Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mr. Sanders Falls Down

Mr. Sanders fell down today. I heard it.

Mr. Sanders is the 90 year old father of an old friend of mine, Suzanne Corners. He is the original owner of a huge 78 year old house on the corner of Champion Way and Mongolia Ave. and he lives there with his wife, Mrs. Sanders. The house is surrounded by large organ pipe cactus as well as yucca and other succulents and is guarded by a small yappy dog named Moloch. I was at Susan's wedding some 30 years ago when she was married in the house.

I was on my evening walk thru the Woody Streets this evening when I heard one of those "I've fallen and I can't get up" noises. I looked over and saw Mr. Sander's laying on his walkway with Mrs. Sanders trying to help him up.

I went over to help. I told them who I was and Mrs. Sanders remembered me.

Mr. Sanders was bleeding a bit from the elbow and trying mightily to get up, but gravity had the best of him.

But, for a 90 year old, Mr. Sanders knew what he needed to do. He maneuvered his way to all fours and with a little help from his friends (Mrs. Sanders and Moi with hands in pits), he rose like a firkin' Phoenix, grabbed the danged walker and high-tailed it into the house. He was bounding.

Then he came back out and told me to turn off the water!

Man oh man, I hope I'm that strong when I'm 90. Hell! I hope I'm that strong when I'm 57!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Charles Bukowski

I'm reading a bio on Charles Bukowski. Not too bad either. Gives a lot of info on Hank's "Process," which usually included a pint of whiskey and two six packs.

Also decribes the timeline of his ascent and lotsa stuff about girls and fights. My kinda book.

But the real thing was better.

Bukowski came to Rio Nada City College when I was a wee college student and poet (So I thought. HaHa). A whole bunch of us thought we were poets. Some of us actually went on to be very successful writers. Not moi.

There was a Prof. at RNCC that really had us youngins writing like crazy. A wonderful experience. His name was Dan Chortle.

As I said, Bukowski came to read. 200 or so showed to watch. He came on with a thermos of screwdriver and a half dozen of Heinekins. He read. We laughed.

At one point he said "Are there any questions?"

Art Droll said "Why did you write that poem?"

Hank replied "Why did you shit this morning?"

Art said "How did you know that?"

Hank replied "I know these things!"

Much laughter and cheering.

When he ran out of beer, he begged us to give him a beer, rather pathetically.

We had none.

Afterwards, there was the after show party at Miguel Clerk's house, where it is said Hank became an obnoxious buffoon and broke things and probably showed his ass a few times.

A few years later, I called him on the phone (His number was listed). We talked for about 15 minutes. Pleasant, accessible guy he was. I hung up and wrote a poem. Probably called "The Night I Called Bukowski". Since lost and rightly so>

When I heard Bukowski had died, I felt empty for a bit and then remembered all the crazy lunatics I hung out with in those crazy writing days: Lackey, Susie Rhinegold, Art Droll, Ray Fitzhew, Justice Price, Cath Christian, Joe Bob Jones, Dan Chortle, Uncle Lee, and Crazy Henry, who once Xeroxed his willy and handed out copies to us all and said it was his latest poem.

It was scribble and read, scribble and read all the way back then.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Leems Is Properly Rude

Leems and his circle of friends have been doing what some would call "vandalism". In the style of British guerrilla artist Banksy, they have been wheat pasting different images on utility polls and walls around Rio Nada, usually in the wee morning hours. Their best effort so far was a 9 foot angel that they pasted on a wall where a 16 year old at their school had crashed his motorcycle into the gym wall and was killed. The angel was stunning and poignant.

Other figures, equally as wonderful, have been a 7 foot Indian warrior and a life size Ahnold in his muscley days with a pair of lip marks on his shoulder. They also hung hundreds of paper airplanes in trees in a park with notes that said "These airplanes are for fun and please clean up your mess."

Leems has this theory that if you look like you should be there, you could paste in broad daylight without being hassled.

So today he and a friend tested the theory out on a signal "cupboard"in the center divider of one of the busiest intersections in town.

No sooner had they pasted the poster than a man started yelling at them to "Keep the city beautiful!" After taking a canvas bag away from them (Illegal:theft), the Yeller called the police, who showed up right away.

The female officer said " Why did you do it?"

Leems said "Because it looks good."

"Give her an educated answer!" yelled the Yeller.

And Leems said "Because it is aesthetically pleasing!" with a slight nod of the stinkeye to the Yeller.

Leems and friend offered to wash it off and did so.

All this beneath the shadow of two billboards with flashing lights, a 76 Union Gas sign that spins, some Orange County landscaping, a burnt umber with neon restaurant and some unimaginative and hideous corporate architecture.

Reminds me of that great Frank Zappa quote: "Americans wouldn't know beauty if it came up and bit them on the ass!"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Leemy Near Pioneertown and Maynard G. Krebbs

Leemy drove out to Pioneertown way early this morning to work production on a real live production involving filming backgrounds for a dinosaur thing on the Discovery Channel (so I hear). He was out in the middle of the desert all day long carrying stuff and making hisself known to the peeps that matter. He says that he is going to get some recomendations outa this. He got paid too! There's no biz like show biz.

Speaking of getting paid. It seems that in order to continue to get paid for the job I do, I have to go back to work tomorrow. This after 10 weeks of leisure. But I am convinced that I am not supposed to work for anyone. I am designed to layabout and write songs or be witty or sit in the evening balm and drink chocolate beer. I'm not kiddin'!

The pirates life for me ...or something!

God Bless Maynard G. Krebbs!

This dog and pony tap dance that I must return to sickens me.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bye Bye World Tour and LAX Round Midnight

The Canaries World Tour ended with a whimper at Maui Wowie last night. Lotsa family and friends showed, most with some manner of glittery henna tattooing on their bods.

We played a coupla sets. Liam showed and sang "I Shall Be Released" beautifully. Princess sang "I Will" as well and did a superb job in spite of the fact that I forgot to tune down for her, causing the song to be a wee bit high in key. She's trooper and was still all shiny and smiley.

I never want to sing Jamaica Farewell again. That song has outlived it's usefulness. I'm starting to feel like part of a lounge act. Cack!

Afterwards, Bro A. and myself had the distinked pleasure of driving 70 miles into LAX to pick up the niece at 11:38 on Air Trans Airlines. If you like LAX during the day, you will get all shivery with excitement being there at night. Beautiful lighting that shimmers on the grime.

Flying into LAX was cheaper. Unless you have to spend forty dollars on gas. Watta looonnnggg night.

There was this guy driving around thru the parking structure picking up baggage carts on this little vehicle that had a long string of said carts trailing behind like a silvery anaconda. It was neato. I want that job. For a few hours.

Bro A. and Em both had their buttocks suddenly transferred 6 inches to the left without notice when the luggage carousel they were sitting on began to move. Only the buttocks moved. Not the owners. Making a very strange buttocks transferrence sound. Nearly a tragic buttocks occurrence. The buttock jaws of life may have been needed. Specially trained buttocks incident EMTs might have been needed. A buttocks is a terrible thing to waste.

"We may have to amputate!"


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Attack of the Hula Women

The Hula Women took over last night at the Canaries World Tour opening at Maui Wowie. We had two sets lined up. Then the Hula Women attacked. Stuck there Hula set smack in the middle of our version of In A Gadda Da Vida, just before the drum solo. Sort of a good thing though, as we have no drums.

But a bit cheeky, as we were there first. But we agreed. Told them they could have a half hour. You know, the Hawaii spirit had entered our very being.

But their set ran at least an hour. And the Hawaii spirit left the building at the twenty minute mark.

The irony was, the Hula Women repeatedly made this Hula gesture to their wrists that meant "time". I don't think the Original Hula Girls had wrist watches.

And, I always thought that Hula Girls were scantily clad.

So you might say I had a few authenticity issues.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Canaries World Tour

The Canaries kicked off their World Tour tonight at a place called Maui Wowie in Southern Rio Nada.

It's amazing what a combo is capable of when it doesn't rehearse.

Tomorrow night the Canaries end their World Tour at a place called Maui Wowie in Southern Rio Nada.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

San Onofre Deux

I went on another adventure today. Same choices. I went to San O. Trail 6 again. Last time it was a calming experience. This time it was relaxing as hell but weird and goofy too.

The State Park borders on Camp Pendleton, which is a huge facility that has war game things going on on both sides of the 5 Freeway nearly all the time. Tanks and other military vehicles are roaring around, usually East of the beach, whilst helicopters swoop low over the Western side, the beach side. I mentioned before that the beach is nearly all smooth stones except where the amphibious vehicles have made shore. At the far South end of the beach, spilling over into actual Camp Pendleton, many folks enjoy the beach sans clothing. So just to make things interesting, today 4 troop carriers drove North on the beach thru the waves nearly the length of the Park, which is more than 5 miles. The Southerners must have felt a little intruded upon. The constant thudding sound from the bombs on the other side of the 5 added to the weirdness.

And there was this Chinese guy that spoke absolutely no English wandering around taking pictures of the troop carriers as they drove by. This is an actual Chinese guy. Not a national threat kinda guy. But a jittery Chinese kinda guy. Nice enough, but a little jumpy. Wouldn't he be having more fun at the Olympics?

A soothing day in spite of the War going on around me. But I nearly finished the Beatles book. Next time, maybe.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

San Onofre

Went on an adventure today. I decided to go to either the Wild Animal Park, Idylwild, the Beach or the Desert. I ended up at San Onofre. Not bad. Only cost ten bucks for a day pass.

I drove down to trail 6 and hiked down this somewhat steep trail to be beach. Cool bluffs all eroded and craggly and lotsa human made rock sculptures. The whole beach was smooth stones.

Except where the amphibious water vehicles had landed. They scraped the rocks clean. The part of the beach I went to is on Camp Pendleton property. Many giant helicopters flying around. Really loud.

The nuclear reactor is just North of where I was. Spooky yet cool looking.

I sat on a hillock and read a Beatles book written by their engineer. I was the pastiest and oldest human there, easily. I was not the most corpulent.

A very relaxing day.

By the by: Vivage's blog says that I brought her a giftie of flowers and dark chocolates. What she neglected to say that when I gave her the gifties, I was in the nude.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dr. Lan's House and the Smilin' Ayalas

Went to Lan's House the other evening. Lan turned older so we had to celebrate while we had the chance.

Lan is a Doctor of Native American History. He used to go to local sweat lodges with the Natives and the Sioux would show up at his house now and again when they were in town. It's a Native thing to share, so they did. Admirable. What a concept, taking care of each other.

Kev was there. he's been a friend of mine since 5th grade. The year of the Cuban Missle Crisis. We had a redhead teacher who had a thick Southern accent. We thought it was cool because the only South we know is South California.

We told bunches of funny stories about the good ol' days. One of my favs was about our high school English teacher's Great Dane named Hamlet. Kev remembered a time when Hamlet tried to begin an historic interspecies breeding program with our friend Henry's right leg. Ah, love.

I met Hamlet in Boulder, Colorado when I went to visit Ms. Cloy at her mansion in the hills. The danged dog had his own fully furnished bedroom and a double bed to boot. He'd ramble in there every afternoon about 2:30 to take his nap. Every time he walked he would inadvertently fling gobs of dog goo from his slobbery mouth. One needed a raincoat when in his presence. Or in Henry's case, some protection.

The Swing was also a subject of fond conversation. What we could remember.

The Swing was where the Rolling Stones had their first North American Concert. Everybody played there, from Elvis to Zappa and from the Ramones to Jimi. They even had Roller Derby there.

One sad day a guy who owned a bunch of Mexican restaurants crashed his airplane into it. I have two pieces of it in my front yard. And memories in my head. What I can remember.

I lost my cell phone the other day. The one that says "It's simple...Kill the Batman!" in Keith Ledger's voice.

We were all calamitous about it being lost.

Then a lady who spoke muy poquito Ingles called my wife's phone. My wife speaks muy poquito Espanol. It was sorta funny listening to them try and communicate.

We figured out that they were at Home Depot (where I had just been) and we rushed over there and found them in the parking lot. They were the nicest people. We were all laughing and talking different languages to each other. We offered them a reward but they refused it. I wanted to take them home and have a barbecue or something. I felt sorta sad that we couldn't know them better. The Ayalas. They are people that you meet once but remember for a long time.

While they had the phone, they must have heard "It's simple... kill the Batman!" thirty times because we kept calling and calling. They must have thought we were nutty.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

It's All Down Hill

Leems and his friend Steverino took a couple of ten speeds and pedaled down to the Beach known as Newport today. Probably some 60 miles or so as the crow doesn't fly. They left Rio Nada about 10 AM and headed down some surface streets thru Homely Garden and Circle City to Circus Club Drive where they crossed the Mighty Rio Nada and rolled into (How do you shoot this gun...) Chino (Where the most recent earthquake was.) and followed the bike path along the aforementioned Mighty Rio Nada thru OC to Surf City and then South to their destination (Man, that's a fatty sentence!). Got there about 5 PM. A bunch of friends are in a house down at Newport where the boys will spend the night. Although Steverino wants to leave at midnight and retrace their route back home.

Leems said he ate a peanut butter sandwich under a bridge in shadow of the Big A.

Manana they may head South to San Clemente to the annual street festival where their favorite band Delta Spirit is playing for free.

They may pick up the MetroStink Train in S.C. if they'll let them board with their bikes.

Leemy's Big Adventure. And Steverino, too.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Art! Art! Everywhere!

We went to the monthly Walk of Art downtown last night. Every month the Downtown Art Community opens up its gallery doors to the public and allows us to wander about like cultured cows in a 5 square block pasture of arty fulfillment. Talk about Global Warming! Mooo!!

There's about 15 of them galleries spread up and down Uni and Missing Inn Avenues. Some are beaugeouis corporate university affairs and in others, folks are slammin' whiskeys down the gullet of creativity.

We went to two uni and one proletariat gallery. Didn't see anything of much inspiration.

So we ended up at Las Pescados Restaurant, which specializes in fish. I had a Mess. It was great.

There were a lot of peeps down there tho. I guess that's a start.

We saw old pal Dirk and his Ma and Pa. Pa has this great white Santa beard that doesn't come off. He and Ma run a proletariat gallery on Limon St. Dirk is finishing up a degree in pschology and doing photography of nekkid women. He used to do these assemblages of radio parts, transistors and plastic dinosaurs. I think he's moved in the right direction. It was nice to see them. It's been a number of years.

Leems and I went to the Folk Music Center yesterday to by some CDs/tickets to the Dr. Dog/Delta Spirit concert at the El Rey in LA tonight. Scoped out a nifty guitar once owned by Ben Harper that I would like to own.

Leems was out til 5 AM last night doing what he gleefully calls vandalism. He and his fellow vandals hung hundreds of paper aeroplanes in a local park, a la Christo, for the neighborhood kids with a sign saying "These aeroplanes are for you to play with. Please pick up your trash".

Other recent "vandalism": An actual size Ahnold in his muscley days wheat pasting on a giant utility pole and an 8 foot angel wheat pasting at the site of the tragic death of a 16 year old motorcyclist on a local school parking lot. Someone defaced the Ahnold a bit. The "Vandals" were going to "bloody" his wounds last night.

Shoulda had the Walk of Art at the "Vandal's" sights.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Wild Ukes, Stingrays and Sportive Tricks

Leems went off to Long Beach yesterday to do some windsurfing and was stung by a stingray (is the past tense of stingray stungray.? Or, for that matter, bee beed?).

The handsome lifeguards took, nay, spirited him away and stuck him in hot water to heal the wound. Some have suggested that peeing on a stingray wound will fix ya right up. Someone saw that on Survivor ( lotta really smart people on Survivor).

They made him walk back all the way to his beach site. They must be working for Ahnold's minimum wage plan.

A real pile of unruly people showed for the Uke Circle yesterday. Man, it was fun.
A bunch of great singers and players and about 3 newbies. Chuck sang the Banana Boat song, Anna, 2 Bottles of Wine, Bro A Bomb sang his song about the guy with no hands trying to pet the dog with no head, Do sang her middle-aged woman with a teenaged mind song, and Sandra brought some Fats Waller into the house. A swell time was had by all.

The a bunch of us went to The Royal Falconer Pub to see Sportive Tricks, an Irish band from Long Beach that does songs more in the old trad style. Had some curry and chips and a few nasty dark beers (that's a good thing) and was reminded how bad the table service really is there.

Late Saturday, Princess needed a hot dog from Weinerschnitzel, so we drove over and pulled up to the speaker. From the speaker wafted this incredible voice: "May I have your order?" it said in a timbre fit for only for radio talk show.

When we got to the window, we found that the voice came from a rotund lady with one tooth who probably had been in the sun for too long. But watta voice.