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The "I Would Like to Shoot This Photograph Again Only Right This Time" doors from the old neighborhood.
December 4th, 1999

DBA Of The Month
It's late afternoon and I'm planning to watch two programs tonight on television, one, The March of the Wooden Soldiers with Laurel and Hardy which I remember watching in my youth in Seattle, certainly, when I was under 12, and in New York, I'm pretty sure, which I left when I was 18 to go to school. Can't say if I've seen it since. I say I remember, but I probably remember just enough to look forward to watching it tonight and not enough to remember, well, you know. Tastes change, although one hopes that Laurel and Hardy remain forever. Still, movies that mark the passage of Christmas get stuck in the subconscious: A Christmas Carol, White Christmas, It's A Wonderful Life. I cannot watch It's A Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart, which for many is the Christmas classic -- much too much treacle -- but then, most people would say that of The Wooden Soldiers.

Same with the Doo Wop special tonight on PBS. Doo Wop is no more and no less than my teenage reality put to music, years of Cousin Brucie on the radio in Yonkers, New York, some hundred or so 45's still in my collection. The good, the bad, the boringly ordinary. I hope it's half as good as I hope. Unfortunately PBS is raising money so you have to listen to their pitch for members. Almost as bad as the 20 minutes of commercials out of every hour they exact to watch The Wooden Soldiers. Which is on the Fox channel. Which is, I don't know, worse than the rest? I doubt it. I hear what you're saying, but cable isn't any better. (Insert piss moan passage. Pay no attention. It's something I picked up. Kind of like the flu.)

Doo Wop? Remember American Graffiti? Just think of The Platters (The Great Pretender and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes), The Penguins (Earth Angel), The Dell Vikings (Come Go With Me and Whispering Bells), The Skyliners (Since I Don't Have You), The Brooklyn Bridge (Sixteen Candles), The Cleft Tones (There's a Moon Out Tonight). I have an old friend who did the music coordination for American Graffiti. She understood the music in the same way: Teenage art and life writ large. She couldn't get Elvis because she couldn't afford to pay what the Colonel wanted for the rights, but she said she ran down the hall screaming when she got Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. If you don't understand that it doesn't matter because you haven't read this far anyway. Do I listen to these songs in the evenings, buy compilations by calling 800 numbers through TV advertisements aimed at old people? No. Just this evening on television and in this journal.

I didn't shoot any pictures today. Had a cafe latte at the usual place down on Grand Avenue What It Means To Live in Berkeley Parade. and picked up some additional copies of a postcard for some friends at work. DBA of the month club, $19.95, totally refundable. Seems to have struck a chord. It's very difficult to find a card with the right touch. Everything's too broad. Maybe you could find a way to sell them over the Internet where it would be practical to really narrow focus your punch line. Maybe something the buyer could modify at the keyboard. The card I picked had a "date of the month" riff which lent itself to "DBA of the month". If you don't know what a DBA is, you're lucky, just substitute "Ex-wife of the month". "Mary of the month". "Eddie of the month". "Stud fuck of the month". Some name from your recipient's past, all nicely customized and sent, well, as an email postcard. (Actually, that's an idea that would work. Too bad I'm no longer an entrepreneur.)

Date of the Month original. DBA of the Month clever modification.

The banner photograph was taken near my old apartment. The singer was photographed at the Oakland City Center. The post card is © The American Postcard Co. and is used without permission. This particular line is kind of cute and I recommend you go out and buy a bunch of them, but don't display them without permission the way I've done here.