2-17-04, 10:34 AM -
Still at work. Still not doing a damn thing.
Had a great weekend, though. On Saturday we did the traditional Valentine's Day dinner-and-a-show, and this show was particularly special because it doubled as the CD Release Party for our mutual infatuation, Las Rubias del Norte. Ah yes, at last Rumba Internationale has hit the...well, the boxes it came in. It's not in stores yet, but you should keep your eye on their website for upcoming availability as it arises. (It's available on their website now... - ed.)
"SERIOUS fucking jet lag for most of the past week. If youve never experienced it, I dont know how to describe it, other than the time and state of sunlight/nightime is completely at odds with what your body is telling you, ending up in you being in a state of near constant fatigue. The clock says that its 2 in the afternoon, but your body says that its 8 in the morning, and youve been up all night. So from the hours of 5:30 AM to noon I'm jumping around, but in mid-afternoon fall down exhausted, wake up several hours later, not in the least bit rested.
Maja's brother arrived 2 days ago from London, Tarot decks in hand (he gives really good readings) so the gang's all here.
Last night had a really mind blowing experience. I've never had any kind of acupuncture done before, but this man who the family uses came over to do me. I dont know how it works elsewhere, but this is a combination of acupunture and psychotherapy. I've been to tarot readers who say things like ah, I see you have a love interest but this isn't about being psychic or anything, although Serbs, like Russians are renowned for their psychics.
The thing is, it works. And it's intense. When he pricks something that hurts and says that this means that you have this issue, he's right. And it's not so general, he really does nail specifics of your issues. This is definitely not some kind of guess work. Then you get down to the issue. He narrows down to the specific spot within the issue, and then you open up.
All the stuff brought up--most of which, as classic psychotherapy, follows that Anne Clark poem, a cynical masterpiece:
They fuck you up, your mum and dad
They do not mean to, but they do
They fill you with the fears they have
Then add some new ones, just for you
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old style hats and coats
Who half the time were stoppy stern
And half at one anothers throats
Man hands on misery to man
It deepens like a coastal shelf
So get out as early as you can
And dont have any kids yourself.
I love that little dark piece of nihilism. Its one of those poems I've been carrying around for years, like "The Ballad of Big Ass Lil and Yukon Pete", a classic of adolescent, misogynistic sexual humor.
On a lighter note, we went to Croatia the other day, a town called Zegreb. Went there on a bus during the night, so we only got e few hours of sleep, and BUS sleep at that, the absolute worst kind of sleep. Those of you who have travelled abroad have undoubtedly had the "arrive in foreign country completely sleep deprived in crappy bus station where everyone is babbling in strange tongue you can't understand and are barely able to function" moment. And bus stations are the same across the world, fucking armpits of society.
Maja was really reluctant to speak Serbian, since although it's basically the same language, very close, she speaks with a heavy Serbian accent, and let's just say that Serbs and Croats have a strained relationship at best.
You know, civil war and all that. But she also, heaven forbid, doesnt want to be mistaken for a stupid American. (which just makes me think stupid white woman to paraphrase a great Native American.)
We ended up wandering the town in a compltely fatigued state, unable to leave when we thought we were going to, so had to power through a long, trippy day.
Beautiful town, though. Much closer to Budapest than to Belgrade. Makes sense, given all the Western money Croatia got during and after the war for being not only Catholic, but embracing of Western democracy unlike the former Yugoslavia's heavy socialist leanings.
Anyway, the town was beautiful, but I have to say, and since one of those reading this is Croatian he might get a kick out of this: Croatian women are FUCKING HOT!!! I mean it's almost supernatural. You leave the bus station and are waiting for the tram, and there's a group of chicks and you think (being a guy and all) damn. hot chicks.
Then some more women show up and you're like wow. More hot chicks. Then some tram, not yours, stops, and all the women who get off are fucking hot, too. Then you're really like whats going on here? Next tram, hot chicks. Your tram, hot chicks. You get off and walk down the street and every fucking chick that passes you is HOT! All fucking day!
Is it something in the water? Is it a genetic predispostion? Because I tell ya, I've travelled more than just a wee bit, and it's fucking like this town made a deal with the Devil.
And the best part, all you lonely, desperate men: the men are alright. Unremarkable, even. Not bad, but definitely not in the same league. So if you're pathetically desperate and want some foreign action, go to fucking Croatia and throw around some American money. Ya can't fail. (okay, don't hurt me. This is humor, really. Before I become a better person through writing a new album, the theme of which is "song of lost faith", let's have one last dance 'round the pole)
So for all of you fucking moralists who are now saying "oh, but Paul, you're walking next to your beautiful wife this whole time. What a fucking scumbag you are." Oh, shut the fuck up. My wife is hotter then all these babes, yes; and no, she's not reading over my shoulder, and c'mon, y'all be sizing up the population yourselves, regardless of gender. You know damn well when you're in the middle of a town populated by hot chicks or studs.
(and like my own woman doesn't share my enjoyment of a good, opposite sex aesthetic)
So Croatia. Great little town (seriously, I was impressed. There's an Eastern European aesthetic that when you find it is really impressive. Prague is, of course, the standard by which all beauty is judged, since you cannot go to Prague and not believe that there are little fairies who fly around waving their wands and making everything gorgeous, but Prague aside, the aesthetic carries across the lands to other places, though lord knows, not all. A helpful hint: diesel does not improve the environment. In fact, it covers everything in a stinky, grey soot.)
So, great town, hot chicks, and if you're looking to get out of the States for a spell, may I recommend Zegreb, Croatia. Although, as with the rest of Eastern Europe, many women over 40 are fucking RUDE bitches. Sorry for the stereotype, but its true. I'm just having a lark with the whole hot chicks thing, but there is something UP with this whole bitter older women you run across when you need help in Eastern
Europe thing. Ask my wife, she's even more prejudiced then I am. Older men there are much more mellow. You get the vibe that they just want to chill, and may even be interested in your newness, unlike say, some bars in Idaho, northern Colorado, or Georgia where upon walking in, you get the distinct impression you are not wlecome, liked, or tolerated.
Once again, I highly recommend the experience of being in a foreign country where you spend most of your time not knowing what the fuck's going on. Why? Not sure. It seems character building. You definitely develop a rich, inner life while you sit around staring at the wall while everyone around you is babbling in some unintelligable language.
One last thing, on Serbian politics:
1. So y'all may or may not know that the president who was elected to replace Milosovic, and who it took the storming of the Parliament by the population to enforce, was assisinated. By a conspiracy between his own secret service and one of the mafia groups here, the mafia group from Maja's neighborhood, the Zemun Clan. (in the neeeeighborhood, in the neeeiiiggghhhborhood) A lot of people were pissed over the number of people he was turning over to the Hague tribunal for war crime prosecution. So now his second in command is in charge. ("in charge", there's a joke here. The government here is in shambles. Although, to be mentioned at least not like the absolute lack of Kosovo government is in shambles. Not like we're following through on that one or anything)
So the US has told him they are witholding $100 million dollars in aid unless he turns the requested people in. Damn. This poor fuck. No money coming in if he doesn't, his predecessor assassinated for wanting to. Sometimes it ain't so good to be da king.
2. The world is paying some attention to the next presidential election. (NO one likes Bush. I'm not trying to antagonize my Republican friends, but really, NO one outside the US likes Bush, and the world is not made up of US citizens and terrorists. That last bit was meant to antagonize other people I've had to talk to who I realize aren't here reading this, so excuse my overcompensating issues. It just gets frustrating when you get constantly accused of siding with homicidal, sociopathic fucks.)
Anyway, Maja's friends here are aware of a couple of the Democratic candidates. And what I didn't see coming is that there is one candidate who they all agree they don't want to see reach office. Anyone? Yes, that would be Wesley Clark. Boy, do they not like him here. Think about it for a minute. You'll get it. (took me a minute)
Well, hell, I may as well just send this bad boy off. I enjoy those letters from NYC and can only hope to compliment their spirit.
Until that great day,
The man's insane.
12-17-04, 3:39 PM -
Spent Sunday attempting to record Dorian, only to be thwarted by complaining radiator pipes. This was not a problem I had in our old apartment in Brooklyn, but I don't think our present building has had any work done on it since Prohibition. The pipes only hiss when the outside temperature drops below freezing, so next weekend should be fine. Stupid weather.
Got a bunch of radio mailouts done yesterday, though. Internet radio has been receptive thus far, so on with the evolutionary show. Managed to steal a couple of hours of coffeeshop conversation with my cousin Petra, visiting from LA for some NYC auditions. Apparently playing Murdered Flight Attendant on 24 isn't good enough for her, she wants "success". Some people, man.
I know all of these film folk now. Dorian had bit parts in Father of the Bride II and on Law & Order, and here I've only ever been on Fort Worth cable access. I sure wish Rosie would return my calls.
I don't think much else happened this weekend, other than me cheesing off the staff at the Men's Wearhouse.
So they've got these big racks of what is essentially the same pair of pants, just different colors. I figure I know my size, why don't I just grab a pair and try 'em on? All the sales guys are busy, & I don't need to be talked into an extra pleat by some beady-eyed commission-chaser anyway.
So I try on the pants in the changing room, and they fit. I change back into my clown pants & make for the tailor's desk. He gets my cuff measurements, then proceeds to write up a ticket.
"And who is your salesman?" he asks.
"I don't have one."
He's bewildered. "You mean you picked those out YOURSELF?"
The horror. I do it all the time at Old Navy. "Sure did."
My friend is unsure what to do. I've gone & mucked up the system. In steps Big Tony the Floor Manager to clear things up.
"What's the problem?" he asks.
"This gentleman doesn't have a salesman."
Tony eyes me suspiciously. Yes, you're right, Tony. I'm one of those.
"I'll be his salesman," he concludes. Then proceeds to give me the pitch. "Would you like any socks or a belt with this?"
"You know, we have matching jackets..."
"So when can I pick these PANTS up?"
"You know, normally we recommend..."
"Will Monday work?" I ask the tailor.
"Umm...yes," stammers the tailor, upon glancing at Big Tony first. Tony passes my ticket on to a counter girl and bids me an insincere farewell bow.
Look, Tony. You can try all you want, but I will never be the customer you're looking for. The kind who'll buy two more expensive things on top of the expensive thing he just saved up two weeks to buy. You see, first, I would have to get the money. And then, I would have to be stupid.
If you're banking on either of those things, you're gonna be waiting awhile. Stupidity does show up every now & then, but usually finds the wallet empty. Otherwise I'd have bought that Darth Vader mask long ago.
2-25-04, 10:01 PM -
Oy. The work finally started today. And boy, am I bushwhacked. It's a thing of wonderment.
They launched the big new subway plan this week, which I could have used about a year & a half ago. The new express trains go right through my old neighborhood in Sunset Park. As it is, I get bupkis. But I shouldn't bitch, because my commute's still shorter than it would be.
Haven't had time to post this letter. This weekend was jam-packed with productivity & beer drinking (an odd combination), so I didn't have time to type stuff up. Saw a great show at the C-Note, where I'll be performing in April. I highly recommend this obscure East Village haunt for its reasonable beer prices and laid-back decor. And a few hot chickies now & then.
By the way, check out my friend Dan's radio show, Radio Crystal Blue, at your earliest opportunity (no, he's not a hot chickie, but he books them at the C-Note). You'll hear fine local sounds, and there's every possibility of certain honky ravings being aired. Now let's bow our heads and praise Al Gore for his Information Superhighway.
Bleah. Being bushwhacked doesn't lend itself to inspirational writing, so I'll let you all off the hook and wrap this thing up.
But not without issuing a notice to my New York contingent that I'll be playing at the Tank on Thursday, March 4th at 8pm. The joint's on 42nd Street between 9th & 10th Avenues, & it's a hell of a great place. Friendly vibe, awesome art gallery in the basement, and only $5 to get in. Now that's value, friend. We're trying out a few new ideas, so come take in the spectacle.
The only spectacle going on in my apartment right now is that of Jehosafat chasing herself back and forth across the carpet. Poor cat, she's got no yard anymore. But she gets a lot closer to birds at our window than she ever did when she was out among them. People say birds are stupid, but they know enough to avoid furry things with fangs & claws.
I've been trying to conceptualize an outdoor enclosure of some kind that would give her access to the fire escape, but I've gotta wait till it warms up. February. Does it ever end?
Oh wait, it does. In about four days.
I was looking at my entries from last February, and found that at this time last year, I was just getting out of a deep funk. Seems this year's a bit better so far. Hope that's portent and not cock-teasing.
Okay, I promised I'd spare you the inane chatter, and here I am going on like Cliff Claven at a...something clever. See, no good.
Sleep well. Don't let February stab you on its way out.