"Keep The Faith...To Yourself."

I'm Matt Champagne. Watch me type things at you.

6th September 2014

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MAIN FRAMES

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I have exercise glasses.  Workout glasses.  (No, not goggles.  Sometimes I call my glasses my goggles.  I wasn’t much for doing yard work as a kid, but the best part of using the edger was wearing the protective goggles.  I looked like a an Armageddon baby from Mad Max.)  My exercise glasses look just like my regular glasses, or, as I like to call them, my life glasses.  The reason the dark-framed glasses I always wear eventually get streaked with white is because of my sweat.  That’s what I’ve managed to tell myself and I believe it.  So now that I’ve gone through about four permutations of what are basically the same eye glasses for about ten years now, I can take off my every day glasses, or, as I like to call them, my main frames, and put on some old streaked ones so’s I can sweat freely and not worry about damaging my main ones.  (No one cares about this.  I barely do.)

I’m going to London this Christmas.  Never been there.  Bought my ticket.  I’m going.  It’s set.  Things shut down pretty hard for me in L.A. every Christmas so that’s a pretty good time to get out of town.  Looking forward to it.  Haven’t been that far from home since going to Germany in high school.  I wanna see where Monty Python and The Young Ones shot their TV shows.  I wanna see Regent’s Park.  I want to have my picture taken outside M.I.6.  I want to mind the gap.  I’ve wanted to go to England since I was, like, twelve or something.  I’ll wear a London Fog coat.  I’ll wear a vest probably.  I’ll wear a watch with a garrote wire in it.  I’ll have the shepherd’s pie.  I’ll probably say “blimey.”  Maybe even “coo, ducky.”  I wanna hang out on Fleet Street.  Oh yeah, and I guess I’ll do some stand-up there too.  Whatever.


I remain

Champagne

5th September 2014

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POISON BLOWS

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The dumbest, most unimportant things drop back into my head after not being there forever.  Today I tried to figure out what the hell the memory of an interview given by Bobby Dall, bass player for Poison, was doing in my head.  “I physically could not stop drinking.”  I remember him saying that.  It’s one of the few things I remember about Poison’s episode of Behind The Music.  That and C.C. DeVille saying: “It very quickly went from the House of Whores to the House of Horrors.”  So I had to see it again, this show about a band I could not come close to giving a shit about.  Poison?  Even they thought they were bad.  What the hell do I care about Poison?  But I had to watch it.  I had so many better things to do with not only my day but also my life.  Thanks, You Tube, for the trip down tragedy lane.  Those cheap, shallow, hastily pasted-together Behind The Music episodes with their boring-ass narrations and by-the-book talking head interviews.  What the hell is up with my stupid impulses to re-watch lame shit from years ago, from 1999?  About a band I don’t even care about?  I remember one of the guys talking about the first L.A. apartment the band lived in and how they had one pot and they all pissed in it.  Like, that’s what they urinated in.  Really?  A pot?  Did you not have plumbing?  What kind of place was this?  Sounds like you were living in a gutted warehouse near the train tracks.  Where did you shit?  And even as I watched the whole episode, I tried to figure out the moment in the time line of the band’s rise that might maybe explain how in the living hell they even got their first gig.  Like, who said at the start: “Yeah, these guys.  Here’s some stage time.”  It’s never explained.  Behind The Music would have you believe that they just stapled a bunch of their flyers up and down Hollywood Boulevard and just started playing.  I don’t get it.  Why did I watch this?  Poison blows.


I remain

Champagne

4th September 2014

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NEEDLE NUGENT

This is from a play I did in college called Juno And The Paycock.  You know those depressing Irish plays Sean O’Casey wrote?  Yeah, one of those.  (I just realized that the term “depressing Irish play” is redundant.)  Look at my awful make-up (I’m on the right).  I look like a Vulcan accountant. (Almost typed “Vulvan accountant.”)  I look like Lord Voldemort’s clerk.  I look like one of the Munsters.  What play did I think I was in?  Count Dracula’s Castle Of Death?  I did such a shitty job on my make-up for this part.  I put wax on my eyebrows.  What the hell was that for?  This part was one of many parts I played then (and still play now) of angry guys in suits.  I was always in a suit in college plays.  I was either a taxman or a lawyer or some douche nozzle who was owed money.  That’s what I did in college.  Walked into the room with a suit on, said to the guy playing the lead: “Where the hell’s my money?” and then walked out.  I was so pissed all the time.  So in that way I was always well cast.  In this play I played a tailor.  Needle Nugent.  A tailor who made a suit for a guy who never paid for it.  My Irish accent was terrible.  I was like: “I’ll be takin’ the three quid ya owe me now, and quit yer jack-actin’!”  Or something.  I don’t know what I said.  This was from a period in my life where I was asking myself every day: “What the hell am I doing in Chicago?  It’s freezing here!”  You ever been in an Irish tragedy in the middle of a three-degree winter?  Oh, you gotta try that shit!  I ate quesadillas every day.  I drank so many Leinenkugels I developed a Leinenkugel muscle.  I called it my ‘Kugel muscle.


I remain

Champagne

3rd September 2014

Post with 1 note

GRAFFEELY

When I see gang graffiti in my neighborhood, it always depresses me.  But you know what bums me out more than gang graffiti?  Graffiti in English.

How am I supposed to take your graffiti seriously if it’s in English?  Right?  I immediately write off any graffiti that isn’t in Spanish or Sanskrit or gang signs or ghetto code or binary or just some weird symbols consisting of arrows or squiggles or little eyes and teeth.  Graffiti in English makes me think: “Go home white boy.”  It always makes me feel like I’m being lectured.  It always feels like art.  And I often hate art.  Graffiti in English always comes off as touchy-feely.  I call it grafeely.  And if you’re serious about graffiti, you don’t put it on garbage or stuff that people throw away.  You put it on walls, cars, trains.  You know, property.  The fact that you’re working in English and putting it on abandoned objects tells me everything about how serious you are about it.  Because if you’re doing graffiti in English, you’re probably some kind of poet.  In which case, you deserve to have the cops called on you.  But not for defacing property.  For writing poetry.  I would love to call the cops on a guy for writing poetry.

“Today in Hollywood, a 24-year-old man was indicted on two counts of poetry and contributing to the delinquency of anyone with good taste.”

Gang graffiti in my neighborhood always pisses me off, but at least that kind of paint is about territory and conflict.  You start spray-painting little socially aware haikus on an old wet mattress leaning against a tree, and I start to feel like I’m in an art appreciation class.  And no one wants that.

I think I just figured out a way to stop gangs from killing each other: Have them direct their beef toward the guys who do graffiti in English.


I remain

Champagne

2nd September 2014

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REVERSE MANEUVERING

I only have about seven seconds because I see there’s another car coming up right behind me.  I slide into reverse, turn the wheel all the way clockwise, push fairly heavily on the gas, maneuver my 2007 Toyota Camry into a spot in between an SUV and a Corolla, straighten the wheel to send the vehicle directly backwards, and I’m done.  I get out and have breakfast.

Three-quarters of the way through my crêpe, a guy with a friendly smile walks up to my table and says: “Excuse me.  You are a great driver!”

No one has ever thought I was a great driver.  I’ve had people say my driving scared them.  But none who’ve thought it was any good.  Or great.  Certainly none who have told me while I was attacking a crêpe at an IHOP.

“Oh, really?” I say.

He’s all: “Yes, you were so efficient and quick.  I had to tell you.”

I laugh.  Because I think it’s really funny.  I’m normally great with being alone, but this is one time I wish I had someone there to hear this with me.  Because no one’s gonna believe it.  Have you ever had someone admire your parallel parking while you’re attacking a crêpe?  I have!

The first time I took my driver’s test I failed it.  I sucked.  I completely caved.  I was driving so badly a cop almost pulled me over.  With the instructor in my car.  She took me through a four-way stop with no stop signs.  The one suburban four-way stop with no stop signs in Orange County and it was on my test.  Before I got home, my mom had to tell the rest of the family that I had failed and not to bring it up.

I wish parallel parking in front of an IHOP near LAX had been on the test.  I would’ve totally crushed it.


I remain

Champagne

1st September 2014

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"THESE LEGS ARE SHOT!

I’m in the subway in NYC last month and I’m getting my Metro pass replenished (that’s what they call it, right? replenished? those machines are replenishers, right?) and there’s this guy slowly making his way down the stairs behind me.  His legs don’t move so well.  And with every step he says: “Ooo.  Ow.  Oh boy.  These legs.  These legs are shot.  Oh boy.”  He has my sympathy until he really starts to sell it.  This guy is truly playing the pain to anyone within earshot.  He’s clearly saying: “Hey man, wanna help me out a little bit?”  But the help the guy needs is being lifted off the stairs, carried down them, and then placed into the wheelchair that’s waiting for him below.  (Someone must’ve carried it down there for him earlier.)  How am I supposed to do that?  How is anyone other than a sumo wrestler supposed to do that?  The guy shouldn’t be taking the subway.  And so I just stand there and watch him slowly descend the stairs, one excruciating step at a time, the whole way going: “Ow.  Hey.  Yikes.  Oh man.  Boy, these legs.”  I could take his hand, I guess, but that’s more emotional support than physical.  I feel like he’s going to ask me for money at some point.  I mean, this is how Ted Bundy lured his victims.  What if he’s a villain?  And he sees me looking at him like he sort of wants me to join in with his protestations.  Like, after each one, I should offer some kind of sympathetic agreement.

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HIM: Oooo.

ME: Yeah.

HIM: Ow.

ME: Yup.

HIM: Oh boy.

ME: Ooo, felt that one.

HIM: These legs!

ME; I know, right?

HIM: These legs are shot!

ME: What’d you say?  These legs are hot?

HIM: No, shot.  These legs are shot!

ME: Oh, shot.  Yeah.  Uh-huh.

HIM: Yikes.

ME: Mm-hm.

HIM: Ow.

ME: You’re telling me.

HIM: Boy, I sure could use a couple dollars.

ME: Nope.

***


I remain

Champagne

31st August 2014

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THE SECRET SHARER

I always kept hearing the title Heart Of Darkness.  By Joseph Conrad.  As a conversational topic.  As an answer to a trivia question.  As the reason Coppola made Apocalypse Now.  And whenever I heard it mentioned, it always made me go: “Yeah, I gotta read that some day.”  Did you know that Heart Of Darkness is a novella?  It’s short basically.  So I bought Heart Of Darkness and Selected Short Fiction around Christmas.  I started reading it about a month ago and I haven’t even gotten to Heart yet.  You know you’re in trouble when the introduction is forty-six pages long.  I had the nerve to skip that and now I’m in the middle of a story called Youth and it doesn’t make me feel old, but it makes me think this freakin’ book is old.  And it is.  Did you know Heart Of Darkness was published in 1899?  I didn’t know it was that old.  I was like: “Oh great.  This is going to be one of those books that make me feel like I’m in high school again.”  This very blog post feels like a book report for a book I haven’t finished reading.  (By the way: All of my book reports were comprised of books I hadn’t finished reading.)

The Secret Sharer is one of the stories in here.  (Or is it a novella?  I don’t know.  All I know is I have to read it.  [Yes, have to.  If I own it, I have to read it.])  The Secret Sharer.  See, I already don’t like it.  That word.  “Sharer.”  Try saying it.  It’s a pain in the ass, right?  It’s like The Rural Juror.  It’s like “ring bearer.”  “Bearer.”  What an awful word.  And some guy named Joseph Conrad got the idea to take an awful word like “sharer” and put in the title of one of his damn stories.  How can this story be any good?  Reading the title I can see what the words are, but if you said it to me, I’d think you were saying: “The Secret Cher.”   And I’d be all: “Who cares?”

Actually, I’m often around people who share their feelings so freely that I wish they’d cut back on that a bit.  So maybe The Secret Sharer is the best title ever.


I remain

Champagne

30th August 2014

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TOTES NOTES

I find random notes I’ve written down.  Here and there.  Some in ink, some electronic.  Here are they:

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Name: Goolagang

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About:Config

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I can be your boyfriend but only for about three days.

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Architect Jenga

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Florida Reefs To Be Mapped With Google Street View Technology.

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How do I connect my domain name to that?

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Gwyneth

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Ebola Control Freak

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Sex Tape: Ed McMahon

(I think this is two different notes, but I want it to be one.)

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James Fallon: The Psychopath Inside

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Name: Flapdoodle

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Google Glass Baby Picture

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It Doesn’t Matter = I Didn’t Do It

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It’s Not My Fault = I Didn’t Do It

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Erica and Erika

Sarah and Sara

Kathy and Cathy

Michelle and Michele

Laurie and Lori

Meghan and Megan

Chrystal and Krystal

Monica and Monika

Debra and Deborah

Lindsay and Lindsey

Leia and Leah and Lia

Rachel and Rachael

Laura and Lara

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Karaoke List:

“How Deep Is Your Love?” by the Bee Gees

“How Bizarre” by OMC

“This Must Be The Place” by Talking Heads

“Really Like To See You Tonight” by England Dan and John Ford Coley

“The Ace Of Spades” by Motörhead

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From iMovie: Share > Export Movie (In the in-store example, the file/movie was saved to iMovie Archives)

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Trigeminal Neuralgia

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Neck: 16

Sleeve: 34

Letter shoelaces!

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Meltdownshow@gmail.com

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Pat Melton and Ted Hann

NBC Talent Search

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“Just because your pain is understandable does not mean your behavior is acceptable.” – Steve Maraboli

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No Parking 2-4

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It’s an impossible game.  And I suck at it.  And I can’t stop playing it.

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I like true crime.

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Black Lab Mix

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Obvious Child Sex Tape

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“What’s this other thing?”

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Transvestite

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I told you once.

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I said stop it.

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“I did not shoot him.  I challenged him.”

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RESOLVE

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Wine Counterfeiter

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Promise

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Car Service App

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Revenge Of The Nerds

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Asking Women To Smile

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Ex-Girlfriend

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Cops: Butterfly

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“Turn down for what?!”

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Change/Ignore All

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Stationary For Japanese Prostitutes


I remain

Champagne

29th August 2014

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NO PICS AND IT DID HAPPEN.

Saw one.  For about seven seconds.  I’m sitting at my desk and I look up through my dusty screen door and up on the highest branch I was able to reach, fluttering and hovering like a fruit punch-loving helicopter, is a lone hummingbird drinking from the feeder I put up there.  It’s the first one I’ve seen venture to have a drink at it.  I made no sound.  I silently brought my farmer’s tanned arms up into the air like a rigid eleven, flexed them, shot them up into the air again, maybe three times in toto, and marveled at what was happening.  And what was happening?  Something completely ordinary.  A hummingbird taking a drink from a feeder.  I’m starting to cheer when things that are supposed to happen happen.  He looked down at the spigots, he judgmentally veered his head to one side, he righted it, then plunged his hypodermic beak right into that fruit faucet (it’s not really fruit, but I like to think the more health conscious hummingbirds out there deny what it is they’re really drinking and pretend that sticky red nectar [it’s probably not really nectar either; I’m sure I’m poisoning them] is just some great Vitamin C with which to start their day, or end it; does a hummingbird ever quit?) and siphoning back one quarter nanoliter before flying away like the fickle little bitch it was.  (How do I know the gender of the bird?  Look, all I know is it was flying like a bitch, okay?  Male or female.  Flying like a snooty, freaked out, holier-than-thou snob.  It flew like it was somehow representing all hummingbirds.  I was like: “Honey, relax.”)

I know what’s going to happen now.  She’s going to report back to her colleagues (by the way, what do you call a gang of hummingbirds?  A college?  A clan?  A beat?) on the quality of the nectar.  She’s the scout.  She’s the Yelp of hummingbirds.  What’s she going to say to them?

“Difficult to find and difficult to like.  Matt Champagne’s Nectar Sector offers none of the sweet finish of your favorite nectars with none of the atmosphere.  Whose idea was it to hang a feeder in an atrium?  Why do I have to perform a seven-degree angle dive just to get to the place?  Not that I can’t perform a seven degree angle dive; it’s just that if I do, it had better be worth my while.  I had about one quarter nanoliter (good guess!) and knew I wasn’t long for this place.  The nectar is store-bought (eww), and maybe the nicest thing I can say about it is it’s pretty.  I mean, it’s red.  The ants like it.  I ate one of the ants.  Do you like ants?  Then you will love Matt Champagne’s Nectar Sector.”

It’s like, how can someone who drinks alone have the nerve to talk smack like that?


I remain

Champagne

28th August 2014

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BOMB SQUAD

Yesterday I hear sirens and see flashing lights on a truck coming toward me.  I pull over to let it by and I see, printed on its side, the words “BOMB SQUAD.”  The truck is headed back toward my place.

Do I turn around to see if it’s actually headed to my apartment?  No.  I go to my audition.  Like the dead-inside bot that I am.  Speaking of bots, I didn’t see any in the back of the truck.  Doesn’t the Bomb Squad use robots to go into a place and check things out to make sure they’re safe?  I’d like to use a robot to attend parties for me.

I’ve never seen that before: A pick-up truck with sirens that says BOMB SQUAD on the side?  It looked fake.  In fact, out loud, I said: “Bullshit.”  I thought the Bomb Squad traveled in a tank-like vehicle with proper protective doors and a large crane to deal with explosives from a safe distance.  Why does the Bomb Squad tool around in my uncle’s pick-up that he takes to Lake Havisu every other weekend?  And where were they going?  My place?  The only bombs there are my jokes!  (HEEEEEY-no.)

I think it’d be funny if the guys in that truck were actually some kind of tech support and they just call themselves The Bomb Squad.  And drive around with sirens a blare.  “We got hard drives to back up!  One side!”

A bomb squad truck?  Going up a residential street?  If I didn’t have somewhere to be, I would’ve turned right the hell around and followed them.  I’d be like: “Where are you going?”  Who called them?  Did someone see a suspicious object?  In L.A., a book counts as a suspicious object.  God, I hope I see that truck again.  I mean, I don’t want anything to blow up, but I’d like to see what these guys look like.  They’re probably all a bunch of surfers.


I remain

Champagne