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Monday, October 31, 2005

28 WEEKS LATER



Well, tomorrow marks my 28th week since I left Boston and moved to San Francisco. So much has happened! And, I have to say --- all good stuff!

I've great friends, am dating, have a job, a safe/nice place to live, have gotten myself back in physical shape (tho, still more I can do on that front!) and am getting myself together financially.

It is looking pretty good! ...and, pretty strange and a bit scary if you should be down near The Castro! I was there briefly today to pick up my mail and they were blocking off parts of Market Street. ...and the sites on the subway as we rolled down to and past the MUNI Castro station! Too bad I do not enjoy Halloween. Makes me all nervous and twitchy.

Just got home. Alan and I are about to watch the 1978 remake of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS which was filmed here in San Francisco in 1978. ...what is it with that year and the movies I've been watching as of late?!?!!?

Oh, the League of Gentlemen movie was not very good. The 3 series were so good --- not sure why they felt the need to make the movie. But, so it goes. It did have a few laughs. But, far too little of the Local Shop Owners, Tubbs & Edward. And, not enough of the highly offensive and scary French Minstral who steals wives. ...and no Ross -- tho the actor who plays him was in it a lot. ...I prefer him in his Ross-wig.

Happy Halloween, kids!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

YES, IT'S TRUE...


i've a crush on this tv show character...


...oh, the horror!

I've been watching far too much of the League of Gentlemen in preparation for watching the DVD of the feature film that came out in the UK a few months ago. I had only ever seen the first season. So, now I am all caught up and am about to plug in their movie, THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN'S APOCALYPSE, into the region free DVD player and watch. I love this sick and twisted show. Sort of like Monty Python gone all esposodic with heavy doses of acid and direction by David Lynch. However, my real concern is that I've developed a crush on the character of Ross. That is a picture of the actor in the "character" --- for those of you who might be familiar with the show which Comedy Central and BBC America determined was too dark for the US audience --- Ross is a smug social worker who ultimately tortures the cruel Pauline and Mickey.


"Hello, Job Seekers!"

So much transpired on the show during the last two seasons/series. But the story line that I found most surprising was the triangle of Pauline, Mickey and Ross. Not only did Ross get Pauline canned, Pauline then kidnapped Ross and then Ross got Pauline put in prision where Pauline became the head Dyke of the cell block. ...Until Ross got her out of prison to assist him in setting up a sting to catch and convict poor Mickey who has been milking the welfare system. ...but, then Pauline fell in love with Mickey (who, let's face it -- his essentially retarded) --- AND when she refuses to assist Ross in his evil scheme has to let Ross sex her up to keep from going back into prison! Yes! Ross did Pauline! ...And, then, after cheating death and probably just missing being pulled into the evil French Minstral Show --- marries Mickey.


Ross...


...I'd do him.

But, the real problem is discovering at the tail end of 38 that I have a crush on tv character. Is it me or isn't Ross kind of hot? I'm sick. No need to answer that question. But, it has been a really rough week. All is cool now, but the end of the week just sucked! This is why I feel off the blog sphere!

However, things were great up to Tuesday night when Alan and I saw Bauhaus at The Warfield.



Aside from finally getting in this historic venue where the likes of Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead established themselves -- we also got to see Bauhaus goth the house down!


....waiting for Mr. Murphy, Mr. J, Mr. Ash and the drummer whose name I never seem to remember


neat-o gothic decor inside The Warfield!

Peter Murphy has aged a great deal, but sounded great! Daniel Ash looks better than ever! He has gotten all buff on our asses and finally lost the big hair. "BL's Dead" was the hit of the night, as to be expected -- but I loved their performance of Marc Bolan's Telegraph Sam -- it was better live than any of their recordings of it. These pictures were taken with my cell phone. Sorry -- but the shots of the band just didn't take. But, Alan and I had a blast! Bauhaus also played on Wednesday and are playing a Halloween show for tomorrow night.

Anyway, tomorrow is Halloween. I do not enjoy Halloween. It creeps me out. I mean, I know that is the idea, but I really do not enjoy it. After work I am just jumping on MUNI and getting home --- The Castro has been insane all weekend and tomorrow is the BIG NIGHT! Tonight was also The Hooker's Ball for all of the Bay Area sex workers. Would have enjoyed checking that out. It was their 27th Anniversary event! It would have been an interesting evening! Wish I could have been there!

A friend who lives just outside of Boston contacted me today to let me know it snowed there today! LOL! It was sunny and warm here! I wonder what Xmas is going to feel like without freezing cold and snow. I suspect I will enjoy it. Oh, and the count down is on for the new Kate Bush CD!!!!!! Yay!!!!! Can't wait!!!!

Happy Halloween!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

SPARE THOUGHTS OR MATT PICKS UP HIS MAIL & CHARLES ROCKET IS DEAD...

Well, my plan was to go right home and go to bed, but here I sit with my laptop listening to Antony & The Johnsons. So, when I picked up my mail the sun was starting to set and I took a few pix of places near to my mail box place on Market in the Castro.

I meant to take a shot of Sweet Inspirations -- one of my fave haunts. There is a rumour running about the Castro that they are about to close shop because their rent is too high. ...is that a Starbucks I smell? UGH! But, I failed to take a picture because just as I was about to --- two elderly gents asked me if I could direct them to Beck's Motor Lodge. Now, everyone who has ever spent any time in SF knows that the Beck's Motor Lodge is a place of sordid gay action. ...and it is directly across the street from Sweet Inspirations. So, it didn't take me long to realize that they were being fresh with me. They were each sporting incredible amounts of leather and were doing their best to "work it" but I don't think it was a great look for either of them -- they both HAD to be in their early 70's! But, more power to 'em! I just pointed across the street and teased, "Now, you both know where Beck's is --- we are not amused." ...they gave me a laugh. I was actually trying to get a picture of them cross Market to the motor lodge, but I am a lousy photographer. If you notice, there is a person in a blue shirt -- he was waving to them. Cute -- or sinister? Hmmmm...

And, this is the gym I plan on joining next month after my birthday! Yes, I am joining a gym! My pal, Bill, assures me that this is a nice one and it is fairly cheap and gay. ...but not as cruisy as GOLD's on Market for which I am just not pretty enough. ...or pumped up enough. LOL! Also it is above my second favorite book store. My fave book store is on Van Ness by the Landmark Opera Movie Theatre. I think it is called "A Well Lit Place For Books" --- or something like that. ...it is the best book store I've ever visited!


I would not mind meeting RuPaul, but his new doll just scares me. I do not want to ever see this doll again. Creeps me out. ...and, I love RuPaul! Oh well.

Ah, The Bagdad Cafe. ...I just love it, tho I've not eaten there in a couple of months.

Asquew --- my current favorite restuarant. Am having dinner there this Friday evening. This used to be a night club/bar. Karl and I ...or Alan and I went there once back in '97, but I can't remember what it was called.

OH! And, Bauhaus tonight!!!!!! Yay! I can't wait! I've my black hoodie all ready to roll!!! Not goth, but I hope not to stick out like a middle-aged thumb. ...tho, I suspect most of the audience will be my age or older as they were most popular back in the very late 70's/early 80's. ...I wonder if Daniel Ash will still be hot?

I was really bummed to hear that Charles Rocket killed himself. I guess they found his body in NY --- he had slit his own throat. How sad. I always liked Charles Rocket --- particularly in EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY and IT'S PAT. Also, not to be gross -- but if one is going to kill himself, why would he opt to cut his throat? I mean -- pain and horror. Yuck. Sad.

Monday, October 24, 2005

MADE IN ENGLAND...



"mmmmmmm....



Delicious!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

AN ALTERNATIVE



It isn't always easy to meet new friends in a big city. ...or a small one. Sex is easy, but beyond that can be hard. This is a new website. It is a cool idea. A chat room is on the way and the site will become more interactive and will be largely what the user makes it.

Check it out.

And, now I am on my way to see the new French film, GARCON STUPIDE. I love that title!




  • scene404
  • Saturday, October 22, 2005

    THOUGHTS WHILE WAITING FOR THE TRAIN...


    iPod Speaking on Saturday morning:
    1. "High" by James Blunt
    2. "Pinhead" by Ramones
    3. "amTV" by Ladytron
    4. "Boogaloop" by Ursula 1000
    5. "Come On" by Ben Jelen
    6. "Don't Give Up The Fight" by The Magic Numbers
    7. "Splish Splash" by Barbra Streisand
    8. "Mean Mr. Mustard" by The Beatles
    9. "Planets of the Universe" by Stevie Nicks
    10."Strange Angels" by Laurie Anderson

    My shirts, jeans and slacks are hanging neatly in my closet.
    My t-shirts, underwear, sweaters, hoodies and socks are folded neatly into crates.
    My books are sorted and stacked with care.
    My papers are organized and filed appropriately in file drawers.
    I've skimmed down my photo collection, but what I've kept are stored in albums.
    I have fixed it all so that everything fits and has its own compact place.
    But, where do I fit --
    where do I store --
    where am I to keep --
    how am I to organize --
    Tell me what am I to do with all of those memories of you?

    All sorts of thoughts are racing through my head as I wait for the "M" train to pick me and bring me to Powell Street where I need to run some errands. As I near my birthday I find that I am feeling happy, sad, worried, tense, relieved and just about everything inbetween.

    Life does not get easier as you age, but it does gain greater focus on what matters. Priorities shift and change along with expectations. And, moments that used to fill the atmosphere with dread and horror no longer carry much impact. But, what used to seem like games/strategies/challenges now have a very different level of import.

    For me, as 39 nears, I find myself taking stock of what I've done right and what I've done wrong. And, my desire to push, pull, force and fight for what is right grows stronger and my patience with the petty is dwindling fast. But, at the same time, the superficial weighs on the world and I constantly question if I've found my place in it.

    Not lonely, but alone.

    Blesses with some wonderful friends --- I really want or need for little. And, yet I get the sense that I need so much more from myself.

    And, now, as I wait for the train which will lead me to a great evening of fun with Milford and a couple of his friends --- my thoughts are somber. As November 12th draws closer -- I certainly can't say that I am bored and that I am not trying to get it right. But, am I getting it wrong somehow?

    The only things I know to be true is you can't get thru life without the mutual love and support of your firends and as much as we like to think that there might be some constants in our lives -- nothing changes, but all of the changes. And they are changing all of the time.

    Will that is my mind scramble for the day. I transposed my notes I made while waiting on the train (that never came) --- Milford had to pick me up. It was a wonderful night filled with great food, fun conversation and one of the best dance performances I've ever seen! I guess, sometimes, you just have to lighten up.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2005

    WHATEVER HAPPENED TO SANDY FARINA?



    ...I often find myself asking this question. So much hope was there for Ms. Farina in the summer of 1978. Playing the female lead, Stawberry Fields, in Robert Stigwood's film version of SGT PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND and thought to be the next Olivia. I mean, wide-eyed -- even somehow doe-eyed innocence coupled with large breasts and an Australian accent -- the PR guys could not see how she could miss. And, then the singing voice. A sort of Karen Carpenter-lite (no pun intened! Really!) voice --- one could tell Ms. Farina learned to sing listening to the fluid song stylings of The Carpenters -- however, unlike Karen, Sandy did inflict a bit more emotion thus preventing that somewhat icy and unforgettable voice of Karen. But it wasn't meant to be. Where is Sandy? What is she doing? Is she bitter? Is she lonely?

    Oh, Sandy, where are you?

    Meanwhile, I had the following conversation at a public facility in which forms are required to be filled out.

    me: "Hi, this is a copy of a form I need to complete as this needs to be renewed but I am not sure of the name of the form or where to find it. Can you help me?"

    him: "Let me see that"

    me: "Sure"

    him: "Sir, this is a copy."

    me: "Yes. I know. I brought it to show you so you could point me to a blank version so I could complete and file for a new action."

    him: "Sir, I can't work or process from a copy."

    me: "I understand, but I wasn't bringing that for you to accept as a request for a new order. I was just brining it in to show you the form I need to complete as no name or code number is listed on it. Where would I find a blank form? I will fill that out and bring it back to you."

    him: "Sir, I don't understand. You're handing me a copy of an old form and telling me you want a new action taken. I can't assist you with an old copy."

    me: "Can I have that back? See, I understand that you can't proces a new action with a copy of the old form for the original action. I just don't know the name of the form and I don't know where you guys keep it. Can you point me to the blank versions of that form?"

    him: "You're going to have to complete a new form, sir."

    me: "Ok. Where are those new forms for me to complete"

    he stares at me, holding the old form and looking totally confused and annoyed. I am fighting the urge to tell him he is an idiot. I take a deep breath.

    me: "You know, maybe I could speak to your supervisor."

    him: (rolling his eyes) "Whatever you want, sir. However, we do not work from old copies."

    15 minutes later, a tired looking woman walks to the glass window with her confused employee. She looks ready for battle.

    she: "Sir, how can we assist you?"

    me: "See that copy he is holding. I need that back, but I just wanted him to show me where you keep the blank versions of that form so I can complete a new one as I need to file for a new action."

    she: (taking the old form from confused/annoyed employee and handing it to me thru the little slit) Down the hall you will see a row of shelves. The blank versions of this form are in slot number 38b."

    me: "Thanks!"

    him: "Why didn't you just ask me that?"

    she: "Jerry." (not his real name)

    me: "Jerry, get a grip. I asked you that question at least 4 times I was about write you off as mentally retarded."

    ...amazingly, the tired lady looked amused and laughed. Jerry was not happy. ...I brought my completed form to a different person. she couldn't really speak English, but she got it completed for me!

    well, that sums up my day. just about everything went like that...

    Monday, October 17, 2005

    ON A LOOP...



    Not sure why, but all I've played on my iPod since Saturday is "New Kicks" "Nanny Nanny Boo Boo" and "TKO" by LeTigre. On my way home this evening I thought to myself, "You have to stop!" ...so I took it off "repeat" and that playlist and selected shuffle -- as I am want to do.

    ...the first song my iPod played was "New Kicks" --- but then it led me into a soothing world of John Legend and Angie Stone. Still, I know I am probably a bit old --- but, kids, I like LeTigre a LOT!

    Sunday, October 16, 2005

    YES, AGAIN...



    I've been keeping this blog for quite a while now. I write it for myself -- it is the closest I can get to creative expression. I don't think I've ever had that many readers. I read the blogs that are linked on my page and some of them read mine. I do get emails from time to time from people who do not have a blogger account and who have something to say or ask me. I guess it is normal that some posts would get more comments than usual, but the post I made in which I joked about the death of disco being blamed on the film, XANADU, got more emails than any post I've done! So many in fact, that I have given up getting thru all of them. I think I got 50 emails regarding the post yesterday.

    People love XANADU --- and so do I!

    Anway, more than a few people have noted that I failed to mention something very important attrocity committed by MCA/Universal when the soundtrack LP was released. Yes, they opted to not include the wonderous medly/finale --- which was introduced as Gene Kelly and all those rollerboogie skaters chanting "Ho! Ho! Ho!" --- and a marvelous showcase for a number of costume and wig changes for Olivia Newton-John --- and lots of songs including a fun C&W disco dittty! But, it was never captured on the LP. And, this friends, is a tragedy. So, I just wanted to acknowledge this for those of you who were upset that I failed to include this audio tragedy.

    Now, I hope some of you will go ahead and create a blogger account and word verification is not that big a deal. For now, it is beating all those obnoxious spam bloggers. Then you can comment away!

    Thursday, October 13, 2005

    RACE RELATIONS & PRETZEL SAMPLES



    I had a difficult day at work. It happens. So, I decided to treat myself to the Food Court. ...stop making fun of me. I'm on a budget. Anyway, after I ate half of what I was served and drank a child's size Diet Coke (am quitting caf) I got up to leave and thought, "Hey, I deserve a real treat tonight!"

    I allow myself one cookie a day and I normally enjoy my cookie sometime between 8 and 9 in the evening. However, tonight I decided I would have a half of one of those sugar-covered pretzels ---- AND a medium Diet Coke. I walked in and was greeted by a very happy older lady behind the counter. I placed my order. As she soaked the giant pretzel into a vat full of some oil-like substance which allows her to dip/roll my pretzel in sugar I noticed a large bowl of pretzels pieces which were serving as samples of all their various types of pretzel delights.

    I heard some loud/obnoxious laughing and was pushed to the side while a group of cute pre-teen girls grabbed as many of the samples as possible and then ran out. One of them calling out, "Free pretzels!" Without even thinking I shrugged and sort of laughed. Whatever. But the nice older lady suddenly got a very angry look on her face. She walked back to the counter, my giant pretzel in hand, and asked "Are you OK?" I laughed and said I was fine and made some comment along the lines of 'o-those-crazy-kids' and the older pretzel lady leaned in to me and said --

    "I am not racist, but ---"

    OK, whenever someone says the "but" word in this context you know you're in for a contradiction or a de-confirmation of what they said before entering the "but" word. I particularly hate the use of "but" when mixed with words like "love" "care" "homophobic" "friend" or "racist"

    "....but, it is ALWAYS the black ones who do that sort of thing!" (she said this in a sort of hushed but rushed way) --- then added, "I've told my boss it is all I can to not throw the plate at their tacky, nappy heads!"

    At this point I should let you know that the older pretzel lady is a person of color.

    If you've not already figured it out, I have trouble controling my mouth. Now, I seldom lose my cool. I never raise my voice and it takes a lot to make me mad at all. But, when something strikes me as being wrong, unfair or mean --- I have trouble not speaking out about it. ...and tonight, as I took my pretzel from the angry older lady behind the counter was no exception.

    So, without any hesitation or thought I said, "I am not trying to upset you, but that is racist."

    "I am a black woman! How can I be a racist!! And, child I did not march with my friends in the 60's for little assholes like that to act the rude fool!"

    "That is so cool that you marched! I agree, but anger and intolerance isn't the answer. And, you know, racism surfaces on all levels. I don't mean to imply you're a bad person. I think we are all a bit racist. It's sad, but I think it is true. Anyone who tells you they aren't at all racist are not being totally honest with themselves or you. I am a uber-liberal yet I am sure I have racist attitudes that I don't even realize. I hate that, but I am sure I do. We all do. When I catch it in myself thinking I do my best to stop it."

    "Well, the white, mexican and asian kids don't do that sort of shit when they come in here!"

    "But, just to so easily associate a generalization like that to ethnic background or skin color is inherently racist. Even if you feel it to be true, you have to see that. And, these kids are our future. And, they are just kids -- if what they do bothers you maybe you should try to deal with it using humor. Call back to them and tell them to enjoy the free pretzels. Next time they come in try talking to them. You never know, you could make a difference. Personally, I don't think what they did had anything to do with the color of their skin. I think they enjoy getting a reaction out of you. They are just kids out being loud and having fun. And, I find it hard to believe you've never seen a white or asian kid not do something similar."

    "Well, maybe you're right. You sound like my grandbaby. She goes to school in San Diego. I'm sorry if I offended you."

    "You didn't offend me, but that was racist. You and I need to do whatever we can to get people to treat each other with respect and dignity. Equality --- that's why you were marching, right? Kids love to rebel -- regardless of race. And, you know, life is too damn short to let some cute little girls being silly get you upset. And, for the record, I thought they were adorable --- and, they had great hair!"

    The older lady laughed and asked me what uber-liberal meant. I told her. She laughed again and told me to have a great night.

    I ate half my pretzel as I walked home. Tossed the other half into a garbage can and finished off my "healthy" soda. And, I wondered to myself, "Why did I just do that?"

    I came home and jotted down the conversation and now transcribe it for your reading "pleasure"

    ...all I wanted was a sugar-coated pretzel and a giant tub of Diet Coke. I never meant to preach to an over-worked and under paid senior citizen who has been dealing with the public all day. iBook in my lap and a cup of hot tea near by, Elton John is singing about Mars being a bad place to raise kids and tomorrow is Friday!

    Monday, October 10, 2005

    FREEDOM WATER


    purified, hydrated and patriotic!

    As I rushed to make an appointment I took a sip of my water and took notice of the brand of water I was drinking. "Pure American" Yeah, Freedom Water! As the soothing liquid went down my throat I felt so enriched, so refreshed -- so American! By the way, it is on sale at Walgreens --- for fifty cents! Freedom water. You can get it cheap! ...Of course we all know what freedom really is -- just another word for nothing left to lose. Which is why, I guess, none of us are really free.

    As I was picking up my Freedom Water earlier in the day, I noticed that their sattelite radio was playing "You Light Up My Life" by one Miss Debbie Boone -- and, then I had to pop into 7-11 for gum when I was greeted by "Emotion" performed by the one and only Samantha Sang (the original version!?!?!) --- AND, then Lee's sandwhich shop was sound decorated by the stains of John Sebastion performing the theme to Welcom Back, Kotter! Was today 1977?!?!?

    Oh, and I should note that I've been consumed with thoughts of Sidney Lumet's ill-fated attempt at the film musical. ...Hia cinematic take on THE WIZ in which we, the public, were exposed Diana Ross in a really short afro at 40 playing 20. I don't know. Maybe it is because Nipsey Russell just recently died or maybe I desire to see a moment in time when Michael Jackson looked more human as a funky scare crow than as a father. ...but I feel the need to ease on down that rocky road that crashed more than a few screen careers. Ah, yes, my odd cinematic desires. Call for help if I feel the urge to watch George Burns and the Bee Gees smear crap on the magic that was SGT PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND! ...please!

    Saturday, October 08, 2005

    FLAT AND A LITTLE OFF-KEY



    So, I wonder --- what does it say about me that I dislike the early "Riot Girrrrl" rock of the early Liz Phair, but have totally enjoyed the pop-friendly last two CD's she's released. The critics and most people I know disagree with me and consider her last two CD's to be total sell-outs, but I like them. I especially enjoy the slutty commerically-geared release from a couple of summer's ago. I mean, how can one resist a song about male love juice as a beauty aid? And, I do like the new one --- I am particularly fond of the track about all of her old friends in rehab. Been there. Done that. I relate. But, Ms. Phair can't really sing. However, that does make it easy for me to sing along. I mean, is it me or doesn't anyone else find her voice to be flat and always right on key?!?!?

    That tounge-in-cheek commercial pop CD made her sound best. The uncomfortable mix of the producers and composers who put folks like Britney, Pink and Ricky on the map blended with Phair's somewhat ironic lyrics just somehow works.
    And all that pro-tooling really helped her vocals. The new CD is not all that tweaked, but much more on the soft rock side of the tracks than her earlier works. Sort of like an artiste who yearns to sound like Sheryl Crow, but does not quite have the vocal talent and is far too edgy to quite cross into the mainstream of MOR rock.

    I would love to hear would it would sound like if Liz Phair did a cover of Endless Love with Cake --- or they could "re-tool" that old 70's chestunt made popular by Peaches & Herb. I can't remember the name of that song, but Cake and Liz Phair doing it would seem like a cool idea. That would be as "the kids" say, "hella-cool" ...I remember "South Park" having Cartman say this years ago, but I am hearing a lot of kids around here say it quite a bit. Slang. Gotta love it.

    Oh! And a new Robbie Williams CD coming our way next month! Yay! As well as the long promised DVD box set of all 6 of the Streisand TV specials from Rhino Video! Double Yay! Now, if only I had the money to buy them! ...especially as the Robbie CD is only coming out in the UK. Oh, and Series 2 of Britiain's "Peep Show" is out next month as well!!! AND --- looks like Kate Bush is finally going to surrender her new CD in late November/early December -- a 2 CD set no less! I am all aglow with excitement!

    Oh, and even tho I am totally queer --- is it strange that I have a crush on Asia Argento and Jennifer Jason-Leigh?!?! They are both just so damn hot! ...and hella talented!

    Friday, October 07, 2005

    THE OFFICIAL CLOWN ALLEY or MY FRIDAY NIGHT ADVENTURE...



    I did not have my camera or my iBook --- just my cell phone and my handy (and quite cute) Sanrio "Dairy Character" writing pad (don't know it's name as I've yet to see this character in the US --- this was sent to me by an email pal in Japan) ---- Anyway, I digress. I was facing my fears on my way to see Rick perform with his friend in a cabaret act (which was OUTSTANDING, by the way) ---

    I was lost as I tried to find my way from my office to The Purple Onion. I saw a small band of young men who I suspect were gang members --- they were tossing pennies at women as they walked by to their own great amusement. ? But, I figured that they must know the area so I walked up and asked them if they give me directions to Columbus Avenue. They were actually not too scary and informed me that I was just 3 blocks off track. One of them, in need of a bath and a better tattoo artiste put his hand on my shoulder and asked, "Where are you going my white friend?" ...Do urban punk/gang hipsters now speak like Knights of the Realm?!?!? ...well, it is San Francisco --- so one never knows. I said I was going to see a show at The Purple Onion. I said this as happy as I could playing up to the way he asked the question. My response made all 5 of them hoot noises of approval. "Uptown, my main man!" exclaimed the shortest of the bunch. I said, "But, isn't this Chinatown?" I got laughs. I was then asked if I had any money. I said it didn't matter because I would not give them any as all they appear to do is throw it at people as they walk by. I got more laughs and was "excused" with a "Have a good time, Dude!"

    As I walked toward the club I realized I had a great view of that pyriamid-looking building and then noticed that Francis Ford Copolla's offices and restaurant was to my immedaiate right. I could see movie posters and a framed picture of Sophia! Neat. But, I needed a cheap place to grab a bite to eat as I waited for Milford to join me. And, then I faced my biggest fear -- Clowns! Yes, there appears to be a fairly popular late night diner called "Clown Alley" --- which is dedicated to clowns. Scary pictures of clowns are everywhere, but I got a grip and ordered a beef patty and a Diet Coke. The guy seemed only a little annoyed that I wanted no bun with my burger. He explained that Clown Alley is a very popular "after the clubs close" spot and that they are open till 4am. The food was pretty good and the restroom was clean! However, being surrounded by clown stuff is not that good for digestion.

    Then I walked over to The Purple Onion. I couldn't wait to get in as I am fairly positive that this is the SF club of the early 60's where Phyllis Diller took Barbra Streisand to open for her. With Ms. Diller's name on the bill, Babs got her west coast break in San Francisco. They ended up playing an extra 3 weeks. This was pre Broadway Funny Girl. This was back when Babs was considered "cutting edge" with purple hair singing classics while the other 18/19 year old singers were performing folk or rock. The Purple Onion is also where the Smothers Bros broke out and countless other 60's artistes. So, we're talking entertainment history here!



    Anway, Milford arrived and we saw Lua Hadar perform an exceptional jazz-influenced cabaret act. And --- we saw Rick perform! He was quite good --- Essentially, his part of the program was as back up for a Yiddish cover of Madelene Kahn's "I'm Tired" from BLAZING SADDLES. It was very funny. Ms. Hadar also did a great performance of "Ring Them Bells" and "Nature Boy" --- We had a blast.

    ...However, the highlight of the evening for me was at the very end when I was chatting with Rick and a lady walked up to congratulate him and he introduced me and made a point of telling her that we were dating. It kind of sounded like he was bragging about it. I don't know -- this made me feel good. Now, shut up and stop making fun of me!

    The pictures are not so good because I took them with my cell phone, but they will have to do!

    Today I calmed a client down and was walking down Market Street to pick up my mail and it stuck me that I have really started to rebuild a new life for myself. ...It's kind of exciting -- all of these possibilities. What's next?!?!?

    kisses, matt

    Thursday, October 06, 2005

    DREAMING OF DEAD TURTLES

    I didn't sleep well last night. Odd dreams, but this was the strangest of the night.

    I was back in Texas. It was pouring rain and starting to flood. I could smell blood and noticed that the rain was a sort of pale red color. Was their blood in the rain? Then I saw a set of headlights coming toward me. I immediately recognized the tank of a car my father drove. My father pulled up and I began to dread having to deal with him... The passenger door opens and I got in. There is the usual smell of over-the-counter anti-acid medication mixed with gun powder. My father looked sort of out of it which I think only makes since as he has been dead close to 10 years. Before I can ask him if he remembered to pick up my little brother he tells me that he thinks he saved Fred.

    "Who is Fred?'

    Then he sat a dead turtle on my lap. It was so heavy and smelled of rotting flesh --- or of what I think rotting flesh must smell like. I felt sick. My father belched and asked me if I wanted a burger. I told him no and point out that "Fred" is dead. He ignored me. I told him to stop the car and to let me out. He slammed the brakes on and asked me if I am sure I want to get out as I am likely to miss my graduation. He then informed me that I used to be such a cute little kid, but had turned into a pathetic just loser stoner. I couldn't decide if my feelings were hurt or if I was just angry.

    I felt confused. I tried to lift the turtle off my person, but it was too heavy. I asked my father if he knew what year it was. It was 1985. I then realized that this is why he was alive and bothering me as per usual. I decided I was mad at him and pointed out that my little brother, his other son, was graduating from elementary school too.



    He forgot to pick him up. I became furious.

    I finally managed to push the turtle off my lap and onto the floorboard of the car. The shell cracked open spilling what looked like some sort of oil all over the place. My father began to cry and accused me of havng killed Fred. I felt no remorse for his turtle and only knew that I needed to find my brother. I asked him if he had bothered to pick up my mother, his wife so she could attend the graduation ceremonies. He didn't have time. Apparently, there were just too many turtles which required his care.

    I shot my father the finger, got out of the car and he called out that the world seemed to be ending and that I needed to get right with God. I rolled my eyes and realized that I was getting drenched with blood. There were turtles crawling all around me. My father sped off. I felt a bit sad as I was thinking that I should have asked him a few things as I knew I would never see him alive again.

    I begin running over the turtles and tried to shield my eyes from the falling blood. I made it to an elementary school. I realized it was my old elementary school and not my brother's, but I could hear my brother crying. I found him. He was so little. I had forgotten how little he used to be. So cute. Suddenly I began to feel a bit more grounded. He was seated on a huge turtle. I pick him up and tried to comfort him with humor. I told him that one day he would be a very successful artist and would be a lot taller than me. He laughed at the idea that he would ever be bigger than me.



    By the time we walked out of the school blood was no longer raining from the sky and the sun was out. The turtles were all gone and he and I are were in our graduation gowns. I started to feel a bit safer. He asked me if I knew where Dad was and I told him that he was gone. He took my hand and whispered that our family was very strange. I agreed, but told him he needed to be kind to our mom.

    We heard a car crash into something. I picked my brother up --- and then I woke up.

    I was unable to fall back into sleep, but it was only 5:30am, so I put my iPod on, pressed shuffle and shut my eyes:

    1. "Custurd Pie" by Led Zep
    2. "Number 1" by Goldfrapp
    3. "The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers
    4. "Times Square" by Marriane Faithfull
    5. "Under the Bridge" by Red Hot C Peppers

    ...I fell back into sleep and woke up to the sound of the alarm at 6:45am. As I got dressed I wondered what in the world that dream was all about. I have never liked turtles and my family is strange. Hmmmm... Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. ...or, not.

    Wednesday, October 05, 2005



    ...today's iPod Shuffle:
    1. "Hammond Song" by The Roches
    2. "Hot Topic" by LeTigre
    3. "Spark" by Tori Amos
    4. "It Don't Matter To Me" by Bread
    5. "Dreamin'" by Marlena Shaw

    ...AND, THEY CALL IT CASUAL CAR POOL

    I've been hearing members of the staff at my office refer to their car pools since I started working at this firm. Their stories are funny, but after a while it began to sound as if they was an incredible number of people in their respective pools. And, then I heard someone call it "Casual Car Pool" ---- for those of you, like me, who may not know what that means -- People who live in the East Bay area of Northern California "enjoy" a system in which one stands in a line at one of several parking lots waiting for a random car to drive by and pick them up. One simply gets in the car --- and there must be a minimum of 2 people who get in and this car is then able to to drive in a special lane at a higher speed into the city. The same is true on the return drive from SF back to the East Bay. There is no charge and only one "ground rule" which does not seem to be followed. The rules are that one does not speak unless spoken to --- clearly everyone speaks to everyone. The whole thing seems like a tragedy waiting to happen. It already sounds like there are guy drivers who only want the hottest "chicks" in their cars and women who fear getting into the cars driven by men. I just don't know.

    The very idea of just jumping into a stranger's car with other strangers really creeps me out. I mean, why not just hitch hike for Christ''s sake!?!? But, folks here seem to love the concept and enjoy their "war" or "casual car pooling" stories. I am such a magnet for freaks I am certain that my ride in the casual pool would result in some odd adventure that I do not care to experience. I've been haunted by nightmares. Dreams of psycho casual pool drivers and crazed passengers to whom I've given up the power to screw with my destiny. The dreams tend to involve raw meat, assorted knives, screw drivers and spiked collars. Someone told me that my worries over this "cool" concept are a result of my "old age" ---- maybe so!

    And, my "old age" hit me today when I discovered this "kid" --- for whom I have a great deal of respect (highly intelligent, creative with strong business insight) --- turns out to 29 years old. Hardly a child. Yet, to me he looks like one. Oy. But, I did have one positive self-realization today. Some marketing person tried to hand me a free sample candy bar as I was rushing down Market Street. I declined and she said, "Come on, skinny --- you can have some candy!" I just ignored her. But, later when I was eating my lunch a passing individual commented, "I hate you! I bet you can eat anything you want and just stay skinny!" ...the realization that I am now percieved as skinny made my day!

    ...but, no one is going to convince me that the concept of the casual car pool is a sane one!

    Monday, October 03, 2005

    HE FELL GENTLY, THE WAY A TREE FALLS...



    "...One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes."

    I re-read "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupery for, like the 80th time today. One of the very few bits of literature that I could read over and over and never tire of it. I always seem to discover something new in it and find a great deal of wisdom and strength in it. My boss saw me carrying it out during my delayed lunch hour --- it was yet another perfect day so I walked to this little park area with a Diet Coke, sat on the warm grass and with the soft wind running past me and the sun smiling down on the back of my neck --- I read it from cover to cover. Anyway, my boss teased me a bit about my heavy reading and I told him it was much more heavy than he might imagine. Actually, I think it more an adult book than one for a child.

    ...wouldn't it be cool to have known Antoine de Saint-Exupery?

    Oh, I found the sand dollar while at the beach this past Sunday. It is absolutely perfect and is over 2 inches in circomference! Beautiful. I've it lying next to my scary Thai doll.

    WHO KILLED THE DISCO DREAM?



    Disco. Why did it die? Was it the constant and repetitive thud and slick orchestrated strings? Did the falsetto of The Bee Gees become just too much? Was it the anti-disco/disco sucks backlash/movements of the late 70's which resulted in angry t-shirts and mass destruction of Casablanca/TDK vinyl in the football stadiums of middle-America? No, I don't think so. I mean, there are always "anti" factions for anything that is popular. How many people complain about Micheal Bolton?!?! Yet, guess who still has a major record label deal? Kenny G, anyone? And, besides, even The Stones had made the migration to disco. What did it in?



    Could it possibly be that a certain sidebar of the miracle that was disco pushed the general public just a bit too far?

    I wonder --- was the mayhem we now remember as "Roller Boogie" the straw that broke that funky camel's back? Did the disco magic begin to crumble when Cher, Diana Ross and Linda Blair all put on glitter headbands, transparent shirts with no bras with blue suspenders to hit the parquet'd roller disco floors? Linda Blair's bouncing boobs of 1979 certainly caused a great deal of trauma and confusion within the disco community. However, the other disco masters on skates continued to boogie onwards trying to turn that beat around despite it all. Was it the added stress of balancing on wheels while looking fabulous, glamourous and funked-up? Was it Ms. Ethel Merman's ill-fated disco LP of B'way standards? And, no one even bothered to notice CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC --- so we can't really blame the Viliage People. And, the so bad it's good flick, ROLLERBOOGIE barely hit anyone's radar.

    No. I assert that only one thing could have caused the demise of disco. Folks, I think that the sweet disco cake was left out in the rain on the day that Universal Studios "green-lighted" a production involving Olivia Newton-John, ELO, The Tubes and Gene Kelly. The plan was to bring the roller disco "craze" to the Big Screen in that apocolyptic Disco Moment of 1980 that we now refer to as XANADU!



    In fact, had Ms. Newton-John not "suffered" from "exhaustion" causing Rob Greenwald's shooting schedule to be delayed we might have lost disco as early as the summer of 1979, but Olivia did spare the death by one year.

    And, now, somewhere on the outskirts of Hollywood a disgruntled actor by the name of Michael Beck sits --- still angry at his agent of the spring of 1979 who once reassured him, "Oh, baby --- THE WARRIORS is a cult classic! You are going to be a big star! Now, who needs THE DEER HUNTER!?!? I mean this whole DeNiro-Christopher Walken thing isn't going to last! I mean, they don't have your looks! Honey, you need to take the role in Xanadu! Travolta is an idiot to turn it down! I mean, who is going to want to watch a movie about a wanna-be cowboy doing the two step! This is going to be your big break into the mainstream! Besides, I already turned down the other roles. This is going to be the new GREASE"

    "But, I can't sing."

    "Oh, no worries. We're getting Cliff Richards to do your singing."

    "Cliff who?"



    That should have been one of many red flags for Mr. Beck.

    Take, if you will, the story of a muse sent down from the Heavens to inspire an incredibly gifted album cover duplicator who is just no longer getting excited by the new direcction of album covers. Interestingly, this muse comes down to earth via an oddly tame bit of graffiti in an alley in downtown LA. Our muse, played with a stiffness that only Oliva Newton-John can create, tracks her artist down wearing her handy glitter roller skates, leg warmers and freshly blow dried wings to get both his creative and romantic juices flowing --- and, somehow for reasons never clearly revealed --- Gene Kelly gets involved. In the end, the characters strive to create what Hollywood needs most --- The Ultimate Roller Disco Palace filled with happy mimes, disco clowns, poly-fashions, platform skates and lots and lots of pretty lights and falling glitter! ...and of course, Gene Kelly, being as "hep" as any senior citizen can be!



    It doesn't take a lot of brain power to note that this film is more symbolic than an Ayn Rand novel --- and certainly more important to pop culture! Micheal Beck is not merely "everyman" personified -- he IS our country -- struggling thru the turmoil of high gas prices, hostagese in Iraq, a peanut farmer president and the looming possibility that a bad movie actor just might become our next one! The US, like our hero, was in trouble and only incredible beauty and music can save him.

    Ironically, the music in Xanadu is actually quite good and it still holds up. And, the movie is so bad that it comes around to being good again. However, it found no audience. But, there are some great moments. Like the cheap animation that pops up for no reason other than they didn't have enough footage of Newton-John to go 'round --- or the way they "cleverly" have 3 women lip sync to Newton-John's voice during the number with The Tubes because she was too tired to return for re-shoots. Please not the revenge taken by the director with the casting of some older/not so hot looking women to do that lip syncing. Or that classic dance sequence between she and Gene Kelly --- personally, I enjoy watching the film crew reflected in the mirrors more than their dancing! Oh, and the 15 plus costume changes in the film's finale! Clearly, the producers favored the Bo Derek inspried Bob Mackie-lite outfit she sports as she croons the final strains of the theme song, but it is the Disco Cow Girrrl outfit that is my personal fave!

    And, then there is that awkward splitting of the screen effect as Gene Kelly leads "the kids" 'round the disco derby dance floor as they clap to the opening strains of ELO, but why do they chant, "HO! HO!" ...what does this mean?!?!?

    Well, Disco was forever jinxed. And, along with Micheal Beck -- Oliva Newton John's movie career would never be the same. Sure, she would manage to get all "physical" on our asses, but the Grease days were long gone. Nor would the careers of countless Disco divas such as Thelma Houston, Gloria Gaynor -- and, please, let's not even discuss poor Alicia Bridges ever get past the gloom that XANADU spread across the fun that was disco.

    Still, you have to believe we are magic. ...and, maybe one day, the beat will turn around ---- again.

    Sunday, October 02, 2005

    A LAZY KIND OF SUNDAY, BUT ANGER IS EVER BREWING...



    My trip to the beach was cut short. It was beautiful, but it was simply too windy and cold. Even the surfers were giving up --- tried to get a nice shot of them exiting the water, but didn't come out. So, you can see them walking away in the distance toward Cliff House. All sorts of rocks were washing up with the waves. I found a HUGE sand dollar --- perfect. I will have to take a picture of it sometime. Anyway, I was there just long enough to get sand all over me. Took the train back and noticed that this not-so-attractive-goth-looking-sort-of-fellow was getting a great deal of attention. I removed my iPod and saw that these alternative looking college types were getting his autograph. I asked one of them who the guy was --- former lead singer of The Jesus Mary Chain. I sort of remember that band. Anyway, he had been to the Castro Street Fair as he was wearing this year's little sticker.

    Today's iPod Shuffle:
    1. "Dad, I'm In Jail" by Was (Was Not)
    2. "After Dark" by Le Tigre
    3. "All We Have" by Brazilian Girls
    4. "Hey Mama" by Kayne West
    5. "Alone in Kyoto" by Air

    ...yeah, I see no connection to these songs, but felt the need to list them.

    Came home. Sat in the back yard and wrote a few letters/cards. Turns out one of our dear family friends lost abosolutely everything with Katrina. So, I was trying to write something to let them know I was thinking of them. Then Alan and I took a nice walk to Daly City for a light dinner and ended up seeing that Tim Burton animated movie, THE CORPSE BRIDE. It was OK. Sikp it, tho and see MIRRORMASK.

    San Francisco is infamous for a being a "hot bed" of political unrest and non-conformity --- which I do love. However, as I sat facing this promotion of a New Orleans fundraiser I felt sad. I don't think these feeling of anger are just representative of The Bay Area. I think more and more of us are becoming angry over the state of our country and the people who seem to be running it into the ground. The comments written on this ad were obviously written by more than a few people and my camera could not capture all of the comments. However, whether you agree with what is written or not --- how long before we all just get too fed up. How long before we finally just kick this Son-of-a-Bush out and take back the country and put the focus on gaining equality for all of us. And finding cures and resolutions for problems that are killing us here at home. How can one organize another's house when your own is in a state of chaos?!?!?



    Seems like a lot of us are mad as hell. How much longer are we going to take it?


    ...a closer look at the "fine print"