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Friday, June 27, 2008

Pomes From Homes

The topxngx beach

We looked for the emptiest beach we could find
It had a lagoon with cranes, pelicans, and noisy gulls
She wore a flowery hat
A tankini
And a tiny umbrella that sat by her head
The waves crashed quietly against the sky
Surfer boys and girls were running into the waves
Surfboards leashed to their suntanned ankles
Pale skinned ladies marched by
in their plus-size ross dress for less bathing suits
A gypsy family rinsed their clothes in the water
Kids splashed around
While single mothers yelled at them
Boys in bathing suits as long as skirts toddled by
Their distended stomachs like a dead bloated monkfish
I stood in the water
the waves shifting rocks
sea shells
beer bottle caps up and down against my ankles
the sea air smelled good
when we got home we were red as lobsters
I drank some Russian vodka
took a pain killer
and passed out dreaming about the ocean

john doe blow

there was this band that made a name for themselves
singing about the plight of the working man and other welfare sob stories.
they once complained to people my band was taking up space
because we had no political views
and played funny songs and dressed up funny.
back then it was a bad (1978).
self-righteous phonies.
one night these working class heroes set a dumpster on fire
and pushed it down the hill in the middle of the street
a lot of people could have been killed,
people on welfare and people not on welfare.
they had to put their awful band back together again after the singer
acted in a lot of terrible movies and showed what an awful actor he was.
he has a ranch in montana.
flaming rubbish begets flaming rubbish.

Suburban adam and eve

It was cool being sixteen years old
And my girlfriend said,
“I’m hungry – let’s eat”
So she jumped over the backyard fence
and I waited
I heard her voice over the fence,
“well come on”
I jumped over the fence too
She stood right by her neighbor’s peach tree
She grabbed a peach and gave it to me
She grabbed herself a peach too
I bit into the peach
The juice ran all over me
She bit into her peach and stared at me
Her warm, hungry brown eyes burning into mine
This is the way it began
And this is the way it continues
Even in suburban culver city

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mid-Year Wrap Up

Since the first half of the year is done I figured it's time to do a halftime wrap-up of all the things that happened to me in 2008. So let's get the fuck started now:

January: Went to the NAMM show (North American Music Manufacturers) at the Anaheim Convention Center. It was crowded and exhausting. This month marked my father's 90th birthday. Posted my 200th review on Yelp. Joined GoodReads and was appointed a librarian.

February: Went to Beverly Hills and picked up a mink coat Rebecca's friend left her. Celebrated our 15th wedding Anniversary. Gave Rebecca blue topaz earrings. Went to the boat show at the LA Convention center thanks to stephen l at Yelp. My mp3 player died and I had to get a new one, sob.

March: Made a killer eggplant parmigiana at home. The next day I had a poisoned burrito at Chipotle. Fuck Chipotle, the worst food chain of all time. Some girl on the internet thought I was a chick and wanted to have lesbian sex with me.

April: Went to the Noir Fest at the American Cinematheque and saw some wild, sleazy crime films starring Steve Cochran, June Havoc and Beverly Michaels. Painted my toenails blue and started shaving my armpits. Maybe I am a girl and I don't even know it.

May: Met Raquel Welch in my parking lot. She's so cool. Rebecca gave me her old Canon so now I'm taking pictures of myself all the time (see above). Went to a Yelp event at the Blue Goose Lounge. Some people I "friended" saw me there and didn't say hi. Fuckheads. Thanks for friending me. Bought another camera, a Nikon Coolpix, like in the lame Ashton Kutcher commercial.

June: Went back to Palm Springs, where it was 110 degrees and all the tourists ran around with their dicks in their mouths. Played a skeeball contest with Adam B from Yelp at Santa Monica Pier and beat him fair and square, yay. Went to Gay Pride in West Hollywood and everywhere I went there were promos for Washington Mutual getting tossed in my face. I'm glad I canceled my account with them years ago. Bought myself six pair of shoes and boots this month. Maybe I am a girl after all.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pops, Daddy, Father

My father was an enigma of sorts, a strange combination of dandy (clothes horse, flirted with the ladies, vain as hell making my Mom livid) and standard Tyrone Power-style dude (played soccer, liked to fish, built crap all the time, never backed down from a fight).

My father (Ernest) had a hat and tie store in downtown Providence, RI, so his closet was filled with belts, hats and shoes. He had the coolest shoes: alligator, snake skin, suede, you name it. I used to open his closet and just stare at the belts hanging from the stand in his closet next to the shoe trees, not forgetting the sharkskin suits of different shades with his hats resting up above in a shelf. It was the Sixties, when men didn’t dress in sweats or leisure suits just yet. He had a great sense of style. I couldn’t wait to grow up so I could wear cool clothes like him.

Since he had a heart condition his doctor advised him to forget about the East Coast and go out west. He got a job in the aerospace industry (courtesy of President Kennedy) designing rockets and satellites. He’d come home with huge blueprint rolls so he could finish his designs after dinner.
“What are they designs of?” I asked, staring at all the strange compass-created shapes.
“Um, well, Andy, you know it’s like company things”, he hemmed and hawed, “and-well, it’s Top Secret”.
There was a Cold War going on, James Bond movies were the rage, we were sweating over UFOs, LSD and Cuba so it was all very exciting.

He moonlighted at nights selling real estate, so he occasionally had to go to empty houses at night to show the properties to prospective customers. Nothing was more frightening to me than the idea of my father in a dark, empty house waiting for strangers to come by, so I would keep him company. He always liked it when I went with him. Some of the houses didn’t even have the power turned on. It was creepy!

The greatest lesson my father taught me was the lesson of survival. After the Nazis had killed most of his family in Auschwitz and Dachau he built his life up again, and later back home in Hungary the Communists came and took everything away from him again. At that point he decided Europe can go fuck itself and left for America by boat, my little 6-month-old tit-suck tot frame swaddled in a blanket like Moses floating down the Nile. The example he set for me through his stubborn diligence to survival saved me through many setbacks later in life.

After my mother passed away there were times when I would walk by the living room where he slept. He slept on an old sofa bed with a wafer-thin mattress.
“Andy”, he said quietly, “my back hurts. Stand on my back”.
As he lay on his stomach I would stand on the small of his back. “Move up, higher”.
“Move to the right”.
Finally we heard a loud crack and he’d go, “Good, I feel better. Now I can sleep”.
“Now I can sleep”. He had nights where he would be haunted by memories of the concentration camps that imprisoned him, murdered his parents, his brothers (except one), and countless cousins. I could hear him cry in his sleep, it was terrible. Imagine trying not to kill spoiled brat suburban punk rockers with their swastikas a few years later. Self-control’s a bitch.

My father was actually a very happy guy in spite of the shit in his past, but I can’t get the darkness of his life out of my mind. To this day I still get nightmares where I’m in a dark, empty house with the windows open. That’s Him speaking to me, and dreams like that never go away.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The 2008 LGBT Pride Festival

Well, it's the first weekend in June and that usually means it's time for Gay Pride in West Hollywood. It was a real assault to the senses...sight, sound, and with a petting zoo, olfactory as well.
I saw more lesbians there than gays, maybe a first since the last few times I've been there. Rebecca thought most of the lesbians at the fest looked like they should be stirring a boiling cauldron somewhere. Some of them did look like witches, but there were old queens who looked just as ghastly.
As usual, I was there for the swag and the cool merch that was for sale. I bought two belts, one metal with little gears on them and one leather with an old 45 RPM adapter belt buckle. Rebecca got the best belt, though: a belt buckle with a removable booze flask clipped on it!

The festival was not without it's carnival vibe, though: we walked into an S&M tent where a man wore a creepy rubber pig's mask and he was sticking another rubber lad into a leather-lined box. In 95 degree weather! There was another dude clad from head to toe in rubber and wore a rubber top molded into a wall urinal. It was sick! I was so hypnotized I forgot to take pictures. Damn it.
A perplexed old queen walked up to me and grumbled, "I've been committed to mental institutions five times. The last thing I want to do is get locked up again!"
"Well, these guys seem to like it", I said.
"They can keep it!" he spat, busting through people on his way out of the tent.

We went to the bandstand and watched a bad Pussycat Dolls-ripoff troupe dancing and acting the way only a nine-year old girl would find sexy.
Then some kid with a skunk striped mohawk talked for ten minutes about how all his songs were originals, and went right into David Bowie's "Changes". Then he performed Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough". His backup singers both looked like they weighed 350 lbs. each. Woof!
Kimberly Caldwell from "American Idol" followed, wearing a hideous t-shirt belted into a dress with the ugliest orangey indoor tan I've ever seen. She performed an all-lesbian set, Melissa Etheridge, then Bonnie Raitt, what a fake, she's doing some guy from her TV show, what's with the dyke beau gestes?

Last year's music program was Eighties rock and I missed that. I think everyone did, too, because the turnout for the musical acts was a lot weaker than last year. Here's hoping next year's program will be a lot better.