Monday, December 19, 2005

Troll, The Ancient Yuletide Carol

Wish you a Very Merry Christmas.

Fa La La La La La La La La.

Have a wonderful holiday season. The blog returns in the new year. Until then, deck those halls with boughs of holly and don you now your gay apparel.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Brokeback Boys

Hype is such a drag.

The movie, while exceptionally well acted, was kind of dull.

After the two lovers start going at it, the rest of the movie is about approach-avoidance, scene after scene after scene.

I cannot say I have any understanding of 1960’s gay love in Wyoming. Nevertheless, the whole thing seemed a bit false to me. But what the hell do I know about Rocky Mountain man love?

Starting with Annie Proulx, this entire project was set into motion with good intentions by well meaning straight people. But I just, I just, well, I just don’t feel like they really caught it. The real hot desire. The real paranoia of being found out.

Also, the romantic nature of the story seemed like a woman’s projection upon men. The sensibility, even though the guys wrestled and tussled and punched, came off just a bit too female in its “love”. Obviously, this movie was made for women, not for gay men. And like any movie that is made to please a certain audience, it lacks the mark of truth.

We must thank the critics for getting behind it, but frankly, the support might stem more from political consciousness than from cold eyed awareness.

But I am glad the movie was made. I did enjoy the short story when I read it back in the day. But I felt the short story, too, seemed a bit off.

Call me annoying, but there I am.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I Kid You Not

I could not have made this up:

After being in therapy for a few months in order to "get back in balance," I have run out of things to talk about. Hard to believe, but true.

While hunting through my brain for anything to fill the time, I started bringing up the tiniest issue about my sex life.

My therapist nodded off.

Monday, December 12, 2005

December 12, 1974

I went to the mall today for christmas shopping. What a rip off! I bought mommy a jeanie lamp incense burner, daddy a plaque that says "Never trust a man that doesn't drink." Sally a capricorn band, and Greg a flash light. In a store called "Mexico" in town I got Wendy a blue pig, chris an onyx frog and nanny this clay pot. The T.V. specials were on tonight for X-mas. How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Rudolph the rednose reindeer. I'm going to the poconos tomorrow and Wendy and Chris are coming. Well Goodnight

The mall: Nanuet
Sally: my sister
Capricorn band: a leather bracelet that snapped together...with the Capricorn goat embossed upon it. Chic.
Greg: my brother
Nanny: My maternal grandmother, whom I was very close to
Wendy: The upstairs neighbor in our two family house. My sister's age.
Chris: My best friend at the time. Big party guy. What in the world would he do with an onyx frog?

The Poconos: We had a little vacation house there for a few years. It was very cute and extremely woodsy. I used to catch salamanders and make terrariums to put them in--in large 5 gallon glass water bottles. I also learned to ski there.

When I say "What a rip off!": I'm sure it was code for shoplifting and I dared not write it in my journal, for fear of someone reading it, or the police hauling me off to SingSing.

Friday, December 09, 2005

December 9, 1974

This morning I put up another santa clause. Tomorrow I'm putting christmas lights on the trees outside. Can you imagine how yellow this book is going to be when I read it years later. It is 1974 and I predict I will read it in 1992.

In my house, I was Brother Christmas.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Gay Movies for Christmas

Last night, we were on our way to a special screening of Brokeback Mountain in Beverly Hills and we realized we would never make it on time, so we made a left turn and landed at the mall (The Grove), had some drinks, salad and mini-burgers at Whispers Lounge and then saw Rent.

To our fun surprise, our friends Lisa and David were there. We sat with them.

You know, we all liked it. I mean, it got bad reviews. And the entire staff at The Grove, while we were buying the tickets or getting them torn, would roll their eyes and say things like, “Good luck,” or “You really have to like musicals,” or “They sing almost like the whole time.”

Gay people tend to like musicals. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because we did so many of them as children. Maybe it’s because life was always so harsh that the idea of really warm, exuberant people dancing and singing in the street while hugging each other with downright acceptance seemed so appealing. Maybe we just like that kind of music. But there we are, all gay and happy when the overture begins. So Adam and I, gay babies that we are, were inclined to like this thing. And Lisa, as many people can attest, is just a gay man in a woman’s body. And David, well, he’s straight, but he’s married to a gay man in a woman’s body, so he gets it.

The actors were all too old for their parts. But remember Stockard Channing in Grease? Wasn’t she like 38? I didn’t mind them being too old. I was glad that the original cast got to do the movie. They understood what they were doing and they sang really well.

The direction was flat (Chris Columbus of Home Alone fame), but I sort of liked the straight forward, almost archival shooting of it. But then, I like Neil LaBute movies. Sure, it could have been way more interesting visually. But there it was. I can assure you, it was colorful. There was a big Fame-like scene where everyone danced in the street. There was a fun Hair-like scene with everyone dancing con brio up on a table. Obviously, Rent is the descendant in a long line of pop musicals “with an edge” ;)

The score is pretty great. I like pop. Especially this sort of musical theatre 1970’s-80’s type pop. The writer/composer, Jonathan Larson, has a great ear for very interesting harmonies and it was a pleasure to just sit there in a movie theatre listening to it.

The book, lyrics, well, they’re cheesy. The play was the same way. A bit jejune. A bit self-serious. If Mr. Larson hadn’t died so suddenly after completing the play, perhaps there would have been more tweaking, cutting, etc. But with reverence, everyone accepts the words of this musical. Frankly, I wish people could be more honest about the silliness and the melodrama, with maybe a bit of a wink. But nothing arch ever comes into play, here. Just angst, joy, heroin and AZT.

Go see Rent, if you are gay or like musicals or are married to someone who is gay or likes musicals. Otherwise, hold out for Brokeback Mountain, no matter what your leaning. Unless, of course, you can handle two gay movies this month, then try both: The urban singing one and the romantic cowboy one.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Buy Less, Have More

Who wants a future mountain of landfill sitting around the house?
Not me!

I want nothing more than three onesies and a rice bowl. When I die, I want to land face first into the bowl and break it. The onesies can be given to gerbils to be chewed into nesting material.

Though I do love my electronics, I must say, I only love them for their usefulness. I wish they were made out of cornstarch so when they become obsolete, I could just run them under some water.

We all do better when consumption is decreased. An economy based on growth is an economy in denial. Pyramid schemes, like all pyramids, will eventually crumble. And why should you run around the base of that pyramid, buying things no one needs, only to support the few greedy Tuts at the top who, in their lofty altitude, are the only ones above the cloud cover of pollution caused by the fearful, frenzied activity at sooty ground level. No need for this any longer. No need.

This Christmas, why not give food? Like fruit. Or pudding? These are things that won't linger in someone's regifting drawer.

Friends, the joy is in the Ha-Hoo-Dor-Ase. Though I admit the colored lights of Christmas are pretty, it would be even prettier if instead, we just burned a few candles in the windows.

Stop shopping. Turn off the television. Take a bath. Eat a pot roast.

Buy Nothing
This Site Courtesy of D. Kaufman

Monday, December 05, 2005

Ho Ho, the Missile-Tow


Let's Put Down the Weapons and Have Some Glug

As the party season starts to heat up, it becomes very interesting to see human beings enjoying the close comfort of their fellow mammals. There is something about December that brings out the goodness in people.

Furthermore, it seems to me that people actually do like to get together with close friends under cozy conditions. It brings out the warm, safe glow of the heart, etc., things like that.

What always strikes me at holiday events is at least two people will say something akin to, “We should do this once a month,” or “ Why do we only do this this time of year?”

It is bizarre that people will allow themselves this cozy feeling at Christmas, letting down their guard, acting downright old world Bavarian fireplace-like and then as soon as it is possible, say January 2, they will shelve these feelings along with the ornaments and unwanted gifts and return to a certain obeisance to competition, acquisition and fear. The post Christmas letdown. The slushy head.

I don’t want to get all sappy here. But I guess I am anyway. The short days of December, of course, are more conducive to little get-togethers, candles, sending out waves of caring to others. But I always think, especially during the dog days of August, “I wish it were Christmas. During the holiday season, the sun will not pelt my skin. The loud music coming out of cars will be quieter. People will slow down and work less. The food will certainly be so much more pot roastish. And good will toward men will be back in fashion.” But then, I don't really like the beach.

Troops come home. Greed be gone. People consume less. A subway for LA. A relaxed and happy citizenry comprised of those who care for each other. The New Green City of New Orleans, please.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Stop the Presses!

Is it due to the negative hype or is it really true?

The LA Times just sucks. I mean, it used to be that you could get up in the morning and read this fun, snarky, liberal, informed newspaper and you felt good to live in Los Angeles.

Now, since the Chicago Tribune got a hold of it, reading this rag has become a very bland task-- not unlike perusing USA Today.

I hate it. The sound of the paper hitting the sidewalk is deadening. Where have all the writers gone?

I see a 63% possibility of cancellation in our future.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

John McCain---In the Middle

There was an article in Newsweek, the November 21 issue by John McCain about why we should not torture our prisoners. He did not say anything that new: It's wrong, information is unreliable, it will jeopardize our prisoners in future wars, etc. But what was very interesting about the article was his choice of words. The guy is being truthful about who he is while at the same time speaking to both camps, Redders and Bluesies.

He used the following terms a few times in the article:


Best example:

The enemies we fight today hold our liberal values in comtempt, as they hold in comtempt the international conventions that enshrine them. I know that. But we are better for our faith.

Also, there were pictures of him as a young soldeir, one in combat gear (a smaller picture) and one with him in a military hospital. In both photos, he looks virile while showing both sides of what war is all about.

In some way, I would be happy with a moderate Republican for our future...anyone would be better than our current lunatic. But mostly, I find this article interesting because of how well it was written while at the same time speaking to to both sides. Is it a bit calculated? Sure. What the hell isn't? You can't buy a Fig Newton these days without being manipulated in some way.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Left Holding The Bag


This bag has been sitting around our house for a few months. Was it from a trip to the beach? The Hollywood Bowl? Who owns this bag? And would you like it back?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Gorgeous Floors of the Queens Apartment

Though it was disconcerting to discover that one of the subcontractors who was working on our little New York apartment walked off with

Screw Drivers
Tape Measure
2 Rolls Blue Tape
Roll of Brown Paper
Putty Knife
Wall Scraper
Nose-Dust Guards
Steak Knives
2 Boxes Silverware
Wine Opener
Potato Peeler
and even
The Dish Soap.

It was nice to know that the floors came out so well and the contractor will deduct the cost of the stolen items from his bill.

Welcome back to New York...a city where they will snatch the bottle of Dawn.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Happy and Sad

There is a new play at the Ahmanson called THE DROWSY CHAPERONE. Go see it. It's the smartest musical I've ever seen. And it's extremely funny. Created by Second City about seven years ago as nothing more than an engagement party stunt, it was developed into a full length, hilarious play. This guy, Bob Martin, sits in a chair in his present day New York apartment and just has to share with the audience the love of an old 1920's musical. Next thing you know, the musical takes over his apartment. It's quite brilliant. And the cast is outrageously talented. And did I say it was smart? The tone is just right. It's heading off to Broadway. If you can, get down to the Ahmanson and see it. On any day it is playing, you can get $20 tickets at the box office. Really, it's so worth seeing. This is the second play downtown that has turned out to be a great surprise. Romance being the other one.

Now the sad: My Aunt Helen died today. She was my Godmother and I've always felt very close to her. I'm off to New Jersey in the morning (Monday) to spend some time with my relatives...doing the Catholic body, coffin, crying and eating thing. I am actually looking forward to it. My Aunt Helen was quite ill for a long time, so, it's best. I saw her about six weeks ago. And then last week, we talked on the phone and we said goodbye. She was all doped up on morphine and she said to me, in a very fun way, "Adios!" I will miss her. TO AUNT HELEN!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Dan's Birthday


Seems like Picasa now has its own Blog interface and one can just say "TA-TA HELLO."

So, it was sort of ME, sort of HELLO that was causing me trouble. Isn't it interesting that it almost always takes two to make problems?

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, Happy Birthday to Dan Kaufman. He is now 41, filled with greasy food from Yemen. The restaurant was called THE MAGIC CARPET, which is pretty funny.

The woman who worked there was lovely. The man was kind of like a goat beater.

In attendance: Leslie, Jeff, Ramona, Chantal, Sarah, Bart, Adam & Don

Try to guess from the picture the names of the faces!

And Dan: Enjoy being 41. It's so prime!

Posting Pictures


It's so get used to a freebie like HELLO, which works with PICASA to post pictures onto your blog, and you wake up one day and it just won't work.

Is it down?

Is your computer down?

Am I down?

The way one interprets technology that does not work probably says a lot about a person.

If you think it's all your fault, then you might be in the neurotic camp.

If you think it's the fault of HELLO, then you might be in the personality disorder camp.

Yesterday, I blamed HELLO.
Today, I blamed ME.

So I'm feeling pretty balanced psychologically.

But frankly, the problem remains and the mystery seems unsolvable at this point.

I look forward to a future posting with pictures and I also retain a wise detachment from the problem.

Everything I need to know will be revealed to me in time.

Have a gorgeous weekend.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

November 17, 1974

You wouldn't believe this but I got picked up by the cops for loitering at the corner with Sally, Lisa, and Wendy. I didn't get in trouble.

I was 12. The girls were 14.

Sally: My sister. Smoked Parliaments.

Lisa: A neighborhood friend. She was really tall and had blond hair and looked kind of like Susan Dey and Carly Simon...though she was the long jean coat type. Smoked L&M's.

Wendy: Our upstairs neighbor in our two-family house. She was my friend before she was my sister's friend. Smoked Marlboros.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

November 15, 1974

I went to the school dance tonight. It was a deffinate pisser. I had so much fun. We banged into walls ran around the school. Beat up everyone and you name it we did it. I hope the next dance is even better.

In the Seventh Grade, I was a bit of a ruffian. I smoked cigarettes, smoked pot, drank and hung out with a rough girl named Jackie (my first girlfriend) who later became a lesbian. We would make out and then go around the school and terrorize people. We were even nastier at the ice skating rink, Sportorama, where we would body slam other skaters into the walls. One time Jackie turned on me and slammed me down hard and I hit my head on the ice. I pretended I was knocked out. For a while.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Compelling Mollusk and Mammal

Noah Baumbach's film, The Squid and the Whale, is one of those movies that will never be shown at the mall. Is it because very little happens or is it because so much happens in a very little way?

I actually didn’t love the movie while I was watching it. I saw certain character tricks the filmmaker used to show which alliances the children were making. And since this is basically a memoir movie, I accept that most likely, this is how things went down. Each son takes on the personality traits of whichever parent they are allied to...interesting.
But this sort of threw me while watching the movie. I imagine during a divorce, kids go through a bigger muddle than something as neat as taking sides and imitative postures. Of course, I could be completely wrong.

The literary tone could have been, I thought, even more literary. References are made to only the most famous writers...Dickens, Fitzgerald, etc.

But after the movie was over, it stuck with me for a couple days. I mean, the journey is so small yet the depiction is so rich. And you don’t get to see that very often in films these days. The acting is perfect across the board. Every actor is pretty much perfectly pitched and believable. It is rare to see this. And for this very reason alone, it is a film worth finding. Get thee to The Squid and the Whale at an art plex near you.

Official Squid and Whale Site

Friday, November 11, 2005

I Missed France

Because I was in New York for a little over week and not reading newspapers, spending my days with a mop, Spic-N-Span and a trowel, I missed the entire France nightmare.

And I have to say, I am glad I did. I’ve been to the Northeastern section of Paris many times and it was always scary. But I also held that it was kind of fun and it seemed like a place where you could rent a pretty cheap apartment. And in my fantasies, I always thought, “Well, if I wanted to live in Paris, I should live North of Place de La Republique. It’s affordable. Sure, it’s a bit moche, but how exciting.”

Now, the Northeastern suburbs of Paris, that’s another story. I’ve only been through there a few times on the R.E.R. (the commuter train that goes to the airport) and I have to say, it is hell out there. The buildings are as awful as any urban American projects and the graffiti is layers thick on absolutely everything. That part of the world looks like a place where no one should ever have to live. Also, I imagine the government just gave up trying to clean the graffiti because there is just so much of it. The streets in those banlieue are just awful.

Which brings me to the problem with poverty. I just don’t understand why we still have poverty. Anywhere. Whether it’s in California, France or sub-Saharan Africa, it just seems so silly at this point. Furthermore, though many of the citizens in those nasty projects in Northeastern Suburban Paris are on the dole, why not make the dole bigger? Why not help these people set up businesses? Why do the corporations get absolutely everything which leaves people who could possibly have small businesses unable to compete?
And, though I am no social-political-economist pundit, it just seems to me that someone in France, with their socialist views, should be able to solve this problem.

I am glad I didn’t see any of the carnage. I need to retain some sort of fantasy that there is at least one powerful, yet civilized country on this earth. So for now, I keep my reverie alive about France. I am so glad I missed the pictures. I hope someone can figure out a way to hyphenate Christianity and Islam into one big religion...tone it all down...and get on with it.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Your Taste

The blog is back.

I have missed blogging, but there was a great need to be in a very filthy apartment...the New York apartment that out the remains of pigeons...including a nest by the heater.

I didn’t want to have my laptop in that environment, but now it’s a sparkling clean place, soon to be painted, and the blog should continue sans interruption in the future.

The excitement of getting a second place to live, and that second place being New York City, is enough to make any mid-life crisis abate.

The closing went smoothly. It was hilarious. All these lawyers out in the FBI building in Queens (Kew Gardens). There we all were, signing wads of paper. I have no idea where any of it went. Though I did receive my proprietary lease. The building we were in gets more bomb scares than any other place in Queens.

I saw Rufus Wainwright at the Beacon with my sister and brother-in-law. He was amazing. A little croaky. The sound system was not good.

But mostly, it was all just cleaning and cleaning and spackling and moving things around.

Adam came for the weekend and he was just as excited as I was. We ate at an amazing Peruvian restaurant on 37th Avenue around 86th street.

All the electrical outlets have been changed. The gas is turned on. Megan made us little drapes from an old sheet. A pot of flowers sat on the windowsill.

On the last day I was in New York, I took the F train to 23rd and 6th Avenue. Did you know there is a Home Depot right there? Odd, yet so comforting and useful. I stole the rubber bottom to a leg from one of the step stools because the one we bought at the Home Depot in Queens was missing one. And you know how much easier it is to steal the little rubber thing than it is to lug the whole ladder back. Call me a pig, but do it in the name of domestic peace.

After Home Depot and poking around ABC Carpet and the Murphy Bed Center, I had a tuna wrap at Your Taste on 23rd and 6th. It’s just a ramped up Starbucks. At the counter facing out the window, a lovely older woman sat next to me and we were both mesmerized by the humanity streaming by. She was eating chicken salad on pumpernickel.

We got to talking. She’s an empty nester. And she’s a builder. And she lives in Fairfield, CT. Her husband works on Wall Street. And she just has to come into the city a couple times each week just to see the people. We talked about what we do. She was very excited that I was a writer. “It’s all about being creative and putting it out there. Good for you!” But I was even more excited when she told me that she built eco homes. At first, I thought this woman might be conservative since she was a builder and her husband works on Wall Street (Aren’t these wild times, always looking to see what camp someone is in?)--- and ultimately, I am not sure where she is politically, even with her eco homes. But her sloppy makeup and her open demeanor suggested just left of center.

As we were leaving and we shook arms (you know, when you get so happy that a hand shake isn’t enough and you have to grab the arm of the person and they do the same thing back in an arm to arm delight-hold?)—and she said about her eco homes, “Everyone builds these big homes in Utah and they can’t heat them. Well, we are building them but we are covering every single home with solar panels. This is what we do. Fuck the Arabs. We’ll do it without them.”

She told me her name, but I forget it now.

Monday, October 31, 2005

The Majestics

This is the last posting for a week as I am off to Queens and off the grid.
Looking forward to finally closing this apartment. It all began in June.

Megan, my oldest friend who lives down the street in a lovely apartment in Jackson Heights, has this to say about the history of where she lives:

About 9 years ago new people moved into my apartment and my neighbor loved them because they were just so quite. For two years they were incredibly quiet until one day he heard banging and commotion in the hall and he thought someone was trying to break into their apartment. So he GRABBED HIS SWORD and went out into the hall. The cops were there in full force, machine guns, the whole thing. Turns out my apartment was a bookies' den. They were for two years running numbers out of it. The cops were busting the operation that very moment. They shusshed my neighbor and waved him back into his apartment. They never mentioned the fact that he was carrying a SWORD.

Someone at Megan's work asked her, "What do you call people who live in Queens? Queensians? Queenies? Etc..." Her response, "Majestics."

Sunday, October 30, 2005

In Memoriam

Loki, the twelve year old, gray wonder cat, has passed away.

He went before his time. He is survived by Nin and Coconut and a new orange cat, and the bereaved keepers, Leslie and Dan.

Loki and Nin cuddled and licked each other for years.

Loki was deeply loved.

He was a great cat.

To Loki.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Guess Which One is Me?

You Ever Have One of those Days?

When you fall in love with your psychiatrist?

In his words: "Most psychological problems come from insecurity and greed."

I guess, put more crassly, it's all about love and money.

We must all work on our relationships with love and money.

Trusting it. Trusting it. Trusting it.


Good days to all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


My poor parents.

This hurricane went right over their house--Yanked off roof tiles and ruined a screen and broke a window.

But the good news is, the hurricane shutters were up...and safely inside, they weren't even terrified.

I have nothing against trailers, but I'm glad they don't live in one.

Last year they had much worse damage from one of those windy hell beasts and they had to replace the entire enclosure of the Florida room.

So, they fared pretty well this time around.

But what about these hellicanes?

Oh genius energy czar, come forth!

Friday, October 21, 2005

12 Years

October 20, 2005...

My State-of-California-Recognized-Domestic-Partner and I, Adam, have been together for twelve years.

And we're both still really into it.

My sweet baboo sent me a monster bouquet of flowers of them schmancy arrangements from a great local shop.
Red Roses, White and Yellow Calla lilies, Red Amaryllis, Purple Dahlias and some other things...

And like a big girl, I cried.

We ate at Table 8---some star of ER was sitting next to us. Anthony Edwards? Yeah.

The place was loud and the food was okay. But it was pretty.

Adam hated it.

I was happy to see people all dressed up in a nice place.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Slow Walk

When you walk very slowly, you get to see things. I did this tonight.

It's better than doing drugs or watching television. Just making yourself walk real slow is like a meditation.

Forcing yourself to slow down is fascinating. It reminds you of how hard you've been pushing.

It also reminds you of how lovely everything is...but you just haven't seen it in a while.

In my particular neighborhood, there are many old buildings with interesting wrought iron work and unique stained glass windows and doors. Real people from about eighty years ago made these things. I think they are so nice.

October 19, 1974

I got a dog today named Kojak. I went to the football game. I hate my brother's fucking guts. He is a real live faggot.

Monday, October 17, 2005

October 17, 2005

Let it be known.

I finished writing my book today.

It weighs in at 311 pages.

It's called OPEN TRENCH.

Here is the table of contents:

The Road So Traveled

Little Miss America
When No One Called, I Had to Answer
The Rashomon of Cousin Mickey
Oops, I Went Crazy
There’s No Free Lunch, Unless You’re Freddy Fishkin
Which Way to the Free Market?
Vanity’s Exhaustion

Short and Tall Tales from Dreamland

Miss Teen U.S.A.
The Beta Male
The Literary Whore, a Commercial Construct
Hollywood is a Great Place for Drugs
Oh Hair
Cult Classic
Over Acting or Run to the Light Carol Anne
Let Me Eat Butter

Loving and Dying in Los Angeles

Love Makes the World Get Round or My Life en Croute
Viagra: The Seven Suggestions
June and Fourth
I Came, I Saw, I Cankered
I Hate You
They Breed Horses, Don’t They?
Open Trench
Darwin Sails Away
Are You Willing to Die for Your Country?

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Okay, so we ate some pot roast and went to see Capote.

I have to admit...I was never a big In Cold Blood fan.
I know. I know. There’s something wrong with me. I can only say that Philip Seymour Hoffman was outrageous and you can bet on him for best actor Oscar. No question.

But the whole story of this movie....the whole morality tale that Capote used these guys and in the end it sort of killed him. Sure. Okay. Bad egomaniac goes down. And the whole historical incident to begin with, I mean, yeah, yeah, yeah, that was the loss of innocence for America.
And yeah, yeah, yeah, it was some sort of turning point. But for some reason, I just, I just, I just don’t buy it.

I just don’t.

I think America was jaded before that big murder. Because Capote was older than the killers.

I don’t know what’s with me. I never thought much of Elvis. I never cared for James Dean. And I never thought much of In Cold Blood. And so the movie left me a bit bored.

But Philip Seymour Hoffman. Genius.

Friday, October 14, 2005

A Night With Joan

The genius, Mary McBride, had the great idea to go see Play it as it Lays at the New Beverly Cinema . (Which is anything but new)

So after a fine dining experience at The Pig (which is expanding) on La Brea, where we three, Adam, Mary and I, ate much Brisket, we took a walk and saw this film

Tuesday Weld, though not exactly smart enough for the role, was certainly beautiful and completely got the whole mood of the character. Tammy Grimes was brilliantly jaded.

And frigging Anthony Perkins. He gets to kill himself while Tuesday strokes his hair!

Better than the movie, of course, is the book. One of the best books ever. But this movie, man, made in 1972, with completely smoggy, decadent Los Angeles, art directed to perfection is truly amazing.

If you’ve never read Play it as it’s pretty much the story of an aging starlet who sees the emptiness of her life and of those around her. But in Joan Didion’s hands, it is, of course, way more than that.

Read the book. It’s really short and one of the best things I’ve ever read. See the movie. It’s fabulous.

Next Thursday evening: The Battle of Algiers

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


This is my review for Romance at the Mark Taper Forum:

Go see it.


Guys, if you hate going to the theatre but you consent to attend at least once each year, this is the one to see. Mamet wrote a hilarious farce. He truly caught the spirit of Dario Fo. There are so many funny moments, situations, surprises, lines, jokes, etc. It’s really smart. And the guy who plays the judge, honestly, gives the funniest live performance I have ever seen. No kidding.

Go see it. It runs through the end of November.

Did I say go see it?

Go see it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Congratulations Megan!

Megan moved into her new place today in Queens. It's very exciting.
Adam happily points out the new digs.

Happy Megan.

There is Only One Thing Left to Do

Duck and Cover!

No use in getting mad any longer. No use in taking a righteous liberal stance.
Just find a safe place to live until this is all over. The beauty of our system is there are no kings. And this buffoon will disappear. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to your friends. Be kind to strangers. Help blind men and three legged dogs. Take an optimistic stance within your immediate surroundings. Good Luck.

Days Left In Office

Friday, October 07, 2005

Book Update: OPEN TRENCH


My book is minutes away from completion. I have one essay left to edit and it's off to my State-of-California-Recognized Domestic Partner, Adam, for perusal and commentary.

I started this thing while staying for two nights at The New Camaldoli Hermitage up near Big Sur in Lucia in April of 2002. Since then, I've worked on it between other projects, eventually realizing that if I was ever going to finish it, I better make it top priority. That was about a year ago. And here I am.

I loved working on it, but frankly, I can't wait to send it off.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Fresh Out of Criticism

Today, I decided to pay attention to the input from my vision.

Most men are very vision oriented. I'm much more into sound.

So in an effort to just have a different take on things, I decided to stop listening and to stop thinking for a while so I could just look at stuff around me. It was very interesting. And quiet. I saw some cool things.

The maroon turban on the head of an Indian Cook on La Brea.

The strung, multi-colored Christmas lights above my head at the great neighborhood health restaurant.

The Easter Egg Blue paint of my bathroom, the line of the paint somewhat jagged at the white ceiling.

The silver and black dread lock hanging off my dog's ear.

The green and yellow colors of the icons of the software I used at my accounting job in Venice.

My State-of-California-Recognized-Domestic Partner, Adam's long blond hair.

The green of my sofa.

The best was the stark light at 7PM along Sycamore. The leaves of the trees are really dried out and yellowish-brown and the air has no moisture in it because of the Santa Anna thing going on. The light was not at all diffused, just sharp and brilliant.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Bush and his Picks

I got to thinking today.

Maybe George Bush really only played to the extreme Right all these years.

Or maybe he had to pick Moderates because his approval rating is so low.

But whatever he's up to, his plans to change the world have failed.

"Word on the street is, Bush is going down."

The George W. Drop Game

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Gut Doctor

Somehow, my blog posts are getting quite personal...

I will keep this brief, blog a bit differently in the future or maybe even take a little blog vacation:

1) I went to the Cedars-Sinai Tower today to see a gut genie, a very respected and very affable gastroenterologist. He listened to me for a very long while, took notes, and spent some time pressing all around my gut. We went back into his office and he looked deep into my eyes and told me, "You are very healthy. There is nothing wrong with you. I doubt you even have GERD. You just have sensitive body issues. Try these pills and call me in three weeks. But really, you are perfectly healthy."

When I started to talk about every single thing you can talk about in relation to gall bladder, GERD, and everything else, he would calmly look at me and just say, "You are perfectly healthy."

I went home and ate a huge meal, had a glass of wine and had absolutely no negative reactions to the food. That fucker hypnotized me into health. He's a genius. For most people, the gut is this reactive emotional place so this gut doctor must see stress case nuts like me every single day. And how does he do his healing? By convincing you that you are totally fine.

2) I spoke with my mother. She thinks I have become addicted to the computer and that I need to get out of the house. I think she might be right.

This Blog is Brought to You by Mylanta

Recently, while still in a weekly partying mode, it became very clear to me that I was suffering from some sort of nastiness. I ignored the smaller signs over the last two years. But a monster attack sent me to the doctor upon which it was revealed that I have Acid Reflux. No big deal, right?

Oddly, my mind, instead of handling this quietly and calmly, turned this into the worst thing that could have ever happened and I became quite anxious which eventually lead to actual panic attacks in the backyard, followed by howling and crying. Lucky for me, my State-of-California-Recognized-Domestic-Partner, Adam, was quite lovely about the whole thing and didn’t have me hauled off.

During one other period in my life I suffered from panic attacks. It was when I was nineteen and I was dealing with coming out of the closet. The change, stress and revelation were too much for my adolescent mind to handle. I grew terrified and it took me quite a few years of therapy to calm the hell down.

So, I got to wondering, at 43 years old, with a very solid understanding of who I am, why would I be panicking so much? And after many hours of restful meditation, the pieces started coming together...I am probably going to die at 86. So I am facing the downward slide into the grave, with no guarantee of anything. I recently visited my parents and though they look pretty much the same, they are more fragile. My favorite Great Aunt Helen is 81 and in the final stages. And then there was that whole Katrina thing. Plus, I am just about finished with my book and this is terrifying. We are in the middle of a real estate deal that has been dragging on for four months. And lastly, being diagnosed with something as stupid as Acid Reflux, I assigned to it the marker of, “Last stop for a good slice of cheese before you die.” It also didn’t help my anxiety that the strong pills they make for this affliction totally disagreed with every single organ system in my body not to mention my complete aversion to the idea of a lifetime of medication.

Not being shy, I told everyone about my plight who would listen and I would like to thank everyone who had the patience to endure my repetitive, hypochondriacal woes.

Dan and Leslie listened to me cry. Jeff took me for a walk. John, Adam’s brother-in-law, assured me there is great surgery if I want it. Megan told me I’d get totally better. Todd was completely supportive. My mother was actually very helpful, “You have always had an urgency about everything that you do. It’s your wiring. Try to slow down.” Mary and John held my hand. Claudia looked into my eyes with love. Margot told me hilarious stories about spitting up her own acid into the street. The whole thing was just one big festival of goodness. And though I risk a very corny blog entry, I am very thankful for such friends and family and so in some weird way I kind of have to say, “Thank you Acid Reflux for making me panic and then showing me how cool and supportive and funny people are.”

And lastly, I have to thank my very high wired friend Sarah in Minneapolis whom I always call with affairs of the panicked soul, who, as it turns out, also has wretched reflux and cannot handle the medication and has also been known to have a little panic of her own. And she said, “Listen to me. This is what you do. Get yourself some Mylanta. It’s the only one that works that doesn’t make you crazy. And get yourself some Atavan. You don’t always need to use them...but knowing they’re there in the closet is the only way you’re going to manage this shit.”

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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Entitled Always Shoot Themselves in the Foot

What always destroys the Republican Party is their sense of entitlement. Going on vacation for a month while your plans are all falling apart is so stupid, it's brilliant.

Even though rich, spoiled, lazy men would have you believe otherwise, physics still holds in all earthbound affairs. Nature will not support a lazy idiot who does nothing but ride his bicycle all day. All the plans of such an idiot will not succeed without energy expended with some kind of diligent intelligence (which is obviously a lot to ask, considering this mouth breather of a president). Even though the plans for Middle Eastern domination were ill conceived at inception, with energy and thought, they could have been adjusted for some type of success or at least some movement in the right direction. But entitled people always behave as if they've done quite enough and the lackeys should, by now, fall in and do their bidding. Because, obviously, this is what lackeys were born to do.

Justice is always served when the obtuseness of entitlement is in vogue--
The repercussions should last at least two-hundred more years.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I Just Have One Question About the Iraqi Constition

Why do they get articles 28-34?

Articles 28 to 34 define Iraq as a welfare state in the tradition of Western Europe. The constitution exempts the poor from taxes while guaranteeing universal healthcare and free education at all levels for all Iraqis. It guarantees the right of Iraqis to a clean environment and commits the state to preserving the biological diversity of wildlife.

And we get what? The right to bear arms?

And the fatter we get as a nation, should we really be running around like that?

Okay, so the Iraqi constitution won't fruish. However, I can't believe the Iraqis have a piece of paper that guarantees health, education and a clean environment and all we get are freed slaves and no unusual punishment.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Suicide Engenders the Funny

The daughter of Don Red Barry was at our house on Saturday attending a writer's group party. DRB was a character actor who worked all the time.
Don Red Barry IMDB

He committed suicide in 1980, and his really bright daughter, perhaps overcompensating for what must have been a wretched childhood, had this hilarious dark sense of humor.

She said:

"My husband wants to make and sell a new blow up doll...for sex...of Mary. You know, with the blue veil and everything."

She pointed her two index fingers toward her head.

"And the doll has a name at the top. The title is You Be the First One."

As a parting gift, we gave her our Jesus Action Figure.

Friday, August 26, 2005

When a Sad Mom Wants to See You, Ride Your Bike

When a sad mom wants to see you
Ride your bike.
If your oily plan deceives you
Ride your bike.

When No Iraqi constitution
Makes Civil War the sole solution
Thank greasy Jesus, Absolution,
Ride your bike.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Whatever happened to


Everyone still talks about where they were when the twin towers were destroyed. But does anyone ever talk about Anthrax? Never.

What is your memory of Anthrax?

Mine was quite funny and said a lot more about the Americans I was dealing with than the Anthrax that I knew was never destined for any mailbox I'd ever be near.

I was working for a very rich guy in Pacific Palisades. Guess how he dealt with the Anthrax scare? He had me open ALL his mail.

This was not long after he realized something earth shattering and with a wild-eyed fear said to me, "I guess it doesn't matter how much money you have. You can't guarantee you'll be safe from terrorists." He seemed truly dejected because he could not buy his way into absolute safety.

Having me open his possibly Anthraxed mail was quite insulting, but there was a certain event that was even more down putting that finally forced me to quit working for this entitled American person. It was his new fiancé. She made smoothies for everyone (herself, him and a kid) and at the bottom of the blender was a tiny bit left and she asked me, "Do you want the rest?" And I said, "Sure."
And there they stood...the three rich people with full glasses of smoothie and me with an inch. I decided that day I would quit. And I did.

Anthrax was the tip of the insulting iceberg. But I knew there was no real threat. But bitch, don't diss me with your smoothie.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

August 24, 1980

Today was excellent. I got up extremely late. I sat around, then me, Greg and George doobied in the woods. I fell asleep at George’s house. I came home, ate and visited B at Reinaur’s. I cam home, Holly came over. We went to her house. We went and ate at Ramapo Diner. We came to my house and me, Holly, Greg and Matt Poole went down to the picnic table and drank and had a fire. Welp-the cops came. We took off—but came back (Holly forgot her purse and Greg’s car was there). We had to get in the car. Welp—we were arrested. It was pretty funny. We have to go to court. (Disorderly Conduct). Holly was so cool. The cops were fucks. So, anyway. Matt had to stay ‘cause he’s only 15 and his mom has to pick him up. Me, Greg and Holly went to Reinaur’s and left. Holly had to go home. I love her. It was so great. Right now me and Greg are watching T.V. Today was unreal. It was funny. Goodnight.

I wonder why I thought this day was excellent. I mean, I was arrested for goodness’ sake.
Holly was one of my best friends in high school. She was a fantastic musician, blonde, funny and always a good time. She lived across the street from John Pousette-Dart, an almost-was big time musician from the ‘70’s. Now, she teaches voice and piano and speech pathology and has two cute little girls. She lives in the house where she grew up on Route 202 in Suffern, New York, leafy kind of deck house sort of area.

My brother, Greg, and I and George and Matt Poole lived in the Westward of Suffern. Our neighborhood was sandwiched between train tracks and The Ramapo River. It was the kind of place where you made forts in corrugated metal castoffs and for summer fun, you’d steal an old bus tire inner tube and float down the polluted Ramapo.
The picnic table was a green village issued break table for the workers at the city works which was a couple blocks from my house. There was a water treatment plant and a huge shed filled with trucks for street cleaning, salting the roads, etc. The picnic table was right behind this building under a we used to hang out there at night and smoke, have fires, eat pudding. Obviously, we were not supposed to have a fire. So, we were arrested. What I most remember was the cop saying, “You’re lucky we’re not booking you for arson.” And I remember looking at the cop and thinking, “Yeah, right, someone’s going to think that we were trying to burn down this huge metal shed with our tiny fire surrounded by rocks. Asshole.”

Reinaur’s was the truck stop where I was a short order cook during most of my college breaks. B, my girlfriend, worked there. I got her the job. She wore a brown polyester waitress uniform. The truckstop had a Native American motif. The gift shop sold Indian headdresses and silly little leather change purses among the maps and cowboy boots. On the placemats for the restaurant was also the menu (hamburger 65 cents) and there was a reference to “The Lenape Gift and Curio Shop.” I had half an idea how absurd this place was. I loved working there.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Being that Life is Finite

Pretending you are someone who you are not or not someone who you are is a sleight of vanity schooled by fear and a complete waste of time. Unless, of course, by doing this costly exercise you are enjoying yourself. But I've never met anyone like that.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Just One More Thing to Worry About

The Iodine Emails

Did you get your Iodine yet?





I don’t know if it is the paranoia, but I am going to get some tomorrow.



Buy me a bag if you’re in the iodine store. (for two---no wait, better, for one—okay okay for two) I’ll reimburse you...



How long after irradiation do you need to take them?

How does one keep the iodine pills from getting irradiated?



I have no idea about how long after....I think, pretty much, you have to start taking them right away...over every day you take them...because there will be radioactive iodine in the air every day after a big bomb.

The iodine pills will not get irradiated.

You know physics...the first waves of gammas, heat, etc., kill who they kill, but then the next damage comes from all the fallout from alpha radiation (Helium isotopes, right?)--- and other unstable large molecules that are bad bad bad for us...

Among them, iodine...but the bad iodine won’t replace the good iodine in the fact, the opposite is true, so that is why you take the good iodine.

Will gamma rays go through the pills? Sure...but if there is a whole lot of gamma around you, you’ll die no need to worry about the pills.

Hopefully, a big bomb would land at LAX, and we could possibly survive. If it lands in downtown LA...forget it. We’re dead.

I bet they drop the bomb right on Beverly which case, we’re dead, too.

So, get your iodine tablets, but be prepared to die.

(I think It’ll actually be a little safer in Jackson Heights)

If anything, our US government would be happy if LA was blown would give them an excuse to nuke the middle East out of existence, AND, they’d be rid of millions of pesky liberals.



I was wondering if they should be in the car and office, or just at home.

Alpha radiation is indeed helium nuclei, beta is electrons, and gamma is high-energry light. If they can irradiate the iodine in your thyroid, why can’t they irradiate the iodine in your pills?



The idea is that the thyroid is taking up iodine all the time, and if there are large radioactive iodine molecules in the air, they will take up residence in your thyroid and give you cancer. But, if the concentration of iodine in your blood stream is high (because you are taking the iodine pills) the thyroid will take up those iodine molecules because they are at a greater concentration and nature always goes for efficiency and so you take up the iodine that is not harmful into your thyroid, avoiding cancer. Thus, the whole reason for the iodine pills. So I’m told.





Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Blog Worth Reading

I would like to promote a new blogger who has a distinct voice and a very sharp grasp on our current political situation.

She is also a very talented emerging artist from one of our Mid-Atlantic states and happens to be the sister of my legally-sanctioned-by-the-state-of-California-domestic-partner (LSSCDP), Adam.

Her latest entry about Darryl, the soldier, is quite sad and profound. Her musings on happiness and the pointed list exposing the hypocrisy of the Republican party with regard to Clinton during wartime in Bosnia are great mind poppers.

So do check it out. And if you forget to save this blog URL in your favorite blogs list, you can always find it by clicking on it under LINKS down on the right side of Open Trench.


Courage is Found in Unlikely Places

Midweek Party with Chrissy

The very Republican Chrissy was here and as we were arguing about the war in Iraq it became clear to me that she had a point. We need to secure the area.

And my counterpoint was: Okay, lie about weapons of M.D. and say whatever you want to try to fool the idiots of this country, but if you are going to lie, get in there and do it right. Turn that Sunni Triangle into a Sunni Crater.

But then, you don't even know what we really want. Maybe we want the Sunnis to take over.

And Chrissy got into the flypaper theory of having our soldiers there draws all the jihadists to them where they can safely blow them away far from our shores. Etc. Etc. Yuck Yuck Oil.

And of course, Dan would have none of it. He saw right through Chrissy's flawed thinking-- No one on earth can even begin to imagine that this whole war effort is going to succeed. And when Dan brought this war up on charges, Chrissy kept staying on message, like right wingers do, saying how we had to be in that area.

I see her point. But from Dan's point, the original logic of the war is wrong and from my point, the execution of the war has failed. And Chrissy thinks this strategy right now is going to work.

But when I told Chrissy that this war was really just about a few rich families, including the Bushes and the Saudi Royals, who are all fighting over the last billions to be made in the oil business before it all ends, she became dumbstruck and it really hit her in her moneyplexus and she said, all high, "That's fascinating. I've never thought about it like that before. Oh yes. Yes. We have to go write this down right now, together, so we don't forget it."

I told her I would remember it and that I'd blog about it later on. And so here I fulfill the promise.

We also got to see Chrissy's tits, and, when Chrissy asked Jeff to get her some water, Jeff refused and so Chrissy decided that she could never live in California and Adam told her that it has nothing to do with the coasts, she's living in a very old century.

Then Chrissy passed out, from all the drugs, and we eventually had to carry her out to the car so she could sleep it off at Sarah's.