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Nothing Changes But The Changes, Babe!

Well, the condo is on the market. Not sure how long that it will take to sell it, but we are doing OK. We will always love each other. And, as Karl has pointed out to me many times over the past year —- we have been living more as roommates for the last year than lovers. However, I am working on separating a few things because I think that will make it easier for me.

I now have my own email address. Please make note of the change. Until further notice, my home email address is matthewstanfield1112@yahoo.com.

I have attempted to update my blog page to this address. My hope is that my attempt at an update worked!

October 31, 2004. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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Bloody Saturday

Well, fake blood anyway. Just saw THE MANSON FAMILY. I am not sure what I was expecting, but I was disappointed. The film has received some praise and generated a buzz for the director who has been working on since 1988. There were some creative techniques applied which made part of the film seem like real footage from the time of Manson clan. I also enjoyed the way the director copied the various styles of editing that were so annoying, but popular in the late 60’s. However, much of the acting was on the same level as a community theatre play. He also wanted to get into the gore — which, sadly, seemed more comical than horrific. Nothing looked at all real. As a viewer I felt kind of guilty laughing because I was watching
re-enactments of horrible real-life murders. However, the guy who played the psycho Bobby was really very hot. Is it wrong to find an actor playing a member of the Manson Clan hot? I don’t know, I guess that could even be illegal in some states.

Thus far, that has been my day. My pal, Jen, was kind enough to hang with me last night while I whined and vented about me and Karl. It is really scary to face the fact that everything which has mattered in my life is about to be gone. However, I am ok and am starting to see some real positives about some of the changes. The sadness sweeps over me like a cold wave from time to time.

Anyway, Jen and I saw SIDEWAYS last night. We both loved every minute of it. I don’t think there was a thing about it I would change. Both funny and touching without dipping into sentimentality. I am toying with the idea of heading over to the Boston Common and seeing the new Nicole Kidmann movie, BIRTH. For some reason — it looks interesting to me.

October 30, 2004. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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Validation

One of my favorite monthly reads, PAPER MAGAZINE, is going to publish an email I sent them in their December issue! I feel so validated! However, I guess I should not feel too good about it because the editor person called me “Mike” in his email requesting my city/state information. Still, even tho they do not know my name — they are going to print my letter! I am all excited. …well, not really. But I am pleased and can’t wait to see who will be on the cover!!! Knowing my luck in life, the cover boy will probably be Dom DeLuise.

This was my e-mail for all of the world to see this coming December:

Just one of my many favorite sections of Paper Magazine is Ann Magnuson’s LA Woman column. The world needs more of Ann! “THE HUNGER” finally found its way to DVD and I think a number of us are dying to know what it was really like to deep kiss David Bowie as he scored second base! That had to be an experience worthy of remembering!!

A Former Bongwater Groupie!
Matt Stanfield

I really would love to read or hear what she would have to say about that movie acting experience!

And, I really was a Bongwater groupie. I was crushed when they ended and even more crushed to find out that Kramer had been such a jerk to her! At one point in early 1992 — I sent a letter to Kramer offering myself as a sex slave to both he and Ann if they would let me work at Shimmy Disc and give me a cot on which to sleep.

…The cool thing is that he did write back and he even sent me a way cool shirt and some cute little voodoo dolls. …the bummer of it was what he wrote: “Thanks for the offer, but we already have a sex slave. Best wishes, Kramer”

oh well. you’ve got to give it your best shot.

Whatever happended to Kramer? He did a couple of solo CD’s before Shimmy went under. Kind of sucked because he was the first to give such groups as Gwar, Ween and even Daniel Johnson their first record deals. They all left him for major label deals. Then he tried to screw Ann out of royalties. I guess the last I heard or saw of him was a couple of years ago. He was doing some shows at The Knitting Factory in NYC —- I think they bought out his former label’s catalog. He also released an experimental CD which I could not really understand.

Kramer, are you out there somewhere? Are you in need of a sex slave? I am now in my late 30’s with a bit of xtra weight that I shall soon be shedding. …I still have hair! However, my basic requirements still stand. I have to insist on a paying job of some sort and a cot. I know you are straight, but I can help you work thru that.

kisses,
matt

Oh, and on the positive side — I actually talked about me and Karl to a co-worker and managed to not get sick or cry. I figure that is a step in the right direction. The sad thing is — I feel like I really am losing everything that matters to me. I wish I could just get a break. …maybe the letter in Paper is a sign of good things to come.

a boy can dream.

October 28, 2004. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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Getting Personal

A good friend recently warned me about posting things which cross too far over into that line of the personal. And, her advice was right. So, I have been struggling with what to write about what is going on right now. This afternoon I realized that a few of you already know. And, this is not a secret.

After much soul searching, discussion, therapy and plenty of tears Karl and I have decided to end our relationship. This is something that I never imagined would happen. I always thought that love would win out — that all that mattered was that you love and respect each other and all else can be over come. I guess I was wrong. Not to sound like a drama queen —- but we all know that I have leanings in that direction — anyway, it has felt like my heart was breaking. Even though I am very sad and depressed over the situation — I have to say that once we both said that we need to break up — there was a sort of invisible weight that seemed to lift off my shoulders because I was no longer stuck in relationship limbo. I knew what I was going to do and that in itself was a relief. However, it is still hard for me to talk about.

I think the reason I am even writing about it now is because I am being faced with a couple of very scary things. I am losing Karl with whom I have built a life that I have treasured for over 9 years. I am also losing his family which I have come to think of as my family. Then there is our home. I had wanted to just buy Karl out, but the more I looked at it —- I just think it would be too much for me. I need my spending money. Also, I am thinking I want to be free of the constraints created by owning property. It is easy to break a lease, but selling a home can be more of a challenge. You never know, once I pull my head, act and body together — I just might take off for an adventure. Maybe I will finally get myself the real city — Manhattan!! Of course I have no real idea of what the future holds — who does?

When I got home this evening feeling rather sick from my therapy session I held Dusty and she just let me hold on to her which she licked my neck. I have gone back and forth over whether or not I should hang on to Dusty — she brings me so much joy and I love her so much. However, there are no luxury apartments in Boston which will allow dogs. …And, since I will be single —- I may want a bit more freedom than owning a dog will allow. Also, I think Dusty might be happier living with Karl’s parents who adore her. Karl’s dad is home all day and I think he would love Dusty’s company. I think Dusty will have a happier life with Karl’s parents than with me. A very trusted advisor and friend told me that I was being silly — that “Dusty is just a dog, afterall” …but I am not sure I agree with that view. Dusty is a precious living thing who loves to be with people. What kind of life is it to be crated all day waiting for me to come home at 7pm to walk her and play with her for a few hours before I go to bed. As much as it will hurt, I need to let Dusty go.

So — we are about to put the condo on the market. Everything in our lives is about to change. I guess I just never thought I would find myself in this place. And, while I know that we are doing the right thing that doesn’t stop it from hurting like hell. This all feels like someone has died.

Life can really fuck with you sometimes. It sucks. Worst of all, I do not believe you can just stop loving someone. How does one bridge past that to move on? I guess I will learn. I just know that I do not want to be alone.

I need a Prince Charming to rush in and sweep me out of this mess. Any Prince Charmings out there in blog land?

October 27, 2004. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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Being Veruca Salt

…isn’t easy. The bottom line is that I just want everything! I deserve it! And, yes, I am a bad egg — but I lost that horrid red dress years ago!

No, seriously, I find Gene Wilder really hot as Willy Wonka and am worried that I will not care for Johnny Depp in the role. I mean he is hot, but in a most different way than Gene was back in 1970.

October 25, 2004. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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The Brian Jones Massacre, Elaine Stritch and Region-Free DVD Players!

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing Elaine Stritch live performing her one woman show at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston. I had already seen the show via DVD and loved it — but it was so cool to see her perform the show live. I find it amazing that an 80 year old person can do the things that she does. There were a few bumps — particularly in Act II, but no one can see The Ladies Who Lunch with the level of depth she brings to it. We had fantastic seats. It was a great show!

This morning I decided to haul my fat ass over to the Kendall Square Cinema to see the new documentary regarding the once-friendship and now rivalry between the indie bands, The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jones Massacre, …called DIG. It was an excellent film. However, I do not care for either band. Actually, TBJM broke up a couple of years ago. However, it does make for an interesting viewing.

I guess I screwed up an ordered two region-free DVD players by mistake. Anyway, I guess it is OK. I will store one till the other one gives out. What is so cool as that I can finally watch DVD’s from other countries. As example, I was able to get the whole series of “GIMMIE,GIMMIE,GIMMIE” …shut up. I like it. I also have the Robbie Williams documentary that never made it to the US, a way cool DVD set of Goldfrapp, the controversial French horror film with Vincent Gallo and Beatrice Dalle — TROUBLE EVERY DAY and the special edition 2 DVD set of Ken Russell’s TOMMY! Wow! I am in viewing heaven! I also secured a couple of way-cool Pizzicato Five DVD’s from Japan!!! Can’t wait to check those out! Plus I now have VALLEY OF THE DOLLS on DVD because Fox released it in the UK, but not in the US. Am most happy about that. I intend to spend the rest of the weekend watching all of these cool things on my way-cool DVD player! However, I do have about 3 or 4 hours worth of work I will have to do tomorrow. Work has been so very busy I am unable to keep my head above water as of late.

Hope everyone is having an awesome weekend — and, let’s hope that The Red Socks do not win because Boston is full of idiots and gun-happy cops who turn the whole city upside down with the team wins. So stupid and so very sad.

October 23, 2004. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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Political Thoughts From My Diva of Choice!

I normally do not post much that is political, but I think that those who know me know me to be a true bleeding heart liberal to the far left. Anyway, I made my monthly pilgrimage to BARBRA’S web site and really liked her thoughts on several political topics. It is always nice when your fave movie star/singer/celebrity holds the same political convictions as your own. Anyway, here is a bit from her posting — hope it is OK to do this. I guess it is since I am giving credit to her as author and her website —- barbrastreisand.com

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on.”
— George W. Bush

Playing on the Abraham Lincoln adage, George W. Bush was quoted making this statement. The Bush Administration, from the outset, has used the approach of disseminating lies, lies of omission and half truths, cover-ups and smoke screens to pull the wool over the eyes of the American people. And the media has allowed them to do so. From misleading this country into war, to flip flopping on the issues and now most recently having the Vice President go on record insisting that the Iraqi war was justified regardless of a new report by Charles Duelfer. The chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq stated Hussein’s government produced no weapons of mass destruction after 1991 and did not have the capability to do so. How many more reports do we need? Are Bush and Cheney out of touch with reality? Does Cheney really believe that Iraq just having the knowledge to produce WMD’s is justification to wage a war, lose and injure thousands of young American soldiers, take innocent Iraqi lives, isolate the U.S. from the international community, and inflame the Muslim world? Or are he and the President terribly afraid to admit to the disastrous lapses in judgment that they have displayed over the last 4 years? Either answer means that Bush was deeply dishonest or he so badly misjudged the threat of Iraq that he’s not up to the job of President.

October 21, 2004. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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Taxicab Confession…

I think due to a blend of personal stress, a bit of depression, work pressures and a poor quality of sleep —- I am just really exhausted. I had a long, but productive day at work. However, I have a long way to go before I catch up, and, tomorrow I have to leave early for my weekly shrink appointment. There is a really nice event held by my firm in honor of administrative professionals — and it is happening tomorrow. I really want to go — and, because of my position, I really should be there. Anyway, I am worried that I will be too “beat up” after therapy to put on a happy face and go. We shall see.

Anyway, I took a cab home tonight because Karl has school and I was a little late. I wanted to get home to Dusty and I really didn’t feel like dragging my lazy ass to the subway and dealing with fellow commuters. So, I got in the cab. …and fell asleep. I woke up to an annoyed cabbie screaming at me to wake up. Do I hear HBO banging at the door to have me sign a release form????

Now, however, I feel a bit rejuvenate and have been playing with Dusty.

AND — my self-purchased Bday gift of a region-free DVD player arrived today! I am all excited! By the way, my bday has yet to arrive — I was feeling really down and decided to buy it now vs. waiting another 3 weeks.

Karl is going to be equally excited to discover that Dusty’s new and improved cintonella collar has arrived. Poor little Dusty gets a bit too excited and has quite a bark — this spraying collar seems to be the only thing that works. It really is not as mean as it sounds — not at all harmful. Just trains her to not bark when it is on.

Oh, and today I ate one of those horrid business meeting sandwiches with a soda. Odd noises started to emit from my throat. It sounded like I was possessed by the devil. However, I do not think that was the case as my head did not spin and I failed to projectile vomit. I guess it was just gas.

I’m gassy.

October 19, 2004. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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How Will We Feel 20 Years From Now?

I decided I wanted to listen to a bit of Stevie Nick this morning on my way to the office. I plugged in her 1985 hit CD, “ROCK A LITTLE” —- the first song was the second big single from the CD — “I Can’t Wait” — and it sounds really dateed now! All of those drum machines and synthezied horns! It was such an 80’s sound.

However, something caught my ear immediately — at the mid-point of the song Stevie speaks into the microphone and asks, “How will we feel 20 years from now?” …and, then I ralized that as of now it has been 19 years ago. I remember that this CD came out durng muy first college class.

wow. stand back —- I’m old!

October 18, 2004. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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Cinematic One-Sided View

Anyone who knows me knows I love film and music. Music must surround me at all times and my taste in music varies a great deal. Also, the happiest place for me to be is the cinema. However, with each passing year I have become bored with American film making. The major American studios have even managed to infiltrate the independent American films — or, the indie film makers are so intent on “making it” in the major markets — they follow all the cliches set forth by the American film industry. So, I am a major fan of European cinema.

However, once again, we in America see only a very small fraction of what is out there from world cinema. Nothing seems to make me happier than seeing a new film from France — a country which is slowly coming back into focus with interesting and challenging film making in a way the world has not seen since the days of Goddard and the like. A year or so ago I “discovered” Rainer Werner Fassbinder and I engulfed myself in German cinema — which has proven to be a fascinating and fractured view from a country which has been fighting its way through major cultural changes since 1945. The views presented by German film is an extraordinary psychological web of emotional, social and political confusion. Fassbinder was most definitely at the head of presenting this for his generation — and, Werner Herzog was not far behind him. Now, of course this is only my opinion — all of art is subjective.

Over the years I would occasionally see an Asian film that would grab my imagination and challenge the way I view the world. A while back I saw a disturbing horror film by Takashi Miike, AUDITION. Upon my first viewing I found the film to be two movies in one. The first half was devoted to the romantic but somewhat cruel pursuit of perfect love — the second was focused on extreme horror with violence that went further than any I had the displeasure of seeing. I decided that I didn’t like the film at all, but I could not shake it from my memory. I researched the work of Takashi Miike and discovered his work to be sitting on a fence between high political art and totally exploitive sex and violence which seemed to be aimed at the lowest denominator. I have since seen AUDITION several times and now consider it to be one of the most powerful comments on a culture which has lost touch with itself and the sad state of affairs between people in relationships. Miike’s work is not for everyone. He loves to shock and pushes the envelope all of the time, but it offers a very exaggerated view of politics — both from a societal and sexual view.

Since “discovering” Miike I have thrown myself into Asian cinema full force and have discovered an incredible wealth of complex, beautiful and unforgettable cinematic work. Not the normal “epic/heartwarming” stuff the Oscars likes to highlight — tho, that form of art is certainly there to be found. HERO is one of the most poetic films I have ever seen —- sadly, 30 minutes were trimmed for US/UK release. The film as it was meant to be seen can be found out there if you look hard enough — and for all of $20 at that!

When I do discuss Asian cinema with friends I have found that most throw Japanese, Chinese, Korean and all other Asian countries into the same pot. This is a major mistake. Every country offers its own unique take on the world and people. There are two uniquely Korean films which really fascinate me — BAD GUY and SORUM. BAD GUY is written and directed by Korea’s version of Miike, Ki-duk Kim. Kim presents a harsh mirror to his country. BAD GUY is almost a re-take of the horrid PRETTY WOMAN in reverse. A drug-dealing, pimping gang leader essentially forces a pretty college girl into a life of prostitution. …and she falls madly in love with him. The movie is entertaining, shocking, funny, and grotesque. The end result is an unforgettable film that challenges the viewers to re-examine society’s view of women and criminals. That re-examination is needed to find a way for society to improve and heal. With Sorum, Jong-Chan Yun presents a Korean horror film thru the tragic relationship between a dim-witted cabbie and a broken woman. The film is more sad than horrific. The real horror is not the ghost that haunts, but the place society has put these two people — who are both essentially victims of a world that refuses to help and protect them.

Which makes me think of another point — the horrible way that the American film industry is raping the power out of the entire horror genre to be found in Asian cinema. Two classic examples are the recent remakes of popular horror films, Ring and Grudge. I have not yet seen the American version of Grudge (which was made by the original writer/director, Takashaki Shimizu), however he had to make some fairly significant changes to his original script to obtain a PG-13 rating and to cut down on the intellectual pieces to his original film, Ju-On. The same was true for The Ring. The tone, violence and essential atmosphere is lost in the American-ized version of Nakata’s Ringu. The American take is bombastic and puts the viewer on a fun rollercoaster — but offers nothing for the viewer to take away from what he/she has seen.

In a very real way, I think, it is our failure to view and appreciate the cinematic art from other cultures — which leads to our misunderstanding and distrust of other cultures. A very American film like PRETTY WOMAN shows a culture that is, at once, obsessed and repressed about sex. A culture that de-values women to a group who just wants to be swept away by a good looking man and shop. It presents a very shallow and commercial view of itself.

Please do not misunderstand me — I do think there are and have been some astounding films made by Americans that do a much better job at representing our culture — but very few, if any of those, had the commercial impact of Julia Roberts as a whore with a heart of gold and a desire to shop.

Another interesting American film, Mel Gibson’s THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, shows how disinterested “we” are in the actual teachings of Christ — “we” seem to be more interested in watching Christ be tortured for 2 hours with very little mention of his love. Gibson does show us that Christ liked his mom and invented the table, but I personally think that those very short scenes serve to allow us to run out for popcorn so we don’t miss any of the gore and pain that followed Christ to his mortal death. The film makes the assumption that all viewers know that Christ rose from his mortal death — the film shows us a naked and cleaned up Christ hunched over as if for a race —- and walking out of the frame. Chances are that a lot of folks who see Gibson’s film might think Christ is walking into heaven or —- is stepping out as a spirit hell-bent on revenge. This is an American film which focuses on the torture and death vs. the most important piece of Christianity: love and forgiveness. Sadly, when one listens to most Southern Baptist Christians we hear only hate hiding behind a guise of Christ. In my opinion this R-rated $400 million dollar grossing film is a shallow shell of a movie.

Art, and cinema in particular, are powerful mediums. I find it sad that so many of us are frightened of sub-titles and to think. …To challenge our basic beliefs. It is my opinion, that if an intelligent individual were to step back and review the world events of the last 10 years — that person would fully realize why the United States is so hated by other countries, and —- at the very same time, desire to copy much of what we produce. I think that individual just might see why the war we started in Iraq is leading us back into the hell of Vietnam. If we are to judge our culture by the films we seem to love — we are a truly fucked-up bunch headed to oblivion.

October 17, 2004. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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