Tuesday, August 14, 2012


In chapter 33 of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (which, if you have not read, do do do!), a pedophile scare empties the streets such that ”[i]t was as if the Pied Piper had led all the children off to some mountain fastness.” I read this chapter today with a slightly kooky and very cool little kid, and we made note of that last word. I like it a lot. The OED’s first definition, the one Betty Smith is using, is

1 a secure place well protected by natural features: a remote Himalayan mountain fastness

Driving home, I decided not to cross the 405 (it was around 6:30pm – a lot of traffic) to do speed training at a UCLA track, but instead to head up into the Santa Monica mountains for an out-and-back on the Westridge fire road, an old standby. As I pulled into the lot at the trailhead, checking the time until sunset (plenty), another car slid in and parked alongside mine. A really attractive woman came out: very bright, open face and a compact, athletic body.

She took off down the trail ahead of me – I was futzing with headphones and Garmins – but I caught up to her about 1/3 of the way through, and we spent the whole run out trading the lead. We didn’t really acknowledge each other; if she was thinking what I was thinking, she may have been conscious of wanting to run her run and let me run mine. On uphills I’d generally overtake her, and on downhills I’d see her long shadow at my feet and then a moment later her tight steps would bring her alongside and then ahead of me. Then we’d hit another hill and I’d pull ahead again.

The thing was, this lady was very fast. So if I wanted to pull ahead of her on the next hill – which I did, for all of the reasons you are probably imagining – I couldn’t let her get out too far in front on the downhill. And pulling ahead of her on the ups was harder each time, although there my much longer legs (I had like ten inches on this amazing person) were a big help. The trail out ends with a stretch uphill and I put her pretty well behind me, thirty of forty seconds. I crested the top, having shaved about ten seconds off my standard splits for that part of the run – thanks to her.

I loitered, walking it off on the way to the water fountain. She came up behind, still running, and didn’t stop running as she cruised past – turned to me, definitely, and either smiled or winced into the setting sun in my direction – chugged to the water fountain thirty feet ahead, swept in for four seconds of drinking, then turned heel and came back, past me, and back down the mountain, gone. I smiled at her on the way back, but at that point it was just her and the trail.

I continued my humphing walk to the fountain, pleased about my time and the mountains and the sunset, grateful to the lady, and feeling a little happy-silly about whatever ideas I’d had about conversations resulting from the two of us cresting the mountain together. She’d be quarter-way to her car by the time I even started my way back.

I leaned down over the water fountain and soaked my hair and face, drank as much water as I comfortably could with the run down ahead of me. As I stood up I noticed the smudged word on my hand; when I want to remember a word, maybe to use it soon, I often write it on my hand on the same place at the bottom of my thumb.


I love living in Los Angeles, very much.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Stack (6)

The stack is not getting smaller. It's slowly, insidiously growing. I have this fantasy of a time when there'll be two weeks where I can just read and get this stuff put in my brain. I don't even subscribe to that many magazines! Three! The Economist, National Geographic, LA Magazine, The New Yorker, and Scientific American. Five. Five, not three. That is still not many.

Here's what got done in this totally futile quest to not have any unread physical materials in my home.

2 The New Yorkers (July 2, 2012 and June 18, 2012)
1 Los Angeles Magazine (the one about new bars)
1 The Economist Special Report (London)
Savage Dragon 180
X-Factor 240
The Walking Dead 100
Fables 119
BPRD Hell on Earth: The Devil's Engine 3 of 3
BPRD Hell on Earth: Exorcism 1 of 2
Fantastic Four 608

It feels like Hickman is going pretty conventional on Fantastic Four; I hope he reverses course.

I'm remain really glad to be reading X-Factor again. Peter David likes his characters a lot, and it is warming.

Some sad, sad stuff is going down in Fables.

Even sadder in The Walking Dead. I think Kirkman calibrated it very skillfully, killing a character important enough to warrant Issue #100 in a stomach-churning way (my stomach just twisted a little, thinking about) that really effectively and deliberately undercuts so much of what the story had been building. But also, he didn't go too crazy far -- he didn't quite throw it all out. It ruined my day, that comic. I'm still sad thinking about it, so I am going to stop.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Stack (5)

So, first a tactical/life-plan shift. I had been handling this "stack" like it mattered. This is a smart approach because: if you keep something, it better be for a reason. Otherwise don't keep it. And I choose to assume that I have a reason for keeping the few things I do. It is, however, a dumb approach because: you get into a thing where you think it matters if you read these things, or a certain volume of them in a given time, or something completely insane like that. I think I slipped ("slipped", at least; fell headlong) into that, with the stuff about getting through the stack by some date, etc.

So, this is the new stack philosophy:

- stay on top of The Economist, because that's your your main news source
- everything else is a shelf in your house that is there for your leisure and recreational reading time. When you do not need to/are maxed out with work, that's where you go. Otherwise, you have no obligation to it. That's a big shift. It may also mean the stack grows grows grows. We'll see.

Here's what I've read in the last whatever-since-that-other-update:

- 1 National Geographic
- 2 The New Yorkers
- 1 The Economist Technology Quarterly
- 3 The Economists
- 1 Wonder Woman TPB (Volume 2 of the collected George Perez run)
- 2 issues of X-Factor
- 2 issues of Secret
- 1 BPRD: Hell on Earth one-off ("The Transformation of J.H. O'Donnell")
- 1 issue of BPRD: Hell on Earth: The Devil's Engine
- 1 issue of Fables
- 1 issue of Elephantmen
- 1 issue of Fantastic Four
- 2 issues of The Walking Dead
- 2 issues of Savage Dragon
- also, Jesse Kellerman's Potboiler, which was very good

As usual, I really only want to talk here about comic books.

The Secret: good; Hickman is stylish and tight. I may not go on with it, but only because time is limited and there isn't yet a character I super care about. But it's good.
X-Factor: why did I stop reading this? It's silly and soap-opera-ish and ongoing episodic, but Peter David cares a lot about his character and a lot about dialogue. I'm resubscribing.
- The whole BPRD family of books continue to be just top-of-the-form good. The one-off was affecting: strange and sad.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mint Fail

I like using Mint, but you'd think a pretty simple algorithm could've changed the tone of this update.

But this obviously isn't even my account, btw. I'm not carrying low/no-interest credit card debt. That'd be crazy.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Stack (4)

Correct. This is still happening.

Here's the last month's progress. I think you'll agree that it represents a net gain.

- 4 The New Yorkers
- 3 Los Angeles magazines
- 3 The Economists (not a net gain; I know I know)
- 4 The Economist Special Reports (boom! there isn't even on in every issue)
- 1 Westways (shutup)
- 1 National Geographic map pullout about the East African Rift System and the great lakes therein
- 1 Fables
- 2 Fantastic Four
- 1 B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth
- 1 Chew
- 1 The Walking Dead
- 15 Elephantmen (the centerpiece of this entry. the "comic books" part of the stack is now essentially slain, with an incidental rump remaining that will be read sometime when I want a trippy mix of weird ish that I did not in fact buy but was sent as package filler or something)
- 4 Uncanny X-Men
- 3 Captain America & Bucky
- 1 Captain America & Hawkeye
- 1 Savage Dragon

Okay! So, as noted, the comic books part of this whole adventure is wrapping up. That's gratifying. We're actually almost to the point where I just have to read fifty-thousand Scientific Americans (and a small handful of National Geographics, but that's very pleasurable - oddly, I've fallen off on those as I'm catching up with The New Yorker: they seem to occupy the same mental space [pleasure; diverting; multi-interest] in my reading brain).

Two things to say here. One is that I just have no idea how much of this I'm freaking retaining. I'm leaning on the fact that - as I am occasionally able to demonstrate when called upon to do so - stuff like The Economist Special Reports does seem to give me some soft contextual framework for understanding a thing (developments in retail banking, for instance), so that even if a lot of it passes through some structures remain. I hope. That's actually all there is to say about that, although it's probably the central thing about the Stack reading, at this point.

The other is about Elephantmen, which is just a strange and ultimately very worthwhile comic book. Observations:
(1) The male gaze is narratively boring. It's just a tedium at this point to have a lot of naked ladies in a comic book with lots of clothed dudes.
(2) There's something racial/othering going on in Elephantmen that is kind of insane and intriguing. Basically, the "Elephantmen" are these genetically altered rhinos, elephants, etc. - i.e, they are African - who were soldiers and are now loose in human society in general. And a big issue is essentially that they are very virile and have big rhino penises and everyone's antsy about them being with human women. And the series goes hell and leather for this, with lots of stuff of nude sylph-y women draped over, like, a muscular rhino with his horn prominent in the image. It is super, super weird but I _think_ it is knowing. It's bizarre.
(3) There is a tremendous amount of narrative care in this series. It over and over shows you scenes from different angles, or drops a snippet into one story thread that integrates into another like three issues later. This level of (a) care and (b) faith in the reader's attention span and retention would be unusual in, say, an upmarket television show or film. I can't actually think of another comic book that does it so consistently or so well.
(4) Given the care, and the general high quality of the writing, there are these weird linguistic lapses where for one line a character will briefly talk as though English is not his/her first language. I assume it's a copy-editing issue.
(5) The sci-fi frame is pretty satisfying, and the ancillary material (stories in the same universe from other creators, etc.) tend to be good.

It's a crazy, adolescent, immature in some ways and mature in others, imaginative and cool series.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Stack (3)

Okay-doke, weeks behind schedule. But continuing, continuing. Here we go, completed since I last wrote on this interminable topic.

- Stick Fly, a play (a good play. I'd like to see it, although it is kind of one of those plays that perhaps, having read, you don't super need to see. But I don't mean that as a slight. It is very good; nice and tightly constructed and lived in and some good lines.)
- 1 issue of Westways magazine ("The Magazine for Auto Club Members"). note: Hey, slimbuttons, you complain all the time about not having time and the oppressive-ness of "the stack" piling up and all of that. But you spend time reading, or even perusing as you did here, stuff like this? Why? That makes no sense. note-response: Shut up. You are right. But actually I found a possible idea to pitch for a piece out of this, so shut up.
- 5 issues of Savage Dragon (173-178, minus #174)
- 6 issues of Captain America & Bucky (620-626)
- 5 issues of The Goon (35-39)
- 3 issues of The Walking Dead (95-97)
- 1 FF (17)
- 1 Fables (116)
- 1 BPRD, Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror (2 of 2)
- 1 BPRD, Hell on Earth: The Long Death (3 of 3)
- 3 New Yorkers
-2 The Economists

The things I have to say, such as they are.

The New Yorker is a really good magazine. I enjoyed a poem in the January 2012 edition by Eric Weinsten. I tend to like the non-fiction more than the fiction. Have I said that already? It's just a good magazine, very pleasurable. I'm going to stop talking about this now, I think.

The Goon is just phenomenal. Here's a thing about it. It is dirty and prurient and twisted and very incorrect and all of that. But it is also one of the best dramatically constructed books sold today, I think, in terms of both the freedom and discipline of its storytelling. Like the Dark Horse Hellboy stuff, the storytelling is just very very good, within each issue as well as between issues. It had a parody issue (39) I think, in which Powell attacks mainstream comics, which was very funny.

Which brings me to Captain America & Bucky. This s**t was risible; I'm upset that I spent money on it. The thing is, it almost worries me because it isn't storytelling. It's the idea of storytelling - this broadstrokes bullshit in which the idea of a character supplants a character and things don't have to happen or actually be, they just have to recollect or connect to ideas/things that the reader is aware exist in other stories (people fall in love, people care about their friends, people learn lessons). What worries me is people, particularly obviously kids, getting the idea that this is storytelling. It isn't, and that's upsetting because storytelling is a really really good thing. It's super fun and awesome, and also I suspect has some value with respect to sympathetic and empathetic abilities in other areas (but I don't know jack about that; I think this book, which I did not read nope, touches on it). It's rubbish, and while I would not be at all surprised if the creatives behind it made a really good faith effort with what they were given, whatever complex of market and editorial desire creates stuff like this is excretory marketing masquerading as narrative.

On the other end of the scale, Savage Dragon is really satisfying because it plays with "ideas/things that the reader is aware exist in other stories," but it does something with them. It exists in this kind of exaggeratedly comic booky world. I'm not sure if Erik Larsen means to do this or if it's just what he does, but either way it's awesome: there's a freedom and vitality to his unselfconscious joy in the silliness that makes the book really fine (even if it takes a minute to slip into). I really wish he'd give some female characters something better to do, though. This is maybe where the book's unselfconscious abandon would benefit from a self-conscious tweak.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Stack (2)

Progress pretty good. This is what the readstack for the last week looks like:

- 4 Economists (2 read fully - this and last week; others scavenged for relevancies/interests)
- 1 New Yorker
- 1 Los Angeles
- 13 comic books (Fables 113-115, Hellboy: The Fury 3 (of 3), BPRD: Hell on Earth: Monsters 2 (of 2), BPRD: Hell on Earth: Russia 1-5 (of 5), BPRD: Hell on Earth: The Long Death 1-2 (of 3), BPRD: Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horrors 1 (of 2))

I don't want to jinx anything, but at this rate I've got a shot at doing this thing. Takeaways for the week:

(1) Los Angeles is a much better magazine than one might expect. There's usually one or two things in it really worth reading; this issue was particularly good, with a lot about the Rodney King riots and a nice diverse set of voices discussing how race is lived in LA.

(2) Hellboy is the quintessence of that thing I was saying in the last Stack post about the difference that dynamic/good storytelling layout makes in comics. It's so pure and move-y: it just zooms you through, but without rushing. It helps that it tends to be light on words. I really like that. I respect Brian Michael Bendis and all his chatty stuff very much, but the purity of Hellboy really feels masterful, to me.

(3) BPRD usually has this very rough, primal art. And then this guy James Harren took over for The Long Death, and his art is very lush and rounded - very pretty, really (the blogspot link doesn't really speak to that). And it was a nice change - I like the art in all the Hellboy spinoffs, as noted above, but something in the warmth and charisma of having nice-looking images (even when grotesque; they may have hired him for this storyline because he does monsters-tearing-people-to-shreds really really well) made me feel very close to the story and the characters. It is also a particularly bad-ass storyline, even by BPRD's high standards.

Friday, April 13, 2012

"3D Printer Reaches Goal in One Day & A Gazan Breakdance Crew"

So, yes: this is a good subject line for an indiegogo email.

My 12-year-old self, what would he think? If we could skip the part about explaining to him what email is and all of that; if he were told that I would get communications with this kind of headline and think little of them. I think he'd be pretty impressed - not with his future-self, but with the world that guy was getting to live in. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Stack (1)

All posts about "The Stack" are about s**t that I have stacked around my apartment that I am going to destroy by reading, because that is ostensibly why I am keeping this freaking junk.

It's in two places: on my bookshelf and on my kitchen counter. I divided it according to some already-forgotten plan of attack to getting through it.
This is the total inventory:

 12 The New Yorkers [note: I had never read The New Yorker, then someone - I really don't know who - bought me a subscription and now it just shows up at my house. I really like it, as I always feared I would].
13 Scientific Americans
2 Los Angeles Magazines (note: thank you, GroupOn or LivingSocial or whatever)
2 Economist Special Reports (I have a two-week rule on holding onto full Economists; the Special Reports I keep)
3 National Geographics
7 Books
56 Comic Books, plus 1 trade paperback (a bunch of comic books bound together and sold as a book) 

I'm not going to enumerate the books and comic books except as I actually read them.

So the deal is this: I need to make progress on this, and eradicate it from my life. I like these things, but the concept of this "stack" has been hanging over me for literally years. It has to go away - it's a stupid concept. I just want to be reading things as I get them and as they come in. I think two months is a reasonable goal: today is April 8th. So that means June 8th this stuff is off the table, read, gone, in my brain (or not).

The thing is, this is totally hard and I am going to fail. I've repeatedly resolved to do this, and it requires these marathon reading sessions at the end of which I'm all scrambled. Like now; today I read like 11 issues of FF, 1/2 an Economist, and... something else. What the freak- yes, a couple chapters in one of the books. And actually the "stack" is a little misleading, because in order for the stack not grow I have to stay on top of the Economist. This is all incredibly, incredibly boring. I apologize.

So here's what I'm going to do (warning: this post does not get less boring). I am going to endeavor to read all of these things, and as I do so mark the passing of bits of the stack with feedback. This week (I'll do this weekly*), as I said, it was a lot of comic books.

Chew #s 23 and 24 were awesome. I don't have a lot to say about this - this series is just awesome, and the storylines are jangly.

FF there's more to say about. It's written by Jonathan Hickman, who wrote a bunch of crazy stuff that was very original, although I think I recall feeling it didn't totally work for me. But I like him on this book and Fantastic Four - he writes "weird" well and "smart" well, and has a good time with the space opera stuff. I read episodes 6 through whatever the latest is, like 13, and the experience was pretty much defined by the art. The thing that was striking was how important (I've had this thought a bunch lately) the layout and storyboarding is, in addition to the "art" (like, the drawings) itself. I got very little out of the storyboarding - conventional, basically 7-9 panels, chunka chunka chunka and as a consequence I was totally disliking the book: the story was fussy and gaudy and overwrought, I didn't care about any of the beats or the characters; I was writing it off. Then, in episode #12 this guy Juan Bobillo takes over, and everything changes. He breaks the story down into beats and moments (the story also, I think, gets a lot better: it reduces to a little-girl-and-her-grandpa-doing-futurescience-to-save-the-world storyline, which is great): someone turning to look at someone else, one page dedicated just to a wide view of a massive scene and then a single tight panel below, zooming in on the heroes. And all of a sudden I cared again. I don't know a lot about comics or art - I know nothing about art - but this strikes me over and over: that there's a mis-en-scene in comics as much as in anything else, and so much of the book's narrative success is wrapped up not just in story, dialogue, or how cool the pictures look, but in how the story is paced manifest on the page - it's like what directing, cinematography, and editing are to filmed entertainment, put together. And I think that Juan Bobillo's run, which was pretty polarizing, was a great example of what a difference good layout and storyboading makes.

* no, I won't. I'm calling that now: I will fail at doing this weekly.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

This is what accomplishment should look like

Well, one of the ways.
(credits: the game is Robotek; it's good.)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

I Knew I'd Forget Them

I had a wonderful run Saturday, doing a little over 10 miles up Sullivan Canyon and then along the ridge. Before the run, I'd locked the car and lashed my keys into my shoe before realizing I had on my sunglasses, which I didn't want to run with. I placed them on the rear wheel, thinking, "I know I'll forgot these."


(actually, I almost didn't! I totally remembered them as I was stretching, and was all proud of myself. And then forgot them five minutes later, when I got into the car and put it in motion.)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Matchsticks (2)

Okay honestly, I thought I had a lot more of these. Sorry.

Let's make the most of it!


In fact, I totally remember this. I've been to this place - or the branch of it in midtown Manhattan - a few times. This time, I'm deciding, was in 2004. My drama school classmates and I, after our ultimately fruitless "showcase" for NYC agents and casting directors (I got, I think, one desultory semi-interested call that went nowhere) needed a nice place to celebrate (if that's the right word). I believe I was actually instrumental in suggesting the location; it was a little pricey and upscale, but people were ready to indulge and it worked. My main memory is of my red-haired friend D. enjoy the sort-of-sophistication, and then my friend B.C. getting scarily, passing-out outside drunk. After that actually happened - she was standing on the little landing outside the place, and she passed out for a second, eyes rolling back in her head - I took her back to her hotel and passed her off to her mom, who seemed grateful, but also like she had the situation very firmly in hand and my presence was no longer required (not unfriendly at all, just: my work was done).

Bar Eclipse

Okay, so there is one of these in Rio de Janeiro (I cheated: internets). Its logo is similar to this one if want it to be. And I have been to Rio, so let's go with that. I suspect this is actually a mis-identification, that these matches are from somewhere else entirely perhaps in Manhattan or ANYWAY I WAS IN RIO in the summer of 2001. My friend F. - God rest his soul, I love and miss you, brother - had taken a few of us on a trip: his father was generously hosting us in Rio and Sao Paolo (where he'd recently moved for work). And we did spend a couple of nights going out, perhaps to Bar Eclipse (there is no way these matches came from here). I remember vague kind of open-air clubs, almost tents in lots with protective covering above, white plastic or fabric; dance-floor and music and crowds no claustrophobia; drinking a ton: resolving to a routine of 2 glasses of water to 1 drink, and waking up amazed the following morning without a hangover. I did not make out with any girls. I was semi-kinda starting to date someone at the time so this was I suppose ostensibly a good thing, but let's be honest: it was pretty disappointing to spend like 3 weeks in Brazil on holiday right after graduating college and not make out with any girls.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Zoe Why?"

So, I was writing this song inspired by the first season of the BBC show, Luther, and it was just a casual thing, but then my friend CP insisted that it was the best song he had ever heard, ever, so I'm sharing it with the world. Or the five people who ever find their way to this site.

WARNING: SPOILERS re: Luther, Season One.

Also, I'm not certain that other dude's name was Mark(c?). But I think so.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Dubai Mall Courtesy Card

They give you this, at the information station there. 

The first request is notably flouted by, in my observation, a host of young eastern European women whose shoulders and knees looked pretty visible.

The Mall is amazing; go if you can. There’s an aquarium big enough to scuba in, a re-creation of the Bellagio fountain that’s kind of bigger and better, and it's all… forgive me I’ll just say the thing I always say in conversation about it: you know that scene in a sci-fi movie that’s like a trading outpost or a cantina, where they sort of ostentatiously show you all the kinds of aliens that reside in this sci-fi universe? The Dubai Mall felt like that, for people. A Wall Street Banker, a Kazakh family, an Indian family, a Chinese tourgroup, a London banker, some randoms like me and P. to whom I still must write.

Matchboxes (1)


I am going through matchboxes that I have kept for years and writing what I remember about them. I am doing this because I have a hellaciously bad cold and am kind of delirious and can’t seem to concentrate long enough to do any real work. It may be a stupid idea. Whatever; no one’s forcing you to be here.

The Grove: Bar & Restaurant

This place is in London. In Hammersmith. I associate it with vague disappointment; I think it’s one of those corporate-y pubs with not-very good food and sort of an overly open, Borders-books-ish ambiance. Maybe not. That’s pretty much what I’ve got. But I associate that feeling with these pubs often; like hoping that they’d be warm and sustaining respites from the cold, and finding only overpriced crisps and alcohol.

That makes it sound like I found London cold and lonely. Totally inaccurate. Anyway moving forward.

57 Jermyn Street

Also London. I am resisting the impulse to Google any of these, working totally from memory. Such as it is. I THINK that this is some kind of members-club dining-club place, where you go down a flight of stairs to a subterranean bar/club. A friend of mine worked here and got us in in small groups in my later days in London and perhaps on some subsequent visits there. I liked it, although one time I was there and kind of tired and it was way too loud.

192: Wine Bar & Restaurant

Okay! I remember this. I ate here once, with my friend L. It was upscale, north of Notting Hill Road I think, and it had these nice very London candelabras outside, like torches burning in the night. It was pretty good food actually I don’t remember the freaking food at all, but I remember a nice uncluttered room and a good conversation, I think me and L. were both having a hard time and had stuff to talk about, and…yeah. Good spot. Hope it’s still there; guess I’ll see.

Met Bar

Ah. Okay, my lovely and wonderful then-girlfriend V. worked here. She was a waitress. I remember once picking her up from work from here and we were going to Nobu and she was wearing a short-ish skirt and did a hop-skip of excitement to see me and go to the dinner and it was like the cutest thing I’d ever seen. W/r/t Met Bar, we were about a decade late to the party- it still had some cache, but I think it was really in the 90s that it was like all Gallaghers and what what. But I had some really nice times there; it’s a plain little dark room, off to the side of the lobby of the Metropolitan Hotel. I think I found the drinks fine, although I really wouldn’t have known. I took my parents once, and I think they had a surprisingly good time – it wasn’t such a loud bar, and the atmosphere was certainly not sedate but wasn’t too intense. I remember being surprised by how okay a time they had, and appreciate V.’s impulse to have us come. I think she might’ve also stuck some high-rollers with a few of our drinks. Don’t tell.


This is apparently a place in the world where I once was. Honestly, I have no freaking idea.

Notting Hill Brasserie

Uh oh. Okay, I’m pretty sure that actually everything I wrote about that place “192” belongs to this place; no no wait darn it. Hold on, just hold on. No google. Okay, they were on Kensington Park Road. Nice road. And they were both warm and had good food – I think I have both of these associations, maybe? I think that yes I think that this place was the place I thought “192” was, and “192” was a place I went on a later trip with that same lovely friend L., possibly also for an intense conversation about the tough time we both were having.

In front of this place – whichever it was, the one with the torches outside – I also demonstrated a butterfly block for my friend A., making a point about the elegance of karate, in a way that I think we both found pretty satisfying.


Hoo ho. Okay. Well, this is easy. Easy peazy. Lemon squeazy. This place was opened with the art/design/money/name help of that famous artist who did all the auctions and who puts cows in formaldehyde. It was mostly considered, I think, silly and overpriced. It was a few blocks from my house in Notting Hill, where I lived my first year in England. Highlights include: doing a Brooklyn/Bronx accent (did this really happen? Are you kidding me?) for N. before our disastrous semi-dating experience. I think she wanted to hear the accent, and didn’t realize how unqualified I was. Or something. Anyhoo. More really: getting pretty upset about 9/11 sitting here with V.; it was early days, so I’m not sure how we got into it, but we got into it and I got all upset. I’d been drinking, also. But yeah, I do get upset about that, so that one makes sense. And having a nice “sophisticated” dinner here with my friend A. (different A., although from the same ridiculous posh British boarding school)-  a dude-dinner we’d planned for some time, away from the hustle and hurly-burly of drama school machinations, to enjoy fine fare and elevated conversation. Or something- I think we had something like that in mind. It was nice! I like A.; good guy.

I think it’s closed, since. Not shocking. It was kind of hollow, as a place; no heart.

Langan’s Brasserie

This place, according to its matchbox, is in Stratton Greet, Piccadilly. Other than that, I can tell you nothing about it.