Friday, June 30, 2006

SF Mem 8

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

SF Mem 7

Queerbeat at Liquid on a Monday night, circa early winter 2002, 16th btw Cap and Van Ness. It's packed and everybody's found their groove, dancing to an extended remix of Nina Simone's Sealine Woman. Call and response. Jazz flute. Nothing better ever again.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

SF Mem 6

They were the chosen people. They would be clones if not for their bellybuttons, even the most feral ones that ate their mothers along with their own afterbirth. a UNIVERSE in a scrotal sac. In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a righteous sound system erect. The chosen people had matching torsos and interchangable limbs, matching fist tags, they all writhed to the same fascist 2/2 beat and their beaded sweat glistened in the same frenzied lights. Half past midnight, the mothership broke through the ceiling and spun it's rotary probe toward the floor and the chosen people all bowed to her laser beam teets, sucking the milklight like a ravenous litter.

Monday, June 19, 2006

SF Mem 5

In 10 years:
196 burritos
148 tacos carne asada
68 tacos lengua
124 fish tacos
47 papusas
823 shrimp dumplings
614 pork dumplings
419 steamed bbq pork buns
84 burger joint burgers
48 claimjumpers from grubsteak
64 Salvodoreno pastries
49 quesedilla suizas
69 vietnamese sandwiches
59 bowls of pho
154 entrees from Pasta Pomodoro
29 ginger cakes with pumpkin ice cream from chow
104 pieces of yellowtail sushi
25 pieces uni sushi
27 seitan sandwiches and orders of garlic fries from Jay's cheese steak
79 pieces of naan
43 samosas
37 fried fish cakes
32 scoops Michell's Mango Ice Cream
16 scoops Michell's Avacado Ice Cream
1094 cappucinos
2942 cups of coffee
17 creme brulees
12 legs of duck confit
7 orders foie gras
2147 bottles of beer
237 glasses of wine
1956 mixed drinks
23 warm chocolate cakes
145 falaffel deluxe and
112 lamb shawermas from truly mediteranean
9 souffles
Only a couple cases of bad food poisoning

SF mem 4

I still had birkenstocks. We were on Valencia for some reason. I stepped on a humongous pile of shit--like horse-size but fresh-dog-poo consistency--maybe one of those horse-dog hybrids. When I stepped in it, I slid about a foot on the worn out sole of my birkenstock. I said wooooohhh as I slid and regained my footing. I scraped that shit like a spatula on frosting and it came that close to coming over the brim of the cork foot bed and smearing my toes. Forever after I watched the sidewalk and discovered all the stencils spraypainted on the pavement.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

SF Mem 2 and 3

Mem 2: First time coming out of 16th and mission station headed to the epicenter zone. This part of town is tore up. A decade later and the intersection looks the same, same old crackhead.

Mem 3: Was that the first time we went to the city? At night? Visiting Kris and Fernando in Hayes Valley, Rose st., before they tore down the freeway and there were still lots of hookers and the neighborhood wasn't quite ready for so-and-so's girlfriend's homegrown couteur. Fernando Marti, no matter how hard we deny/politic/protest/sustainable-developement-proselatize, seems like gentrification takes root wherevers we lay down our seedy little hats.

The Magnetic Fields of the Whirling Mechanism, Part III

The epigraph in the Kircher exhibit, Valentine Worth, he recognized the name. When he got home, Abrams hunted through his archive of pulp fiction for the bound set of Eerie Tales, a Canadian fantasy monthly published between world wars. Later that night, instead of the next story from Isaac Basheevis Singer's Old Tales from the New World for Ethan's bedtime story he read a Valentine Worth installment from issue 14 of Eerie tales, the story: The Island of Death. The ehxaustive yet lyrical descriptions of the flora and fauna and Abrams' monotone delivery put his 4-year-old to sleep within minutes, but he continued reading aloud, looking for a connection. The story was your stock mad-scientist-plays-god-in-paradise, but seeded, if somewhat artlessly, among the man-eating plants and powder-coat-finish drones, was a strange borgesian conceit. And therein lay the connection to Athanasius Kircher exhibt at the museum. In the heart of the Island of Death lay an impendingly disastrous anomaly, the holy grail of electro-magnetism, a monopole. Magnets have both a south pole and a north pole, thus creating a regulated field. Instead, the monople was steadily gathering mass and strength like a blackhole. Kircher believed that magnetism ruled all aspects of our existence, the invisible strings and knots that linked all our choices and fates, our dreams and desires all given to the pull of magnetism's omnipresent flux aeterna. There are no demons or angels, just points in a field seeking to align and resonate. In the case of the monopole, however, the field can only grow stronger, a juggernaut of influence, nullifying any free will. Valentine's story went further to claim that God is Death and Death is a monopole, entropy is a consequence of this anomaly, all things must decay, subsumed by chaos, our souls eviscerated. All our lives in service to a single anomaly like flotsam reeling in a boundless vortex. This is good stuff, Abrams thought, like a conversation cross milenium and across hemispheres between a Jesuit polymath, Kirchner and Valentine Worth a dime-story writer. This stuff is too good not to use. It would take him several years to cook it all down on the back burner, inbetween Alias and a handful of movie projects. Soon he'd have the specs for a whole new tv series, add some fresh faces, some exotic locales, palm off the whole thing as a work in progress. Who would have thunk that the seeds of an emmy award winning show, adored by critics and fans, were housed in some obscure museum on Venice Blvd. The world is indeed bound with secret knots.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

SF Mem 1

You are riding Z Bus. No, this is not an approximation of a fucked-up French accent. I did not do K through 12 at the l'ecole Francais, you privelaged sons of junior league bitches. This is the transbay bus, route Z as in Zed is Dead. This is the bus for ye who fear the BART tube, does the tube rest at the bottom of the bay or does it float in hydrospace, a liquid cushion protecting it from the inevitable 7.0+ from the Hayward fault. Like most people, you are not privy to the engineering merits of the tube and prefer the light above ground to the cold murky green depths of the bay, all shark shit and man-made muck. The Z bus picks you up in the transbay terminal which also houses the Greyhound fleet, a village of schizophrenics and hippie burnouts, and a legion of diseased pigeons molting in the shit crusted rafters. The south wall of the bus terminal is a grid of dirty glass panes, bathing all who wait in an afterwordly glow. Coupled with your bleery vision, the cavernous space is the scene for a fellini-esque anxiety dream. The Z bus waits for no one, last east bound bus at 8, hope the J Church got you downtown in time. You are a cross commuter, the majority heading to the city in the morning, you are emeryville-bound the quasi-town built on drained marshland and landscaped post-industrial waste. On the cross commute Z bus, only half the seats are taken and most everybody chooses the same position day after day, congregate in the same groups. You and your coworkers have names for some of the people, the harraser, is the 50 year old lech who loudly explains to the bus driver the origin of his favorite seafood dish. Do you know why they call it Putanesca? Sneaker boy works for the music magazine officed in the old jelly bean factory. He always wears converse, but the colors never match, black-left, white-right, or maybe on Fridays one purple one red, a testimony to his deeply iconoclastic ways. The CGI effects people are a surly bunch and usually just stare out the window, they are migrant workers, moving back to LA to do commercials after the summer blockbusters are done. What does it do to your psyche to find out that you have spent 80 hours on a 15-second scene for a B-movie that will most likely go straight to DVD? The evening ride, the last half of the bridge, the downtown skyline comes into view, it's like finally unsquaring your shoulders after being at attention all day long. Between the equinoxes in spring and fall, if you catch the right bus, you witness the most beautiful sunsets you will ever see. From your high moorings, you see straight over the bridge rails, the toy boats and thumb-sized freight carriers with their paperclip cargo. Like a jumper's last vista, it is painfully beautiful, maybe the cooling sun is further cooled through the first tendrils of the evening fog, and the sky begins to bruise purple above the blackening spires of downtown. It is a private moment shattered when you hit the cold-surface, the bus takes the first exit off the bridge, the wide-arcing off-ramp circles around the Merril-Lynch building and you reach the terminal and must pass through the throng of the eastbay-bound, their slack and myriad faces in the evening light are like so many choppy waves fighting past you, reminding you just how tired you trully are.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Magnetic Fields of the Whirling Mechanism, Part II

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Magnetic Fields of the Whirling Mechanism, Part I

"All of nature in its awful vastness and incomprehensible complexity is in the end interrelated - worlds within worlds within worlds: the seen and the unseen - the physical and the immaterial are all connected - each exerting influence on the next - bound, as it were, by chains of analogy - magnetic chains. Every decision, every action mirrors, ripples, reflects and echoes throughout the whole of creation. The world is indeed bound with secret knots" —Valentine Worth

Serendipity in the multiverse of the Los Angeles basin verges on the epiphanic. JJ Abrams, the renowned illusionist and purveyor of tour-de-force telematica stumbled on the museum 15 years ago in a pre-Re-gentrified downtown Culver City. This was before Sony Pictures, the insatiable moloch in one of his many avatars, swallowed 10-by-12 city blocks, creating a real estate vaccum of Angelenian proportions, eventually ushering in a reverse white flight to the dustier corners of the hill-bound enclave--the darker tribes banished south to the fox hills. The queue to the 405 on-ramp that afternoon was slower than an ATM drive-thru. Abrahms needed an iced latte. Where was a starbucks when you needed one. On a block no lonelier than any other block on that stretch of Venice Blvd. across from the Mealy Apple Market, the corner storefront read: The Museum of Jurassic Technology, like something from the desk of Rod Serling. So he had to stop in and look. He recalled from his Freshman geology course, the Jurassic saw the first fissures of the supercontinent Pangeaea, and Culver City being a supreme center of kharmic residues of the celluloid kind, flying rabid monkeys, burning plantations—well, these facts indubitably resonated. The facade to the Museum of Jurrasic technology looked like the the wall of an atrium, an inlayed fountain a knocker-less door, as if to say the world is a secret garden and past this door is what frames it. The attendant at the front desk, a more congenial version of bearded bespectacled grad student of higher arcana and epistemology, mentioned there was tea and cookies upstairs in the sitting room. The unassuming facade belied the vastness of the buildings holdings. Beyond the heavy black draped doorway of the foyer were rooms leading to more rooms, all darkly lit by emergency exit lights ensconced in the molding. The narrowly focused beams strategically spotllighted artifacts and signage with copper-plated lettering glowing like biblical illuminations. Abrahms' immediate connection: this is the haunted house in Disneyland by way of Alister Crowley (though later he would realize there was nothing quite so sinister in any of the exhibits, more dead science really than black magic). Among the numerous artifacts: Letters from rogue scientists sent to the Mt. Wilson observatory, stereoscopic photography, flea-sized figurines poised on the heads of sewing needles. But the exhibit in the southend wing devoted to the works of Athanasius Kircher was what sent the bell wheel reeling and sounding it's polyphonous chime.