Advice Goddess Blog
« Previous | Home | Next »

I Brake For Genius

1959 Ford Thunderbird convertible photographed at the Rose Cafe

I love people who write like theyve taken a lot of LSD. If every word in the LA Times was written by Dan Neil, Id read the paper cover-to-cover -- twice. I try to do for advice writing what he does for copy about cars. Check out his take on the Ducati 999R:

If you enjoy the wide-open freedom of a motorcycle, the wind in your face, the carefree, horizon-chasing moment, then by all means avoid the 2005 Ducati 999R.

This thing is misery on two wheels, a wickedly disposed and temperamental exercise of sheer mechanical narcissism upon which you assume a posture like it's flashlight inspection day in prison. Its 150-hp V-twin motor runs on damned souls and is lubricated with the fat of unbaptized children. All this bike wants to do, all it dreams about at night, is catapulting you over the handlebars or pitching you backward onto the streaming concrete so you make one of those slo-mo, Evel-Knievel-at-Ceasars-Palace death rolls in your fancy Italian riding leathers.

So plan your day accordingly: After riding this bike, you will need some time to unwind. Go for a Polynesian fire walk, perhaps. Play some "Deer Hunter" roulette. Or, if so equipped, have a vasectomy.

Im starting to feel about Dan the way I feel about Julie Andrews; namely, that if I saw her Id tear off my top and ask her to autograph my breasts with a Sharpie. (Dan, Im sure Colleen? Corine? in LA Times Legal can help you fill out the paperwork for a restraining order.) P.S. I did manage to listen to Julie speak without rushing the stage at a recent Walter Mirisch tribute. Then again, I was with my boyfriend, Gregg, who is very supportive of his batty, outspoken broad - with only one caveat: Im free to mouth off at anyone I want - except when hes at my side.

I can respect that. And usually I do. But once, when we were driving alongside an older woman with a Marriage Is Between A Man And A Woman bumper sticker, I did ask him to make an exception. Cant I just yell Lesbian! out the window at her? Request denied. I do have to admit that Gregg was a very good sport about The Tampa Airport Incident -- the time when he got strip-searched because his overpacking clothes-horse of a girlfriend had given him a little desk set she'd bought, with a tiny stapler, tiny ruler, and tiny rounded-pronged scissors (oops!) to pack in his carry-on. (Of course, you could more easily wound somebody with one of the rock-like bagels they serve on Northwest.)

After I went through the metal detector, I finally spotted Gregg -- putting his belt and shoes back on while the TSA guy searched his bag. This was odd, I thought, because hes a frequent traveler, and knows what to carry and not to carry. When the TSA guy mentioned that it was the tiny scissors that flagged Gregg for a search, I leapt onto my soapbox: Do you know why were all inconvenienced at airports!? Its because people believe in god! Luckily, the agent either chose to ignore me or typically takes pity on men with mouthy broads -- or Gregg might now be sitting in a cell muttering to himself about the reason certain men are inconvenienced by jail terms.

Posted by aalkon at November 4, 2004 9:31 AM


"When the TSA guy mentioned that it was the tiny scissors that flagged Gregg for a search, I leapt onto my soapbox: Do you know why were all inconvenienced at airports!? Its because people believe in god!"

LMAO! You sooo very funny Ms. Amy.

Reminds me of my TSA experience during a trip to Houston a while ago.

(2nd paragraph).

I'll go away now.


Posted by: RKN at November 4, 2004 12:22 PM

"I love people who write like theyve taken a lot of LSD."

I'll have to work on the 'write like' part.

Posted by: Sheryl at November 4, 2004 6:09 PM

WHat happened to the Hambone man?

He looks like a stout, loyal guardian...


It isn't communing with Chopin, but still worth a visit.... I think a visit is in the wings- anyone wanna meet?

Posted by: eric at November 4, 2004 7:04 PM

Did somethign get lsot in the text? Why is this automobile identified as a hard top?

As I silly white child raised in the Indiana in the early 60's, I was compelled to ingest a number of commercial entertainments featuring Julie Andrews. (Memorably, Sound of Music and Mary Poppins.) She always struck me as loathsome, horrific and mishappen, though in those years, I couldn't figure out why. I had not yet learned to read.

Was the clumsy buttplug rumble of her manly, indelicate vibrato? No, for I knew nothing of 1980's WeHo sex toys in those years outside Chicago. And I hadn't really figured out what a woman's musical voice was for in those times, though it seemed certain that Pet Clark's "Downtown" --with it's comfortably downmarket pronunciations and comical teenage glissandos-- was closer to the truth. (Remember, Petula would shortly appear in Coppola's first big film, along with a still-spry and charming Astaire.)

Was it then the abject, stuffy Britishness of her personality? Maybe! Limey accents are all about condecension, and you don't need a college degree to figure this out.

Was it the butch haircut? We're really getting warm now!

The problem with JULIE ANDREWS was that she was not sexual! I was four! Get the picture? In the same way an infant who might not yet know how to walk would see a wheelchair as evidence of dysfunction, I knew that all the witless diversions in which she was featured were skipping a fundamental component of the human experience.

Worse still, bitch knocked the Beatles off the charts. She is not to be forgiven.

Woman, man, firm or flabby, DO NOT SHOW JULIE ANDREWS YOUR BREASTS. She hasn't earned the privilege.

Posted by: Cridland at November 4, 2004 9:20 PM

But "fat of unbaptized children" is a wonderful line. Those car guys can be good when they're sober. I was once saw the ignition of a V12 engine described as having "all the subtlety of a thermonuclear detonation in a public toilet."

Posted by: Cridland at November 4, 2004 9:23 PM

Geez, I am trying to wean myself off this, but I could no longer resist fighting with Crid than I could resist Anne Margaret in "Tommy".

Julie Andrews starred opposite BO DEREK, yes, BO DEREK, the most perfect woman (except Sophia Loren, Lena Horne, and Hyapatia Lee) alive, in 10! Now, being a "Limey" who has been told he looks like a cross between Dudley Moore and Austin Powers, I take umbrage (sp?) at your suggestion that Julia Andrews was not sexy. Worse still, and something I take very personally, "Downtown" was number one the day I was born, and I find your remark totally out of bounds.

Ms Andrews has, as Robert Preston noted, a "great set of knockers".

In S.O.B., Julie Andrews revealed to us her sense of rebellion, her repressed sexual hunger, her true "interior personality". No longer was she Mary Poppins, but a wanton harlot who could waver three octaves. Pat Benatar was a poser compared to Ms Andrews! That's not sexual? And who could forget the camel toe scenes Ms Andrews mastered in those Sergio Valente jeans?

In Victor Victoria, Ms Andrews was a cross dressing she-he-female that drew drew James Garner into "the gay way" through subterfuge, as Quentin spoke about in "Sleep with me". Now, anyone who could access James Garners' deviant interior life is clearly someone to share a glass of sherry with. I won't even bring up the kissing scene with Mongo and Maverick, or the "how about your sisters" milk scene, as there may be ladies listening.

All I am saying is The 60's and 70's were about martini parties and discretion, about exploring interior personalities, so cut Julie and Blake some slack, since they had fun and good times filming some of the underbelly of American culture.

PS- interior personalities.

PPS- Thanks for the word "glissando". I never heard that word before. I had to look it up. It wasn't in the book, but I think I figured it out.

Posted by: eric at November 4, 2004 10:33 PM

Eric --

Regarding the word "glissando": Were you so tripped out over Dark Side of the Moon that you completely missed Aladdin Sane by Bowie?

"Passionate bright young things
Take him away to war
(don't fake it)
Saddening glissando strings
(you'll make it)

"Who will love Aladdin Sane?
Battle cries and champagne
Just in time for sunrise
Who will love Aladdin Sane?"

Crid -- I'm sure that when my poor parents saw my reaction to Petula Clark's "Downtown," they knew they had a major fag-to-be on their hands.

PS: "Glissando" --> "with a gliding effect." Just add lubricant and GO!

Posted by: Lena, Homo in Full Bloom at November 5, 2004 12:01 AM

> ...10!...

The film has not aged well. At the time, Derek was new and unlined, and the cornrows on a white woman were exotic. But even that novelty wasn't sustained over the showing time of the movie. And by the 1980s, Andrews had been too annoying for too long to reclaim dignity by ironicly playing a frost queen.

> Ms Andrews has, as Robert Preston
> noted, a "great set of knockers".

These films were directed by her husband. This is five kinds of pathetic! He had to PAY A GUY to say that. He had to FINANCE A FILM to float this turdlike meme.

> "Downtown" was number one the day
> I was born.

Doing the math, I must hereafter regard you as errant youth, a mere pup of a man. Besides, you miss the point: Relative to Andrews, even *Clark* was glandular and accessible. And she had a better jawline. (Of course, Petula herself would shortly get into a bitchslapping contest with the Beatles... Fourteen seconds before she FELL OFF THE FACE OF THE GLOBE.)

> PS- interior personalities.

It's the movies, we can say whatever we want!

Posted by: Cridland at November 5, 2004 12:49 AM

10 is still funny, SOB is a classic, and Bo Derek looks as good today as she ever did. Especially on horseback....

All right Crid- how old are you? I will hit the brick wall called 40 in January. I'm the oldest person I know....

Lena- I am appalled to say I do not know Aladdin Sane, but I'll give it a go. Always looking for new sounds... even when they are 30 years old. Glad to hear you are in full bloom.


Posted by: eric at November 5, 2004 8:51 AM

The car was captioned as a hardtop because the boyfriend, who knows all about cars, said it was one -- and looked up the year for me, too.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 5, 2004 10:04 AM

> how old

Forty-fucking-five, with the cholesterol numbers to prove it.

Also, Joan Baez has lost her mind:

Posted by: Anonymous at November 5, 2004 10:10 AM

The boyfriend now reports that he was on acid while looking up the model year, and hallucinated that it was a convertible hardtop. It has now been corrected. Thank you for your automotive attention to detail. The management.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 5, 2004 5:27 PM


Poor Hammie. One of these days I'll finish writing about him but lets say for now that he was a very 'special needs' guy and one day his special needs beat out his zest for living. Yes, he was stalwart, fun, loving, everything I want in a man.

Thanks for asking.

Posted by: Sheryl at November 5, 2004 6:49 PM


Gracias por la "deadpan" amiga. Muy delicioso!

Via con dios de los lobos, senor hambone. Salude Ape para m.

A tu conoces Gorge Velasquez @ PBA?

Posted by: eric at November 5, 2004 10:07 PM

Como se dice deadpan en Espanol eric? No, no se Gorge Velasquez @PBA. Y un million de gracias para los cumplidos y psame.

Posted by: Sheryl at November 8, 2004 3:12 PM

ah! pan muerte! LMAO

Posted by: Sheryl at November 8, 2004 3:14 PM