Thursday, May 29, 2008

Trying Twenties

One of the dreams of theatre types is to be bi-coastal. It ensures you are missing nothing in either of the two greatest cities in this country.

Since setting this up a couple of years ago, we are enjoying and profiting from living mainly in Los Angeles with a little studio apartment in Queens.


I lived in New York City from twenty-two through thirty-one years old. The age when most schizophrenics go crazy. It was such a trying time. I looked great. But I cried a lot. Facing so much failure, so much poverty, enduring career confusion, waiting tables, living through horrendous relationship breakups and practicing roller skating for weeks in Central Park so I could try out for Starlight Express only to be cut in the first round.

Emotional memories are often sense based. Smell is the strongest. Sight is right up there. I see all these east coast plants and walk on these east coast streets and smell all this east coast summer garbage and I get sad. Almost like I picked up where I left off when I left here for good.

When I moved to California, I drove across the country in my Geo Prizm (which I still have), crying to Rickie Lee Jones songs from Flying Cowboys (especially the song Away from the Sky)-- just sobbing out all the years of failure, knowing, knowing that things would be better in California.

And for the most part, they have been.

I guess it's good to face your twenties. They are the years where you are making up for all that you weren't in your childhood. But then, you can't really make up for anything so it all comes crashing down.

If a city can remind me of that, fine.

Another thing-- there are fewer creatives bustling through the streets of Manhattan. This is a current reason to be sad. But not my problem.

A Buddha in New York

Coming from the wide open spaces of California, there is only one way to get along in New York.

You pull together that Buddha thing that is going on along the West Coast…and you think of everyone as one thing. One throng. You have to accept that you and everyone else are on a the same plane, living together, in each others’ faces. Everyone is the expression of one great group of folks.

And then you’re okay.

Otherwise, it’s just irritating.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Airport Food

I like the South.

Sure, politically, they are on the wrong side of things.

But they are friendly.

At the airport in Nashville, you can get delicious barbecue. With a side of macaroni and cheese, collards and a corn muffin. For my part, no arm twisting necessary.

The friendly, dopey guy at the counter, acknowledging the choices in the steam table, among them carrots, said, “When I eat those, I can watch the grass grow.”

Then, he asked me if I understood the joke.

I said, “Yeah, carrots.”

I smiled. We got along.

Then he said, “My grandfather used to eat carrots and then stand close to the wall just looking at it. My grandmother would ask him what he was doing and he’d say, “I can see the paint getting a little dryer.”

It’s shared stories, no matter how unimportant, that makes the south pretty homey.

Even at the airport.

And the chicken, of course.

Memorial Day?

How about, “We’ve been involved in so many wars, we just have to stop Day?”


“If anyone starts another war, we’re just going to kill both sides with our Nukes Day?”


“I Can’t Believe it’s not Butter Day?”


“Celebration of Peace Day?”


“A Random Monday Off Day?”

Okay, monkeys wanna fight…

So they do.

And then, they celebrate it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Population with its Burning Desire

Even if we go completely solar---nothing will put an end to the population problem.

Assuming the energy needs for each living being continues to increase, how many arrays would you need?

It would take incredible management and colossal cooperation for the human race to pull it together as one heaving entity overseeing an endless supply of non-polluting energy.

But what if we had all the energy we could ever want? What if it became so plentiful and commonplace that it was actually free?

Well, we’re cavemen and we like fire. So, I imagine we would use all that free energy to stoke up even more fire. We’d keep burning stuff in order to make other stuff. It’s in our monkey genes. The primate as alchemist.

It is hard to imagine that we will not keep burning up this rock until it is no longer inhabitable, in the name of “the economy” or “because I worked hard for it.”

Next week, I hop on a jet, like it’s nothing, like everyone else. What I burn? Even when you split up the fuel per passenger? I’m a hog.

And I won’t be stopped.

We are a death wish bunch. We must lean into our extinction. Perhaps plankton are the true intelligent life force on earth. Let them have the title. And give them back their ocean.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's Been a Good Thing

All this silly chatter about Obama and Hillary splitting the Democratic Party, I don’t buy it.

Seems to me, all Democrats will rally around the winner. In the mean time, the airwaves and web browsers and newspapers are filled with talk and images of Hillary and Obama.

The American population is getting used to having a Democrat as the future leader of this country. It’s in their faces every day.

Occasionally, when the camera turns to McCain, one sees a nice old man, a man who has already served his country, a man who is somewhat disfigured, a man with a tall wife.

Let the primary rattle on until June 3. Let’s have Hillary and Obama down front so the population of this struggling, sad, corporate-police-state of a country can see what decent, caring people Democrat leaders really are. And effectual.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lay Off My Wife

Should they lay off Obama’s wife?

My reaction to his comment is quite racist or at least classist. I imagine the next line after, “Lay off my wife,” would be, “or I’ll beat the shit out of you.”

When he says, “Lay off my wife,” who is Obama speaking to? Will he come out punching if they don’t lay off his wife?

I am afraid of people who warn me because they are pissed off.

Forgetting scaredy-cat me, this display of anger and protectiveness is a great thing. It shows Obama to be a little less elite and a little more, well, low rent. Rhetoric died. Gut reaction entered.

This ultimately attracts people, as long as he doesn’t grow peevish, which would push him once again into elite.

Obama truly imagines a world that is fair. He behaves like the world is fair. He expects people to play fairly. He rides on the high road.

He will be nibbled by the ducks of provocation if he becomes the presidential nominee, and this will really show us who he is.

I believe they should lay off his wife, sort of. And his children, of course. But if laying into his wife gets him riled up, I say lay her.

Friday, May 16, 2008

What's My Anniversary?

Classically, Adam and I celebrate our anniversary on October 20. Our first date was on October 20, 1993. Adam made clam sauce. We’ve been together for fourteen years.

Almost eleven years later, we got married in Oregon on March 26, 2004 in Multnomah County. Pioneer Square. In front of Nordstrom’s. The wedding dinner cost $613.23. It was celebratory and when Adam went to bed on the night of our marriage, I stayed up and watched the Ted Bundy made-for-television movie. Loved it.

On April 14, 2005, our Oregon marriage was revoked. We received our $60 canceled check fee in the mail along with a letter stating our marriage license was not valid and that Oregon’s marriage laws do not allow the couple to be wed.

On June 9, 2005, according to an official letter, we became Recognized-by-the-State-of-California-Domestic-Partners in response to our mailing a Declaration Form to Sacramento, notarized by a Mail Boxes Etc. clerk on June 6 in Larchmont Village. But our official certificate states July 28, 2005—but that is only because we sent back the first certificate because Adam’s name was misspelled. The official filing is June 9, 2005.

Sometime, soon, we might get married again to become Recognized-by-the-State-of-California-Spouses. This will happen in late 2008 or early 2009, if the exurb pick-up truck drivers and farmers don’t have enough haters to vote to overturn the latest ruling. However, we gay people are probably in pretty good shape since our governor is finally on the side of gay marriage which will abet a block to an act of legislated prejudice. For insurance purpose’s, we may just have to get married again. On another random date. Put it in the book?

I think we’ll stick with October 20 as our anniversary. It’s easy to remember. It was my Aunt Rose’s birthday. It’s in the fall. It’s a good date. It celebrates clam sauce.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

This Recession

After decades of positive thinking and abundance awareness and every other expansive, thing we can think of, it appears the American psyche has turned toward fear and scarcity.

But I say, “Isn’t it so positive that you don’t feel compelled to buy everything you see?”

Recent articles have noted there are fewer cars on the road. Driving from Venice to Hollywood today, at rush hour, took about forty minutes instead of fifty-five. That’s ten-years-ago speed.

Contraction can be lovely. People need to pull in, clean out their closets, sell their useful items they do not use on Ebay, think about eating healthy food at home and keeping the lights turned out.

I bet it makes people more thoughtful and closer to their mates, families, friends and neighbors.

A hard rain is falling. Of course, because of climate change, it is falling at higher latitudes. Look out for each other.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

States' Rights: a Federalist Competition

I am happy to release Roe V. Wade into the ethers. And I’ll even throw in social security. Who needs them! But this is what we, the sane, get in return:

1. Every single state gets to make its own laws. Abortion laws. Execution laws. Gun laws. Gay marriage laws. Drug laws. Education laws. Health care laws. Retirement income laws. And programs (or lack of programs) to enforce and put into real affect the laws to support the social structure (or lack of structure) of the citizens of each state.

2. This is how these programs will be paid for: After filling out your yearly income tax return, 30% of your TOTAL taxes due will go to the United States Federal government for their bombs, their bigger bombs and the other bombs they need because all the other bombs they have don’t make them feel safe enough. The rest of your taxes, 70%, you apportion to your state for the PROGRAMS listed above and to the federal government, however you see fit. I imagine people will give most of the money to their home state. I sure would. I hate bombs.

Over time, each state will develop a unique social contract with its citizens and will compete with other states for population. People who want to move to Wyoming where you can carry a gun in your holster, kill a fag, let sick people drop dead if they’re poor, and shove their aging citizens into grinders for their pig feed, well, those people can move there.

People who want to live in Massachusetts where you can have your health care covered, your gay children respected, your retirement assured and an odd lack of bullets flying overhead, well, they can move on in, for the social safety net, the better jobs, a solid library system and decent, well patrolled brothels.

People really need to live where they want to live. They need to have what they want to have. And there needs to be money (or lack of) for a lifestyle of their choosing.

Why should the good citizens of the United States give all their hard earned money to a federal government that does nothing but wage war for the sake of corporate greed? The hard earned money should be spent on the citizens. For their health and well being. Or, if that is not what someone wants, they can give all their tax money to the federal government for their wars, move to South Dakota and have sixteen babies and watch them grow up so they can shoot each other dead with their rifles.

Monday, May 12, 2008

That's Not a Haircut, Those are Solar Panels!

Negation without Investigation!

Recently, I bemoaned the huge house remodel (rebuild) across the street.

But my neighbor, who can be seen walking in the house framing checking out the progress in the late afternoons, is an exceptional man with a warm way and a readiness to chat.

I couldn’t get over his odd, slanted roof. Well, get this! The roof is at 30 degrees because that is the optimal angle for solar panels. He’s slathering the entire top of the house with them. But they will be hidden by a monstrous parapet. THE FUTURE in my FACE!

And he has a little electric golf cart he uses to get around locally.

He also made it a point to tell me the house almost fits into the new law which came out after he submitted his plans. The new law says your house cannot be more than half the square footage of your lot. His is just slightly more than that. He said he really didn’t want everyone in the neighborhood to hate him.

Sensitive and resource conscious, I say, “Have at it and I apologize for my snark.”

Friday, May 09, 2008

That Cyclone is Troubling

She was a big one. All that death. Death.


In my house, the doggy is really heading for it, too. It’s strange…the look in her eyes is like a dog on narcotics (she is), cancer juice is distending her abdomen.

She walks very slowly and sleeps most of the day.

During her walks, she is excited. When people come to visit, she is as welcoming as ever. She still gets down and with alternate paddling, paws her nose. She still has much joy. So, we enjoy that together.

Adam, my Recognized-by-the-State-of-California-Domestic-Partner and I, were born a month apart. We were both due to be born just two days apart but I came out early and he came out late, so I am technically older but our DNA is on the same clock. We are racing toward death from the same starting gate. I have a friend who is fifteen years younger than her husband. She is in full tilt at work while he sits at home recovering from triple by-pass surgery. She knows he is going to die first. It must be strange living with someone who is so much closer to his natural end and then you must, certainly, witness and abet the corpsifying.

I don’t mind having death looming in the world, or death looming in my house. Sometimes, I’ll get very upset because of the impending loss. Other times, I think, “Can’t wait to throw out that ratty old dog bed.”

Death is sad, liberating and for Myanmar, a decimation. For me, it is business as usual, with a grounding rumble, a release of grief, an expansion and then maybe a thought about a snack.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Local Earth News

*My car passed inspection today. I brought the ancient beast to a place that fixed my catalytic converter and I passed. Of course, I have no idea if the catalytic converter was actually fixed. My car was put up on a lift. Two mechanics poked around and there was some action with an acetylene torch. I did not notice if something was replaced. I almost never drive.

*Tonight was our book club. The look on the face of each member as they regarded Louise was more telling than my intuition about how much my dog has declined. Everyone sees the life force has mightily left her. I still see my loving, fabulous pooch. Denial takes a while.

*An ordinance was finally passed in Los Angeles, so now houses cannot be built that are more than half the square footage of a piece of property plus an extra four hundred square feet for a garage. So, in my case, I could build a 2500 square foot home with a 400 square foot car area. Too bad this law did not come into effect sooner. A house the size of Tucson is replacing the cute bungalow directly across the street. It is three stories high with a roof that slopes in one direction. It has the design feel of an asymmetrical eighties haircut. Behind it is a three story garage with a ridiculous rooftop deck covered with orange umbrellas. It’s an architectural horror movie. Do they really need to raise their two children in two huge buildings with a total of six floors? On a lot that was originally meant for a two bedroom bungalow? I shudder. More than outraged, I am disgusted and sad.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Failing Smog

I sat there while my car was undergoing its bi-yearly smog test. I could tell I was in trouble.

First of all, the last time I had a smog test I barely passed.

I had a feeling this was going to turn into an opera.

The smogtician took his job very seriously. He tested and retested. I sat in a hard outdoor chair next to a forest green Cutlass, with the motor running (because the guy at the wheel wanted his air conditioning on, his radio?)—so while the smogtician revved up my wheels and the Cutlass bellowed its exhaust, I had a smog test of my own. In my lungs. I could stand it. But I hated it.

When the smogtician finished, he called me over. He was very neutral, professional. He said, “You failed.”

Me. Failed.

It’s the NO (Nitrous Oxide) that is the problem. This is unusual. He told me I need to go get it fixed and to come back. I then asked him if I should just junk the car. He gave me a form. Apparently, California will give you $1,000 if you hand over your smog failed car.

But that won’t buy me a new car.

So I decided I should just get it fixed for now. I went to the shop right next to my house (I do live behind a garage. Many people in LA do. It’s so romantic.) Pat, with her huge dog (that is always dumping on my lawn) saw me coming and immediately said, “Oh no. Did she go on your lawn again?” I said, “No. I failed my smog test. What do I do?”
She said, “You should have come to us first. We know everybody.”

So, tomorrow, my car will be fixed and passed.

In its way.

And someday soon, I will drive the beast to Alaska and leave it there.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

People, At Last

This conflict between science and religion, this desire to fuse science and religion, both are ludicrous.

They have nothing to do with each other. Why the fight? Or the need to find the “ultimate universal”?

Science merely measures things, applies the measurements and then makes our lives better (air conditioning) or worse (the H-Bomb).

Religion is mash up of ethics (don’t kill your neighbor) and fairy tales (the immaculate conception), designed to give people some useful answers and some silly anti-anxiety medication.

Really, there are just people all around you. Can’t you just be in the moment and deal with that?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Gloria Steinem Quote

I have been running into people who are not doing what they want to do.

Also, I am reading On the Road, by Jack Kerouac. I just finished a section, so sad, about Jack (Sal) in Michigan who met a woman who did nothing but hang out on her porch, eating popcorn. She had no idea what she wanted.

It is so important to know what you want to do and to do it.

As Gloria Steinem said at a Tufts University commencement speech:

Whatever you want to do, do it now. For life is time, and time is all there is.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Corn Free

Call me a heartless sadist…but I think the prices of gas and food are perfectly pitched. Americans are huge cows who drive too much. Shouldn’t they be on bicycles? Eating as little as possible?

And, maybe then consider not having another baby since it costs so much to feed it?

Look, in the eleventh grade they taught us rudimentary economics: supply and demand. The demand for basic resources is increasing because of population-gone-wild. Naturally, the costs for food and energy are going to rise. IT’S A CORRECTIVE MEASURE. BE GRATEFUL.

And put down that fork. And go for a walk.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


When you add it up, and you include Michigan and Florida, and you subtract this black church crisis that Obama is having, Hillary wins.

Hillary wins.