Loving Lost Labors

Photo by Jack GouldOkay, so Labor Day was primarily primary grays followed by fallish cerulean skies and not really conducive to barbecuing and was mostly spent recovering from the fabulous weekend preceding it1. But at least it was a day free of The Manand the too-overtly atrocious hangover2 usually associated with these kinds of sops to the working man and girl3.

The weekend started early, as our weekends are wont to do, at the fabulous Echo Park mountaintop home of video artist Tulsa Kinneyand her platonic roommate, painter and Coagula magazine ranter Gordy Grundy. Good grits were eaten by all, but as their home lies outside our jurisdiction, you will unfortunately have to be kept in the dark as to the merry bacchanal that followed. We will note, however, that the drinking schedule prescribed by The 21st Century Drinkeris not to be undertaken by neophytes or puppies. Also, there were some artist types there. You know the kind.

On Friday, aside from our usual labors4, we hosted a charming soiree that was filled with all the best kinds of people, including Martin Wiscollof The Orange County Register, who was a font of joyous whimsy and was packed into a cab sometime after 1:30 a.m., having already hit two parties before our own. Also, cool cats from Shave and Bong Leach and the music-video program Notes From the Undergroundcame and ate lots of quiches each. Why? Because we're popular5.

We did some nekkid modeling for a famous figurative painter on Saturday and then got in a fight with Commie Mom6, but we're really good at economizing our fights with Commie Mom and were soon all happily eating mighty fine spaghetti and not fighting. Commie Mom is a good mom.

We sped from there to the Caged Chameleonin Santa Ana to check out the Victoriana of painter Daniel Du Plessis. It was good7, but we saw many fine young things walking past the gallery and toward Koo's Art Cafe, so we decided to meander over and feel really old8. But graffiti artist Seth Wilder9 was there, and he's at least as old as we are, so that's okay. But then the music started, and we got a headache and left.

We almost went home and rented a movie, having stumbled into a small rabbit hole of depression at Koo's, but then we checked our calendar and noted that famous drummer Stephen Hodgeshad invited us to the Blue Cafefor a fabulous Kid Ramos10 record-release party! We spied fabulous Mikey Fulmerspinning women throughout the capacity crowd and spent a good hour talking math with Phil Alvin, mathematician, Blaster and brother of our personal friendDave Alvin11. We took notes. Aside from the seven times he called us “illiterate,” this is what Phil said: “Bertrand Russell, blah, blah, blah, Voltaire, blah, Pythagorean Theorem, blah, Leonard Euhler, blah, Napoleon III, Everiste Galois, Homer, 1800 B.C., I know the theory of semantics as nobody else knows, blah, illiterate, “Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” blah, ontogyny recapitulates phylogony. You do know what 'recapitulates' means?” Then he explained to us why two-thirds of 94 is not the same as 94 minus one-third, which had always really bugged us. Apparently, we had been neglecting to distribute the “minus one-third” throughout the equation. Thanks, Phil Alvin!

On Sunday, we traveled to the Orange International Street Fair, where we scored a really good parking spot12. But even better than our fabulous parking spot—and even more fabulous than the big cuties working the Lutheran High Schoolbooth on “German Street”—was the band of old German guys in lederhosen singing “La Bamba.” Now that's Multiculturalism for the Millennium! Also, one of them had a really futuristic, computerized accordion. Cool!

All the usual tattooed suspects put in an appearance, as well as lots of old peeps and nice young families, and we're told that the food was spectacular, but the smoke from a thousand barbecues made us queasy. The only thing that made us sad was that the “international” street fair was woefully lacking in Africa, Asiaand Latin America. There were a couple of Arab-Americanbooths but a great preponderance of Switzerland. Switzerland is small! Africa is big! Come on, white people!

In the meantime, have a schnitzel.



1. It was as fabulous as a weekend can be without the love stylings of the Reverend Al Green, whose appearance at the Long Beach Blues Festsadly had to go off without us. We were busy.

2. Commie Girl is written on Mondays to meet a Tuesday printers' deadline. Tuesday's hangover could not be determined as of press time.

3. The term “working girl” is often used to connote “hooker.” You will kindly not take that meaning.

4. Friday's labors consisted of getting up at about noon; interviewing potential house cleaners; and buying some frozen quiches, cocktail fare that would double as our boy's Saturday breakfast. We may have written something that day, but we doubt it.

5. We are not as popular as Paul Frank. Nobody is.

6. Saturday's fight with Commie Mom was twofold: we are back on the cigarette, and we were prancing around nekkid for a famous figurative painter. However, we did not fight about whether our shoes were too racy, as has been an issue in the past.

7. See next week's art column.

8. The average patron at Koo's is approximately 16 years old. For a bunch of 16-year-olds, they have awfully good skin and an awful lot of neck tattoos. They look like very nice kids, and we have decided not to fear for the future. We have also decided to wear lots of silver in honor of the millennium, as silver is a very futuristic color, but the two things are completely unrelated. We've decided some other stuff, too, which we may add in to later footnotes if we can think of them.

9. Wilder gets really pissy if you call graffiti artists “taggers” because “taggers” connotes something negative. We are in a good mood today and will abide by his request. We love graffiti art. We also love tagging.

10. Ramos has ridiculously huge guns for a man of his size. Huge! His hair is also big, though not nearly as big as his biceps.

11. Dave Alvin is one of the premier singer/songwriters in the nation, as well as our personal friend. He will perform at the San Diego Street Scene on Saturday. You should probably go see him.

12. As we were pulling out, two cars almost crashed while trying to get into our spot. Neither of them would back down, and it likely came to fisticuffs. Men!

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