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A celebration of the bizarre, live from Los Angeles.

This weekend I did some PA work for a low-budget passion project and met all manner of new L.A. characters. Among them was Gear, a local grafitti artist (a "writer") who lives in a beautiful loft at the Brewery, a downtown arts community. I was glad to find out that it doesn't ruin an underground artist's "street cred" to have creature comforts like an outdoor jacuzzi--as long as it looks industrial, I guess.

It makes me happy that Gear seems to be able to live well off his work. Among his paid gigs: airbrushing naked girls, which is his regular job at a weekly S & M party at the Dragonfly; painting surfboards; painting tatoo parlor walls; and doing titles and art for movies (which is how we crossed paths).

posted by Sara 4:33:00 PM
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"This overexposed light that almost blinds you, it's like the characters erasing themselves and starting from zero, so they can start again."

That's Julio Medem, the writer/director of my favorite film from this year, *Lucia Y El Sexo,* commenting on the stunning bleached out footage that lights up the film. It's from an
Indiewire interview that's worth checking out if you've been similarly blown away by this Spaniard's work.

Here's a link to the review I wrote of *Lucia Y El Sexo* shortly after seeing it.

posted by Sara 4:40:00 PM
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Check out Toomorrow, this groovy movie I saw yesterday at the Egyptian. It's apparently pretty much impossible to get a hold of, but you'll be happier just knowing it exists. Dig.

posted by Sara 4:47:00 PM
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I just dropped Brian Doherty off at LAX's dreaded Southwest terminal and found .... total peace and quiet. No line, no traffic jam. The total opposite of my experience there in August.

posted by Sara 2:25:00 PM
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Athalia bassist and friend Michael Orendy sends me this gem from the Corey Feldman fan site:
Corey at an all-ages, FREE concert at Tower Records on Sunset Blvd. The show begins at 7 p.m., but please arrive at 6:30 p.m. to ensure yourself a spot in the audience! Corey and his band will perform a one hour set including SPECIAL CELEBRITY GUESTS, and will be signing autographs afterwards - Each person is given 2 free autographs as long as they buy Corey's new cd from Tower, "Former Child Actor," in order to support Tower Records!

An after-party will be held at Hollywood's Club Joya at 9 p.m. - It is a private party with a VIP section, but it is open to the public!

Club Joya 242 Beverly Dr. Beverly Hills, CA (310) 274-4440

The two free autographs thing is really over the top. Corey, I know you didn't write that. I am REALLY curious about who's going to be there. Mostly about who will be in the audience, but also about the SPECIAL CELEBRITY GUESTS. Maybe the deformed, pointy-eared guy from Goonies. Now THAT would be special. Maybe he'll haul Corey into the record store on a wheelbarrow.

By the way, before you judge Michael for haunting Corey's fan site, go check out Athalia's Web site here and click "releases" on the left hand side of the page.

posted by Sara 4:38:00 PM
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Spent part of today looking into the trial of French author Michel Houellebecq, a guy I really admire for, among other things, pissing off so many French influentials. Don't have time to write about it now, so I direct you to Emmanuelle's site. She dug up some information that helped me understand how Houellebecq's statement that "Islam is the dumbest religion" could possibly be a CRIMINAL offense, even in a country with much less formidable free speech protections than the U.S.

posted by Sara 4:27:00 PM
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I went to the eye doctor today, and now I'd like to say something to any doctor who happens to stumble across this blog: Learn to keep a game face. Doctors should never exclaim or gasp when examining their patients. Here the transcript of my experience today:

Eye doctor: So how many lines do you see? Two or three?

Me: Um, 6. I'm seeing the image double.

Eye doctor: Double!? This image, DOUBLE? (fiddles with some nobs) Still?

Me: Er, yes. Still.

Eye doctor: Whoa! I mean, um, huh, that's interesting.

Of course, I immediately translate that medical jargon into regular English and get:

Eye doctor: Holy shit! You're going blind! Your malady is so rare and severe I must study it.

posted by Sara 4:21:00 PM
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Last Friday night I checked out BETH LAPIDES' OTHER NETWORK, an evening of TV shows--either unaired pilots or shows that got axed almost immediately--screened at the WeHo bar Moomba.

We watched:
"NEXT", a sketch comedy show by Bob Odenkirk (of "Mr. Show" fame). Very funny stuff, though not as consistently funny as "Mr. Show," and sadly lacking Jack Black.

"SCHIMMEL," a pilot by Mike Scully ("The Simpsons"). This was the most conventional of the three, a family sitcom. It nevertheless was occasionally very funny, thanks in large part to the headlining comedian.

"SUPER ADVENTURE TEAM" by Rob Cohen & Dana Gould. An all-puppet action-adventure show parodying the old British marionette show Thunderbirds and starring CRAZY BOB, an evil, cockeyed villain with a washing machine for a body. At first I laughed hard but that didn't last through all the acts. Meanwhile, the long, Laurel & Hardy style intro delivered by Cohen and Gould was funny and entertaining all the way through. The show was originally produced for MTV, whose execs ended up hating both it AND the writers. Apparently when the guy who authored "Thunderbirds" wrote to complain, MTV flat out gave him the rights, parody law be damned.

In fact, the writers' intros to their shows were consistantly as entertaining as the shows themselves. It was fun to hear these talented guys complain bitterly about the execs, who they clearly think wouldn't know quality if was barreling toward them on the 405.

posted by Sara 1:29:00 PM
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Warren Zevon, 55, has been diagnosed with untreatable lung cancer.

His response, one month later?

"I'm OK with it. But it'll be a drag if I don't make it until the next James Bond movie comes out."

What a great fucking rock star.

posted by Sara 4:25:00 PM
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In those first few days after 9/11, I recall being dominated by a grim feeling that World War III had begun, that we'd end up dodging suicide bombers like in Israel, that we'd soon be living in a police state...That "nothing would ever be the same," at least not for a good 50 years. And that things were going to get a great deal worse.

Now that a year has passed, I'm not sure that I was overreacting.

My colleague and friend Jesse Walker has a long story today that is
right on target -- and therefore makes me feel even worse.

On the flip side, another friend offers the below sentiments, in response to the gruesome media hype surrounding the anniversary. Here, here! says I -- while admitting I'll probably do none of the below for lack of fellow revelers:


"Why do we all have to mourn one year later? Who set that agenda? Was there a vote? (Musta happened in Florida, because it's most definitely NOT a popular decision). Haven't some people been mourning all along? And aren't some people done mourning? And maybe there are people who just mourn on the second Tuesday of every month. And others who think that maybe we should wait until we're out of the tunnel until we start mourning (Newsflash - there was no major media event to celebrate the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1942).

So here's what I propose - let's not let them get away with it. Let's make them work for it. Let's screw up their planned day of mourning in the biggest way possible. Let's go dance in the streets. Let's go drink in the bars. Let's go screw in the balconies. Let's have the best goddam time we can and force these vultures to come up with a new graphic to replace "America Mourns". {"Well, actually, Peter, they're more, like, uh, partying."}

Let's make tomorrow Wear A Hawaiian Shirt To Work and Tell Your Boss To Kiss Your Ass Day. Let's make tomorrow a time for revelry and drunken, stoned, horny foolishness. Let's show the world that one of the things that makes America America is our ability to be absolutely, totally frigging ludicrous. Let's replace "Let's Roll" with "Let's roll out the barrel."

I'd give my front teeth to see someone moon Katie Couric tomorrow morning. I'd give my left nut to see someone run naked across Dan Rather's set. Tomorrow, for one day, bring back streaking!

When your drab, mushy conservative neighbor reminds you of the seriousness of what happened last year, remind him they only killed a few thousand of us, and that the rest are very much alive. When some sombre, tedious killjoy reporter comes up and asks why you aren't mourning, don't engage him in thoughtful dialogue. Pour tequila on him and set him on fire. C'mon, people. Have fun. Live a little. Flirt. Drink. Screw. Laugh. Dance. Get into a good barfight. Have sex with someone else's wife or husband or boyfriend or girlfriend, or just rent a good video of someone else doing it.

But whatever you do, for the love of God (or Allah, or Buddha, or Whomever) don't mourn.

Unless, of course, you want to. "

posted by Sara 10:04:00 AM
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Last night I finally got a taste of 24. I sat down intending to watch the first episode....suddenly, it was 3 in the morning and I had watched 7 out of the 8 episodes I had on tape. The show kicks ass! I stormed around my house after watching the 8th episode this morning, frustrated and anxious (and slightly hepped up on caffeine) because I couldn't continue.

IHere are a couple of nit-picky complaints and considerations. (SPOILER ALERT: DON"T READ FURTHER IF YOU PLAN TO WATCH.)

They do a pretty good job in keeping you guessing about whether Janet's father is an imposter--but not good enough. They slipped up in the very beginning, giving it away for me. When Kim's mom calls, they make a big deal about him being so anxious and worried that he knocks the receiver over while trying to answer it. The moment I saw that, I thought: "They're trying to establish that he's truly Janet's father--'really, we promise, look how upset and discombobulated he is!'--therefore he must not be."

The other minor complaint is about whether any terrorist specialist would truly believe that domestic racial hate groups have the finances, connections, etc. to pay a foreign terrorist to carry out a hit, as is suggested by one agent early on in the first episode. Today's hate groups, the KKK for example, seem to be mostly doddering clansmen and undereducated, backwater white boys--not exactly people who would have the wherewithal to ring up Europe looking to hire international terrorists. Maybe I've got it wrong?

And here's one more question: Did Mandy really have to blow up the plane? Wouldn't it have been cleaner to just kidnap the photographer, kill him, and steal his ID? This probably isn't a flaw, I just think I'm missing something.

The show is EXTREMELY well directed--in particular, you can tell that the actors were given a lot of insightful, keen direction. They do a great job. And this is the first use of the split screen I've seen and actually liked. It helps accomplish the "real-time" feeling and adds to the tension and excitement instead of feeling like a contrivance.

posted by Sara 2:22:00 PM
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Correction: I mentioned in an earlier post that it was the Culver City Police that handled the shooting. That was wrong. Since it was across the street, it occured in Los Angeles and was handled by the L.A.P.D.

posted by Sara 1:24:00 PM
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I've confirmed (somewhat reliably) that the shooting across the street was a gang incident. Supposedly, two guys drove in from Venice, shot my neighbor, then drove back to Venice and shot two more enemy gang members there. The nighttime candlelight vigil across the street continues.

The Mobius Cat also continues--to whine for his lost playmate. As for me, I keep thinking I hear her bell. Dumb. Or it might be a sign of impending insanity.

You know the saying, "what doesn't kill you will make you stronger?" I sure hope that's true.

posted by Sara 1:20:00 PM
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In Memory of MISHA CAT, who lived fast, died young, and left behind a good looking corpse:

I had to say goodbye to my poor James Dean kitty Saturday morning, 6:30 a.m. A car glanced her beautiful, tiny pixie face, smashing half of it and (hopefully) killing her instantly. She was almost exactly 1 year old, untamable and yet perfectly sweet.

I'm ashamed to say that I had a neighbor put her in her box; I feel like I betrayed her by being afraid of her dead body. Moby sniffed her and the grass beneath her for a long time; he's in mourning. (I know this mostly because he peed on the bathroom rug and has been meowing twice as much as usual.) I wish that I had had my hands on her one last time. Her little body felt much heavier in the box than it did when she squirmed in your arms, unwilling to be overpowered for even a second.

These have been an extreme couple of weeks. Can't seem to cut a break.

posted by Sara 11:33:00 AM
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