March 17, 2011

Three Years Ago: Chronicles: Legendary Costume Designer Asks: Are You a Poet?

Today, on Three Years Ago, our legendary series where we repost a post from exactly three years ago, I've dug up a rare "biographical" blog entrée. Thank heavens this is an unusual occurrence:


Last week, I was rejected from a graduate school program I had applied to, so I vowed to go on a 48-hour Steve Zissou-style bender, wake up next week, draft a new plan for the next few years of my life, then set out to find the shark that ate my friend & destroy it. Friday Night began with several pitchers of Piña Coladas with my friend Heather from Interlochen. The basic recipe for our concoction is as follows:
Mix in blender:
-Half of a delicious fresh organic pneapple
-Half a handle of clear rum
-The meat of a fine mango
-Pineapple-coconut juice (I used the R.W. Knudsen brand, which conveniently sells this mix)
-About five strawberries
Saturday, Heather, who was singing in the pit orchestra for the San Francisco Ballet's piece Eden/Eden, with music from Steve Reich's Three Tales (the one about Dolly the Sheep, robots, & cloning), was able to get three free tickets to the ballet. As a tangent, did you know that Dolly the Sheep was named after Dolly Parton because the gene from which they cloned her was from the host's mammary? As Parton said, "I hope people realize that there is a brain underneath the hair & a heart underneath the boobs." There's interesting moments in Reich's score, but the ballet orchestra lacked the intense drive to keep the motion forward-propulsing for a full half hour. However, the original video opera was pretty mediocre, & rescuing the music & replacing the imagery with some amazing dancing & choreography is a great service.

Coincidentally, our friend Mr Golden was working next door at the Veteran's building repairing a model buffalo for an exhibition of ballet costumes designed by Willa Kim. After the ballet & some St Patrick's day beer, we crashed the art opening (as "volunteers", which we indeed ended up being.) One of my friends was free-wine-inspired to get herself a sugar-daddy in the guise of an rich older SF ballet alum. We missed the lecture, but when
nonagenarian Willa Kim was being escorted out, the volunteers stopped her to tell her they had enjoyed working on her costumes. After some flattery, she turned to me & said:
Willa Kim: You look like you must be a poet!
Your hero:
Well, uh, yes, I am.

Sycophantic escort:
My, Ms. Kim, how prescient you are!

Willa Kim:
He looks like a poet!

Your hero: It's all nonsense, tho. I mean, my poetry is nonsense.
Mr Golden:
We're working on an epic with illuminations.

Willa Kim:
Well, best of luck to you, &c.....
According to the imdb, Willa Kim is known by the nickname "Willa Killa". We then hit some schwanky downtown bars, & escorted my sloshy friend to the BART. The night ended by Mr Golden cleaning my clock at put-put golf at his Ingleside apartment.

Sunday Morning, I had arranged (despite a dead mobile phone) to meet a blind date at a famous Mimosa Bar in the Castro, The Lime. As a co-founder of the dogmatic evangelical religious cult, The Mimosa's Witnesses, I was morally bound to investigate this mecca of Mimosa transubstantiation, which has bottomless flutes for $7 at Sunday Brunch. The place is ridiculous & perfectly over-the-top, with a bright-green nightclub decor, thumping music, packed with revelers at 11 A.M. Many of our fellow witnesses looked far more L.A. than S.F., with plastic breasts, &c. We should tithe them.
Waiter: Hello, I haven't seen you here for awhile!
Your hero:
I've never been here before. This is my first time.

Really!? You look just like one of our regulars.

Your hero:
No, perhaps I have a Doppelgänger? Or perhaps you're mistaking me for Ralf from Kraftwerk.
As for my blind date, she had enormous false eyelashes & drove an orange Mustang sports car! Anyway, we must plan an official service with the regular Mimosa's Witnesses at this bizarre Castro day-club. As I explained to my date, just like there are hippie Christians & conservative Christians, these fake-boobed coked-up proselytes were worshipping under the same, broad tent as the Tahoe Mimosa's Witnesses & the Berkeley Mimosa's Witnesses.

My day proceeded by sobering up at Philz Coffee in the Mission & having my clock cleaned at chess with Mr Golden. The San Francisco semi-regular Sacred Harp singing was at an episcopal church on Fair Oaks (one of the cutest streets in that neighborhood), & was well attended, including two members of the awesome group Anonymous 4 (who, with their background in St Hildegaard, now have two excellent albums of American harmony, & are working on continuing that project. Listen to them!) Singing exultantly, mission accomplished, & I'm now accepting suggestions for what to do next with my life.

1 comment:

Olaf Mary said...

sweet memory. what a time, what a poet, what an epic.