Trip to Hawai'i: Part 4

Posted by Job O Brother, August 24, 2011 02:52pm | Post a Comment

The vaguely menacing charm of vintage postcards.

When on vacation, I am a social snob. It breaks down this way: If you are a resident of where I’m vacationing or its surrounding area, I’ll love to talk with you. Whether banal chit-chat, deep, psychological explorations, or wildly unfounded and ignorant political positioning, I love hob-knobbing with a local of Anytown, Planet Earth.

However, if you are a tourist like me, every second I spend in your presence is like chalk being scrapped down my gutted and exposed spine. Ever seen the movie Somewhere in Time? There’s a moment where the hero discovers a reminder of where he comes from, and it shatters the paradise he’s discovered. That’s what another tourist’s face is to me: a shinny penny sucking me into a loveless present where the only escape is death.

“What do I do for a living? Apparently, I suffer fools gladly. And you?”

Make no mistake: I am not proud of this. It doesn’t come from a sense of elitism, rather, a jealous and desperate need for freedom from the burden of self-identification. I am often exhausted being me, and vacationing offers a rare moment where I get to be a different fellow. If I’m constantly having to re-establish myself to others as “a writer from Los Angeles,” etcetera, it won’t matter that I’m fiendishly clever and dashingly handsome – I’ll still be sick of my effing face.

The boyfriend doesn’t have this problem. Though technically an introvert, according to the Keirsey Temperament Scale, he can navigate most any social situation with aplomb. A master at multi-tasking, he’s capable of satisfying endless rounds of small talk by using them as an opportunity to gather useful information and think about what he needs to do at the office the next day. I, on the other hand, am locked into whatever conversation I’m having, heart and soul – so if it’s small talk, I start to suffer from claustrophobia.

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(Wherein I meow.)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 14, 2011 10:17am | Post a Comment


Sometimes my cats are so cute, it annoys me. Especially if they’re being passively cute – you know, just laying in a sunbeam, exposing their bellies – not even trying, but so effwording adorable it just pisses me off and makes me want to stomp them.

It reminds me of when you see a girl who’s so fine, she almost becomes a villain. Like she’s doing it just to torment you. Like, wow you are the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen you asshole.

Is there anyone out there with technical know-how who lives in LA that can help me put together my podcast? You must be house-broken, not say mean things about diet Coke, know how to record and broadcast a podcast, and never trick me into getting addicted to heroin (please).

I’m drinking kiefer and listening to Lil’ Kim. Don’t take it personally.

I’m concerned, a teeny bit, about the phenomena of cute cats on the Internet. Increasingly, I’m seeing how the no-fail excitement of kitty-cams and what-not is impacting, not only the World Wide Web, but TV commercials as well. Word is out, and cat footage has gone viral on our screens like AIDS on the prettiest boys of 1984.

Now I’m listening to Jayne County and the Electric Chairs. I’m out of kiefer, so I’m drinking coffee.

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(In which the author receives an anonymous gift.)

Posted by Job O Brother, February 21, 2011 04:38pm | Post a Comment

Don't you hate it when you're stuck sitting on a plane next to someone with thick ankles?

The other day I was busily preparing my usual breakfast – a small bowl of nonfat cottage cheese with a few cucumber slices, a cup of black coffee, and a rice cake, all deep fried and smothered in butterscotch gravy – when a knock came on the front door. Imagine my surprise when I opened it and found no one there, some eight hours later. What was there was a small package, neatly wrapped in what looked like paper (though this is merely speculation on my part).

Strange packages from persons unknown should always be regarded with suspicion, but as I am a curious person by nature (my great-great-grandfather was a cat) I couldn’t help but open it, which proved to be a long and arduous task as I opted to use only my tongue, rather than the more versatile and saliva-free hands I keep at the end of my arms.

Inside the package was a cassette tape, painted a variety of colors, but without any linguistic explanation as to its purpose or content. I assumed it was a gift from one of my fans, but then I remembered they were without capacity for thought, incapable of free will and basically only good for circulating air. No, this cassette tape was almost certainly from a human, probably a living one, and almost certainly residing somewhere on this planet!

Having thus solved this riddle to my satisfaction, I sought out mechanisms necessary to enjoy the cassette. I decided to use my old boom-box (that’s 1990’s for “ghetto blaster”), which gets far better sound than my washing machine (though does nothing for butterscotch gravy stains).

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Coffee Bar films - Between skiffle and beat, a short-lived scene percolated

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 10, 2009 02:08pm | Post a Comment

In the 1950s, Britiain's teenagers were exposed to a lot more American culture than they were perhaps previously used to. Disparate strains of American culture including beatniks, teenage rebellionrock 'n' roll and coffee all got mashed up in one slightly confused and frothy concoction. Leather-favoring motorcycle enthusiasts who embraced the scene were labeled coffee bar cowboys. F

or the aspiring juvenile delinquents and those just out for kicks, alcohol was suddenly the choice of squares and java joe was the way to go, dad! Soon, the English were brewing their own strain of rock 'n' roll in Soho "caffs" (most famously, The 2 i's). Of course, as with any proper youth movement, exploitation films inevitably followed.

The Tommy Steele Story (1957)

"He traveled the world listening to the musical heartbeat of people everywhere and he came home with his head and heart full of songs that captivate all who hear."

The Golden Disc (1958)

Serious Charge (1959)

Beat Girl (1959)

Expresso Bongo (1959)

Become a fan of Eric's Blog on Facebook!

(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…


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.

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