|Out On a Lim|
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|Out On a Lim (2.12.03 - 5.29.03) >>
I met a girl who despised talking about death. Like when the conversation veered to that topic, she started to feel queasy. Especially when it delved into gruesome details for too long, she said she's been known to actually faint. Needless, whenever such was discussed, she steered the dialogue elsewhere. Hence, out of politeness, I never got to ask her what her theory was regarding the afterlife.
I have a theory that whatever theory one has about what happens after one dies is what happens. It's subjectively determined based on the individual's own criteria. If one believes in heaven (and all the prerequisites needed thereof), then one goes to his or her idea of heaven. The same goes for hell, reincarnation, connecting with the collective spirit, remaining as a ghost, oblivion, waking up from a recursive dream, or whatever. One's belief will come to be.
I mean, it's no different than how one subjectively views this world, give or take religious, sociopolitical, scientific, etc. influences. There are as many perspectives as there are people, contradictions notwithstanding. One person's heaven is another's hell. Granted, most don't have a clue, other than faith, about what happens. And it's the mystery that has instigated all these theories--with all things considered, my theory is just as valid and/or hokey as any. Thus, I enjoy listening to theories on what others personally think about death. Everyone's got their individual take.
I'm not afraid of death. I could die today and wouldn't feel like I needed more time. I never did set out to accomplish anything in this world, so leaving it is all the same with me. I experienced what came my way and I had fun exploring what I could. I can't ask for anything beyond that, for it was all worthwhile, I'm grateful for what I got, thanks. I probably was equally a good and bad person, nothing extreme to upset any balances. I don't mind if I'm forgotten. So when I die, I don't have any preference towards my afterlife--I'm cool with any of the theoretical outcomes. I'm sure I'll live with whatever happens.
A young girl, presumably a freshman at the university I assist at, once asked me, with complete sincerity, if there were any available recordings of Mozart playing his piano sonatas.
Up until the invention of phonographic sound reproduction, the performance of a musical work was restricted to time and place--impossible to duplicate as an objectified commodity. A composition was heard only thru live performances, however unique the interpretations. Meanwhile, authenticity disseminated via fickle historical recollection, perhaps because it wasn't deemed significant, or noticeable. But little personality ticks (tempos, dynamics, phrasing) in cahoots with technological developments (temperaments, instruments, acoustical environments) and mutating vogues ultimately snowballed the evolution of performance practices. Thus, a modern performance of Mozart's sonatas on a grand piano is highly likely to be skewed beyond its original ideals and intentions.
I just picked up a CD of an Aeolian Duo-Art reproduction of Gershwin playing a solo version of Rhapsody In Blue. It's his piano roll performance presented on a Steinway concert grand recorded with modern digital equipment. The clarity surpasses his vintage recordings and gives nuanced insight into his articulation.
Thesedays, composers have no excuse to not be able to record themselves performing their own works. But ironically, the current mindset, at least in classical music, is that composers and performers belong to separate branches of music. This schism, which was incomprehensible in Mozart's day, propagates that each should devote their energies to their respective disciplines. And that music is a collaborative product with both composer and performer contributing their ideas. Any crossover is viewed with suspicion and often dismissed as the composer being limited in performance skills to express an interpretation (planning over execution) and the performer being restricted to showcasing instrument proficiency instead of compositional technique (execution over planning). So composers have no apologies for not performing, rather it's the popular stance.
In 1964, Glenn Gould quit the concert stage and devoted his time to the recording studio. His reasoning was that recordings allowed for greater control in his quest for perfection than the chaotic factors inherent in live performance.
Arguably, it's the recording medium itself that has encouraged, deliberately or not, the division of labour between composer and performer as it strives to capture for posterity (or more specifically, commercial viability) the best representation of a musical work--to settle for nothing less than the best performer to perform a composer's best composition. The teamwork ethic, which prevails in contemporary society, promotes the fostering of specialized individual talents, with the assumption that the product of cooperation between masters of various endeavours is greater than anything done by a single Renaissance person. Historical accuracy be damned, Gould's recordings of Bach are conventionally regarded as some of the finest performances of some of the finest musical compositions ever. Some even say Gould played as good as or better than Bach probably did.
Two of the coolest musical instruments recently concocted are the sampler and the turntable. Both rely on recordings as fodder for performances of performances, compositions of performances, compositions of compositions, and performances of compositions. The source recordings themselves become relative as tempos, dynamics, and phrasing are adjustable--ideals and intentions of both the composer and the performer get reinterpreted on yet another level.
Music seems to be a culmination of perspectives (composer, performer, and audience). Even though it rarely exists disconnected from a historical continuum, it has become increasingly independent of time and place. Yet there's that curiosity to trace it back to some point of origin and some sense of authoritative identity. Someday someone will ask for a recording of a remix that includes a sample of Mozart playing Gershwin.
I rarely suffer from insomnia. If I do, it's cause I overslept the night before and can't get tired--which I usually just write off, ignoring sleep altogether. Or I'm thinking about some girl way too much, all abuzz with euphoric giddiness and/or dysphoric suspense. Anyways, I often employ a tried and true method of mine that, nine times out of ten, never fails to put me to sleep. No, I don't count sheep. And I don't rely on drugs (other than nicotine). I get hypnotized by imaginary light shows.
When I close my eyes, I see phosphorescent patterns in the back of my lids. Sometimes they're blurry blobs that bloom as they slide around. Or they disperse into squiggly lines, leaving trails. On occasion, they are vivid designs, multicoloured geometric lacework that twinkle and explode. And similar to snowflakes, no two are ever alike--everynight is a different display to behold. Last night I saw candy canes swirl all Busby Berkeleyesque.
Relaxed, I admire my mind's eye's laserium. I don't actively concentrate on what I'm looking at other than a passive and childish "ooh". I find if I get too aware of what I'm looking at, it all disappears. The trick is to just let it unconsciously ebb and flow. Before I know it, my breathing is in synch with the unfolding patterns--slow and even. Soon enough, I'm waking up in a dream.
Yes, I've read that psychedelics produce similar hallucinatory effects. As does meditating upon the "inner sun" via switching from beta to alpha brain wavelengths. But I don't take such phenomenon seriously--neither being trippy or mystical. For me, it's as commonplace as sleeping. It's a practical and natural function.
I've had a digital camera for an estimated 756,035 minutes and have taken 7,375 photos (2,617 of which are saved on my hard drive--the rest were junk and deleted). It's been about 4,736,200 minutes since I graduated from UCSD. However, 1,901 minutes ago I spent approximately 239 minutes wandering my alma mater (I was there to break down an exhibit I held there), and snapped the following 8 photographs:
This was taken from a stairwell, looking up at the underside of the Geisel Library. I remember when I worked there as a student. It was called the Central Library back then. I also remember when it wasn't prohibited to smoke within 150 feet of the entrance.
This building wasn't built when I was an undergraduate. (There was only an Engineer One building). The day was overcast, so I converted most of these photos to greyscale to compensate for the crappy lighting.
Another angle of the Geisel Library, as seen reflected from the lower mirrored windows.
The music department. I spent many minutes down in the piano rooms of this building. Thus, it's my favourite building on the campus. Somehow, it seems smaller than I remember it.
Tioga Hall dormitories. On the right hand edge, the highest window--that was my room. Eighth floor. I momentarily wanted to revisit it, to check out the old view. But decided not to get too sentimental. This was also another building that seemed much more looming when I lived there.
I've always liked the 60's architecture of this part of the campus (the earliest buildings built), at least for their incongruent charm with the other styles hodgepodging everywhere else at the university. I remember attending (sleeping thru) many a lecture in this building.
Another building that wasn't around when I was. I waited patiently for this shot as students kept walking by--up and down the stairs, across my frame. The building design itself is kinda "arty", which I suppose fits the department. However, most of it was cluttered with student projects and such. This wall was of a "cleaner" area.
Some water hose faucet, I presume. I believe it's near the Structural Engineering department--I forgot. The word "Zurn" was inscribed on the snout.
Somewhere as the 405 north goes under the 10 freeway, I heard a "tick" on my windshield, like a pebble of sorts. Emerging into the sunlight, I noticed a tiny asterisk shaped crack in the glass above the middle of my dashboard. I suppose it could've been worse--a bigger bit of debris could've made a bigger impact, and worse case scenario, smash my window taking me by surprise, making me lose control and getting into an accident, killing me. Instead, I've got a small eyesore in my frontal view.
I've been printing out my digital photographs, as a test to see how they look like for "real". Up until now, I've only seen them on the computer screen. Recently, they set up a little printout kiosk at the UCLA student store and I happened to walk by with a disk loaded with my latest snapshots. So I tried it out. The results were satisfactory. I'm still of the mind that my photos look best on a monitor--there's something about RGB light shining outwards and hitting the screen that just can't be reproduced on paper.
Holding my photos in my hands didn't feel right. It was too physical. I needed to distance myself from their existence in reality. I figured one way to do this is to frame them and put them under glass. So I went to the store to get some frames. After settling on a neutral matted style amongst the gaudily embellished frilly designs, I inspected my selection for nicks and cracks, for I wanted to present my photos in a nice manner, worthy of exhibition. Any microscopic damage wasn't worth purchasing. I was happy to find some pristine frames. At home I wiped the glass clean, removing fingerprints and dust specks. I placed and aligned my photos accordingly.
I once knew a girl who bought frames but kept the sample photos in them. I discovered this upon visiting her bedroom, noticing her collection of photos, and asking whom each person was. She told me she didn't know, she bought the frames and never removed the placeholders. They were strangers to her, yet they gave her friendly comfort, especially when she felt lonely. She made up imaginary stories for each--the little sister she never had, the eccentric uncle who flirted with her at the family reunion, and the wedding couple during happier times. This was all swell, but I asked her why she didn't have photos of her real friends and family. She said that she liked to distance herself from their existence. To her reality was an eyesore.
"Give me a few minutes," I heard her holler over her shoulder from her office. She was finishing up a story deadlining soon. So I lounged in the waiting area, browsing thru a stack of movie trade magazines, as the sunset oranged out the highrise windows.
The receptionist was in the midst of an argument with her (presumably) boyfriend, who was trying to give her a bouquet. I couldn't divert my attention, they were so loud--something about an affair with a girl in a blue dress, inappropriate behaviour, etc. And then suddenly, she violently knocked the flowers out of his hands and ran out the office, obnoxiously singing "My Funny Valentine".
"OK, I'm done, let's go," my cute journalist friend resigned, "What the hell happened to the receptionist?" I gave her my account from the sideline, the quarrel that turned into a musical.
As we exited the elevator into the basement car park, we heard a mob of fans busying around some poor celebrity, yelling remarks to her in French. We never did find out who she was (actress, model, diva, or whatever) as we drove away. Not that we cared. But it seemed like today was the day people abandoned decorum and decided to raise their voices.
Further proof: at the intersection, there was a homeless man standing in the middle of traffic, shouting "I SURRENDER!" Vehicles slowly maneouvred around him, but soon were caught in gridlock. We weren't moving. The surrendering man kept repeating his mantra, arms lifted, as if addressing the jam he created for himself. A motorcycled policeman entered and subdued the bum.
Finally, we arrived at her apartment, welcomed by silence.
Handwritten music is old fashioned. Notation programs, with all their consistent precision, have replaced the personal variances of pen to paper. For practical reasons, this makes sense, as presentable representations of music are easier for performers to sight read than illegible scribbles--I know from experience that no matter how neatly I make my dots on the staves, some performer won't be able to discern my notes. Most of my composer friends notate on their computers. But I'm just too lazy to learn how to use such programs. And I like the way handwritten music looks, regardless of coherence. It gives music a humble, human quality. That in the end, music can be reduced to bunch of simple markings, like those of a mad scientist, scrawled in a moment of zany inspiration.
Recently, I was examining a manuscript facsimile of Beethoven's Klavierstuck WoO. 59 ("Fur Elise"). I'm gonna guess that this little piece is one of the most familiar in all of classical music. Every kid learning to play the piano probably practiced it for hours. Looking at the extremely sloppy 193 year old handwriting, it takes some straining to make out that the barely identifiable blotches connected with frenzied lines is indeed the popular piece. From these messy beginnings sprung forth the lovely tune.
RE: "Now I need to get a record player..." (Out On a Lim, 5.14.03)
I got a turntable. Nothing fancy, just a cheap $99 model. So I plugged it in and spun the Puffy LP I got of eBay. It actually sounds pretty good. Years of being conditioned to CDs, I've forgotten how "warm" vinyl is, scratches and pops notwithstanding. Needless, I've been going on a vinyl spree--comparing the analog vs. digital versions of my fave albums.
RE: "Anyways, my latest faux sweetheart is Samantha Mathis...We'll see how long she lasts." (Out On a Lim, 5.29.03)
Samantha lasted about a week. I think her filmography killed her appeal. I've since fallen in love with Kimberly Williams (who, according to the IMDB, doesn't exactly have a better selection of starring roles).
RE: "But hey, I'm still a good two months ahead..." (Out On a Lim, 4.13.03)
Radiohead's Hail To the Thief should be out in stores by now. I've listened to my little bootleg copy to death. It's already "old". However, I might pick up it up on vinyl.
RE: "I've been riding my bike again." (Out On a Lim, 5.16.03)
Uh, I've been busy as of late, what with various commissions and projects. Unfortunately, my spare time, which I've got an exceeding amount of, just isn't enough to include bike riding. I should make it a goal to get in the habit of taking short breaks and circle around the neighbourhood. Maybe tonight. Some goals are easier said than done.
RE: "One of my life goals is to get listed in the IMDB as a composer." (Out On a Lim, 4.16.03)
There's a waitress at the local ramen shop who my friends and I have affectionately nicknamed "The Buff Chick". Yes, we're chauvinistically correct in using the term "chick" instead of "girl", or politeness forbid, "lady". We've got little pet names for all the chicks that come our way--unless she's already coined one for herself, such as a certain cinema chick I know. We use these coded references cause it's more convenient than using their real names, especially when someone might be tapping our phone lines or hacking our emails. And it makes us feel macho. Anyways, "The Buff Chick" isn't actually muscled out, per se, she just has a roughness about her that is both intimidating and alluring. I speak for myself when I say she looks like she can kick my ass. She probably holds black belts in several deadly martial arts. Her shoulders are broad and she carries herself with a swaggering burliness. Her hair is always messy and spiked. She takes my order with a gruff voice. Most of the chicks I've dated are nerdy and frail, so "The Buff Chick" poses a curious change in my tastes. Not that I want to go out with her. I doubt she even notices me--the definition of weakling. Yet, I've got this strange itch to get disciplined by her. To get tossed around and pinned. Wouldn't that be so cool to get beat up by a chick...
I hate exclamations marks. I rarely, if ever, use them. (Check the Out On a Lim archives and you'll find one previous to his entry, and even then that was tagged onto a fictional character's shouting refrain). And multiple marks to express super exclamation are definitely not part of my punctuation palette.
Perhaps it's my personality. I never get overly excited, at least on an extroverted level (oh, believe me, I can go bonkers in my mind). My voice usually employs moderate inflection, or at the very least, mumbling anti-exclamation, but never extreme jubilation. I tend not to broadcast my emotions.
One would be hard pressed to find a photo of me smiling as a baby. My parents tell me I was a "serious" kid, quiet and reserved. Yet, I remember being happy. For whatever reason, I think from an early age, I've been content to keep my excitement to myself. I've never felt the need to let others know how bursting my exhilaration was. If it didn't bother me then, I can understand why I'd maintain that disposition as an adult.
It's not that I don't like sharing my excitement, or other emotions. Otherwise I wouldn't be writing this web journal. I just choose to express such things via the words themselves--adjectives, adverbs, sentence structures, entry lengths, etc. But in general, I like keeping a neutral tone.
Question marks? Those are cool!!!!!!!!!!
Frequently Asked Questions #171-173
- Are you British? You often use British spellings in your writing, such as "colour" and "favourite".
- And if you aren't British, then why do you pretend to be British?
- Are you one of those freaks who fake a British accent?
No, I'm not British. I was born and raised in America. British spelling is a bad habit of mine since high school, on account of reading too many books on The British Invasion. However, I do like how their spelling is usually longer, and thus looks cooler. Also, it fools idiots into thinking that I'm British. It's rather humourous, I must say. Hey, I can pretend to be whatever I want to be. No, I don't speak with a fake British accent.
Frequently Asked Questions #97-99
- Are you French? I've heard of a composer named Henri Lim whose music sounds very similar to yours.
- And if he is indeed you, then why do you pretend to be French?
- Are you one of those freaks who fake a French accent?
No, I'm not French. But yes, I sometimes go under the name Henri Lim. My record label thought it'd be more "hip" if I changed my name to sound more French and I figured they know more about marketing my image better than I do. Hey, if it worked for the Cocteau Twins. And I can pretend to be from France if I want. No, I don't speak with a fake French accent.
Frequently Asked Questions #32-35
- Are you Japanese? You look Japanese, but your surname is Chinese.
- And if you aren't Japanese, then why do you pretend to look Japanese?
- Are you one of those freaks who fake a Japanese accent?
Actually, my mother is Japanese, so I'm half Japanese. I couldn't pretend not to be Japanese if I wanted. Fufu, Japanese accent I rike to fake bery bery bery much, yes.
A distant carillon clanged. She cut her hair since I saw her last, making her small face, especially her big eyes, more prominent. A siren glissandoed down a background block. She asked why I haven't called lately. My neighbour strummed the same chord progression rudimentarily on her acoustic guitar. I replied with a lie, "I've been busy lately." I wasn't in the mood for playing games with her anymore. "Yeah, me, too," she mirrored. I turned up the apocalyptic rockabilly on my hi-fi.
I bought a bag of potato chips as I waited for my car to get washed. Last night I had a dream I was in a girl's bathroom making out with Gwen Stefani. I took a seat with a view of the attendant snaking the vacuum nozzle thru my backseats. I remember the floor being dirty, but we didn't mind as she and I hit it, tongues entwined. As I finished my last chip, the attendant waved his towel, signaling that my car was ready. My fingers avalanched down the length of her legs. I gave the attendant a tip for his fine job.
As I wandered along PCH, I stared at the ocean, the spines of the waves dithering the reflection of the sun. There's this girl who keeps a web journal that I frequently read. I could see seagulls and kites sharing the airspace. I often despondently kick myself that she lives in my neighbourhood, yet I always read about what she did after the fact--that only if she'd say beforehand where she was going to be, maybe I could tactically run into her. The beaches are being put to use. Summer is here.
There were three reasons why I went to my hometown of Hacienda Heights to visit my parents this past weekend. One being Father's Day--we took him out to dinner. Second being I brought my computer over so that my brother could do some maintenance work on it. And the third being my chance to retrieve some of my old vinyl long players. I've had them stored in my old room, collecting dust, as I didn't have a turntable to listen to them on. But now that I've got the means, I thought I'd take a little nostalgic trip down my auditory memory lane.
There's my original "White Album" (complete with the accompanying posters). This was the first Beatles vinyl record I bought--previous to this, I had bought cassettes, but due to a misunderstanding on my part (I thought it was only available as a double "record"), I got this on 33 1/3 rpm. Nevertheless, I remember hearing it for the first time (nearly 18 years ago), late at night, on headphones, and deciding then and there that I was hooked to their music. 'Tis all due to this particular album, this particular copy. A smile kept sneaking onto my mouth as I relived that initial epiphany. I also was reminded of how the tracklist was broken up to fill four sides, the end of a side being a deliberate intermission as one flips it over--something that's lost on the double CD.
When I was a freshman at Glen A. Wilson High School, the "Wildcat" Marching Band cut a record commemorating our 1986-87 season. It features our field show and concert performances, directed by our teacher, Gil Adams. Yours truly played the xylophone. Listening to this album obviously takes me back to high school--wheeling out my instrument onto the practice field, the hours of rehearsal, the crush I had on the cute piccolo player. The intonation and rhythmic accuracy of the band is objectively laughable, but subjectively, this record is priceless. More than any photograph, the recording perfectly captured our youthful enthusiasm.
For me, sound has always had the sentimental upper hand over vision. I can trace this all back to the album Havin' Fun With Ernie & Bert. Starring the Sesame Street muppets, this fun record was a sound-only version of their television show. My parents got this for me probably when I was around three years old. I remember listening to it a lot as a kid and being transported into their stories and games via the sound effects and sing along songs--I believed they were in the room with me. There's a skit on it called "Imagination" where Ernie instructs the listeners to close their eyes and drift off into the wonderful worlds in their heads, where anything is possible. I got a little misty eyed hearing it now. Cause from these simple lessons, my life has been inspired by my imagination some 28 years onwards. I've held true to Ernie's wise words.
And then there's my original motion picture soundtrack to Star Wars. This was the first record I ever bought for myself. This was where it all began--my love of music. It's completely worn out, scratched to hell from overplaying, and the cover is falling apart. It's not even in bad condition. Probably worthless as a collector's item. But then again, all the money in the world can't compensate for any second I might've missed not listening to it as a kid. More than the movie itself, the music awakened me. I can directly account for several facets of my life (composer, soundtrack buff) to this single work. And even after being overkilled by popular culture, my vinyl copy, with all its personally engraved scratches, still has a kick that sends me back to being five years old, my father and I sitting in the movie theatre, and hearing that main theme for the first time.
So my brother, amateur computer handyman that he is, found a virus on my computer. I didn't bother to find out any of the specifics, but according to him, this devious worm allowed others to view my online actions--capturing keystrokes to passwords being its aim. He has hence gotten rid of it and installed an antivirus program.
I'm not too paranoid about anyone gaining access to my accounts. I've got nothing worth anything. My credit card is minimally effective due to my imposed spending limits. In fact, I rarely use my credit card (other than for gas and the occasional Amazon order). I prefer to use cash. I only got a credit card six years ago due to some girl who insisted that she'd travel with me if I got one. And me being a sucker for anything a cute girl says, I did. However, I've never been enough of a consumer to take advantage of it. So stealing my credit card number isn't gonna allow for any extravagant spending. I use PayPal. But that's tied to a tiny checking account dedicated to leisure spending. I could lose it all and not miss it. And I could care less if anyone hacked into my email or website. There's nothing there worth crying about. I mean, come on, I'm nobody.
A friend of a friend's wife recently had her identity stolen. Luckily there wasn't too much damage done and she still had her sense of humour intact so that she could laugh about the confusion. Not that she didn't suffer any headaches, mainly due to the bureaucracy involved in trying to convince people who she officially was. And the gaping holes in such security that leaves identities wide open for the taking.
I may shrug off these increasingly insecure times whereby criminals can rob your virtually protected accounts, but with all due respect to the victims, I think consumerism deserves to be fucked with. The very idea of a credit card still perplexes me--you need to buy crap to "build credit" so you can buy bigger crap. I'm glad consumers have got the fear. They've been purchasing shit that they've been subliminally convinced will fulfill some false sense of absolute need. They've become enslaved by money. The real virus is greed.
Someone spilled some coffee on the otherwise unsullied marble floor. The diminutive brown puddle slick on the mottled vanilla polish could have been mistaken for an intentional statement of abstraction, instead of the likelihood accident of some dowager rotting away with feeble equipoise. Mischievousness momentarily intersected my shadows of urbanity as I pictured myself using the liquid as a springboard for slippin' and slidin' along the surface. But I sidestepped it.
From the observatory deck, I telescopically surveyed the catastrophic fires on the mountain afar. The distance was numbing--it all could be happening on another planet as far as I was concerned. I vainly heard my imagined echoes of their anguish. Civilizations were being destroyed, generations were being wiped out, rescue missions were being defeated, and my only anxiety was to turn on the air conditioner as I stepped back into the foyer. A chill filled the space.
My three-fingered angel squeezed my hand as she yanked me on a celestial journey. Her spirited laughter spewed forth polyhedral constellations that dilated infinitefold for us to fly thru. Zipping thru universes, we hit a speed that aerodynamically transfigured her blonde hair into golden comet dust. We melded together. Our unison breathing inverted as her thoughts overthrew mine and vice versa. And then our consciousness incinerated from the sparks upon penetrating an atmosphere.
An old lady dropped her coffee after feeling the repercussive impact of a meteor smashing out yonder.
dear aquarium chick
your blurry sounds, xeroxed feedback, and somnambulistic fireflies are making me blue. i had a dream where i shot your head from behind with a pistol that expelled licorice pellets. the janitor is retiring in eight days. i gave him your regards even though you regarded him as a whistling slob. i hope you someday learn to remember what day it was yesterday. i'm getting tired of reminding you that the past is over. i've been sniffing tetrahydrofuran and it's chlorinating my memory. i ate all your white cherries, if that's cool with you, unless you want me to vomit them out like the last time i swallowed your snowman stamps. the halogen light bulb on my porch is still flickering. late at night, i talk to it in morse code. it said that your fear of slipping in the shower and cracking your skull open is unfounded. and even if you do, i'll cover your naked body when the paramedics arrive. yes, i'll use your fluffy towels.
I was an idiot for believing an idiot who read a rumour that Lisa Germano killed herself. It didn't help that she wasn't famous enough to make the headlines. So it wasn't likely to be able to cross check her apparent suicide in the news wire archives. And it wasn't far fetched, if her depressing music was any clue. Anyways, I accepted her passing. Thus, her songs became haunted.
Listening to a dead person's music begs for new perspectives. Maybe it's in the recording, her voice captured on tape, that adds poignancy--her presence extending beyond the grave, as if she was still here, singing. Her lyrics sound more tragic with the specter of her self inflicted death just around the corner. That her self-loathing was real. I remembered meeting her after a show and smelling her alcohol breath. It was hard to hear her music again without breaking down.
Well, the rumour was fake. I just Amazoned her latest album Lullaby For Liquid Pig. Yet I can't separate my mistaken emotional connection despite the truth. I had believed that she was dead. So now as I listen, I'm grateful that she's alive, and welcoming of her as if she really did die and has been magically resurrected, like an angel she so much resembles. There's warmth in her voice that probably is just my imagination. As are verses that encourage not to give up hope. I take those especially to heart.
I wonder if scattered along the freeways of America, there is enough abandoned debris to build a patchwork automobile. From the fallen engine parts to the forgotten tires, the leftover carcasses of accidents, and the random extra seat sitting on the desert curve. The scavenger hunt alone would be worthwhile.
I had a dream I was riding a monorail whose tracks shot out over the ocean. It was twilight, and the distantly tiny lamps from the Long Beach shoreline glimmered like astronomy. The young girl in the seat next to me tapped my shoulder. I turned away from the window in response. She pulled out a crumpled piece of paper from her pocket. I unfolded it to reveal a lithographic reproduction of a comic book panel that depicted myself looking out the monorail window, the girl tapping my shoulder, her handing me a crumpled piece of paper, and myself looking at a lithographic reproduction of a comic book panel of myself looking out the monorail window, etc. And the first and third person blended--I could see myself seeing myself seeing myself, etc. I zoned out from going cross-eyed at infinity.
When I came to, I found myself standing in an enclosed and slanted room that was ramshackled with crookedly cut wood panels. There were no furnishings except for an antique black and white television set fuzzily transmitting a static image of a stairway that lead up to a door. I lit a cigarette and waited. Soon I saw the back of a girl on the screen as she ascended the stairs and knocked on the door. Between the wood panels of my room was a door, which simultaneously was being knocked upon. As I opened the door, I glanced at the television to see myself at the door glancing at the television. I let her in. She took off her jacket and a glow illuminated from her. She lit up the walls that now disclosed what I once thought to be wood panels as thousands of punk concert bills plastered renegade style.
Somehow I knew who she was, like we were betrothed in a previous life. Her smile was damn familiar. I told her about my dream--the monorail, the girl, and the comic book panel. She laughed and said she had a dream in which she was riding a monorail, she tapped a man on the shoulder, and handed him a crumpled piece of paper. I felt a buzz from the coincidence. Of course I accused her of lying. I told her that it ain't hard to bullshit a copycat dream after hearing a previous account. Alas, she explained, the beauty of cosmic rationale is it can't be proved. However, destiny does seem the most real when it travels surreal paths, when it feels like it's beyond tangible control and comprehension. When it feels like a dream.
I woke up (for real) with the buzz intact. Sometimes I wonder if strewn across my dreamscapes, there are enough bits of my past, present, and future realities to cobble some semblance of my metaself. From the mystery girls to the reflected reflections, the subconscious within subconscious, and the random allusions to fate just sitting there on the edge of mercy. I'm on a scavenger hunt.
I read an article in my local paper a couple of weeks ago about session drummers crying about their lack of business due to drum machines. Apparently, it's trendy to use the precise, and more importantly, cheaper rhythms of a machine than a real person banging on a drum set. The kids today love it, as heard in the current styles of hip hop, techno, and pop. The drummer is almost extinct.
It makes sense for the fashionably fickle music scene that sounds need to evolve to not only keep the product sounding "fresh and new", but to also reflect the times. The traditional trap set (bass, snare, toms, high hat, cymbals) is nearly an antiquated instrument, having been around since the early 20th century, popularized by jazz, itself being a consolidation of what was previously played by several musicians (a la marching band style--one person played the snare, another the bass, another the cymbals, etc). The first known drum machine was The Chamberlain Rhythmmate and was invented in 1949. Today, most music software programs have built-in drum machines that rely on samples of real drums (or electronic recreations thereof).
The "robots taking over the assembly line" analogy applies to the drum machine's taking over live drummers situation. Yet there's something ironic about rhythmic percussion being the most "primal" of the musical elements, often reminding listeners of a symbolic heartbeat, however the trap set seems to mimic the machine-like factory sounds of the Industrial Revolution (repetitive pounding and clanging, backbeats, crashes, etc) only to be itself replaced by a machine. If the sounds of music project our collective thoughts, do the dominance of drum machines signal our acceptance of our machine dependent lives? Are we plugged into a computer controlled pulse? Perhaps later generations will better theorize what's going on.
Personally, I like both real and synthetic drums, each timbre being appropriate for various musical settings. I remember the summer of '88 when I borrowed a friend's drum set. I spent endless hours figuring out how to play it, coordinating my limbs, keeping a beat, and pissing off my parents. Besides learning how to play the instrument, I gained respect for drummers--their foundation behind the other players. In the summer of '89 I saved the money I earned as a part-time carpenter to purchase a drum machine, my trusty Yamaha RX7. It's been a convenient (and less noisy) means to recreate my rhythmic ideas. I hear my familiarity with acoustic drums in my programming, as well as when I pick up drumsticks, my experience with machines has informed my playing.
I'm gonna get myself a drum set.
Thesedays I get my news online, but whenever I get a chance to read a print edition of the newspaper (usually the LA Times), I routinely glance at the front page for the latest headlines, to see what nonsense is going on in the world, and skim thru the entertainment section, which has been increasing yawn inducing--I stopped reading movie reviews a long time ago due to their incongruent attention to my particular specifics, such as the soundtrack and how cute the startlet shined, not to mention I've learned that opinions of writers that I don't personally care about are meaningless to me, especially when it comes to subjective evaluations of films, music, and such. And I read the comics.
I remember growing up eating breakfast whilst listening to my walkman and reading the comics. There were days when I'd be rolling with laughter at some silly punchline or goofy character's expression. Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang were consistently hilarious. Doonesbury, Drabble, and The Far Side were also cool. It was the perfect way to start my days. However, Calvin & Hobbes was the best--Spaceman Spiff's crazy adventures, Stupendous Man to the rescue, wagon rides with Hobbes, and that dastardly Susie Derkins with her friend Mr. Bun.
I was getting my car serviced and read the comics whilst kicking it in the waiting room. It's not the same without Calvin & Hobbes. Peanuts reruns are alright, classics that they are. Doonesbury and Drabble are still around, and still can make me laugh. I miss The Far Side. But there's a slew of newer titles that just don't have the same zing as my faves. I don't think it's coincidental that I stopped eating breakfast (other than a glass of orange juice) and ended my reliance on newspapers as a source of information around the time Calvin left the scene.
One would guess that I'm a Star Wars fan and be on target. I'm of the generation that grew up with the original films. I consider myself probably an average fan--beyond just a casual admirer having seen the movies dozens of times, yet not as obsessed as those that collect the merchandise and dress up as their fave character. I admit that I participated in the ticket line before Episode I, which was an interesting cultural and sociological adventure, being surrounded by the geeky subculture. I enjoyed the prequels (so far) as a complimentary backdrop to Episodes IV thru VI, not to mention Natalie Portman's grace. For amusement, I read many of the online rumours before each movie, keeping up-to-date on the latest developments years before their releases. I dig the sleuthing done by the supposed spies, and get jazzed trying to figure out how each tidbit fits into the mythological puzzle. Sometimes just thinking about these unofficial details and imagining how they'll be portrayed is just as much fun as watching the real film.
There's a fake script for Episode III floating around the internet. The movie isn't due til 2005 and the available rumours are skimpy, so I gave it a read. It's actually a decent screenplay, nicely bridging the prequels and the original trilogy, albeit not too surprisingly. It seems to cull together all the "legendary" events that fans expect--the fall of the Jedi, the rise of the Emperor, the birth of Luke and Leia, and the penultimate duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan. The script also incorporates the now predictable recurring and recontextualized lines. But then again, these things will happen. Based on what follows in Episode IV, it's not hard to deduce who'll survive and what'll happen to the galaxy. I'd be amazed if these "inevitabilities" don't happen--it's like seeing the final pieces to a puzzle. I suppose it's all in the execution, how the director envisions it. But for now, the movie in my head is cool.
I'm on a locomotive, steaming thru the Great Plains, watching a Cold War movie on my personal viewscreen. It's mid-afternoon and the sun is too bright, so I pull down my window shade. The movie is generic and involves some bandits hijacking nuclear warheads and some cowboys determined to save the world. The train slowly rolls forward. I take a nap.
I dream I'm in the movie, chasing down the thieves thru Eastern Europe, stopping to lodge in a mining village. It's late at night and the crescent moon is visible between the curtains of my room. I turn on the television and flip thru the Commie language broadcasts, stopping at a dubbed movie from the 60's--some silly beach party caper with golly gee girls teasing the goofy surfers. The sunny soundtrack lullabies me to sleep.
The telephone woke me up. A bad habit of mine is to never answer the phone in the morning. This was due to obnoxious telemarketers trying to sell me crap, get me to donate money, or convince me to switch whatever communications services. Even if it's an emergency, I ignore all dream interrupting rings, unless specifically forewarned. That's why I've got an answering machine. I returned to my sleep.
I'm on a beach at sunset, The Beach Boys providing harmonies from a boombox in the sand, a girl in a black bikini snoring on a towel at my side. I wonder what dreams she's having in her pretty little head.
The last memory I have of Keri is watching her trip and tumble in the grass.
She was in my sixth grade class, and for some reason, one day she decided to be friendly with me. She wrote me little notes about her random observations, asked me questions about myself, and hung around with me during recess. Maybe she was going thru a difficult period at home or with her friends--she never let on her why she seeked my companionship. Perhaps she was a lonely freak who couldn't stand being alone. But I played along. She was cute, skinny, and blonde, even though I wasn't old enough to go nuts over her, being just about to outgrow my ignorance of girls. Anyways, it was nice to have a new friend. We did class projects together and sat next to each other during lunch. I've always been content to be left alone, but I also didn't mind when someone wanted to join me.
And then, for some reason just as odd as her deciding to be my friend, she stopped talking to me. Maybe I offended her, maybe she got bored. She now had found another boy to bug. Again, I played along. I could ignore her, too. We continued as if our days together never happened. I had lived my 11 years prior to meeting her making a humble existence for myself, so I was sure that henceforth being out of her favour wasn't gonna kill me.
Our class played Indian soccer during PE. Keri and I were on opposing teams. We'd chase the ball on the grassy field. There was a moment when I had the ball and she ran up along side of me, trying to steal it. I kept my speed as she fell from my view. I briefly turned my head to see where she went. She had tripped and was tumbling in the grass. I moved on.
This is the 104th entry of Out On a Lim since it went online back in February of this year. That's 39,908 words (56 pages--single spaced, 9 point, Times New Roman). As a writing experiment, it's been fun so far--to make it a habit of writing on a daily basis. I've been rather punctual in pumping them out, although, the astute reader might've noticed that I've been taking weekends off. But besides a week during spring break, I haven't taken a break.
I'm gonna take a break.
Don't fret, I haven't hit writer's block, yet. Frankly, that concept boggles me--there's ALWAYS something to write about, even if nothing's happening, make up a story. There's nothing more depressing than reading a web journal that bickers about her drought of events and thoughts. Imagination is always aplenty.
Rather, I'm going into overdrive on a sculpture commission that's approaching deadline. Despite having too much time on my hands most of the time, now's the time when I can't seem to find the time to write, or much else. Anyways, I'm even gonna take a few days off from my real job to work fulltime on it (piggybacking onto the 4th of July holiday). And trust me, my mind will be completely locked into a zone where all I'll be thinking about is tiny toy building blocks. You don't wanna read about my glue fume induced dreams involving a pixilated world.
So please pardon any inconvenience this disruption may cause. I'll resume transmission in about a week.
So until then, enjoy the fireworks.
I've got a veritable standing order for every recorded composition by Danny Elfman, which does not necessarily include viewing the accompanying visual media from which the music is based. The latest example being The Hulk--I bought the soundtrack sound unheard, but don't plan on watching the movie (unless it's the least painful of in-flight entertainment options).
I've always been able to divorce a film's score from the film itself, especially if the film was a piece of crap. To me, the music usually can stand alone and evoke altogether different emotions and imagery. Driving around with film music on my car stereo and looking out my windows, I often feel like I'm in a movie, usually autobiographical. It's as if by taking the music out of context, it creates another contextual backdrop. I rarely imagine myself in the original context. But that's because most film music is generic enough to apply to any scene, within the parameters of the stock emotions involved--love theme, fight scene, chase sequence, contemplative moment, character developmental epiphany, etc. Although imagining these sounds scoring other, even contradictory, emotions is half the entertainment.
For the last 18 years, I've been contemporaneously following the majority of Elfman's development as a composer. Perhaps it's because I got hooked early on, but I've always been intrigued by his style, which has subtly evolved over the years--certain timbres linger between scores, he went thru a dissonant phase, and of course it's always fun to play "Find the Bernard Herrmann Quote". Previously, I tried to catch all his efforts during their theatrical releases. But duds like Flubber, Civil Action, and Instinct convinced me to stay home and just listen. Regardless, his music seems to sync well with my moods.
I wish I could go bald. I'm getting tired of my hair and all its nuisances. And I've got no insecurities about my appearance.
I've been supposedly losing my hair since I was a teenager. Every morning, there's a handful of hair clogging my shower drain. Prospects were looking good as my hairline receded. By desireful calculations, barring the fact that my mom's dad kept his hair, I should be bald by now, but somehow it continues to grow back.
Instead, I keep finding clumps of hair--balling up in the corners of my bathroom, weaving into the carpet, and squiggly patterning on my desk. Yeah, I'm just too lazy to get a haircut, which I schedule semi-annually at the earliest. Oh how I'd like to forever end having to visit the barber and finally be able to throw away my comb.
If karma holds true, then by deductive reasoning, I probably was begrudgingly bald in a previous life, super jealous of those with hair, and never realizing that I had it good then. Believe me, I'm paying for those mistaken envies.
Hmm, I was reading some web journal in which the writer was expounding upon her displeasures toward her lack of social skills, that if she could redo her life she'd've paid more attention to developing her ability to express herself more truthfully in casual conversations. What struck me was her regret to the point of wishing, however hypothetically, to do her life over, at least to fix her self-acknowledged flaws when interacting with others.
Well, myself ain't no life of the party in sociable situations. I'm the guy who keeps to himself and only responds to mostly annoying questions. I'm comfortable with a wall of coldness between the rest of the world and myself, cause frankly, that's how I truly feel. Sometimes I think people should spend more time alone, get to know themselves a little better. Perhaps they wouldn't crave the need for evaluating themselves based on the opinions of others. And then, ironically, they might not feel so isolated.
I got a phone call from a friend who wondered how I combat ennui. I had no answer other than I try to keep myself constantly occupied, whether with my projects, hobbies, or daydreams. There's always something to do or think about. Yeah, I make complaints for the sake of complaining about how bored I am and how I've got too much time--my web journal musings being evidence of such. But honestly, I'm never seriously bored out of my head. If I were, I'd figure out something to do. Beyond that, I can't give any advice. Maybe I'm just easily amused.
I haven't seen much black and white photography documenting the rave subculture. I suppose it defeats the iridescent display of playful costumes, strobes, and multimedia. Plus, the darkness of the venues probably would render the absence of colour into a distracting abstraction--a silhouette of a dancing crowd before some light source. Shooting black and white would practically miss the point.
Some of my favourite photos are of jazz musicians--in mid-improvisation, nearly lost in the shadows of a smoky nightclub. These are invariably in black and white. Colour would kill the "cool" atmosphere.
One of the effects that seem to work well with nightclub photography is the visual trailing produced by long exposures. These add a sense of rhythmic motion, not to mention interpolate the blurry vision of the intoxicated patrons. Cheap digital cameras also bring out a blooming of the reds, emphasizing the "hot" mating ritual. I think that the red eye effect is appropriate for those so plastered that they won't remember having their photo taken.
I always get a kick out of finding, at least in my mind, correlations between music (including recording) and other media. To me, there's a similarity in the slickest of slick mass marketed pop song and the slickest of slick commercial photography, with their overly slick contrast (equalization, lighting) and attention to slick surface details as all the rough edges are smoothed out (compression, air brushing). There's always a current sound or look, whether in the drum timbre definition or the colour saturation. This helps when the styles go out of fashion and make a song or photo easy to approximate datewise.
A friend let me hear a CD of newly recorded music that consciously mimics the sounds of the '80s--808 drum machines chugging under angular synth lines behind the detached attitude of the singers. The smoking gun that revealed that these tracks weren't 20 years old was the clarity of the mix, with a bias towards the lower frequencies. Nevertheless, I got a tinge of faux nostalgic from the recycled style.
There was a rapping on my dwelling during the darker hours of yesternight. I opened my door to find a shrunken hag requesting entrance. "Phthonos," I welcomed her, "it's been a long time since we've talked, do come in." She thanked me with a blackened teeth smile and wobbled into my conversation chamber. I offered her some Coke, but she declined, instead indulging in a serpent to munch upon. "So what's up?" I curioused.
"My dear child," she gurgled, "it has been nearly two decades since you suckled my venomous breasts."
"Yes," I nodded, "your memory is correct."
"I remember everything," she dignified. "The game of desire depends on pushing the right emotional buttons. And this requires an extensive knowledge of the weaknesses of others. Memory is a strategic asset."
"So you've taught me," I laughed. "But I am not envious of your adept recollection."
"Your defense skills have sharpened," she recoiled. "Yet I sense that you remember more than you let on. For you've been avoiding me. Or have you been cavorting with another daemon behind my back. The Rumours have been whispering of your affiliations with The Nymphets."
"Well," I lit a cigarette as I stood up and paced the room, "you're entitled to believe whatever you wish. But I also fondly remember how you imparted to me the value of the truth--how it's powers to induce your dominion should be carefully dispersed."
"It is physically impossible to lie," she smirked. "I can read your obnoxious subconscious via your body movements, your nervous ticks, and your phony self assurance. I've come to visit you tonight because I sensed your eagerness for my council. Something is eating at you."
"You know I don't need you anymore," I fronted. "You are a filthy creature, a character flaw, greed incarnate. I'm aware that you've been stalking me, following my every step, waiting for me to turn to you. And I've recognized the traps you've tried to place before my path--all those tempting illusions. Well, I doubt you can do any service for my woes."
"Yet I am here tonight," she grinned.
"Yet you are here tonight," I permitted.
"Well then, where shall we begin?" she cooed. "You've built up an immunity to most of my spells over the years, so we'll need to start with the hardcore treatment, at the very least. We need to definitely kill that highfaluting pride of yours. I shall drag you thru the waste filled rivers of your pretty little idealized concept of humanity. You'll need to be punished for even thinking that you could escape my messiness. But it's part of life. Don't fight jealousy. I always win."
The July sunrises have been boiling, prompting myself to sleep in absence of a shirt and with my windows open, surging the oceanic breezes thru my open doored rooms. The dryness of my mouth, fluttering flies, and sweat on my legs have become my proxy alarm clock.
I hear the metronomic beeps of my answering machine, reminding me that someone in the last six hours successfully dialed the correct sequence of my seven digit location identification number (or ten digit, including area code) and beamed their electronically telecommunicateable voice down the grid wires into my 2-bit sample rate digital recorder, unbeknownst to myself due to slumbering.
I disengage the flashing lights and electronic staccato by pressing the button that replays the missed call, repetitive conditioned to expect a playback salutation which will begin with the habitually phrased "Hey Henry, wake up [pause] well, you're probably asleep", or variations thereof, followed by the caller's message proper. Needless to say, this afternoon's tidings were unexpectedly puzzling:
"Hey Henry, wake up [pause] well, you're probably asleep. Dude, this is Larry McFeurdy. I'm on a payphone at some whorehouse out in the middle of [off to the side: 'Hey baby, where are we?'], uh, Nevada, but that's irrelevant cause I jammed my ultraharmonic coordinates--I've got those bastards off my tail, well at least for a few time dimension warps. Anyways, I just wanted to say I'm relatively alive, I've still got some corners of my consciousness to kill. But I've been train hopping across mental state lines. Fortunately some fortune telling lady over in schizophrenia city gave me a curse that'll drive the chicks insane. I'll tell one of your imaginary voices to bestow it upon you. I think you could use it on that cute girl you've been pining over for the last fiscal year and a half. And then maybe then you'll stop being so damn content with your solitude. Anticipation is only a miniscule percentage of the infinite fun you're risking. Oh yeah, you might wanna post a transcription of this phone message on your little webpage cause I told my fans out in culminated inversion land, when I was doing my apprenticeship at their frame factory, to try and decipher what I'm really saying in this idiotic babble--I'll give them a hint: Hank Williams. I wrote some chapters of The Juanita and Miguel Letters. I'll upload them to the system tonight and you can start posting it on your webpage soon. Hey, I gotta go, I think my dime is gonna expire...[beep]"
My drug dealer and I had a semi-transludicrous conversation filled with pathetically prophetic helixes of irrationalessness that seemed to reveal the fabric of the fabricmaker's granny style underwear on the day she decided to design the preliminary patterns of our known universe. It was about masks, in the symbolic sense, within abstractable relationship to relationships with the girl of our self-deemed dreams--you know, the cutest girl of them all, the bestest, the mega-raddest, etc. In effervescent essence, we all are wearing invisible masks that hide our invisible selves as we dread thru the daily dealings of polite society. We're frightened to reveal the most soul revealing traits of our souls for fear of getting our dreams shit shattered upon by some ungrateful slut. So we construct facades over our truly tortured selves, whether it's the rambling playboy, the computer nerd, the Lone Wolf, or the dutiful husband. Our personalities are just an elaborate coverup. However, the ultimate dream girl shall be so cool and worthy that our phony ID cards will become obsolete, our pseudonyms unnecessary, and our superhero outfits mothball bound. In other words, we'll pull off our masks only for that specially reserved girl.
I kinda agreed in general terms with the main ideas of said romantic idealism, that most people are phony baloneys, but quibbled that not everyone maintains such disillusionment with their quote unquote true selves. Some people are honest because they are not pretending to be honest with themselves. They're egoless. To them fear is an illusion. Ergo, there's nothing to hide, most redundantly behind some humiliating mask. But indeed, materialistic reality has commercially fed the populace subliminally demeaning concepts of self that can somehow be magically improved upon with purchases of consumer goods. It is in marketing's best interest to make everyone feel insecure in order to enforce sales. Nevermind that blindfolding our souls is metaphysically impossible, yet for some odd reason this exact nonsense is occurring right before our eyes. In the neverending big picture, identities are disposable and about as valuable as all the money in the world after it meets its end a gazillionfold. Meanwhile love is denied to those wearing their ridiculous masks. Fuck the masks, man, always be yourself. Or at the very least, whenever you're stoned.
|In the street, a young Hispanic girl was chanting "USA, USA, USA". I'm gonna assume that she picked up this annoying refrain from some nationalistic pride rally of sorts, like a sporting event or crowded mob--hey, I haven't been partaking in such gatherings as of late, so I'm kinda out of the loop in terms of slogan origins. But I'd bet she dosen't have a clue as to the hidden entendres that the name of our blessed country withholds. Yes, it's a relatively decent place to live, freedom, democracy, blah, blah, blah. But for every cool thing about the USA, there's some dastardly nasty trick up its sleeve--greed, power, corruption, etc. I wonder if the little girl can comprehend the delicate balance America skirts between its positive and negative attributes. Or maybe she did her research, weighed the evidence, and was so happy to discover that the country she happened to be in at the moment rates at a 51% good vs. 49% evil. Hence she had to shout about it in the middle of the road.
Do people truly understand the things they say? Or do they just blindly spew out sound bites programmed by the media? Kinda like Samuel Leroy Jackson's character in Pulp Fiction, who admitted that he never really gave much thought to the lines from the Bible he kept quoting, other than how cool they sounded. I'll even admit that I can't give a concrete example of American abuses in greed, power, or corruption. I just like sounding politically ambiguous. But I suppose mindless chants have their place. When in doubt, start spouting the latest motto and the flock will be swept away, distracted from the real problems.
I trust directors who also score their own films in terms of producing a more accurate conveyance of their cinematic ideas. Hal Hartley comes to mind. I may be slightly biased towards composers, but I think their intimate association with music, and all its mysterious effects, gives them an advantage when it comes to setting the mood. All the acting, props, and cinematography are ultimately subject to whatever whim the music imposes. The textbook evidence of such can be witnessed when one switches the music in a scene and noticing the change in the overall vibe. Directors are notorious (based on interviews I've read and first hand experience) for being incapable of communicating musical direction, and for better or worse, can't do much other than have faith in the composer. Well, music is nigh impossible to describe, period.
I had the honour of hearing a friend perform some songs she wrote. They were about milestones in her life and people she hated--personal lyrics. From her mouth the words sounded sincere. I was convinced that her songs represented her feelings about these topics, that she understood what she was singing. I've always been a supporter of original songwriting as a means of self-expression, especially when dealing with first person perspectives. There's something about music, be it melodic shaping or harmonic supporting, that gives weight to mere words. I'd much rather listen to someone sing to me than talk. Even cliches sound cooler when sung. And conventional language doesn't need to apply--emotions can transcend foreign tongues and wordless wails. These qualities give music a seductive power that unfortunately includes mass brainwashing potential.
"USA, USA, USA..."
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER ONE (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
I hallucinated last night. I had unslept the entire week due to a commissioned and deadlined sculpture that was contracted by a traveling troupe of Finnish revolutionaries, so it is within reasonable domain that my head wasn't properly calibrated for sifting out paranormalities. Just before pillowing my head, at the foot of my futon, a tiny holograph appeared. Semiconsciously, I knew that if I mentally acknowledged the apparition or blinked my eyes it would've vanished. Only when I disengaged my mind's logical stranglehold and surrendered myself to the infinitely unraveling unknown did it take on clearer form.
It was approximately my hand sized, shimmering in interlacing scans of monitor green light, fully dimensional. Two figures were horizontally joined in eternal peak, wrapped in each other's undulating bodies. They were both in tears. As my focus zoomed out I recognized that the male figure resembled myself. And the female was you. I became overloaded with an amalgam of emotional sympathy, self-referential empathy, and paradoxical pathos. I began to cry, blurring out the vision.
The commonplace darkness returned. I exhaled a disbelieving breath of release. As my awareness of the hallucination's credence coursed thru my brain, I discontinued my restful undertaking, too hyper perplexed to not pace the room with a cigarette. Confusion counterattacked me the more I tried to figure out any semblance of significance--was it a futuristic glimpse, a mirage of wishfulness, a morality curse, or nothing beyond a sleep deprived chemical imbalance? Perhaps it shall be whatever I deem.
In which case, my taco darling, I choose that I indeed saw ahead in time.
PS: There's some Crazy Chinaman who lives in the apartment above mine. He stays up all night. I can hear him walking around, playing loud music, and screaming crazy words.
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER TWO (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
you sick fuck. of all the things for you to have hallucinated, you had to hallucinate seeing yourself fucking me. i think you're a pervert. period.
on the other hand. maybe you ought to take advantage of your powers. try and see if you can hallucinate some lottery numbers. and give the winnings to me. yeah, i think that's the true prophecy--you pick the lottery numbers, you give me the cash, i fuck your taco brains out.
you stupid fuck. no one can see the future. anyone who says they can is bullshitting. or lucky.
hey, i've seen hallucinations, too. i see 'em when i'm high. duh. they ain't nothing to get all wigged out about. most of all, they don't warrant you to get all verbose like you do when you get all wowed out. "infinitely unraveling unknown"? for fuck's sake just say you were tripping out. chill out, man. you were just tired.
tell me more about the sculpture that you're working on. you and your revolutionaries. i'm thinking about getting a job. maybe i'll be a porn actress. you'd like that huh, you sick fuck. i don't know. i'll think of something. later.
the village idiot (blind pedro) has been hitting on me. literally. he keeps whacking me with his blind stick in the market. and then he tries to ask me out. i tell him that you'd kick his ass if you found out he was fooling around with me.
oh, jose just proposed. i accepted. we don't know when the wedding will be, but you'll most definitely be invited.
miss you muchos,
ps: that crazy chinaman who lives in the apartment above yours seems cool.
FORWARD TO "THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS" (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
Henry Lim kicking it down in Redondo Beach commissioned me to compose the series of chapters comprising The Juanita and Miguel Letters which appear nonlineararily in his web journal "Out On a Lim". He had weeded out some weird idea of publishing an unpublished underground book on his webpage and postsolicited the below want advert onto the unpublished underground authors newsgroup.
WANTED: Nonlinear unpublished underground novel to be posted on my megahit webpage "Out On a Lim". Looking for whacky stuff, not too offensive due to high traffic of children visiting my cool online LEGO sculpture gallery, but fun story. Extensive readership shall guarantee you fame. Will Paypal. Thanks. henrylim.org
I happened upon the above patronizing posting one day and thought, hey, writing a book sounds like mayhem ready to blitz. Besides, I had some storytime ideas running idle in my head. Plus I needed the funding. So I replied to Mr. Lim's plea. I sent him a portfolio of sample writings and, according to him, was second in his choice of submitted authors--his first choice was some geek girl who got euphemistically rubbed out. After compromising a few of the disagreements with the negotiated terms, I received a payment and proceeded to pothole myself in the concaved carved caves of the motherland off far in the direction of the rising sun and began to write.
Oh, you might notice that there were two clauses in my contract with Mr. Lim. One was to make him a major character, namely the "Crazy Chinaman". The other was to include the word "taco" in every chapter. So other than those little artificialities, I hope you enjoy this extended version of storytime.
Gee thanks, Henry, for this opportunity to be famous. Also a shout out to Juanita and Miguel. See you on the flipsided sidetrack...
-Larry McFeurdy, in a whorehouse that the whores swear is somewhere in Nevada
Colleen Fitzpatrick's (aka Vitamin C) version of "Last Nite" is pure pop brilliance. The remake of The Strokes song done in Blondie "Heart Of Glass" style straddles the line between postmodern style collision and lame throwaway laziness. Anyone else attempting this stunt wouldn't have made it fly, but Colleen succeeds because she seems to understand (or has people who understand telling her what to understand) why the mix'n'matching works.
She's an oddity amongst the teeny bopper singers in that she's much older than her demographic--she's even older than me. She sneaks clues to her age when she covers Split Enz or samples The Clash. And most telling, she's old enough to recognize that The Strokes are heavily influenced by the attitudes of the late 70's. To recast a modern retro song in the contemporaneous sounds of the homaged style requires an older perspective.
Colleen's voice is Deborah Harryesque. She's got that nasal, fun with a dash of danger parlando. Unless she's been coincidentally blessed with similar pipes, the resemblance is close enough to assume that she's consciously imitating the Blondie singer. Colleen's affection for Deborah, which is on full blast in "Last Nite", adds just the right amount of charm to the song's novelty. Also, Colleen played Deborah's daughter in the movie Hairspray--call it fate or perfect casting.
But I wonder if the average kid watching MTV will pick up on the levels of recognition. And most of the older audience might dismiss her as some vapid teen singer. My guess is she's trying to broaden her fans to include both the youngster who might recognize The Strokes and the older generations who can hear the layers of remade restyle.
In spaceships they won't understand...
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER THREE (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
I've got an unscientifically based suspicion that bugs like to bite people that have a decent level of stress in their blood. Perhaps it's their worries that nervously pump their veins into rushing streams, which make it easier for Mr. Mosquito to drain than say the person who's blood is a stressless calm flow. Bugs can detect these things, especially in humid climates. And most people have at least a modicum of bother on their minds. So it may seem that bugs bite indiscriminately.
However, I rarely get bitten.
Thus, I wondered what made my blood desireless. My first clue came during a vacation in Bali. My entourage kept dilly dallying about going hither and thither, not to mention they just wanted to forget about their piled up troubles back home. I was Mr. Calm, content enough just to wander the beaches, without repressed concerns. Everyone else advised that I coat my skin with repellents, despite my sham sounding claims that bugs tend to ignore me. I kept "forgetting" to waste my time and money on anti-bite concoctions. Needless, the bugs, immune to the silly sprays, devoured everyone like human tacos. Except me. The funny thing is, once bitten, people get even more stressed out, making them even more susceptible.
I got a letter from my cousin. Her boyfriend is doing his medical internship and is totally stressing out. Bugs have been biting him like crazy. So much so that she complained to me about his constant scratching in bed whilst she tries to sleep.
When I read that you got engaged to Jose, a bug bit my arm.
PS: I was talking to the Crazy Chinamen today at our apartment complex's mailbox. He's a photographer and just got an assignment to do a series of library photos.
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER FOUR (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
aw, my poor taco. i am so sorry that my boyfriend jose and i are getting married. we're kinda in love, not completely, but you know how it goes. i still care about you.
however i cannot condone your abuse of the bug bite spray industry. all those greedy manufacturers of bug bite sprays have families to feed, children that need college educations, and whatever other materialistic unnecessities that'll make their lives more fulfilling. jose's dad is a bug bite spray scientist. i'm on to you.
but wait a minute. maybe you're right. maybe the bug bite spray companies are purposely making people all stressed out so that bugs will bite them and hence create a market for their spray product. how sneaky freaky.
if that's the case then i should break up with jose. damn him and his bug bite spray life. i want to live with you. teach me how to be stressless. save me from the negative effects of commercialization. damn the bug bite spray industry and their stress inducing ways. people weren't meant to sustain such stress. i hate bugs. they should all die.
hey, do you think your cousin's boyfriend would be more or less itchy if he found out that you slept with her?
enrique, the local champion enchilada eater, came over yesterday. we smoked a bowl and rode our bikes along the beach. it was fun. i highly recommend it if you haven't done such yet.
jose and i are going to a desert rave this weekend. i wish you could come along. maria might be there, and you know how she likes it when you light her cigarettes, hint, hint.
have you seen any more hallucinations of the future? lottery numbers, hint, hint.
muchos cha cha boom,
ps: ask the crazy chinaman if he needs an assistant for his photography project. i need a job.
SMOKEBREAK WITH HENRY AND LARRY: AN INTERVIEW BETWEEN HENRY LIM AND LARRY McFEURDY REGARDING THE "THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS" (copyright 2003 Henry Lim and Larry McFeurdy)
HL: So what's the inspiration for your book?
LM: My life.
HL: No, seriously.
LM: Yes, seriously, it's about my life.
HL: But how can that be? How can you live the lives of all the characters? Plus, isn't the Crazy Chinaman supposed to represent me? By the way, I'm not half as crazy as that crazy character.
LM: You're not thinking in fragmented dissected dimensions. As the author, I created the characters, and thus embodied their stories, in confluence with the life I live outside of the text. Yes, in the rational sense of the word, I did not "live" the lives of the characters. But that's why I'm the writer of the book and you're not. And yes, the Crazy Chinaman represents you per that lame clause in the contract. Man, you're blind. If you can't even recognize yourself in that character, then you, my friend, are insane. Of course, it's just my perspective of you, which is highly likely to be incongruent with your perception of yourself. As they say, you can't see yourself in the dimension you occupy--you live in the bland third dimensional world. Open your mind and visit the other dimensions. See yourself from all angles.
HL: You're saying I'm crazy?
LM: Well, somewhere inbetween the lines, yes. But aren't we all. Each character is like a reconciliation of the linear and vertical concepts defining our existence in optional correlation to destiny, motifs following each other in imitative harmony, and splitting the seams of the infinitely unraveling unknown.
HL: Uh, sure, whatever you say, man. Uh, so what's the book about?
LM: My life.
HL: No seriously.
LM: Yes, seriously. You just asked the same question as the last. The inspiration of my book is my life. Thus the book is about my life. Did you even read the book?
HL: Yeah, I read it.
LM: Then tell me what you think it's about.
HL: Ok, hmm, well it's about these two people named Juanita and Miguel who write these fucked up letters to each other. Miguel is always trying to win Juanita's heart, but she keeps fucking with his head, making him believe that she's into him, but keeps sucker punchlining him about some guy named Jose. It's like they play this bittersweet game, cause you can tell that they're both sincerely in love with each other. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it yet, but it gets really twisted later on. I don't know if it has a happy or sad ending, but I suppose that's subjective.
LM: We all speak subjectively here. That's a nice recount of the book. I didn't read any of that in it when I wrote it, but hey, I'm entitled to my opinion.
HL: What's your opinion?
LM: Uh, well, my opinion is written down in the words of the book. Stop asking redundant questions.
HL: Hmm, ok, let's see. If you were both yourself and me, what question would you like me to ask you?
LM: "Who is the real Juanita?"
HL: And your answer?
LM: That's a secret.
HL: Is there really a real Juanita?
LM: Oh yeah.
HL: Are you Miguel?
HL: Did the real Juanita read the book?
LM: She hasn't said she so, but I can make an uneducated guess that she did.
LM: Well, it's the little things. Like the way she phrases the things she says, in a quasi-Juanita voice. And how she oh so coincidentally mimics some of her character's character traits.
HL: But isn't the Juanita character based on the real Juanita? Shouldn't they already be somewhat similar?
LM: Yes and no. I created the fictional Juanita to represent the real Juanita, but not entirely. There isn't a one to one correspondence. There are some telltale gaps that distinguish their separate identities. So when the real Juanita takes on the fictional Juanita's traits, I can assume that she's read it. Of course, I could be wrong. There's always a chance for happenstance. Hey, let me ask you this. Who was your favourite character? And why?
HL: Besides the Crazy Chinaman? Cause, he's crazy.
LM: Yeah. Juanita or Miguel?
HL: Miguel. He reminds me of me.
LM: Hahaha. More than the Crazy Chinaman?
HL: Well, no one's as crazy as the Crazy Chinaman. He's cookie crumbs crazy, man. I can't believe that you distorted me so much.
LM: Hey man, that's the way I see you.
HL: I'll take your word.
My favourite scene from Minority Report is "The Balloon Man" (scene 17). It's when fugitive John Anderton drags the Precog Agatha thru a mall. She tells him to do seemingly random stuff, like pick up an umbrella and to give some money to a bum. He's unbeknownst that these little acts foil the cops that are chasing him. But upon exiting into the rain, as he opens the umbrella, he realizes that nothing she has said to him was meaningless--that she had just safely guided him.
That scene is similar, at least in my mind, to my favourite scene from Amelie, "Amelie, Guardian Angel" (scene 5). Within this scene, there's a vignette in which Amelie Poulain leads a blind man thru the streets, spitfiring descriptions of everything she sees into his ear. The blind man gets so overwhelmed by her verbal illumination of his surroundings that when she au revoirs he literally radiates.
I like the notion that girls can see more than I can possibly imagine. That when conversing with them they expand my perceptions of the world. Not to sound chauvinistic, but girls seem to be more in tune with the illogical--sometimes they can verge on conventional definitions of lunacy. But it's precisely this incoherence and puzzling jumps of inconsistency that when feebly attempted to comprehend on my part, makes me feel alive. It's not unlike being bound by the present tense and talking to someone who can see the future, or being blind and having someone act as your eyes. These scenes are fitting analogies for their magical powers.
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER FIVE (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
Yesterday I scoured an establishment that wholesales plastic--all types of plastics, raw materials for untold practical usage, or not. The clientele ranged from artisans, hobbyists, engineers, housewives, and myself. I was in the market for some acrylic to mount one of my sculptures, which will be hung on some gallery wall.
Anyways, outside in the carpark, there was a drunken man who haplessly babbled to me about the three nights he had just spent in jail on account of riding his bike under the influence. What he liked most about his incarceration were the baloney sandwiches. And fake grape juice. He said the other inmates just wouldn't shut up--they kept him awake with their tall tales of belligerence and their lowdowns on the latest dirty rotten whores. Meanwhile, he just sat quietly in the cell, patiently yearning for his next baloney sandwich.
I spent the night with Rosa. She just returned from the Netherlands where she's been studying early music performance for the last year or so. Some descriptors that recurred in her conversations about the country: grey, flat, lots of bikes, windmills, tulips, ugly language, and yucky food. But overall, she had a swell time swamped in the company of musicians swapping stories about music. Albeit, she's kinda glad to be away from that crowd, for now. We ate tacos amongst the rusted piano wires that coil around her workshop.
Today, Domingo drove down from his village to pickup in his pickup truck one of my smaller sculptures. He's gonna borrow it and display it at the big computer graphics convention that's happening in the big city. I'm not gonna show my face at such a show. But I hope it goes well.
I'm trying vaindesperately not to think about you and Jose.
In muchos you I trust,
PS: I gave the Crazy Chinaman your email address. You can discuss with him directly regarding being his little bitch on his photography project. I told him you're cute.
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER SIX (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
try not to think about my cute little taco self.
try not to think think about my cute lips licking themselves in anticipation of a kiss from you.
try not to think think think about the cute way i jump around doing jumping jacks accidentally smacking upon your shoes.
try not to think think think think about yourself starting to stonily stare into my super stonily starry eyes every time you timed your every pretentiously pretend browse before me to arouse yourself.
try not to think think think think think about yourself listening to my cute mix compacted discus whilst entangled in the wiggle waggled whisps whispering my name like an insane plane rider that's hoping to borrow tomorrow's digitalized photogrammar lessons in the preferred band name nomenclature of inexcessed time.
try not to think think think think think think about yourself peaking your freshly first glances at cute me when i so happened to happily happen to walk dumbfoundedly confoundedly around without a tick tock clock sound in the back of the brain bled shed where you cloaked yourself in an untraceable work ethic and so happened to happily happen to schnap a staged umbrellamentry depicture of me.
try not to think think think think think think think about how these words seem to be written to incandescently commit clandestine communication with cute me via the thinkly veiled fictional letters of a non fictional character in a fictional book posted chapterly on a non fictional web site run by the fictional author's counterpart in the non fictional reality, but that all depends, neverends, and foreverblends with whatever definition you have of the terms fictional and non fictional, fractionally thereof, aware of, and swear above--you're such a toothless truth inducing truth conspiracy spy.
try not to think think think think think think think think about how you daydream of cute me craving to get high, scoring a shipment of stuff to get me high, packing the first bowl in such a long time that the sweet smell of the sweet leaves is already enough to get me high, feeling that g-force counter reaction that feels like time releasing its momentum and dropping the four on the floorboards of the finitely raveling known feeling of getting high, remembering that there's nothing worth remembering no matter how rememberesque the remembrance may be, especially if you can't remember if you need or don't need to remember that you remembered what it's like to be high, theorizing that it's a stalemate situation whether i acknowledge that i've read your book cause that'll only imply that i've been a fanatically obsessed web celebrity stalker, and i'm high enough from all the waiting to ride a wave on your inhaling.
try not to think think think think think think think think think about cute me cutely fucking with your head by sending you cute questionnaire questions, as if we were cute little seventh graders graduating from chasing each other on the playground to doing the underhanded handoff of a teenage love letter so as the teacher won't see the sneaky orchestral manouever in the darkroom, not to mention when us cute girls started to look cuter when we adorned cute glasses, mentioning ourselves as available variables within the context of youthful escapades in the everlasting elysian where the elasmosaurus swim, teasing each other to adolescent admission of our admiring adherence, and our complete addiction to the addition of ourselves in the infinitely unraveling unknown.
try not to think think think think think think think think think think about cute me making cute love to you like i was your ugly cousin or that dumb rosa slut and how i'd be so mad at you if you cheated on cute me behind my cute backpack, cause i can't stand that ugly feeling of not being cute enough to hypnotize you, when all i want is to be the cutest girl in the world for no one else but you, cuter than all of the honest green lights, cuter than all of the blatantly obvious unobvious excuses for excuses, cuter than all of the nervous twists that muppeteers the original emotion picture soundtrack blasting like it was the last time we saw each other, cuter than all of the cigarettes we shared as we compared each other's storytimes times one hundred and three point one points of immeasurable commiseration considering all things pre and post destined, and even more cuter than all of your wildest hallucinations.
think about me and jose.
write back muchos,
ps: i think the crazy chinaman is cute.
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER SEVEN (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
I had a dream about the Crazy Chinaman in which he had this whacky idea about ghost writing a book under his alter ego pseudonym, Larry McFeurdy, and publishing it on his webpage. Because it'll seamlessly blend with his online web journal, his theory was that he could broadcast whatever he wanted to say, be it in questionable taco taste, with the handy disclaimer that any similarities found between his imagination and reality will be entirely coincidental. However, in truth, this "book" will reflect his true thoughts, as only a true journal should. He'll multi-invert the strata layers of his self-reflexivity as a metaphor for his guess at the structural blueprints of our existence.
The story will be about these two people named Juanita and Miguel (yes they're named after us) who write these fucked up letters to each other. Miguel (me) is always trying to win Juanita's (your) heart, but she keeps fucking with his head, making him believe that she's into him, but keeps sucker punchlining him about some guy named Jose (loosely based on your fiance). It's like they play this bittersweet game, cause you can tell that they're both sincerely in love with each other.
To add to the confusion, the Crazy Chinaman said that chapter seven will be my letter to you about me having a dream about him writing a book called The Juanita and Miguel Letters.
PS: The Crazy Chinaman thinks you're cute.
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER EIGHT (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
the "crazy chinaman" is conducting a "photography experiment". he's trying to "see the world thru my eyes". he calls it "research" for some book he's writing about us (yes, i told him our whole story, including that dream you had about him writing a book about us). he got this grant to do an "'edgy' digital photo essay disguised as a webpage for the library system of a 'prominent university' located in california somewhere in the vicinity of los angeles" anyways, he calls me his "cyberslut" and takes me on his "seductive missions to capture rotten eroticism in pixels".
well, first we get hardcore taco stupid, giggle a bit, and then he hands me his camera. somehow i get the intuitive subrecollection that he's going to write about his "photography experiment" in his web journal slash book he's writing. and then he hands me his camera and i take photos.
he says that i can "see more things than he can possibly imagine". that of all the souls he's ever met, i'm the "only one who comes closest in the universe who can see the true 'beauty' of this plane of existence". that his role as the "master digital photographer extraordinaire" becomes sublimated to the role of apprentice to me, "the greatest digital photographer in this plane of existence".
and then he takes "photos of me".
"jose" says hi.
muchos grassy ass
ps: i know the "crazy chinaman" thinks i'm cute.
FULL CAST AND CREW CREDITS FOR THE ACADEMY AWARD LOSING FILM "THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS" (copyright 2013 Walt Disney Pictures, courtesy of IMDb)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Larry McFeurdy, based on his book
Juanita.......................................... Avril Lavigne
The Crazy Chinaman.......................Henry Lim
Miguel's cousin..............................Sofia Coppola
Ricardo..........................................Sir George Martin
Semolina Pilchard............................Kirsten Dunst
Guadalupe...................................... Audrey Hepburn
Produced by Cameron Diaz
Executive produced by Stanley Kubrick
Original music by Puffy Amiyumi
Non-original music by John Williams
Cinematography by MC Escher
Film editing by Johann Sebastian Bach
Casting by Henry Lim
Production design by Mandy Moore
Sound design by Vincent Van Gough
Makeup by Miss Piggy
Special visual effects by Industrial Light and Magic
Stunts by Bruce Lee
"La Bamba" written by Los Lobos, performed by Bob Dylan, courtesy of 4AD
Original soundtrack album available on Sony Classical
Read the online version at www.henrylim.org/OutOnaLim
Filmed with Panavision cameras and crack pipes
Colour by DeLorean
Thomas Dolby's stereo in selected theatres
Filmed entirely on location in Mexico
Special thanks to the Larry McFeurdy Taco Company
Carrie is afraid that she lacks the "life experiences" that she assumes is de rigueur for any self-respecting writer. I think that she's got more experiences than she's aware. Her perceived lack of experiences is itself an experience worth recounting. I'm curious to read her point of view on exactly what she feels she's missed out on in life. Besides, naivete is just as entertaining as tired world-weariness.
Robert recounted the moment when he decided to change his writing style. He had received a letter from the chancellor of the university where he worked. This letter was so succinct and bullshitless that it inspired him to clean up his convoluted, inextricably vocabulary packed sentence structures. Ever since he's been aiming for clarity. Writers should be considerate of their readers' understanding of what's being written, otherwise it's a waste of time for all involved.
Cathy thinks it's a hassle to type her stories on a computer. She's more fluent with a pen. She likes to write stories about animals. Everywhere in her house, there are piles of yellow paper pads containing her scribbled tales. Her husband bought her a laptop so that she could not only electronically format her text but to clear the clutter. Alas, the chore of typing hasn't caught up with her pen.
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER NINE (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
I met my old ex-girlfriend, Esmeralda, the other day. It was during a reconnaissance mission near the Crescent Moons of Fate. My bladder needed relieving, so I went to the restroom. But it was locked, so I had to find another place to pee. I went down the spaceship's ramp to the ground floor. Lurking in the darkness of the planet's surface was Esmeralda.
She murmured: "So Miguel, we meet in the Again."
"So we do, Holy Esmeralda," I knelt, completely forgetting my original intention to use a crater as a restroom.
"Let's return back to the Spaceship and Talk," were the words she spoke as she led me by my hand up the ramp. As we strolled around the kitchen quarters, she found a box of chocolate doughnuts, and began to munch. "Miguel, as you know, I am a Premonition," she continued, "I've been elected to the post of Fortune Teller. Ask me to Foretell Your Future."
"Holly Gollightly Esmeralda," I asked, "I humbly ask, on my bended knee, to graciously allow me a peak up your skirt and glimpse my infinitely unraveling known future."
"Of course," she mouthfulled as she went to the refrigerator for some milk, "I sense that you are in a Supposed Infatuation with a Girl other than myself. Don't tell me her name, I can guess....hmm, yes her name is Juanita."
"Yes ma'am," I yes ma'amed.
"She is a Younger," she notified, "But you are keeping the feelings that are bubbling under your skin set to stun, not kill. You are playing that Time Drags On Forever game you played with me, but on a much more elaborate Level of Seduction than what you Laid out for me--oh how I would cut a deal with Envy to be Cute Juanita. She's in for a wild Ride. And she will share much of this Crazy universe with you, much more than you Shared with me. I see you two Together. But wait...I get a vibration from an obstruction in your path to her...hmm, yes, there's another character in this story who goes by the name of...Jose."
"That was a funny fortune cookie rant, Miss Holly Gollightly Guacamole Esmeralda," I joked.
"How close was I to the Truth?" she laughed.
"Uh," I lit a cigarette, "I'd be lying if you weren't entertainingly mind reading my mind, but I'll let you guess, since you seem to be fortunate enough to have acquired the skill of Foretelling the Future. You already know the Answer."
"Stop playing around, Miguel," she cold shouldered, "Oh, I Bet you've been seeing Hallucinations again, seeming to think you can glimpse the Future. But you have no Idea how little you See. Stop being so condescending, Miguel. Yes, you are Right. I already know the Answer."
"Can you really see my future?" I shook my head.
"Are you asking if the Fortune I foretold for you," she faked a cautious head tilt in my direction "is True or false?"
"Dizzy Miss Holly Gollightly, the Freak of Nature, and Amazing Guacamole Esmeralda," I filibusted, "you, of your spooky ability to suddenly appear before me during my times of horndogging, I deeply bow in absolute resignation to your precognitive reckoning with recognizing the future, I answer with a 'yes', do tell me if the Fortune you foretold for me is indeed true or false."
"Fuck my taco and I'll tell you if it's True or false," she punchlined.
"No thanks," I rejected her Offering.
PS: The Crazy Chinaman showed me some of the digital photos that he induced you to take. You've got a good eye. He said that he's planning to do a naked porno photo shoot of you. Good luck.
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER TEN (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
ok, i admit it. i'm playing a game with you. i haven't been totally honest. but that's what cute girls like me like to do. i'm mindfucking you until you go fucking mindless. and you get so confused about whether or not my filthy flirty words to you are real or just in your imagination, hahahaha.
i don't approve of that lame game you played with that nutso, esmeralda. puleez, she doesn't prove anything. she can see the future, whoo hoo. i'm so much more cuter than her. my sweat smells like roses.
but that wench stole my idea. i was gonna stalk your horoscope so that i could oh so accidentally read your astrological cheatsheet and oh so conveniently play out your destiny. hahaha, it would've freaked you out. i need to come up with a clever scheme to make billions of dollars.
everthemore, i'm glad you're playing along with me. keep at it miguel. there's a reason why i answer your letters. if i didn't give a shit about you i wouldn't respond. cause you know you get a little carried away with your sappy romantic mantras. read inbetween the lines.
win my heart.
the crazy chinaman knows wassup. he understands our entire story, cause he writing a book about us based on that dream you had of him writing a book about us. and what he's written so far is not only creepily ahead of our present tense, but is uncannily comming true. i don't know how he does it, but he's the real taco.
anyways, he lets me read the chapters before he publishes them on his web journal. hahaha, and trip out on this, they are word for word, exactly letter to capital letter verbatim, one to one correspondence with our letters of correspondence, give or take the slight chance that i might be giving him access to our letters and/or taking peaks at what happens in the later chapters. hey, he lets me do whatever i want cause he thinks i'm cute.
jose is in spain.
muchos come visit me,
ps: i wasn't completely naked for the crazy chinaman's naked porno photo shoot. i kept my sneakers on.
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER ELEVEN (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
But wait a minute, are you saying that the Crazy Chinaman is actually writing a book about us based on that dream I had? What if I didn't have that dream? Would he've still gotten the idea to write this book if you hadn't told him about me having that dream about him writing a book about us? I'm confused, are you saying that he's copying our letters? In which case I don't understand how he could be technically called the "author" of this book, let alone I doubt anyone would understand our style of communication--replete with our inside jokes, pet names, etc. It's like eavesdropping on a private conversation between two friends who have a proclivity to intersperse the word "taco" into their dialogue. I can't imagine the average reader easily following along.
But what really confuses me is that you mentioned that the Crazy Chinaman has ALREADY written what we're gonna write in our letters. How can that be? You're game playing trickery notwithstanding, that implies that our lives have already been scripted, that we're just characters in some book. Whoa, maybe we all are just living prewritten lives. Even our dreams have already been dreamt. This sentence has already been written...
Nah, you're full of shit. I'm calling your bluff.
Although, it would be funny if this letter was reprinted elsewhere. I guess it happens all the time. People keep personal journals with the notion that no one else will read them, hence allowing for the transcribing of their intimate thoughts. Generations later, someone might read them. The same goes for correspondences. I suppose all written text that is saved, consciously or accidentally, begs to be read by an unintended future audience.
I partied with some revolutionaries last night. Rosa is thinking about joining the revolution. But I think she's just pretending to be revolutionary just so she can ride in Domingo's pickup truck.
You know I'd love to visit you whilst Jose is in Spain, but as long as he's your fiance, I'm gonna respect your affiliation with him. Thanks for the invite, though.
Muchos I don't want to get my ass kicked,
PS: The Crazy Chinaman, because he's Chinese and knows all things Chinese, is teaching me Chinese Kung Fu. This'll come in handy if I ever get in a fight with fiances of cute girls.
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER TWELVE: (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
it's too bad you're such a pussy and won't come over whilst jose is in spain. just to torture you, i'll describe how a night with cute me could've been like, had you had some balls.
first off, we'd pretend we were married--like kids in a playground, embryonically calibrating our sense of faithful commitment.
you'd say: "honey, i'm home."
to which, i'd respond: "are we gonna la bamba tonight?"
miguel: get the record out, baby.
juanita: the crazy chinaman gave me an underground vinyl copy of the 45.
juanita: it's a cover version sung by bob dylan. i think it was originally composed by los lobos.
miguel: well, actually, i think los lobos covered it when you were about 5 years old, and even then they were just supplying the soundtrack behind lou diamond phillips' lip syncing portrayal of ritchie valens in the movie la bamba. if you remember from the movie, how valens heard a ghetto band play it down in mexico. it was implied that he commercialized the tune in a rock arrangement. hence, the original composer of la bamba was not los lobos, but some anonymous taco eater.
juanita: i like being anonymous.
miguel: hey, let's listen to this song over and over again, all night. it'll be our anonymous song. like we're being anonymous from jose tonight. he doesn't know we're fooling around. as far as he's concerned, our relationship is completely anonymous within his reality. as far as he's concerned, we're just some anonymous kids in an anonymous playground pretending to be anonymously married. so whenever you hear "la bamba", be it in the car when jose's driving you to the dentist where you might catch a few notes of it blasting in the waiting room, or if you catch the pivotal scene introducing the song in the movie whilst scrolling down jose's satellite channels, you'll hide your smirk from him when you remember how we played it over and over again, that night i came over to your place when jose was in spain. i like being anonymous, too.
juanita: this song is getting boring. change it up. give me storytime.
miguel: you want storytime? hmm...ok, i guess it's time for a story. are you ok with that...hold on...just leave the ashes in the bowl...let me smoke a cigarette...and where's my coke...ok, there once was a man who lived on a tangent from the rest of the world. he waited his whole life for an angel to join him on his tangent, where they would sit and eat peanut butter, tuna, and jelly fish sandwiches, laughing their heads off at their skewed perspective of the world. but no such angel would appear. he was on the verge of rationalizing upon the absence of angels as an indication that perhaps he ought to face his destiny and live out the rest of his life minus love. and one day he met his angel. she was all smiles and bounce. she taught him how to free his mind and join the infinitely unraveling dance. she showed him how to sing in harmony with her infinitely unraveling voice. she caused him to have fortune telling hallucinations of themselves infinitely unraveling together. and she inspired him to write about her in his infinitely unraveling web journal, cleverly masking the multiple identities of the multiple identity suffering characters that pass thru his multiple identity filled life in the form of a book written by his schizophrenic split identities--he wrote under a pseudonym from her perspective of her writing a story within a story within a dialogue within a chapter within a book within a web journal within a web page flowing thru the internet. but she had a fiance named jose...uh...i mean, she had a fiance named larry mcfeurdy. the man who lived on a tangent was happy just to be in her angelic company, and respected the situation, but was secretly jealous of larry. the angel played with the man who lived on a tangent's head, teasing him with letters of hope. but one day larry got high and just left for spain, completely forgetting the angel. this gave the man who lived on a tangent a chance to visit his angel and give her anonymous storytime. and they lived happily ever...
juanita: shh, shut up...did you hear that? i think jose came home...
ps: the crazy chinaman is giving jose lessons in kung fu via pigeon mail. man, jose's gonna kick your ass.
pps: jose won't be back for awhile...
I have a friend who watches a lot of television. Way more than myself, who at the most catches a few minutes of a syndicated rerun whilst scarfing a late night dinner. My friend is able to watch more hours than is humanly possible thanks to the magic of TiVo in conjunction with digital cable. I barely can pick up CBS, let alone am ever home during prime time.
So I was over at my friend's house one night, and he decided to educate me on the reality TV phenomenon. I can't specifically recall the unfortunate moments in my life when I happened to previously watch a bit of some reality show, perhaps I was at a slumber party and the girls decided to plop in their tape of Who Wants To Marry Me, or whatever. Anyways, the point is, I'm aware of the format, but I'm completely oblivious to the appeal.
My friend showed me an episode of Big Brother. I think I understand the objective (forgive me if I'm wrong). Basically, some people are put in some enclosed living quarters, quarantined from the rest of society. They play silly games with each other. Someone wins. The end.
I think my problem is I'm inherently non-competitive. I could care less who wins or loses in any given situation, be it some sports contest, some reality TV scenario, and most of all in life in general. The concepts of "winning" and "losing" were never clearly defined to me--it's wishful thinking to think that anything can be simplified into such terms. I missed the memo that said we as a society need to compete against each other for some dangling prize. Not that I'm anti-competition, on the contrary, I think it's necessary to preen out the competitive people in this world.
But who am I to criticize what the rest of America seems to dig. If anything, what I learned from sampling Big Brother is that I'm not missing much from not watching reality TV.
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER THIRTEEN (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
I'm in numb space right now, just thinking about you, my commandering mistress. Where your perpetual stones and stoned attempts at locking your bicycle to a lamppost turn into your conspiracy theories about me holding your angst period music hostage. Luckily, the bike thief didn't thief.
Toothless Semolina Pilchard waved at me at the taco stand. Each missing tooth represented her self induced pain. I gave her a dollar so that she could buy a meal. She made me feel like she liked me.
I'm thinking about hiring Rosa as my bodyguard. She's got a black belt from The Crazy Chinaman's Academy of Chinese Kung Fu. I'm only a beginner--a white belt. Well, you know Rosa, and how she's like pissed off at the world, cause someone knifed her face when she was only 13 years old. Can you blame her for being a black belt? Anyways, I need a bodyguard cause I'm beginning to suspect that the counter revolutionaries are after me. I think they think I've got some secret into the secret answers of the universe, which I swear I don't have, well, except for that dream I had of the Crazy Chinaman writing a book about us...
I'm remembering that time when you asked me if I liked dates. The weaker minded fool would've thought you were referring to the definition of "date" as the "social engagement with someone you're interested in" definition. But I'm smarter than that. I knew that you were talking about the preserved trail mix variety, because I remembered being in a conversation with you when you were deciding on choosing an appropriate snack food to ease your pre-dinner crankiness--trail mix was high on your list. Thus I answered your question with a "Yeah, they taste pretty good." And low and behold you pulled out a bag of trail mix and offered me a date. However, it wasn't really a date. It was ginger, even though you insisted it was a date. I looked at the bag of trail mix to read "ginger" in big letters, and pointed out your sketchy logic.
Fuck it. I'm going over to visit you whilst Jose is high in Spain. He forgot about you.
Muchos see you tomorrow,
PS: The Crazy Chinaman gave me a small purple pouch of powder that'll make us anonymous.
Depending on my latest mindset, my favourite Audrey Hepburn movie rotates. For example, during my "girls are crazy, don't even bother with their craziness" phase Breakfast at Tiffany's was on top of my list. Or when I was in my "I should depict Audrey Hepburn in LEGO" phase I was watching lots of Funny Face. Currently, I'm in my "self reflexive" phase, with all due blame on Larry McFeurdy's book The Juanita and Miguel Letters. Hence, Paris When It Sizzles is my current Audrey movie fave.
I watched it last night, and the parallels between McFeurdy's book and the movie are undeniable. I strongly suspect that he was heavily under some influence from this film. For one, it's ultra self reflexive--it's a movie about writing a movie. The postmodern layers are piled high as the movie reveals the mechanisms behind screenwriting and gives knowing winks at its own form and structure. It even makes hilarious references to previous Audrey movies (My Fair Lady, Funny Face, Breakfast at Tiffany's). Yeah, it's zany.
And it's a cute love story.
Audrey and William Holden play some fun games in their courtship, involving "switches on switches on switches"--the usual "boy meets girl, he's a liar and a thief, she's a prostitute with a heart of gold" formula. They keep teasing each other thru story ideas, coyly projecting their desires. Audrey's character's name in Paris When It Sizzles is Gabrielle, whilst there's a character in the movie within the movie (The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower) coincidentally named Gabby. Oh, and incidentally, according to the gossip, Holden had a thing for Audrey in real life, which adds yet another level of pretending to pretend to be pretending, whilst the feelings were real.
Although, the ending gets kinda hokey for my tastes. McFeurdy thankfully didn't borrow such kissy kiss Hollywoodisms for his book. And this wouldn't be an "Out On a Lim" web journal entry about a movie without mentioning the music: it's pretty cool, Nelson Riddle's opening credits kicks ass. Audrey rules.
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER FOURTEEN (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
where the fuck were you? i waited all day yesterday and you didn't show up. don't tell me you chickened out. come on miguel, i invited you over. how much more obvious can i be?
anyways, i went to a party a couple of weeks ago. i got really drunk, as usual. the village idiot (blind pedro) started hitting on me, as usual. maybe it was because i was drunk, but i started to flirt with him, and as usual, i forgot to tell him that i have a fiance. so he's been calling me insistently, usually asking me to wear a bikini. i don't know how his blindass will see my bikini, but oh well, as usual, he's just a nerd who wants to get laid. As usual, i should've told him i'm engaged. did you know he went to harvard? i think that's unusual.
yeah, i remember that time i asked you if you liked dates. obviously, you should've asked me out, you fool.
your taco is getting cold.
muchos a little pissed off at you,
ps: shit miguel, we could've had some fun with the crazy chinaman's small purple pouch of anonymous inducing powder.
|THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER FIFTEEN (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
I'm sorry I didn't come over to visit you. Yes, I chickened out. I'm so sorry. Please forgive me. No, fuck you and you're sick fuck, mindfucking game. As long as you've got Jose's ring around your finger, I ain't gonna fucking fuck around with you.
No really, I'm sorry.
Because I tried some of the Crazy Chinaman's anonymous inducing powder. I shared some of it with Guadalupe. You remember Guadalupe, right? She was the first girl that I ever truly felt love with. Anyways, I wrote a one act play on how it went:
The Crazy Chinaman's anonymous inducing powder proudly presents:
MIGUEL AND GUADALUPE GET HIGH ON ANONYMOUS INDUCING POWDER (copyright 2003 Miguel)
Miguel - thirtysomething sculptor and revolutionary
Guadalupe - twentysomething college student
Setting: Miguel's sculpture filled apartment. Miguel is watching TV. Guadalupe knocks on Miguel's apartment door...
GUADALUPE: Miguel, are you home?
(Miguel gets up from watching TV and answers the door.)
MIGUEL: Hey Guadalupe, come on in.
(Guadalupe takes off her sunglasses and puts her backpack on Miguel's kitchen counter.)
GUADALUPE: So what's this about some small purple pouch you got from some crazy Chinaman, full of powder that'll make me anonymous?
MIGUEL: I've got it under the belly of my stegosaurus sculpture.
(Miguel sticks his hand under the belly of his stegosaurus sculpture and pulls out a small purple pouch.)
MIGUEL: Wanna get high?
(Guadalupe starts to bounce up and down, like a little kid.)
GUADALUPE: Light the incense!
(Miguel and Guadalupe sit on the floor, light incense, smoke some weed, and ingest the anonymous powder.)
GUADALUPE: Have you been kissing that cigarette butt that I left for you in your ashtray years ago?
GUADALUPE: You're fucking sick. Why are you still holding onto that relic? Hey, let's go watch TV sideways.
MIGUEL: I'm sorry, what did you say.
GUADALUPE: Let's go watch TV sideways, like let's lay on each other on the ground sideways and watch TV. What's on right now? Hey, let's watch the Muppet Movie.
MIGUEL: Oh, ok.
GUADALUPE: Do I have to drag you?
MIGUEL: Hahahaha, yup. Drag me, my big magic eyed Guadalupe. Wait, what are we gonna do? Movie muppet the watch let's, hey?
GUADALUPE: Oh shit, you're anonymous.
MIGUEL: Oh shit.
GUADALUPE: Hey, let me shoot a promotional video. It'll be about you, superstar sculptor. But let me be the interviewer.
MIGUEL: Uh, sure. But let me shave my beard.
GUADALUPE: Ok, you go shave your beard and I'll set up the video camera on a tripod.
MIGUEL: Ok. Hey, drop the needle on that track.
(Guadalupe pulls out a record sitting in the corner of Miguel's sculpture filled apartment and drops the needle on "La Bamba" performed by Bob Dylan. Miguel shaves his beard. Guadalupe sets up the video camera on a tripod. They both giggle like idiots, struggling with their simple tasks. The song ends. After Miguel shaves his beard, he gets behind the camera and presses "record" as Guadalupe pretends to be an interviewer in a promotional video promoting Miguel).
GUADALUPE: Hi, this is Guadalupe. I'm here at superstar sculptor Miguel's apartment. And look folks, here he is now. Hello Miguel.
MIGUEL: Hello. [walking into the camera's view]
GUADALUPE: Speak up, the microphone is kinda crappy.
MIGUEL: Hello. [no volume change]
GUADALUPE: Oh well, I'll just pump up the volume when I edit it down. So, Miguel, tell us what is the message you want to give everyone out there watching this promotional video about you?
MIGUEL: Turn the camera off.
GUADALUPE: No, just say whatever comes to your mind. Let me repeat the question. So, Miguel, tell us what is the message you want to give everyone out there watching this promotional video about you?
MIGUEL: Uh, my message is I'm a freak.
MIGUEL: And that you should enjoy this world. Use your imagination. If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.
GUADALUPE: That's cool.
(Guadalupe stops the video camera.)
MIGUEL: Hey, lets go watch it on my TV.
MIGUEL: Oh, ok.
(Miguel connects the video camera to his TV. Guadalupe sits on Miguel's couch. They lay sideways on each other and vertically watch the video recording that they just recorded.)
MIGUEL: Whoa, this is such a Guadalupe style angle to watch TV. It's like your favourable camera angle that you use in all your photos. I've always been accustomed to horizontal TV watching, but now I see how you see the world--all sideways.
GUADALUPE: I look like a dork.
MIGUEL: That you do. I like being anonymous. Hey, have you seen the movie The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower?
GUADALUPE: No, what's it about.
MIGUEL: Well, it stars Gabrielle Simpson. She plays a character named Gabby. Anyways, she's a prostitute with a heart of gold kinda character. But get this, The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower is a nonlinear movie within another movie called Paris When It Sizzles which stars Audrey Hepburn as Gabrielle Simpson. It's trippy. But what's even more trippier is that movie reminds me of me and cute Juanita.
GUADALUPE: Oh, the girl you mentioned on the phone. Weren't you supposed to go visit her since her fiance is in Spain?
MIGUEL: Uh, yeah. But I chickened out. Let's have a smokebreak.
GUADALUPE: Oh, ok.
(Miguel and Guadalupe have a smokebreak.)
GUADALUPE: I like being anonymous.
MIGUEL: Yeah, it's pretty sweet.
GUADALUPE: I had a dream in which you knew the secret into the secret answers of the universe. You feared that the counter revolutionaries were after you. You were starting to freak out. Complete paranoia. You even hired Rosa, the black belt in Chinese Kung Fu to be your bodyguard.
MIGUEL: No shit. That's freaky, cause your dream perfectly reflects my life. Which reminds me that I had a dream about the Crazy Chinaman writing a book about me and Juanita. And now his life is reflecting my dream--he's actually writing this book. I wonder what the Crazy Chinaman dreams about...
GUADALUPE: Crazy. Hey, can you tell me what's so cool about your Juanita?
MIGUEL: Oh shit, I bet the Crazy Chinaman dreams about Juanita. That bastard. And he gave me this small purple pouch of anonymous inducing powder to try and distract me. That bastard. I'd bet he's over at Juanita's right now. That bastard.
GUADALUPE: Dude, relax. Tell me what's so cool about your Juanita.
MIGUEL: Uh, Juanita? Oh sweet Juanita, she's my soulmate.
GUADALUPE: How do you mean? Wasn't I your soulmate?
MIGUEL: Well, I've got a lot of soulmates, missy. But Juanita is the cutest soulmate I've ever met. I love the way she reads my letters and writes these fucked up responses. She keeps hypnotizing me with her crazy letters. No one's ever kept such consistent correspondence with me. It's like we're on the perpetual edge of love.
GUADALUPE: Oh, so this fiance of hers is keeping you from going over the edge?
MIGUEL: Bingo. He's the fly in my taco.
GUADALUPE: What time is it?
MIGUEL: 11:11. Hey, I knew a girl named Amanda who went bananas every time the clock struck 11:11. It was like her tradition. Her cute quirk.
GUADALUPE: What do you think is cool about me?
MIGUEL: Guadalupe, my Guadalupe. The moment I realized you were my soulmate was that night I was driving you home from the symphony, and my car broke down. We had to walk in the streetlampless dark to the closest telephone located at the hospital, just about a moonlight mile on down the road. We held hands as I listened to your endlessly mind expanding perspective on the world. When we finally reached the hospital, I knew you were my soulmate.
GUADALUPE: But I had a boyfriend at the time.
MIGUEL: So you did. So you did.
GUADALUPE: And now you're perpetually chasing a girl who's spoken for. You're still obsessed with my essence.
MIGUEL: Hmm, I never thought of it that way.
GUADALUPE: Lose yourself, Miguel. Slip into the anonymousness of it all. Don't think in terms of her belonging to you or to anyone else. Our souls, in their purest form, are anonymous. No soul can possess another's soul as we're all one anonymous soul. And we are all connected thru love. The desire to connect with her is only in the present tense. Zoom out on your view of time and you'll see that you've always been connected with her in the past, as you will always be in the future. Lose your desires. They are illusions trying to fool you into thinking that you've got an identity. Lose your identity. Become anonymous and your soul will understand what it truly feels like to be connected with Juanita thru love. And she loves you, I'm certain of that.
MIGUEL: You're high.
GUADALUPE: So are you.
(Miguel and Guadalupe make out as the curtain comes down.)
PS: The Crazy Chinaman said he had a dream about you. You and him were high in some trees. You zonked out. The Crazy Chinaman slapped your face to try and wake you up. As you did, he woke up in real life. He said that for the rest of his waking day he felt like he was looking at the world thru your eyes.
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER SIXTEEN (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
hey, that's cool that you went crazy chinaman style anonymous with that bimbo bunny guadalupe, miguel. the crazy chinaman shared some of his crazy anonymous powder with cute me when he took advantage of the fact that my fiance is in spain, hint, hint--something your punkass muffed. i'm glad you tried the anonymous inducing powder, isn't it cool? when the crazy chinaman and i went anonymous, he started taking down notes in his notebook, cause his memory ain't as good as it used to be, and he wanted to remember the thoughts that zippy zip zip thru his anonymous mind. however, he forget his notebook after he left my place. curious me couldn't resist reading what he wrote, on account of he is writing a book about us, i think i'm entitled to reading his notes in his notebook. actually, and don't tell him or else he'll kill me, but i photocopied it, heehee, before i returned it to him. check it out:
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN'S NOTEBOOK: PAGE ONE (copyright 2003 The Crazy Chinaman)
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN'S NOTEBOOK: PAGE TWO (copyright 2003 The Crazy Chinaman)
Me The Crazy Chinaman.
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN'S NOTEBOOK: PAGE THREE (copyright 2003 The Crazy Chinaman)
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN'S NOTEBOOK: PAGE FOUR (copyright 2003 The Crazy Chinaman)
DJ Juanita behind the turntables tonight
And it's all about love
Giving it a chance
She's flashing me the OK sign
I start to dance
Ride the echoes of the groove
Join her in psychedelic romance
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN'S NOTEBOOK: PAGE FIVE (copyright 2003 The Crazy Chinaman)
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN'S NOTEBOOK: PAGE SIX (copyright 2003 The Crazy Chinaman)
I know you're reading this. After all, I am The Crazy Chinaman, and my pseudonym, Larry McFeurdy is writing a book called The Juanita and Miguel Letters. Do you honestly think that this letter to you within my notebook that you illegally photocopied and included in your letter to Miguel within Larry's book within my web journal will go unnoticed to me? But why are you reading this anyways? Why do you care about what I think? Am I freaking you out with my characterization of you? As John "I Am the Walrus" Lennon said, "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together".
-The Crazy Chinaman
PS: Break up with Jose.
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN'S NOTEBOOK: PAGE SEVEN (copyright 2003 The Crazy Chinaman)
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN'S NOTEBOOK: PAGE EIGHT (copyright 2003 The Crazy Chinaman)
dear the crazy chinaman,
i'm thinking about breaking up with jose. he's an intelligent guy, but he gets high way too much and it's making him dull. he's way duller than when i first met him. he's totally addicted. and i'm feeling the negative effects of the drugs that i've taken. it's taking its toll. my memory is blah. not that i'm against drugs--like the way you visit the cosmos, or how miguel uses his infinitely unraveling imagination to infinitely unravel his imagination. your minds can still juggle multiple thoughts to conclusion. thesedays i can barely finish a sentence. i mean, how the hell can you guys even keep track of all the layers within self reflexive layers within this letter, let alone how does miguel remember all those things i've said to him, cause he keeps referring to things i've forgotten, yet i remember saying those things to him when he writes in his letters that he remembered me saying those things that i said to him. i forgot the point i was trying to make.
ps: oh yeah, the point of my letter is i'm thinking about breaking up with jose.
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN'S NOTEBOOK: PAGE NINE (copyright 2003 The Crazy Chinaman)
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN'S NOTEBOOK: PAGE TEN (copyright 2003 The Crazy Chinaman)
She's my muse. I can write novels inbetween the triple, quadruple, and even double meanings of the words she converses with me. I can see new angles to photograph within the commonplace static, the purple sunrise, and her cute face. She's teaching me how to smile.
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN'S NOTEBOOK: PAGE ELEVEN (copyright 2003 The Crazy Chinaman)
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN'S NOTEBOOK: PAGE TWELVE (copyright 2003 The Crazy Chinaman)
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN'S NOTEBOOK: PAGE THIRTEEN (copyright 2003 The Crazy Chinaman)
[page 13 has been left intentionally blank]
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN'S NOTEBOOK: PAGE FOURTEEN (copyright 2003 The Crazy Chinaman)
The Earth element of Miguel brings strength and the desire for solid ground, form and structure. Preservation is important. Miguel's fixed motivation seeks first to stabilize, then produce. Ruled by loving Venus, Miguel has great emotional depth. Friends and lovers rely on his warmth and emotional accessibility. Miguel represents consistency, loyalty, and patience. Fixed earth can be very rigid, too cautious to take some of the risks necessary in life. Sometimes Miguel ends up temporarily stuck in the mud. He may not want to rise to every challenge or potential. And stubborn? Ah yes! Miguel's bullishness may always surface. His Yin energy can go too far; Miguel becomes very, very passive--even lazy. Balance comes with a reliable plan, one that satisfies Miguel's need for stability while allowing for action and accomplishments.
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN'S NOTEBOOK: PAGE FIFTEEN (copyright 2003 The Crazy Chinaman)
Ruled by shocking Uranus, Juanita very much epitomes the planet that inspires her. She has astonishing intellectual and communication skill. Juanita is a rugged individualist, the mad scientist and the lone eccentric, but she's a visionary who also represents social interaction and higher consciousness. Juanita's title, the "Humanitarian of the Zodiac", is well earned! She has a lot of adaptability. Attribute this to the need to accommodate others. A passion for life, new things, and novel situations sends Juanita in all directions! Without stability and a willingness to listen, however, Juanita can become erratic. Juanita can try many new things but end up mastering none. That can stifle the great success potential here. Slowing down long enough to establish a solid foundation gives Juanita the ability to ground her electrical energy. Receptivity can calm rebellious tendencies, especially those that put Juanita at cross-purposes with her boss! Juanita's future-oriented energies give her the advantage of living as if she is well into the 25th Century!
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN'S NOTEBOOK: PAGE SIXTEEN (copyright 2003 The Crazy Chinaman)
ps: do you think the crazy chinaman likes me?
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER SEVENTEEN (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
You dumb girl, the Crazy Chinaman left his notebook at your place on purpose cause he knew you were gonna read it. But then again, how can I trust that you didn't just claim to have photocopied his notebook--maybe you wrote it yourself in an attempt to try and fool me into thinking that it wasn't written by you. I can't tell what's real anymore. You clever girl.
You dumb girl, of course the Crazy Chinaman likes you. It kinda got a little obvious when he nauseatingly scribbled your name a million times. And all that blatant "break up with Jose" nonsense, come on, what kinda selfish bastard is he? But wait a minute, do you like him better than me? Oh damn, you've got me all jealous and confused. Rats. You clever girl.
You dumb girl, I can make you jealous, too. Yesterday Ramona came over. We went to a crappy movie, not because we wanted to watch it, rather we knew that the theatre would be empty, which would accommodate us to get to know each other a little better, if you know what I mean. The movie started, and us being the only ones in attendance, we started to talk aloud between us--how's the weather, isn't this a crappy movie, this taco sucks, oh my gosh, who couldn't see that gag comming, wanna make out, etc. And then she had to bring up your name. Fuck, you've got other girls wondering about you and me. You clever girl.
You dumb girl, do you think that you're gonna win this silly game we're playing? I can see thru your letters. You want me so bad, yet I seem to be hesitating, regardless of your Jose facade. Why is that Juanita? Is poor little spoiled girl not getting what she wants? It kills you when I don't pay the attention you deserve. Aw. Aw dang, you got me playing your fucked up game. I can't tell who's winning anymore. You clever girl.
PS: I asked the Crazy Chinaman for his opinion on the matter and he said that he thinks you're the cleverest girl he's ever met. I wanted to punch him, but since he's a Chinese Kung Fu master, I opted not to.
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER EIGHTEEN (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
you passive aggressive asshole. you hurt my taco feelings. but you're catching on...
muchos i'm always winning,
ps: the crazy chinaman is just being flattering when he calls me "cleverest". it's the oldest trick in the book.
But why must we play this drawn out game? Why can't we just fall in love and move on? I'm a noncompetitive taco.
Muchos you win,
PS: The Crazy Chinaman said that he's gonna abstain from whacking off. According to him, he's saving all his jism for you. I wished him luck--he's gonna need it.
"why must we play this drawn out game?" you ask. dear miguel, i will tell you the ever eternal answer to that eternally ever questioning question. it's all about love. when two souls gather together their taco dreams and playfully play games with each other it's called love. when time elapses and the two souls are still playing games together it's still called love. when the two souls realize that they're not alone anymore and become eternally connected to the infinitely unraveling unknown which has eternally existed beyond all 1111 directions of time it's eternally called love.
muchos i won,
ps: wait a minute, are you saying that the crazy chinaman isn't going to whack off because he's saving his jism for me? how sweet of him.
Hmm, whilst I admit to originally asking you the question "Why must we play this drawn out game?", in the meantime between your reply, which I so enjoyed with a taco, I stumbled upon an answer of my own. I totally agree with your girlish perspective, and I've added it to my pile of theories regarding the Answer, but mine might be more practical.
As an artist, I draw my inspiration from cute girls. They are an eternal source, but such a pain in the ass to find, let alone maintain, as they like to slip away from my stares. I'm drawing out this game with you so that I can behold you on my inspirational pedestal. I don't ever want you to see you fall down.
Muchos I too win,
PS: Yes, the Crazy Chinaman says that he's not gonna whack off anymore because he's saving his jism for you. Dear Juanita, you have no idea how crazy that is, as the guy's already crazy. No offence, but he won't last a day.
do you feel it? that's love being passed between us via inbetween the words of our taco letters. and yes, even though i won the game, it was always my game, so technically i can't win in the traditional definition (however by the theological definition, those who create and maintain the game are faithfully winners). so since you played my game and weren't beaten, you sir, are the winner.
but that's not the end, mister. i've got another game we can play. it's a variation on the one we just played, but in the end, isn't everything just a variation of itself--all things being equal? anyways, yes, you gotta keep playing or i'll get bored and leave you, hahahaha.
muchos come play with me,
ps: let's play "you do whatever i tell you". my first command is for you to do exactly what the crazy chinaman is doing--don't whack off, save your jism for me.
Yes, I feel it. I'm embracing your eternal game wherein everyone wins inasmuch by most definitions. I think symbolically, so symbolically speaking, I think the main question that we're asking is "why must we play this drawn out game?" It's the question within the answer yielding the answer within the question. The eternal "why?" that paradoxically conflicts and resolves simultaneously. It's pushing and pulling, positive and negative, yin and yang, you and me, baby. Or in other words, we must always ask the question "why are we in love?" and roll off together into the sunset upon the tumbling answers. And for extra taco fun, don't forget to ask why we asked the question in the first place.
I'm still amazed that I'm playing this amazing game with amazing you. It just wasn't as amazing with anyone else but amazing you. Yet, I feel some unseen eyes watching over me, making sure that I would seem to inevitably meet amazing you. I've never felt such destined bonding between another soul besides amazing you. And the Crazy Chinaman knows that I've played other games with a handful of cute girls, but believe me when I say that they are all irrelevant next to amazing you. Let me put it this way, all those other girls never so much as wrote me so many letters. Amazing you makes and takes away the cake.
Muchos I'll always play with you,
PS: Uh, "You Do Whatever I Tell You" isn't a fun game. I'm not as crazy as the Crazy Chinaman. Please think up another game for me.
some girls get off on the first floor. some girls get off on the last floor. some girls get off on buying millions of shoes. some girls get off on being barefoot. some girls get off on teasing guys into thinking they like them. some girls get off on cutting the bullshit. some girls get off on sleeping around. some girls get off on being a virgin. some girls get off on weed. some girls get off on vodka. some girls get off on cigarettes. some girls get off on coke. some girls get off on being cute. some girls get off on cutely trying not to be cute. some girls get off on being smart. some girls get off on being dumb. some girls get off on themselves. some girls get off on others. some girls get off on the moon. some girls get off on being a loon. some girls get off on heaven. some girls get off on hell. some girls get off on writing letters.
i get off on reading your letters. i get off on getting off on reading your letters. i get off on how no one else gets off the way i get off on getting off on reading your letters. i get off on how you get off on writing letters that get me off on getting off on getting off on reading your letters. i get off on how you get off on reading the letters i wrote with the intention to fully get you off on getting off on my letters because reading your letters gets me off. i get off on how we still get off on reading each others' get off inducing letters. i get off on how we'll eternally get off on still getting off on reading each other's get off inducing letters. i get off on your taco love.
jose is back in town.
muchos you lose,
ps: well, well, you also lose the "you do whatever i tell you" game. i hope the crazy chinaman wins.
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER NINTEEEN (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
hey juanita baby, check it out. i'm writing from your perspective, namely in all non-caps. what a sissy way to write, j/k. anyways, i'm wearing that orange poncho you mom gave me. damn, it looks like crap on me, but i'll wear it just because your mom gave it to me. yet, when i wear it i somehow feel like i can get more in tune with your perspective, namely, how you see fashion. i mean, i can analyze it to death, but the short of it is, it's an artifact of inspiration for me via your views of your mother and her relationship with you vectoring with your mother's view on fashion aligned with an angle that bisects you and me. i suppose you see fashion as a strategical weapon at your disposal. how sketchy...
ok, writing in crazy juanita style isn't as simple as writing in all non-caps and wearing orange ponchos. it also must include her party flavour of party flavours, her green grass of green grasses, her purple sun glasses of purple sun glasses--the sweet leaf. this was duly noted, hee, hee.
so bam, i'm juanita tonight, in all her juanitaness. but let's see, what would cute juanita write about? what dorky thoughts travel thru her dorky little head, hahaha. well, she'd include somewhere in her letter some tripwire device to get me stumbling, namely on that idiot named jose. and she'd hide the taco.
but really, can i actually write from your perspective, the typing in all non-caps, wearing orange ponchos, and smoking the sweet leaf notwithstanding? how much do i really and fully know about you to fully and really assume your identity? not to mention that theory of yours that the crazy chinaman is metaphysically behind the scenes, writing that book about us based on that dream i had of him writing a book about us, in which case he's writing this under his pseudonym ("larry mcfeurdy"), under my character ("miguel") attempting to write from the perspective of your character ("juanita"). i mean, do i even have my own perspective to understand the true meaning of "perspective" that'll provide me with the deductive comparison capabilities to discern your "perspective" from mine.
ramona and i were discussing this exact topic during our crappy movie date. i told her about you (well, actually i told her about you after she asked about you when she and i were making out). i told her how you're slowly adopting some of my characteristics and vice versa. for example, you're becoming more patient and i'm becoming more passionate about life. ramona theorized that you're "accommodating". she told me it's a good sign--it means you're trying to get my attention.
however, clever juanita, i came up with a counter theory to ramona's theory as i was typing her theory in the above paragraph. let's say you're "accommodating". i think you're doing it not necessarily as a means to get my attention, cause you've already got that, but as a way of blurring the differences between our perspectives, so that we can meld our vision into one sharing view of the world. ah, how cute.
of course counter theory to that counter theory, you could be simultaneously "accommodating" to get my attention and blurring the differences between our perspectives, for they both are self complimentary action/reactions.
no wait, juanita wouldn't write about parallel counter theories. she'd be too stoned to keep track of who's who if she ever read the crazy chinaman's book about us based on that dream i had of him writing a book about us.
hmm, she'd write about "love" [cough, cough]...ahem, hello i am juanita, i write about "love", hee hee. let us think "lovely" thoughts about miguel and his "lovely" quest to "love" cute me. let us think think about cute me and my schemes to make billions of dollars. let us think think think about miguel's hallucination about cute me and him infinitely unraveling together--which incidentally, was the whole damn reason i started responding to your letters, i mean, it was a sweet pick up line, and who knows, if you hadn't written that letter to me all serious and scared about the future, i might not have noticed you, thereby canceling out all the letters up until and since. but think think think think about it, is there really any other soul other than me that is as simultaneously "accommodating" to get your attention and blurring of the differences between yours and mine "perspectives"?
i think we're in "love".
PS: Yesterday, I went upstairs to the Crazy Chinaman's apartment to smoke out with him. I asked him why he's writing a book about us based on that dream I had of him writing a book about us. He answered with a thanks for sharing my dream with him. I thought he was joking so I responded with a jokingly you're welcome.
"No really", he exhaled, "thank you for everything."
"What the fuck do you mean, Mr. Crazy Chinaman?" I waved the smoke from my eyes.
"When you dream," he dreamily spoke, "you enter that space between reality and imagination. Faces of people you know exchange cosmic messages with you, but these people seemingly aren't real, nor are the messages, yet they all are not consciously produced by your imagination. However, if one can reproduce a dream in reality, blurring the differences between reality and imagination, then one's perspective exponentially elaborates. Everything, the people you meet, the cosmic messages they exchange with you, it all becomes ridiculously real and profoundly imaginary."
"But why are you reproducing my dream?" I didn't understand how my dream was related to his imagined reality.
"Well cute Juanita told me about your dream about me writing a book about you and her," he sly mouthed. "She's so cute. Anyways, when I learned of such, I thought that it was such a crazy idea. So why not write a book? It's like I'm mirroring the actions of the me in your dream. But remember, I heard about your dream from cute Juanita, so it was told to me from her perspective. She's so cute. Anyways, she shares her dreams with me and I thought I'd impress her by writing a book about her. Alas, the problem I have is I'm a lazy bum and don't have the inclination to write a book on my own. It's so much easier to just transcribe your letters in the form of a book--it kinda just writes itself. So thanks for everything."
"But Juanita said that you've already written our letters," I puzzled, "that you've clairvoyantly composed our thoughts before we write them down. That you can see our entire story way past the present tense."
"Hmm," cryptically sighed the Crazy Chinaman, "cute Juanita was playfully trying to confuse you. However, by her being cutely coy, she's both deflecting and calling attention to the implication that we are all living in the same dream within each others' dream. You, me, cute Juanita, and even Jose--we're all different characters, yet we're striving to share the same dream, if only in our imagination. Are you in my dream or am I in yours? My guess is I think we're all characters in Juanita's dream, cause truthfully, I'm not writing this book, nor is my pseudonym Larry McFeurdy. Juanita is the real author of this story. She's so cute."
"How's that 'No Whacking Off Cause I'm Saving My Jism For Juanita' comming along?" I wondered.
"Better than you imagine," he gloated.
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER TWENTY (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
Hey Miguel baby, check it out. I'm writing from your perspective, namely with the shift key for caps. Why do you even bother with the shift key? Anyways, I'm listening to music from psychologically disturbing horror films, you know, as a means to get into your skull and see if your musical preferences have a reflective effect on your writing style. Uh, your music is scaring the shit out of me. I like it.
But of course, writing in crazy Miguel style isn't writing in crazy Miguel style without the sweet leaf, in addition to the usage of the shift key for caps and listening to music from psychologically disturbing horror films. This was duly noted, hee hee.
So bam, I'm Miguel tonight, in all his Miguelness.
What does Miguel like to write about? Hmm, he likes to be a pervert. Hmm, he'd write about some perfectly perverted plan to make a billion dollar bills. He'd set up a call girl call in service for college students who'd rather not read their textbooks but would rather have someone else read their textbooks for them, be it in the car, at work, or just stoned in their dorm room. The college students could call in a number via telecommunication device and request their textbook to be read to them, for example, if say I, Miguel, was a communications student in college, I could call "Cute Girl Textbook Services", or whatever it could be called, and have a Cute Girl, for pretend's sake, let's say her name is, Cute Juanita, and she could read me the assigned chapter for my communications class, for a small fee, of course. And for just a little extra, I could have Cute Juanita come over to my dorm room, we'd get stoned, and she'd read the assigned chapter for our communications class as we both drift into the drift bottle words, accommodating each other's homework lessons. Sex, drugs, and taco are optional.
And Miguel would write about parallel counter theories as if I don't know what a parallel counter theory is.
Hey Juanita baby, check this out. I found infinity when I lost track of time as I no longer locked my soul to the minute illusion of minutes and hours. This socially and culturally constructed dimension has enchained our infinite souls to this illusion of finite illusions. Lose your watch and you'll watch infinity unravel.
But wait a minute, if minutes don't matter then what really counts in life? Surely not finite illusions. Hmm, maybe cute Juanita was right all along--infinite love keeps track of infinity. So Juanita baby, time is running out. Let's fuck time.
Some might say that we'll be wasting time, but time is merely a waste product of infinity. Time is the shit of infinity. Some like to wallow in it, others like to flush it away. The choice is yours. You can quantify the unquantifiable, or you can unquantify the quantifiable. Just remember, you can't waste shit.
I keep all your letters. I could never throw them away. I'll save them forever.
I think we're in love, too.
ps: yesterday, i called the crazy chinaman's textbook service. i paid the little extra to get him over to my dorm room and have him read from my textbook. we got stoned. and although he read the assigned chapter for my communications class, i can't remember a thing he said regarding communications, rather the texture of the text exited communications entirely, and entered an entirely uncommunicateable perspective. however, with the latest in uncommunications technology, i was able to unrecord his reading. playing this unrecording backwards revealed this:
"chapter twenty tents went wondering one night about how twenty tents can go wondering one night about themselves, given that tents in general, let alone twenty of them, can possibly have the wonderful capacity to wonder about themselves. one obvious example within juanita and miguel's letters that obviously examples their accommodating perspectives is their ability to try and write from the other's point of view. juanita usually writes in non-caps. miguel usually writes using the shift key for caps. when they switch their usual writing styles, they reveal their perspectives of each other's perspective within their perspectives, and vice versa. juanita and miguel agree that this is one way to think of their love. and this deregulates their lines of communication. jose didn't write to juanita whilst he was in spain...
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER TWENTY ONE (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
Hey, did you know that the Crazy Chinaman is a former underground rock star?
Yeah, we were having a smokebreak and he told me this story about himself when he called himself "Henry Lim". This "Henry Lim" wrote songs in his bedroom accompanied by his stoned muses. He's practically anonymous outside of the underground, but down in the underground, he's supposedly like a rock god, or something.
Well anyways, this is going really far back, but he was this really underground kiddy rock star when he was like 13 years old, way back in 1985. He put out an album called Paperclip, which characteristically and autobiographically followed the development of his ego over the Casio beats of his portable keyboards and prefabricated automatic chords.
He recruited a seventh grader to be his publicist. She copied his tapes and disseminated his crazy music to the unsuspecting underground. Not everyone got it, for it was only handed out to the cooler kids. Nevertheless, those that got stoned and heard Paperclip went bananas. The song "Hey It's Fate" became an underground novelty hit. The highlight during this formative period in Lim's underground rock star story is undoubtedly when the DJ at the eighth grade sock hop dance loud speaker performanced Lim's album's title track.
In 1987, he graduated to the Casio CZ-101 as he started to synthesize his own sounds. His ego expanded on the album Garage Music as he also started to include the pawnshop sound of his Paramount acoustic guitar. Tracks like "Sunshine Love", "The Lovers' Dream", "Guadalupe", and "Out On a Lim" are beloved underground classics. Many cute stoners thought that his wandering rhythms and Beatlesque quotes were cute. Legend has it that some even swore that listening to the album stoned caused an uncontrollable reflex in their cute selves to play with dolls.
After the "Expo '88: Australia Tour" Lim performed a live concert during his high school's lunchtime student government presidential elections. He plugged his new Yamaha electric guitar (which his mother lovingly bought for his 17th birthday) and a microphone that he borrowed from the high school's audio/visual department into an amplifier borrowed from the high school's stage band equipment room. The amphitheatre was filled with taco eating kids as he rocked out. There are no known recordings (audio or video) of this infamous concert, but the rumoured setlist included "Stairway To Heaven", "Twist and Shout", and "Sunshine Love", amongst others. Ironically, he received such enthusiastic attention that the high school students voted him to be their student government president.
The "Singing To the Bums of New York Drunk In '89" tour followed in 1989, followed by the "Cousin Love Japan Tour" of 1990. Lim went to college at the University of California, San Diego and continued to write songs, such as the impressionistic "I've Seen Dragons" and the picturesque "The Girl In the Background". It has been widely accepted that it was at this precise junction in his life that Lim started to sign his name "Larry McFeurdy" on the naked backs of the cute stoned college girls who inspired his music.
The Meanwhilers were a band that consisted of JM Allevato on lead guitar, Ted Ed Fred on bass, Mike Zaggs on drums, Seymour Greenwood on miscellaneous instruments, and Larry McFeurdy (Henry Lim's alter ego) on vocals and rhythm guitar. McFeurdy saved the money that he earned as a music library student assistant and bought a Rickenbacker guitar and lived the sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll lifestyle during his college years.
The Meanwhilers released one tape and four CDs to the underground during their prodigious three year heyday, between 1992 to 1995:
- The early garage music styled Me and My Shells EP (about a girl named Michelle Z.).
- The cat grooved Meow album which was recorded live to two track at their poolside studio (the title being a reference to Michelle Pfeiffer's quote from Batman Returns).
- The likeably liked Likewise album, which was dedicated to a girl who worked with him at the UCSD Music Library, named Aimee (who made more than a cameo in the music video for the underground smash "Heaven").
- The unplugged Amygdalectomy album recorded late one glazed night (including fart noises).
- And their swan song album Rubber Hooks and Metal Belts (after which the band broke up due to the usual band break up cliches--"creative differences", "sober vs. drunken drugs", and "Yoko").
McFeurdy released a solo album in 1996 entitled Nashville. He was moonlighting undercover as a graduate student at the UCLA library and information sciences masters program whilst working as a technical services assistant at the UCLA Music Library. He set aside some of his earnings to purchase a Yamaha DX7 which enabled him to further dissect his simultaneous dimensioned mind, a Korg Wavestation to sequence his evolving thoughts, and a bastard Yamaha TX16W sampler for good luck. But the sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll lifestyle had taken its toll. The album is a certified underground masterpiece and has a blurry darkness--the sounds of a composer chasing the dragon, blowing his mind in the process, and as the mythology goes, getting his inspirational muse from a tongue kiss with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. His distortion drenched multi echoed voice desperately trying to destroy his alter ego, as if finding his true identity would finally set him free of himself. The following lyrics from the song "Miss Moon" best summarize his confusion during the Nashville period:
I don't know where
Out of nowhere
There's a placed called
"I call you"
"I was on a wild acid trip with this crazy California girl," McFeurdy reminisced. "We went to the beach and saw the moon melt into the sea. And then the beach turned into the moon, craters and all. The sand sunk deeper with the weight of our laughter. I glanced at the wavy ocean and saw, in hallucination form, seven bloody skeletons running backwards. My mind evaporated. I soon forgot what was really real and imaginarily imagined. The crazy California girl and I melded our perspectives in a hellfire of rusty nails, splintered wood, and the infinitely unraveling unknown. As we fucked time, she screamed the lyrics to my album Nashville (which is a certified underground masterpiece)."
McFeurdy had hit bottom.
In 1997, on his "From London To Liverpool Tour", he fatefully met a kind fortune teller named Esmeralda. She gave him a map to help locate himself whilst in England. They frequented the theatre arts, often as a pair of London lovebirds. She dragged him to Stratford-upon-Avon (the supposed location of a scene out of William Shakespeare's life). He dragged her to Liverpool (the birthplace of The Beatles). They fucked time in the youth hostels. And she helped him to remember his real name: Henry Lim.
"I loved his sampledelic track 'Millepede' off of Nashville," Esmeralda said during an interview with Underground Country Music magazine. "We used to Fuck Time to that every chance we could get. Henry said that he recorded it before we Met, but I Believe that I Inspired him thru my infinitely unraveling Fortune Telling Powers. I was already his Muse before he Met me, you see, and I have a Cosmic Communication Connection with him. He's a high level Composer on his own right, and has probes out in the Universe, looking for Cosmic Messages--he dreams within his Dreams about meeting some meta symbolic girl named Cute Juanita. I figured I could help him on his Quest, so I answered his probe in the form of the structural plans for 'Millepede', including the Dvorak sample, 'Strawberry Fields Forever' loop, and backwards Cowell. When I finally met Henry, who was going by the silly name 'Larry McFeurdy' at the Time, I finally got the chance to give 'Millepede' a listen (Stoned). It instantly made me go Bananas."
Henry Lim survived the sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll life and today continues to compose music. He has six works in his opus (including three muse dedicated piano sonatas, including the acid jazz tinged Piano Sonata No. 2, op. 3, which has been affectionately nicknamed "The Amanda", after it's deditcatee), two film scores (including one listed in the IMDb), and a set of six bagatelles for piano and mixed media (which rely heavily on several copyrighted samples, so is not available on his webpage for download due to his fear of getting sued). He is also a world famous LEGO sculptor, an edgy digital photographer, and an underground author who keeps a web journal self referentially called "Out On a Lim" (which contains his underground book The Juanita and Miguel Letters written under his underground pseudonym "Larry McFeurdy"). In his book, McFeurdy has a character named "The Crazy Chinaman" who bares a slightly blind sighted resemblance to himself, and vice versa.
Muchos Henry Lim,
PS: THE SMOKEBREAK CONTINUES: MIGUEL AND THE CRAZY CHINAMAN DISCUSS THE ELEMENT OF TRUTH IN ELEMENTARY TRUTHS (copyright 2003, Miguel and The Crazy Chinaman)
MIGUEL: nice storytime. but don't you think that some people will think that you think a little highly of yourself? i mean, you--a rock star? come on, some of all that had to've been bullshit.
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: to answer your questions, in reverse order, yes, some of all that had to've been bullshit--what exactly is bullshit or not bullshit is objectively observable, yet subjective, in the anonymous sense of the unobservable word. secondly, yes i was a rock star. if you don't believe me, i'll let you listen to the recordings. and finally, yes, i always think highly of myself. if everybody thought highly of themselves, then they'd might all be a little more happier. fuck thinking lowly of yourself, man.
MIGUEL: ok, play me a recording.
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: well, it doesn't work that way.
MIGUEL: what the fuck do you mean, man?
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: i'll put an mp3 file on my webpage. you can download it, but you must download it late at night.
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: when you get home, and you're all alone, wait til it's late at night, light some incense by your computer, and download the mp3 file. if you've got introverted headphones, it'll sound more clearer, however hearing it on extroverted speakers is fine, too.
MIGUEL: what the fuck? are you fucking trying to seduce me?
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: no, you fucking idiot. i wrote that song years ago, but relistening to it now, i can hear juanita's muse in the music.
MIGUEL: you know, if you weren't a fucking crazy chinese kung fu master, i'd kick your ass right now. you know it's me she loves, not you.
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: hooowhaaaaa!!!!!!!! [he fakes a deadly chinese kung fu blow just inches from miguel's throat]
MIGUEL: [scared] dude, don't scare me like that.
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: hahahaha. no, you're still a fucking idiot. juanita is sending a cosmic message to you in the mp3 file that i'll put on my webpage for you to download. it's a song called "madeline" (from my nashville album). when you listen to it, i highly recommend that you remember that you associate your "juanita" with the song's title character. it'll drive you bananas.
MIGUEL: so who's the real madeline?
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: that's irrelevant.
MIGUEL: no, i think it'll add another perspective layer if i knew your intentions behind the song. who is madeline?
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: well, surfing the surface, "madeline" was one of the two names kim novak's character had in the movie vertigo (the other name being judy, which didn't have enough syllables to invoke that falling feeling, introducing the chorus, [sings] "oh madeline..."). however, i spell madeline "madeline" in my song, but vertigo credits her as "madeleine". anyways, i also chose to name the song's main character "madeline" cause it sounded like "mandolin" and "mandarin". [sings] "...speak to me in mandarin". like so. and "madeline" is latin for "worthy of love". as for the spelling, uh, well, i like the way it looks as if the words "made" and "line" got smashed together, hahahahahahahaha.
MIGUEL: what the fuck is so fucking funny about that?
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: "madeline" is a "made" up "line"--a phony sentence, or in your parlance, "bullshit". she's not real, in this limited dimension. ah, but her soul infinitely unravels. and her soul's name is "juanita".
MIGUEL: hey, i like how you got "miguel" to write in non-caps, all "juanita" style in this letter.
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: thanks.
MIGUEL: so you were saying that "madeline" isn't really "madeline", but really really "juanita"?
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: cute juanita.
MIGUEL: [nods] cute juanita.
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: always remember, your cute juanita determines your reality.
MIGUEL: may the cute juanita be with you.
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: oh, and also when you listen to the mp3, i also recommend highly that you follow along with the printed lyrics. i'll include them on my website. do you subscribe to "out on a lim" via email? or do you read it at henrylim.org?
MIGUEL: uh, i'm a subscriber.
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: well, for this installment of "out on a lim" (within the book the juanita and miguel letters, within the post scripted script entitled "ps: the smokebreak continues: miguel and the crazy chinaman discuss the element of truth in elementary truths") i highly recommend that you read it on the webpage.
MIGUEL: is it kinda like that one time when you typed with red and blue text? what was that entry about? oh yeah, it was an aim chat between you being "henry lim" (aka droideka13) and you being "larry mcfeurdy". why do i need to read it on your webpage, will this entry/chapter/letter be colour coded?
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: maybe.
MIGUEL: ok, i'll look for the colour coded message.
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: well, actually there won't be any colour coded message. my coded messages are highly unsolvable, they exist in too many dimensions for the average reader to figure out. no, the reason why you ought to read this entry on the webpage is so that you can find the blue and underlined "mp3" link that'll kick in the "madeline" mp3.
MIGUEL: what's the song about?
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: dude, you should just let the song roll out it's story, word by word, letter by letter, without me telling you how to interpret it.
MIGUEL: hey, don't underestimate my abilities to hold multiple interpretations up to interpretation. i think i can juggle the hidden and unhidden layers of your song. tell me what the song's about, from your perspective.
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: well, what you're asking me is to tell the truth. what is the true story behind my song? hmm, ah hell, fuck it, why not. i'll tell the truth. it's about walking into an afternoon matinee of laura. but instead of seeing the film, i'm closing my eyes, just listening to the music. in my head, i can see the piano glissando, the violin weep, and cute juanita's dancing mandolin. a sample of pearl jam's drum intro to "w.m.a." loops at a reduced speed. a poetic representation of cute juanita elaborates on her foolery that fools me into thinking she's growing too old to play with dolls, with a hint that i don't think "she mean[s] something to me" anymore--which is the biggest lie of all, i mean i wouldn't say she doesn't mean something to me anymore if she really doesn't, rather i'd be talking about something else entirely, as the act of writing the line reveals, by oppositional denial, my true feelings. note the siouxie and the banshees sample of the drum intro to "o baby" accenting the harmonic progression. the stanzas continue with a discussion on the element of truth in elementary truths, namely "i think of words i never said that she thought she heard inside her head". that's a harsh line, but it's the truth. "but i don't care anymore" is me saying "fuck the truth". cause i know juanita agrees--cue falling feeling into the chorus as a kelley deal 6000 drum loop gets mixed into the mix. juanita plays her mandolin to remind me that she's the only one who can "lasso my lassitude" ("lassitude" is the g.r.e. word for "languor"). the second verse is bullshit. it's an imaginary scenario involving myself leaving on a plane from hollywood to shanghai only to end up in a movie (the "club obi-wan" and "lady singing cole porter songs" are the setting and a character, respectively, of the opening scene in the movie indiana jones and the temple of doom). well, figuratively and literally, i suppose there's some truth to that imaginary scenario. i mean, i sometimes leave this plane of existence only to find myself in another plane of existence that exists within itself. so repeat into the chorus and juanita now speaks in mandarin (a wink to being in some hollywood perspective of shanghai). but the line "and reason with my memories" is the kicker. when i hear this song, i remember the muse who inspired it's composition. for as you know, my songs are my musical journal--they are my digitized dreams. "madeline" reasoned with my memories before they were my memories. she was the voice of reason from the future, sprinkling her favourite colour in my memory. all i have to do is follow the reasonable trail of letters that she writes and remember how to spell her real name: Juanita."
MIGUEL: you just used the shift key for caps on "juanita".
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: oh shit, my bad. i should've typed it like you did. thanks. you should edit these letters for me, cause i can't type worth the crack in my pipe.
MIGUEL: damn, this was a long letter. i hope juanita responds in kind. nevertheless, i'll pass on editing this one--fuck that, i've got better things to do than edit my letters/your book. i'm above editing myself. how many letters are there in this letter?
THE CRAZY CHINAMAN: my, don't we think highly of ourselves. but whatever you say. and since you asked, i don't know how many letters there are in this letter, but i do know there are 15,551 characters in this letter--hmm, a palprime. well, enjoy the mp3.
MADELINE (copyright 1996 The Crazy Chinaman) mp3
it doesn't bother me at all
if she doesn't want to play with dolls
like she did before
when she meant something to me
i think of words i never said
that she thought she heard inside her head
but i don't care anymore
and i know neither does she
play your mandolin
and lasso my lassitude
play your mandolin
and lasso my lassitude
i'm leaving hollywood tonight
on the first available non-stop economy flight
bound for shanghai
where no one thinks they know me
i'll go to the club obi-wan
and enjoy a lady singing cole porter songs
i don't care if she's somebody's wife
and i hope neither does she
speak to me in mandarin
and reason with my memories
speak to me in manderin
and reason with my memories
THE JUANITA AND MIGUEL LETTERS: CHAPTER TWENTY TWO (copyright 2003 Larry McFeurdy)
i've got two words for you: taco and jose.
PS: The Crazy Chinaman is crazy.
My friends and I like to play a geeky game whilst sitting in standstill LA rush hour traffic. As most standard issue license plates in California include some three-letter configuration, we like to read them on the surrounding cars and free-associate some meaning from their Rorschach haphazardness. (I apologize to non-California drivers who can't play this game, but then again, you probably don't have half as bad traffic jams).
For example, my first car (a 1976 Buick Century station wagon) had this license plate:
The three-letters "NBC" reminded me of the National Broadcasting Company's network channel.
My brother drives a car with a license plate that has an acronym for the Komitet Gosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti (KGB).
Of course some license plates include actual words, such as CAT, RAT, and HAT. These are seemingly meaningless, as the meanings of these words are so commonplace, immediately spelling out any guesswork. Not to say that someone might think CAT is the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) abbreviation for Caterpillar construction and mining equipment. But the fun comes when one doesn't think too hard about meanings, rather just spews out the first thing that comes to one's mind.
VCR = video cassette recorder
TOC = table of contents
NEV = Nevada
ABS = Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene
LSD = Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
And even more fun can be had with the mishmashed three-letter combos that stretch subconscious preoccupations:
HJL: Henry John Lim
JML: The Juanita and Miguel Letters
CZC: The Crazy Chinaman
LMF: Larry McFeurdy
AMW: annual monthly week
However, I've been trying without success to decode my current car's (a 2000 Toyota Celica) license plate. Maybe I'm trying too hard to see the pattern in the randomness. Please help me to see what's in my letters:
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