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Friday, July 29, 2005



LOST & WITHOUT DIRECTION

Sometimes I feel like I am in this state on both the literal and metaphorical levels all the time. However, I know that isn't really true. Tho, I do get lost quite often. I decided to go for a nice walk and I got very lost today.

When you get lost in Boston it's really no big deal. Boston is such a small city that you will find your way fairly quickly. In Manhattan, you're blessed with the grid system --- so you can usually find your way provided you get a sense of which direction to go. Here in San Francisco I have to admit that I find it a bit more challenging to find your way. After roaming about in some fairly "unblanced" areas I found Polk Street (A LANDMARK!!!) --- and came across this Onion news box which had been recently decorated with a sticker. It caught my eye so I snapped a picture.

When you do feel lost --- you need to keep pushing forward until you find the path to bring you home. Stay cool and press on, young man! ...Or, Stay cool and press on, you 30-something, you!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

DOWN TO IT...



The interview went very well. It is down to two candidates. Me and another. So, I will most likely not know until early next week because they want to take a vote.

And, so --- I wait. Fingers crossed, nails in mouth and focused on positive energy. I think I would be a great fit for this position and firm, but this stuff is so subjective. Hurry up and wait. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't want it so much -- of course this is at the root of all things.

Oi!



ugh...

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

UGLY BUT INTERACTIVE



My friend, Vic, feels that this is the ugliest piece of "art" he has ever seen and it saddens him that it holds such a prominient place in the city. I understand his viewpoint, but I kind of like it. It is so odd that I enjoy looking at it. In addition, it is an interactive fountain which is designed so that you can walk inside and around the structures as the water pours forth. You can't see this due to my lacking skills as a photographer. Also, for some reason, the fountain was off. They are setting up for some sort of event. It is either going to be a jazz festival or a special farmer's market. ...at least that is what the homeless guy told me.

Update on interviews: My interview today went well -- ran for just over an hour and I made "the cut" and am being asked to return next week to meet with one of the firm's officiers. However, I'm not sure I "bonded" or "connected" that well with the individual who interviewed me. Tho, I must have done well enough to still be in consideration --- I think I have a much better shot at the job for which I have my second interview tomorrow. So we shall see!!! This will be another committee interview. It is a good thing I am not shy.

I was not at all nervous -- until AFTER the interview as I was walking down Market Street and I had a mini-panic attack. I'm such a loser. I phoned Milford and Alan -- but got Milford's voicemail and Alan was busy working -- I could not calm down. I was just upset. So, I spent money I didn't have and saw a movie.

Sometimes, it is the only thing that works for me.

I saw Bergman's SARABAND --- his final film and continuation of SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE (a must see for anyone who has ever been married or in a serious relationship -- if you haven't yet done that, this film will only horrify you) If you like Bergman or Liv U --- then you do not want to miss this movie. I do not cry in movies. Actually, I hardly ever cry. Like Alice Cooper, my heart's a virgin. It ain't never been tried... However, there were two scenes where this amazing actress almost brought me to tears. She certainly had this impact on my fellow film-goers.

Is there a point? Well, I think Bergman has always made the same point over and over -- ultimately relationships suck. They are heartbreaking and, in the end, it often seems that nothing works the way it should when two souls connect --- however, one can never lose sight of how very important these connections are for all of us. ...whether we want to admit it or not -- we all want to be in love and loved back.

Woody Allen, who has adored/copied/glorified Bergman for the run of his film career said this sweetly in films like ANNIE HALL and MANHATTAN -- and, so have countless other film makers -- but few manage to cut to the core of it without any fear the way Bergman tackles this fragile human puzzle. Painful, tragic, sad -- but ultimately poetic and beautiful -- I loved this movie. And, from a purist standpoint, it was cool to see how the characters I fell in love with turned out 30 years later. As with life, they didn't turn out the way I would have imagined or liked -- but I suspect that they turned out the way they were meant to. ...and, we all know that Bergman's films are reflections of his own life, feelings and relationships. His work has always been quite personal and confessional. This might be why Liv Ullman is so effective --- I suspect, in many ways, she is playing out what she has lived. I read a short interview with her about this film and she summed up the experience of returning to Bergman to make this film as both magical and cruel. Interesting.

...Oh, those wacky folks from Sweden with their niffty cars, ABBA and fearless views of human relationships. Maybe I could get a job in there!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005



LUCKY CUP?

Well, Kids -- the phone interview went VERY well. I am meeting with the Director of HR tomorrow at 3PM. So, fingers are firmly crossed!

THE CONTEMPLATION OF FISH WINE FROM CHINA OVER MORNING TEA & OATMEAL...



Well, I've been up for a couple of hours and am now fully prepared for my 11AM phone interview. So, as I sat here sipping my second cup of tea from my "lucky" Mickey Rourke cup and try to eat my oatmeal (I go through phases when breakfast is just not appealing -- am in one now) ---- I read a comment on my Blog from the wonderous Miss. Marisol enquiring about fish wine from China. I figured I would share "the warmth" of what I know.

I saw a news report on CNN.com that showed the place, the inventor and the process for making fish wine. It looked disgusting. I believe they use 7 different types of fish -- including eel and squid. The "innards" of the fish are what constitues the wine. After extensive boiling, the creamy-looking stuff is fermented for 3 months or so with a rice formula to eleminate the odor and add a "soft" flavor to the blend.

It is a white wine. I think I mentioned that I attended a wine tasting at a close friend's home recently. Milford is well educated in the ways of wine and it was quite interesting -- even tho I can't drink wine anymore. Anyway, I learned a bit about how to judge a wine from the look, the scent and the way it clings to a glass when swished about. Well, the fish wine appeared to do quite well with the swishing and it is full of vitamins which make it rather healthy. ...or so the owner says. I am quite curious and would love to try a bit of fish wine.

I pulled the following from the Reuters web site. Let's hope it is OK for me to cut/paste their brief coverage here. For some reason I could not make the link work.

"Beijing -

The French used grapes, Russians fermented potatoes, Koreans put ginseng in their drink and Mexicans distilled cactus plants to make fiery tequila. Now China is introducing fish wine.

Sun Keman, an entrepreneur in the north-east port city of Dalian, has formed the Dalian Fisherman's Song Maritime Biological Brewery, with a plan to use his background in the fishing industry to make fish into wine. "Different from China's thousands of years of brewing, the brewery will clean, boil, and ferment fish for making wine," the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The company already had orders from Japan, Russia and other parts of China, it said. Tipplers might also take heart in knowing the brew is purported to be good for them."

However, judging from the way the wine slipped down the glass after being swished --- it appears to be a bit low on alcohol content. So, one might have to consume quite a bit of fish wine to get a buzz or chilled-out feeling. Still, wouldn't it be kind of cool to try? The packaging is quite pretty as well! I couldn't find a picture of it, tho. So, I've presented you with a shot of my breakfast which was sitting on my night stand. I ate half the oatmeal.

Oh, so I spoke with the folks "minding" my 401K "monies" -- and my former firm requires one additional business day before I can "cash out" --- so this probably means that I will not get that money wired to me till next week. Oi! ...so it goes! LOL!

So, now I just wait for my interview --- "I'm ready for my close-up"

Monday, July 25, 2005

MONDAY'S RAMBLING THOUGHTS...



Let's see, setting the tone of the day was the "shuffle" function of my cosmic iPod. Well, what else is new? Here are the first 5 songs of my day and the order in which they were played:

1. First, We Take Manhattan by Jennifer Warnes
2. Wear Your Love Like Heaven by Donovan
3. Lucille by Kenny Rogers
4. The River by Nintin Sawhney
5. The Name of the Game by ABBA

During "Lucille" I noticed a new penny lying face up on the floor of the "M" train. My Grandmother always told me that this was a sign of great luck if you pick it up as soon as you see it and drop it in your pocket. So I did just that. And, interestingly enough, my cell phone rang! Being on MUNI and catching a phone call is rare for me! I normally lose range. Anyway, it was a potential job and I have a phone interview tomorrow at 11AM! And, I then heard back from the frim for which I most hope to work -- they want me to return for a follow up to meet with one of their top firm officers. They will be contacting me with date/time at some point tomorrow! So, I figure this is a good thing.

I've high hopes. Am I about to get my life back in full??!?! Maybe!!!! I think I see a light at the end of this tunnel!!!

On the downside, I had to deal with some expenses this morning which managed to deplete my funds in record time! Luckily, I do believe I will be able to secure the very last of my money from is remaining in my 401K account. At this point, it really doesn't matter. I need the money to live! So, the account is being closed. My hope is that I can get it closed and the remaining money wired to me FAST!!

A few random observations from my day:

* 2 cigarettes mean a lot more to most homeless men than food. I really do believe this to be true. I could be wrong and it may not sound cool, but, I'm sorry --- it's tough out there. I think they deserve their cigs.

* Did you know that the 70's porn actress, Carol Connors, who plays the nurse in DEEP THROAT is Thora Birtch's mom?!?!? Her dad was a 70's porn star, too. I forget his name, tho. Anyway, doesn't matter or mean anything, but I think that is kind of cool. Tho, Ms. Birtch might feel differently. I guess. Who knows?

* Even postal workers are happy and nice in San Francisco!

* I got lost in the structure that is Two Embacadaro Place. I should not share this with the world because it only shows how retarded I am when it comes to directional navigation. But the fact remains that I was lost there for about 10 minutes today. Sad.

* There are few things sadder than a 40-something skateboarder who "hangs" with the other skaters --- who esstentially are all under 25. ...and, he thinks he is perceived as "cool" by the "kids"

* Alan and I watched the new Tammy Faye documentary, DEATH DEFYING. It was not really good, but it made me love Tammy Faye all the more because after the doctors inserted her chest cath for chemo, she opted to not go home and rest as directed -- but decided she needed to cheer herself up. So, she got in her limo and went shopping!!! ...at JC Penny! She seriously rocks and my heart and prayers go out to her as she continues to battle cancer. Tho, I think her eccentricity is funny and I think she is far from perfect --- I really do admire her. Tho, I do not know and will never know her --- I just have to believe that she is every bit as real and sweet as she appears to be. There is a great deal of light that comes from her. And, I just love the fact that she opted to shop at JC Penny! LOL!

* I had a great weekend and enjoyed lying on the grass near the harbor thinking about it. That is what I did from 4:30pm till about 5:45PM this evening.

* I wish I could drink wine because I really would like to try that new fish wine from China!

* I was flattered today when this cute college kid flirted with me all the way from SFSC to Montgomery Station. He was WAY TOO young for me, but it made me feel great that HE didn't feel that way! Ego-boost!

* Add it all up and I had a pretty decent day despite a rocky start this morning and the money that this appointment ate. Still, that was unavoidable. So, you just roll with it and deal.

...it's all good.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

BEACH OF A SAINT



Wow! What an awesome weekend!!! Friday I did see the new Gus Van Sant film, "LAST DAYS" in which he "envisions" the last days of Kurt Kobain's life. This is the third installment of his trilogy of art. The first was "GERRY" -- all I can say is that this was cinematic torture. The second was "ELEPHANT" and I thought it was exceptional. This last film had some astonishing moments. Lots of beautifully composed static shots. However, I can't say that I was much interested in watching Michael Pitt stumble around for 90 minutes muttering to himself in what appeard to be either an extreme stoned-out state or simply insane. Asia Argento is in the movie playing a bi-sexual groupie but they put her in ugly glasses and a bad hair cut. There are two hot looking actors in the movie (one of which is former child star, Lukas Hass) who are either playing "hanger-on's" or the other two Nirvana band members. However, as we are treated to a short homo grunge sex moment between the two -- I am thinking that they must be "hanger on's" ...just can't see the other two boys from Nivana sharing this moment, but maybe am wrong. I couldn't decide if Van Sant was trying to make his audience laugh or cry as we see the naked sould of Kurt Cobain (called "Blake" in the film) climb out of the grunged-up dead body of the rock star and climb up a ladder out of the frame -- A Ladder to Heaven?!?!? All I know is that I was relieved that the movie ended as I had begun to think it would not ever end.

However, as soon I jumped in the car Saturday morning -- the weekend took a turn for the fantastic! I wish I was a better photographer because I failed to capture the scenic beauty of this beach -- and, I kept forgetting to take pictures the whole time! "A" showed me some fantastic places along the coast of California!

As we drove thru Pacifica (where my pal, Derek, lives --- And, Derek, when are you having me over!?!?! Gorgeous town from what I could see!!) we decided to skip Santa Cruz and visit the privately owned gay nude beach, St. Gregory's Beach. Now, that is not the proper name. Translate that into Spanish and I think you will have the correct name.

We walked down a tiny path which lead down a mountain to this perfect beach. It felt like we were on some island far from civilization. When we arrived, the fog was in full force and the sound of the crashing waves was awesome! And the sight of these waves emerging from the cloud of fog was so beautiful. Once I was able to turn away from the water, I looked up at the mountains that surrounded us. It was an awesome sight. We opted to keep our clothing on --- as it was quite cold! However a number of folks were perfectly fine with the cold breeze and lounged about. I love nude beaches. If only I hadn't been so cold! And, no, I did not take any pictures of the beautiful men walking about. One guy was meditating --- he looked so calm and at peace. However, I kept thinking how the sand must have felt as it slipped up his crack. ...I thought, "How Zen of him! No towel!"

All along the beach, drift wood (or some form of wood) had been placed to form what looked like little "forts" -- enclosed spaces for privacy and sun bathing -- and, other activities where one (or two -- or three or four or five) might want a bit of a barrier from walkers-by --- were all along the beach which stretched a good couple of miles. We took one of the forts and watched as the fog burned way to provide for fantastic views! We had a great time! After that we drove along some beautiful mountain sides --- the farther we drove, the warmer it got. By the time we reached Milpitas is was in the 3 digits! Hot, but dry. We had a great dinner and then came back into the city this afternoon. I think I drove my expert tour guide nuts because I became obsessed with watching his car gauge the outside temperature. Within only 10 minutes of driving back toward SF, the temp went down over 15 degrees! I find it so interesting how much cooler it is here than outside of the city. It was close to 3 digits in San Jose this morning, but it was 64 degrees when we reached SF a short while later!

"A" had never been to any of the art house cinemas in SF, so we took in a viewing of "CRONICAS" at the Lumiere. A VERY disturbing film. Brilliantly filmed and acted, but ultimately nightmarish and cynical view. Most upsetting. However, we then made our way back down Van Ness and up to the Castro where we had a lovely dinner.

I had a great weekend! Now, let's see if some of that positive karma can rub off on to this week and land me a job!!!! Fingers crossed!!! At any rate, I feel "re-charged" and am ready to take the week on with a positive spin! I will post some more of the pix I took below!

waves in the fog...

...as the fog began to break --- a view down the beach

amazing mountains!

views from st. gregory beach (not proper name)

crashing waves emerge from the fog...

Thursday, July 21, 2005

ME, MY iBOOK & MY PLANS FOR THE WEEKEND!



I spent the day searching every job dbase I know of in hopes of finding some positions for which I could apply. There just isn't much out there right now. Still waiting to hear back on an interview that went very well. So, I guess I am sort of in a hurry up and wait mode. It will work out. Just got to roll with it and not let it worry me too much.

As I searched the internet in hopes of San Francisco employment I burned a couple of mix CD's for a pal on the other side of the US. I enjoy making mix CD's --- did one for another friend a few weeks ago.

As I quite literally spent the day infront of the laptop -- I am thinking I might not turn it on again until Sunday evening!

This weekend I am spending some time further down the coast. I am being given a tour of Santa Cruz and some other areas. And, if the weather is not too cold, we shall hit the beach. Am looking forward to it -- both the sight seeing and the company! I shall have my camera at the ready!

Hope everyone has a great and safe weekend!
kisses!
matt

GIVE ART A CHANCE

I think I've mentioned that I've been reciting a prayer with a medal in my hand. It means something to me because of the woman who sent it my way. She is one of the most impressive, kind and open-hearted individuals I've ever known and has been a great friend to my mother, my brother and me over the years. So, even tho I do carry a great many "issues" with the Catholic Church Leadership --- I feel that this little medal represents the power of positive thought and love. This degree of positive energy far outweighs any dogmatic/socio-political concerns I might have. I think any of us who have a spiritual base of some sort have found ourselves praying a lot these past 4 years. So, when I woke up this morning to more sad news from London. I found myself saying another prayer to the Creator. I have to believe that there is a generator of our life force beyond atomic science. I know a Creator of this significance would not be sexualized. By that, I mean, it does not really make much sense that this being would have a sex. But, because I am human and "project" my personal feelings on this being --- for me, The Creator would have to be more female than male. So, I give it up to her. Daily, hourly and by the minute. And, it appears that there may have been no loss of life! Of course, the devestation continues in Iraq and other parts of our world.

Just as like many of you --- My thoughts and prayers are with all those who are suffering and worrying for their loved ones.


One of my brother's earliest works, he did this when he was 5 years old. I always find it quite profound. No stern task master with a beard, no earthmother touching a blue planet --- just a bowl of fruit.

OK, on to things I do understand but have no real importance. ...Because, really, that's what I'm all about!

Why o why aren't people supporting good film?!?!?

There are not enough people skippig the cineplex in favor of seeing THE BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY and ME, YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW?!?!!? I had the same frustration over the lack of audience for PALINDROMES and MYSTERIOUS SKIN. Granted, with the exception of one -- these are not "easy" films that will make you want to skip out of the cinema, but did WAR OF THE WORLDS or WEDDING CRASHERS have this impact on you?!?!?!

These art-house movies are a bit challenging and do expect you to think, but --- Come on, give art a chance! If you live in a metropolitan area where these "little" films are playing -- see them!

I am really psyched about Bergman's new (and most likely last) film, SARABAND -- which is a continuation of the story followed in SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE. It opens tomorrow. I really loved the characters he created in the original Sweedish TV series --- and to make it even all the better, he actually cut it under 2 hours in length! I don't think Bergman has made a film this short since his experimental films from the PERSONA era. Excellent! And I am quite curious about the new Gus Van Sant film --- however, I guess I am really only seeing it becaue Asia Argento is in it and I enjoy watching her. LILA SAYS has gotten some great reviews, but I think I am least interested out of these 3 new films.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

COSMIC iPOD



Today was not the best of days. Actually, it was a fairly discouraging day. It happens to all of us.

I've noted several times that there seems to be some spiritual or cosmic connection between me and my pink iPod. ...almost as if it is speaking to me to fit the tone of the day. Due to an appointment I was not wearing or listening to my beloved iPod this morning. This afternoon, as I was on my way "to face" the rest of my day, I plowed thru my Puma-back-bag-thing and pulled it out, put it on and pressed shuffle.

And these were the first songs that came on:

"Don't Give Up" by Peter Gabriel with Kate Bush

...well, to be honest -- I played this song about 5 times.

then,

"She-Bop" by Cindy Lauper
"Hey Mickey" by Toni Basil
"Don't Stop" by Fleetwood Mac
"Coming Around Again" by Carly Simon

All happy and full of hope. Just what I needed! Then I saw Twin Peaks ahead of me looking so beautiful with a fog cloud hanging over the area. I snapped a picture. And the day got better.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

WEATHER, WONKA-VISION & REAL CURVES



Not sure why one needs a weather presenter in the California Bay Area. I failed to pick up a news paper today so I actually turned on Alan's TV and took a look at the local news. It amuses me. The guy who does the weather essentially says the same thing all the time --- the schematic of the week had the same little sun with a cloud and temps of 54/68 thru to Saturday. This is the same report they have every week as far as I can tell. Makes me laugh.

Based upon the views expressed by
  • Miss Marisol
    I decided to give in and see Tim Burton's spin on CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. I was quite hesitant because I so love the original musical film version from the early 70's. However, Miss M is quite correct --- this is a completely different film all together and probably should not be compared to the first one. Johnny Depp's performance is quite entertaining. And, Burton created some very interesting characters to play the parents of the brats with the golden tickets. However, I have to say --- the kids in the 1971 film were much more vile. And, in my heart there can ever be one Veruca Salt. And, Veruca is a bad egg -- not a bad nut. But all the same, I have to say this is a highly entertaining film and, I think, the best work from Burton since ED WOOD. It is well worth the price of admission. And, Mr. Bucket is hot!

    And, I really love the new ad campaign from Dove Soap and Lotion Products that features several beautiful women in their undies --- of course what makes the ads cool is the fact that the women all look "real" -- far from fat, but not obnoxiously skinny. These ladies just look healthy and normal. It is sexy and somewhat subversive. I've noticed people stopping and looking at the many posters throughout the city --- everyone seems a bit confused, but everyone also seems to like them. Props to Dove!

  • Monday, July 18, 2005

    FREE TO BE --- YOU & ME!!!! ...well, maybe



    I think I mentioned that me and my pals, Milford and Vic, took in a screening of the brilliant gay film from Thailand, TROPICAL MALADY. A beautiful and multi-layered film about desire, consuming passion and love. Presented in a very unusual mix of realism and fable -- the film is divided into 2 parts: Reality and Fable. In fact, the film's director considers it to be two different films about the same two people.

    It is rare to see a film come to the states from Thailand --- especially one that was not made with a Western audience in mind. Even more extraordinary to see one that depicts a gay storyline. The director's vision is poetic, romantic, sad and somewhat horrific. It is a challenging and thought-provoking film. There have been a number of films from Thailand which portray stories involving transgendered individuals (such as BEAUTIFUL BOXER) but it is rare to see a Thai film which depicts a gay relationship.

    In my opinion, a major part of the beauty and mystery of TROPICAL MALADY develops from the idea of forbidden love. The two male characters never kiss. Instead, the director creates an interestingly erotic moment where the two men lick and taste each other's hands --- which prepares us for the second half or "second" film in which we can see that this erotic moment between the two men was a foreshadowing to shape-shifting to lions. ...the licking of "paws"

    After the movie I made the following statement: "I love this movie so much, but I find it sad that in 2005 a Thai film is unable to be made that depicts a gay relationship in sexual terms -- that it has to be presented in allegory"

    This lead the three of us into a complex discussion of the state of gay rights, stereotypes and homophobia in Thailand and the US -- as well as how being gay is depicted in mainstream films. It was an interesting conversation and Milford challenged me to name a film produced my a major US studio that depicted a gay relatioinship in graphic detail. If I understood his point --- it was to state that things are really not that much better in US cinema -- that I am fooling myself if I think that US film directors are offering realistic and open depictions of gay life in their films.

    Milford -- If you're reading this, please correct me if I've got this wrong or if I misunderstood.

    Anyway, this turn in the conversation caused me to pause for a while. The only film I could think of which had been produced and released by a major Hollywood studio which depicted any level of gay life in fully realized form was hardly a glowing example. Tho, not the evil film that it is known to be, CRUISING is probably the only "mainstream" film to offer graphic depictions of gay sex. Granted -- the gay sex depicted is fringe, hardcore S&M -- and the main thrust of the film is that self-hating gay men can turn into murdering maniacs. Great.

    Controversial and full of self-loathing gay characters -- the film is quite worrying. However, I have been unable to think of any film financed by a major studio that ever showed two gay men or women actually having any form of sex other than this movie. ...and this was back in pre-AIDS 1980 and was absolutely the last kind of representation that the gay community NEEDED. However, murder plot and twisted surprise ending disgregarded, the sex scenes in this movie were filmed in the "hot" gay S&M clubs of the Meat Packing District circa the late 70's. And, most of the men having sex in the film are actually having it and were gay patrons of the clubs.

    It could never be made now --- and, changing morals would now earn this film an NC-17 --- but in the early 1980's it somehow avoided the X-rating thanks to the fact that it stared Al Pacino and was being released by a major studio. But, I think CRUISING is it. Period. ...sad.

    Maybe one could consider TORCH SONG TRILOGY and BROKEN HEARTS CLUB (I think both of those came to us via Sony subsidaries) but sex between gay characters was limited to the more "implied" level than we would see in a hetrosexual love story or film. And, as much as I liked TST -- has Matthew Broderick ever looked so "uncomfortable" in a role!?!?! LOL!

    At this point, I think it unlikely that FOX is going to make a gay version of 9 1/2 WEEKS.

    I think Milford is quite correct. In its own quiet and dignified way, TROPICAL MALADY is every bit as explicit and "real" as any studio-financed US film out there.

    Case in point --- HAPPY ENDINGS.

    While this film is being marketed as an arthouse film, it is well funded and it is being released by Lions Gate which I believe IS a subsidiary of a major studio. Please correct me if I am wrong. However, if I am wrong and Lions Gate is a true independent film distributor such as STRAND RELEASING -- this makes it all the worse.

    HAPPY ENDINGS is by-and-large a gay film written and directed by a gay director. Yes, there are many subplots involving both gay and straight characters, but I think it is safe to say that this film will go down as and be remembered as being a gay film. It has opened several gay film festivals and is being marketed largely to the gay community.

    HAPPY ENDINGS is quite sexual. The title says it all. And, we do see people in, about to be or having just engaged in sex without clothing. ...EXCEPT for the gay characters.

    Yes, the gay characters act gay and they even get to kiss -- but the clothing stays on. Bottom line, it is OK to show one of the gay characters have sex with a woman, but it is ONLY OK to show him kiss the man with whom the film tells us he will spend the next 7 years of his life.

    It is OK to show 2 gay men in the same bed, but it is NOT OK to show physical contact. Trust me --- even a straight audience would have pref. to see the gay male couple touch with strategically placed sheets than Tom Arnold cavorting in the nude with Maggie G.

    It is OK to have Laura Dern play a lesbian mom because she is "fem" enough with long hair and a hint of make-up --- as is her on screen life partner. However it is NOT OK to show them in any sexual context.

    It is OK to show Lisa Kudrow's characters straight parents kissing and to hint at hot sex. Not OK for the two lesbians.

    Bottom line --- our culture might as well film gay relationships as allegory in the jungles of Florida. ...licking scales.

    However, props must be given to the true independent distributors out there who opt to film and release movies which show gay relationships as being sexual. I also think we can't forget SHOWTIME which has and continues to produce television shows that depict explicit gay relationships -- tho, somewhat over the top and silly, at least these characters are granted sex lives.

    However, as Milford and Vic noted -- those of us in cities like San Francisco, NYC or Boston do live in a sort of bubble. The chances of HUSTLER WHITE, EDGE OF 17, BEAUTIFUL THING or RELAX...IT'S JUST SEX playing at the mall cinema in Boise is not likely to happen. If you're a gay man or woman in Boise you will have to wait for these films to be released to DVD and order them via Net Flix or Amazon. However, I am sure Boise was able to screen IN & OUT.

    We have a long way to go before we reach the nirvana hinted at in Marlo Thomas' 1972 TV series. We are only sort of free to be --- you and me.

    Still, as I stated to M&M -- I would much rather be a gay man in the US than a gay man in Thailand.

    However, I must agree that we have a very long way to go! ...and, I am not so certain that "Will & Grace" or "Queer Eye" is helping as much as just perpetuating stereotype. Or, maybe not.

    What do you think?

    Sunday, July 17, 2005

    DISTURBING, FUNNY AND JUST PLAIN WRONG



    Far be it from me to ever say anything even slightly critical of my fave diva. However, I was just lying on my bed listening to this CD and I failed to program the player to skip over track 8 - as I always do when playing this CD. Suddenly my thoughts of the past weekend were distorted by hearing the thing I avoid hearing at all cost. ...Barbra Streisand's "interpretation" of John Lennon's classic, "MOTHER" ...You probably think you can imagine what it sounds like, but I doubt you fully understand unless you've heard it. I'm just sayin'.

    Oddly, I kind of "dig" her "funky B'way" take on David Bowie's "LIFE ON MARS" and, tho I guess it makes me a bit 'uncomfortable' on an erotic level, I even think her cover of Marley's "GUAVA JELLY" is sexy in an odd way --- but I really think one, even me, must draw the line when she attempts a re-invention of "MOTHER" --- I mean, that is just wrong. True, it happened over 32 years ago, but it still hurts. Also, isn't there some sort of law out there to prevent a recording from including a heart-felt John Lennon tune from being tracked next to a Burt Bacharach number? If not, there really should be.

    I guess it could have been worse. She could have opted to record "Cold Turkey" ...imagine. pun intended.

    Oh, and regarding the new Don Roos film, HAPPY ENDINGS. ...I didn't think it as bad as most of the critics, and it is much better than "BOUNCE" -- of course, what isn't?

    However, Roos allows the film to go off on far too many tangents and a comedy should never run for more than 2 hours. But, despite the general sitcom feel and the all too tidy wrap up-endings (not all that happy, by the way) --- this film did have an emotional impact on me. The three themes that 'hit home' with me were the need for human connection, the import of choices and where those connections and choices lead is every bit as unpriedictable as the people to whom we connect. True, sad and scary.

    Also, on the plus side -- Lisa Kudrow remains one of the most underated comedic and effective actresses working (she is awesome in this movie) and Maggie Gyllenhaal is probably the closest thing her generation has to Diane Keaton. However, I hope she will not sing anymore. Ouch.

    CHARITY FAILURE



    Today is the San Francisco Walk Against AIDS. I asked Milford and Alan if they were walking when I first arrived in California. Alan had made no plans, but turns out that Milford organizes a major walk team. So, I asked him to let me walk with his team and he was kind enough to say "Sure!" --- this was over almost 3 months ago! Milford's dog, Lucy, even went to the trouble of contibuting $25 in my name so that I could join the team!

    I was to have met Milfords team near Golden Gate Park for 8:45AM. Well kids, it is 10:50AM and I am sitting here infront of my iBook. I suck.

    I had the pleasure of meeting an individual with whom I've emailed last night. We hung out -- my plan was to be on the MUNI headed home for a good night's sleep by no later than 10:00PM. However, this individual was so cool. We ended up talking and talking. ...and we both lost track of time. When we noticed it was close to 1AM I realized that I had missed MUNI --- so he drove me home, but he needed me to provide directions as he is not particularly familiar with San Francisco.

    Now, if you know me at all -- you're probably laughing.

    Me.

    Providing navigational directions.

    That doesn't work. However, I gave it my very best shot.

    By 1:45AM we were actually close, but no cigar. We eneded up in a part of the Sunset area which I did not know existed. We stopped at two gas stations for directions, but no one seemed to know "my markers" --- Ingelside Area, Randolph Street, Stonestown Mall, Balboa BART station

    So, at about 1:50AM after releazing that the second gas station attendant didn't either speak english or was refusing to do so -- my friend asked if they had maps. They did. I bought one. It is up above. You will note the price sticker is $3.95. The faux gas station attendant gave me a "deal" and sold it to me for $5.37 or something like that. I just paid him.

    Luckily my friend knows how to read a road map. This is a skill that has managed to escape me over the years.

    Anyway, after a few misteps we got here at about 2:15AM! Believe it or not, it was my navigational skills that got us here!

    Of course, I didn't get to bed till 3AM. So, thinking ahead, I sent Milford an email with the subject line -- "URGENT" --- asking him to call me on my cell phone which I put next to my head as I fell asleep. So, I figured with my alarm clock AND a cell phone at full volume -- I would wake up to make it to the Walk,

    I guess the alarm clock went off. It probably went off a lot. And, Milford called twice. I didn't wake up.

    At approx 10:10AM I woke up due to the sound of Alan's garage door shutting. By the time I pulled clothing on and ran to the MUNI stop, the little electronic commuter sign reported that the next train would be in 49 minutes. So, I headed back here and phoned Milford. Told him I was sorry. He was cool and laughed at me. So, I am going to meet up with his team at Milford's After Walk Party at 2PM.

    While I had a great time last night, I failed charity.

    Saturday, July 16, 2005

    FEEDING THE BIRDS




    Who knows the way of hunger, desire and passion? Better yet, who knows why I had the impulse/urge to devour 4(!) cream filled See Candies chocolates within 2 minutes?!?!? However, this is what happened and what I did yesterday as I waited for Vic to get out of work. I stopped myself after the fourth impossibly sweet and calorie-enriched candy and fed the other 3 (yeah, I had 3 more waiting to be eaten) to the birds of Union Square Park. They seemed to love them --- and, boy, those birds seemed very energetic as they consumed the tasty treats. I felt like that little old lady in Mary Poppins. I should be in snow globe.

    Anyway, met up with two of my favorite people (Vic & Milford) and we saw TROPICAL MALADY on the big screen. And, yeah, they both liked it! ...Well, I think Vic liked it. After the movie I led us into a somewhat controversial bit of converse. I worry that I pissed them both off! If I did, I think they pardoned me. Anway, we ended up at this tiny Korean BBQ place on Polk Street that was REALLY good! I wasn't even hungry but I consumed a large amount of chicken.

    Yes, kids, I have gained one pound. UGH! I am now back at 189. It is OK -- I can get back on course. I think I am just a bit stressed with these couple of job opportunities for which I will be interviewing next week. Fingers crossed!!!

    Oh, I saw THE BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY yesterday -- it was a a fantastic film, but heart-breaking at times. Still, well worth seeing.

    As per usual, the weather is gorgeous! I think Alan and his pal, Steve, must have taken off early this morning to get out in it because they were both gone when I fell out of bed at 9:30 this morning!

    Hope everyone is having a great weekend!
    kisses,
    fatty, uh, I mean -- matt

    Friday, July 15, 2005

    OPPORTUNITIES, PLOT HOLES & A BABS KIND OF DAY



    me at 8 with my favorite book... gay much?

    Well, kids --- I've got 3 job opportunities waiting for me next week. Important interviews coming up! The first is on Monday!!! Could employment be in sight? Let's hope so!!!

    OK, I am not going to offer any spoilers, but I was really unhappy with the new Steven Spielberg/Tom Cruise flick. I mean, I wasn't expecting high art or anything. However, I was not expecting plot holes. I think I know the answer to this question but, I shall ask it anyway; If all cars, phones, cell phones, watches, radio/tv reception stop working --- why would a digital camcorder continue to function? I think this would be because the digital cam is made by Sony and the power of product placement can defeat evil scientology-inspired aliens any day of the week! Also, why do aliens always look like either rail thin beings with big heads or variations of Giger's monster from ALIEN? I think Spielberg should be paying Giger for those CGI-created aliens!

    OK -- Sorry --- I do have one SPOILER question. So skip the next paragraph if you plan on seeing the movie!

    Why, if the evil aliens are going to thrive off the blood of humans would they evaporate/kill so many of us before they got our blood? Once again, I think I know the answer: If they didn't "evaporate" us to dust particles we would miss out on a "way cool" CGI special effect. UGH. And, am I the only one who noticed that the special effects for the last half of the film seemed really "blue-screened" compared to the first round of special effects (which were quite cool)????

    And, I'm sorry. But, along with Morgan Freeman, Dakota Fanning must be stopped. As do simplistic/trite/wrap-up endings that seem to have been thought up just before the film wrapped to keep the movie from hitting the 2 hour mark.

    ...wait, that was actually a sort of blessing.

    As, yes, Morgan Freeman provided Hallmarkish voice over narration --- tho, we could not see him, I could just "feel" the moistness of his eyes -- just seconds from "real" tears. I left the cinema wondering why I agreed to see this movie. The answer is simple. I will watch any movie. I blame Milford. He told me it was good. LOL! I have to admit tho, that there were a few moments that got to me. Given all that we've seen happen in the world these past 4 years --- I am not sure I needed to see NY and Boston on the verge of destruction. I did get a spooked/horrified feeling, but not a fun one. It was just upsetting.

    One of the best films I saw last year, TROPICAL MALADY, is opening today in San Francisco on the big screen. I've only ever seen it on DVD. So, I am dragging my pals, Vic and Miford to see it. Love this movie! There are no plot holes in this film, but the combination of love story with Thai fable/superstition is a bit unsettling and hard for this western mind to grasp. However, I think I get it now. I hope Vic and Milford get it.

    And, for me, it is a barbra kind of day. Not sure why, but it is. So, I selected my 'Babs' playlist and then pressed shuffle. And here is how iPod has unfolded my day thus far:

    "I Never Had It So Good"
    "The Main Event (12 inch Mix)"
    "Moanin' Low"
    "One Less Bell To Answer/A House Is Not A Home"
    "Prisoner"
    "Left In The Dark"
    "If I Love Again"
    "Woman In Love"
    "No More Tears (radio edit)" w/Donna Summer

    I applied to 6 more jobs which were just posted.

    OK, a nice cool SF day awaits! Here I go -- cell phone and iPod in hand!

    Wednesday, July 13, 2005



    WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING



    It's interesting to watch people. I especially love watching someone who has no idea that someone might be observing them. Normally, we take a sort of "stance" that presents a mask to others when we are in public.

    Striking a public pose just in case someone is looking at us.

    However, there are those times when the pose gives way and the mask drops --- and we just "are" ....we are in our space. ...sometimes we might be thinking. ...other times we might be watching someone else or some thing.

    But I love catching someone with their public mask off as they chill, watch or think.

    Some people look really beautiful when they drop all pretense or presentation. You know? Really, they are beautiful. Faces filled with love, interest, thought and something profound behind their eyes. Secrets waiting to be shared.

    Others form a soft sort of "gone stupid" face and posture. They look blank and sleepy. Not much seems to be going on in there. They just seem to be comfortable being "out of the moment"

    The thing that I find most interesting, tho --- is that most people look angry. They look like they are stewing over a problem or contemplating some sort of vile action toward whatever or whomever they are looking toward. They seem to be filled with frustration and are ready to strike/snap at any moment. It is kind of creepy that most people seem to have this look about them.

    I wish I could see myself during one of those times. I hope I'm 'beautiful', but I suspect I have that "gone all stupid" look. I just hope I don't look angry.

    I suspect this is one of those things with which we have no control. In a way, I guess there is no hiding once the mask is removed.

    GAY ANGST ON A SHOESTRING

    OK. I am was need of pocket money again. So, I plunged back into my CD collection and carried some off to sell. Selling my music is not fun, but I guess I am lucky I can come up with a way to support my needs for food, transport, Diet Coke and the cinema. Yes, going to a movie is more important than food or a trip to the shrink.

    However, I am getting down to what I would consider the "bare bones" of my music collection and it is killing me! This afternoon I sold all of my Jamiroquai as well as several Judy/Liza/Olivia/Janis Ian/KD Lang CD's! Yes, kids. It was a sad day in Matt's Gay Music Town --- and, to make it all the more desperate --- I didn't get much money. I felt a real kick of pain as I saw the dude toss "Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli: Together!" in the 'cheap' stack. Of course, this being San Francisco, it is unlikely that there is a shortage of Judy/Liza CD's. And, based upon the vast amount of experience gained these past 2.5 months --- this is the best place to sell your CD's. Fair, easy, cool and no attitude.

    Selling My Music

    Yes, I did apply there a month ago. LOL! I don't think I have the right "look" --- but the manager was quite nice. In addition, I think I might be too old for them.

    And, my hope of securing a job at this way cool lesbian owned/operated business seems to be losing ground. Got an email letting me know that they have received so many resumes that it may take them up to one month prior to contacting everyone --- and they've pulled the job posting. Sigh.

    However, the real reason for my angst is "The Advocate" magazine.

    I've complained about it many times. I mean how many more "Hey! I played a gay supporting character and my wife is so proud of me! She is having my baby next week! But I am a straight actor playing gay! Look I can pose seductively with my openly gay co-star who will not be interviewed" cover stories can there be!?!?!? Oi!

    I used to love this magazine back in the 80's. Prior to my coming out, it was my touchstone to the gay world. It came to me in a protective wrapper to a PO Box I opened at 15. It taught me so much! Back "in the day" it was a political and thought-provoking magazine. True, it always had a touch of the erotic to entice readership -- but it had something to say. It had a mission. A purpose beyond commerce.

    Over the years it has been sort of high-jacked by what can best be described as the EVIL People/US Magazine Syndrome. It has become glossy and somewhat vapid. We have more than enough of that in the LGBTQ rag section of the book store. Isn't that what "Genre" is for?!?!?

    However, when the latest issue arrived in my mail box yesterday --- Well, I was just annoyed.

    OK -- look, I know that until we have the right to marry, join the army and adopt kids we will NOT be equal citizens of the US. And, in my opinion, until that happens --- we should get a tax break. But, I digress. I understand the social and political import of the marriage, armed services and adoption arenas.

    However, I feel that in our effort to gain equal rights we are leaving many members on the fringe of our "community" without voice or support. Transgendered people are facing violence and prejudice at every turn. HIV/AIDs is a much of a concern for gay men as it ever has been --- contrary to what all those "pretty" ads for AIDS meds tell us. Gay kids in the red states are still being beaten and kicked out of their homes. Sex workers (porn, prostitutes, escorts, etc) are real and are never going away. After all, we make them. And, they are facing a multitude of social/political issues. True, sex workers do make a choice in their situations, but some never had much of a choice to begin with. Sex workers have always been left for the garbage collectors. Does that make it OK? Besides, shouldn't we aim to do better than our hetro family in this respect??? I know this might be a bit controversial -- but if you are GLBTQ (sigh!) and reading this --- do you or have you ever supported the gay porn industry? Be honest. Yeah, that's what I thought.

    Anyway, it used to be that one of the cool things about being queer was that you didn't have to get married or have children. ...OR serve in the army! LOL! What happened?!?!?!? Suddenly we all want to be the gay version of The Brady Bunch or something. Wait, weren't they gay already?

    But, back to the new issue of "The Advocate" --- For starters, this is the family that was put on the cover. Already model-goodlooking and in need of sandwiches --- our cover family is given the full lighting/re-touched/photo-shop glory normally reserved for movie stars. This is what I would call the gay media "ideal" --- this is what we are all "supposed" to look like.

    Gay Media Ideal

    I guess I should be psyched that they opted to choose a hot mixed couple. Of course, this also plays into the chic stereotype as well. I doubt it would have "worked" for the editors at The Advocate had both men been Asian.

    Now, the family below is quite good looking. In fact I think these two men are actually better looking. However, I would call this "reality" --- and this is something that "THE nation's gay and lesbian magazine" opts to put on page 44 vs. the cover. And, I bet there might even be (gasp) some gay couples of color who have children! Yes, right here in the US! UGH!

    Gay Reality

    Advocate did this a few weeks ago with their "Future Gay Leaders" issue -- where they turned Travis Shumake into a glam movie star. One angry letter to the editors stated that The Advocate continues to promote the sad stereotype that the only gay people worth profiling are those who are cute/hunky/sexy --- and white ---- this reader stated it wonderfully when he noted that the vast majority of people -- gay or straight -- are not hunky/sexy movie star types. And, surprise, we are not al white -- and male! I wish I still had the issue and I could give the reader cred for his words.

    And, even beyond this gripe --- our gay sisters have been fighting for the right to parent long before so many gay men joined the battle. And, yet, I think the idea of two movie-star Abocrombie-styled men with a cute little son fits more into the media "ideal" than two dykes with a cute kid (they are slotted to page 42 -- and make for the best picture, by the way) ...and, I know that gay men have always been involved in raising families, but it has really only been in the last 2 to 3 years that we've seen men get this involved.

    It is all quite worrying to me.

    Oh, and I guess I've already maxed out my "free" usage of flicker for the month. So, no more pix till August! Wahhhhhhhh... Unless I can figure something else out.

    OK, my gay bitch rant is over. I've run out of money. LOL!

    Love and kisses, matt

    Tuesday, July 12, 2005

    BAREFOOT, TURBULENT OCEAN, FACTS OF THE DAY &
    JENNI OLSON'S THE JOY OF LIFE

    turbulent ocean 0705

    A few facts of my day:

    Applied to 20 jobs via internet job boards
    Contacted by HR rep from one of the Big 4 to apply for a position
    I did
    I then applied (once more) to two others of the Big 4
    Made 4 "cold calls" for potential job opportunities (an out-moded approach best forgotten)
    Really cute guy contacted me via match.com
    Flattered
    Am meeting him for a walk tomorrow evening
    Massive headache by 2pm
    Headed to the beach to chill out
    Kick off my shoes

    Shoes on July 12th

    A few more facts of the day:

    Tried to call my friend, Bethie, but got her voicemail
    Put on my iPod for the first time of the day
    Began to play with my camera and took my picture

    another self portrait 0705

    Pressed "shuffle" and my iPod spoke to me as follows:

    "Trust in Me" by Etta James
    "My Old Piano (Chic Version) by Miss. Ross
    "Roland the Roadie & Gertrude the Groupie" by Dr. Hook
    "No More Rain" by Angie Stone
    "Little Black Dress" by Richard O'Brien and Jessica Harper
    "Give Him the Old Ooh-La-La" by Blossom Dearie

    Realized I was practically alone on the beach. Took many stupid pictures.

    me on the beach july 05

    beach watch 0705

    pensive 0705

    beach art

    me 07122005

    me 071205

    me 07122005

    ...and, then I somehow ended up catching a 60 minute film called THE JOY OF LIFE at the Castro which was hosted by the film's writer/producer/director, Jenni Olson, who held an interesting Q&A with the audience after the screening ended. Olson utilizes a very unique narrative style --- she combines incredible static shots of San Francisco with a very explicit and poetic voiceover from a depressed "character" which then evolves into a sad, romantic and horrific meditative study of the Golden Gate Bridge. If you're in SF and reading this now --- the film screens for two more days and it is a must see. It is also currently on the festival circuit. See it, if you get a chance. I've a feeling that Jenni Olson is going to become a "name" in independent film making. Very impressive. I will not forget the film.

    Jenni Olson's the Joy of life

    Oh! And, even tho this was a short film --- the Castro still had the organist perform prior to "curtain" --- I love this cinema. It is like being transported back to a time when films were events. Anyway, this organist is great. I ran into him in "the can" and complimented him on his work. ...then, I realized we were in a restroom. Still, he seemed to appreciate the compliment.

    Castro Organist Pre-Show Interlude

    ...and, that was my day. I was to have to have met up with Vic for dinner, but he had some a scary self-defense class and it would have been too late pour moi as I sometimes turn into a pumpkin on "school nights" even tho I have no school at the moment.

    Monday, July 11, 2005

    matt in sausilito

    MATT DOES SAUSALITO

    ...so to speak. My pal, Milford, invited me to be his guest at a lovely party given by his firm at this way cool hotel in Sausalito. The views were amazing. This above picture is a shot of me in absolute awe -- or I might have been upset as the waiter passed by without offering me one of those little sausage things. Anyway, we had a great time. I wish I had a picture of the prank image Milford's co-worker's created of him -- where his head was morphed onto the poster of Flashdance. Yes, Milford as Jennifer Beales. Great food, views, people and fun all the way 'round. It was awesome!

    Tonight, another friend shared his prize winning gift certificate to a great San Francisco restaurant. It was delicious. I can't remember the name of the place, but Alan knew all about it and agreed that I was quite the lucky man to have a friend who treated me to such a dinner! Yum!

    I owe so many people dinners --- it isn't even funny! Will be glad when I can start to "treat"

    I know that you are all so very impressed that after 2 years I finally figured out how to post pictures to my blog! Get ready for lots of lame examples of my photography skills and obsessions.

    Excellent Marketing

    This is one of the first of many. I just love the iPod marketing. It makes me want to spike my hair and get all jiggy with groove on.

    oh, and today my iPod started the day with the following as I selected 'shuffle':

    1. Best of My Love -- The Emotions
    2. Bliss -- Tori Amos
    3. Party Line (12" Mix) -- Andrea True Connection
    4. I Feel Love (12" Mix) -- Donna Summer
    5. Dynamite -- Jamiroquai

    so, it seemed my iPod wanted me to have a 70's sort of day. ...I didn't. In fact, it was all very 2005 as a matter of fact.

    Jamiroquai. Hot or badly groomed? I'm going to go with hot. ...really hot.

    The iPod also played "Happy Together" by The Turtles. A song that has been forever ruined by the French film, MA MERE. David Lynch did a similar thing to Roy Orbison's "In Dreams" with BLUE VELVET, the brilliant yet misogynistic masterpiece. Sadly, MA MERE is just bad so a cool song is ruined for no good reason.

    Ma Mere

    And, as I close my post I shall let you see what I am looking at as I type this --- yes, the picture below shows you the wall facing my bed. I feel as if I've regressed to 14. All of my stuff is in a bedroom. And most of the pictures that decorated an entire condo are crammed onto the walls of a normal size bedroom. At first I felt over-powered by all of these pictures, but now I've grown used to it. Please note the tiny blue-tined picture my pal, Derek, sent me several years ago because he felt it would make me happy. It is directly under my prized VALLEY OF THE DOLLS poster. I wake up looking at Derek's card every morning! ...that and my "Barbra & Neil" Gold Record of "You Don't Bring Me Flowers --- back in the day when all one had to say was "Barbra & Neil" and you knew that they were speaking of Streisand and Diamond. I think it funny that the record label simply read, "Barbra & Neil" LOL! If you can't quite make it out, it is next to my bedroom door. Oh, and do you like my lovely pink beads which act as a door for my closet?!?!?

    my bedroom wall

    Sunday, July 10, 2005



    TWO MINUTES OF CLARITY

    I am a romantic. I know that science tells us that "matters of the heart" and worries of the soul are fragments from the brain stirred up by chemical reactions to what is going on around us and by what has happend to us before. However, I prefer to imagine that there IS a soft-shape pillow beating within my chest full of love and the capacity to accept love. I want to BELIEVE in the words of the poets and the songs.

    I prefer to believe that I can do and achieve all things once I set my heart to it. I want to live in a world where there is hope, romance, happiness and love. I need to believe in a Creator who helps us through the challenges, tragedies and horrors of our lives.

    I do not want to be forced into a pragmatic world where every feeling and impluse is given up to genetics or social/political constructs. This is what I want and this is what I try to pursue. But, sometimes, the logic of science takes over and I feel the need to reflect ---- to be honest.

    So, today --- As I was sitting on the beach watching the waves and the fog roll in, I got to thinking.

    It takes a brave person to focus and look into the mirror. To wipe away the dreams, life's defenses and self-deceptions --- to actually take a look at yourself and your life. Attempting to fully absorb and be honest about what is looking back at you. And, to ask yourself the questions that matter the most.

    I am not a coward. I do not fear much. I joke about things, but I can deal with and handle a lot. So, over the past year or so I've looked into that mirror a great deal. I did this today as the fog hid me from the sun. And, I asked the questions that matter to me right now:

    "Was it ever love?"
    "Was there or has there ever been love?'
    "Can there ever be love or is it always limited or one-sided?"
    "Will I pull through?"
    "Will I find my way?'
    "What if I can't escape all of this debt?"
    "Am I being the best person I know how to be? Really."
    "Where am I going?"

    And, it is at this point I realize I've been clear as I can bare. ...Two minutes.

    Two minutes before I begin to fold.

    Two minutes before my heart begins to break.

    And, two minutes before I come to the realization that I might know some of the answers. Answers that are probably best left unstated or pondered.

    So, I step away from the mirror and allow self-deceptions, good and bad, to cloud the mirror. And, I grab hold of "hope" again. Because I know things will get better and I've as much chance at getting myself together as anyone. And, because I know that love takes many different forms --- and, like all things in life, changes and evolves.

    Two minutes of clarity are harsh and, I think, are almost more than any of us can take.

    Saturday, July 09, 2005

    TOILETS & KATE BUSH

    Last night I dreamt that I was installing a toilet for Kate Bush. I've seen 3 toilets installed in my lifetime, but it sure felt like I knew what I was doing. I explained all of the steps to Ms. Bush as I worked. She wasn't interested. She just wanted me to hurry and finish as she needed to "wee" --- as she put it.

    Yes, these are things of which I dream.

    Thursday, July 07, 2005

    TREADING LIGHTLY

    I love the way the fog flows into San Francisco and embraces us in a sort of cool dampness. I believe that I am living in one of the cooler and foggier sections of the city. I suspect that this hug of fog allows for more of some life forms than others. One form of life that seems to thrive on this street is that of the snail.

    Aside from having heard about Crispin Glover's "film project" for over ten years (which, from what I can gather involves snails), having read (and loved) JT LeRoy's HAROLD's END and that episode of I LOVE LUCY where snails are served as food (I think Lucy, Ricky, Ethyl and Fred were in France or Hollwood) --- I have never really seen or thought about snails. So, since I've lived here I've stopped many a morning/evening and watched all of these snails crawl with their shells from one side of the walkway to the other. It is like a mini exodus in the morning from the left side to the right. Then, during the cool dark of evening they all try to travel back across the pavement to the left from from where they started in the morning. I find them both cute and repulsive.

    Anyway, when I am walking down the street in the early am or after the sun has set I walk in the street so as not to harm the many little snails making their pointless journey.

    Last night Vic and I used my free pass to see a sneak preview of the new Rob Zombie movie, DEVIL'S REJECTS. I got home a bit late and there was a creepy-looking guy about twice my size on the train who decided to get off with me at my stop. I had just sat thru 2 hours of murder, horror and spooky texas mayhem so I was feeling a wee bit suspicious of my odd and bulky "pal" ---- so I walked quickly to my street and and walked at even faster pace when I realized he had turned onto my street behind me. Suddenly I heard tiny cracking sounds and felt something beneath my feet. I realized at once what I had done.

    Crazy axe killer be damned --- I stopped dead in my tracks and looked down. My feet were surrounded by tiny snails making their way across the pavement. I almost couldn't bear to look but I lifted my right foot to step off the sidewalk and, in the glow of the street light, I saw the crushed little life forms. I felt awful. ...and more than a little disgusted. I then jumped off the pavement and opted not to look at what I had killed with my left foot.

    I stood on the side of the street for a few minutes. The "dangerous" man walked past me and wished me a good evening. I could hear the snaps and crunches as he walked by --- and continued to watch as he entered the house next door to Alan's. I don't think he even noticed what he had done.

    I guess I felt a sadness that I would not have never expected to feel over the death of snails.

    Tuesday, July 05, 2005

    EASY READER

    I was an odd child. At four I was into Barbra Streisand. I never liked Star Wars (don't yell at me) or other things that my friends were into. When my friends were enjoying Grease, I was sneaking in to see Woody Allen's Interiors. When disco was popular I was more interested punk that the older kid across the street listened to --- then as disco started to go out of style I developed a taste for it. When everyone was "jamming" to Cyndi Lauper or U2 -- I was listening to 4AD artists or Led Z, Heart, Patti Smith Group, Romeo Void or my beloved Stevie and Fleetwood Mac. Anyway, I never liked entertainment aimed at my generation -- or to children --- with three exceptions:

    1. Willey Wonka & The Chocolate Factory --- Gene Wilder and Veruca Salt! Yes. Please, let's not discuss the revision coming from Tim Burton. I am upset about it. Sorry -- I know that many of you are excited, but to me it is sacreligious to remake that film. And, please, what is up with Johnny Depp's Tranny-in-a-suit-interpretation of the manic candy maker? What is up with that?!?!?

    2. Zoom! Yes, I wrote to the kids at Zoom and learned to tie-dye my t-shirts. But, I never mastered that langauage thing that they could do. I loved those pseudo-hippie rap sessions!

    3. PBS's The Electric Company --- Yes, I had a crush on Easy Reader. Tho, I am not sure I fully understood it was a crush at that time. But whenever Rita Moreno would scream, "Hey, you guys!" -- I was there waiting to see Easy Reader strolling along to that funky music ready to teach me how to read words.

    Well, in case you don't realize or you are too young to remember Electric Company --- Easy Reader was played by Morgan Freeman. Who knew he would go on to become a big movie star?!?!? I even thought he was a good actor until he did that lame movie, DRIVING MISS DAISY --- which, in my opinion, could have just as easily been called UNCLE TOM DRIVES BITCHY OLD WHITE LADY. I hated that movie. Some white southern male's mistaken view of what he thought was an anti-racist statement was actually the reverse hidden in cliche and Hollywood sentiment. And, then Mr. Morgan appeared in the film version of BONFIRE OF VANITIES and I just pretty much lost respect. I mean the book was OK, but the movie translation was just wrong. I mean where was he when Spike Lee was casting DO THE RIGHT THING --- well, just as well. No one can top Ossie Davis.

    In addition to participating in disguisting racist film work, he then adapted this grandfatherly voice of "wisdom" and is able to mist his eyes at will. Crying on cue would be more tolerable, but this misting of the eye business is just sappy beyond belief. In short, Morgan Freeman really annoys me. Sad, because he may have been my first male celebrity crush.

    Anyway, there is a new documentary about penquins which looks quite interesting, but I don't think I can stomache it due to the fact that my man, Morgan (formerly known as The Easy Reader), is narrating it. And, on the commercial there is a line reading where Morgan says, "...love finds a way" ---- and, he says it in that honey-dipped-misty-eye'd way and I can hear the film editor scream to her assistant, "Cue the strings to manipulate for goose bump effect" ...and, it would be at this point that I gag.

    That is the point of this aimless rant --- I want to see "March of the Penquins" --- but I guess I can't go thru with it. Damn!

    WAITING FOR THE PHONE TO RING

    I have several interviews and job leads this week. However, today the fun doesn't start till 2pm when I meet with the agency which tells me that they can put me to work in a temp capacity. I've been told this before only to discover it is just a ploy to get me listed with them for possible executive level perm positions. However, I expressed this concern and they confirmed again that they would be able to get me temp jobs. So, fingers crossed!!!

    And, now, I sit infront of my iBook. I am dressed in ironed black cotten slacks (no pleats, but with cuffs), a business casual button down blue shirt and my sensible (I hate that word) shoes. My hair freshly cut. I sit waiting for the cell phone to sound. To pass the time, I scroll thru monster, craigslist and hotjobs. My pal, Don, has led me to some postings for city jobs and I've done my best, but find the many hoops confusing. And, I do not understand the job profiles for these city positions. Much corporate and civic "speak" or buzz words.

    So, I wait.

    iPod Shuffle Morning Start:
    Breakdown - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
    Tell Mama - Janis Joplin
    Beautiful - Christina A --- big name I can't spell. LOL!
    Erotic - Madonna
    Hurt - NIN

    Hmmmm...

    Saturday, July 02, 2005

    INCIDENT ON RANDOLPH STREET, THE COOL THING ABOUT BLOGGING & MY FAVORITE MUSICAL PERFORMERS!

    Upon my way back to the house (on the M train) we came to a complete stop outside of the creepy pizza joint on Randolph Street. There were only a few of us on the train. I noticed a few panic-striken faces looking toward the front of the train at what was blocking our way. And, me and this kid both stood up, walked forward to see what was going on. There were police cars (sirens off) and two big black police vans --- all blocking the street both ways. The train driver announced that we would need to be patient and that she was not going to open the doors. It was only about 7 or 8 minutes, but the black vans moved over and we were allowed to drive by --- there were a few people standing outside the package store looking very serious, a girl with a cell phone frantically pushing the doorbell to a residence next door to the package store and the owners of the new Mexican restaurant were standing outside, arms folded and looking serious.

    This is my stop... I got down from the train, pulled my headset off and asked the restaurant folks what was going on. The eldest told me that they thought there was a shooting, but no one was hurt. There was a loud burst of laughter --- it was the cops gathered outside of the package store. Mostly white cops with two cops of color -- they seemed to be having fun. I turned to the restuarant guys and said, "All in a day's work, I guess" --- the eldest shook his head with a frown and said, "Yeah, I guess so." --- Not sure what happened but it was over so I walked down the street to the house wondering what had happened.

    Well, Miss Marisol discussed this on her blog (scroll to the left and follow the link --- GREAT BLOG!!!) and there is no way I will be able to match her atriculate and insightful commentary as she is a REAL writer. However, blogging is an interesting experience --- as I am sure more than a few of you know. You begin to interact with fellow bloggers, read their thoughts and ideas on an almost daily basis --- and, you begin to feel as if you really know them. I even find myself talking about Miss Marisol, Mr. 8, Hot Toddy, Lubin and Tim (where has Tim gone to, by the way???) as if I do know them. And I've had the pleasure of really getting to know a few of my fellow bloggers like Fash Mag Slag (who is fucking awesome!), Thomas -- master of the Kung Fu Kittens and Underling (both of whom I can tell you I love dearly) ---- but how well do we really know each other? It is an interesting thought. The romantic in me wants to believe that I know them, but the realist in me knows that we all have aspects of ourselves we are not going to put out on the world wide web for all to read.

    Even still -- these connections we make via our blogs are quite real. I find myself sending lots of positive thoughts to my fellow bloggers when they are going thru a rough time and I get a real surge of happiness when something goes well for someone.

    So, esstentially, what started as a creative outlet has turned into a sort of social one. ...for me, that is. Not that I do not have friends outside of the blogging world. I do. But, the connection created via the www is really cool.

    i am equally amazed at the number of people from around the world who read my blog and send me emails --- often opting not to post comments to my blog itself. Recently my silly posts about my iPod and its relevance to my days as I select shuffle have triggered interest in a number of people -- a lot of whom are from Japan and Germany. I received the 10th email this morning asking me to list out my 10 favorite musical performers --- or, rather, which 10 performers do I listen to most on my iPod. Granted, this one was specific in the sense of looking for 10, but the others have asked me to list out who l like to listen to the most. So, here follows a listing for my pal in Germany of the 10 musical performers who I seem to listen to more than any others on my iPod. Not much of a surprise for those of you who know me or read this blog. However, if the spirit moves you, please feel free to list out your fave 10 musical performers in the comments box -- or if you could list them on your own blog. No biggie, tho. However, I always feel that music is very often a better vision into a person's soul than the eyes.

    So, there is no particular order here -- I am able to tell by looking at itunes and my iPod who I play/listen to the most. I like these performers for various reasons. Could be the sound of their voices, their lyrics or the feelings that their work stirs in me. One thing is for sure --- I tend to prefer the female voice more than the male singing voice. Hmmm...

    1. Barbra Streisand (Big Surprise!!!)
    2. Blondie
    3. Led Zeppelin
    4. Nina Simone
    5. Billie Holiday
    6. Joni Mitchell
    7. Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac
    8. Ryuichi Sakamoto
    9. Tori Amos
    10. Mylene Farmer/Marlena Shaw (they actually tie)

    Of course there are other popular hits on my iPod -
    Rickie Lee Jones, Janis Joplin, Kate Bush, Arthur H, The Who, Mitsuko Uchida, Robbie Williams, Kylie, Madonna, Linda Rondstadt, Carly Simon, Marianne Faithfull, Rollilng Stones, Andy Gibb (shut up! I can't help it!), Dianne Reeves, Stereo Total, Angie Stone, Jane Siberry, Pizzicato 5, Poe, Regina Bell and Meshell Ndegeocello (tho, her recent conversion to Muslim confuses me given her past ideologies -- I think Meshell is in crisis, but I down loaded her new CD (for free -- shhhhhhhhh!) and it is fucking awesome! When I have money, I shall buy it. Her song from back in 1999, "Beautiful" is one of the most sensual songs I've ever heard.

    If forced to name a favorite genre of music --- I guess I lean toward "vocals/jazz/blues --- but my heart will always been in those mellow and, yes, disco sounds and vibes of the 1970's)

    McSICK & HELL IS NO OPTION

    OK, no speeches, please. However, to save some money I've been trying to skip lunch. However, yesterday I was just so damned hungry. I decided the cheapest alternative for me at that moment was McDonalds. I had a 3 piece Chicken Selects and a small Diet Coke ---- I got McSick. Not fun.

    Oh, and I hope no one judges me too harshly --- but I am most excited about the new Rob Zombie movie, THE DEVIL'S REJECTS! It opens mid-month and I just can't wait. I really enjoyed his first directorial effort, HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES. Funny and even a bit scary -- plus one gets to see Karen Black in full bossom horror in a baby girl nightie with great fake yellow teeth! What more can one ask out of a movie? Prior to getting sick I saw that new film, ME, YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW. I liked it, but not as much as all of the critics. Still, I had not seen a film like it in years. Very much a throw back to the free spirit and ambivilant comedies of the 1970's.

    I feel better today.