Being the Journal of Abigail Von Normal,
Emergency Back-up Mistress of the Greater Bay Area Night
The city of San Francisco is being stalked by a huge, shaved vampyre cat named Chet, and only I, Abby Normal, emergency back-up mistress of the greater Bay Area night, and my manga-haired love monkey, Foo Dog, stand between the ravenous monster and a bloody massacre of the general public. Which isn’t, like, as bad as it sounds, because the general public kind of sucks ass.
Still, I think that this battle of dark powers, the maintenance of my steamy, forbidden romance, the torturous break-in of a new pair of red vinyl, thigh-high Skankenstein platform boots, as well as the daily application of complex eye make-up and whatnot, totally justify my flunking Biology 102, (Introduction to Mutilation of Preserved Marmot Cadavers, with Mr. Snavely, who totally has his way with the marmots when no one is around, I have it on good authority.) But try to tell that to the mother unit, who deserves this despair and disappointment for cursing me with her tainted and small-boobed DNA.
Allow me to catch you up, S‘il vous plait. Pay attention, bitches, there will be a test.
Three lifetimes ago, or maybe it was like last semester, because like the song says, “time is like a river of slippery excretions when you’re in love” — anyway — during winter break, Jared and I were in Walgreens looking for hypo-allergenic eye make-up when we encountered the beautiful, red-headed Countess Jody and her consort of blood, my Dark Lord, the vampire Flood, who was totally disguised in jeans and flannel as a loser.
And I was all, “Nosferatu.” Whispered to Jared like a night wind through dead trees.
And Jared was all, “No way, you sad, deluded, little slut.”
And I was all, “Shut your fetid penis port, you spunk-breathed poseur.” Which he took as a compliment, so that’s how I meant it, because while Jared is deeply gay, he’s never really gayed anyone up, except maybe his pet rat, Lucifer. Strictly speaking, I think Jared would be considered a rodentsexual, if not for the difficult geometry of the relationship.( See, size does matter!)
Note to self: I should totally set Jared up with Mr. Snavely and they can talk about squirrel-shagging and whatnot and maybe I won’t have to repeat Bio 102.
Anyway, Jared is a fitting support player in the tragedy that is my life, as he dresses dismal chic and excels at brooding, self-loathing, and allergies to beauty products. I’ve tried to talk him into going pro.
‘Kayso, the vampire Flood had me meet him at a club, where I offered up myself to his dark desires, which he totally rejected because of his eternal love of the Countess. So he bought me a cappuccino instead and appointed me to be their official minion. It is the duty of the minion to rent apartments, do laundry, and bring the masters a sack with a tasty kid in it, although I never did that last part because the masters don’t like kids.
‘Kayso, the vampire Flood gave me money and I rented a très cool loft in the SOMA (which is widely accepted to be the best hood for vampires because there’s mostly new buildings and no one would suspect ancient creatures of purest evil to hang out there). But it turns out was like half a block from the très cool loft in the SOMA that they already lived in. ‘Kayso, when I take the key to them, hoping they will bestow the dark gift of immortality upon me, this limo full of wasted college-age guys and a painted blue ho with ginormous fake boobs pull up. And they’re all, “Where is Flood. We need to talk to Flood. And let us in,” and other demanding shit. And I’m all, “No way, step off Smurfett. There’s no one named Flood here.”
I know! I was all, Oh-my-fucking-zombie-jebus-on-a-pogo-stick! She was blue!
And I’m not racist, so shut up. She clearly had self-esteem issues which she compensated for with giant fake boobs, slutty blue body-paint, and doing a carload full of stoners for money. I’m not judging her by the color of her skin. Everyone copes. When I got braces I went through a Hello Kitty phase that lasted well into my fifteens, and Jared maintains that I am still perky at heart, which is not true. I am simply complex. But more about the blue hooker later, because right then the Asian guy looks at his watch and says, “Too late, it’s sunset.” And they drove off. Which is when I opened the door into the stairwell to the loft and was confronted by Chet, the huge shaved vampire cat. (Except, at the time, I didn’t know his name, and he was wearing a red sweater, so I didn’t know he was shaved, and he wasn’t a vampyre yet. But huge.)
So I’m all, “Hey, kitty, go away.” And he did, leaving only William, the huge shaved cat homeless guy, lying on the steps. I thought he was dead, because of the smell, but it turns out he was only passed out from alcohol and partially drained of blood and stuff. But I’m pretty sure he’s dead now because, later, Foo and I found his stank-ass clothes on the steps of the loft, full of the grey dust that people turn to when a vampire drains them.
So upstairs I’m all, “There’s a dead guy and a huge kitty in a sweater on your steps.” And the Countess and Flood are all, “Whatever.”
And I’m all, “And there was a limo full of stoners here who were totally hunting you.”
And they were all, “Whoa.” And they seemed more freaked out than you’d think, for ancient creatures of dark forbidden romance and whatnot. And it turns out they weren’t — I mean, aren’t. I mean, sure, their love is eternal, and they are creatures of unspeakable evil and stuff, but they are not ancient at all. It turns out that the vampyre Flood is only like nineteen, and he’s only known the Countess for like two months. And she’s only like twenty-six, which, while a little crusty, is not that ancient. And despite her advanced age, the Countess is beautiful, with long, totally nach red hair and milky skin, green eyes like emerald fire and a smoking body that could turn a girl totally lesbo if she wasn’t already a slave to the mad, man-ninja sex-fu of the delicious Foo Dog. (Foo keeps insisting that he can’t be a ninja because he’s Chinese and ninjas are Japanese, but he’s just being stubborn and goes all Angry, Angry Asian on me whenever I bring it up. )
‘Kayso, in the master’s loft I see these two bronze statues, one of this crusty businessman-looking guy, and the other looks like the countess, except it’s totally naked, or in a leotard, and bronze. And I’m all, “Exhibitionist, much, Countess? Did it come with a pole?”
And she’s all, “Help Tommy move furniture, Wednesday.” Like that makes any sense at all. (Turns out that Wednesday is a Gothish character from some crusty movie.)
Kayso, later, by virtue my extensive research and sneaking around and whatnot, I find out that the statues aren’t statues at all. That the countess used to be inside the statue of her, and that inside the crusty businessman statue, is the real ancient creature of unspeakable evil, the nosferatu that turned the Countess. And the vampyre Flood, who wasn’t a vampire at all at the time, had bronzed the two of them when they were sleeping the deep sleep of the daytime dead, which is like the deepest sleep you can get. (You should know right now, that there’s not yawning, gentle drift into sleepytime for vampyre. When the sun breaks the horizon, they drop rag-doll dead on the spot, and you can pose them, paint them, put their hands on their junk and post the pics on the web, and they won’t know a thing until sundown when they come on like a light and they’re wondering why their naughty bits are green and their in-box is full of propositions from elfin_love.com.)
I know. Whoa!
It turns out that Flood, who was known as Tommy, was chosen by the Countess as her day-minion, blood lunch, and love monkey, because he worked nights at the Safeway. Then, the old vampire, who had turned the Countess only like a week before, started fucking with them — saying he was going to kill Tommy and generally harsh Jody’s reality. ‘Kayso, Flood and his stoner Safeway night crew (called the Animals) hunted down the alpha vampire, who was sleeping in a big yacht in the bay, and they stole like jillions in art from the yacht and blew it up with the vampire in it, which seriously put habaneras in his tude lube, but when he came out of the water, they fucked him up good long time with spear guns and whatnot.
I know ! Oh-my-fucking-god-ponies-in-the-barbeque! I know! It just goes to show you, like Lord Byron says in the poem: “Given enough weed and explosives, even a creature of most sophisticated and ancient dark power can be undone by a few stoners.”
I’m paraphrasing. It may have been Shelley.
‘Kayso, the Countess saves the old vampire from being toasted, but she promises the cops (there were these two cops) to take him away and never come back to the City, but when they go to sleep, Flood, who couldn’t’ bear to lose Jody, took them downstairs to the biker-sculptors and had them bronzed. But when he was trying to explain to the countess about why he did it, he drilled holes in the bronze by her ears, and she turned into mist, streamed into the room, and turned him into a vampire. Which totally surprised him, because he didn’t even know she knew how to do either of those things. (Misting and turning, I mean.)
So then they’re like, both vampires, eternal in their love, but somewhat lame in their night skills. Because Jody had been feeding off of Tommy, she hadn’t thought through what they would eat after Tommy turned vampire. So first they went to this homeless guy, we’ll call William the Huge Cat guy ( because that’s what people call him) because he used sit on Market Street with Chet and a sign that said, “I AM POOR AND MY CAT IS HUGE.” And they ended up renting the huge cat, Chet, to be their shared blood lunch. But it turned out that a large part of Chet’s kitty hugeness, was fur, so in order to facilitate the biting process, they shaved him. I’m just glad that I wasn’t their minion yet, because I think we all know who would have ended up shaving the kitty.
But no! It didn’t work. I’m not sure why. But William got totally, date-rape-level hammered on the liquor he bought with the huge cat rent money, and they ended up feeding on him. Which is where I, the new princess-elect of darkness, was brought into the fold. (Into the “fold” means, like, the gang, as in gang of sheep, not fold like in what you do to T-shirts if you’re a casual cotton slave at Old Navy.)
It was I, who turned Tommy onto the needle exchange program, where he was able to use his pale thinness to convince them he was a junkie and get syringes so they could take William’s blood and put it in the fridge for the Countess to have in her coffee. Turns out that the only way the vampyre can tolerate real food or drink is if it has a little human blood in it. (The Countess likes blood on her fries, which is at once très cool and deeply fucked-up.)
So, as soon as the Countess and Flood figured out the deal with blood and food, William the huge cat guy wandered off and the Countess had to go find him, since she has more experience at hunting the night, while Flood and I moved stuff from one loft to the other. But I had to get lice shampoo for my useless little sister Ronnie who was plagued by vermin, and Flood sent me home early to spare me the wrath of the mother unit because he didn’t’ want his minion on restriction. (So noble. I think that’s when I fell in love with him.) Then he took the bronzed old vampire down to the water to dump him in the Bay before the countess got back. It was clear to me that Tommy had jealousy issues with the old vampire, and wanted to get rid of him. Except he ran out of dark before he got to the Bay and had to leave the old vampire sitting by the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero and run from the sun for his life. At the last minute, the Animals drive by in their limo with their stupid blue ho and scoop the vampire Flood off the street just before he was incinerated by the sun.
I know. WTF?
(FYI, when I type WTF, you are supposed to read it What the Fuck? Same with OMG, and OMFG, which are Oh My God and Oh My Fucking God. Only a completely lame Disney Channel nimnode pronounces the letters. Even BMLWA, or Bite My Lily White Ass should only be spoken as letters if you are hanging out with nuns or other people who are embarrassed about being told to bite asses.)
Kayso, the Animals go back to work at the Safeway, but not before they tie Flood to a bed frame, where the blue hooker tortured him to get him to turn her to a vampire, because now she had like all the money that the Animals had gotten for the old vampire’s art, which was like six-hundred thousand dollars, and she wanted to take her time spending it, so she wanted to be immortal. But Flood was like a complete vamp noob. He’d never even killed anyone and turned them to dust or anything, so he didn’t know how to change someone. The countess didn’t tell him that the chosen had to drink the vampire’s blood to receive the dark gift. So the blue ho tortures the shit out of him.
I know, what a bitch.
Meanwhile, the Countess found the huge cat guy, and I found the lice shampoo, but we don’t know where Tommy is. But the Countess was burned from going out on some hot water pipes, so she fed on me, right there in the loft, and I was all, “Oh shit, I’m going to get the dark gift and I’m like wearing my lime-green Chuck Taylors which are totally not the kicks for becoming a creature of unspeakable power in. But no, the Countess just partook of my sanguine nectar so she could heal. That’s probably where I fell in love with her. Anyway, she goes asking around about Tommy, and this completely crazy homeless guy who thinks he is the emperor of San Francisco (you see him and his two dogs in the north end of the City all the time) says that one of the Animals was asking around about Flood.
So I’m all, “uh oh.”
And the countess is all, “Yep.”
Next thing you know, we are at the Marina Safeway and the Countess — wearing her black jeans and red leather jacket, but no lipstick — underhands a steel reinforced trash can like as big as a lesbian gym teacher through the big front window, and she just walks right through the falling glass, badass as shit, into the store and starts kicking stoner ass. It was glorious. But she didn’t kill anyone, which turned out to be a mistake, as was, in my humble opinion, not wearing any lipstick. For while it was a heroic ass-kicking as has ever been delivered in real life, it would have been that much cooler if she had some black lipstick on, or maybe something in a dark maroon. But they told her that Tommy was tied up at, Lash’s, the black guy’s, apartment.
And their shit was all busted up, and I was like, “You bitches have been powned!”
And the Countess was like, “That’s cute. Let’s go get Tommy.”
She can be kind of a bitch sometimes. Anyway, we go to the apartment where Tommy is being held, but when we get there, he’s still tied to the bed frame, but stood up against a wall, all naked and covered in blood, even his junk. And the blue ho is dead on the floor.
And I’m all, “Uh-oh.”
And the Countess is all, “Yep.”
And she says something about how the blue ho must have broken her neck or something, because if Tommy had drained her, she would have turned to dust and there would have been no body. Anyway, the cab ride back to the loft was très awkward, you know, with Flood naked and covered with blood and the two of them all “Oh I love you” and “Oh I love you, too.” And I was being kind of a mopey little emo queen because I was jealous of both of them because they had their dark and eternal love for each other and I had like my lime green Chucks and Jared the gay-bait rat-shagger.
So that was good. The rescue and whatnot. Because we found the old vampire art money that the Animal’s had paid to the blue ho, which was like a half a million dollars. But then we found out that the blue ho was not dead, but somehow had accidentally drunk some of Tommy’s blood when she kissed him during his torture and now she was nosferatu. And she turned all the Animals. Which, you know, was bad. And not in the good way.
And the old vampire had somehow escaped his bronze shell, and he was coming after Tommy and Jody, and even me? He even shook the living shit out of William the huge cat guy while Jared and I watched from an alley across the street.
I know! We were all, “Whoa?”
So it’s like, Christmas night, and Jared and I are watching the midnight show of The Nightmare Before Christmas at the Metreon. And we’re all traumatized and whatnot from watching the vampire pound the huge cat guy, and the Countess calls us. And she and my dark lord Flood meet us for coffee at this Chinese diner, which is like the only thing open because the Chinese totally blow off Christmas because there are no dragons or firecrackers in the story.
Note to self: Write narrative poem exploring Christmas if the three wise men had given baby Jesus firecrackers, a dragon, and mu-shu pork instead of that other crap.
So, after all night drinking coffee laced with Jared’s blood and getting the story on the old vampire from the countess and Flood, we go back to the loft and there, in the stairway, is the old vampire, naked. And he’s all, “I had to do some laundry. That guy peed on my track suit.” He was wearing a total gangsta yellow track suit when we saw him shaking the huge cat guy.
So we like ran, and we had to hide my masters in some rafters under the Bay Bridge when they went out at dawn. No yawning or anything — they just became dead. Well, undead.
So we wrapped them in trash bags and duct tape and moved them to Jared’s basement lair in Noe valley. (His basement lair is sacrosanct — his father and step-mother are afraid to they might walk in on him wanking to gay porn — so it was safe for the masters.) Meanwhile, I went back to the loft to feed Chet the huge shaved cat and decapitate the old vampire with Jared’s dagger so I could get extra-credit points with the masters, but it turned out that I had not calculated sundown quite right. Since when does the sun go down at like five o’clock? That’s just fucking juvenile.
Anyway, when I’m on the steps I hear the old vampire moving around upstairs. And I’m all, “Awkward.” Then I hear a car pull up and I run out, right into the arms of this blond ho, who it turns out is the blue ho, who is now nosferatu, along with three of her vampyre minions who used to be the Animals. I know, “Uh-oh.”
So she grabs me and is just about to tear my throat out, when the old vampire grabs her by the neck and puts her face print in the hood of a Mercedes. He’s all, “You’re breaking the rules, ho. You can’t just go turning people willy-nilly.”
So I was doing a minor booty-dance of ownage at the blond ho, when they all turned on me. So I pull out Jared’s dagger, but just the same I know they are going to have a huge group suck on my pale frame, when this totally fly, race-pimped Honda comes tearing out of the alley, and everything goes white light around the car. And my Manga-haired love monkey, Foo, is totally in hero shades, and he’s all, “Get in.”
Kayso, he swept me away in his magic nerd-chariot, which he had rigged with ultra-violet floodlights that totally toasted the vamps with simulated sunlight. I know! I’d have done him right there in the car if I was not trying to maintain my detached aura of aristocratic chill. So instead I kissed him within’ an inch of his life, then slapped him so he didn’t think I was his personal slut, which I totally was. Would be.
It turns out that Steve, which is Foo Dog’s day-slave name, had totally been staking out the Countess Jody’s apartment for like a month, since he figured out that she was a vampire when some blood from one of the old vamps victims turned up in his hemo-lab at Berkeley. Foo is like some kind of biotech uber-genius, in addition to having mad ninja-driving skills.
Then Foo dropped me off at Tulley’s on Market, where I met Jared and Jody, who sneaked by Jared’s parents by pretending to be lovers, which is disgusting in so many ways I kind of gagged a little when I typed it. (Jared is my emergency back-up BFF, but he is a pervy little rat-shagger, as the Countess affectionately refers to him.)
So the Countess is all, “I’m going back to the loft to get the money.”
And I’m all, “No, the old vampire.”
And she is all, “He is not the boss of me.” (Or something like that. I’m paraphrasing.)
And I’m all, “Whatever, make sure you feed Chet.”
So we go back to Jared’s, and when we get there, the vampyre Flood is all fucked up from trying to climb face down a building in the Castro after a delicious drag queen, like Dracula does in the book (only in the book it’s not in the Castro and Dracula isn’t after a drag queen).
Note to self: When I am finally made Nosferatu, do not try to climb face down a wall.
So then my sweet love ninja Foo shows up. And he’s all, “I couldn’t leave you out here, unprotected. And secretly I was all, “You rock my stripy socks, Foo,” but publically I just kissed him and tastefully dry humped his leg a little. So we all got in his fly Honda and went back to the loft.
When we got there, second floor windows were open, and Flood could hear that the old vampire was up there with Jody.
And Foo was all, “Let me go.” And out off the hatchback, he pulls this long duster that’s covered with little glass warts. And Foo is all, “UV LEDs. Like sunlight.”
The street-level fire door was locked, so Flood was all, I”ll go.”
But Foo was all, “No, it will burn you.”
But they covered Flood all over, gloves, hat, and a gasmask the Foo keeps around in case of emergency biology and whatnot, then he put on the duster. Foo gave him a rubber tarp and a baseball bat, and Flood starts working the street like a half-pipe, running up a building on one side, then up the other, until he goes feet first through the upstairs window. Personally, I think the Countess could have just jumped up there, but she’s been a vampyre longer than flood and has better skills.
Kayso, there’s this blinding white light from the windows, and next thing we know, the old vampire comes crashing through the window like a flaming comet and hits the street right by us. And he gets up all blackened and snarly and whatnot, and Foo holds up his UV floodlight and he’s all, “Step off, vampyre scum.” And the old vampire ran off.
Then Flood comes out the door carrying the Countess, who is looking way more dead than usual, and we took them to a motel to hide them until we could figure out what to do. Foo stole some donor blood from the lab at his college and gave it to Flood and the Countess so they could heal. And Foo’s all, “You know, I’ve been working on the blood I found on the victims, and I think I can reverse the process. I can turn you human again.”
Which is totally why he had been stalking the Countess when I met him. So Tommy and Jody were all, “We’ll think about it.”
Kayso, Flood is holding Jody on the bed, and they’re talking softly, but I can hear them, because I’m just by the door and the rooms not that big. And it is clear that their love is eternal and will last for eons, but Flood doesn’t like being a vampire because the hours suck and whatnot, and Jody likes being a vampire because of the power she feels after feeling like a little wuss-girl for many years, and they more or less say that they are going to split up just as the sun rises and they go out.
And I was all, “Oh, hell no.”
So I had them bronzed.
I’m looking at them now. We posed them like Rodin’s “The Kiss” and they shall be together unto the end of time, or at least until we figure out how to let them out and not have them tear out our throats and whatnot. Foo says it’s cruel, but the Countess told me that they could go to mist, and when they are mist time passes like a dream and it’s all good.
But Foo did figure out his serum thingy. We lured the Animals to our love nest and while I was wearing the fly leather jacket that Foo made me, complete with the UV LED warts, which is very cool and cyber, I drugged them and Foo changed them back to human. And the crazy old Emperor guy said he saw three young vampyres take the old vampyre and the formerly blue ho away on a ginormous yacht, so we don’t have to worry about them anymore.
Foo wants to cut Flood and Jody out of the bronze statue during the day, while they are sleeping, and turn them back to human. But the Countess doesn’t want that. So I think we should just wait. We have this trés cool apartment, and all of the money, and Foo almost has his masters in bionerdism or whatever, and I only have to go home like twice a week so the mother unit still thinks I am living there. (The key was to condition her from age twelve that sleepovers are normal. Lily, my former sleepover BFF, calls it slowly boiling the frog, which I don’t know what it means, but it sounds darkly mysterious.)
So, we are secure in our love nest and as soon as Foo gets home I am going to reward him with the slow booty dance of forbidden love. But something is screeching outside. BRB.
Fucksocks! It’s Chet the huge shaved vampyre cat, down on the street. He looks bigger, and I think he ate a meter maid. Her little cart is running and there’s an empty uniform on the curb.
Bad kitty! GTG L8rz.
Chapter 2 -Test
1. The Countess Abigail Von Normal is:
a: Emergency Back-up mistress of the Bay Area Dark.
b. A Gothic hottie consumed by the banal hopelessness of existence
c: Not perky, but dark, complex and trés mysterious.
d: All the above, and possibly more.
2. The vampire Flood and his nosferatu maker, the Countess Jody, were imprisoned in a bronze shell in the pose from Rodin’s “The Kiss” because:
a. Their love is eternal and their mingled souls will live on in Romantic embrace to the end of time.
b. Foo and I were pretty sure that the Countess would go FOAKES (Freak Out and Kill Everything in Sight) when she found out our plan to turn the Animals back to human.
c. We just like to look at our friends, naked and bronzed, because it gets us all hot.
d. I can’t believe you picked “C.” You should get a big “L” tattooed on your forehead to save people time in figuring out what a ginormous loser you are! You wish that Foo and I needed pervy preludes to stimulate our orgasmic, toe-curling soul-sex. Trust me, the sun weeps that it cannot achieve the blistering hotness of our nookie.
3. Despite myths perpetrated jealous day-dwellers, the nosferatu only are only vulnerable to the effects of:
a: garlic (right, because pizza and the breath of vegans will quell their ancient power).
b. crosses and holy water (Oh right, because creatures of darkest evil are total bitches of the baby Jebus).
c. silver (Uh huh, and aluminum, because that makes sense. )
4. My and Foo’s greatest challenge as minions is to protect our dark masters, the Countess and Lord Flood, from:
a: Cops, specifically Inspector Rivera and his clueless Gay Bear partner Cavuto.
b. The most crusty old vampire and his mysterious fashion-vamp posse.
c. The Animals, slacker wastee night crew from the Marina Safeway.
d. All of the above and whatnot.
5. Our best chance of defeating Chet, the huge shaved vampire cat is:
a: mouse ninjas
b: a big hug while wearing my most fly UV-LED leather jacket, fashioned for my protection by my aforementioned muffin master, Foo.
c. a saucer of tuna blood laced with sedatives and kitty-butt flavor. (I observed in his former mortal form, that Chet loves kitty-butt flavor.)
d. make a vampire Rottweiler to rock Chet’s worldview
e. either B or C, but definitely not D, wouldn’t A would be trés cool? Mouse Ninjas!
1:D , 2:B, 3:D, 4:D.5E:
Give yourself, one point for every right answer.
5- You rock my stripy socks
4 – Loser!
2-Such a Loser that Losers pity you.
0-1-Spare us your contagious loserness. Next bridge you pass? Over you go.
(The book will be in stores April 1st, 2010 – Chris)
I think we all remember that famous line from Othello:
“The fug are you lookin’ at, ya fuggin mook?”
Which seems to be written just for the New Jersey Shakespeare Company.
Well, those fuggin mooks have invited me to invite you to a reading of scenes of Fool,
by real fuggin actors, interspersed with anecdotes and amusements by my own
self, and followed by a Q&A and whatnot, for:
First, on a light post in Auvers, France. A lost kitty poster…
On the Alexandre III bridge — the clear danger of pissing off the sculpture…
In the late 19th Century, there was a lot of public art, both in France and in England, that personified different industries. It’s like the ruling class just went, “I don’t care what it actually is, just make it look like agriculture.”
Then, there are always the national heroes:
And the institutions they founded:
You start with this, then they take one wall away until you can do it completely free form…
Meanwhile, at the Musee D’Orsay…
Ah, the single life. Here’s a painting of a some 19th century doctors getting ready to perform an autopsy, Entitled: Can’t get a Date.
And finally for today, an encore of “When Sculpture Met Opera” with improvements suggested by a reader….
Au Revoir! mon humide canards de amour. Au Revoir!
So, I visited The Pantheon, which is the place where France keeps many of it’s famous dead guys. It cost like $12 to get in, so I was really hoping for a cool animatronic display of famous dead guys, with maybe Jules Verne driving Captain Nemo’s Nautilus and Marie Antoinette getting guillotined every quarter hour or so. But no, all of the famous dead people in the Pantheon are inside of boxes or jars or both.
Here is the philosopher, Jean Jacques Rousseau, who explored the ideas of inalienable human rights, as well as inventing the aqua-lung and piloting the Calypso around the world on scuba adventures with his sons Jean Michele and Philippe.
Yes, France’s greatest philosopher (Who beat out 2nd ranked Reneé Descarte, who said, “I think, therefore I am.” with his famous rebuttal, “Am what?” In his paper, “My Response to that Douche-bag Descartes.”). Each person is rated by the number of sad faces on their box, as compiled from an online pole. We can see that Rousseau has received 13 faces. We can only guess how many sad faces he might have gotten if they’d put him in here driving the Nautilus, but as a consolation, anyone in the Pantheon receiving more than ten sad faces gets a hot tub and a pool table in his box. (Not quite a cool private submarine, though, are they?)
Still, no matter how many famous dead guys in boxes you have, it doesn’t seem worth $12. But they’re like, “Monsieur, regard: We have not only dead guys, we haveFocault’s Pendulum.”
Basically, knowing that people were going to claim total “ripoff”, unless they had more stuff in the Pantheon, Foucault installed the pendulum as a machine to prove that the Earth was actually rotating. (Sure, there was other evidence for this, like the sun rise and the fact that the continents weren’t all smashing into each other, but hardly anything as mind-numbingly boring as “the pendulum.”
I know. Oooooooo–ahhhhhhhhhhh. Like you need that to fill a ginormous building so you can put your best and brightest in the basement. It’s like renting the Superdome so you’ll have a place for your hamster to run.
But they sensed there was a problem, so they added this element of suspense. Right outside of the radius of the pendulum, is a bronze cat. Now, if the Earth ever tumbles off it’s axis, anyone at the Parthenon will get the total spectacle of a bronze cat being smacked in the side of the head with a brass ball. (BASEMENT CAT IS CRUEL, LOLZ!) Oh, I can’t wait. I can’t wait. It’s like watching paint dry, but without the fun of the low grade buzz from toxic fumes.
Turns out that the Pantheon was already re-purposed for storage, because it used to be the church of St. Genevieve, who is the patron Saint of Paris because she comforted everyone after Attila the Hun raped and pillaged them in 451 A.D. There is still some evidence that it was a church, like this mosaic on the ceiling depicting “The Suspicion that Jesus Might be High.”
Next time we’ll explore some of the elements of French culture as depicted in art, like what they used to give out awards for before guys rode all over the country on bicycles for the honor of wearing a yellow spandex jersey.
1927 French National Naked Ping Pong Champion,
Sophie “I own you bitches!” Calaise
Abientot, my lubricious pomme de terres. Abientot!
You can’t throw a stick in Paris without hitting a Gothic Cathedral (which, by the way, they are totally touchy about, so if you can control yourself, don’t throw a stick while in Paris), and at each cathedral, there is an array of gargoyles, which were, back in the day, used to direct rainwater away from the stone walls.
This is how they are done. They just sit there, doing nothing, now that most cathedrals have been equipped with gutters and downspouts.
In my new, improved version, gargoyles will remain concealed in the wall of the church until someone walks by, then, spring-loaded, they will pop out of the wall and say something to freak people out, as the Church has always intended.
Which brings me to lion sculpture. Pretty much any library, park, or museum is supposed to have a lion sculpture in front of it. This is basically to keep cat people from freaking out because they’ve actually left the house. Here’s your basic, non-threatening lion sculpture.
Well, then they decided to improve the lions by adding elements to make them seem more important.
First they added children, because that just seemed like a good idea for some reason.
Then someone thought, “Know what would look good on that lion? Wings? Breasts? What? Yes, breasts…
Well, first, neither is a really good idea, but there are numerous reasons why wings are a bad idea, in addition to the chance of being hit by a bloody wildebeest haunch on the day you decide to wear your white linen suit out to the park.
Another bad side effect…
But we could ride them? Because lions love it when you sit on them!
But, as if wings on lions weren’t a bad enough idea, someone came up with this:
Then you have this kind of thing happening…
Not an improvement, that’s all I’m saying.
Next time, “Where they keep their dead guys and the worlds slowest cat toy.”
Bon Jour. Today more art from Paris, my dusty love rodents. Come now, enjoy culture, the beauty, creepiness that is public art in Paris…
IN Jardin des Tuileries (or Garden of Tiles, which, we in the U.S. call, The Mall). This one of the many statues that depict athletics.
Our open field running rocks when we play the midget team!
Naked American Football is HUGE in France. Strangely, they use a pigeon as a ball.
Here a tiny defensive linebacker gets owned.
Hit me! I’m open!
The Job Interview:The girls were perplexed…
Where is the pole? I was told there would be a pole?
Just down the path, Marge was shocked, shocked, I tell you, at public shenanigans:
Quit acting like you don’t know what I’m talking about. You guys were having a threesome.
On the Alexandre III Bridge (which is one of your fancier bridges anywhere):
When they told Andre that a six men had died mysteriously on the bridge,
he thought they meant that they’d drown. Sadly, no.
Okay, your basic Roman or Greek god, probably high ranking, because of his beard.
Here he’s holding what looks like a giant Sundae Cone and a broken electric guitar and is surrounded by little kids, because that was popular motif at the time.
But what IS this kid doing? And what IS that?
Seriously, WTF is that?
Ah, but a different angle reveals that there’s nothing at all weird about that picture and I have just been Rorchached into making everyone think there was.
A closer look reveals it’s mearly the innocent effigy of a kid blowing a dog.
(It’s rumored that former senator, Rick Santorum, was the model for the kid.)
Back on the Alexandre III bridge:
It’s clear that the gods and goddesses of Paris preferred the Fender Stratocaster:
“Oh Hai, my Dad was in the Cure, want to touch my guitar.”
Before television, fine art was used as a medium for marketing.
Now, a celebrity spokesperson:
Bon Jour! It is I, your tiny Emperor, Napoleon Boneparte. When I’m not building an empire, I enjoy chilling on the couch in La Snuggie. Look, I have made a little tent in here! Josephine, come join me, my darling!
Observe, while I circumsize this unsuspecting Gladiator, with the Super Scissors, from Popiel! Masseltov!
“Regard, mon amis, as I pulverize this tiny angel in one easy step, with Le Ronco, Smash-matic!
Did someone say PIZZA?!!
(insert annoying music)
It’s his knee. See…
Strangely, though, the name of the sculpture is: “But I Really AM Happy to See You”
(Meanwhile, at the Hotel Invalides – a former hospital for disabled veterans, built in the 1600s, now a military museum.)
Nothing says, “Have a Nice Day”
Like a big-ass cannon.
Really, how bad off are you:
Pick an entrance…
Until next time, I leave you with one of France’s national heroes:
Painted as a Smurf.
(No, that’s not Photoshopped. It’s in the courtyard of the Hotel Deux. I’ll try to get a closer look today.)
Until next time:
Adieu! my murky marmots d’amour. Adieu!
Here’s some stuff that I’ve seen lately, out and about in Paris, for those of you who don’t get the Twitter feed, and some stuff that wasn’t on there.
First, if you’re on the Left Bank of the Seine, and you’re looking for a little fast Greek Food,
What Do You Want?
That’s RIGHT! When a BIG ASS GYRO isn’t enough? Also, not a bad stripper name.
I know you loves the French cheese, oui?
Sure, they may be behind us in some things, but they are years beyond us in Cheese.
My friends Max and Marjory, who brought this to me from South-Western France where they are from, assured me that the man is warning the woman: What ever you do, Mamon, don’t cut the cheese!”
It’s soft cheese. Jeeze.
But look, it’s not just soft, stinky cheese
– it’s digital, hi-def, soft stinky cheese,
on USB key.
By the way, “Digital Hi-Def Soft Stinky Cheese”?
Should not be your first choice for a stripper name.
Sure, digital cheese is different, but uh — well:OUCH, Am I right, ladies?
(Yes, that’s Scotch Bright)
Okay, uncomfortable, probably, but you can see yourself in the shine!
So, I’m staying near the Notre Dame cathedral, and I keep posting pictures of it, because it’s coverd with gargoyles, saints, snakes, demons, angels, sportos, motorheads, geeks, sluts, pinheads, dweebies, wonkers, richies, and teletubbies, but what I didn’t see until this time, up on the South-Eastern Roof:
Looks like a little roof surfing to me:
That right, HANG TEN JESUS!
DOOD! JESUS IS SHREDDING THE BREAK AT PONT NEUF!
But the weirdest thing I’ve seen this week, was this guy, who was sitting all by himself at the Luxemborg Gardens, in front of a chessboard, checking three cell phones.
Yes, look closely. That’s a paper mustache.
Okay, it might be performance art. In fact I hope it’s performance art. And it’s certainly not funny.
If he’s a criminal, including possibly a terrorist, then DUDE, A PAPER MUSTACHE!?
But what if he’s a cop, working undercover. In that case, DUDE, A PAPER MUSTACHE?
So, just in case, I filmed him. Don’t wait for a punch line. Sorry, but it’s just a guy with three cell phones and a paper mustache being really sketchy.
It it makes you feel any better, I was extraordinarily annoying, AND, I may have either stopped a terrorist attack, ruined an undercover operation, or gotten someone a better grade in drama class, so my work is done here.
I’m working on a piece about the famous and dead for you. See you soon.
Bon Jour, my slippery pamplemousses, here, as promised, is more art from the Louvre. Today, we start with pieces from the French sculpture collection.
This, very lifelike piece is
“I’m ’bout to lick your bald head.”
Is by Pierre August Rodin, from 1891
This one, from Felix Lecompte, is from 1868, commissioned by the Royal Academie, it’s
“Look, I found this kid hanging on a Tree.”
Here’s a closer look.
Is this guy hanging the kid on the tree, or picking the kid off the tree? Is he trying to breast feed it and thinks it will be easier if the kid’s feet are tied to a branch? This is a confused sculpture. I’m confused.
We’ll never know.
Most, if not all pieces commissioned by the Académie, had to have Mythical Subjects. It was the same with the painting and the Acadamie and the Salon, which were more or less the voices of art of the time. You could paint or sculpt the most heinous or erotic stuff, but it couldn’t be real. It it had to be myth. One of the most popular motifs was Leda and the Swan, in which the God Zeus comes to Leda in the form of a swan, shags her, then she lays two eggs, from which hatch Helen and Polydeuces, (the latter named for his incredibly horrible luck at dice). Funny, you never see any paintings of Leda laying the eggs, only shagging the swan. Makes you wonder. Anyway, here’s one where it doesn’t look like Leda is going to resist that much.
Jean Thierry’s work in marble from 1714,
“Bring a Sweater, Daffy, ‘Cause I am Going to Fuck the Feathers Off of You.”
A compelling theme, don’t you think? Go ahead, say it. You know you’re thinking it.
There, that’s the release that fine art gives the soul.
Here’s one by Edme Dumont, from 1753, and it’s either Cronos or Hercules,
but the title is.
“Sigfrid, bring the stun gun!”
It’s very mysterious. The subtitle is:
“Dude, I’m serious. He’s biting my fucking Leg!”
Of course my translation may be off somewhat. It may be, “Le Dude”.
This is one of my favorite sculptures in the Louvre. Really. It’s by Francios Joeffry, from 1839, it’s a sculpture of Venus, called.
“About your Operation, I’ve Got Some Good News and Some and Some Bad News”
It would be 40 years before Degas would exhibit his sculpture of a fully-clothed dancer of the same age with the Impressionists, and it would considered an outrage, obscene, because, well, because she was real. Things were going to change in art, and it was going to be a big deal, the beginning of Modern Art, which I’ll catch you up on.
Degas “Little Dancer, Age 14″ 1881 (Not in the Louvre
Hang tough. Here’s a couple other pieces that caught my eye.
In this piece from 1782, Claude MICHEL dit CLODION needed to fill a long base-relief, so he just threw in myths until the panel was filled up. It’s Venus, Cupid, Cherubs, Nymphs, all kinds of stuff. I like to call it:
LESBIAN SPANK INFERNO!
(with deference to Stephen Moffat and BBC’s Coupling – a hilarious episode, by the way, if you get a chance to see it.)
But who is this?
Yes, Leda again. Being a little more coy.
Like she’s going to make the swan buy her dinner this time.
But back to painting for a bit. As you’ve probably gleaned from my posts, I only know how to say about six things in French. One of them, which seemed somewhat useless, was “The Monkey is on the Table.”*
So, imagine my ecstasy, when, while coming up a wide staircase in the Louvre, I happened onto this:
Deux Singes sont sur la Table!
I stood there, middle of the staircase, pointing out to people who passed, that there were, indeed, two monkeys on the table. In perfect fucking French. Really? Would you like to discuss the monkeys? the table? perhaps the number of monkeys? You noticed that they were on the table. I felt like Sister Wendy with a refreshing breeze blowing up my habit.
But then, on the very next landing, this:
That’s right THREE! Three fucking monkeys on the motherfucking table. Or “Trois singes sur la Table,” as I pointed out to all who would listen. Several German people hurried away, even as I followed them up the stairs, pointing out the exact number of monkeys and where, exactly, they were located. (sur la table! sur le table!). Germans have a well-known fear of monkeys, so I forgave them, but how could the guards, the docents, indeed, the skinny guy with the mace and the helmet, not see the importance of such a major work of art? (Frans SNYDER, by the way, Dutch,early 17th Century.) Then they all turned, like pod art people from Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and pointed to this huge piece, which hung in the same stairwell as the various monkeys on the tables.
They might as well have served Leda a big thanksgiving roasted swan and rubbed its greasy, tumescent giblets in her hair. EVERY-FUCKING-THING was on the table. And, I didn’t know how to say any of that stuff? Hell, I didn’t even know what most of that stuff was. And it wasn’t all “sur la table” like any self-respecting monkey, it was “sous la table” it was all over the place. I hung my head and and mumbled, “Well, fuck you, smug art ninjas, cinque singes sur la table. Cinque!” With equal fluency in both languages. And I skulked away to the Starbucks in the basement of the Louvre to wallow in my own artistic inadequacy.
Sure, I could learn to say, “The evicerated eagle ray is on the table,” in French, but when is that ever going to come in handy? I’m going to have to wander the earth waiting to identify that, and it’s let’s face it, it’s not ever going to be like the monkeys. We always remember our first monkeys.
Next time we’ll have a short visit from this guy, who we haven’t seen in a couple of years.
*Yes, I learned that from Eddie Izzard. Didn’t everyone?