Friday, April 28, 2006

Four Bits

When I started blogging about sixteen months ago...I started a small envelope called “blog” and if I got an idea, I would scratch it down onto a piece of paper and put it in there. They’ve been forgotten. But here are four of them:

1) People always freak out when you use the incorrect gender pronoun for their pet. “He’s a he. A He.”

2) God is a patriarchal fantasy people put into the sky so they never have to grow up.

3) Addiction is a nice way of saying, “I won’t bother you if you won’t bother me.”

4) The absolute strongest exploit the fear of death for their material gain.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

What is The Meatrix?

The Meatrix

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Blog Under Siege: Summer Entry Riles a Corporate PR Guy?

Check out this old blog entry and the comments thread. Someone is coming after me. Who is it? Medco? A Gen X Born-Again crusader for the status-quo?

Please weigh in. Calling all sleuths!

Old Entry Gets Attacked

I Love Rats

This is my last day in New York City for a bit, and I decided to spend it alone, in full relationship to only my surroundings. Very interesting.

First of all, we have a maid in Los Angeles. We do not, naturally, in our part-time abode in Jackson Heights. This meant that I had to clean this little place since I am leaving tomorrow. What an experience. It took four hours. It was so much fun. Windowsills and the bathroom and the floors and the table tops. How fascinating. I think being a maid would be very satisfying. You clean it, you see the results, you get paid, you go home and you just have some fun.

After the frenzy, I went into town to peruse the writing books at the Drama Book Shop. It’s on 40th Street now. Hanging in a bookstore is my idea of heaven.

So there I was, it was 8PM and I was very hungry. So I sauntered down Eighth Avenue and had dinner at The Viceroy in Chelsea, a sort of bar/restaurant. I picked it because it was lively but not too much of a scene. My good friend, Sarah Schultz, called and we talked while I cradled the cell phone between my ear and my shoulder while cutting steak and drinking red wine. She is upset because her brother has another tumor in his head. He seems to get these things. They take them out. He lives. But still. Tumors in the head are kind of awful.

I was in that restaurant, and after I hung up (better for the wear, since conversations of any kind always enliven me), I realized that I was a bit nervous. Sort of alone in New York. No one likes to sit alone in a restaurant at night. Lunch is one thing. Dinner, something else. It struck a bit of the insecurity in me. Whatever. It was time to get on the F train and head back to Queens. I was walking East on 23rd Street, headed for the F train, when I came upon the Chelsea Hotel. I had seen an ad in a gay magazine that announced their “massage night” in the bar called Serena in the basement. It’s all about gay guys and professional massage therapists and other kinds of healers hawking their trade and booze. And as I approached, some guy handed me a flyer for the event. I thought, “Sounds good. I love massage. And I’m definitely gay. Plus, I could use a little healing.”

I went down the basement steps. There is a thrill one gets when walking down basement steps in New York City. They seem to bring out the possibilities of life. After I pounded down another glass of wine and talked to some tenor from Brooklyn who was doing his best to flirt, etc., he introduced me to Simon, the Core Energy Healing certified Vortex Healer. The Brooklyn tenor said, “Simon is amazing. You have to try him sometime.” With an eye toward healing and a desire to get away from the tenor, I said, “Why don’t I try him right now?”

What an amazing experience. It was sort of like acupuncture. There was this weird experience where I felt all sorts of energy flow going through my body. And my heart opened up. And my joy returned to me. I had told Simon at the beginning that I wanted to work on my “Ability to attract the right kind of people to my writing so my work will find a place in the world.” After the session, Simon said that my heart chakra was blocked and he opened it. I think this is true. He also said that my career blocks were odd. Most people have a big block. Mine was more like lots of little shards that scattered me. Okay. And lastly, Simon said, “You have to stop apologizing for your writing.”


When in New York, see what Simon has to say. His work is amazing. He sucks the bad energy right out of you through your head and blows it away.

I had to just sit and revel in my newfound centeredness. I had another glass of wine while all sorts of men in their underwear were getting rub-downs. It was surreal, yet oddly perfect. It started getting late and Chris from Ecuador was starting to get a wee-bit too friendly. I put on my black-track-jack and I went down to the subway platform all vortex-healed and I saw the loveliest little rat. (S)He was busy just poking along the track, sniffing, checking out what was what. This delightful rat had the look in its eye like any sweet mammal, similar to my pooch, Louise, and I have to say, I just loved the little filthy beast. I think my heart chakra is way open. I am so happy.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Jersey Boys

Okay, you can stop right here if you are at all adverse to cheesy goodness. Go do something else. But I have to sing it out.

I saw JERSEY BOYS. Friday night. Got the last seat in the house.

Friends, it was something else.

First of all, THE FOUR SEASONS were around when I was born. Gulp. My Uncle Gene had their records and played them all the time. (Note: My mother thinks Uncle Gene is gay. Even though he was a janitor and he was married to Aunt Lois and had four daughters and an illegitimate granddaughter and illegitimate great granddaughter and his lesbian daughter became a prison guard. No matter, he introduced me to WALK LIKE A MAN in Peekskill, NY in the early 1960’s.)

So, seeing this show was a bit like experiencing a time machine. Could that be what the producers wanted? No way. Was that why there was so much gray hair in the audience?


All marketing ploys aside (and this thing is ploying), the damn thing works. Industrial stage set. Things move all around. Vignettes are quick cut. The VH1 type story of a rise to fortune, to losing fortune (but not so bad, this is a musical) and then rising to a level of survivorship, well, we’ve all heard/seen these stories before. But the execution in this case is quite wonderful. At times, they only deliver little pieces of songs and then move on. My favorite, of course, is the cheesiest song of them all, that seventies hit, WHO LOVES YOU. “Who loves you pretty baby, who’s gonna help you through the night. Who loves you pretty mamma, who’s always there to make it right. Who loves you. Who’s gonna love you love you love you...”

To wrap this up, what I have to say in my Broadway way is John Lloyd Young as the midget crooner, Frankie Valli, is unreal. Truly. The guy can really sing like a Bee-Gee on helium. It is ear blowing and quite joy making. He acts so well, too. Honestly, worth seeing the show to hear this guy.

Or you could just buy the old records. But I think this show is better than the records. And I think Uncle Gene is gay, too, but only because he came onto me a few years ago. Not really, but sort of.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Call Me a Racist if You Must

After a lovely dinner with my old friends John and Cathy (who introduced me to my Recognized-by-the-State-of-California-Domestic-Partner, Adam) in the West Village at Sazerac House (I had Schnitzel)---I decided to take a walk down Christopher Street, the former center of Gay Manhattan (Before Chelsea was anything more than a weird area to get film developed)---

Christopher Street is Black. Yes. I mean, I don't care. But it struck me in an odd way. Like what many white people must have felt in the 1970's when they went back to their former urban neighborhoods they abandoned for the suburbs. Though, there is nothing of the sense of decay going on Christopher Street.

For me, the interesting thing sociologically is---if something gets abandoned and it's kind of cool, the Black crowd will certainly gladly take over. This is a good thing.

The black gay crowd dresses up just like most black youth. To me, that was what was so bizarre on Christopher Street. It used to be all tight jeans and tiny T-shirts. Occasional boots and leather guys. Some drag queens. Now, it's all Tupie. Why didn't anyone tell me? Is everyone too PC to say, "Christopher Street is Black."
Or are people saying this inadvertently when they say, "Let's go to Chelsea"?

Why Life is So Good

First of all, I was ready to wheel my new HP Laser Printer 1020 back to Staples because I couldn't get it to work. But I called customer support (A.K.A. India) and after walking me through about 62 steps, the thing actually works! And it's so cute and small and zippy.

Secondly, I saw tonight a very good thing. Though the E Train to Queens starts running local after midnight, the F train is always express. I was on the Lower East Side with fun-ass Linda from LA, and we drank like fish in the happening coin of Manhattan at the Rivington Hotel, after which I jumped on the F and was back home within minutes. Wild. What about that Lower East Side? I mean, really?

It all gets better and better.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sweeney Todd

I attended the tale tonight.

At first, it all seemed so cool and promising. The actors are the singers and the instrumentalists for the entire play, served up all Brechtian and stagey in this declamatory (yet annoyingly academic) way. Soon enough, you realize that Patti Lupone playing a tuba, while basically hilarious, is something best left for a skit on Saturday Night Live.

The whole thing seemed like the misbegotten wayward child of some mad creative director. Though it was interesting, I think it would have worked best in someone's living room, as a little jokey show for a macabre birthday party.

When will people let Brecht die? Is there anyone who wants to try something new? Or will it be all ripped stockings and bowler hats forever?

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Reflective Life

Who would think that a life in Los Angeles would be more reflective than a life in New York?

Okay, to compare them in this gross manor is silly. The real difference is not so much the cities as the amount of time spent in each one. Since I primarily live in Los Angeles, I am apt to have more time there, to think. Since New York seems new and fun every time I visit, I basically remain very active and don’t think much beyond my next easy meal, bit of entertainment, walking route.

Interestingly, this pattern in my life will not change any time soon, so Los Angeles will most likely arise as my “Thinking man’s city,” and New York will arise as “The light and fun place.”

Of course, I might be absolutely off.

Aside: I ran into an old Theatre School chum in Times Square today. He has become a dresser for shows (so Thelma Ritter). He took me on a basement tour of The Imperial Theatre. We eventually walked onto the stage of the theatre, with only the ghost light on. (That little light bulb on a pole that stands at the edge of the theatre when it's dark.) It really felt like 1898 New York. Of course, I did see Luci Arnaz starring in THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG on the very stage back in my youthful disco days. “I Can’t Wait ‘Till We Get to Quogue.”---What a lyric.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter in New Jersey

These Christ holidays so often involve eating a ham. Yet no matter how many pigs we slaughter and devour in the name of Jesus, nothing has brought back the Savior or anything else that is Christ-like. But we keep eating.

Poor piggies. Their biggest sin is that they're so damn tasty.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Paramus, A Flat Tire and Aunt Rose

The latter half of the day consisted of the absolute mundane. Going to Ikea in Paramus to buy a storage system for the dressing area of our apartment, which included fixing a flat tire (I love fixing flats. I’ve done it so many times. It seems like such a good thing to know how to do. And when you do it, a very big problem gets solved.)

But the first half of the day was quite something. My Great Aunt Rose is 88 years old. She lives in a senior citizen housing tower right off exit 117 on the New Jersey Turnpike. Hazlet. Not quite the shore. But certainly not Newark. She’s a saucy broad, sitting there in her house dress. She had an incredible life, in a way. She never married, but had a love affair with Frank, for ten years starting around 1947. Apparently, Frank’s wife was an awful bitch and Rose met Frank at a political meeting and they hooked up for ten years. He was minor Mafioso and would get her anything she wanted. He was twenty years older than she. And, of course, he never left his wife, died, and Aunt Rose stayed living with her own mother until her mother died, upon which she moved into a series of senior citizen homes, usually arranged by either my grandmother, Netty, or my Great Aunt Helen (Who just died and left me the most awesome lamp from the 1950’s. She was my Godmother and I loved her so.)

Aunt Rose is sharp. So sharp. And lonely. So lonely. She told us so many stories today. Why don’t people listen to old people more often? They are truly fascinating. She also has very similar quirks (twiddling the straps of her purse) and look in her eyes (sad kindness mixed with very intelligent acceptance of life’s terrors) as my grandmother, Antoinette DeFranza. It was a heart breaking experience. But I figure, I’ll just keep calling her when I can. Visit when I can. The truth is, when you get old, you can end up very much alone. Luckily, she has Letterman.

Thanks, Megan, for lending us your car.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Was it REALLY Worth it?

A complete day of tourism was at hand today. We went to Ellis Island. Worth the trip, especially if you have relatives who came through. You can look them up in their screening system, find out what the boat looked like and the time of arrival of your traveling ancestors. Pretty amazing. I’ve been there before, and Adam, my Recognized-by-the-State-of-California-Domestic-Partner, is an old WASP with lineage from way back when, so it didn’t hit him as deeply as it hits me, however, he did think it was very cool.

And, after drinking with the after-work-Wall-Street-crowd in a bar in Tribeca on Laight Street, we ended up at


Highly recommend it. The Po River Valley is in Northern Italy. The restaurant is in Greenwich Village. Extremely lively and delicious. Followed by cannoli and such at Caffe Dante.

But what sticks with me, more than anything, was the sight when we got off the E Train downtown to go to the ferry for Ellis Island. The E Train ends at the PATH Station to New Jersey under the former World Trade Center. One of the things that has been completed at Ground Zero is this Station. However, since there are no buildings, the station is not underground, but actually floats in the middle of the construction site. The cement floor is completely new. The roof is made of metal. And the entire cement platform is surrounded by a cage of fence, so there is no way you could run into the pit to try to find a cell of your former dead lover/hero.

But what I thought, while standing there on that odd, caged platform in the middle of what was once The World Trade Center over a well groomed pile of dirt is, “Okay, this is sad and all, but we could have gotten over it without all this fucking war.”

I said to Adam, “You know, Predatory Capitalism is a form of terrorism, right? Doesn’t it make sense that someone would get back at us?”

And Adam, so astutely said, “And it’s so interesting, because it wasn’t governments against governments. It was some corporations and some people.”

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Spring Tuesday

It comes to one’s attention, quickly here by the Atlantic Ocean, that the only thing worth reading and the only thing worth writing is the truth. Almost as if you were about to die and if you didn’t tell the truth, then your life would not have been worth living.

There is something about living/visiting a dense community that fosters the truth. No one has the time for bullshit. This is the beauty of New York. Whereas, in LA, people are so afraid of being off-putting, in New York, it is expected that you are forthright. If you are not, you are not considered. At all. Of course, I grew up in the suburbs of this mentality, so I feel quite at home within it...but I must say, this old hat way of living is such a breath of fresh air. It’s not that the people at the bar are that interesting. Their concerns are the same as the concerns of most people in the United Sates: How can I get rich quick, and maybe even famous, and then do whatever I want, until I die?

Our country is sad.

But at least people talk.

This city is a loosener. My favorite image of today was that of Adam, my recognized-by-the-state-of-California-domestic-partner. It was time to clean the windows. So, while I input receipt amounts into Quickbooks-Pro, Adam Windexed. There are four big windows in the main room and one small one in the kitchen. Adam did all this in only his gray Gap underwear. I don’t know why. For some reason, Adam is prudish about his body in Los when he is in our back yard which is completely enclosed, he won’t run around naked, even though I encourage him to join me. But in New York City, he will stand on the window sills in nothing but his tighty-grayies. We are only four floors up.

Fact: There are but two gay bars left on the Upper West Side. We went to one called The Candle Bar. It was super skanky years ago. But now, since the only good bar in the neighborhood is gone, and the one that was super skanky is still super skanky, this one has come up in rank. Interesting.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Inside Man

New York City is so lovely in spring. (I wish we capitalized the s of Spring, like the Germans. In fact, I really want to capitalize all nouns, like those big Germans.)

Our wonderful Martha Donaldson (Megan’s girlfriend and oddly enough by pure coincidence, a former denizen of our hometown, Suffern) got us tickets to see the show TITLE OF SHOW--- a very funny musical about two guys and two girls writing a musical. It was smart. It was pared down. It truly was inspired.

And after going to the park (and I tried so hard to post a picture of a blooming Central Park, but I had such technical problems)---we went to see INSIDE MAN.
Come was so interesting. Well acted. Well directed. Shot so interestingly.

But without wrecking anything, I do have one question...After the shit went down, why didn’t Christopher Plummer check the box?

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Off to our Nest in Lovely Jackson Heights, Queens


Christmas, 1988. I was living with my boyfriend, Gary, for three years. It was one of those young, tempestuous relationships that could only end poorly.

We were not meant for each other, but I was so romantically attached and did not want this thing to end. He was sweet and cute. I was ballsy and ready. There we were on 99th Street and Lexington Avenue on the edge of Spanish Harlem, just one exposed train track line demarcation away from Carnegie Hill.

During this period, I was writing a lot of songs. I had been doing acting jobs that often included playing the guitar. And, I loved suspended chords (and Joni Mitchell, of course).
So I wrote a song to assuage the pain of the breakup. I’ve played it for years, for fun. I played it in a hotel in Martha’s Vineyard. I play it when someone asks me, “Play one of the songs that you wrote.” It’s called TRY. It’s kind of great and kind of hysterical.

*** ***
Today, it was raining all day long here in Los Angeles. My current boyfriend of twelve years, Adam, is not going anywhere. I mean, we’re just too old and happy to leave each other. We are getting ready to go to New York for two weeks. I had mountains of things to do. Bills to pay. Things to put in order. Pack. You name it.

But my MBox was sitting on my desk. And I thought, “Wouldn’t it be so much more fun to play with recording than to do administrative bullshit?” For those who don’t know, an MBox is something you buy at a music store. It’s basically a digital at-home studio with a USB connection. It comes with software that turns your tired PC (or Mac) into a day of fun, fun, fun.

So, I spent the whole day doing this. It’s rough. I didn’t know how to fade out at the end, though I tried to figure it out. I particularly liked laying down the vocal backups. There are three of them, doubled up and put through the reverb processesor.

I don’t feel the pain any longer of the 1988 breakup. But I still like this song.

If you’re in the mood, go to

And down in the tracks, you’ll see a few songs. TRY is one of them. Click on listen. I recommend earphones, especially if you are at work.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Acid Reflux Redux

Back and forth, on and on, I have dealt with stomach things most of my life. In fact, it was an attack of GERD (acid reflux) that sort of sent me over the edge this past autumn. Having to face my mortality, my body not working perfectly, middle age, etc.

Being Scientific of mind, I realized the only thing to do was trial and error experimentation. I read many books about GERD. I couldn't take the corporate medicines out there. The Nexiums, the Prilosecs, the Zantacs, etc.-- they made me hyper and nervous (apparently, these are the side effects most teenagers experience taking these drugs. I guess there is something in my metabolism/body chemistry that is still teen-like.)

And I tried the aloe vera juice (Does help to keep things moving, so that's good. Acid be gone.) And I did eat the sweet pickles (Very helpful. Always keep sweet pickles around. For some reason, they neutralize anything.) And red delicious apples are very helpful, too. But what works best of all, always and forever? Chewing gum. It increases saliva production. Saliva is quite basic. And it neutralizes acid. And, chewing gets the gut moving so stuff moves south, away from your esophagus and out toward its manifest destiny. But mostly, it’s just your own saliva that saves you. Isn’t that nature’s perfect little creation?

I offer this as a public service announcement to anyone who suffers with this problem. One does not have to be on drugs. Just chewing gum. I like Fruit Xylichew. Available at any health food store. It is sugarless and tasty and comes in cute boxes.

You know, you have to make the effort to keep the esophagus healthy and un-irritated. First sign of the burn, just chew the gum. Keep at it. Then, after a few days of this, you're healed and you don't need the gum. Weeks go by and you find yourself on a cruise, eating and drinking like an American pig and the burn comes back...get back on the gum. And swallow that basic saliva!

Okay, my New Year's Resolution for 2006 was to not talk about medical stuff. However, I felt that I had to share this with the world. It's practical and it eases suffering. Chew when you must. Continue chewing after meals for a few days. You’ll be healed and you can go about your business.

Narcissism or Music?

This weekend, I ran into some friends in a coffee shop. We talked for two hours. The subject of the internet came up. And narcissism. And hedonism.

And since I am often twisted with guilt, I immediately took it upon myself to consider how narcissistic I am. (Though, I quickly accepted my level of hedonism as acceptable.)
And I figured, on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest, I am probably a pretty solid 7.2

And then I thought, what the hell does narcissism really mean? Is it all about getting involved with your own reflection in some sort of drugged out way?
Does it also encompass the imaginings of oneself as something more than what one is?

I mean, is it not healthy to regard one’s expressions, posted into the world as something of value?

And, since we have all these websites to upload our musings and human expressions, well, why wouldn't we do such a thing? Aren't we just like those little Who's on the dust speck that Horton carries around on the clover flower, screaming, "WE ARE HERE, WE ARE HERE, WE ARE HERE!" ?

Seems to me, we are so lonely. And reaching across, in any way, is better than drinking oneself to death.

So, I banged on the piano. MOVE in C.

Play it here: