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Friday, March 31, 2006

4 MONTHS IN --- THESE ARE MY TWO FAVORITE FILMS THUS FAR...

...more important than is being realized, but a bit too long.

...puts the fun back in horror and is a MUST SEE! I haven't enjoyed a movie this much in a long time. So sick, twisted and funny! ...and "it" gets the joke.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

MOST WORRYING...
...and, yet, I crave a whopper with cheese.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

MARRIAGE!?!? WHO NEEDS IT!??!?

Sturdy Gal Pal: "Marriage? What's marriage? A ring, a contract. Fighting, compromising ---"

Barbra: "It can be more than that. You know what I envy about people in love? I'd love it if someone really knew me. Really. You know. What I like. What I'm afraid of. What kind of toothpaste I use. Yeah, I think that would really be wonderful."

Shit. I'd be happy if I got a decent date! Is that too much to ask? Oh, and no Enya. No. Enya is unacceptable in my world at this point in my life. She has no place in my life or with hobits.

...maybe if I had a glam make over like Babs in THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES. You know, go from soft focus/back lit frump to soft focus/back lit Mafia widow? Yeah. I think that would really be wonderful.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

NIGHT OF A THOUSAND SHOES!
Points if you know from where the title of my post comes! Yes, well. These are my shoes.

Sad, isn't it? I so love shoes. I usually have at least 30 pairs, but times are hard and I find that my shoe size has gotten a bit smaller. Hmmm...

Anyway, I've been getting hints that I need to buy new shoes but it will have to wait. I figure it will take at least 2 more paychecks before life is back on a sort of track. ...Not on track, but on a track. I have to manage to coast on a rather sum of money and my brother will be visiting me this weekend. But, I've gone on far less over the course of the past year. So, no biggie. But, shoes. Well, shoes will have to wait.

However, I know that some night in my not so far future I might just have a night of a thousand shoes. Speaking of great titles never used. I was chatting with a friend today and made the following observation: "You know, it is sort of like he carries the personality of a man with a small penis." ...and, my friend commented that this sentence would make for a great song title. Not sure, but I have noticed that white men who have been denied endowment seem to be real jerks. It's like they roam thru life all pissy, egocentric and pushy to take out their frustration on all the rest of us. Attempting to compensate I guess.

I wish I could give them a pair of shoes and make 'em feel all better. But, first, I need to get some new shoes for me!

Monday, March 27, 2006

THE MAGIK CARD & MY GAY GARBAGE...

Look! It is some sort of odd late 60's card that is rumored to be magikal. Yes, we spell this with a "K" -- tho, I don't really know why. Seems like it should be spelled like "magical" but who am I to argue with all them witches?!?!
...can you see the man in the crushed velvet suit and the lovely posed in the mini skirt in the farscape? what can it mean?
...and this is the other side of the magik card. Hmmmmmm... I know not what it means. However, when I hold this card up to the face of a sales person I get free things! It is pretty cool!

Oh, and I just happened to take a look at my bedroom garbage can. Look. Can garbage get any more gay?!?!?...don't ask.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

A TINY PLACE CALLED RADIO HAVANA

There is this wicked-cool place about the size of a small bedroom that acts as a bar/restaurant in The Mission district of San Francisco. It's called Radio Havana and it is rather magical. My pal, ING, turned me on to this place. And, I can't see myself ever going there without her. It is the coolest place to just chill out. It is owned by an artist from Cuba who has decorated every single square inch of the place with his art which can be beautiful, odd, funny, creepy, haunting and touching all at once.
One could spend hours in the restroom just looking at the walls which are covered with art. The ceiling drips with doll parts turned to art, the walls are filled with more stuff than the eye can absorb. And, on top of everything else --- the food is fucking awesome! Authentic, yummy and cheap! My ONLY complaint is that they do not serve Diet Coke. However, they are totally cool with my brining my own. It is an exceptional place for people watching, but more important --- I think what I love about it is that one gets the feeling that an adventure could take place at any given moment. It is joint that is alive, burning and ready to roll you to a good place....taken one minute before the infamous 'spoon incident' took place. I shall not go into detail, but trust me when I tell you that one should not interfere with a Radio Havana photo op -- even it with only a spoon! The Mission is still reeling from this tragic incident. Luckily, we all escaped without being captured by the authorities.
...devil woman
...devil man in a silly free shirt

And, for me it will always be Ing's place. We were recently there and I snapped some pix. There is no way to capture the ambiance of this fun place. This magical space. This place called Radio Havana. A place far more magical than Xanadu and a hell of a lot cooler! Don't ask me how to find it. I don't know how. I just follow Ingrid.

...get there early or ya ain't gonna get in!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

YES, SIR! LIKE A SMOOTHIE ONLY WITH FUNKY CHUNKS AND I'M ADDICTED...

I never meant to become an addict. The first time I heard Allyson Goldfrapp she was warbling along with Tricky and I remember thinking, "Hmmmm. She sounds so innocent along side the seedy underbelly that it Tricky." And, then, during one very cold winter in Salem, MA I happened upon the first GOLDFRAPP CD and heard "Lovely Head" --- trip hop meets grande opera by the way of David Lynch. It out Portishead'd Portishead. It rocked my world. I played it constantly. I forced the odd tracks filled with trippy sounds and Ms. Goldfrapp's unique style of yodeling upon my ex and all of my friends whenever I could. However, it was with the release of the second GOLDFRAPP CD that I was sucked further into the funky world that I now know as Goldfrapp Addiction. "Black Cherry" is this amazing electronica trip into funky, free-floating and mystic eroticism that entertains me for days. Give me some hot tea and this GOLDFRAPP CD and I'm happy for hours.

However, my dear friends, it was late last year that GOLDFRAPP really got me totally hooked. With the release of "Supernature" I was ready to mainline their awesome blend of electric glam euro disco cum twisted trip hop. Hot tea and lubrication were no longer needed.
Yes, I am a GOLDFRAPP junkie.

The more I play this CD and all of the many remixes one can find of their work the more I begin to realize that this is perhaps my favorite band. Sure. Fleetwood Mac, Stevie, Led Zep, Tori, Kate B, Anthony and the Johnsons, Blondie and The Who matter to me deeply --- and always will. But, I'm afraid GOLDFRAPP has me trapped into a sick world of electronica addiction that is hard to explain. If you've not paid them much attention then you're losing out. Plug any of their 3 CDs in and just float along. And, where else are you going to find a trip hop re-dux of Olivia Newton-John's "Physical"?!?! No where, my friends! No where! But in the Land of GOLDFRAPP.

...a land where all is glam, electric, erotic, trippy, dark and where naked people where animal costumes because they think it to be sexy. Yeah, I wanna ride the white horse.

Speaking of magical music. How many of you have heard the new smash-up remix of The Doors with Blondie?!?!? It is so cool! ...and, odd! I can't seem to play it enough!

Also, I only recently saw the vid-clip to Blondie's "Good Boys" and it is really cool! I love Debbie black "do"! And, I don't even mind the scary clowns. Actually, they (or he) is used to good effect. Tho, I do prefer the Georgio Moroder mix version of the song.

Wow, Barbra will be 64 next month. ...And, it does look like she will be going on an 8 month charity tour with Tony Bennett. I won't be attending. That would be just too much. I would faint or die. I can remember just being nervous knowing that I was in the same city as Babs. How could I even handle being in the same auditorium!?!?! And, she could never match my expectations. Still, I eagerly await her duet with Mr. B. I'm just worried that they might get all cheezy on our ass and laugh during the song or something like that. I don't like it when artistes giggle during the music. I find it off-putting and a bit smarmy. Is "smarmy" a word? Ah, it matters not -- I like the way it sounds. ...Forty years later, two of these four singers are still workin' it...

Oh, and the odd pairing of Isobel Campbell (Belle & Sebastian Girrrrrl) and Mark Lanegan (remember Screaming Trees?!?!) is quite good! Sorta country-tinged white trash pop. And, somehow it also feels French. I do love all things French.
Rosanne Cash's new CD is so beautifully sad. ...but, not much fun. And, I wonder. Is love really in the roses? I prefer to think it is in our actions and connections to each other. However, I do understand her lyric. I just find it so horribly sad. Of course, if I had lost my mom, dad and step mom all in the span of a year I would be pretty damn fucked-up, too. I'm still working thru my own father's death which was almost 10 years ago --- and I didn't even like him. I loved him. I know that. But, I did not like him. Odd, tho. Sometimes I find myself missing the sound of his voice and his ability to really piss me off like no one else ever could.

...My Grandmother would have loved that song, "Love Is In The Roses" ...and, I think she would have enjoyed some of GOLDFRAPP, too. In fact, I know she would have.

Since I woke up all I've played are the following songs:

"Yes Sir" by Goldfrapp
"Twist (Dimitri Tiko Mix)" by Goldfrapp
"Ride A White Horse (FK Disco Whore Mix) by Goldfrapp
"Deep Honey" by Goldfrapp
"Rapture Riders" by Blondie Vs. The Doors
"Woman on the Moon" by Barbra Streisand

Sunday, March 19, 2006

BONDING WITH JUNKIES, CRACK HO'S AND THE HOMELESS


Prescribed medication at the age of 18 and still on it into the end of my 30's. Dosage so low it really doesn't do anything anymore, but the body is used to having it in the system so I must take it or risk serious side effects. Sure, I could go off it but that takes doctor supervision and about 3 months of cutting already small tablets into small pieces. A pain. So, over the years I delay going off a drug I no longer need. But, without insurance this little drug is so expensive I have to turn to assistance. Insurance coverage is still a few months away so it is off to the free clinic. Lucky to have access to such a service, but it takes an entire Saturday. Still, one can't beat the interesting interactions one encounters at a San Francisco city clinic in the Western Addition.

"Hey, baby! I haven't seen you tiny ass in here for months! How you doin' baby-child?"

"Sharonda! Good to see you!"

a hug is exchanged.

"I'm cool. Am in between insurance and had to get my dolls refilled. Same old same old. How are you?"

"Oh, you know. Still tryin' to get my shit togetha. Woke up this mornin' in some low down piece of shit hotel room and just look at my arm!"

She rolls up sleeves of her frilly top to reveal puss filled track marks. I swear -- there was a sort of sour smell. I fight the urge to recoil.

"Oh, sweetie! Are you cleaning your works? And, why are you still shooting into your arms?"

"Oh, Matty. I am sorry, but I can't be shooting under my tongue! That shit hurts like a son-of-a-bitch!"

"No! Sharonda! Shoot up behind your knee so your arms can heal!"

"Oh, baby these arms are scared for life and I'm usually too tired to do all that aerobics shit to shoot my stuff."

"Hey! You two! Let's stop talking about where to shoot up and talk about how to stop shooting up!"

(I guess I pissed off the front desk guy again)

"Oh, shut the fuck up! When am I gonna see the doctor! My arm is killin' me!"

I lean past Sharonda and ask "Joe" if he's even looked at her arm.

"'Joe,' it looks like she's really infected bad. Can't you guys get her in quicker?"

"Thank you!" Sharonda turns her head toward 'Joe' as if he owes her an apology.

'Joe' gets up and walks over to us. She holds out her arm for him to inspect.

"Oh, man. OK. We need to get you to the hospital. We told you that there is an infection going around. This looks like botulism. Are you having any odd symptoms?"

"Oh, 'Joe' I told you people that I came in 'cause this shit hurts, stinks and I am having trouble seeing. You are all blurry which is just as good 'cause you is one ugly muthafucka"

'Joe' rolls his eyes. "Hold on."

He walks away. It is just Sharonda, me and some crazy guy asleep in the chair under the TV.

"What in the fuck is bottlism?"

That's when I noticed the blue signs on all the walls warning H users about an infection that is spreading among users in SF. Heroin Botulism which, according to the blue signs, can be fatal if not treated.

"I think it just means you have an infection. But it can be serious so you need to do whatever they tell you do to. Ok? I mean, you really need to try to quit."

"I know. And, honey, you need to get a job with insurance so you don't have to bring yo pretty white ass in here anymore. Are do you like chillin' out with us freaks?"

"I love chillin' out with you Sharonda!"

She laughs. "Pay up then, suck!" -- she extends her hand. I laugh. She sighs and rubs her sleeve. I can't decide if it is bleeding, but something is leaking through the material of her sleeve. I couldn't help it. I am sure I sort of recoiled. Gross.

'Joe' and this cute young doctor walk out. The doctor can't be more than about 24 years old and she looks like she just stepped off the bus from Idaho. She is wearing latex gloves. She smiles at Sharonda as if smiling at a small puppy.

"Hi. Let's see that arm of yours!"

"Shit. Are we gonna have a party, bitch?"

I fight the urge to laugh. It really isn't at all funny, but what can one do? 'Joe' tells Sharonda to shut up.

One of the counselors comes out. They explain to Sharonda that he is going to drive her to the city hospital and that she needs to be treated as soon as possible.

"Shit. Ok"

She gathers up her stuff, motions for me to stand up and give her a hug. I do. "Take care of yourself. Ok?"

"Yeah, yeah. I'll be seein' you lata." ----- and, with that Sharonda and the bored looking counselor walk out into the sunshine.

'Joe' and the cute little doctor with whom I will be meeting in a few walk down the hall. I hear her ask 'Joe' if Sharonda is a woman or a transgender. In a hushed tone I hear him say that she is a tranny.

I sit and think about it. Why does it matter? And isn't she a woman for all practical purposes? I mean, to me she is a woman. To her she is a woman. Why does it matter? Will she be OK? And, if she is OK will she just continue on and get sick again?

I look around the room at all the blue, red, green, white and yellow "alert" and "warning" signs which are written in several languages. A kid walks in. He is handsome but smells badly. He can't read to fill out his forms so 'Joe' is helping him. I hear 'Joe' ask the kid where he is living. The kid gives the name of some shelter in the Mission District. I hear 'Joe' ask him how long he has been in SF. The kid doesn't know. He thinks maybe a two or five years. He volunteers that he came here from Nebraska to be in a band. When asked his education level the kid tells 'Joe' that he finished 9th grade. The "kid" is actually 29 years old. He sits next to me, but doesn't say anything.

A few minutes pass. I hear my name called and the cute doctor is ready to see me. As I follow her down the hall she tells me it is a relief to see someone who has it together and just needs some temporary assistance. I am sure that it most be a bit of a break for her. Our conversation is professional but also friendly. She is new to SF and to this job.

Ten minutes later I am back in the sunshine. Blondie is on the iPod and I'm headed to Walgreens to pick up my prescription. As I walk down the street that I would never dream of walking after sunset I think to myself, "How in the hell did I get here? Life is such a trip."

Friday, March 17, 2006

"THE DINGO ATE MY BABY!!!!"


"Sir? Are you OK?"

Was I OK? It was a good question. There I was --- slouched on the floor of a hallway in some old San Francisco office building. I was just outside the restroom where I had just lost my "attempt" at lunch. Exhausted and feeling faint I had decided to slide down the wall and catch my breath. However, instead of catching it I lost it. That was when the crying jag began. I just sat on the floor in my father's-far-too-big-for-me-brown-leather-coat and cried. Mom had made it thru the surgery fine but I had been told that we wouldn't know about the cancer for another 48 hours. But, they think they got it all and caught it in time. This was a relief and the most important thing going. But, I felt spent. The crying had stopped and, somewhat dazed, was getting it together when the security guy had approached me.

"I'm fine."

But, as he pointed out, I was on the wrong floor. I had to go up to the 19th floor where my bag and coat were inspected. I had to remove my belt, shoes, all items in my pockets, bracelet and monkey penis necklace to get thru the sensor without beeping. Once I was "cleared" I gathered my stuff, put on my shoes and took another elevator up to the 22nd floor.

This was the day I have been dreading since Christmas Eve. But at least this would be the end of one of the most humiliating bits of my journey. ...Bankruptcy. Trust me. It could happen to you. No matter what you think. Cast no judgments. It can happen and it fucking sucks. The bankruptcy filing was back in November and no one contested at the official California Meeting of Creditors where they are to stake their claim against my filing. I was so relieved. My cheap lawyer told me that I was all set and could really get a fresh start rolling. But on Christmas Eve he called me to let me know that American Express was filing lawsuit against me to contest their portion of my bankruptcy. And, the court date was already set for March 17th at 2:30pm.

Deep breath. I entered the Room 22 and discovered that I was in an actual fucking formal court room complete with jury box, microphones, video cameras, seats, an elaborate judges desk, two opposing tables with mics and an intimidating podium with two microphones.

I took a seat. I sat quietly and tried to focus as my mind raced. Lawyers in suits whispered strategies and other people like me just looks frightened. This was like a movie set. It was all so Oliver Stone looking. And, for some reason I found myself thinking of Meryl Streep in a bad wig pleading for mercy from the mean judge, "I swear! The dingo's took my baby! I would never hurt my baby! It was the dingos! The dingo took my baby!!!!" ...the wig goes askew, that dude from The Omen moists over with tears, the judge looks confused and Meryl stands indignant. We know. She didn't do anything wrong. The fucking dingo ate her baby! For a brief minute I find myself fighting the urge to rush the podium and scream about how the dingo's fucked me over and American Express was an evil corporate empire more concerned with my little debt that the millions that they allow major corporations to scam on every day. It was the dingos and AmEx, dammit!

My proto-soap-box-courtroom-drama fantasy was crushed by the call for us to stand as the judge entered.

And there he was. The one who was to stand in judgment of me. Dressed in a big black gown with very little hair. I am not paranoid. He looked at those of us not in lawyer suits with disdain.

My case was called first.

"Case of American Express vs Matthew Stanfield"

I was told to approach the podium. I felt so sick. I couldn't decide if I was going to hurl or cry. What fucked up thing did I do in my last life to plunge me into these last 3 years? I got a grip and told myself to fuck the pity and just pretend I was tough enough to deal with this bullshit.

I looked around for the opposing counsel as they are want to be called.

Suddenly, as if the voice of God was calling to me, the mean lawyer representing AmEx started speaking over the speaker system. The mother fucker phoned it in. I imagined him sitting in his multi-million dollar home playing on his home pc while he pretended to work from home.

"Your honor, Mr. Stanfield failed to file a motion to my client's claim."

Huh?

Before I could think or say anything the judge spoke, "No, I have Mr. Stanfield's motion in front of me. It was filed and it appears that it was mailed to both our court and to your office in Sacramento."

"No, your honor. We did not receive it."

My voice came out surprisingly strong, "Yes, you did. I confirmed with your administrative assistant. I have her name, the date I spoke with her and her confirmation to me written right here." I read it all into the microphones. I could hear my voice booming thru the giant room.

The judge spoke to the voice of the evil corporate lawyer and asked him to confirm if that person was his administrative assistant. The lawyer confirmed that she was but must have been covering the phones from New York as that is where she is based. What the fuck? Then the asshole lawyer said that she was incorrect my motion had not been received.

The judge told me that I would need to resend the motion to the Sacramento office and we would reschedule the trial for April 28th at 2:30pm.

"Thank you, your honor." said the floating lawyer's voice.

I fought the urge to ask if I could simply call in from work on the 28th as well. I fought the urge to say that the case should be dismissed on the counts that AmEx wasted California funds by not making their claim at the appointed Meeting Of The Creditors and by lying when his assistant confirmed that they had received my motion back in January. I fought the urge to scream that I was going to counter-sue for putting me thru great mental stress. Instead, I leaned in and asked the judge how I could be sure to know that the lawyer would be receive once I spent the money to recopy all of the papers. Should I send via Fed Ex or registered mail? Before anyone could answer I read the address info I had for the law firm to ensure I had the right info and asked for an administrative contact at the Sacramento office who might answer the phone and confirm information correctly so that I could avoid dragging this personal hell out any longer than it had already been dragged out by AmEx. ...this got a few laughs from the other poor souls behind me. I had noticed that AmEx was suing 8 other people today. Among the eight, I was the only white guy. The other seven were all people of color who looked to have about $10 all combined. Toss me in and we could have maybe sprung for a Big Mac meal.

I fought the urge to hiss, "You evil mother fuckers are ruining our lives!" ...but I simply waited for answers.

I was told to simply mail standard US mail and it would be received.

The judge looked at me as if I was 4 year old child who had just broken Grandma's favorite coffee cup.

I leaned forward and spoke, "I don't mean to be sarcastic or rude, but that is what I did in December and I even confirmed with the law office and they told me it was received. I am confused."

The invisible lawyer said it was never received. The judge told me that I needed to step down and return on April 28th. He then suggested that I hire a lawyer. I looked at him and asked, "With what? I don't have any money to hire a lawyer. I just got a new job and their first payroll check bounced. I am broke." ...I think I might have said something else. I can't remember. All I know is that the judge stopped me.

Then he essentially dismissed me and then fucking thanked the lawyer.

As I walked out, a sweet looking woman who was on the side waiting to be sued winked at me. I walked into the hallway. I wanted to cry. But, you know what? In the end none of this really matters. My mom pulled thru the surgery. I am healthy. I've got great friends. This is only money and if the California Bankruptcy Court decides that AmEx can own me then so be it. You can only get so much blood from a stone. I'm fine.

However, at this moment -- I am not sure how I feel about the state of affairs in a country that is now run by corporate interests. A place where Enron can do what it wants. A place where the vice-president can shoot his friend and not even bother to visit them in the hospital. A place where war is the leading money maker and citizens and other human lives are expendable for a buck. A place where I am a second class citizen just by the nature of my sexuality. A place where women are still second class citizens just because they are not men. A place where a corporate entity can play with your life with a conference call and the judge treats you as if you are a fucking idiot. At this moment, I am ashamed to be a US citizen.

I am angry. ...but, I AM FINE.

"....keep moving."

Thursday, March 16, 2006

...WATCH CLOSELY NOW

"Are you a figment of my imagination or am I one of yours?"

Last night Ingrid joined me for a screening of an archival print of Bab's 1976 'barbra-piece" A STAR IS BORN! It was magical! I had such fun and I think even Ingrid had a good time.

This week has sucked. So it was a wonderful break to see my fave Barbra film on the big screen with a dear friend! And the audience was much fun!

Tomorrow comes a day I've been dreading since Christmas Eve, 2005. On top of that, they are removing my mother's thyroid tomorrow at about the same time as I have to go thru my "fun" ordeal. I plan on just staying up all night so I will be numb for tomorrow. However, I think I only got about 5 hours sleep last night. So, I am not sure I will manage to do that.

Anyway, everyone --- please send me many positive thoughts at about 2:30 PM Pacific US time. That is when the shit will be hitting the fan.

But --- as Kris and Babs sang, "...I can take it! Yeah! I won't look down!" ...and the electric guitar solos amp up and I do my best head shaking with mic in hand! It is always best to turn gloom into glam! Always!

Monday, March 13, 2006

A RIDICULOUS WOMAN!

Prior to securing my big fat and fabulous gay job I was selling things right and left. This included much of my vast collection of DVD's -- of which I still have far too many. Anyway, it was kind of funny because I would discover that I had DVD's I didn't even know I had. One of them was THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE which is now considered Maggie Smith's shining cinematic moment. I think she won the OSCAR for it either the year before Barbra or the year after. It makes no never mind. Anyway, I am not even sure why I have it, but I do. And, no one wanted to buy it. So, I sat down and watched it this weekend. ...twice.

I watched it twice because I could not decide what I thought of it.

This sometimes happens to me. I will see a film, hear a song or read a book and it will make some sort of impression on me that leaves me confused. I find myself asking, "Hey! What in the hell did I just watch?" or "Hey! What was the point of that?" or "Hey! Did I love that movie or really hate it?" or "Hey! Why are you talking to yourself?" ...well, as long as one doesn't answer the questions out loud sanity is probably safe.

Anyway, THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE left me totally conflicted about how I felt. The acting is exceptional -- particularly Dame Maggie Smith who rocks the mike. However, I kept thinking that both Quintin Crisp and the lead actress in the BBC series "Keeping Up Appearances" must have both been inspired by her mannerisms in this film. The script is sort of non-committed. By that I mean it is not clear to me if Jay P Allen was trying to create a political film, a sexual melodrama or sort of over-the-top mixture of both. Like many films of the late 60's the film is conflicted between old Hollywood cinema and the new realism that was sweeping into motion pictures. This was one of the first film to carry the notorious "M" rating which would later become the "R" rating. ...I think Liz Taylor/Richard Burton scored the first "M" rating with VIRGINIA WOLF, but this film was not far behind.

I won't offer up any spoilers in case one of you might decide to view it. I am going to give my copy to Ing so that she might let me know her thoughts on it. However, the film (based on both a novel and a play of the same name) takes place in from 1932 to approx 1935 in England. The setting is a conservative/upper class all girls school where Miss Brodie (fast approaching 50) is the off-center/eccentric teacher who prefers to "groom" her "gaaahls" than actually teach them. She is a teacher of life. Much more concerned with art and the positives of Italian fascism than literature or history. Oh, and she believes that she is in her absolute glowing prime. She has the habit of selecting four girls from each glass upon whom she devotes all of her attention. One is picked because she is sensible. The other because she is stupid and can be made to do whatever Miss B decides is best. The other is selected because she is friends with the other three, but the forth is picked because she represents the "virtues" that matter most to this odd teacher ---- beauty, primal sex and grace. Essentially, Miss Brodie gets off on pimping the hot girl to the art teacher with whom she once had a torrid affair.

Now, the film never explains why Miss. Brodie is the way she is or why she does the things she does. Nor does the film ever really explore her devotion to the rise of fascism or her disdain for the French and Americans. I would love to see what a filmmaker today would do with the source material. "...do as I say not as I do, gaaaahls"

After I watched the film for the second time I came to the conclusion that this beautifully photographed film is just a mess of ideas all trapped within the context of filmed play. Is it a comedy? I'm not sure. Do I care about the characters? No, I don't. Is it a good film? I really am not sure. Did I like it? Yeah, I think I did sort of love it but I am unable to defend my opinion. I could easily understand someone not liking it. Oh, and did I mention Rod McKuen wrote the musical score??!?!?

60's oddness. But, the thing is --- I don't think I will ever forget this film.

And the final shot of a mean-spirited young woman who has esstenially slapped a bit of reality into the face of Miss Brodie by calling her down for selfish actions and reducing her to what the viewer knows she is all along -- "a ridiculous woman" is so strange as we see her back walking away from the camera and Miss Brodie screaming, "Assassin! Assassin! Assassin!"

I am going to re-write it. I am going to call it THE PRIME OF MISTER STANFIELD. I just need to decide who I want to corrupt and ruin. Too bad I don't teach. Damn!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

OBSERVATIONS OF HUMAN CRUELTY ON THE WEST PORTAL MUNI PLATFORM OR YET MORE WORDS STRUNG TOGETHER WHICH I WISH I HAD STRUNG...


Even if I am still broke, it was nice to sit at my fave cafe armed with iBook, a Diet Coke and a cookie --- knowing I am an employed member of society. Still, how to get to that pay check without selling more sexual favors at the Ferry Building? It is getting harder and harder for me to convince paying customers that I am a skate boy. "No, the gray you see in my hair is intentional! It is, like, a post youth look! It's fucking cool, dude! Hips or lips?"

I so tire of that. But, a guy's gotta do what he's gotta do to survive.

(um, that was a joke. OK? No need to send me concerned emails. I NEVER turn tricks at the Ferry Building! I only work the Polk! Pleeeeeease!!!)

Anyway, I am going to a party tonight. Even tho, I am not really in much of a party mood. My head hurts, I'm sleepy and don't feel fresh and pretty as I normally do -- but the company will be great and my potential life partner could be waiting for me by the dip and bong --- one never knows. Right?

Well, as I sat on the West Portal Outbound platform waiting for the M Train that would bring me home so I could get "gussy'd" up for the party ---- I had to turn off my iPod (shuffling thru the songs of Stevie Nicks) because there were two interesting scenes going down that I had to scribble down in my Hello Kitty notebook! And, here are my notes that show so much that is wrong with humanity.

An irate white guy is pushing his chest into the smaller chest of a smaller (and much younger man of color) --- hey, let me just call it like it was. This was a middle-aged white guy loser who was trying to assert power over a small-framed teenage man of color who was half his size. I've no idea what led to this pathetic exchange of silly male assertion but it was just fucked up.

"Who you callin' nigger?!?!?" screamed the young man
"I call it like I see it, boy!" screamed the man who pushed his chest into the teen's
"You are picking the wrong person to fuck with, asshole!" --- the young man pushed back.
"Let's go, little boy!" the man yelled back.

The two other kids who were with the young man walked forward. One made a move to indicated that he was carrying a gun.

Suddenly the white man backed down. He put his hands up!

"Oh, yeah! You're a sorry fucker now, aren't ya?" the kid yelled actually pushing the big man back a few paces.

The friend kept his hand in his jacket with an evil look on his face.

"Shoot this white motherfucka! Shoot him now, nigger!" the angry young man was wanting for blood.

I don't think his friend actually had a gun. At this point I think the big white guy came to the same realization. Now, these four men were across from me on the InBound platform. Panic was brewing all over West Portal but the attendants in the booth seemed oblivious to all that was going down.

"That's right, motherfucka! We gonna let your white ass off this time but don't fuck with us again or we will take yo ass down, stupid cocksucka!" ...and, with that, the three boys just ran away.

Suddenly the three men who seemed so menacing took on the look of three scared little boys running away to safety. And, the big white man was drenched in sweat and looked so sad to me.

Funny how in an instant people can change. Or, rather, our perspectives of people can change. I wanted to walk around and ask him if he was OK and to tell me what had happened. Why was he trying to pick a fight with a person young enough to be his son? But, I know that his answer would probably just anger me.

My attention was soon pulled back to my side of the tracks.

A cute blind couple had come on the platform. Each with a seeing eye dog. It was cute because they were clearly in love. They were holding hands. They sat on the bench near where I was leaning. They were not wearing those dark glasses you normally notice blind people wearing. I looked down at my shoes to avoid looking at their eyes. Not because I didn't want to look at them or because I was repulsed. But, it just seemed like that would be rude. It is so seldom that one sees a blind person's eyes. I was struck at how I could detect emotion in them. How is that possible? Those eyes don't work but you would know that this man and woman werre in love by a look at their eyes.

I was touched and a bit jealous of what they seemed to share.

I was about to put my notebook back and turn Stevie back on when I heard a little voice ask, "What's wrong with your eyes? They look funny!"

A cute little boy was standing in front of them. The blind woman stopped, turned toward the little boy and said, "Hi there. Well, we are blind. So I guess our eyes move kind funny, huh?"

The little boy just stared.

"Are you still there? What's your name?" The blind woman asked.

The mother of the child was standing not more than a few feet away just watching the exchange. I noticed that the mother had an incredibly ugly expression of disgust on her face as she stared down at the blind couple. Totally unconcerned about the fact that her child had just been rude. Obviously, the little boy did not mean to be rude. He was just a child and curious. But it seemed to me that the mother should have stepped up and introduced her son to the couple and either make an apology of some sort or explain to her son that their eyes are not funny looking or something to that fact.

Instead, the mother just stood there with her arms crossed staring at the couple. It was as if she was passing some sort of judgment.

"Hello? Little boy are you still there?"

"Mommy! Mommy!" ...the little boy was starting to cry.

And, then my heart sunk.

"Honey! I have told you to not talk to strangers! There are too many strange people in this city!" The mother then walked up, took her son's hand and they walked away. How fucking rude. The blind man reached out and touched his girlfriend's head as if to provide some comfort.

I was near by. The mother and little boy had now moved to my left side and were within ear shot of me. I swallowed and spoke up. This is something I normally live to regret, but how could I not say something?!?!?

"Hi, I just saw what happened and I have to compliment you on handling that so beautifully. That little boy's mother is just a bitch. It's so refreshing to see someone not respond in kind as I am now doing for you!"

Luckily, I think my comment worked out. The blind woman laughed, turned toward me and thanked me and then told me that they were used to that. Her boyrfiend then told me that they have talked about getting glasses, but they just figure that it is not their issue if they eyes bother other people.

I told him that I thought they were awesome and had my respect. I added that I would reject glasses just for the fun of pissing off ignorant people like the kid's mother. They both laughed.

The blind woman said, "Well, people. What are you going to do? I think we humans can be pretty shitty most of the time. It sucks.'

...the mother had become very uncomfortable and had walked away down the patform.

The train pulled in. I tuned back into the Stevie Nicks shuffle and hit by the lyrics of this song. I wish I had written them.

"...you think you hear demons
i think we are the demons
in this place where the images are born
you remember your childhood in fiery sequences

the sun goes down
filling the air with colors and winds
that lift you up to god

you fall to your knees
you embrace the storm
you no longer care if it's cold or warm
you live for the danger
like your passion and your anger

you don't let go
you like to be twisted by the force
you like to be shaken by the wind
in this game that you play with god
you've been warned to retreat

you take it to the limit
when the winds come up
crazy men
crazy women
crying out for love
you'd like to save her
but you just can't give it up

you'd rather be wrapped up
in the arms of a storm
crazy men
crazy women
in a storm

and the sun goes down
you're chasing down the demons
you think you hear demons
chasing down those demons
crying out for love..."
Stevie Nicks, The Welsh Witch
1996

Thursday, March 09, 2006

HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO ME OR THE BIGGEST MISTAKE OF HIS LIFE...


Well, who hasn't had his/her heart broken? If your heart has not been broken you're either telling yourself lies or you've not yet been brave enough to live. My heart has been broken several times. However, it was only recently that I think I ever experienced "true love" and that love tore my heart into little pieces. His loss, but it doesn't make any easier to absorb or wrap my brain around.

Yet, I have fallen into my own little fantasy of what will happen in about 10 years. And, I'm told that fantasies --- like dreams --- can come true.

It is a crisp fall day and I'm handing out flyers to this way cool art show my lover is holding in The Mission. My hand is raised to call attention to my love's show and to convince those walking by to take one. A friend stops me and compliments my stylish fashion sense. We start to have a meaningful conversation about life when I hear a frail voice call out my name --

"Matt?"

I turn around. It is him. The one whom I will always love but never have.

"How are you? It has been so long!"

He is uncomfortable. Small and bald, he is wealthy and dressed well but somehow he is uncomfortable in his skin as he attempts to talk to me. Regret fills his eyes with tears.

I walk toward him. For a minute we just look into each other's eyes thinking of all that could have been but was never allowed to be. I tilt my head and ask, "Are you happy?"

"Yes. Things are just great! Well, you know how it goes with me. It's all good."

"Yes," I agree.

A thin and fabulously vacant blond kid walks up behind him. The kid is looking at me with mistrust and confusion. "Honey, we have to go! I'm late for the appointment with the stylist and you promised!"

I smile. Tears come to my eyes, but I fight them back.

Ignoring his twink, he asks me -- "Are you happy?"

"Yes. I am."

And, for a moment, he comes to the realization that I am. The tears are not so much out of wanting him but out of pity for his having passed up the opportunity to share his life with the one person who loved him for him.

"We have to get going. We're only in San Francisco for two days and I have to make a speech at this thing in the Castro tonight."

I nod. The twink squeals as he sees a taxi coming down the street.

I take a few steps forward. My left hand reaches out and my finger tips run across his forehead. He is still beautiful, but he is not mine. The heart has healed.

"Goodbye" I whisper. A single tear runs down his cheek. He rushes to jump in the cab with his twink. I take a deep breath, turn, hold up my boyfriend's flyer and focus on securing an audience. ...the music swells. ...the credits roll. ...memories, like the corners of my mind.

This is my fantasy. This is my reality. This makes me sad.

"...I won't push you unless you have a net
You say the word you know I will find you
Or, if you need some time I don't mind
I don't hold on to the tail of your kite
...go on and fly then, boy."
Tori Amos, 2004

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

...THE SONGS THAT MATTER


Stevie Nicks has said that she feels she doesn't know a person until she knows of what he/she dreams. I like that idea. And, I do enjoy hearing about people's dreams. But, for me, it is all about the art. When I meet someone who interests me I like to know the movies and books that this person has seen/read/enjoyed. I feel it give me a sort of inside view into that individual's minutest. However, when I care about a person I want to know his/her soul. I know that sounds 'corny' but it is true. I believe we each have a soul. And, if I love you -- I want to know your soul's desires. To me, music is the path that leads one to the soul. I feel like such the child of the late 60's. But this is how I feel.

So, I recently asked several dear friends to pull together a mix CD each for me comprised of their most favorite songs. The songs that mean the most to each of them. The songs that have formed who they are and which they could not live without. I realize that there are many people to whom music is simply background sound. That's cool. But, music is the wallpaper that colors my world. I can't wait to hear what Ingrid, Alan, Milford and Mark put on their CD's for me. I recently made a CD of my favorite songs for Ingrid. I thought it would be an interesting exercise for me. And, it was.

I love all sorts of music, but there are certain songs that come back to me time and time again.

I've always known my 3 favorite songs, but I had never really sat down and sorted out the absolute most favorite songs. And these songs are rigid. I know that my love for them will not fade.

The challenge of creating this mix CD for Ingrid was in trimming down my list to fit the 74 minute time limit of the CD. This was a painful process, but I did it. I think the toughest cut were two Joni Mitchell songs that I adore: "California" and "A Case of You" --- it was also tough for me to let go of "Dog & Butterfly" by Heart. But, one has to make choices when limited to 74 minutes. I started out with 2.8 hours of music. It was also hard for me to rid the playlist of "Garbo" by Stevie Nicks and "Somewhere" by Tom Waits. ...It was rough.


And, then, I had to put the songs into an order. I can't really defend or explain the order in which I placed my favorite songs. But, I will write that this is the order in which they belong in my particular head space. The order does not signify one song being better or more important than the other.

Tho, I will state that the following three songs are my all time favorites;
1. Total Eclipse of the Heart
2. Evergreen
3. Sara (Fleetwood Mac, please! Not Starship! ...they may have built this city but that doesn't mean I have to listen to them drone on about it!)

I thought about sharing stories of why these songs mean something to me, but I'm not sure you would care to know. I was surprised to discover only two Barbra Streisand songs made my listing. I was equally surprised to come to the realization that no matter how much you might wish to tease me -- The Captain & Tennille created one of my favorite songs in life. I was also surprised to discover that one of my favorite songs is quite new. ...but, it makes me think of a certain person who rocked my world, re-formed it and then left me alone to deal with the new shape. ...a wounded heart but more full of love than ever before. However, ....I won't hold the tail of his kite. He must fly where he must fly.

This is my list -- and this is the track listing of my favorite songs. I plan on offering up a copy to Alan, Milford and Mark when they give me their CD's. If anyone out there wants to share their songs on CD with me I will be more than happy to exchange. These songs are a sort of key to me. (and, in this order)

"Boys In The Trees" by Carly Simon
"Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) by Kate Bush
"Sara" by Fleetwood Mac
"Sweet Blindness" by Laura Nyro
"Suzanne" by Lenny Cohen
"On Saturday Afternoons in 1963" by Rickie Lee Jones
"Disney Girls" by Captain & Tennille
"Evergreen (Love Theme From A Star Is Born)" by Barbra Streisand
"Going to California" by Led Zep
"Sleeps With Butterflies" by Tori Amos
"Lost Inside of You" by Barbra Streisand & Kris Kristofferson
"Atomic" by Blondie
"Pissing In A River" by Patti Smith Group
"Storms" by Fleetwood Mac
"Strange Fruit" by Billie Holiday
"1000 Oceans" by Tori Amos

I don't think I can bare more about myself...

Sunday, March 05, 2006

MISS ROSS & BARBRA DO F-F-F-FASHION!



Well, seeing Diana Ross as MAHOGANY on the big screen at the Castro was a true revelation. Sure, I could write about the sheer horror of witnessing Anthony Perkins (wearing jeans which appear to be tighter than the skin on his skeletal face) stalking Miss Ross with a Nikon ...or the modeling montage which inspired a young boy called RuPaul to become a drag superstar or Miss Ross re-creating a psychotic breakdown by stripping and pouring hot wax on her person (we all know that the use of disco music and candle wax is the first sign of mental trouble) --- or, I could tell you of how much fun we all had as we watched the car wreck of cinematic madness we now call MAHOGANY --- or, how Ostia explained to us outside the Castro Theatre that it is Miss Ross who managed to re-call all the prints of the MAHOGANY DVD because she feared she might look foolish (a bit late for that worry I should think) ---- OR, I could write of how Ostia witnessed Miss Ross as a young child demand that ancient posts in a Turkish theatre be moved so she could look even more stunning on stage. Um, I hate to report that Ostia let all of gaydom down when he didn't even attempt to assist in getting that column moved for Miss Ross. Turkey officials refused to do this for Miss Ross. Ostia confirmed that Miss Ross was not happy. Instead I want to highlight the most important aspect of MAHOGANY. Yes, the costumes. All 50 of which were designed by Diana Ross herself! I will not tell you of Ingrid's minor breakdown over the discover that the actual Mahogany dress on the poster never existed. But I will let you know that Ingrid and a theater full of gay men all screamed in delight as we witnessed Miss Ross spin round and round in a rainbow delight squealing "Weeeeeeee" as Norman Bates caught every moment with his handy Nikon.

I think these pictures speak for themselves. Diana Ross: Fashion Icon of 1975!
...I thought of drafting a memo to Miss Ross with some advice on how to re-create the magic she generated in 1975 and bitch slap her for denying millions of young fashion designers, gay boys and film scholars of the privilege of viewing her brilliantly bad bit of art by holding those DVD's ransom. However, as I started to put my fingers to keys it struck me that the creation of such a memo would be wrong. Miss Ross does not make mistakes. She is perfection and if want MAHOGANY on DVD then we need to take back the night and bust down the walls of that warehouse at Paramount and simply grab as many as our greedy little hands can hold. Yes, dear friends -- we DO know where we're going to and we DO like the way life is showing YOU!

As if the excitement of seeing MAHOGANY was not enough, imagine my delight when I saw a mint/original one sheet poster of Barbra's 1976 masterpiece of cinematic glory we call A STAR IS BORN pinned up in the Castro Theatre lobby!!! For that matter, just imagine the shock experienced by the staff of the Castro and the innocent folks in line for popcorn when I fell to my knees screaming and sobbing! Actually, imagine Alan, Ingrid, Leigh and A trying to pretend that they didn't know me as I pounded at the glass separating me from the poster! My little gay heart was about to bust! Yes, A STAR IS BORN is to be screened for two magical days shortly after the Ed Wood Film Festival later this month. I advised Castro Theatre Management that I would be needing to the balcony to function as my temp home for the duration of the those two days. I figure it will just be easier to stay there.

But, I see this as such a classic moment of programming for The Castro. I mean, Miss Ross may have designed all of her costumes for MAHOGANY --- but Barbra actually just swung open the doors of closet and wore her own clothes in every single frame of A STAR IS BORN. Sure this caused a major nightmare for continuity folks on the set but Barbra wanted to share herself full-on with her public. I think it best that Barbra didn't design the clothing as it is far more interesting to see what a real diva wears on a daily basis than what she might create if given the budget to do so. My personal fave bit of clothing from Barbra's closet circa 1976 is the Holly Hobby dress gone bad which she wore without bra and sported the coolest cowboy hat this side of Madonna.


One has to ponder why MAHOGANY was a financial flop and A STAR IS BORN was the third highest grossing film of 1976 (Clint Eastwood actually had the nerve to pull a Dirty Harry on Barbra and out-bested her for the number one spot. And who could forget the cruelty that is known to us as ROCKY which just edged her out of the number two slot.) But I think the reason A STAR IS BORN became a hit and MAHOGANY a flop is due to the sense of fashion. A closet is more fun than a sewing machine. And, isn't romance with a nude Kris Kristofferson more fun than sex with a nude Anthony Perkins. And, at this point we had not really seen Barbra get down and funky. I mean a sex'd up Barbra or a bitched up Miss Ross? It is a tough call, but I think we are always going to be more curious to see Barbra get it on with a stoned rock star than Miss Ross touch a closet case with a Nikon.

Both films are now cherished camp classics -- tho, to me they are both art and the 70's encaspulated in the purist of the form. A STAR IS BORN and MAHOGANY are like double bong hits of 70's magic! No, to see these two films is to drink the bongwater of the entire 70's decade.
Ageless, funky and evergreen...

...but Fight The Power! Break down the walls! Demand your copy of MAHOGANY!

However, fear not --- this is on it's way at year's end!