05-Dec-99

First entry in the journal. Naturally, the wit and wisdom planned for this page have been  devoured by the energy necessary to be designing a website. Just so you  know. Lately, I have been rehearsing Aeschylus' 'Agamemnon',  directed by local avant garde whiz kid, Mikhail Marmarinos. I play the doomed king his own bad self. I am playing Ag. in English, unlike the rest of the cast who play a new translation of the ancient greek. In addition to acting, we have incorporated a live performance of several Tuxedomoon tunes from 'The Ghost Sonata' into Ag's scene. He arrives back from Troy, having kicked their butts good with the old horse gag, and the first thing he does for the assembled folk of Argos is get out his old 5-string electric fiddle and play 'Ghost Sonata', 'Egypt', 'Jinx' and 'Music Number 2'. So, we are rehearsing all the time. It is amazing how much time and energy the theatre takes up. I hardly had the energy to sew and hang the leopard print curtains in my bedroom, but I did it all the same. I also acquired a blinking jesus. Yes, I passed a street salesman after coming out of the Metro station (we have one metro line here in athens). He was selling religious pictures, outlined in blinking red LED's. This is without doubt the tackiest thing I have ever seen and I have a lot of tack around. This will have to do for the first entry. Wade through these pages in good health
  Dec. 9, 1999
  Still fooling around with the website. Took the day to mop the floor, do laundry. Put up a clothes hook. whoopee.

12/12/99

Working on this particular page to the exclusion of all else. Obsession is a strange phenomenon. I have been trying fruitlessly to put a scrolling window here for the journal, but I can't make it work. I have learned quite a bit about FTP. How exciting, I hear you say. Now it is 3 in the morning and I must rise and be Agamemnon. Good night,

11:17 AM 17-Dec-99
  I just got in from a' DJin' at a local watering hole. I like this DJ thing. Play cd's and get paid for it. Not quite as good as the radio, but it is fun expressing oneself by means of other people's music. The usual eclectic mix, all up and down and around the musical globe. I played some 'Bollywood' soundtrack music which I am liking muchly lately. Of course, there is the usual lounge electro stuff which I also like muchly and lots of britpop Bowie type stuff which really get me goin'. Barry White. Pizzicato 5. Barry Adamson. Plenty o' Blaine and a bit of Tuxmoon. I personally hate how dj's have taken over the musician lexicon. they have no fucking right calling their bit on the podium a 'set' or the job of the night a 'gig' or really to say they have 'played'. I think the public there appreciated the sort of stuff I played. I gots lots o' weirdness and they don't usually get that in their sort of bar.

        I AM A DJ, I AM WHAT I  PLAY 
	CAN'T TURN AROUND NO, CAN'T TURN AROUND'

Whoa, glad Bowie got over whatever was troubling him when he thought this was worth writing down and singing. I must sleep.


   'OOH, I HAVE A GIRL OUT THERE. 
   I GUESS SHE'S DANCING...
   what do I know?'
catchy tune. caint get it outta my haid. Just about all of the musos I know, or lots of them anyway have had to at least come to terms with DJism. Peter, me, Sammy Birnbach from Minimal Compact, Lots of guys, Boy George, fer chrissake. Nice work if you kin git it, actually. Also, this morn. I got an e-mail from 'elvis' the propietor of the Heathen World page. He knows about Tuxmo, he will link to my site. This is a first. I am pleased. More to come, oh gentle, tender, succulent reader mine. If you truly exist.

08:11 PM 20-Dec-99
Christmas is comin' to Athens. You know, the Greeks do Christmas up brown. They have all the lights blinking away, they are milling in their hordes downtown, traffic is a real pig because shops are open continuously (unlike the rest of the year). On the warm side, like Xmas in L.A., just a bit colder. There is a giant tree made of lights downtown in Syntagma square. What else? Oh yes, on the day, children come to one's door in shifts singing one song, unknown to those of us raised in the Charles Dickens and Coca Cola Santa Claus culture in America or England, or those who have taken our myth on. They do a peremptory rendition of the tune in question and then expect to be given money. Then, at the end of the day, they pool their takings and buy a prostitute or some crack. Beats hell out of 'trick or treat'. I have started to use the british quotation marks or 'inverted commas' because I have discovered that FTP reads quotes as instructions to do something or other and it gums up the works on the site. If anyone actually reads this, tell me a better way to do a journal than working up the entries on a text editor and then uploading them to the site via FTP server. I ain't got it sussed. More on Xmas in Greece next time I feel like it.


08:11 31-Dec-99
Today a taxi driver was ready to punch me. I was riding home from rehearsal with one of the Klytemnestras,(there have been 5 so far in Agamemnon) a friend of mine from Nick's films named Michelle, trying to get a taxi back here from the Metro. Needless to say, no one would go. We found a guy who seemed willing, got in, and Michelle and Cheetah argued for a while about the relative merits of taking us home (she actually lives out here too!). We gave up, got out into the rain, and she shut the door a little harder than she perhaps should have. I called him a dickhead. I doubt he understood. This got that simian dander up and he got out and started pushing her around. Ever the gentleman, I inserted my body between them at which point he decided calmly, ever so rationally that what was in order was a session of "Grab Blaine and shove him around." He enthusiastically began to engage in this activity. In dealing with wild animal attacks, I have long since decided the best thing is to show no fear, but make no sudden moves. This basically saved me from a punch in the face. At one point, I swear to god, he puffed out his chest and began to attempt a round of chest banging. Holy Jaysus. I just told him in English to "Get the fuck away from me. Give it up." Of course, he pondered this notion carefully and rejected it on its relative ethical and philosophical merits as the weaker of two hypotheses. There was that of Cheetah the reptile brain creature which said "ME KEEL YOU!" and that of the thoughtful heir to Plato who is no doubt struggling to get out and propel him along his destined career as a great thinker. He was no doubt prevented from becoming another fine exponent of the great civilization which flourishes yet in this cultural wonderland by circumstances beyond his control and forced at gunpoint to take people places in return for monetary remuneration. Alas. Now I am listening to TV themes from the 60's. At the moment, I am hearing the theme from "Dark Shadows", just heard the Odd Couple, and a tune I have always hummed to myself for reasons known only to my psyche, the theme to The Lawrence Welk Show. This is gospel. I start humming this tune without realizing it as I sweep the floor, do laundry, brush my teeth. I found a website with TV theme MIDI files. I ain't gonna tell you where it is, it's for me. Rehearsal soon, play starts on Thursday Jan. 6. Come on down.

15:40 11-Jan-00
Once again, dear friends we come up against the inadequacy of words. Perhaps it is laziness. I had a poetry teacher who denied the phrase "words cannot describe". He thought that words could describe anything with the proper effort. He was a dickhead. He wore a medallion that looked like a turquoise saucer. He had a goatee. Whoo. The event that defies verbalization took place on January 1st, 2000. I walked outside onto the balcony of my friend's apartment which has a splendid view of this grungehole of a town. Lo and behold, I was struck by an epiphany, a satori. I saw the whole place made new and strange by the fact that absolutely everything I saw was now contained within the magic zone called 'THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY'. This is the time I had come to anticipate as an article of faith as a better, glossier, speedier altogether MODERN time, fed by Disney and years of Science Fiction. All of those 'cars of the future', all of those movies with people wearing pointy shouldered silver jumpsuits. And here it was. I was dumbstruck, folks. I felt what the Bible means when Christ says 'Behold, I make all things new...' So here we all are. Welcome to the twenty first century. We should print T-shirts that say 'I Survived the Twentieth Century'. Think of how many didn't. I am not speaking of those whom death took in their sleep. I am speaking of all the new and nasty ways to die this last century brought us. Of course, there was also Picasso, Dali, Stravinsky, Bartok, David Bowie, Elvis Presley and so on and so on and so on.... That is a given. Good bye twentieth century. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. Come again when you can't stay so long.


Thursday 20 January 2000

Last night we (the cast of Agamemnon) all went out to eat again. That's 3 times so far in a year. We are starting to have some kind of social life. There are places near the central meat market that are open all night and serve meat and more meat. I ain't complaining. La specialite du maison is a soup called "Patsas" like Mexican menudo, tripe, cow stomach. It is popular with drunk people and they go there at 5 am after a hard night's drinking. I have had it before, so I passed. The greeks, as do the Mexicans, believe that tripe is good for the stomach. (it is stomach. How homeopathic of them). I saw a friend of mine, a photographer named Cleopatra on the street earlier and we rode the bus together. The taxis are on strike, God bless their pointy little simian heads. I didn't know this when I set out for the theatre, thus it took me two hours to get to the theatre. No car in this town makes you an insect. Whee. It is so nice to see someone you know and like on the street in a citythis big and strange. It made everything so much nicer. My usual bitchy "I hate all you fucking greeks" inner monologue was shut up and I felt good. I therefore played and acted well tonight in spite of the fact that it took 2 hours and 4 transfers from bus to bus to trolley (electric bus like san francisco) to the Metro (the one line. The rest of the metro is supposed to open later this month. One other line at least. Wow! That only took 15 years. All financed by EU grants to try and bring poorer members up to standard. The greeks and the portugese (the poor relations of the EU) live for those EU grants from Germany,France, England, everywhere else with more money. Most of the money finds its way into politicians' pockets, believe me. The area around the meat market is actually great. It is old and very very prole. I hope they don't globalize everything and make it look like America. Once down there I saw a wino with his pants on fire. He was sitting over a fire in a cardboard box to keep warm. He just caught fire. He didn't care. He continued shouting abuse at invisible enemies in between swigs from his handy wino size bottle of whatever it is they drink. I think retsina is still popular with the winos here. I could be mistaken. It is for sale at all the periptera, the ubiquitous kiosks that line the sidewalks here and make life possible outside the arcane and stupid opening hours of the shops here. An enormous fat prostitute bought a bottle of water from said kiosk and put him out.

What a sight on a cold winter's night. 
      Right out of Fellini.


Enough of my yakkin'

Sunday, 23 Jan. 2000
(from an e-mail to Lee Self, fellow Elvisian ambassador)


Yo lee, in the wind, bro, 
     
Yeah, I am a biker now. I am an easy rider. Gots muh motorcyle helment, muh motorcycle gloves, muh peed pants to testify to the fear. It is quick though, we get back here in about 15 minutes after work and there in a half hour as opposed to the 2 hour hellride back on the bus or smelly bouzouki infested apeman taxi rides. We are talking about a real motorcy---kuhl. (remember arlo gurthrie song, dumb one
 

        i don' wanna die 
        jus' wann ride my motor sigh........ 
        kuhl.
I am in the wind with Panos the keyboard player from the show. He is a good guy, a bit serious. His pose can be bypassed by careful applications of guido humor. Dresses in black. So do I for that matter. The motorcy in question is fairly dangerous looking. It ain't all that powerful but it's designed to look like Satan's own ride, Jap model called "THE ELIMINATOR" BLACK, of course. A goth bike. Makes me feel so relaxed. He is also a good and inventive keyboard player. We have jammed a couple of times. He has a Trinity...he po like me. One guy who looks at my gear and drools with envy. Wow. Most tecchie guys, as you know, turn up the nose at my old fussy cranky stuff. The sound system for the show consists of two guitar amps, one for the keyboards, one for my fiddle and voice. I have the microphone gated all to hell and back because the room is as live as Milano central station and feedback is my enemy. I am using my gear fussy, cranky etc., and getting a good sound is no small task. Gots my old compressor limiter, an Akai mini rack thing and my Roland mini rack echo pitch shifter and my BOSS pedal reverb for the voice. I admit there is a pride in doing good sound working against the limitations of cheap gear. A garage prole reverse snob pride. "WE DON' NEED NO STEENKING PA SYSTEM, MOTHAFUCKAH!!!!"
 

Last night was Saturday night, a big big deal in this town. I went out with Panos (whom I call 'the motorcyle boy' or Sri Guru Easy Rider since he teaches me how to sit on a bike without falling off). We went to a bar called 'DARK STAR" frequented by people who wear black. People with many body piercings, where they play 'dark wave' music. It was most amusing. I actually felt I belonged there. I am looked upon here as a sort of elder statesman by these people anyway. The women are amazing young gorgeous things dressed in skintight black SM gear and dog collars and all of that, trying to look hazardous. As I have told you, this country is blessed with copious quantities of gorgeous young females all tight and fresh and capable of inducing seizures of lust in an old git like me. I was always a sucker for vampire looking women, even back in the punk days, hell especially in the punk days. Lest we forget, JJ's original image was pretty punky when we met. But Morticia lookalikes always got me going. Of course this is morticia after she's been to Frederick's of Hollywood. I went there thinking how tired I was of sexual overindulgence and I was too fried to look on women with lust then we got there. Jesus. These women just dance standing in place all skin tight and blacksheathed and gorgeously aloof...
   
         
      drool, slobber 
           pant pant pant..........

Great free entertainment. Why pay stripper club prices when they's little goth women a' dancin' fer free, jus a wigglin' and a twisting and writhing all leather and etc.....calm down big boy. Ain't yore wang done landed you in enough mess awreddy? This is where Panos the motorcycle boy likes to hang. His money is no good there, drinks are on the house. Since I only ever drink club soda at bars (no diet coke ever, I'm a cheap date. Got to know the bartendress who is also gorgeous, was wearing a Pink wig, glitter eyes, rubber teddy over long black dress. Arggh.......


     'Saturday night's all right all right all right
      woo ooo ooo ooo ooo....'
                         
                      reg. dwight


Thurs. 27 Jan., 2000
   
         Here is a message from Steven Brown about Cuba.
         I am posting the whole thing, just because I think
         y'all might want to know about America's favorite
         longterm enemy.

   Subject: cuba
   Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 08:42:18 -0800 (PST)
   From: "Steven A. Brown" 
     To:  b.reininger@bigfoot.com

Blaine

    Hello there!
Ive just returned from La Havana. Ive never had any desire to go to Cuba and now...I cant wait to go back. It was truly a revolutionary experience!! Its a fairy tale city by a fairy tale sea..Havana is hands down one of the most beautiful Ive ever seen. Youre transported back in time and space to a city of NO traffic and No stores (practically)..a void most westerners try to fill with work and BUying things is here left wide-open and inviting. Walking through old Havana is like walking through a more beautiful Mexico city(centro historico) 50 years ago...or something out of 1001 nights or Pasolini's Roma or...... Sexy socialism hangs heavy in the air here. A man walking down the street making the briefest eye-contact with a woman will soon literally be assaulted by her. She will lock this drop dead stare onto him and just walk right into him on the street. Its practically the same (or can be) for 2 men!!! Cuba is a socialist country and it seems to me it always has been...long before Fidel and co. The people are very social in a way Ive never seen anywhere. Fidel aprovecho de una situacion ya existente but he was a book-learned socialist and imposed a socialist government on what was already a socialist culture. This is basically a Carribean culture of calm, endemic to the region; at times I was reminded of New Orleans. Cubans get free food, free rent and free medical.And thats all there is. Everyone makes the same salary of about 10usd a month. For the rest you have to use your head cause there's nothing you can buy to lose it...people who wanted that moved to Miami. People told us to bring gifts..soap..toothpaste..chocolate..clothing.. This was too abstract for me; Toothpaste? I mean if someone is depending on the odd encounter with a stranger in order to brush or bathe..?! there ARE alternatives to these items we take for granted and I couldnt believe in the course of their lifetime people hadnt found them. I did bring chocolate. I soon realized the truth of the situation; you want to give gifts to practically everyone you meet. Because they are such fine people they make you feel fine and you want to give in order to receive more from them. The book Mount Analogue is about a mountain that is invisible but according to calculations made by various savants simply must exist. Cuba is like that; only 2and 1/2 hours from Mexico City but so much farther in time and space so much farther. Once upon a time there was a revolution here and a new make-belive world was created. And when youre there you want desperately to believe in that world. We are mixing what we recorded there in famous EGREN studios ..should be done in about 2 weeks.


all for now
your faithful correspondent
st

         
         And that's all she wrote.


Saturday 5 Feb. 2000

Oh, faithful, dear, tender, succulent, what are you wearing, I wanna suck your toes in leather socks reader of mine. The fact is that my living situation is about to change fairly drastically. I have had the rug pulled out from under me by my (sponsor? Patron? Manager? Leech?) and been summarily given my walking papers. I must be out of this apartment by March with almost no notice. This left me somewhat befuddled. Many things will change. The refuge of the moment is at the casa of the mother-to-be of my child, a local artist named Athena.(if you didn't know this already, surprise.) Said child is now in the oven for lo, these last 4 months and is a boy child. Things are in major upheaval once again for this working boy. In the meantime I am hitting the boards nightly in the play Agamemnon. Things could be worse.


        Agamemnon is set to go to Caracas, Venezuela
        at the end of March! Whoa. Venezuela, get ready
        for the Mexican American King of Greece and his fiddle 
        with a whole load o' Greeks.
Back to personal stuff, Athena lets me drive her car in spite of the fact that I have no license, feeds me, will help me to get over in this burg. Taking refuge with Athena means I can live like a human instead of a scurrying insect as I have been doing since I arrived here. I have been driving myself to the theatre every night. I took some of the company out for souvlaki in the car last night, I drove Panigiotis, the keyboard player home and I took immense pleasure in that. I have been cruising down the streets which become blessedly empty around the time I get out of the play with the stereo up loud, listening to the Beatles, Bowie, my faves, singing along loud, sucking on a coke, sucking on a cig, feeling like something considerably less than a victim. I have never had this simple pleasure in my adult life. I have never had a car with a stereo in it. Imagine that. I have never driven down the road with no particular destination listening to music of my choice. Never until a few days ago. I have been eating regularly. I have been sleeping. I have been waking up elsewhere than this apartment out in the boondocks which is in many ways a shrine to the life I led with JJ, frozen in time, awaiting her return. I have decided and those around me who actually love me (there are many, in spite of my refusal to see it) have advised me that I AM ALLOWED TO FEEL ALL RIGHT. I am not constrained to mourn forever, to accept the scraps from someone else's table because that is what I deserve for letting JJ die. I am alive. I want to stay alive. Fed up with being dependent, misinformed, ignored, left to my own devices in a strange place by stranger people. I close this chapter of bitterness behind me.
The sun shines bright on my old Halandri home. We persist. It never ceases to amaze me what resilient creatures we are.
On another note, I rode the long-awaited Athens Metro. More on this later, for the time being, suffice to say that it looks like any metro anywhere in Europe and doesn't go many places yet. We reserve judgement. It is useful to those who live near it, otherwise you still stuck wit y'all's cars, fokes.

February 18, 2000

I think I finally have a 'frames' version of this journal up and running. Whoo. That only took about a month to get. You probably can't even read it? Why bother? I have been in touch with Harpeaud Crapaud about starting a course at the Harpeaud Crapaud University. I will most likely call myself 'His Holiness Sri Caffananda Gwee Doh Rinpoche. Why the hell not? One definition of 'camp' has it that campness is 'treating the marginal with extreme seriousness' or something like that. The marginal is everything, ah figgers. Post Modernism, (ugh ugh ugh, sorry to use that overused term) is mostly about the emptiness of just about everything. Unlike Modernism which reacted to alienation with an iron dream, PoMo laughs in the face of all the expired systems which promised to deliver the kingdom (religion, politics, TV, other stuff that John Lennon didn't believe in--I don't believe in Elvis (ba dum dum dum DUMMMMM)...you know. If you don't, get outta here.


Tuesday, 29 February 2000

Dear Barbie's Dreamhouse Diary,

Well, it looks like Ken's gone off with G.I. Joe (Actionman for English readers). I just couldnt' compete with that Kung Fu Grip. Ah, well, I never really liked guys with teddy bear plush instead of hair. Also, between you and me, he wasn't exactly "up to snuff down there" if you know what I mean....tee hee hee...
Oh faithful reader, tender, lean, bathed in his or her own juices, simmered over a slow flame until mouth-wateringly juicy reader....
Much has transpired for your working boy since last he entered anything in these pages. The thing is, ol' Guido is about to get hitched, married, entering the sacred bonds of holy matrimony. As you will recall from an earlier entry, the infant spawn of the author of this screed is about to enter the rich tapestry of being, to become a piece in the cosmic game, the "Lila Rasa", the divine sport...in short, unto us a child is born.

From a field report of Xy^78fartos##:


On 33 Quizax, Fring yellow arg arg floog (smell of ozone) by our calendar, Thursday next, March 9, 2000, as linear time is marked here, (never taking the "z axis" of the 11 dimensional time keys into account!) a tribal ritual will take place in the shrine of the local version of the dying god archetype, a certain "Christos" or "Jaysus". Said ritual will include such activities as the holding of crowns over heads, much modulation of sound energy ("singing"), burning of fragrant resins and many other curious behaviors, many of which require the exchange of paper certificates symbolizing time and energy. Great numbers of these certificates will pass from the frontal appendages of the group of beings under observation to other groups of beings who devote their entire time and energy to the conducting of such rituals. Among these other groups are those devoted to the fabrication of textile-based body wrappers which provide both protection from the hostile environment of this planet and ritual decoration of the body. Other such groups fabricate and deploy long chain carbon based polymers which are ingested by these beings through a dedicated frontal orifice which is the system input and the first step in the process by which the "proteins" and "sugars" are converted to more rudimentary chemical substances used to maintain and rebuild the component modules of the organism.
Upon completion of the ritual, the male and female pair of the species here residing are then given social license to interact in a sexual manner freely, either with an eye towards further reproduction or in order to entertain one another when electronically generated stimulus proves inadequate. In a subsequent ritual, other members of the "couple's" tribal, social and/or economic aggregate are called upon to indulge in rhythmic contortion of the entire organism, to ingest greater or larger quantities of fermented vegetable extracts which so alter the somatic systems of these beings as to induce significant changes in the primitive electro-chemical means by which information is processed. The warping of information processing induced by the ingestion of these substances forms the basis of an earlier report by this unit (see "Alcoholics Anonymous, Zombie Death Cult or Twelve Steps to Paradise?" by xy^78fartos##). As ever, oh Grand Sworteeler of the 99 Yagsmobls'qa, I shall keep you posted upon the progress of the subject under observation, the Gwee Doh, or Reininger unit, and will give you timely notice when I shall undertake his termination and preservation for consumption on the home world.

yours,

xy^78fartos## (field agent for Ignatz 3, Sector yigyig (smell of broken sport socks)

 
 



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