Archive for March, 2011

Sleepless blogpost of photos I didn’t take in public toilets

March 30, 2011

I have no idea what these pictures are of. That didn’t stop me offering my opinion.

I wasn’t there. I don’t know exactly where my fellow student and cinematographer Alex Griffin was when he took these photos. Maybe you can tell him? (Here’s all the detail he supplied: “The first bunch are actually in a bathroom. Very odd. Had a sign asking not to take anything down.”)

Somewhere in California, I suppose.

1000 pictures are worth no wait... would you mind doing the math?

Decor designed to defeat pee-&-flee instincts that ensure survival of the male toilet environment.

How is this different to 90% of art? Oh right. This is the stuff most of us never look at. It it doesn't move, explode or take its clothes off? Forget it. Not interested.

Sarah Palin will be attending, dressed as a young, attractive Maggie Thatcher.

My Little Pissed Off Horny Pony of Hades

Tye die mutherf*&*er 'n the mutherf*k*&' hoodie. I blame the angry church of the latter-day hippies for this one.

Thanks, Alex. If anyone else wants to send me photos of signs to blog about, feel free. I’m keen. You may not be!

Nude ladies, “Friends”, pool, karaoke and hamburgers at Barney’s Beanery, West Hollywood

March 24, 2011

Do I have to blog about it every time I go to Los Angeles? Well, probably, until it stops seeming like a place of magic and dreams; everything I expected of it and more.

Traffic. Rain. 35 Miles in three hours. Thank God for CD changers and conversation.

Been going to LA a lot at the moment because the Writer’s Guild is holding a weekly interview / screening / discussion series with famous TV writers – last week was an amazing session with Steve Levitan of Modern Family. Today I got roped in to checking out Friends‘ Marta Kauffman and David Crane. And I didn’t expect it to be half as amazing as it was. I loved it so much that I now… briefly wanted to watch the whole 10 episodes of the series for (believe this or not) the first time. I doubt I’ll actually go through with it though, don’t worry.

The original pitch and treatment. Check it out - it seems Friends was originally titled "Bleeker Street" (like in the sad Simon & Garfunkel song) and later the slightly cheerier "Insomnia Cafe".

Anyhow, we wound up at Barney’s Beanery afterwards. It is awesome – and proof that America will turn anything – ANYTHING, NO MATTER HOW ALTERNATIVE – into a commercial undertaking. The place is basically a collection of all the USA’s rock ‘n roll glorification, thrown together in a faux dive bar atmosphere, with a technology coulis.

Great burgers, better mash, and a beer list that made me very happy. A 10pm happy hour too. And all the healthy options and mild food choices that keep All-Americans and Hollywood types content.

Of course, you want it to seem “real”, right?

This picture of a sexy lady pasted on the booth wall, the slightly worn leather seats, and the Wednesday night karaoke all contribute to the pleasant illusion that you might be somewhere in the real world.

I can tell you what I definitely DO NOT want

March 23, 2011

I know I tend to use this blog as online therapy of sorts. It’s a lot like therapy, really, except the therapist leads you even less than a real therapist. There’s not even a “so, how does that make you feel”. Just silence, as billions of internet users choose not to read you, and the few hundred that do maintain a discreet silence. Thank God.

What a good therapist (or friend) often asks you is a very simple question, in a way: What do you want? It’s a question I often ask myself, with varying results.

Sometimes I want a pizza. Sometimes I want true love. Sometimes I want to cycle down the middle of the main road shooting at the street signs with a sawn-off, semi-automatic weapon. It just depends.

But this is what I know I don’t want:

Attention kids - it's vom-time!

When will I ever be the right kind of crazy?

March 22, 2011

I’ve spent my life assuming I was normal and being told I was everything but. And since I accepted this situation I’ve been trying to figure out what I really want. My attempts to photograph the waning “biggest moon in 100 years” (or something) seemed to oddly mirror my ongoing struggle to find some balance in my life, or alternatively, figure out just exactly what I’m feeling. Or decide if balance is really the way to go. Cause see-saws and rollercoasters really do have their charm.

Do I want this…

Moon's there, with the little warm window of safety, and a cloud to put it all in perspective or...

…or do I want this?

... a close up. All the craters. All the mystery. All the craziness.

In the end, the loneliest choice is always the safer option. But then I’ve never been big on safe. And look where that got me – I have my very. own… blog.

Valuable families

March 21, 2011

This ridiculous piece of fake old fake art doesn’t belong on this building – let alone in this century.

It‘s possible for me to walk past weird things without noticing them, sometimes for weeks. In the most recent case, for six and a half months.

Look at the man, all manly and protective. See how the woman kneels before him, fawning over him. And how the older child shelters in the shadow of his massive manhood.

I know where I’ve seen crazy shit like this before – in Rome, a city so bursting with religious pornography disguised as “art” that I left Italy convinced, once and for all, that Jesus was, indeed and for sure, coming. And while I’m making fun of it, I can excuse the Italians of the time on the basis that they didn’t know it was wrong to have sex with children, and that they genuinely believed it was fine to treat women like property, and that enslaving entire populations was, well, just normal, then …Right?

Well, no, actually, I don’t really think that these things are ever normal. Some nastiness, like sexism, or homophobia, or racism, or ageism, or pedophilia are just wrong. That’s why they disappear (only to reappear among people who have forgotten how it feels to be the one under someone else’s thumb.) But I can bring myself to forgive people who’ve been dead a few centuries. Even I am not one to hold a grudge that long.

However this is 2011, and this “carving” can’t be more than 40 years old. And I find it impossible to understand why a 21st Century Bank in the U.S.A. would include a nonsense of this kind in its wall. I guess some people must buy into it, or it wouldn’t be there?

I wonder if crowds of Martians will be standing around snapping pictures of this shit (with flash) in 400 year's time? Anything is possible.

Alternatively, like me, most people just haven’t noticed yet.

… and a girl in a business suit jumps out of the tits?

March 15, 2011

I always say, you can tell a lot about a city by its cake shops. No, I don’t. But let’s just say there IS, REALLY YES REALLY a cake shop in LA called – – – ROSEBUD. I’m sorry if I ruined that for you. But there really is one.

Speaking of nipples:

Jump out of this, baby.

Final cut. This cake may be your only chance...

This cake shop in Little Ethiopia is one of about four in what I like to call, after once visiting, the “Cakepacking district”. It’s like meat-packing except with… oh, never mind.

...except with excellent vegan food. Ethiopia makes vegetarianism palatable.

Signs of Spring and Memories of Nasturtium sandwiches

March 12, 2011

Orange trees are awesome. They’re laden with fruit at the moment, and covered in blossoms. Multitasking. And everywhere things are going crazy. The world feels new. Yeah, I have those kinds of songs in my head. So shoot me.

The days are lengthening. The nights are cool instead of chilly. The sun is giddy in the sky. I am beginning to think about the sea and look forward to playing in cold, salty waves again.  And tonight, while filling a not-awkward silence with awkward conversation all of my own making, I remembered nasturtium sandwiches and spent a while attempting to explain why anyone would want to eat them. My mom used to make them for us. They were really simple when I was a kid: Fresh, white bread, preferably warm. Spread with too much butter. Cut nasturtium leaves and place on top. Eat! There’s a fancy pancy version here where you blend the leaves in with cream cheese and place the flowers (which taste sweeter) on top as garnish, which I might have to try with my new discovery, queso fresca or “fresh cheese”, which is like salty ricotta that doesn’t stick in your throat – really delicious.

Where were you hiding? Boing.

Anyhow, I remembered playing treasure hunting with my little brother and stopping to eat nasturtium sandwiches in the shade of a saringa tree, and that, among other things, not all of which are memories, made me smile.

Time to plant new seeds already.

California, you still got it. You amaze me.

Jasmine is my favourite flower. It's like the orchid of suburbia, I guess. It can't be plucked. And the smell always reminds me of september. It's a little disorienting smelling it here. I keep thinking it's already my birthday again.

Orange is in decorating limbo right now, with most of the houses back to craftsmen-style dignity, but others still sporting decorations for a variety of past events: Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine's day are all popular choices. St. Patrick's day seems to be mainly popular with car dealerships and well, duh... bars.

But anyway, for whatever reason, it’s good to feel this way today.


March 9, 2011

GOD, a wo/man of indeterminate age and ethnicity lies exhausted on a cloud, sleeping, fitfully, despite the syrupy din of violinists playing Amy Grant Muzak (TM).

BRAD (4eva5) a cherub with plump nipples and an adoring expression floats up from under the cloud wearing nothing but a loincloth, flaps his wings as he taps God on the shoulder. God stirs fitfully.

No… Find your own parking space you lazy bitch.

God! God! God! Wake up! There’s been a sign!

God sighs and props himself/herself up on his/her elbow.

It’s not America again? Is it? What do they want NOW? I just gave them Spring? And Obama was struggling, so he got that thing in Libya… gets to… Brad?

Brad’s glum expression tells God everything s/he needs to hear.

If I were God, I'd be, like, "Are you talking to me? Are you talking to ME? Again?" When is God supposed to get some rest? And "Who's in charge, here? I'll bless when I feel like it! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!"

Another heart, with electricity this time

March 8, 2011

Sometimes you can stare at something for a long, long time before you see it. I stared at this through a three hour class today, thinking about people’s scripts, how not to hit one of my classmates over the head with a hammer… and that sort of thing. And last night. And tomorrow. And all these things. And then I realised what I’d been staring at for hours and took this picture.

Who drew you?

America is and isn’t what it seems… from “black men” to “libyaration politics” in da crazy hood of North of D’America

March 6, 2011

I am judgmental. Very. Now, you aren’t allowed to hate me for that*, because I at least have the honesty to admit to it. Also you’ll know what I think about what you think really fast, so you’ll never have to sit around wondering (as if you would, anyhow.)

Find me ONE headline in this rack that doesn't contain a judgement and I'll do that thing you like.

Everybody is judgmental. I grew up and accepted that a while ago. Most people just prefer to say “that’s just my opinion.” Which is bullshit. Because you don’t think so, and they don’t think so, and they don’t vote so, and one day you could easily (if you happen to live in a country that enough people just have “an opinion” about) wind up dead thanks to their sense of “just”ice.. Viva Libyaration now? And the rest is… bloodshed.

You're more entitled to your gun than to the average opinion, when faced with someone who's entitled to a gun.

Are Americans really this weird? The "Favourites" rack at Barnes & Noble better be lying.

Asking people to love you unconditionally is both solipsistic and ludicrous. Even your parents can’t be expected to do that. Unconditional love is suicide. And you’re almost certainly not worth it. I think the idea that a lot of overly entitled pseudo-liberal westerners (of any location) grow up with is the idea that you’re “entitled to your opinion” (in my world, that shouldn’t guarantee you a platform on which to spout shit) and that you “deserve to be loved” (I’ve met a lot of people who deserve, at the most, to be “not mercy-killed”).

A big deal here right how - something I realize marks me as a wannabe American. I care that the government is breaking a CONTRACT WITH WORKERS in Wisconsin. So do these mags. In America, there's a magazine for everyone - even people with brains.

And then there’s sex, of course.

Ya... What is this?

I mean... seriously. No nudity. Just large, caucasian booty? WTF? America...

Did you notice how I started out saying “this is how it is” in America and by the end wound up just utterly confused? Well, yeah. That’s how it is, hunnybunny.

* I am judgmental. Very. Now, you aren’t allowed to hate me for that – you are absolutely entitled to judge me for being judgemental, kay?