Amoeblog

(In which we mix up something good.)

Posted by Job O Brother, August 10, 2009 08:28pm | Post a Comment

Yum!

Today I’ve been doing one of my favorite things: making a mix-tape. Of course, I’m not using any tape in this process, but somehow saying “mix cd” feels awkward. Much like saying “dump Coke” and “poop shoulder” – those are also awkward to say.

Anyway, crafting a playlist for a pal is one of my great joys. I don’t have much free time these days, what with my stupid ol’ grown-up lifestyle, but I used to make mix-tapes for people at the drop of a hat. The most casual of relationships could be an excuse.

“What are you doing, Job?”

“Making a mix-tape.”

“For who?”

“A guy from the bakery.”

“What guy?”

“…The baker.”

“Oh. You’re friends with the baker? The old dude? Isn’t he, like, half deaf?”

“Is he? I dunno. I only just met him yesterday. Well, I mean, I saw him. Baking... things. I didn’t really talk to him. But there was music playing in his bakery – some Sarah Vaughn – so I thought I’d make him a mix of cool jazz and vocalists and maybe even throw in some early French cabaret…”

And so it goes.

A good mix-tape isn’t just an assortment of rad songs, though they’re the meat of it. I’m of the opinion that truly neat-o mixes are bound together by little, sonic amuse-bouches; snippets of odd, silly, or even spooky clips. A line from a movie, an excerpted musical flourish, an individual sound effect even – all these things work.

Also – and I’m starting to wish I had instructed you in the beginning of this blog to imagine these words being said by Julia Child, because I love the idea of her giving insights into making mix-tapes… Tell you what, from now on, just imagine her voice as you read, okay?


Wonderful!

Anyhow, one thing I like to include in mix-tapes are novelty songs. By this I mean songs that I don’t necessarily think the listener will love, per se, but marvel at. They might be horrid tunes, or hilarious ones, or maybe just something designed to confound the listener. My dear friend Carrie, for instance, has received many mix-tapes from me, and I always include at least one song from a musician I know she thinks she hates, all in my devoted* attempt to get her to open her heart to the artist.

What follows now is a compilation of tunes or acts that I’ve used in mix-tapes, not for their catchiness, intelligence or beauty, but simply because they add a certain je ne sais quoi. (That’s French for total, home-style radness.)




































*desperate

(In which Job has his reasons.)

Posted by Job O Brother, October 26, 2008 02:32pm | Post a Comment
Okay! Okay! Alright! Enough already!
 
I know I haven’t blogged since Neil Arnott invented the waterbed, and I appreciate the many of who have lovingly asked me, “What the hell, loser?” but if you knew the LIST of reasons why I haven’t been able to write here, you’d have a greater sense of compassion.

Therefore, I present you…


AN ENGLISH LANGUAGE LIST OF REASONS
WHY I HAVEN’T BLOGGED IN QUITE A WHILE

1.)    I was busy researching the origin of the waterbed.

2.)   I switched to decaf. But the not normal kind. The kind that makes you forget to breathe. So you collapse. You almost die. (Available in whole bean from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.)

3.)    I was in the hospital on a respirator that artificially kept my lungs going.
 

Not my best photo, but I like it 'cause I look slim.

4.)    I was busy inventing a version of the waterbed that could be used in hospitals.

5.)    I almost died of electrocution while testing a hospital waterbed (or, as I call them, Surf-a-Sufferer). As fate would have it, the electrical shock got my lungs to start got my lungs to start working again but also did something to my brain so that I now unwittingly repeat words sometimes.

6.)    I was working on my stage musical version of Sophie’s Choice, which I hope to produce next fall. You’ll love it! I added even more funny parts and cut the rather bland roles of Sophie and Nathan so as to concentrate on Stingo, who I’ve reworked into a jolly but blood-thirsty Scotsman whose taste for freshly baked Pfeffernüsse is matched only by his tremendous fear of being electrocuted by a waterbed.

7.)    I perfected my recipe for Pfeffernüsse.


Pfeffernüsse, originally a Dutch cookie baked to celebrate the holiday Sinterklaas, and to construct the walls for windmills.

8.)    I was eating so much Pfeffernüsse.

9.)    I gained so much weight I could no longer make the long walk to my desk to blog.

10.)    I had to get fitted for my muʻumuʻu (or, as you Haoles spell it “mumu”).

11.)    I, along with eight other morbidly obese people, was flown to New York City to be used as models for a challenge on Season 6 of Project Runway. The designers had to make us muʻumuʻus that could go from day to night and help “slenderize” us. For raw materials, they could only use whatever could be found in Michael Kors’ pockets in under five minutes. My designer lucked out and snagged eight yards of PVC pipe and a half-eaten Mars Bar, which he rendered into a rather lovely turquoise muʻumuʻu with nougat-and-almond jerkin, accented with a 17th Century inspired whisk, which, while not exactly practical for baking Pfeffernüsse in, did cause quite a stir when I wore it on the red carpet at this year’s Golden Globe Awards.
 

See that thing around his neck? That's a whisk.

12.)    I was in endless meetings with my lawyers, as I am suing Tilda Swinton for nibbling on my jerkin while I was distracted by talking to Denzel Washington about how sleeping on a flotation mattress might help his chronic back pain and redundant choices in film roles.

13.)    I went on a strict weight-loss plan that required me to spend less time at the computer blogging and more time enjoying activities that got my heart-rate up, like jogging, swimming, and wrestling bears wearing nothing but a jock-strap and a thick coat of whale blubber.
 

Reason #15767 why you should only wear a jock strap and whale blubber when wrestling a bear.
(Taken from Howe & Collier's Pictorial History of Errors in Bear Wrestling and Papier-mâché)

14.)    I was beaten-up by a roving gang of PETA members who denounced my use of whale blubber. (I tried to explain that I only used blubber from whales who had been given 1 to 80 years to live.) In a tragic and ironic twist of fate, the animal rights activists were mauled to death by the bear I was wrestling.

15.)    I had a lot of funerals to go to.

16.)    I was enjoying the re-issue of The Belly of an Architect soundtrack. Composed mostly by Wim Mertens – who’s work is a kind of cross between minimalist-classical and New Age – it fits perfectly with Michael Nyman’s scores for Peter Greenaway films. I highly recommend it for those of you who like things exactly like it.



17.)    I had my birthday! It was October 22. And while I did enjoy a romantic dinner at Café des Artistes with my beloved, Corey, I couldn’t help but notice that YOU did not send me anything! Not a card, not a gift – nothing.* Which leads me to believe that maybe you think love and loyalty mean more than material possessions. Balderdash! I need an iPhone, and last I checked, you can’t buy those with birthday well-wishes posted on my Facebook “wall”. [*Not counting my Mom.]

18.)    I’ve been heartily enjoying recordings by the Pied Pipers.



19.)    I’ve been busy reconciling with Tilda Swinton. In exchange for tips on how to get and maintain a slim figure, I am allowing her to eat whatever clothes of mine she likes.

20.)    I’ve found I can only express myself in a list format, and it’s not been until now that I figured out how to blog thusly.

21.)    My hand hurt.

22.)    My brain hurt.

23.)    My hand hurt again.

24.)    I bet my friend Carrie that I could go for 2½ months without blogging. (Ha, ha! I win, Carrie! You owe me a dime!)

25.)    I was daydreaming about how I would spend my dime if/when I won my bet with Carrie. And last, but not least:

26.)    A dog ate my blog.


(In which Job is born again.)

Posted by Job O Brother, September 25, 2007 11:31am | Post a Comment

[Insert cuss word here.] I forgot to buy cone filters. Now, instead of waking up with a fresh cup of organic Sumatra, I’m waking up with a cold can of diet Coke. This is low. I really should just crawl back into bed and start over tomorrow. Of course, if I did that, I still wouldn’t have any cone filters.

But maybe some kind soul would read this blog and, as I hid beneath my comforter, re-enacting the third trimester of my mummy’s gestation process, they would come to my apartment and gift me some cone filters. Then I could safely slip out of the vaginal opening I’d have reconstructed using tin-foil, Ikea tumblers and cat fur, and greet the world as a newborn baby. That would be sweet. I’d wipe off the after-birth, put on a fresh pair of diapers, sip on a yummy mug of coffee and wait for my cord-stump to fall off.


"It's Rufus with an 'R' not Liza with a 'Z'...!"

I saw Rufus Wainwright at the Hollywood Bowl Sunday night. I went there with my gorgeous pal, Carrie. We walked there from my apartment, an act which our LA-native friends thought akin to The Donner Party.

“You’re walking from Sunset Boulevard to the Hollywood Bowl?!” Cameron gasped, “That’s uphill!”

“It’s not uphill,” I answered, “It’s up slant.”

As Carrie and I neared the famed half-shell, I started to worry that we were there on the wrong night, and had actually arrived for a Bear Convention. I’ve never seen so many burly men in designer jeans.

(For those of you who don’t know what a “bear” is, I’ll explain:

Bears (family Ursidae) are large mammals in the order Homocarnivora. Bears are classified as homocaniforms, or doglike homocarnivorans, with the otterpinnipeds being their closest living relatives. Although there are only eight living species of bear, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern Hemisphere and partially in the Southern Hemisphere.

Common characteristics of modern bears include a large body with stocky legs, a long snout, shaggy hair, paws with five nonretractile claws, devout love for Liza Minnelli, and a short tail. While the polar bear is mostly carnivorous and the giant panda feeds almost entirely on bamboo, the remaining six species are omnivorous, with largely varied diets including both plants and animals and cheap beer.

With the exceptions of courting individuals and twinks with their young, bears are typically solitary animals. They are sometimes diurnal, but are usually active during the night (nocturnal) or twilight (crepuscular). Bears are aided by an excellent sense of smell, and despite their heavy build and awkward gait, they can run quickly and be adept climbers and swimmers. Bears use shelters such as caves and burrows and bars in West Hollywood as their dens, which are occupied by most species during the winter for a long period of sleep similar to hibernation.

Bears have been hunted since prehistoric times for their meat and fur. To this day, they play a prominent role in the arts, mythology, and other cultural aspects of various human societies. In modern times, bears have been exploited through the encroachment of their habitats and the illegal trade of bears and bear parts, including the Asian bile bear market. The IUCN lists six bear species as vulnerable or endangered, and even "least concern" species such as the brown bear are at risk of extirpation in certain countries. The poaching and international trade of these most threatened populations is prohibited, but still ongoing, particularly by Republican conservatives.)


Now comes a confession: I’ve already written about the show itself, for The Advocate. You can read the article here. One thing The Advocate doesn’t have, however, are these rad pix of Carrie eating her dinner of Trader Joe’s low-fat spinach pizzas and Pinot Grigio…


Amoeba exclusive photos! You saw it here first!

I introduced Carrie to these pizzas and she took to them like a fish to water. They're delicious! Sadly, they are not (yet) available at Amoeba Music. As she was macking on them, a strange look came over her face. She looked down at the quarter-piece of crust still in her hand and picked at it with her finger.

"Oh..." she said, then scrapped off the remnants of a sheet of greasy wax paper, which separates each individual slice. "Wax paper. I didn't realize..."

She looked at me. There was a moment of concern.

"I've eaten almost an entire piece of wax paper," she said, then suddenly smiled.

See? You can eat these Trader Joe pizzas with the wax paper and still enjoy it. They're that good! (Although Carrie admitted they were even better after removing them.)

Also, I feel I should explain some of the comments left by well-wishers on my previous blog entry. They come from readers of a different article I wrote for The Advocate which has nothing to do with Glenn Close getting her groove on. Thanks to the wonders of link technology, however, they found themselves at the Amoeblog and the rest is history.

Now I’m going to blast some Suzi Quatro and give myself a sponge bath. Don’t look.

(In which the group's adventures come to a close.)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 11, 2007 09:14am | Post a Comment
Everyone awoke a little gloomy. It was our last day, and check-out time was only four hours away. Logan in-particular was not okay with this and sought out the front desk to plea our case. The result was a new check-out time of four o’clock, at no additional charge.

I’m not sure what Logan had to do to get this sweet deal; knowing her, they were probably just charmed, but that makes for a boring blog, so let’s pretend she seduced the owner’s wife, or at the very least threatened them with rad karate moves.


"Hit me with your best shot" - Logan in control

With only half a day left, the majority agreed that the best thing to do was give me a haircut.

Uh, wha...? Really? It’s that bad?

What I saw as my sexy, shaggy mop – so hip and suave was, unbeknownst to me, something akin to Eric Stoltz’ hot look in the movie “Mask”. Apparently I had been unwittingly turning Greek adventurers into stone with my mere hairdo. Who knew?


Bad hair daze: Eric Stoltz, Medusa, and me

Carrie was adamant. She was going to cut my hair. My boyfriend immediately switched to publicist mode, yelling demands and controlling events from his chaise lounge. “Short!” he kept shouting, “Short… short!”


BEFORE: Carrie assesses the situation


The Master Hair-stylist can adapt to any situation


Beauty and the Beast

My own opinions were merely tolerated as flights of fancy. I had been reduced to a pre-Suffragette woman with hopes of one day earning a living for herself, winning the right to vote, or at the very least, opening her own door without being seen as a dangerous lesbian.

“All I want is a room of my own,” I implored, “Or a beer and a smoke. Get me a beer and a smoke!” I transformed into a high-maintenance star. I demanded fresh, cold bruskis and lit cigarettes. Logan, who photographed the event, became my unwitting slave.

“I want music!” I howled.

“The turntable’s in the living room,” Logan explained.

“Then move it into the kitchen!” I screeched. I reasoned I could afford to be so petulant, because I had subjected myself to the group’s desire to convert my coiffure. Suddenly, the cliché roles of Hollywood celebrity-versus-production company made new sense to me. They wanted to use me as a product; as such, my body/mind must succumb to their vision, the payoff for which is the need to keep me happy, lest I sabotage everything.

It’s a circle of life.


AFTER: Apparently I gained 15 pounds during my haircut

To her credit, Carrie gave me what I honestly believe to be the best haircut I’ve e’er had.

(For the last six or seven years of my life I have cut my own hair. I began doing this out of spite. Every time I went to a barber, I would carefully and clearly explain what I wanted, then they would proceed to do whatever gruesome scheme had been dictated them over the night by the dog down the street. Hair by Son of Sam. And for this I would pay money. Actual money! Finally I snapped and refused to stay in such an abusive relationship.

“I may well f**k up my hair by cutting it myself,” I reasoned, “But at least I won’t be paying for it, too.”)

After the styling, Corey couldn’t keep his hands off me, which is exactly the sort of behavior I encourage.


"Get that camera out of my love life!" - Job & Corey, post-haircut

The four of us milled around our beloved bungalow and lamented losing it. The time came to pack and we did. It was the first time in three days we had to do something we didn’t want to do, and we were little, whinny, crybabies about it.

Logan spoke of returning to Los Angeles as though she were being returned to Guantanamo Bay.

With heavy hearts and a loaded car, we left 29 Palms. We set course for an hour-long detour through scenic Joshua Tree. Carrie took it upon herself to play DJ with my 80-gig iPod, causing sonic whiplash as she segued from “Miss Clare Remembers” by Enya to “Nasty” by Janet Jackson.


We stopped along the way to take photographs. At some point during the shoot, Logan and Corey spotted a rattlesnake relaxing nearby. At the exact moment they announced this, I was snapping a picture of Carrie, and the face I captured is hilarious! But to keep her from deleting it, she made me promise not to post it. Let me tell you, you are missing out. But a promise is a promise and you won’t see it here on my blog.

HOWEVER, send $17.00 and a blank t-shirt to me, c/o Amoeba Music Hollywood, and I will make you a “Carrie reacts to news of a rattlesnake” t-shirt; destined to be a collector’s item and quite possibly the end of her friendship with me.


Christine McVie & Stevie Nicks... oh wait, it's Logan & Carrie.


"We'll build the next Amoeba Music on that rock, there" - Logan & Job

By the time we made it through the desert, night had fallen. It wasn’t long before we were once again engulfed in neon lights and acres of strip-malls.


This is what a Manager of Amoeba Music looks like. Apply within.

We stopped at In-n-Out Burger. Carrie and I could have sworn we saw a customer order “peppers” and receive some from behind the counter. She and Logan were also wowed by my fries, which I had ordered “animal-style”, an option they weren’t aware existed. I also order my double-double “protein-style”, which is sans-bun for those of you not in-the-know. It led to us pondering what secrets In-n-Out still has.

“What other options are there?” we wondered. Could I order my milkshake “Full House” and receive it with an autographed 8x10 glossy of a nude John Stamos?

Dude… that would rock...


[Insert a few minutes of silence here as the author ponders this, before sudden embarrassment snaps him back to reality.]

Logan was beginning to suffer from her recent sunburn, but gallantly drove us the whole way, cashing in on that private-reserve of stoic determination that God bequeaths all Daughters of Sappho. We played games of 20 Questions the whole ride home.

(I was unjustly ridiculed for some of my answers, dear reader. You would be horrified to learn of the way my fellow travelers abused me during this game. It was inevitable that my best friend and my boyfriend, meeting on this vacation for the first time, would eventually join forces against me. It was cruel, oh my brothers, so that even the Angels would weep for my soul as it was tormented by my friends’ total poopy-facedness.)

It’s moments like now that make having a blog so worthwhile.

Logan and Carrie dropped Corey and I off at his home, and we said our good-byes.

The next day, Carrie and I rendezvoused one last time for a brief shopping stint on Melrose, then we walked to Amoeba, where a taxi took her away from us. John Doe was playing an in-store, but even that couldn’t lighten Logan or my heart.

Huge, grey storm-clouds appeared and began drizzling. Babies cried, and mothers went out in a vain search for food. Men stood in unemployment lines, as cattle died of disease. Stock markets crashed and World Trade Centers crumbled again and again. French fries turned cold. In short, all was lame.

Until ten minutes later when I began watching season two of “The L Word”.

The end!

(In which horror shows its many faces... most of them silly.)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 4, 2007 12:52pm | Post a Comment

Last night, Carrie and Logan returned from their hike all a-glow. Logan in-particular seemed moved by the adventure. A woman of few words, the gleam of her face and twinkling blue eyes told a story her voice did not.

I presented my friends with the meal I had prepared only to learn that both women hate bell peppers. Hate bell peppers? But they’re so… innocuous! That’s like hating celery or Saltine crackers or Jane Pauley. I mean, I can understand not loving them, but they’re not dramatic enough to warrant hate!


"I just wanna be loved!"

After some bell-pepper picking and grumbling, dinner was served. The ladies had stopped on the way home and bought Slurpees to mix with the fancy rum that Corey had bequeathed. Between the two ingredients, I concocted an elixir that made you tipsy just by smelling it. Carrie and I fought over who would get the cherry-flavored, and as usual, she won.

We re-arranged the furniture in the living room and created an impromptu theatre, then popped in a DVD of Wes Craven’s “The Hills Have Eyes,” which had been recommended to me by Kirk, one of the VIP’s of the Amoeba Music DVD depot. I asked for a desert themed horror film and, like a computer, out came his suggestion.


Just one of many heart-warming moments from "The Hills Have Eyes"

I’m not a fan of horror films, per se, though I’m not opposed to them. I just never find them scary. Like, ever. My idea of a horror film is “Bowling for Columbine” or “An Inconvenient Truth”. Or, if you really want to see me sweat, tie me down and force me to watch “Dumbo”. I will pee.

[insert sound of Job screaming here]

What I am a fan of is seeing horror films with sexy chicks who shriek, hide their eyes, and clutch my arm; Corey, Carrie and Logan all fit this description.

The film, not awful by any means, was mostly a disappointment because the bad guys were very visible and silly looking and frankly, were less annoying than the heroes. We kept waiting for one of the female leads in-particular to get hacked to pieces, not because we’re sadistic, but because her constant screaming was violent enough to warrant her death, if only in self-defense of our ear drums.

Also, the film ends at what feels like three-quarters in. Imagine watching “Titanic”, and the film ends just as the ship starts to sink. That would be weird, right? And that’s how it felt. (I know what you’re thinking; you wish “Titanic” had ended then. That’s why you and I get along so well. Xoxo)

While smoking on the front porch, Logan and I shared amused glances as Corey and Carrie perched atop of their chairs, fearfully scanning the premises for bugs. Corey had spotted a potato bug which, I’ll admit, looks fierce, but since I’m not a potato I don’t feel threatened by them. Soon a cockroach was also seen, and that’s when Corey and Carrie turned into the housewives from a Looney Tunes cartoon who’ve seen a mouse. It was cute.

It was time for bed. Carrie and Logan toasted each other with shots of Nyquil and I sang lullabies, as our new tradition goes. I took a shower to wash off the smell of cigarettes. I don’t normally smoke unless I’m in the presence of Carrie, who brings out my “inner chimney” and Corey has been very sweet to allow me this indulgence without hassle, though I know he hates it.

At night, mysterious creatures scuttled across the roof of Carrie and Logan’s room, and Carrie was once again bitten by some unknown creature that only molests her. Evidence of this comes as tiny red circles dotting her legs, which she discovers each morning. We’re pretty sure it’s not pox, which is hopefully true, because then we’d have to burn her and leave her behind.


The author fearlessly braves bugs and sits on the ground.
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