Well, I didn’t get into Caochella as I had hoped. The two years I’ve gone, I’ve gotten in for free: in 2004, a friend got a wristband for free (from some rich friend) but she figured it would benefit me to go (saw Radiohead, Kraftwerk, Pixies, the Flaming Lips, Bright Eyes; missed Beck and Broken Social Scene); I got in good with a scalper 2008 and saw Kraftwerk (better), the Verve, Dwight Yoakam, Prince, Calvin Harris, and Rilo Kiley. But this year a buddy said he had a wristband for me, one we could jimmy… until the very last moment. We’re talking “I’m outside the gate”-“Okay, I’m coming to get you” last moment. Unexplainable, but no big deal – I didn’t lose any money and I ran into an old friend from high school whom I hadn’t seen in four or five years. And my friend Brian had an interesting enough scalping experience for the two of us to write a piece on scamming Coachella. (I figure, given the pattern, I’ll go 2012 and maybe by then Wilco or Radiohead will be touring a new record and will be there. Hell, maybe Talking Heads will regroup? Nah.)

Not only am I writing a lot this National Poetry Month, but I’m setting out to write my first sestina. I’m basing it on the Jaime Hernandez comic strip Love and Rockets, namely a ghost story titled “La Blanca.” It’s not that sestinas are hard – it’s a matter of matching the right six words. I’m trying not to be so thematic when it comes to selecting the words (regardless that most sestinas have a theme), but still mindful of what would sound good repeated, and what words I can manipulate.


I got a cat. A month or so ago my landlady found a stray kitten in a tree and I asked/debated if I could take her in. I decided on it last week and renamed her Mary Magdalene. It’s a reference to the Biblical figure, but mostly a reference to the Ryan Adams’ line in “Hallelujah:” “If I could have a simple love, how would it feel and what would it mean? I’d only trade you away for Mary Magdalene.” There’s redemption in her name. (Also her name doubles as a reference to my favorite Love and Rockets character, Maggie.) She’s kind of a ball of energy – pretty much a terrorist – but I’m hoping that’ll change when I get her fixed and let her roam outside.

Next week I’ll be going out to the Leahy’s to catch a Dodger’s game with Jeff. It’s been awhile since I’ve been to a game, about four years, but I’m mostly looking forward to Jeff’s wife, Tina, schooling my ass in Dr Mario.

Oh, a few quick notes:
•     I’m annotating my Top 25 LA Albums. I’ll repost that soon and then wrap up my (annotated) Top 25 NYC Albums.
•     I’m done with Indio – I’m gearing up to move to LA this year. I need to save money and pay off a good portion of my debt first, and I’d also like the economy to be more welcoming.
•     I want to go to Disneyland. Soon. With someone.
•     (Tomorrow?) I’m going to stop living in the past.


CBEST, dead comic books

I retook my CBEST today to make up the writing section that I failed fall, last year. It’s lucky I didn’t have to do the reading and math sections: for one, when my alarm went off at 5am, I told myself that I was getting up too early and I could actually sleep til 6’30am and make it too San Bernardino (I made it in time, but not without panic); secondly, not having to worry about the two sections I have already passed, I was able to concentrate most of my allotted four hours on the one section. I feel good about my work today. Unfortunately, I can’t disclose either the question or my response, but I will say this: the first essay told me I might be a Republican; the second, that I was raised in a staunch Irish-Catholic family.

When I made it back to Palm Desert, I saw a bunch of magazines or pamphlets on Monterey, one of the busiest avenues in town. At first, they all looked different, so I crossed out the immediate idea that some caballero dropped from his delivery truck. But when I saw a second pile within a block, I saw the classic white, rectangular box that is common in comic book stores to hold back issues.

There I was, an old comic book collector, watching cars driving over back issues of God-knows-what – hundreds or so. It was upsetting; I had to convince myself not to pull over and redirect the busy traffic to collect up the books. “They weren’t even bagged and boarded. Probably old Batman Adventures issues – worthless.”

Still made me sad. So, I went to the mall and ate some cheap sushi.