Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

From Occupied Manhattan

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Last Blog from Queens

It's an Okie Christmas. Fleeing West into the fertile valley of Manhattan. Hope it's everything they say it is. Not afraid to pick fruit. Merry Christmas from my farm to yours!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Consumerist Christmas Warning

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Flight

Moving this week. Adds to the wild ride of Christmas. It’s worth it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

All This Talk

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell being repealed does not make me feel like the right thing has been done. That is a thought more than a feeling. The repeal makes me feel happy and a little less scared.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Two Years

I'm not one to hold onto the past for too long--but today (December 16) is the two year anniversary of our pooch's death.

She was no genius. But she was super sweet. She followed me home one night in 2001, not long after the debacle of 2001, and she moved in. She had no fur (mange), stunk like a trash heap (mange) and scratched 24-7 (mange). We just figured we would have the ugliest dog on earth for a year or two until she died. She lived 7 more years. And she was a beauty. Completely lovely.

I don't miss her day to day any longer. But when I think about her, I get a feeling that nothing else gives me. And because it is my feeling and feelings cannot truly be described, I will try my best. She makes me feel sweet and young and calm and hopeful and caring. It's so warm. And now when I type this, I smile like crazy. She was happiness. Purely.

Louise. Bye-bye again. You heart opener.


 
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Money Chunk

You get cash from the bank when you put a deposit on an apartment. Cold and real. The agent pushes it through. The application is a breeze. Renting might be the easiest thing I have encountered. You get so much for such a small decision.

The market of anything is fun. I would like education and health care to become utilities, but everything else, make it a market. It makes people lively. Gives them spirit. And there is truth in interaction. It's even warm in nature. Certainly in apartment hunting, the broker is extremely human, midwifing you into home rebirth. Sure, he or she pushes you to get back to the office to fill out a contract, that is their goal, but until the push, there is complete humanity. It has to work that way. You are talking about where you are going to live. Pretty intimate. I enjoyed the combination of being vulnerable and then having to throw cash.

Our Coop in Queens has sold and we are closing sometime very soon.

A handful of people are getting shifted around.

Our new apartment is swank neutral in a white brick on Eighth Avenue. Noise is distant and whirring but real. Schnaz and comfort. Large and open. Easy to be there. A two block walk to my Recognized-by-the-State-of-California-Domestic-Partner-Adam's boulot.

They say you can't have a dog. But friends, I've heard some barking.

Another time coming.



 
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Zombies of 1972

Or would it be more proper to call them ghouls-de-Noel?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Phantom Subway

A 1940s Subway train pulled into the 4th Street station on the F line today. Its terminus was Second Avenue, Lower East Side. It was both a holiday gift and a Museum of Transit advertisement all in one. It smelled of diesel. I remember trains something like these in the late 1960's.

Everyone was so happy. It was new. Monkeys like new things. And why shouldn't we! We're monkeys!

And the phones came out, snapping pictures. Mostly smiles. People love time travel.

 
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In Between

 
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Strap Hanger

 
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Fan

 
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Schmulka

 
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Gas

 
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Train

 
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Thursday, December 09, 2010

These Republicans

Conservatives. Why?

They fear change.

It’s like, if they could go back in time and have wives and children killed and buried along with dear old important dad when he died, they would do it. And why, “Because we’ve always done it that way.”

Somehow, if you change things the apple cart might get wobbly and then the money and power might dry up and then the army might get weak and then the land might get taken over. Really?

If I were president and this was happening to me, I think I would resign and take that ambassador job in Lichtenstein. It is so discouraging here. How could anyone take it? This tax thing. This blocking of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal.

This is the kind of night that is so sad, Obama probably wants to go smoke a cigarette. I know it makes me want to just go suck a cock.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

How to Build a Jesus

I’ve had Jesus on my brain all day today.

I think about Jesus a lot. And this is how I think about him.

It was time.

The earth had 150 Million people on it. This was dense. Enough communication was going on, through trade, to make enough people understand that it was time for a change. Too much shitty animal behavior and only a bit of human kindness.

Hey, what we really need, everyone starts to think, is a new way of being. But we’re so patriarchal and take our orders from on high so we better make a leader who we can look up to. Let’s pick one of these nuts who crop up weekly who call themselves the Son-of-God.

And they did.

And it was.

And though Jesus was a madman, he was the necessary madman at the time.

Going mad today to change the world might not be a bad idea. But maybe it won’t have to come from on high. Philosophers try. But logic or empiricism or rationalism won’t ever really do it because so many people are illogical, cannot see or have no judgment. As I get older and lose some of my kick, I see the appeal. It’s just easier to be a little less aware, a little less thoughtful.

Plus, so many philosophers, Voltaire, Hume and Hegel even, there was this, ahem, ego…(not that I don’t get it.)

So---you need a little magic, beyond the rational, to effect a big switch. Someone get to it. I’m too old, unready for primetime.

Ah, Jesus. Lover of lambs and everything else. Someone needs to do an installation. Jesus as many things: Cuban thief, ugly loud mouth from Long Island, whore with a heart of gold, drooling moron, gay slut bottom who can go all night, all that, in large painted panels would be good right about now. Show the world that he really was all things. And all these things are human. And, hell, why not give them health insurance?

You see, there’s a strain. There’s a strain of compassion in everyone. And there is a serious strain of competition, too. The competition is fun. Would it not be so enjoyable to act from compassion, always, while keeping in some of the competition for fun?

We need another shift.

Build a Jesus.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Monday, December 06, 2010

What's Dead for 2011

Global climate change denial.

Torquoise and Brown, together at last. Gone.

Make your own donut places. Meatball places. Rice pudding places.

Being against gay marriage.

Expensive cable television.

My lack of taking responsibility for the amount of vegetables I eat.

The average person’s love of the internal combustion engine.

Fear of the unknown.

The Vatican’s anti-condom stance. (Started in 2010, solidified dead in 2011).

The-Sky-is-Falling mentality toward new media, which is now feeling old.

Chemically raised chickens.

The use of the word Pussy to describe anything except for a cat or a pussy.

Plastic surgery that makes you look like you are wearing a mask. Or just all of it.

People using the sarcastic question to an obvious statement, “You think?”

The lack of proofreaders at The New York Times, which has made the paper less readable.

Rusting bridges.

Obama’s sack hanging like a deflated dog’s pouch the day after being neutered.

Pot holes.

The binary world view of the average Conservative. Eyes and ears do open.

Being Moderate is no longer uncool, but the coolest thing ever.

Quality free education and very affordable health care for everyone being at all considered a sort of communist plot.

Making fun of France. Especially if you have never even visited the place.

Any shred of respect for George Bush’s self serving biography.

Calling things addictions that are really just over indulgences.

Pretending the Smart Car is something worth having.

Friends who only see you as someone to serve their needs, nothing more.

Complaining about the weather or the distance.

Romanticizing and exploiting the art of the victimized.

All that cheese.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

How?

Lately, I have run into people who have asked me for advice. It ranges from career things to “my kid is experiencing…” or something as simple as relationship squabbles.

Underneath the entreaties, I hear an underlying theme, repeated:

HOW CAN I GET THROUGH THIS LIFE WITHOUT PAIN?

And the only answer is: you can’t.

So why not enjoy the pain? All of it? It is more painful to resist pain than to live it. So live it. It passes. And it usually presents something positive on the back end.

I feel bad for us. We are told again and again that if we do everything right we will not experience discomfort, we will always be happy, there will be no struggling. But I have not met a person on earth who has had this experience.

So, “Thank you sir, may I have another,” though a bit past what we need, is not that far off.

Have a painful yet somewhat satisfying day.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Death Ball

When I was in college, I used to get high with my friend L and we would talk about what song we would like to be played at our funerals. We agreed that Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir from Physical Graffiti would be a great song. We played it over and over.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a bit about death. Mostly because winter has hit but also because this movie thing I’ve been writing, though comical, is about a big ‘ol death.

As I get older, I understand that death might be a very interesting explosion that could possibly feel good. Or at least it will be a very clear action.

And with this, I bring you this Asteroid YouTuber, with Pink Floyd in the background that is a beautiful rendering of the-end-of-days.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Storm 1

It was an Umbrella Graveyard kind of day.


 
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Storm 2

But then the Sky Opened Up--and Winter arrived.

 
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70% Is Not Enough?

Funny. The military is ready to let the whole Shut-the-hell-up-about-your-homosexuality law go.

And some posturing Republican senators are a wreck about it. Apparently, even though 70% of the entire military is comfortable with letting gay people serve openly, some cretin Republicans are getting in bed with the 30% who are still crying about the inevitable.

Why can’t they change? Why do they hold on so tightly to the past? Because they are homophobic. Couching it in terms of anything else, well, you can hear the hollowness.

Of course, this IS the thin edge of some big gay wedge. It is the first in a tumbling series of soon-to-be acquired equal rights that are just around the corner. And oh my! How can this HAPPEN?! In God’s World!

It is an old, disgusting thought and 70% of the military agrees with the following statement: Lying is simply bad for everyone.

And yet—

So scared Republican politicians, go ahead and posture, if that’s what you believe your constituents want. However, you will go down in history as just a name that was on the wrong side of an issue at the wrong time. And people will quickly remember you as that. Bye-bye. We have had enough of you.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The End of a Season

Get out your mittens. Time for Christmas.

Something about The Fourth of July lands you into Christmas pretty quickly. Then there is that pesky winter here in the Northeast, interminable through St. Patrick's Day. But I have come to like the seasons. They are exceptionally interesting, visually, and they are completely in charge. You cannot pretend anything else.

Give. Just keep giving and everything gets better.
Note to self: Stop counting.

 
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Another Sad Jeopardy Category

Groups of Wilding Men in Times Square who aggressively Push the sale of "Original Material" CDs pretending to benefit the homeless and then one verbally attacking us for being gay with reference to which one of us was the top and which one the bottom whom I defensively responded to, "Nice. Would you like me to get all racist on you, you pig?" for 500 please.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving

I would like to give thanks to the mature trees of my neighborhood. The sycamores, the maples, the Japanese maples, all the others… November ends up being so nice.

The next two pictures of the yellow maple tree, kind of fun to click on them and then click again to get them large. You look in and you feel like you are in the leaves.

Trees. Come on. Thanks for the trees.


Have a good one. Off to Baltimore. Riding the rails.
 
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Tree 1

 
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Tree 2

 
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The Ninety Minute Flu

I got my flu shot today.

A few hours later, I had that awful flu shot feeling. You know how it is. You feel like you have the flu for a couple of hours? A mild flu.

Feeling sick is interesting. It’s the vulnerability thing. I can swing quite wide between being the strongest-guy-ever to the saddest-little-lamb. It was interesting to have the lamby feeling take over for a little while. I do not mind. There is a warmth to vulnerability and a naturally rising compassion.

One wonders, at the call of death, if the vulnerability will be so great---that that will be the prize.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Thing About Macys

Macys is ridiculous. It’s a load of floors and it covers an entire city block between 6th and 7th Avenues. It’s a monster. It’s a souk. It’s a long way from home.

Today, Adam, my Recognized-by-the-State-of-California-Domestic-Partner, and I did some pre-holiday shopping, to get ready for winter, all that. But this is the trouble. They tell you the men’s department is on this or that floor, but really, it’s in the basement (underwear, socks and coats), it’s on floor 1 (most of it), it’s on floor 1 and 1/2 (Black youth, young stuff, Blingy), it’s on floor 2 (All the other designers). And how do you really make peace with all that?

All that stuff, made in China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam. All those children plying the needle. Fuck, fuck, fuck, I thought. But I need my cheap cotton Macys shit. Kids in factories.

You can hear the screams up and down the aisles. You can hear them across the water.

I want my damn clothes.

Human desire. It’s like, it is. And it wants. It cares but it doesn’t care. Compassion, sort of.

I have to wash the chemicals out before I put the things on.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Talking Tom Has Crossed the Pond



I have returned to the United States. Goodnight, friends. Tomorrow, I begin again in English. See you soon!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Talking Tom Makes a Generalization

In Paris, the good things are still good and the bad things have improved. See you soon!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Kingly.

Talking Tom Has a Problem

Paris is the most beautiful city in the world. But I have a curious problem. I have the face of a cat but the stomach of a pig. Excuse me. There is another patisserie on the other side of the street. See you soon!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Talking Tom Goes to France

Hello friends. I'm going to Paris for five days. Come with me and revisit some French lessons. See you soon.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

A/C + D/C

I usually keep my cool around celebrities because I kind of have to because I kind of deal with them in the entertainment business. Plus, no one likes a braying Santa.

And I kept it down tonight. But there I was in one of those places that people go to that does not have a sign on the door because it's one of those places that does not want people to know it's there so that a certain type of clientel will come that does not include Texans in town who have arrived in search of Wicked.

And who was there? My damn boyfriend, Anderson Cooper. He looks even more like my this-must-be-my-true boyfriend in real life. Every other man and woman in that sort-of-private-theatre-shack felt the same way.

Lineage, looks, ability and cash. And the boyish grin. My man.

As I typed this I just choked down a huge bowl of macaroni and cheese.

Normative Pain

It does feel good to be part of a large group that is working in sync. Look at the opening of the Beijing Olympics. China is exciting in that way. But we did not see the rehearsals.

Normative pressure, which pushes people into behaving according to the rules of the primary group of any culture, in our case, Conservative White Men, is always a painful process for those in the nut screw. Look what they did to women, Jews and African Americans in the past.

The Chinese continued to take over that middle-kingdom-area until they were stopped by a resistance that was strong enough to stop them. And the only strong enough resistance to stop any primary group is usually solid weaponry.

Women and Jews had no armies. Africans had inferior technology. None of these people could win.

Gays do have weapons. They are in the military. And they are subjected to this pressure. But they obviously cannot use their weapons to force people to “accept them.”

What is so disappointing and so infuriating is that if enough strong, self-serving people get together and take leave of their natural compassion, they will bully others into either being exactly like them or they will tell the “offending others” to SHUT THEIR MOUTHS.

This Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell law is a law written to appease bullies (in the name of cohesion). It is a strong finger of the two hands of anti-enlightenment and normative pressure. We are not Chinese. We will never have an opening ceremony that is that cohesive. Not being in sync in society makes for a certain kind of loneliness. But this is the price we all pay for being Westerners, brave individualists, Jews, Brown-Black-White-Red-whatever people, Women, Male Nurses and mano-a-mano sex dudes. You cannot be for individual freedom and for oppressing others at the same time. I mean, you can be---but then, you are a bully. What is that doing for you?

I found the opening ceremony of the Beijing games to be exciting and dull at the same time.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

These Were My Choices

It was either Fair Game or the movie where James Franco cuts off his own arm. So we went to see Fair Game.

I was very concerned about getting Sean Penned in my face. He only did it one and a half times. He has this 11:59 monologue about Democracy that’ll make you want to eat your empty Goobers box…otherwise, he goes straight forward.

Naomi Watts was full on direct, clear headed, an almost flat affect smart girl forever.

They found “the family story” in all this. Which makes sense. Makes it human. The other way would have been to go really deep into the Washington side of it, all those characters, but even doing that a little, which they had to do, was sort of silly. Karl Rove stand-in and the like. That stuff is always a bit wax-museumy-SNL-freakish.

So, best to stick with Wilson and Plame, the lesser known and of course, victimized ones. And they did. Doug Liman, whom we all know is a great director, directed this beautifully. Somehow, though, the whole thing comes off a bit over important and well, yeah, sermonic.

Not that the Plame case was any small deal. I mean, it was the excrescence of the lie that was lanced. But when it comes to entertainment, well, you have a lot of journalistic truth here. And as I read recently, written by some journalist, “Journalism isn’t art.”---Not that we need art so much in this area. Oh, I don’t know. Let’s get out of this paragraph.

I despised the WMD lies. Plus, I had this egotistical feeling that if I really needed to lie to get into a war, I would have come up with something so much more fanciful and complicated. They went for the simple lie---like, There’s a flesh eating monster under your bed or NAIR really will remove that hair on your back, and you believed it because you needed to so badly.

I would say, honestly, you can wait for Netflix. I hate to do that to a movie. But maybe I can help the economics of Hollywood along by offering a mild time sensitive suggestion. If a movie isn’t doing well after ten or fourteen days, let it hit Netflix by day twenty-one so the movie can still ride on some of the marketing budget already laid out for the plexes or in this case aht houses.

Wilson and Plame now live in Santa Fe. They should. It’s really nice there. And it’s a much more sensitive town to the feelings of human humans. Oh, wink. Do I need to? Damn.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Natural Thoughts

Darwinian thought might be a perception more than a truth. In other words, there may well be a bigger picture we have not seen yet.

We all want abandon. Finding healthy abandon is the key.

I have been very thankful for the street I have been living on this year. It is loaded with old trees and gardens. At the end of the street is a church yard with old apple and cherry trees and Japanese maples and others. Big trees really matter.

Dogs.

Separating off in order to distinguish yourself is what one does. But it does not necessarily make one happy. In other words, it can disturb you. But in this culture, it is necessary to some extent.

If you are a sound person, you can ground your nervous system by spending time working on seeing. And vice versa.

It is easier to be snarky than it is to take notice. You can always be snarky later.

After a big depression often comes a big relief. After a big expenditure, often comes a big let down. After, after, after. It waves. No sense in standing in the way.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Pass Me the Lotus

In this poorly run real estate environment of Coop sales in New York City, we finally got our hands on signed contracts today from the buyers of our Queens nest.

How did we do it? Adam, my Recognized-by-the-State-of-California-Domestic-Partner, had to walk over to the buyer’s lawyer’s office to pick up the contract. Because for some reason, that law office never heard of the Post Office.

The lawyer took on a high and mighty act and added a rider and since he is a litigator, made everyone feel uncomfortable with his attitude. But after all that, the contract just sat on his desk because neither he nor his assistant felt like following through on the last step of delivery? What kind of people are they?

So right now, sitting on my Yamaha Keyboard is an envelope with the contracts and the deposit checks. Everyone acts so professional and scary, but then are just fine when we, the sellers, turn into a messenger service.

It is absurd.

The worst thing about transactional reality in New York City is its angry ego and excessive greed. Los Angeles has its vanity and lies. But those seem so much less harmful. Or at least less brutal. Pass me the lotus.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

God Is Love

There is reason to be optimistic. Though the Republicans now have a House Majority, they still cannot pass legislation without Democrats. So this is really not the end of the world.

Plus, Obama will now have people to play against. He can respond to them rattling their sabers. He needs that. People who live more in their heads than in their hearts (thank Goodness) need a little punching to get moving.

Nancy Pelosi is still my Queen.

Look---this is going to get interesting. And let us not forget for a minute how much Obama has done during his first two years with his Democrat majority. It was a sight to behold. This nation moves incrementally. Like a snail in molasses going uphill. We made some big strides, faster than the usual mollusk pace, and let us not forget it.

Sure, the Republicans want to keep Bush’s tax cuts until we colonize Mars…but they will not get it. I insist.

Adam, my Recognized-by-the-State-of-California-Domestic-Partner, believes Republicans and Democrats are an object lesson in speciation. We are separating off from each other and eventually, if we would simply stop interbreeding, we would become two separate animals. Probably.

My simple notion is the brain can be trained to become almost anything. And parents train their children to be just like them.

I believe in the power of love. Just like the song. And I believe Democrats have more love in them than Republicans. And love always wins. Call me a cheese ball---but please, make sure it’s the one with the nuts on the outside.

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Rolling Bread Maker

I Really Tried.

Just spent a longish weekend in Los Angeles and rented a SMART CAR. I don't know. Every bump in the road feels a bit like getting that long overdue colonoscopy. It goes very fast on the highway--but if you were to run over a piece of plywood or a shredded truck tire, Allah help you.

It is roomy. And there is plenty of storage for something this size. I hauled a few large boxes around.

And it is good on gas, but not great. The car acts as if it is a manual, taking you through each gear change, and you feel it. Parking--yes--parking is amazing.

I would buy one as a second car, used, to zip around the neighborhood for groceries and flowers. But therein lies the end of that.


 
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Friday, October 29, 2010

The Mall Does What It's Supposed to Do

A comforting day was spent in Los Angeles. House stuff. Storage room stuff. Friends. At the mall. I understand why malls are popular. They are safe zones. And they are mild. But what is even better---and it's so cliche---is the weather. WTF with this Southern California weather? It's like, it's so nice out, how can't you simply be completely happy? And it's going to be nice out again, immediately? Damn.

 
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Burbank: It's Easy Here

The best thing about Burbank is it is not fancy. When you are eating the meatloaf sandwich at the Corral Cafe you know you are having an existential okayness. And onion rings. Look, I don't want to be fancy. And Burbank is the perfect place not to be fancy. Plus, have you heard about the weather in Southern California? Yeah, they're not kidding.


 
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

To Fight

Our apartment in Queens has gone into contract. This means---we have sold the apartment and now we shoot toward closing.

What held it up was the buyer’s lawyer. A litigator (and why our buyer chose an old litigator instead of a real estate lawyer is just silly)---held things up for a bit.

Fighters like to fight. What I have learned from my entire East Coast experience is that I really have no interest in fighting. Frankly, I think it’s stupid.

And really, when it comes to closing out a deal, it always happens when people are NOT fighting.

Why all this fighting? Everyone comes out ahead in this transaction. There truly is no need to fight.

What an old world aesthetic.

Silly.

When do people let go of all that?

Onward. The world is opening up.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Apartimento

Limbo.

It is very strange to live somewhere that you know you will be leaving. You tend to not want to clean it. You feel “no future” toward the place. You simply want to let it go.

We have sold our coop in Queens. Though, the rate of movement of paperwork multiplied by the rate of decisive action in the borough of Queens is inversely proportional to the amplitude of my desire to get the hell out of here.

She’s a fine burgh. “The sports and transportation borough.” Real Estate is easy to grab here. It is in fact cheap. But with the cheap comes the problems of the cheap. Slow paperwork, as we now know. People with a different idea of what a cafĂ© is. Computer illiterates. Slow energy, overall. And an overall utilitarianism that is at once appealingly naive and spiritually stifling. The best three things about this neighborhood of Jackson Heights are 1. Great apartment stock. 2. Great old trees everywhere. 3. Just a fifteen minute subway ride to midtown.

And those were great things.

But then, you just sort of get sick of having to zip into Manhattan every time you want a decent meal or to hear English being spoken or to go to a book store or movie theatre.

So, we wait for “the apartment to close” which could take a month or four. And we keep living. In limbo. It is unpleasant. I am trying to find a way to make it pleasant. Like that feeling when you do not have to feel too weighed down. Or the feeling that anything is possible and the future is exciting. Or the feeling that you are handing over your finely appointed space to someone else who will be getting a whole new lease on life---an act of generosity. Or something.

I admire people who do things, cross them off their list, and do not feel them too much. Or if they do feel them, it is only that little “pop of completion” that gives them a hit of happiness. I feel the births and deaths of things a little larger than the average bear. And the state of Limbo seems to stretch that all out.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

A musical.

A clowning.

A history lesson.

A romp.

A rock show.

A bunch of improv turned into script, or something.

A Broadway theater tricked out with chandeliers and colored lights, like an 80’s video.

Some very funny cartooning of men-from-history.

Gay men jokes.

Childish antics.

Aesthetic ideology professed in the program that this is the kind of work this company does.

Songs.

Comedy front loaded.

On the nose.

Nothing new.

Nothing too human, nothing too smart.

Great load of insane senators.

Timely. But why do that for this for that?

A romp?

Yes.

This is the list I should use to write the review.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Social Network

We got around to seeing The Social Network tonight.

Look, it was fine. It was sort of television on a movie screen. Aaron Sorkin is good at getting a bunch of people to talk in a sort of believable way that is heightened, clever, etc. I don’t know. I find it quite distant from really being human.

Maybe he is drawn to writing about powerful people because it takes a certain removal of humanity to be powerful and he understands this for some reason or likes it for some reason.

It rubs me the wrong way. But I was engrossed. Like watching crinkly aluminum foil.

I experienced some nostalgia while watching this movie. I used to do some theatre stuff at Harvard in my early college days. Harvard was right down the street from my college and we had this cross arts thing going on. Harvard really was a clubby place filled with desperate nerds. I remember being in a play (Okay, Hair) and I had this strong feeling that every single woman in it wanted to be my girlfriend. They were a desperate bunch. Their ability to be subtle, socially, was simply not on the menu. It was almost as if one went after social encounters like one dove into everything else---full on with nothing in the way. It is actually kind of refreshing to think about it now. At the time, it was a complete turnoff. And not only because they were women.

It is fascinating that complete social retardation led to Facebook.

But that makes sense, too. A vacuum existed in this guy’s soul. So he filled it.

The movie kind of rambled on and on. It was the nerd-who-would-be-king story. Justin Timberlake, as the creator of Napster and Facebook seeder, came off as an odd duck and he wore too much makeup. Jesse Eisenberg, the lead, was basically a jerk, full-on, but in many ways played the true depiction of the on-the-edge-of-Aspergers types we have all known and loved. He did it very well.

The supporting cast was just fine. The twins were weird. Andrew Garfield was cute.
Fincher directed well.

You could watch this on television. Do so.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

American Idiot

I finally got to see American Idiot, the musical that uses the Green Day music from, you know, American Idiot.

It’s a great concert musical. But something about a musical on Broadway automatically takes the edge off the original intent of the source material. No matter how well done. Watching performers up there performing is very performy.

However, it was good for an older dude like me to hear this music since, of course, I have not heard it before because I am still mostly listening to Joni Mitchell and Muskrat Love.

The three main characters are sketchily defined as follows: The guy who has to stay back because he knocked up his girlfriend, the guy who leaves town and becomes a heroin addict, and the guy who goes to war and loses a leg. Sadly, that’s all I can say about any of them.

The three main guys are surly, hurt and fucked up. They have lots of feelings and act on understandable intention to get out of the bad lives they were born into. However, they exhibit no native intelligence and it is up to the street smart women to teach them a tiny bit, but this is, truly, ever so tiny.

They are redeemed by the end by the simple act of living and learning and “By the strength of a good woman.” Old trope. Kind of lazy.

The play, really, is not a play. But as a live music video it is fabulous. And the talent, as always, is top drawer.

Michael Mayer, director and book writer, is a biz friend of mine. And as a friend, I say to him: Next time you put a play together, think more deeply about the characters. Or hire Bjork to write the book, or me. The idea is fun. But one could use a bit more meat on those bones. Additionally, the lower middle class is hard to get right without it seeming all angsty or silly.

I do not exactly relate to the lower middle class. I understand the choices are limited for these people and they are pissed off and are naturally drawn to angry punk music. Hell, I’m pissed off about my limited choices and I’ve been to college and every few years take a trip to Paris. But what always surprises me about the lower middle class is this: since one in that class truly is getting completely fucked over and enslaved, why not figure out a way to foment change? And then I realize it. They are Republicans. And really, the only way they will ever have better lives is if they were to live in a socialist society. Or something approaching it. So they are the victims of our market economy, yet they have completely bought into the myth of the market economy. Sad. They choose exactly what causes them pain. Not that I’m promoting socialism here… ;) But I do not understand people who have such a load of angst, yet do not see they are actually the cause of much of it. This blind spot, to me, renders them immature, very reactive and poor.

I liked the ballads most of all. I always do. I like an easy guitar chord sequence and a lyrical melody line. Why not? It is so pleasing.

Overall, I would say go see it. You can get halfies at TKTS or TDF. It is worth it. It is always good to hear talented singers singing good music. And visually, well, it's all TV screens and ladders and wires and circus. Everyone likes a circus.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This Is What I'm Talking About

It is moving. It really is. But then, why wait so long to have these feelings? Is it a gay ham thing? (Lord knows, I have one of those in me.)

Help the children! Help the gay children! Gay Kiddies: It does get better.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Is It Me?

Is it just me, or does anyone else have a problem with watching grown gay men cry while saying it gets better?

I have nothing against crying, but if you are going to be a public leader---would it not be better to be past the crying stage about being bullied as a gay kid?

Look—I’ve cried plenty. But when you sit in front of kids and tell them, “Don’t Worry, It Gets Better…” But you’re still a heap of sopping tears, well, what the hell kind of signal is that?

When I was a kid and I saw an adult crying, I thought one of two things---someone died or someone was about to.

I thought the crying Texan councilman was certainly cute and sweet and honest. And I was moved. Truly. But I do not believe that all forms of public crying lead to the greatest good for our kids.

That was a peer speech. Not a kid speech. As a peer, I related. But if I had been a gay kid---I would have looked at that youtuber and thought, It Gets Better? How? You’re crying at work.

So---yes, kids, it gets better. But I think it best that we cry at home and then go out there, happy, because, yes, it got better.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Android Freak and Gimme

I did it, I bought it, I love it, why did I wait so long?

Because I’m cheap!

But more than that, really. I do not like to run out and buy something right away. I hate Beta anything. And there is always a part of me that thinks, “Is this really the way things are going? Let’s just hold on a second here.”

That thinking makes me a little conservative. But add onto that, I hate landfill. Proudly, I can say that I have never thrown out an old electronic. I always sell the suckers on Ebay. Sure, they end up in some horrific landfill of concentrated-heavy-metals-child-cancer-causing heap, eventually. But, hell, at least I postponed one little hunk of garbage for a little while.

I shouldn’t be so precious. I’m hard on my electronics. For every 0 times my Recognized-by-the-State-of-California-Domestic-Partner’s hard drive has crashed, mine has crashed at least 5.

And phones---well, they never last more than two years, right? They just don’t. And you drop them. And eventually, they just don’t have the technology or the gumption to carry on.

So this Android phone---I got the one by Samsung---the Samsung Captivate (what a horrible name!) is sleek and amazing and I sort of can’t believe what is happening to me. I know all you crackberry people have been up to the very last second with your email and shit forever. But I was always set up like this: Do I want to click that check email button right now? Nah. I’ll wait ‘til I get home. But now, well, I just let the emails fly in like everyone else. Hell, you can let the Facebook posts fly in, all the comments that your friends make, all day long. Who needs a job or a relationship when your phone won’t stop gurgling and bleeping?

I usually do disconnect the updating thing. It really is too distracting. And novelties do wear off. (Oh we monkey minded people love the new! It’s a side effect of our opportunity seeking.)

I do love the seamlessness. Now I never have to worry if my stuff is all in sync, because it IS all in sync just by connecting to the cloud. Hi clouds! And I have GSyncit synching my Outlook and my Google stuff. So, you know, it’s all good, all over the place, the same. Yay! (I like folders and the alphabet.)

So now, I am asking you. What is your favorite Android Ap? Just tell me. I like travel, the card game Hearts, memory things, French-English dictionaries, organizer things, solitaire, knowledge stuff, music news, art-search type whatevs, you name it. So gimme what you got!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Through the Night

Go see it. At the Union Square Theatre. ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT. It is written by and stars Daniel Beaty. Yes, it’s a one-man show, one guy, doing many characters that are all connected by a health food store, a church and a record company. All black characters as Daniel is black and has some things to say about that very thing. And it is about rising up into empowerment in a society that traditionally kept you down. And it is about stopping the bullshit of being on the down-low and getting your scared black ass out of the closet.

The snarkier part of me wants to say, “Yeah, and?”

But the better part of me, the one who sat at the theatre and watched it (with some great kids who loved it!) cried. Not stupid crying. Just deep attentive crying. In response to what was going on, really.

Look---you don’t know what it’s like to be a black gay man (unless you do). And you don’t know what it’s like to be black, in general (unless you do). And really---rising up is not easy for anyone. It just isn’t.

And let’s ask this. What is it about black culture that brings them so much great use of language, poetry and music? Really, you hate to be all stereotyping…but this guy was out of control in that department in this way that is just not-white. He is so lucky, to be allowed to be an artist who is allowed to tap into his most-natural-best-self. I am envious. Okay, I’ll do it, too. Tomorrow. No now.

Great direction and design. Clear and crisp and visually sharp.

Go see THROUGH THE NIGHT. I think the title is bland. I can barely remember it. But the show is anything but. The Union Square Theatre is at 17th and Park Avenue.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Henry Wolfe

Friends! Get onto iTunes and buy the complete works of Henry Wolfe. He is a great musician with a great voice.

Now look---I know there’s a lot of “nouvelle carnival music” out there. But his is a cut above…because he has humanity. It’s not just show. He’s hooked up. And he is a great song writer.

I particular like Buzzards. But there are so many others. The Blue House on iTunes, get it.

Tonight, I saw and heard Henry play at JOE’s PUB. His band is solid. Look---the way the DIY musicians do it is by getting bloggers like me to stand up and say THIS ONE, here!

He opened for April Smith and the Last Picture Show. She’s great, and also a bit carnival-beat, but more show, less truth. Big voice.

Henry is more subtle, which I always like.


 
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Beliefs: For?

Emotional Pain is only the death of an erroneously held belief.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Russian Whores

It’s not like I want to disparage an entire country and its former satellites…it is intellectually unsound and aesthetically beat.

But this New York City has a Eastern Euro, dare I say, Russian vibe that entices bar owners and restaurateurs to gild their businesses with large suburban tile, overly dramatic lighting and large screen televisions.

Highly made up woman trawling the streets of Soho in pashminas, people making out at the bar, all of it, makes me a bit queasy.

But who am I to judge? Should everything be a mirror of my existence? Gap cotton clothing and uninspired shoes?

But I beg of you. Why can’t it all be like Yountville or Vence?

I ask you.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Local Sycamore Does No Wrong

Still, the only thing I care about: trees. This is a sycamore at night just down leafy 81st Street here in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York. Clearly, I only had my bad phone camera. But still, look at it! Strong. With a serious scar that is completely healed. This is the greatness of sycamores. You can hack off a very thick branch and the tree won't mind. It just goes, "Uh-huh, I'll have that covered over in a few years."

People want to come back as this or that. I'd be a tree any day.

 
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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Sales Time

After listing our apartment in Queens online (Craigslist) this is the amount of inquiries that we have received to see the apartment: 0

So it is high time we call a realtor, which I did, the one who got us two bids in one week the last time we listed the apartment.

Here she comes.

She takes 6% of the sale, which sort of makes my white flesh crawl. On the other hand, 94% is not a bad amount as long as she pushes this donkey high up the ladder.

I hate to be so crass, but I am.

If anyone wants to buy this groovin’ pad before 12PM East Coast Time, do come forward. It will be cheaper than when the realtor posts it.

Until then, I hope everyone is living the life they want to live in the space they want to live it in surrounded by mammals they feel are perfect at this time.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Sun

I like the clouds. I like the way everything is underneath them. I like how the light is. I like how blue everything looks. I am happy for the cover.

I like the sun, too. But I’ve never liked direct sunlight. I love Los Angeles, but mostly when the sun is setting. Midday, I always found it to be too much.

We are tree primates who gradually made our way onto the plains. But we were hairier back then.

Sometimes, I wish I was that hairy, though, having had a little doggy for years that was very hairy, and having to get it cut all the time, you wonder what the evolutionary advantage of that mop was.

I wonder why dogs don’t get rickets. Maybe they get their vitamin D another way.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Fag Killers

I went to the Suffern Free Library when I was in high school to look for books about gay people. I was feeling kind of gay and I was concerned.

Among the stacks was this fabulous book from Denmark about gay men who were living happy lives, with pictures, all of it. They were black and white photos. The guys were, you know, Danish, so they were mostly tall and blond and seemed more foreign than gay. The thrust of the book was, “Being gay is cool. These guys are doing it. So can you.” It was the 70’s.

I cannot remember if I checked the book out and brought it home or not. I don’t think I did. But I do remember thinking this as I walked down a little street we called ONE WAY because the only marker was a one way sign, “Sure, they can be gay. They live in Scandinavia!”

I was not amused, in fact, the book further depressed me. There was something so macho, so football, so aggressive about the United States, reading about greasy haired Danish men with a predilection for cock was not going to change any of that.

But hear this---I was not going to kill myself for being bullied. And I will tell you why. Because I’m a badass.

Now, I was lucky because I was semi to very popular growing up at different periods of time. I was friendly and I truly liked people. I was very shy in elementary school but that kind of flew open in the Fifth Grade and I never looked back. (Though I do still prefer to spend hours alone every day.) But none of that could change the fact that underneath it all, I was very depressed.

Of course, I soldiered on, went to college and kind of blew it big time---too many drugs kind of thing---but again, I survived because I was a badass. I just felt this enormous desire to live and to live well.

But what about all these kids who are NOT badasses? There were days when I felt so shitty about myself, and was SO WORRIED about what would happen to me, that suicide would come into my mind. But again, since I was a badass, I would say, “Fuck you suicide. I want to go to Paris again.”

So this is what I suggest we teach young gay people. This is based on a sample of one: me. Teach your gay kids some anger. They do not have to fight. They do not have to carry weapons. They do not have to scream or curse. But let them know they can be badasses. If someone starts to bully them, let them know they can use their anger to stand up, walk away and find an adult (or cool friends) who will stand by their side.

Also---let your gay kid know that even though they feel horrendously isolated--and gay kids are. It’s awful—there will always be a very funny clever girl who is a little bit overweight who will be happy to have them for a friend.

I do not believe harassment causes suicide. I think keeping things under wraps does.

The advantage of being gay is you get to learn at a very young age that from a distance, people are fearful and treacherous. Being an outsider is a great way to learn about the human race. And there are other outsiders you can hang with who will have a similar bead on things. There is strength to be gained from learning about human nature at a young age. Plus, being a minority falls into the category of “adversity” and we know that adversity is a necessary ingredient for creativity and success.

When I was a senior in high school, I went into a bathroom stall (nervous stomach always---‘cause I was so upset about who I was) and there I saw scratched into the metal divider of the dark blue paint (I can still smell that bathroom) was the following:

“For a great blow job, call Donald Cummings. 357-3651”

That was my real phone number. And I was called Donald. I got on the bus to go home and I was so depressed. But you know what? I cannot remember if I scratched it out. I may have. But I may have also left it there. Because it was true.

To all the people who ever harassed me as a kid for being “light in the loafers,” “a faggot,” “a sissy,” “a bad ball player,” “a singer,” any of it…all I have to say is this: Go shoot or hang YOURSELF but before you do, tell your awful children to leave my fabulous children alone…or I will flatten them. ‘Cause I’m a badass.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Hunt Continues

Saturday, we went apartment hunting in Manhattan, that little island off the coast of New Jersey. It was a series of grotesque actions followed by a large EUREKA! Followed by a bad meal and a relinquishing.

First of all---why would someone show you an apartment for 2100 bucks a month that is on the first floor with views of nothing but garbage cans and in order to get into the kitchen, you have to suck yourself in, flat as a planaria, in order to slither past the suburban sized refrigerator sticking two and half feet into the doorway?

Then, why would someone bring you to an apartment that was already rented out?

Then, why would someone bring you to another apartment that you couldn’t get into?

Lastly, why would someone show you an apartment that is, truly, a tomb, that no Paxil lick, no matter how big enough, could ever bring you back to joyful life?

After all those, we looked at a huge place, with plenty of light, on way upper Broadway and 102 Street. Nice neighborhood. But strollers, like packs of wild coyotes, come at you with a ravenous lope that is almost impossible to second guess. We decided we had to take this apartment anyway, that we would never see anything like it that large again for the price offered. But after some serious thought, we thought, nope. Too far, too straight, too Who Cares?

So, we are technically not at all homeless, but it sort of feels that way.

It was good to get back to the easy-sage-and-pink of our Queens manse of 400 square feet.

Tune in tomorrow when you may here me say, “Are those mice from the lab next door?”
or “I love this bathroom, now stop with the gag and show me the real one.” Or, “Okay, all I need is 750K for this co-op and I can forever live like a college student but never again have to worry about my rent going up, just the maintenance fees?” And then perhaps, “If Los Angeles is so awful, why is everyone there so happy? Or is that only the cashiers at Tranny Rite-Aid?”

 
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