Monthly Archives: January 2006


I’m planning to leave for London/France on Friday, April 28th.

This is the lineup for Coachella on the 29th:

    Depeche Mode, Franz Ferdinand, Sigur Ros, Common, Damian Marley, Atmosphere, Carl Cox, My Morning Jacket, Ladytron , Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Tosca, Cat Power, Animal Collective, HARD-fi, Derrick Carter, Devendra Banhart, She Wants Revenge, The Walkmen, The Juan Maclean, Audio Bullys, Lady Sovereign, Deerhoof, The Duke Spirit, Editors, stellastarr, Lyrics Born, Matt Costa, The New Amsterdams, The Zutons, Platinum Piped Pipers, White Rose Movement, Chris Liberator, Colette, Imogen Heap, Joey Beltram, Hybrid, Wolfmother, The Like, Living Things, Nine Black Alps, The Section Quartet, Infadels, Youth Group, Shy FX & T Power, Infusion.

First of all, we all know how much I love Depeche Mode concerts. The last show put me in a good mood for a week. I was so happy during “Enjoy the Silence” that I felt like I was going to fly up into the Staples Center roof.

Second: there’s a couple of neo-goth bands in there I really like. She Wants Revenge [Joy Division] and stellastarr [The Smiths]. Not to mention Ladytron and Infusion and Imogen Heap. And Living Things and the Editors and The Like. I LIKE the Like!

I’m not going to sacrifice a weekend in London to stay home and go to Coachella, especially since I’m not a big fan of large, crowded festivals. But I am sad I’m missing it.

And now, I have to go sacrifice to the concert gods that I can get to at least one more show on the Depeche Mode tour this time around. I don’t want to have to content myself with DVDs four another four years!

today’s pick of the myspace crop

Yes, it’s time to share another choice MySpace unsolicited email with the world! I get one or two emails a week from random guys on MySpace. Some are smart, and write intelligent letters based on the interests I list in my profile. Some, I even go so far as to meet in real life, if I feel they have compatible senses of humour. Of course, I ended that practice for a few months after I went out with one guy who wouldn’t shut up about tickle torture for the entire evening – but that’s a whole other story in itself.

Today’s email comes from a gentleman named “The Poet”. He’s an interesting character in that he insists that his choice of scantily clad ladies for his MySpace friends is because he appreciates “beautiful things”. Which, apparently, includes Jenna Jameson. He would like us to know, he’s the last of the great intellectuals. And he also sent me a lovely poem, which I’m sure he also sent to many other girls in the state of California:

have you ever been kissed by the stars?
looking up into the night sky
vast emptiness
thinking that you are alone
wondering if you are seen
then suddenly it happens
first one
then a dozen
the stars come out to kiss you
wait just a moment
be patient
do not rush away thinking you missed it
sometimes stopping and taking a long breath is needed
close your eyes
count out the slow steadying beats of your heart
then look up
let it wash over you
the kisses as they appear
one by one
inch by inch
mile by vast mile in the nights blackness
have you ever been kissed by the stars?
i have and it is wonderful

Really, I don’t know where to begin with this. I count at least a half dozen cliches. But maybe I missed it. Maybe I need to stop and count out the slow steadying beats of my heart. Maybe I should write him back and tell him how moving I found his poem. It certainly moved itself to the trash can of my mailbox very quickly.

Stay tuned, as I continue to bring you…Unsolicited Emails from Random Guys on MySpace!

somebody leave a light on, just in case i like the dancing…

(tori amos, “mother”, little earthquakes)

I always tell my mom the details of what I’m doing in L.A., where I’ve been, what I’ve seen. But it’s difficult to explain sometimes, because of how much L.A. has changed in forty years. Tonight, I was telling Mom about how I’m planning to go to the wake for the Ambassador Hotel on Thursday, and I was trying to explain where the HMS Bounty bar was, without using the word, “Koreatown”, because there was no K-Town forty years ago.

But Mom didn’t remember the Ambassador, and I was trying to explain (again, without being able to use half the references that exist today) and finally said, “It was attached to the Cocoanut Grove”. That triggered her memory. Apparently, Mom had been out to the Cocoanut Grove a few times in her day. I think that, and the Biltmore hotel bar, are some of the only old L.A. nightspots that are still standing, and with their original names, that she’d been to. And the Cocoanut Grove is no more.

So the nightclubs and bars that my grandmother went to, and then my mother somehow got into without being carded, have disappeared from Los Angeles, one by one. I find new, tenuous connections to the history I study and search for, every day. It gives me a definite sense of place, because I can feel like I’m following in my mother, or my grandmother’s footsteps. I just wish Los Angeles would stop rewriting itself, and demolishing places like the Ambassador, long enough for me to really understand what I, a third-generation Angelino, may have missed in the years between when my mother left for San Francisco, and when I came back to L.A.

a strangely isolated place

Words cannot express how much I love Ulrich Schnauss. Far Away Trains Passing By and Strangely Isolated Place are two of the most calming CDs I own. They’re quietly beautiful, in a spectacular way. There is absolutely no way to listen to this music and not be happy.

If anyone has any suggestions for additional music with the same sort of tranquillity to it, I’d love to hear them. I loved Sasha’s Involver, too, and Delerium’s Chimera would be one of my all-time favorites if it didn’t make me insanely homesick for Vancouver in 2003. (I used to listen to that album while driving over the Lion’s Gate Bridge, every day, in my Moment of Zen)

jillian’s thirty-seven mile los angeles adventure

So Friday, I did almost forty miles on my bike:

– from the beach to Beverly Hills in the morning
– from Beverly Hills to the Critical Mass meetup at 6pm
– Critical Mass itself, through K-Town, Rampart, the Central Core, the old Banking District, Little Tokyo and Chinatown
– a loop around the Cornfield
– back to Chinatown for dinner
– home through Downtown and straight down Wilshire

My favorite parts of the day? The part I was happiest for was when we got to Olvera Street. We were there, at the center of all things Los Angeles, in the oldest part of the city, flying around the circular plaza across the street from the “La Reina” church, a few hundred yards from the oldest building in all of Los Angeles (the Avila Adobe, for those who were wondering, built when Los Angeles was still an outpost on a muddy river, a town existing only to support the cattle farmers, a town made of hides and tallow)

Then again, I just love being in Old L.A. I love flying past the old buildings in downtown, examining them for detail, looking at Los Angeles as it was when it was still centralized. I love the city, love seeing its streets traced in my mind.

And, although it frightens me, I love, sometimes, feeling like I’ve fallen through the cracks of Reality, into a slightly alternate, magical world where nothing needs to make sense. Like when we were standing, a dozen Massers, with our bikes, at the edge of a bonfire in the Cornfield. A boombox was fuzzily playing a 1950s love song, in six-eight time, and a score of people were standing at the edge of the fire, some dancing, all watching the flames, surrounded by smoke and the smell of burning sage. It was all time in Los Angeles, pulled into one moment, a few minutes where it felt like all history was happening at once: the city skyscrapers visible, the harvested Indian corn, the ragtag band of nomads from the Mass.

My adopted cousin Anton took photos:

I like being able to perceive the world differently every so often. I think it keeps me sane.

follow your heart, follow it through, but how can you when you’re split in two?

(siouxsie, “face to face”)

For some reason I’m hung over out of habit today. I had ONE glass of absinthe at the bar last night, upon arrival at 10:30, and then that was it. Cut off. I danced for three of the four hours I was at Bar Sinister, too, until I realized that the quads which took me thirty-five miles on Friday on my bike, were going to give out from under me – even in the flats I was wearing. Then I stopped.

However, since I have a kickball game – I have to run rather than writing blog entries. But there’s one on Friday’s Critical Mass coming soon. I hope.

sleepless in seattle

When I worked as a tourguide at ARRRRRRRGOSY, we went past the Sleepless in Seattle floating home (IT’S A FLOATING HOME NOT A HOUSEBOAT) about eight times a day. I gave the same spiel every time: OK, folks, and if you look off to [port/starboard], you can see the floating home that was used in Sleepless in Seattle! How many of you saw the movie? How many of you have wives who made you see the movie? (pause for hands, dirty looks from wives).

Et cetera. I’d go on for five minutes or so about that fucking houseboat. Four times a day. This is what passes for tourist attractions in Seattle: the Sleepless houseboat, the EMP, and Bill Gates’ house. I love Seattle, very much, but it’s never going to attract many tourists – and most of the ones who do come through are on their way to Victoria or Vancouver anyways.

So that’s why I think that the remix of Sleepless is hilarious:

You know why we’re Sleepless up there? Because it’s tough to get to sleep after drinking six cups of coffee a day to ward off seasonal depression. Yes, those stereotypes are true. I started drinking coffee at eleven, but I really honed my habit while at the University of Washington when I was fifteen.
sleepless in los angeles – and yes, I miss Seattle

two lines in the L.A. times,0,7393654.story?coll=cl-home-more-channels

I was quoted at the end of the Crime Bus article. I was paraphrased, but hey, I’m still quoted. And a friend already emailed me to let me know she caught the quote.

And I am posting daily on Did I mention that? Because, y’know, I’m not sure if I told people that I’m writing over there now. Not that I feel the need to shamefully plug the site or anything.

i’m a real blogger now!

Looks like I’m going to get my chance to blog for Blogging Dot L.A.. I’m ridiculously excited about this. Finally, a site where posting too much is a good thing!

Blogging on was actually one of my goals for 2006. I wanted to be able to share my views and perspectives on my city with the rest of its citizens – and writing for is a perfect opportunity to do so. I’m a fan of the site and read it daily as it is, so posting on it daily shouldn’t be too hard.

And, in a nice coincidence, this is also the week of my ten year blogiversary. My first recorded post on my old, hand-coded HTML site dates to January 27th, 1996. I have been rambling off into the internet for my entire adult life. My writing’s definitely improved as a result – I’ll be posting some of the early, incoherent teenage posts soon – but it’s nice to know that, after ten years of writing for a couple dozen readers (I’m guessing that’s how many regulars I have), I’m going to get to write for hundreds of readers.

And, best of all, I get to write about my favorite subject, Los Angeles. My home, my city, my family’s adopted ancestral homeland. Other Jewish families say “Next year, Jerusalem!”, mine says, “next year, Los Angeles!”. I am fascinated by this city, and in love with it as a result. So I’m happy to have been chosen to share that with the world.

I’ll announce when I start posting, but in the meantime, check out .

Oh, and for the record, this also builds in one more two-degree connection between me and Wil Wheaton. I think he’s the Kevin Bacon of my universe.

blog for choice day (f&%^ you george w, and the christian right you rode in on)

I wrote a paper once upon a time. It was on abortion rights. In it, I compared the rights of women to terminate unwanted pregnancies, to the interent natural rights of man, as defined by Edmund Burke. Those natural rights are what founded America, the idea that Man is born with certain liberties and rights. And I believe that Woman is as well, including the right to govern her own body.

Let me add that women have had control over pregnancies since time immemorial. Women have known the plants and substances to trigger miscarriages, or have had better knowledge of the natural world’s answer to contraceptive chemicals. Midwives in America used to have that knowledge – until pregnancy and abortion became dominated by male doctors. And that was the beginning of the end of women’s rights in that area.

I, personally, have my own views on the subject. I do not consider a fetus a separate human life until it can survive outside the womb. And, deeper and more personally than that, I do not believe children should be born if they are not meant to be born. I believe that a woman will know when it is time to have the child that she’s meant to be a mother to, and if it isn’t the right time, then the child should not be forced into the world.

After all, let’s look at it this way: did that child ask to be born into a life that was wrong – the wrong time, the wrong place – for it? Shouldn’t a woman choose to have a child when that child can have the best life possible, rather than forcing a child out into a world that she might not be able to help it through?

When I was fifteen and I wrote that paper, I wanted to know how the right wing could be so hypocritical. How children could be left to starve, to be beaten, to be abused and molested. How these people could advocate bringing children into the world – and then not take any steps to help that child in a life that might be difficult or impossible, depending on who the childs parents were.

Ten years – and a lot of experience later – I still want to know the answer to that question. Why it is more important to save unborn fetuses, than it is to help the children who starve of malnutrition and neglect in America – much less in the rest of the world.

And that’s why, if anyone comes close to encroaching on my right to choose when my child will be born (because I’ll have that child when I believe it will have the best life with me, and with whoever its father is), then I’ll be the first on the street. I’ll be down helping the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. I’ll be pushing to get that right back.

Right now, I suggest you all push to keep it. Today is the thirtieth anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. Do not let this issue go unwatched.