Monday, October 31, 2005

Trick? Treat.

Friday night got started on what was technically Saturday morning, due to the logistical challenges inherent in dressing entirely in duct tape and sail grommets. The party ended up being well worth it, however...between the MST3K-style Poltergeist screening and the totally-snookered poker, I ended up staying until the morning sun started to come over the hills. I'll Flickr the photographic evidence later this week.

...and then I headed straight to work. Ugh.

But after ten hours of drudge, I got myself to Little Tokyo to be pounded senseless by a middle-aged Japanese woman. You see, I've never actually *had* a massage before (at least, not a massage for which I was arranging and paying), so the concept was something of a novelty. Considering all I'd heard about Shiatsu...I mean, you pay to have people step on you?!...I was understandably skeptical. But's as though my ribcage were a locked box, and she figured out how to open it with her toes. By body is functioning differently today, after spending most of yesterday aching and recovering from her ministrations.

It wasn't what I'd expected...first of all, it *hurt*. Lying on the mat in that little room, I'd feel her foot come down in a warm little caress - a caress that turned cruel and pulsing, pinpointing exactly where my body cried out for pressure to *not* be applied, then digging deep into the space between my bones. And then, just when I was certain I was going to yelp and buck, it was gone. And then it would begin again. Today, however, my neck feels a mile long, my legs supple, and my spinal column as though someone took a can of WD-40 to every moving part. It's lovely.

And then, afterward, I wandered through the neighborhood to have udon with friends...a warm ending to a chilly night. We'd planned to hit the art colony party, twisting and flirting with the scruffle-headed, overserious trust-fund babies, but it was so sweet and insular to stay with each other, nestled in the flourescent womb of the noodle house, giggling and slurping broth and emerald-green spinach and the perfected toothiness of a well-prepared ribbon of udon.

I woke up Sunday to a bogglingly full griddle full of potatoes and peppers and onions and hand-picked cilantro, scrambled tofu and toasted Jamaican eggbread. I wish I could affix some sort of scratch-and-sniff module to this post...the smell of this breakfast would bring a smile to a dead man's face. So. Freaking. Good.

The epic breakfast fueled a twelve-mile hike up to the crest of Mount Pacifico. It was one of the most stunning little constitutionals I've ever done - classic California, with its scrubby, sweeping vistas, miles of grasses waving like golden feathers, and bone-white outcroppings catching the warm late-afternoon sun in a million sparkling bits of quartz. The hike climaxed in half an hour of holy terror, brought to you by daylight savings' time, as we trail-ran the last segment to beat the sun - it was dropping like a fishing weight behind the range.

We cruised by India Sweets & Spices to pick up dinner for everybody, and discovered that India's celebrating a holiday - Diwali - that involves eating sweets and lighting candles. So we turned last night into a Diwali celebration, complete with a tray full of sweets everyone loved but noone could identify and enough fire to scare the cat. And watching the Lost Coast HL2 module, which is pretty and features commentary by a programmer with an Austrailan accent. I am confirmedly a nerd, but...HOT.

Tonight, WeHo...where, every year, I have at least one gay man bury his face in my cleavage. Ah, tradition.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Today's fret: the fiscal viability of music video.

There are a lot of changes going on, what with the video iPod and the UMG announcement and the total restructuring of the music industry and the brave new world of digital production...but at the end of the day, I'm asking: can I do what I love and make money, too?

Bet that's on many minds lately. Wish I could just force a yes.

Would that I have this voracious love affair with chartered accountancy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

As an Aries/Taurus cusp, it's my lot in life to be always stretched taut between fire and earth. Lately, though, all I was to do is burn. Burn everything. The pleasant, fertile benignness of earth just makes me think of dead things, and I want to be singed to remind me I'm breathing.

Remember the room filled with string? Mine's knotted with a looooong piece of fuse.

I heard a train go by today - as I do nearly every day - but it slapped me with a memory so strong I had to blink it back. Mile 29.1, in a California cow town, the smell of new grass in the April air, the cold metal of your car on the skin of my back. The sky in transition - bright blue, stars intact. The train went by so close, and stirred a breeze that ruffled your blonde head. It's strange that the memory should be so strong - the only similarity between me then and me now is that I still bite my nails. But it's a gift to have it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I am such a damned goofball on set. It's a function of that fact that I feel so terribly alive when I'm there...that sense inside that's almost an ache, it's so intense, of doing something you really enjoy in which you are a vital operating element. And hanging out with the boys all day just makes me feel pleasantly enfolded by happy familiarity, spiked with the holy terror of unavoidable production mishaps...just for flavour. ;)

In fact, I went to the Tutankamun exhibit on Sunday and spent the four hours I burned on the exhibit thinking about being alive. Through either a lack of faith, the inadhesive nature of my Catholic upbringing, or the simple facts communicated clearly by the world around me, the existence of an afterlife seems - well - unlikely. In all the pomp, glitter, and circumstance of the lovely, lovely pieces in the exhibit, I was struck by sadness. It seems like a massive and complicated tease, a life spent in preparation for life's end. Pettiness on a grand scale.

I could possibly subscribe to physics-derived philosophy - that evergy can neither be created nor destroyed, just shuffled around. Since the soul must be energy, its eventual release and resubsuming into the world could be technically called reincarnation...but I'd rather just live, thanks, and leave these brooding musings to weepier folk.

After all, my mood is bright today - my step jaunty, and the corners of my mouth canted determinedly upward. For there will be ice cream and mojitos tonight, and my lady Los Angeles is tilting up her chin for a kiss.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

This Meandering Missive Brought to You by Red Stripe

I don't think I got the capitalizations above in the proper MLA style. I don't worry about MLA style when I haven't been imbibing. I never say 'imbibing' when I haven't been imbibing. Welcome to my Saturday.

I got home from the show at some time past 1am...and, being quite keen to get my hands dirty, made some bread. I'm not hungry; I just wanted to dig around in dough. It's baking right now, and that orgasmic smell is wafting around my office, warming everything it touches.

Met a new band tonight. Goldrush. We'd grabbed a table along the back wall at Spaceland, and their merch guys were right alongside. It's been a long time since I met such sweet people at a show; we really felt like members of the fold by the time the set was over. Best of all, they're on the same label as one of my favourite bands (The Jealous Sound), and I badly wanna shoot some pretty pictures for those guys. One of the merch girls looked like a beautiful little elf, and it turns out she's filipina - we got to talkin' about jeepneys and water buffalo and the friendship highway.

God, talking about that schtuff always makes me think about the fact that my world has shrunk so far, so fast...the stories keep getting older; I need fresh fodder for my insistence that I'm a global citizen. What if I swum out of this more-complicated-by-the-minute life and went into the foreign service? My gypsy soul bangs that tambourine louder by the month.

Leaving for Maui in exactly one month. It's not the ''s not's not Santorini...but it's not L.A., either, and that's sayin' something. I will hug a dolphin on this trip, mark my words. And we've all decided that the thanksgiving feast will be at this scrumdiddlyumptious Vietnamese joint on the city side of the island. Fuck turkey. I will ride a horse through the jungle and taste warm rain again.

A friend of mine was sad today, and as I was driving home from the production office and quietly fretting about him, it struck me that we've never shared anything but words - not a hug, not a car, not a joint, not even a city (in tandem, at least). Just syllables, strung up like popcorn garlands between the branches of a sweetly creepy confluence of shared circumstances, contexts, minutiae...but the part of me that decides what to feel doesn't take that into account, and I found myself missing snippets of conversation thinking about him.

For all I know, he's a 1,500-pound grizzly bear.

But then, this is the new world.

OK, I'm pretty indie...trying to find black-market Arctic Monkeys tickets and loving Laura Viers and all that street-cred-enhancing donkey offal...but that Death Cab 'Soul Meets Body' track is so pretty it scratches at my insides.

I was driving through the dreary, dreary shafts of greyed sunlight that came down on Los Angeles today, and I was singing to myself in the car. A guy pulled up in the car next to me, and he was singing the same song. Would have been cute if it were just the radio. It wasn't...I was pulling off my Treo, and I bet it was his iPod. I guess rainy days in Los Angeles drive everybody to the Postal Service for comfort.

My bread smells done. And thusly, I collapse.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005
I've spent most of the day looking for a chunky, grizzled, tatted biker dude to take off his shirt on camera. What a life I've got. ;)

I want to make something really fabulous for dinner tonight...something that involves happy foods, like carrots and mangoes and roasted red potatoes and too many fresh herbs. My garden's going crazy in the rain, and it's got a lot to share. The Van Doren Moon & Stars watermelon that's been inexorably advancing over my yard has even bothered to form one nascent fruit. Go watermelon. At this rate, we'll be having a well-appointed bar-b-que by Christmas.

The office I'm in for this production is perched on a hill in Echo Park, overlooking one of my favourite parts of town. I can see the Griffith Park hilltop garden from here. The cloud of tobacco smoke rising from the oodles of hipsters in the canyon below makes the afternoon sun into a gossamer blanket over the city. It's cool and pleasant, and there's a contented puppy softly snoring in my lap as I type.

And as content as I am right now, I'd love to be huffing and puffing up some street in San Francisco right now. Or maybe Prague.

Monday, October 17, 2005

All hail. Ouch.

I'd almost forgotten what hail *is*. That's LA for you.

Today, a silver-dollar-size piece of it wanders down from wherever in the sky hail hides, and whacks me on the head as I dash to my car. Motherfucker.

But anyway.

Got lost in the woods on Saturday. That was fun. Rheanna and I took a badly-damarcated trail into a canyon and ended up staring at a rock wall. We then wandered around in the canyon for an hour and a half, trying to pinpoint exactly where we'd entered it...and came up totally empty. The worst of it was walking into a nest of spiders with half-inch-wide carapaces the color of dead, yellowed skin, legs as long as my pinkie and runic-looking black markings on the belly...totally horrifying, especially for someone with my love of spiders.

Some nice fellow wandered in and pointed us out - it looked like a flat wall when viewed from the canyon base, but after a little scrambling we recognized where we'd come from. Now, I can't wait to get back down there and tackle that rock wall we thought we weren't supposed to go beyond...turns out the rest of our route lay at the top of it, and our ever-helpful trail book had failed to mention it. Sigh.

This week is gonna be a bitch. Hopefully, a nice bitch. We'll see.

Friday, October 14, 2005

I'm cruising for a musing.

Measuring the space between and calculating the jump...and even if the jump's too far, it's almost enough for me to send the paper airplanes over.
No pain, no...pain.

Wondrous moments of flippancy and debauchery last night. Flickr'd the tipsy snaps, per request.

Did the canyon this morning in an attempt to make it up to my body for the toxic windfall of my favourite Irish pub. Owww. I forgot is up there. It was as though my glycogen pulled the covers up and grunted meanly, and all my body had to burn was beer.

I feel remarkably better now, of course. Have to speak to that glycogen later.

Modest Mouse is healing me. The ocean breathes salty, and I want to breathe with it right now...

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

It's all gone...

I went up to Wildwood Canyon to hike today. It had been closed since the recent fires, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I'd watched the flames tickle the sky for days preceding the trip to the wine country - knew it was going to be bad - but wasn't quite prepped for the scene, I tell ya.

I don't run trails to take it slow. But there was a cottontail who'd always pop out from behind one of the sages at the same spot, tease me to follow her, and run me up a particularly onerous part of the hill before dashing behind the shrubbery again.

There was no cottontail. There was no sage. There was no shrubbery.

There was an acrid film of ash, run through with the dun brown of a well-worn path. The inexorable climb, which was previously relatively well-masked by laurels and sages and yucca, was laid bare. The fire had stripped the hill nearly naked, exposing the beer bottles, cans, and other human detritus in its wake.

There was a cranny in the canyon that I used to love to cut down into, as it always smelled of the moss and ferns that tucked themselves around the little creek that had formed it - always ten degrees cooler, always beckoning me down from the ridge. It's now just an ugly gash in the rock, and the trickle of water that staggers through it must push through the remains of the mudslide the fire marshal left in his wake.

I hope my little cottontail made it out. And I mourn the beauty that used to pull me out of bed uncustomarily early in the morning to peruse it...can't wait 'till my canyon recovers.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

So much music...

One of the pleasurable priviledges of my life of the last couple of years has been the wholesale steeping of my life in music.

Though - as it's all done for work, whether or not I enjoy it - I sometimes feel like a psychic walking through a stadium full of mental patients. Hundreds of disparate voices...shrill, overwrought, despairing, hopeless, keening, proseletyzing, eager. Some so joyful I fear for their safety. All day they deliver this endless stream of communication, from a low throb to a hiss to a scream. And still, every day I dig to find the new ones.

I got a pair of tickets to see the Sons and Daughters' upcoming LA show. I'm flashing forward to nudging my way into a space below Spaceland's wacky disco ball and listening to those magical first beats take shape. Sharing a smile with the guy at the bar who's my unofficial, we've-never-spoken-but-he's-always-at-the-same-shows buddy.

And Imogen Heap is tomorrow. Have you ever had a band that sounds like your insides would sound if your heart played music? I have a couple, and she's definitely one. If you've ever listened to 'Headlock', you've had a stethoscope pressed to my chest.

Today has been making me think about What I Want. I'm very close to embarking on a professional partnership that could force my horizons more open than I'm ready for...the transition might fracture something. I'm not sure what - but I'm approaching this with no small trepidation. And no small excitement, either. Whatever breaks, I'll be better for it.

I feel very blessed. After processing this weekend's emotional overload, I realize the beauty of the people I've managed to convince to come close to me...that I'm lucky that they feel as strongly about me as they do, and that shouldering their travails for a while is small payment for the richness they've brought me.

I want adventure. I crave the new. Not novelty, mind you. Connection.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I don't even know where to begin - so, in the grand tradition of me not knowing exactly what course to take, I'll jump headlong in.

I read once that members of the British parliament are turning to Blogging as a way to connect to their young constituents. I figured that anything the British parliament is up for, I'm up for. Insofar as I don't have to call beer 'lager' or eat gooey cream with everything. My erstwhile buddy introduced me to her Blog about a year ago, and it seemed to me at the time to be grossly confessional.

I think I need a little confessin' now, though, so here I am.

As the inaugural post of what may end up chronicling a good chunk of my comings and goings, I wish I felt better today. As luck would have it, it kinda feels like someone has gone at my gut with an ice cream scoop. And I really wonder what set the mood in motion. Oh – and where to go for succor. I’ve been looking for comfort today, and rather cocking up the search. I feel so raw.

I took a shockingly late lunch (Linner? Dunch?), and spent it watching an Andalusian show at the Equestrian Center. So this is my latest fantasy -- to buy a pitch-black Andie with white socks and call it Foot Candles. Tee hee.

Sweet Rheanna is ditching the rote familial obligations to go to Thailand for Christmas. I’m not jealous – OK, well not too intensely – but I’ll have a gauntlet to run this holiday season and I’d rather just go with her. We’d wrap up in silks and play in the markets and eat too many noodle dishes and try to speak Thai. And learn things…about life, about how far we must go before something cracks to let experience in, about how little we really need to be really, truly human.

The simplicity of it is this: it’s been too long since I was in another context.

I’ve been listening to Ani today – as she's a veritable aural detox program for the soul, and I need such a thing at the moment. This verse of hers reminds me of life in L.A.:

"We live to hear the slack-jawed gasping/We live under a halo of hell-breath/And when the children raise up a shield of laughter/It's like they're fending off death/We can make something bigger than any one of us alone..."-- 'Freak Show'

…and ‘Both Hands’ wrung my heart out, like it always does. "Your bones have been my bedframe and your flesh has been my pillow"…sigh.

We’ll try again tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll perk up when my evening visitors arrive.