where do i get the extended club mix? …you know, this could be a hit!
THE SICK ONE…
OK. So, I didn’t feel 100% yesterday or last night. I felt tired, rather run down and somehow “off” but I was able to eat a sandwich and had even had a cookie. And, while I was tired — I was not sleepy. Actually, I was bored. I always know I’m sick when I don’t mind being at home looking at the TV or off into space. So, I was ready to roll to work today. I woke up. I still felt the same as yesterday but I’m tough. So, I ate a bit of oatmeal. I just wasn’t hungry for the whole cup. I walked to the my MUNI stop (Castro) and was starting to feel sort of “queasy”
Now, over the years I’ve been sick on public transit more times than I care to mention. This is mainly because I tend to push myself forward and refuse to give in to being sick unless I absolutely have to do so. This is what happens when your father was a hypochondriac. I constantly worry that I will wake up one morning and be like that. So, I do my best to forge on! Not always too smart. In my 20’s this served me well. And, it also did the trick thru most of my 30’s. I’m in good shape, but I guess the body changes as you get older. Anyway, my forging ahead has been catching up with me this last two years and I’ve ended up making myself more sick than if I had just laid down and taken it easy for two days.
Well, this morning I was feeling more and more “off” as the MUNI rolled toward my stop for the office (Powell) …by the time we reached Civic Center I had the distinct feeling I was going to be able to go to work today. This really sucks as I do not get paid for time out and I used up my vaca time when I visited my mother in Texas. But, I stood up to change trains and head home. …and, that was when I knew I was about to pass out.
Yep. I didn’t tho. I sat down and put my head between my knees and thought of all things bright and happy in an attempt to not fall on the oh-so-not-clean-MUNI-subway car.
I called my doctor. I saw my doctor at his other office.
I got a big lecture. I am no longer contagious. Actually, I’m not really “sick” — I’m dehydrated, need nourishment and some rest. Then I will be fine. He told me to eat solid foods and drink lots of water yesterday to build up strength for today. I guess I didn’t do enough of either. And, when one doesn’t feel up to par one should take more time to access the situation before jumping on public transit. So, I’ve been sent home. I’m to drink water. Lots of water. I am to eat food. Lots of food. And, take it easy. I don’t have to be in bed but I should not be out and about for another day or so. He wants me to stay home tomorrow. No work. Which means I shall be missing a week’s pay. So sucks.
Anyway, so it goes.
I’m fine. Oh, and I guess Diet Coke with ice does not count as water.
And the doctor said as I left his office: “Look, you may not look 40 but you’re not a kid. Take better care of yourself and listen to your body when it is telling you it is not well. Kids can do that. You can’t anymore. You are not a hypochondriac. In fact, you take it too far in the other direction. You’ll be fine tomorrow, but take it easy.”
oy. On top of all this, my cell phone does not get ANY reception at my home. I have no phone. I have to walk approx a block to get cell reception. This is a pain in my ass. And the worst thing of all is that this weekend is B’s birthday and I’ve planned a big party for him. The doctor promised me that I am no longer contagious — and, if I listen and follow his guidance, I will be fine come tomorrow and the party will be just fine. He just wants me to take it easy. And no dancing on table tops this weekend. …and, no drinking. I don’t drink but I have been known to dance on table tops. Guess not this weekend, tho.
However, still worried that I could turn into my father who obsessed on every little part of his body and bodily functions — and, as I am stuck here with nothing to do — I just found an online test and it seems to agree with my doctor! I guess my perspective just needs to change. The test grades from “0” to “100” — “100” meaning you’re a complete hypochondriac. hmmmm….
Results of “The Test”
How much of a hypochondriac are you?
Your score = 15 (Very Low)
What does your score mean?
According to your answers, you don’t generally obsess about your health or overreact to commonplace symptoms and ailments. Your physical well-being may very well be important to you (as it should be) but you know that distressing excessively about it won’t protect you from health trouble – if it comes, you’ll handle in then. Why waste your time worrying? As a result of your attitude, you’re able to stay relatively calm and collected when you’re feeling a little “off”. As long as you put in the necessary effort to maintain a healthy body, your perspective is serving you well.
So, it is laying about, drinking fluids, eating food, surfing the net and watching DVD’s for me today (and tomorrow) …I’d rather forge forward…
TALES OF ABUSED AMBROSIA or THE 2006 HOLIDAY SEASON THUS FAR: A (mostly) VISUAL REPORT
Even though I do not identify with any religion, I always find myself wanting for a special and traditional holiday season. I’ve never really had one. I am not sure they even exist. Oh sure. I hear about people who travel miles and miles to visit their families where organized meals of Norman Rockwell proportions are described — but, when I dig further I discover that these folks’ families are just as screwed as the rest of us. We are about to move into the month of Hell, uh, I mean December. I guess there is a part of me that wants to tell you that the following picture best exemplifies my Turkey Day, but it doesn’t. And, to be perfectly honest, I am so fucking relieved that it doesn’t and never will! How boring! No! Not pour moi!
Nope. Thus far the holidays have been a lot of fun. Oh sure, there are sad family issues looming, some seasonal depressions, lack of funds and stomach virus — but between all of that — we’ve been having a blast. I thought of writing some witty observations of my Turkey Day spent with Ing where she and I raised some Hell and a couple of gophers out of the ground. I was also thinking of telling you a bit about our (mis) adventures as B, Ing and I formally celebrated Turkey Day a few days late and mixed it with a celebration of Ing’s Bday and the raising of our Xmas tree — but I thought it might be more fun just to randomly upload some pix from that evening to give you a feel. We had much fun! Only a few things got broken.
…there was the issue of the ambrosia recipe my mother provided to Ing, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy. Suffice to say that there is more to this picture than meets the eye. Oh, and when hanging pretty disco balls on your tree it is best to not put them in your mouth. Ing and I learned this the hard way. Also, remember — and, never forget! Every fake xmas tree needs a 70’s Elvis ornament. …I believe it is now a law.
I’ve been quite sick, but am feeling much more human today and return to work tomorrow!!! Yay! And, B is about to have his Bday! …and, a party is headed our way this Friday night. It will kick ass!
And, here are some pix from our Turkey/Ing/Decorate the Xmas Tree Evening! We had great fun, food, music (everything from Babs to Goldfrapp to FreakWater) and created more noise than was thought possible by three adults.
So many moments of joy and happiness have come my way this holiday season. Sadly, I think the balance between those songs of joy has been equal to the moments of pending loss, confusion and worry. But, this is life. It tends to flow like that. I was going to post about the fun times had with Ing as we ran about on Turkey Day. I was also going to share much of the fun that was had at our home when we “officially” celebrated the holiday this past Saturday, but I didn’t get to it fast enough. I’ve got some great pictures, tho. And, Ing and B both have some great photos — some of which I hope to share on my blog soon. But, before I got around to posting about these adventures I got a headache.
It started when B, A and I were on our way to Emeryvile to see FAST FOOD NATION. My head hurt in a way that was unfamiliar to me. Not a migraine. And, then I started to feel sort of “achey” all over. And, then, the flu hit. Or, as my doctor called it, “viral gastro-something-or-other” which is just now starting to pass. In fact, I am not to “resume normal activity” until Thursday — which sucks. However, luckily that should just about work out perfect as I am hosting a big Birthday Party for my B this Friday night!
Anyway, as I lay under my blanket trying to stay warm I’ve been trying to decide upon a subject to write — it strikes me that I watched an interesting film via DVD yesterday during the height of my “sickness” — in fact, I had to watch it twice to be sure I caught everything. I kept wishing that I could watch it with both Ing and Ginab because it was “sort of” about the process of writing jumping off into a strange idea of where our discarded artistic ideas go once we detach them from ourselves. Interesting idea. So, I shall write a bit about this film. Perhaps some of you are already familiar with it or might decide to find a way to become familiar. I do encourage that one give the film a chance.
The Pang Brothers jumped to international stardom as filmmakers with the release of their infamous film, THE EYE in which a beautiful blind woman has eye surgery and begins to see spirits all about.
Spooky, disturbing and fun — the Chinese film was a major hit. It also introduced a very talented and beautiful actor to the mainstream, Angelica Lee (also known to some as Lee Sinje) —- From Malaysia, Lee is a pop singer and sometimes actress. From what I can tell, she should focus more on her acting, which is quite good. After THE EYE, so much was expected of The Pang Brothers. Thus far, they have failed to live up to the potential that we all anticipated. Full of interesting ideas — the Brothers Pang tend to fall back on all-too-easy by the number filmmaking. So, when it was announced that they were re-uniting with Lee to create a high concept big budget (by Hong Kong standards) film — there was a great deal of excitement. So much, in fact, that they were virtually insured a slot at Cannes this year.
RE-CYCLE is the resulting film. It did debut at Cannes this year. As was the case with the more lofty Sophia Coppola concept film about French history — it was not well received. From what I gathered, half the audience left the screening of RE-CYCLE before it reached the halfway mark and the remaining audience members applauded politely. RE-CYCLE failed to secure distribution outside of China. And, it did not do great business there, either. What caused me to become interested was the random “word of mouth” on the Internet where those who had managed to see the film debated the film’s true meaning and the fact that, while flawed – there was a great deal of magic to be found in the movie. So, I contacted my pal in NYC several months back and he came thru. He sent me a pristine DVD copy of the movie which is now available to all if you look hard enough.
The “plot” of the film is almost non-existent. This is an experimental art film barely disguised as a horror film. Sadly, the attempts at horror fail and get in the way of the true beauty of the film. Luckily, the presence and talent of Angelica Lee help the film move through the silly horror moments. Lee plays a troubled romance novel writer. Somewhere in her late 30’s she has reached a great level of success but is lonely and bored with the entire romance genre. She has decided to move into the supernatural genre but can’t seem to get a grip on where she wants to go. Characters are only half formed in her head and she doesn’t seem to have a clue when it comes to what the plot should be. The return of a an old lover has taken over her thoughts. Her loneliness and angst have clogged her imagination — she is a writer blocked.
It is not long before we see that something is trying to reach out to her. Is it her imagination? Is it a ghost? Is she going crazy? …It is not really clear. But, before long we see our writer literally plunge into a nightmare version of Hong Kong. The city is in ruins. She has walked into a landscape right out of a video game. And, like a video game — she quickly discovers that she can only stay in one place for so long before angry bodies fall from the sky or emerge from the ground intent upon attacking her. Everyone and everything in this “world” is upset with her. The CGI special effects are clearly just that but are so beautifully detailed that one can’t help but sigh at the beauty of the “horrors” surrounding Lee. And, it is impossible to not be impressed with her skills as an actress to emote feelings that we can understand and with which we can relate — I suspect that there might only be 4 scenes in the whole film where Lee is interacting with real objects and people. Her work as an actress is simply amazing.
My DVD copy is poorly sub-titled. An old man is called “Granny” and other silly mistakes are made. But, hey, it is a bootleg. Anyway, The Pang Brothers idea is clever and surprisingly clear. Our writer has stepped into a world populated by characters, objects and unfinished/undeveloped ideas/plots which she has discarded during the “artistic process” — I was mezmorized as, like a sort of further warped Alice In Wonderland, Lee journeys through abandoned ideas and characters who are turning on her for not developing them so that they can live on in this place — which, is somewhere in her mind. …panic and wonderment in a world full of forgotten ideas, fears and loves. Abandoned, lonely, angry and without hope for revision — a writer blocked in a world of her own design. …in her head.
Before too long, our writer meets up with two key figures who seem willing to help her find her way back to home. Or, as she asks, back to her own world. It is also not too long before we realize that THIS place is a bit more than just under-developed ideas for unfinished/unwritten stories/novels — like all of us who like to tinker with words, it may be fiction — but it is all balled up in our own reality. These untold stories and characters are based on her own experiences and people she has known — or, should have known.
I love films from Asia. More than any other part of the world, these countries seem to wear their hearts (and chips) on their sleeves. Not afraid to share the level of confusion infused in the cultures — and fearless in opening up the psyches which are almost beyond “fucked up” — I tend to get lost in the ideas I find in films from Japan, Korea and China.
Life is scary and we are all horrified of death and being alone — so the use of the horror genre has always made sense to me.
At the climax of RE-CYCLE is the revelation of something quite tragic about the life of this writer. I do not want to offer up what that is. I am not going to provide a spoiler. However, I will write that this tragedy is a loaded one for us in the West. I leave this film feeling rather mixed about what two men might be trying to say about a female character of their own design. Of course, this very complexity makes me all the more mezmorized.
The ending to the film is disturbing and intentionally opaque. However, for me, it is clear. We all live two lives. One in real time and the other in our heads. We hope for things that can’t be had and, for those lucky enough to be artistes — those hopes and ideas can be explored in art. In this film, the writer must come face to face with the truth that her choices as an artist and as a person come at a price for both her art and her life. This is true for all of us. However, the Pang Brothers were wise to use the mind of the artist to explore those elements that haunt all of our lives — the regrets, the loneliness, the unfinished, the unresolved, the unexplored and the price for what we fail to re-cycle. …and, the price for what we do re-use.
Ultimately, this is a very flawed film. Too much time spent on horror that isn’t all that scary. Too little time spent on actually developing the character so beautifully played by Lee — and the fatal mistake of trying to please too many members of their audience. Experimental/art house fans like me will tire of the horror tricks and fans of that will tire of the experimental. But, man, what a gorgeous mistake. And, one worth checking out on rainy Sunday or when you’re not feeling so up too par.
THE BEST THING
“This is the best thing to wear for today, you understand. Because I don’t like women in skirts and the best thing is to wear pantyhose or some pants under a short skirt, I think. Then you have the pants under the skirt and then you can pull the stockings up over the pants underneath the skirt. And you can always take off the skirt and use it as a cape. So I think this is the best costume for today.”
Last night Ing and I took in a viewing of the incredible documentary by the Mayles Bros, GREY GARDENS. It was screened at The Castro and we were all treated to a live interview with Jerry. Yes, The Marble Fawn. It was cute and touching to see and hear this interesting self-deprecating man discuss the two women, Big and Little Edie and his relationship to them and the way his time at Grey Gardens has impacted his life. Ing had not seen the film so it was much fun to see it with her! After the screening and interview — we got the sneak preview showing of the Mayles Bros new video film which is made up of un-used footage from their time filming the two Edies. It was much fun, but I think I would have enjoyed the second film on a different day. 3 hours of Grey Gardens is a bit over-powering. I wish I had the money to get to NYC to see the new musical version on Broadway. I might not like it, but I’d love to see it. If you have been lucky enough — share your thoughts! It worries me that it was composed by the same man who gave us the score to ANNIE. …at least, that is what I had read. True?
If you’ve never seen it — it is high time you did! It is on Criterion DVD and you can easily rent it. Be warned — it is oddly hypnotic and manages to touch some interesting buttons in us all: lost dreams, the struggle of parent-to-child relationships, the on-going struggle against a society which insists we all conformity, insanity and sanity thru the tough times. I think, also, the film holds special merits as film which touches on some tough issues unique to women. I can see it. I can feel it. But, I think it has a very different impact for women than men. It also holds a great deal of fun for those of us who love our camp with a dose of real humanity tossed in. This is life, kids.
Last night, as I watched the film it made me reflect on my choices in life and the choices I find myself needing to make. It kept me up all night. Thinking. Hard. I think Ing is a little worried about me, but I’m OK. It’s all cool and good. Grey Gardens is a great place to visit, but you would not want to live there.
And, in honor of the film, Little Edie and Thanksgiving — here are some of my fave quotes from the movie!
“Horrors! Somebody’s removing the books from my room! Where’d this little book come from?”
“But you see in dealing with me, the relatives didn’t know that they were dealing with a staunch character and I tell you if there’s anything worse than dealing with a staunch woman… S-T-A-U-N-C-H. There’s nothing worse, I’m telling you. They don’t weaken, no matter what.”
“I’m gonna get naked in just a minute, so you better watch out!”
“He always compliments me on the way I do my corn.”
‘Little Edie’: You can’t have your cake and eat it, too in life.
‘Big Edie’: Oh, yes, I did. I did, I had my cake, loved it, masticated it, chewed it and had everything I wanted.
COAT OF HAIR OR MY VISIT TO THE DOCTOR…
Last night I met up with my pal, Alan, and we took in a viewing of the much debated film “about” Diane Arbus. The film, FUR, has come under a great deal of criticism. And, I was expecting to hate it. I love the work of Diane Arbus and have always felt she had a truly fascinating life and eye. I could not really fathom why someone would opt to create “an imagined” portrait of her life.
It didn’t take me long to understand. I am aware that there are a number of folks who disagree with me, but this film takes us to places I’ve not yet visited and it avoids the typical TV movie cliches that most bio films fall into. There is very little “truth” to be found in this film when it comes to the facts of her life — but this film is not so much about Arbus as it is about her art.
Every scene is framed with care. Every use of light serves a purpose. And, as we watch a de-ethnitized/de-constructed Diane Arbus meet/fall in love with her “id” — make love to it, accept it and jump head first into the mysteries of life that seemed to capture her every blink — we are pulled into a warped and beautiful world of imagination and celebration of the inner-freak. So perfectly composed.
We are also given a disturbing view of suicide and the immense sadness of self that can lead to that. However, it seems this film is missing an audience. I suspect this is because of the casting of the most odd choice to play Arbus and the seeming inability of the 21st Century to fully grasp romance and self-discovery. Interesting. We are living in a time that is in desperate need of real romance and focus on “self” ….Oh, well. I LOVED it! I put it up there as one of the best I’ve seen this year.
I am trying to save money and lose my “new marriage” weight of about 8 pounds. So, I’ve not been eating sugar, trying to only eat half of whatever is served and walking a lot. I had a doctor’s appointment today. Last night, I purchased a large popcorn (even tho I can’t finish one — the thing is I can’t stand the idea of spending $3 on a tiny bag of popcorn when I can get a large one for just 50 cents more)
So, I got that and a large Diet Coke. I guess I ate about half the silo of popcorn and half the large Diet Coke. When I got home I had 3 classes of water. I woke up late so I opted to skip breakfast. I went to the doctor during my lunch hour at 1:00PM. They took blood tests. This was just a check up. All is fine. Anyway, I had lost 4 pounds! Yay! But, after they took my blood — I was just chatting away to the nurse who drew it. I stood up as we were laughing and I started to pass out.
Well, I got lectured up and down. I had to lie down, drink juice and promise to go have a full lunch. I did. And, I ate half my plate of dinner. …and, I am going to allow myself half a cookie. I walked home tonight. Sigh. Food. I guess one needs it. Money. I guess I need to make more of it.
I wish I had a coat of the hair of my “id” …I think it would be blonde and wavy. It would blow in the wind, keep me warm and require me to move to Malibu. I can’t take very good pictures, tho. And, while I do like to face what scares me — i don’t really like to hang out with those things all the time.
If you’ve seen the film you know the closing exchange of lines. I loved those two lines as I think they rather sum up Arbus’ work.
THE DARKEST MOMENTS OF DESPAIR
…We’ve all been there. Don’t try to deny it. You wake up and everything just seems to be wrong or more than a little off. Life tosses a lot of curve balls. Now, I don’t know much about basketball. But, while I may not be able to catch all of Life’s Curve Balls — I am usually able to dodge them. And, Kids, trust me. I do know a thing or two about the passive/aggressive game of golf. No, I mean — football. Or, is it called dodge-the-ball-as-the-mean-3rd-grader-pelts-you-in-the-groin. Well, I guess that’s not really true. I don’t know much about sports. But, I’m an expert when it comes to the pleasures of the flesh. So, I know one or two things about balls. And, it is always best to apply a little extra pressure at the base if they are a bit too anxious.
Kids, what I’m trying to say is: you have to find ways to cope when things get you down. Quite often, when the sunny sky seems gray or the weight of being old and poor really hits me — I don’t cry and wallow in my self pity! Sure, sometimes you have to do that. Tho, I don’t recommend falling apart at Pier 39. …this tends to upset the tourist and gets the sea lions all tense. It is also a bad idea to embark on a full-on Pity Party With Breakdown on the Golden Gate Bridge. Trust me on this one. Strangers tend to either pull you off the bridge, ask you to take their pictures or encourage you to take a jump off into the water. And, inevitably, these dudes in red uniforms show up and quite literally force you into a van and you end up spending 48 hours in a smelly place where you have to discuss your feelings and have no access to sharp objects or chocolate. Sucks.
No. What I do is really quite simple.
I like to go to a happy place. A site like Union Square or a lovely San Francisco park filled with dogs and happy people. I have my Diet Coke and my journal. I sit both down on the ground and just start to sing my little dark heart out!
“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things
Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things
When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad”
Sometimes, I will do a bit of a dance. I like to do a variation on some Julie Andrews and late 70’s John Travolta moves. A Hollywood Dance Smash-Up, if you will. I normally sing the song about 5 to 20 times and dance about in free abandon.
…I don’t feel any better, but the kids seem to enjoy it. Sometimes I even get handed spare change. Normally, a beefy cop shows up and asks me to move along. If I ask why he usually threatens to “take me in” — Cops are so sweet and sexy to me. It is at that point I pick up my journal and Diet Coke and head out to find a friend like Ing or Alan — or my B if he isn’t too busy hiding behind large objects as I sing. Sometimes one can fight off the despair that life gives us by simply showing up at a friend’s work cubicle or station and jumping up and down. Or, if you’re like me, a nice little bit of stripping at a quiet book store is a nice idea. Well, it is an idea. It normally doesn’t do much other than upset the book seller and her customers. Especially if you start to strip during a reading group. …Something about causing the group’s focus to shift away from the matter at hand and it all being far too inappropriate when discussing Henry Miller. I don’t know. I don’t know too much about recycling. But, what I’m trying to write is that we should turn to our friends when we feel blue or down.
…and, Julie Andrews. She rocks and had really nice tits well into her 50’s.
“…Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things!”
Then, of course, there are always pretty lights one can string up around poles. However, I think a permit might be required for that. The important thing is to laugh, play lots of Goldfrapp, eat chocolate, and ignore your boss. Try to be green. But, keep in mind – it isn’t easy being green.
Yes, kids, I turned 40 the other day. And, I turned it with my mother in town of my birth in Texas. I had not been to Texas since the summer of 1997 and I had not seen my mother in over two years. So, there I was. Turning 40 in Texas with my mom. I wish I could tell you that turning 40 was no big deal. You know, that it’s just a number and one is only as young (or old) as one feels but I have to tell you that I didn’t enjoy turning 40. I know it is just a number and that I am in better physical shape than I’ve enjoyed since my early 20’s AND I am happier now than I’ve ever been BUT turning 40 sucked for me. It just sucked. Sorry. And, you know — I’m really not a negative person. I am a fairly up-beat and positive-oriented sort of person who likes to laugh. But, um, 40 is not much of a laughing matter for me. However, I am still processing thru it. I shall not bore you any further with my bitching about getting old. But, turning 30 was much easier. I shall leave it at that. Now, I shall tell you a few things about my trip back to Texas.
Much has changed in my birth land since I left it back in 1991. Poverty appears to be quite high. No more “boom” left at all really. Tho, to be honest, I don’t really recall it ever “booming” much. However, you know things have changed when Goodwill has three locations and one those is at the mall next door to Macy’s. Odd, that. True, the little town was just about destroyed by that bitch of a storm, Rita, last year. One can still see folks trying to re-build their homes and more than a few businesses. However, I don’t think the storm is fully to blame for the down turn. I am not sure what is going on. My mother kept insisting that things were great for my home town and that the economy was looking up. She just sort of stared at me when I asked if it was a good thing that the Hilton was now called “L’Elegante Inn” …I don’t think that is good indicator that things are looking up, but I could be wrong. One thing that never changes are the cows. There are plenty of cows. Let’s call the one above “Bertie” …At least that is what I called her when I took the picture.
…There used to be a really nice jewelry store but it is now this place. At first I thought it cool and even entertained the idea of finally getting that Hello Kitty tat I’ve been talking about for so long but then my mother casually mentioned that the town’s Hep situation was not so good. And, then I saw what I can only describe as a Crack Pimp and his prize Crack Ho drive up in a “soup’d-up” Honda truck. I am fairly certain that there are more trucks, cowboy hats and silver belt buckles in my home town than anywhere in the South. I could be wrong. However, I do not think so.
I had wanted to re-visit a few of my old haunts. One of which was my Head Shop. More than just a friendly little head shop, Sunrise was my childhood/teenage oasis of fun. This is where one could find great LedZep/Who/Fleetwood Mac bootleg LP’s and neat shirts! It was one of my fave places and it still stands! However, it had just been raided and I could not go in. My mother told me that they had been busted for selling child porn. But, later, when I was hanging out with one of my dearest friends on the planet — she told me the truth. Yes, kids. It is still illegal to sell sex toys in my home town. Now, one can still sell pipes and roach clips so the wise town elders opted to bust Sunrise for selling dildos since they can’t do a darn thing about the fact that many folks opt to smoke a bit of weed from time to time — they can stop ’em from pleasuring themselves with Devil Sex Toys. I found it amusing that my mother thought it had been child porn. Support Sunrise Records!
This is a fun place. Home of the Original Pig Sandwich! Hungry yet? Anyway, I thought it amusing that they were advertising the Graduating Class of 1966 — the year I was born. Cops love this place. My friend reminded me of the time she went in with her date a wee bit stoned and began to become amused that there were so many cops enjoying Pig Sandwiches. When I was a small child — you could drive up and a lady would roll out on rollerskates and present you with a Coke Float. It was like that George Lucas movie crossed with THE LAST PICTURE SHOW. Both me and my mother declined from actually going in but I took a picture.
Now, it is always about 95 to 100% humidity, but it can get cool from time to time. Cool translates to the 60’s. It was cool for one day while I was there. It just happened to be the day that we ventured to the joint built on the bayou. There were no gators to be found. It was too cold and they were burried in the mud. Oh well. The food was good, tho. I think I gained 25 pounds. Things really do taste better when fried in pig lard. Yes, it’s true.
Seriously, it was good to see my mom. We had some heavy discussions. We laughed a bit, too. I hung out with a dear friend who made me laugh so hard I cried. I took a look at where I had come from with both humor and respect. I had to laugh as I tried to take a picture of an odd store which had the inscription of “A Christian Store For Christians” under their home-spun logo — and heard a cowboy/shit-kicker type say, “Hey, look at the Jew Boy taking a picture of Kristy’s store!” …I opted not to take the picture and just got back in the car. Yep. Welcome to my part of Texas! Of course, I guess I was taking that picture to make fun of Kristy’s store. Tho, I had planned to go in and determine what defines a “Christian Store” as “Christian”
As I walked out of the San Francisco Airport and saw B driving toward me to pick me up, I realized how happy I was to be home. This is home. The place from which I came has a place in my history but it is not ever to be my future.
Well, not really. But, I am off to Texas to see my mother for the first time in over 2 years. She asked me to have my cell on when I arrive in Houston because she is worried she will not recognize me. I haven’t been to Texas since 1999. Turning 40 in the place where I was born. Hmmmm… Well, it should be interesting. I also think I’m getting a cold. Ugh.
Anyway, I’ve decided to not bring my iBook. So, I shall not have access to the Internet for about a week. No blogging. No email. It will be odd.
But, I shall be back!
Kissses from GayTown and a hug enroute to The Bible Belt!
OF MASS SUICIDES, DIRTY BLONDES, SHARP OBJECTS AND PENDING BIRTHDAYS…
As far back as I can remember I have dreaded my birthday. I’ve never fully understood why. I suppose there were any number of factors when I was a kid. But, I suspect the main reason is that I have always understood that, with each passing year, the ride is getting closer to the end and it usually feels as if I am driving far too fast and way too close to the rail anyway. My “life-car” seems to be forever scraping against that rail leaving a trail of sparks. But, I just put my chin up and keep on driving it – hands firmly on the steering wheel, eyes on the road and in the rear view’s reflection watching my past grow ever more distant. This year, as I drive toward The Date — it strikes me that this is going to be one of those all-important milestone markers on I-40. So, this weekend I’ve opted to do a few things just for me. B is out of town and it seemed like the appropriate thing to do to attempt to keep away those birthday blues.
I left work last night and headed over to the new mall. This is the mall that our mayor seems to feel reflects the full-on dynamics of some version of “Camelot” he aspires to create for His San Francisco. Not sure where this Camelot plan leaves those of us making less than the average San Francisco income and can’t really afford to live here, but I digress. Anyway, I wondered over to the shiny new megaplex cinema which housed a number of screens but is currently only showing 2 movies I would ever think of seeing. One of the two was sold out so I had no choice but to purchase a ticket to see this:
Based on one a GREAT book, this film version tried to be good. It does feature one extraordinary performance from Annette Bening. She manages to make the viewer feel something for a character, who, in the screenplay must have read like an evil bitch mom from hell. However, Bening was somehow able to convey a sense or level of humanity missing in the script’s words and actions. She infused love and life into a half-sketched character which could have easily turned into a scenery-eating shrew. But, despite her great work, I didn’t like this movie. I wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t. Or, rather — I can’t like it. There was something far too sweet about the whole thing. Actually , I guess it is the one thing that the book never was: sentimental and rather smarmy. You know, the violins seemed to want to kick in every time Jill Clayburgh’s eyes moisten’d up in extreme close-up. And, the actor playing the main character was about 4 years older than he should have been to actually play the character. But, his eyes kept filling with tears which seemed manipulative. Far superior to the other performances, Bening’s tears seemed real — and touching without the need for violins or close-ups. The whole film just felt far too calculated to warm my heart and too simplistic in wrapping up the absolute horror of this man’s childhood. The book was funny, but it never backed down from those horrors and it never made me feel as if my emotions were being manipulated for some goose-bump effect. And, I’m sorry — but Augusten Borroughs (sp?) appearance as himself sitting next to the too-old actor playing him was just too icky-Hollywood for words. Of course, it is never to see a book you love get translated for Hollywood. And, it came close to being OK.
After the movie, I drifted into one of those horrible mall bookstores. I know Ing will be mad at me but I think she would be more upset if I lied about it. But, I was bored and not looking forward to coming home to an empty apartment. So, I went in and picked up the new book by my fave celebrity train wreck, Miss Courtney Love. It really isn’t so much a book as a censored duplication of her journals from over the years. As I read thru her teenage scribblings I see the reflection of me on a better budget. I see the reflections of some of my friends. I see a mirror reflecting back all that is fucked up in a culture which does not protect or nurture its children. A culture that has no respect for children or their safety. Like so many other victims, Ms. Love has had to fight all of her life to survive — and, it is clear she is still fighting. I am sure this battle is harming many around her — mainly, I would suspect, her daughter. But, from skipping ahead and reading some of her acknowledgements it seems like she is fully aware of that and it trying to do all she can to prevent any more harm. But, these are the thoughts of a deeply intelligent and angry woman who is trying to sort out some sense of the world in which her parents tossed her. I see powerful observations — both strong and off-target. I see a person in development against all odds. I understand the need to escape into the fog and safety of drugs.
Today, I am more than halfway through it and — from a safer distance, I see the political dynamics at play in an infamous celebrity’s life. What if Courtney Love were a Mark Love? Yeah, what if she were a man? Would she be viewed as a pathetic train wreck or some rocker worthy of respect for survival instinct? A legend of coolness vs. a slutty crack ho? Someone troubled but cool instead of a fame fucker sad bitch? …because I think it is safe to say that this is how much of the world views Courtney Love. I do not think that they view Iggy Pop the same way, but what if Iggy Pop were Betty Pop?
I suspect Love might be headed for more trouble. I hope not, but I suspect it. She seems to be fighting so many things at once. She is just a person. She is not a train wreck. She’s been put in a car that is pushing against those rails. She can’t seem to get out of slow it down. But, I can imagine some troubled, alone and abused child reading this book and finding strength to fight and survive. That is a very good thing.
Today I saw JONESTOWN: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF THE PEOPLES TEMPLE …this may be the saddest documentary I have ever seen. It cut to the very core. I left the cinema almost staggering. I had cried. There were a few people at the screening who had lost family members to that tragedy. There was footage I never knew existed. How sad to see something which should have been an ideal goal turn into absolute Hell and tragedy. This is not a film for the faint-of-heart. There is another documentary out right now which is focused on the on-going tragedies also playing out in San Francisco: THE BRIDGE. Ing and I saw it last week. I don’t think it had the impact on either of us that we had anticipated. A sort of art house snuff movie that raises more ethical concerns about the way it was filmed than what it tells us as a film. Without clear focus, THE BRIDGE just left me cold. But, the Jonestown documentary shook me to the very core. So sad.
Well, happy birthday — right? That wasn’t it either. In my attempts to avoid an empty apartment and not feeling particularly social tonight — I walked to The Opera Theatre and took in a viewing of 51 BIRTCH STREET. This was an excellent low-fi documentary, but nothing all that amazing.
And, now I have about four hours to wait for B’s return home. I miss him. I will close this rambling post with a quote from a 14 year old Courtney Love which she wrote on a form from a correctional facility for criminally-inclined girls (to which she never should have been sent) …but was. …for over two years after her wealthy parents essentially abandoned her for several years making her a ward of the state of Washington. The form offers some details as to why Love was punished to a quiet room for several days — it would appear that it is abnormal for a person to get upsest that her bed is infested with bugs. Funny, that – eh? Anyway, here is what she wrote:
“Editorial: There is no such thing as girl love because all cool girls are competitive cunts, which is worth loving in itself. So it’s okay. Just don’t pretend it’s otherwise! Celebrate the reality!”
…the things that we get through form us. I’m not sure it is true that they really make us stronger, but I do think they make us who we are. So, fight the power. Take back that night. And fight the good fight, my friends. You only get this ride. Make it worth the trip! …and, now I take this turn as I head on to I-40 at an alarmingly unsafe speed!