Sunday, May 29, 2016

50th Birthday Performance Party

For my 50th birthday I created my own museum and I became my own party entertainment. 

And it was all Mark's fault.

See, every year he records my 'Pagan Humor' seminar at Pantheacon. And every year he presents me with a pro-quality, multi-camera DVD, with pictures interspersed and a menu with chapters and so forth.

That no one but me will ever see. Because technically my performance belongs to Pantheacon, and they do not take kindly to having parts of their 'Con posted online, (Even if the audience isn't shown) because they hate having publicity and buzz and people talking about it and wanting to come and spend all of their disposable income and....WHAT-EVER - 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Roller Derby, Revisited

The packs, each not skating as they try to corral the opposing
Jammer. Note the bored refs just standing there, the swath of
empty seats to the left, and the lopsided score. 
Lets check in on Roller Derby again, shall we?

Our story, so far, is that we fell in love with the sport and our local team, the Santa Cruz Derby Girls, in 2008. 

By 2010 we were season-ticket holders and marked our calendars in heavy ink for each raucous, sold-out bout. We even gave up watching a playoff Giants game to see a derby double-header.

By 2012 though the Santa Cruz Derby Girls had moved to the Kaiser Permanente Tent at the other end of downtown, and sadly that was the most the team was going to move, ever.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Going to see a Movie at Jimmy Page's Theater

In my dream -

Me, Admiral Karen and six of our friends were hanging out in L.A.

We were looking for a movie, and so I got a newspaper. Nothing looked interesting until I turned the movie page over and there, hidden amongst the other arthouse and revival movie houses was one called "Outrider Theater" and it appeared to be showing Musicals from the 40's - 50's and 'Exploitation' features from the 30's and 40's - the kind that are so bad and hypocritical that they become hilarious.

Most intriguing was at the bottom of the ad, in the smallest type, was the phrase "do you dare?" and the initials "J.P.P."

And I suddenly new what 'Outrider' meant, since I was one of the few who had that album. It meant that Jimmy Page was running a movie house.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Job Jobs 6: The Gentleman of Leisure at Whole Paycheck

Previously on Job-Jobs: PART 5.

Being unemployed was a nervous, fun, scary, giddy existence. And I needed something to keep me grounded and centered and focused as all of this was swirling around me.

And so each weekday I would write a summary of my activities for that day and post it on Facebook. I did this for 22 months, or 369 workdays. The average word count for a "Gentleman of Leisure" report was 325 words - ergo, lets do the math - 120,000 words. I wrote a book, basically. 

Buuut, considering the two most used words in the thing are "Dishes" and "Siesta" - I don't think I'll be optioning the movie rights anytime soon.

Still, there are some interesting moments, So here's some baguettes, in no particular order:

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Pantheacon 2016: Sunday

Sunday morning at Pantheacon. Did you just groan when you read that sentence? I think all of us did - and I don’t even drink.

Call it a Con-over. SATURDAY had been one blissful, blurry 19 hour energy rampage. And now, here on cusp of the last full day of Pantheacon, all I wanted to do was lay in bed and cuddle with Admiral Karen.

So I did.

But at 9am my butt was in a chair to hear Mama Jenya tell us about life on a farm. The Dirt Heart Witch seminar was light on theses, but heavy on super cute pictures of animals that she later slit the throats of.
Farmer Jenya, chopping shopping local.

So that was riveting. Every adorable slide of something inquisitive and fuzzy might be followed by a slide of the same creature in a roasting pan with gravy being poured over its charred carcass.

It really pointed out the cycle of life, and how important it is to have thumbs when trying to get to the top of the food chain.

JobJobs 5: Post-Millennium Employment

Motel work was fun, but I still wasn't making ends meet. Luckily, as always, the women in my life moved me forward, yet again. This time my girlfriend directed me to an ad in the paper about the new Borders Bookstore that was soon to open in downtown Santa Cruz.

What qualified me to be on the management team of a 10,000 ft. bookstore? Not a damned thing. Well, nothing that technically exists in the actual world.

Look, even though I only write nonfiction now, that doesn't mean its accurate. People think that the opposite of Fiction is Non-fiction. Nope. Truth is the opposite of Fiction. Non-fiction is somewhere in the middle.

Friday, February 19, 2016

JobJobs 4: 90's Employment

Wait! You missed the 1980's (but I don't.)

Lisa, my partner in salad spinner crime, got me my next job, at Wildwood Natural Foods - the tofu people. My twice-a-week job was to wash hundreds of rubber gloves, shovel out the sewer drains of billions of stinky soybean hulls, and power wash the parking lot, cuz they were a bit obsessed about bacteria counts. It was, by far, the wettest job I've ever had.

What I remember most about that job is the music, which played constantly and at face-melting volumes to be heard over the machinery. The employees all brought their own CDs, but really since I could only hear the basslines, there was just 3:
         1) Nortena, which had an alternating bass line. High low high low High low high low (repeat until song ends, then pick up with next song)
         2) Vietnamese Disco, which just had one chord on the beat. Rather like listening to a turn signal for 45 minutes.
         3) And Legend, by Bob Marley, because he was the ONLY reggae artist and he ONLY wrote 14 songs and no white stoner ever wants to listen to anything else. (same bass line as #2, just on the off beats. So, somebody else's turn signal for 45 minutes.)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Pantheacon 2016: Saturday

5 hours sleep? Suuuure. Not a problem. As long as I get a nap later. Which is why I have a better record for attending 9am workshops then 11am ones.

I used the Emergency Escape Pile (EEP®) by the door and was up and writing in the lobby by 6am. What was I writing? Why, last nights adventures!

I brought Admiral Karen a Doughnut for breakfast, and it had pink frosting and little candy hearts on it. So, Valentines day. Boom.

9am (Read 8:30) found me finding a seat (Lie: I was enmeshed in the 2nd row early) for Lora O’Brien’s “A practical guide to Irish Magick”.

This turned out to be a delightful sequel/prequel/equal companion piece to her
Not a whole lot of distraction at 6am.
popular “A practical guide to Irish Spirituality”, which I caught last year.

(I even bought the book, and enjoyed it thoroughly. You should too.)

Lora was delightfully chatty this early in the morning, and this put her over her time, but she pulled it together like a pro and finished strong. I do so admire excellent public speakers.

11am had me headed for “Ancient Egyptian Divination” but on the way I stopped in to the room for a two hour nap.

Oh. Oops. Sorry, Isis!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Job Jobs 3: Late 80's Employment

You may wish to begin at part 1: PIZZA or part 2: RETAIL.

By Mid-January of 1986 I had been attending Community College full-time for 2.5 years. I was all ready to transfer to a local University. I had toured the campus, met my professors, selected a dorm and had lined up all of the necessary scholarship and grant money. My trajectory was fixed and my future as a writer (pronounced "English Teacher") was secure. All I had to do was complete all of my current classes, and finals were only two weeks away.

The next week found me living in a tent in a city park in Van Nuys, preparing for the Great Peace March, which would spend the rest of the year walking across the country. Goodbye schooling! Hel-lo education!

Living life like a 3 year old boundering through a spider web…….

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Pantheacon 2016: Thursday/Friday

One of the rare occurrences of 21st Century living: Nothing to do. We arrived on Thursday afternoon and the Con doesn’t start until noon on Friday, soooo…..

Life had been pretty frantic before that, however: I had packed for Pantheacon a week ahead of time, clearing space for a predictable push on Wednesday....

My videographer had only had 8 months to finish the film of my Epic Birthday Party, so of course it all came down to the wire if I was going to sell it at the Convention.

On Wednesday morning at 7:00am I was waiting at the bottom of Mark’s driveway, motor running. He finishes burning the first DVD and then rushes it down to me in the car.

I race it across town to DejuVu video services to have it duplicated. And then I race off to work, and arrive only 10 minutes late.

Yes, I trust my video guy so completely that I would spend hundreds of dollars to copy a DVD that I never got a chance to view ahead of time.

(And yes, it came out very well.)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Job Jobs 2: Montgomery Wards

(Starting here, please: PIZZA)

In 1985 I worked for Montgomery Wards Department store. which was one of my favorite jobs. Not because of the company - by '85 Monty Wards was circling the drain on its last legs. It was then owned my Mobil Oil of all things, and had just closed its vaunted catalog service, the first of its kind.

The store was technically part of the Montclair Plaza mall, so it paid premium rent, but it was located across the street from the mall, so it might as well have been on the moon. We were basically overflow parking for the "relevant" stores.

First floor was "fashions" which were totally in style. The style of 1978. A popular pastime for all of us on breaks was to come down to the first floor, admire the dusty disco clothes and just laugh and laugh.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Job Jobs 1: The Pizza Man always knocks twice

I started writing this history of my jobs in August 2015, and like any good modern hu-man, I posted on social media what I was currently doing. (Which of course I wasn't then doing, because I was busy saying I was doing it instead of you know, doing it.) 

But all I said online was that I was compiling my employment history.

This was less than a week before my yearly review at my current job.


 And that is my job history in a nutshell: No plan, no thought - Just boundering along like a 3 year old who just walked into a spider web. The vast majority of my 20 odd jobs were simply handed to me by important women in my life, and the only thing I've excelled at on these jobs is having sex while I'm on the clock.