Friday, August 31, 2007

Guydaho Meet Guyowa

So many people mix up the I states. Eventually, one understands that the one that matters most is Illinois. Indiana is often forgotten. Then, there’s the endless confusion of the geographical locations of Idaho and Iowa. So many people switch them, or just lump them together as “Somewhere out there”. But today, they have a little something in common: Guys on Guys. For real.

Larry Craig. What is most annoying is how up in arms people are about some old guy wanting a beej in a bathroom. It was a sting operation. Someone wanted to hurt the guy for being gayish. Nasty world. There are men all over creation (or at least in the Macy’s bathroom in Herald Square) who hook up in bathrooms and either get their business taken care of right there, or head off to some other bathroom where there are fewer onlookers. One of the perks of being gay is quick and easy hookups. Jealous cops.

Robert Hanson. Heartening, and just in on Yahoo:
A county judge struck down Iowa's decade-old gay marriage ban as unconstitutional Thursday and ordered local officials to process marriage licenses for six gay couples. Gay couples from anywhere in Iowa could apply for a marriage license from Polk County under Judge Robert Hanson's ruling.

Way to go Iowa. Of course, appeals will happen. Idaho could learn a little something from Iowa. Nevertheless, guess what, I states? You are loaded with homosexuals. Time to relax about it, enjoy it even, get married, or go fuck in a toilet for goodness' sake.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Free Pants: From Brad Pitt's Ass to Mine

When I first saw the torso of Brad Pitt in Thelma & Louise, I understood immediately how I could never measure up and become a movie star. Of course, there was also his hair. And then there was the face.

Part of my joy of living in Hollywood is I get to do production accounting. Oh sure, it’s glamorous. Vendors to pay. Quick Books Pro. Reconciliations. Filing. I have learned to trick the system into giving me very specific reports. Exporting to Excel gives me the tingle. I have done this for years. Luckily, it has devolved into weekly Wednesdays, only. For international companies.

I continue with my tale.

Every other Wednesday I work for a company that produces commercials for the Latin market. The Wednesdays in between, I work for a company that produces commercials for the Japanese market. You know how stars won’t be in American commercials, but they’ll appear in Japanese ones (Bill Murray in Lost in Translation). We have worked with Madonna, Guy Ritchie and Brad Pitt for years. It’s bizarre. I’ve never met any of them, but I cut checks to “their people.” I have never signed a confidentiality agreement, so I can tell you this: Brad Pitt gets a SAG contribution toward his Pension Plan (oh, about 10% of his full fee) for two days of work that is enough money to buy a brand new house, cash, in the Midwest.

The commercial that we usually shoot with Brad Pitt is for Edwin Jeans. He works a day or two, makes his 10 times the amount of a new house in the Midwest and moves on. These commercials in Japan are very successful.

Usually, when the shoot is over, there really isn’t much swag. (Though at my Latin production company, I’ve come home with cans of soda and Christmas lights.) But this year, for some reason, we were left with two enormous boxes of Edwin Jeans. These suckers are expensive. I was lounging about in the office in my Perry Ellis workout shorts and old sneakers. The executive producer was out today. I was planning a quick data entry afternoon followed by an escape to the gym. As I was leaving, the admin guy (little Japanese kid. Sweet, but very messy, let’s call him Nao, which is his name.) and I were saying goodbye when I noticed these two boxes for the first time. I asked him, “Are those Edwin Jeans?” I guessed the brand since I was punching in expenses for two hours for the Edwin Jeans job and what else, on earth, could they be? And Nao answered, “Yes. Take some.”

It was like odd Christmas in LA in August. At first I thought, “I will never fit into Brad Pitt’s size. I better try on a pair.”

I took the 33 X 33 jeans and zipped around the corner, dropped my Perry Ellis pig shorts and yanked up the Brad Pitt pants. And they fit. A bit snug. But not uncomfortable.
Could this be possible? Me in Brad’s jeans together at last? My ass a Brad Pitt ass?

I ransacked the boxes. “Are you sure I can take as many as I want?”
And Nao said, “Yeah. Sure. We got so many this year.”

Certainly, one would think Brad Pitt’s legs would be longer than mine. And his waist must be thinner, no?

Okay, the pants do bunch up a bit at my ankles. I’m really a 32. After Yoga. But there I was, tucking into his 33 waist jeans and they fit. I took eight pairs.

But something struck me as I was sifting through the box. Obviously, any rational person would realized there was no way Brad Pitt could have worn all these jeans during the shoot. There were just too many. Then, I saw a pair that had serious dirt marks on the knees. They could not have been factory made. It was real dirt. So I figured, “Brad must have worn this particular pair during the shoot.” The other peculiar thing about this particular pair: At the back, the waist was taken in about two inches and held together with two large safety pins. Sigh.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Bushed Administration

All the rats have left the sinking ship with the exception of the two largest rodents—they’re just too bloated down in the hold to move. (Is it Condi who keeps them there?)
Cheney and Bush lay about as voracious ballast, eating cheese with their clawed paws. They scamper with no other purpose than to eat as much as their sharp little teeth can chew.

The flea hosts! The scared boys in old man flesh suits! Rat flesh! Failures.

Bush seems to not even care how poorly everything has turned out since his party stole the election for him in Florida. What a waste.

But life is not neat. People need to learn things. In the process, there is often mayhem and death. This is the only acceptance I can muster for these lost years.

Exhausted dogma. Exhausted administration. Nothing left behind but bodies and debt.

One more whiskered rat needs egress. Condi, limp over to the gunwales. And jump. You’ve done nothing for this world.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Welcome to New Jersey

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sometimes...You Just Go

Not that I had to be dragged. Okay...the singers/music was incredible. The play...oh man. This movie followed by Flashdance and Footloose collectively murdered the disco-musical fantasy format.

Flea Market Cafe

Early Dinner

Tompkins Square Park

The East Village is full of woods.

New York Volcano

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Lush,Rainy Day in Queens

If it looks a little English and free, it's because the developer of our neighborhood imitated the Garden Apartment movement in London, 1920's. It is pure pleasure to walk in the mist.

South Asia

The lovely fashion plates of Jackson Heights.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Friendly Welcome

Adam sent a picture to a company that turns the image into a paint by number kit. Of course, we had to get Louise done. In Adam's spare time he painted the pooch, brought it to Queens on his last visit, had it framed, and there she was when I arrived. Sweet beast.

Heading East w/

Snap a picture, add some text and send it to It's that easy. Stay tuned for NYC mobile pics.

Friday, August 17, 2007

New Format Highlights all Blog Entries

Blogger (brought to you by Google) has updated its layout formatting. I resisted doing the update since it required reentering the links and any other third party HTML that had to be added. That part turned out to be very simple. The new interface makes it so.

What is more interesting but much more work is the new feature that allows you to label each blog entry. You make up your own categories (squid, butter, Cheney) and go to your ‘dashboard” and start labeling. It takes forever. I have 615 blog entries, beginning January, 2005. I have labeled about a third of them.

So go ahead and look at the right side of this entry and see the heading “Subject Categories”— Now pick one or two! If you are feeling introspective today, click on “Internal Memo” and “Advice”.

If you are up in arms over the state of the union, click on, “Social Studies” and “War and Peace”.

It’s a great way to catch up on the blogs you’ve missed---but only in the areas that interest you today.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

August 16, 1974

I swam at Devils Ditch and I swam a a swimming whole in hillburn. All Sally's friends came over tonight. They ate everything. Well I'm going to sleep now Goodnight

At the end of my street flowed the mighty Ramapo, a river of waste effluents, stuck logs and crayfish. I spent many summers down at Devils Ditch--with a rope swing and everything else. During major flooding, we would jump off a large steel industrial bridge and float down the river to Devil's Ditch. You can also imagine every other kind of thing that went on down there. It all happened. Some of the guys still live in their parent's basements.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Schweinvisor Rove Haiku

Snout for small minds
Squeals a white house to failure,
The gray pig runs home.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Snow Nigger

I was watching Weeds tonight. Enjoyable show.
A bounty hunter from Alaska, presumed Inuit, played opposite one of the main characters of the show. The Inuit was referred to as a Snow Nigga by this main character. This was rendered humorous because the first we hear of it is when the Inuit thug says, “I’m not your Snow Nigger.”

The show is brave when it comes to portraying clashing ethnicities and classes. But aren’t the browner folks still stepping and fetching for the pure viewing pleasure of the whiter folks in the audience? The show is, clearly, for the consumption of a white, educated bunch. It’s so suburban hip, it kind of hurts. Or what is even more ridiculous is, since I am of a certain age, color and socioeconomic group, I think it’s hip.

I can never know what it is to be anything but white. I watch the black actors on this show and how they are used to point up the naïve, privileged life of the very white and beautiful Mary Louise Parker and I cannot know, at all, how they feel playing these roles, or if they even give a damn how they come off. It is comedy. But is it the comedy, perhaps, that in a hundred years from now, will make us cringe?

Comedy calls for alienation and anger at its foundation. A strong world point of view is required, too. Without that, you end up with one of those dull sitcoms. And who wants to watch one of those? I’d rather have the less pc show even if the aesthetic morality is questionable. But it occurs to me that in order for the show to work as a comedy, I really have to relate to Mary Louise Parker and her crew, completely, separate from the shady element. And I do. At the expense of the supporting, gun toting characters with very dark hair and dark brown complexions, sometimes Armenian, occasionally Eskimo.

As long as I have lived in this country (my whole life) I have really not come any closer to feeling what it is to be from a different race. I intellectually understand there are major differences but I do not have any daily understanding in my emotional life. All I ever feel is, “I’m due. Gimme it. And when you’re done with my floors, make sure you rinse the mop good.” And I double the salary at Christmas.

Just a couple of generations away from house cleaners and milkmen, I understand that I did not come from the ruling elite of Europe. However, I would never be referred to as a Snow Nigger or any other kind of nigger. Potato Nigger? Pasta Nigger? I don’t think so.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Land Use and Slavery

It does not change. It gets a little better. But it’s still a huge problem.

Land Use Management. People still want to grab land, any land, for themselves. If you can enslave the people who are already on that land to do the work for you--to develop and distribute the resources to you, all the better.

Arabs of Chad are in Darfur, grabbing scrubby farmland. The United States is in Iraq, grabbing oil land. The Israelis and Palestinians fight over rocks and sand in the name of Yahweh and Allah. The Japanese no longer do it, but for centuries they went after Korea and Manchuria...because, why not? Napoleon—nut. North and South America were the biggest land grabs in recent history. I was stopped at an intersection today, looking at a group of three women of European descent. One of them was quite old in olive green support hose and a pleated navy blue skirt. She had a very determined WWII energy about her. She had endured it all. She was appealing in an old world way. She seemed so very English or German or some other Northern European breed standing there on the hot sidewalk, put together, yet disheveled. She seemed so out of place in the brutal, pounding sun of Los Angeles, like a missionary. I really felt like she should go home. All the rest of the white people should follow. I’d go back.

But it’s so difficult now. Who wants to give up all the discount stores, movie theatres and amusement piers? Europeans came here, determined, to satisfy their appetites. Any other human type beasts be damned.

Remember when you were a child and you wanted your sister’s candy? You’d take a look at your sister and imagine her to have the equivalent heft of the button on the pillow of a side chair. She was nothing compared to that peanut butter cup. So you’d march over to her side of the playroom and just take it from her. And all hell would break loose.

This is what we do.

Why we still do it and expect any results other than all out war, I have no idea.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Edge of Death

The Homo sapiens specie has, for most of its existence, lived on the precipice of possible sudden death. This is what we know.

Sure, we settled down as farmers back in the day, and that must have done a thing or two to our evolution, at least culturally, but basically, it’s been a kill or be killed world for so long and for that world are we wired.

We watch harsh sports and we ride roller-coasters and we go to scary movies. These are pretty harmless and seem to me to be wonderful adaptations as a way to keep the inner survivalist alive.

But then, we still conduct business and manhandle the planet in a way that puts us at great risk. Journalists write about how we are in denial about our negative behaviors. But I don’t believe we are in denial. I believe the fight for acquiring wealth in the face of ruinous, perilous competition has always been the activity human beings have used to stave off death, even if it means causing death, even if it means causing death to the self.

It’s maladaptive. It’s why species are so tragically funny.

Rolling along the streets of Los Angeles today in my 1992 Geo Prizm during rush hour, I could not help but see all these people in various states of survival and antagonism. Driving in Los Angeles has turned a corner over the past two years. It has become aggressive and competitive. The exhaust is killing us. But humans love it. They love to feel like their lives are threatened and to fight against this threat. Maladapted. Maladapted. It’s not even our fault. The evolutionary experiment has brought us to this point. We are in the Petri dish. We are the species that likes to live on the edge of death. Problem with the edge is, you’re right at the edge.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Big Question

“How do I want to feel?”

This is the big question. It’s just the same old idea that has sold, like, a jillion self-help books. “Think positive,” and “Be grateful,” and “Live a life that is loving and nonjudgmental,” “Think positive,” “Be Happy,” etc.

But it just seems so much more active to me and so much easier to remember to simply ask, before I go into any stressful situation or even any neutral situation, “How do I want to feel?” and steer things toward that outcome. This includes deciding for a longer range that no matter what, I am going to enjoy the day or even better, the lifespan.

I am an especially reactive person. This is not so much because I don’t like people, it’s more because I am porous. So, whatever people are feeling, I pretty much feel what the other people are feeling, in real time. I don’t do this on purpose and I don’t know where this comes from. But since so many people are unhappy, nasty, judgmental, afraid, anxious, depressed, you name it—I feel it, immediately, from anyone who surrounds me. It’s a bit much. Add in my own propensities toward fear and worry and despair. Blech.

So, it is essential I ask myself, “How do I want to feel?” before all encounters with people, actions, even inanimate objects. I will feel closer to how I want to feel if I make a declaration of what that is.

“How do I want to feel?” Ask yourself five times today, before you do something, especially something dull or irritating, how you want to feel. It’s an easy thing to remember and takes very little effort.

Additional breaking news: 12:59 AM, an earthquake came through just as I finished editing this entry. I immediately decided that it would be exciting and fun. And it was.
4.5 quake. About 24 miles away. People in the Northwest San Fernando Valley must have felt it pretty good. My house did a little shaking with a bit of noise and then settled down. Could a real big one be on its way? And how about that tornado in Brooklyn? It’s so much fun!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Bust it Up

The Pakistan/Afghanistan border is approximately eight-hundred miles long, not counting undulations.

Since this area cannot be policed due to its tough terrain, it remains a land of outlaws. The governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan cannot control the terrorist types who inhabit the caves and dells of this mountainous region.

My suggestion: sixteen nuclear warheads spaced fifty miles apart along the border. This is not because I want to kill millions of people. Since this area is sparsely populated, not many people will perish. But what this will do is make the area uninhabitable for a while. Why not say “Bombs Away!”? It’s already a pretty nasty place to live. Sixteen nuclear warheads will make it completely unpleasant and one of the world’s nastiest killing clubs will be disbanded.

Then, Cindy Sheehan could swallow large quantities of plastic explosives, put herself in a circus cannon on Pennsylvania Avenue, have herself kaboomed into Bush’s office and when she lands, detonate her nifty cell-phone bomb detonator and suicide-murder George Bush.

After, the border, Bush and Cindy are all gone, let’s all go to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh to see Jihad: The Musical.

At this point, I’m ready for this whole farce to be reduced to a floor show. Apparently, the play has received very good reviews.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Like New

When I was a kid, like most kids, the world was very alive to me. Plants pulsed. Ducklings were so cute and furry, my heart would shake when I saw them. Rocks, even, seemed alive with their mica and quartz all glinting. Fish. Frogs. Turtles. All of it, so alive. And when spring came! The azaleas. I would walk to certain houses just to see the buds covering the bushes. East coast azaleas are large and densely packed with blooms. It was so vibrant and crazy. We did not have an azalea bush, but we did have large stands of bearded Irises. They’d come up in early spring, even when there was still morning frost. I would go outside and just stand in the front yard and stare at them. They had been planted by the developers of the neighborhood. I would wonder who the developers were and if they knew how brilliant it was to plant all those irises. The earliest bloomers, the forsythia, with their common yellow stalky blooms, even they were a thrill forming loose borders between properties, pricking the eyes with their saturatioin.

Grass was very green.

Maples were all joy. You could make those noses with the helicopter seeds.

But then, you get older, and what can happen is, everything can seem so dead. It’s not really death, it’s more like all the living things become objects in the world along with all the nonliving things. You just have to negotiate around things. The mind plays tricks, it seeks efficiency in movement and for this it can make everything seem dead.

After a hard night of birthday partying, I was sitting in a chair in my backyard and the non-fruiting decorative pear tree sprang to life. It was fabulous. I was so thrilled to feel life in the leaves. Remembering this, the life in things, makes the day so much better. It also lets you off the hook. The world is so alive. No need to control it. Let it be. Let it pulse.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Delaying It

I think I have to stop having sex until I start making money.

It’s a basic reward system.

Until then, I’ll just listen to Lily Allen’s Everything’s Just Wonderful.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Birthday Wishes

I’m ancient.

In its way, it’s rank. There are upsides.

I go to the gym for a few weeks, wear an old t-shirt and I amuse myself thinking I’m still young. But then, there it still hangs, the paunch, mocking.

Vanity was always ugly. Now, it’s tragic.

The plus to all this getting older is you do gather a lot of information. You do good things with some of the information. Sometimes, you use the information to torture yourself.

It is also possible to have assets at this age. Real ones that you can sell. This is decent recompense for the strain of all that planning and working.

You maintain great relationships that are very reliable, if you are not crazy. This is wonderful. Though, not having to work so hard to have people in one’s life, one can slide a bit toward complacency. But then there is the depth mixed with humor that can arise from such well formed friendships and that’s better than trying to impress someone new.

By the time a person reaches my age, he has eaten so much, yet there is still so much more to be eaten.

I have not yet been to Asia, Africa, Oceania, South America or Alaska.

I still hate liver.

My feet haven’t aged much.

My Recognized-by-the-State-of-California-Domestic-Partner, Adam, bought clips to hold the screens in today, snug against the window jams, so now the flies and mosquitoes can’t get in. This is great.

Life’s a pleasure, and then you finish up.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Youth

My nephew and his girlfriend are visiting ancient Uncle Donald this week. My nephew, Daniel, is looking at UCLA as a possible college choice. The kids are hanging out in LA, shopping, going to the beach. It’s perfectly enjoyable to have them as company.

What is so interesting about these kids (and I’d like to say all kids, but I can only talk about these kids) is how bright and informed they are. My nephew is also extremely affable and well behaved. Top of his class type. And driven, in a practical way. Easy, breezy, fun and a good eater!

But these kids (and now I do talk about all kids) are so YouTube and daily feel the oppressive lens of the Digicam, I feel bad for them. It’s like, they’re so afraid to be spontaneous because they may appear foolish. Something about having the whole world watching you, online, can really diminish the being-in-the-moment the Buddha has offered. I wonder what it means for them as future adults. What is so interesting is not only does everything change with each generation, but really, EVERYTHING. Sure, the biology is the same, but the manifestation is completely controlled by popular culture and technology.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Don't Resist Homer

Tonight, I took my nephew and his girlfriend to see The Simpsons Movie. Go. It’s really funny.

Is there any need to talk about it?

Okay, everyone knows the characters. Worldwide.

The story about the EPA taking over the town by covering it with a dome is confusing, unless, I guess, Fox thinks the EPA is totalitarian. Okay, maybe they do.

Who cares. It’s all about the gags. The gags are sustained at a dense level throughout the movie. I just sat there and smiled for an hour and a half. State of bliss. Go, be happy.