Friday, April 30, 2004


And finally, the gaping tassled mouth of the alien papier-mâché lovemonster:

I Might Have to Read It

No longer hanging over the cliff: I did get into UCDC. And Dr. Loftus doesn't apparently think I'm crazy.
Thanks for the heads up, I'd never heard of the book. Orrrr... I found an excerpt. I don't know, it sounds more like stream of consciousness than magical realism and it seems like a pretty self-indulgent text. But I might have to read it.


Alphabet Holocaust tells me the predicted temperature for Indio on Sunday is 106 degrees. Asks Jessica, "What are we going to do?" That's easy. We're going to die.

I burned the soup. Alphabet holocaust — made with beefstock.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

The David Lynch Hue

Just before six a.m., the sky turns an electric blue. I couldn't tell if I had already fallen asleep.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Get Behind Me, Whatever You Are!

"I think I'm crazy to an extent. Drive-bys and stakeouts are fun."

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Death Rides a Pale Giraffe

A Glorious Moment for Garbage

creative writing assignment no. 2: textual document of a physical environment.
part one: the sun.

Hot sun on pavement, hot pavement on skin. It smells like skin cancer, but fuck it — I’m only twenty-one.

"This is my favorite spot on campus."

Concentric semicircles of concrete; a geometric sanctuary of green and gray; the most classical spot on a campus that’s younger than my parents; an annex for the studious framed by mismatched international shrubbery — ivy, bamboo, palms and a fruitless olive tree perfectly iconic of the spot’s faux classicality.

"I think so too," not meaning that I agree that she likes this spot but that I also like this spot. Of course.

Motionless at ground level. It bends delicately in the wind blowing above the rooftops, but I can’t feel that on the hot cement. The tree UN bobs their heads. Behind me, the whirring mechanical engine of an air conditioner. Someone dares to regulate temperature on a day to pleasantly perfect to justify temperature regulation. Cell phone conversations, coughing, sneezing, a general escape of air from the faces of people passing by. And — though my office sits directly beneath Storke Tower, I hear the bells for the first time today.

L - E - T
T - H - E - R - E
B - E
L - I - G - H - T

[[[ ten-to-four ]]]

Resonant and proud — fifteen notes in heavy iron.

A flake of silver glints sunlight. A holy gumwrapper, reflecting light directly into my eyes. A glorious moment for garbage.

When I get overwhelmed by the stress of matching a specific sensation with the pinpoint perfect word for it, I shut my eyes. No stimulus, only scanning for the right response, the marriage of what I saw and how I saw it But the perfect hot semicircles, the mismatched trees framed by sunlight flash for one second more again, in negative form, on the insides of my sun-warmed eyelids.

part two: the shade.

Melanoma free, but bullied by the now-louder roar of the intrusive air conditioner. Plus piano —playing something I never would have gotten good enough to play. Some winding, aimless, disjointed melody.

A trumpet, clearly drunk, scales up and down —

C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C - B - A - G - F - E - D - C

— but always back to Middle C. Fifteen notes in shiny brass.

A crow caw. A flutter of feathers. The dry sound of paper creeping down the sidewalk on its belly. More metal bells. [[[ four-o’-clock ]]] And then again, another trumpet, dueling, trying to lap the other in its 15-part circular racetrack: eight steps up, then down again. Dueling repetition.

Scrape of a branch against a rough cement sidewall. Caw caw. Trumpet squeak. A disjointed cacophony, a motley symphony of mismatched instruments, an instrumental of poesia futurisma. Zang-tum-tum. Whir-caw-squeak.

I’m more aware now of the sharp angle of the concrete step in my back. Shadows lengthen. The once-shaky trumpet, the winner of the trump-off, apparently, clears its throat and launches into a solo — brass minor, not cheerful at all. A requiem for the end of the afternoon.

(creative writing assigment no. 1 forthcoming)

Monday, April 26, 2004

Send It by Giraffe or Jungle Telegraph

On the Reading Habits of Our Local Homeless

I think I have a decent chance of getting into UCDC, because the guy that interviewed me today told me that I should apply to The Washington Post and National Geographic and that Washington D.C. would have a lot of opportunities for me. From that, I'd judge that I did at least well enough to not get disqualified outright because it would be way fucked up to tell me about all the opportunities the program had when he knew he wasn't going to admit me. That, or the guy's a sadistic jerk.

Also, I mailed this letter to an past teacher today:
Dr. Loftus,

Two things. First, I wanted to apologize for saying hi to you in the grocery store a few weeks back. I know you hate that.

Secondly and more importantly, I was walking down State Street and I saw a bum sitting on the bench outside the art museum. He was asleep, but he had a pile of books next to him. The top book looked way newer than the others and had the title "The Passion of Brian Loftus" — you know, like "The Passion of the Christ," only with your name in place of Jesus'. I thought this was very odd. All Amazon will tell me is that it's magic realism. In any case, I was wondering if you've ever heard of the book. I know this is totally out of nowhere, but it struck me as a meaningful coincidence and I thought I'd ask you about it.


Will I get into UCDC? Will Dr. Loftus think I'm crazy? Does the bum have a book with my name on it?

The Stats

  • Toni Morrison-Luis Valdez paper: done
  • Total words: 1,504
  • Total characters (counting spaces): 9,265
  • Number of times word "zoot" used: 10
  • Total letters in my professor's full name: 6
  • Last name only: 2
  • Number of times the word "clearly" is used: 3
  • "However": 4
  • "Thus": 2
  • "Chola": 1
  • Expected grade: B/B+

Saturday, April 24, 2004


Not yet ten and I've got an intro. Take that, English.
The plots Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon and Luis Valdez’s Zoot Suit both hinge around a young man’s embattled transformation into an adult. The heroes, Milkman Dead and Henry Reyna, initially are unable to cope with the drastic situations their stories entail. However, enduring hardship helps both to mature and in the end Milkman and Henry become men — rational, reasonable, responsible adults whose actions meet the expectations of their respective peers. An integral aspect of this manhood is the achievement of a new national identity that melds past with present, their predecessors with themselves. By underscoring the importance of such an identity, Morrison and Valdez imply that one is essential to true adulthood.

The What-Is-It

Luis Valdez

The guy just can't hold my attention, especially when my backyard is becoming Louisiana.

What Utsumi Said and What She Really Meant

"I know all about you. Know what that means?"

I shouldn't think about things this late at night. Of course, I'm still not particularly tired, even after Luis Valdez. But I don't think it's being tired that makes late-night thinking a bad thing. I think it's actually everyone else being asleep. For me, at least, having other people around me prompts me to keep my mind from running away from me. The later it gets, the more likely my mind is to get ballsy.

I left Jessica's at about two thirty last night. We watched "Battle Royale," and we didn't even start it until midnight. I bought wine. I feel like she got the movie in a way nobody else would.

I don't like sitting on my wallet much, so I took it out and put it on the piano in her room. My phone, too. And I put my skateboard on the floor. When I left, I noticed that my wallet and my phone smelled like Jessica.

She's worn the same perfume since I've known her. I don't know what it's called, but she tells me it's a chocolate-based scent. I hate chocolate. I like her perfume. It's a heavy scent, one that tends to glom onto anything near it. If she's used a computer in the office recently, I can tell. And there was that one time I knew she had been in my house, just because some ghost of hers was lingering in the kitchen.

I think last night I was jealous of my wallet and my phone.

Sometimes, I wish Jessica had some big question she had to ask me. Something important, the kind of question you have to ask permission about before you ask it. And she'd ask and I'd tell her that I would on one condition: that I get to ask one of her and she'd have to answer.

And she'd ask me.

And I'd answer.

And then I'd ask my question.

I'd ask her, "Why not?"

George and the Star

ha. and i found it, just in one hour.

apparently, it's not gerry potterton, but gerald. and he did direct an animated short film about a man named george who decides to get a real star for the top of his christmas tree. and so he goes to look for one and has adventures.

that's all i found. but that's enough.

weirdly, gerald potterton also directed this animated movie called "heavy metal," which i also saw when i was a kid, but probably shouldn't have because it was adult animation with — if i remember correctly — boobs and blood. "heavy metal" is way more famous and its cover has this woman warrior riding a pterodactyl.

but "george and the star" is real, even if imdb doesn't know. i think i need to call my mom and brother tomorrow.

there may not be much about "george and the star" online, but at least now there's one more thing: this.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Alone in an Unlocked House

and while home, sick and studying on a friday night, i somehow remembered this old cartoon that i hadn't thought of in years. i only have the faintest images of it in my head, like parts of a dream or something, but i know it's real — i just can't reach far back enough to fully remember.

i think it was called something like "georgie and the star" or maybe just "george and the star," and it was about this guy named george who had to get a star for some reason. and there was a woman there, too, and maybe a robot or some kind of animal. and he does he the star in the end, and everyone is happy. and there might have been singing. it seems like there would have been, really.

and that's all i have. imdb is no help, for the first time ever. and google seems to think there was a short film called "george and the star" that was animated, but none of the links take me anywhere useful. i've turned up this name gerry potterton, which sounds british but imdb also doesn't recognize it.

this happened once before, in high school, when i suddenly remembered this weird movie called "unico," which actually turned out to be my first experience with japanese animation. that turned out to be real, that weird movie about a floating wizard head in a flashing pyramid who turned people into these weird mummy dolls.

but i swear, i saw this movie, this "george and the star." i swear it's real. i swear i saw it on the disney channel when i was really young. it meant a lot to me. i wish i could find it. i swear, it would make me feel better to know i'm not fooling myself. i just find it hard to believe that not a single place on the whole internet can help.

i just need something. and then maybe i can remember.

E con Janet Leigh Nella Parta di Marion Crane

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Love You on a Tuesday

"I know all about you. You know what that means?"

Monday, April 19, 2004

Red Letters

Song of Solomon is good, but not good enough to distract me from something that's been bothering me about the names of the characters in "Kill Bill." I think Tarantino has a letter fixation. Case in point: Elle Driver, whose first name is L. And O-ren Ishii, whose name begins with the O being set off. Then there's the Bride's real name (and please stop reading if you haven't seen Volume 2 yet, in which case you should stop what you're doing, pull up your pants and get to a theater). Her name is Beatrix, and Elle even makes it a point of calling her "Bea" or possibly "B," depending on how the chintastic director wrote it. Vernita doesn't have a special letter, but her fake name that she uses to get married is "Jeannie," which works for G. Beatrix's fake name that she nearly gets married with is Arlene Machiavelli, which works for R. Beatrix and Bill's brat is named B.B. And two characters Tarantino cut out — casino owner L.F. O'Boyle and Yuki Yubari, Gogo's little sister — also have the whole letter thing going on. Double initial man Hanzo Hattori doesn't count, because Tarantino borrowed his character, name and all, but Tarantino's done the double initial think before, with Vic Vega and Vincent Vega and Mickey and Mallory and Mia and Marcellus Wallace. And then he actually paid enough attention to give brothers Bill and Budd the same letter pattern (B-vowel-double end consonant). And most conspicuously, Tarantino credits the genesis of this whole thing to himself and Uma with this note: "Based on a character by Q & U."

And tangentially, learning Beatrix Kiddo's real name puts a weird spin on the line that O-Ren and Beatrix share, "Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids."

The Air Near My Fingers

Sunday, April 18, 2004

She's Not There

"Well let me tell you about the way she looked, the way she'd act and the colour of her hair"

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Samurai TV

"I just didn't want to be a loser anymore."

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Ghost Mountain

Never say yes.
Me: Hey, you wanna know the grossest thing?

Tristan: Yeah, sure.

Me: I've got a ______ in my ______.

Tristan: That's disgusting.

Me: I told you it was gross.

Tristan: I shouldn't have said yes.

Me: Yeah, it's seriously the grossest thing ever.

Tristan: And technically, it's not really in your ______.

Me: Well, it kind of is.

Tristan: Yeah, i guess maybe it is.

Me: It's like a little Easter egg, nestled in some tall grass.

Tristan: Stop.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Cat With Hands

So, do you want to see something really scary?
[ link: "Cat With Hands" ]
Patrick told me about it on the drive to Hollister. Freaky-deaky. How I saw the story in my head alone was scary enough. Then I dreamed about it. And now that little two-minute movie. Scary stuff, that cat with hands. A horrifying thing.

And don't do it the chicken shit way. Watch it late at night, like I just did.

Thursday, April 08, 2004


I guess this solidifies my status as a dork, as if there were ever any question. I have successfully reviewed a movie for Ain't It Cool News. Since I got a jump on seeing both volumes of the "Kill Bill" saga, I figured I had a good enough reason to write in, and wouldn't you know it? Big fat ol' Harry Knowles printed it. Total dork credibility found here, third review down, credited to "The Space Pope."

My words of leech into the brains of more people every day.

And the best news of all? L-lives.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

I Don't See What Anybody Could See in Anyone Else

My nostrils never look bigger than immediately after I've used a nosehair trimmer.

Monday, April 05, 2004


Early morning channel-surfing glanced the MTV2 special about Kurt Cobain. Ten years ago today, he died of a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. Ten years ago, today, I didn’t know who Kurt Cobain was, really. I was in the sixth grade. I was all about the Secret of Mana and hadn’t yet discovered music.

The reverberations of that shotgun blast are better discussed by people more qualified than I am. They work for music magazines. I might too, someday.

What’s on my mind instead is loss and ends. I hate that anything ends. Humans naturally do, I’d wager, and not just because it reminds us that we one day will end. Rather, I think we hate endings because we are inert beings who dread the notion of ever becoming uncomfortable. The second we get comfy, things change and then we must change and that blows.

Last night, I saw the last episode of “Home Movies.” I didn’t realized it at the time, but I think Hasan pointed out that the episode totally seemed like series finale material. He was right. Cartoon Network quietly ended what I thought was one of the best television shows I’d ever seen. For three years now, that show has been something that made me comfortable — something I watched every Sunday night because it was funny. But beyond funny, there was something deep to that show, something way human. Something not even “Futurama” ever got to, and that show actually made me feel like crying once —and not because Fry’s dog died, but because Leela’s parents were willing to let her kill them rather than have her find out she was a mutant. And that's why the part at the end when Brendan's camera gets smashed by a car has stuck with me all day. In a lame sort of way, it's like seeing Maddie Ferguson get murdered all over again.

In a way, I’m angry that I feel bad about a stupid little drawing — not even a good drawing, really. But I shouldn’t be surprised. I have a history of getting emotionally attached to characters on TV shows or in movies or books that I have no control over and whom I know will one day stop being characters. It happened with Absalom, Absalom!. It happened with Kavalier and Clay just now over Christmas break. It happened with “Twin Peaks” all sophomore year. It happened to “Scream” way back in high school. And the first time I can remember this happening was with Batman comics when I was really little.

And those are just fake characters.

How I’m going to deal with the loss of certain real people, individuals who make me happier than Brendan and Melissa and Walter and Perry ever could I just don’t know.

Today I bought tickets to the “Kill Bill” double feature in Campbell Hall on Wednesday night. Since October, I’ve been creaming my jeans waiting to find out what’s up with the Bride and her missing daughter. The characters in that movie set my mind on fire, but suddenly I feel like I don’t want to see the second — and final — volume. I’m feeling a bit worn out, and I don’t want something else to end.

Ten years later, by the way, I’m still all about the Secret of Mana.

How Would I Know It's You?

And then she said it. She said "yeap."

Sunday, April 04, 2004

The New Maya Rudolph

It's an hour later than it should be. The last thing I need is a 23-hour day, what with all the work I've got to do. Nonetheless, I'm here now, and I can't stop thinking about anteaters.

Anteaters are the coolest fucking animals ever.

Since we talked about them in the editing class on Thursday, I can't get them out of my head. I think I maybe forgot they were an actual species. Things I've learned about them so far:

Not to be confused with aardvarks, which live in Africa and whose name means "dirt pig" in Afrikaans, anteaters are native to Mexico and South America. They eat ants. The have a prehensile tail that they can use to navigate through tree branches. And the largest species, the Giant Anteater, can be eight feet long. They also have long, smooth fur, like those prissy dogs that rich people always walk on State Street. No, not poodles — the other kind.

The girl in class said they've got one at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Technically, she called it an aardvark, but I think she was mistaken. In any case, that anteater is my new mission.

Anteaters are the new Maya Rudolph.