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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

THE HORROR OF SIX FEET UNDER



OK, so if you've not yet watched the final episode of "Six Feet Under" --- and you plan to do so --- skip this post because I am about to provide a couple of spoilers.

I have to be honest. I was not that impressed with the closing show. Somehow it all got wrapped up too easily. All of these horribly disfunctional people suddenly came together and seemed to resolve all of their issues. It was too easy. Suddenly with an offer to change career/life plans for her mother the daughter managed to turn 60+ years of sour frigidness into an easy-going pseudo-hippie full of love and life. A dream changed a deeply disturbed and angry woman into a mother at peace with her dead husband, her frail children and her life. A trauma victim skips what most would feel requires some hospitalization by a simple dream and pulls himself together. And, suddenly, a self-absorbed brat turns into a caring daughter, sister, friend and lover. All in 65 minutes. What gives? It just seemd to simple and tidy for a show that was so filled with angst, anger and turmoil. Granted, I've only ever seen the final season -- but this one unhappy group of people!

However, I have to tell you that the 10 minute wrap-up where we see as far as 80 years into the future and watch all of the major characters as they pass away into death --- despite bad old age make-up (where did the budget go?!?!?) and why-O-why does the future always look like one of those "mod" 1972 homes. Kids, that look is never going to happen. It's too white and plastic-looking -- but anyway, that 10 minute ending got to me. In fact, it gave me nightmares. I woke up in a cold sweat this morning at 3am. I guess I was already disturbed by the death of the older brother who, I believe was to have been born the year before me. So, my age --- and with the same blood disorder that I inherited from my father. And, the character ends up dying from it --- AVM in the brain equals stroke. So, that sort of bothered me. But, then seeing the younger brother who was to have been born a year after me die. It must have freaked me out more than I realized.

I am-a-scared of dying. However, I would much rather die at a picnic table imagining my deceased life partner playing football than to be gunned down while carrying money out of a Brinks truck. That death would suck. Actually, I guess I would prefer the death of the really little but cute mortician who just sort of falls down while on some sort of solar cruise. Oh, and was it just me or did anyone else notice that his wife just stayed in the lounger and watched him fall. ...she didn't get up. Or did I miss it.

However, despite my fear of death --- I don't want to live to be 105. No, that is a bit too long I should think. However, the way my luck seems to work --- and, trust me, I don't think I have bad luck. I just have odd luck. I bet I end up living to be 108, incontinent and in some crap senior home --- and, of course, some large weatherman/morning news anchor will show up to film me failing to blow out the candles on some horror cake made by the Salvation Army. He will ask me if I have any advice for living such a full life and I will respond in an inaudible manner. He will chuckle. Pat me on the back and say, "Thank you! A very happy birthday to you, my friend! Back to you Darcie!" ...I will try to slap him, but he will think I am trying to touch/connect with him and he will hug me. Yeah, this is probably how it will play out.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

HAPPY DANCE!

...is just what I did when I discovered that I am a size 31 again!!!! YAY!!! I took two pairs of my "work pants" in for alterations. Am having the lady take them in to waist size 32. She wanted to bring them in to a size 31, but I guess the cut would look silly or something. She has warned me that they will still be a bit loose. ...but, Kids, one pair was a size 36 and the other a size 34! Progress!!!! So, I ventured into a cool thrift shop. Saw a pair of Calvins for $5 so I tried them on. They were a size 31 and I still had room!!!! WOW! And, then, for the hell of it --- I tried on what used to be my "normal" size tshirt, medium. ...It fit! YAY! The t-shirt was $2. So, I now have a pair of jeans and a t-shirt that actually fit me!!!! I still need to lose more, but I don't do the scale thing. However, I have more of a tire than I should. So, I will just continue on as I've been continuing!

So, quick inventory: Health. Check. Great friends. Check. Job. Check. Benefits. Check. Losing Weight. Check.

So, at this point the only major thing lacking is romantic love. I don't think one can really "look" for that. I mean you have to stay "out there" but that sort of love either finds you or it doesn't. I hope that for all of us --- it does or that it has. For when it comes to romantic committment --- one can only love and pursue.

But, I've got the things that matter! I am sure the other will fall into place.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

A NIGHT OF CELEBRATION

...because I am now employed! Full time with benefits! Yay! No details on the blog, but like Mary Tyler Moore ---- I'm going to make it after all! Yes!

My pal, Milford, took me out on the town tonight to celebrate! We had a great time! We had dinner at a really nice place called PAUL K ---- and Milford gave me a gift of a way-cool paperweight and my fave candy from the south!!!



THEN -- as a surprise --- he treated me to an evening of cabaret at Club Fugazi on Green Street in North Beach! We saw the long-running San Francisco show, STEVE SILVER'S BEACH BLANKET BABYLON!!!! It was really funny and there was quite a bit of talent under those huge hats and 6 foot tall wigs! I guess this show has been running since 1975 at Club Fugazi! ...and, it appeared to be close to standing room only tonight!



Please note the Blanket Babylon Chocolates... Yes, kids, I had sugar tonight! But we were celebrating!


...this box contained really good chocolate truffles which I ate as I watched a warped story of Snow White trying to find a straight lover in SF ---- she ends up with Elvis.

Big kiss to Milford for creating such a great evening! I had been quite worried, tho. Whenever someone tells me that they are taking me out for a surprise my CARRIE-complex kicks in and visions of silly prom dresses and pig's blood fill my head! Luckily, no buckets of blood, chanting of "They're all going to laugh at you" or flinging fem napkins were involved. Just large women in huge headgear belting out great songs! Much fun!

And, tomorrow I will be seeing the premiere of a new bit of theatre, "Mapplethorpe" --- a one man show about the infamous art showing of 1990. ...or was 1989? Anyway, am psyched to be seeing it! Oh, and ushering at the Post Theatre Thursday night was actually pretty fun. We were given a cool story about a crazy usher and a very upset diva otherwise known as Bebe Newirth (sp?) --- all in all --- this has been a most excellent week!!! ...an undertatement!

Now it is time for sleep!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

AN AWESOME BLOG!

  • this ...is a great blog. Not sure how I manged to miss out on it for so long --- especially as LaurenAbove and I seem to read many of the same blogs! If you've not visited, check it out. Her site rocks --- actually, she looks a bit like a rock star in her profile picture! Why can't I look cool?!?!?

  • A BALL GAME



    Wow! I actually enjoyed it! LOL! The SBC arena is fantastic! It is so cool to be able to look out at the bay as the game is played. The boats and yachts go by and there is this great breeze that blows off from the ocean. Tho, it did get quite cold. I was advised to layer -- which I did. The fans seemed much more "tamed" than the ones I've seen at Red Sox games, but just as passionate. There were over close to 37,000 people there. It really is a beautiful arena with state of the art stuff all over! And, so very clean!!! Palm trees, the bay, sunshine, cool/cold breeze and really good food options. Great place.





    Sadly, they lost. I believe the score was 7 to 4.

    And, for the record, I did not fall asleep! Tho, I might have said one or two dumb things. LOL! However, I think I now understand the basics of the game! And, of course -- as I knew it would be. I had a great time just hanging out with this really cool guy I've met. We'll see what happens with that in time. But, for now I am enjoying it all.


    ...this is a statue of Willie Mays. I gather he is/was a popular figure in the world of baseball.


    ...this is statue of someone that I had never heard of, but I love the way that the statue was placed with him throwing the ball out to the bay. ...also, he appears to have had a great butt.


    ...the scoreboard which caused many cries of sorrow at night's end.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2005

    BEST FRIENDS

    I am blessed with a good many friends. In the end, our friends provide us with love, laughter, easy shoulders and a sometimes very much needed kick in the ass -- in ways that our 'traditional family' members cannot. I used to be able to label one or two people as my "best" friends, but over the course of the past six months I've come to realize I have a number of "best" friends.

    I live with one. I have another who I've only known for a very short time, but who I would trust with my life --- and, for whom I would do anything. Another friend who I sometimes think of as my "Fairy Godfather" I even have a few who I've never really met (as of late I've come to suspect that I must have had a past life in OK because they both live there!) There are two others with whom I've worked for a number of years. Tho, a bit complicated -- I shared a large portion of my life with someone who despite the understandable "awkwardness" that I sometimes feel --- will always be dear friend. I've a couple from my wayward youth who opted to stay in Texas. However, there is one person who knows me so well. So well, in fact, that I think she knows me better than I do. We've saved each other more than a few times and have seen each other thru some fairly tragic and horrific times as well as shared some very happy ones.


    this is me with her...

    She has been in the Silicone Valley on a business trip and we've been able to hang out for the last two nights. Tonight, we had to say goodbye. I despise "goodbyes" and suck at them. I walked her to her rented car, pushed her into it and ran to the subway station as fast as I could.

    Today was a great day for a number of reasons and tonight was such fun. However, saying goodbye was a real bummer. Luckily, I ran into another best friend as I was waiting on the Castro MUNI Station platform feeling down because I know I probably won't see Beth again for at least a year or so. And, he was able to do what even ABBA could not -- he made me feel better with a hug, a smile and a few minutes of chatting.

    Anyway, here's to best friends and the joy they bring to life's journey!

    Oh, and I (yes, that would be me) am going to a baseball game later tonight! ...And, I say this with all honesty and no irony -- I'm looking forward to it! True, the company plays a major factor in that --- but it is always fun to have the chance to share in another person's love/passion for something. Let's just hope he doesn't realize how clueless I am about the game.


    ...two other good friends. tho, I fear Ms. Jolie may have feelings for me and I would never want to hurt The Bradster!


    ...Yeah, David's small.

    Sunday, August 21, 2005

    THE MAGIC OF THE SAN FRANCISCO SEA LIONS



    After the horrible 1989 San Francisco earthquake "wild" sea lions started taking over a section of the piers at Fisherman's Warf. At first it was just about 20, but within days there were 50 and it soon multiplied to over 100. It is thought that where ever they were living prior to the earthquake was lost to a change in the environment triggered by the earthquakes. The sea lions had no where "to dock" Now, this was an area where rich men docked their yachts. But this is San Francisco so the rich men and their yachts were made to leave and the Pier 39 was given to these beautiful, loud, smelly, mean and wonderful creatures. When I moved here back in 1997 this story, or history, really intriqued me. I thought it was so amusing that these wild creatures would want to make the city's biggest tourist area their home. And I loved the fact that the city welcomed it so easily. And, for some reason, despite the noise (they are LOUD), the stench (they smell BAD), their habits (they can be really mean to eachother and do fight quite a bit) and all of the tourists who crowd up to see them (come on, none of us enjoy hanging around tourists unless we are the tourists or the tourists are our friends/family -- admit it! Own it! LOL!) --- I found a great deal of comfort in their chaos. I spent hours at this spot watching them, writing in my journal and just thinking. I fell in love with them.



    For whatever reason, I have avoided going to visit this site since I moved back here. I kept planning on taking the F train there, but just didn't. Vic and a couple of other friends had suggested we go out there, but I always found somewhere else to go. Not sure why.

    You can't feed them and you certainly can't harrass them as the signs advise.





    A person who I am rather quite like suggested we take in an outdoor screening of VERTIGO tonight. We were to meet at 6pm. I left about 3 hours early because I can't trust the "M" train on Sundays and I also wanted some time to visit the sea lions. It was a great start to a really nice evening. The screening was held in the "courtyard of The Cannery which separates the vast building into two parts. Once we got there I did sort of remember it. However, as my friend explained, there was a fire several years ago which caused damage to the structure so it did look a bit different. Also, a lot of the stores and restuarants which I remembered are gone. There is a HUGE In&Out Burger in that area now! And I walked by the first place Karl worked when we first lived there. It used to be a real estate office, but is now a hair salon. I don't think I was confused about where I was, but I guess I could have been off by a block. However, I doubt as I went there quite a bit.



    We had dinner outside at a restaurant called The Blue Mermaid and were able to watch the movie from there. VERTIGO was fun to watch as it showed some great shots of the city circa the late 50's. So much has changed and yet so little all at the same time. The film was very long and quite corny --- am not sure I see why people love it so much. REBECCA is by far the better Hitchcock film. However, the cinematography and the musical score were great -- and the sheer "corniness" did make it fun to watch. And, to be honest, I probably was not all that focused on the movie anyway. So, I should possibly give it another chance sometime in a more appropriate setting.

    The sea lions still warmed my heart, the movie was fun, the food was delicious and the company was the most important part of the day. I think this might have been the best evening I've had since I've been back in San Francisco. It was the first time since I've been here that I didn't feel queasy due to my unemployed situation --- I was relaxed and in "the moment" of the evening. It was great. Tho, I was freezing by the time we got on the train! LOL! I always forget how chilly it gets!

    My friend Beth arrived a few hours ago and I will be seeing her tomorrow afternoon/evening thru to when she leaves this Wednesday! Am all excited about that!

    And, I guess I will know if I am to be hired by the place for which I want to work by Tuesday or Wednesday. I sure hope they hire me! LOL! I am a great worker. They won't be sorry if they do! But, if they don't --- I will find a job. Just wish I could stop thinking about finding one and start focusing on doing one. It will all work out! I have faith.

    DID YOU SAY "PIG" OR "FIG"?



    ...."Pig" replied Alice.

    The two works which explore the head of Alice are among my favorite works of literature. Both work on so many levels and reveal something new each time I read them. It's funny. The only books I "re-read" are ones which are often perceived as "children's stories" but are anything but. I also place a very high value on THE LITTLE PRINCE. Tho, it is all light, hope and love. Lewis Carroll's visions are dark, highly sexual and most worrying.

    Ok, so I believe it was my good friend, George, who first mentioned Jonathan Miller's BBC adaptation of ALICE IN WONDERLAND to me and suggested that I check it out. I bought a copy back in February. I watched it this evening and I am totally creeped out. This 1966 made for British television movie is so strange and disturbing. No real special effects to speak of -- just odd camera angles and interesting sets. The "animals" are played as people. And none of the actors ever look at each other. The only exception is when a character will sometimes glance at Alice.



    Alice is played by this beautiful but really freaky looking little girl. I would guess she is about 13 years old. She is made to look bored and lost through out the film which is really one long nightmare. Essentially, the young girl triping thru her own psyche. Tuned in to the time of the emerging late 60's, Miller has Alice forever pondering over who she really is -- she keeps forgetting. This is actually a major theme of the movie. They music is all sytar. And, yet, it somehow is not dated. It could have been filmed yesterday.



    Although, not at all faithful to the novel --- in a strange way I think it might be the most faithful adaptadation of the source. What it fails to represent visually and word-for-word is more than "made up for" by the sheer atmosphere and mood of the piece. Disturbing on the verge of being funny, but far too sinister and odd to ever make you laugh, Miller created one of the strangest films I think I have ever seen. The voice overs of Alice are so odd --- much of the time in the form a whisper that one can barely hear. I was watching with headphones and I am not sure I would have heard all of what she was whispering had I just been listening to the stereo TV speakers.

    The film really makes you feels like you've slipped into some striking black and white Freudian nightmare filmed. The drug and sex undertones are fully represented. But even more strange than ususal. It all made me think of David Lynch --- excepting that this was made good decade before Lynch would release ERASERHEAD on an unsuspecting world. Anyway, if you like the odd and enjoy Lewis Carroll, I think you will really like this little movie. I do believe it was recently or will soon be released in the US by BBC Video.



    I fear that my iPod is no longer in sync with my days! However, I think that is probably a good thing. LOL! I didn't put it on until I reached the beach this afternoon and these are the first 10 songs I heard as I watched the ocean waving.

    iPod Random Shuffle:

    "No More Olives" by Tosca
    "Time" by Mary J. Blige
    "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" by 20 Minutes With My Dad (has this group ever recorded anything else???)
    "You've Got Her In Your Pocket" by The White Stripes
    "It's A Hard Knock Life" from ANNIE:the movie (stop making fun of me. I like it.)
    "Far Away" by Cranes
    "Afro Blue" by Lizz Wright
    "Lady Flash" by The Go! Team
    "Make It With You" by Bread
    "Mandate My Ass" by Le Dust Sucker

    See? No connection to each other or to me -- the songs are simply random and rather eclectic. Looks like the mystic connection has faded!

    Today was not too exciting, but it was what I wanted --- to just relax and chill-out. I slept till about 10am. The weather was beautiful and cool. I spent the first part of the afternoon searching for a Chinese herbal supplement. I had no luck. Maybe on Monday. The two places that would have it were closed. Then I made my way to the beach. Wrote in my journal, watched an experty kite flyer and chatted with a cool lady who had a cute little dog that liked my feet. I was actually quite cold, but stayed for a good amount of time. I returned a phone call to my friend, Tom, who was wandering about Manhattan. He was hot and sweating while I was literally on the verge of shivering!

    Then I did some exploring in the outer Sunset area. I find those houses so interesting. Not sure why. Did my laundry and just finished watching the above mentioned movie which is certain to produce strange dreams. That actress was most disturbing! Just look at her haunting little face!

    I am excited about my plans for tomorrow. Meeting up with a friend -- and we are to go to some place called The Cannery. ??? And, we will be watching a free outdoor showing of VERTIGO -- which I've never seen! So this should be cool and I know I will enjoy the company, too!

    Friday, August 19, 2005

    A GREAT EVENING!!!



    After such a challenging week, I had a really cool time last night. Spent yesterday afternoon hanging out with a friend who then shared a ticket with me to see an aweome concert at the New Conservatory Theatre. We saw Wesla Whitfield, who is an outstanding singer and performer. I was ashamed that I was not familiar with her work, but she was amazing! It was a great afternoon/evening. Like a goof I left my program in my friend's car. I hope he saves it for me! Yes, I save programs to everything I see. Memories!

    Actually, the whole day was pretty good! While the interview I had yesterday morning was another long one --- I think it went really well. A busy but positive vibe --- I think it would be a great place to work. Now, let's see if they think I would be a great person to work there! LOL! I've got everything crossed!!!

    I think I am growing weary of interviewing. It seems that they keep getting longer and longer!

    Tonight am meeting up with Milford and Alan --- we're seeing 2046 on the big screen. I've seen this film several times via DVD, but am dying to see it on the big screen. It has taken so long for this film to make it to the US. Let's hope Milford and Alan like it or I might be in trouble!!!

    My pal, Bethie, is coming over from Boston for some business training starting on Monday! So, I will be hanging out with her every evening thru Wednesday! Am very much psyched about that!!!

    OK -- giving myself a break from the job postings and am headed out to the beach with my iPod!

    Wednesday, August 17, 2005

    WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE...



    The "Big Interview" --- for starters the train decided to stop for 30 minutes. No big deal. I always give myself a great deal of extra time. But, then I realized that I had made a mistake regarding the location of the building. So, I rushed over to the nearest bus stop only to be told by a would be fellow passenger that there would not be a bus for about an hour. She was just reading her book and enjoying the breeze. So, I rush toward the correct location of the building. This means I was rushing up quite a set of hills. ...in a full suit. ...in just a bit of a panic. But, it is OK. I made it to the building 20 minutes before the interview is scheduled to start.

    However, I have started to sweat. Once I start sweating, it is next to impossible for me to stop. This happens even if I am not nervous. I sweat like a pig once I start. Pretty.

    Ugh.

    A pocket pack of Kleenex and 15 minutes later I sort of have my sweating under control. I walk into the office space and discover that the plans have been changed again due to client needs. No big deal. Turns out I WILL meet with the CEO/President last. The interviews go VERY well. Am feeling really good about things. I even manage to navigate thru the whole "we are concerned you might not be challenged" issue on the winning side. 1.5 hours later it is time to meet with the Big Guy.

    I am used to and comfortable working for and with egos. No big deal. I even rather enjoy it, but I do have my limits.

    After keeping me waiting for close to 20 minutes, The Big Guy (let's call him "BG") walks into the conference room. We seem to hit it off. He fires off some challenging questions and I think I did well with all of them. We discussed the scope of the position and his business. We discussed my short and long term career goals. We discuss his concern that I will not be challenged. He tosses out some examples of challenges and asks me how I would deal with them --- I do believe I passed everything with flying colors. We've been "talking" about 40 minutes. We discuss salary and a potential start date.

    ...I am thinking I have this one! Thanks to the Creator! I think I've got a job!!!!

    He finally asks if I have any questions. I do. I ask them. He "seems" impressed and answers. I've stroked the ego and worked my knowledge of his industry and business. Looking and feeling good. I am thinking we are done.

    Then --- silence. Awkward silence.

    BG begins to draw little squares and circles on my resume.

    Less is more. So, I sit patiently while projecting all that psych crap about being "open" and "relaxed, but poised" --- and, then, the silence is broken. I am putting the conversation in quotes, but I may be off a bit as I wasn't taking notes.

    BG: "How would you project the revenue I can anticipate from my tenants? I mean, across the board."

    What in the hell?!?!?

    me: "Well, it would be a bit different for each tenant as one might only be leasing a small amount of square footage and require very little support. While another might take up a quater of your space and require a great deal of support. I --"

    BG: "Excellent answer! How would you break it down?"

    me; "Well, I would need to better understand all of the services and support the firm provides to be sure I am not missing something which would be key. However, my thought would be to break it down to rent, tech support/service, administrative support/service, catering, supplies and plug in a misc until I had a more detailed understanding because extra needs or demands will always come up."

    BG: Looks interested, but seems to be waiting for more...

    me: "I am strong with Excel, but no wiz. That being said, I would create a simple spreadsheet. Establish a tab, or workbook, for each tenant. Use a simple layout per month for the breakdown we discussed. Each tenant would have a grand annual total and total for each type of service we provide both annual and monthly. Then I would link the pages (or tabs) together to give you a roll-up or wrap-up sheet with all the totals calculated for easy review."

    BG: "Excellent."

    me: "Essentially, I would just want to capture all of the services we provide and project the revenue you might anticipate for the year. However, if I understand, the revenue you receive increases depending upon how well your tenants do with the stock market. Correct? So, a simple sheet like this may not do the trick. I suppose your finance team has all of that covered, tho."

    BG: "Yes. That is correct. I am going to bring you to my office and I would like for you to create this projection for me. Let's say we have 10 tenants and they are paying $60.00 per square foot. Then create what you just explained."

    me: "OK."

    Now, I am thinking to myself, "why?" -- but I can't decide how I want to play this. You see, none of this has anything to do with the job for which I am applying. I had just met with the Finance person and there is a small team in LA who handles all of this. They are accountants. But, I pick up my brief case and we walk down the hall. I've been working with these kind of guys all of my professional career. You don't want to challenge them, but you also don't want them to think that you will be their puppet or you lose their respect. The problem was --- I stumpled over my words. Not cool and it sent me into a small panic. Which, of course, give him the upper hand and indicates that I am intimidated. Not a good thing with guys like this.

    I pause before entering his office.

    BG: "What's wrong? Do you mind doing this? It won't take you long."

    Hmmmm... Trick question? Can't tell. ..but here comes the fumble!

    me: "No, I don't --- well, uh --- You know, I guess I am wondering why we're doing this. Can you explain the purpose? Is this something with which you would like the position to become involved?"

    BG: (good ol' boy laugh) "No, just curious to see what you will create for me."

    Still. Not a clue.

    me: "Oh, but it would just be what I explained to you excepting I would think it makes more sense to do the excercise with only 3 tenants because I was told you have a meeting soon and I have another appointment this afternoon."

    BG: "Sure. 3 is fine."

    Damn, dude. Throw me some sort of bone. Stepping up to his huge desk, BG boots up his pc.

    me: "BG, I would never want you to perceive this in the wrong way -- but I would like to ask you a question. Straight up. No attitdue intended."

    BG: (not looking up) "Sure."

    me: "Well, I am trying to understand if there is an angle to this test. Do you think I don't know how to use Excel or is this an HR type of thing that I'm not getting? I am only asking because I am quite interested in this job and I am not sure I understand the purpose of this spreadsheet. I mean, it is going to be very basic and it is my understanding from you and the other members of your team that this is not something you are looking for this position to do. In addition, it isn't really even applicable because of the way you collect revenue from your tenants. I am not following the logic."

    well, in a dynamics sense --- I just scored a point. he wasn't expecting this line of "attack" --- HE stumbles. ...but he has a job and IS the Big Guy. so, in the end, this doesn't really matter at all.

    BG: (obviously surprised --- he stumbles) "I understand and appreciate what you're -- but. I guess I am -- well. You know what, Matt? Why don't you let me worry about the point. If you don't want to do it you don't have to. What's it going to be?"

    Wow! Dukes up! Now, at this point I have decided I do not want to work for this guy. I can handle ego. I can handle Type A, B, C or D. But, I need for leadership to be clear and upfront. I also don't want to be in a situation like this before I've even gotten the job! Jesus! However, I decide I want to blow BG away. I don't want to give him any satisfaction. He wants a spreadsheet that means nothing -- I will give it to him. And, too, maybe there is some logic here that I am missing. so....

    me: "Oh, BG --- No! This is not a problem. I was just curious. Let me at it!" (big shit-eating grin)

    BG: "That's my man!" (equally big smile)

    ...hmmm. who's dick is bigger anyway? LOL! Or maybe he can piss farther than me. This is such bs from BG.

    me: "I'll be done in 5 minutes."

    BG: "Great!"

    I start and am focused on getting it done quickly and without error.

    Then the individual who is leaving the position for which I am applying pokes her head in and says, "What is he having you do?!?!?" I tell her. She rolls her eyes and asks, "Are you OK with this?" I tell her I am fine. She then smiles and says that she's never been allowed on that side of his desk.

    She walks away and then the individual to whom I would report walks in and says, "Why is he having you do this?" I explain that I do not know. She blushes and tells me that he is in a client meeting for the rest of the day. She then apologizes for his having me to do this and states that she does not understand why he is wasting my time. I tell her it not a problem. I wink at her and joke, "I guess he is testing my basic Excel skills" We both laugh. She shakes her head and walks away.

    Approx 6 minutes later I've completed the sheets --- now I just need to link formulas for the wrap-up page. And, then, I freeze. I mean I FREEZE.

    I can't remember how to link formulas. A complete blank. I try using the "help" function which should give me the answer to this very simple task. But, I can't think anymore. I am panicked. I just don't know how to do it. I can feel my face flush, my heart is racing and sweat is about to bead up on my forehead.

    SHIT. I am a deer in the headlights.

    SHIT! I CAN'T do basic Excel! ...at least not at this moment.

    I try counting back from 10. I try to think of the adsurdity of this test to lighten myself up. But nothing works. I am screwed. I can't think of how to do it. I look at his marble desk clock --- I've been sitting there for 15 minutes. If I stay any longer it is going to just look bad. So, I save my work and leave his office in defeat. He has won.

    I walk by and chat with my would be boss and tell her that I failed BG's test. I tell her that I just drew a blank -- that I guess I was just nervous after the interviews and being caught off guard. I tell her to let him know that I am sorry and I stressed that I do know how to link sheets --- normally. We both laugh. She tells me not to worry about it.

    ...but I know that sealed the deal. Or, rather unseals it.

    Excuse my language, but FUCK. LOL!

    I was so upset as I walked back into the cool breeze of the day. I felt sick and ashamed. I felt defeated. A quick phone call to vent and to find out what it was I was forgetting about linking. ...but one call and I remember -- it is the "=" sign.

    why me? LOL!

    Well, tomorrow is another day and another interview. Maybe they will ask me to answer a phone and I will forget how to pick up the receiver.

    You know, this style of interviewing is tough enough --- to throw a curve ball like this seems rather sadistic. However, I guess one could perceive that it is a test of how well someone operates under "a sort of pressure" --- or it could be a test to see how much bullshit an applicant will eat. ...I am just not sure which way the BG is looking for the applicant to go. Does he want the candidate to eat shit or refuse and take a stand on principle? I suspect he actually wants the manager to eat shit.

    I don't eat shit.

    Either way, it matters not. I failed. I forgot to enter the "=" symbol to link the cells to the wrap-up page.

    Oi! I've never done well with tests. Some things never change.

    Back to the Drawing Board!

    Tuesday, August 16, 2005

    GOOD DAY! EXCEPT FOR THAT FRISBEE...


    it looks a bit dismal in the picture, but it was actually quite pretty...

    I had a great day! Spoke with 2 potential job opportunities and really "clicked" with both hiring managers! So, two more interviews coming up! Yay!

    I hung out on my favorite beach and started a new journal. My other one was finally full. It was really pretty, tho my pictures didn't not capture that beauty very well. I layed down and listened to the flow of the ocean. It was so peaceful --- then a frisbee slammed into my head. LOL! The guy was so upset and worried, but it was no big deal. Tho, I did take that as my cue to put on my iPod and sit up.

    As you know, music is something I can't be without. And I often joke about the "mystical connection" of my days to my iPod. However, the first 10 songs of the day didn't seem to add up to anything --- but I enjoyed the mix! Eclectic is always good.

    1. "Hand In My Pocket" by Alanis Morissette
    2. "By the Way" by Red Hot Chili Peppers
    3. "Moanin' Low" by Babs
    4. "Offend in Every Way" by The White Stripes
    5. "Angel Air" by James Shimoji
    6. "Fly" by Mark Campbell
    7. "Ladies Who Lunch" by Miss. Stritch
    8. "Come Baby" by Ayuiks Tee (Actually, I am not sure the iPod has the artist correct on this song. ?)
    9. "Go Limp" by Nina Simone
    10. "Forever" by Goldfrapp

    So, I enjoyed the music but find no connection to my day.

    Well, kids --- send me lots of positive energy. BIG interview tomorrow at 1PM!!!! And, another on Thursday at 9AM!!!

    ...and a coffee date coming up on Thursday afternoon for which I am looking forward!!! No details. Don't want to jinx anything! LOL!

    Sorry for the dull posting!

    OWN IT



    I place a high value on honesty and mutual respect.

    We all make mistakes. At one point or another, we have all made the wrong choice. And, sometimes those mistakes or poor choices can hurt someone for whom we care. It happens. When it does happen and we "drop the ball" ---- I think it is important to take the time and energy to just say you're sorry.

    Being honest and apologizing can mean a lot.

    However, hedging from the truth and personal responsibility can mean a lot more.

    I wonder why more people do not appreciate the importance of integrity and principles. I guess it ties back into the reason the individual loses her/his grip on the ball in the first place. The thing is we do have "a say" in these things. The mistake and decision might have been unavoidable for a number of reasons, but I can't think of a valid reason an individual would not accept ownership and try to mend the damage done. It really isn't that hard to be honest.

    Maybe I expect too much.

    (sigh)

    Saturday, August 13, 2005

    THE BRIDGE OR I SEE STRAIGHT PEOPLE...



    My plans were to "...get back to the garden" and spend the day exploring Golden Gate Park. I had a nice date last night and was told about a cool museum/gallery located there. So, I figured I would spend the day. Sadly, I slept too late, got a couple of long (and slightly disturbing) phone calls and before I knew it I was looking at the second half of the day. And, it was quite cold today as well. This struck out the beach. So, I decided to explore some more areas of the city with which I am not too familiar. One of those areas is Richmond. I also decided to take in a screening of THE ARISTOCRATS which has gotten a good deal of praise and a ban by a couple of national cinema chains. So, I figured I could not go wrong. I was correct. It is one of the funniest films I've seen in years and quite original. Go see it, but be check all politically correct attitudes at the door. And, if you're easily offended -- just skip it. If you do see it --- stay thru the credits.

    Anyway, the movie is not the point of my post.

    For some reason, this film is only playing at one cinema in the Bay Area. The Bridge is an historic theatre that managed to survive without being converted to a two screen job --- it is lovely, tho not particularly ornate. I do not know much of the history, but I suspect that the area near the Golden Gate was never really "high tone" so the theater is somewhat simple, but still so very charming compared to the whole cineplex nightmare. Anyway, Landmark now owns it and they have done a great job with it. I had been hearing about it since I moved back here because this is where local tranny celeb, Peaches Christ, hosts a very popular midnight movie series called Midnight Mass. She has also made some infamous shorts and has recently released a disco single. The hope is that she might be on the verge of RuPaul-like stardom. We shall see. I suspect her name is going to get her too confused with the wonderous electonic Peaches. Anyway, I made the assumption that this was a popular hang out cinema for the art house fag types. Well, maybe at the Midnight Mass -- or, maybe not.

    The showing was practically sold out and, from what I could tell, I was the only gay person in attendance. Granted, I could have missed one or two -- but I really do not think so.

    Being gay and living in San Francisco can be a bit like living in a "Fabulous Gay Bubble" --- you sort of forget that there might be people who aren't gay or who do not celebrate your being gay. A couple of friends have pointed this out to me. And, as I am STILL unemployed --- my entire social life revolves around gay friends. And, for the first time in my life, they are all male. Since I arrived on April 23rd, I have not made friends or met a single female -- straight, gay or otherwise. And, this saddens me as I love women and have always enjoyed better friendships with women than men. My thought is that this will change as my social circle expands and I develop a fuller life which would require employment. Anyway, I continue to digress.

    I found myself sanwhiched between two "couples" --- a VERY annoying bickering man and woman who both seemed somewhat mentally-challenged on multiple levels. He was fixated on getting her to watch some NASCAR special he "video recorded" (do people still use video tapes?!?!?) and she kept yelling at him to stop yelling at her even tho he never yelled. She kept telling him that her senses were "very sensitive" and that he needed to either whisper or talk very "lowly" --- OK. Whatever. Infront of me were these two straight guys. They were both old college buddies and were each 35 years old. ....they told me. You see, for some reason, people will just start talking to me. I don't know why. Sometimes it is cool -- sometimes not. They were loudly dissing their respective girlfriends. One girlfriend had refused to join him to watch such a filthy movie and the other girlfriend (to the better looking of the two) woke him up at 3AM this morning because she needed to talk. This, I guess, was grounds for him to dump her. And, this was his plan for this evening. "No bitch is going to wake me up at 3 fucking AM to tell me that I had hurt her feelings" --- also, as all of us within 50 feet heard, she didn't "put out enough.

    Well, it struck me that I had not been around so many straight people since early April. And, it also struck me that I very well might be between 4 of the more obnoxious people I've seen in some time.

    It wasn't long before one of the two annoyed straight guys asked me if I was gay. Normally, I would take this as a sign to prep to fight --- as it does seem an odd question to come from a stranger. So this was, more or less, our conversation.

    me: "Why? Do I look gay?"

    boy #1: "Dude, no. I mean you're not like big queen or anything, but your dressed really nice and your holding a book about Billie Holiday. So I just thought --"

    boy #2: "No offense, man."

    me: (with a polite laugh) "Sorry. None taken. And, yeah I guess I do look pretty gay. But that is OK because I am."

    boy #2: "Told you!"

    boy #1: "We thought so when you were buying your ticket. We were talkin' this morning about wishing we could be gay"

    boy #2: "Yeah, life would be so much easier."

    me: (actually curious) "Why's that?"

    boy #2: "Well, you guys can get laid any time you want. We have to work our asses off for these bitches"

    boy #1: "Yeah, and half the time they just want to us to do all the work"

    me: (still actually curious) "Wait. It sounds like you both hate women. I wasn't really trying to listen in on your conversation, but you both seem really hostile about your girlfriends."

    boy #2; "Necessary evil, man"

    boy #1: "We don't hate women. Just the two we're fucking!"

    Both errupt into REALLY loud laughter

    me: "Oh"

    boy #1 "No, but seriously, you can probably get laid whenever you want and the other guy knows what you like because you're both dudes"

    (yes, I actually think the word "dude" was used more than my memory recalls)

    boy #2: "And I bet you never get any lectures about foreplay. Right?"

    me: (at a loss for words) "Well, you know I think sexual and romantic connections are tough for everybody. But, in a sense, yeah I guess getting laid might be easier for a gay guy. But you know -- scoring a second date or a relationship is probably harder"

    boy #2: "Exactly our point. That is why we wish were gay."

    boy #1: "Yeah. Dude, you've got it made"

    (Very awkward silence)

    me: "Yeah, I guess I do."

    Please, God -- let us into the cinema!

    Visit to the urinal, washing of the hands, popcorn and diet soda later -- I walk into this old theatre and just pause to admire its beauty.

    "DUDE! UP HERE!"

    ...I recognize the voice of boy #1. I turn and they are motioning for me to come up to where they are seated.

    boy #1: "Join us, man"

    ...yet, they had a seat separating them which held their back backs.

    me: "Oh, thanks. But, you know -- I have to sit closer to the screen. Bad eyesight"

    The previews started. One of the films promoted was a gay film. It looked horrid, but the trailer was followed with several cinema patrons doing the infamous San Francisco "hissing" sound --- followed by a few random claps. Oh my God. Homophobia in San Francisco. Or was it because the film looked so bad? I decided that it was not homophobia but hissing at a what looked like a bad movie. And THE ARISTOCRATS featured 3 queens who all made the audience laugh. So, I decided that this was the case.

    You know, I now forget the point of this post. But, I could not wait to get back on a bus and head to Castro! And, now, as my laundry is tumbling in the dryer --- my DVD of YENTL awaits. Yes, kids --- YENTL can be had on DVD in France.

    Hope everyone is having a great weekend! Gay, straight or otherwise. And may you all get the foreplay, attention and love you each deserve! Oh, and I am too lazy tonight to check for errors. So, please forgive any!

    kisses,
    matt

    Thursday, August 11, 2005


    THE MYSTERIOUS POWER OF MUSIC...

    Obviously, music means a great deal to me. It always has. It can get me through the "rough patches" It can add to the happiness of certain moments. It can etch its way into my soul to reflect a time or a feeling. It can comfort and soothe me. Music can allow my mind to take flight. Certain musical artists are able to touch me in places that are impossible to map. ...those corners in the soul that we stumble upon from time to time, but may not always be able to find at will.

    Artists who have found those places in me are fairly predictable if you've read more than a few postings in my blog or if you know me.

    Barbra Streisand (duh! ...the sound of her voice is like a warm hug for me), Tori Amos, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, Stevie Nicks, Rickie Lee Jones, Billie Holiday, Bjork, Ella, Led Zeppelin, Mary J. Blige, The Who, John Lennon, Leonard Cohen, Nina, Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Rosemary Clooney, Emmylou Harris, Cocteau Twins, Erykah Badu, Carly Simon, Harold Budd and Mitsuko Uchida continue to weave their way into ever expanding places within my psyche. And, I am all the better for it. There are others, but these are the ones that spring to my mind as I write this.

    Other artists have had an impact on who I am, but no longer seem to connect with me the way they did in the past. At one time in my life I found great strength from the work of the Patti Smith Group. However, when I listen to she and her band now I feel as if I am on the verge of "re-visiting" times I would rather forget. Pink Floyd used to be a powerful muse during my late high school and college years, but as I grew away from the joys of pot their music failed to reach me. And, too, their work brings me back to a place that was filled with pain and confusion. But, even this speaks of the power of music.

    Not that the other artists I've listed don't make me think of things sad or horrible. But somehow the touch of their music is more tender and shows me how far I've come vs. how much farther I have to go.

    There are a few new artists who seem to be finding a way into my framework. Lizz Wright, Bright Eyes, Malia, Patty Griffin, Karen Ann and Damien Rice.

    These thoughts about music came to me after something I read which I wish I had written. The words so perfectly capture my feelings about the power of an artist's music so beautifully. Of Billie Holiday and the first time she heard a recording of her voice, Julia Blackburn (a briliant writer) writes:

    "...Suddenly and quite unexpectedly, a woman's voice arrived. She flew in there among them [the muscians] like a bird and I realised that all the instruments had been waiting to welcome her. To my surprise she didn't seem to care about the beat which they wove around her, and she kept pulling at it and stretching it until I thought she had lost it entirely. But just when it seemed too late, she was back again. ...She sounded so close and familiar. It was as if she was looking straight at me. ...she was telling me that things change, life moves on, laughter is followed by tears, and tears are followed by laughter. After you have been knocked to the floor, you rise up and get on your feet again. ...even the saddest songe were full of courage. It was as if just the fact of singing was in itself a triumph and a way of dealing with despair. ...she was strong and I was made strong by listening to her."

    My Grandmother used to tell me all sorts of things that I never quite understood. One of her ideas was that she could not understand how a person could deny the presence of a Creator when he or she looked at a tree. I never got that --- until I realized that I was hearing the presence of a power beyond myself and --- even beyond that of the artist -- in music. I sometimes think that the closest I can get to the power of creation is in the music of an inspired artist.

    Or, is it simply what we bring to what we hear?

    Logic tugs me toward that basic rule that art is really what we bring to it. However, my heart tells me that it is so much deeper than that. How can so many be so "saved" by the sounds that came from the voices of artists like Billie Holiday or Janis Joplin? How can so many of us be touched to the core by the lyrics of someone like a Leonard Cohen or a Joni Mitchell. And, how is that someone like a Mitsuko Uchida or a Yo Yo Ma can give such ancient music flight into our souls? It doesn't seem that random or isolated to me.

    ...there is magic in the music. And, salvation.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2005

    PLOTZ'd: OLD, POLTICAL GRAFFITI IN THE HOOD, EEL & REMEMBERING THE POINTER SISTERS


    ...who's yer daddy?

    I saw this bit of graffiti from a MUNI bus and had to jump off and snap a picture. I've seen this in several places, but this was in a not so great part of the city. Cool to see something of import being scrawled upon public property vs. the normal crap one sees.

    So, my phone interview went well. ...I think. But, I was filled with angst so I did as I always do --- I ran to the movies. I saw a film from Isreal called NINA'S TRAGEDIES. Excellent film. However, the reason I mention it is because as I was watching the second lead character's mother I was thinking, "Wow! This is silly. She looks far too young to be his mom!" ...a few minutes later the audience is told that she is 38.

    Yes, I am now old enough to be the father of a 14 year old. For that matter, I think my mother was 33 when I was 14. So, I guess I am really old enough to be the father of a 19 or 20 year old. Being from the south that is even more probable. ...sometimes we southerners start up a bit early. Oy! I am getting so damned old! Any minute now --- enemas and napping shall become a part of my daily world. And, I don't mean that in a fun way.


    ...shift over and give me your seat!

    My pal, Vic, tried to get me to meet up with him today -- but I felt the need for some "alone" time. So, I ended up going on a long walk which ended with an interesting and delicious meal at some tiny Korean restaurant. I've already forgotten the name and I don't think I ever knew which street I was on. ...Old, you know.

    Anyway, I wanted the tofu. It looked soooooo good! But the little lady behind the counter said no. She informed me that I was to have something else. I've seen so many Korean films I am able to recognize curse words, but not names of food product. A young lady (in line behind me) told me that the lady wanted me to have their grilled eel. ???? So, I said OK. I do enjoy eel, tho I would normally prefer to make my own food selection. However, the little lady was not wrong! It was incredible!!! It was served over hot rice and some form of fraile noodle. All very pretty and served in a sort of bowl made of styrofoam. I also ordered a can of Diet Pepsi --- the little lady told me I was to have a bottle of green SoBe tea by pointing with a stern finger. However, I held my ground and insisted on my diet soda. She shook her head and put the soda on the counter. And the way cool part is ----- it only cost $7!!!!

    That was about 2 hours ago and I still don't feel sick. I was worried because Korean food tends to have a lot of garlic. I'm allergic. But with the help of the hot girl behind me, the little lady insisted that there was no garlic. The girl told me that she didn't think they put that on their eel. Everyone here is so friendly, but I think this poor girl was trying to flirt with me.

    Hello! I am carrying a pink iPod which was playing "Liza With a Z" as I ordered. Shut up. I like it. ...and, anyway, this IS San Francisco. But this poor beautiful thing seemed clueless.

    If only I had a straight male friend I could have tried to fix her up. She was quite beautiful. If she was flirting with me, I am quite flattered. She checked on me as I was eating to see if I liked it. It was funny because, before I could say anything, the tiny lady bellowed, "Eel is good!" from behind the counter. We laughed and both agreed. The girl said goodbye and slowly walked away as if she was waiting for me to do something.

    However, my iPod shuffle had since moved on to Steve Miller Band, The Eagles, Led Zep, Tori Amos --- and, then, classic Pointer Sisters. No, I do not mean the Pointer Sisters of the Beverly Hills Cop era --- I mean the mid-70's Blue Thumb record label Pointer Sisters who were still blessed with the presence of their bitchy sister, Bonnie, and who were busy fusing funk and 1940's jazz with songs like "Steam Heat" and "Salt Peanuts" -- in this case, at that particular moment the sisters were funking up the vibe with "Jada" --- yes, we're talking "classic" Pointer Sisters before they went "commercial" ...actually, the last time I really enjoyed a Pointer Sisters release was when they covered Bruce Springstein's "Fire" --- that was awesome. I must have been pretty young even at that time. ...1977??? Not sure. Whatever happened to them, anyway?

    I wonder if Bonnie Pointer ever regretted leaving her sisters to pursue her one hit wonder disco career. ...Surely, heaven must have sent her reeling as her sisters climbed the charts in the 80's.

    Well, kids that is my report for the day! Still no job. However, I do have a date this coming Friday. No details. I do not want to jinx anything. I feel jinxed enough as it is! LOL!

    HORROR... I've yet to meet anyone who does not suffer with with at least one phobia of some sort. We all have our issues. I fear I may have more than the "average" person.

    There are two things toward which I have a great deal of angst: Refrigerators and toilets. Yes, they scare me. I don't think there has been a time that I've placed a perishable item in the fridge when I didn't suspect that the "cooling box thing" in that room I don't like is about to break and ruin my cream filled pastry. It worries me. Folks who know me well would confirm this worry of mine.

    But the thing which really gets me is the toilet. The thought of having a toilet "back up" or "clog" on me during or after a flush fills me with panic. The toilet where I now live is at least 20 years old --- and it has problems. Aside from stains that I can't seem to wash away no matter how hard I try it has taken to making a sort of screeching sound after one flushes it. And, in the last couple of months it has taken to backing up. My roommate is very laid back about this stuff and just shrugs it off. As I am not a rent paying roommate at this time and as I am trying to be more "zen" in my approach to life --- I try to join him in his attitude of "whatever" when it comes to the moaning toilet. I am not achieving this goal.

    At some point in the early hours of the morning I had to go to toilet. I tip-toe'd as quietly as possible so as not to wake A, I did my "business" -- then held my breath and flushed. The screech wailed out from the bowels of this ancient plumbing fixture and it started to back up. I let out a sort of panicked sound and ran for the plunger (which, for the record is the FIRST thing I purchase when I move into a new space, but A already had one at the ready) --- and frantically plunged away to prevent a mess beyond description. I won and the toilet "accepted" its duty. I washed my hands and crept back down the hall to my room.

    Like Eunice Burns in WHAT'S UP DOC? I muttered, "What more can they do to me?" as I tried to fall back into the depth of sleep and dreams.

    Oh, and I had a dream in which I secured the best job of my life. I was so happy. And then my boss came running to me to tell me that the world was ending and we had one minute. I asked her if she had any chocolae. ...and, then I woke up.

    Oh, I think my phone interview went quite well. They told me that they would be in touch with me soon to schedule an interview. And, this is the last time I will bore anyone by writing this, but my fingers are crossed and that St. Anthony medal is in my pocket. It is almost 11AM and I've only found one job posting to which I could apply. I've been looking since 8AM. This is so getting old.

    Tuesday, August 09, 2005

    MY FAVORITE IN 70mm!!!

    tommy

    Please note that I wrote "my favorite" --- it is by far not "the best" but I guess one would have to say that TOMMY is my favorite movie. I've seen it more than any other. Yes, even more than any Barbra, Fassbinder or Woody Allen movie. And, tonight the Castro Theatre is screening a new 70mm print!!! Milford and Alan are meeting me there at 6:45PM this evening. I can't wait!

    And, has anyone watched the Chris Cunningham's "film" -- RUBBER JOHNNY besides me? I find it and Aphex Twin's "score" to be both profoundly strange and disturbing. I LOVE IT!!!!!

    Monday, August 08, 2005



    ALL SUITED-UP AND NO WHERE TO GO

    As I was riding underground on my way to my interview, the recruiter's assistant was calling me and left a message on my cell. As I was sipping a Diet Coke and reading the Classifieds at the McD's near the office where I was about to interview, my phone vibrated to let me know I had a voicemail. The recruiter got stuck somewhere in Southern California last night and had to cancel. UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! LOL! Well, what are ya gonna do but laugh. Right? Since I was so close and all dressed up --- I stopped by their office and picked up the paperwork that I would need to fill out. This way I will be ready to roll when we do reschedule.

    On my way back home I stopped by my mailbox to find a package from one of my long time friends -- well, actually I think of her more as family. Anyway, my pal/sister from my hometown sent me something I had been waiting for. When we were frustrated and bored college students we had dreams. Dreams of pursuing film/comedy careers. I had actually planned on leaving for NYC the day after high school graduation, but logic won out and I enrolled to secure a degree as did "J" Then J planned on following me north after I graduated college, but things just didn't work out that way.

    I forget how, but we had access to an old security video camera which had been discarded by a large department store -- and J had one of those little pixel vid cams which recorded to standard cassette tape. Wow! Screw our studies -- "Let's clean out the barn and put on a show!"

    So, we took turns "writing" "scripts" and we co-directed/"acted" in a string of strange little movies in our spare time. Which despite full time school and jobs we seemed to have a great deal of! Sometimes we would enlist our friends -- particularly our buddy, "L" to join us in our experimental artistic attempts.

    I love the fact that we have proof of our 22 year old selves in these silly little movies. We are both so young and goofy. A few of these little films managed to "somehow" surface at a few gay clubs in Houston. ...we never figured that one out and only knew about it because a friend of ours who had unwisely "agreed" to participate in a couple of our projects had been "wildly and loudly praised" by 3 wonderous Houston queens who had managed to wander into the Bar-B-Q place where she worked the counter. They recognized her. They proceeded to tell her all about what they had seen her do in our little movies. And they did this, much to the amusement and shock of P's coworkers and scary Southern Baptist customers. LOL! There was scandal at the local Bar-B-Q hot spot! P was mortified and we thought she was going to kill us!

    J and I were a bit upset. I think we determined that one of her relatives snuck copies of our tapes out and passed them on to a few club managers. Tho, I think we actually enjoyed that fact that gay boys and girls were dancing to our images on screens. ...and, per the screaming queens, sometimes they were even treated to our voices. J and I don't talk a lot these days, but when we do manage to touch base it is as if no time has passed between us. A connection that will never weaken was developed from the first time we met in 1981.

    In the late 90's my only copy of these little treasures from our soiled youth were falling apart as my VHS tape gave way. So, I managed to have them transferred to DVD. I made 2 copies. One for me and one for J. I sent J a copy -- which I am not sure she ever watched for fear of her child walking in and seeing what mommy and her best friend used to put to tape. LOL!

    I lost a lot of things when I made the move out here from Boston. Or, I guess I should say -- UPS lost a lot of things. One of those lost things was one of only 2 DVD's of our little movies. I called her and she sent me the ONLY DVD of our pop-culture-infused-and-confused-films.

    As with all things of late. When something happens that brings me down -- something happens that manages to rise me up and give me a bolts of energy and hope. Today that was the arrival of this DVD --- AND an extra bounus surprise from J. Yes, kids, J got me a Sonny doll! I took the picture of this prize and posted it above for your viewing pleasure! And, tonight, before I fall off into sleep I can look back at us circa 1988 in such films as "Meat Dance" "Puddin' The Magician" "Matthew's Angels" "The Horror of Dollkin" "My Iranian Nightmare" and the scandal that is "The Abduction and Seduction of P"

    ...I can't wait!

    Sunday, August 07, 2005

    WHAT? ME, MELLOW?!?!?



    I was watching that SIX FEET UNDER tv show with Alan tonight and my mind drifted. My stomache was doing aerobics and my head was aching. I ran to the movies this afternoon to escape my many thoughts and worries. When I walked out of the cinema my pal, Vic, was waiting for me. We had planned on meeting up earlier, but things got messed up and confused. So, we met up after the movie, had coffee, took a walk and talked. It was nice and I had a chance to just let my thoughts about my current situation pour out. Poor Vic. I don't know that he even got a chance to say much at all.

    But as I was watching this soap opera I thought to myself, "Most people would find a way to chill out a bit. You've got a roof over your head, people who care about you and you're certainly not lacking for food. Ease it up. Mellow out."

    The problem is I have never been mellow. I am able to make myself appear to be composed and even relaxed. However, my mind and nerves are running like crazy 24/7. I am consumed with trying to find a job. To a degree, I think this is a benefit. I don't back down and I plow forward. But on the other hand, I think I miss out on things. And, I think I end up putting myself through a great deal more stress than needed.

    But how does one become mellow? Drugs don't really do the trick -- they simply "mask" the real tendency and I can already hide it. How does one become mellow? How does one even try to find the comfort from inside? How does one find the time to be happy just to hear a song? How can you let someone else be strong when you're the one who needs to pull through?

    ...I don't think Olivia Newton-John had any real clue on how to be mellow. She just sang about it. Well, I wanna know. And, I wanna know NOW!

    CUCHI CUCHI!

    charo!

    Milford treated me to an evening of incredible entertainment --- Charo! Live! At the Herbst Theatre on Van Ness! She was awesome and Milford had secured seats which were practically on the stage! I really enjoyed the show and I think she might be a brilliant guitarist. However, I knew not how to "process" as she strummed a flawless rendition of Ravel's Bolero wearing a rhinestone tuxedo and accompanied by a smoke machine, a synthesizer, a spinning mirror ball and a spandex-glad dancer in need of a pole.

    I expressed my discomfort to Milford. He said to fear not -- it was simply Vegas at its best and most gay. I guess he might be right. But somehow, I think we witnessed TRUE art.

    And, prior to the show we had dinner at a place called "Sauce" that was fantastic. We tried to have an after-the-show dessert at "Citizen Cake" but the staff was snooty -- so we walked back to "Sauce" and indulged in true sugar heaven! We had a blast! And I suspect I gained 25 pounds, but that's OK!

    Saturday, August 06, 2005

    HIDING IN THE DARK & FOG



    Job prospect #2 fell thruough yesterday afternoon. Got the phone call in the early afternoon. I guess it is nice she took the time to call and speak with me. This prospect failing did not really surprise me as I hadn't felt I really "clicked" with the HR Director. So, I've got a lot riding on Monday's interview. Let's hope this recruiter is being honest when she tells me she has some "hot" opportunities. We shall see!

    Anyway, after I got that call yesterday I decided to return to "the escape" of a dark cinema. I had been reading about Alain Corneau's FEAR AND TREMBLING for some time. A Japan/France production, this "comedy" has sparked a bit of controversy in its depiction of Japan culture thru what is ultimately a perverse relationship between a Belgian woman and her Japanese supervisors. I have not read the novel from which the film is based, but I believe that it is all based on the writer's own experiences. After being born in Japan and raised there for the first 5 years of her life, this young woman has carried a love of Japan in her heart all of her life. She devotes her studies to Japan in hopes of returning to live there after university. She does and secures a translator position with one of the top Japanese firms. In the film, she clashes with her supervisors and ends up in a sort of corporate take on "The Story of O" ---- tho, tinged with humor there is a feeling of anger aimed at Japanese culture in general. I am not sure that this was the tone set by the book, but this is the message I got from the film. A lot of people have had this reaction to Corneau's film. However, the acting is exceptional and I believe the lead actress, Sylvie Testud, won the French version of the Oscar for her work. However, I left the cinema feeling a bit disturbed about the agenda of the film. I am sure that there is a great deal of truth to be found here as I don't think anyone would argue that Japan has a number of issues at any given glance, but to create a somewhat smug comedy about it seems to have a racist slant to it all. Maybe it was my mood, but I doubt it as I know it has raised similar reactions. Interestingly, it is being marketed as cross between "The Office" and SECRETARY. As with most American marketing, this is not fair to the film. I was watching the film with a largely Chinese audience and this audience seemed to love the film. I was just troubled by what I saw. Draw your own conclusions.

    Then I saw the new Bill Murray movie, BROKEN FLOWERS. I enjoyed the first half, but the whole thing seemed to drift off somehow. Left me cold. Also, am I the only one who has tired of seeing Bill Murray look like a bored sad sack in every role?!?! I think he has been playing the same character since RUSHMORE. LOL!

    Tonight, I am joining Milford in seeing Charo in concert at the Herbst Theatre! Can't wait! Alan saw her signing CD's at Medium Rare CD Store on Thursday evening. He told me that she was quite tiny with really big hair. ...as it should be!!!!

    Thursday, August 04, 2005

    "KEEP PUSHING FORWARD!" he whispers with determination...



    I made the phone call to the consulting firm for an update regarding the office manager position. I spoke with the individual who would be boss and he told me that "the vote" came to a tie -- leaving them with a literal toss of a coin. In the end, they decided that the other candidate was "a better fit" as there was "concern" that I would not find the position "challenging enough" and they "need" to be sure to hire a manager who they feel will "be there" for a while. He was in the process of sending me an email just before I called. I thanked him and we both wished each other the best of luck.

    I sat on the bench. For about 5 seconds I just wanted to cry, but I got a grip and started walking and walking.

    Frustration, fear and worries of all sorts were scrambling through my head and then I heard a friendly female voice ---

    "Hey! Smile! It's a beautiful day!"

    It was an older lady. Like so many people I see here, she seemed a bit eccentric. Her hair was a mass of curls and dyed a deep red. She wore an outfit which somehow made me think of Native Americans. She sported a huge grin on her face and had bright blue eyes.

    I smiled.

    "You can do better than that! Are you OK?"

    I did my best to smile bigger. "I'm fine. Thanks for asking. Just having a rough morning, I guess."

    ...and, then, she stepped forward and gave me a hug. She ran her fingers through my hair, gave me a wink and walked on past me.

    I had one of those "DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?" moments. I was back in one of those books about The City. I realized that this sort of interaction with a total stranger was probably not likely to happen anywhere other than San Francisco. I felt better. Funny how we can touch other's lives without ever really knowing it. I felt better. Not great, but I did feel a bit better.

    I turned my iPod back on and the first song that came on was "Sweet Blindness" by Laura Nyro which always makes me feel a bit lighter. But it was the following song that really caught me. As sappy as this may sound, Barbra's cover of "Tomorrow" was the next song. Yeah, that overtly optimistic song from ANNIE which sort of "invented" the proto-type for the Broadway chlid manner of singing that I call the "pseudo belt" sound. Of course, here Babs does a sort of disco-lite cover of the song.

    Was my iPod speaking to me? Another funny thing about this is that a friend just asked me if Streisand had ever recorded this song. Actually, I believe he asked me just a day or so ago. Hmmmm...

    Then I noticed the parking sign and I took a picture of it.

    I sat down on the next bench and tried calling a recruiter who a friend of a friend had suggested I call. She and I have been playing phone tag for weeks. She actually answered. She seemed psyhed to connect with me so I see her on Monday at 10AM.

    And, of course, there is still the other possible position pending. However, I don't have the "energy" to call on that one. I will just wait for them to call me.

    But, for now -- I am eating a HUGE chocolate cookie and drinking a large-sized Diet Coke.

    I deserve it.

    Deep breath and pushing forward with hope.

    Shit. Someone is going to have to hire me sooner or later. Right?

    Now, I need to track that sweet lady down and bond with her! Dammit!

    Wednesday, August 03, 2005

    BOOKS!!!

    mystery book

    OK, kids. Thank you to whomever sent this wonderous volume to me, but I would like to know who sent it. So, feel free to email me if you're not comfortable posting a comment. I guess I am a little "creeped" out by the note that came with it and would just feel better knowing who sent it. 'Nuff said.

    Speaking of great books --- I recently added a couple of blogs to my links. One of them is called "The Search for Love in Manhattan" and it is a fun read. See links to the left. Anyway, the owner of this blog recently wrote an insightful piece for THE ADVOCATE MAGAZINE --- and the folks at Random House were smart enough to publish his first book!!! It is called GAY HAIKU and the writer's name is Joel Derfner. It is exceptional and I suggest that you all run out and get a copy! Find out more
    Here!!! ...and, in addition to being a gifted writer --- he's pretty damn cute! So, you NY boys need to "Q" up while he is still single!

    Had a dinner with my pal, Vic, tonight. It was cool because we had not been able to get together for the last couple of weeks as he has been very busy with work. I wish I could say the same. Still no phone calls. ...well, none from my two possible jobs. So, I've decided to throw caution to the wind and give them a call tomorrow just to check in! Desperation pushes me forward!
    You know you're having a crap moment when you iPod plays "One Less Bell" by Dionne Warwick and you tear up. ...I didn't even know I had Dionne Warwick in my iTunes collection. Oi!

    But, tomorrow is another day! And, someone is just bound to want to hire me!

    In addition to the ribbing from my friend, Milford, I got several emails asking if I had money for food because I looked "so thin" in my pictures. LOL! Yes, I am eating! I can assure you all that I am eating MORE than enough! However, I am making an effort to excercise a bit and eat "better" --- so I do believe I've lost a few pounds. However, I am no longer looking at the scale. But I am fine! ...I just need an income and insurance benefits. ...so I can go to a dentist and receive treatment if a Muni bus runs me over or something.

    OH! I think I mentioned that I am fairly certain that there is a crack business running out of house a few blocks from here! Well, I am certain I saw "a transaction" today. It was sad and amusing all at once. Hey, maybe they need some a new dealer!?!? LOL! (that was a joke)

    Tuesday, August 02, 2005

    PIMPING, POTENTIAL STALKERS & A REALLY BAD HAIRCUT...

    surprise new haircut

    Oh, no! Even more of my hair is gone!

    how does it look?

    well, it will grow...

    This may be one of the worst haircuts I've ever gotten. The lady could not speak English and she tried to shave my head. I got her JUST in time to prevent a complete shave! Oi!

    Hustle

    I had not wanted to see it, but HUSTLE AND FLOW is possibly the best film I've seen this year! Exceptional script, acting, music and well shot --- this is near perfect entertainment. Just enough social import to make it valid, a storyline that is both disturbing and touching. It is well worth seeing! Never thought I would see a movie that would make me feel empathy for a pimp. What amazed me is that the director/writer was able to create a character who we do not really like, but for whom we can feel some compassion. There is no black and white. Great film!

    IMG_0539

    OK -- so, I made mention of the newly released book of work by Mitch Epstein and someone bought and sent it to me! It came with a note saying "I want to know you" ---- and then someone has been making "interesting" comments to my blog. Do I have a stalker? I hope so! I've always wanted one!

    Well, to whomever --- thank you so much for the book! I LOVE it! Now, who are you? ...and, how do you have my address? Exciting! Now, I just need a job!!!!

    kisses,
    matt

    THE MESSY PART OF THE ROOM

    mess

    I am an organized person who likes to keep things fairly neat and clean. However, since arriving in San Francisco I've noticed that there is one part of my space that stays messy. I don't mean for that to happen, but for some reason it just stays a mess. If I am unable to locate something --- I know I will find it in this tiny section of the room. After I took the photo above I cleaned it up and found $10, my journal and my RUBBER JOHNNY DVD that I had pulled out to watch over a week ago!

    Update:

    Am feeling better today, tho not 100%. But I must press on! Am off to get my hair "did" and I must go to the grocery store. Yes, my life is filled with fun and importance! There are no new job postings to speak of, but I did apply to 15 this morning.
    I should be hearing back from Possible Job #2 today to schedule an appointment to meet with the CFO and COO --- tho, the HR Director did warn me that she might not get back to me till Wednesday. And, Job #2 should be taking their "vote" soon and I will find out if I am the new AMERICAN CORPORATE IDOL or if I came in second. Oi!

    Magical iPod Morning Shuffle Report:

    1. "Carry on Wayward Son" by Kansas
    2. "Chelsea Burns" by Keren Ann
    3. "Crystalline Green" by Goldfrapp
    4. "Blue Lamp" by Stevie Nicks
    5. "Got Love to Kill" by Juliette & The Licks
    6. "Lady Marmalade" by LaBelle

    Well, finished my third cup of tea. So, off to Ameri-cuts! ...cause I've got class! No, the thing is -- I just don't have enough hair to worry with a haircut that is going to cost me more than $20. You know?

    ...and,
  • WOW!! ...not to self, "visit Palm Springs!"

  • Monday, August 01, 2005

    WORRYING BEAUTY...


    ok, kids --- for some reason the picture will not post on my blog, but just click on that little box/question mark above and it will take you to the picture. ...blog-challenged.

    The above photo was taken by one of my favorite photographers, Mitch Epstein. I've noticed that it is getting a great deal of attention these last several months with the release of his most recent volume of work. This new volume focuses on some of his work from the 1970's thru the mid-80's. I've always loved this picture. Obviously, it is loaded with metaphor, symbology and a rather distrurbing statement regarding the American values of the 1970's. The sexual revolution boomed and the ideologies of Flower Power were forever tainted by the Manson Family. But, in the end, as far as I've ever known --- Epstein came across these women at a commune. They were studying a large snake and he snapped the picture. The mother of the baby is one of the women holding the snake and she had set the baby away from "harm's way" --- but am not sure that the "facts" of the photo can take away from what Epstein managed to capture with a simple click. Oddly, I always found this picture rather beautiful and sexy. I think I first saw it when I was around 10 or so --- it was still the 70's. ...unless I've managed to confuse my timing which is quite possible. However, I remember relating to that little baby who had been sat in the background as the women fondled the snake.

    Sad and more than a bit worrying. This image forever stuck in my head. I had not thought of it in quite a while until I saw it reprinted in one of those glossy/over-priced art rags several months back. Then I saw it resurface in the pages of INDEX Magazine. If you find this photograph interesting and are not familiar with Mitch Epstein --- check out his
  • website. I believe he keeps a journal --- and his new book, RECREATION, is out now. If I were employed and had the money --- I would already have it! Soon, maybe!!! I've never really explored his site or his writing --- need to do so. I also believe he has done some film work as well. Would love to see what he has done! If my brother is reading this -- he might have some insight -- tho, I tend to think of Epstein as a west coast artist and I think Roy is more familiar with the east coast folks. ???? Roy, are ya out there?

    Speaking of art --- If any of you have read more than 5 entries of my blog you're bound to have discoverd that I am a total Barbra Streisand Junkie. Yes, I hit that stereotype right on the nose, so to speak. Anyway, there are a number of other musical artists and types of music I LOVE. Am not really a "Show Tune Queen"

    I do tend to enjoy female artists more than male. Always have. There are exceptions -- I love Kenny Rogers (shut up!), Barry Manilow (yes, I can feel your laughter/disdain), Leonard Cohen and Bright Eyes -- but by and by I prefer female voices. As an example, I much prefer Melissa Manchester covering Stevie Wonder's "Bad Weather" than Stevie himself. And, Jennifer Warnes easily tops Lenny Cohen when she covers "Famous Blue Raincoat"

    Of course, like everyone else I love Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and Ella. Oh, and where would I be without the original High Priestess of rock-n-roll, Rock's Sister of the Moon and the Wild-Hearted-Cliff-Dweller, Stevie Nicks.

    Anyway, I digress --- I adore Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, Tori Amos and Bjork. As performers, singers, composers, poets and producers they seem to stand alone as unique and visionary --- never bending with what is "in style" or what "the mainstream" is looking for. They go their own way. Now, their work is experimental and sometimes fairly "out there" but they have managed to retain record contracts --- even, Ms. Mitchell retains one -- tho, she no longer opts to participate in the recording industry. And, of course, I do suspect that Bjork might be insane --- but still --- what an artiste!

    There are two female singer/songwriters I LOVE who I've always thought of as "The Poor Man's Joni Mitchells" --- Rickie Lee Jones and Carly Simon. Now, I do not mean to upset anyone with that comment. I LOVE both --- but both of these talents seem to be largely hit/miss and I can't help but suspect that Mitchell inspired both. Just as I think Kate Bush served as inspiration for Tori Amos. ...Let's not contemplate who might have inspired Bjork. We probably want not to go there. My sweeping generalization is kind of funny when you think about the fact that Rickie Lee Jones was getting her groove on with the likes of Tom Waits and too much booze for years and just associating the word "poor" with Carly Simon is ironic as she comes form one of the wealthiest of American families. However, neither seems to have ever been able to quite reach the artistic depth of Ms. Mitchell. ...few do. Just ask her. LOL!

    Anyway, a friend whom I've never met sent me the new Carly Simon CD (Chazz -- thank you!!!!) and it is quite good. Am loving it. However, I would have rather seen her create her own music vs. covering old standards. While not at all bad -- Carly does not possess the vocal power that one normally associates with these songs and her phrasing is so modern --- and, why, when she is such an accomplished songwriter does she opt to record the works of others? I admit that I do LOVE her 1981 album of covers, TORCH -- but I think that this collection of songs and her performances are particularly filled with power because I believe many of those songs touched on her personal feelings about the failure/break up of her marriage to James Taylor -- so she took these old standards and made them her own. That passion is not here on the new collection -- nor on her other two standards collections. Still, it is always cool to hear her sing. Does anyone other than me remember all those years of songs written/recorded back and fourth between Carly and James T? Always thought that was both interesting and somehow painful to see two married artists venting about each other publically. Mr. T must have been a bit upset when Carly wrote, recorded and released "We're So Close" ---- OUCH!

    Well, pretty songs, big snakes, side-lined babies and cloying musical generalizations aside -- my weekend got off to a great start. Spent some more time with "A" which I enjoyed. However, I greeted Sunday feeling a bit "odd" but ignored it and pressed on. "A" and I headed to the Castro to meet up with Milford to spend the day at the infamous Dore Alley (UP YOUR ALLEY) Fair --- but I got sooooooooooo sick as soon as I ate brunch at the Cove. It was so embarassing and frustrating --- but I felt like shit. So, Milford, ever understanding, gave me a hug and headed on to meet his friends where he had a great time! Check it out -- and the kilt he purchased!!!
  • Milford!!!

    "A" and I headed back to my room --- but I had to send him home because I am no so good with others when I feel bad. Yesterday was spent gettting sick and I think I feel asleep around 6pm and didn't really wake up till about 10:30am this morning. Tho, I remember hearing Alan's car pull in -- must have been about 11pm. --- so, I guess he had a great time at the fair as well! Won't know till he gets home this evening. "A" also stopped by and checked out the festivities, but he found it too croweded/hot. ..."hot" meaning temp wise, tho from what I can see on Milford's blog -- there were some hot sites to see on display!!!

    Oh well, maybe next year. Am feeling "better" today, but still not quite very good. LOL! Must have been (be) a stomache bug of some sort. Do stomache bugs exist or is that just a lame saying?

    No word yet from either job prospect --- however, I am not really expecting to hear until Wednesday/Thursday. As always, my fingers are crossed and my St. Anthony medal is in my pocket!!!

    "a dream you dream alone is only a dream, but a dream we dream together is reality"
    --- Yoko Ono (a poem in motion, if you ask me)