturing the scene on set just makes you want to die of the cuteness. The whole movie is much like the scene with Kim Jong-Il's panthers in "Team America: World Police."

4. The storyline. I liked that this movie skips the "horrifying realization" scene - my God, these attacks can only have been a giant rabbit! - and goes straight on to have the characters calmly discuss what to do about their new giant-rabbit problem. Apparently they just figure it out offscreen. I also really liked that the climax allows a drive-in movie audience to "participate" in the action and help defeat the killer rabbits. This movie is warm and fuzzy on so many levels.

Final Girl has a spiffy review here.

Next: Watership Down!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


No, I don't miss Opening Day at all, but there are quite a few things about Ohio that I do miss. There are days I would pay a thousand dollars for a Girth Burger - we have found nothing like Zip's out here. Sure, there are good burgers, but no super-cheap ones within walking distance that have great beer on tap, an AE-friendly ambiance and an Art Boy-friendly TV showing sports. And no place with a grilled split mettwurst on top of a hamburger. Oh God, I miss those damn things. I bought a Zip's shirt before leaving, but I don't ever wear it, because it makes us both sad.

I also miss my garden. It's sunny and gorgeous here, and my Jaune Flamme tomato plant is already putting out tiny green maters, but I just wonder what is coming up in my old yard. Probably some volunteer borage in the front, and probably some sage since I can't possibly have dug it all up, and almost certainly some black plum tomato plants in the side yard where the squirrels always dropped a few seeds while making off with my fruit (little bastards). And I can't have gotten all the bulbs dug up.

Not to mention Southgate House, and Sushi Ray, and the Mercantile Library (which I can't bring myself to take off the links list), and the purple bridge, and The Dock on Thursdays, and restaurants where you can actually park without a valet or a meter, and the noble Plum Street Cafe. And of course, there are the people, way too many to list. I've really got to visit. I miss you guys.


Around about now is the anniversary of my first trip to this city (both the greater L.A. area and my current home of Santa Monica, by coincidence). I remember arriving on April 2 because it's Gran's birthday. I wished so much I could have talked to her about moving out here; she would have had some interesting and probably very no-nonsense advice. Anyway, I look back very happily on that week and its series of marvelous revelations: this city is beautiful; there are plants everywhere; the people here are friendly and kind; this job is both manageable and desirable; there are people here I already really, really like. Amazingly, all still holds true a year later. Although I'm having trouble finding a damn basil plant.

Art Boy and I worked out that Cincinnati's Opening Day was while I was gone last year. The year before that I walked around outside the ballpark taking pictures while the game was going on. It's well established that I loathe sports, crowds and fun, so I was much happier on the outside. I'm afraid I'm much happier outside of Cincinnati as well, although I certainly wish it all the best. So merry Opening Day, y'all. I know Art Boy misses you.