don't quit your day jobs

my week, on fast forward:

Sunday: six mile hike in Griffith Park, at night with a head lamp .. kind of felt like lying in bed thinking about taking a hike, except I had company.

Monday and Tuesday: ten hours in the dentist's chair, with my dippy student shooting novocaine in the wrong nerve, out the other side of my gums and down my throat, etc.

Wednesday: lunch at the Alcove, spent reading all the notes in the chess table drawers (all new since I read them last .. they must periodically chuck them)


“I like alcove and I like yogurt.
Sometimes I heal and sometimes I hurt.
Life is cruel and life is sweet.
If only my food were here so I could eat.
Days go by and people move on.
I only hope that ..
Oh wait. My food is here now.”

“Even though you cheated on me w/ur sister’s best friend, I forgive you.”

“Lunch was delicious. Off to Target! –Giselle.” (deep one. Go Giselle.)

“last night sucked! Wow!”

“Who would have thought I’d become a high school teacher? I was always such a fuck-up”

“I have nothing interesting to say.” (Well, thanks for clarifying.)

“I shot myself @ work & had to go home.”

“I just texted the wrong boy the wrong message oops!”

“what is the life span of a jellyfish? I wonder if they are monogamous like penguins – do they even mate?”

“It is better to want what you can’t have than have what you don’t want.” (hear hear.)

“Dear Jamie, tonight I spill my blood, until the last drop I think of you. The whole (sic) you left I cannot fill. I cannot go on. Drew” (hope he’s kidding.)


Today: bought a car. ditched the Hawaiian seat covers pretty quick, for the record.

kind of like my old car. well, at least I know what I like.

I met this guy coming out of the subway in Long Beach.

I saw these tables

and this chair

and this window display

waiting for my mechanix to get my new car to pass smog

now I’m eating cookies.

there it is.



i've been laid off right before the holidaze, SAG's about to strike, virtually no one i know is working, it's rainy and desperate outside, and i feel like shit.
I feel like I've been dumped. my heart hurts, and i want to soak in a hot bath and read by candlelight.

what happened to all the frivolous stuff? i've done nothing all year but work. and think.

so i'm vowing not to work (except fun stuff, but nothing just for money) until i get hired back onto the show in january.

and i'm gonna quit saying things for awhile and post more pictures.
and i'm gonna quit thinking, and paint.
and i'm gonna quit scribbling down bands i want to get albums by, and play guitar.

and i'm gonna tear out pictures from vogue, and make clothes.
and sleep.
and drink wine.


brave new world

Invigorated by the election of Barack Obama, I’ve composed a list of things heretofore thought improbable that now might on Barack’s coat-tails seep into the realm of possibility:

1. world peace
2. total resuscitation of Walt Disney’s cryogenic head
3. life on other planets
4. global unwarming
5. a Michael Jackson comeback
6. corporate responsibility
7. a new ice age
8. a SAG / AMPTP agreement in which the actors don’t get royally screwed
9. plastic zippers that don’t break
10. resolution by the religious masses that homosexuals are actual human beings and, thus, deserve equal rights
11. affordable rent in cities that have anything worthwhile going on
12. a fountain of youth
13. arbitrary absolution of my student loans
14. more dinosaurs
15. pregnant men
16. truth in advertising
17. the second coming of Christ (or the first, really)
18. an epidemic of healthfulness
19. spontaneous reunion of all missing socks to their mates
20. poltergeists
21. abolition of internet pop-up ads
22. … and spam
23. free lunch
24. talking dogs
25. flying cars
26. bionic limbs
27. commuter hovercrafts
28. atheist rights
29. time travel
30. teleportation
31. a plausible explanation for crop circles
32. adolescent contentment
33. free flowing traffic on the 405
34. Santa Claus
35. t-shirt tags that don’t itch
36. more cowbell
37. true love


the Hogwarts school of U.S. politix

If the U.S. political parties were houses at Hogwarts ..

the GOP would be Slytherin
the Democratic party would be Gryffindor
the Green party = Ravenclaw
Libertarian party = Hufflepuff

thanks to Senta Erbe for noticing that one ..

and then, of course, we have The High Inquisitor ..


totally motionless except for her heart

I hate this Sarah Palin chick. But I get it – her job is to woo impressionable voters with a bombastic geyser of agitprop (or woo oil executives – who knows whose vote counts anymore); she’s here to blaze McCain’s campaign trail, or something.

Really, she wants to drill for oil everywhere; she’s ok with teaching creationism in schools; she opposes sex-ed (and has, consequently, a pregnant 17-year-old daughter); she’s in favor of a constitutional amendment denying rights to same-sex couples; she supports capital punishment; she’s in the NRA; she wants to take polar bears off the endangered species list? She’s a member of Feminists (sic) for Life who … please do not mistake them for actual feminists … oppose abortion in all circumstances, including when the woman’s life is in danger. So where does this woman get off running for office? She should be home popping out babies. Right? Isn’t that what her god put her on this earth for? I really hope I never run across this woman in a dark alley.

Interestingly, her Wikipedia page has been protected from editing due to repeated violations of their biography policy, which I can only hope means that so many people (besides me) wanted to commit their venom to print that they could no longer trust anyone to say anything nice, and would like us not to say anything at all.

Anyhow, enough about her, but another thing getting my goat is that journalists are being arrested at the Republican convention, illegally searched, personal items (notebooks, etc. – whatever might make the news) confiscated, and so on; the most notable arrest: Amy Goodman. What? I’m sorry, but … what are they so afraid of?? Cause it’s really hard to imagine (pick your right-wing poison, but I'll say) Anne Coulter being arrested, for instance, while covering the Democratic convention. Go, Homeland Security. I feel very fucking secure. I’m sure of lots of things now. Thank you.

(kate covertly puts head into pillow, then screams).

ok. ok. I’ll be alright.

an exchange from shopgirl:

Lisa: You want some advice? you never call him. But if he calls you, you talk to him, but then act like you have another call. Keep him on hold for a long time. Like longer than you think is possible. And break dates. Always break dates. Right around the holidays, cause then he’s just stuck. And fellatio. The sooner the better. And a lot. Act like you love it. After he’s addicted, cut him off. That’s when you got him.

Mirabelle: yeah, I couldn’t do all that.

Lisa: How come?

Mirabelle: I’m from Vermont.


On a different note, I’ve noticed things that bore me (jobs, say) are a ton more intolerable on the first day than on subsequent days. What does this mean? Are we evolving to adjust to discontent? Is complacency something that takes getting used to?

Am I an abstract pile of defense mechanisms masquerading as a human being?

Does anyone remember Dwight Twilley?

I never thought I’d say this (I like Abba, too, while we’re clearing the air here) but I miss the 80’s. It was ok to hate disco and the rich. And to want our next president not to be totally geriatric. And there was Square Pegs.

Marshall (playing The Family Feud board game in study hall): Things you keep out of the reach of children ..

Johnny Slash: Jars of tarantulas.

I have a (cassette) tape somewhere of ridiculous things people left on my answering machine. I don’t know how to preserve voice mail in the digital age, other than leaving it on my phone too long. Some things were easier in analog. Good thing my friends aren’t as funny as they used to be.

Hm .. anyway, my favorite thing on the tape is “Kate, it’s Joe. I’m in jail,” whereby a guy cancels his first date with me and asks me to call his landlord in for questioning. But here’s a close runner-up (paraphrased), left by the impossibly hilarious Scott Puhl for my then-roommate Jodi, who was his girlfriend at the time:

‘Substances you scrape off of a pitchfork.’ Hm. Substances you scrape – I know! I know!! FAR marmarmarmar .. ‘ … and the survey says, “ding ding ding ding ding! FAR marmarmarmar”’ (click)

Then there was that episode of Square Pegs where Johnny Slash was in the lunch line and said with no irony, “Can I have some more of the yellow runny stuff? And some brown lumps?”

ah .. those were the days.


"Unique Services"

While I know that doctors used to give trays of mercury out to fidgety children in waiting rooms to placate them (I think there was an abacus in my optometrist's office when I was small: post-mercury, pre-Xbox on the kids' toy timeline), nevertheless I am none too jazzed to have inhaled all the gas from a broken compact fluorescent lightbulb yesterday, as in my lifetime, kids have always known to keep their hands out of the mercury jar. Our parents might reminisce (with horror) about it, but for the most part we all now refrain from posing atop pools of it for group photos and the like. (I recognize this takes an enormous amount of restraint, since many of us can't stop eating three bacon cheeseburgers a day or sticking our fingers into wild animal cages ... or maybe it just went out of fashion, like fitting a lot of people into a phone booth.)

me with the precarious mannequin lamp,
before our relationship became strained

I seem to be ok, but I'm wondering how I could have missed the new don't-break-lightbulbs memo; aren't lightbulbs traditionally pretty easy things to break? Everyone knew not to go chucking thermometers around the house. Why didn't I know the light bulb thing? I didn't realize they had anything to do with mercury. I thought I was doing a Good Deed, one of those Ten Simple Things you can do to save the environment or whatever (anyone remember the other nine? I can only keep one thing under control at a time, so I was just doing that one to the hilt) and was primed to reap my cosmic reward. But instead I get mercury poisoning. Not cool. Where have I gone astray?

Also, did you know that it costs about a million times more to recycle plastic bags than to just make more of them? (And at some supermarkets the baggers seem bent on giving you as many plastic bags as possible, quickly, and if you do manage to head them off by asking for paper, they'll put the paper bags inside plastic ones; so the only reasonable thing you can do if you've forgotten your own bags is to juggle your produce out the door.)

But wait - while we're on the topic of things that seem good not really being so good, this one is even weirder. I was reading the fine print in the crew deal memo for one of my recent jobs, and I discovered this stipulation:

Employee hereby acknowledges that the services Employee are to perform hereunder are of a unique, unusual, extraordinary and intellectual character involving high skill and giving them peculiar value, the loss of which cannot be reasonably or adequately compensated by damages in an action at law, and that a breach of this Agreement by Employee shall cause Producer irreparable injury and damage.

Does that say what I think it says? I'm a little hurt by my services being referred to as "peculiar," but I'll let that slide since there seems to be a much bigger issue at stake here: not only can I be sued for not following through with my job responsibilities (or by, obviously, leaking sensitive information to the press, which is an absurd and selfish thing no one in their right mind under these circumstances would do - unless offered a very large sum of money), but if I was in fact sued and then cleaned out in such a lawsuit, that wouldn't be good enough. I could be harassed for life.

So the moral to today's blog could be any of these things:

1. always read the fine print
2. never read the fine print
3. don't inhale
4. act selfishly (i.e. patronize plastic bags and filament light bulbs)
5. live dangerously; or
6. don't sign (or install) anything without a lawyer

thank you, ladies and gentlemen, and good night.


would you look at this?

.. some years ago ... maybe in 1993 or so, my bro and I saw a comedian do a stand up act somewhere in Cleveland (I think it was Dom Irrera, who did this hilarious new year's eve skit that went something like "every year people say 'i can't believe it's 2000!' What'd they expect? It's 1978 again? Do you think they did that in the year 4? 'I can't believe it's 4! Four years ago it was nothing!'") .. anyway, he said "would you look at this??" and held up a sign that said "THIS." My bro Aaron used to do these funny things too, like drive up one of those runaway truck escape ramps to see what would happen (you have to get towed, if you ever wondered) or get this insane Kermitty grin on his face and then point somewhere and say "Look! There's someone famous!!" (People look! Really - try it!) I'm pretty sure also I got the best prank phone calls from my youth from him.

There's the one that goes like this: you find a phone number and keep it, because you'll be calling it over & over again. (Thank god for cell phones, and the lack of a reasonable directory for them, eh? This was back in the paleozoic era, before caller ID, when drug dealers had pagers and only the secret service had cell phones - the size of bricks - and if a friend had an unlisted number it was because his mom had an ex-boyfriend who wanted to kill her.) Speaking of the Paleozoic Era, read about it, lest you've lost faith in society during the last seven years or so; it's simply amazing what can happen in a few million years!!

So anyway, you call this number, and you ask for Salvatore. (I actually saw a version of this one on Freaks & Geeks! I don't remember what name they used - but Salvatore's a good one.) Then you do it a bunch more times, in different voices, or heck - have different people call. But you do it enough over, say, a day and a half, that they want to throttle you. Then you call back suavely and say "Hi, this is Salvatore. Any messages?" Then, the other great one was this (why this worked in this, the post-Aquarius age of the liberated woman who has two jobs and kids to raise by herself and can't be sitting around cooking roasts all day I'll never know, but I swear, in the 80's, it did)- you call someone and put on your best "housewife" voice, and .. if a man or a little kid answers, you hang up .. or you ask to speak to wife / mom, but then they get suspicious .. anyway, you get the mom / wife on the phone, and you say this: "Hi!!! I haven't talked to you in so long .. how ARE you?? WAIT - I have to go take the roast out of the oven!! Wait! I'll be right back." And then you just sit there. And listen. And look at your watch.

I was reading in a book recently that a bunch of psych experiment subjects actually failed to notice a woman in a gorilla suit running across the screen when instructed to watch carefully for a certain occurrence in a basketball game, because their focus was elsewhere. So while you've been screaming at gas pumps and wondering whether your bank will go belly-up (or having conniption fits over the legality of gay marriage in - hey! - both my home states, if you're that sort of person, but probably not, since if you're reading this, you're almost definitely someone whose company I can tolerate) here's something you may have missed:

"Fox News in Bush League" (incase that video link runs away ...) 
Bush administration gives Fox news talking points. With an agenda. Obviously.

Wow! Can you believe this? I mean, of course you can believe this - we all knew this. It's like saying that a lot of actresses have nose jobs, or that all the added security at airports since 9/11 is smoke and mirrors (an aside I'll be getting to in a minute), but here it is actually being hacked about on MSNBC. What's this? A new era of truth in news and politix? Is this really happening?

So I was at the airport - LAX - recently, and one of the elevators connecting the bag claim / passenger check in / departure floors in Terminal 5 was emitting this profuse burning machinery sort of smell, and when asked, all the security people were denying it, or saying maybe it was a car outside, and all kinds of weirdness. But then, not five minutes after I got someone to actually ask someone else (who?? who? who knows) on a walkie about it, five fire trucks showed up outside, along with 2 more fire dept. vehicles and a cop car and two airport police cars and another policeman on a bicycle. And this caravan remained, cordoning off a line with police tape and preparing for disaster, until I gave up making sense of the scene and drove away. My determination: the staff at airports has increased in number, and the lines have lengthened, but the added security is dumb as rocks, and hasn't much interest in calming people when something weird actually happens. Well, anyhow .. if this is the future, I would really like a better car. Can we just make them fly? I don't care if I have to pedal the damn thing.

Thanks to Terry Lbs. for sending me the video. xo


tabula rasa

home again.

Easily lost 15 pounds on the Gluten-Free Vegetarian New Orleans diet. (And sweating out half my body weight every day might have contributed ... or removed, as the case may be. New Orleans giveth, and new orleans taketh away.)

Back in L.A. only to drive around looking at apartments all week in oppressively hot weather in a car with no air conditioning. You'd think after six weeks of suffering the perils of Louisiana: the humidity and the wreckage and the long work days and the horse flies, etc. and so on; I'd be happier to be home but .. in retrospect, it was kind of fun. I saw a statue of Ignatius J. Reilly. I got peed on by a turtle. I bought a chandelier. I took lots of great mannequin pictures. I gambled with someone else's money and won ten bucks. And I met a few people (who in some cases I'll probably never see again) that I'm going to miss very much. In fact, I'm just plain going to miss seeing everyone all the time, because when you're freelance, they just come and go. or actually it's you (well, me) that comes & goes, but I'll always blame someone else if I can get away with it. Either way, I miss everyone ("don't ever tell anyone anything ... ").

And there's nothing like living in a hotel for awhile to make you realize your apartment is filthy and you have too much clutter, or that you've, for example, been very stressed out living in your building for a variety of reasons for years and have avoided spending much time there without even realizing you were doing it ... just hypothetically.

but alas: I get to start over.

Here's the new place, naked, unaware of impending books and cats and clutter.

(there is another room back there, and a humongous walk-in closet)

(this is my favorite thing)

(and this is my other favorite thing)

There you go: stalkers, now you just have to figure out the street.

Oh yeah - the show I just worked on is called 13!


funny hotel story

Me: "I locked myself out of my room again. Funny how the door slams behind you when you put your room service tray in the hallway."

Concierge: "At least you're dressed. There was this guy who was locked out in his tighty whities. Some guests lock themselves out naked. Happens all the time. We should hang robes in the hallway."

best thing in New Orleans

a statue of Ignatius J. Reilly !!

I walked by it half a dozen times, wondering what the heck it was, and today I stopped and read the plaque, and then almost fell over laughing ..