Kindness. It sizzles me. Let me explain.
We left Ashland in the wee hours of the morning, waltzing down I-5 through eerie Shasta clouds and talking about National Geographic documentaries, Lemurians, power ballads, the etymology of the word emo, the California Highway Patrol, and how to turn a forest fire into a delightful barbecue adventure.
At some point, I ate breaded jalapeño bites with cherry sauce. At a different point, thankfully, I ate chocolate covered coffee beans. They filled me with thunder.
Pretty soon we got into San Jose. Early to our show, we hung out at a dive bar called the Dive Bar. They had music videos playing on a giant TV behind me, and every time someone started staring at the sexy dominating the screen, I accidentally believed they were staring at my considerable sexy reserves. It was a confusing bar. Full of Christmas parties, too. Lots of tipsy, bitter secretaries and melting hairspray.
Still early, we hit San Jose's Christmas parade, which involved a lot of kettle corn and a circular design. Poe tried to get some cops to take pictures of us. Didn't work. Go figure. The parade felt cool because we were strangers. It made Christmas feel quaint again. Plus they had this tacky blue tree, which was huge and pretty much enthralled me.
Now! Part one of the kindness. The show at the Anno Domini gallery went fucking lovely. Basically, the proprietors Brian and Cheri have their act so together that they would spur the next revolution in space exploration were they to enjoy space exploration. If you're ever in San Jose, stop by the gallery and check out their retail shop, where they sell art shirts, little prints, zines and Lomos, indiecore Russian film cameras.
So we had theatre lighting, a raspy gospel singer-songwriter to throw some local into the show, shared giggles and twitches and many sold books. But we also had a slight dilemma. No place to stay.
Luckily, Ocho has a friend in San Francisco named Elliot Harmon. Elliot's ridiculously amazing girlfriend Erin hooked us up with a room at the Fisherman's Whatf hostel where she works. So there you go. Kindness. It does a body good. By the way, the Wharf hostel is a very nice place. It will clean and cuddle your bones. Free bagels and shit for breakfast. We met some young Australians. They were afraid of snow but headed for New York. Australians are brave, I guess.
And the San Fran show went off pretty nice, with nods and clicks. Our host at the Modern Times Bookstore painted a bookcase blue then introduced us. I don't mean that in the sense of "paint the town red." She took a break. From painting.
Anyway, on Telegraph Hill we (I) ate French apple sausage omelets and nachos and peanut butter mocha fudge. We slunk around City Lights Bookstore. Much must and historic spots with their reality superceded by their history. Some camera crew was there to film Lawerence F. One crewmember needed to use the bathroom and seemed skeptical of everything.
Someone in North Beach asked us to translate the utterance of his female friend, which went something like "maughguuuuuuuuuughhhhhhhhh." He pointed to his chest and then to hers, and he said "We're the white trash Will and Grace!" Then he laughed and wished us a good morning. He had a close-razored beard and eyed that looked entirely satisfied with their aperture.
Now, um, the show in Berkeley. Well. I guess everybody at our scheduled stop, an anarchist cafe, had too much anarchy brewing. In other words, they weren't open.
Uh oh. No show.
But okay! We just gathered in our arms the sobbing throngs who had crawled down from the canyons and up from the rivers to see us. Together with the sweet and lovely Clay Banes we herded them to a restaurant named for a quizzical Irish playwright and Joyce typist, where we ate Cobb salad and Greek chicken fingers. Clay entertained us and got into a well-spirited argument with Ocho about whether MySpace porn causes frustration or frustration causes MySpace porn.
By the way, yes: yes. My memory cares a lot about what I eat. No control here, kids. Lo siento.
So: all in all, a rockcore of a time. Random introspection? I missed a lot of holiday buildup, as I was too busy reading poems about screwy and scrawny friends. Slept near fireplaces and sewing machines. Owe much much to Ocho and T-Poe for everything, and of course to everyone I met along the way, under all of the (all! of! the!) rain rain rain.
Thank you for you reading. Now go and get your merry and bright on. Here are photographs, though not Lomographs:
A radio show in Ashland, where Ocho and I studied our eyelids. Also: I lost that black thumbpick.
Outside Anno Domini in San Jose. Me. Appreciating. Art.
Ocho is metal to the max. Inside Anno Domini.
Tao: I know, I know. I know what's missing from this blog. I haven't had the chance to finish it. But the good news: your book seems to make reality @ City Lights a little blurry and afraid.
Elliot Harmon in the big red hair. His friend Patrick next to him. They run an e-zine called Idiolexicon.
Ocho Ocho Ocho with Clay Banes Clay Banes Clay Banes. I do my part for the Google schemes. I do I do.