Well, I got rid of my car. I am SO HAPPY that I will never see that bitch EVER AGAIN. However, since I still live in Los Angeles, and will do for awhile yet, I've been forced to trade it in for another vehicle, and I want you all to know that I DID NOT TRADE UP. For the final 6 months of my glorious tenure in the City of Angels, I will be driving this supremely grody Nissan POS:
This glamorous vehicle is a 1993 Nissan Sentra. Can you believe it had to be red, of all colors? I hate red cars.
In this picture, the trunk is open because the inside of it is all wet, for some reason (I shudder to think WHAT reason) as is the floor in the backseat of the car, and it SMELLS TOTALLY GROSS; especially when combined with the smell of the gallons and gallons of Armour All they used to shine up the dashboard and every other interior surface. I'm not kidding you when I say that it's a pretty frightful odor. I've got to air that shit out.
I'm especially proud of this part. This is the lame plastic steering wheel cover I had to get, to cover up the revolting, Armour All-coated steering wheel, because it was totally sticky. I figured, as long as I'm going to pimp my ride with a plastic steering wheel cover, I might as well go with red. I also got some beautiful rubbery floor mats, and some super elegant polyester velour seat covers. Dudes, my ride is PIMPED. All I need now are some spinners, a sub-woofer, and an X-Box system, and I bet Adrien would always say "You know what, babe? Let's take your car."
Here's a close up of my totally cherry paint job. Oh yeah, baby. That is H.O.T.
And this is my self-portrait, me and the palm trees, reflected in the rear window, underneath the hood of my new rig. I'm breathing some serious fumes to bring you this picture, and I AM LOVING IT. As much as I am complaining about this car, though, it does have some distinct advantages:
The heater and defroster work. Now, when I get up in the morning to drive my monkey to school, we don't have to dress for the arctic, even though we live in Southern California. Also, I can use the defroster such that I can actually SEE out the WINDOW. Big Plus.
I may have traded in my 12 CD changer with remote control, but dudes, I am gaining a TAPE DECK. I can listen to my Czech course on tape ALL DAY LONG now, and yesterday, I scored me some Michael Penn and Linda Ronstadt. Tapes are only 99 cents! Who knew?!
The air-conditioner works. This way, when it hots up around here, as it inevitably does in LA, I will be able to roll up all the windows, trap that luscious smell in with me, and crank up the refrigeration!
When I bang the doors into the walls of my narrow driveway, I JUST DON'T CARE. There's freedom in just not caring. I like it.
Trading down like this, from my relatively nice car to this POS, made me feel like I'm really taking steps to blow this popsicle stand. Prague, I'll be there soon!
Mostly, people, IT DRIVES. There's nothing I love more about my new rig. Having a car that drives is definitely the way to go, as long as you're going that way.
This past weekend I went to the Sunset Junction street fair in ultra-hipsterville Silverlake, Los Angeles, California. I'm telling you what, folks: there were absolute square miles of tightly-packed tattoos and haircuts galore: miles of people wearing their favorite musical sub-culture with 150% committment. There's something silly about that, and it's easy to make fun, but there's something truly heart-warmingly uncynical about it, too. For those of you living in Los Angeles, you can see the phenomenon I'm talking about any day of the week at Amoeba Records on Sunset, and it is magnificent.
Anyway, I went with my little monkey and my brother Zak, who is tight with hipsters and music types, and who was wearing a very nice brown hat:
My brother says I shouldn't fool myself, because I'm tight with loads of hipsters, too; but I have to say, I think I'm tighter with geeks, some of whom have hip costumes on, but for the most part, aren't really as hip as they make out. I think it's possible that I fall into that category as well, what with being in my thirties, motherhood, and the fact that I tend to be a little behind the curve on the latest developments in indie rock... Except that I don't ever have anything hip to wear, unfortunately. Believe me, I wish like hell I did. Don't get me wrong, here: I like the hipsters.
The big attraction for us at The Junction was a performance by Camper Van Beethoven, a band that of my brother, sister, and I loved with special devotion for their brilliant numbers like Take the Skinheads Bowling, Good Guys and Bad Guys, and Joe Stalin's Cadillac, all of which we enjoyed thousands of consecutive times as teenagers in the 80's.
Later, I think Camper Van elevated themselves into favorite band ever status for my brother with the release of their especially delicious album Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart, which I can recommend to you all with unalloyed enthusiasm. Given all that, it's crazy that years later, my brother befriended one of the players in that band without knowing of his Camper Van-hood, and that on Sunday, we had to rush to the show, park illegally in front of the Salvation Army, and power-walk through the oceans of punkers, cross-dressers, greasers, and coolsters to deliver a delay pedal to that guy, because he forgot his at home; and that right now, that guy's car is parked in my driveway for four days while they drive around in a van to play their songs in Arizona and whatnot. Life is full of unexpected outcomes, and thank god, because sometimes that's all there is to hang onto, really. Not that this particular unexpected outcome is making that big a difference, but there might be another one, sometime on the horizon that could. I'm just saying.
Anyway, Camper Van (as we called them, with familiar affection, when we were kids) played a very nice set; and also, I love my brother, so it was especially (and I use this word only because I hope it might remind my brother of Fat Elvis in Vegas) poignant to be with him while the sun was setting behind the stage and the clouds were turning pink and orange, singing "...drive your car up on the lawn..." with him and his charming hat, which also looked completely fetching on my big pimpin' 12 year old little monkey.
Like I mentioned before, it's funny what ends up happening sometimes, and this trip to Silverlake was the kind of episode that made me feel myself as singular and traveling; carrying all the memories of my youth, and still riding alongside my brother, watching the days and faces change. Adding to that feeling was the fact that earlier in the week, my brother had gotten a blast from the past when Eric Gaffney, whom I had a big fat crush on as a teenager, although I'm not sure he ever knew it, and who later, it turns out, went on to be in that band Sebadoh (but now he's not), happened to show up in my brothers bar in Glendale. Although my brother forgot to bring his phone number, and we never found Eric in the crowd, I knew he remembered the song my dad wrote for me to quell my fear of garbage trucks when I was a girl, and that he might be around any corner, and it only added to my awesome feeling of strange continuity.
Later in the evening, X played, and the crowds got so thick and tight that it was impossible to move without using your shoulder as a crowbar. It was a little too much for my monkey, which was disappointing, because I really wish he could have seen Exene rock it, but I couldn't really see either. I'm short. All I could manage was to hold my camera up over my head and take blurry pictures like this one:
We ended up with my brother spearheading the retreat, monkey in the middle, and climbing a chainlink fence to watch until our hands were aching from hanging onto metal, and then he bought himself and my monkey a hot dog wrapped in bacon from a little Latino girl. And then, they actually ate it.
After the escape from the crush, we ran into two things that, aside from feeling the love for my brother and my baby and the whole nostalgic journey, and how many gay couple were making out in Silverlake, were my two favorite things. First, there was the troupe of cross-dressing stilt walkers from yesterday's post, who were absolutely gorgeous:
And, on another note entirely, there's an Elliott Smith memorial wall, which is in front of the Solutions music store in Silverlake, where the cover photo for his CD Figure 8 was taken. Since his death, the wall has become a place for his fans to say good-bye, and this gets back to my point about the fact that there's something so NOT silly about people's devotion to the music and artists who have gotten into their hearts. For my part, I know too little of Elliot Smith's music, and the songs I do know never really got under my skin, but all the heartfelt farewells got me a little bit, especially this one, which really brought home to me how thin a thread we do hang onto sometimes:
I've been pretty stressed-out lately. I'm really dragging my heels in the job search because everything in me rebels against any further miserable office slavery, but at the same time, I'm afraid of what's on the horizon if I don't submit. I was only half-joking about the mission to consume all the emotional comfort food I can find, and only 1/4 joking about that throwing in of the towel.
I'll tell you the main thing about my trip to the Sunset Junction Street Fair in Silverlake, with it's acres of hipsters, my brother, Camper Van, the ghost of Eric Gaffney, the stilt-walkers, and the sad notes to Elliot Smith's ghost: it was comforting. I felt rich, and I felt lucky.
I went out for a morning walk in the Hollywood Hills today, and saw three guys polishing up their status cars, 4 garage sales, loads of moms with strollers, loads of dogs, and I took these here photos:
I like the palm trees, for the record; and the truck.
Anyone who's ever seen that video where Enrique and Jennifer Love Hewitt roll around together on a pile of money, but shortly thereafter, he gets beat up by a gang led by Mickey Rourke and dies, gasping "...you. could. take. my. breath. away..." might be able to begin to guess at how much I wish I were going to this concert. Enrique is so hot-blooded. The only thing that kinda gets me down is how he's removed the mole. Oh well.
In other news, Tara's got a brand new blog and everyone should bookmark it immediately. I can't wait until she posts something to it when she's drunk...
In lieu of my having anything at all, really, to say, here's a round up on the latest shenanigans:
Last week I had to take the train from Hollywood to LAX to pick up my little monkey from the airport. He'd been off in Our Nation's Capital looking for the Prez to give him a special message from me... oh yeah, and he stopped off at his Nana's house, too, while he was at it. On the way down to the airport, I took a few pictures of beautiful South Central Los Angeles, and considered the possibility that I really am a Socialist.
For the record, this does not at all reflect my feelings for Steven M. Yedlin, who is without a doubt, the handsomest man I personally know... and the best. People (and Steve), believe me when I tell you that I mean that in the most maudlin, sentimental way possible.
A little bit of pool was played this past weekend at The Scene Bar in bitchin' downtown Glendale. While my superfly brother looked tuff and mixed up the booze, extra-beloved jet-setting librarian Jason did his best to wield his stick, but it was my red hot mama of a sister who had all the game.
The handsomest and best man I know introduced us all to the coolest old Hollywood bar in Koreatown called The Prince (scroll down), where you can see this guy. Hollywood mega-stud, and self-proclaimed President of Showbiz, Mr. RC Johnso, threw us a bone, gave us a thrill and deigned to have one drink with us. Oh frabjous day!
While we're on the topic of The Prince, if anyone has any insight into this, I am on the edge of my proverbial seat. Jason had this to say, and believe me when I tell you that I am only barely restraining myself from a laundry list of inappropriate jokes.
You'll all be glad to know that while it has not actually subsided, and despite the fact that I've witnessed a truly delightful act of masculine prowess from that quarter in the past week, The Crush is getting easier to bear. I will survive.
In thematically related news, the Marine called me. What's the procedure in these situations? Help!
If I'm lucky, I will get my car back tomorrow. Yes, it has taken THIS LONG. We are not even going to talk about how much it's going to cost.
Finally, I've just learned that my brother and his lovely lady are getting married. In his own words: "She's a menace, but I love her. Whaddaya gonna do?" Oh yeah, baby. It would be impossible to apprehend in words how much I love my brother and wish both him and Melinda every single possible happiness in the entire galaxy, but then, I think he already knows how much.
And that, my friends, is the way we roll around here.