Friday, August 31, 2007

San Francisco

Witnessed a car accident, poor Asian girl, she's fine, but upset with herself, the guy she hit was such a jerk, Indonesian food was great, after that we saw a band and they sucked!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

No Manatees

Bypassed Clint’s Carmel for Steinbeck’s Monterey. Chagrined at the unappetizing bear claws inside the Otter Inn’s highly-touted, complimentary gift baskets.

About 9pm, strolled from arse end of Cannery Row to some harbourside restaurant with an open sign we could see flashing from the public toilets on the other side of the wharf. Shoveled Oysters Rockefeller and crab-stuffed prawns into our mouths, both items doused in decadent Hollandaise, while sea lions commenced their noisy nocturnal patrol of the pier, a good thirty of them shocking us with their outstanding bleats echoing across the bay.

Monterey Aquarium next day onlookers pressed up against the glass for the 10.30am otter feed. “You otter be there,” said a fanatic from Otterville, U.S.A. She was a strange, frightful lady reciting her town motto/mantra to a young boy who appeared bemused, annoyed and a little frightened. The otters themselves clowned around with a bucket of clams. Terribly cute.

Then we saw a bunch of other stuff. You name it, we probably saw it, but no Manatees.

The penguins waddled around to the sexy sounds of Paul Simon (a better musical fate the singer/songwriter could not have imagined). His tunes are a good match for these uncoordinated creatures who ready themselves for a dive so ineptly it’s like they’re always doing it for their first time. Deep down I don't believe the penguins appreciate the staff playing Paul Simon 24-7. Surely this is in breach of the 'They Call me Al' Animal Rights Act of 1987, or whenever that torturous number was written.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Hearst Castle

The movie Big was on TV the next morning at the health resort we were staying at in San Luis Obispo and I watched that with the volume turned all the way up while De Campo took a hot tub in water with a high sulfur content that smelled like a dairy truck full of rotten eggs overturned on the patio. Took a shower during a preternaturally goofy Tom Hanks outburst, he was cackling and carrying on and such; a scene that drove De campo from the serenity of the foul-smelling hot tub into the room yelling at me why had I left the goddam TV on.

Resolved our differences and did a Pilates sesh surrounded by amazing Californian wilderness.

The sun created a sun-dappled effect along the the streets of San Luis Obispo alighting the quaint shopfronts. Ate a giant taco salad for breakfast under an equally giant moosehead, while feng shui sufferers everywhere weeped openly. Raided Leon's Book Shop for a few golden hardbacks on the way to the car. Car was amazingly unticketed despite us overstaying the parking meter by forty minutes. Nice town.

Drove hell for leather into the sun and nearly ran out of gas.

Hearst Castle was way sweet, but my respect for W.R., which couldn't have been lower prior to the excursion, diminished even further due to the grand obsequiousness of the Hearst propaganda machine. The tour guide said Mankiewicz wrote Citizen Kane in a fit of bitterness and rage for being thrown from the premises for being drunk and lacking the ability to hang with the sophisticates. I'm sure he was loaded, but to somehow present Hearst as more dignified and respectable than Mank was laughable and made me want to hurl.
photos by De Campo

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sunset Boulevard - HWY 1

Sunset Blvd on the way to pick up the rental car the next morning I am hit with a robust Mexican aroma I knew I would be unable to live without.

The place was called Cheebos and all their furniture was painted orange. Sat near an actress who was complaining about the quality of her scripts. A robust, cologne-dappled Mexican with a handsome face knew how to push her buttons. “She didn’t even comment on the dress you wore to the Oscars remember?”

Relocated to a bus stop. The sky was pink and blue through my sunglasses and the air smelled of exhaust fumes. After waiting an eternity for the bus, we hailed a cab to Hertz located next to Norms, a diner that I was certain was the one used in Mulholland Drive (it has a creepy laneway and everything) but alas, it wasn’t it.

Waited three hours for the car. Hertz guys needed a foot up the ass. Killed some time driving a replacement back to the hotel to get the bags and up Mulholland Drive for mythological interest. Back at Hertz and pretty bored listening to the guy we were dealing with tell us he was divorced. He said he liked living alone. “I know where everything is and it’s easy to keep clean.” The Hertz restroom was immaculate. He had left reminders on the paper towel dispenser for his employees to wash their hands before going back to work. He drew us a map of Australia by hand. We were genuinely impressed.

Tad nervous about driving U.S. roads (having drove once in eight years), but eventually took to HWY 1 with aplomb and pulled it off without a hitch. Must-be-seen-to-be-believed sea views of misty waves wrapping itself around every beautiful clifftop turn.

Destroyed after a hard day on the road, pulled into a dodgy diner in Guadalupe at nightfall and laid down five bucks for the best Mexican one could ever hope for. The waitress had gold teeth and cooked it up in front of us, while we knocked back Pacificos and listened to the 50s jukebox chime mariachi favourites of yesteryear.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Dire Wolf Skulls and Other Monstrosities

Agreeable flight. No hi-jacking hi-jinx thank goodness. No one tried to convert their miniature bottle of Crown Royal into a miniature molotov cocktail or open a bag of poisonous spiders on the flight crew. Kept alcohol consumption to a minimum. Saucy white chicken deeply undesirable. De Campo dozed while I read voraciously. From LAX to glamorous hotel on Hollywood Boulevard, awesome print of Mick Jagger, Lou Reed and David Bowie hanging above our bed. Adjourned to the pool where buff Sicilians and thonged bubble butt blondes with their mountainous breasts waded in the shallow end with cigarettes in their teeth spouting inanities. Threw down two Ruby Red Absolut and grapefruits observing this monstrous display.

Hailed a cab to The La Brea Tarpits, the stench of freshly laid LA freeway in full effect. Pit itself oddly created by earthquake fissures forcing tar to the surface and trapping many a dinosaur who were either too slow or too dumb to avoid it and many died. More wolf skulls here than anything else. Seems the dogs never learned, always going after the easy prey and never able to appreciate Mammoth meat sinking in the bastard stuff. They’re still recovering bones there, we had a look inside Pit 91 and this Indiana Jones-type held up the femur of a horse and we all cheered behind the glass like gorillas.

Caught the Dan Flavin exhibition next door - always delightful these unexpected visual treats.

Friday, August 10, 2007

What the greats say about this record

“Ball Power Forever!” — Stephen Malkmus

“Pretty Powerful Stuff” — Dirk Moritz

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Friday, August 03, 2007

Frances J Gibson Rocks So Well

She is the Greatest Diva. In Rock. Her Charisma. Is. Electrical.

The Cannanes first five songs last night encapsulated everything I’ve ever wanted from music ever since I heard Woolly Bully after school in second grade, only difference is I’m way more sophisticated these days. They rocked well and truly swell for half a set and then ended with a few numbers that were less fortunate to these ears.

And this, overheard between songs by headliner:
Guy with squinty eye in flak jacket and marvellous tie: “Apparently they made a mistake but I couldn’t hear it.”
Other Guy, feathered hair, Epson pin on his lapel: “Writing it.”

I’m reading Bret Easton Ellis’ Lunar Park, I started it last night after finishing Faulkner’s Sanctuary (“EWW” is all I can say about that one).


From page 23, whereby BEE has already reflected on his career book-by-book, its glamorous ascent to its grim (read: hilarious) descent into drugs and debauchery:


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Foreign Correspondent #1

Since H hasn’t posted here since the mid-80s, I’m posting his emails under the title Foreign Correspondent. I’ll do this until he starts complaining, I electrocute this blog, or move back to Portland. Anyway this is a nice 100 worder:

I am currently reading hands down the most bizarre epic of all time: Moby Dick. I didn't anticipate the first hundred pages being a homo-erotic love fest between the canibal Queequeg and Ishmael. I am about half way through it and can't put it down. It is a wierd intense little fucker that feels non-linear but yet the plot moves straight ahead. I picked it up on a whim as Elizah started reading Harry Potter. I figured Melville had to be the complete antithesis of Rowling. Forget Fyodor and Gogol, no one captures madness quite like Melville. I plan on reading his "Confidence Man" next.