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RAMBLING & SPOUTING OPINIONS & MY FAVE MOVIES OF 2006 INTO 2007
I was never very good with puzzles of any type. I’ve always found it interesting that puzzles are often viewed as a sort of therapy that can lead to relaxation and clear thoughts. Puzzles just confuse me and often leave me feeling stupid.

Don’t get me wrong — some fan-fucking-tastic things happened for me this year. The most important and key happening this year was my meeting “B” and this building of a life together is a true blessing. And, I had a lot of fun with people whom I love. It was, in many ways a great year for personal growth.

On a global level, 2006 was the real puzzle. For me, when viewed from both the national and international level, 2006 was like a big puzzle from Hell. Like one of those cubes that I ended up tossing from a speeding car in the late 80’s. No sense in writing about it. Most of us lived through it. Even still, I felt that there was a good degree of hope to be found in 2006: the possible promise of change thanks to the results of the US election results, we seem to be gaining some insight into what we’ve been doing to our environment and how we might be able to turn some of that around.

“B” is going thru hell with the health of some very important people in his family. He had to leave for Canada the other day to take care of some things and will be ringing in the New Year sitting next to a hospital bed holding the hand of a much loved relative. This makes me sad. I wish I could be there with him, but family circumstances prevent that.

I never really cared much for New Year’s Eve. I stopped going to parties a couple of years ago. I would always end up standing there thinking, “Okay. Now what? Is that it? What did I miss?” and then that horribly sad song would end up being played somewhere. Tonight, I’ve got lots of unhealthy foods, Diet Coke and some DVD’s. I’m all set to ring in 2007! I also continued my now 3 year old habit of playing the Lotto on New Year’s Eve. I figure if one is ever to win — one needs to play at least once a year. I limit it to $20 a year. Kind of nutty considering that I’ve managed to be unemployed for the last two New Year’s Eve’s. But, ya never know. Anyway, this year I purchased $20 worth of scratch tickets. Tonight could be the night I become rich! Or, not. Most likely not. But, a boy can dream.

And, ugh. I turned 40 this year. Last month. Can I still call myself a “boy” ???? Yes. I just decided. I can.

For the most part this was a crap year for movies. Not much came out that was really worth seeing. But there were a few gems. These were my personal favorite releases of 2006 (and I am referring to the US film release year) — there is no particular order other than this list.
GABRIELLE. …for my money, Patrice Chereau’s film adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s story, “The Return” was the best film I saw in 2006. Delivered with an operatic flair — this study into the darker side of relationship is unforgettable, disturbing and beautifully filmed. I am a devoted Isabelle Huppert fan, but this actor can say more with a glance than most actors can say with a page of dialog. Almost perfect if you ask me.
OLD JOY. Another almost perfect film. I guess this is the “second best” movie I saw this year. A film about male friendship and the stunted evolution of the American man-boy. The movie’s director, Kelly Reichardt, has created a stunningly beautiful and eloquent film. In a year filled with rather middle-of-the-road movies, it is so cool that two great films came from female directors! I can’t wait to see what she does next! See this if you’ve not yet done so!
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE. This film just works so well. I loved it. It made me smile and the performance by Abigail Breslin was just amazing. I think of this as the little movie that just could. …and did.
DRAWING RESTRAINT 9. Matthew Barney’s fantasy on ritual and environmental evolution. Maybe? Magical and strange. And, didn’t we always know that if you were to hack the limbs off of Bjork she would most likely be a dolphin? I did.
THE HOST. Bong Joon-ho has created a movie which is both funny and horrific! A classic monster movie with wit, style and it will give you the creeps. This was such fun to watch with a sold out audience. And, I am still having the same nightmare inspired by this film — me under a bridge, the grey water turbulent and that awful thud approaching faster than I can run. See it! I think it opens nationwide in February.
SHORTBUS. A beautiful, funny, happy — but, ultimately somehow sad study on the need for us all to connect not only with others but to ourselves. No one can ever accuse John Cameron Mitchell of playing it safe with his art. Tip of the hat!
MRS. PALFREY AT THE CLAREMONT. Okay. Make fun of me if you must, but this little film from the UK is a sweet look into the heart of loneliness, love and the families we choose to make. …And, about getting old. Also, any film that closes with Rosemary Clooney singing “For All We Know” is far smarter than we deserve. Oh, and Joan Plowright kicks ass.
FRIENDS WITH MONEY. Nicole Holofcener continues to make “little” movies about very “big” things. Great performances from all, but Jennifer Aniston broke my heart. I think it was at the mid-point of this movie that it stuck me that she was playing a female version of me. Oy! If only the ending had not been so tidy I think this movie might have come close to totally winning me over. Still, it is more than worth your time to see it. And, for any of us who have found ourselves trying to start our lives over as our friends think we are nuts — this IS your movie be you man, woman, straight, gay or whatever. Doing what you need to do is not nearly as easy as it sounds. Too bad about that ending, tho.

JONESTOWN: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF PEOPLES TEMPLE. …Stanley Nelson’s powerful documentary provides both insight into what lead so many people to follow such a sad and sick man. I saw this movie with a near capacity audience in downtown San Francisco. This movie made me cry. I don’t want to ever see it again but to deny it as a great film would be wrong. And, it is so important that we never forget.

NOTES ON A SCANDAL. I think I was thinking I might get a bit more from a new film by Richard Eyre. You know, something of substance and importance. Instead I got a film so absolutely filthy I needed a power shower upon reaching home after viewing it — but, man-o-man! This is a guilty pleasure built for fun! As I watched it, I kept thinking I should not like it . I should just get up and leave. Why should I support such trash? …but, I was having the best time! Interestingly, I read a great review after I saw it from The Boston Globe which summed up the Judi Dench/Kate Blanchett excursion into trashy transgression as follows, “You’ll want to take a shower after Notes on a Scandal, but you’ll be glad you got dirty.” …Can I get an Amen in The House!?!?! I smell Oscar! More fun than – well, I won’t go any further.

Oh, let’s see — I saw VOLVER (I didn’t see the big deal and if I had to hear one more kiss or fart I was going to scream!) and I saw DREAMGIRLS (one great scene. just like the play from the 80’s. …and Miss Ross gets off way too easy! Once again, what’s the big deal?) I also saw Guillermo Del Toro’s PAN’S LABYRINTH (I “got” it, but did it need to be so horribly violent? And, I don’t like to see children abused or hurt. I found it to be artsy sadism. My thumb is down.) I also saw THREE TIMES and I was bored out of my mind.

I did not see Clint Eastwood’s two anti-war films. I also did not see BABEL. I have opted to not see THE GOOD GERMAN or THE GOOD SHEPHERD or THE PAINTED VEIL or CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER. You know what? I’m tired of war. I am sure these films are all quite good but I don’t want to see any more war. I know it is wrong, real and horrible. War is over if you want it. I want it. Let it be over.

I want to see the new David Lynch film but he is walking it around the country and I think the SF screening has been sold out for a couple of weeks. Some day.

And, hey! Happy New Year! Sending out many good thoughts and positive vibes to all of you!!! Let’s make 2007 the best year yet! …and, if anyone can land me a job — please do drop me a line.

Kisses,
matty

December 31, 2006. Uncategorized. 7 comments.

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A WALK OF ONE’S OWN ON THE LAST FRIDAY OF 2006…

It was one of those walks. You know the type to which I refer — one of those deep thought walks. You know, where your mind ponders and wonders all over the map on the most important things that face each of us in our daily lives. It always seems — to me — that we focus so much energy and worry on things which really do not mean all that much at the end of the day. We make mountains out of moe-hills. And, I don’t even know what a “moe-hill” is. I suspect it is a small mound of dirt created by some disgusting rodent known as a “moe” …or, maybe a “moe-hill” has something to do with The 3 Stooges. Moe? I think that was his name. But, I digress.

Today is the final Friday of 2006. I walked down Market Street from the Embacadaro to my home in the Castro. It was a nice walk and gave me time to ponder one of those frustrating issues that has been weighing me down. We may never determine how to solve a problem like Maria but I think I might have figured out the problem I refer to as “The Gwen Stefani Identity Crisis” Yes. I figured it all out during my walk down Market Street on the final Friday of 2006!

Well, I guess I didn’t really determine how to help Little Gwenie. However, I feel I understand her. How does one go from being a rebel from Orange County to an edgy SKA singer to pop superstardom to hip hopster sampling the likes of Oscar and Hammerstein and combining them with Madonna-like inspired rap and cool grooves from the likes of NERD. Well, I don’t know how to help her, but I managed to break it all down. I could almost create the DNA Code which might allow us to alter any further off-way growths. But, alas, I am not a scientist. All I can do is share my intellectual insights gained as I strolled through the Tenderloin district. Yes, as I roamed amongst my crack-addle’d pals I came to the following conclusion:

The Proto-Crypt’d 2006 Gwen Stefani is now made up of the following celebrity ingredients with a dash of faux marriage and faux mom-hood (I stress “faux” because Gwenie most likely has the aid of an army of nannies) — but, when one takes this into account with the following celebrity ingredients which go well beyond the standard influence or props or out and out rip-offs — No, Gwen has a real problem. I worry that the following have somehow morphed into her actual DNA Code which is resulting in disturbing anthems which we are being FORCED to hear on a daily basis! Perhaps if we can understand we can help her.






…add all of the above up and what you get is pictured below:

…It doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist or Brain Surgeon to know that all of those random things going into a MOR artist’s brain can cause a real problem.

Now, what do we do? The re-mixes come out on the first Tuesday of 2007. We may be too late to help her (or ourselves) in time for that, but perhaps we can hatch an intervention. Does anyone have a hotline to The View?!?!?! Maybe those bitchy ladies will have some suggestions and could even get her to come on the show for help/guidance. Something must be done! I mean, I know it is her shit, but kids! This IS bananas!

If we pitch in together — we may be able to help this would be Material Girl Gone The Way of Pink… Well, maybe.

December 29, 2006. Uncategorized. 5 comments.

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OUR CHRISTMAS COOKIES
…are odd, but we had fun making them. Actually, we had a great time. It all got off to a bang by attending the 9pm show of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus at the Castro Theatre! Then, we ate lots of sugar, opened pressies and chatted till about 3AM Christmas morning. Ing stayed over. Our sofa is quite comfortable. B got me the DVD box set of the Liz Taylor/Richard Burton movies!!! You’ve not really seen THE VIP’S until you see this new transer!!! Yay! Ing got me some way cool books! B seems to like the hooka and teddy bear I got him! And, then we spent Christmas hanging out, eating and cooking. Well, Ing and B cooked. I cleaned, played the music and ate. Actually, we all pretty much just ate. It was much fun. We also made a lot of cookies. Here are some pix!
B created this charmer of a Christmas cookie. I think it is of an angel gone horribly wrong. However, he explained that she was no angel and enjoyed every minute. I don’t know that anyone ever ate this cookie.
me and me as a cookie.
A sampling of some of our festive creations. They tasted quite good. However, no one told me that you could not put chocolate in sugar cookies. That seems wrong to me. Cookies without chocolate should be against the law.
Here, Ing is preparing to make another round of cookies. Great gams, eh? And, she can work the heels! We walked about 10 blocks up and down some steep San Francisco streets on Christmas Eve and she never missed a step!
B making cookies!!! I think he really just wanted to try out that way cool bong I got him! Turns out, I will need to show him how to use it. But, we will only be using it for legal stuff. I got him rose petal and peach tobacco for his pretty hooka!!!
I made this one. I call it, “Menstrating Ghost of Christmas Past”
Another pretty sample of our cookies!
Hope everyone had a very merry Christmas!

December 27, 2006. Uncategorized. 23 comments.

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CHRISTMAS EVE BRUNCH IN THE CASTRO…

B & I were enjoying a delicious Christmas Eve brunch. We were discussing a few last minute shopping plans for the day and the evening’s festivities which included dinner with friends, a late night performance by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus at the historic Castro Theatre and Christmas with fab and beautiful Ing! We were filled with excitement and it was, at one point, rather romantic. It was crowded. There were two older gentlemen sitting next to us.

B had to excuse himself for a minute. It was at this point that I heard the following exchange between our table mates. Please note that the following exchange was performed at a rather loud range. I was not trying to listen in — it was unavoidable to not hear it. And, this is what I heard:

“All I am saying is that I wish you could have just put the sling up before we got started last night!”

“Well, I am sorry! I guess I thought the chains were enough!”

…and, I thought, “Only in the Castro of San Francisco would hear this exchange over waffles, syrup and mimosas. Gotta love and embrace it!

Happy Holidays! …And, remember — sometimes chains are not enough when you want to fist the very best. Uh, I mean, “give” the very best! Toodles from GayTown!
matty

December 24, 2006. Uncategorized. 15 comments.

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OK, THESE ARE MY FAVORITE MOVIES: A Holiday Blog Post

I was thinking about the many things I could write about for my holiday post and I decided that I would write about my favorite art form: film. I’ve thought a great deal about it and this is a list of my all time fave movies. I thought it would be cool to try and find the original poster art and then supply a little review of each one… I should note that my favorite filmmaker is Fassbinder. Oddly, I would not count any of his movies as a personal favorite. These are my faves — and below each “poster” I tell you why.

It is my opinion that Robert Altman was the best film director to come out of the US. He could be hit or miss, but when he hit — no one could top him. I think this was his finest moment as a director. Funny, sad, political, satirical and unforgettable. Every time I watch this “epic” I am surprised at how easily Altman captured our entire fucked up culture by using the world of the mid-70’s country music business as a backdrop. Filled with magic moments — I think the most powerful is the magic way Lily Tomlin’s face captures all the longing, desire, sadness and desperation of being human. Contrary to the film’s theme song, this movie IS NOT easy. Brilliant.
…And, this — if you ask me — is Altman’s second finest moment. For the most part, this entire film is improvised by both its lead actresses. Neither has ever been better. This film is really a sort of meditative dreamscape. If you’ve not seen it and you enjoy the unusual — you really should check it out.
I think this is the best film to ever come out of Korea. I also think it is one of the most original movies I’ve ever seen. This is actually the second of a film trilogy, but one only need see this film. How much is real or imagined? I don’t know that it matters. I think what is more important is to ask, “Who is seeking revenge and who is the real victim in this stunning study of violence.
I think this just might be as close to “perfect” as a movie can get. I suspect anyone who claims to not like it has probably never really sat down and watched it. Over 60 years old and every single frame still works. Fucking awesome!
…David Lynch takes us down a very different sort of yellow brick road in this warp’d road movie from Hell. I love everything about this movie and HAVE to watch it at least twice a year. I suggest it as a great double feature with THE WIZARD OF OZ!
Disguised as a horror film, this is really a movie about the real horror in life: loss. Hypnotic, beautiful, sad and quite disturbing — a thriller for those of us who like to think.
For a film so focused on the fashions worn by its lead actress, this movie is without age. And, with each viewing you will notice something new. And, some 40 years on Bunuel’s masterpiece still shocks and mystifies. This is puzzle of movie. An inversion of Alice In Wonderland of sorts. You won’t forget it. You will not want to forget it.
This movie from 1975 is filled with a lot of “only one’s” and firsts. There is and will only ever be one Ken Russell, Ann-Margret, Who, Elton John, Tina Turner and a TV that oozes baked beans, chocolate and bubbles. I do so love this movie! No matter what one has to say about it — you can’t claim to have seen another film even remotely like it and I don’t think we would have ever gotten MTV without it. Can you hear me?
Haunting, sensual, erotic and oddly disturbed — this is a magical film from a controversial Korean filmmaker. Weightless and beautiful. See it.
Totally entertaining. Over the top theatrics which manage to both creep and touch. Smarter than it deserved, this is a work of art.
Like feasting on loads of sugar. A pretty, funny and perverse tribute to the films of Vincent Minnelli and Douglas Sirk. And, who would have imagined that Ozon would have managed to get all of these French screen sirens in one room!?!?! Fun! Fun! Fun! …and, really, pretty darn gay!
My personal fave Woody Allen film and beautifully photographed/framed tribute to our greatest city. Not as sweet or touching as ANNIE HALL, but a much deeper mediation — and, I suspect, a more honest glimpse into the heart of this complex artist. And, who would have thought Diane Keaton could play a bitchy character so perfectly?!!? Gershwin has never been put to such great use. Well worth seeing for the first 10 minutes.
…I write about this movie too much. It is probably my all time fave movie. I know it is a guilty pleasure. Color me “guilty” and give me more Babs in an afro!
…if you’ve not seen this documentary you are missing one of the best ever made. Just perfect.
Flawed but somehow brilliant installment from Paul Morrisey’s trilogy study of addiction and living on the glam down low. I dare you to not get pulled in! Viva La Holly Woodlawn! All three films Morrisey made rock, but this is my fave of the three. Largely improvised — this film probably helped to create John Waters, but Morrisey’s own moral agenda adds a level of import that transcends camp. This is a true art house experiment gone very bad — and very well all at once! See it to believe it! …And, check out TRASH if you dare. It almost made my list. Andrea Feldman RIP!
I think this might be the best bad movie ever made. I enjoy it even more than VALLEY OF THE DOLLS — and, that is saying a lot when I say that! Shame! Shame! Shame on Miss. Ross for refusing for Paramount to release this on DVD! It is a treasure! She should fully embrace it and all those clothes she designed specifically for the movie! Do you know where you’re going to? Do you like the things that life is showing you? …don’t ask Mahogany!!!
There are certainly other great films: TAXI DRIVER, CABARET, JOHNNY GUITAR, ROSEMARY’S BABY, THE EXORCIST, BLUE VELVET, ERASERHEAD, GODFATHER, LAST TANGO IN PARIS, WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE, UNDER THE SAND, PERSONA, SHAMPOO, MIDNIGHT COWBOY, ROMMY & MICHELLE’S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION, etc. …but the ones I sited are my faves.

If you celebrate it or, if like me, you just enjoy the pretty lights, smiles and glitter — Happy Christmas! I want it. So, maybe war will be over soon.

…and, while I do find this film to be a sort of interesting cinematic mistake, it is not good. But, I think this might be one of my all time favorite movie posters.…isn’t it wicked cool?!?!

December 23, 2006. Uncategorized. 14 comments.

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TO HIDE A FEELING

Where do you put a feeling like ths?

It is your last day. They give cards for the birthdays of temps and take one week temps to farewell lunches. This is your last day at a place where you have worked intimately with people for ten months. And, yet, here you sit. You sit alone at a lunch counter looking down at a scrambled egg. You push the toast off the plate. You’ve been asked to go to lunch early to ensure coverage. It’s not busy and you know the office never has coverage, but you agree and go.

You realize that you are either so insignificant to them that you don’t matter or that they want to make you feel bad or that they simply no longer like you. You don’t want to care, but you feel hurt. You feel insecure. You feel a bit like the first grader who got picked last to be on the kickball team. That stinging feeling comes to your eyes like it did on that fall day back in Texas. Just like your six year old self, you dig your toes into the souls of your shoes. You vow that you will not allow them to make you shed a single tear. To do so means that they have won some power play over you and that WILL NOT happen. You swallow that lump and remind yourself that you may be hurt but the ones who have hurt you do not need to know. There is a bit of a difference. This is a difference of which you feel rather proud. That little first grader made a vow to himself that he would never be last picked again. …and, he wasn’t. He found ways of fitting in, being accepted and even mildly popular.

But, today is different. Today — you simply slip on a blank mask. A mask that will allow you to hide how you’re feeling. A mask that allows you to smile and project a feeling of confidence and happiness to match the failed attempts to look sincere when they say goodbye as you take your final paycheck.

You leave the office for the last time smiling, but a part of you feels defeated, beaten-up and sad. You feel confused and angry. You return the goodbyes with mutual well wishings. You laugh as the one who really drove you away “jokes” to not let the door hit your ass to hard as you leave. You “joke” back that nothing taps you on this ass unless you want it too and that you can’t wait for this door to give you a nice pat on the ass. An awkward shared laugh.

Sure. You wish him a “Merry Christmas” but inside your head there is an echo of that first grader screaming something far less friendly. And, you ache to pull the mask off and let them all know how they all backstab each other over and over again. None of them even realize it. You know that you could cut them off at the knees with a few sharp sentences. You’ve been trained by the best in Corporate HR Hell. You know how to do it.

But, no. You dig in your toes. It isn’t worth it. You will not let them see that they hurt you.

As you walk home in the rain you come to that sad realization that sticks and stones may break bones, but words will cut you deeper than any break. You walk into your home and slip the horrible mask off and you wonder:

Who won?

You take a deep breath. You catch the scent of your lover. You look at the lights on the Christmas tree. You feel a sense of freedom. And, you know — yeah, you did win. And, you think you might have even managed to win with a bit of dignity. …Something that matters to you. You did nothing for which to feel ashamed. You were honest about why you quit and you never failed to do your job. You did it well.

You toss the mask in the garbage. You hope you will not need again but you’re adult enough to know that you might.

So, now you close this chapter on your odd careers journey. You will begin a new one in the new year. But, for now, the focus is on enjoying the holiday. Free.

December 22, 2006. Uncategorized. 14 comments.

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WHAT’S BEEN UNDER YOUR TREE? …AND, WHAT DID YOU LIKE MOST?
…or, rather, what did you ever find there that you loved the most thus far in your life? Yeah. What is the best holiday present you’ve ever received? I’m curious. Share. Don’t hold back.

I was thinking about this today as I tried to calm my nerves as someone was working what I thought was my last one. (this has not been a great week for me, but it is about to get much better! true. i will be broke and unemployed, but i figure i am quite employable and know that this is the right direction/path for me to take. the timing can’t be helped. …but, i digress…)

The Top 3 Christmas presents I’ve ever received came from my mother. This is a bit of a shocker as my mother is critically gift-challenged. As an example — a few years back I received a large bottle of Tylenol. This year she sent B a fruit cake. She just doesn’t seem to have a knack for knowing what to get someone for a gift. However, it is the thought that counts. And, I do think there is thought there — just not a great deal of gift logic applied.

Still. When you’re five years old and Santa brings you gift wrapped socks and underwear — it is a bit of let down. I don’t think she ever “got” that. The funny thing is that she and I discussed this just recently. I told her that she had given me the three best presents I had ever received. She had no idea that those three presents meant all that much to me. And, in a moment of true honesty she explained that all three almost didn’t happen.

Between the ages of 8 and 11 my whole world revolved around two movies: Ken Russell’s film version of The Who’s TOMMY and Barbra Streisand’s version of A STAR IS BORN. Yes, we all know I was an odd queer child. ….Most likely from the moment of conception. Anyway, I’ve written before that there were no boundaries in my family when I was a child. My father took me to see every movie released no matter the rating or the subject matter. My mother was quite fond of leaving me at cinemas to substitute for babysitters. In the summers I would pretty much live at the movie theaters in my home town. She never cared what I saw — She would walk to the booth, buy a ticket to SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, give me $3, hand me the ticket and leave me alone to try and understand what I was seeing on the screen. Despite all the freedom and non-restrictions there was one area in the world of entertainment which left my mother quite nervous: Barbra Streisand.

When I was four years old and demanded that they buy me all of her records and began collecting pictures of the still young diva — my mother knew I was gay. And, she blamed Ms. Streisand.
When THE WAY WE WERE opened I was not allowed to see it. THE EXORCIST? Oh, no problem. FUNNY LADY — that was a fight. I had been dragged to THE GODFATHER movies but FUNNY LADY demanded that I throw fits to get her to agree to let me see it. But, back in 1976 A STAR IS BORN was a big deal. I remember her buying me a ticket to see CARRIE one Sunday afternoon and I saw the poster of ASIB in the lobby. I was 9 at the time I was entering the cinema to watch CARRIE but I was wishing I was 10 already and it that it was Christmas so I could be watching Barbra Streisand in A STAR IS BORN. My mother said “no” — she told me it was a dirty movie and I couldn’t see it. I remember pointing out that I was the only person in the 3rd grade who was being allowed to see CARRIE and she told me that CARRIE was just a silly horror movie. D’oh! …but I didn’t let up.

By the time my bday rolled around in November of 1976 I had pretty much won the battle. A good friend of hers had pointed out that she didn’t see why it would be a problem for me to see ASIB if I had been allowed to see TOMMY, CARRIE and NETWORK. My mother caved. Of course, I ended up catching the flu right before Christmas and we couldn’t go that evening. But, the LP was waiting for me under the tree. For some odd reason my mother had decided to cover the LP in really ugly 70’s wallpaper because she “didn’t approve” of the iconic photo that graced the cover. But, still, I had the record. …no cover, but I had the vinyl and the pretty gatefold pix on the inside. I played that LP till you could see through it. …The following spring we had to purchase a new copy for me. …and a new turntable needle. I kid you not. And, by then, my mother gave up and let me have the LP with the cover, but I couldn’t display it.

Anyway, this LP became my second fave Christmas present of all time.

The third came in the form of this: I searched and searched the Internet and I am ALMOST positive that this is the exact model boom box I was given for Christmas 1981. I love this boom box and played it for years. As a matter of fact I was still playing it when I left for Boston in 1991. This was my third favorite Christmas present. My mother almost didn’t get it for me because she thought 8 Track tapes might make a come back. Luckily, another pal convinced her that this would not be the case. …it came with a cassette of Elton John’s Greatest Hits.

But the best present I ever received was given to me on December 29, 1976. Barely recovered from the flu, my mother took me to a screening of A STAR IS BORN at the Gaylnn Twin Cinema on Calder Street in Beaumont, TX. Mom was sobbing at the end — as were most of the women in the sold out audience. However, everything is bigger with my mother. So, as Babs discovered Kristofferson’s dead body on the side of the highway, my mom had to cry louder than anyone else. She looked like Alice Cooper at the movie’s close so messed up was her make-up.

I was simply enraptured. This is one of the happy memories of my childhood. The next two weeks would be spent explaining the movie frame by frame to my classmates. All of whom wanted to see it, but were not allowed to see R-rated movies. That was a sublime present. Oh, and I got my first erection watching Kris Kristofferson and my mother forever tainted my image of The Captain & Tennille because of it, but that is a whole other posting — in fact, I already posted about it several months back.

Now, what is the best present you’ve ever received? I wanna know it all. Don’t hold anything back! …and, Happy Holidays!

December 20, 2006. Uncategorized. 18 comments.

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QUEER COMMUNITY?

…I was reading an interview with Gore Vidal. I am not sure why. I do think he is a talented writer, but I have never cared much for what he has written. And, whenever I do read or hear him speak he seems to have been stuck in a bad mood for the past several decades and it tires me. In this interview he said that he didn’t feel that he was a part of any gay communitity — and had never felt that he was a part of any community. Then, he turned it around and asked if anyone ever feels like they are a part of a community of any sort.

My knee jerk reaction was, “Yes, I have felt that I was a part of several communities at one time or another” …but, then I thought about it and I’m not really sure that this is true. Maybe I am a fringe dweller. Or, maybe there never has been such a thing as a gay community. I don’t know. But, the cranky old man did give me something to think about. This thought led me to Fassbinder, one of my fave filmmakers, who was always quick to challenge and dis the theory of a “gay community” and I wonder. Is there one? Was there ever one? Have I ever been accepted as a member?

(sigh)

December 17, 2006. Uncategorized. 15 comments.

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM SAN FRANCISCO!
…I so wanted to find one of those really tacky “enhanced” cards where the Golden Gate Bridge is decorated with light bulbs and the snow is falling but even tho they are in every store I enter I could not find a single image. And, soon, I shall be off to a party. So, this little retro Greetings Card will just have to do. Just imagine some glitter and snow and you’ll be all set for my little message!

After the party we have to find a way to lug my CD collection to the used store, clean the house, attempt the laundry and see a movie. It is going to be a busy, but fun day! Last night B and I walked the Castro for a couple of hours searching for the perfect present for an old friend of his. We found it in the form of THE ELECTRIC COMPANY DVD set at Medium Rare CD’s! Yay! I’m most jealous. However, while he was paying the cashier I found this:

Um, just kill me! I am thinking that I might just have to pick it up from my proceeds from selling my stuff. I mean I’ve been waiting all my life to see these films on DVD uncut. …I’ve only ever managed Virginia Woolf. The others have not been on DVD. UNTIL NOW! Dammit! I do so wish that they had included BOOM! — the Burtons’ best film of all time. There I said it. Boom! Ah, Liz and Bobby at the Holidays. What more could one want?

…well, OK — a lot more, I guess. However, this is enough to make me happy for a while. And, it would be such fun to watch THE SANDPIPER with B and Ing during our Xmas sleepover party! yay! …well, fun for me anyway! I’ve made a deal with myself –if I can get it for under $40 then I’m getting it! Caution to the wind!

There are just some things a boy needs!

Look! It’s a San Francisco Castro Santa! …as my beloved Goldfrapp sings, “…boys will be boys”

OK — the day is about to start! And, I can’t wait!!! I’ve lost 5 of the 12 pounds I want to lose and am ready to get myself to my fourth holiday party of the year!

December 16, 2006. Uncategorized. 7 comments.

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AN EARLY XMAS GIFT
…from my baby!

So, ever since I moved in with B my cell phone (which was never very good anyway) has sucked even more! Actually, beyond sucking — I simply got no reception in The Castro. Yes, the horror that is T-Mobile when you live in The Castro. Anyway, with unemployment looming I had dashed all hopes of terminating my contract with T-Mobile to join the ranks of either Verizon or Sprint. But, B surprised me with an early Christmas gift — a way cool razr phone that moto designed for the cool (red) campaign which brings money to AIDS charities in Africa. Cool! I’ve a phone that actually works.

This, of course, brings me to the topics of both AIDS and phones.

AIDS has stolen more than a few friends from me. The early 90’s were both horribly sad and scary. And, it still is — the difference is that I now have friends who are living with it (or HIV) as opposed to waiting to die from it. Anyway, I am not sure how much Bono and my new cell phone will do to help anyone — but something is better than nothing. Like only being able to afford to give $25 to my friend who is doing the AIDS ride — I’d have rather given him $1K but $25 is all I can swing. So, that is something.

Phones. I hate them. I don’t like talking on the phone. I like to see the person to whom I speak. I want to see his/her eyes. I want to connect and I seldom really feel connected on the phone. There always seems to be something else pressing for me or the person at the other end which needs to be addressed. And, I hate the sound of ringing phones. And, I hate the idea that it might look like I’m trying to look “cool” or “important” with my little cell phone. But, cell phones are a fact of life. As I start my job search — this one is saving my ass!

Speaking of my ass. This brings me to the topic of Gala Market on 18th Street. B and I were there not too long ago. I was pushing the shopping cart. He was looking for some type of wine to go with steak. Two guys in the early to mid 20’s were behind us. I could tell that we were in their way so I went to move the cart to the side but ended up backing into one of them. I apologized and moved to the side. ….they walked by us. As they passed, one of them said: “I am so tired of these skinny Castro bitches!”

I think B was pissed at the rudeness, but I loved them. I mean. You can call me a bitch as much as you like as long you tell me that I am also skinny!

Well, if you will excuse me — I am very important and must make a phone call on my (red) motorazr cell phone. Oh, and B gave me a Streisand Superman screen saver!

Does he know me or what!?!?! Oh, phone’s beeping! Gotta run!

Love you! Mean it!

December 13, 2006. Uncategorized. 20 comments.

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