Say it with Puppets

Dont say anything with jazz

Photo by Jessica CalkinsMessage: He cares! That's why the president—George W. Bush his bad own self—choppered up to the Santa Monica Mountains after his fly-by visit to Irvine on Friday to have a nice little hiking photo op. Because! He cares!

He's a simple man at one with the world; it's why he looks marginally less stilted on his nature walks than any other place besides a camera-ready prayer meeting. ("And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men." Matthew 5:6.)

But we were talking about nature, and our great and glorious leader's comfort with it! When the Big Guy himself—God, not Karl Rove—gives you personal dominion over all the land and all the flora and fauna therein, and even let's you name them!—it does provide a certain sanguine ease. Can't you just see el Jefe leading a survivalist camp in Idaho? No, me neither. It's much more likely he'd be a top lieutenant charged with cracking the heads of snooping trespassers. I can totally see that.

There were hundreds ready to greet el Prez Friday morning at the Hyatt Regency, and there were snipers ready to greet with a Teflon bullet any of the citizenry whose love started getting a little too active. Luckily, no guts were shed, as the Greens and Peace & Freedomers are very polite types of citizen-peeps. They don't riot! They say it with puppets! Well, Howdy Doody! I'm in!

The most shocking thing about the whole event was how close the Secret Service let the protesters get—they were actually permitted within sight of the hotel. Many years back, Commie Mom got nicked at the opening of the Reagan Library when, after the fuzz had already made all protesters move one mile from the road Bush pere would traverse, she finally called upon her constitutional right to assemble. They tossed her in a bus for four hours, those clever zip-tie handcuffs chafing her slender Marxistwrists.

Alison M. Rosen has said it before, and I'll say it again: jazz is boring. Ooh, look at me! I'm a jazz musician! Would you like to watch me noodle? But Rique Pantoja, playing the San Juan Capistrano Regional Library's San Juan Capistrano Multicultural Arts Series, performs Brazilian jazz, so that would be okay then, not to mention very romantical, being held out in the courtyard by moonlight and all. According to the Weekly, in fact, Pantoja plays "hauntingly beautiful melodies that linger long after the song ends." Well, paint me yellow and call me a cab!

I'm in!

What the Weekly didn't mention—stupid Weekly!—is that when Pantoja sings, he sounds alarmingly like Christopher Cross. And not even "Ride Like the Wind"-era Christopher Cross—which can't be all bad if it featured Rumba Girl Nicolette Larson—but rather the era when Christopher Cross crooned the love song by which Kirk Cameron lost his virginity on "Growing Pains." And the Weekly further neglected to disclose that even though Pantoja's jazz is Brazilian, it was still just jazz. It wasn't rumba-y. It wasn't sambastic. It was a little bit—I hang my head in sadness at having to write this—it was a little bit KTWV "The Wave."

My boyfriendreally liked it. I made him leave.

We made it to the third of Linda Jemison's birthday parties, this one at Fullerton's The Hub. "Gene's new band is playing!" Linda said. "It's the best pop band ever!"

Ever? Well, pour me some coffee and call me Joe! I'm in!

The Eugene Edwards Band is indeed the best pop band ever; you can tell just by looking at Gene's new 'do. Once, Gene had long hair, just like all the guys in Lit back when they were Razzle. Then he had a 'billy pompadour. And now? It's sensitive Weezer/Phantom Planet/Beck moptop, with sideburns—the kind of hair you can see at any Gypsy Denthroughout the land with the exception of the new one at the Orange County Museum of Art. You can't see it there. Still, it's very becoming, even though it's usually on younger tykes.

And with his cute outfit—tight jeans, a belt and a white button-up linen shirt with groovy wide lapels—one knew the music would be just right, up to the minute and on top of every trend, just like Gene!

You know, when I chopped all my hair off this week, I thought I looked like a 37-year-old housewife, but my good pal Skeith DeWine comforted me. "You don't look like a housewife," he said, "You look like a 33- or 34-year-old dyke."

My boyfriend denied it. "Skeith doesn't know what he's talking about," he said. "He thinks men are attractive."

Well, that was heartening, but it was before we went to Home Depot, where the lesbians in Garden actually followed me up and down the earthenware aisle. We here at the Weekly are contractually obligated to be gay-friendly, but if people are going to think I'm a lesbian, can't I at least be a lipstick one?

So when I rolled down to Dennis Ekstrom's Laguna Canyon studio Thursday night to watch some mostly naked ladies get painted up like pointy-breasted playing cards, and there was a young woman who was standing so close that her tresses fell over my shoulder and onto my bosoms, I was pretty sure she was hitting on me. I'm not gay! I wanted to tell her. I just have dykey hair!

But then, a minute later, she introduced me to her husband. Swinger? Or do I think I'm lesbian catnip when in fact I'm just another housewife with a frumpy, puffy cut?

Either way, there were fabulous Laguna peoples in the house to bear witness as Jorg Dubinand Jeff Peters painted (very delicately) the aforementioned mostly naked ladies so they could be shot as a logo for Laguna Art Museum's upcoming auction. The museum's Stuart Byerwas there, with a delightful marketing gal named Marie; gallerist Peter Blake was in the house; Reg writer Daniella Walsh was in fine form; they even had a traveling Langston in attendance. And there was wine and terrific donated bruschetta, and there were mostly naked ladies. And they were sisters! Well, give me a Harleyand call me GLAAD! I'm . . .

It's the dykey hair talking, when hair should shut up and know its place. Let people say it with puppets instead.

Just call me at rschoenkopf@ocweekly.com!

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