4 MONTHS IN — THESE ARE MY TWO FAVORITE FILMS THUS FAR…
MARRIAGE!?!? WHO NEEDS IT!??!?
Barbra: “It can be more than that. You know what I envy about people in love? I’d love it if someone really knew me. Really. You know. What I like. What I’m afraid of. What kind of toothpaste I use. Yeah, I think that would really be wonderful.”
Shit. I’d be happy if I got a decent date! Is that too much to ask? Oh, and no Enya. No. Enya is unacceptable in my world at this point in my life. She has no place in my life or with hobits.
Sad, isn’t it? I so love shoes. I usually have at least 30 pairs, but times are hard and I find that my shoe size has gotten a bit smaller. Hmmm…
Anyway, I’ve been getting hints that I need to buy new shoes but it will have to wait. I figure it will take at least 2 more paychecks before life is back on a sort of track. …Not on track, but on a track. I have to manage to coast on a rather sum of money and my brother will be visiting me this weekend. But, I’ve gone on far less over the course of the past year. So, no biggie. But, shoes. Well, shoes will have to wait.
However, I know that some night in my not so far future I might just have a night of a thousand shoes. Speaking of great titles never used. I was chatting with a friend today and made the following observation: “You know, it is sort of like he carries the personality of a man with a small penis.” …and, my friend commented that this sentence would make for a great song title. Not sure, but I have noticed that white men who have been denied endowment seem to be real jerks. It’s like they roam thru life all pissy, egocentric and pushy to take out their frustration on all the rest of us. Attempting to compensate I guess.
I wish I could give them a pair of shoes and make ’em feel all better. But, first, I need to get some new shoes for me!
THE MAGIK CARD & MY GAY GARBAGE…
Look! It is some sort of odd late 60’s card that is rumored to be magikal. Yes, we spell this with a “K” — tho, I don’t really know why. Seems like it should be spelled like “magical” but who am I to argue with all them witches?!?!
…can you see the man in the crushed velvet suit and the lovely posed in the mini skirt in the farscape? what can it mean?
…and this is the other side of the magik card. Hmmmmmm… I know not what it means. However, when I hold this card up to the face of a sales person I get free things! It is pretty cool!
A TINY PLACE CALLED RADIO HAVANA
There is this wicked-cool place about the size of a small bedroom that acts as a bar/restaurant in The Mission district of San Francisco. It’s called Radio Havana and it is rather magical. My pal, ING, turned me on to this place. And, I can’t see myself ever going there without her. It is the coolest place to just chill out. It is owned by an artist from Cuba who has decorated every single square inch of the place with his art which can be beautiful, odd, funny, creepy, haunting and touching all at once.
One could spend hours in the restroom just looking at the walls which are covered with art. The ceiling drips with doll parts turned to art, the walls are filled with more stuff than the eye can absorb. And, on top of everything else — the food is fucking awesome! Authentic, yummy and cheap! My ONLY complaint is that they do not serve Diet Coke. However, they are totally cool with my brining my own. It is an exceptional place for people watching, but more important — I think what I love about it is that one gets the feeling that an adventure could take place at any given moment. It is joint that is alive, burning and ready to roll you to a good place.…taken one minute before the infamous ‘spoon incident’ took place. I shall not go into detail, but trust me when I tell you that one should not interfere with a Radio Havana photo op — even it with only a spoon! The Mission is still reeling from this tragic incident. Luckily, we all escaped without being captured by the authorities.
…devil man in a silly free shirt
And, for me it will always be Ing’s place. We were recently there and I snapped some pix. There is no way to capture the ambiance of this fun place. This magical space. This place called Radio Havana. A place far more magical than Xanadu and a hell of a lot cooler! Don’t ask me how to find it. I don’t know how. I just follow Ingrid.
YES, SIR! LIKE A SMOOTHIE ONLY WITH FUNKY CHUNKS AND I’M ADDICTED…
I never meant to become an addict. The first time I heard Allyson Goldfrapp she was warbling along with Tricky and I remember thinking, “Hmmmm. She sounds so innocent along side the seedy underbelly that it Tricky.” And, then, during one very cold winter in Salem, MA I happened upon the first GOLDFRAPP CD and heard “Lovely Head” — trip hop meets grande opera by the way of David Lynch. It out Portishead’d Portishead. It rocked my world. I played it constantly. I forced the odd tracks filled with trippy sounds and Ms. Goldfrapp’s unique style of yodeling upon my ex and all of my friends whenever I could. However, it was with the release of the second GOLDFRAPP CD that I was sucked further into the funky world that I now know as Goldfrapp Addiction. “Black Cherry” is this amazing electronica trip into funky, free-floating and mystic eroticism that entertains me for days. Give me some hot tea and this GOLDFRAPP CD and I’m happy for hours.
However, my dear friends, it was late last year that GOLDFRAPP really got me totally hooked. With the release of “Supernature” I was ready to mainline their awesome blend of electric glam euro disco cum twisted trip hop. Hot tea and lubrication were no longer needed.
Yes, I am a GOLDFRAPP junkie.
The more I play this CD and all of the many remixes one can find of their work the more I begin to realize that this is perhaps my favorite band. Sure. Fleetwood Mac, Stevie, Led Zep, Tori, Kate B, Anthony and the Johnsons, Blondie and The Who matter to me deeply — and always will. But, I’m afraid GOLDFRAPP has me trapped into a sick world of electronica addiction that is hard to explain. If you’ve not paid them much attention then you’re losing out. Plug any of their 3 CDs in and just float along. And, where else are you going to find a trip hop re-dux of Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical”?!?! No where, my friends! No where! But in the Land of GOLDFRAPP.
Also, I only recently saw the vid-clip to Blondie’s “Good Boys” and it is really cool! I love Debbie black “do”! And, I don’t even mind the scary clowns. Actually, they (or he) is used to good effect. Tho, I do prefer the Georgio Moroder mix version of the song.
Wow, Barbra will be 64 next month. …And, it does look like she will be going on an 8 month charity tour with Tony Bennett. I won’t be attending. That would be just too much. I would faint or die. I can remember just being nervous knowing that I was in the same city as Babs. How could I even handle being in the same auditorium!?!?! And, she could never match my expectations. Still, I eagerly await her duet with Mr. B. I’m just worried that they might get all cheezy on our ass and laugh during the song or something like that. I don’t like it when artistes giggle during the music. I find it off-putting and a bit smarmy. Is “smarmy” a word? Ah, it matters not — I like the way it sounds. …Forty years later, two of these four singers are still workin’ it…
Oh, and the odd pairing of Isobel Campbell (Belle & Sebastian Girrrrrl) and Mark Lanegan (remember Screaming Trees?!?!) is quite good! Sorta country-tinged white trash pop. And, somehow it also feels French. I do love all things French.
Rosanne Cash’s new CD is so beautifully sad. …but, not much fun. And, I wonder. Is love really in the roses? I prefer to think it is in our actions and connections to each other. However, I do understand her lyric. I just find it so horribly sad. Of course, if I had lost my mom, dad and step mom all in the span of a year I would be pretty damn fucked-up, too. I’m still working thru my own father’s death which was almost 10 years ago — and I didn’t even like him. I loved him. I know that. But, I did not like him. Odd, tho. Sometimes I find myself missing the sound of his voice and his ability to really piss me off like no one else ever could.
…My Grandmother would have loved that song, “Love Is In The Roses” …and, I think she would have enjoyed some of GOLDFRAPP, too. In fact, I know she would have.
Since I woke up all I’ve played are the following songs:
“Yes Sir” by Goldfrapp
“Twist (Dimitri Tiko Mix)” by Goldfrapp
“Ride A White Horse (FK Disco Whore Mix) by Goldfrapp
“Deep Honey” by Goldfrapp
“Rapture Riders” by Blondie Vs. The Doors
“Woman on the Moon” by Barbra Streisand
Prescribed medication at the age of 18 and still on it into the end of my 30’s. Dosage so low it really doesn’t do anything anymore, but the body is used to having it in the system so I must take it or risk serious side effects. Sure, I could go off it but that takes doctor supervision and about 3 months of cutting already small tablets into small pieces. A pain. So, over the years I delay going off a drug I no longer need. But, without insurance this little drug is so expensive I have to turn to assistance. Insurance coverage is still a few months away so it is off to the free clinic. Lucky to have access to such a service, but it takes an entire Saturday. Still, one can’t beat the interesting interactions one encounters at a San Francisco city clinic in the Western Addition.
“Hey, baby! I haven’t seen you tiny ass in here for months! How you doin’ baby-child?”
“Sharonda! Good to see you!”
a hug is exchanged.
“I’m cool. Am in between insurance and had to get my dolls refilled. Same old same old. How are you?”
“Oh, you know. Still tryin’ to get my shit togetha. Woke up this mornin’ in some low down piece of shit hotel room and just look at my arm!”
She rolls up sleeves of her frilly top to reveal puss filled track marks. I swear — there was a sort of sour smell. I fight the urge to recoil.
“Oh, sweetie! Are you cleaning your works? And, why are you still shooting into your arms?”
“Oh, Matty. I am sorry, but I can’t be shooting under my tongue! That shit hurts like a son-of-a-bitch!”
“No! Sharonda! Shoot up behind your knee so your arms can heal!”
“Oh, baby these arms are scared for life and I’m usually too tired to do all that aerobics shit to shoot my stuff.”
“Hey! You two! Let’s stop talking about where to shoot up and talk about how to stop shooting up!”
(I guess I pissed off the front desk guy again)
“Oh, shut the fuck up! When am I gonna see the doctor! My arm is killin’ me!”
I lean past Sharonda and ask “Joe” if he’s even looked at her arm.
“‘Joe,’ it looks like she’s really infected bad. Can’t you guys get her in quicker?”
“Thank you!” Sharonda turns her head toward ‘Joe’ as if he owes her an apology.
‘Joe’ gets up and walks over to us. She holds out her arm for him to inspect.
“Oh, man. OK. We need to get you to the hospital. We told you that there is an infection going around. This looks like botulism. Are you having any odd symptoms?”
“Oh, ‘Joe’ I told you people that I came in ’cause this shit hurts, stinks and I am having trouble seeing. You are all blurry which is just as good ’cause you is one ugly muthafucka”
‘Joe’ rolls his eyes. “Hold on.”
He walks away. It is just Sharonda, me and some crazy guy asleep in the chair under the TV.
“What in the fuck is bottlism?”
That’s when I noticed the blue signs on all the walls warning H users about an infection that is spreading among users in SF. Heroin Botulism which, according to the blue signs, can be fatal if not treated.
“I think it just means you have an infection. But it can be serious so you need to do whatever they tell you do to. Ok? I mean, you really need to try to quit.”
“I know. And, honey, you need to get a job with insurance so you don’t have to bring yo pretty white ass in here anymore. Are do you like chillin’ out with us freaks?”
“I love chillin’ out with you Sharonda!”
She laughs. “Pay up then, suck!” — she extends her hand. I laugh. She sighs and rubs her sleeve. I can’t decide if it is bleeding, but something is leaking through the material of her sleeve. I couldn’t help it. I am sure I sort of recoiled. Gross.
‘Joe’ and this cute young doctor walk out. The doctor can’t be more than about 24 years old and she looks like she just stepped off the bus from Idaho. She is wearing latex gloves. She smiles at Sharonda as if smiling at a small puppy.
“Hi. Let’s see that arm of yours!”
“Shit. Are we gonna have a party, bitch?”
I fight the urge to laugh. It really isn’t at all funny, but what can one do? ‘Joe’ tells Sharonda to shut up.
One of the counselors comes out. They explain to Sharonda that he is going to drive her to the city hospital and that she needs to be treated as soon as possible.
She gathers up her stuff, motions for me to stand up and give her a hug. I do. “Take care of yourself. Ok?”
“Yeah, yeah. I’ll be seein’ you lata.” —– and, with that Sharonda and the bored looking counselor walk out into the sunshine.
‘Joe’ and the cute little doctor with whom I will be meeting in a few walk down the hall. I hear her ask ‘Joe’ if Sharonda is a woman or a transgender. In a hushed tone I hear him say that she is a tranny.
I sit and think about it. Why does it matter? And isn’t she a woman for all practical purposes? I mean, to me she is a woman. To her she is a woman. Why does it matter? Will she be OK? And, if she is OK will she just continue on and get sick again?
I look around the room at all the blue, red, green, white and yellow “alert” and “warning” signs which are written in several languages. A kid walks in. He is handsome but smells badly. He can’t read to fill out his forms so ‘Joe’ is helping him. I hear ‘Joe’ ask the kid where he is living. The kid gives the name of some shelter in the Mission District. I hear ‘Joe’ ask him how long he has been in SF. The kid doesn’t know. He thinks maybe a two or five years. He volunteers that he came here from Nebraska to be in a band. When asked his education level the kid tells ‘Joe’ that he finished 9th grade. The “kid” is actually 29 years old. He sits next to me, but doesn’t say anything.
A few minutes pass. I hear my name called and the cute doctor is ready to see me. As I follow her down the hall she tells me it is a relief to see someone who has it together and just needs some temporary assistance. I am sure that it most be a bit of a break for her. Our conversation is professional but also friendly. She is new to SF and to this job.
Ten minutes later I am back in the sunshine. Blondie is on the iPod and I’m headed to Walgreens to pick up my prescription. As I walk down the street that I would never dream of walking after sunset I think to myself, “How in the hell did I get here? Life is such a trip.”
“Sir? Are you OK?”
Was I OK? It was a good question. There I was — slouched on the floor of a hallway in some old San Francisco office building. I was just outside the restroom where I had just lost my “attempt” at lunch. Exhausted and feeling faint I had decided to slide down the wall and catch my breath. However, instead of catching it I lost it. That was when the crying jag began. I just sat on the floor in my father’s-far-too-big-for-me-brown-leather-coat and cried. Mom had made it thru the surgery fine but I had been told that we wouldn’t know about the cancer for another 48 hours. But, they think they got it all and caught it in time. This was a relief and the most important thing going. But, I felt spent. The crying had stopped and, somewhat dazed, was getting it together when the security guy had approached me.
But, as he pointed out, I was on the wrong floor. I had to go up to the 19th floor where my bag and coat were inspected. I had to remove my belt, shoes, all items in my pockets, bracelet and monkey penis necklace to get thru the sensor without beeping. Once I was “cleared” I gathered my stuff, put on my shoes and took another elevator up to the 22nd floor.
This was the day I have been dreading since Christmas Eve. But at least this would be the end of one of the most humiliating bits of my journey. …Bankruptcy. Trust me. It could happen to you. No matter what you think. Cast no judgments. It can happen and it fucking sucks. The bankruptcy filing was back in November and no one contested at the official California Meeting of Creditors where they are to stake their claim against my filing. I was so relieved. My cheap lawyer told me that I was all set and could really get a fresh start rolling. But on Christmas Eve he called me to let me know that American Express was filing lawsuit against me to contest their portion of my bankruptcy. And, the court date was already set for March 17th at 2:30pm.
Deep breath. I entered the Room 22 and discovered that I was in an actual fucking formal court room complete with jury box, microphones, video cameras, seats, an elaborate judges desk, two opposing tables with mics and an intimidating podium with two microphones.
I took a seat. I sat quietly and tried to focus as my mind raced. Lawyers in suits whispered strategies and other people like me just looks frightened. This was like a movie set. It was all so Oliver Stone looking. And, for some reason I found myself thinking of Meryl Streep in a bad wig pleading for mercy from the mean judge, “I swear! The dingo’s took my baby! I would never hurt my baby! It was the dingos! The dingo took my baby!!!!” …the wig goes askew, that dude from The Omen moists over with tears, the judge looks confused and Meryl stands indignant. We know. She didn’t do anything wrong. The fucking dingo ate her baby! For a brief minute I find myself fighting the urge to rush the podium and scream about how the dingo’s fucked me over and American Express was an evil corporate empire more concerned with my little debt that the millions that they allow major corporations to scam on every day. It was the dingos and AmEx, dammit!
My proto-soap-box-courtroom-drama fantasy was crushed by the call for us to stand as the judge entered.
And there he was. The one who was to stand in judgment of me. Dressed in a big black gown with very little hair. I am not paranoid. He looked at those of us not in lawyer suits with disdain.
My case was called first.
“Case of American Express vs Matthew Stanfield”
I was told to approach the podium. I felt so sick. I couldn’t decide if I was going to hurl or cry. What fucked up thing did I do in my last life to plunge me into these last 3 years? I got a grip and told myself to fuck the pity and just pretend I was tough enough to deal with this bullshit.
I looked around for the opposing counsel as they are want to be called.
Suddenly, as if the voice of God was calling to me, the mean lawyer representing AmEx started speaking over the speaker system. The mother fucker phoned it in. I imagined him sitting in his multi-million dollar home playing on his home pc while he pretended to work from home.
“Your honor, Mr. Stanfield failed to file a motion to my client’s claim.”
Before I could think or say anything the judge spoke, “No, I have Mr. Stanfield’s motion in front of me. It was filed and it appears that it was mailed to both our court and to your office in Sacramento.”
“No, your honor. We did not receive it.”
My voice came out surprisingly strong, “Yes, you did. I confirmed with your administrative assistant. I have her name, the date I spoke with her and her confirmation to me written right here.” I read it all into the microphones. I could hear my voice booming thru the giant room.
The judge spoke to the voice of the evil corporate lawyer and asked him to confirm if that person was his administrative assistant. The lawyer confirmed that she was but must have been covering the phones from New York as that is where she is based. What the fuck? Then the asshole lawyer said that she was incorrect my motion had not been received.
The judge told me that I would need to resend the motion to the Sacramento office and we would reschedule the trial for April 28th at 2:30pm.
“Thank you, your honor.” said the floating lawyer’s voice.
I fought the urge to ask if I could simply call in from work on the 28th as well. I fought the urge to say that the case should be dismissed on the counts that AmEx wasted California funds by not making their claim at the appointed Meeting Of The Creditors and by lying when his assistant confirmed that they had received my motion back in January. I fought the urge to scream that I was going to counter-sue for putting me thru great mental stress. Instead, I leaned in and asked the judge how I could be sure to know that the lawyer would be receive once I spent the money to recopy all of the papers. Should I send via Fed Ex or registered mail? Before anyone could answer I read the address info I had for the law firm to ensure I had the right info and asked for an administrative contact at the Sacramento office who might answer the phone and confirm information correctly so that I could avoid dragging this personal hell out any longer than it had already been dragged out by AmEx. …this got a few laughs from the other poor souls behind me. I had noticed that AmEx was suing 8 other people today. Among the eight, I was the only white guy. The other seven were all people of color who looked to have about $10 all combined. Toss me in and we could have maybe sprung for a Big Mac meal.
I fought the urge to hiss, “You evil mother fuckers are ruining our lives!” …but I simply waited for answers.
I was told to simply mail standard US mail and it would be received.
The judge looked at me as if I was 4 year old child who had just broken Grandma’s favorite coffee cup.
I leaned forward and spoke, “I don’t mean to be sarcastic or rude, but that is what I did in December and I even confirmed with the law office and they told me it was received. I am confused.”
The invisible lawyer said it was never received. The judge told me that I needed to step down and return on April 28th. He then suggested that I hire a lawyer. I looked at him and asked, “With what? I don’t have any money to hire a lawyer. I just got a new job and their first payroll check bounced. I am broke.” …I think I might have said something else. I can’t remember. All I know is that the judge stopped me.
Then he essentially dismissed me and then fucking thanked the lawyer.
As I walked out, a sweet looking woman who was on the side waiting to be sued winked at me. I walked into the hallway. I wanted to cry. But, you know what? In the end none of this really matters. My mom pulled thru the surgery. I am healthy. I’ve got great friends. This is only money and if the California Bankruptcy Court decides that AmEx can own me then so be it. You can only get so much blood from a stone. I’m fine.
However, at this moment — I am not sure how I feel about the state of affairs in a country that is now run by corporate interests. A place where Enron can do what it wants. A place where the vice-president can shoot his friend and not even bother to visit them in the hospital. A place where war is the leading money maker and citizens and other human lives are expendable for a buck. A place where I am a second class citizen just by the nature of my sexuality. A place where women are still second class citizens just because they are not men. A place where a corporate entity can play with your life with a conference call and the judge treats you as if you are a fucking idiot. At this moment, I am ashamed to be a US citizen.
I am angry. …but, I AM FINE.
Last night Ingrid joined me for a screening of an archival print of Bab’s 1976 ‘barbra-piece” A STAR IS BORN! It was magical! I had such fun and I think even Ingrid had a good time.
This week has sucked. So it was a wonderful break to see my fave Barbra film on the big screen with a dear friend! And the audience was much fun!
Tomorrow comes a day I’ve been dreading since Christmas Eve, 2005. On top of that, they are removing my mother’s thyroid tomorrow at about the same time as I have to go thru my “fun” ordeal. I plan on just staying up all night so I will be numb for tomorrow. However, I think I only got about 5 hours sleep last night. So, I am not sure I will manage to do that.
Anyway, everyone — please send me many positive thoughts at about 2:30 PM Pacific US time. That is when the shit will be hitting the fan.
But — as Kris and Babs sang, “…I can take it! Yeah! I won’t look down!” …and the electric guitar solos amp up and I do my best head shaking with mic in hand! It is always best to turn gloom into glam! Always!