A CLOUDY DAY, A SPOON, A NEEDLE & ME
…I should have known when my iPod’s shuffle button pulled up the following to start off my day:
“Bela Lugosi’s Dead” – Bauhaus
“Hunter” – Bjork
“Rippin Kittin” – Golden Boy with Miss Kittin
“Last Chance Texaco” – Rickie Lee Jones
As I was on my way to address some business with my way-cheap lawyer, I opted to turn off the iPod and focus on my ride to the Balboa BART Station. Now, my lawyer’s office is not in a horrible part of town — but it isn’t all that great either. It is not too far from the city college. I have to walk several blocks to a bus stop where I catch the bus I need.
It is cloudy today and according to a bank sign I passed it was 47 degrees — so it was a bit cold.
I walked up to the bus stop. Sad fact of life: low income areas have more people who need public transit, but they don’t get the nicer equipment — nor do they get as much of it as the “better” areas do. There were about 20 people and from what I gathered from a frustrated college student — they had been waiting for quite a while. After about 15 minutes I decide to sit on the brick way behind the sidewalk. I jump up, sit myself down and a lady calls to me, “Be careful, boy! Look what’s next to you!” …she said this in the tone of a woman who thought me a total fool.
I look to my left and see nothing. I look to my right and see a bent spoon, a gross looking syringe and an empty paper sack. hmmm… It all felt so Sid & Nancy circa 1977! Annoyed that I didn’t have my camera and the knowledge of how to post pictures to my blog, I jumped down and walked over to the lady and thanked her for the warning. She then told me I needed to watch where I sat my butt adding something like —“your ass was just a few inches away from that needle, boy!” Her friend laughed and I smiled. She rolled her eyes.
10 minutes later the bus arrived. We all got on and I saw the lady get off two stops later where she walked past a package store toward street full of houses in dire need of some new paint. I felt sad because I knew that once my meeting was over, I would be back on the bus and headed back to a much better reality than my friend.
There just has to be a way to effect some positive change. I just don’t know what it is, but I am thinking on it.
I MEAN TO SHINE…
I had a really nice evening yesterday. Milford treated me to dinner at a place called “The Outback” —- I felt so oddly hetrosexual! Anyway, we had deep and meaningful conversations on life and the challenges it tosses our way. His warmth and sense of humor lifted my spirits. And, I was feeling a bit frustrated as my interview(s) were all canceled/postponed for next week because everyone decided to take off for a very long weekend. Can’t blame them, but I didn’t get the news till I had already arrived in the Financial District all dressed up with no where to go! Oi!
And, much to my annoyance, I was up and down sick for good part of the night. And, then slept right thru till 10am!!!??!?! Not good! But, I guess I needed the sleep. Felt fine today, tho — and I even have a new job lead! Yay!
So, am I nuts or didn’t our president tell us a year or so ago that he never claimed to tie the war on Iraq with the events of 9/11? Maybe I dreamt that. Anyway, now he ist telling us that we are in Iraq killing and being killed because we need to prevent another 9/11. What happened to logic? Why is no one applying any thought to the horrors being perpetuated by our government leaders? I mean, don’t we stand a chance of actually providing more inspirational fuel for all the insane terrorist out there just by continuing this sad war?
No one is actualy thinking anything through. Well, that is not entirely true. I know we are all really upset about Hermes snubbing of Oprah! And, I know we are waiting for that big Tom and Katie wedding! With things like this going on — who has time to worry about the war or our Supreme Court?!?!?
My Big Odd iPod Started My Day as Follows:
The Limehouse Blues – Harry James Quintet
I Never Meant to Hurt You – Laura Nyro
Where’s Your Head At – Basement Jaxx
Conversations on a Barstool – Annie Ross
Playboy Mommy – Tori Amos
Funtime – Iggy Pop
I Mean to Shine – Babs Streisand (covering D. Fagan)
And, upon exiting the Powell Muni Station I came upon on a quater face side up — year 1986. I decided it meant good luck and that I needed to shine! Had a nice little chat with a crazy homeless man who screamed everything he said, but he was actually nice. Advised me to walk on the left side of Market today as “the karma of the right side is really fucked up, man” I thanked him and shined on. …so to speak.
YOU KNOW IT’S BAD WHEN IRENE CARA IS INVOLVED…
I didn’t sleep well last night, did not feel well today and knew things were taking a bad turn when Irene Cara came up on my iPod singing “Out Here On My Own” from the FAME soundtrack — and it made me tear up. No, not good. I’ve decided that the shuffle function of my iPod, while seeming somewhat related to the course of my days might not be such a good idea. So, I pulled down the tiny iPod menu and manually selected a day filled with the music of Ryuichi Sakamoto. Mellow with a brooding bit of drama going on beneath the melody and, at times, quite pop-oriented — especially true when Mr. Sakamoto decides to sing in that David Bowie-like-way of his. Anyway, it was really too late. That would-be-80’s-diva, Irene Cara pretty much set the tone for my day. My head and stomache bothered me all day — suspect this is from lack of quality sleep and worry/nerves.
However, I did receive a phone call about an hour ago. Sadly, I was underground on MUNI, but I will return the call tomorrow. And, I hope, I might be feeling a bit better when I do! Anyway, a head hunter in the Financial District found my resume on Monster and tho she tells me “they” have no immediate positions going on — she feels I am “quite marketable” and would like to meet with me prior to end of day Thursday so that she and I can get to know each other and she “will be at the ready” to get me working and herself a nice commission as soon as one comes “their way” — which she hinted she thinks will be happening soon. I rather liked her frank honesty about her commission — no pretense. I’ve not heard of the agency. Will search for them later. Anyway, it was nice to get some infused hope today! Even if I did miss the call.
I always seem to miss calls.
I am not pleased with the Supreme Court’s ruling today regarding the placement of Christian dogma in/on public property “…when it is within an historical context” Great. Oh well, who needs a separation of church and state when we have President Bush at the helm. Whatever. I am really beginning to agree with a good friend of mine who believes that “we” all need do nothing but sit back and watch the country fall to pieces over the course of the next year or so — and then, per his view, things will have to swing back to the left a bit when people see the devestation to the economy of us folks who are not in the top 2%. My only concerns with this political/sociological approach are around that devestation which will lead to more suffering and death — and, of course, the legal loss of rights that will take more than a few years to correct due to the convoluted governmental process within which we are firmly entrenched.
Still, he may have a valid point.
Jeez — well, I really am not as down as this post makes me sound! I promise! I just have a headache. I did enjoy the cool weather, sent in some more copies of my resume and received a very sweet gift from a cyber friend who replaced my DVD set of the Paul Morrissey/Andy Warhol Hustler Trilogy! He took great pains to keep his identitiy a secret, but I know who sent it. And, a big shout out to one of my pals in the UK for the extravagant gift! If I ever get myself to London — dinner at the place of your choosing is my treat!
And — a quick “public” answer to the card included: I do promise I will not sell it! …or, EVER let UPS touch it! LOL! And, thank you! You know, I am very blessed with some great friends — many of whom I’ve yet to have the pleasure of meeting!
OK — time for some Tylenol and I guess I should have something to eat. That might be a good idea.
SAN FRAN PRIDE or MY BIG GAY iPOD
Well, today was the official PRIDE DAY in San Francisco for the LGBTQ Community — please forgive if I forgot a letter of the ever-expanding accronym. Anyway, I didn’t have such a good feeling at the start of the day. It was REALLY cloudy and was about 50 degrees. It was cold and dreary!
But, the M train arrived just as I walked up and I put on my iPod. I selected “songs” and “shuffle” — and I had a feeling things were going to be OK when the songs that played were (and, they played in this order):
It’s Gonna Be a Great Day – Barbra Streisand
Dancing Queen – ABBA
Love to Love You, Baby – Donna Summer
Do You Want to Funk? (12 inch mix) – Sylvester
Mighty Real – Sandy Bernhard
The Rose – Bette Midler
I’m Coming Out – Miss Diana Ross
…and then the trained pulled in to Castro station. I just knew it was going to be a great big gay day! My iPod told me so!
This was the first time I have ever attended a SF gay pride parade. And, everything I had heard was true — good and bad. The parade NEVER ends, but I’ve never seen such a mass of interests represented. I mean you know you’ve left Boston or NYC when you see a group of people representing Anti-Male Circumcision, Gay Sanitation Workers, COLT porn stars, gay ROTC (not kidding) and just about any other thing you can think of — was fully represented at the parade. There were so many people!
I met up with my best pal, Milford and met his friend, Mike. And my friend, Vic met up with us and brought along a life long friend of his named Jun — who was very sweet. Great company! We strolled to the huge party/gathering in the Civic Center area and sat in the sun (yes, it did come out — but it was still fairly cool)
Unlike Boston, there was nudity, profane activities, suspicious brownies for sale, porn stars to kiss, Peaches Anti-Christ posing for pix with fans brave enough to approach her and friendly people. So nice to have people just chat with you — unlike what I am used to in Boston. I took lots of pix — however my skills as a photographer are rather suspect. But, if you’re interested — just scroll down to the left column of my blog and click into my second on line photo album and you can take a look at my day! Just so no one flames me or anything —- if you’re easily offended (and I doubt that you are if you’re reading my blog) skip the pix! And, the pix is are not Trix — they are NOT for children! Nuff said!
So, I was thinking of all the souls who will never hear or know of the formal apology that has been made for the lynchings or even the verdict reached on the 1964 shooting in Mississippi. How very sad that so much time has had to pass for these horrid injustices to be recognized and addressed. …Heartbreaking, really.
And, of course — me, being the music/pop culture obessessed person that I am — I immediately thought of Nina Simone and her song that upset so many racist Southern white people. “The King of Love is Dead” was a more powerful song, but somehow the energy of “Mississippi Goddamn” has always held me on. Maybe, somehow, the great Ms. Simone knows.
…and, if you’re not familiar with Nina Simone — you really need to get yourself acquainted with her work. “…Mississippi, Goddamn!!”
WHERE AM I GOING
…is the name of a song from a bad musical called “Sweet Charity” and I think it captures a lot of what I am feeling right now. I had 3 possible job prospects as of yesterday, but 2 of the 3 fell through and the third is for a corporation which is currently under fire for misleading their clients. I don’t know. Sometimes I worry that I am just fooling myself to think that I am going to succeed at “starting over” — I try to push that thought down, but shoes just keep falling from the sky and I feel as if I am running out of shelters. Sometimes I feel that one of these shoes is bound to land sqaurely on my head and knock my fat ass to the curb. Still, I will just keep pushing forward — am just not entirely sure to where is I am headed.
This afternoon I needed to just clear my head. I didn’t want to spend the money on a movie and it was really a bit cool to go to the beach so I ended up walking around the Russian Hill area. …at least, I think I was in the Russian Hill area. Anyway, it was beautiful and a nice walk. And — for the first time I FINALLY saw a couple of those infamous wild parrots I have always heard about! It really is kind of strange to see a couple of parrots flying about, but then again this is San Francisco. As I was watching them an old man passing by said something to me.
I paused my iPod and asked him what he had said and he said, “This is the city of dreams! Everything and anything is possible”
I just smiled, but couldn’t help but think I had stumbled into one of those Tales of the City novels.
Met up with my pal, Milford, tonight. He took me to the best burger place in Daly City! But, I think I might have gained back every bit of weight I’ve lost! LOL!
Anyway, if this is the city of dreams where everything and anything is possible — there has got to be something good waiting for me. Somehow. Somewhere.
FISHING FOR TIGER SHARKS
Met up with my pal, Vic, tonight. We had dinner and took in that new documentary called DEEP BLUE. Some amazing shots of life in the depths of the ocean. As the night is so beautiful — we took a long walk out past Emabacadaro to the piers. We were looking at THE bridge when we noticed a family making all kinds of exciting noises at the end of the pier.
We walked over to see what was going on — turns out this older gentleman is prizes himself as a master of catching sharks! And, just as we walked up, he reeled in a 3 foot tiger shark! It was pretty amazing to see how strong that fish was as it fought him on the pier! They were going to be taking it home to cook for dinner. …um, gross. But, still — it was a bit of a site.
Then we walked over, looked at the full moon and we both had to comment on how beautiful this city can be. It was getting pretty cold and I needed to catch the M train before 11pm. So, we headed back.
Looks like I might have a solid job lead. Will learn more tomorrow. Fingers crossed!
A friend gave me some passes to the SF LGBTQ (that accronym keeps getting longer and longer!) Film Festival. Saw a collection of shorts today. It was cool, but I was stuck in line for about 25 minutes with a woman and 3 really obnoxious gay clones. These 4 souls were so far beyond “vacant” and “shallow” — their banter about their weekend of orgies, drugs and fashion were enough to scare someone right back into the closet. At one point, the 3 men infront of me turned around and glared at them. To which one of the “boyz” responded by saying, “Hi, daddy – like what you see?!?!?” …and, I couldn’t help it — with my head turned down I said, “Oh, pleeeeeez — we are so not interested! Just shut up” …yeah, I am winning friends and infuencing people at rapid rates! …the cool thing is — they did shut up. However, much to my annoyance — this fashion victim guy walked up to them and said, “Oh, kids, let me take you out of the common line and get you into the VIP area!”
…and, sure enough — he did. Turned out he was one of the directors of one of the shorts. However, all was ok in the universe when his short played and it sucked. However, I have to confess — I didn’t really care much for any of the shorts. They were all themed around “coming out/coming of age as gay” — and that topic can only be explored so many ways. It had all been done before. There was, however, one very clever little film that was shown first. However, I forget the name. I should also note that I think my opinion of the shorts was in the minority as the audience seemed to enjoy every minute.
After the shorts, I treked over to Union Square Park and called the 2 head hunters back, but I won’t know anything for another day or so! UGH! I need a job!!!!!
HMMMM… YES, BUT IS IT ART?!?!?
Well, if you know me or have ever read some of my blog you know I am sort of a walking encyclopedia of useless film information. While I do know a great deal about film, I know more about films and their makers from the 1968 to present. And, to be honest, Over the past 5 years or so I’ve become far more versed on modern French and Asian film making than films from any other countries.
Anyway, there are certain films that for one reason or another I never got to see or, that when I saw them I was far too young to fully understand what I was seeing. As I was growing up the films of Bernardo Bertolucci always caught my eye and the images he created sort of burned into my brain. However, I never understood anything he presented. The closest I think I came to comprehending was THE CONFORMIST. And, even then, there were elements that I found rather worrying or confusing. And, of course, THE LAST TANGO IN PARIS, was way too much for the psyche of a child. However, as I grew up and continued to watch this particular film its various levels of meanings and pretention began to mean more to me. I do think it is his finest hour as a film maker. Often imitated, but never duplicated.
There was one film he made which stared Jill Clayburgh called LUNA. At the time of its release I must have been about 13 years old. I remember it was quite the controversial film and it was never shown in many parts of the US. At the time, I was dying to see it — not so much because of the controversy, but because it seemed to generate a similar mode of discourse that I had been aware of regarding TANGO. I can remember seeing angry women on Donahue and other such shows railing on about how the film was a glorification of drug use, incest and child pornograpy. I also remember being aware that Jill Clayburgh, who was a VERY popular and beloved actress at that time essentially saw her career go down the tubes after this film was released, discussed and flopped. I think she appeared in leading roles in several other “big” Hollywood movies (STARTING OVER, IT’S MY TURN, FIRST MONDAY IN OCTOBER) but I do believe she had already started filming two of these and had signed contracts for them at the very least prior to the release of the doomed Bertolucci film. But, I never got to see it.
It showed up on one of the early movie channels (Showtime?) but got pulled quickly. I did get to see a bit of it, but I couldn’t follow what I was seeing as we didn’t pay for the channel and the sound/picture quality were quite bad. However, as with all of his films — there were images which stuck with me; Clayburgh and an actor dancing in against the backdrop of a gorgeous ocean in what seemed to be an almost violent dance as the man used a fish and a gutting knife to mimic the dance moves of the early 70’s, a leering man sexually embracing a young boy on a seedy looking dance floor while a Bee Gees song played, the same boy trying to have sex with a girl in an odd movie cinema with Marilyn Monroe on the screen and the roof of the cinema opening up to reveal a moon shining down on the boy and the girl, the boy stabbing his arm with a fork as he forced his mother to turn a spoon of some hot liquid over the wounds or an image of Jill Clayburgh (the mother) and the boy (her son) either fighting or attempting to have sex on a small bed. None of it seemed to make sense and much of it was in Italian.
About a year ago I managed to secure a bootleg copy of the film uncut (it is not available on video/DVD — I don’t think 20th Century Fox is willing to put it out) on DVD. I finally watched it last night. The whole thing. And, you know what? I am still not sure I understood what I saw. Sure, I was able to follow the story — but could find no point, no real plot, no full character development — and absolutely no ability to understand the motives, actions or reactions of the two main characters. At times, it almost seemed like Clayburgh was more confused than me. Stumbling thru some of her scenes as if trying to find some form of direction for her to fall — and the pouty actor playing her son seemed to be lurching between anger and mania for the full 2 hours and some odd minutes. The cinematography was beautiful (filmed by one of film history’s most gifted photographers), the sets were haunting, the music choices were stunning — but the whole thing had the feel of of trying to be as shocking as possible while striving to make some odd comment on coming of age and the relationship between mother/son and the moon. The mother, an opera singer who seems to have “perfected” lip synching decades before Britney, discovers her 14 year old son is shooting up smack because he is “lonely” …being an artist, I suppose the idea of seeking professional guidance for both she and her son does not enter her mind. No. Instead, she opts to get her son off the H by becoming his lover. His first love. …and to form an alliance somewhat similar to that of his “real” Italian father his “real” Italian Grandmother — who, we can only gather, have been living as lovers ever since she ran back to America with her son and married her manager. …played by the “Herman” from The Munsters.
I can’t say that I was “shocked” or “offended” by the film. Tho, I doubt this movie could ever be made today — if it were made today it would surely be branded with an NC-17 Nor can I say that I was not somewhat entertained by the insanity of the actions unfolding on my iBook screen. Tho, I was somehow ready for it to end about an hour into it. I can say that I have no idea why someone of Jill Clayburgh’s abilities would have wasted her time on such a venture — actually, I can’t say why any of the talented people involved bothered with this film. Even that actor/writer who made the popular concentration camp movie from a few years back, Roberto Bellini (sp?) makes an appearance as a curtain installer! How did such a film get financed and distributed by a major Hollywood studio? And, while this is certainly not a film intended to “go with the sofa” —- I do find myself wondering, is it art?
Has anyone out there heard of or seen this “art house” film from 1979 — the year disco started to decline and being a punk rock singer sort of meant something.
MS. ARGENTO SCORES #96!!! …IN THE MAINSTREAM!!!
The woman whom I consider to be the most beautiful on the planet, Asia Argento, came in at #96 for Entertainment Weekly’s Most Loved People of Summer! Am not entirely sure that this is really a good thing, but it is way cool to see her get some recognition. And, tho I be gay, I have to say that the photo of Asia on page 112 is one of the sexiest I’ve seen. So seldom do you see an indiviual who has the charisma/presence/beauty of a movie star combined with visionary talent — but you get that with Dario’s daughter! I really wish her film adaptation of JT LeRoy’s THE HEART IS DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS would find US distribution. I so want to see it.
ALL AMERICAN FAMILY VALUES @ THE CINEPLEX
Here is the set up: sold out audience watching Brad Pitt and Jolie trying to kill each other on the big screen. 5 year old boy in the seat next to me with eyes clued to the screen as Pitt hauls off and kicks his “wife” and Jolie tries to stab her “husband” to death — then they both pull guns on each other and suddenly the violence stops and they start to make love.
Mother of the 5 year old boy: “Oh my God! Nathan, cover your eyes!”
Father to the mother: “Why do they put that sort of shit in a family movie like this?”
Mother: “Nathan! Mommy will tell you when you can look again”
OK. Quick wrap up: It is OK for a small child to watch a married couple beat and try to kill each other with knives, guns and grenades. It is wrong to allow that child to see a husband and his wife kiss, hug and treat each as lovers. No, that is dangerous for a young mind to see. God forbid a child should see expressions of love. Hate and violence is always the way to go. On top of that, it is important to remember that a film staring two sex pots which is rated PG-13 is a “family film”