Saturday, June 14, 2008

Seal Beach wandering spirits, 4th Street, Long Beach open mic souls + a comic schizo...

... and some more about freakin’ profit-guzzling games of my California dreamin’

IT’S RELATIVELY a bit comfortable right now, less humid Thursday afternoon. Los Angeles County marshmallow toxicity, you know... I just consumed my second cup of instant Nescafe (under so-hot weather, right!) and a glazed cheese Dunkin’ donut—certainly a worst kind of caffeine and killer sugar to perk up a human system on midday but unforced indolence (after an overnight of writing) is a far stronger motivation right at this moment. (Sorry, my healthcentric friends—oblique vampires like yours truly need some synthetic poison to be able to withstand a cheeseball sunlight… It’s less violent than sucking someone else’s blood, you know what I mean?)
Tonight is Game 4 of the Celtics-Lakers finals. Don’t sweat it, guys—it’ll go the distance, 7 freakin’ profit-guzzling games! But I digress—I don’t want to wax cynical when enjoying a guilty pleasure. I just made 7 excuses not to cover downtown assignments today and tonight so I could sit back afront the boob tube and enjoy the game, with chillin’ cold Corona and lime comin’ handy.
I just filed my week’s “national edition” stories. “Bad” stories are always “good” stories, right? Air pollution in California, dirty seawaters in LA, careless hospitals in The Valley and Orange County… Oh, one good story—I profiled a Filipina marathoner, Rosemarie Jeanpierre, last week. A former obese who recently enjoyed cool coverage by LA Times, Shape, LA Sports & Fitness etc for losing lotsa weight—without adhering to Jenny Craig, the Atkins dude, and Weightwatchers. Her “secret”? Prayers. Faith. Nobody beats that, I guess.
Hey, have you somehow read Time’s Top 100 (world’s most influential) people? Miley Cyrus and Mariah Carey—“influential”? Or who the hell is Suze Orman to earthlings in Rio de Janeiro or New Delhi? Facebook may have thousands or millions of e-crazy subscribers—but, hello, the world is home to about 6.6 billion people, while Americans account for only less than 5 percent of that total. I mean, Pope Benedict XVI wasn’t even mentioned? Peter Gabriel over Bono? Mariah over Madonna? Induced stupidity, some editors are guilty of being so. Again, it’s all about freakin’ profit-guzzling game…
But then, although I don’t believe in most of my profession’s “findings” and “analyses,” I just gotta keep on taking them in. I still subscribe to and read my insanely diverse rags: Time, Entertainment Weekly, The Nation, and Rolling Stone—whatever you say. What? RS published itineraries of upcoming rock tours this summer but it didn’t include the road schedule of Journey, Heart and Cheap Trick. Why the hell publish “calendars” if it isn’t complete? It’s like printing a calendar without a June or September, you know what I mean? But you know what I mean—it’s all about advertising revenues. No dough to place an ad, no ink—sorry!
Again, it’s all about freakin’ profit-guzzling game… duh.
And then I sit down and ogle at the TV and check out the ads (in between Jeopardy! and “Law and Order”). All about cars, beers, cellphones, burgers and tacos, and soap-operatic NBA ads. These idiots are selling cars like people are eating them everyday—I mean, they sell these machines like you need 15 of them each week! So you are moping about some $4.00+ a gallon gasoline? C’mon—we are all helpless, hapless captives of our own shit.
And all these cellphones and Black, Blue, Red, Greenberries—where you get emails, GPS, weather report, voice mails, calculator, stock exchange report, The Hills, Hollywood gossip, Korean recipes, google, Jonas Brothers and Usher, naked women, birthday list of your pet dogs, and French-English dictionary etc in it. It’s amazing how we make fools out of ourselves. Wanna listen to 1 million songs all at the same time? Get an iPod. You forgot your birthday? Check your Blackberry. You forgot the direction to your apartment from a Wal-Mart at the next curb? Get a GPS. Wanna have sex? Get a… (no, I don’t want to go there.)
Effective July 1, the sunny state will be outlawing driving while on cellphones. Only now, yes. You see, I can’t really figure it out why people chat on cells while driving. Isn’t it hard to just pull over or wait till we get home or stop and then damn talk? The precursors of the cell – beepers were used by ER doctors when an, uhh, emergency situation occurs; walkie-talkies were valuable military/police gadgets, again—in time of emergencies. Well, it depends on how people define “emergency” these days. Maybe, yapping about the just-concluded ball game is one, and blabbering about some dude getting yanked by his GF is another, or a “mobile conference call” on which is the best condom there is…
I have been watching a lot of foreign movies (as though I actually stopped?) I just watched Clint Eastwood’s “Letters from Iwo Jima”—it’s one of the best Hollywood movies that I’ve seen! Uhh, sorry, I should be talking about foreign films? I watched a lot in 5 days, I forgot the titles (but one is called “Oedipus Alcalde,” a Colombian movie that’s based on a Gabriel Garcia Marquez play). Right now, I am finishing a Danish film—a bit melodramatic but it’s still engaging.
By the way, I read in my first Long Beach open mic a week ago (at Viento y Agua Café & Gallery in $4th Street, Long Beach) and it was a swell experience. Pretty cool crowd—reminded me of Beanstreets/downtown Asheville in 2003/04. Very enthusiastic, respectful, accepting multi-racial audience—a mix of Cal State U students, retired professors, war-hating beachbums, peace-loving nerds… there was even a self-proclaimed schizophrenic (performer number 1).
I also attended by first writers and readers clubs in nearby Seal Beach—although I am not very eager to attend the next sessions. I will check out another one this coming Wednesday though (via MeetUp), hoping that the vibe in there fits my acerbic girth.
But Seal Beach is a great place to chill… The beachfront—Main Street/Ocean Blvd—is adorned by cool and cozy small cafes, galleries, curio/craft stores and seafood restaurants. (There’s an O’Malley there as well, where I just enjoyed a seafood on cheese linguini.) The shore is clean (not part of the “dirty waters” survey, okay?) and well-provided by huge recycling garbage bins; the bathrooms are accessible (no portapotties) and parking isn’t a headache. It’s about 10 to 15 minutes drive from my house, just two turns. I hang out by the shore at least twice a week, the rest—in between desk deadlines—I spend at the nearby Barnes & Noble Café on Towne Square, Carson Blvd near the I-605 freeway exit .
I have been rereading/editing/organizing my 7-8 years body of work in Asheville—into a book (especially my “Like a Rolling Stone” column pieces). I hope to finish editing my poetry (chap)book by the end of this month, and then start a collection of short fiction. I just have to get these materials into a book before I can touch my long-sleeping novel.
Hmm, I still don’t dig my (Lakewood/Hawaiian Gardens) neighborhood but it’s okay—despite the $4 gasoline hassle, I can still hang out a bit by the beach and a coffeeshop, read my poems at a cool open mic. I hope to find me a writing pad somewhere (possibly in Long Beach)—that’s my target for the summer—and drive my head and spirit into finishing my long-stalled books before the year is over.
During downtime, I surf my Facebook and I am diggin’ it (although I don’t know how to post blog entries in there). I love all my 23 Facebook friends in there, especially Katie Kasben’s ever-so-warm smiles. (So you are in China...) I start to hate Craigslist for all its insane/pesky clicks-to-sex sites crap and stuff. And MySpace has lost its punch, whatever it is.
Once I am able to network myself with the beach spirits right here at South Bay, then I’ll start “The Indie of South Bay” and then kick off the inaugural Traveling Bonfires in Southern California. I met a few Long Beach-based peace activists lately, I think that’s a promising start. Tomorrow afternoon, I am meeting a Filipino-American singer-songwriter, Melody del Mundo (who fronts a Socal band called Stella’s Notch)—hopefully, we’ll strike a deal, and then plan a series of collaborative shows… I may also gather a few poets at Viento y Agua for a peace-themed poetry reading in a few weeks or so.
Okay, it’s almost 18 past 4pm now. I need to go get some groceries, and prepare for the Celtics-Lakers Game 4… For now, forget about some freakin’ profit-guzzling game. We need to loosen up a bit or we’re going to fade away.
So, live good, love good, and eat only good food (but no Nescafes and glazed cheese donuts though for you)!

4:19pm. Thursday, 12 June 08.
Lakewood CA


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