the wind was blowing about forty five miles an hour

through baker where we were filling up at chevron at two dollars and three cents a gallon. i was waiting for chris to come back from the mini market and waking up from a really tasty nap when i saw a little brown bird zip through the gale and then stop right on the top post of a chain link fence that slowly collected plastic bags and dirty tumbleweeds.

a few of his buddies hauled ass at him and landed within the fence and just as quickly they darted off, all three of them. maybe to florida.

if they were smart.

the crows weren’t doing as well, they were a much bigger target and not as nimble in the torrent of hate.

one found a lamp post, dirty from bird crap. the smooth aluminum top wasn’t much to get a good grab on with his claws, but he faced the wind and tucked his huge black wings behind him and just took it.

his pals glided over the desolate plains, trying to hover by simply allowing the wind to push its beleaguered open old wings, but after a few seconds it just blew the damn birds back a good twenty yards and the crows retreated into the dust where they fucking belonged.

chris came back with diet vanilla coke for her and a regular red label coke for me.

she also returned with a hersheys chocolate bar for me and several tootsie pops for her.

i believe she also had some now or laters tucked away, privately, but there are no secrets on the road, nor should there be.

we pulled out of the chevron and got back on the fifteen but some fucker rear ended a lexus so the traffic was backed up for miles on the two lane highway, the only road back to hollywood.

me and chris crept through the desert and plotted peoples deaths, not forgetting our own, of course.

chris is the glue that holds together one of the last dot coms in america.

perfect in nearly every way.

embarrassed that i couldn’t even get fourteen people last week to flow me ten bucks so i could buy a car, i tried to dazzle her with a money making scheme so that she’d lust me again.

i told her, it would be a magazine directed squarely at high school kids and it would be called


magazine. she said she didn’t like the name because it reminded her of high times and i said precisely.

i said teens don’t want anything that’s actually meant for them

what they want is something that’s underground, mysterious, and over their parents heads.

there would be columns on sex drugs and rock, of course, packaged sexy, but not dirty and accompanied with text that might be considered surprisingly conservative.

“high magazine does not condone sexual relations between teens. use high school to learn how to kiss, you filthy little tramps.”

written across the bare midriff of my girlfriend christina aguilera, who we were listening to off the hot hits radio station barely coming in.

but since teens have sex, and not even the coolest magazine could get in the way of a willing cheerleader and a pimply faced sophomore, each issue of high will come with a condom, ribbed, for her pleasure.

there would be a centerfold each month that would have a fold out of the student of the month.

now the student of the month, many months would be nerds who got to go to the dance with some hot piece of ass, or the kid who invented something ridiculously amazing. but sometimes it would have a picture of some big burnout who got the first B of his 6 year high school career.

those things should be celebrated.

there would be a big science fair special issue, and obviously one for prom, and a back to jail double issue. there would be columns like “sixteen books you should read before you turn sixteen” by brad pitt, and “why n*sync is evil” by courtney love.

there would be recipes on how to make homemade doritos, reasons that raving is really something you should wait to do till college (because maybe it might be dead by then), and pages and pages of tiny pictures of kids’ braces.

the condoms would stir up enough controversy to make it an overnight success but the snotty attitude and older brother tone of all-knowningness zero bullshit would distance it from the others.

oh, that’s right, there are no others.

theres tiger beat and teen beat or jane or us or people or teen people, but all of those are about celebs, not about the real kids.

and none of those talk about recycling, or teen pregnancy, or why weed should be legal (but illegal for teens), or why teenage girls who spend more than five minutes on makeup are wasting their time.

chris liked the idea of the magazine but still didn’t like the name.

i told her, kids need to have something that they can like so much they would want to buy the tshirt, a name that is optimistic and happy but a little bit naughty and defiant.

every person ends up having to go to blah blah high

finally theres something decent to read on the bus.


me and chris went to vegas this weekend.

normally im not one to leave my house over the weekend for anything, even a trip to my second favorite city, but when my true love asks i answer.

some people get a little confused about this relationship that my ex and i have and i can understand, so let me clear some things up.

yes i love her like no other, but that doesnt mean that im not capable of loving others. in fact that idea couldn’t be further from the truth.

but we get along so well that it’s very hard for me not to propose to her about every 10 minutes. there’s no one i feel more comfortable with. there’s no one who i laugh more with. there’s no one ive spent more time with in my life.

but one way that ive realized that you can judge friendships is: how fast after a fight can you make up? chris and i can fight at 9:05pm and make up at 9:06pm and be laughing before the tears dry. it’s pretty amazing.

i can push every single one of her buttons, and discover new buttons and whale on those for awhile and not only does she take it but she runs with it, we both do. we can talk about the most sensitive issues and dig deep into them analyzing our biggest fears and saddest moments and most embarrassing actions and we’ll just hold hands never judging working everything out and all it does is make our friendship stronger.

she has never called me when i haven’t picked up the phone.

so we went to vegas, she had a wedding to go to. she told me that if i drove out there with her that i wouldn’t have to go to the wedding. she knows im not a big fan of weddings.

early saturday morning we drove out in her brand new used car which was luxurious and spacious.

i had burned a van halen greatest hits cd, as well as cds from the new foo fighters and zwan.

we trudged through the foos and enjoyed zwan, but oddly the van halen sounded so damn good it was a little bit sad, i also mixed in a few david lee roth solo tunes that are still holding up quite nicely despite being close to 20 years old.

we checked into new york new york which i had never stayed at before. really nice rooms, well decorated, clean, good bathroom, really nice towels of all things, great view of the statue of liberty.

eventually we made it down to the gambling floor where chris immediately beat up on the nickle slots. nickle slots have come a long way and theres something about chris and her family– they friggin own the nickle machines and can turn nickles into folding bills in a matter of minutes. its really something to see.

this weekend’s victim was a slot called The Price Is Right.

me, i didnt have any luck with the slots, nickles, quarters or dollar ones, so i went across the bridge to the Excalibur to find my old pal the Odysee black jack machine.

apparently it was happy to see me too and quickly shook me down for all of my money, all except for $10 that i chose to put on the Nets at they took on the Pistons. i couldnt figure out why the Pistons were favored by 8 points until seconds after i placed my $10 wager and remembered that Jason Kidd was injured. still, could the Pistons cover the spread and win?

yes, by 15.

i have never ever ever won at gambling on sports in sin city. it’s so pathetic.

after the wedding chris and i walked down to Paris and gorged on the buffet. crab legs, shrimp, lamb, veal. walked out of there and met up with her friends miraculously and it hurt to cross the street to beliago where chris took their nickel slots for a quick $28.

quick way to tell that you are at the belliago and no other casino? the women dress a whole lot better, they travel in pairs, and theyre looking for filthy rich dudes, desperately, and theres a lot of plastic surgery going on. still, i like that place even if the cocktail waitresses wont flow us with the ameretto sours cuz we’re camped out in front of the 5 cent price is right machines.

whatever, ho, at least i dont have to show my boobs to earn a living.

truth is, its cheaper to just buy your drinks in vegas cuz it takes them forever to get you your “free” drinks and you wind up losing way more than you’d ever spend on a drink.

chris and i stumbled back to the room, me down tens of millions, her up about two billion. i got naked slid into bed just in time to see the last few minutes of Your Big Break, she re-applied her blush and went downstairs for another raid of NY NYs vault.

when we checked out in the morn i noticed one thing that didnt sit very well with me at new york new york: they were selling a lot of NYPD/FDNY tshirts, hats, etc and i looked hard but couldnt find anywhere that said that said that the money was going to the victims of 9/11 which made me wonder if nyny wasnt sorta taking advantage of the sudden popularity in those tshirts.

if so its tacky as hell, bros. get it together.

we drove out of town and made one last stop at Bufallo Bill’s at the state line and chris put a buck in a nickle machine and out came $7 just like that so we ate the lunch buffett called Miss Ashley’s and called it a weekend.

i love chris so much and i really love Las Vegas.

Sin City, i will be seeing you again super soon!

another fine mess

Subj: Re: the subject is jenifrrrrrrrrrrrrrs

Date: 94-06-10 10:07:31 EDT

From: Jenny677

To: GauchoTony

you flatter me its cute.

renee is not comin– boo hoo hoo.

i never dissed j-nine. i just said she didnt look like the type of girl id expect you to be with, just like you would say if you saw the pictures of my boys, except davy and brandon.

pictures are weird– theyre never what you expect.

did you see the backbeat band? i forgot about my little infatuation with dave grohl. if you wanna make me orgasmically happy youd send me an xgirl shirt but its probably not in sf so forget it.

thurston had one on last night.

glad you dug my letter- it twas not nice, rather morbid.

we got each others mail on the same day. neato.

i gotta dry my hair and watch happy days.

cant believe ill be hanging alone again this weekend.

with the happiness in my life ever cease?

turn real for me.


brett lamb

Dear Tony,

Unfortunately, I just read your review of Adaptation. I say unfortunate because I usually agree with your musings on pop culture, in general.

It’s an odd feeling when you reach a point reading someone that you basically go there to read what they’ve written because it�s easy, nice and comforting to know that you agree with what’s there.

Another oddity surrounding this film and my life is my best friend, D.C. trade policy geek, hated it too. Which was disappointing because he, like you, fancies himself a writer. Which I think you both are.

Anyway, to get to my refutation… Adaptation was wonderful, as a film and as a script. First, you called the characters flat and said Streep and Cage were wasted. That’s total bullshit. Cage’s performance was outstanding and very under appreciated. During the “trick photography” moments when the brothers were side my side you could easily tell the twins apart just by looking at them. Cage completely transformed himself into these two characters. They were a beautiful living Yin Yang, an extension of

their time en utero, that pulled and pushed and symbiotically made the other tick.

And the fact that Cage pulled it off was impressive. Mind you, Cage�s last great acting performance, Las Vegas was followed by the Rock. The touching scene in the forest worked, too. I thought it was very ballsy to put a dramatic moment between two characters in the midst of a third act that had seemingly spiraled out of control.

And Streep, sorry Tony but have you ever seen Streep look more beautiful, fuck it, Sexier! than in this movie? I love the intellectually/professionally confident woman who gives in to her girlish romantic fantasies and lives a forbidden life. How could you say she was wasted? She was totally sexed up, sniffing coke (or whatever) and running

through a swamp with a gun. She cried, she wrote, she contemplated being trapped in a life that’s a lie and you called it “wasted.” God she was hot!

I’ve never thought she was hot before Adaptation.

Second, you attacked the believability of the film. I’m not going to spend much time on this. But I will say, you should know better than to discredited a film’s believability in order to give it a negative review. Since when does a film have to be realistic to be good?

Third, lets talk about what this film is about and what Kaufman used to tell the story. If you’re looking for originality, look at the timeline’s structure. Awesome. I loved seeing the events happen and then seeing Charlie work them out into his story. The constant back and forth in time was very smooth and made me feel like we were all developing the story together.

It�s a little tricky on the mind because even though we’ve already seen events in the script take place its fun to go along with Kaufman and put them down for the first time. Making two stories out of one and weaving it within and around itself was masterful. But what was Kaufman meditating on (when he wasn�t jacking off). The fear of the “Hollywood ending.”(not the Woody Allen story). The Hollywood style that plagues the artist in all of us. The goal to create something original and not compromised is a promised land most artists set out for each time they wake up.

And, I believe, Kaufman achieved this goal by exposing the ridiculousness of the movie industry, his own paranoia and life’s smaller hardships by telling the first two acts in the artist’s voice and by switching into a �Hollywood� voice at the end. “You want your fucking cars chases, gun shots and blood?” Kaufman seemingly asks, “fine, I’ll deliver,” he responds. Once they kidnapped Charlie the movie loses all sense of rationality. And when Donald flies out the window, the movie may seem to follow but it doesn’t.

Step back from the madness and remember what Charlie railed against during the whole process.