Friday, January 16, 2009

Baboushkas!

Went to my friend Jamie's annual "Nana Olga's Borscht and Perogies Thanksgiving" party last Saturday and it was a hoot! Saw some serious baboushkas there! I wore my favorite jewelry from high school and a Russian hat (not pictured). Tonight I am in the throws of packing for a trip to the Inauguration! I had to try on some East Coast outfits because it was 86 degrees today and our thin blood will be a disadvantage in Philly (where we stay w/friends Neil and Noelle and see the Liberty Bell), outside of Baltimore (where we will stay with my family-yea!) and DC where we will probably need to pull an allnighter in the cold because all streets and bridges going in will be closed. I will be wearing one of these snuggly outfits so look for me on TV with the tears of inexpressible joy! I will actually be in the ticketed area thanks to my friends Adam and Kathleen who belong in the eternal pantheon of awesomeness. Sam is writing an article for Vice magazine, so he will be out in the crowds, getting the street beat. Every year I teach my primarily Hispanic kindergarten kids about Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr. I always have pangs of regret telling the children about racism when they may have never had any idea of it, since they live in such homogeneous neighborhoods. They are always shocked and saddened. This year was different. In November, I had them vote for the U.S. president in our class (I did not bias them at all, I merely gave them photos and asked if they had seen the candidates on TV). Obama won by a large margin, although a few girls voted for McCain because they saw a female V.P. and said they liked the idea. I missed 2 days of school during the elections due to food poisoning. I dragged my shaking body up to the Korean church and voted nonetheless. I cried when Obama won. I had been a fan since reading an article about his family in Vanity Fair well before he ran and I followed his deft campaign doggedly. The obvious ramifications and implications of his win were not lost on me. However, when I returned to school 2 days later, the kids were SO excited that it blew my mind completely. For them, they were shown that they could be or do anything with no limits. I feel like this is some sort of inverse 9/11 sea change and things will be forever changed for the better for everyone. Of course, I am not alone, DC will be swarmed on Tuesday with believers. Which brings me back to MLK who also brought so many believers to DC to hear about his dream that he might have seen realized had he not been killed in the pursuit of it. I taught about the signifigance of this particular MLK Day, the signifigance of the Lincoln Bible that Obama will be sworn in on, we sang a song and read a book about Obama, we wrote a paragraph about the 44th Commander in Chief and I told the kids to look for me at the Inauguration crying tears of joy with the multitudes. I told them I will be seated and waving a lot to them with my fluffy cream colored coat. Sam and I decided to go before anything had fallen into place. I had written all of the senators, congress people and superdelegates that I thought might send an inspired teacher but to no avail. I had been saying just a few nights ago, that maybe we would get lucky like when Charlie found the golden ticket gleaming in the sewer in the original Willie Wonka movie. We were lucky that the Beastie Boys were doing Obama Benefit concerts and Adam was so amazingly generous. While I am in DC, the substitute will read them the story "If I Were President". They will watch the ceremonies on TV in class and I will be like their "Where's Waldo?". Even if they don't see me, in their wish fullfillment fantasies, they will be convinced that they did. Afterwards, they will draw a picture on baby blue paper of Obama and his family at the White House or of Obama doing his job as President. I can't wait to get back and see their visions of the future.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Tattoo Con







LA Fairgrounds in Pomona seems to hold a Tattoo Convention every 6 months and I've always been curious about it. I decided to go, half hoping to run into an old friend from high school, Corey Miller, who is now on the cable show "LA Ink". He's kinda the "Schneider" of the show (since he is surrounded by females). We sat next to each other in Photography class and one day he came to class with these amazing fingernail tattoos of skulls that would just grow out naturally. When Kristen decided to be Upland High's first punk rock homecoming queen in 1985, I partly attributed her success to Corey's masterly Olde-English/spiderwebbed picket signs. After High School in like '88, an ex-boyfriend got a tattoo in Corey's living room, back before Corey had a shop of his own. When we went over there, Kristen and her punk rock friends looked like they belonged in a secretary pool (down to the acrylic nails) and were like, "You're still into that stuff?" At the time, it was a surprise to me that they were not eternally punky. Corey still has his shop Six Feet Under in the old Upland town square. It's funny, whenever they show Upland on the show, it's implied it is some rural podunk. They even have montaged images of tractors in there. I can't even imagine where there would be a tractor in all of Upland- the citrus industry died there in the early 80's as it became a serious bedroom community. The Inland Empire is an insane, sprawling extension of LA, buttressed by mountains that are unreal in stature and catch on fire often. I expected the Himalayan mountains to make Mt. Baldy look like a knuckle, but quite the opposite. Anyway, I always regretted not having Corey do my first tattoo as he had offered way back when. So, I was wondering what the likelihood of getting on his show would be and was going to ask him if my story was compelling enough to plunk down $100 for the chance. Somehow, I doubt the idea Sam and I had (of getting inner lip tattoos that both say "Zip it" so we could silently argue) would sit well next to firemen getting 9-11 memorial tattoos. I am refraining from commentary on the Tattoo Convention, only to say I was sorry not to see anyone get the dyn-o-mite J.J. tattoo.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Floats and Savage Republic

Today Sam and I went to see the Rose Parade Floats. They are covered entirely in flowers, leaves, bark and seeds.
Now I know people in other parts of the world think that LA is all this...
and this...But you are just as likely to see...the crush of humanity or a bomb squad with dogsNow who would ever want to destroy such an amazing float with a coked out King Kong and octopus and a box of good candy?
Some assume that these guys would want to...
But look at all these people, it could be anyone...
I suspect these wierdos...
or this guy...
or the crazy float driver.
Wouldn't it be rad if Bootsy Collins had been riding in this float?
I would only want to see flower elephants doing tricks.
Michaelangelo was such an overachieving jerk.
Down the rabbit hole-


I feel this rabbit can read my mind somehow. ThunderSnail below!
Sometimes when I explain that I am in a band, this is how I imagine they see it and it is so embarrassing.
One of the things I love about the "Why so serious?" sweatshirt that I bought on the boardwalk in Ocean City, MD is that it is so hastily done that they left the silkscreen registration mark (on my right shoulder).


OK already with the flowers, I get the point.
Lucky for us local yocals, every time Savage Republic go on a European tour, they do a precursor set in Claremont or Pomona, since this is where they originated. They have been one of my favorite bands since the mid-80's. I was honored to play Chinese hammered dulcimer on the last track "Peking" of their last album, "1938". Greg Grunke, the bassist, was unable to tour this time, so Kerry sat in and kept it solid sounding. I apologize in advance for any audio distortion.

video
Here's some stills-

Friday, January 2, 2009

End of the Fashion Line


This is the last day of the "amoxicillin fashion" portion of my blog. It takes a lot of effort to do this daily and my hat is off to those who can keep it up. I am really a dirtbag at heart. I still like to wear things for multiple days. I just caught a segment on "Tim and Eric's Awesome Show Great Job!" called 'Kitty Cat Man' with Michael Cera and Don and Pat Jankiewicz as his brothers. When I went to Upland High School they were known as "The Jankiewicz Brothers" because there were 4 of them there. All four are friendly giants. If they had started a band it would have been terrrifying. Steve worked at Rhino for awhile and wore these baby blue dolphin shorts. 'Nuff said on a public forum. Pat acted in K-Pax, Beethoven 2 and may be the tallest.  Don was a Klingon on Star Trek and Tom wrote the original screenplay to "Grosse Pointe Blank" which John Cusack changed a few words on and tried to claim as his own screenplay. That didn't fly in court. That movie is about an assassin sent back to his 10 year High School Reunion and judging from the screenplay it is directly based on Upland High. All the Upland High stereotypes are in there and the local college station would have been KSPC 88.7 in Claremont. Arguably, the best station on the planet. Props to Erica Tyron for keeping it truly independent, diverse and awesome.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Boomers Bonanza!

Thanks to Jamie and Matt, I woke up to a homecooked meal and nice cup of coffee. It's a satisfyingly soft beginning to 2009. 2008 started with a plop and quickly made itself known to be a cruel and kind year. We lost RayRay. Sam and I went on tour up the West Coast. Obama won the election. Obama's bodysurfing pic in the Palm Springs "Desert Sun" newspaper today will inspire me to hang loose throughout 2009 like my new, tiny lizard friend, Leo.
To start, I put some liquid oxygen into my water to counter the effect of last night's Pernod and water. I soaked up a lot of sun and positive ions by Steve McQueen's Mickey Mouse shaped pool. I brought my 3-D Mickey Mousey glasses out for the occasion. I like the shadows in the pool.

Brie tries to make sense of the 3-D candle.Are-Pod and Bear-Pod get ready for their (Z)Ionization of the I and I nation.Here's where Bear-Pod pops into 'Mad Jester' mode.We strolled around pink sunset in downtown Palm Springs and I bought a portable Playmobil dollhouse for my classroom.We headed to Boomer's. No one was sure why. Lindsey and Quinn raced in the derby.We played speed golf with 6 people sharing two clubs and lost our 2 golf balls like 5 minutes in. I couldn't resist peeking into the mini- golf structures. Here's the exterior and interior of the Gingerbread House.
Here's the Haunted Victorian... It reminded me of some of the decrepit and decayed things still at the Enchanted Forest in Ellicott City, MD. During the Amps For Christ East Coast tour of 2003, my cousin Ryon and I snuck into that abandoned theme park that defined my childhood in Maryland. As a kid, I went for any special occasion I could conjure up and at one point, I lived right around the corner. To me, Maryland is the enchanted forest. Palm Springs holds a different enchantment entirely.