I sort of fell off the planet for a few days. Sorry! Before the week is out I have to catch up on all my blog reading! We’ve been busy little gay beavers (so to speak) — we pretty much finished the apartment (yes, I can sort of paint a small wall), my mother visited, B made a kick ass Turkey Day meal, I had doctor appointments, we put up a holiday tree and listened to a lot of great music on my way-cool record player!
Oh and to whomever found and sent me that perfect and still factory sealed copy of “Barbra Butterfly” — “Thank you! Who are you?!?!!?” …It was neat. It still had a Sam Goody’s sticker on it and this odd sort of bar code label with the date of 2.8.79 on it! I opened it with gear and was soon jamming to Barbra covering the likes of David Bowie and Bob Marley! I don’t care what Barbra says — I love this LP! I love it!
Anyway, no real blog but here are some up-to-date pix of our home now that we have finished it. …for the most part. I’m still sort of working on one of the bedroom walls and B still needs to organize his work area, but here it it is!
Oh! And, Bagel is growing soooooo fast! She was 2 pounds when we got her and she now weighs in at 5.2 lbs!!!
No, she’s not sick or anything — she was sound asleep, but so cute I had to wake her and take her picture. No worries — she fell right back into her land of puppy dreams. with her chew toy… B made a fantastic Thanksgiving Day meal! My mother and my B enjoy the view of the Golden Gate Bridge …not sure what my mother was saying to B, but he appears to be quite afraid. Her logic has been known to send many over the edge. …our 2007 Holiday Tree! Please note the gifts from Tiffany! the entry way to the apartment! kitchen, part of dinning area and B’s work space. Please note that Salty Sailor does not care for our pink kitchen, but I rather love it! Let’s take a closer look at the kitchen! Aren’t my tiles wicked cool!?!!? They were made by a local SF artist, but I can’t remember her name and she signed the back of them and now they are on the wall. Maybe Ing will remember. She was with me when I bought them about a year ago. Ing? what one sees from the kitchen… Look at our new dinning table!!!! It is from IKEA. One can’t go to IKEA without spending the day. It is an odd subculture which entraps you!!!! Be warned! And, now some shots of the living room from various angles and some shots of me and Bagel in my green chair!
kisses with Bagel!
My mom bought Bagel a dress. This is what one sees when sitting on the sofa or in the green chair. It is a giant plasma TV that belongs to B, but I painted that little wall. I think it is a sort of avocado color. Anyway, that is actually our bedroom — you just can’t see it — yet!
me and B — yes, I’m fat! And, B has become very East Bay with the whole socks and sandals thing! But, quite cute, tho!
my mom made this really great dish she calls watergate salad but everyone else calls ambrosia.
My record player! Vinyl rules!
Now, this is MY desk/work area and what you see when you look at our bedroom from the kitchen! …I painted that little wall red! Impressed much?!?!?
my crystal ball — one of the very few things I own which is actually worth money. I do so wish I had a less cheszzy stand for it!
view from one of our windows… …so, I took this picture of The Golden Gate Bridge. It’s really pretty enjoy!
Oh! So, that day after Thanksgiving where nutty people wait in line to buy things? Well, B is one of those people. He was out of the apartment before 5am. Anyway, he came home with lots of neat things and this pink chair for me. I’m sure Salty Sailor will hate it, but it matches the kitchen wall behind me.
…I call this the “Fat Block” but mark my words! I’ll be back down to 155lbs by February! I will I tell you!
This amazing work of art created by Ing and Miss S was inspired by their viewing of one of my fave movies, MRS. PALFREY AT THE CLAREMONT! Isn’t it fashion!?!?!
As I decorated our bedroom wall with “krazy” old LP art I knew I had to get that amazing work of art created by Ing and Miss S! Can you see it? …Let’s take a closer look!
Bagel loves my mom!
Cute B and Bagel!
Bagel at my feet being impossibly cute!
Another wall, that’s me. The doctor(s) tell me I’m fat due to the medications they have me on — causes one to crave sugar and changes metabolism, but they promise me we will address after the New Year when all the tempting sweets go away and I’m sleeping better. I am getting better! Some days are pretty good — some, tho, are pretty damn bad/grim.
now, we are up in the loft which B built and this is one wall of our bedroom! This is the wall on which I’m still working! I will not show the fourth wall because we are still working out the mess of shelves. Sorry.
Come to our bedroom. Follow me!
OK, so – I just realized that I screwed my post up due to the way I drafted and uploaded pictures. Let’s blame the meds and the fact that I am running on 4 hours sleep today. I figure it is bound to make some form of sense — besides it is mostly a “pictures page” blog posting anyway!
Anyway, you can get a feel for the way our Oakland apartment looks. I’m looking forward to catching up the doings of all my blog pals. Sorry I had some of you worried. I’m OK and will beat this. And, I promise to get back to a more regular blogging schedule soon!
Kisses from the Ghetto Fabulous!
Still sort of in a stupor I headed out for my daily walk. I’m trying to walk at least three miles a day. I think I end up doing more like two. Anyway, as I pressed the iPod shuffle button I said a little prayer that it not come to Goldfrapp’s “Ride A White Horse” —- I know what you’re thinking, but my head was just not up for the thud of glam disco today.
Which seemed a perfect song for me to hear as I walked to the West Oakland BART station:
“Put your hang ups in the closet
Put the fears you have in a box
Come on baby pull up your socks
And sunbeams will shine
They will give you light in the dark
…And there ain’t nobody to blame
So keep trying, baby
Don’t listen to what they say
Keep going you’ve come all this way
…Do as you do cause your just so beautiful
Keep love as your golden rule
Keep loving the way you do
Cause that’s what those stars are saying
And count your many blessings
And sunbeams will shine
They’ll give you light in the dark
Lets get ourselves a head start…”
…The next song that came up on shuffle was one of my all time favorites, “Sweet Blindness” by Laura Nyro. Interesting because I’ve been listening to this song a lot as of late. Actually, I’ve been listening to the whole “Eli and the Thirteenth Confession” quite a bit.
B surprised me with such a cool birthday present: a turntable which we hooked up to our home theatre system and which will turn vinyl into MP3 tracks for iPod! Anyway, I’ve discovered that I can take up as much as 3 hours in a vinyl shop and spend less than $15!
Plus, my tastes do not seem to be that of most record collectors — while they scramble about looking for mint quality Chet Baker, Billie Holiday, The Beatles or The Who — I’m looking for ok quality Barbra, Andy Gibb, Carole King, Laura Nyro, Yoko Ono, Marianne Faithfull, the Captain & Tennille and the odd soundtrack.
For instance, I found Nyro’s “Eli” in near mint quality for only $2! Barbra’s “Lazy Afternoon” and Funny Lady” were 47 cents each and one had never been open!!!?!?! And, Ms. Faithfull’s revolutionary “Broken English” was all of $3 — and it has on minor scratch!
It’s exciting and hearing this music with all the snaps and is almost as comforting/grounding as holding/playing with Bagel. All the best moments of my childhood are preserved and I can close my eyes and feel a bit better for a little while. …I had forgotten how much I loved Ms. Nyro’s performance of her own song, “Stoney End” — I don’t like it as much as the hit Streisand created, but I do enjoy it very much. …As well as all of the other songs! How often can one say he/she likes every song on an album? How often can one say “album” anymore?!?!
Of course, I’m having trouble finding everything — but this is half the fun!
My Grandmother and I used to listen to Melissa Manchester’s “Don’t Cry Out Loud” LP over and over again on a weekly basis for a good year. Need to find that one! I’m also on the prowl for a great condition copy of “Barbra Butterfly” and the original soundtrack of “Ken Russell’s TOMMY” — I know these LP’s are out there waiting for me. Of course it would be fun to purchase an original Billie Holiday or Bessie Smith — that would sound so fucking awesome on vinyl, but this other music is more healing for me.
However, I have to say that Laura Nyro on vinyl has meant the most to me. I had forgotten how her words, her vocals, the musical arrangements and artistry used to touch me. …This LP in particularly moves me. And I was lucky enough to find the LP that features this gorgeous photo by David Gahr. I had a cassette of this same LP which featured a beautiful string of pictures showcasing windows which did capture a feeling, but this cover is so much more effective.
And, all these years later — and I guess I must have gotten this record when I was 7 or 8 (and it was an old record then) I have always found the quote she placed on the back of the LP so memorable and touching:
“Where is the night luster? Past my trials”
…and God bless the sound of vinyl and the magic of the memories that are good. …and, God damn the ones that make us hold tight till the pain and sadness eases so that we might move.
The trails of life are difficult. One can only hope that they are worth it. I think they are. I certainly hope so…
“…Never mind the forecast
cause the sky has lost control
cause the fury and the broken thunder’s come
to match my raging soul.
…let me start again…”
Laura Nyro, 1969
I dreamed that B and I had become foster parents to a thirteen year old girl named Krystal.
I’m sure that the dream only lasted a few seconds, but it seemed to last for a couple of hours.
B was unhappy about Krystal’s name. I spent time explaining to him that this was the name her biological mother had given her and that we couldn’t just change it. Krystal was our foster daughter — and provided all went well would be our daughter. And, besides, I rather liked her name.
But, B was concerned for Krystal’s future. He was worried about her taste in music. He had tried to turn her on to Thelonious Monk and Joni Mitchell but with no luck.
I, on the other hand was not so worried about her musical taste. Sure, I was growing weary of music made by a man with a name that indicated a worth less than a dollar
— half a dollar to be exact. And, I didn’t get the whole Disney on crack fame thing but I’m sure my mother was puzzled by The Ramones. And, unlike B — I rather enjoyed a bit of the new and dis-improved Britney and the almost glam musical stylings of Gwen Stefani. Tho, no Goldfrapp she wound it up pretty well.
No. My worry for Krystal revolved around her mode of dress. So, I sat down with Krystal for a father to daughter chat. Now, this was a dream and I did not transcribe it immediately upon waking but the conversation went something like this:
“Krystal, I think we need to re-think the way you’re dressing.”
“Oh my Gawwd! You and Dad are sooooooooo, like, dumb! Just because you think I dress like a slut that I am one! Daddy, I am soooooo not a slut!”
“Krystal, this has nothing to do with whether or not you’re a slut. This has everything to do with the fact that the way you dress is, like, really unflattering!”
“Honey, I know that this muffin top thing is cool but I think you need to be a little smaller to carry it off. I mean, you’re a size 10. I think those jeans are intended for a size 5. It is just too much muffin top’d!”
“Daddy! I am sooooooo not a 10! I’m a total 8 and this looks sexy!”
“Krystal. You’re a size 10. I wish you were a size 8. With some work we could get you there. Actually, you would be so cute if you were a size 5, but some things are just not going to ever happen and it is important you learn that now.”
“I like the way I dress!”
“Well, it is going to stop! We’re going shopping and we are going to get you fashion’d up appropriately!”
“Daddy! I don’t want to look like some nerd!”
“Um, Krystal, I don’t want you to look like a nerd either. Don’t forget we both take Bagel for a walk at the same time. The way you look reflects the way people look at me. No. The fact is you’re looking a little sad and desperate and the other kids are making fun of you. We’re going to fix that today!”
“Uh, excuse me?!?!? Oh no he didn’t!”
“Those girls are just jealous and the boys just want to sex me and that scares you because you think I’ll get pregnant!”
“Uh, like, that would be your Dad. This is Daddy. I would love for you to get pregnant! We could have the cutest baby! Think of the clothes we could buy for her! No, I just don’t want you getting herpes, crabs or AIDS! So, that is why I bought you those condoms. Did you try the rib’d ones?”
“Like, oh my Gawwwd! No! Daddy! I didn’t touch those! I gave them to Misty!”
“Now, see? Misty is a girl with a good head on her shoulders!”
“She dresses just like me!”
“Krystal, Misty is a size 2.”
“You are so mean!”
“I am not! Now put on that thing I picked up for you at Betsy Johnson!”
“I don’t want to!”
“But, if you do we can go to Virgin and get that new Hip Hop CD you wanted!”
“The box set?!!? Really! Oh my Gawwd! You’re the coolest dad ever! What will we tell Dad?”
“I don’t know. I’ll figure it out later. Did you do your homework?”
“Krystal! Give it to me. I’ll get it done, you show it to Dad and we’ll be cool.”
“Yeah, on one condition!”
“Liquid lunch and dinner today and tomorrow. Deal?”
“Can I wear my tube top?”
“Not when we walk the dog, but once me and Bagel are in you can take off the sweater!”
“I love you, Daddy!”
Today was a horrible day for me.
I couldn’t even make it to my psycho-therapy-marathon Thursday appointment. I tried, but after only 3 hours of sleep and a creeping migraine I could barely keep my head up. And, then my general confusion which has been slipping in as of late. I felt a mess. I stumbled on to BART at about 7am and came back home (West Oakland) and slept till close to 1pm. I woke up feeling better and had caught the migraine in time for the medication to work.
But, this was just a bad day. No way around it.
I also have a hard time articulating exactly how bad the days can be, but they can be quite bad.
Today, our foggy weather was not much help. We were shrouded in fog and cold. I showered, put on a printed T over a thermal white shirt and my Burberry long coat. I shaved and actually combed my hair. I ended up parting it on the side. It has gotten longer than usual. I worried that I looked like a label conscious version of TAXI DRIVER. …without the driver or the insanity.
Less than 15 minutes later I was at the piers of San Francisco. I didn’t take notice of which pier I opted to claim as my own, but I claimed one. I walked past the frustrated tourists trying to decide if the fog might clear or if they needed to take MUNI to get to “that bridge”, I dodged a heroin-riddled junkie begging for change and navigated thru some old fisherman who must think that it is safe to eat anything that they might catch in the bay after our recent oil spill.
Still, despite it all — the water looked lovely.
I took out my iPod, layed down flat on the planks of the pier daring anyone to give me shit. I pressed play and found temporary salvation in the velvet voice of Chaka Khan wrapping around the grooves and beats like no one else can.
As I listened to Ms. Khan funk it up I watched the fog roll about in the sky. Her funk rose high above the sounds of the pier. It transported me. I felt more grounded.
I began to think about how we are broken. …damaged. …seconds. …in one way or another. Our scars are not always visible, but we all have them. I wish I could be better at hiding them right now.
I wish I could function better.
After the digital LP had played out. I put the iPod in my Burberry pocket and began the walk back to BART as I felt Bagel probably needed my company more than the pier.
I waited for the cross light to come on and a young guy asked me where I had gotten my jacket and if it was vintage. I lied and told him it was.
…and, then he told me he liked my haircut.
“Would you like to grab a drink?”
I actually laughed and told him I was “spoken for” — I felt bad. He seemed embarrassed.
As I pushed my ticket into the BART gate I was amused: how interesting to be cruised in the midst of a breakdown. What would Chaka think?
When I got home I had an email from THE doctor telling me that he had left a prescription at the Haight pharmacy. It is a med I do not want. It can cause weight gain and loss of sex drive. Seems like they all do that. But, he pointed out that I’m taking enough Klonopen to knock out most people triple my size and it just isn’t working. I need to be able to sleep. I do not have a choice. So, I guess I will pick up the med tonight. Maybe B will come with me.
I took these pictures with B’s iPhone on Sunday. After playing “hard” for a couple of hours with her assorted toys she sort of vanished. …Then I spotted her sleeping on the laundry we had planned to sort.
Bagel loves socks. And, because of this she is having to learn to like having a puppy bath!
She is now 4 pounds!!!! She’s growing up fast! The vet predicts she will only weigh in at about 8 to 9 pounds full grown, but as she is still shy of 3 months old I suspect she will be a bit bigger than that. However, the vet still holds the belief that Miss Bagel will not be more than 8 to 9 pounds. She is mostly hair.
David Lynch’s WILD AT HEART is one of my favorite films. I often dread “sharing” it with a friend or suggesting to a friend because I sort of wear it on my sleeve — which is unusual. Trust me — when you’re an eight year old kid who loves Woody Allen and Barbra Streisand movies and you’re growing up in a small town in Texas you develop a thick skin and a sense of humor. …fast!
But, this is just one of those movies I love so much I often feel the need to defend it when someone knocks it. I think it is one of those movies a person either loves or hates. I don’t think a person could just “like” or think that WILD AT HEART is “ok” — it demands more.
Lately a lot of those exaggerated moments Lynch created have been crashing about in my head.
I never cared much for the book so I remembering being all the more surprised at how much I loved the film. However, both the book and the movie give forth that central idea about our world. …which is beautiful, dangerous, crazy, scary, filled with love, hate, passion and secrets. A world that really is wild at heart and weird on top.
I’ve never been quite cool enough to work a snake skin jacket, but if I were you’d bet I’d take to letting people know that the jacket, for me, is “…a symbol of my individuality, and my belief in personal freedom”
And, I would say this wrought with meaning and good intention. I think we all have a snake skin jacket lurking somewhere in our closets. It might not be made of animal, but it reflects us …and, it matters.
We were going to watch our new HD DVD copy of THE SHINING but I decided I really wasn’t up for watching a child get chased by his father with an ax. So, I put this in the player. We had just received it from NetFlix. It was sooooooo bad it was almost scary. So bad, in fact, that I put Luke Wilson’s commentary track on instead of the actual audio after about 10 minutes. He sounds like a guy I knew who used to play on our high school football team if one could get him to watch actually good film.
…the only thing good about this movie was that it was filmed around 2002 or something and Luke Wilson was still really thin and perfect back then. Not that he is fat now, but he is less perfect in 2007 than he was in 2002. Tho, in the end — he is always a fun thing to look at. However, I’d hate to be the one to hold up the other end of a conversation with him. He is simply too good looking for his own good. Do people actually wake up and look like that?!?!? I suppose his head is a bit too wide. No. Nevermind. He is perfect – looking , but this movie he wrote and co-directed is really bad. I understand why it sat on a shelf for so very long. Maybe we should have watched Jack chase Danny with the ax. Maybe if Luke had gotten naked in it it — or at least removed his shirt. I don’t know. Just a suggestion. And, there was far too much country music! And, not cool country bluegrass music — more like bad trucker music. I think he was aiming for a sort of Robert Altman kind of free flow thing. He didn’t manage that to any extent other than a plot that was more than a little too loose.
Oh! I did, however, watch this newly pristine DVD copy of David Lynch’s ERASERHEAD which some kind soul sent to me as an early birthday present!
Tho, not scary — I consider it a sort of coming of age comic spiritual journey of a movie — Mr. Lynch has put together a great new transfer — and I can’t wait to watch his stories section!!!! I particularly enjoy the print ad for his coffee. David Lynch Coffee —
I feel Ing and I need to secure some for Thanksgiving. My mom is coming and she is big coffee drinker. Ing likes hers with a whole lot of whiskey. (not really)