theDIESEL: what’s the story jb?
JLBurruss: nothing i was just thinking about you actually.
JLBurruss1: as i was looking through douglas coupland’s web site
JLBurruss:I cut a little drawing out of an Italian design magazine yesterday
theDIESEL: i still have that brutal aryan idiot’s image in my head – thanks a lot
JLBurruss: i was surprised by the number of people who’ve seen it
JLBurruss: he’s practically a celebrity
JLBurruss: the internet can do that.
JLBurruss: Anyway, it’s a drawing made up condensed typography. I was thinking it would be a great idea for a Flash animation.
JLBurruss: Having the text on the page or just a bunch of zeros and ones come together or break apart to form different icons.
theDIESEL: i have notes about that very technique
theDIESEL: i want to use it sometime soon – saw some killer target ads on tv
JLBurruss: I will fax you the image.
theDIESEL: they used a similar treatment
JLBurruss: You just said “killer target ads.”
theDIESEL: i did …
theDIESEL: i’m so valley
JLBurruss: I’m going to start publishing condensed versions of my IM dialogues.
JLBurruss: on my web site.
JLBurruss: You’ll remain anonymous of course.
JLBurruss: You deserve anonymity.
theDIESEL: that’s an interesting idea
theDIESEL: i’m going to have to pump up the jam then
theDIESEL: so that i’m featured often
JLBurruss: That should be everyone’s goal. You could become the thing of literary legend.
God commands you to use the Internet! You can pray for yourself, which is what I truly need. I’ve decided to resort to old-fashioned imploring the diety tactics of job hunting.
K-Marty just got back from two months walking the Campio de Santiago pilgrimage route in Northern Spain. She’s a changed woman. As much as punishing myself with acts of piety such as low caoloric intact, hard bunkbeds and walking hundreds of miles to get to a cathedral sound rewarding, I’m getting to the point where I’m far more interested in acts on non-sobriety such as sitting on a beach in Mexico with a cerveza watching the bikinis go by and the surf roll in. Interesting, the New York Times travel section did a feature article on the very route that K-Marty just completed.
I actually spent a few minutes on the Club Med website. Now that I’ve given online dating a try, is going to pre-planned all inclusive resort locales targeted to singles next?
So here’s the deal [and my typing and/or grammar may be sub-par because it’s 11:53 pm and I’ve been out tonight boozing it up]:
Verna B and Breau Elliot and I met at Tiki Ti tonight. Breau is sporting a new haircut which is like a David Beckham World Cup crossed with a lesbian rat tail mullet sans rat tail [stick with me here – patience my brother]. He calls it the “Breau-hawk.” Enough said. It’s a beautiful thing.
Then it was to El Chavo for Mexican food. In other words, empty bean calories consumed as an excuse to suck down margaritas in heavy bottom tumblers with kosher salted rims. Verna B expressed some disappointment at having ordered a drink without salt only to see hers come to the table with a saline garnish, but in true Verna B fashion she simply wiped the rim with a napkin and took a sip from the cleansed glass with no further mention of the mistake.
Verna B further proved her ultimate coolness with her selections on the jukebox at Good Luck Bar. Breau pointed out that Police & Thieves was on the soundtrack of The Royal Tennenbaums, but Verna B and I just looked at each other with slightly upraised eyebrows to communicate our mutual recognition that, indeed, it was previously the soundtrack not to a hipster (although admittedly great) movie, but the soundtrack of our Youth-with-a-capital-Y.
I walked home from Good Luck Bar, and along the way, in my quasi-stupor, I wanted to remind myself to write about the following few “things noticed while walking home and wondering if people are noticing how hard I’m trying to walk in a straight line and if I’m talking to myself:”
1. The many blackened deposits of sidewalk gum surrounding and adjacent to the bus shelter on Vermont & Hollywood Blvd.
2. How LA streets have a different smell from NYC streets because some of the streets in my neighborhood have magnolia trees even though they do have gutters filled with trash and corners that smell like human urine.
3. That there is no humidity here so magnolias don’t smell nearly as nicely as the do in the South where I grew up.
4. Breau taking a sip of a drink that a nearby table at Tiki Ti gave to us because they thought it tasted like cleansing fluid. Even better, that Breau cofcorrectly identify that the offending flavor (to the drunkards next to us) was the combination of fresh crushed mint along with a small tinge of bitterness caused by the addition of a melon liquour like Midori. I drank the drink myself after I finished off my Kangaroo Tiki, which Verna B described as tasting like cherry cough drops.
I had an interview with an interactive advertising agency in Westwood today. It went pretty well. Maybe in the next week my postings will take on a different tone. Holly Golightly is coming out from NYC on Sunday or Monday, so that is something to look forward to. I think.
The temp in our department is discussing with his writing partner the development of a character for his script. I think he may have just said “For him, the dollar menu at McDonald’s represents Freedom.”
After our post-work extravaganza at Tantra last Friday, we ended up at Fred 62 at 3am having “dinner.” In one of those rare moments of complete out-of-character behavior, Verna B (short for Vernabroccolli – not her real name) ordered a chili dog. When it arrived, it was noted that we had never seen chili presented in puree form. It clung to the processed meat sausage like caramel clings to an apple. Verna B cut into it, held a piece of hot dog out to the table on the end of her fork, and asked if anyone would like a bite of her caramel hot dog. Caramel Hot Dog has now achieved full hilarity status. Just thought you’d like to know. I guess you had to be there. Stay posted for future caramel hot dog references.
Last time my friend B. came down from San Francisco, while in the car heading to the Hillhurst Avenue branch of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, B. decided, being a much celebrated celebrity spotter (and a celebrity herself, if I must), that we needed a code word so that we could inform one another immediately upon making a sighting. We were crossing Vermont Avenue at the moment, so we decided on the word Vermont. A good choice, because it opened up the opportunity to provide celebrity sighting navigation: once the word “Vermont” was declared, one’s response, if celeb location was not immediately apparent, would be “is Vermont to the left or the right of New Hampshire?” and the sighter can then give multi-directional location support. Think of it as a verbal GPS system. B. is a magnet for these kinds of things, so it came as no surprise that we walked into the door of the coffee shop and she practically screamed “VERMONT!” Noah Wyle was standing in sweatpants (he must live in the ‘hood because I saw a photo of him in People coming out of a local bookstore) waiting for whatever frothy caffeine beverage he prefers. The state name soon evolved into the verb form “to vermont” and has now achieved full gerund form, as in when we followed up the trip to Coffee Bean with breakfast at Back Door we had a vermonting: John C. Reilly with dog and baby.
Today’s lunchtime vermonting: Illeana Douglas at 101 Coffee Shop.
An excerpt from the first draft of a short story I’m working on:
The linoleum floor is worn in small circles at the beginning of the aisles between the triple load washing machines where people tend to take sudden turns before deciding that they can’t navigate through the two hundred pound Latinas and kids holding bags of junk food and then spin back around and head further away from the entrance to brave the back where the homeless men tend to congregate. There is usually an intellectual looking girl here sitting on one of the mod beige chairs that have probably been in here since the early sixties. The reinforcing threads of fiberglass are beginning to show through and they remind me of how fingernails and rhino horns are really just compressed hair and she looks up from her book and catches me glancing at her. I had actually been looking at the little space she’s left exposed between her thighs, the pale skin embracing a plastic bottle of Diet Coke. The corner of her mouth turns up just a tad, and her eye shifts at least one paragraph back down the page to be reread and it is clear I’m distracting her. She thinks that I’m just admiring her when in fact I was only thinking that she is perched almost prissily on what could easily be described as a giant artificial fingernail clipping.
I go to toss out an empty cardboard box of fabric softener (the Thai family is screaming at one another again and the father keeps barking something from the sidewalk just outside the laundry center) and there is a shattered fluorescent light tube next to the trash that the little Thai child is poking the toe of her foot into to make little crunching sounds. The parents don’t appear to be yelling at her, but something makes me think that I was once taught that the tubes are coated with dangerous mercury-based chemical or something and maybe this child is in some early stage of environmental damage. I want to grab her and shake her and shriek “don’t they show you the Minimato film at school! The crazed mercury poisoned drooling cats that can’t walk straight because they’ve eaten too many poison tuna! The children of the poisoned fisherman and their wives, the babies with deformed arms and glossy large eyes looking like giant fetus pods born of sea cabbages in the dark and poisonous kelp forest!” She looks up at me and whatever fable she reads on my face is enough to get her to run to her mother.
The Laundromat is my real estate purgatory. A monthly reminder that I don’t own my own home and I don’t live in an apartment that is big enough to have a washer/dryer and that my landlord is too paranoid about water damage to install a washroom. I need more money for the dryers. Underneath the coin dispensing machine, the floor is nicked from decades of dropped quarters, so that the tiles, when viewed from the right angle, almost have the patina of old nickels. My phone rings and my it’s my sister calling me from the East Coast to check to see what I’m up to and to tell me about her horrible first date. I have to pause to put a dollar in the change dispenser and the rattling of the quarters into the dispenser interrupts her story. She asks me where the hell I am and when I tell her I can see her making a face as she speeds down a Georgia highway to her beach house on Tybee Island. She blurts out a dismissive, “I’ll let you go” and quickly clicks off.
The Armenian woman from the deli next door is leaning on a dryer that is filled with tumbling rags. She’s wearing some sort of sheepskin leather vest and patchwork leather skirt that reaches the full length of the floor. That, along with the garish painted squared off manicured nails on her fat hands that emerge from what looks to be twenty pounds of gold bangles, make her look like she’s the chosen royal mating vessel of a powerful and influential Neanderthal Cave Chief. Over the dryer – which she looks like she will defend with deadly combinations of nail slashes and bite-thrusts – is a sign on which the letter D has fallen off. It reads NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LOSS OR DAMAGE OF ANY KIN-.
Oh, the joys of watching Melrose Place on Style at 8am. My current hairstyle looks like it wouldn’t be out of place in early 90s soap television. Unfortunately for me, in the early 90s, character’s hairstyles look like they were created by Supercuts stylists who recently arrived from the Eastern Bloc. My favorite lines so far today: “You create sex dates for men?” and “my clients don’t have time for relationships . . . they’re chased by celebrity hounds and gold diggers!” Heather Locklear the landlord from hell is really pissed off because the city found bleach bottles in the recycling bins and she could be fined for disposing of hazardous materials. I actually live not far from the original building used as the exterior on Melrose Place.
Not that I want to create any kind of controversy, but has anyone noticed that Style actually has a television show that gets makeovers for homeless women. I think there is a show presenter crawling behind an underpass on the 101 Freeway kicking 40 oz malt liquor bottles out of the way. “You live here?” she exclaims. Well, nothing is going to solve that problem more than a facial and a personal stylist.
It’s time to watch ESPN before my testicles shrink.
Crow’s Nerve Fails
Crow, feeling his brain slip,
Finds his every feather the fossil of a murder.
Who murdered all these?
These living dead, that root in his nerves and his blood
Till he is visibly black?
How can he fly from his feathers?
And why have they homed on him?
Is he the archive of their accusations?
Or their ghostly purpose, their pining vengeance?
Or their unforgiven prisoner?
He cannot be forgiven.
His prison is the earth. Clothed in his conviction,
Trying to remember his crimes
Heavily he flies.
– Ted Hughes, Crow
The phone rings too many times in succession to be anything other than bad. Suddenly I’m racing to the apartment, the phone is off the hook and I can’t remember walking from the office to the parking garage. Do I call 911 now or when I get there? I can’t remember the address. My ears are ringing and my mouth is dry and people are driving slowly because they’re picking up children from school and i’m trying to keep the wheel steady and trying to remember how to perform cpr and thinking, “the secret is lifting the neck and tilting the head back.” I can’t get into the building, and I’m about to panic when someone walking a dog comes up the stairs. I’m in and taking the stairs three at a time and the door is unlocked. The first thing I notice is that the handle of the knife is yellow. Blood smears and blood splatters but it doesn’t go far. It seems to have collected in one small place and it’s congealed and plastic like half dried acrylic paint. It doesn’t look so bad but I can’t tell maybe the rest of the blood is somewhere else. It smells like beer breath and shit (is it the cats where are the cats?) and I’m on the phone with 911 without realizing I’ve dialed (again, like the fire in New York) and suddenly my voice is all carbon dioxide I haven’t been breathing and I can barely choke out the address. They’re telling me to apply pressure and all I can do is hold a dish towel around the arm and stare back into the dark pools and I hear myself say it’s going to be okay, it’s going to all be alright. The sirens sound and the gurney folds into a chair and they help him into it and wrap him in white sheets and he looks sculpted and monkish. I think to myself that I wish I had a camera. Then I’m back in the apartment and not worried because no one is there anymore and I’m cleaning up with a dishtowel and being sick in the sink and it’s so very very cliche like a movie the way blood streaks water and runs down the drain. I’m just cleaning the kitchen, really, just washing up and putting the knife in the dish drain with the dishes. Held onto the fridge with magnets is a page torn from a magazine that I had written a note and sketched a drawing on a few months ago; it says “you mother fuckers left for the party without me.” The meaning isn’t lost on me and I decide to keep it for myself. The blood has dried already and when I fold the page up it flakes off into the hair on the back of my hands.