Thursday, July 30, 2009

Maybe Good, Maybe Fun

To watch this trailer with a full screen, click here.




I Look Like I'm Working, But I'm Not

I'm starved for a creative outlet right now and was thinking about Keith Haring, Basquiat and Shepard Fairey. Well, not them in particular, but how famous artists, who got their start "arting" all over alleyways, subway stations, freeway on-ramps and other urban canvases, made "it" work for them. I want that too--for "it" to work for "moi". And by "moi" I mean me.

And speaking of what I was just speaking of, last summer I was in London at the Tate Modern and saw their Street Art exhibit in full bloom. And though the sophisticated artful eye locked its gaze with the graphic street eye for this show, the prominently displayed work seemed out of place in such a proper building...but a fun fusion all the same. It's like hanging a Matisse in the bathroom.

My mind always seems destined for the toilet and I can't help but wonder, "Why aren't there any famous restroom stall artists?" In the bathroom, for whatever reason, inspiration seems likely to flow, as seen in carved, tagged, sprayed or otherwise marked-on walls by aspiring toilet poets/artists. And because the bathroom, like alleyways, subway stations and freeway on-ramps, is such an unusual place to have anything beautifully mindful on display, it seems all that much more perfect of a backdrop for anyone drowning in a counter-culture, looking for contrast and a career opportunity. A future knocks for someone looking for their next big break during their next big dump. (I'm embarrassed I just wrote that line.)

And I'm not talking about a rough sketch of a wang or a naughty limerick, I'm talking real Monet and Kafka on the walls. Maybe I will have to lead the charge and write installments of the next great novel on the walls of rest stop poopers across Amercia.

Oye...I'm stretching for material today...Oh, here's some (not really) inspiring stuff I found online that someone found on bathroom walls.

__________


Here's some videos in much need of watching. Get to it!





Thursday, July 23, 2009

September Seems Far Away


I tinkled a little when I saw the trailer!

The trailer is in HD and for some reason is cropped on this page. To see the whole screen, click here.

(F)Art


I've been looking to invest in some art. Well, what I consider art. I particularly enjoy character, folksy or retro-looking art. I really don't know anything about collecting so I've been poking around Creativity Explored, eBay (which sometimes has these amazing hand-painted hair salon ads from Ghana) and Rex Ray prints, to see if anything jumps out at me. Today, I came across Martha Rich and I love her! Maybe you will too.


Here's her Blog. Here's her Store. Here's her Website.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Carol Channing and Fwends

This past weekend, some friends and I witnessed the rare treat of Carol Channing and Friends in concert. Actually, I'm told witnessing Carol Channing and Friends in concert is as rare as spotting a common pigeon. She's everywhere and at 88 performs every chance she gets.

The concert was a benefit to raise money and awareness for the arts in school, which the performers seemingly plugged between each breath. (We get it!) The nearly partially kind of half-full theatre consisted of myself, three close friends and a smattering of older couples, some of whom had thoughtfully brought their own oxygen tanks and seat canes!

But, before Carol Channing came out on stage, there were two warm-up acts: the poor man's Edith Piaf (accordion and all) and magicians! Yes. Magicians! The conjurer and teller-of-tales himself, Walt Anthony, accompanied by his (faggy) assistant, the purveyor of superior mysteries, David Miller! My toes couldn't help but tap in delight.


Dodo birds died out because they were either too superfluous for the world or just plain stupid. I'd anticipate a similar demise for magicians if I weren't so amused by their goofy acts and even goofier following. I just don't get the draw of card tricks or a caboose disappearing in the fog. But I'm drawn-in anyway and am a captive audience for any act that turns from 'ta-da' to 'ta-dud'. It's like going to a gun show hoping to see someone shot.

Walt.

At any rate, I can't say anything nice about Walt and David so I'll just say that they certainly were on stage. It's a fact. Both wore dark trousers and patterned vests, with ornate and intricate fastening systems, over puffy-sleeved, peasant-necked, button-down shirts. With each trick, for my very eyes, performing with dramatic facial expressions and grandiose, fluid hand gestures, Walt and David delivered their tricks with the accompaniment of a Dead Can Dance-like soundtrack and long, woven enchantments of bright, bewitching and whimsical mysteries, entangled in breathy, exhausting, drawn-out hand contortions and get-to-the-point magician-speak, just like this sentence I'm writing right here, right now, which is exhausting to type and I'd imagine, also taxing to read.

Now Carol Channing. I don't have too much to say. She was rickety and amusing, in that order, as you might expect any Hollywood legend/relic to be. She sang songs which were connected by stage stories with lots of ers, uhs, ums and other verbal synapses from someone pushing ninety. But I was thrilled to see her before she's claimed by the summer of Hollywood deaths. Her performance was very sweet and everyone was along for the ride.

I was not riding, however, along with the magicians. That is, during their performance, I remained in my seat, in San Francisco, and did not travel on a "kaleidoscopic journey of feelings and experiences" when the "powers of myth and magic" united, as their brochure clearly stated. I've got a good mind to write to the BBB.

If you've got some time to kill, here's the semi-gist of some of Walt and David's amazingly similar, death-defying plugs:

TRICK NUMBER ONE: Equal Ropes

Walt: (Holding up three separate lengths of rope; small, medium and long.) I hold in my hands, three ropes! (He fidgets with the three ropes.) A long one, that represents all the students who are popular and smart and have their life and work and friends and future planned for them. A medium one, that represents all the students who are athletic and get sports scholarships and are chosen and recruited by top colleges. And a small one, for students like me, who didn't fit in. Who were artistic and talented and ambitious, but didn't have the support and funding and direction to grow into the performer I struggled to become today. (He fidgets more with the three ropes.) Together, we must support the arts and the students who want to become singers and dancers and actors and magicians. Give them a place to feel loved and supported. Give them a future. We must all, as a community, reach deep in our pockets and support the arts...(he holds up one, medium-sized rope, that has now become an amalgamation of all three)...so we can all have an equal chance at realizing our dreams. Thank you!

TRICK NUMBER TWO: Another rope trick

David: (He pulls out a long, red rope, and with Walt's help, pulls it tot.) Lines represent many things, but most commonly, a line can represent a person's life. When we look toward tomorrow, we sometimes see an uncertain future and don't know if we can keep walking in a straight line toward a certain destination. But today, we must ask ourselves, if tomorrow...wait, excuse me...if yesterday, we knew what we wanted today...excuse me...if yesterday we knew what we wanted tomorrow, it would be easy to walk the line. Some people want to grow up and be firefighters or doctors or writers or even, performers. And when you are young, those dreams seem attainable for tomorrow. However, if we were to make cuts (he takes out a pair of scissors and cuts the red rope in half and holds up the separate pieces) in our funding for the arts, will there still be a tomorrow for yesterday's...so sorry, excuse me...if we cut our funding for the arts, will there be a tomorrow for today's children? Only if (he fiddles around with the now two ropes and after a moment, holds up a single rope) we plan today...wait, no, that's right...if we plan today for tomorrow, and give what we can for the arts, yesterday's children will have a bright tomorrow, today! Thank you!

David.

TRICK NUMBER THREE: Rings, Rings, Rings

David: (He holds up about 6 metal rings.) Rings! The circle of life! Circles of life that are not connected in any way. (He shows audience that the rings are not connected in any way.) Every now and then, these circles to get connected. (He connects two of the rings and shows the audience.) And sometimes, more and more rings connect to these already connected cycles. (He tries to connect more rings to the two he previously connected and drops a few of them on the ground.) Woops! (He tries again and succeeds.) There! (He holds up a chain of rings.) A community of rings. We are a community of rings and can only be a community of rings if we recognize the importance of other communities. There's the business community, which handles our money, there's the science community, which handles our health and technology and there's an entertainment community, that handles our enjoyment. But sometimes these communities do not look out for each other's money or health or enjoyment so we have to (he separates some of the rings) look out for our own. Please, if you have your checkbook or cash in your wallet, you can support our community, the entertainment community, and ensure that there will continue to be special magical performances and legends like Carol Channing to entertain you! By donating to the arts, you help (he connects the rings again and holds them up in a chain) strengthen the lives of entertainers, so we can be a strong link in the chain of communities. Thank you!

(Walt steps up holding an envelope.)

Walt: Now it's time to put our money where our magic is. (He winks to audience.) Inside this envelope is a donation to the arts. We hope our actions will inspire you to make magic in the life of a young entertainer. Thank you!

(Walt and David walk off stage. The curtains go down for a 10 minute intermission. When they come back up, a quartet is in place, stage right. Stage left, are Walt and David standing on either side of a folding screen. The music begins and Walt and David do some fancy hand gestures before they slowing move the folding screen around to reveal....the other side of the folding screen! Ta-dud! There's a brief panic on stage and Walt fumbles with the folding screen for a bit before finally ripping open a velcro-ed wall of a "pod" in which Carol Channing bursts out. The crowd cheers and Walt and David walk off stage with the folding screen.)

If you're interested in hiring a magician, you can click on either Walt or David's webpage.

Here's an article from SFGate about the Carol Channing and Friends concert.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Not So Fantastic, Sam.

Earlier this week, I went to get a trim (haircut) at...brace yourselves...Fantastic Sams! Not that Fantastic Sams is a bad place, but it hasn't been branded well. I tend to think their staff is actually made up of beauty school drop-outs (No graduation day for you, but there is a salon that's hiring.).

Why did I go then? It just opened and, well, it's literally on my way home (which is sometimes my rationale for eating at Church's Chicken). I couldn't help but think, "Nine bucks? How much could they fuck up a trim?" Well, if my bangs could respond, they would say, "......"--because the bitch cut their mouth off! Get it? She cut off my bangs' mouth...if they had one? .... Get it? Let's move on. She took a chunk out of my bangs, which, are the window treatments to my soul. I might have done a better job with a pair of dull scissors and slightly dexterous toes.

The girl cutting my hair had a lip ring that she kept fiddling with and poorly dyed hair pulled back loosely with a scrunchie. We also were the only people in the place. No managers. No other customers. Still, I stayed. I sat down and gave her my usual spiel: "Do a 1 here, a 2 here, blend the back, round the bottom, trim the top, keep the thinning sheers away from me and leave some length in the bangs. I have a forehead that goes on for awhile." And with an, "Okay," she was off and cutting.

I don't usually talk much when I get my hair cut because I'm either in such a relaxed state, transfixed on what the stylist is doing or can't make out their accent. So I let her do her thing. And out came a raw stream of consciousness as she cut:

...snip...snip...snip...

"...We did have another girl here, Josleyn, but between you and me, and really, there's no one here and who are you going to tell--I think Josleyn got fired. She comes to work high and I think sometimes drunk and she's always asleep. And I'm like, 'I could sleep too, but I wouldn't do that at work.' Well, at least not where anyone could see me. But what does she do? She sleeps right here in her chair as people are walking in. And she seems annoyed when I wake her up to cut hair. Like this past Friday, she was sleeping and I know this is such a bitchy thing to do but I was like, you know, fed up with her shit, so when she was sleeping I took a picture of her and sent it to our owner. He's a Persian guy who franchised this place because he thinks, or maybe he just heard it somewhere...I don't know. Anyway, he franchised this place because cutting hair is a recession-proof business, or at least, that's what he thinks, but I don't know. I just needed a job. The boss doesn't know anything about hair, like I know more than him and I just got my licence. I also know how to handle money because I used to sell subscriptions for the Modesto Bee..."

...snip...snip...snip...

"...I was not so sure about cutting hair in Oakland. I mean, I live here and everything, so it's nothing that I'm not used to. But I've never cut, like, Black-people-hair and today I got my first! I was so scared and kept thinking, 'Please don't screw up my clippers!' You know, this is so terrible to say, but their hair is so kinky. Like tightly coiled, you know? I only cut, well, mostly cut, White people hair and sometimes Asian people hair. But the Black hair ended up cutting fine. We have to bring in our own equipment and mine is really expensive so I didn't want it to get screwed up. But it was fine. Just fine..."

...snip...snip...snip...

"...I live for Family Guy. Family Guy is my life. Well, after One Tree Hill, which is like, my favorite show of all time. I have to miss it most nights because I'm working so late. But I just got Tivo or DVR or whatever that shit is that you can use to record shows. I've been watching that show True Blood, the one about the vampires. It's so weird. They're like people now or in society or something fucked up like that. But they drink this Miller-High-Life-blood shit that is fake blood and then they don't eat people. But the thing is that they do eat people. Well, the bad vampires do. The good vampires just want to vote and have families I guess. It's so strange. I'm glad it's fake...."

Aaaaannnnndd, I won't be going back there.
__________

There's a new(ish) line of graphic tees out there, courtesy of Snorg Tees. Some are lame and will wind up on fratboys and posing hipsters. But some of them could be very cute and with the right wear, will wind up on me.

__________

Have a great weekend!

Star Trek Wars

Here's something for the dorks:

Jonathan found these amazing and painful-to-watch videos. I asked him if I could repost them and he said, "PLEASE DO. Word must spread like Wookie Flu."

This was apparently a Star Wars holiday special in which Princess Leia (Carrie Fischer) sings and Chewbacca (in a choir robe) reflects on his many blessings. The middle is a little slow, but wait until you get to the part where the "chewbaccas" bow their heads in prayer.

William Shatner "sings" his version of Elton John's Rocket Man. I don't know how this guy made it out of the 70's or how people in the audience keep a straight face through the performance.

Thanks Jon-O!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

God Said Ha!

Stephanie's engaging and hilarious blog, Stuff Christian Culture Likes, focuses on all the silly tactics, merchandise and beliefs today's popular Christian culture subscribes to. Growing up Christian, I find her observations so entertaining as she exposes the business and bizarre culture that's spun out of control and away from the church's teachings. What we're left questioning is, "What does it mean to be a Christian?"

For me, what is even more entertaining, are all the spin-off comments and sometimes heated discussions generated from the individual posts--especially the ones that cross into pop-culture territory. Today, I was on one side of the fence in what turned out to be a very productive exchange about Carrie Prejean's remarks on gay marriage. Yes, we may have forgotten about her and her boob job but her response to Perez Hilton's infamous question still rings in the ears of those who care to stand along the cultural divide.

(There are 60 comments and growing from this posting. To read them all, click here.)

Here's my (lengthy) exchange regarding stuff Christian culture likes, #78 Miss California 2009, Carrie Prejean:

Candid Wanderer said...

Stephy, is it possible to condemn the act [of homosexuality], but not the person? You make it seem as if saying that an act is wrong is, well. . .uh, wrong! When my children hit one another or disobey me, I don't have to "wrestle with Scripture" to know that their behavior is wrong. I didn't need to take a parenting course or read the latest book on how to raise a good kid to realize that something's not right. I instinctively know that it's wrong, and I deal with it accordingly. When I express my grievance over their choice, am I no longer "loving them and treating them with dignity?"

In like manner, believing and/or communicating an unfavorable opinion about gay marriage doesn't mean that you are condemning the person who chooses to engage in that activity. Moreover, I didn't need to hear an eloquent sermon complete with exegetical expository teaching to know that homosexuality is wrong. For that matter, I didn't need to "wrestle with God" to know that adultery, fornication, and uncontrolled anger were wrong either. Those are all pre-Salvation beliefs for which I now have Scriptural backing.

Should we, as Christians, seek to build authentic relationships with people of all walks of life? Yes, but not on the condition that we never offer our opinions on their lifestyles when it is appropriate or asked for, whether it be gambling, overindulgence or homosexuality. Jesus sought those relationships, and He unapologetically spoke His mind about their circumstances. (see John 4) So should we."

All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) Therefore, a gluttonous self-righteous church-goer is no better than a smart-talking, irreverent homosexual. As a matter of fact, there are many in the Religious Right who will bust hell wide open, if they don't focus more on their commitment to Christ and less on their commitment to a political party.

Nevertheless, Perez Hilton does need prayer. Not necessarily because of his lifestyle choice, but because of his uncontrollable anger, unbridled tongue, immature conflict management skills, and blatant disregard for basic human decency. In addition, Carrie Prejean could use some spiritual intercession for her apparent lack of biblical modesty and virtuous womanhood. It's the state of the heart that's the issue, not how its debasement is expressed in our daily lives.

Finally, why is it politically correct to say that adultery is wrong; rape is deplorable, and parking in a handicapped parking space without a permit is just not nice, but if someone says that the gay lifestyle is wrong, then people get their feathers ruffled and their undies in a bunch? Scriptural wrestling and strangle-holding God are not required to come to those conclusions. Why the political favoritism for practicing gays?
__________

Stephy said...

Candid Wanderer,thanks for thinking about this and asking questions. The point underneath this is to have a tender heart and own your own fallenness. How did Jesus approach others? I think we could learn a lot from asking gay people how they feel about being told by Christians that they are being prayed for. If anyone who is gay is following this, how does is strike you when a Christian tells you that they are praying for you? Do you feel cared for and honored?

__________

Candid Wanderer said...

Stephy,

I must admit that I’ve never considered nor heard of anyone being offended by prayer. I’m very interested to hear from others if that is the case. I suppose if it is offered sarcastically or out of a motive of vengeance, then certainly there would be cause for indignation. But from what I gathered, Carrie was not praying, “Lord, rain down fire and brimstone upon Perez Hilton!” Of course, I wasn’t in on her personal prayer time, so I really have no idea what went on between her and the Lord. However, I suspect that her petitions on his behalf were more along the lines of seeking forgiveness and being shown God’s love and His will in a practical way. If homosexuals are indeed vexed by that sacred act, then I’m sure that prayer will be the next item catalogued on the ever-growing list of hate speech.

Still Breathing [another person commenting],

Thank you for taking the time to dig into John 4! I applaud you for being of the Berean mind-set! I personally thought that it was pretty cut and dried. But with your liberal slant on Biblical interpretation, I can see how you may not see the passage as I do. Jesus took the time to enter into a conversational relationship with the Samaritan woman (v7-9). He then addressed the issues of her heart (v.10-15). Lastly, he called attention to the sin that was expressed in her daily life (v.16-17). Now, He didn’t stamp His feet and wag His finger in her face, but He didn’t gloss over her lifestyle choice either. He gently shined light on her escapades done in the dark.

As I was studying the Word, I came across John 8 in which the teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery before Jesus with the intent of catching Him in a theological trap. (On a side note, I’ve always wondered why the man who was participating in the act with her was left out of this process. If you have any insight on that issue, I’d love to hear it!) After refusing to play the blame game with the religious elite, Jesus responds with such love and conviction, “Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." This passage, in essence, answers my initial question which was “Is it possible to condemn the act, but not the person?” Jesus condemned her “life of sin,” which was adultery, yet He still treated her with dignity, honor, and love. A good example to follow, I think.

BTW, Stephy, thank you for initiating this dialogue. I am finding your insights to be extremely thought-provoking. Your graciousness is appreciated.
__________

Rye said...

Dear Candid,

I am gay, I was brought up Christian and can appreciate your earnest thoughts on this explosive topic. My sexuality is not who I am, but it does color my days a different shade than yours. There's so much to respond to and I don't want to get into moot territory by addressing all of what's been touched on here. The key issue, as I see it, is that you believe homosexuality (and in this thread, specifically gay marriage) to be wrong, a sin in fact. I don't. It is not my intention to debate you on nature vs. nurture or politics as I am quite certain I'm not going to be able to sell you my vacuum cleaner if you already have one you like. However, I do have some thoughts on prayer in which I hope you will marinate.

I find the idea of someone praying for me (or my homosexuality) to be extremely offensive, condescending and abusive. When Christians pray for someone who is gay, I have to assume they are praying for them not to be gay, that God will take residence in their heart and expel their gay tendencies. Prayer is also a way to pity and feel shame for someone, though I am sure that is not your or most Christians intent. I pray, and when I do it fills me with hope and comfort. However, prayers for my sexuality, even coming from a good heart, inevitably end up making me feel deeply flawed on a fundamental level. I believe there are many things wrong with me, but my sexuality is not one of them. When Christians pray to cleanse me of my sexuality, no matter how you spin it, it is meant to wish me away. And I find that horribly offensive.

I'm not at all ashamed of my sexuality but am ashamed of the people I encounter who are. I see the irony in that way of thinking and I pray that you see the irony in yours.

Kindly and without malice,

Ryan

__________

Candid Wanderer said...

Ryan, I believe that your comment was the most intelligent, thought-provoking, and sincere to date!! Thank you so much for taking the time to put these ideas into words. You are wise to not get into a debate over whether or not homosexuality is actually a sin. I am not trying to convince anyone to buy into my brand of thinking. It is refreshing to see you doing the same.

I must admit that the idea of prayer being "offensive, condescending, and abusive" truly is a new concept for me! I, for one, am all to aware of my own brokenness, flaws, and sin to not covet the prayers of others on my behalf. I see prayer as an personal, intimate exchange between an individual and God. It is a time of reflection, meditation, supplication, confession, and thanksgiving. If during that private time with the Lord, someone comes to my mind, then I pray for them. I never stop to think that this person may be completely affronted by my mention of them to the Father. In my previous comment, I attempted to make it clear that his sexuality was not the main issue, but the workings of his heart as they were displayed in relation to others.

Ryan, dear, I am sorry if other Christians have made you feel pitied and shameful. You are a precious creation of God, and your humanity shoud be treated with dignity and respect. However, I do not think that something as intimate and sacred as prayer can or should be censored and restrained because someone may feel condescended to by it. At that point, it ceases to be a prayer closet and become more of a prayer theater with onlookers, critics, and politically correct prayer cops waiting to snap your connection with God at the first mention of a known homosexual's name.

Perhaps the best approach is to keep our prayer list private when in the company of gays. Would that help?

__________

Stephy said...

I just want to say I am so, so gratified and touched to see an exchange like this taking place, and this is exactly the aim of my blog (if my blog has any sort of aim) - that we can facilitate a bit of understanding and grace. Sigh. *happy*

__________

Rye said...

Candid,

Thank you for the response. The fact that we're able to speak (or blog) back and forth is a very reassuring feeling for anyone who hits a wall when they try to express themselves. I feel heard and I hope you do too.

Firstly, and because I didn't address it directly before, when you write, "...his sexuality was not the main issue...," you're speaking about Perez Hilton, who is a product of U.S. media-hungry pop culture and someone whose handling of Carrie Prejean's gay marriage response was neither tactful nor deft. It was all emotion without give. Though I think Perez would have something curt to say about it, I don't think you're off the mark to want prayer and healing for him.

I feel prayer is a powerful tool. The idea of someone wanting and praying for the best in someone they love or a random person on the street is a selfless and admirable act. Prayer is only offensive to me when it feels like a proverbial pat on the head as you dismiss a child up to his/her room until he/she knows better ("I'll pray for what's best for you because I know what's best for you."). I want for us all to grow and fail and learn and grow some more, for I think that is the way Jesus wanted his disciples to live their lives only to come to know Him after they've been tried. Our journeys are all different and telling someone how to travel can result in a screaming mess.

I do not pray for the Christians who follow Jesus, just the Christians who follow Jesus blindly--though, as you put it, it's probably best that I keep that to myself. I want the desire to grow for us all and believe you and me have sprouted a little here.

Be well.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Chicken Soup for the Dull

I guess the "Bumpit" has been around for awhile, but I've never know it...maybe because I'm not a girl and don't live in the valley. Ooooo, snap!


Bumpit commercial.

I wrote a much more stupid, prime time, Bumpit commercial that I hope still parallels the original's keen style and budget:

(Amy walks up to her friend, Angie.)

Amy: Angie, your hair is so amazing! What salon did you you just come from?

Angie: I didn't come from a salon.

Amy: Com'on. Where would you get such an amazing, high, loaf-of-hair?

Angie: I bumped it.

Amy: Bumped it?

Angie: Yes, I bumped it with the Bumpit! Now I don't have to spend hours teasing, styling and fluffing my hair. The Bumpit gives me perfect Texas-style hair every time. All I had to do was bump it, bump it, bump-bump it up! With the Bumpit!

BLACKOUT
__________

This year I was privy to my first bridal shower, for a good lady friend, and it was lovely. Initially, I was afraid I would show up and be expected to make a wedding dress out of toilet paper, eat chocolate out of a diaper or any of the other oddball games women play at these sorts of private celebrations of womanhood.

My sister sent me this video today, a game of sorts, that made me feel a little uncomfortable and left wanting to know who the willing participants of these peculiar sports are.

__________

I can't love to hate on the flamboyant and hopelessly desperate-for-any-attention fashion maven Bobby Trendy anymore. I've moved on and sent my sights on someone tragic and new: Johnny Makeup. I've been internet stalking for a week now.

Johnny Makeup, who I don't believe actually knows anything about make-up, is the boytoy and MySpace page curator of American Apparel's creator Dov Charney, who he obsessively refers to as his "Daddy". Johnny got his start, I believe, with Oakland's Gravy Train!!! and then years later popped up in a Cazwell music video. Now he's simply known as being a faggy and (not really) fabulous scenester. Still, he's an easy target and can be amusing on those idle days of trolling the Google machine (internet).

Heeeeeeeeeerrreeee's Johnny!:


___________

The next story Tim Burton is about to ruin (sorry, he should have stopped after Mars Attacks!) is Alice in Wonderland coming out next year. So far, it looks promising. Here's some stills from the production:

Is it me or does Johnny Depp kinda look like Madonna?

Helena Bonham Carter as The Red Queen

Matt Lucas as Tweedledee and Tweedledum

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dog. Puke. Dog. Period.

I don't like to tell stories on my parents, but they make it too easy.

I was home this weekend and one morning I walked into my parents' bedroom to see my mother treating her duvet with a spray bottle of Shout. There were about 15-20 wet spots already and as she held the duvet up to the sunlight coming through the window, she examined spots she might have missed, only to spray-on more wet spots. You should also know that my parents have filled their empty nest with a pet dog, who sleeps in bed with them and has been referred to (by them) as my "sister".

Me: Mom, what are you doing?

Mom: Oh, Suzy [the dog] puked all over the bed.

Me: All over? It's everywhere! She's such a little dog. (seeing something brown smeared on the top portion of the duvet) Gross! Is that dog shit?

Mom: No, don't be silly. That's dog food.

Me: Don't be silly? This duvet is covered in dog vomit. Is it such a stretch that there might be dog shit on it too?

Mom: It's not all puke. Some of it is blood.

Me: Blood? From what?

Mom: Suzy! She's in heat. Or was. We bred her so she shouldn't be making such a mess anymore.

Me: Why did you have her in your bed if she was bleeding?

Mom: Your father lets her in the bed.

Me: It's your bed too. Why don't you kick her out? Can't she sleep on the floor or outside?

Mom: Well, she could, but she likes it in here.

Me: Do you like sleeping in dog hair, dog period, dog puke and dog shit--

Mom: It's dog food, I told you.

BLACKOUT

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Wee Bit Of Pee For Me

No, I'm not drinking urine!--Though that is what many people in my office think as I add a packet of powdered Summer Peach Nestea mix to my bottled water every morning.

This morning, Margie, a lady from across the hall that makes and wears her own chunky jewelry, came in to ask me something boring about the printer and spotted my bottle of instant tea. And so came the joke I've heard a million times and counting: "Ooo, Ryan, having another bottle of pee?"

(With cat-like reflexes, I grabbed the bottle quickly and hid it in my bag.)

Me: (nervously) Oh my gosh! I'm so embarrassed you saw that!

Margie: (still trying to keep the tired joke going) Yeah, you should really think about drinking some water instead of urine! That's just so, so gross.

Me: I actually was trying to finish my self-evaluation last night, because Dave needed it early this morning, and I lost track of time and got locked in the office. I had a terrible emergency and forgot to get rid of the bottle!

Margie: ...

Me: I didn't want to go on the floor and someone had already peed in the plant.

Margie: ...

Me: I'm kidding, Margie. It's tea.

Margie: There's something wrong with you.

BLACKOUT

__________

Years ago, I was walking around the Mission with a friend and saw some boys playfully kicking around an empty gallon jug of milk. Well, not empty. Empty of milk, but full of what I'm certain was urine. My friend and I looked on in horror and disgust as one of the boys kicked the jug of pee to another boy who then booted it so hard, he blew the screw-on cap right off the jug and a misty cyclone of urine sprayed everywhere; on their faces, shirts, the nearby buildings, etc., as the jug spun around, out of control, until it hit a Corolla. Then there were squeals.

Now, either because I can't help but notice or because I have a sick need to gross out myself and those around me, I'm casually on the lookout for jugs of pee placed around the city. I know. It's sick and completely strange. I can own that. But I also think it is a little bit of a "guy" thing to want to point out dogshit, fat asses and, now, a jug of piss to his (my) buddies just to incite repulsion.


I was trying to do a little research about people peeing in jugs and bottles and leaving them around the city or on the sides of roads. I found this amazing site, Roadside America, that talks about this very subject! They say that, "jugs of pee appear to be a national epidemic..." and that here on the West Coast, road clean-up crews have, "reported over 1,000 bottles in a one month period for a 100 mile section of highway." They go on to say, "As despicable as the Jugs of Pee issue is, it fades to a pale yellow when compared to the little reported Bags o' BM problem. Crews are stumbling upon plastic bags containing human feces." I find this all so interesting (and a little gross).


Also interesting on this site:

Roadside Creatures -- Guide to Monster & Highway Hoodoo
Pet Cemeteries -- Roadside cemeteries for pets
Latest Tips -- Quirky museums, ironic monuments, and must-see oddities!

Also, you can search for odd diners, hotels and other attractions that make road trips across America so amazing.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Little Couch vs. Big Couch


DISCLAIMER: This story is a little gay, makes fun of hobos and trivializes the Israeli-Palestinian war.

Jon and I are normally an amazing team, but when it comes to decorating we're like two hobos quarreling over the last bean (or how the last bean should be plated). Recently, because of a burglary in April, we've been trying to exercise the bad mojo out of our home by redecorating. And RE-decorating a home is much worse that just plain 'ole decorating because, as in our case, we both care how it looks. By RE-decorating we are disrupting a fine balance of compromise, painstakingly conceived through door slamming and nights spent in separate rooms (not really, but almost). If it ain't broke...

And because we've been living in our home for over a year now, it is no longer the decorating free-for-all it once was when our moving van first arrived to the location. Now it's the Gaza Strip! And we both want to govern it, OUR WAY! Not that the Gaza Strip is "a fine balance of compromise" but if I have to start throwing out my flea market finds for Jon's IKEA furniture, I might go Palestinian on his Israeli ass.

(If you don't care for d├ęcor, now would be a good time to throw up.)

Similarly and several years ago, I lived with a lovely friend in Pasadena who shared my strong sense of ascetics. That is, we didn't share the same strong sense of ascetics, just strong, separate, senses of ascetics. It was a compromise and no one was completely happy. French country meets Grandma chic--a Hatfield and McCoy of styles.

Since Pasadena, I suppose, I have been longing for a place within which I can cut loose. And then I fell in love with Jon. And though our styles are not terribly different, our interior design focuses are not the same:

My bottom line:
  • No fake plants or flowers
  • No store-bought, mass produced art (unless it has a comical or iconic sense to it)
  • There must be a similar mix of shapes and colors echoed from room to room
  • Nearly every piece of furniture must have a "story" or character
  • Shades of blues and browns and oranges

Jon's bottom line:

  • Everything must "earn" its place in the home
  • You can never have enough place mats and candles
  • A catalog-look is a good look
  • Fashion before function
  • Shades of greens and browns and yellows
In short, Jon likes clean lines without clutter. I want someone to walk into a room and know I've been there. I can only hope that when the smoke clears, it will be my drapes hanging over the windows protecting the neighborhood's prying eyes from our war.


In a related story, while repositioning furniture this weekend, Jon and I got in a playful argument where I was snarky and he split hairs. It went a little something like this:

Me: (pointing) So, I think we should move the little couch to angle this way and the other couch a 90-degree angle off of it.

Jon: What?

Me: (again, pointing) Okay, this little couch will be angled this way, off the wall. Then this couch here, will come off of it, from the corner, at a 90-degree angle. See?

Jon: I don't understand. Which couch?

Me: Really? (pointing) This couch and this couch! Together. In an L-shape.

Jon: You mean the loveseat?

Me: (frustrated) YES! The loveseat, the little couch.

Jon: Well, (pointing to loveseat) that's a loveseat and (pointing to couch) this is the couch.

(I roll my eyes.)

Me: Fine. The (mimicking) loveseat or the li-tt-le couch will go here and the couch or "couch" will go there.

Jon: I don't like the way you're talking to me.

Me: I'm sorry, but lots of people might refer to this loveseat as a little couch. And you couldn't figure that out through context and my pointing?

Jon: Well I can, but that is a loveseat. Well, it is! I know what you're talking about now.

Me: Fine! I just wish you could figure stuff out. I'm not talking in code.

Jon: Yes, but you're calling this a couch and this a couch. This is a loveseat and this is a couch.

Me: And this is the gayest conversation we've ever had!

BLACKOUT
__________

Apartment Therapy was so inspiring today. Here are four especially charming spaces in SF that are along the lines of my style:

Leslie and Adam's Home for Two
Erin and Melanie's Sunny Mission Oasis
Scott and Marie's Perfectly Put Together Home
David and Susan's Police Precinct Conversion
__________


Pictures I took with my phone yesterday:




__________
We've started an alumni chapter for Black Alumni Association members that meets around the state. They just had an event in Los Angeles. I got this email today:

thank you for keeping me in the loop with the black alumni ass. but do to the fact that in in so. cal now, i will not be able to attend the gathering, please keep me informed on other events coming into action...... thank you

-Dxxxx Crxxxxxx


My response:

Dear Dxxxx,

Thank you for the email. I will be sure to let you know when the next Black Alumni Ass. gathering meets in your area. Please keep an eye out for us.

Kind regards,

Ryan Jones

The Dawn of Fawn

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Captain Eo

This used to be the height of entertainment for me.


Beef With Logo

I had a morning filled with nothing to do...so I let my idol hands go to the devil's playground. I wrote a bogus letter to French Connection UK and emailed it off an hour ago. Still no response.

__________

Thursday, July 2, 2009
Re: Beef with Logo

Dear French Connection,

Recently, my son turned 13 and received a gift from his birth mother's newest lover, Drew. Drew gave him a French Connection tee that my son seems to adore, but I can't understand why. The shirt is a dark navy color and across the front are the letters: F and then C and then U followed by K. I'm no egghead and can see that the arrangement of those letters closely resemble a foul word which I will not rewrite here. And I don't care for it. Not one bit!

I only get to see my son every other weekend. I have a very strained relationship with my former wife and this Drew, who has a ponytail and a panther tattoo on his neck--which to a 13 year old, must seem pretty "cool". I telephoned Drew and told him how disgusted I am that he would think it was okay to give a young boy a shirt with an expletive, or what could be misconceived as an expletive (by me, for example), across his chest. It's just despicable. Why would anyone want that on their shirt? Then Drew told me maybe I needed to get F-C-U-Ked more, which did not help matters.


I want to respect fashion and understand your company is responsible for starting many popular trends. But as a concerned parent, I implore you to consider the kids who might respond to your branding, thinking they're promoting French Connection when they are really campaigning for promiscuity. Now, because his "whack" papa protests, my son refuses to get rid of this shirt. In fact, he has cut the sleeves off of it and, with a white-out pen, written the word "Yeah" (with an exclamation point) after the "K" which, in my opinion is much worse than it was before. If I see your logo and think about the act of sex, then who knows what young, over-active minds must be thinking.

Kindly,


Mr. RJ Jones