A: I HEAR YOU HAVE A BABY

F:  YERP

A: When you have a baby you don’t have time to do ANYTHING

F: That’s because babies take up so much time

A: I know

F: What is it that babies take so much time doing?

A: The babies are very busy, they are constantly reading dense texts and challenging your preconceived notions about things

F: Like what sorts of things?

A: Like … arbitrary–

A+F [in unison] …arbitrary taxonomies of genre!?!

F: Whoa.

A: Luv.

F: I’m bummed out again about how I don’t feel like I know how to make sense. Or, maybe, I hate making sense. Making nonsense is much more fun.

A: It’s hard to tell the difference between making nonsense is more fun in the way that smoking lots of pot and watching Adult Swim is more fun, or making nonsense is more fun in that you are an acolyte of Jarry and Ionesco and Stein and live your life in a radical subversion of standard bourgeoise modes of expression etc

F: I think I sometimes milk that ambiguity. Like I pretend to be a highbrow Dadaist when in fact I’m just waiting for the next fortnight of pajamas and Xavier Renegade Angel

A: Xavier Renegade Angel

F: But Xavier Renegade Angel is made by guys who split that difference. They’re students of Gordon Lish, they seem like they’ve done their homework, and they might have pretensions for their show to have a depth or at least a terminal bleakness that makes the comedy that much more “fucked up”

A: Did you ever check your email during the dark time of hospital visits and black veiled hospitalizations

F: There’s never been a time in my life when I haven’t checked my email every fifty minutes

A: remember when you first went camping and they explained what the trowel was for?

F: Yes. The trowel is for digging a little pit for you to shit into. Then you wipe with leaves, and bury your poo like a tiny funeral rite.

A: That’s a lot of work for a poo.

F: You’re not pooing so much in the forest. Maybe once a day if you’re lucky

A: Also not a lot of urgent emails to respond to in the woods.

F: Are you pining for the pines, blood?

A: The grass is always greener in the other bong. I had my dream job, and now I have my other dream job. Someday I won’t have any dream job and I’ll be shooting squirrels for sustenance

F: Shooting them with what?

A: An inherited crossbow.

F: Inherited from who?

A: A girl I met on the internet

F: Why did she leave you the crossbow in her will?

A: She said she liked my blog.

F: How did she die?

A: She faked her own suicide.

F: So she’s still alive?

A: No. She actually killed herself, but she didn’t mean it.

F: You know how if you commit suicide you don’t get in to harvard I mean heaven?

A: yes

F: that’d be funny if whoever the last person you slept with got to rewrite your will if you ended up killing yourself

Drubbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb’d

My very close friend Andrew Leland has started blogging for the Oakland Museum of California. He only has three posts up; he has been very shy about it. The link is here. I was with him when he saw that the most recent post had gone up, and he was like, “This reads like a college newspaper column. I hate myself.”

“Andrew,” I told him. “Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s great.”

“Really?” He said. So self-obsessed, so delicate. “Thanks.”

The blog isn’t bad. He’s trying. He also told me he recently tried writing fiction, because a young lion who edits a young lionesian quarterly asked him to submit something. “Writing fiction is excruciating,” he reports. “I spent a week forcing myself to write 750 words a day. Then I went two months without thinking about it. I returned to the document I had created, and my wonderful girlfriend had to pry the screwdriver out of my hands before I plunged it into my eye sockets.” Writing nonfiction isn’t much easier, he added, but then when it’s done, he feels happy.

Last Saturday, Andrew and I were hanging out at his apartment in San Francisco. I had my tape recorder, and we thought it would be fun to record our conversation. Last night I couldn’t sleep, so I transcribed it.

ME: That’s not why dogs are neutered, Andrew. [Laughter]

ANDREW: Just kidding.

ME: I adore your shoes!!

AL: I love you. I wish I could smoke pot

just kidding, that’s not a real transcript. Tonight is the Oakland Standard’s launch party — officially selected by Good Jobbbbbbbbbbbb: The Online Journal of Success as the number-one Friday Night social calendar PICK for Friday, February 4. The Tammy-Rae MacArthur Genius Kutundu-Wajahat Mother Novella Carpenter’s Gothic part starts at 8, then Turf Fienz at I wanna say 9, then Chelsea Clinton’s Wedding DJ (seriously, literally) at whenever everything else is over. It’s free, it’ll go till 1, one is advised to “come through.” One block from Lake Merritt BART. Alcohol, bikes, leggings. At least three generations of Americans, dancing.

Knee-Jerk Status

I went on a Facebook and Twitter hiatus because I felt like I was just whipping around too much in an unconscious toilet-flushing motion. It coincided with finally getting internet at home. Something on the internet will remind me of someone I know so I slap it on their wall. A violent scrap of megabanal language emerges out of something I misread at work, and so I tweet the fuck out of it. Then I wait to see if anyone responds to these empty, flaily gestures. At least here on the blog there’s still some obligation to construct something with a little more… integrity? The self-loathing bleeds through more cleanly. Fffft

Ariana Reines’s Tumblr has been moving and inspiring me lately, in all-caps. I’m on my lunch break. Magic Molly immolated her Tumblr, it seems, which is a bummer but I understand and even appreciate the gesture. “In 1970 John Baldessari cremated nearly all the paintings he had created between 1953 and 1966.” I don’t think it’s an outrageous comparison. I look forward to reading Molly’s future work.

Still haven’t read either of the colossal and megafun-looking and much-commented-upon recent Elif Batuman essays: LRB/McGurl/MFAs and NYT Magazine/Kafka. Ben Jones posted a Kathy Grayson–style blog post. I am in a transitional period of my life, self-imposed. There is a weird and bitter ex-marital drama that I’m pretty sure is real unfolding in the comments section of an old blog post. I don’t know either of the parties involved.

Kovacs

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DX5khYGqjPY&feature=fvst]

“if the famous innovators of the early days of television were the French New Wave, Ernie Kovacs would be Godard. In that no one followed him. Milton Berle and Henny Youngman and Steve Allen all created television that we now watch. Ernie Kovacs created television that no one could ever follow. There was no successor. Channel Thirteen replayed his entire archive for one brief, beautiful moment in the seventies. My mother sat me down to watch, as though it were school.”

Jonathan Lethem

100% Fiction

The brain can’t have sex — you have to use a different organ. Take it from me: I’m a PhD in biology! But listen. “I’m done.” I know it isn’t Internet Season. The snow in California is qualitatively different — which is to say, “different” –than East Coast or even Mid-Western snow that sticks to your glasses and ignites a spark in the jug of coffee you’re hauling around in your gut. (Within a sweater, inside your jacket; college times.) But it’s never going to be Internet Season if I keep waiting for it.

There’s nothing cooler than being a security guard at the Whitney. Dream job, right? But maybe at a certain point it’s time to move on. The Rauchenbergs will only keep writhing in Psylocibic ecstacy for a decade or so before they finally flatten and hang dead, right? Of course there have been new acquisitions. The Neo Rauches look so fresh their reds seem painted in blood. And as a security guard I have unusual freedoms: I can tape postcards to the mirrors in the bathrooms. I’m allowed to edit the artworks’ wall text. I can design my own uniform. I’m more like a “security guard in residence.” But the thought recurs, with newly alarming frequency: Cheese wedges on a platter in the drowning ship’s cafeteria?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMSFX1Vb3xQ]

But it’s all cheese-colored parachutes, my friend, and they don’t stop moving. I know this. There’s no reason why teaching InDesign shortcuts to at-risk Shar Peis or pouring soy-milk foam into at-risk triple macchiatos is going to be better than being a security guard at the Whitney. Money is money, and so is time. But what about… I’m not sure what the intervening factor would be. Probably ego. Mine has more than a few Velcro pockets brimmin w/ the old, weird trinkets (: marijuana from 1995, a tiny perfect wooden sphere, the artist Tom Friedman‘s Hammacher-Schlemmer Best Nose-Hair Trimmer, an unread copy of John Fante’s Ask the Dust...)

I might try to rejigger my role within the museum — I could relinquish my guarding duties and just work on the wall-text and bathroom postcards full-time. But but but but. That’s more than likely the answer. The challenges would be recharged and I’d have time, probably, to really make that wall-text sing. But today it’s a lot more fun to imagine laying my billy-club and taser and oversized plastic cool-guy glasses on the Membership desk with firm, respectful authority, and stride stridently into the Upper East Side of my life, totally fearless and nude, zero prospects, zero confidence, the air between the buildings filled with absolute columns of pure windchimes. Right???

And then immediately regret it for the rest of my life. I’d return to the museum a month later and the security guards are all cool and new. They’re smoking some sort of health-food opiate that increases abdominal toning and sexual stamina. I stand there for ten minutes, watching them copulate hotly inside of a new Tim Hawkinson body-machine. I’m holding my supplies for the day in a plastic bag: greasy old New Yorker, mealy apple,  first-generation iPhone I bought off a cyber-hobo outside the subway. I am doomed.

Lemme know your thoughts when you have a sec.

Friday: WFMU in SF!

Live Remote from San Francisco Gallery 16’s “100 Records”
Friday, May 7th, 3pm – 6pm
on
Put the Needle On the Record with Billy Jam
Musician/ artist/ curator Sonny Smith (of Sonny & The Sunsets who performed on WFMU during SXSW) currently has a unique exhibit at San Francisco’s Gallery 16. Entitled “100 Records” it features the cover art for one hundred seven inch records by 100 bands/artists that never existed. Actually the band names & song titles (200 in all for Side A & B) were all dreamt up by Smith who then commissioned a hundred artists to create corresponding cover art for these fictional bands’ singles. Smith then, with other musicians, set about making the music to go along with these imaginary 45s. He then built a jukebox (also on the display in the gallery) to playback these songs. This coming Friday WFMU will set up its remote broadcast unit smack in the middle of the “100 Records” exhibit when Smith will be among the many guests on the air. Also scheduled to stop by are Gallery 16’s Griff Williams, Live Human, DnZ, Z-Man, B-Cause, and more to be announced. Gallery 16 is located at the corner of Bryant & Third Streets in downtown San Francisco and is open to the public. This WFMU broadcast of “Put The Needle On The Record” with Billy Jam happens at local San Francisco time noon to 3pm, which is 3pm to 6pm Jersey City time, on Friday May 7th.

the girls at dawn

I’ve been stressed out at work and found a lo-fi all-girl indie band composed of three attractive 20-year-olds and felt super creepy looking at their photos and marginally less creepy listening to their music on this blog before. [link]

And now:

http://www.myspace.com/thegirlsatdawn

SORRY EVERYBODY!! It looks this happens about once a summer. Check this space soon for my fan fiction about the stubbled art-handling half-drunk square-jawed t-shirted (!?) guys I imagine them dating/singing about.