Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I once lived in Time Square, NYC. This was right before it became a huge Disney logo. Back then it was fertile and teaming with all kinds of subculture. There were numerous porn theatres and strip clubs and little diners with one six foot long counter and two greasy short order cooks. Coffee came in one size and one flavor: COFFEE.

There was loud laughter and menace and every raw emotion in between. The Concrete Jungle was not metaphor.

I noticed that many young Latino men had a large lump in their back pockets. Slightly smaller than a tennis ball it was a rather jarring element to their silhouette.

Imagine your favorite Animal Planet or The Discovery Channel narrator voice when you read this next paragraph.

In their back pockets they carry a fresh lime. When these virile young men are in bed with a woman they squirt lime juice on her genitals. If she recoils in any kind of pain they know she has open sores or an infection.

Remember: this was a decade before any public awareness of STD's and the birth of AIDS but I'm guessing this is VERY old knowledge.

My first reaction to this was----Damn. Fucking animals. My immediate second reaction was----Wait, these motherfuckers are smart...law of the jungle smart.

Oh...don't give me any shit about rubbers here. This was pre AIDS and I'm talking about consenting, extremely sensual adults that have an animalistic sexual attraction. The sensualist female knows her safe time of the month and the sensualist male no more wants to wear a rubber than Yo Yo Ma would wear mittens playing the cello.

Meanwhile, forty blocks downtown, some cracker with glasses and a briefcase is banging his secretary or picking up a hooker and then taking some serious jungle cooties back to his wife in Connecticut. Stupid civilized asshole is not going to make it in the jungle.

Let's see your iphones do that motherfuckers.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Things to do when you're bored.

Twice a month, write a letter to Steven Hawking asking him if he could please explain, in the simplest terms, G-string Theory.

On Fridays, ask your co-workers ---How was your weekend?

In a fancy car dealership, walk up to the hottest chick that works there.Then say----What do you charge for a Hummer?

Whenever a delivery guy knocks on your door, bark like a dog as loud as you can. Then scream-----SHUT THE FUCK UP. Finally, answer the door wearing a blood stained pair of sweatpants and a tool belt.

Walk into a toy store and ask loudly----Where are the Erection Sets? I need an ERECTION set. Get extremely impertinent and righteous at the ensuing confusion or embarrassment.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

52nd Street Theme or Bird's Dead

I played jazz saxophone professionally for 25 years. I love jazz but at this point in our culture it's the musical equivalent of being a Blacksmith. At best, people are curious about it in the way that you're sometimes curious about things that have absolutely nothing to do with your life.

---Yeah, that's cool, after let's go check out the smoke signal exhibit.

The Golden Age of Jazz for me was between 1945 and 1965. It was an underground art form at that time. I don't know what it is now.

I still play but ONLY if it's local to LA and the gig is something I'm going to thoroughly enjoy.
Here are the details of a job I recently took from an agent in NYC:
1)Three gigs (Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights)

2)All local to LA.
3)It is some kind of Dos Equiis sponsored event.
4)I play jazz behind the Burlesque Dancer Angie Pontani of the Pontani Sisters.

Here's the living nightmare that transpired unadorned. I should add that the money was very good but this did NOT factor into my decision to take the gig.

Thursday night.
THE BOILER ROOM. It's 70 miles away. I barely know how to get to another neighborhood from mine in LA proper let alone get on three highways and head into what people are telling me is the heart of Meth country.

The parking lot is gravel and pickup trucks. I can hear very loud heavy metal music. There are tattoos everywhere...even on some of the faces. Oh...I'm wearing black dress pants, a white shirt, shark-skin jacket and a pink tie. I'm feeling like Boy George at a Klu Klux Klan rally.

It gets worse.

I meet the contact who is a marketing guy for Dos Equiis. I quickly deduce that I'm shilling beer here. I'm a Jagermeister girl. I'm Spud Mckensie the Budweiser dog. I'm the "Jazz Guy" for Dos Equiis playing in front of a big logo while they drink two dollar beers and grab hand fulls of merchandising swag.

I'm standing with my horn, waiting to go on, in a hallway between the bathrooms and storage. A huge guy comes out of the can, looks me up and down and says---Do you play saxophone?

As I'm leaving the bartender says to me---You play better than Bill Clinton. Think about this. This is the only saxophone reference he could come up with.

It gets worse.

Friday night.
ELEMENT. It's in Hollywood, five minutes from my house. My mood is shattered by the loudest most evil Hip Hop music I've ever heard. I'm frisked with a metal detector and then have to take my horn out of the case for inspection. Every girl is a Paris Hilton clone right down to the dead reptile eyes.

At 10:30, Angie and I wait for the cue to go on at around 11:00. Peeking through the curtain I see smoke machines filling the stage and a laser show. The music they're playing is unbearable and so loud I can't think. How the fuck am I going to go out there in the deafening silence of that room and play (without a mic) something kinda "jazzy"?

12:00. We still haven't gone on.

12:30 the agent from NYC steps backstage. He's wearing a porkpie hat and two toned shoes. I'm just about to grab him by the shirt collar when I see a camera crew following him around. Apparently he is being filmed for a new reality TV show about an agent and his roster of wacky entertainer people (Broadway Danny Rose meets Survivor?) I manage to separate myself and him from the film crew to renegotiate my fee for this weekend nightmare. It wasn't hard. He knew he had fucked up bad.

1:00 and we still haven't gone on. It turns out the cops or the tobacco, alcohol and firearms whatever have shown up and are busting underage drinkers. The club owner is also getting fined. Said club owner apparently doesn't want to turn off the music for our little "act" for fear that everyone will think the club is closing on account of the legal disturbance. The show must NOT go on. So, dead man walking, I get a reprieve. We're still going to get paid but I'm dead inside anyway.

Saturday night.
VEGAS. That's the club name in Costa Mesa which is about 80 miles down the coast. It's a spring break crowd. Everybody looks like they're from Jersey but with a lot of plastic surgery. Yes, we go on. I get the fuck out of there and suffer a very lonely drive home.

That's show biz.

If you have a soul DO NOT DRINK DOS EQUIIS. Thank you, you've been a lovely audience.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

More Life

Things that make me uncomfortable or a little sad inside:

1) When someone initiates one of those five move hand shakes and I never know the choreography.

2) Walking into Barns and Noble I often mistakenly take the greeter person for a regular (non-greeter) person. As I come through the doors I hear a genuine hello. I turn and stop in front of them and say----Hi (Pause. Wait for my memory to pull up a name for this unknown face). This is when it hits me. The goodbye is so awkward at this point I'm sure Security is notified.

3) Having the EXACT same small talk conversation over and over and over with the waitress at the diner I frequent because there's no motivation to take it to the next level.

4) When Christian posts in his blog that he got into nine more film festivals, followed by a photograph of a rainbow.

5) People that do not make eye contact.

6) The ten billionth time my parents on the east coast say----You're still working? What time is it there? They then tell me the eastern standard time.

7) The piano playing of Bill Evans makes me sad inside but in the best and most beautiful way.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Holy Crap?

There's an elementary school one block away from me. On Sundays I take Hoagy over there to play in this huge grassy lawn near the parking lot. There are no other dogs around so I don't have to worry about Hoagy tearing Michael Eisner's poodle in half. (I see me and Hoagy homeless after the trial, begging on the street. Hoagy saying---What the fuck happened man? Where's my bed?)

I've noticed an intriguing pattern. Between 9:00-11:00, when we finally stumble over there, cars begin to fill up the parking lot and then people file into the school. A whole lot of people. Let me add, these are very attractive people. I'm talking fucking hot women. Hundreds of hot women in summer dresses and high heels, women in baby doll dresses and sandals. Women in tight jeans, tee-shirt and sneakers.

They even wave. At me. The nice guy playing with his sweet dog. I even wave back. Sometimes Hoagy runs over and they pet him. Good boy.

So why the hell are all these people piling into the school. A used furniture auction? Casting call? Singles Bingo?

Nope, it's REALTY L.A.

What the fuck is that? It's a non denominational way of worshipping Jesus Christ.

That's church (for those in the back row).

Sure, I know Church exists. Millions of people go to church. BUT there is something really odd about seeing them going in, up close, most of them carrying Bibles of some sort. ----Well, we all sit around and our leader tells us stories about magic stuff.

These are some sexy women though. They even had a live band once that wasn't terrible.

Then one Sunday...I smelled pancakes. Fucking pancakes, no shit.

You fuckers.

Church plus hot chicks plus pancakes equals moral crisis. I didn't know what to do. It wouldn't hurt if I just took a peak, stuck my head in for a minute, would it?

To be continued.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

LA via NYC missive #437

One of the first things I noticed about Los Angeles was the bums. They have an actual LA bum "look". I'll see a guy rummaging through a dumpster and I can tell, "That's a West Coast bum. That bum is West Coast".

In any other city in the world, the homeless eventually deteriorate to the same basic way of looking: colorless, nondescript clothing, a slightly large, bear like overcoat, dirty, matted overgrown beard and hair. In LA you see the remnants of real style pre-deterioration.

You'll see a dirty barefooted guy sitting on the ground begging and he's dressed like one of the Beatles (Ed Sullivan period). A guy will be sitting on a bench at the beach with that "stay away from me I'm a psycho" vibe. There's hardly a trace of humanity left in his poor soul yet he'll be in a rotted orange Zoot Suit with a moldy green carnation in the lapel. You see cowboy bums, hipster bums, Ray Charles, Phyllis Diller and Jimmy Hendrix bums.

All the road kill of a Mack truck called Hollywood.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The 411 on the 911

I'm standing there waiting to cross Hollywood Boulevard. Gardner Street leads up into the Hills where there's great hiking in Runyan Canyon. Even though it's a residential area cars are moving real fast. I position myself so that a telephone poll is between me and traffic as I wait for the light to turn. Bouncing off the hood of a Hummer like a rag doll is not how I want to make my Youtube debut. Not yet.

The universe bends to my twisted will as I hear the loud screeching of brakes. A black Beamer skidding sideways comes to a halt right in front of me up against the curb. A girl jumps out of the car running towards me screaming---Do you have a cell phone!!? I need to use your cell phone!! Please...!!

I see a blur of high heels, miniskirt and a tight T-shirt. She's real hot in the way that pop culture says is real hot. This means that if you're a genuine sensualist she's ice cold.

I stick to the script and deliver my line with a certain amount of genuine feeling.
--- Are you OK? What's the matter?

---Can I use your cell phone? Please. I lost my phone.

Sure---I say. What happened?

---I lost my cell phone. I need to call my cell phone. I think it's in my car somewhere.


OK. I hand her my phone. She dials and then hands it back to me flinging open the passenger door as she roots around under the seat. I'm now looking at, what is aesthetically, a very nice bare ass. I kid you not, I can see where the thong widens tight up against the contoured cleft that is her cunt. Yes, I believe that is the right word.

Breaking my spell she says---Oh thank God. Here it is. She holds up one of those Blackberry jobs so that I can also be relieved. ...'cause you know I really thought we were all going to die.

She then jumps back into her car and takes off.

All true. These are my questions:

1) Is that kind of phone fanaticism native to LA or do people get like that in other parts of the world?
2) How does cell phone dependency get so bad that it eclipses a woman's most primitive instinct to keep her coochie covered? I'm no prude but I do think it's weird when all modesty is lost, particularly if you're sober.
3) If that particular dread were removed from her brain, what would she replace it with?
4) Seeing that I have her phone number, what would be the most diabolical way to use it?

Thank you, you've been a lovely audience. Drive safe.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Le Cinema Part1

Just a few random thoughts on my obsession with movies and the movie industry.

Statistically, in 1958, Hollywood turned out 2,000 films which listed in their credits 230 producers, while in 2003 Hollywood produced 240 films with 1,200 producers listed.

Writers want to say what's never been said. Executives want what they've already heard. The majority of produced screenplays are the genetically impaired results of crossbreeding of those two species.

All movie trailers are lies. The motivation to hook you and get you to see the movie is much more important than telling you what the movie is about. The more quirky or character driven the movie is, the bigger the lie. In this case the marketing department has to extract the lowest common denominator and mould it into mouth watering chocolate no matter what the ingredients of the movie are.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Fear On Board

I take Hoagy for a two mile walk every morning. Hoagy is seventy five pounds of half Pitbull and half Black Lab. I am not being sexual when I say he is a four-legged love pump. I'm his alpha male pack leader and he is exactly like me .

Let me count the ways:
1)He's one sexy beast.
2)He's a hothead.
3)His tough guy exterior is only designed to protect his very soft, vulnerable interior.
4)He's a good listener.
5)People are drawn to his awesomeness.

One day, the Zen of walking Hoagy was completely shattered.

Understand, I thoroughly enjoy these walks. They are as good for me as they are for him. It's not just the obvious exercise. While he is checking every tree trunk for Pee-mail, I can clearly think through things that I am working on. It's nice to ponder how I live in a place that has palm trees and perfect weather. The walks also give me a break from the porn box, I mean, computer.

My neighborhood is populated with many elderly Russians. They often take walks. The antagonist in this story is an elderly Russian man in a powder blue track suit. He is also characterized as having a very odd walk. I'd guess it's some kind of spinal difficulty or maybe the result of a stroke.

Anyway, Hoagy and I are motoring along in our parallel playtime. Russian dude is on us before I can get Hoagy pulled in close to my side. Hoagy wastes no time in telling me (loudly) that this guy with the fucked up walk is bad news.

Russian old man looks at me and says----WACH YUR DUG.

---It's cool man...I'm watching him . Thanks. Sorry about that. We're rattled but we carry on.

The next day the same thing happens. This lopsided Russian old man is leaning into us with a rolled up piece of paper and he's yelling----WACH YUR DUG. Let me add that he is wearing black wrap around sunglasses. I really hate interacting with anybody when I can't see their eyes.

DUDE, I'M WATCHING HIM. Just back the fuck up and give us a little room here. Hoagy is at Defcon 4. ---Sir! A commercial airliner just penetrated the Empire State Building!

WACH YUR DUG. He's still waiving around a rolled up piece of paper in his hand which is only fanning the flames.

LOOK. Just back up a bit...HOAGY! STOP IT. Good boy.

WACH YUR DUG. I'm watching him! Relax man. Jesus Christ.

Fucking nut job. I can hear him muttering---wach yur dug--- as we get the hell out of there.

The next few days are a complete drag. I'm on the lookout for this guy constantly. When I see him, I'm crossing traffic to avoid another scene. Hoagy is all keyed up, feeling my tension and I can tell he's a shotgun with a loose trigger.

We don't see him for a few days so I'm totally caught off guard when he steps out from between a doorway right into our path.

WACH YUR DUG he says as he hands me the rolled up piece of paper that he's been carrying. Then he's gone.

WTF? Hoagy is seated, surprisingly calm waiting for me to continue. I'm also calm. Hmmm. I carefully unroll what appears to be a glossy brochure. Along the top it says----Clean pets are lovable pets. There are a few photos of different size bath tubs and then across the middle in large bold type it says---WASH YOUR DOG.

Holy shit.

The call was coming from inside he house.

There it is. This is how terrible shit happens.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Tongue Fu

When I was eight years old my father took me to a neighborhood carnival. I immediately fixated on one of those huge inflatable structures that are filled with rubber balls and kids bouncing around like they're walking on the moon. To my amazement, even then, my father reluctantly parted with a hard earned quarter and I was on my way to living a dream. This is my first recollection of REALLY wanting something.

Pre-puberty excitement doesn't get any better than this as I crept on all fours up the inflatable ladder. I fought a strong gust of warm air as I parted the flapping tent-like doors and entered. There were kids everywhere screaming and laughing as they leaped high into the air.

I steadied myself and jumped up propelled by the endlessly bouncing surface. There was truly a feeling of weightlessness. I came down in slow motion and my knee connected with my chin which caused me to bite through my tongue. The whole room disappeared in a blinding white flash of excruciating pain as I slumped down into a crevice right near the entrance. Through a blurred haze of twisted carnival music I was vaguely aware of happy children stepping over me.

There's no moral here people. All my life I've continued to fixate immediately on things that were interesting to me, ie: playing jazz, animation, good literature, vaginas etc. I've caused myself to bleed many times along the way. Making dreams real can be very painful sometimes. I started this blog because as of last week I bit off what was left of my tongue and happy people don't have the time to try and understand me. What's up with happy people? I'll tell you what's up with happy people...they're not living their dreams.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Pay Attention or Pay

God is a fucking hothead. He doesn't like it when you don't pay attention. The less you pay attention, the harder the slap. I got whacked real hard in the middle of the night, in the deepest part of my baby brain sleep, when a firetruck screamed the news that I had just moved into an apartment across the street from a fire station. Whoops. Yeah. This motherfucker took ten years off my life as every circuit in my brain was blown. I was more than a bit proud of my elderly constitution that I didn't chocolate fondue in my boxers.

You see, I wasn't paying attention. I should have extrapolated the nagging question: Why are there always Dalmatians crapping on the front lawn? Forgive the Disney gag. Some types of work don't wash off.

The piercing sirens were a bit less menacing with the windows shut. I figured one of those white-noise-machines would smooth it nicely. A little aural Fabreeze if you will.

Does anybody know what a white-noise machine is? Haven't you ever done marital counseling or been in therapy? Oops. T.M.I. If you DO know what one is, just try to buy one.

I head over to Target because they have everything made in the western world under one roof. Everything but a white noise machine. Sure, they have those sleep aids that play waterfall or beach or farm sounds. Fuck that noise. I'll score the soundtrack to my dreams myself, thank you. I just want that "shhhhhhhh" sound to cushion the Four Firetrucks of the Apocalypse. Nobody there knows what a white-noise machine is either. They're not selling my brand of capitalism. On to Best Buy.

I fucking hate Best Buy. I'm not sure exactly why. Maybe it's rubbing my nose in the fact that technology is evolving faster than my ability to learn. Maybe it's all those corporate logos trying to tell me how to fill my free time with their definition of happiness.

I head straight for the information counter. I don't want to fuck around here. Jump cut to me standing in front of the biggest, blackest, baddest looking dude I've ever seen. I like jazz music. WTF? I feel that weird twinge of the liberal white man that says--you're not a racist. I'm not? Then why can't I ask if he can tell me where the white-noise-machine's are?

Now this was the week that the Michael Richards video came out. I watched that numerous times with my jaw on the floor. I was in a very hyper-sensitive state which can be just as bad as dead inside. I imagine my request coming off like--yeah...I need a white noise machine. READ: You know, to block out all the black noise, Holmes.

So what do I do? Do I ask where the Malcolm X box sets are? I played it straight and went for it. A what!?---he said. A white-noise-machine---I explained holding eye contact. No, sorry we don't carry that. Alright then. Thanks.

I found one online. By the time it came, I was accustomed to the firetruck noise. You can get used to anything.