Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My sweetie-pie was featured in a book segment on our local NBC affiliate, where he gave his recommendations for autumn reads.

Squee! Cute as a button, he is. Good reads too!


Well, well, what do we have here...

Goo, I guess Bauhaus definitely is no more, as we are seeing history repeat itself. Love and Rockets, eh? Damn, that Bauhaus money ran out fast, boys!

This may just be a charitable one-off, but somehow I doubt it. Too much work and too much anticipation to just play a couple of songs that aren't yours under the banner of a broken-up but beloved band, and ruin your future reunion chances by crying wolf.

Maybe it's just to see if there's buzz? Well, consider an LNR reunion buzzed!

In any case, I'm not going to LA for anyone, but I definitely wouldn't turn my nose up at a tour -- or front row at the Fillmore for that matter.

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Happy Halloween!

A closer view. Spooky...

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Today, I saw a rental driver's education car equipped with spinners. Brilliant marketing or sad state of affairs?

I know I would have been embarrassed to learn to drive in a car with under the chassis LED lights or something else considered totally cool in my high school years but that I deemed as equally lame back then as I do spinners now. But this is Oaktown after all, and though I scoff I suppose my inner and outer goth girl would have jumped at the chance to take driver's ed in a hearse.

And as long as we're talking Oaktown -- as promised and in honor of Halloween -- may I present a tip of the iceberg photodocumentary of hair extension abuse and abandonment in my neighborhood. Scary.

I also promise I'll do this only once.

Telegraph and 53rd:

Shafter and 51st:

My favorite, Webster and 49th:

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Oh my, this is very good news.

Unless you've had Sapporo, Asahi, Kirin, and outrageously priced Guinness that tastes like dirty dishwater as your only immediate beer options for months, you may not understand my joy.

I had a Japanese microbrewed beer a few years ago at Namjatown's Gyoza Stadium. Definitely good stuff. A Japanese instructor in college said that the Japanese aren't very good at inventing things, but they are masters at taking things invented by others and making them better. I guess we'll see!

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Final Fantasy at The Independent 10.25.2007:

I know Owen Pallett is so indie it hurts -- his reputation for aloofness and ironic self-deprecation being at the crux. He even had an overhead projector slideshow that my jaded-to-preciousness self thought would be annoying, but it instead just added to the charm and earnestness of his songs. He is one talented indie boy, and his show was, as expected, low-key but spectacular.

Opening act Cadence Weapon was a pleasant surprise, and good enough to buy the CD. Just his DJ alone was worth the ticket price.

Tableside, pre-Fantasy and post-Scrimshaw, at Fly:

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

I just heard that poet and artist Will Alexander is undergoing treatment for cancer.

A message from Steve Dickison (by way of Kasey Silem Mohammad):

As you may have heard, poet Will Alexander is quite ill with cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. He's spent his life largely off the poetry grid, taking on odd jobs, and has no financial support or, needless to say, health insurance.

The San Francisco organization Poets in Need is coordinating efforts to raise money for him. You can make a (tax-deductible) contribution to them, earmarked for Will, and send it to:

Poets in Need
PO Box 5411
Berkeley CA 94705

For those around New York, there will be a benefit reading for Will at the Bowery Poetry Club, Thursday November 1, 6-8 pm (readers to be announced).

Many thanks.

Working at a CAM clinic for low-income women with cancer, I see how draining -- physically, emotionally, and financially -- cancer and its treatment can be. I also see what kind of difference it can make if someone who has minimal support gets even just a little bit of propping up.

I last talked with Will a few years ago when our poetry press (now publishing under someone else's guidance) was getting ready to publish Exobiology as Goddess. He is a force, and a true artist. Please help him if you can.

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Harvey "Bad Lieutenant" Keitel to play Jerry Springer. In an opera.

I need to lie down.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I got a text-to-landline message on my answering machine today from John, voiced by a computer program.

I was so impressed, and then I realized, no, I am so 20th century.


Ah, this is why I love walking around my neighborhood, and why I always stop and at least scan a pile o' stuff on the sidewalk.

Also why I (quite literally) dug Oakland's now defunct bulky trash day. My friends and I once outfitted almost their entire apartment with castoffs from the oh-so-ritzy Piedmont bulky trash day. Oh how I miss it.

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Fab essay in The New Yorker (that I just picked up off the free table downstairs in my building, so yes, it is from last month) about Paper founder, Kim Hastreiter.

I like this:

I think the fashion world is so twisted, and that's why I'm not in that world. They're so concerned with what's trendy that they don't care if it's great.

I often read fashion mags and think this same sentiment; what also crosses my mind is that you could never pay me enough to play those games. Some people probably really do dig it, but somehow I can't imagine deep happiness or satisfaction coming from constant fickle scrutiny, even when it's processed by the most grounded of souls. But while Hastreiter isn't in fashion per se, she publishes a mag about urban culture, and well, hell, that is certainly a fair piece of the fawning, air-kissing pie. Rare to hear of someone who not only sounds like a true maverick, but who seems respected and happy.

Anyway, also love the shout out to Creative Growth in Oakland. I can definitely vouch for Hastreiter that she knows what's up.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

This kicked ass this last weekend!

Take a listen.

Also kicking the booty: seeing The Twins (squee!), Woody, and Kirstyn. Who would've thought our alma mater's Homecoming weekend (unbeknownst to us) would be so fruitful?

god how I miss good old-fashioned hardcore shows. The Bay Area is making me soft before my time! There was no feigned indifference or emo apathy or $10 whiskey shots here -- just pure skanking and moshing, beer and rawk!

I am getting old though. I hate feeling 18 inside but really feeling almost twice that when called to the mat. 3 beers and a few Shermans in and it was already pumpkin time for Cinderella. Boo.

NP: The Pogues, 'Turkish Song of the Damned' (RIP Joe Strummer and Kirsty MacColl)

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Darlings, I completely forgot to write a little about what I picked up thrifting in oh-so-tweaktastic rural Sacto over the weekend.

In addition to a gorgeous orange pashmina, a vintage Fiestaware plate, and a white bat wing top, among other notable goodies, I picked up 16 records. Pristine! Everything from Led Zeppelin to Erasure to Guns and Roses. So many good things I could've sold that I passed up too -- original Cream and Moody Blues vinyl being the most memorable. Someone got rid of someone's record stash, and it was both sad and glorious. I hope the rest of the lot went to good homes.

And everything, oh so cheap! I remember the days when you could regularly buy quality vintage clothes and kitchenware for next to nothing at the thrift stores, and you didn't have to run all over town hitting all the shops either. Now it's just ridiculous. I just saw a spread on Jennifer Jason Leigh in Elle magazine, and she was wearing a Nirvana shirt (that my husband had in high school) from a high end vintage shop in New York that shall remain nameless. $178. Please. And thanks to eBay, things like Fiestaware are so hard to find anymore; when you do it's an arm and leg. But in Sacto? 49 cents baby.

My two fave finds:

Frye vintage cowboy boots, $10:

Robbe vintage ski jacket, $3.25. So cute:

Detail on the sweet accent and lining:

Yes, I'll be back, Sacramento, and soon.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Boris last night was amazing! I think it was the loudest show I've ever been to. I took one of my earplugs out for a second and I thought I might convulse. That means it was good.

Plus I have never in my life seen a person play a double-necked guitar, let alone a bass and guitar double-necked combo.

That is some seriously wild shit.

But even more amazing to me was their addition of guitarist Michio Kurihara.

Holy smokes, can that man play guitar! At times he looked like he was having a violent seizure, and at others, I swear only his fingers were moving. The sounds he produced were so layered and technical, but with a healthy dose of brain melting dirty psychedelics. We were so impressed with his guitar work we bought Boris' collaboration with him, Rainbow (Drag City US version).

And my sweetie snagged one of Kurihara's heavy-duty picks for me. It has a badger playing a guitar on it, and is trashed all to hell from his ferocious skills, but I can still strum a ditty on my bass should I be so inclined.

BTW, those super-cool Japanese never changed their expressions, even when totally bringing the rawk. Except for their drummer, who I dubbed Tommy Lee for his perfectly coiffed wild mane of hair and intense drumming style, as well as his habit of standing on his bass drum with his mouth wide open while making the devil horns, or pointing his drumsticks or gong beaters at the audience.

Oh yes, Boris had a gong.

Finally, check this for something else to blow your mind...

Those are the pedals (some homemade, according to Ash, who took this photo) for one guitarist. All 5 gajillion of them. Okay, maybe there were more like 15 or 20 pedals, but c'mon, whoa.

Fantastic live band. Highly recommend you check them out if they come through your town.

Also, sidenote: had dinner at the super hyped Nopa before the show. Believe the hype, it was fantastic! Wood-fired sardines, grass-fed Gruyere cheeseburger on a perfect crunchy housemade bun, and thick-cut crispy fries with a roasted red pepper and feta dip. Washed down with Foret Organic Saison Ale (my new favorite). Yum!

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Did I...

...sear myself sliding a cookie sheet full of roasted vegetables out of the oven too quickly, or

...sustain a flesh wound fighting off a gang of blade-wielding ninjas in the night?

You know the score.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

My first thought at this: J.K. Rowling, you little killjoy. But then I saw how massive and in-depth the replica was, and I thought: Ahhh, JKR, you shrewd little killjoy.

So then, you think she's tucked this away as one of many possibilities now that the series is over? Harry Potter's Magic Land (TM), complete with a train that transports you from the gates to Hogwart's to a Muggles cafe with overpriced tea sandwiches and Auntie Marge balloons floating about. Don't forget the thrilling Quidditch coaster! Or the, ahem, adults only Potions Room. Whatever.

JKR, if it doesn't give Disneyland a run for it's money, it will certainly at least rival Dollywood. You go, killjoy.

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Short but sweet interview with Japanese artist Junko Mizuno.

I've always liked her depictions of cute but sinister girlie girls. She was doing this long before the current proliferation of this style, so it's nice to see her getting her due with her latest show at Gallery Nucleus in Los Angeles. Now through October 27.

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Excellent article in this week's San Francisco Bay Guardian about scavenging the streets of the Bay for freebies and the like. Loved reading about Swap SF, and I am really excited to attend the next one. Books and clothes...what else do I need?

Oh yeah: food. While I don't generally dumpster-dive for food items, I do actively investigate and take full advantage of my local stores that will give away items that are expired but still good. Mmmmm, free whole milk ricotta. And I do advocate sharing the wealth if you have it. At work, we are blessed to partner with so many great organizations like Full Belly Farm that give us full boxes of quality organic produce for our clients. Also, when we have events we're always sure to drop off the inevitable extra food at the park. People are always so grateful.

But y'all know household items are my big thing; in fact, most of my house is furnished with things found on the street. Sustainable, inexpensive, and fun, it is. Hey, and it isn't as filthy as you might think -- there is a lot of wealth in the Bay, and people will put really nice stuff out on the sidewalk rather than put themselves out to haul it to the thrift store or sell it on Craigslist. As my red 1950s formica table, Coach leather satchel, and solid oak bookshelf, and the Guardian's profiled scavenger's 50 inch color TV will attest, there's gold on the sidewalks of the Bay Area.

However, there are pitfalls to watch out for. I never pick up anything that is upholstered, unless it comes from the free area downstairs (inside) in my building. My friend Megan picked up some sweet abandoned upholstered antique chairs on the sidewalk by her place in the Mission, and a flea infestation commenced. Ugh. But undaunted, she rid herself of the problem and instead took my clean and flea-free couch off my hands when I moved to Japan.

And y'all knew labeling this as a "movement" was going to happen sooner of later, and I was both amused and appalled at the both blanket and inaccurate term used in the article, "Freeganism." Actually, seeing myself type that word, I think I'm more appalled. Sure, I do this partly for political and environmental reasons, but I'm still taking advantage of someone else's consumerism. I don't feel self-congratulatory or anything, because I also really enjoy scavenging (and I love myself some non-vegan eating!).

I guess I don't really mind the attempts at pigeon-holing this as a movement -- I welcome it if it gets more folks diving into doing this, even though it makes things harder for me to score the excellent goods. It's a win-win for the consumer and the planet.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It looks like I missed the rumored special appearance by the supremely lovely Neko Case at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass last weekend. Look at this!

Why didn't I see Neko? I avoided the event crowds in Golden Gate Park's polo fields this last weekend. Why? Thing is, I saw most of the folks who played this year's festival last year, and while sitting under the sun with BBQ and beer through a weekend of free honky-tonk I saw last year and such sounded just fine, the insanity of getting home did not. Last year, after being passed up by two buses at the bus stop because they were too full, Trevor and I walked over three miles through das ghetto to BART to get home.

Alright, so that was fun too. I guess I'm just bitter for missing out and looking for an excuse. Aha! I would have never known on which stage she was playing and at what time! Okay, that's better.

But nevermind spilt milk. Good things are afoot this weekend!

Friday is Guitar Player Magazine's Guitar Hero Competition at the Great American Music Hall. Looks to be a fun show at a beautiful venue (one of my favorites), but it also looks like I can watch it as a webcast for free. Next...

Saturday my very own private ninja will be taking in a seminar in Sacramento led by Shihan Luke Molitor. Meanwhile, I will be shopping the legendary thrift stores of Cali's capital and drinking strip-mall coffee. After the ninjaing and scoring of righteous deals on fabulous finds is through, we will most likely take in a pint or two and something delicious in nearby Davis with our good friend James, who is driving down from our college town of yore, Chico. Yee-haw!

Sunday, Japanese dark and drone trio Boris will be playing a free show at two o'clock at Amoeba Records in San Francisco, but I'll be catching them at The Independent that evening at eight. Bay Bridge retrofit be damned -- this one is worth the crawl home when the powers that be close the majority of the Eastbound onramps 'til six in the morning.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

I only own his first three albums. I last paid for a concert of his in 1993. Then I got a free ticket to see him this last May in Japan, where I met and talked with him extensively at a meet and greet and got the candid play-by-play on the implosion of my beloved but uber-crotchety Bauhaus (his tourmates in 2006) and their finished-since-2006-but-as-yet-unreleased new album. Straight shooter, he is. I thought then (and told him so), "still don't like your current music yo, but you are one amazing person."

Now, one more reason I heart Trent Reznor.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

A couple of very cool things...

Dexter -- on Showtime, of all places. The soft-core porno-riffic forbidden fruit of my 1980s childhood has finally done something right with this series (based on the book) about a charming blood spatter analyst who just happens to be a serial killer of other big bads. Just rented the first season on DVD. Disturbing, funny, thought-provoking, well-paced, and well-acted. Superb!

Check the opening credits. Brilliant.


Trevor found an old Japanese-made microscope from 1952 on the street. It is housed in a hinged box, with compartments for various lenses and slides. Perfect condition. We have it up on our bookshelf next to the Inu Art sculpted Hellboy set. Looks super cool, especially next to the Kriegsaffe.

This may trump my find of a first edition of In Cold Blood in a cardboard box on the sidewalk, the 1920s working typewriter Trevor found alongside 4 others, and our Sony CD player found under a pile of clothes, old throw rugs, and coathangers spilling into the street by the fuyu tree on Shafter.

BTW, checked today -- almost ripe and ready for the picking!

And I'm currently eating a vegan donut! Way.

Why, you ask, when presented with the option of eating a donut, am I eating a vegan donut? Because it's gooood.

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I hate the term "Web 2.0" -- one day I hope it makes the banished word list. But I love what it encompasses, and The ESP Game is one of those loves.

Each time you play you are randomly paired with another player whose identity you don't know. You can't communicate with your partner, and the only thing you have in common with them is that you can both see the same image. The goal is to guess what your partner is typing on each image. Once you both type the same word(s), you get a new image.

Addictive fun and you're tagging Flickr photos. Ah, the great Googlization of the internets (er, or in this case, Yahooization). Rock on.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Scottsboro, Alabama couple wed 80 years.

"After all these years," he said, "I still enjoy being with her."

I am such a sucker for this kind of stuff. What a beautiful life.


Monday, October 01, 2007

Gift of Gab from Blackalicious, at the opening of the Oakland campaign headquarters for Barack Obama. Short but fantastic show.

(pic by my go-to guy for free concerts no one wants to go to, the incomparable Mr. Stich)

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