The Stones of Summer, Robert Altman does Popeye and Matt’s Panic Attacks!

As dumb as it sounds, going to the movies is a part of my therapy and/or healing. A safe place to work on conquering panic attacks. So, if you’ve been to the movies and hear someone coughing hysterically, hyperventalating or scampering to the back of the theatre — chances are you and I are seeing a movie together. Ugh.

Anyway, I saw “Stone Reader” yesterday and am happy to report that I sufferred no panic attacks! Of course it was a whole different story later in the evening when Karl and I attempted to visit the newly re-opened Peabody Essex Museum. Anyway, the movie was fantastic. The ad campaign urges all who love to read and who love books to see the movie. It is true — if you like to read, you must see this movie which is really about the magic of great writing and great books.

23 years after its failed theatrical release, Paramount has released Robert Altman’s “Popeye” to DVD. Now, this is a bad movie on just about every level. However, it is full of such almost promise and failed creativity one has to appreciate it on some level. It is not bad enough to be considered good. This is not camp. It is an interesting bit of film history. Great cinematic talent created a mistake and it is interesting on that level. Also, for those who love the old Popeye cartoons — Robert Altman has painfully re-created the sights and sounds of those cartoons. Shelley Duvall and Robin Williams are truly fantastic in their roles. …and truly bad all at the same time. Harry Nilsson’s musical score is like an out-of-tune musical fungus that gets under your skin and won’t leave. Anyway, I was excited to find a copy a few weeks ago. I had a minor panic attack as I purchased the DVD.

These panic attacks are quite annoying and frustrating, but I am determined to beat this crap. So, onward I go. Therapy is currently twice a week and we continue to make med adjustments. The aim for return to work is still late July, but the doctors seem to think early August is more realistice. We shall see. If I don’t get back to work soon I will have forgotten how to do my job. …or I will have to take a new job as I do not know how long they can go on with no one in my position. The situation just sucks. Oh well.

June 27, 2003. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.


60’s Babs! My Gay Post for Pride ’03

Ok. So I’ve had loads of time on my hands in between visits to various doctors. I’ve been listening to the new Annie Lennox CD (Excellent!! A MUST OWN!!!) and the new Sarah Brightman CD (Ambient Buddha Bar-Infested Ear Candy — OK), By the way, what is up with Ms. Brightman and this whole sex pot thing? The CD is full of soft-porn shots of the diva on various landscapes. I mean the first time she did it was ok, however, now it just seems odd and kind of dirty. Anyway, I’ve been enjoying these new CD’s, but nothing compares to a couple of shots of good ol’ Babs Streisand when the heart is aching.

Anyway, I’ve had time to listen and think hard about it. While Babs may have hit her superstardom sales in the 70’s and her voice reached its peak at about 1983 – 1985 —- She did her best work in the 1960’s. There is just no way around it.

When she sang Cry Me a River in 1962 she sang it in a completely original way. No sad sack or torch rendition for 60’s Babs —- her recording is pure anger. I mean, she sings as if she is out for blood. I don’t think anyone ever sang it like that before or after. No one has ever sung “Down With Love” better and meant it more. Not even Judy — and that is saying something. Yep. For my money — Babs did it best in the 60’s. Always original, always dramatic, not afraid to be imperfect if it made the lyric more powerful — gusto, verve, humor and pure passion with just a hint of innocence.

However, for sheer fun and harmony — stick with free-lovin’, super cool, afro-haired 70’s Babs. Loads of fun for sing-a-longs and the obesession with absolute perfection that would gripe her so hard in the 80’s/90’s has yet to take full hold. You can tell she is still worried about getting laid — at least more so than always “getting it right”

Ok, that is my big old gay post. Go out and pick up the new Annie Lennox CD, check out the new CD from Goldfrapp (most cool!) and pull out the old 60’s Bab’s CD’s — particularly the fist two and the People album.

NOTE: These are my opinions. Am on heavy meds so take them for what they may or may not be worth.


June 13, 2003. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.


Good Days, Bad Days and All the In-Between…

Things have been getting better, but progress is slow. Sometimes I feel that for every step I take forward I get pushed back 4. Those are the bad days. Yesterday and the day before were bad days. Karl, who has the patience of Job when it comes to moi, made me go into the hospital last night for a quick evaluation. I didn’t want to go. A mixture of anger and fright propelled me toward the safety of the sofa — but Karl’s common sense won out and I went to the hospital. As it turned out, it was the best thing I could have done.

Changes in meds were made. I am fairly certain that there will be more changes regarding my meds to come. At any rate, the doctor tried a different drug on my last night and I took my second and third doses today. Had to stay in all day to take it easy with the med change, but seems like this is a good change. Aside from bad tv, today has been a good day. I am confident that tomorrow will be good as well.

Looks like my days will remain dull for a while longer. The doctors have put me out from work for another 30 days. I suspect that August will probably the month I get the go-ahead to return to normal life. Meanwhile, my mother is coming for a short visit. She has been quite worried about us and it has been over a year since last I saw her — so a visit seems ok. No plans — just no frills visit with mom. We do plan on visiting Karl’s parentals on the Cape for a Sunday. Am determined that the days my mom visits will be good days, but the one thing I’ve learned through all of this crap —- it is next to impossible to predict anything.

Am having to sit out the Boston PRIDE festivities this year. First time I’ve missed Pride since 1991. Oh well. Am not going to focus on it. Besides, to be honest, the last couple of Pride parades/festivites have kind of blended in together to form a sort of sameness. So maybe it will be good for me to miss one.

Sorry so few updates.

June 13, 2003. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.