There he was…dead, not some cheese-ball actor rolling over and playing dead zombie, dead…this was heart can be used as a stone paperweight dead…some sort of synthetic liquid clogging all his veins dead… His eyes shut forevermore, cheeks caved-in dead. Yet, like most politicians, he looked better dead than alive! It was Grandpa Jose, the only person I ever saw who had officially “beamed up” into the great beyond. His casket was open. His face was glowing. Must have been the Max Factor Mortician makeup. I couldn’t help but pinch one of his cheeks to determine how his skin was doing. Damn it, softer skin than my own! Not fair. Do I have to wait til I’m in a giant jewelry box to finally get a silky complexion? I fear it may happen. Thank god for alternatives to caskets and cremation urns. Like Burger King, I’m gonna serve myself up my way…HELLO cannibals! Talk about having Mexican for lunch.
Unlike death, corpses, or ghosts( which I do not fear) there are some strange things you’d be surprised to hear that scare me. The following are ten of such things, in no particular ranking order. HAPPY HAPPY HOLLeRWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1. Cats with 6 Toes (on each foot): I had a good friend when I lived in South Carolina who owned a cat with such a feature. Lets just say my friend and the cat should be thankful they aren’t living in the 17th century New England…otherwise they’d never want BBQed ribs again.
2. Electric Vibrators: No, not the kind that you use for your feet or aching lower back dearies. Unlike most of my “unjuiced” female friends, I have never owned one and never will I don’t care how undersexed I am (like North Korea, lets not go there). With my great fortune, I know I’ll get electrocuted. Picture this: Eight year old boy walks into mother’s bedroom wondering why mommy hasn’t got up to get him to school. Mommy is on the bed, not breathing. A strange purple vibrating “lightsaber” looks stuck inside mommy’s “pee pee place”. Enough said.
3. Ironing Boards: You know the kind, old school, a pain in the butt to adjust, a rusty horse that is wobbly and unruly, annoying to lug around and store. It’s not that I don’t like ironing…my O.C.D. can’t go a week without straightening out those cute, little wrinkles. There is this magical, flat place called the floor people who use unstable ironing boards should discover; no purchase necessary.
4. Uni Sushi (out of season): I know, sea urchins are meals meant for killer whales and fisherman who wear bones through their nostrils. But, in season, when the uni is ripe and ready, it tastes just like butta. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to know in advance. Out of season, you might as well put a homeless wino’s dirty underwear in your mouth…not far reach from something growing in the ghetto of the sea.
5. Men Who Show Their Teeth Too Often: I don’t know, maybe it just gives me terrifying flashbacks of all the pastors I met growing up. Whether they do it for the sake of joy or for hostility, in terms of creepiness, it is up there with Steven King’s IT Clown on my imagination island. Hmmm…pastor and clown connection? Thank God for Freud; he never showed his teeth.
6. Necklace Clasps: In particular, those “Q” shaped ones. I feel I am going to go cross-eyed one day by trying to see how I will put a tiny chain link into a ring the size of one of my white blood cells. More a phobia than any elevator or fear of Ebola in my Halloween candy (Roger, don’t get any ideas!).
7. Selfies Forced Upon Me: When you are born with a condition that causes your face to freeze into stupid positions at the sight of a camera lens, you might as well move in with the Amish.
8. Waiting at Bus Stops: I don’t care how many cops they send out on the street, I still feel like a fat money bag set out to see who will come and swipe me up. I prefer walking down the Tenderloin District in San Francisco at 2 am alone (ok, being a bit buzzed helps), than seated at some intersection all by myself in upscale Marin County at 12 noon waiting for the 45 to take me home. Maybe I watch too many Forensic Files episodes.
9. Southern Baptist Apocalyptic Propaganda Films: Somehow, my parents never had a problem dragging my eight-year-old self to some revival seminary where the theme was ARMAGEDDON but never allowed me to watch movies such as “Halloween” or “The Exorcist”. At these revival events, they’d show films about the end of the world, people being tortured, imprisoned, and executed just because they sang “Jesus Loves Me”. Just when the script starts to become a feel good movie, Satan himself makes a cameo appearance as a gigantic, two-headed dragon. The righteous “believers” get killed off. No worries though, folks, because all the “good guys” get to go to heaven. It’s no wonder I piss people off when I watch slasher movies today…”horror” flicks make me laugh.
10. Anything Tijuana: Seeing that the border town is just a nose-pick away from my home post of San Diego, I have had my share of disturbing adventures there. When I say anything Tijuana, I do mean anything: street tacos (cat or dog today?), hotels (bars on windows, keep you in or them out?), street dogs (count the number of ticks and infected sores for PETA pleasure), taxis (anywhere but here!), plastic surgeons (I prefer to keep my nose from looking like Mike Tyson bit it off), bathrooms (pay for toilet paper?)….and I haven’t even mentioned the druggie gangs there. When you wake up and find dead bodies laying out by your local elementary school for the whole world to see, you know everyday is Halloween in Tijuana, Baja California. Gringos BEWARE!!!
If the whole world is a stage, I must be the fool that gets to sweep up a la broom de jure afterwards. Ever since I failed to win the lead role as Kermit the Frog in my elementary school’s production of the Muppets “Rainbow Connection” musical when I was 8 yrs old, I gave up auditions for sticker collecting. Scrath-n-Sniff stickers don’t boo you off the stage. It is not to say I didn’t exercise my phony-baloney acting skills from there on. How else could I have survived years of Sunday school?
Sunday school teacher: “Do you love Jesus with all your heart?”
8 yr old Amanda (nodding with bulging puppy eyes): “……………………………”
Sunday school teacher (handing crucifix-shaped cookie on napkin to child): “Ok, sweetheart, here is a cookie.”
And how would I have cruised my way through 11 yrs of marriage without some improvisation?
My husband: ” Amanda, did you spend the last of the Christmas money? I was thinking of donating it to Toys for Tots.”
Myself (smiling beatifically after spending $70 at thrift store on corny knickknacks for myself): “OH, Ugh…I already donated it to the Salvation Army.”
My husband: “Oh, ok.”
Though, I have come to enjoy playing all the crazy sides of yours truly, there are some film roles I believe I’d love to play before I croak. Here are my top ten favorite movie roles I’d find delightful to burn my way through:
1. The Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz”—- This should be obvious. Need I say more, dearies????
2. Godzilla— You get to stomp bank buildings, kick Army tanks, and eat police officers. What could be more enjoyable?
3. Any role in “Apocalypse Now”—From the military men who get to throw Martin Sheen in the shower to Dennis Hopper’s role as a hyped-up, drug-fueled journalist trapped on an island to the water buffalo that gets slaughtered (there should be an academy awards category for animals, but who would have accepted for this beast?), any part would be a blast for me to play. THE HORROR…THE HORROR!
4. Gene Kelly’s legs in “An American in Paris”—Hands down, the sexiest legs of Hollywood’s golden age. I am jealous of possessing those movements. There is something to be said when a dancer can turn such a simple dance routine, such as Kelly does in the song “I Got Rhythm”, into something profound. His audience isn’t for the snobbish elite or the woman down the street, but children, which is refreshing. You see him mock the military man’s movements and make art out of the banal. I’d gladly take a leg cramp for his rhythm anytime.
5. Oracle Girl in Mel Gibson’s “Apocalypto”—There are hundreds of awesome female characters any actress would die to play, myself included: Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard”, Margo Channing in “All About Eve”, or Martha in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” But this bewitching role screams climactic fulcrum to a film that was too quickly overlooked (Mel, stop drinking!). It helps to have some Native Mesoamerican blood, as I happen to lug around with me everywhere. Who would think a snotty little kid could carry such a weight? Whenever I re-watch oracle girl’s role, I think of the waves of indigenous children that made their way to American borders by train recently. Are they bringing vile diseases to us…or are we infecting them with all the ills that come from modern-day Westernization? Only the oracle, and time, will tell.
6. Hamlet (backwards)– Yes, I would love to play the role of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” backwards, beginning with his death by sword, to the moment he witnesses his queen mother wed his evil uncle. It seems like every actor plays the Danish Prince, I figure why not make the role a bit more challenging? Be to not, or be to? You decide.
7. Stanley Kowalski in “A Street Car Named Desire”– The best part about Brando is that he never acted. That’s right. Picture the scene where he is smiling, smirking, and eyeing Blanche DuBois (played by Vivien Leigh) right before he is about to assault her sexually in the Kazan film. In his autobiography, Brando admitted wanting to bed Leigh during the production of the film. Leigh had no interest in the younger Marlon. So you can see how easy it was for Brando to unleash all that repressed sexual tension on the prudishly vulnerable Vivien blazing away as Ms. DuBois. I know its sick of me to say, but I would find it fun to play a low-class, sex crazed, spouse-beating, baby-babbling brute. Maybe it’s not so far away from my real self? hmmmmm
8. Chavela Vargas in a biopic about the musical artist—I know most people don’t know who she is or what she sang, but I would be right there hyping up such a role to a piñata hilt. Too bad the film doesn’t exist…yet! Singing in Español, I can do. Cussing out men, I can do. I just wonder if I could water-board myself with so much tequila….ehhh…anymore.
9. The Pink Elephant(s) in “Dumbo”— So Dumbo gets a bit tipsy. Cute. But the real star of that animal abuse movie is or are the pink elephants that come dancing into Dumbo’s head. Metamorphisizing, expanding, and exploding…it would be a trip to play the piper to an acid trip. With all the internal intestinal gas I get, I’m not too far off the mark. Beware! Beware!
10. Peter Fonda’s Harley Davidson chopper in “Easy Rider”— I know it’s almost impossible to play a piece of machinery, but I can dream can’t I? Fonda’s motorcycle artistically performed better than all of Jennifer Aniston’s movies put together. To be so cool and to make my way across America ripping through such an awesome landscape as this motorbike is priceless. I dig it.
…lets also be crime scene investigators and criminal profilers. If Shaq and Steven Seagal did it, why not an unemployed macaroni gluer from Southern California? After watching the 2000th episode of the TV show “Forensic Files” (yeh, yeh 78% of the episodes were repeats), I’ve come to gather some of my own arm chair statistics in the same tradition as professional criminal profilers. You can think of me as Clarice Starling of “Silence of the Lambs” minus the good skin and the willpower not to suck down a warehouse full of donuts… boxes and all. I have come to profile the types of killers lingering in major American cities. Nevermind that the closest I’ve ever been to exercising my forensic skills is when I check for the wetness factor on my son’s toothbrush to make sure he isn’t lying to me about his hygiene. Let’s hope the kid never wises up to check mine.
Note: Please send all hate male to the post office.
New York City: the “Hey, it’s just business” killer
Detroit: the “Drive By” killer
Washington D.C.: the “Patriotic Act” killer
Atlanta: the Braves success killer
Minneapolis: the bored killer
Miami: the “I’m too sexy for this blood” killer
Birmingham: “The white cloaks are coming” killer
New Orleans: the “I was drunk off my ass” killer
St. Louis: the “Just passin’ through” killer
Houston: the “Serial Killer” killer
El Paso: the “Run for the border” killer
Wichita: “The tornado did it” killer
Salt Lake City: the “Expendable wife” killer
Las Vegas: the “It’s just for show” killer
Anchorage: the “Oh, crap, I meant to shoot the animal” killer
Seattle: the “Mud on the boots” killer
San Francisco: the “Vegan, environmentally friendly” killer
Los Angeles: the “I did it for the fame” killer
And last but not least, my hometown: DRUMMMMMMMROLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
San Diego: the “Fuck this job!” killer whale
As you can see, the FBI’s got my number…eh, maybe for all the wrong reasons.
Lets put it out there: I suck at science. Nevertheless, I thrive at elevating bullcrap to an art form. To me, graphs are picture shows put on by left brainers to convince the right brainers that left brainers still have right brain visual capabilities. To God, graphs are the green boogers that are left over from his breathing divine destiny into the human experience: Useless after-blow!
But once I saw Kurt Vonnegut’s line graph evaluating the good and bad fortune of the Grimm’s Fairytale character Cinderella, I knew I had to apply my own assessments to this particular “mind craft”. The following are ten line graphs of various states of being, situations, and people I wonder about (when I am not meditating on Cocoa Puffs or Vladimir Putin’s pout).
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. A trillion years later, some bored, Doritos munching, Jimmy Buffet worshiping techi created phone apps. Since I am still trying to figure out what all the buttons do on the elevator that takes me up to the 13th floor of my workplace, I am probably not the person a software engineer should go to in considering future innovations.
What ever happened to the days you could throw a dime in a pay phone and ask a real-live person to connect you to your grandma in Texas via collect call? Oh yeah…those days sucked. In the 21st century, you can get ahold of whomever you want, anywhere you want, almost instantly. Problem is, in my case, you still have to somehow convince that other person to actually answer their phone.
The following are Apps that I wish existed:
1) KnewYOU…The New Identity App. Ever get sick of being yourself? Wish you could input just a few basic things about yourself, then let a computer generate a new “online” identity to include a new history? Even a new virtual house and occupation? Of course you do. Pick from a variety of categories to help you: SciFi, Hippiechic, Cartoony, Rednecker, BibleScholar, Mogul Man, RichBitch, BigPhatStar, NewAger, Yoga-guru, etc.
2) FaceBlock…The App for People Blocking. Wouldn’t you love to be able to program your phone to filter the faces and people you are tired of looking at and hearing about on the world-wide web? Maybe an old girlfriend, that annoying politician, and of course celebrities like Kim K. and Justin B., maybe even your mom? Then this is the app for you. Bodyguards need not apply.
3) ConFess…The App for Anonymous Confessions. Need counseling, but don’t have the income to pay a headshrinker? Wish you had someone to gripe to, but don’t want that other person to know who you are? OR Are you someone that enjoys juicy information? Maybe giving advice to others? Sometimes the best secrets are better told than left to fade away unacknowledged. Now, one can tell one’s most outrageous confessions to a person online and both stay anonymous. Why should priests have all the fun?
4) BGone…The App for Stink Guard. Want an invisible shield between you and the smelly, wino guy who just sat next to you on public trans? Need a temporary bubble to avoid that gas that just slipped out of grandma whom you are escorting at Wal-Mart? No worries. Unless, that is, its you that forgot to wear Right Guard today.
5) Q-zone…The App for Silence. Tired of traffic noise and the jerk next to you screaming into his cell phone? While other apps help guide you to the closest sushi place, this app guides you to the closest and quietest public places in an instant. Maybe that hidden park on Washington Street? Or the café that sits empty with no one to bother you. In a world of noise, silence is a priceless commodity.
6) PimpMyHide…The App for Instant Makeovers. Ever wonder what other people would do to you if they had the chance to make you over completely? With this program assisted application, random strangers remake a virtual you. Pick from various styles of clothes, accessories, and hairstyles. Then you choose what you think you would want to aspire to look like. Personality not included.
7) CareBare…The App for Avoiding Family. Barely interested in what you wife is endlessly texting you over the phone? Bored with grandma’s conversation about her new hip? Wish your parents would stop checking up on you via text? Then this app is for you. Program it to automatically generate phrases and responses to keep family happy, and to keep you out of their loopy conversations. Choose from several settings: Gossip mode, crisis sympathy, general update, etc. Be all that you can be…be smart, be daring…be BARELY THERE.
8) P-Track…The App for Tracking Pets. Wouldn’t you ever like to find out where Pumpkin and Mr. Whiskers wanders off to when you are away at work for hours? Want to find out where your pain in the *#@ dog goes when he keeps getting out of the back yard? Now with a simple tiny sticker you can place on a pet collar and the assistance of an app, you can be you’re own pet stalker. Also available in Lying Teenager and Cheating Spouse versions.
9) Save-A Drunk…The App for Saving Alcohol and Alcoholics. Have you reached rock bottom and just can’t drink another drop of alcohol? Need to sober up? Want to donate your liquor collection to someone who will graciously take it off your hands? Then this app might just connect you to the right alcohol lover who will take that box of wine from you to start you on your way towards sobriety. Let someone “Sponsor” you into being booze-free. A.A. endorsed of course!
10) KillerAPP…The App to End Apps. Are you addicted to apps? Need to spend less time on your smart phone and more time, ahem…doing everything else? If you want to consider an app to break the app obsession, consider this one. Virtual guru-voice activated to wean you away from technology, this app can give you back your life. Just don’t expect it to happen overnight. WARNING: surgeon general has found that substances on this app may cause cancer, low birth weight, depression, and cerebral lethargy.
Conspiracy theories aren’t what they used to be. Thanks to WikiLeaks, hidden “truths” become just everyday news, lost and mixed in with what may be “fact” and what may be “fantasy”. What used to shock us about the powers that be, don’t seem to move us toward much change in our political system nowadays. Its as though we expect our government and the wealthy elite to behave in the worst possible ways, keeping us entertained like some cheap reality show.
I, myself, have grown so cynical and desensitized by media and television that it didn’t surprise me to hear what Edward Snowden “leaked” (Hello, Washington? Are you listening? Got Milk?). I’ve grown so bored with most of the schemes that certain government agencies and powerful people have been up to, I decided to “enhance” some of these controversial “truths” connected to certain conspiracy theories. Basically, I decided to really “fictionalize” (labeled as my “Favored Fiction”) these truths in a way that would make us question…what is really “fact”…and what is really “fiction”? You decide.
Truth?: In relation to NASA’s “Project Blue Beam”, a 3D hologram of the Virgin Mary was projected in an African sky.
Favored Fiction: In relation to NASA’s “Project Blue Beam”, a 3D hologram of Sarah Palin in a moose’s outfit was projected over Moscow’s sky to hypnotize Vladimir Putin.
Truth?: The U.S. military used a secret unit of “controlled remote viewers” to help capture Panamanian Dictator Manuel Noriega.
Favored Fiction: The U. S. military used a secret unit of “controlled remote viewers” to locate the best place to grab sushi while in Afghanistan.
Truth?: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is funding Norway’s global seed vault to preserve various seeds in case of a possible global environmental apocalypse.
Favored Fiction: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is funding Norway’s global seed vault to preserve various cannabis seeds to turn future earthlings into Cheech and Chong zombies.
Truth?: The Catholic Church hid certain Nazi officers post WWII.
Favored Fiction: The Catholic Church hid certain Nazi officers post WWII in order for kinky bishops to use them in bondage role-plays.
Truth?: Bradley Manning leaked video of U.S. soldiers killing innocent Iraqi civilians and two war journalists.
Favored Fiction: Bradley Manning leaked video of Osama Bin Laden living in Thailand as a transvestite hairdresser.
Truth?: MK Ultra, a top-secret CIA experimental project in mind control used prisoners, mental patients, children, prostitutes, and lower-income minorities as guinea pigs.
Favored Fiction: MK Ultra, a top-secret CIA experimental project in mind control used politicians as guinea pigs, hypnotizing them into thinking they descended from a dying breed of anal-retentive aliens from the planet Uranus.
Truth?: The HAARP Project, located in Alaska, is a U.S. funded scientific experiment which is capable of manipulating the weather.
Favored Fiction: The HAARP Project, located in Alaska, is a U.S. funded scientific experiment which is capable of creating a mini lightening storm that can directly hover over Dick Cheney’s head.
Truth?: U.S. drones fly over residential areas in Pakistan to “gather” intelligence information in counter-terrorism.
Favored Fiction: U.S. drones fly over residential areas in Pakistan to play “Where’s Waldo”, killing boredom.
Truth?: Certain technically-savvy members of the Heaven’s Gate Cult helped developed one of the very first computer programs, called PROMIS, that had “spying” capabilities which was highly sought-after software.
Favored Fiction: Certain technically-savvy members of the Heaven’s Gate Cult helped develop one of the very first internet billionaires, called Mark Zuckerberg, a love child created and left behind prior to their mass suicide.
I’m a rotten blogger; I rarely read other people’s blogs. I guess you can call me the anti-blog blogger. If I have by chance read your blog, it’s because I was either attracted by the bright colors, you had something new to say and GOT TO THE POINT (unlike this post), or I was just interested in keeping my pupils fit by doing eyeball calisthenics. Ok, I admit, I may have also typed in keywords like “hot naked men” or “hot men who like stupid women” and hit on your blog.
But really, why do I avoid reading most blogs? I’m either annoyed that I haven’t written a brilliant post that someone else has already written first, OR I am tired of the fact that I constantly see the same words used in their same old context, in the same old boring ways. Even “cliché” is a cliché! Why can’t more people invent new words with new meanings like those that are added into the Urban Dictionary? Why not recycle those over-used, tired puppies lined up in our American Heritage Dictionary? YES, LETS RECYCLE!!! The following are ten new words or phrases along with their definitions I propose to add to the Urban Dictionary.
1) Chinese cheesy- something silly that doesn’t really exist.
Sample sentence: My god, did you see that UFO with the Bedazzled rims…thats Chinese cheesy!
2) hangman- an impotent male
Sample sentence: I am so sick of my husband being a hangman, I think I’ll have to get knocked up by the cable guy.
3) air conditioner- a cool talkin’ person
Sample sentence: Jay-Z is just an air conditioner, especially when he’s hanging with Obama.
4) flat-top- a level-headed person
Sample sentence: There are no flat-tops in the Kardashian family.
5) bacon- a well prepared cop
Sample sentence: Don’t speed down the Santa Monica Freeway ‘cuz there’s bacon everywhere.
6) pencil pusher- a pushy person who tries to make you buy his/her point of view
Sample sentence: The whole Bush-Cheney Administration was made up of assholes and pencil pushers.
7) Virginia slim- an east coast anorexic
Sample sentence: I ain’t no Virginia slim, I’m a meat and potato eatin’ Texan that blesses his stomach by keeping it full like the good Lord intended.
8) nursing nun- a non-practicing virgin
Sample sentence: So what if I’m a nursing nun, so was Mary, the mother of Jesus, at some point!
9) garlic mouthwash- a rotten kiss
Sample sentence: Don’t feel bad that you gave her a garlic mouthwash, she’s been cheating on you with your best buddy on the football team anyhow.
10) cocktail- a lady’s rear-end or a homosexual male
Sample sentence: Check out that big cocktail in the neon-pink tights; its blinding my eyes.
Why didn’t that tipsy Venice Beach fortune-teller predict that I would be pissing in the same restroom Jim Morrison had? And she sure didn’t foresee me shopping at the same record store Ray Manzarek frequented on Sunset Blvd. I should have known better in the City of Night. Welcome to my L.A. Woman Tour. In honor of Ray Manzarek (keyboardist and founding member of the Doors) who passed away this week in Germany at the age of 74, I’d like to share my personal odyssey with the Doors and their ghosts. Thankfully I got the opportunity to hear Ray play live when he toured with the Doors of the 21st Century with Robby Krieger. Unlike other old rockers I have seen (UH, the Rolling somethings) Manzarek’s playing was never off pitch. He could still take you on that musical journey.
It all began with a weekend “getaway” in the summer of 2005. I drove up to Venice Beach from San Diego to stay at a beach hostel. I had often done this in the past with the intention to write and get “inspired”. Funny how this often requires hours of drinking and getting caught up trying to get rid of some pug-ugly guy who is hoping to get into my pants. Anyhow, the weekend was supposed to be just like all the others for me in Venice. But for some reason, this particular trip seemed to be one in which hidden hands were guiding me in directions that often included some connection to the Doors, especially Jim Morrison. At first, I passed it off as sheer coincidences. But by the end of my stay in Venice Beach, I began to feel a little freaked out, but mostly privileged to be the one to have been “guided” by some ghostly doors of perception.
Initially, I wanted to eat at Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood to see where artists Wallace Berman and Ed Keinholtz got their grub (a little tip I got from my art history teacher in college…its an art snob thing). While there, I befriended the waitress who happened to be from San Diego herself who was a singer in a band called the Paper Dolls. The waitress shared about how Janis Joplin spent her last night at the restaurant. At that moment “Roadhouse Blues” by the Doors played over the speakers. “Oh, and Jim Morrison used to drink here too,” she added. Cool, I thought, doesn’t surprise me. I mean the guy did drink everywhere from here to Amsterdam right?
She suggested I walk down to see the Chateau Marmont where Morrison is said to have fallen from his balcony and broken ribs. I did so, more out of awe that the old, ridiculous structure was still standing there instead of a 7-Eleven store. Ok, so Marilyn Monroe probably screwed someone there, and John Belushi had his last puke there. Honestly, I’ve never been one to care what actors did in their free time. It just reminds me how uneventful my life is between picking at my face and writing crappy blogs. Since I was in the neighborhood, I figured I would take a stroll down Sunset Blvd to see the Viper Room and the Whisky A Go-Go.
Everyone knows the Whisky’s history as a mecca for rock history,(including the fact that the Doors played there in their early days) so I won’t bore u with it. But it was the Tower Records store just down the street that drew me in. I was going up to the cash register to pay for my Johnny Cash CD when the kid (probably some Euro-tourist) in front of me asked the cashier in broken-English, “So do you get famous people who shop here?”
The cashier who looked lively as taxidermy said quite unexcitedly, “Uh, yeh, Ray Manzarek from the Doors comes in here sometimes.”
Interesting I thought. I would have liked to have asked the cashier what Ray Manzarek purchased, but I didn’t. I was too afraid I would hear something stupid like..”Oh, he never actually buys anything. He just asks for change for the parking meters.” By now, my own car probably was getting ticketed.
Walking around West Hollywood, I grew tired and bored with myself. This happens quite often especially when I breathe, which is why I am often open to talking to street vagabonds.
“Hey, girl, where you goin’?” one of the gutter crows asked as I walked past. His name was Sonny. He was seated at a bus stop next to Emmanuel his side kick. Neither were waiting for the bus.
“I don’t know. I’m just looking for a new poem I guess,” I answered. Like the typical nerd I am, I really didn’t have any place in mind at the moment.
“OH, so you’re a poet eh? Why don’t u share a poem,” Sonny suggested.
“You say it like you don’t believe I am one. Here look, I’m carrying a notebook and a pen. All poets do,” I pointed out pulling out my goods.
“Relax girl, relax. I believe you. This town is full of poets. You’ve got Charles Bukowski…Jim Morrison, HEY, in fact I saw Morrison being carried out of Barney’s Beanery one night drunk as a skunk. You like the Doors?” Sonny continued.
These Doors coincidences were just starting to get a little strange.
“Yeh, right, you saw Morrison. AND?” I continued starting to feel annoyed that he would think I was as stupid as I looked, and starting to know he was probably right. Maybe Sonny did witness such an event, I mean it takes a wino to know a wino right?
His buddy who was previously just sitting and grinning finally spoke up saying, “Oh, girl, you don’t know old Sonny. He’s seen everything. That was his scene. My name’s Emmanuel by the way,” he said holding out his hand. I shook it reluctantly.
“So what other places did you supposedly see Morrison?” I asked half mockingly.
“Well, I didn’t see him anywhere else, but I know he used to stay at the Alta Cienega Motel just up the way. Its owned by some Indian guy who still rents out the room Morrison lived in. People leave graffiti and writing on the wall in that room now. You should go check it out. It’s also close to the Benvenuto Cafe. The Doors recorded L.A. Woman in that building before it was a cafe. I wouldn’t eat there though. Its overpriced.”
“Hey, where are you staying?” Emmanuel asked.
“OH, I’m staying in Venice Beach. Why?” I inquired.
“Go to the Townhouse. It’s a bar Jim went to a lot. Its been there in Venice forever,” Emmanuel added grinning like a Cheshire cat.
I thanked them both and headed down to check out both the Alta Cienega Motel and the Benevento Cafe to take pictures. After coming home from this odd weekend, I did a bit of research and found that what Sonny had told me about the motel and the cafe had been true. Morrison stayed in this particular motel due to being in close location to the Doors headquarters, the recording studio, his favorite bars, and his girlfriend Pamela’s residence.
As far as the Cafe (now CLOSED), legend has it that the L.A. Woman album was recorded in the building years before it was a cheesy Italian restaurant. The L.A. Woman song itself was sung in a downstairs restroom for its acoustic sound quality. The Doors at the time would never imagine it would be their last album together before Morrison’s death in Paris, France. Nor would they think rigatoni would take the place of rock music in that little haunt.
Later that evening, since my crappy hostel happened to be located on the same street as the Townhouse Cocktails dive bar on Windward Avenue, I decided to check out the place Emmanuel had suggested. It was a dump… just the way I like my drinking establishments. It was busy, so packed, that I couldn’t get access to the woman’s restroom with a line long enough to rival the Great Wall of China. No one seemed to be going in or coming out of the mens restroom. After four beers and an impatient buzz, I dove into the men’s pisser caring less what or who I saw. My bladder was about to burst like a pinata at an orphanage. Shockingly, no one was inside. The toilets were old-fashion looking with pull chains. It was as though I was sitting on the same shitter Jim Morrison might have peed in. Quite fascinating until I heard the voice of a male entering the restroom. Oh well, this is L.A. He should know anything goes. But the stranger was too busy making friends with a urinal to notice my ridiculous exit. This called for a drink. I made my way closer to the bartender.
Next thing I know I am asking a guy next to me if he could get the bartender’s attention since he seemed to know him.
“OH sure. Are you here by yourself?” the young, tall guy asked.
“Yep, but I’m good at keeping myself company,” I responded feeling quite stupid.
Eventually he introduced me to his girlfriend and a few of his other buddies drinking next to him. One named Joel ended up befriending me. All of them were Venice locals. I figured Joel wouldn’t be such a threat when he informed me that he was a male nurse. By the end of the night, I was sure I was gona need someone to nurse my hangover anyway.
“Hey, why don’t you come over with us. We’re gona grab some beers and head on to our place. It’s not far. It’s just up Speedway. Don’t worry, the girls will be there too. You’re safe,” Joel suggested. Typical nurse, looking out for me, though fear was something that didn’t come to mind when I was juiced up. I thought it a great idea since I was starting to lose my buzz due to flapping my jaws too much with the male nurse.
Joel was right. He and his male roommate lived very near… on 18th and Speedway just down the alley. Walking up to their rented beach flat, my heart stopped just for a second in the same way Medusa probably could have turned me to stone. Directly across the street from Joel’s pad was Venice Beach’s famous mural of the Lizard King himself. What? Ok, I thought, Jim, this is getting quite eerie now, especially here late at night with that full moon above you. What was with your ghost following me?
In a way, I knew it was impossible to escape the dead singer since this was the place he lived and strolled so often. But it was when Joel took me up to the roof of the flat to show me the strand of Venice’s beach at night with the flush-face of that pearly, white moon hanging like an empty plate overhead that I caught some wind of magic. Watching the silvery waves shimmer, feeling the breeze, and seeing how bright that distant celestial body was, I felt I got a glimpse of Jim Morrison’s inner and outer world. A mystical energy awoke something profound in me. I was in tune with the invisible forces around me. I realized at that moment how and where Jim got his inspiration for songs like “Moonlight Drive”. It was as though I could feel Jim there next to me. AND NO…despite it being Venice Beach…and a “party”…I don’t and didn’t do drugs. As you can probably tell, I’m wacky enough sober, thank you very much. It was such a magical experience, I kept it to myself to prevent it from being dismissed by cynics. But after hearing of Ray Manzarek’s death this week, I was moved to share it. It was Manzarek’s not Morrison’s idea to form the Doors. Jim just went along for the ride as he did with so many other things in those times.
By the end of the night, the couch that was nailed to Joel’s livingroom ceiling began to start tripping me out (yes, he had a couch nailed upside down from his ceiling). I walked back to my hostel just a bit down the way, still feeling a mystical presence looking just over my shoulder under the glow of the moon.
The next day, Sunday, I had breakfast at the Venice Bistro located just next to the Cadillac Hotel on the boardwalk. The Cadillac Hotel was where I usually always stayed. I don’t recall why I had not that particular trip. Maybe my favorite room was booked. Anyhow, as I looked up at the board of musical events that were set to play at the Venice Bistro that night, I could see that strange door of perception open up again. Peace Frog was set to play, a local Doors tribute band. And as I was nursing my hangover with my glass of orange juice and open journal contemplating my next poem, it all made sense. It was just as Jim would have liked it.
NOTE: All photographs are taken by yours truly (as if you couldn’t already tell by their illustrious framing). The one of Jim Morrison’s motel room graffiti was taken by someone on the internet whom I can’t name, so sue me. All photographs of people you see in each shot were used without them knowing, so forget u saw them here. Amen
Hello fellow Earthlings. As a homage to the up and coming Earth Day, I thought it would be nice to try to inspire people NOT to do what I do, which is accumulate mounds of junk. Here is a new installment of “What’s in My Closet?”
I know what you are thinking…. no I am not one of those vinyl record collecting fanatics. I only own records by: U2, Gershwin, Bo Diddley, Hank Williams, Led Zeppelin, Disney’s Mary Poppins, The Rolling Stones, Tony Bennet, George Jones, Peter Paul and Mary, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, The Bee Gees, Madonna, Richard Pryor, Strawberry Shortcake…Ok, maybe I do have a problem.But how could I pass up giving away this gem with songs like “Doing the Pigeon” and the “La La La” song?
I honestly don’t remember where I got these shoes. I might have snagged them from a drunk girl who was passed out at a 1950′s Flashback Retro Party. I can tell you they are made in Germany by the tag on the soles and that drag queens constantly ask me where I bought them.
Ok, so I’m as country western as a cup of noodles, so what…Taylor Swift gets away with this nonsense every day. She shouldn’t get to have all the fun. If it makes you feel better, I only wear these boots when I go out to eat at Denny’s where old people don’t give a damn.
I bought this plush hanger as a set from a thrift store. I thought that it would make me feel as glamorous as Elizabeth Taylor or Zsa Zsa Gabor. Well folks, SURPRISE, it didn’t work. Now I know why they were in the thrift store in the first place. Goodwill my butt!
A set of heart-shaped cookie cutters. I keep these suckers in my closet because you never know when you need a last-minute 99cent regift to someone you detest. Oh, and mom, if you are reading this, you shoulda known better to have bought these for me since you know I burn everything I bake.
An etching based on Gerard Terborch‘s 1670 painting “The Music Lesson”. Probably worth some money cuz its a stamped etching not a print, but there it sits in my closet accumulating dust along with old issues of MAD Magazine. Well, at least I am exposing the arts to the otherwise ignored cockroach.
Killer Dyke Hat. Although I have no interest in women below the waist, I admit I do wear hats that make me look like I do when I go jogging or when I just want to ooze man repellent. Usually, you can assume this is what happens after having kids and surviving years of monogamous marriage.
Speaking of man hating, I worship my Makonde body mask. Technically, this mask is not in my closet. It hangs on a wall. I use this mask to test people who visit my home. If they show an interest in it or love it (asking me about the culture it came from), I usually will get along with that person splendidly. If they think that it’s a carved image of me pregnant, they are probably not too intelligent. If they show indifference, they are probably lacking a soul or personality to have any opinion. If they show disgust, most likely it will be a man I end up foolishly getting romantically involved with. While my ex-husband suggested I hang it above the fireplace (he was hoping it would accidently fall into the fire), I now hang it proudly atop my love nest. Men come and go, but ART LIVES ON!
Ann Taylor Unlucky Power Suit. This was the first suit I ever got “dismissed from a job position” in. I kept it in case there is ever a job I WANT to get fired from. NOTE: Blazer may appear larger and itcher than actual object.
While it may be of no surpise to you that your’s truly would have a stash of beer cold and ready on days that need to be flushed down the toilet, I admit I am sometimes ashamed of stocking up on this form of redneck Viagra. The polar caps are melting, the Amazon is being cut down to accomodate Amazon.com books, and gorillas are still too nice to fight back poachers. Oh well, happy Earth Day. Drink up.
***For past installments of “What’s in My Closet?”, click on the side history bar.****
Anyone who has been unemployed knows that too much free time is actually silly putty in the devil’s hands. For the last two months that I, myself, have been seeking work, I have been stretched and bent out of shape so much, I might as well have walked into a kiln to make a piece of pottery out of myself. If a Chinese emperor could make terracotta life-size figures, why can’t I? But now that I will be starting a new position on Monday, I have been wondering if there wasn’t a better way I could have used all that free time I had while looking for a work. The following are occupations I could have considered while I was professionally unemployed.
1) N.P.C.L. Coach: Professional coach to senior citizens in the N.P.C.L. (National Power Chair League). Now that power chairs has taken over the elderly world by storm, its time to take it to the next level with power chair racing. Like Nike says , “Just Do It.”
2) Dumpster Diving Consultant: Give trash pickers and plastic bottle collectors insider tips on where to find the most plentiful dumpsters. Get free cigarettes, 7-11 coffee, or a swig off the old whisky bottle.
3) Buddhist Barber: Be one with the universe. Be the guru of buzz cuts. While mastering one haircut, you can’t go wrong. Comes in styles: shaved, and extra shaven.
4) Pet P.I.: Wondering where Fifi goes in the middle of the day? Would you like to find out what nasty cat got your Persian feline pregnant? Become a Pet Private Investigator. Dogs not apply.
5) Elderly Chauffeur: Take grandma on that outing she’s been dying to go to like Saks, 31 Flavors, or your friendly neighborhood strip club. Specializing in senior citizen accommodations such as gripe consulting, diabetes management, and retirement enhancement.
6) Guinness Book of World Record Breaker: Devote yourself to breaking records. Create the worlds largest wad of recycled gum. Or maybe graffiti the most wannabes taggers on the street in a day (yes, and I do mean graffiti the graffitists). Break the record for breaking the most records.
7) Craigslist Killer Hitman: Find the sickos on Craigslist that are killing and raping for sport. Do your community a favor by cleaning up our streets. Tell them that karma is bitch.
8) Taco Shop Salsa Critic: Taste test various free salsas handed out at the hundreds of taco shops around your city. Pitch your reviews of them to Food Network. Write a book about your ratings and opinions. Make sure to have TUMS handy and toilet readily available at all times.
9) Professional Pinterest Sabotager: Tired of seeing perfection? Why not pin postings of the sick and miserable on that beauty obsessed website? Start with a picture of your hairy armpit and work your way towards that maggot-laced roadkill you drove past earlier in the day. A perfectly PERFECT way to waste time.
10) Cheater Decoy: Are you suspecting that your boyfriend/girlfriend is a slut? Do you think he/she would sleep with any kind of person that would hit on him/her the moment you turn your back? Hire yourself out as a Cheater Decoy. Test out how far certain significant others would go if they had the opportunity to cheat. Intercourse compensation not included.
Dear Audience of Three (minus my cousin in Kansas and someone named Anonymous):
I know what you are thinking…”Amanda, where have you been? The blogosphere isn’t the same without you.” Ok, that’s not what you are really thinking. I just got needy a-la-Kardashian for a moment there. But like I told my mom after dismissing my cancer diagnosis a couple of years ago, “Don’t worry. Bad weeds never die.” I am still here …using my hiatus from this blog in the most productive ways possible: driving around town to find a store that sells Twinkies, Googling words in Russian, selling jewelry I got for free…oh, and I am writing a book.
Since the book is a memoir, I have had to figure out why I even warrant a 200 page plus book about my life. What have I accomplished? Ok, lets not go there. Rephrase: What am I good at? The following is a list of things I can honestly say will give me the audacity to push for a book all about me, me, and more me. Ugh, I already need a vacation from myself thinking about it.
1) The ability to wash one mug a day (hung over).
2) Unmaking my bed. (Too bad it’s never due to having intercourse).
3) Winking either eye while intoxicated (at police officers).
4) Finding the sun (at night).
5) Driving old people to hospitals. (Especially when they let me use their handicapped parking permit). WARNING: This does not include helping the elderly in and out of vehicle or otherwise.
6) Jogging with stinky clothes on (and running so fast past people they won’t get a chance to find out).
7) Memorizing stupid commercials (which means I am also good at forgetting awesome ones).
8) Plucking gray hairs off my head (Now that I’ve gone all gray, I can never lose).
9) Picnicking in my car solo (to avoid coworkers and work).
10) Ability to tell the difference between a dwarf and a midget (One had a Disney movie, duh.)