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Your dance began at dusk and still goes on in corridors of memory while I sleep

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18th February 2007

1:00am: Decadence, or, Why Poland? Part I

First off, a warning: As its title might suggest, this is going to be a long entry.

Secondly: The central thesis of this entry might be exactly the opposite of what you'd think based on the title. I hope that this will attract, rather than repel, readers, some of whom will want to challenge my assumption that they will think they know what this post is about based on the title.

All right then, are we ready?


It came to me in a flash yesterday, that the keystone of my critique of the Bay Area specifically, and the US in general, is Decadence. To the extent that there is an American "Empire," it is enjoying an unprecedented age of Decadence, and we in the Bay Area are in the forefront of this movement, just as we are generally always situated in the forefront of political and cultural movements. "Enjoying," I say, because let's face it, Decadence is fun.

But -- and this is the part where I'm concerned I will sound like some sort of "moralist" -- I am not, but let's postpone that discussion for just a moment -- there is something sinister at the root of this "Decadence." I am concerned because some of what I'm about to write is sounding like "fire and brimstone, Sodom and Gomorrah" preaching, even when I rehearse it in my head. But what is to be done? Laurence Stern, one of my all-time favorite novelists, made his living as a preacher, and yet was still the most creative writer in the English language for the next 150 years after his death in 1768. Anyway, I'm not a moralist because I am merely interested in observing and documenting this "Decadence" phenomenon, not in reversing it or "saving your souls" or some such insane mumbo-jumbo.

A little etymology, if you will permit me, Ladies and Gentlemen: The word "decadence" is based on the Latin decadere, to decay. The OED defines it as:

"The process of falling away or declining (from a prior state of excellence, vitality, prosperity, etc.); decay; impaired or deteriorated condition."

I found this excerpt from the Wikipedia entry surprisingly enlightening also:

"In modern use, decadence is often defined as a decline in morals and abandonment of the pursuit of ideals. It is typified by the elevation of superficial self-indulgence and intellectual pretension over experience and tradition, and is often considered materialistic."

Now we're getting somewhere. The part about "abandonment of the pursuit of ideals" was an epiphany to me. It came to me suddenly, why, in my own persistent pursuit of "ideals," such as Beauty, Truth, Love, I have failed to capture my heart's true desire. Because I am like a ghost from long ago, a guest who showed up twenty years late for the party, playing by a set of rules that have changed at least a dozen times since I was given them.

I really don't mean to sound bitter, or to adopt the "woe is me" stance. At least, I don't feel trapped by this realization, I feel like there is a way out for me. But more on that later.

For now, back to Decadence. To the extent that there is an American "Empire," it is undergoing right now an age of Decadence. That is to say, it is in decline. The era of American supremacy on the World Stage is coming to a close. Take note, because this is the closest many of you will ever see me come to being "political." Our leadership has failed us, and the outlook for the future does not look bright.

Meanwhile, many of us are fiddling while Rome burns. This is nothing more than the local manifestation of the decline of a civilization. I don't criticize these people though, because they are making the most of their situation, and doing so at least with a smile on their faces. However, my own smile has become like the forced-for-camera variety, and it shows in the photograph.

Maybe this is a good place for a segue into why I want to move to Poland. Many of you have asked, and I apologize that the response I give is sometimes unsatisfying. I don't just want to say "I felt at home there," or "I was happier there," I want to plumb the depths of this feeling and give you something of substance in return for your curiosity. It doesn't make sense to speak of a Polish "Empire" or "Civilization," so let me just say "Poland" is still a good several decades away from its age of Decadence. It is an incredibly fruitful, creative place right now, full of possibility. Artists can still afford to live there, so the arts are thriving. Capitalism has just barely begun to take hold, and there's a feeling over there similar to the optimistic consumerism in the US during the 50's. Yet it would be unfair to Poland to say that a trip there is like going back in time. It is like going back in time, but only superficially. And in some ways, ironically, they are more modern than us. One obvious example is high-speed internet -- they seem to have skipped the compromise of DSL/Cable and gone straight to T1 lines going to the home. But that is superficial too, and not the point of this post.

But wait, you say, I thought you were going to Poland for the girls! What of that? And this is true. But I haven't yet said it exactly this way: I think it will be more natural for me to fall in love there. I am a romantic, and a romantic temperament does not fare well in an age of decadence. A romantic is better suited to an age where "ideals" are considered worthy of pursuit. In the end, it will not be about the "girls," but rather about one. And with her I may not even yet be acquainted. But I'm willing to risk everything for her, whomever she may be, because the spoils of this age of decadence, though I have been fortunate to reap them, have yet left me cold, uninspired, and unsatisfied. Let's call her my Muse, for what better example of the "ideal" every existed in the history of civilization? And she has already inspired me to learn her language. And there is no limit to what she will further inspire in me.

11th October 2006

5:35pm: krakow

my lovely new roommates trying to open a bottle of zubrowka (polish bison grass vodka). this is before the police came and fined us 200 zloty for listening to music, dancing, chatting, and generally disturbing the peace (thank you very much). a picture may be worth 1,000 words, but i have 1,000,000 on my mind and feel not unlike poor master shandy fruitlessly trying to write the story of his life, getting a day older each day, and writing less than a day's worth of chronology.

everyone will no doubt want to know about the polish women, famous for having "the most vitamins." a dozen times daily, i see a different girl whose striking beauty is enough to make my brain melt. and they can all carry out a conversation too! if anyone has a modicum curiosity about what it looks like to be inside my brain, come to krakow, walk around on the streets, and appreciate all that there is to see.

and eat some pierogi too! my favorite place is within walking distance of home and the language school, and is called "swiat pierogow" ("world of pierogi")! i plan to try every single one of their two dozen or so varieties of pierogi. so far i have tried six.

and now it is homework time.

10th October 2006

11:03am: od chicago do krakowa
not much time to write, but i will do my best. chicago is teeming with polish, but it is still extremely american. my polish friend aga had the same opinion, and the same experiences in dance clubs that cute girls all over the us have to suffer, i.e. being touched aggressively without first attempting conversation. this is how the young people do it now. ah, back in my day... visited lincoln park for super "pizza pot pie" with dave, and tried our luck at two clubs catering to polish clients. plenty of opportunity to practice polish, but the dance floor was too dark, too loud. cute waitresses though. in general chicago doesn't seduce at first glance the way san fran does, but the san fran seductiveness is only skin deep. i tried walking around in an essentially non-walking town. one does not walk through a dozen neighborhoods for fun. tried three times to eat bbq at chicago rib house, failed every time and finally ended up eating at ditka's! portions not nearly as large as expected. after much time, perhaps chicago could grow on me, but why not just go to poland?

krakow. i knew i was going home as i was looking around at the other passengers waiting at o'hare. a plethora of gorgeous young moms with kids. arrived at apartment early (10:30am) to be greeted by kate, my new flatmate, a very cute english girl. she was overjoyed that i had a guitar, and i knew we'd get along great. hmm, i have to finish this later...stay tuned...

4th October 2006

9:05pm: goodbye bay area
with amanda the proud new caretaker of cactus, i left without looking back.

first stop, houston. met mel and family, andy, and chad, and ate meat cake. my old haunts -- niko niko's, the menil, the arboretum, rothko chapel -- brought back memories. ate better bbq within 5 minutes of way-out suburban houton than within 100 miles of sf. expired license drama puts a damper on some plans.

next stop, detroit/ann arbor. talk with stephen about women wanting to be in control. i could have delivered the same speech in polish, but soon enough will feel relieved of the burden to even make this speech. actions will speak louder than words.

lansing, mi. darren and i combed the entire town for some tuesday-night action. amateur movie-makers don pirate, ninja, and a spiderman costume in the howard johnson's. this is supposedly the trailer, although after watching it i'm not sure...is that supposed to be johnny depp and liv tyler??? the exchange provided some fun with a lanky white guitar duo doing bad covers of such 80's favorites as peter gabriel's sledgehammer. last resort stop at omar's provides entertainment via beaver's shower dance, but it didn't hold a candle to the costume madness at the hotel. slept until 11am at howard johnson's, the best sleep i've had in ages.

now, chicago. already spoke polish with the hotel receptionist, bought a chicago street map, and ate a giant polish buffet at old warsaw on lawrence and harlem featuring beet salad, potato pierogi, sauerkraut, sour cream, potato pancakes, spaghetti, and bbq ribs! bardzo mi smakowało wszystko! and then made dinner plans for tomorrow night and the next night. a good beginning to whatever adventures may follow over the next few days.

21st May 2006

1:13pm: beneath the valley of the ultravixens trailer
voice 1: russ meyer's "beneath the valley of the ultravixens" -- moviemaker russ meyer, the rural fellini, serves up a simple homey tale of olympian togetherness, faith healing, bra-busting humor, jogging, and hulking, herculean masculinity. "beneath the valley of the ultravixens," a motion picture born to entertain, vibrant, spellbinding, and so hilariously funny. "beneath the valley of the ultravixens," an all-out assault on today's sexual mores and more, an end-around attack against women's lib, blasting through the male machissimo syndrome, kicking the crap out of convictions, hangups, obsessions, the whole bag: sexually agressive females, willing, klutzy men, petroleum jelly, gingham and gossamer, tax-sheltered religion, black socks, bedroom prowess, bunko artists, big breast fixation, rear-window rednecks, therapeutic cuckolding, the sixty-mile-an-hour zinger, born-again immersion, unfaithful girlfriends, the kangaroo pouch, limp-wristed dentistry, the wheelbarrow, and virile garbagemen. "beneath the valley of the ultravixens," a cinematic smorgasboard of mind-boggling beauty -- yeah, gals like lavonia, flovilla, junkyard sal, eufaula, and the very big blond. six of the most buxom women in the world -- incredible broads, served up from the lusty table of russ meyer.

voice 2: russ meyer's "beneath the valley of the ultravixens," six bountiful chicks in search of a cluck. grand, glorious, hilariously funny movie entertainment for adults, strictly.

kitten: y'all come back! muah!

voice 1: russ meyer's "beneath the valley of the ultravixens."

6th April 2006

11:19pm: unreal city!
whatever visions remained from my last trip to london circa 1992, they were all eclipsed by my last five days there. art and artists were the primary themes, as well as the obligatory moments of quiet in which to study my various polish verb conjugations.

i had been eager to see the national portrait gallery ever since my undergraduate days, when i remember being introduced to the dreamily surreal portraits commissioned of elizabeth i. in addition to the tudor portraits, i was excited to find a special exhibit, "searching for shakespeare," which collected artifacts and supposed portraits from which to reconstruct a picture of the bard's life. i pored over the will for a long time trying to locate the infamous bequest to anne hathaway of the "secondbest bed," but in vain, as the 16th century notary's scrawl was no more decipherable to me than arabic. one hallway at npg contained a chronological gauntlet of my literary heroes, sterne and swift, smollett, richardson, and so on. then along to the national gallery. i looked at almost everything, but what moved me most was hogarth's series marriage a la mode, which i had only seen in miniature black and white, a scathing indictment of upper-class loveless marriage for money and the tragedy which necessarily ensues.

that evening, amanda and i had cocktails and dinner with former mp tony benn, one of britain's most radical statesmen. the premise was to discuss benn's experiences with paul robeson and other towering figures of 20th century history, from gandhi and churchill to saddam hussein. but benn had a knack for turning what might have been an interview around, and genuinely sought to understand our own backgrounds, religious and cultural, as well as how we had come to know each other. he gave the impression that our own lives were as interesting to him as his to us, and though many fellow diners and waitstaff recognized the right and honourable, his celebrity seemed to have never disturbed his grounded and sincere character.

the next day, upon returning from the tate modern gallery, replete with my beloved rothkos, magrittes, ernsts, and a showing of un chien andalou, amanda met me on the way out the door, having just received an invitation to appear on rachel fuller's internet broadcast, "in the attic." a guitarist and punk enthusiast from manchester, england waited with us until his turn came up to play on the air. i asked his opinion of the fall, to which i will never forget his surly answer, "well, i know mark e. smith, and if you know him it's impossible to like his music." while seated in the waiting area, i also met rachel and friends, including her partner, who guitarist and vocalist pete townshend. at one point, pete sat next to me and we conversed, mainly about our respective interests in writing. occasionally he would pick up an acoustic guitar and fool around. but "fooling around" for pete townshend sounded like what i would have to practice for days to achieve. and i was awestruck that he seemed to be able to compose in real-time as naturally as others breathe.

after returning home late, i would have to wake before 5am to catch my flight to krakow. as i bid goodbye to british soil, i pondered what might lie in story for me on the continent...

3rd April 2006

5:01am: mam inspiracja
waking up after a mere three hours of sleep in my london hotel makes it difficult to ascertain how long i've been here. two days? yesterday was a turning point. spoke polish in "masala zone" indian restaurant with two polish waitresses, practicing part of my courtship speech. they understood and liked it. during my three hours of actual sleep i had the best dream i've ever had in my life. upon waking, a new episode of yacht rock came in unexpectedly to brighten my early morning hours. london is much more beautiful than in my 15-year-old memory. either that, or my faculties of apprehension have finally become attuned to beauty. going to krakow from thursday to monday. car rental likely in order to make a trip to i know not where.

20th March 2006

11:24am: a wicked good time in boston
in boston for high school buddy peter's wedding celebration. his wife anna is beautiful and german. many people of european extraction at the celebration. i talked to a cute new yorker who at the same time turned me off from visiting new york. "i'm a physical person," i said, to which she responded, "then you wouldn't like new york." i was introduced to a friend of the family as "brian, peter's best friend from high school. brian is an expert on female sensuality." whoa! she who made this observation will remain anonymous, suffice it to say that she is slavic and qualified to make such an observation, though not from direct experience with me. i shared my ewa adventures with people, all of whom believe in me. i never felt more outwardly sexy. i was the mysterious liberated friend from san francisco. many many east coasters are afraid to visit sf because they think they'll fall in love and not want to return. they're probably right. but ultimately, like me, they would be disappointed with the california flakiness.

my ewa adventures are bringing me many interesting new correspondants. i want to demonstrate that romance is not dead. ewa fans seem to already understand this. it was the same with cynthia fans and petra fans. natural bombshell beauties seem to attract respect as well as admiration for their physical qualities. i can't believe how many times in the past year i've had to explain what a "bombshell" is. we need a new word for such a woman, "bombshell" is too much of a throwback to the era of world war ii. ideas, anyone?

5th March 2006

3:49pm: new music
had four hours to kill in berkeley yesterday, so naturally wended my way to amoeba. cult videos selection at berkeley amoeba still very dissapointing, no new something weirds whatsoever. so blew my wad in the classical section on the following:

1) chopin nocturnes played by arthur rubinstein. i have the sheet music and need to hear a recording before i can play any of it. i realized that i already know many of these pieces and am excited to learn them. since i'm trying to read poland's celebrated poet adam mickiewicz, it's only natural that i should play poland's celebrated piano composer.

2) bach's magnificat, sacred choral music. my vocal instructor said bach is her favorite choral composer. i had owned exclusively keyboard and other instrumental works and figured it was time to branch out. i wanted something more exclusively choral (it reminds me a bit of brandenburg) but it will likely grow on me.

3) bach's tonet, ihr pauken! -- secular cantatas. i figured i needed something profane to round out the secular.

4) xenakis music for strings on mode records -- i used to have a recurring dream in which i would be browsing a record store and find music by my favorite artists that i didn't know existed. xenakis' chamber music on montaigne has always been one of my favorites so discovering new string music was like a realization of this recurring dream. very harsh and angular sounds, including one with tape effects! excellent!

5) tony conrad with faust -- outside the dream syndicate alive. recorded live in 1995 in queen elizabeth hall, london. a modern update of the 1972 release outside the dream syndicate. the sleeve said conrad had complained that uwe nettelbeck's post-production on the 1972 recording made him sound "like a hippy" -- this sealed the deal for me. i'm happy to report that the new live release blows the old one out of the water. loud loud amplified violins! tribal drumming! and apparently the bassist broke his e-string ten minutes into the performance and kept playing for the 50-minute duration of the piece, blood dripping from his finger's open wound onto the stage floor. awesome!

10th February 2006

5:55pm: forgot to mention
went to a polish bookstore and scored a polish translation of "portrait of the artist as a young man" ("portret artysty w wieku młodzieńczym")!

fun times ahead!

8th February 2006

9:05pm: la campagne detour
bussed out of andorra en masse to the southern french countryside, destination carcassonne, 12th century medieval city. as tempting as it may be to wax nostalgic about the french countryside, that wouldn´t be my style. highlight of the journey: eating cassoulet in the vicinity of castelnaudary, the birthplace of cassoulet. and how could i not accompany it with at least a glass of the best vin rouge de maison, painkillers and all? foie gras toasts, crepes au grand marnier and rhum. shopladies sweet to humor my french, "comment est-ce qu´on dit..." etc. at least it sounds better than catalan, with its "benvinguts," whoever heard of such a thing? sat next to a fellow traveller reading "the spirituality of serendipity," which seemed to perfectly embody my approach to travel and living in general. a malachite heart pendant spied in one of the diverse medieval shops couldn´t possibly escape my capture.

7th February 2006

4:28pm: beckett and seduction
"in French it is easier to write without style"
- Samuel Beckett

seduction can be a game of words. with linguistic sophistication comes artifice. consider valmont, seducer par excellence: where would he be without the sophisticated elegance of his words to beguile? but in this case words are used to overcome the natural inclinations of ones prey, to lead them, apparently "naturally," to some course of action that they would not naturally pursue.

but isn´t there another way out? in a foreign language we are forced to simplify and prune our communication approach. our primary purpose is getting a point across, and we lack the sophistication to load our speech with ulterior motives. what if our motives are simply an appreciation of beauty, nothing more and nothing less? it stands to reason that love affairs which cross language barriers are more passionate and intense. it isn´t because of some received stereotype about the "exoticism" of ethnicity, or some belief that "X lovers are just more passionate," where X can take many values. i can see a new movement forming on the horizon, let us call it "seduction without style." this has worked for me in the past, and i have hope that it will continue to work.

6th February 2006

9:08pm: pyrenean health care odyssey
fell face first yesterday into cruddy snow and came up with shoulder pain, which kept me up at night and persisted through this morning, resulting in my first health care experience outside the usa. la sala de emergencias. spanish served well enough to get my point across, along with gesticulating at the shoulder in question while wincing for dramatic effect. "me duele." x-rays of the shoulder showed no bone damage but possible torn ligament(s). prescription: pain killers and anti-inflammatories. temptation to mix alcohol and pain killers more easily overcome than temptation to indulge in scortatory pleasures, of which none discovered here yet. none likely to be discovered either with my shoulder in its current condition. tomorrow i will photograph andorra la vella, the capital city of this strange principality nestled in the pyrenees.

favorite food at dinner: beet salad. yet another reason why i belong in poland! i feel as though i´m proceeding blindly towards i know not where, yet feel at the same time intense clarity that it is what i must do. thinking a lot of lorna´s attraction to the escaped convict: "never *really* married, like now" and "there´s no one like you." wondering whether my foreignness will be received as some have claimed, not exactly sure the extent of it but it´s doubtful my kind are a common phenomena there, if i embody a kind at all. will this be the beginning of a new love affair? a general affair or a particular one?

can i interest any of you lovely ladies in a green card? ;)

5th February 2006

10:06pm: andorra, land of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, furs, perfume, and jewelery
after enduring a 30+ hour travel marathon, here i am in the heart of the pyrenees. overslept this morning and had to hitch a ride to go snowboarding, which i managed in my faltering spanish and nonexistent catalan. beautiful scenery and architecture, stone masonry with slate roofs, in many cases built right into the precarious rock outcroppings. tall mountains but not compared to the sierras or rockies. the spectre of maria jose rears its head now and then, in the style of dress and most directly in the robbie williams playing at one of the lift stations. but hearing it again, it´s much more my song than hers:

i´ve got too much love running through my veins going to waste...

thinking a lot about poland. why can i speak better polish with only 4 months of classes than spanish with a year´s worth at community college? what does it say that my motivation to learn the native language of the live-in girlfriend was weaker than it has been to learn the language of a woman i don´t even know? the excitement is in the mystery. learned my interview questions in polish, all i have to do now is practice them until they flow smoothly off my tongue...

i have only 40 seconds left on this machine and am out of euros...until next time

20th December 2005

4:46pm: who was that poem really about, anyway?
"your dance began at dusk and still goes on
in corridors of memory while I sleep."

and here i sit, listening to her song on repeat 1. "you could fall in love with that one," he said, without fully realizing how true it was. now only a thin veneer holds me back.

12th December 2005

3:53pm: in loving memory of jasmine grey
jasmine grey died this week in an auto accident at the tender age of 21.

read excerpts from her glamourcon interview here. my favorite part is her closing comment, "Even though I am comfortable with my own nudity, at the shows, I like to picture every one around me naked. It kind of levels the playing field." i vividly recall her admiring various other models' shoes and impossibly skimpy attire. her sincerity was unquestionable, i don't think she had a jealous or a competitive bone in her body. from what i could tell, she exemplified my elusive bombshell beauty who also practiced the virtues of compassion and kindness, and with a sense of humor to boot!

my galaxy of beauty is now dimmer by one star of considerable magnitude.
Current Mood: sad

20th November 2005

11:35pm: glamourcon day two
fitful sleep after failing to find anything fun at "top of the radisson" after-snoozefest. all the girls had gone to bed early. morning, after hearty breakfast, back for round two. spotted cynthia on the way in, waylayed her, and we're off to the parking lot presumably to check up on her car -- instead, sat with her while she smoked, sharing wry observations about punk style, what does sci-fi have to do with gorgeous women?, weirdo convention attendees, one in particular of whom bears particular mention: this character drew a stick figure of himself with grossly exaggerated nipples, and gave it to her, saying that since he had seen hers, she might as well see his...eww. made our way back inside and brought her to her table. on the way out, noticed janet lupo, miss november 1975 -- how did i miss her all these years? back to room two, "summer cummings" stops me to chat about the supervixens shirt -- she likes all the meyer films, including even mudhoney, i start to tell her about lorna, when i get to the part about lorna takes a bath and gets accosted and raped by escaped convict, she breaks in, "i would LOVE that!" well how could i not buy her faster pussycat porn remake? hmm, i'm watching it now and pondering whether i can make a profit on ebay since it's signed by the costars... talk to petra about bombshell dilemma, she's had trouble too. no more than four requirements, yet still no one materializes. the verdict: guarded girls need persistance -- well if there's one thing i have... and failing that, poland sounds like a decent plan b. bardzo dobrze, pojade do polskie. bring petra and cynthia together for a photo op, brunette bombshells from two decades apart -- suddenly everyone wants to be photographed with them. bring petra back and return to first room to see jasmine grey and maggie green again -- jasmine the best of the bunch, cute, sexy, and funny and yes i would bring her home to mother, copious cleavage and all (although i couldn't manage to convince her that she would fit in my luggage). maggie in a red corset earned two more photos. everything winding down, i plan to walk back to the terminal (less than 1/2 mile) and petra offers me a ride -- well I couldn't possibly refuse that. a kiss in parting, and i'm off. in the airport, two obvious glamour girls sitting across from me, one says she remembers me -- it's latasha marzolla from pinup glam. chat with her and friend who's =doll parts= on myspace. so maybe there is a point to myspace after all... is there a trip to vegas in my future? roommate and i should have no problem agreeing who gets who...

19th November 2005

11:09pm: glamourcon day one
it would have been easy to suffer sensory overload had i not already had some practice at this.

highlights: cynthia myers again (of course), who posed with her hand on my stomach and asked afterwards if that was "too intimate." sweet cynthia... jasmine grey -- i was aware of her work, but in person she was stunning beyond expectation. another ohio girl like cynthia. combination of young and innocent face with uber-voluptuous figure which gets me every time. sexy and sweet, and smart to boot. petra verkaik -- wow! she was a blast to talk to, fun and flirty. had dinner with her (and six other guys). she actually drove four of us to the restaurant. too bad no dancing afterwards at a trendy la club, i teased her. never married, she drove home alone.

which brings me to my next point: couldn't deal with all the freaky rpg types. "did you go to the sci-fi convention too?" wtf does sci-fi have to do with beautiful women? petra's fans were, to say the least, unskilled in the art of conversation. where do i fit in here? the other guests put me in mind that this is a phase for me. i would love nothing more than to have an excuse not to come next year.

pinup glam girls, hmm... they were ok. miriam gonzalez had her own table as a playmate. i could tell she was wary of the whole thing. sad, working 16 hours a day as a production assistant with no time for anything, least of all her supposed dream of taking ballet again. i couldn't get over the fact that her face looked like that of my high school crush. maggie green, stacked like whoa, much more so in real life than in photos. spends her time "causing trouble" or at the beach. or both at the same time? i can imagine so.

day two update to follow...

13th November 2005

1:10am: khamosh pani (silent waters)
castro theatre: the screening of the expected feature, "amu," failing due to half of the reels being lost in transit, we were treated to khamosh pani (silent waters) instead. a tale of the pakistani-indian partition. but really a universal tale of boy chooses politics and religion over love and family. mom's prayer to "grant him his heart's desire" rings particularly poignant. music artful and spare, no bollywood nonsense here. at the end he gets his heart's desire, a sound bite on national television extolling the tide of pakistani politics, while the girl he left behind gets the dregs, a keepsake from his mother and his image on the screen.
1:08am: sonnet i: invocation
muse, tell me, of your treasures, which shall save
your celebrant his wearying travail?
from drought a draught to quench his thirst, a haven
from time spent free though labored in a jail
composed of vacant city stares ahead
into the nothing, glances which refuse
connection, or which simply can't be read
he seeks. o beauty, nourish me, o muse!
your dance began at dusk and still goes on
in corridors of memory while I sleep.
while you exist, no need to brood upon
another. then the journey to the deep
and murky regions of my heart's desire
shall bear full fruit beside my hearth, my fire.

4th November 2005

9:12pm: glamourcon!
in just two weeks i will be going to glamourcon!

a few ladies i can't wait to meet:

cynthia myers (again). i wonder if she will remember me from may '04... casey and brian: light and shadow. theirs was not a consummated relationship, but consummation did come from it.

miriam gonzalez, miss march 2001 and undoubtedly the most naturally russ meyeresque playmate ever! she's right there with ewa sonnet at the top of my list of most beautiful women! and i thought she had quit modeling. according to pb her turn-ons include "cuddling, hopeless romantics, blue eyes and chick flicks." i would be happy to oblige her with all four, and why stop there?

maggie green and other modern retro-style pinup models from www.pinupglam.com

and many more! there will no doubt be many choice photo opportunities.

17th October 2005

11:59am: yo dude, check the vids

episode two features a songwriting duel: hall and oats vs. loggins and that guy from the doobie brothers. need i say more?

16th October 2005

11:58pm: we made it rain.
more than ten years ago was the last time i made it rain with someone.

the rain had a sound
it's blinded everything
coming down, coming down
the rain had a sound
it flattened its face on the window pane
and I thought we were safe, so safe
my soul sank down
down in the bed
your hair spread out on the pillow
in the black fan

only in this case, the first drops coming down so tentatively, you almost wouldn't call it rain, and if you didn't stop to listen you might have missed it.

and then today. a mere list of foods and decadent activities would necessarily fall short. you could be habit-forming.

3rd October 2005

3:17pm: ETC
picked amanda up in emeryville at 6:00 for our first joint kunst-stoff adventure. dinner at asqew in the castro, her cubscout attire and articulate anti-madonna stance making her a hit with the boys.

on to odc theatre for the main event: tomi paasonen's latest opus, entitled etc. leslie part two. i am here because. suicide is not an option because. we are all one body. on to intensely personal meditation on the lack of acceptance for diverse feminine body types in dance industry. couldn't help but think of burlesque, especially in the wake of teaserama 2005 at bimbo's sat night. but this is serious dance we're talking about. still, a tempting thought nonetheless. other than her voice, the audio consisted of record pops processed through different channels of reverb. later, iterated feedback delays are added to the voice reminiscent of a. lucier's "i am sitting in a room." raw vocal material transformed into percussive steel-drum sounds. choreography: four dancers gather around speaker, imitating gestures, some in caricature. monologue feeds off of dancers' movements, which in turn effects furthur movement. and so forth. the centerpiece was five dancers, two on each side and one in the middle. video filmed the single dancer on a plain backdrop for a fixed period. dancers rotate, new dancer in the center, video of first dancer now projected behind second dancer, this arrangement recorded on a second video. repeat. dancers attempt to imitate the videotaped performance. some delay and transformation inevitable as dancers are only human. delay and feedback recurring themes in all facets of the performance, audio, video, and dance. conceptually simple like the best works of art. at the end the house lights come on and the dancers face the audience, imitating our gestures.

i am here because.

24th July 2005

10:57pm: doris wishman: priestess of domestic (in)tranquility
doris wishman films: the dialogue and voices don't quite match, and the camera lingers too long on the trailing edge of, the action. the feeling is of being in a nightmare from which we aren't able to wake. connections between sound and vision on which we don't even realize we depend in waking life maddeningly elude us. indecent desires (1968) and my brother's wife (1966) the latest wishman releases on something weird, complement the nightmare vision elaborated in bad girls go to hell / another day another man. the 50's dream of domestic tranquility grown threadbare and pushed to its limits. a decade later, work had turned men into loveless zombies while their wives long for something different. enter frankie, kowalskiesque brother-in-law: out of work, but plenty of time to be a lover to married mary (his brother's wife) as well as zena on the side. mary's speech to dimwit husband bob pleading for physical love after denying frankie's initial advances is a brilliant standout. he even has time to lament his failure after discovering the affair. almost shakespearian tragedy. fist fight climax which kicks off the film (the rest is flashback) must be seen to be believed. darlene bennett irresistable as girl on the side zena. indecent desires: domestic tranquility thwarted by crazy accidental voodoo practitioner. supernatural invisible hands removing her clothing, almost special effects, strange to see in a wishman film. each incident when he witnesses her seeking affection and protection from her fiancé tom seals her fate further, her body twisted as easily as that of a doll found discarded in a trash can.

domestic tranquility, a gift of the "rational" world, maddeningly eludes like the sensory cues denied us during the nightmare. realism too much for some. wilde's rage of caliban at seeing his face in a glass.
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