SHIT MARBLE FROM HELL

we have two kids — in the form of small shih-tzu and a perfect cat. now, Bagel is our dog. due to circumstances beyond our control she doesn’t get to go out as much as she would like or as much as she should. so, Little Bagel has a pee pad and she is good about using it. the challenge is noticing when Bagel has done her business on the pad because Lola, our cat, thinks it is her job to go to the pee pad and treat it like her litter box. …when that happens Little Bagel makes the mistake that it is time to play and sometimes attempt to eat the pee pad. we are pretty good about catching it in time.

sadly, at some point during thursday, while we were out Little Bagel and Lola did their “Pee Pad Shuffle” act.

by the time i walked into the apartment the pad was in shreds. i cleaned up the mess.

a few hours later i could tell Bagel didn’t feel well. she just wanted to be near me or be held.

this morning Little Bagel took what I can only imagine was a most uncomfortable dump.

now, the interesting thing is that this particular dumpage looked like 4 rather large sized marbles. …and they were quite colorful. streaks of the blue plastic fibers and white/yellow tissue — they really looked like fucked-up marbles.

i almost took a picture, but that seemed to be too out of the limits of taste. so, instead, i decided to share the warmth with lower-case text.

love and kisses,
matty

March 19, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

JOGGERS CONTEMPLATING HAIR COLOR

Iggy Pop Rules...

Byron suggested that I go to the beach this morning and see if I could find some inspiration for a new blog posting.

I got a small coffee and sat on the sea wall for about twenty minutes. It is still early here so it was just too cold to stay longer this time of the day.

A young woman was jogging toward me. She stopped behind me (I was facing the ocean) and said,

“Hey!”

I turned wondering if I knew her, but I didn’t. “Hey”

She pulled some sort of coil that was holding her brown hair in a pony tail and shook her hair free, “Um, do you think I should dye my hair yellow and blue?”

I pondered the somewhat random question. She was quite pretty and probably about 30 years old.

“No. I don’t think you should dye your hair yellow and blue.”

“Why, tho?”

“Well, I’d select one color. And, if the choice is between yellow and blue I’d go with blue. It will match your complexion and eyes better.”

“Oh. Ok. Thanks and have a good one, dude!”

…And, with that she continued her jog down the Ocean Beach boardwalk. I guess it is a boardwalk. It is wide paved sidewalk that runs along the beach, actually.

Lately, I’ve been worrying I’ve been watching too many old episodes of THIRTY SOMETHING. But, I must write. I doubt that any stranger would ask Hope what color she should dye her hair. …Especially such extreme colors.

March 18, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

WHO’S AFRAID OF JOYCE CAROL OATES?

Anyone who reads or knows me knows that my life has been a bit off as late. Things have been quite difficult and confusing, actually. But, as always, I keep pushing forward. I figure there must be a point to this journey I call my life. So, one must simply carry on. I love that old Debbie Harry song, “Forced to Live” — the chorus of which is “Keep moving!” …I just keep moving forward, but it ain’t easy.

A few months ago I made the mistake of attempting to re-read an old Joyce Carol Oates novel. I couldn’t seem to concentrate or focus enough to follow what I was reading. It happens lately. Anyway, I got enough of it to remember how quietly powerful her writing is — and creepy. Creepy in a way that sneaks into your psyche and within your blood. So, I shook the words of Ms. Oates off myself and pushed them out of my mind as best I could.

Interestingly, about a week later I was sitting at the beach washing the waves. Smoking a cigarette and sipping my coffee I could sense that someone was watching me. I turned and noticed a big guy with long heavy metal-like hair sitting in a rusty carpenter’s truck. I didn’t look at him long, but it struck me that his eyebrows were particularly dark and bushy. It only took a second to notice that his eyes were trying to lock into mine.

Creepy.

So, I slipped off the sea wall and jumped into the car and drove away. I cranked up the iPod and calmed to the melodies of Joni Mitchell. As I approached a yellow light I slowed down and the rusty carpenter’s truck pulled up beside me — then revved up past me and took the place in front of me at the red light. I couldn’t help but watch. He was looking at me in his rear view mirror. The creepy dude’s cell phone must have rang because he quickly started chatting away on phone. As he talked, he began to an odd thing. It wasn’t done in a discreet or ashamed way. He did it as if it was not strange at all. He did it as if it was the most normal and natural thing any guy might do in his truck.

The creepy dude pulled off his hair. …A wig. He then rubbed his bald head vigorously. And, then, he pulled off a pair of fake eyebrows and mustache — and, then, he wiped his lips with his arm — revealing pale pink lips instead of deep red ones. He glanced at me in his rear view mirror, smiled and peeled off when the light turned red.


Now, there is something rather comical about all of this. But, to me, it is just a few slips beyond creepy.

…where am I going and where have I been?

February 8, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 7 comments.

THE MOST IMPORTANT MOVIES OF THE DECADE (in my opinion)


So, everyone seems to be creating their list of “The Best” movies of the first decade of the naughts. I take exception to the term “best” because all art is subjective. Entertainment, like beauty, is in the eye of the viewer. But, I wanted to compile a listing of the movies that I feel are not the best, but perhaps the most significant or important for the first decade of the double 0’s. These would not all make a list of my personal faves, but after a great deal of thought I do think that these are among the most important films made/released in the first decade of the 21st Century. I think these films will be watched, studied and continue to influence/inspire/provoke both filmmakers and audiences in years to come. Now, this list is just my opinion. I’ve tried to curb it to 15 movies with a nod to 5 others that didn’t quite make my list. The numbering of the list bears no importance. In my opinion, these films are all equal on some level or another.

1.

Peter Jackson's LORD OF THE RINGS Trilogy

The LOR Trilogy was simply amazing in visual effects, stylized acting, perfect editing with great respect for the original text upon which all three movies were made. Exceptional cinema!

2. PUNCH DRUNK LOVE (2002) – Paul Thomas Anderson’s highly original take on love, alienation and loneliness in the 21st Century. Especially important for film buffs is the experimental use of music, sound editing and light.

3. BEST IN SHOW (2000) – Christopher Guest’s ultimate comedy! His ‘stock’ of exceptional improvisational actors and clever editing make this the comedy to aim for — so many classic comedic moments!

4. OLDBOY (2003)

Perhaps the most important film to come out of the Asian Cinema Wave in years!

One of the most original films yet to be released this decade. Chan-wook Park’s South Korean adaptation of a Japanese anime is, if you ask me, the most important of all the great films we’ve seen to come out of Asia since the start of the 21st Century. Highly entertaining, dark, twisted, comical, tragic, symbolic and intensely unique in camera work and editing — this movie demands that your eyes be glued to the screen throughout. A thinking person’s action film. Min-Sik Choi’s performance is one of the best you’re likely to ever see — holding tight between realistic conviction and stylized tongue-in-check action hero turn is brilliant in every single frame.

4. O’ BROTHER WHERE ART THOU? (2000) – I know that most are citing No Country for Old Men as the Cohen Bros primary contribution to cinema for this decade. But, for me, this re-imagining of Homer is their absolute finest hour. The style, wit, highly effective performances and music merge to create an entertaining and hopeful view of humanity which pacts quite a whallop.

5. THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES (2007) – Andrew Dominik’s film is about as perfect as any movie can get. If you’ve not seen it, you should. Stunning in every aspect.

6. INLAND EMPIRE (2006)

David Lynch takes us on a trip of the senses using the most basic of equipment to optimal impact

David Lynch at his very best. This is the first film he has made which rivals the brilliance of Blue Velvet. Tho quite long, the movie is NOT dull. Impossible to actual describe, but blessed with an incredible acting turn by Laura Dern who seems to be wandering through the consciousness of an actor in way over her head and that of a demented film maker. This experimental film shows just how very much a filmmaker can do with equipment available to all of us. Sound and image have never merged quite this well. A puzzle of a film that will be pulling in viewers for decades to come. An important film.

A film which I believe will be re-discovered in years to come...


7. UNDER THE SAND (2006) – Francois Ozon’s complex examination of grief and the human struggle against the sheer horror of unresolved loss. I suspect this will be a movie that people will be talking about and studying in years to come.

...and the only time I've actually enjoyed Jim Carrey!


8. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (2004) – Michel Gondry’s film of Charlie Kaufman’s intricate screenplay is so creative and complex that it mystifies the viewer and rewards upon repeated viewings. Using top notch film technology and effects — Gondry and the impressive cast lead us through the all-too-real story of doomed love. And, the sad realization that great love may not always last for all of us, but what a joyfully melancholy ride life can bring. This, in my view, is a very important film in the realm of cinema history.

9. GRIZZLY MAN (2005) – Werner Herzog’s tragic and fascinating documentary finally provides him with the perfect subject to match his own personality. Tho, the film breaks a lot of the “basic rules” that I tend to impose on documentaries — the power of this film and it’s maker is undeniable. A pure genius turn of film work.

9. CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON (2000) – Ang Lee’s brilliant film forever changed the face of martial art and epic filmmaking. And, at the same time, he created a movie which resonates in the human heart.

BRONSON - an amazing and quriky character study of a true story


10. BRONSON (2008) – Nicolas Winding Refn’s film pays homage to Kubrick and carelessly tosses viewers into a sensory overload telling of the true life of Michael Petersen, Britain’s most notorious prisoner. Filmed without much thought of linear plot or character development — Refin creates magic. The film causes us to reflect on the impact of confinement, alter-ego, socialization, art, crime, punishment and the darkest corners of the human experience. Every frame is brilliant and Tom Hardy’s performance is one of the best I’ve ever seen.

5 OTHER NOTE WORTHY FILMS OF THE FIRST DECADE:

Funny with a very stong gut punch...


PALINDROMES, IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE/2046, FINDING NEMO, 3 IRON, THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU.
…all of these movie absolutely blew me away!

A horrific comicial view of the current state of patient rights within the realm of the medical care world of the 21st Century...

December 30, 2009. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 10 comments.

HAVE A VERY HAPPY HOLIDAY!!!

…and, don’t forget to boogie down!

A Disco Christmas!!!

December 24, 2009. Uncategorized. 4 comments.

WHAT WILL BE

Indie critics pretty much slammed this CD which Devendra Banhart released this past fall. My understanding from what I read was that many felt he was trying too hard to push into the area of commercial pop. So, when I finally heard the CD I was left to scratch my head trying to understand why critics would take this view point. In many ways, this CD is less commercial than his previous release. There is a rather filtered feel to the music on “What Will Be” — to borrow a word from one of his new songs — the music, at times, feels a bit muddy and murky. But this is not a negative thing. There is something so oddly dense and warm about this music. It sort of makes me want to pull up a blanket and just create a sort of sonic cocoon as it plays. Bums me out that it doesn’t seem to be getting the attention I think it deserves.

There seems to be so much re-hash and crap out there right now. It is so refreshing to hear something with a newly fused energy. Not at all commercial pop, but it deserves to reach the commercially successful level. I guess it won’t. But, sometimes, it is cooler when you find some music that feels more like just your own. …Your personal discovery. A sort of musical treasure.

Life continues to throw curve balls. I manage to dodge most of them. Sadly, I end up catching a few. Worse yet, I’ve been hit in the head by a couple. But, one must push forward. Especially when one finds one self using lame/cliche sport metaphor — and one knows nothing of sport.

I wish therapy days did not fill me with such dread and drain me of so much energy. I am told “we” are making exceptional progress. Yet, it feels like it is getting worse before it gets better. It is a feeling. I suppose it is not truth, but feelings are what I run on — so it can get quite grim from time to time.

However, then, something perfect will happen. I’ll see a surfer catch a wave with perfect balance and grace. Or, my lover will kiss me in that way that only he can. Or, I will hear an artist hit that one note that fills my heart with joy. …Or, I will catch a glimpse of what makes the struggle of life so brilliant.

And, it is in these moments of pure hope that I find the strength to keep pushing forward.

December 9, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

ANDY GIBB RULES DAY!

I’ve decided my day needs a boost. …a full-on disco down boost!

So, I post this rare promo vid-clip for Andy Gibb’s Shadow Dancing! He was so perfect! I mean – that hair! those teeth! That vest! “Wow” in a word!

December 8, 2009. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 5 comments.

‘TIS THE SEASON FOR AN ODD PAIR OF HOLIDAY TREES!

...one of two 'holiday trees' created by matty stanfield

…When one has a cat named Lola who enjoys tossing down items to a tiny dog named Bagel — who then feels the need to eat those items — a traditional tree is simply out of the question. So, this year — with Mr. B’s assistance — I made two flat “trees” which are fully Lola/Bagel proof’d — this is the first tree. I call it The Star of Barbra! …please note the Wild At Heart ornament. …Most proud of that touch!

Star of Streisand Tree Top plus David Lynch's Wild At Heart Ornament!

And, here is the second ‘tree’:

...probably the more artsy of the two trees -- I mean a Goldfrapp ornament!?!?

…please note the way cool Edie and David Bowie ornaments!

Star of Scary Doll Face & Bowie/Edie Sedgwick/Isabelle Huppert Ornaments!

All n all — odd holiday trees — so it is quite fitting for our home. I doubt that there are many trees decorated in this manner and this brings me comfort. However, I suspect it might be a bit worrying for Little Bagel…

...a very sleepy Little Bagel -- this picture was taken at about 5am this morn.

November 29, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 10 comments.

MICK ROCK: the ultimate in cool…

one of Mr. Rock's many infamous photographs...

I love photography. When I try to scan my head for the images by one photographer that ring most deeply within me — many artists names come to mind. But, I think the one photographer who most grabbed my imagination is Mick Rock.

I mean, aside from the real artistry one can see in his “simple” images — he managed to be in the right place at the right time so often. A sort of alchemy. He even manged to create a cool image for Carly Simon! …Not that she isn’t cool, but you know what I mean. The cover to “Come Upstairs” does not match the music one will hear on that disc. Yet, his images of David Bowie, Queen, Blondie and Iggy — all of those images capture the look of the sound that those artists put forward.

If you’re wondering I was looking at my copy of two of books of collected photographs this morning. I felt a yearning to post something about his work.

Mr. Bowie at the mirror...

Debbie being so NY cool...

raw and classic...

bohemian!

See? Way cooler than one might expect...

...and, this promo shot for Blondie hangs in our living room

November 19, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

THE HUMAN BRAIN AS FILING CABINET

human_brain

...from what I gather -- THIS is the human brain

I spend a great deal of time dithering on to myself about how honest I want to be on my blog and, also, how self-absorbed my writing might seem or even be. But, it is my blog. And, I figure that anyone who might be reading it can always just stop reading if so inclined. I “blog” for me. Of course, one can’t help but think of a possible audience. Still. This blog is my record of me — but it is not a journal in that there are things about myself, my life and those in it which are too personal to publish on the world wide web.

That said, I find it somehow therapeutic to write some of what I am going through down — and, quite often, a reader contacts me with helpful ideas or opinions that give me a sort of strength which was lacking prior to my writing. Self-induced pop psychology. 07-01b

I’ve been trying to process some rather disturbing information shared with me and my Life Love, Mr. B — by my therapist with back-up support of my previous therapist. The information was overpowering to me. It still is.

I don’t know that I believe it.

Can this really be true?
Can this really be me?
What sort of new world of crazy just fell into my lap?
Shit. This can’t be true?
Can it?

I think I am still processing the information. Accessing wether or not this is a concept I even believe to exist. Accessing what it really means and, should it be true, does it really apply to me? And, if it is true and does apply to me how do I move forward?

Right now, I am trying to let go of the whole “label” thing. Why must the name of something matter? And, does being labeled something really mean anything other that what it is? A label does not define us. I am gay. …But, in human terms, it is not the most important aspect of who I am. Tho, it most definitely has formed who I am and how I respond to the world — and to the unfairness of the world. …and the absurdity that the country to which I was born is supposedly a place where all people are created equally and have the same opportunities and rights. This is absurd because it simply IS NOT TRUE. No. To have full equal rights and equal opportunity you better hope that you are a white, fully hair headed, male who was lucky enough to be born into money. Oh, and your chances of having the best opportunities will be increased if you are 6 foot or over and gifted at sport. If you are a woman, a person of color, not hetrosexual or of the middle or lower classes — forget it. If you fall into one or more of those categories — your chance at equal rights, opportunities and respect in general are more than cut in half. Welcome to the world — specifically in this case — to the United States of America.

Anyway, I digress. Labels do not define us. And, in my case right now — I’m not sure a name/label for the psychological issues I’m fighting really matter. What matters — I think — is the drive to fight through it. Find a way to first live with and through it and get to a place where it is no longer an issue in my life. …To a place where I can march back into the den of inequality and lack of opportunity vs. just sitting at the beach feeling afraid. Yes. That is what and where I should apply focus.

I’ve an exceptional and caring therapist, a loving husband, loving friends and family — all of whom are pushing and supporting me as I work through this mess. The name of the cause is of no concern. I think. Maybe.

I’ve been told to think of my mind as a file cabinet. An onion analogy was first attempted but I find it more than a little challenging to compare any aspect of my life to a vegetable or fruit. But this concept of my brain as a filing cabinet seems to make a bit of sense to me.
digimarc.ms So, for my purposes of processing — the brain is made up of “files” called memories and emotions. When something happens to me it causes an emotion. The problem I have (in its most simple form) is that many of my emotional files are currently mis-filed with certain memories from childhood.

So, let’s say, someone yells at me — my brain should automatically select an appropriate emotion — which is somehow related to one of the memory files but not on a filing conscious level. That emotion is then sent into action in a manner appropriate to the situation. Currently, if someone were to yell at me my mind might scramble to a file filled with the emotion more appropriate to 5 year old and directly tied to something horrible that happened when I was 5 years of age. Because the files have never been sorted correctly — when my brain sends the files into action — the resulting response is not appropriate to my 43 year old situation. The messages are getting received but coming out in a rather fucked way because somewhere in my file cabinet I am still stuck in the 70’s when I was child.

SO – my brain files need to be pulled out, dusted off, re-evaluated and then re-sorted so that the brain can select what is needed and file away the past as just that. …the past. No longer going on, but valid. And, the emotions that I might have needed to express/feel at that time were just too much for a 5 year old filing cabinet to hold. So, the cabinet sorted the files in a way to protect my psyche. Now, years later — that disorganization is causing some very serious and disabling challenges.

It doesn’t matter what my shrink wants to call them. Or if what the issue is called or debated within the psychiatric community. …what matters is how I function and that I get on with my life before I wake up to discover I need a walker to get to the can.

So, taking a deep breath — I am attempting to sort out or through the worrying diagnosis name and just sort out these files in the cabinet I’ve been told is my brain.

It doesn’t really make sense to me yet. I’m still fighting against it. I think. I don’t want to fight against a concept. I really don’t. However, I am struggling not to fight against it. I am struggling to grasp all the meanings and get past a label that horrifies me to the core.

At any rate, I do hope there is sufficient budget to color code my files. I find that much easier when dealing with office work. Perhaps it will also assist in the re-sorting of my life.

November 16, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized. 8 comments.

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