He likes it here. It is always a bit cold in this space where the concrete heads look as if they might roll over and start to crush anyone who might be careless enough to step in the way. It’s a habit he has developed. Coming to this place. This park which is not too far from where he often works.
The toothbrush isn’t enough and he knows he can’t floss for a few hours. So, he stops by the market a few blocks from here. And, with a bit of the money earned, he picks up a bag of Bridge Mix. He knows it was designed for old ladies who blame some sort of card game back in the days of Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore. But, he loves Bridge Mix and it tastes so good with the Mexican soda he can always find in the back of the store.
So, on Tuesdays and Thursdays he comes to this place. He sits with his bag of Bridge Mix and bottle of Mexican soda. He thinks about the possible harm those beautiful heads could inflict. He pulls out the postcard he created months earlier. He wants to send in to that post secret blog dude but he is worried that someone might figure out it is his secret. And, he can’t help but wonder if his secret is so very bad that it is just best to leave the postcard near one of the heads.
It is always like this.
He takes sucks on a piece of the Bridge Mix and then lets the unchewed piece of nut slide down his throat with a swig of soda. It makes his throat feel better for a little while. He wonders if his throat even hurts or if is just some sort of psychological stain from his father. But, this taste. This taste is all too real and horrible. This taste only bothers him on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
He wonders if he were to lay down next to one of the heads if he might be crushed.
The soda bottle is empty. He likes the sound of the bottle smashing against the lightest head.
Today is a bit different. Today, he pulls his post secret postcard out and pushes it under the largest head. He figures maybe someone will find it and know his horrible secret. He is relieved that it will not be posted on the world wide web. He pushes his head into the side of the sculpture and whispers the secret into the concrete. He remembers seeing this in a foreign film once. He pauses for a moment as he realizes that the characters in that movie were whispering their secrets into trees or something.
He shrugs. It doesn’t matter. The secret now rests with the heads, but the taste remains in his mouth. It is such a bitter and sick taste.
He is full of this bitter, but all smiles as he walks up the path back to the parking lot where they wait. Such is the price of Bridge Mix and Mexican soda.
He hears the rumble of rocks rolling from behind. And, he starts to turn around, but it is too la —
(visit my friend’s new website and check out his artwork. He took the picture above and his name is Alan Kropp. I think he is quite talented. check
As I stood waiting for the prescription to be filled I was feeling a bit annoyed by the wait. It had been called in at 9AM and it was now Noon. Even still, I had to wait. I took a deep breath and pressed “shuffle” on my iPod and was transformed by The Who’s “Naked Eyes”
Yesterday a guy snapped, jumped in his car and set out to kill as many pedestrians and cyclists as he could. A sort of San Franciso Hit & Run Spree that left many of us a bit spooked. People snap all of the time but it feels different when it happens blocks from where you like to sit in the sun shine and read. As with most horrors going on in our world, it put things in perspective. Well, for some of us.
So, there I stood — safe in the cocoon of The Who.
An impossibly tiny old woman walked up to the counter and simply ignored the three of us who had been waiting for more than a few minutes. She was frustrated. She had a cane. It was clear she required it for balance.
As fragile as she appeared she managed to raise her cane and hit the pharmacy counter.
“Is it ready yet?!?!”
“Five more minutes, Miss.”
BANG! The cane hit the counter. “This is bullshit! I only have about ten minutes left to live!”
There was a slight pause. I don’t think anyone quite knew what to do. Should we laugh? Should we ignore her? I did my best to look at her scrounged up little face and I don’t think I’ve seen such anger in quite a while.
The counter person attempted to calm her. No doing.
WHAM! The cane hit the counter again causing some pharmacy brochures to fly off and land at my feet.
I reached down and tapped the old crone on her tiny shoulder. She sort of turned.
“You will have approximately 2 minutes of life left if you hit anything with that cane again. Get a grip, lady and get in line.” I stated it calmly but sternly. The lady behind me followed what I said with a “Can we hear an amen?”
…The man behind the lady who was behind me then stated, “And, get your ass in line like the rest of us. You’ve by-passed the laws of being kind to the elderly.”
Dramatic sigh. “I may not make it through today with all of this hurry up and waiting”
“If only” —- I couldn’t help it. The counter person laughed. The iPod moved on to “Soft Power” by Ladytron.
Yeah, people snap every day. It is more than a little worrying.
YES, WE ARE GLITTER
This re-mix CD comes out in October. True, I have all but one of the remixes but I am just so excited to have new Goldfrapp product that I know not what to do with myself! However, tonight I and B are meeting up with Goddess Ing and Sexy Alan for a night of depraved French cinema staring my fave, Isabelle Huppert and super hot Gregory Pascal. Of course, none of these sexy folks can hold a candle to B! Sigh. I am really quite blessed. And, yeah, I feel all warm and glitter-like inside!
YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU NEEDEvery once in a while he needed her to talk to him like she was his mother. He didn’t need this very often and he certainly did not anticipate it. However, that day, he really needed her to talk to him. And, he needed her to talk to him like a mother would.
But, that day, she wasn’t available. She was unwilling.
He wanted to pretend that it was no big deal and that it didn’t matter.
But he couldn’t. And, it did matter. It mattered a great deal.
Was the pain from the fact that it didn’t matter to her or did it hurt so much because it mattered to him? He wasn’t sure. This left him feeling quite alone.
THE INNER GIRRRRRRL…
No pictures today, kids. Blogger is giving me attitude. Anyway, it is too bad because I had a lovely photo of me encased in glitter and all things spark’ly!
You know, in my heart lurkes the soul of a 14 year old girl. I am not ashamed. She is there and she is me. She dictates many of my tastes much to my shock and amusement.
She loves sugar, puppy love and happy/sappy tunes with a certain degree of funk which is just this side of audio safe. I suspect she is a bit of a slut. You know the one who the other girls whisper about and the ones the boys desire but would never bring “home to meet Mom” — the one who wants to be a cheerleader but weighs a little too much to be on the squad and the one who wears too much eyeliner. You know my inner girl — she scribbles sweet things on her pink notebook but hides them with Nirvana stickers. She wears her clothes a bit too tight and thinks it’s cool for you to see her thong when she bends over. She’s the girl you know who relates more to Stockard Channing than Olivia Newton-John in GREASE.
And, while you might have perceived her as “loose” she would give her heart and soul to the boy who would love and respect her. You know she spends her evenings listening to Joni Mitchell but would prefer to dance to Goldfrapp. However, she knows that you think both artists are “too gay” so she buys the Top 10 stuff when you’re watching.
You remember my inner girl. She’s the one who sits by herself at the lunch table wishing she were somewhere else. She is friendly to everyone and even helps pick the spit balls out of that geek’s hair. He acts embarrassed but loves that she (or anyone) actually touches his hair. My inner girl worries that the geeky boy wants to kiss her but she knows she would kiss him if he asked her. She pretends to like horses because girls are supposed to like them. She would really rather be in a fast car. She pretends to be in love with James Blunt but she really goes for the lead singer of Radiohead. She will never admit to knowing his name. When the other kids in her class rolled their eyes at that Madonna video she secretly smiled at the thought of Madonna driving that car around, hurting people and then crashing it into a pole. For her, that is what it often feels like to be a girl. But she agreed with the other kids and said it was dumb.
She is smarter than you think but she is also kind of emotionally stupid. Her heart gets hurt a lot. But that’s my inner girl. She is forever fourteen and will always be looking out the window wishing for more than what life delivered.
We should all be a lot more friendly toward her and stop talking about her behind her back.
She’s more like you than you want to admit. You know it. You know her.
FLYING KITES, FEEDING BIRDS AND STAYING AWAKE…
Sometimes I wish I knew a Mary Poppins so that I might ask her for guidance with the really important things in life. You know. Like, how do I get this stain out of my shirt and where I can find a bike helmet that won’t make me look like a dork. I should think she would offer excellent advice and could probably even pull the answers out of her carpet bag. I could share her with Jane and Michael Banks. It could be a sort of gay glitter nanny share program. I’m just sayin’.
This weekend I have thought a great deal about getting older and the challenges (and rewards) that come with it. A part of me is really fascinated to see how my journey has gone and continues to go but another aspect of self is screaming, “No! I don’t wanna get old!” …but the good news is that I appear to be getting older — much better than the alternative. And, I don’t guess I am horribly unhappy with the way the aging process is treating me. But, still — it can be a bit worrying to realize that I’ve most likely already passed or am passing the mid-point of my life. I mean, how did that happen?
Thursday I was entering a new patient into the system at work and it struck me that this adult was born in 1983. …A year I remember quite well. As if it were almost yesterday, actually. And, then I met another patient well into the 60’s who carried that offensive scent of mothballs. What is it about turning 60 that makes everyone want to freeze their food and pack their clothing in mothballs!?!?! Will that happen to me? Will I grumble about those kids who play their music too loudly? Not yet. I am still in that category of people who get asked to turn the music down. But, it could happen.
I’ve a friend who has lived an exciting and full life. He is currently entering into a battle for his life. A battle which I feel he will win but a very horrible time for both he and his family. I am so worried for him. And, I seem to find little comfort in the fact that he is older and has had a wonderful ride on this planet. In fact, I sometimes find myself wondering if we have our views out of alignment. I mean. We all cringe and cry when a young person loses life. This seems natural. A young person has not had the chance to taste all that life has to offer. Or, could it be that it is somehow harder to let go when you HAVE tasted most of what life has to offer. You know more of what is to be missed. I think the bottomline is that it is hard to let go which is why most of us cling so hard to life and all that it may or may not mean. We don’t want to lose it.
…And, none of us seems to — as much as we grind out heels into the dirt to the grave — wants to be “old” Yet, like taxes. Death is really all that is promised to each of us. Or, rather, as Gaiman’s “Sandman” comic once stated — we all get the same: a lifetime. Does the span really matter? I think it does but maybe the next curve on the journey is a lot better than the one we are all taking at such high speeds right now. 1983, indeed.
Anyway, this weekend I bypass’d SNAKES ON A PLANE because I could not find a way to score two tickets. And I took in a viewing of the independent film, THE BOYNTON BEACH BEREAVEMENT CLUB, which would appear to be as close to a realistic but upbeat look at getting older than one is likely to see. There was much truth to be found in the movie and I loved the fact that the older actors were playing characters against western stereotype and were allowed to lust, have sex, be angry at their children/grandkids/grandkids and animals. In the end, the film showed the pain of loss and the joy of discovery — at any age. And, it also allowed us to see that old doesn’t mean “the end” — actually, the growth continues. And, also, in the end — we are all children forever. We never really grow up. I think a better way to phrase the process is “evolve” — we evolve and, I hope, learn to cope better with the shoes that SHE drops on us from time to time.
One of the aspects of this film that sparked some ideas and some interesting conversations between me and B were two actors in the film: Brenda Vacarro and Dyan Cannon. Two very different type of film actors. Both have been on the fringes of mainstream entertainment for the last couple of decades because of — well, age. Both are talented actors. Yet, both have approached their work from different angles. Both started out at about the same time. Vacarro was born in 1939 and Cannon hit the pavement a couple of years earlier in 1937. Both were screen beauties who were just a tad too old to be full on hippies but also young enough have edge. Both did nudes scenes but played roles that required more than just a hot pair of tits. Their options both started to limit at about the same time. Vacarro opted to not fight against time — she allowed her curves to curve out more and took on the “best friend” and “mom” roles quickly. Cannon, really more the movie star who never got the lead roles didn’t take things so easily. She dieted and ran to surgery. The results have been a bit mixed. Vacarro does a lot of voice-overs and was the FIRST actress to do open ads for tampons. Vacarro did the Vegas thing and did a great deal of B grade older sex pot roles but all led to a turn on some good TV programes in the 90’s. Now, as they enter their 70’s they are in the same film and it is hard to say who is more attractive/interesting. They are talents are fairly equal in my book. dyan — youngtoday and pushing 70…
However, there is something much sexier about Vacarro who has allowed her body to age as it was probably more intended. At the same time, there is something kind of hot about Cannon in her form fitted jeans and long golden thread of hair. brenda in the mid-1970’s…
brenda today and just two years away from 70
And, then we have Sally Kellerman who was never allowed in the mainstream anyway and who, in this new film, takes the bold move of doing full on nudity without the aid of back lighting and soft focus granted to Diane Keaton a few years back. And, she looks damn good. And, the men in the film take some chances, too. But our society has it out for the women. So, I was relieved to see the way the director and writer (both female) approached their female characters. It would have been so easy to cast Dyan Cannon as the character the other women hate for being “too hot-too-trot” or something. However, a more realistic approach was taken. Each character has her own insecurity and friendships are born out of need more than out of greed or petty issues. Not a great film, but certainly a film that made me think.
And, left me wishing that such talents as DeNiro, Hoffman and Streisand had put better use to their “power” than they did with MEET THE FOCKERS —- Vacarro/Cannon do not carry that level of power and it took close to two years for BOYNTON to find a distributor. Just think what Hoffman/DeNiro/Streisand/Fonda/Eastwood/Hawn/Pacino if they really put their heads together and made a film which might have something more to say than dirty jokes or warm fuzzies about space aliens. …and, maybe they could cast Vacarro and Cannon as characters more than “the best friend” or “the aging slut” — wouldn’t that be cool? …and considering the number of folks at the screening we attended on a lovely Saturday SF afternoon — I suspect that DeNiro and Streisand would really pack ’em in. Shit. Let Ben Stiller produce it just don’t let him write it or anything.
…somewhere Joni is singing of both sides. …now.
IS THIS THE END?!?!?
Not that I am one to be all gloom and doom, but I have been called The Little Cloud of Worry. So, forgive me as I worry via my blog. However, it is my blog and I am determined to stay true to my oath that my only mean of any level of creativity is for me. So, no need to forgive.
Anyway, I woke up at 5:55AM this morning. B was fast asleep. I stumbled into the bathroom to, um, relieve myself. As I was washing my hands — yes, I wash my hands after I pee. (just thought you should know that detail!) …Anyway, as I was drying my hands on the towel I heard little jingle/jangle noises. I paid no mind at first. I was thinking it was that wondrous San Francisco breeze that welcomes me everyday but this was somehow different. The jingling was actually the pipes and B’s little floss man started to fall off his sink. I was still pretty sleepy but it did strike me that we might be having a tremor or earthquake or something. However, it all stopped. I walked back to the bedroom and climbed into the warmth of the bed. It was 6:03AM, I think. I fell back into sleep. As I got on the subway I was surprised to secure a seat. I turned on my, yes, “fucking” awesome full-on iPod (Thank you, B!!!) and I was greeted by a vid-clip of Barbra dueting with Barry Gibb. Ah, good sign. Then — jerk/clank — the MUNI came to a stop and we all just sat there for over 25 minutes. I was 15 minutes late to work when all was said and done. Turns out we did have a very minor earthquake at approx 6AM and it caused some sort of a problem for BART and MUNI. Hmmmm…
As I remember from that smash Irwin Allen flick where Ava Garder plays 40 at 80 that the end of LA started with a very small tremor. Anyway, I went on with my day which was actually quite a lot of fun! How I wish I could share some of the things that happen at my job but that wouldn’t be cool. However, trust me — It is a most fun job and a fun place to be and simply observe.
Lunch came. I went to my usual place. My sandwich tasted better than usual. Actually, it tasted REALLY good!!!! I mean I took my time eating it and was wishing I could eat more than half of it. And, my iPod played only great songs that I wanted to hear while on shuffle mode. …then as I was getting ready to stand up and head back to my office Skeeter Davis came on singing “The End of the World” …then, REM came on singing about the end of the world as well. AND, then the 5th Dimension came up singing “Last Night”
…and, as I walked back into the office everyone was in great spirits. I sat down and thought, “Wow. I feel really good!” I did.
Then it hit me. Do all these things mean that some giant platform boot is about to drop from the sky?
…ALWAYS THE BRIDESMAID AND NEVER THE BRIDE or BEAUTIFULLY PERVERSE FRENCH FILM FROM CLAUDE CHABROL!!!
It took over two years for French genius, Claude Chabrol’s LA DEMOISELLE D’HONNEUR to find a US distributor — but it was well worth the wait! I met up with my roommate and great pal, Alan, to view it at the Lumiere Cinema last night. I am not sure what Alan really thought of it as I think he was still “digesting” it as we ate our Korean Bar-b-q after watching it but I LOVED every single frame!
Aside from the fact that it stars one of my fave French actors, Benoit Magimel — um, excuse me but who didn’t drool upon seeing him in THE PIANO TEACHER!!??!? Claude Chabrol is one of my all time favorite filmmakers. I think one of the reasons I love him so very much is that his work can’t really be predicted. It is always full of tension — and, very often, that tension will build to nothing or build up to something of nightmarish proportions! I love that. I also love his love of finding beauty in the oddness of human nature and the perverse of inter-personal relationships and the perverse in society and the on-going class struggles. True. It has been a while since he made what one can really call a masterpiece. However, I am a very big fan of MERCI POUR LE CHOCOLAT and suggest you rush out and secure the DVD as soon as possible. It features his favorite muse, Isabelle Huppert, giving it her all — and creeping you out as well as breaking your heart. Oh, and think twice before accepting any hot chocolate from Ms. Huppert!
Anyway, back to THE BRIDESMAID. An adult exploration of a sexually stunted man and his affair with danger in the form of haunted looking woman played with sensual ease by Laura Smet. The film is one big sigh of dread and worry. The viewer watches and just waits for something horrible and scary to happen. But, this is Claude Chabrol and half the power of his cinema is the way it seeps into your brain after the lights come up. This is challenging cinema, kids and I love it! Now, I don’t want to give away any spoilers but I will tell you that there is something odd about that bust with which Benoit’s character is so fascinated. Oh, and that smell is probably a bit more worrying than he realizes — but when you see the film you will suspect that. There are many “red herrings” in this film (as in most Chabrol films) — however, the endless tango dancing upstairs isn’t one of them. I am fairly certain that the tango can be used as a symbol of death and I do believe that is what is going on here.
My only real criticism of Chabrol’s 2004 film is that he never lets us enjoy Mr. Magimels awesome bod yet we do get to enjoy Ms. Smet’s. Not too cool. If we objective women we should also should objective the men. In fact, it is time for men to be objectified. Even still, this is a cool bit of cinematic mediation. I highly recommend seeing it if you can!!! I loved it! But, be warned — this is not the stuff of cineplex. This is art cinema. And, it’s French. Now. Who can get me some nude shots of Benoit Magimel, please?!?!?
And, a tip of my hat to Claude Chabrol!
At 80 plus years he is still making better movies than most. And, I hear he is finishing up work on what is likely is last film with Isabelle Huppert!!! How many of you remember LA CEREMONI!?!?! I still have nightmares of those final moments as Ms. H tracks down the wealthy family. ..and, Jackie Bisset rocked!