Friday, September 30, 2005

Bushy Dreams

Back in the good old days, I had dreams about Bill Clinton. And I have to admit, they had a bit of a sex tone to them.

He was my rogue, my president, my gray fox smartypants in the White House.

Yesterday, I took a day off from reading the newspapers, etc. It was very interesting and something happened in my dream state that would have never happened had I been completely soured toward the world because I had spent the day filling my head with the newspaper.

This is the truth. I had a dream about George Bush last night. It was on a beach that seemed like Eastern Long Island. He weighed about forty more pounds than he does in real life. He was quite bloated in the face, tired and beaten down in a sack-like black outfit. He had the skin texture of a man who spends a lot of time drinking. Upon the beach were revelers walking in many different directions up and down and across the beach. Most of them were young or middle aged. They were all white, smart, aimless Democrats. George felt out of place on the beach (for a while, he was even riding a pokey horse). He had no where to turn, except he saw me and decided, somehow, that I was the bridge between the Left and the Right and he wanted to speak with me in confidence and ultimately talk me into his side of things and then have me go to all these people on the beach and recruit them for his cause, to let them know that he was an okay guy. I didn’t retreat from his interacting with me. Being a people-pleasing type actor person, I went along with what he had to say, trying to pay attention to whatever humanity he was showing me in his very vulnerable state.

I listened courteously and even felt oddly flattered that he asked me to help him out. And interestingly, I had more pity for him than anger. It was apparent that he knew his reign was over and he was also sorely aware that he would go down in history as one of the biggest losers of all time. His current situation on the beach and as president of the country was that of an alienated bully who was sad to have realized that everyone else had graduated from High School and matured into nice people and he somehow missed the boat. His fat, red, frowning face had the look of someone who was thinking, "I'm always a loser. My mother hates me. Why do I always screw everything up? Where's the bar?"

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

O.C.D. and The New Yorker

While I wasn't looking, I became Obsessive-Compulsive about my New Yorker subscription.


1) Because I HATE to have ordered something made from all that paper and then have it come to the house only to throw it in the recycling bin.

2) And more importantly, WHAT WOULD I MISS IF I TOSSED ONE?

It's insane. Why be so focused on this one magazine? I can oddly forgive myself for feeling guilty about number one...since the planet is the planet and we have to have to have to conserve, but number 2? Because I'll miss something? I dont' get Mother Jones, Harper's or Atlantic. Nor do I subscribe to Popular Mechanics, National Beaver or Aging Queers with GERD. Clearly, I am missing tons of great articles written by tons of brilliant writers. And I don't pine.

Frankly, the idee fixe is an ugly thing and something I need to eschew.

New got two weeks...or you're tossed. I can't become one of those sad stackers.

Happy Hump Day


1) I am not going to think about storms and floods.

2) I am not going to read the newspaper.

3) I am not going to talk about our president.

4) I am not going to look at the cost of gas.

5) I am not going to worry about the future of the world.

6) I am not going to think about death or disease.

I am going to put on my Pollyanna hat and I'm going to walk down the street and imagine everything is truly good.

I need the break.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Ode to a Puss

Today's blog is in memoriam for Mary McBride's and John Marzilli's old cat, Jake, who passed away just a few days ago at the hands of a caring veterinarian. The cause of death was related to failing kidneys. Jake, we hardly knew were 19 years young and an awesome, stringy old cat with a world view we all respected.

Jake meowed loudly when the Berlin wall came down.

Jake didn't mind when Bill Clinton spooged.

Jake laughed mildly at the threat of Y2K.

Jake disapproved of the First Gulf War and as far as the latest Bush family corporate takeover of Iraq is concerned, Jake couldn't even talk about it.

Jake was given to John from a box of little kittens while he was working on a television show. Happy to be out of show biz, Jake spent most of his life doing what most cats do and he did it for a very long time.

Jake, you were fabulously charcoal with a few good stripes. You were loyal. You were loved. Everyone marveled at your pussy greatness.

Jake is survived by Mary, John, Daisy and Lilly. Mary and John, as you may have guessed, are humans. Daisy and Lilly are pussycats.

To Jake!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

BiCoastal Chronicles: Transition

I am returning to the West Coast on Saturday and I would like to thank all of you who have tuned in extra hard and special during these BiCoastal Chronicles. Your comments have made the reporting worthwhile.

Simply was about getting ready to leave.

I purchased a Shark Upright for the future floors and a 44 piece dish set at Bed, Bath & Beyonce. My sister had mountains of 20% off coupons and I grabbed 'em.

I took a local bus along the edge of New Jersey into Manhattan. We drove through at least twenty towns. When you get to JFK Drive on the high Palisades just west of the Upper WestSide of Manhattan, on a gorgeous fall day, you know it's a rare and amazing view.

After riding the 1 train to the end, I took the Staten Island Ferry to have dinner with my friend Marian in Snug Harbor. The ferry, friends, is pretty much one of the most fun things you can do for free in the entire United States of America.
I wonder when some terrorist is going to blow up the Statue of Liberty?

Having happily purchased my ticket to return to California to see my State-Of-California-Recognized-Domestic-Partner, Adam and my fur dog, Louise, I look forward to my return to New York for the closing sometime in early October. Stay tuned for BiCoastal Chronicles II.

Please forgive my straight up visiting ass is toast.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

BiCoastal Chronicles: Exit 91

To break up the week in New Jersey, I visited my Aunt Helen in Brick Township. She lives in Greenbriar, a tidy retirement community with its entrance on Burnt Tavern Road, Exit 91 off the Garden State Parkway. The closest shore point is Point Pleasant.

Auntie is 81 and is actually the sister of my mother's mother. Aunt Helen raised my mother for a couple of years in Kansas while my mother's parents were busy trying to kill each other. Thus, Aunt Helen is more of a grandmother figure in our family than merely a Great Aunt.

Aunt Helen just returned from the hospital. She has succumbed to cancer in her abdomen after a few years of a livable disease detente. I arrived at her house before she did as she was with her daughter, Michelle, over at the state housing complex making sure all the papers were in order for Michelle’s disabled-friendly apartment. A few minutes before they returned home, a Hospice truck arrived and hauled out oxygen machines and showed me, in the entryway of the portico over by the stone statue of the blessed mother, how to operate the hulking things. I wrote it all down. When Aunt Helen and Michelle arrived, they were both upset by these machines so we moved them to a corner of a bedroom where they would not be in the way. "Why is hospice moving so quickly? I'm not dying tomorrow!" I helped bring in the groceries from the trunk of the car. Apparently, there was a sale on Barilla pasta. Aunt Helen is a very practical woman and I have always felt very close to her. She is my Godmother and has also given me her ceramic rabbit collection.

Aunt Helen truly will not die tomorrow. Though she is a bit green-gray, the fact is, she has sported this hue for quite some time and she still manages to eat pizza, to talk a little dirty and to attend her daily church services. She’s a good story teller and often has eye twinkles. She told me she had a dream that she was visiting her friend Dorothy, who is deceased, and in the dream Dorothy lived in a big house on top of a mountain range. She was visiting Dorothy in this house and decided, after having visited for a while, to come down the stairs which ended on the top of a mountain. She looked down and picked up a curved object made out of stone and the center of it was dug out like a canoe. And when she looked into the depression of this little stone canoe, there was the face of Jesus. "I think this is a good omen," she told me.

I did not press for further meaning. I have read that people often dream of traveling at the end of their lives. Also, I am not a huge fan of Jesus visitations, but my Aunt loves the guy and so I couldn't possibly have a conversation with her about this. We changed the subject and talked about my sexuality. We talked about the obituary she received about her old antiques business partner, Kitty, who tried to kill her mother by giving her too many pills and letting her lay on the floor without calling an ambulance and how Aunt Helen came over and made her call. “She was a witch,” she said. Michelle sang the refrain, “A witch.” Sitting at the kitchen table with the plastic coated tablecloth, we ate very tasty Jersey pizza. Honestly, the best I've had in years. And after that, Aunt Helen had to go to bed because she was so tired.

I stayed a while longer. I installed a new toilet paper dispenser, brackets first, then the two side pieces screwed onto the brackets. I helped Michelle work the messaging options on her cell phone. Michelle is a lovely and distressed woman who has had a very rough life. In 1969, she lived with us in Spring Valley, New York for a few months, went to the famous Woodstock concert, blew her mind on drugs, fell off the back of a truck and returned to our house days later, strung out and covered
with mud. Since then, she's often repeated that performance in some form, with or without Creedence Clearwater Revival. Michelle really works at being sober. She walks with a cane. Her warmth is the size of Trenton. She does not shut up.

I got back on the Garden State Parkway, drove up to Exit 163, took Route 17 North to Mahwah to my brother's house and I sat in the new great room and watched a Val Kilmer movie with my brother, Greg and his wife, Deb, on HBO, followed by Fox News. I then drove across Bergen County back to my sister's house and went down to the basement and I gave my mother the two OxyContin pills that Michelle gave me to give to her for the pain in her legs.

BiCoastal Chronicles: My Favorite Filthy Breakup

Today, I was talking on the cellular telephone with my friend Megan and I mentioned to her that I was sitting in New Jersey bored out of my mind. I asked if she would take the train up to the GW Bridge and I would pick her up on the Manhattan side. She was all for it and a midweek party was born. In Bergen County.

My sister and brother-in-law are very easy going when it comes to guests. They pulled together a big tasty steak dinner and Megan brought flowers and chocolate covered pretzels. Everyone was well fed and then further stuffed with ice cream and berries.

After dinner was over, we took a walk around the neighborhood, came back to the house and watched hits from my brother-in-law’s Ed Sullivan Musical Performance DVD’s, of course, mostly fixating on Karen Carpenter singing, live, We’ve Only Just Begun. We just can’t get enough of that anorexic.

Then when we were getting ready to go to bed, we started talking about the logistics of pillows and pajamas and during the natural progression of conversation, Megan told my brother-in-law and me that she wears the same socks, her only pair, five days in a row before she washes them. Of course we had to ask her why.

Megan and her girlfriend are in a solid five month break up and Megan still hasn’t moved into her new apartment, but will very soon. In the meantime, her ex-girlfriend, two friends and a dog have run amok, leaving food partout while mold envelopes the bathroom. During this long transition, Megan stays away from her trashed old place as much as possible. When she goes back to the former love nest, she can’t even get a fresh pair of socks because the old girlfriend has cannibalized them, wearing them with no heed to breakup boundaries, and when she is finished, throws them in the hallway, used.

Monday, September 19, 2005

BiCoastal Chronicles--A New Apartment and a Little Babysitting

The joy of living is, you never know where you will be when you get the news. Adam and I were in Ojai petting goats just minutes before we found out about the Twin Towers being ruined by some Jihadists.

So today, when I called the management company about the apartment in Queens...and they said, “Yes, you’ve been approved,” who knew I would be sitting all alone in my sister’s house in Cresskill, New Jersey with nothing to do except to celebrate, as a party of one?

I immediately called Adam, my State-of-California-Recognized-Domestic-Partner, and of course he was thrilled and relieved.

I called friends, sent emails, etc. We were approved by the very scary Coop Board. Those two mooks just had to make us sweat it out a little. Why do people make people sweat things out? I always try to make people as comfortable as possible with immediate response.

I know this sounds like I made up the original if I am writing a reality show...but it really did seem like we would perhaps not get this apartment because the guys who sat across from us just seemed to, I don’t know, hate us? Or were we reading too much into it?

My friend, Todd, warned me that this whole process would bring up issues...and it did. I thought I would be all calm. I wasn’t. He also said that after this, I will never have to deal with these people again.

Happiness all around. I wish I could say I am now excited...but frankly, I only feel relieved. I think I’ll become more excited once I get the hell out of New Jersey.

But tonight, the sweet truth is, I babysat for my five year old nephew. That little cutey-pie is so tender and new. Humans are every age. He tried so hard to be a big boy. He really wanted to be good with Uncle Donald. I made him a little dinner. We played some badminton. We colored. He is at an age where he really wants to figure out what he is good at. And as of yet, he does not know. We would start to draw and he would stop drawing if he thought I was better at it than he was. He has to learn about nine million things and just thinking about it makes me feel like...shit, man, good luck! He’s smart, very articulate and is obviously from my family (He takes medicine for heartburn and asthma and at one point, we had to go into the bathroom to get the anti-itching cream for the bite on his leg.) He is ridiculously sensitive and if there is a God, may she help him! He did very well for most of the night...but after I read him One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (which frankly, does not hold up), and I left the room...he just fell apart. “I want mommy.” And he couldn’t stop crying. So, I brought him back out into the living room and we sat together on the chaise until he went to sleep and I carried him back to his bedroom in his Scooby-Doo pajamas and he said to me half asleep, “I cried because I was scared to be alone.” And I thought, “Kiddo, you and everyone else.” And he went to sleep.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

BiCoastal Chronicles: The Ass of Ophelia, The Old Neighborhood and a Deer

She went out to Nova Scotia and has left us alone. Die, Ophelia, Die.
It occasionally rained on Saturday and by Sunday we had clear blue skies. The perfect fall weather. I am no fan of tropical storms.

But more to today’s point...this was the day when you hang out with your younger brother in the old neighborhood and you walk around and it’s both fun and freakish all at once.

I met my brother over at his brother-in-law’s house where they were making wine in the garage...I caught them after the wine making was over and the Bocci game was in full force. My brother was covered with grape stains. It was truly brilliant and the tradition of making your own garage wine is something I must applaud. The grapes are ordered from some vineyard in California, shipped to Suffern and then Bacchus rules. They have barrels and stainless steel storage containers. I’m sure it all began as some old Italian immigrant making wine out of apples or dandelions or a backyard grape vine...and then evolved into this. My brother’s father-in-law asked me as he looked at my little ass in expensive jeans, “So what is it that you do for a living? No one here knows. We know you were an actor, but I’ve never seen you in anything. What’d you do? Porn?”
I told him about my little collection of ways that I make money but that mostly, I’m a stay-at-home house husband who has just about finished writing a book. Good enough for him. Just a few points left in the Bocci game.

After we headed home and stopped at the A&P to buy fresh bread, my brother and I took a walk through the New York/New Jersey neighborhood where we grew up and where he has happily remained. We grew up on the New York side. He now lives on the Jersey Side. We walked down to The Black Bridge. This place/idea/happening zone was where all the good badness happened when we were kids. You get to the Black Bridge by first crossing an unnamed lower bridge with silver railings which juts out like a tail off the horseshoe shaped connection of Oak Terrace and Jersey Avenue. This lower bridge goes over a storm drainage area...the place that froze in the winter where we used to ice skate. It is always filled with skunk cabbage and cattails in the summer and becomes part of the flood plain of the river during big rainfall. It is completely wide open and frozen in the winter. A great place to burn Christmas trees and smoke cigarettes. Just past this drainage area, you go up a very short hill and you are at The Black Bridge which straddles the Ramapo River. It is a rusting hulk of a thing, completely made from industrial steel and looks like it should be in a coal mining town in West Virginia. The Black Bridge connects the New Jersey end of our neighborhood with the now defunct Mahwah Ford Plant. Everything about the old Ford Plant is gone. Even the train tracks that ran along the river have been pulled out. The plant used to give plenty of jobs. I think Bruce Springsteen sings about the closing of the Mahwah Ford Plant on some album. In any event, I never knew anyone who worked there. The Ramapo River, at the edge of the neighborhood, still runs good and strong. It’s about twenty feet wide and runs through the Ramapo Valley where Suffern sits. In the distance on two sides are mountain ranges. It is all very beautiful and sadly ugly all at once. The natural part is lovely. The dead industry is sort of poignant. There are huge voltage lines that travel next to the river that breaks the bucolic mood. They intrude threateningly. The placement of the lines along the river makes total sense in a civil engineering kind of way. The lines can run through the river valley and get to many of the towns of the Ramapo. A fire road is well cut through very thick weeds so the lines can be maintained. Many years ago, someone must have planted grapes because there are wild grape vines everywhere, running over every other weed and tree in sight. And since it’s the end of the summer, the plants could not be thicker.

Of course, my brother had some of the good green. So we did what we used to do as kids and when we decided to leave the bridge all high and we walked by the fire road back to the regular roads of the neighborhood, we both were intrigued and so we went down the fire road cut into the thick bramble and grape vines, trying to take the old path to George Lane’s House...a path that goes for three blocks, something we used to do all the time. “We should call George and tell him to get his ass over here,” my brother said. We got close to our destination and along the way, I took pictures and when I have a good DSL thing going on again, I will post them. In the thickets of weeds and thick grape vines, sitting in a pushed down area was a huge deer. The deer, as a foraging animal, always seem to me something akin to a very large dog crossed with a squirrel. It was great to see this huge deer sitting among the grape vines sprawled all over the thick briar under the power towers. Of course after I took the pictures I immediately thought of the thick weeds, deer, deer ticks, Lyme’s Disease and expensive and inconvenient antibiotic treatments followed by improper medical billings.

We could not get past a certain point, so we had to turn around and go back to The Black Bridge and then back into the neighborhood... The neighborhood is extremely varied, much more so than when I was a kid. There is the one little block near the Water Treatment area that is still a tiny enclave of Italian immigrants. There are extremely pretty blocks in pristine condition with old stone houses that are real old timey. One tiny stone house was purchased by some great new ager type and he turned it into this awesome hippie cottage with a stone wall and decorative grasses and cone flowers. The few other all stone houses are gorgeous. And then there are the 1910 houses that have been redone to look like gingerbread revivals with wrap around porches, delicate Victoriana trim and stained glass windows. Then there are the houses that have never been redone and they look depressingly grim and the same people live in them who lived in them when I was a kid and that seemed to me, in my highish state, both lovely and sad all at once. The house I grew up in is just terrible. It was a boxy thing, built in 1973 and sits on a corner lot and the fence that ran along the side has been removed and cars park right on the grass in the back yard. Like something you’d see in a holler. The particular block I lived on was never very nice, but when we lived there we did not park in the yard and we always had very coiffed shrubbery and cheerful flowers. To see your old house trashed is not a very sweet experience.

My brother knows everyone so we stopped along the way and talked to many of the neighbors. It was super homey and the strong New York accents, to the high ear, were extremely entertaining, endearing and also mildly terrifying. I met a woman who talked about expanding her house. I met a guy, an Iannacone, who talked about buying a car. The highlight of the trek around the old neighborhood was seeing Keith Hunter. Keith was the neighborhood “retard”. I don’t know exactly what was wrong with him...but he was definitely deficient in brain power and we kept him around in our group because he was older than us and he would always buy us booze. When we were kids, he had shiny, greasy, straight, black hair. Now, he has the same exact hair but it is 90 % silver. It is very bizarre to jump through time and see your local “tardo” all aged.

We returned to my brother’s huge Dutch colonial house, recently expanded with a very romantic front porch festooned with rocking chairs. Inside, my sister, brother-in-law and nephew were all sitting down and we joined them as my sister-in-law, Deb, served the macaroni and sauce while American flags waved in the yards up and down the block.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

BiCoastal Chronicles: Swamp Ophelia and a Very Small Homo

I can come to New York in February and it will be 84 degrees with 91% humidity.
It’s rained hard and instead of the air clearing, it only grew thicker with the fetid damp emanating off the bands of Ophelia. She sits and stews and spews. It should abate by Sunday. Until then, it's all oil and sweat.

After a few meals with some great old friends, I met my anthropologist brother-in-law at the Museum of Natural History. Peter Brown, the man who discovered “The Hobbit” on the Indonesian Island of Flores, gave a lecture with a jaunty Australian accent. He had a solid power point presentation. And casts of the skull and mandible. Very interesting, though I must admit I fell asleep here and there. The odd thing: this tiny homo species at 1 meter tall had very long arms and the hands at rest faced palms outward. Interesting, right? Yet they still used tools similar to our ancient stone tools. He asked that no one repeat anything from tonight’s lecture since all this news was going to be released soon. You heard it here first. Those poor hobbits never had a chance. With their twirled hands, how could they have ever learned how to type?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

BiCoastal Chronicles: A Walk in the Park and Some Art

With fresh reasons to feel anxious, I decided it was time to give up the worries about the future of a Coop in Queens. Whereas real estate is ephemeral, nature and art are eternal.

So I walked across Central Park, alone, one of my favorite things to do on earth, and I went to The Met. First of all, the weather in New York just sucks. It is humid. It’s like wading through the ass of one of those giant guinea pigs in Brazil. However, some trees were turning, The old cast iron lamps were still gracing the walkways. New York is still pretty romantic, if not also clammy and filled with poorly dressed people.

Upon my approach to 96th and Fifth Avenue, I came across high school girls being coached in soccer ball dribbling. Nice lean white girls from some private school, no doubt. As I was about to exit the park, another gaggle of white girls were coming into the park for soccer. They, too, were tall, blue-eyed, milky white and carefree with privilege. What was also odd, they all looked the same. Like an army of young Mariel Hemingways. Could this private school be packed with one large family of sixty sisters? I think not.
The class structure in New York seems very entrenched to my populist California eyes.

The girls went about their balling and I went into the Met. With only a couple hours before the place would close, I decided to avoid my O.C.D. nature and just sort of wing it. See where it all took me.

First stop...the bathroom in ancient Egypt. It gave me great pleasure to know that people have been peeing for at least 2500 years. I usually could care less about the Egyptian stuff, but lately, I’m a little more into it. I mean, it really was a civilization. They really made all that crazy shit. Even though the eyes are kind of dead, they were all very much alive.

Then, I stumbled around the European paintings because, you know, why fuck with the American Wing? I just poked about and didn’t stop unless something really caught my eye...

The following paintings were the ones that made me stop, stare and take note. It was a great experience and I suggest you leave your daily grind right this minute and get theeself to an art museum.

Greuze’s BROKEN EGGS...1756...symbolizes the loss of virginity. The child tries to repair the broken his innocence. The young woman in the picture is a perfect symbol of melancholy. The old woman points her finger in anger. The gentleman is clueless. There’s mood, characters, attitude, great technique and the little kid’s face is priceless. It’s an amazing painting. Do a search.

Then there was the foppish Van Dyck SELF PORTRAIT. Call me wackypants, but I’m more of a Van Dyck fan than a fan of Rembrandt and certainly of Rubens. This particularly fop shot is just hilarious. His mop of hair is so flipped to the side. His hand hangs like a fag flipper with a little dainty ring on it. His lips are all ruddy pink like a lady. He is obviously an arch dude. Very funny. 1620. It’s an amazing painting. Do a search.

Then there was the awful Rapheal...MADONNA AND CHILD. Commissioned for the Franciscan convent of Sant’ Antonio in Perugia. The nuns requested that the baby Jesus be clothed. Lots of golden halos...all filled in. It’s flat, dead and conservative. 1504. We should be happy, today, that the world isn’t even more religiously insane than it is, given what Jesus lunatics Europe has endured over the centuries. It’s a wretched painting. Do a search.

Now, the ever so tacky PEACOCKS by Hondecooter...1683...hilarious. A huge Peacock and a squirrel, melon, a turkey, a new world monkey, a stork...this thing could have come from the living room of my grandmother. It is so bold and so obviously made for color and brazen gotta love it. It’s a ridiculous painting with a monkey. Do a search.

1656—Vermeer—A MAID ASLEEP. Lovely. Modern in its light expression and gentle tone. Seems contemporary in its mood, even with the clothing and the heavy table cloth. It’s really lovely. just gotta love this thing. Do a search.

I tried to find the Asian art...but the rabbit warren of rooms were confusing for me... many of them were blocked off for who knows what sort of traveling shows, reconstructions, what-have-you’s... And I, along with everyone else, felt very mouse-in-a-maze...It was disconcerting to feel so cornered at times...but then, someone would give me a little piece of cheese and I would continue...

I did go down to the Frank Lloyd Wright room...abiding the suggestion of my artist hottie, Megan. It was a complete Frank Lloyd Wright room in the basement of the American Wing...Summer residence of Francis W. Little—1912—Wayzata, Minnesota. It was Arts and Crafts meets The Midwest meets California Train Station. It was oddly graceful, relaxing and oppressive all at once.

I quickly zipped by the Manets, Monets, Renoirs, etc...because we were all being herded out and I’ve had enough of them lately. Renoir’s MARGUERITE caught my eye. You know the famous one...the little girl with the pronounced forehead with the wide blue eyes. 1879. This is a portrait of Marguerite Berard, known as Margot, one of three daughers of Paul Berard. Oddly enough, she looks like a cousin of Dakota Fanning. This added to my desire to maybe do some time traveling just so I could give her a little slap across the face to hear her scream. The papery little girl must have had an odd adulthood.

BiCoastal Chronicles: The Coop Board Meeting

First the Good, then the Bad and the Ugly.

Adam and I met at the lawyer’s office in Astoria so Adam could sign some papers since he won’t be here at closing. We had some lunch at the award winning Mike’s Diner. We changed into our nice shirts and arrived in Jackson Heights on time (early) and ready to wrap this thing up.

We still liked the neighborhood, even more so. The leafy streets and landscaped dividers really are lovely. The old buildings are all in perfect shape, including our spotless digs.

Everything seemed to be going well.

Now, the Bad and the Ugly. Which I must posit in a list of questions:

1. Why is the Coop Board Office in the basement behind the laundry room?

2. Who were these two guys, really, who interviewed us? One weighed about 300 pounds, was wall-eyed and had silver, curly hair. He looked like he should have been stuffing an Italian pastry down his gullet. He sat very disapprovingly throughout in his old T-shirt. The other guy: a bulldog in a tank top, covered with tattoos. We had met this bulldog the laundry room. He seemed scary then. He seemed less scary this time, but still, scary.

3. Why were these two mooks upset that we’d be using the place part time?

4. Why did we get the incredibly wretched feeling that these two slobs in basement attire were completely homophobic and did not want us to be living in their building?

5. Why, at the end of the meeting when the big curly guy said, “Call the coop board next Monday to find out if you passed,” in a dismissive tone did we get the feeling that they hated us and that we were not being accepted?

6. How is it that coop boards can behave this way, legally discriminating based on hunches, prejudices or the color maroon?

7. Why, in June, when I saw matching flags posted on each entryway fire escape on the buildings, realizing it must have been a coop board that did this, and knowing that American flags mean right wing Nazis and had a sinking feeling in my stomach due to said flags, did I not steel myself even more for this meeting which would certainly be a clash of lifestyles?

8. Why, in a place that is only ten minutes from mid-town Manhattan, are people so blue collar, angry and holding meetings in hot basements?

9. Why do we have to sit and wait until Monday to find out if we were accepted?

10. Why can’t we all just get along at the register?

Monday, September 12, 2005

BiCoastal Chronicles: Arrival

Leaving Los Angeles today, I arrived at LAX about ten minutes before the Blackout. Lucky me. Of course, when everything at LAX went dark for a few seconds and all the stores' metal gratings automatically started to roll down and people started running out of the stores because they feared being trapped...playing "Is this fucking terrorism Limbo," I was not so much scared as kind of amused. Is this how it all ends? At 43? At LAX? People trying to avoid being crushed by security gates? At least if I die, I won't have any more acid reflux.

The flight...delayed because the computers for the baggage got wacked and they had to be loaded onto the plane by comparing each piece to a list. But once we were in the air, it was an easy ride East.

The worst part: The cab ride into town. My question for the entire city of New York is: WHY DON'T THESE CABS HAVE SHOCK ABSORBERS?

It's hot and humid. I just ate leftovers from Dara's fridge...chased by two Zantac.
Staying in the converted maid's quarters. Dara has always had great taste. Now she also has a view of the Hudson. When I was thirteen, she was my girlfriend.

9-11 1974

Today was really a bad day. I mean really. It was so boring. At the corner, it was beat. It was beat all over. I think that I should gain about 10 pounds. It's really ridiculous how much I weigh. Well I'm going to sleep. Well Goodnight.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Flooded with Thoughts as the World Falls Out

I think people do feel that it is a time of apocalypse. I know I can't be alone in this opinion.

I think it must be impossible to wake up in the morning as a right wing prick and look at the shape of the world, this country, without feeling like somehow you were really wrong about everything.

I think change is coming not by the will of a few horribly greedy men, but by nature's corrections.

They are pumping complete pollution into Lake Pontrachain.

Our deficit cannot hold. We owe our asses to China.

What happened to the fun Clinton years?

I think I have O.C.D. I have to force myself to throw out unread newspapers and magazines. This behavior stems from a need to read, and to a lesser degree, a need to use the goods that show up at the doorstep, to not just toss them. Or maybe I just have O.C.D.

And I'm a hand washer. Though, in my defense, since I began the practice, I have not been ill with a cold once. This has been almost one year.

My Recognized-by-the-State-of-California-Domestic-Partner Adam cries a lot about the dying pets in New Orleans.

We have only donated $50 to Katrina (matched by 50 more). That's pathetic. But somehow, call me a bitch, I feel like the government should pay for this. I don't think we should. I think if the government had not decided to destroy the economy and if they had not tried to dismantle the government for their own filthy aims, then there would be money there and it could be spent on this enormous disaster.

Besides, We're on our way to New York to seal the deal on our new apartment.

These are confusing times. Which is a euphemism for, "The Shit Really Has Hit the Fan. Who's going to pay the most?"

Death, it seems, is what people understand. Death. Not incremental steps that lead up to death, no, that's too subtle. Can't be bothered with that. But big Death? People get big Death.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

On This Special Day

I wish my Recognized-by-the-State-of-California-Domestic-Partner, Adam,
a very Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

California Legislature Approves Gay Marriage

You can read all about it in the link below.

I would like you to pay particular attention to the comment in the sixth paragraph made by Dennis Mountjoy, the Assemblyman from Monrovia, a quaint little town just East of Pasadena.

Could it be that with a name like Mountjoy, this particular bigot of vituperation is just wailing in his misdirected attack due to years of being teased?

And futhermore, who by the name of Dennis is not a lover of the menacing pole of love?

Poor Dennis Mountjoy. What a fearful fool. Why, I just want to joyfully mount Dennis! Too bad it takes six weeks to drive to Monrovia or else I would do it.

Washington Post Article

When you are finished reading the article, why not send your own little missive to Dennis below? You can base your snide comment on the little picture of him he has posted on his site. Maybe let him know how much he looks like Ned Beatty and how much you would love to hear him squeal like a pig?

Email Dennis Mountjoy

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Because You Deserve the Very Best

The good news is - and it's hard for some to see it now - that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- he's lost his entire house - there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch. - president George W. Bush

The Long Weekend is Over. This is Your Reality.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Chaotic Thoughts for Chaotic Times

1. This hurricane is Bush's Waterloo.

2. The look in Bush's eyes on Good Morning America is that of a wild ferret, drunk on his own delusional thoughts. Or maybe he was just drunk, the ferret?

3. Those poor refugees from New Orleans? As soon as those levees are actually made out of unbreachable steel...their old neighborhoods will be gentrified, filled with McMansions.

4. The sordid underbelly of our nation is: we just don't fucking care about poor people. Especially poor black people. Let them piss all over themselves in the fetid Superdome.

5. Ted Koppel ridiculed FEMA man.

6. I've been systematizing my email lately. Because I can't stand the tons of junk,spam, etc. So, much of the junk is now classified as junk and goes into the junk folder. For the stuff that is almost junk, but may be of interest to me (Like Macy's, Screen Actors Guild, American Airlines, Etc.)--those are now loading right into the Norton AntiSpam folder. Truth is---Today, John Kerry has been banished into Spam. He seems so unnecessary. Sorry John.

7. Engineers always knew the levees would break. And they did. See number 1 above.

8. Watching the news footage and then seeing an SUV commercial makes you think, "Go buy that monster carbon producing you can heat things up even more so we can have even greater storms."

9. Watching all these sleeping pill commercials—Lunesta? Could it be that no one can get a good night's sleep these days because everyone is worried about their jobs and the lack of any safety net?

10. I have GERD, because I drink red wine late at night, drink tea all day long, and eat way too much cheese and meat. I'm back on bananas, apple juice, pasta and honey.

11. Congratulations to Megan on her new apartment in Queens. The board loved her, she loved the board. Let the outer borough living begin.

12. Chimps and Humans are practically the same animal.

13. My State of California Recognized Domestic Partner (SCRDP) and I are going to Idaho this weekend to visit with his family.

14. The Healthcare system in this country does not work. Though I hate to wish it, I do think a health scare is next. This will expose the horrendous nature of our careless medical culture.

15. There are two forces in organizing societies. Greed or Communalism. Perhaps we will recognize how essential it is to be communal after we have a few more horrible disasters in this country.

16. Can you imagine what homeland security is up to right now? They must be freaking that someone is going to take advantage of us when we're down.

17. Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend. Drive safely...better yet...don't drive at all.

18. Think globally. Eat food grown within fifty miles of your home.

19. I can't get that image out of my head...Georgie sitting all alone in that airplane seat, looking like a lost child peering down at the destroyed city of New Orleans. See number 1 above.

20. Now is the time for The West Coast and the Northeast to secede from the United Red States. See number 1 above.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Bush Flies Over and Assesses the Situation

After his flight on Air Force One over the areas destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, President Bush met with Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld this afternoon in order to assess the root of evil that has caused the destruction in the gulf states of this great Christian Nation.

According to scientific research based on a very strong hunch, it has been declared that this hurricane originated off the coast of Guinea, with perhaps vectors of turbulence arising from Liberia and Sierra Leon.

Based on intelligence and a master plan to eradicate the region as a breeding ground for storms, the president has decided to declare war on Nigeria.

"When we arrive in Nigeria, it will be better than shock and awe. We have, we got our people working on this.
The good citizens of Nigeria will be thankful we've arrived and we will stabilize the area, keeping the evil seeds of storms from arising off the coast of this great nation, freeing the people, freeing our people."

When pressed to explain why the president is using the military to invade Nigeria, an oil rich nation, instead of Guinea, Sierra Leon or even our offspring state of Liberia, the president responded, "They have seeds of destruction in Nigeria. They do. They have seeds of destruction there. And those seeds affect the clouds and those clouds build up, they do, and we are in danger. It's a war on these, on these, storm seeds. I feel it in my heart."

When asked for comment on the devastation caused by Katrina in the Gulf States, Condolezza Rice replied, "We would have moved heaven and earth if we knew Americans were in harm's way."

This interviewer asked Ms. Rice, "If you are actually able to move heaven and earth, why did you not at least move some busses into the poorer areas of New Orleans to take these American citizens to higher ground before the storm arrived?"

The Secretary of State's response, "Heaven and earth.
Heaven and earth."

When asked for his opinion on intelligence reports from Africa, Donald Rumsfeld could only reply, "Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know. This leads to seeds that we know are known, unknown but not the seeds that we don’t know we don’t know.”

On the subject of certain military invasion, Dick Cheney added, “We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.”

The United Nations recommends that all Nigerians evacuate the country.
Busses supplied by Germany will take refugees to France.