Secret Pop

Apr 29, 2004

She certainly can can-can.

I don't want to talk about how hot it's been. I don't want to talk about how strange it's been. I don't want to talk about tape delay or hand-squeezing or crossing the international date line. It seems, lately, I don't want to talk much about anything. At least not here. I get my lists together and I fall behind. And I feel this strange unfamiliarity with the old days when I had so much to say about so little. I have been working a lot. That may be to blame. But in the absence of inspiration, I defer to discipline. If I don't keep up, I can only ever fall further behind. So these are the highlights that missed the stage's center in recent days.

Disneyland was brilliant and sunny and hotter than it's ever been in my recollection. Not as humid as that time I went in July. But hotter, certainly. Tom is a "cast member," so we got into both parks for free. I had never been to California Adventure. I had never eaten a fancy dinner at the Blue Bayou. At least not here. I think I did at Tokyo Disneyland, but I was too much a teenager to have ordered anything smart. This time, I had the prime rib, and plenty of it. That Soarin' Over California attraction is breathtaking. Such pretty pretty music in that park. A film score enthusiast's cup of tea -- with milk even. And that Screamer is quite a ride. Tom didn't want the secret of the super high-speed take-off to be revealed so he kept insisting on the long way around the park. A trek we had to make repeatedly because the first time, we waited 40 minutes in line only to have the ride break down. But it was worth the wait the second time around. Even though I almost had to throw down with a girl in line who kicked me in the hip as she was climbing over the rails only to blame it on me for not getting out of the way. Using my mom's terminology, I'd say that the attendance at California Adventure appears to come from a slightly different "income level," if you know what I mean. If you don't, ask me in private.

The Paul F. Tompkins Show was terrific as per usual. I laughed until my face hurt. And I wish I'd written more down. Or that I hadn't had so much to drink, as I would surely crib from the best parts and lay the decontextualized quotes down here to confuse you. Instead it's all just floating in a fog of funny. Pieces of silver. This is sad. Oh, my god! I can't forget Murderton, Crackshire, and Rapeham! I nearly collapsed my own trachea on Rapeham. If you knew why that was funny, you'd be floating on a cloud of it. Sucks for you. Incidentally, I saw that my table was right up front on the reservation chart, but somehow someone else was sitting there when I arrived. It was TV's Teri Hatcher and some other unidentified woman. Now, I'm no very important person, but I was in a minor state of dismay. Then, the server took our drink order first, but brought drinks to Samm Levine and his guest (sitting close enough to me that I couldn't help but overhear Samm's discovery that the Sprite he ordered had booze in it) before serving us. Stee-rike number two. If you count giving people with IMDb credits preferential service over ordinary paying customers like me a strike. Which I do. Jon Cryer was down at the far end of the tables, but as far as I could tell, he did not preempt any of the service I was waiting for, so I guess he's okay. For now.

I drank too much, anomalously, and that made a dent in my productivity later in the night. But it's the sort of thing I don't have the attention span to regret. Mr. F. Tompkins was spinning brilliant yarns about his recent high times in London, and I was envious. Not just because he is funnier than I will ever be, but also because he got to go abroad. Side note: I don't think I'm going to be calling him Mr. F. Tompkins anymore. I think he was referred to as Mr. Eftompkins or Mr. Ephtompkins in an interview I read, and I thought it was clever and endearing, but when I write it like that -- Mr. F. Tompkins -- it looks and sounds like the sort of name an old woman gives her overly important cat. From now on, it's anything but. Carrying on. Aimee Mann -- high on my genius list -- sang and strummed. Michael Penn was sitting down to a meal at Canter's just before the show. I saw him as I was leaving. I even said out loud but not within Michael Penn's earshot, "I hope that Aimee Mann will be playing." And that's reason number one hundred and forty-seven to attend the Paul F. Tompkins Show: it grants wishes. Paul F. even worked the Handbags and Gladrags theme into his opening number, and it gave me cause to wish that he would release that version -- and all of his songs -- on CD. I would buy such a CD again and again. You think I'm being hyperbolic, but I'm not.

So, yeah, I came home from that a bit fizzy in the head. And I wrote saucy responses to emails in my inbox, knowing I would have no recollection of it in the morning. That's what the Sent Items folder is for. Shame and retribution. I slept fitfully and awoke early enough to know that I shouldn't have gotten up. And I had all this work to do. And it was murderously hot. But it was not the end of me.

The deadlines this week have nearly been the end of me. I'm a survivor so far, but there's time yet for me to cease to be. I finished an article I was asked to write for a magazine that circulates in the Inland Empire, and I was sure it was shit, but the editor -- insisting it couldn't have been a first draft -- accepted my first draft and liked it. This is the exact sort of turnabout that will never ever teach me that procrastination and slapdashery supposedly have an effect on a career similar to the effect curiosity has on cats. How will I ever learn this lesson? If ever there was a girl in need of discipline, it's me. And I'm not just referring to the striking of the fanny.

Pasadena was hot as a motherfather yesterday. Hot and under construction and quaint-looking. I was on a job interview that seemed to go well. I was wrapped up and pitched out into traffic right at 5:15 and was surprised to find that it wasn't half murder getting home. An encouraging detail if I end up having to go there regularly.

I agreed to do some freelance transcription work yesterday, as well. Which I should never have done. I did some of this work before the holidays, and it was extra money, but laborious and time-consuming, and I don't need the money right now. But I hate to say no to people who are counting on me. Stupid as that sounds sometimes. That left me stoop-shouldered and frustrated and further behind than ever in everything else I was behind in. But when I was driving into the Hills to drop off the video tapes, it was around the hour of last call, and I decided to stop and take photos of the window display at Trashy Lingerie. That accounts for one of the eleven rolls of Lomos I dropped off today to be developed. Let's hope there's one or two in there worth keeping. I'm glad I stopped. I always think about taking those pictures, but it's always when the streets are congested and the sidewalks attentive. I liked the barrenness of La Cienega after one a.m. and the absence of self-consciousness I feel when I'm confident that no one is watching.

Tonight, I went to the Egyptian to see The Corporation as part of the Artivist Film Festival. It was just amazing. I really want to buy it by the case when it comes out on DVD and give a copy to everyone I know. I was so moved by it. And so convicted and inspired and disheartened all at once. And it provoked all manner of compelling discussion afterwards. I wish I had the presence of mind and the focus to recount some of what we talked about. But I really do hope that everyone will see this movie, and -- in the case of those who like to talk to me -- that a subset of everyone will bandy ideas around with me in the aftermath. There are some very compelling and startling ideas in this film. And I'm hoping that I can be an instrument of change. Ironically, I just became a corporation myself last week, but I promise that I will not plunder our natural resources or exploit third world labor. You can quote me on that.

After a bit of Toi, I said good night and got into my car, at which time my pants ripped completely open. And, it's not because they were too tight or anything, so don't jump to conclusions that aren't flattering to my figure. They were jeans that I paid a lot of money for and there must just have been a flaw in the weave, because they split from the seam just under the waistline all the way down the back of my thigh. And I was terribly relieved that I didn't have anywhere else to be. I even held my handbag in a strategic place when walking from my car to my apartment for fear that my neighbors might think I was clumsily trying to resurrect that Def Leppard look of 1987. Joe Elliott was great in many ways, but I can't get behind his fashion choices that year. I don't know if I should bother trying to seek reparations from Anthropologie. I'm not keen on getting that once-over from the sales clerk who will obviously think it was the fault of my ass. Speaking of which, I got a full-on, head-to-toe once-over from an orthodox Jew today. Hardcore. Anyway, now I have yet another thing in common with Spongebob Squarepants. The oops-I-ripped-my-pants thing -- not the orthodox-Jew-once-over thing. Incidentally, the things previously on the list were naïveté and butterfly kisses.

This is the point at which Blogger ate a portion of my post. A lengthy, satisfying, wrapping-up portion of my post that I will now try to recreate -- a task at which I will fail miserably, if history is any measure. And I should know. This happens to me all the bloody time. And always with the prolific posts. I'm gnashing my teeth. But back to closing.

I'm going to Coachella, but this year get this: I'm going with a VIP wristband and press photo pass. I swear, if I get a cool close-up photo of Frank Black or Kim Deal, who in the world will be cooler than me? No one! I have every Pixies CD and a wide-eyed helping of lolling admiration that cannot be outdone! You so wish you were me. Don't even try to deny that you do. I'm also thrilled and excited to see The Cure and Radiohead and Muse and Air, but rather than dangle it all before you in a disordered series, I'll just send you here so you can see for yourself. I am a bit concerned that some of the other acts I'm keen to see (Savath & Savalas, !!!, Prefuse 73, Erase Errata) are playing early enough in the line-up that, if I go to see them, I may risk speeding toward a much earlier exposure-related death. If past experience is any proof, getting there before dusk will be a form of self-immolation. It's going to be cooking temperature out there. I expect my meat to be falling off the bone by the time I'm through. But I have lovely accommodations at a chi chi resort where I can rehydrate poolside and have a massage. And a gang of other lucky folks will be bunking with me there, so there's no need to pity me.

We're in a bit of a cooling trend right now, sure sure. But they say the mercury's set to bolt right back up again just in time to incinerate me and thousands of other music-lovers like me in the cruel desert. Rolling in the rave tent is not how I'd like to go, pleasant as it might sound.

I am fairly certain that I will die out there, so if there are any of my belongings to which you are particularly attracted, get your dibs in early. And remember me fondly to those who come after us. Tell them all that I was worth it, will you?

But before any of that can happen, I've still mountains more work to do. So much so that it seems a crime. Even when life is full, it is no less fleeting.

See? I had a much better ending than that, but it's lost to me now. Afford me the benefit of the doubt and superimpose something that you would have liked to read. I'd be ever so grateful.

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