Thursday, December 24, 2009

Releasing the Aughts

So many people are ready for not only a new year, but for a new decade.

Let’s do it.

A new decade without a Bush or a Cheney, without stolen elections, without the trauma of a terrorist attack on New York City, without the horror of Katrina, without the stupidity of greed. Goodbye, that.

I, personally, am releasing fear and worry, along with the aughts.

Have a lovely time, these last few days of the first decade of the new millennium. And then release the whole mess.

On a much more positive note, there were so many great things that happened in the aughts---and those things, personal and professional, well, they’ve been built upon and they are still with me. That’s the good thing about good things. They seem to stay and grow.

And now, time for lightness and love and ease. And some money.

See you in 2010.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Avatar--It's time.


This film was made for you and me. War movie, for tree huggers.

Okay, listen, this is not an original story, but it is timely. This particular fable works. The hero goes native and finds out what real truth and real love is. Plus, there is the whole tree of knowledge thing going on and the aboriginals completely in tune with their planet because they are their planet. And they send those greedy gusses back to Earth, the “Sky People” who came looking to mine the planet’s unobtainium—It’s an environmental flick. With war. Some of it is so on-the-nose Anti George Bush, you wince. But then I imagined Cameron saying, “I don’t think people are that smart. I’m just going to serve it straight up.” Sure, why not?

We must respect mother earth.

Performances were fine. Characters broad. Sigourney pounding through it. Whatever. It is not about that.

What they have been saying, what every journalist has been saying is true. This is 3D in a way that finally works and this is a whole new experience. You watch this movie with the special glasses and it really is a three dimensional experience. At first it might nauseate you, but then you get used to it. (Maybe similar to how people first felt when they began taking commercial flights.)

It is so beautiful. It’s generated, yes, the other world. All of it. But the expressions are human. Culled performances from real actors. They are only going to get better at this technology. Then one day, Glenn Close can just act in front of a camera in her living room and they will capture it for the computer Glenn later on.

Strange stuff. But now, the movie industry can explode again. You can’t watch this 3D stuff at home. Well, maybe they will make it so you can. But for now, the best chance of having a good 3D experience is to go to a big ol’ timey movie theatre.

Sure, you could get all upset about this latest trend. Change is tough. But we can handle it.

Back to Avatar. Hats off to all. You just have to go see it. It’s history. It replaces Star Wars. It’s a big turn in the road. Go. It’s just one-of-those-things in life you have to see to stay current. But out of all those one-of-those-things, this one is something else.


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Monday, December 21, 2009

Some Christmas Ham

Christmas is here. Who doesn’t feel a little insane and vulnerable? A blizzard up the coast. Bank accounts echoing that hollow sound. Health care hanging on like a precarious ornament, hooked at the tip of a bough, waiting to be pushed closer to the trunk of the tree. Unemployment in the double digits. Divorce rates surging. Depression, anxiety, and all these war movies! ENOUGH!

And it is even harder for those who have sensitive constitutions.

(Side note: My tombstone is going to read: MY SINUSES NEVER FELT BETTER!)

What remains, always, is the human spirit. Though it may not be perfect, in fact, since it is completely imperfect (and often given over to addiction, need, self destruction and showiness), I give you, well, Judy. Let her take on all your fears and tribulations. Why not? She’s already dead and she can’t feel a thing.

So, put down that fifth of whiskey, stop your worrying, for at least three minutes, and give it up for some Christmas-Judy-toward-the-end. (Thanks, Jeff.) You know you’re way better off than she was, even though she was way more talented than you. Be grateful.

Merry Krissmax.

2010 is your year.

Yours in all,

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Strike-Boycott-Call it What You Will

Let’s go on Strike.

People are outraged. I am outraged about the healthcare plan because, let’s face it, without any sort of government plan, what on earth is going to keep insurance companies from ratcheting up their premiums? Nothing.

For profit means for profit.

I do not see how a company that is for profit is going to make anything better for us, at all.

I say we thumb our noses at the Insurance State of Connecticut and strike. We can stop paying our premiums, ask our employers to pull us out of their plan, throw our COBRAS to the Mongooses. You get enough people who refuse to be a part of this mess, say a cool 20 million, the system will collapse.

And collapsing this current system is the way to go.

40 Million people do not have healthcare right now. If we can get that number up to 60 million or even better, 100 million, the healthcare economy will surely collapse.

In all good conscience, I would not ask anyone with dire health problems to drop their medical insurance, but everyone else? Drop it. Get out. WE the PEOPLE can simply speak by not handing over our dollars.

Why let these companies take us hostage?

Let’s collapse it.

Not Much Fanfare

And maybe that’s a good thing.

They passed a law in the city of Washington D.C. (for those of you who do not know, that is the capitol of the United States), that allows gay couples to get married.


The big take on it is, “First place south of the Mason-Dixon Line that allows gay marriage.”

That’s the spin?


But this is why maybe this is a good thing. The federal government will get used to seeing Bruce and Steve married, Heather and Theresa, married. And, with the health care shenanigans still going on, well, clearly, we have such huge fish to fry.

The Conservatives hate change…but they do not have an endless supply of fight in them. By the time I’m walking around with a cane, there will be nationwide gay marriage, everywhere except for maybe Utah and South Carolina.

And when Utah and South Carolina finally accept it (by the Feds, I am sure), there will be very little fanfare and all this stupidity will have been a waste of time.

Such an endless fight to gain rights.

As Tina Turner once sang, “I don’t wanna fight no more.”

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Shall I Head to Connecticut with My Wood Chipper?

Joe Lieberman is hard to stomach. I do wish he would disappear.

Of course, it is easy to get riled up by one man. One does want to direct one’s frustration toward a scapegoat. I will take personal responsibility for my dark feelings. It is easier to hate Joe than it is to face my own healthcare disappointments.

I will not go to Connecticut to chip Joe. I will have to suck it up. That’s what Joe wants.

Should they call his bluff? Is there not any other senator they can find to get that 60th vote?

Joe—wipe off that smirk.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Up in the Air On the Fence

We saw it. Up in the Air.

Times Square.

Got in on that good WGA free pass.

This is the thing. It is to be applauded because they made a movie about adults. What it is to be certain kinds of adults.

But it is to be booed a bit because, well, it is dullish. Or should I say Dulles?

Friends, George Clooney as Ryan Bingham is the guy, you know, the guy who can’t commit. And when he finally learns it’s a good thing to get close to someone (through some of the most obvious sequences in recent cinematic history), well, why do it?

Why do this movie?

I do not know.

The sad backdrop of people being fired—sad. Strange, though, you do become accustomed to experiencing them as the set pieces that they are. Maybe that is the point?

Alienated guy causing misery as he goes by.

Anyway, nothing really new here. Which is fine. But nothing much new in execution, either. Which is fine. But nothing much new in character or dialogue. Which is fine. And… I have run out of Which is fines.

You want to like this movie. You do. You just want to. Because it’s George and all. Vera Farmiga as the gorgeous emotionally empty equitable counterpart and Anna Kendrick as the young one with a thing or two to learn/teach, are both wonderful. Jason Bateman, always a good sleeze. Amy Morton and Melanie Lynskey are fabulous sisters of Ryan Bingham, great actors. You want to love this movie for the actors. You do. I love the actors. I want to yell Bravo to them all. Smart, on performances.

But, I have to say, I saw it all coming at me, like a Boeing 727 into a hoary hay bale.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Put Upon Paula

Let’s not be Put-Upon-Paulas this year.

Sure, there’s the feeling, “The economy is getting better. I’ve been denying myself and everyone else for far too long. Let’s buy some shit for Christmas!”

Really, you don’t need any of it.

Maybe the underwear. Maybe the frying pan.

Maybe the new dog collar if the old one is completely greasy and frayed.

Why fill that Target basket with all that shiny plastic?

How about just some modeling clay and a bit of yarn? Enough.

I love Christmas mostly because I do not like the sun. Long, dark days are cozy days.

Let’s sit, our hands empty, our tree with its minimal, wonderful items stuffed under its branches and watch the sun go down at 4:15 and hark, “Now I can see!”

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Precious and Sinus

With the success of the novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which, for those of you who don’t know, is a mashup of Jane Austen’s P&P with a Zombie story, I thought it might be time to review Precious (thank you WGA screeners) with an interspersed, detailing of my sinus suffering.

Precious, based on the novel, Push, by Sapphire is a great movie, if you like pain, and I do. I can tolerate a great deal of pain. It is only when I am not in pain that I become neurotic, thus, looking for pain at every turn, or at least excitement.

This past week in Los Angeles, which was for the celebration of our good friends who are now, in their mid-forties, pregnant with twins, afforded us ample opportunity to stay in the houses of friends. Cats. Pillows with dust mites. Packs of Camel Wides. Various garden variety drugs used to induce a festive feeling. Pressure changes. Jet trips. And improper eating. These, combined with my propensities, led to infection. Allergy sufferers really should not leave the house.

Precious had to leave her house. Her father was fucking her. (Though, he had already left the house). Her mother was beating her. (Who had no intention of ever leaving her house). And her two product-of-incest children certainly needed a new life, if not, also, some fresh air. Through a great alternative schooling program, Precious moves on. Very Oprah. Very good. The movie, really, is very good, if, at times, hard to understand.

I feel abused by my immune system. I was simply born. Out of a birth canal came I…with some DNA passed onto me from my exceptionally runty, sick Sicilian grandfather.

Mo’nique will certainly get an Oscar for her portrayal as the most horrible, most uneducated, mostest meanest bitch on earth. She pulls it off. She even tries to kill her daughter by throwing a television at her, down a flight of stairs. It’s very over the top and you believe it.

Though it seems a bit over the top, I rinsed out my head two to three times each day for four days with Neilmed Sinus Rinse, and when I returned to New York, a good double daily steaming with my Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler . I am in control of my body.

Having never lay claim to her physical being, Precious had to learn a boundary, learn how to read, and to get out of a very nasty situation. A Best Actress nomination is surely in the offing for Gabourdey Sidibe, whom the casting directors must have sighed with relief when she walked into their office as the perfect physical and emotional embodiment of the main character from the novel Push.

I will never get an Oscar for attending to my sinus troubles.

Precious is a movie best watched at home so you can rewind every time you do not understand what they are saying, which is often, and I am usually pretty good at this stuff.

Mariah Carey as the social worker was fantastic and I wish she would massage my forehead and maxillary sinus area every day.

See this movie. Honestly, it starts out a tidge heavy handed, but lands pretty much right in your face. You’ll love it. It’s pretty frigging rough to take. But people survive. We must, whether we are being bashed over the head with apartment projectiles or attacked internally with microscopic haters.



California Intoxicates You

But then the problem is, you are intoxicated.

Welcome back to the blog. I disappeared for a while because my PC computer wasn’t able to wirelessly connect with some funky Mac networks. Friends, it is still a tower of babble out there in computer world.

But I have returned to New York with this knowledge:

1) People in LA think they are very hip, but really, they just like to live in houses. I completely understand.

2) People in New York think they are really smart, but really, they just know where to buy the good cheese, and I don’t care.

Also, if you are prone to bi-polar mood swings, which I might be just a bit, being yanked between two coasts just adds to the bifurcated mood-mind.

The Northeast is kind of like Europe, but worse, because people in New York are money grubbers who think they can buy their way into the King’s court. Note: that fake Dogs-on-the-hunt print will never make you landed gentry, let’s face it.

California is decidedly corporate and everyone’s cool with Crate and Barrel. It’s not great. But it’s honest.

I feel like the child of divorced parents who is trying to reconcile the aggrieved parties. I cannot do it.

So the only answer is to live in two places and deal with the bipolarity. Because one place is not enough.

Not having children—which means we may have missed a lot or that we have dodged some big bullets—we can do as we please. So we will. We need it all.

But frankly, the old world part of me wishes I had been born in a small town that was really enjoyable and I had stayed there my whole life. And by staying put I learned a lot.

Friday, December 04, 2009


We are in Los Angeles. It’s honest.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Kate Bush

Okay, I admit it. Right now I am listening to Kate Bush’s Mother (Stands for Comfort).

You have all these playlists in iTunes…but every now and again you fire up the master list and Kate Bush (or Allah Forbid, Bernadette Peters) comes onto the headphones or out of the speakers.

It’s a surprising event. Worth it.

Does mother really stand for comfort? I think so. Even if your mother isn’t perfect, even if she isn’t that motherly, you do project that she is. So by projection, at least, she is comforting.

My mother was motherly, certainly, but not comforting as part of her daily routine. I don’t know what she stood for. She did the right mother things. And she did a lot of laundry. She cooked veal cutlets. She was a very good cook. She worked in a doctor’s office. She smoked. She was more raucous than any woman that might have inspired Kate Bush’s song.

She was certainly comforting when you were down, my mother.

Mother Stands for Comfort. Yes?

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