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Thursday, June 30, 2005

A CLOUDY DAY, A SPOON, A NEEDLE & ME

...I should have known when my iPod's shuffle button pulled up the following to start off my day:

"Bela Lugosi's Dead" - Bauhaus
"Hunter" - Bjork
"Rippin Kittin" - Golden Boy with Miss Kittin
and
"Last Chance Texaco" - Rickie Lee Jones

As I was on my way to address some business with my way-cheap lawyer, I opted to turn off the iPod and focus on my ride to the Balboa BART Station. Now, my lawyer's office is not in a horrible part of town -- but it isn't all that great either. It is not too far from the city college. I have to walk several blocks to a bus stop where I catch the bus I need.

It is cloudy today and according to a bank sign I passed it was 47 degrees --- so it was a bit cold.

I walked up to the bus stop. Sad fact of life: low income areas have more people who need public transit, but they don't get the nicer equipment -- nor do they get as much of it as the "better" areas do. There were about 20 people and from what I gathered from a frustrated college student -- they had been waiting for quite a while. After about 15 minutes I decide to sit on the brick way behind the sidewalk. I jump up, sit myself down and a lady calls to me, "Be careful, boy! Look what's next to you!" ...she said this in the tone of a woman who thought me a total fool.

I look to my left and see nothing. I look to my right and see a bent spoon, a gross looking syringe and an empty paper sack. hmmm... It all felt so Sid & Nancy circa 1977! Annoyed that I didn't have my camera and the knowledge of how to post pictures to my blog, I jumped down and walked over to the lady and thanked her for the warning. She then told me I needed to watch where I sat my butt adding something like ---"your ass was just a few inches away from that needle, boy!" Her friend laughed and I smiled. She rolled her eyes.

10 minutes later the bus arrived. We all got on and I saw the lady get off two stops later where she walked past a package store toward street full of houses in dire need of some new paint. I felt sad because I knew that once my meeting was over, I would be back on the bus and headed back to a much better reality than my friend.

There just has to be a way to effect some positive change. I just don't know what it is, but I am thinking on it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I MEAN TO SHINE...

I had a really nice evening yesterday. Milford treated me to dinner at a place called "The Outback" ---- I felt so oddly hetrosexual! Anyway, we had deep and meaningful conversations on life and the challenges it tosses our way. His warmth and sense of humor lifted my spirits. And, I was feeling a bit frustrated as my interview(s) were all canceled/postponed for next week because everyone decided to take off for a very long weekend. Can't blame them, but I didn't get the news till I had already arrived in the Financial District all dressed up with no where to go! Oi!

And, much to my annoyance, I was up and down sick for good part of the night. And, then slept right thru till 10am!!!??!?! Not good! But, I guess I needed the sleep. Felt fine today, tho --- and I even have a new job lead! Yay!

So, am I nuts or didn't our president tell us a year or so ago that he never claimed to tie the war on Iraq with the events of 9/11? Maybe I dreamt that. Anyway, now he ist telling us that we are in Iraq killing and being killed because we need to prevent another 9/11. What happened to logic? Why is no one applying any thought to the horrors being perpetuated by our government leaders? I mean, don't we stand a chance of actually providing more inspirational fuel for all the insane terrorist out there just by continuing this sad war?

No one is actualy thinking anything through. Well, that is not entirely true. I know we are all really upset about Hermes snubbing of Oprah! And, I know we are waiting for that big Tom and Katie wedding! With things like this going on -- who has time to worry about the war or our Supreme Court?!?!?

My Big Odd iPod Started My Day as Follows:
(select shuffle)

The Limehouse Blues - Harry James Quintet
I Never Meant to Hurt You - Laura Nyro
Where's Your Head At - Basement Jaxx
Conversations on a Barstool - Annie Ross
Playboy Mommy - Tori Amos
Funtime - Iggy Pop
I Mean to Shine - Babs Streisand (covering D. Fagan)

And, upon exiting the Powell Muni Station I came upon on a quater face side up -- year 1986. I decided it meant good luck and that I needed to shine! Had a nice little chat with a crazy homeless man who screamed everything he said, but he was actually nice. Advised me to walk on the left side of Market today as "the karma of the right side is really fucked up, man" I thanked him and shined on. ...so to speak.

Monday, June 27, 2005

YOU KNOW IT'S BAD WHEN IRENE CARA IS INVOLVED...

I didn't sleep well last night, did not feel well today and knew things were taking a bad turn when Irene Cara came up on my iPod singing "Out Here On My Own" from the FAME soundtrack --- and it made me tear up. No, not good. I've decided that the shuffle function of my iPod, while seeming somewhat related to the course of my days might not be such a good idea. So, I pulled down the tiny iPod menu and manually selected a day filled with the music of Ryuichi Sakamoto. Mellow with a brooding bit of drama going on beneath the melody and, at times, quite pop-oriented --- especially true when Mr. Sakamoto decides to sing in that David Bowie-like-way of his. Anyway, it was really too late. That would-be-80's-diva, Irene Cara pretty much set the tone for my day. My head and stomache bothered me all day --- suspect this is from lack of quality sleep and worry/nerves.

However, I did receive a phone call about an hour ago. Sadly, I was underground on MUNI, but I will return the call tomorrow. And, I hope, I might be feeling a bit better when I do! Anyway, a head hunter in the Financial District found my resume on Monster and tho she tells me "they" have no immediate positions going on --- she feels I am "quite marketable" and would like to meet with me prior to end of day Thursday so that she and I can get to know each other and she "will be at the ready" to get me working and herself a nice commission as soon as one comes "their way" --- which she hinted she thinks will be happening soon. I rather liked her frank honesty about her commission -- no pretense. I've not heard of the agency. Will search for them later. Anyway, it was nice to get some infused hope today! Even if I did miss the call.

I always seem to miss calls.

I am not pleased with the Supreme Court's ruling today regarding the placement of Christian dogma in/on public property "...when it is within an historical context" Great. Oh well, who needs a separation of church and state when we have President Bush at the helm. Whatever. I am really beginning to agree with a good friend of mine who believes that "we" all need do nothing but sit back and watch the country fall to pieces over the course of the next year or so -- and then, per his view, things will have to swing back to the left a bit when people see the devestation to the economy of us folks who are not in the top 2%. My only concerns with this political/sociological approach are around that devestation which will lead to more suffering and death --- and, of course, the legal loss of rights that will take more than a few years to correct due to the convoluted governmental process within which we are firmly entrenched.

Still, he may have a valid point.

Jeez -- well, I really am not as down as this post makes me sound! I promise! I just have a headache. I did enjoy the cool weather, sent in some more copies of my resume and received a very sweet gift from a cyber friend who replaced my DVD set of the Paul Morrissey/Andy Warhol Hustler Trilogy! He took great pains to keep his identitiy a secret, but I know who sent it. And, a big shout out to one of my pals in the UK for the extravagant gift! If I ever get myself to London --- dinner at the place of your choosing is my treat!

And --- a quick "public" answer to the card included: I do promise I will not sell it! ...or, EVER let UPS touch it! LOL! And, thank you! You know, I am very blessed with some great friends --- many of whom I've yet to have the pleasure of meeting!

OK -- time for some Tylenol and I guess I should have something to eat. That might be a good idea.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

SAN FRAN PRIDE or MY BIG GAY iPOD

Well, today was the official PRIDE DAY in San Francisco for the LGBTQ Community --- please forgive if I forgot a letter of the ever-expanding accronym. Anyway, I didn't have such a good feeling at the start of the day. It was REALLY cloudy and was about 50 degrees. It was cold and dreary!

But, the M train arrived just as I walked up and I put on my iPod. I selected "songs" and "shuffle" --- and I had a feeling things were going to be OK when the songs that played were (and, they played in this order):

It's Gonna Be a Great Day - Barbra Streisand
Dancing Queen - ABBA
Love to Love You, Baby - Donna Summer
Do You Want to Funk? (12 inch mix) - Sylvester
Mighty Real - Sandy Bernhard
The Rose - Bette Midler
and
I'm Coming Out - Miss Diana Ross

...and then the trained pulled in to Castro station. I just knew it was going to be a great big gay day! My iPod told me so!

This was the first time I have ever attended a SF gay pride parade. And, everything I had heard was true -- good and bad. The parade NEVER ends, but I've never seen such a mass of interests represented. I mean you know you've left Boston or NYC when you see a group of people representing Anti-Male Circumcision, Gay Sanitation Workers, COLT porn stars, gay ROTC (not kidding) and just about any other thing you can think of --- was fully represented at the parade. There were so many people!

I met up with my best pal, Milford and met his friend, Mike. And my friend, Vic met up with us and brought along a life long friend of his named Jun -- who was very sweet. Great company! We strolled to the huge party/gathering in the Civic Center area and sat in the sun (yes, it did come out -- but it was still fairly cool)

Unlike Boston, there was nudity, profane activities, suspicious brownies for sale, porn stars to kiss, Peaches Anti-Christ posing for pix with fans brave enough to approach her and friendly people. So nice to have people just chat with you -- unlike what I am used to in Boston. I took lots of pix -- however my skills as a photographer are rather suspect. But, if you're interested --- just scroll down to the left column of my blog and click into my second on line photo album and you can take a look at my day! Just so no one flames me or anything ---- if you're easily offended (and I doubt that you are if you're reading my blog) skip the pix! And, the pix is are not Trix -- they are NOT for children! Nuff said!

Happy PRIDE!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

MISSISSIPPI GODDAMN

So, I was thinking of all the souls who will never hear or know of the formal apology that has been made for the lynchings or even the verdict reached on the 1964 shooting in Mississippi. How very sad that so much time has had to pass for these horrid injustices to be recognized and addressed. ...Heartbreaking, really.

And, of course -- me, being the music/pop culture obessessed person that I am --- I immediately thought of Nina Simone and her song that upset so many racist Southern white people. "The King of Love is Dead" was a more powerful song, but somehow the energy of "Mississippi Goddamn" has always held me on. Maybe, somehow, the great Ms. Simone knows.

...and, if you're not familiar with Nina Simone --- you really need to get yourself acquainted with her work. "...Mississippi, Goddamn!!"

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

WHERE AM I GOING

...is the name of a song from a bad musical called "Sweet Charity" and I think it captures a lot of what I am feeling right now. I had 3 possible job prospects as of yesterday, but 2 of the 3 fell through and the third is for a corporation which is currently under fire for misleading their clients. I don't know. Sometimes I worry that I am just fooling myself to think that I am going to succeed at "starting over" --- I try to push that thought down, but shoes just keep falling from the sky and I feel as if I am running out of shelters. Sometimes I feel that one of these shoes is bound to land sqaurely on my head and knock my fat ass to the curb. Still, I will just keep pushing forward --- am just not entirely sure to where is I am headed.

This afternoon I needed to just clear my head. I didn't want to spend the money on a movie and it was really a bit cool to go to the beach so I ended up walking around the Russian Hill area. ...at least, I think I was in the Russian Hill area. Anyway, it was beautiful and a nice walk. And --- for the first time I FINALLY saw a couple of those infamous wild parrots I have always heard about! It really is kind of strange to see a couple of parrots flying about, but then again this is San Francisco. As I was watching them an old man passing by said something to me.

I paused my iPod and asked him what he had said and he said, "This is the city of dreams! Everything and anything is possible"

I just smiled, but couldn't help but think I had stumbled into one of those Tales of the City novels.

Met up with my pal, Milford, tonight. He took me to the best burger place in Daly City! But, I think I might have gained back every bit of weight I've lost! LOL!

Anyway, if this is the city of dreams where everything and anything is possible --- there has got to be something good waiting for me. Somehow. Somewhere.

FISHING FOR TIGER SHARKS

Met up with my pal, Vic, tonight. We had dinner and took in that new documentary called DEEP BLUE. Some amazing shots of life in the depths of the ocean. As the night is so beautiful --- we took a long walk out past Emabacadaro to the piers. We were looking at THE bridge when we noticed a family making all kinds of exciting noises at the end of the pier.

We walked over to see what was going on --- turns out this older gentleman is prizes himself as a master of catching sharks! And, just as we walked up, he reeled in a 3 foot tiger shark! It was pretty amazing to see how strong that fish was as it fought him on the pier! They were going to be taking it home to cook for dinner. ...um, gross. But, still --- it was a bit of a site.

Then we walked over, looked at the full moon and we both had to comment on how beautiful this city can be. It was getting pretty cold and I needed to catch the M train before 11pm. So, we headed back.

Looks like I might have a solid job lead. Will learn more tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

A friend gave me some passes to the SF LGBTQ (that accronym keeps getting longer and longer!) Film Festival. Saw a collection of shorts today. It was cool, but I was stuck in line for about 25 minutes with a woman and 3 really obnoxious gay clones. These 4 souls were so far beyond "vacant" and "shallow" --- their banter about their weekend of orgies, drugs and fashion were enough to scare someone right back into the closet. At one point, the 3 men infront of me turned around and glared at them. To which one of the "boyz" responded by saying, "Hi, daddy - like what you see?!?!?" ...and, I couldn't help it --- with my head turned down I said, "Oh, pleeeeeez -- we are so not interested! Just shut up" ...yeah, I am winning friends and infuencing people at rapid rates! ...the cool thing is -- they did shut up. However, much to my annoyance -- this fashion victim guy walked up to them and said, "Oh, kids, let me take you out of the common line and get you into the VIP area!"

...and, sure enough -- he did. Turned out he was one of the directors of one of the shorts. However, all was ok in the universe when his short played and it sucked. However, I have to confess --- I didn't really care much for any of the shorts. They were all themed around "coming out/coming of age as gay" --- and that topic can only be explored so many ways. It had all been done before. There was, however, one very clever little film that was shown first. However, I forget the name. I should also note that I think my opinion of the shorts was in the minority as the audience seemed to enjoy every minute.

After the shorts, I treked over to Union Square Park and called the 2 head hunters back, but I won't know anything for another day or so! UGH! I need a job!!!!!

kisses,
matt

Sunday, June 19, 2005

HMMMM... YES, BUT IS IT ART?!?!?

Well, if you know me or have ever read some of my blog you know I am sort of a walking encyclopedia of useless film information. While I do know a great deal about film, I know more about films and their makers from the 1968 to present. And, to be honest, Over the past 5 years or so I've become far more versed on modern French and Asian film making than films from any other countries.

Anyway, there are certain films that for one reason or another I never got to see or, that when I saw them I was far too young to fully understand what I was seeing. As I was growing up the films of Bernardo Bertolucci always caught my eye and the images he created sort of burned into my brain. However, I never understood anything he presented. The closest I think I came to comprehending was THE CONFORMIST. And, even then, there were elements that I found rather worrying or confusing. And, of course, THE LAST TANGO IN PARIS, was way too much for the psyche of a child. However, as I grew up and continued to watch this particular film its various levels of meanings and pretention began to mean more to me. I do think it is his finest hour as a film maker. Often imitated, but never duplicated.

There was one film he made which stared Jill Clayburgh called LUNA. At the time of its release I must have been about 13 years old. I remember it was quite the controversial film and it was never shown in many parts of the US. At the time, I was dying to see it --- not so much because of the controversy, but because it seemed to generate a similar mode of discourse that I had been aware of regarding TANGO. I can remember seeing angry women on Donahue and other such shows railing on about how the film was a glorification of drug use, incest and child pornograpy. I also remember being aware that Jill Clayburgh, who was a VERY popular and beloved actress at that time essentially saw her career go down the tubes after this film was released, discussed and flopped. I think she appeared in leading roles in several other "big" Hollywood movies (STARTING OVER, IT'S MY TURN, FIRST MONDAY IN OCTOBER) but I do believe she had already started filming two of these and had signed contracts for them at the very least prior to the release of the doomed Bertolucci film. But, I never got to see it.

It showed up on one of the early movie channels (Showtime?) but got pulled quickly. I did get to see a bit of it, but I couldn't follow what I was seeing as we didn't pay for the channel and the sound/picture quality were quite bad. However, as with all of his films -- there were images which stuck with me; Clayburgh and an actor dancing in against the backdrop of a gorgeous ocean in what seemed to be an almost violent dance as the man used a fish and a gutting knife to mimic the dance moves of the early 70's, a leering man sexually embracing a young boy on a seedy looking dance floor while a Bee Gees song played, the same boy trying to have sex with a girl in an odd movie cinema with Marilyn Monroe on the screen and the roof of the cinema opening up to reveal a moon shining down on the boy and the girl, the boy stabbing his arm with a fork as he forced his mother to turn a spoon of some hot liquid over the wounds or an image of Jill Clayburgh (the mother) and the boy (her son) either fighting or attempting to have sex on a small bed. None of it seemed to make sense and much of it was in Italian.

About a year ago I managed to secure a bootleg copy of the film uncut (it is not available on video/DVD -- I don't think 20th Century Fox is willing to put it out) on DVD. I finally watched it last night. The whole thing. And, you know what? I am still not sure I understood what I saw. Sure, I was able to follow the story --- but could find no point, no real plot, no full character development -- and absolutely no ability to understand the motives, actions or reactions of the two main characters. At times, it almost seemed like Clayburgh was more confused than me. Stumbling thru some of her scenes as if trying to find some form of direction for her to fall --- and the pouty actor playing her son seemed to be lurching between anger and mania for the full 2 hours and some odd minutes. The cinematography was beautiful (filmed by one of film history's most gifted photographers), the sets were haunting, the music choices were stunning -- but the whole thing had the feel of of trying to be as shocking as possible while striving to make some odd comment on coming of age and the relationship between mother/son and the moon. The mother, an opera singer who seems to have "perfected" lip synching decades before Britney, discovers her 14 year old son is shooting up smack because he is "lonely" ...being an artist, I suppose the idea of seeking professional guidance for both she and her son does not enter her mind. No. Instead, she opts to get her son off the H by becoming his lover. His first love. ...and to form an alliance somewhat similar to that of his "real" Italian father his "real" Italian Grandmother --- who, we can only gather, have been living as lovers ever since she ran back to America with her son and married her manager. ...played by the "Herman" from The Munsters.

I can't say that I was "shocked" or "offended" by the film. Tho, I doubt this movie could ever be made today --- if it were made today it would surely be branded with an NC-17 Nor can I say that I was not somewhat entertained by the insanity of the actions unfolding on my iBook screen. Tho, I was somehow ready for it to end about an hour into it. I can say that I have no idea why someone of Jill Clayburgh's abilities would have wasted her time on such a venture --- actually, I can't say why any of the talented people involved bothered with this film. Even that actor/writer who made the popular concentration camp movie from a few years back, Roberto Bellini (sp?) makes an appearance as a curtain installer! How did such a film get financed and distributed by a major Hollywood studio? And, while this is certainly not a film intended to "go with the sofa" ---- I do find myself wondering, is it art?

Has anyone out there heard of or seen this "art house" film from 1979 --- the year disco started to decline and being a punk rock singer sort of meant something.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

MS. ARGENTO SCORES #96!!! ...IN THE MAINSTREAM!!!

The woman whom I consider to be the most beautiful on the planet, Asia Argento, came in at #96 for Entertainment Weekly's Most Loved People of Summer! Am not entirely sure that this is really a good thing, but it is way cool to see her get some recognition. And, tho I be gay, I have to say that the photo of Asia on page 112 is one of the sexiest I've seen. So seldom do you see an indiviual who has the charisma/presence/beauty of a movie star combined with visionary talent --- but you get that with Dario's daughter! I really wish her film adaptation of JT LeRoy's THE HEART IS DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS would find US distribution. I so want to see it.

ALL AMERICAN FAMILY VALUES @ THE CINEPLEX

Here is the set up: sold out audience watching Brad Pitt and Jolie trying to kill each other on the big screen. 5 year old boy in the seat next to me with eyes clued to the screen as Pitt hauls off and kicks his "wife" and Jolie tries to stab her "husband" to death --- then they both pull guns on each other and suddenly the violence stops and they start to make love.

Mother of the 5 year old boy: "Oh my God! Nathan, cover your eyes!"

Father to the mother: "Why do they put that sort of shit in a family movie like this?"

Mother: "Nathan! Mommy will tell you when you can look again"

OK. Quick wrap up: It is OK for a small child to watch a married couple beat and try to kill each other with knives, guns and grenades. It is wrong to allow that child to see a husband and his wife kiss, hug and treat each as lovers. No, that is dangerous for a young mind to see. God forbid a child should see expressions of love. Hate and violence is always the way to go. On top of that, it is important to remember that a film staring two sex pots which is rated PG-13 is a "family film"

...Jesus.

Friday, June 17, 2005

MY SUMMER OF LOVE

...not really. At least not yet, but I did see that movie today. As per usual I needed to escape, but I didn't really need to escape to a bad movie. Which it was, but great use of some Goldfrapp music.

Had a good interview this morning, but it was with a head hunter. Still, looks like there may be an HR Assistant position for a large corporation in downtown San Francisco. Yes, Corporate America may be calling, but if the non-profit sector doesn't want me -- what's a boy to do? There is also some organization involved in stem cell research with a position that sounds interesting, but I need to see if it is "do-able" via Muni/BART transport.

The wonderful weather returned today! I walked from Embacadero Center to the place where I get my mail in the Castro. Not sure how far of a walk that is, but it was a nice walk and, I felt, entitled me to a chocolate cookie with a Diet Coke!

You know, I do not think there is anything quite like this breeze one gets in San Francisco -- no matter how warm the sun, the breeze is just so cooling. I love that! Of course, it does appear that there are earthquakes happening all around us at the moment. I think the Chronicle reported that there were 3 this week. Hmmmm.... As I've always thought, I will secure a position and then we shall break away from the continent. I control the weather and natural disasters. Kisses.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

SILLY SILLY SAD

I took the advice of my acupuncturists --- swallowed my pride and reached out to some organizations in San Francisco which may be able to help me in a number of ways from guidance to financial aide. Anyway, the process has started and there is a big job fair tomorrow morning at the Embarcadero Hyatt. I will be there! And, on Monday, I've an appointment with a couple of these agencies. I guess I just feel so embarassed to have gotten to this point in my life at my age, but as one of the individuals I spoke with told me, "It is a tough world out there. No need to feel ashamed"

Granted, this is my blog. And, being my blog I am free to write about whatever is on my mind. However, as of late I worry that I have been on my mind far too much. So, I decided to pick up the newspaper and enjoy the sun and sweet breeze with all the doggies in Duboce Park. It was lovely. But then I started reading the Chronicle which is not exactly a great newspaper anyway --- but I digress.

The things that jumped out at me were not really "news" to me, but it got me to thinking.

How silly and pathetic is it that our movie star-turned governor has decided to hold a "special" election that is going to cost California tax payers over $60 million dollars --- essentially, if one focuses and ACTUALLY reads what this corporate controlled robot is trying to push thru is a big-business/corporate backed change in laws that will cut spending on education for our public schools, prevent our teachers from having secure jobs (and there for making even fewer people want to even bother being teachers), harm the rights of our nurses and medical workers, restrict the rights and powers of Unions to fight against the corporate/governmental tyranny which is on the fast-forward track in our country and redesign the voting districts to further push minorities and the poor out of the "democratic system" ---- Oh, and he is seeking to reverse a law which has dramtically reduced the number of teen suicides and botched aportions by requiring minors to secure parental approval prior to access to aportion.

Arnold is using his star/celebrity power to divert the attention of the California masses from the "real" concerns by making many personal appearances, giving autographs and claiming that, at the heart of what he is doing is protecting the rights of the California home owner. Now, kids, I've read this legislation 5 times and this is a very small part of what he is doing --- and it is really aimed at the elite home owners. Not the "little people" who gather at the cineplex to watch his MOR/bad films. Yet, all the the world loves a movie star --- even when he is sexist, a bit homophobic (tho, he is getting better at hiding that!) and his faimily back in Europe has ties to the Nazi party. None of this matters -- he married into the Kennedys, is a movie star, is wealthy beyond belief, is "in bed" with the "right" people and the guy does have charisma.

Besides, it would appear that the majority of Californians are more interested in Michael Jackson anyway. And, of course, that is MUCH more important. UGH!

However, this silly and misguided set of principals pales in comparison to other places in our global community. Let's take a look at China which may soon rival (if it doesn't already) Africa for the worst epidemic of AIDS in history. True, China's leaders have taken some steps to educate the masses, but not enough and are still too scared to deal/face the sexuality of their country to do much good. As an example, the closing down of an educational site aimed at the China GLBTQ population --- which was actually educating people! I knew all of this, but I was unaware of a 2004 nationwide study which revealed these "fun" facts about the "average" person in China:

IN China during the year of 2004:

60% surveyed said that they would "never" work with HIV positive colleagues for fear of catching AIDS (like a cold)
Only 7% surveyed knew that condoms are effective against sexual transmission of the HIV virus (!!!!!!??????)
50% believed that AIDS could be transmitted by a handshake

Oh my God.

...of course, our "President" feels that it is better to have our teenagers take pledges to stay virgins than teach them about HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases.

I have to admit, maybe it would be more fun to read write, read, talk and think about Freaky Mr. Jackson. Sad. And, really, quite silly.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

NON-PROFIT REJECT

Well, I am not going to post any level of detail on this for a number of reasons. However, I think I did quite well. But, the environment was just a bit too negative for me. So, in the end, I basically told them that I didn't feel this was a place I would want to work. I think my honesty shook them up a bit, but I was able to walk out with my self-pride in tact. And, ultimately, that is what matters.

Then I went to the beach to clear my head. Much to my relief -- no bird shit. However, I saw a man running down the beach blowing a whistle and a person running behind him screaming. I lifted off my iPod (Stevie Nicks/A. Moyet today) and they were warning the surferes of a shark sighting. The surfers all returned to the shore.

Now, logically --- I know I have nothing to do with the arrival of sharks. However, given my run of luck as of late -- one never knows! Could I be a jinx????? LOL!

Monday, June 13, 2005

BIRD SHIT

OK. Sunday. Beach. Me. The sun. The sweet, cool and clean breeze. The hot surferes. The waves. Happy dogs and happy people. ABBA on my iPod. All is feeling sort of OK in the world. Splat. A seagull takes a dump directly on my head. Not a small dump. A huge --- almost human sized dump.

sigh.

Me. On the N Juddah for 20 minutes. Me. On the M streetcar outbound for 15 minutes. Me with a hair full of bird shit and a number of fellow Muni passengers trying to pretend that they don't notice. NIN on my iPod -- more fitting.

OK. Today. Me. Sitting outside the Opera House. The sun. The fresh breeze keeping the heat down low. My brain absorbing as much information relating to California HR and Union law as possible in preparation for my big round table interview. My watch. I've been studying for close to 3 hours. Time to head to the Castro, check my mail and wait at Sweet Inspiration as I am finally meeting up with a nice guy from match.com. I stand. Tori Amos on my iPod. Splat. A bird, type unknown, shits on my head. Granted, not as much as yesterday, but significant.

Me. On the #49 bus for 10 minutes. Me. On the M streetcar outbound for 25 minutes. Me, once again, with bird shit gelled into my hair and a number of nubile Sanrio obsessed girls trying to conceal their laughter. Everything But the Girl on my iPod --- trying to be a bit zen about it.

Yeah, I know it is considered "good luck" in several cultures. However, given the past 10 months of my life --- this is just me getting shit on by birds two days in a row.

sigh.

Is it me?

Still, I washed my hair quickly and zipped back to the Casro where I had a very nice dinner with a really cool guy. We went to this new place where everything is grilled on those long sticks. I can't remember the name of the place or what you call it when grilled meat/veggies are speared on to a stick and rest on a bed of jasmine rice. Anyway, this is a new place and it was fantastic, cheap and as I had salmon --- healthy! We agreed to meet up again and no birds shit on me as I headed back home! ...so, maybe things are looking up! ...well, a boy can hope.

Mylene Farmer was on my iPod on the way home --- Fuck Them All (extended remix) being my song choice for the night ride home.

By the way, isn't "ONLY" by NIN one of the best songs to come out in quite a while! I love it! Nice to know that, tho, the world may continue to spiral in all sorts of alarming directions (threats of more tsunamis, silly waste of California tax payer money by Arnold, Michael Jackson is cleared of any wrong-doing because is rich and Tom Cruise jumps on Oprah's furniture -- but we can still count on Trent Reznor to stay really angst and angry!)

Saturday, June 11, 2005

JUST IN TIME

As is the way of my life lately, things have just worked out --- and, not a minute too soon! The check came in from UPS who broke so many of my belongings! ...of course it is not the full amount as it was supposed to have been, but I can now pay my scary phone bill on Monday morning and will not lose my phone! Thank God for Alan --- he is going to "front" the amount for the phone bill for me as my bank will be holding the check for 7 business days. Oi! Anyway, it turned out that my phone was scheduled to be cut off at 5am EST on Monday --- so, I cut it close -- but it is all working out! Yay!

I honestly am not sure what I would have done if I lost my phone. My resumes and so many applications are floating all over the Bay Area with that number!

It is an absolutely gorgeous day! I was sort of thinking I would be able to meet up with a friend and explore the city, but he got tied up and that turned out to not be possible. So, I wondered all over the city just enjoying the weather, but then got bored and did what any normal person would do on an absolutely perfect day --- i went to the movies. Yeah, I'm a winner!

I had been hearing about "15" for a couple of years and had been trying to find copies of it on DVD for a while. I believe it was filmed in 2002 and was really 'released' in 2003, but it has received very few showings and I believe Singapore was so upset by the graphic and nhilistic depiction of inner-city youth that it was banned and the director had a bit of trouble getting it out. It certainly presents a side of Singapore life we seldom see or hear about. It was a solid film, but flawed. The director (who makes lots of music clips in Japan) has quite a style and had some very unusual ways of editing and tying the mindless violence and self-destruction into the global obesession with pop culture. However, as creative and interesting these devices were to watch, I was left wondering if he wasn't sacrificing the power of his film to a sort of dark satire. And, the audience is a fly on the wall -- there are no suggestions for what needs to be done to help these kids and no clear criticism of the government that obviously is doing nothing. The acting was limited in range, but this is because the director crafted his film around 4 real inner-city youths who were all 15 at the time of the filming. And, while the film is scripted -- this kids are living this horrible life and I was left feeling that I had just particpated in some sort of exploitation of a grave issue. I think he exploited those four boys --- and, at the film's end we are given a one sentence wrap up on where each of the four boys were at the time the film was ready to go out for release. One was in prison, another had attempted suicide twice, the third boy had been kicked out of school and home and the fourth boy had gone missing and was feared dead. So, this was a really fun way to spend my Saturday afternoon! However, I had really wanted to see the film. I just think that someone connected with the making of this movie could have tried to do something to help these kids. The film is being compared to Larry Clark's KIDS, but that is not a fair comparison. KIDS was a powerful film in its way, but a scripted one -- and more than a little over-the-top in its delivery of a dooms day story. This film was much more harsh and upsetting. This is the second film I've seen where I agreed with the NC-17 rating. Not a film for a child to see.

Last night I saw SAVING FACE -- a cute little independent film which reminded me of A WEDDING BANQUET only not quite as well made. However, I think this was the director's first film and she did a great job for first time out. And I was amazed to see Joan Chen playing dowdy and 50!!!! I should think that someone had to deal with some ego issues in that respect! LOL! The ending was also too "neatly wrapped up" -- but it was entertaining and fun. Now, this is a film which was handed an R rating and I can think of no other reason than the plot focused on two lesbians. There was nothing R-rated about the movie. It was a cute film. Why is the US so terrified of displays of affection between members of the same sex -- especially when it is about love. Why is making love something we want to restrict from children and killing/harming others OK to show them????

I don't get it!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

THE INTERVIEW THAT MATTERS TO ME

Well, the interview went very well. I made it to the next phase. I will be interviewed again next week and will know if I have this job by mid point of next week. I believe it is between me and one other candidate. Fingers crossed! This would be a job supporting an organization that matters.

But, for now, it is back to "the pavement" and continue to apply for other jobs. I've applied to so many jobs and met with so many agencies. I ended with the agencies after registering with 17 of them. I couldn't even keep up with all the business cards. And, I stopped counting the number of jobs to which I have applied when I hit 280.

You know, in truth, my job search is going well. I've only been looking since the second week in May and am getting lots of "bites" with the "bait" of my resume. The average job search takes from 2 to 3 months --- and that is in a good economy. However, I did not anticipate that I would not be able to secure temp work. ...and, that is not for lack of trying!

Chin up! Focus forward --- and keep moving!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A PORN FAILURE

Ok, I'm sorry. It really doesn't have a thing to do with morals or hang-ups --- but I just can't work in a porn store. I can shop in one. And, I can shop in one quite well. However, I do not think I am meant to work within the environment of porn retail.

My sense of humor is destined to get me in trouble, I am not going to want to touch "returned" merchandise, I do not want to explain to a repressed woman (or man) on how to use a vibrating dildo and there is a feeling in my gut that says, "No" --- so, am trusting my instincts.

I have decided against going thru with the interview at a local porn shop (different one that the one where it was suggested I "model") ---- the manager is quite professional, but it just doesn't feel right. In fact, it feels wrong for me.

So, kids, I am focusing on the big interview scheduled for tomorrow morning in Berkeley. I am confident, determined and desperate --- with these "selling" points, how can the prospective employer not snatch me up to join his/her team!??!?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

TENDER MERCIES

It is "funny" how when you start to feel so low that "something" will happen that lifts your spirits and, like a break in the clouds, you find that peice of hope we all need to keep moving. For a number of reasons, yesterday was a real bummer of a day for me. I ended up at what has become one of my favorite "thinking places" in the city. Just me, my Diet Coke, the classifieds, my music and my thoughts. I shut my eyes and said a little prayer --- not so much for myself, but for hope. Then I looked around at the beautiful weather we seem to get so much of in San Francisco and I remembered I had not looked at my mail. Of course, I knew it would mostly be bills that I can't afford to pay --- but then there was a card. A card sent to me by a friend whom I've never even met.

The card read, "Here's a helpful technique for managing stress during difficult times..." and it was a cute little joke, but on the inside of the card was a note of encouragement and love. I doubt that he will ever understand or know how much his card meant to me --- it was like a tender mercy that gave me hope and strength. After I kind of got myself sorted, I tried callilng him --- we've been playing phone tag for well over 10 months. And, to my surprise, he answered and we talked a bit. I guess those little mercies that get us through it all. And, they come to us in the most surprising of ways.

It is important to remember because whether we realize it or not --- the things we do have an impact on the people around us --- even the people who we have never met and who are miles away. I don't think we ponder this often enough.

Monday, June 06, 2005

REMEMBER SAMANTHA SANG?

I had to kill time today before an important meeting. So, I walked around Market Street and ended up looking at the window display of Medium Rare Records --- a very over-priced CD store which manages to secure and stock the most obsure of titles. I've yet to figure out where these two guys find this stuff. Anyway, they survive and get away with the high prices because of the highly unusual CD releases that they seem to be able to find and stock.

Anyway, as I marveled at the fact that some recording company would actually bother to press Diana Ross' "Muscles" lp to CD format -- and, even more that there is an audience for it -- when I noticed a red CD with one an oval face looking at me from the CD booklet cover and I thought, "Gee, that face looks so familiar to me" ...there was no name on the CD cover so I had to tilt my head to read the spine to determine who that oval face belonged to and why she looked so familiar to me.

Well, the name of the CD was "Samantha Sang: The Ultimate Collection"

Ok, now, I am old enough to remember Samantha Sang. "She" enjoyed one hit single which has since been re-recorded by Destiny's Child called "Emotion" It was a great pop/disco song from around 1977/1978. Samantha Sang "sang" just like the Bee Gees -- in fact, one would be hard pressed to determine which voice on that single was hers and which were those of the Bee Gees. They wrote and produced her entire album. ...as far as I know, she only ever had one. Anyway, I remember that people suspected that there was no Samantha Sang -- it was simply the Bee Gees farting around with an oval faced model -- but then Samantha Sang made an appearance on American Bandstand and lip synced to Emotion. I don't know --- I am still not convinced. Anyway, I loved that song -- but the thing is I am trying to figure out how there could be an "ultimate collection" of Samantha Sang music when she only ever made one LP. I wanted to go into the store and examine this odd CD which I could tell was imported from Japan or something, but I do not dare enter CD/DVD stores at this time. Not sure why as I've no money to spend anyway -- but I am like an addict when it comes to CD/DVD stores.

Anyway, it is just emotion that's takin' me over. Tied up in sorrow -- lost in my soul. But, if you don't come back, come home to me darlin' -- you know that there'll be nobody left in this world to hold me tight -- nobody left in this world to kiss good night. ...good night.

Ah, the smooth stylings of the Bee Gee's as conveyed by Ms. Samantha Sang. Yes, she cried a river that led to our ocean.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

BOB & ROSE????

So, I have had this DVD from Britain for well over a year and I finally started watching it. It is a BBC series from 2001 called BOB & ROSE. I've only watched the first episode thus far, but am quite impressed with the writing and acting. This would never be shown in the US. Anyway, does anyone out there know anything about the show? I need to check on IMDB.com, but the lead actor playing Bob looks like the cute guy from that JONATHAN CREEK series that BBC America used to show, but am not quite sure. Also, I think the writer/producer is THE guy who created QUEER AS FOLK, but once again -- am not sure. Not sure what I think about where it looks to be heading in the way of plot dealing with sexuality, but I am most interested! Is this show still on the air? Was it a hit?

Saturday, June 04, 2005

ZEN AND THE ART OF AVOIDING CRACK-WACKED BUMS

So, today I focused on just unwinding and channeling as much positive energy back into my being as possible. A sort of soul recharge. I walked all over this beautiful city listening to beautiful music on my headset and thought only of the things that bring me happiness and peace. As it has been for well over a week, the weather was perfection. But, I had decided that I would end my day of zen maintenance with a viewing of the new (or, at least new to the US) French film featuring Catherine Deneuve. It is playing at The Lumiere Cinema which is located on corner of California and Polk Streets --- not exactly the best area in the city, but far from the worst.

As I approached the cinema, I was lost in the beautiful music of Ryuichi Sakamoto and I very nearly walked right into a dazed and confused bum. I only prevented a collision because my harmonious moment was ruined by the stench of body odor mixed with vomit. Pretty. The funny thing was I moved just in time and he fell forward, landing on the pavement to my right. Going with the old "Smiling and Waving Philosophy" --- I just kept moving. To make it all the more odd, I then saw a zombie like man in a worn out business suit wavering toward me with his hand extended. His base of his little pipe was visible as it was poking from out of his suit jacket pocket. He may have been speaking to me -- he, too, had the scent of something not nice. So, it was as if we did this little crack inspired ballet as we danced around each other. He, moving to rattled tune of his ravished brain and, I, to the score of "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" ---- I managed to pass him without having to have any part of me touch him, but then almost tripped over some sad bag of flesh lying on the pavement. I think it was a woman. She was alive as she had her arms raised and she was making some sort of artistic movement which she watched in amazement.

I stopped. And, I looked at this little trio. One lying flat on his face (no joke), the other stumbling about with his arms reaching for something and a painfully thin woman lying on her back tracing clouds with her dirty hands. I had pressed "pause" on my music. I watched as others just walked around them -- also avoiding any contact, but seemingly oblivious to it all as these "normal" San Francisco pedestrians were totally unphased and were talking to eachother or listening to their music --- as this insanity was happening. I took note of exactly where I was standing. I was headed toward the intersection of California and Polk, but was standing near an alley sort of street named after Alice B. Tolkas (sp?) and California Street. Somehow this seemed fitting.

I could not decide who was more sad -- those of us dancing around this miserable and devestated souls -- or these sad crack additcted souls themselves. Maybe all of us were equally sad in our own ways. They, lost to the horrors of a cheap drug and, us, lost to the pettiness of our own little worlds and problems.

Oh, well. I pressed "pause" and continued my walk to the cinema. The movie was called "KINGS AND QUEEN" and I didn't understand it at all. Catherine Deneuve was in maybe 10 minutes of the 3 hour film, but I found the ideas the characters discussed to be of interest.

I left and returned to the empty house. (Alan is back tomorrow night! Yay!) and spoke on the phone with Ming for a while. Then I fell asleep. And, am now about to take a shower. Tomorrow, I am going into Berkely and hanging out with Ming for the day. He has made significant headway with his disertation and won a battle with his committee chair -- so we must celebrate!

I am not going to sell my PC. Everyone seems to think it a bad idea. I guess I will call T-Mobile on Monday and beg to be placed on some sort of installment plan or granted an additonal 30 days to pay last months horrific bill. ...they are aware that I screwed up in selecting a plan. So, maybe I won't lose the phone. I am not paying any of the bill at this point because I need to hang on to the money I have for the basics. UPS is sending me 3 checks which total over $2K, but I've no way of knowing when they will arrive -- they were cut last week, but were mailed from California back to Cambridge, MA (to the UPS store that sent my stuff here) --- for the store to send to me back in California. Efficiency at its very best!!!! Jesus! Anyway, the guy at the UPS store in Cambridge told me he will send them to me as soon as he gets them. He didn't have them yet as of yesterday at 5pm EST. Then, if I am unable to cash them, they will have to sit at my bank for 5 to 7 business days to clear for access in my checking account.

I know it will all work out, but can I just say that the past year has been the most fucked up on record pour moi! And, as some of you know, I've had my share of fucked up years! LOL!

Oh well. Lessons learned. I put too much trust in the wrong person, my HMO almost killed me -- putting me out of work for far too long, my employer's legal department screwed me over, the HMO and my employer refused to release me to return to work which eventually forced me to have to quit (probably for the best in the long run) and I never thought securing temp or part time work would be hard. ...I was wrong on all counts. However, I've got some of the best friends on the planet, a couple of lawyers who are ready to sue if I decide to let them and I've go my health. Plus I've got job interviews next week. And, I guess it is better to be the person dodging crack addicts than to be the crack addict. Tho, shouldn't we be doing something to help them???

It is going to work out. But, what a major pain in my fat ass! Tho, it is getting thinner!

Sigh. In with love and out with anger!

LIFE'S PUNCHLINE

I enjoy a good joke and get a good laugh at the many ironies in life, but I have to tell you --- I am ready for an ease up on all of these "little" challenges that keep "teasing" me. My sense of humor and tolerance is starting to fade! I get it!

Granted, the world isn't ending and I'm blessed with the most important things in life: health and dear friends who are all in my corner --- but I think it is time I get a break with all of the crap that keeps coming up! I must be working out some really negative karma, but it seems that this karmatic debt should have been resolved way back! Wasn't my childhood enough?!?!? LOL! Ugh!

At any rate, to ease things a bit more --- I've decided to sell my iBook. I only use it for email, my blog and iTunes. I can always stop by a copy center and use a PC for emal checks and blog updates -- and, then, replace it later after a job is secured. In the mean time, I think I need the money more than the technology. I posted an add to Criagslist, but people are now asking me questions I do not understand! LOL!

If anyone is interested in obtaining a used MAC iBook fully loaded and still covered with original box and a nice carrying case -- let me know and make me your best offer! If you're outside of the San Francisco area, include packing, insurance and shipping costs in your offer! Email me with offers and not via the comment option. Oh, and if you have any specific tech-related questions, tell me how I can find the answers for you. Oh, and the DVD only plays region 2 (UK) as most of my DVD's come from England. Sorry. Tho, maybe that can be changed back to region 1 for the US/Canada. ????

OK -- off to sleep! Tomorrow, or today, is going to be my "ME" day. No online job hunting/applying -- no thinking about money woes. I am just going to chill out! Rest --- and, maybe go visit my sea lions at Pier 39! And, maybe go up to Twin Peaks with my journal and just let the cool breeze and sun cover my body! Just me and this beautiful city for today!

Alan gets back tomorrow night! Yay! And, I am getting together with Ming for lunch tomorrow afternoon -- am making him take a break from his disertation work. Then -- I've got several interviews lined up for next week!!! Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

PORN MERCHANT?!?!?

Ok, so I am in desperate need of getting some cash flow going. However, as I sat at the PC at Copy Central on Market Street I hesistated. I was about to print up some new copies of my resume as I had run out and one of these new copies was going to be attached to my application at the porn store for evening/weekend work.

I thought to myself,

"Is this a good idea?"

"Could this cost me a job with a potential employer for a real job?"

"How long before I tire of dealing with discussing sex toys with old guys in leather caps?"

And, then I thought --- "What the hell? I need money! I am going for it!"

So, I went back to the porn store to turn in my application (the longest I have ever filled out, by the way! Go figure that out!?!?) and resume. An androgenous boy/girl was at the counter, he/she asked me to wait and she would get the boss. So, I waited while browsing the many sex toys I could potentially be selling --- dildos of all shapes, sizes, colors and ornamentation -- slings for the home --- inflatable husbands complete with vibrating attachments --- latex body parts --- "make-your-own-dildo-kits --- tit clamps of every type one could imagine --- and, then the boss walked up.

He took my application/resume and sort of flipped thru it. And, here is a sample of our conversation (yes, I am omitting some of it because I can't decide if I want to share the "full/unedited" discussion we had -- mainly because I can't decide if I was to be offended or complimented -- regardless, I am not going to full-on-blog it)

"So, you know the position will be at another of our stores"

"Oh, well you had mentioned it might be"

"It will be. Still interested?"

"Well, where are the other stores located?"

"Might as well wait and see"

"OK. Well, you have my info"

"If you don't hear from them within the next two weeks that means they already filled all the positions"

...now, he had been much more positive yesterday --- at yet, he was more friendly this afternoon. The boy/girl pretended to be working, but was clearly listening to our conversation.

"Um, I have a question for you.."

"Ok"

...and, that is where I shall stop the conversation. Suffice to say that I have decided to decline if "they" do call me. I got creeped out. And, yet, somehow I think the intention was that I would be flattered.

I kept my cool and ended by saying, "Well, thank you -- I guess. Sort of, I suppose" ...and headed toward the door as the boy/girl called out "Good luck, honey!"

But, just before I was out the door the boss commented, "Just think -- you could make a lot more money for a lot less work"

um, gross.

So, kids the job search continues!