Saturday, December 17, 2011

The kids are alrite

Can't get over how fully-formed Stewart Anderson was musically at the onset of puberty. Been loving The Wetherbeat Scene 1988-1991, a compilation of David Gedge swoons capturing a joie de vivrie missing from 99% of history's pop/rock hits. These kids just get it. Alternating between this and the new Twerps is kind of like rediscovering a favorite shirt. Everyone should get themselves two copies one for them and one for their nieces, even though I'm not. I just sent my neices two Of Montreal CDs (one of which is my favorite album of the last ten years). By next year, they'll be ready for the wetherby players no doubt.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Made my first BLT and other profundities

Brought a bottle of cheap red over to Jen and Stew for their Christmas Party on Sunday. Then I listened to their band Cheap Red while practicing yoga later that night. I felt really bad for bringing the cheap red over to their place. I felt even worse for having enjoyed it! I felt better when I made the connection with Cheap Red. This is really a fine album that resulted in a good yoga stretch. Made the transition to vinyl, haven't bought a CD in months. Alex sent me the new Twerps, I been loving that. Stewart brought a paper sack to the jingle bell partay full of funky yieldings from his outstanding label. Here's a weird photo of our house at night. I walked through the snow to the shops for ingredients to make my first BLT ever yesterday. School's out, I got myself hungover and I'm home now working on an essay that I think will be good. Outside, the snow melts.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Jingle Bell Partay

I liked the party that was thrown here last night by me (this rather incongruous photo was taken a few nights later after we were dumped with snow and the moon to the north).
My housemate Doris who is European and thus cultured in ways that are far-more-interesting than run-of-the-mill Americans, made swedish glugg, mulled wine to a certain extent. Anyways it was ripping and patrons were thankful for the killer partying that resulted partially from that. We also played killer tunes that were consistently brilliant. The party was commemorated by a new pair of shoes worn by me. Aside from partying and wearing funky new shoes, I am learning that it is important to write about something that means something, so I am working on writing something that means something, infusing ordinary scenes with my usual flair (by flair I mean voice and strong sentences, two things I care about the most). Fiction is an art-form that needs to be taught, or learned, I reckon and since I didn't learn it, I am being taught it. The brilliant stuff is magic and there are ways to render this magic and that is what I'm being taught. I am off to Coco's now - a local diner. I hope it is not too loud. I have been craving an omelet since gawd knows when.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

November Snow

My uber-goth Austrian housemate and I went to Sedona and got entrenched amongst some rocks. Earlier in our lives we hosted a Thanksgiving celebration (turkey pictured below). Saw Scorsese's Hugo earlier in the same (my only) existence and found it too patchy to recommend. The Melies parts are good, but gawd the rest of it... Been rifling through old scraps for inspiration and found unfamiliar scribblings clearly in my hand on the reverse of page 7, a page from an essay entitled 'Developing a New Course for Adults'. The first seems to be a half-baked idea for a story: "sibling finds a pen that was meant to be buried with the Dad and says, 'okay let's write for it.' The differences resolved with civility." The second one says, "monkeys with's hard to overstate who was lost because they were all important." Whatever.
Been snowing a lot. Finished Love in the Ruins this morning. Was reading it last night at the Escape from NY screening. "Whatcha reading?" someone asked. "My life story," I said.
November is a month of bonanzas, to distill it all in a post would be inane. Furthermore it's December.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Revolution #39

So I turned 39. It's a good number! Some drinking was involved — nice-priced Bordeaux with friends. Earlier that day I bought a Loudin wainright album (Attempted Moustache) that is not as good as Corky's debt to his Father, which David got me for my 35th but it's pretty darn good nevertheless and similarly folk-rocking. I was rescued from the bar very late by a friend who is a forestry major and an amazing man of the world (even though he's never left the country). He gave me his couch for the night. I share an office with his amazing wife. I left their house with a knitted beanie and a walking stick, and made my way home. Having seen that Andy Richter stopped there on a recent Conan segment, I visited Galaxy Diner for breakfast. The atmosphere of Galaxy is the equivalent of a 57 Chevy, but the service was bad and I can do better than the omelet that came my way (pictured).
Gave them a measly tip and me and my walking stick got the heck out of there. Goodwill Industries is next door, so of course I stopped in, but didn't get anything. I am worried their prices are going up. Noticed a lot of shirts I used to get for three bucks there for seven dollars. Still not ready for any serious writing. Finished my Orson Welles story (he makes a cameo anyway) and needed a break. Reading Flaubert's letters because I want to get back into the flow. Took some photos of my bedroom and the lovely painting Mia gave me for my birthday.
I promise the title of this post will be the first and only time I reference the barforama Beatles.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Sharky's Machine

“As a director, Reynolds allows himself a few excesses (one howler is the dramatic cut from a sex scene to the phallic glory of the Peachtree Plaza Hotel). But he's put a lot of his ambition in this movie, and it reminds us that there is a fine actor within the star of THE CANNONBALL RUN.” - Roger Ebert

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Other Side of the Wind aka Exceptional Night Here It Comes

Went to Sedona and ate an entire carne asada at my favorite eatery in order to impress my idols. I have had the most amazing time with them. One night earlier I had had about as much fun as one could possibly have at Mia's Lounge with Mia and others. Had my gourd extracted and thrusted to me on a plate of what I would consider songs to learn and live for. I truly could have died. Doris went to Phoenix and got me 1.75 liters of the best scotch you can buy for 22 dollars. I truly could have died. We looked for Orson Welles' mansion, this was back in Sedona. I don't know if we saw it considering we didn't know what we were looking for. David and Mia asked what celebrities live in Sedona and I said Orson filmed his last film here; the film that remains unreleased, but the mansion still exists. I googled OW and Sedona and Sycamore Road came up. It's available for $250k. The film stars Peter Bogdonavich who makes an appearance in a short story set in Flagstaff I am working on and it would be silly not to include Orson and the mansion in there as well. I am getting on the phone to his daughter after I post this. Boyracer opened with The Clean's Getting Older. They sort of stunned me and everyone else thoroughly from that point forward. We danced like we had pickled jalapenos in our dungarees. I liked what Ara did and Mia, having her sing in Mia's Lounge was out-of-this-world to me; to see David and her in in town was McCarthy-ish considering the Clarkenator was here and that blew my mind. OMG I swooned. Jen and Stew, how do they do what they do, but they do and they did and Bobby's band was the best bandage they ever done did too. Besides going out, I have been a horror movie whore: John Carpenter's Halloween is an annual event, it's as gnarly as it ever was; Return of the Living Dead, Re-Animator (double feature thanks to Corwin's NAU movie nights), a bunch of Val Lewton like Cat People and stuff starring Boris Karloff. I'd like Body Snatcher more if Karloff wasn't so damn unscrupulous. I said the same thing tonight with Doris Karloff my housemate, while watching Hostel, which is pretty damn good, and she said, “it's only a horror movie, stop being a pussy!” I also witnessed several Masters of Horror efforts, some of which are grisly

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tonight's the night and too much hair besides

Finally got a picture of my favorite motel that never quite works out for guests (the Saga is on Route 66 between campus and Goodwill Industries). Anyway went to randomly pluck a sentence from what I'm currently working on and then I realized it was too good to share so I thought I'd talk about my hair. It's gotten big. Mia, my Scorp sista in town, says she likes it, but she also says it's way huge Shane, and I tells her that I just got it cut a few weeks ago to which her droll hubby asides, did you have it all shaved off, insinuating that my hair grows back inhumanly fast. We had sui generis Mexican food with the boyracer pack: pork chimichangas with silantro cream sauce. Was telling my lunch companions today (not the same as my dinner comp about it and then they chuckled and I was like what, this is serious mexican biz and then they snickered and said, no, the way you pronounced cilantro (lon instead of lan). Whatever, I stormed off hoping to kill some time at the motion pictures, but the mid-life crisis movie with Steve Martin and those other guys wasn't playing at the time that I showed up to see it. I'm done writing, I'm considering reading. I am not drinking anything just yet. Tonight's the night that Mia's Lounge is graced by Mia Schoen herself. All of this is a long way to say that I probably won't ask my hairdresser back again. I miss Cat and Craig and the follicles crew. Tonight I get to see Boyracer too and David on drums and Jen on vocals and Ara is a kick in the pants hisself. Plus I don't have class tomorrow. I'm going to enjoy this. Let's make it precious already!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Captain Berserko

Flanked by beloved volumes, McGuane is taking no shit for literature today; he won’t join the chorus of doom-mongering about the death of reading and the fate of fiction in a digital age. He tells a story about his recent fishing trip to Belize, how he saw all these media types, including Brokaw, hunched over their BlackBerries and iPhones, madly clicking away. And he told them, “You know, guys, my side — the novelists — are going to give a clearer picture of the truth years from now than you guys.” He asked them: What gives a richer portrait of the ’20s? Newsreels, newspapers? Or The Great Gatsby? “I strongly believe that literature can do something that nothing else can do,” he says, “and that is embody the human spirit. And whether or not literature gets marginalized by some machine, that or a hula hoop or a 3D movie, I couldn’t give a shit less.”
— from an article in Men's Journal entitled "Captain Berserko writes a Better Ending"

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Too many eggs?

I'm out of practice eating eggs, but since I mainly cook alone, I figure I need to stay busy with a full dozen before the carton expires (I had 3). I'm 4 weeks into teaching. Hard to figure what my students think of me. They seem to like my curly hair and moustache because I ask them if they do and I did this anonymously in order to get honest answers and they wrote back things like, "it's boss" "stay classy san diego" and "I'm thinking of growing one myself (which is weird because I think this was from one of the girls and she certainly should not because it would look funny).

I wrote about my conception imagining how it transpired for my non-fiction class. I was trying to frame my birth around the theme "triumph over negligence." How no one wanted me and to tell this story, or essay, with a lot of playfulness and color. I sent Mom the first few pages, a quite mellow beginning before the manure hits the fan and she took umbrage:

"Sorry, you were conceived out of love not a bunch old squirrel calls!" she writes. "We sound like a couple of hillbillies. This had better be fiction!"

Later, she writes, "You need to take out the part about your own experiences. It's not tasteful or relevant." The part about my own experiences is basically everything else, so in effect what she is saying is trash it all. Writing is hard. I try awfully hard to be funny. I recall in our workshop how one of my classmates wrote about her Mother hitting her brother with a shovel full of dog shit and I got really jealous because those episodes are what make good non-fiction to me and I wish I had this experience in my life, but sadly we never had any pets.

I am getting excited about the Cannanes show with Mia Shoen and David Nichols, their original drummer, visiting. I met David in December 2001 (which means our tenth anniversary is coming up)'s a nice photo of me and some cannane royalty eating thai in Sydney back in June. The Belster!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Kathy Moffat inside a blown picture tube

This is about movies that move mountains and the people who climb them, so if you can't get with the "picture" like Robert Mitchum in Mexico getting on top of the case (i.e. Jane Greer) then I don't know what to tell you, bucko. S T E P O F F sez mistress bel and she aint wrong.

So I got to the top of a big volcanic rock the other day.

The view wasn't great, but it was good and I had a hard time getting to the top of it. When I was three quarters of the way up there I ate two tuna sandwiches and I photographed these total strangers re-enacting that scene from the Seventh Seal, whilst climbing Big Rock Candy Mountain otherwise known as Humphrey's Peak, the tallest thing in Arizona. Of course after I had done that, I had to finish climbing it in order to get their permission to put their photo on here. Pretty good people all things considered: Derek Kemingsway, Caleb Crawford, Tanya Most and Sid Chariffe. We're playing frisbee golf next week if Caleb lets me use his seven wood. The sandwiches by the way were necessary to eat, but would not have been my first choice. I would have preferred pulled pork.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Dog-tired doggerel

I'm dog tired and can barely lift this pen, but I'm doggone determined to get every knotty detail of my life down on this blog that I'm just working through the yawns. Obviously what you are reading will be what I transpose from the notebook I am currently writing in, an additional exertion that I will doggedly complete in the name of churning the stuff out. I just encountered a carnival on my bike ride. I went for a bike ride to work off the nachos I had for lunch. Here's a photo:

Friday night Feel Free played a ragged set at Mia's, the early Replacements being a worthy touchtone. I told Tony, who's like Flagstaff's J Mascis, to turn up his guitar and once he'd done that I said, do Teenage FBI, referring to their GBV cover - he obliged me. Moreover, he tagged Echoes Myron on to the end of that and that was the end of that. Udo and i staggered to the Monte V because Sarah, who's in my program waltzed in and said let's go, my fav band is playing and so we said alright. The band weren't crash hot, but I ate a burrito and met a marketing manager from Prescott, in town for business with her boss. The only reason this is important is because Udo and I lost our ride and on our walk home we got whistled at from an SUV by two birds. We walked up to the SUV in the Jack in the Box drive-thru and wouldn't ye know, it was the marketing manager from Prescott and boss lady. We ordered a bag of food too and they dropped us home to eat it.

I'm watching Bourne Identity now and naturally thinking of Mitch Babb, who I went to high school with and whose European travails strangely mirrored Bourne's. Good man, I think we may be hooking up at a mansion he has access to in Havasu around my birthday.

Guess what? I saw a seminar on the Navajo code talkers yesterday unexpectedly. I was riding my bike, saw that they had a cool exhibition on at the museum and then I was worded up about the talk when I was checking out the awesome Aiken's. Apparently the Japanese were good at breaking codes until this guy named Philip suggested Navajo, which subsequently stumped them. A lot of them were stationed in Guadalcanal and saw all kinds of hell. I was hungover and got a little teary. I was also underdressed in my swim trunks. The code talkers would make a good movie if David Fincher was allowed to make it. Someone told me last night that there was a movie, but I don't believe them. There's a sculpture on campus of one of the code talkers, Gorman, I forget his first name. I liked it so much I took a bunch of photos during orientation.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Who do you Tut most?

23rd July 2011, Edinburgh Castle

Film provided by the elegant and beautiful Francesca Bussey

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dandelion won't tell no lies

Did a five-minute lesson today atrociously. My nervousness manifested itself in an inability to explain what course I was teaching. Ghastly. I was commended for looking professorial so there's that. My fun-loving lunch appointment had to cancel so I thought I'd try Burrito Fiesta and order the pork burrito that I remember Rachel Baby raving about a long time ago because I am looking rather emaciated: the combination of teaching and bicycling these hills is ridiculously slimming. I don't feel like The Pianist, but I kind of look like him and my jeans are falling off and there's not a belt anywhere to hold it together. Anyhow, Burrito Fiesta was everything I hoped it would be and more. I washed down the marinated deliciousness with a strawberry soda. Then I went to Bookman's and since I am only mostly buying vinyl these days I camped out in the record section. Ran into Reymont, who's doing his thang at Mia's tonight. That should be a hoot. I think I'll put a little hep in the hip section (my hip sections). I got some fazed cookie Stonesy because Dandelion won't tell no lies, as Belster is ever so eager to remind me. Otherwise it's 3.54pm and I'm wondering when I am allowed my first G&T. God? I really want one so bad.

The only other thing I feel like sharing is a photo of a new pair of shoes and the fact I liked Dave Graney's memoir a lot. His rhapsodic thoughts and feelings on junk shop denim and leather were not the only thing I admired, though these were fetishes I happened to note in the margin with an eyebrow-raising frequency. I also appreciated his DIY dry clean/steam suggestion that I am certain to implement in the event that I score some of that long-wearing fabric. It's all beautiful bullshit. 2001 Australian Nights, that is. Dave's thinking and prose stands apart in ways the great European thinkers do. He doesn't belong to Australia because his vision and experience is uncommon and it's refreshingly apparent in the text. Robert Hughes in his memoir (that I picked up after Dave's) and elsewhere slams Australia (he's been very vocal about needing to live overseas) but his writing does nothing to dispel the fact that Australia owns him and his childhood depiction could be countless other well-to-do chaps teased for sounding too British. Similarly the US owns me, but best believe my memoir will be all about Australia. In fairness to Hughes, I put the book down when the author was 12. I guess I wish he had bypassed all that boring pre-pube bilge and went straight to Julian Schnabel's classic leather daddy takedown that Jesse shepherd is so tickled by!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

quite good

Follicle of decadence

Craig and Zach were out back, Cat was cutting hair at the shop in St Kilda. Chilly night so Craig lit the stove he recently installed. I presented an offering of something that would shrivel into irrelevancy once Craig opened a mind-blowing bottle of this Barossa Valley shiraz he was imbibing of late. We ate various cheeses.

Zach, responsible for my lesbian look circa 2008-2010, asked if I wanted a cut. Craig said Cat would cut it, said she's been looking forward to cutting it. I thanked Zach for the offer and walked with Craig down to the restaurant on the corner to pick up a lamb shoulder compliments of the chef. Cat was there when we got back. We put the shoulder on, Cat cut my hair, we drank Shiraz and I love what she did with it. The night proceeded to get more fun until it eventually became the greatest haircut night I have ever had.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Quality rotisserie and where I get my jeans from when I’m in Melbourne

If you had recently bothered to ask me anything, I likely would have told you about the chicken and lamb rotisserie at Hellenic Republic and how it is easily the best and most succulent I’ve ever tasted. On my way to see his excellence last night, I took this action shot of rotisserie headquarters, whilst a tram-a-tram- trammed by.

In other news, I bought another fine-fitting pair of jeans here.

I’m drinking a heck of a lot of coffee and trying to gain control of this here pen. This garfy lil word spew is easily my most impressive work since seemingly in forever. After the bash I went to with Paul, I came back to Brunswick and took this photo of the gnarly alleyway behind Toby and Suze's creme brick abode.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The House of Ms B and Mr T

In the house of Beckett and Tristan on my first full day in Melbourne. Indoors almost the entire time, I made a quick burst to the shops in the AM for amenities (and yes I include baked beans to be among the essentials ). While it rained, I sat at a desk to the right of this record rack listening to Tristan's excellent record collection. The best setter of the morning mood was Jim O Rourke's Eureka. Then there was an earthquake I didn't feel. Carla and Jesse brought over baclava that was very sweet and redolent of their sweetness. I exquisitely grated parmesan over the exquisite kangaroo bolognese that Beckett made in my Norwegian sweater that has a hole in the armpit.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Going Places

Miffed I lost a bunch of shots. A good one I took at 4am from Flagstaff Amtrack on the morning of my departure, an electric seagull eclipsing the moon, deleted in my carelessnessness...

Anyways, caught a shuttle to Phoenix Sky Harbor with three other guys. Sat behind a nervous laugher who gave me a front-row seat to the coarse black hair inside both of his ears, sprouting outwardly in tight wads. He rustled snacks and thumbed a copy of a Bible he kept in a zip loc. Never did see what he ate, wasn't that (the bible). Another guy muttered "deer" every now and again. I turned and looked every time, but not once did I locate what I eventually decided was him hallucinating. And the third guy just seemed tired to be there.

In Toluca Lake, I ate a bowl of chili at Bob Hope's old haunt, but that photo is lost too. Once I got to Sydney I stabbed a fishcake with Bel at the Three Mangoes and made the waiter document it for posterity. But that photo is now gone forever also. Fran and Steve joined us for duck curry but the record of those photos will never be recovered, nor will the one of the Belster juggling money bags full of minced cabbage and skolling wine.

Me and Dr. Paxton's husband Dick registered Lawrentians in a room where a book worth $420,000 was kept. Lots of photos of me and Dr. Paxton's husband. Here's another, this from Friday's Gala dinner at the Menzies:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Someone took in these pants

On Professor Mark Gula's recommendation, I took in some pants that had a few mysterious slash-marks in the left cheek. Doina down at Saff Fashions said they'd be ready on Wednesday at 9am. Both me and my pants were fine with the rehabilitation schedule.

Read Gatsby outside on the deck all morning quaffing iced coffee. Flagstaff is hot in the sun and much better in the shade. I found some good shade but I was pretty tired so I went and had a nap. I had some more energy after that and did a yoga routine by a TV personality who's a real ball breaker. I drowned out her grating orders by playing loud rock music.

My new camera has mostly been takin footage of the photogenic Estelle Getty of Phoenix, AZ around food, or reenacting scenes from Italian neorealist movies that never saw the light of day like this one.

Until I am proved otherwise I am naming my firstborn Catfish, or maybe I'll just name my first cat that. What a great tasting vertebrate. We beer-battered nuggets of it the other night. Now I know why there's a rock band called Catfish Haven. They're suddenly my favorite new band and I haven't heard a lick outta them.

The meal was supplemented by beans and taters. OMG. The potatoes had every right to be good, but they took us to another dimension of spud altogether. Beans were good too. Her shirt does not say The Hemorrhoids, but The Horrors – good band.

Been hiking too, up and around rocks like this

And almost getting bitten by snakes that rear up and look at me like this!

Otherwise my life has been a crusade on words. I have some DH Lawrence readings to attend to. If all goes to plan, I'll be reading Lady Chatterley's Lover over the Pacific. On to Tupper Mansions.