Friday, June 18, 2010

Rocking Machine for sale

Phillips de Pury and Company is having an art auction, next week June 24 in NYC. They'll be hawking, among other things, Herman Makkink's Rocking Machine (1969). Of course he was Dutch and his last name is Makkink. It's one of the few things I remember from A Clockwork Orange. The auctioneers have tagged it as a "kinetic sculpture." I'm looking to redecorate my apartment this summer, and while it could be an amusing addition to my bohemian/country/Swedish-Japanese dwarf aesthetic, I wouldn't have the cajones to actually go for it. 

Okay, I lied. I remember a lot of things about Clockwork.

I know someone who'd love this, also up for sale:

Monday, June 14, 2010

When it rains in L.A.

It's a rare day in Los Angeles when you can pack in several appointments with an efficiency usually reserved for a city like New York. But back in April, I had to interview two bands (Maroon 5 and Taylor Locke & the Roughs) and an artist (David Choe) on the same day, while editing down a friend's grant application essay before his deadline the next afternoon. Fortunately, the musicians only lived a couple miles from each other, if that, and the artist's studio was a twenty-minute drive downtown.  In between, I managed to meet a friend for lunch at Best Fish Taco in Ensenada on Hillhurst, followed by dessert at Scoops in Wilshire to get some brown bread ice cream. And then ended up having dinner with Dave, his girl and his pal James Jean at The Lazy Ox (my favorite restaurant in L.A. right now, with their genius salads, rice pudding, and fantastically interesting and tasty daily specials. Like crispy pig ears and welks in lemon and butter, if you must know.) As a result, I have three stories in Nylon and Nylon Guys this month, detailing some special moments with M5's Adam Levine and Jesse Carmichael, Taylor Locke et al, and Dave, who has a self-titled coffee-table art book available for purchase July 7. Oh yeah, and I spent a good few hours editing my friend's application statement until the wee hours of the night.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Our House, In the Middle of the Trees.

Earlier this year, I'd been telling just about everyone I came in contact with how deeply impressed I was by the journalism coming out of Vice magazine and their VBS web TV channel.  My dream of looking back at my career, at oh, 90-years-old and saying, "I'm proud to have always been a journalist" was flagging under the pressures of a bad economy and seemingly shrinking opportunities. And then there was Vice's editor-in-chief interviewing post-civil-war Liberia's General "Butt Naked" -- cannibalizing rapist, committer of war-atrocities-turned born-again Christian -- and wondering if it was okay to eat dinner with killers to the nth power.  My faith in interesting journalism was restored right then and there, and I thought, I really need to start pitching to these guys. Of course, life got in the way, and the notion fell into a frozen ditch somewhere along the potholes of Bowery.  A month later, when the weather warmed up (it helped that I'd gone back to the West Coast) and I was minding my own business, I get an out-of-the-blue missive from their managing editor, asking me for story ideas. And hot damn, just like that, my faith in humanity -- restored, like a post-fire, fifth-floor East Village walk-up. The very first pitch that popped into my my head was something I'd been wanting to write about for three years, after I climbed a 100-story redwood in the San Francisco Bay Area to see a secret tree house. And here it fucking is. Along with my Employee of the Month accolades.

Ever faithfully yours.