- November 2016 -

Other Fein Messes
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  1. Goin’ Insane

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Another Fein Mess
AF Stone’s Monthly
October 2016

Been away. Moving from a 2700 sq ft house to 900 sq ft apartment. Where did stuff vanish? I am far from recovered.

Key lesson: Mark all detachable electric cords, lest you end up with a big box of them and a pile of appliances you can’t use.

More tedious caterwauling in ‘attachment.’

‘Round town


Texas visitor Jurgen Koop bids adieu to L.A. Texan Ray Campi, both on hand for my last day at the house.

Me and Ray

With handyman Ramon, cleared out our garage with clock ticking: if house not 100% clear, tomorrow I lose $25,000. Clock ticked from 9:15 am til 11:45 pm. Many things tossed into his trash-truck are sorely missed.

9-5 First overnight at new apartment ends at 6:30 a.m. when upstairs neighbors step out of bed onto creaky floors. The years of solitude are over.

9-6 Preparing to move, I found a $1000 check I’d written to a tv-actor friend in 1991 to repay a loan. It was not cashed, because I never gave it to him - it was my reminder that I owed him. This day we met at the Good Neighbor, where we go a lot, and when I snatched the lunch bill as he reached for it he was startled. Then when I wrote him a $1000 check, he went into shock. This was not my norm.

9-22 Took my Underwood No. 5 to US Office Machine in East LA for a brushup. Bought it in 1980 at a thrift store in San Francisco, it’s worked fine since, but now that daughter Jessie wants it I thought it should be fine-tuned. It works great, and its strength transfers to your mind as the weight-sprung keys hit that platen. A magical machine.

That black one center-left is a ringer for ours, but older than my 1929 model.

Jesse Flores, Mister Fix-It. A 2008 LA Times feature about his shop includes a video.

9-24 Met with actor/songwriter Paul Hampton, in from New York, at Canter’s. I approached him, mmm, 40 years ago at Farmers Market after being captivated by his little-known album “Rest Home For Children,” and we’ve stayed in touch.

Seeing The Hollywood Blues Destroyers at Farmers Market on a Saturday night. Great stuff. Opening act Donna Lynn Caskey was terrific.

10-10 In a rut. Saw Hollywood Blues Destroyers at the Redwood again. Gotta go every time. Opening the show was Harvey Sid Fisher, the singer-songwriter.

Harvey with lovely singer Geneva.

10-15 Went to Staples to get a landline phone; two really, but left because they were conducting a psychological-tolerance experiment. Each key on the two cash registers emitted a level-5 beep as items were rung up, making a piercing noise that only the hardiest (but, surely, captive) customer could bear. On top of that, a level-8 beep (out of 10) emitted from the ceiling every 15 seconds, creating a cacaphonic (stress ‘caca’) crossfire that drove me out screaming “How can you STAND IT?”, or so I wished. A dash over to Office Depot found soothing music, cooling my nerves but, of course, they did not have the item, which was displayed on the shelf, and were dazed when I asked them when it would come in. Maybe they trained at Staples.

10-16 Drove out to frys to get a basic AT&T 1979 style speaker phone, and got two. Took Skip Heller along as copilot, and we also went to Trader Joe’s. Another wild, exciting day in Hollywood.

10-24 Went with Skip Heller to Wacko! to see Keith Morris read from his new book. Many ‘80s ‘scene’ people there.

Dave Alvin stops a moment before seeing Keith.

Keith notifies deejay Lee Joseph that the talking part is about to start

10-25 Went to Viva Cantina to see Troy Walker, on a rare night out for him. He is ailing, but still sings stronger than anyone on earth ...

Sat there a while with Nelson Bragg, solo artist and Brian Wilson band component.

Then went to Joe’s in Burbank to see Dave Stuckey’s Hot House Gang. Well, with difficulty - the dance floor was packed.

L.A. Times

October 11 issue is as good as any other.

* The Los Angeles Sports Arena was razed to build a bigger one. Corina Knoll sums up her sentiments when she pronounces that it “suffered from a muddled identity, never tugging at nostalgic heartstrings in the way landmarks should.” She could find no one whose opinion countered her, yawn, own. (Probably asked around the office.) She criticized the building for hosting a rave “in which attendees overdosed on ecstay.” Damn building! Her sweeping indictment is hot air. A city once plagued by smog now suffers from smug. More infernal News Rants on attachment.

TV News

How hard is it to position a helicopter. Most of the time when warning of a southbound traffic jam, the visual is a line of traffic going up, which we see as north ...

What do you make of a statement like “Attention has turned”? It means the news reporter or the station, not the community ...

Early this year, the local news - news - stations covered the opening of the first Dunkin’ Donuts in southern California. Donut shops abound here, so what need we these corporate crullers? Krispy Kreme got a big sendoff earlier this century, but they were unique, a game-alterer. Dunkin’? Not unique in any sense, except corporate coffers ...

“The boyfriend of the woman known as The Shoe Lady has been sentenced” was the utterance of a straight-faced prompter-reader at Channel 5 ...

Same station, one Saturday morning, one guy who seemed otherwise sane said “You know how you can tell a person is really out of it? They have AOL.” This brought nods from an adjacent emptyhead who added “Or Yahoo.” What do other sites do - make you breakfast? give you energy? The guy looked to be over 21, but his mind lags behind ...

The madness continues: on-site prompter-readers who report in front of news scene, then invite you “Now look behind me” like you’ve been so dazzled by their presence that you didn’t notice the, oh, house on fire ...

When someone says “We’re hearing” that there will be further arrests, why aren’t they carted off by men in white coats? ..


Larry Wilmore, the better of Comedy Central’s 11 pm replacement hosts, got axed. I think the final panel discussion is what sunk it. It was awkward, unpaced ...


I like Bob Dylan, but not as much as the 15 people at the LATimes who each wrote an appreciation of him re an award. It’s journalists’ inborn inferiority. They write about what accomplished people do dreaming the association elevates them ... And now my turn - What the hell does “her lips were watery and wet” mean? AND WHY IS HE SCREAMING IT? Bob couldn’t find a rhyme for “forget” and knew he’d be called a genius no matter what he wrote ... Most online lyric sites proffer lyrics without consulting song sheets. My recent favorite, perhaps from China, was a line in Elvis’s version of I’ve Got A Woman, “Ooh her dog really drives me wild”...


In “North By Northwest,” Cary Grant, at an auction, points to an item and says “$2250 for that chromo?” I had to look that up. The only def I found says that it’s short for chromolithograph, which I take to mean that the item being auctioned is a copy, like a printed version of an original ... I cannot find any identification for the band playing at a nudist colony in “A Shot In The Dark.” If they used actual musician for the role, which required no music-making, but if so I wonder which session people they used. Or maybe I embroider ... The cable-tv description for “Grosse Point Blank” calls the hero “a successful hit-man.” Murderer, for hire. Funny, ha ha. What about a successful rapist? Impossible, rape is odious ... Movie watching is a strain on anyone aware of weather. Scenes shot on different days fly from overcast to sun overhead to dusk. We’re supposed to accept this as part of the illusion. I’m trying, but it’s getting late ...

When a shooter is seen from behind, crouched on a rooftop, he’s always aiming 45 degrees off. It’s amazing anyone gets shot. Directors think you must see a rifle in profile to grasp what it is ...

We didn’t know Jack knew. In “Five Easy Pieces” he says they’re heading up to Alaska “before the big thaw”...


What week is NOT Breast Awareness Week? For either sex ...

Apparently the well-known JFK gaffe, saying “Ich bin ein Berliner” in Berlin,where a Berliner is a pastry, was not. A Berliner is also a Berlin resident ...

Misplaced - modifier? We say “I only got there at noon,” which means you only got there, you didn’t - what, burn the place down? The right way is “I got there only at noon.” We say things like this wrongly more than rightly, but only pedants notice (though we’d like to not) ...

I thought “Bombs away!” was right, but shouldn't it be “Bombs aweigh,” taken from “Anchors aweigh?” Both shed weight when falling ...

“Powering off” is ridiculous. Power being lost is depowering ...

Heard on tv, I found “America’s most iconic dissident” to be a purgative ...


* Went to IKEA for the first time in years, to fill in some gaps after three family members grabbed one household’s goods I remember one bonus of shopping there in the ‘90s was free books. Well, they weren’t actually free, but they’d bought books by the yard to display with their bookcases, and I always found something I liked.

* Speaking of free goods, at Home Depot I chose a less-priced Ray-O-Vac battery 4-pack from their display rack, and the cashier could not make it come up on the computer. Learning that those lesser-knowns were not registered prompted the remark “So they’re free?”

You think I’m the wise-guy who said that? I hate people who joke in their own favor. The cashier, a scamp, said it when she threw them in the bag sans charge.

* Bring back seeded watermelons. They were sweeter, and seedless ones have seeds ...

One opinion

What women support Trump?

Easy, plain people who support his campaign to throw out the rascals in Washington and make life better for forgotten Americans.

That Trump is an ass-grabbing buffoon doesn't faze them.
They know guys like that in their own town.

Parting Shot

Typical 10:30 pm summer shot from bathroom window at my castle on
Watsonia Terrace. Cars parked like cattle trying to escape and get home from the Hollywood Bowl.

There was surprisingly little noise - Bowl patrons are civilized and the house was remarkably soundproofed.

Even with the noise, I sure loved living there.

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