Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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   The Gun of the Girl with the Garters
Saturday, October 31 1998
In the morning Kim and I had a long, interesting conversation about our parents, and how we are both like and unlike them. It was sort of a sensitive topic, since though Kim admits she is like her mother, she hates it when I make the comparison, especially since I usually only do so when I'm infuriated with her. As for me, well, I think I'm more like my father than my mother, but that the trace of materialism and hedonism that my mother brings to the mix does much to round me out as a person.
While we were taking Sophie the Miniature Schnauzer for a walk around the neighborhood, a couple of little punk rock boys rode by on their bicycles and one of them called out to me, "Cool hair, bro." My hair, you see, was still spiked up from yesterday, though it was crushed and chaotic after a night of being slept upon.

We went down to our future home neighborhood of Ocean Beach to hit a few yard sales, mostly buying kitchen equipment. While Kim went off for a few hour of work at the Point Loma spa, I walked down into Ocean Beach to kill the time. Most unlike the feelings I had yesterday, I actually kind of liked how freaky my hair looked and the impression I was making. It seemed appropriate to both the time and the place.
There was an especially strident group of mixed-gender gutterpunks begging for money, and their technique especially irritated me. "Give me money so I can get pizza and beer!" shouted one of the girls without a trace of humour to her voice.
I idled away considerable time in Java Joe's. It might be the place where the singer/songwriter Jewell made her big break, but today it was virtually empty save for the whitered old toothless man who hangs out there all day every day. Today he was dressed up as a gaunt little cowboy, complete with guns and holsters.
I went into a record store and bought a used copy of Sonic Youth's Goo. The old hippie running the store had only had the job five days and was horribly confused. His arms were covered with scars and he stunk of alcohol, but I took pity on his plight and was friendlier to him than I am to most cashiers.
On the beach I found a beheaded seal rotting away amongst the clumps of seaweed.
When Kim got off work, she met up with me in the Java Jungle and we went to a Greek restaurant to meet up with some of Kim's friends, particularly Steph, the fellow somatics student who works nights as a stripper in Point Loma. Today Steph was with her boyfriend, a nationally-known skater dude who just drove to California from Massachusetts (his punch buggy had to be towed from Texas, however). He seemed to know just about everyone cool walking down the street, and they all clustered around us, engaging in what at times amounted to irritatingly juvenile banter. I think Steph's friends took me to be both much cooler and much younger than I actually am because of my crazy non-conformist hair.

In the evening, Kim and I walked Sophie around the neighborhood again for the mostly nostalgic purpose of seeing the little trick or treaters making the rounds. I was in a goofy mood, grumbling "Trick or Treat" in as deep a voice as I could, trying to sound like some mentally challenged trick-or-treating adult. I did it until Kim told me to stop. We wanted to see what halloween night was looking like down at the "Kid Compound." "The Kid Compound" (as Kim calls it) is a scruffy old adobe structure down on the corner of Mansfield and Mountain View. There some permissive hippie parents are raising a hearty crop of young punk rock kids who have made the compound into a super-cool place for them and their friends to hang out. There's even a Scooby Doo van in the parking lot. Today as we walked by, a loud wailing was coming out of the Kid Compound; one of its juvenile residents was using a microphone and reverb-equipped guitar amp to give sonic holiday seasoning to the neighborhood. Up in the sky the gibbous moon sat very close to one of the brighter planets.

Back at the Rita's house, a large throng of kids and parents was lined up in front of the door, collecting a tax of candy from our landlord. Handing out this candy was such a big job that Rita had recruited her two Schnauzer-owning friends to help. For their part, the multiple Schnauzers exploded in barking with every chime of the door bell. Sophie wasn't with them, but she shouted her support from the cabana. For me, trying to catch up on some writing, I found my concentration reduced to shreds.
In preparing for Halloween night, I redid my hair and face just like last night but adding little sparkly pipe cleaners to my knotty chaotic spikes. They were so firmly attached to my scalp that they moved about like antlers. I decided not to bother with the stock market crash shirt.
Meanwhile, Kim borrowed a black flapper dress from Rita and painted her face in a weird voodoo goth pattern (to which I contributed my artistic talents). She ended up looking very goth indeed. I found myself confusing her subconsicously with Cecelia the Brazilian Girl.
As usual, as we were leaving the cabana, we had one of our typical boring little fights, but by the time we got to our first destination, a street festival on Normal Street in Hillcrest, we were getting along just fine.
Since Hillcrest is the most singularly gay neighborhood in all of San Diego, the Normal Street festival was anything but "normal." Because of the double lives they lead for various periods of their lives, gay people are well versed in the wearing of masks and the affecting of personalities. Halloween, which is refreshingly about being anything you want to be and not worrying about what other people may think, is a perfect holiday for gays, and it was thus no surprise that the biggest Halloween bash in San Diego is in Hillcrest. Normal Street was barricaded and filled with people, most in costumes of various kinds. The plurality of those dressed up were men in flamboyant women's outfits.
Just as we showed up, Ms. Christine Kehoe, a Democrat running for a Congressional House seat, was on stage delivering a spirited get-out-the-vote message to the largely liberal Democratic audience. This was the first time I'd ever seen a live campaign speach in my entire life.
The stage was shaped like a T and stuck well out into the audience. Once Ms. Kehoe was done rallying her supporters, a "costume show" (in the manner of a fashion show) began. To the blare of vintage disco, costume-wearing audience members walked single-file down the trunk of the stage, dancing and even flashing the audience. The air was charged with unabashed male homosexual tension and I could hear various affected voices around me saying things like, "Oh, he's cute." I felt privilegded to be among people so uninhibited with their usually repressed sexualities.
One of Kim's gay friends eventually appeared on stage, dressed as a bloody tampon lodged in an applicator. We ran over to him when he came down off the stage and he received Kim very warmly. He even had a tin foil package for her that contained a gram of high grade California marijuana. One of his friends was wearing a 12 inch prosthetic penis with a sign that said, "Sorry, I'm a bottom."
We headed off to our next destination, a bar called "The Crowbar" close to downtown at the base of "the heights" near the end of the San Diego International Airport runway. Al, one of the hip writer guys who sits across the table from me at my place of employment, has been talking about The Crowbar for weeks, saying his friend plays in a band that does Black Sabbath covers, being new to the area and open to suggestion, we decided to go. As we were getting out of the Volvo, a plane flew over and it was so low I could see every rivet. I could have hit it with a stone. Most of the buildings nearby were warehouses and big factory outlets and with the planes coming in so low I could see why this property was probably not especially expensive.
We'd gotten kind of lost and ended up parking a little far from the Crowbar, but the walk did us good.
The Crowbar is a thinking man's dive, if you will. Such places are rare treasures and I almost hate to bring the place any attention that, though it might be deserved, might also play a role in making the place suck some day. The Crowbar has a wild and crazy energy; people smoke pot unabashedly out in front and rough dancing seems to happen fairly early on any given night. The people are outgoing and friendly and the beer is cheap. The girls all end up being so drunk that their flirting eyes become distractions.
Al was there, dressed up as Sly Stone, complete with afro wig and dark brown body paint (or, as he put it, "my black soul coming up from below"). He was chatting up a naïve blond girl dressed up as the good witch Glinda. She didn't know, among other things, that to "burn one" means to smoke pot. But she was a girl, and fairly attractive at that, so Al stuck with her for the whole evening. Kim decided after awhile that the girl had been put there just to entertain us.
There were three bands tonight, and (in keeping with Halloween) they were cover bands, impersonating NWA, Kiss and Black Sabbath (in that order). The bands were all very talented, in a kind of frightening way that may not be apparent without smoking lots of hyper-kind California marijuana. The Kiss cover band had a strong affect on me, especially the Gene Simmons impersonator. He had a frantic poise, and what with that snakelike and totally unnecessary tongue, a creepy homoerotic sinisterness that came close to terrifying me. I couldn't believe how much his eyes stuck out against the black face paint they inhabited. I'm unfamiliar with Kiss and wondered if the original band was really were quite this good on stage back in the day. If they were, I wondered why they hadn't completely taken over the world, why I couldn't think of any songs they'd written. I could hear distinct Motorhead influences in the music and I found myself reforumlating my theories of the evolution of hard rock.
(What with our white face makeup, it's possible that people thought Kim and I were old school Kiss fanatics.)
The Ozzy Impersonator for the last band had his own uniquely terrifying stage charisma, and he carried the demented religious theme to a delicious extreme, handing out wafers and wine to audience members during guitar solos. I was amused to hear him quoting typical Ozzy stage phrases such as "Show me your cigarette lighters" and "We love you" over and over like a human sample machine. Towards the end, though, he grew belligerant as people failed to dance as much as he would have liked. Kim was convinced that both the fake Ozzy and the fake Gene Simmons were pumped up on powerful stimulants.
There was this one girl there who was wearing a pin-stripe jacket, a pair of stockings, and garters. No one really knew what she had on under her jacket, up there where the garters led, though I'm sure everyone had their theories. The Girl with the Garters left her plastic gun on the seat where Kim and I ended up. An older woman beside me said, "That gun belongs to that girl, the one with the garters." To which I responded, "I think everyone knows who you mean by the Girl with the Garters."
As Kim and I were walking back to the car, she suddenly freaked out over a randomly grumbling psychotic and started running. To keep up, I had to run as well. The few times I lagged behind, various strange men would call to Kim, "Hey girlie!" We ran right past the Volvo and continued on at least a half mile before we realized we'd gone too far. As we walked back, we feared the Volvo had been stolen, but of course it was waiting patiently for us the whole time.

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