28 WEEKS LATER
Well, tomorrow marks my 28th week since I left Boston and moved to San Francisco. So much has happened! And, I have to say — all good stuff!
I’ve great friends, am dating, have a job, a safe/nice place to live, have gotten myself back in physical shape (tho, still more I can do on that front!) and am getting myself together financially.
It is looking pretty good! …and, pretty strange and a bit scary if you should be down near The Castro! I was there briefly today to pick up my mail and they were blocking off parts of Market Street. …and the sites on the subway as we rolled down to and past the MUNI Castro station! Too bad I do not enjoy Halloween. Makes me all nervous and twitchy.
Just got home. Alan and I are about to watch the 1978 remake of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS which was filmed here in San Francisco in 1978. …what is it with that year and the movies I’ve been watching as of late?!?!!?
Oh, the League of Gentlemen movie was not very good. The 3 series were so good — not sure why they felt the need to make the movie. But, so it goes. It did have a few laughs. But, far too little of the Local Shop Owners, Tubbs & Edward. And, not enough of the highly offensive and scary French Minstral who steals wives. …and no Ross — tho the actor who plays him was in it a lot. …I prefer him in his Ross-wig.
Happy Halloween, kids!
YES, IT’S TRUE…
I’ve been watching far too much of the League of Gentlemen in preparation for watching the DVD of the feature film that came out in the UK a few months ago. I had only ever seen the first season. So, now I am all caught up and am about to plug in their movie, THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN’S APOCALYPSE, into the region free DVD player and watch. I love this sick and twisted show. Sort of like Monty Python gone all esposodic with heavy doses of acid and direction by David Lynch. However, my real concern is that I’ve developed a crush on the character of Ross. That is a picture of the actor in the “character” — for those of you who might be familiar with the show which Comedy Central and BBC America determined was too dark for the US audience — Ross is a smug social worker who ultimately tortures the cruel Pauline and Mickey.
So much transpired on the show during the last two seasons/series. But the story line that I found most surprising was the triangle of Pauline, Mickey and Ross. Not only did Ross get Pauline canned, Pauline then kidnapped Ross and then Ross got Pauline put in prision where Pauline became the head Dyke of the cell block. …Until Ross got her out of prison to assist him in setting up a sting to catch and convict poor Mickey who has been milking the welfare system. …but, then Pauline fell in love with Mickey (who, let’s face it — his essentially retarded) — AND when she refuses to assist Ross in his evil scheme has to let Ross sex her up to keep from going back into prison! Yes! Ross did Pauline! …And, then, after cheating death and probably just missing being pulled into the evil French Minstral Show — marries Mickey.
But, the real problem is discovering at the tail end of 38 that I have a crush on tv character. Is it me or isn’t Ross kind of hot? I’m sick. No need to answer that question. But, it has been a really rough week. All is cool now, but the end of the week just sucked! This is why I feel off the blog sphere!
However, things were great up to Tuesday night when Alan and I saw Bauhaus at The Warfield.
Aside from finally getting in this historic venue where the likes of Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead established themselves — we also got to see Bauhaus goth the house down!
Peter Murphy has aged a great deal, but sounded great! Daniel Ash looks better than ever! He has gotten all buff on our asses and finally lost the big hair. “BL’s Dead” was the hit of the night, as to be expected — but I loved their performance of Marc Bolan’s Telegraph Sam — it was better live than any of their recordings of it. These pictures were taken with my cell phone. Sorry — but the shots of the band just didn’t take. But, Alan and I had a blast! Bauhaus also played on Wednesday and are playing a Halloween show for tomorrow night.
Anyway, tomorrow is Halloween. I do not enjoy Halloween. It creeps me out. I mean, I know that is the idea, but I really do not enjoy it. After work I am just jumping on MUNI and getting home — The Castro has been insane all weekend and tomorrow is the BIG NIGHT! Tonight was also The Hooker’s Ball for all of the Bay Area sex workers. Would have enjoyed checking that out. It was their 27th Anniversary event! It would have been an interesting evening! Wish I could have been there!
A friend who lives just outside of Boston contacted me today to let me know it snowed there today! LOL! It was sunny and warm here! I wonder what Xmas is going to feel like without freezing cold and snow. I suspect I will enjoy it. Oh, and the count down is on for the new Kate Bush CD!!!!!! Yay!!!!! Can’t wait!!!!
SPARE THOUGHTS OR MATT PICKS UP HIS MAIL & CHARLES ROCKET IS DEAD…
Well, my plan was to go right home and go to bed, but here I sit with my laptop listening to Antony & The Johnsons. So, when I picked up my mail the sun was starting to set and I took a few pix of places near to my mail box place on Market in the Castro.
I meant to take a shot of Sweet Inspirations — one of my fave haunts. There is a rumour running about the Castro that they are about to close shop because their rent is too high. …is that a Starbucks I smell? UGH! But, I failed to take a picture because just as I was about to — two elderly gents asked me if I could direct them to Beck’s Motor Lodge. Now, everyone who has ever spent any time in SF knows that the Beck’s Motor Lodge is a place of sordid gay action. …and it is directly across the street from Sweet Inspirations. So, it didn’t take me long to realize that they were being fresh with me. They were each sporting incredible amounts of leather and were doing their best to “work it” but I don’t think it was a great look for either of them — they both HAD to be in their early 70’s! But, more power to ’em! I just pointed across the street and teased, “Now, you both know where Beck’s is — we are not amused.” …they gave me a laugh. I was actually trying to get a picture of them cross Market to the motor lodge, but I am a lousy photographer. If you notice, there is a person in a blue shirt — he was waving to them. Cute — or sinister? Hmmmm…
And, this is the gym I plan on joining next month after my birthday! Yes, I am joining a gym! My pal, Bill, assures me that this is a nice one and it is fairly cheap and gay. …but not as cruisy as GOLD’s on Market for which I am just not pretty enough. …or pumped up enough. LOL! Also it is above my second favorite book store. My fave book store is on Van Ness by the Landmark Opera Movie Theatre. I think it is called “A Well Lit Place For Books” — or something like that. …it is the best book store I’ve ever visited!
Asquew — my current favorite restuarant. Am having dinner there this Friday evening. This used to be a night club/bar. Karl and I …or Alan and I went there once back in ’97, but I can’t remember what it was called.
OH! And, Bauhaus tonight!!!!!! Yay! I can’t wait! I’ve my black hoodie all ready to roll!!! Not goth, but I hope not to stick out like a middle-aged thumb. …tho, I suspect most of the audience will be my age or older as they were most popular back in the very late 70’s/early 80’s. …I wonder if Daniel Ash will still be hot?
I was really bummed to hear that Charles Rocket killed himself. I guess they found his body in NY — he had slit his own throat. How sad. I always liked Charles Rocket — particularly in EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY and IT’S PAT. Also, not to be gross — but if one is going to kill himself, why would he opt to cut his throat? I mean — pain and horror. Yuck. Sad.
MADE IN ENGLAND…
It isn’t always easy to meet new friends in a big city. …or a small one. Sex is easy, but beyond that can be hard. This is a new website. It is a cool idea. A chat room is on the way and the site will become more interactive and will be largely what the user makes it.
Check it out.
And, now I am on my way to see the new French film, GARCON STUPIDE. I love that title!
iPod Speaking on Saturday morning:
1. “High” by James Blunt
2. “Pinhead” by Ramones
3. “amTV” by Ladytron
4. “Boogaloop” by Ursula 1000
5. “Come On” by Ben Jelen
6. “Don’t Give Up The Fight” by The Magic Numbers
7. “Splish Splash” by Barbra Streisand
8. “Mean Mr. Mustard” by The Beatles
9. “Planets of the Universe” by Stevie Nicks
10.”Strange Angels” by Laurie Anderson
My shirts, jeans and slacks are hanging neatly in my closet.
My t-shirts, underwear, sweaters, hoodies and socks are folded neatly into crates.
My books are sorted and stacked with care.
My papers are organized and filed appropriately in file drawers.
I’ve skimmed down my photo collection, but what I’ve kept are stored in albums.
I have fixed it all so that everything fits and has its own compact place.
But, where do I fit —
where do I store —
where am I to keep —
how am I to organize —
Tell me what am I to do with all of those memories of you?
All sorts of thoughts are racing through my head as I wait for the “M” train to pick me and bring me to Powell Street where I need to run some errands. As I near my birthday I find that I am feeling happy, sad, worried, tense, relieved and just about everything inbetween.
Life does not get easier as you age, but it does gain greater focus on what matters. Priorities shift and change along with expectations. And, moments that used to fill the atmosphere with dread and horror no longer carry much impact. But, what used to seem like games/strategies/challenges now have a very different level of import.
For me, as 39 nears, I find myself taking stock of what I’ve done right and what I’ve done wrong. And, my desire to push, pull, force and fight for what is right grows stronger and my patience with the petty is dwindling fast. But, at the same time, the superficial weighs on the world and I constantly question if I’ve found my place in it.
Not lonely, but alone.
Blesses with some wonderful friends — I really want or need for little. And, yet I get the sense that I need so much more from myself.
And, now, as I wait for the train which will lead me to a great evening of fun with Milford and a couple of his friends — my thoughts are somber. As November 12th draws closer — I certainly can’t say that I am bored and that I am not trying to get it right. But, am I getting it wrong somehow?
The only things I know to be true is you can’t get thru life without the mutual love and support of your firends and as much as we like to think that there might be some constants in our lives — nothing changes, but all of the changes. And they are changing all of the time.
Will that is my mind scramble for the day. I transposed my notes I made while waiting on the train (that never came) — Milford had to pick me up. It was a wonderful night filled with great food, fun conversation and one of the best dance performances I’ve ever seen! I guess, sometimes, you just have to lighten up.
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO SANDY FARINA?
…I often find myself asking this question. So much hope was there for Ms. Farina in the summer of 1978. Playing the female lead, Stawberry Fields, in Robert Stigwood’s film version of SGT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND and thought to be the next Olivia. I mean, wide-eyed — even somehow doe-eyed innocence coupled with large breasts and an Australian accent — the PR guys could not see how she could miss. And, then the singing voice. A sort of Karen Carpenter-lite (no pun intened! Really!) voice — one could tell Ms. Farina learned to sing listening to the fluid song stylings of The Carpenters — however, unlike Karen, Sandy did inflict a bit more emotion thus preventing that somewhat icy and unforgettable voice of Karen. But it wasn’t meant to be. Where is Sandy? What is she doing? Is she bitter? Is she lonely?
Oh, Sandy, where are you?
Meanwhile, I had the following conversation at a public facility in which forms are required to be filled out.
me: “Hi, this is a copy of a form I need to complete as this needs to be renewed but I am not sure of the name of the form or where to find it. Can you help me?”
him: “Let me see that”
him: “Sir, this is a copy.”
me: “Yes. I know. I brought it to show you so you could point me to a blank version so I could complete and file for a new action.”
him: “Sir, I can’t work or process from a copy.”
me: “I understand, but I wasn’t bringing that for you to accept as a request for a new order. I was just brining it in to show you the form I need to complete as no name or code number is listed on it. Where would I find a blank form? I will fill that out and bring it back to you.”
him: “Sir, I don’t understand. You’re handing me a copy of an old form and telling me you want a new action taken. I can’t assist you with an old copy.”
me: “Can I have that back? See, I understand that you can’t proces a new action with a copy of the old form for the original action. I just don’t know the name of the form and I don’t know where you guys keep it. Can you point me to the blank versions of that form?”
him: “You’re going to have to complete a new form, sir.”
me: “Ok. Where are those new forms for me to complete”
he stares at me, holding the old form and looking totally confused and annoyed. I am fighting the urge to tell him he is an idiot. I take a deep breath.
me: “You know, maybe I could speak to your supervisor.”
him: (rolling his eyes) “Whatever you want, sir. However, we do not work from old copies.”
15 minutes later, a tired looking woman walks to the glass window with her confused employee. She looks ready for battle.
she: “Sir, how can we assist you?”
me: “See that copy he is holding. I need that back, but I just wanted him to show me where you keep the blank versions of that form so I can complete a new one as I need to file for a new action.”
she: (taking the old form from confused/annoyed employee and handing it to me thru the little slit) Down the hall you will see a row of shelves. The blank versions of this form are in slot number 38b.”
him: “Why didn’t you just ask me that?”
she: “Jerry.” (not his real name)
me: “Jerry, get a grip. I asked you that question at least 4 times I was about write you off as mentally retarded.”
…amazingly, the tired lady looked amused and laughed. Jerry was not happy. …I brought my completed form to a different person. she couldn’t really speak English, but she got it completed for me!
well, that sums up my day. just about everything went like that…
ON A LOOP…
Not sure why, but all I’ve played on my iPod since Saturday is “New Kicks” “Nanny Nanny Boo Boo” and “TKO” by LeTigre. On my way home this evening I thought to myself, “You have to stop!” …so I took it off “repeat” and that playlist and selected shuffle — as I am want to do.
…the first song my iPod played was “New Kicks” — but then it led me into a soothing world of John Legend and Angie Stone. Still, I know I am probably a bit old — but, kids, I like LeTigre a LOT!
I’ve been keeping this blog for quite a while now. I write it for myself — it is the closest I can get to creative expression. I don’t think I’ve ever had that many readers. I read the blogs that are linked on my page and some of them read mine. I do get emails from time to time from people who do not have a blogger account and who have something to say or ask me. I guess it is normal that some posts would get more comments than usual, but the post I made in which I joked about the death of disco being blamed on the film, XANADU, got more emails than any post I’ve done! So many in fact, that I have given up getting thru all of them. I think I got 50 emails regarding the post yesterday.
People love XANADU — and so do I!
Anway, more than a few people have noted that I failed to mention something very important attrocity committed by MCA/Universal when the soundtrack LP was released. Yes, they opted to not include the wonderous medly/finale — which was introduced as Gene Kelly and all those rollerboogie skaters chanting “Ho! Ho! Ho!” — and a marvelous showcase for a number of costume and wig changes for Olivia Newton-John — and lots of songs including a fun C&W disco dittty! But, it was never captured on the LP. And, this friends, is a tragedy. So, I just wanted to acknowledge this for those of you who were upset that I failed to include this audio tragedy.
Now, I hope some of you will go ahead and create a blogger account and word verification is not that big a deal. For now, it is beating all those obnoxious spam bloggers. Then you can comment away!
RACE RELATIONS & PRETZEL SAMPLES
I had a difficult day at work. It happens. So, I decided to treat myself to the Food Court. …stop making fun of me. I’m on a budget. Anyway, after I ate half of what I was served and drank a child’s size Diet Coke (am quitting caf) I got up to leave and thought, “Hey, I deserve a real treat tonight!”
I allow myself one cookie a day and I normally enjoy my cookie sometime between 8 and 9 in the evening. However, tonight I decided I would have a half of one of those sugar-covered pretzels —- AND a medium Diet Coke. I walked in and was greeted by a very happy older lady behind the counter. I placed my order. As she soaked the giant pretzel into a vat full of some oil-like substance which allows her to dip/roll my pretzel in sugar I noticed a large bowl of pretzels pieces which were serving as samples of all their various types of pretzel delights.
I heard some loud/obnoxious laughing and was pushed to the side while a group of cute pre-teen girls grabbed as many of the samples as possible and then ran out. One of them calling out, “Free pretzels!” Without even thinking I shrugged and sort of laughed. Whatever. But the nice older lady suddenly got a very angry look on her face. She walked back to the counter, my giant pretzel in hand, and asked “Are you OK?” I laughed and said I was fine and made some comment along the lines of ‘o-those-crazy-kids’ and the older pretzel lady leaned in to me and said —
“I am not racist, but —”
OK, whenever someone says the “but” word in this context you know you’re in for a contradiction or a de-confirmation of what they said before entering the “but” word. I particularly hate the use of “but” when mixed with words like “love” “care” “homophobic” “friend” or “racist”
“….but, it is ALWAYS the black ones who do that sort of thing!” (she said this in a sort of hushed but rushed way) — then added, “I’ve told my boss it is all I can to not throw the plate at their tacky, nappy heads!”
At this point I should let you know that the older pretzel lady is a person of color.
If you’ve not already figured it out, I have trouble controling my mouth. Now, I seldom lose my cool. I never raise my voice and it takes a lot to make me mad at all. But, when something strikes me as being wrong, unfair or mean — I have trouble not speaking out about it. …and tonight, as I took my pretzel from the angry older lady behind the counter was no exception.
So, without any hesitation or thought I said, “I am not trying to upset you, but that is racist.”
“I am a black woman! How can I be a racist!! And, child I did not march with my friends in the 60’s for little assholes like that to act the rude fool!”
“That is so cool that you marched! I agree, but anger and intolerance isn’t the answer. And, you know, racism surfaces on all levels. I don’t mean to imply you’re a bad person. I think we are all a bit racist. It’s sad, but I think it is true. Anyone who tells you they aren’t at all racist are not being totally honest with themselves or you. I am a uber-liberal yet I am sure I have racist attitudes that I don’t even realize. I hate that, but I am sure I do. We all do. When I catch it in myself thinking I do my best to stop it.”
“Well, the white, mexican and asian kids don’t do that sort of shit when they come in here!”
“But, just to so easily associate a generalization like that to ethnic background or skin color is inherently racist. Even if you feel it to be true, you have to see that. And, these kids are our future. And, they are just kids — if what they do bothers you maybe you should try to deal with it using humor. Call back to them and tell them to enjoy the free pretzels. Next time they come in try talking to them. You never know, you could make a difference. Personally, I don’t think what they did had anything to do with the color of their skin. I think they enjoy getting a reaction out of you. They are just kids out being loud and having fun. And, I find it hard to believe you’ve never seen a white or asian kid not do something similar.”
“Well, maybe you’re right. You sound like my grandbaby. She goes to school in San Diego. I’m sorry if I offended you.”
“You didn’t offend me, but that was racist. You and I need to do whatever we can to get people to treat each other with respect and dignity. Equality — that’s why you were marching, right? Kids love to rebel — regardless of race. And, you know, life is too damn short to let some cute little girls being silly get you upset. And, for the record, I thought they were adorable — and, they had great hair!”
The older lady laughed and asked me what uber-liberal meant. I told her. She laughed again and told me to have a great night.
I ate half my pretzel as I walked home. Tossed the other half into a garbage can and finished off my “healthy” soda. And, I wondered to myself, “Why did I just do that?”
I came home and jotted down the conversation and now transcribe it for your reading “pleasure”
…all I wanted was a sugar-coated pretzel and a giant tub of Diet Coke. I never meant to preach to an over-worked and under paid senior citizen who has been dealing with the public all day. iBook in my lap and a cup of hot tea near by, Elton John is singing about Mars being a bad place to raise kids and tomorrow is Friday!