all neuroses, all the time
Thursday, January 31
how is his blog the "best" of anything? when has it been the "most humorous" anything? whatever. more standard star-fucking, from the shut-in webgeek crowd.
my personal bloggie awards would have much more...varied. i don't see why he swept anything. i mean, i've been to his site. someone tell me what the big deal is? there are so many more consistently funny and wise and troublesome and sarcastic and heart-wrenching blogs out there. so why did he get all the glory?
i mean, i make no claims to great content here, i didn't want a bloggie, i'm happy with brucehoax just the way it is. so there's no sour grapes here. just disbelief, and a sort of sadness that the masses are swayed to a star trek dork.
congrats to you guys that did get a well-earned award, or were nominated; you know who you are.
Tuesday, January 29
a diner, this morning, with my mother
she (out of the blue, after the waitress sets down our plates of eggs and biscuits and bacon and walks away in search of fresh coffee):
i know that i made mistakes as a mother. i know that i could have done better. but you have to understand that i didn't know how to parent the way i should have. i didn't have a role model. my mother didn't know how to raise us because her mother didn't do a good job with her. she didn't get comforted a lot, so she couldn't comfort me, and so i can't comfort you, and so you can't accept it from people who love you. you don't know how to take it.
me (startled, but interested, and not looking to argue or fight. so, with caution):
how do you think you were a bad parent?
well, i could have been there more. in the 70's the t.v. and magazines told me that i could do whatever i wanted to do. i could work and earn money and i didn't need a man. and so i dated a lot after the divorce, and traveled, did the things that a young woman with a successful career would do. but i left you alone a lot. i should have been home with you. but i was always working, and when i wasn't working i was out having fun.
you spent a lot of time with me. and you took me with you on trips sometimes, too. you being at work left me time to myself, and as a child it made me learn to be self-entertaining and creative. it taught me to cook. it taught me to read. it taught me to appreciate quiet, and being by myself, and gave me a feeling of maturity. i had the house to myself, i was trusted enough as a kid to run things until you got home. and that did a lot for my self-esteem. i wasn't lonely, i was just alone. which is not a big deal. now, out of boredom i would sometimes cook a big meal and snack on it on and off until it was all gone, and that was certainly a precursor to some of the "food as comfort" issues i have now, but i don't blame you for that at all. i enjoyed my independence.
(pause, while coffee is being poured)
then the one thing that i did that i know really affected you is this: i didn't listen. i was so easily distracted...
yes, i still am, but i was much worse then. i didn't listen like a mother should. you would tell me a story or tell me about your day or your homework and i would just check out, thinking about work or what we'd have for dinner, or plans for the weekend.
yes, i remember that glazed look in your eyes very well.
well, because i didn't listen i couldn't say what you needed to hear, or give you what you needed to feel better.
i always thought that you were just very self-involved. and it pissed me off. and it still does. and even now you expect things to function a ceratin way around you, doors to be opened for you, luggage to be carted for you, well, you expect to be waited on; and i always paired this up with your not listening. you were so wrapped up in your own personal little world that you had no time to listen to anyone else. and yet you still expected a certain amount of service from us. you still expected things to work out for you just because you were you, and somehow you deserved it.
(a heavy silence)
i can say all this because i have to say that i am to some degree the same way. not that i don't listen to people; no, that i can do. i'm the person that people confide their deep dark secrets in; i'm the person that people seek out because they have heard from someone else that i'll listen, and people like that i give good suggestions and criticism. so i listen closely, and it comes from not being listened to and feeling not interesting and voiceless as a child...but anyway, i do expect people to act a certain way, or do the right thing, because that's how people are supposed to act. now, sometimes this means my way. and it always hurts me more when they let me down, because i take it so damn personally, like the hoops i want people to jump through aren't hard enough, you know? i have to get my feelings hurt too when they can't meet my expectations. really, i just want people to treat me nicely, and treat each other the same way. and i get angry when things aren't working right for the greater good. i can't stand unfairness. but i take it too hard, and i get that from you.
(pause, as we are eating)
i have to say that your aversion to comforting me has been the hardest thing to deal with growing up.
i know. and i'm sorry. i wish i could have just hugged you when you needed it without giving you a lecture, or passing judgement. you just needed a hug. i see that now, but at the time i couldn't understand why you couldn't fix things yourself.
how could i? i was coming to you to fix things.
i just didn't know what to do. i always loved you, you know that. more than anything or anyone.
oh, i always felt loved. of course! always! but we are a cold lot, all of us. this family doesn't hug or kiss or get goopy at all. and it has served me so unfairly as an adult. i feel so stunted sometimes. i will say this, though: controlling that huggy-feely stuff has made me much more logical and fair. i'm not swayed by cheap sentiment, or emotional appeals, or typical heart-string tugging crap. i can be totally objective. that i'm glad about..but it's not balanced. i'm not warm enough. i'm warm, but not how i'd like to be. and i'm not made of stone, i can certainly cry at the drop of a hat... but it's usually all about me and i'm weeping about my problems, or my situation, or my little world. and there's that self-centeredness that this family is so good at.
yeah. well. we do the best we can, i guess.
i know. well, i'm going back to therapy regardless. there's still more for me to do.
it worked for me!
(pause while coffee is poured again)
i think you did the best you could, mom. and while i haven't been so forgiving in the past i can cut you some slack. because i understand now. you were younger than i am now. you did the best you could.
(we go back to our breakfasts, and with my knife loaded with far more butter than what i actually need or what is passably healthy, i think to myself: this is the best biscuit i've ever eaten. and a tinge of contentment shoots through me, and i am comforted. at last.)
Friday, January 25
disco potential (?)
i hope that the pet shop boys have not committed career suicide: a forthcoming album of ballads played predominately on guitar. yep, neil is no longer dabbling at strumming on the odd song or two. it's every song now. it seems that their recent foray into the exaggerated hysterics of musical theatre has oddly affected them: more introspective, sentimental, and vaguely (GASP!) un-ironic songwriting. now, i like change. i like flux. but is this too much? on the offical website neil offers that he's been listening to a lot of classical music lately (no surprise), and a lot of bob dylan. bob dylan. and he's not being cheeky.
i'm listening to the new album via a variety of online sources, and while i like what i've heard a lot, this sounds like something elton john would do and critics would proclaim this his big comeback- oh wait, that was his latest album. well, that's what this sounds like for the pet shop boys. not that they will rocket up the charts with it, i mean, it's very...er... gay. no ambiguous pronouns on this cd, it's all "he" and "him." which suits me just fine. but will it sell?
it's one thing to give up on the ever-fickle mainstream american public. but what about the club kids and circuit queens? there's barely a dance beat here, and few pieces really over 110 bpm or so... i like the idea that as artists and composers and musicians they are creating something new, and i'll definitely get this when it comes out. but i don't want it to blow them into relative pop obscurity like where marc almond is: still making clever, interesting music, but getting airplay only in some far-reaching slavic countries. i don't need my favorite artists to be popular. i do need them to keep selling albums though, so there is money to keep recording more. by shunning the sequencing and drum machines i hope that the boys have not alienated a core audience- of course, won't i feel aesthetically superior when i hear some snooty queen harrumph that "that last album was just horrible, girl!"
ah well. the new p.s.b. sounds great, in a moody and bittersweet sort of way. current favorites: "london" and "love is a catastrophe." and "london" is a bit uptempo, with some kooky vocoder effects mixed in with the acoustics... which is apparently the thing to do for "cred" nowadays... just ask madonna.
give it a shot if you can find it- and if you are jonesing for some old-school pet shop boys, give "the night i fell in love" a listen. it's another in a long line of clever story/songs by neil, like "your funny uncle" or "dreaming of the queen." it's sweet, and sad, and funny, and very pet shop boys. and "birthday boy" is all glam epic power balladry- a real corker!
yes, i said corker.
Thursday, January 24
Tuesday, January 22
"let's break out the booze and have a ball...if that's all...there is..."
peggy lee is dead? well, hell. just last night i had the strangest urge to find some mp3's from her wacky 1975 concept album "mirrors." i bopped along happily with the few i could get off audiogalaxy (the cd is only available as a japanese import, and the vinyl is rough to find- but great, because the front cover is a foil mirror), which then prompted me to dig out my "best of" and sing along with "manana" and "fever" and "why don't you do right." and now this morning i find out she has gone to glory. ho hum.
last summer i found a collection of pauline kael reviews and essays in a used book store, and although i couldn't actually afford it and had gone looking for something else entirely i bought it anyway. the next morning ms. kael was dead.
oh, ditto for discovering a copy of the "max q" cd at a junk shop a few years ago and buying it on a lark- michael hutchence checked out the next day too.
am i the grim reaper?
Monday, January 21
oh, and until i get my shit together, my blogging may be a tad...sporadic. or maybe not. just to let you know.
okay, off to sign a contract. whoopeee! dinner's on me!
when it rains it pours, i guess, and right now it's a wonderful hurricane. okay. you know how i don't have a job and i was worried about it and all that? well.
i accepted that job in dallas, as you regular readers may remember. and i'm also assisting one of my past professors with her class, and that's going great too. well now i've been tapped to assist on another show, where i'll have the chance to learn onsite with someone i absolutely love, and who assisted me (thank god) on that damn concentration camp show i did last year... so this brings the job tally up to 3. yes, 3! paychecks. theoretically.
i haven't actually seen any money yet.
Wednesday, January 16
last night i hung out backstage at the austin lyric opera's production of "streetcar named desire." i'm actually going to see the show tonight, but from where i sat last night it sounded great. andre previn did the music, and it's lush and cinematic and a tad jazzy and bluesy, which i think suits the story just fine. it's a play that was screaming out to be set to music, you know? so tonight willy and i are going to the opera: his first. which is also exciting, as i took him to his first ballet too. i'm henry higgins.
today is the first day of the class that i am teacher assisting. it's exciting, but freaky. i just had these people as classmates a month ago... i hope i don't have to rat on anyone, or be toppled from my perch of "coolness." ah well. they are all 10 years younger than me anyway, they'll think what they like. i think we are going to have fun though, lots of drawing (my influence) and i'll get the chance to teach when the professor is ill or on vacation.
okay, bus to catch. i'll let you know how it went.
Monday, January 14
well, i've accepted a design job, my first job as a so-called professional designer. i don't know what the fuck i'm doing, though.
at any rate, i got a phone call from an old friend (from "college years: part 1") who has a very successfull troupe in new york. we worked together quite a bit when we were at school together, he directed me in a few things, and we acted together in a watchable production of joe orton's "loot." he was regarded by everyone as a theater prodigy of sorts, and i certainly loved the attention that came with being his best friend. we fell out, we made up, but we were never as close as we were those first three again. but we've kept in touch, and while i dropped out of school and bummed around for years he moved to new york and made a name for himself. before he went he mounted a production of shakespeare's "cymbeline," and asked me to do the original score. i did, and he used quite a bit of it; i was extremely honored and proud. so he moves, i move, and years later he calls me to see if i'll be the resident designer for his troupe if they get a year-long gig in michigan- i say yes, but the gig falls through, and no more is said of working together. until last week.
now, i had been freaking out. no job, no prospects, and in this recession nobody is hiring in the arts here. there's not enough jobs to go around. ho hum. it'll swing back to too many jobs soon enough, but right now i want to work in my field, not next year. so i was freaking out. well, he called just when i needed somebody to. and after a few phone calls, i accepted. we are doing a production in dallas of shakespeare's coriolanus, which is not one of the more well known of shakespeare's plays, but it's interesting all the same. coriolanus, a warrior that everyone is in awe of (but is also jealous of) comes home from a great war and honors are heaped on him, but he won't kiss ass to the politicians or the public and so they won't give him a government position. he finally kowtows, the people are swayed to love him, then they are swayed back by some guys that hate coriolanus, and so he gets pissed at their fickleness and talks trash about everyone. this gets him banished, and so he goes and meets up with his warring enemy and they become allies against his home city. they declare war on the city, but coriolanus's family pleads with him and he comes to his senses, which makes his ally/enemy mad, they fight, and coriolanus is killed. the end. okay, there's more than that, but you get the idea. the play has some great things to say about public personas, and how we love and hate our celebrities at the same time, and the role of government and what the public deserves/gets/puts up with. oh, and there's a horrible mother in it too, continuing the long line of unpleasant shakespearean women that includes lady macbeth, the witches, regan and goneril, gertrude, and tamora. bunch of bitches!
anyway, the set is evocative of the old amphitheatres, with seating on all sides and a red dirt floor in the middle.it's very non-traditionally cast, as all parts will be played by 9 men. i'm using butoh dance as an inspiration (which if you've seen madonna's "nothing really matters" video you have seen butoh influence; and by the way, go read up on it. it grew in the 1950's out of a need to grieve the victims of the atomic bombs) for the visuals, as well as afghani and mongolian native dress as jumping-off points- i think the butoh influence is going to be fabulous, if not a little arty. but that's okay, my friend the director does well with avant garde material. it's exciting, and terrifying. my first gig. yikes! and it's in dallas, 3 hours away!
i'm also a teacher's assistant in a costume design class, and i am up for a second design job: a violent play about vietnam soldiers. so, i'll do artsy and historical, all at the same time if i can. i'll keep you guys updated. and once i get a page ready i'll post some digital pics of the progress!
my first job...
Sunday, January 13
what does it mean?
anyone up for a dream analysis? i awoke this morning with such unpleasant feelings: confusion, fear, loathing, etc. all because of a dream i had. somebody look at this and let me know what is up.
i live in a huge domed city, and the city is laid out like a shopping mall, long wide pathways with shops on either side going up and up 5 and 6 and 7 storeys tall, where everyone lives on the top floor and all the other floors below are shopping and goods and services. our houses are condominiums, with the same pre-fab look and all crammed together side by side and on top of each other. nobody has a yard. i am at the record store, looking at albums, and all of the records have homemade sleeves, all drawn by the same person in a cartoonish style. as i am browsing i realize it's late and i have to go to school, as i'm a returning student who never finished his degree. i walk to the center of the city to the courtyard, where on the floor is a large plastic disc, like a lid to a tupperware container, roughly 20 feet in diameter. in the center of this disc is a hole, 7 feet in diameter, and light shines up from whatever is down there. around this hole are many children, and they are laughing and throwing mud and dirt down the hole. i tell them to move and step in. rather then fall, i float down to the floor of a circular room, filled with people my age who are carrying backpacks and luggage. everyone is talking loudly, visiting before class. the floor, the walls, are covered in mud, but nobody has any mud on them, we are all clean. on a table by a doorway is a collection of old leather-bound books, and the pages contain drawings of dead insects and small animals, all done by the record-cover artist from the music shop. a low digital tone rings out, and people start filing through the doorway to class.
i stop and visit with a few friends, one of which is a girl i actually went to school with who just went to england for a semester. we catch up a bit and then a man is at my side telling me to get to class. i look at him, and it's my 5th grade teacher mr. albrecht, only he's gotten younger as i've gotten older. he smiles and says to hurry, i say goodbye to my friends, and i walk down a path to my classroom. it's a large class, full of chattering excited people. mr. albrecht comes up to me and i ask him how is it that he looks so young. he tells me it's because of his hobby, his hobby has reversed the aging process. he tells me that he wanted to indulge his hobby when i was younger in his 5th grade class, but we would have had trouble. i look at him and tell him "i'm not too young now." he smiles, and says "too late."
class begins, and mr. albrecht asks people questions, but the point of this class is not to give the right answer, just the funniest. this bores me, and i turn to a neighbor and tell her that i am irritated with this. it's not funny, and a waste of my time. she scowls at me, and makes a big show of scooting away from me. we are told that if anyone wants to change the seating arrangement now is the time. everyone around megets up and moves. nobody will sit next to me. left in my row is a girl that won't stop talking. her answers are not funny, and they have no ending, and she rattles on and on and on while the teacher and students laugh and encourage her. she has long dyed blonde hair, curled carefully at the ends to look what she thinks is glamorous. she just needs a hair cut i think, this isn't 1889. how vain she is, with her long hair. everybody has short hair now, what is wrong with her. she is decidedly behind the times, with her trenchcoat and her high heels. nobody dresses like that in this city. and she is giving an answer that is so stupid she can't even look the teacher in the face. why is she wastng my time? why are people humoring her, nobody really finds her that funny. and then class is over.
a girl taps me on the shoulder and asks me to walk her home. she says her husband is abusive and she just wants some support. she also wants help with her homework. i look up, and it's the blonde girl who talks too much. i say yes, i'll help her, let's go. i get my books, look up, and we are on her front lawn. it is early morning, and there is dew on the grass. we are not in the domed city at all, we are in a country neighborhood. the houses are grown over with weeds, the paint is peeling, there are car parts and rusty barbecue pits in the lawns. i turn to her and she is not the blonde girl, but her sister; they look alike, but the sister is fatter, and with short permed brown hair. we go into the house, sit down at a table and open our books. behind me is a closed door, and i can feel there is bad mojo there, an evil force is behind it. sitting here makes me uneasy. the sister gets up and asks if i want something to eat or drink. suddenly she gasps, and says she has found a note. the note is from the blonde sister, and it says:
"i couldn't think of any other way. i tried not to make a mess."
we have to find the blonde sister. none of the lights work well in this house, they click on, sputter, sizzle, flare up, or sometimes they don't turn on at all. sometimes they flicker like a strobe. there is no good light here, just dark and dread. we look under beds, we open closets, we look in bathrooms, under furniture, out in the yard, everywhere. we can't find her. the fat sister tells me to check the room behind the table, the one that made me feel odd. she says she is going to the bathroom, and to let her know if i find anything. she goes down a hallway. i walk up to the door and open it. in the darkness i find a switch, and that light works. i look around the door into the bathtub area and through the shower curtain i can see a form. i walk up to the curtain, slowly reach my hand out, grab the fabric and jerk it open. there is the blonde sister. she is hanging against the wall, her head lolling, her eyes shut and her mouth open. there is no rope, she appears to have been hung here, as if on a spike. there is no blood though. i back away, but as i turn and go out, i see her eyes open a little, like she's wants to see where i am but not let me know she is watching. i turn and call to the fat sister. she comes down the hall and asks what i found. i tell her, and she starts crying, but the tears are fake, she's a bad actress. then the blonde sister is standing behind me. she has an unsure, worried smile on her face. the two of them turn away from me and start whispering to each other, shooting me looks of fear and worry.
i demand from them:
"what in the fuck are you two up to?"
and then i woke up.
Wednesday, January 9
nightmare on jackson street
well. needing something to cheer me up after the mom/hot-check fiasco (and by the way, i don't know whether she did it intentionally- god, i hope not), i decided that i would watch in its entirety the rebroadcast of that michael jackson freakshow. well. i took some notes, in case you missed it yet again. and as you will see, i was feeling a little bitchy.
"wanna be starting something"- the show opens with usher dressed like ringo star in "caveman," only usher is really buff and cute. and can dance! can't really sing and dance, though. which i wish was not the music standard now- how is a vocalist supposed to hit the right notes after huffing and puffing through their choreography? well, they can't. this ain't broadway, you know. anyway. mya comes out, eeks out her part in that thin high voice, and then suddenly they are flying up in the air! a possibly thrilled michael jackson, watching from the side with a stoic liz taylor, can't even muster a smile. how can he? something would shift, something would fall off that face! and then... WHITNEY! old skeletora herself rattles onto the stage, cgi blur effects trailing behind her, trying vainly to keep up with her bony chest. you know, of course, she was digitized, right? yikes. okay, now all the "ma ma se ma ma sa ma ma coo sa's" are over, the fire eaters are through, they are taking their bows. michael stands, manages a grimace.
"ben"- that little country kid billy gelman or gilman or whatever swishes out and launches into a mariah-worthy version of the killer rat song. a fine job. michael jackson licking his chops, donning a kingsize lobster bib with billy's face on it. macauley caulkin bobs his head along to the music, glad he turned 18.
"it wasn't me"- shaggy decides not to sing a jackson song, probably wisely. i guess he could have grunted and scatted through "smooth criminal" or something. thankfully, he toasts his way through his big hit and exits the stage. and strangely enough, he's kind of attractive with that new 'do.
"heal the world"- 4 so-called divas strut out onto the stage and try to out-emote each other. now, deborah cox can sing. the other two singers, mya and this babyspice/mariah hybrid, have high reedy voices and do that thing all soul sisters do now, where every single fucking word gets a 5 or 6 note trill, and really only sounds more like a car idleing or sputtering to a stop. anyway. the 4th woman is a rapper doing that tired "uh! uh! uh!" grunting that seems so popular among the r&b vocally-challenged artists. "yeah. yeah. what? what? uh. uh. uh. yeah." what the fuck is that? i'm telling you, my love of rap ended with sir mix a lot's "baby got back." really.
okay. then there's a montage of michael jackson kissing lots of sick kids in various third world countries. and really, if i had just stepped on a landmine and was coming out of a coma the last face i'd want to see is that freaky mug! sheesh! he looks like the insane killer in the grey mask in "halloween," if michael myers wore eyeliner and lipstick. and was missing a nose. anyway. hey! out trot some underpriviledged kids to warble through the end of the song! i'm a sucker for this ploy, for some reason. a choir of children always makes me tear up. isn't that ridiculous? oh, and one of the last images shown is michael with a doggy hand puppet entertaining some kids under a tree. i hope those parents have set aside some $$$ to pay for that future therapy.
"i want you back" (sort of)- hey! here's lil' romeo and his thuggish dad master p.! rap rap rapping over an endless jackson 5 loop! surrounded by a bunch of pudgy pre-teen hoochies with afros and braces! i declare a ban on any more braces on this stage, especially after the close ups of billy gilman or gelman or whatever his name is. if you are going to be famous, get the clear kind, i don't want to know the lengths you had to go to fix your faces for stardom. especially as the poster boy for disastrous nips and tucks is the guest of honor!
"bootylicious"- well, here they are, and i must admit they were fabulous. i wish a real stylist would take over from beyonce's mom, though. ugh, they always look like shit! and while i know it is pointless and fairly pedestrian of me, how do they get off praising "our lord" or "our saviour" or "god above" and still look like extras from one of those hbo specials about hookers and johns? mother knowles designs and approves everything they wear, and still finds time to be a church-going-god-fearing woman... i wonder what sort of muttering goes on in the pews behind her? hmm. anyway. "bootylicious" has a great prince-y vibe, lots of disco guitar, and suddenly, WOW! BILLIE JEAN! a little fancy foot and fedora work, and then... huh? "eye of the tiger"? what the hell is that? thankfully, nobody launches into the chorus of that god awful survivor song. hey! survivor? why, now i get it? very clever, girls.
standard stuff, with a very very serious sounding announcer intoning all of michael's accomplishments, deadly serious and earnest, like he fucking invented an aids vaccine or something. whatever. it all means nothing. and everything! oh, and it has my favorite snippet of the russian kid yelling out "MY-kell AY LUFFF yew!" to that freaky statue that is on the cover of the greatest hits cd. sheesh, that statue and all that vaguely fascist army posturing belies all sorts of neurotic traumas, don't you think? i imagine all sorts of creeping around at neverland ranch in the middle of the night. anyway, all hail the giant phallic symbol! michael must have a tiny dick or something.
"you are not alone"- egads! the moment i was waiting for! LIZA! ms. minnelli, draped in what appears to be a black sequinned spider web, hobbles out to center stage and yodels her way through one of my most hated michael jackson songs. you may remember that this video had to be digitally altered, so that we wouldn't see any of mikey's or lisa marie's naughty bits. as if. i'm sorry, AS IF! anyway. liza, who i adore, but feel absolutely horrible for, looks bloated and waxy. god love her. i mean, i adore her, i really do. but she's out to lunch, you know? she's not all there. and that wig! couldn't one of the numerous gay men she is always trying to marry help her pick out a better one, or maybe one that was actually fitted to her head? poor liza. whoa! and now she's thrust out a hammy leg for the finale! she has more vibrato then ethel merman, no really, she does. there's no tune there anymore, it's all wavering and vibrating around the note, not really singing it. more like huffing that dragon breath at it. poor liza. she needs to stop smoking. among other things. okay, one more time. poor liza.
michael stands and applauds, the digitally enhanced smoothness and tightness of his face giving him the appearance of a tragic burn victim. it is stunning, this pale, hazy surface. like the moon!
"i just can't stop loving you"- well well well! jeffrey osborne is kind of cute and studly, isn't he? i never knew. oh god, my dreams are shattered, as out struts gloria estefan, in what appears to be a leather dominatrix number, but really she's just trying to cinch in a big gut i bet. well, if her thighs are any indication, she's been hitting the arroz con pollo too much in her down time. she looks horrible. her hair is jet black and poofed up into a bouffant, and with those over mascara'd eyes and big hoop earrings she looks like one of divine's hoodlum bad girl cronies in "female trouble"! like her name should be chiclet! or pepper! ugh, another video montage of michael, only this time he is smooching his various co-stars like iman or naomi campbell. gag. how do people that work with him keep straight faces? how does he make the decisions he does without having all his staff fall to the floor, clutching their bellies from pain of laughing so fucking hard? i mean, michael jackson: sex symbol? ugh, stick to philanthropic kiddy work mikey. just keep your hands to yourself.
"man in the mirror"- hey, the not-as-cute guy (every boy group has at least one) in 98 degrees looks cute tonight! and he sings well, too. well, they all do. i'm glad those steroids have not altered any of these corn-fed cuties' voices, you know? they have one more album in them, tops. it was fun, guys, and here's a shout out to all you boy bands that will find your fortunes and fame much depleted in 2003! good luck in branson or vegas in 2027! yikes! nick needs to get out of the sun! oh, who am i fooling? HE IS A TOTAL SHNACK! i would eat him up from head to toe. i would break all sorts of personal rules and boundaries for 15 minutes with that young buck. ::sigh:: anyway.
here comes usher! singing well, looking kind of doofy, but all in all it works. OH MY GOD! LUTHER VANDROSS! and he is looking like neither a macy's parade float nor a terminal disease survivor. he's just right, not too fat or thin. what a voice, you know? he's running the show, too: doing that gospel thang he's so good at, making the backup band work to keep up with him. he's made this song and this performance all about him. screw jacko! luther has got the audience in the palm of his hand. soon he and usher are duelling it out, matching each other (sort of, as usher is at an obvious disadvantage) note for note, doing those call-and-response vocal histrionics that soul singers seem to employ at song finales. the white boys wisely stay out of it.
michael stands, blowing kisses, and it finally hits me. as time passes, he more and more resembles one of those porcelain figurines of he and bubbles the chimp that jeff koons was making back in the 80's. life imitates art imitates life imitates art imitates etc. etc. etc.
you know i'm right.
thanks for the geeky new thingy ron!
my mother wrote me a hot check.
i am already stressed out about not finding anything that pays well, or not having any savings, or how i'm going to be able to pay bills this month, or rent next month, and she fucking writes me a hot check. i got the notice and her cancelled check today in the mail. and domino-style all checks i have written against said check are going to bounce. and fees will amass, and i'll be up shit creek.
my mother did this.
my mother who has not called to tell me it has bounced. nor has she answered an email i sent sunday requesting some emotional support (one day before her check would bounce). nothing. no reply.
i'm fucking fucked.
by my mother!
if you are looking for me i will be lying in bed with my nyquil sending off all sorts of hateful vengeful karma. hooray!
Tuesday, January 8
I AM IN HOMO HEAVEN.
the excellent 2-part love boat musical episode is on t.v. land! was there a "that's entertainment" to shill for or what? or is this to capitalize on the nostalgia drummed up by ann miller's hoofing in the then-recent "sugar babies"? what was the point of this? i mean, i'm not complaining. but still.
we have della reese, cab calloway, carol channing, van johnson, and ethel merman (who just sang a histrionic "what i did for love") all on deck for the fun and larffs. and all of them are somehow or another related to the crew of the ship. can you guess whose mother della reese plays? it's not vickie.
oh, now van johnson is singing. everybody gets a number or two! gotta go. more later. damn! it's to be continued tomorrow!
are you jealous bill?
"2 become 1"
i know, i know, i should be out pounding the pavement looking for a job instead of surfing the porn sites and pounding my pud. i know. I KNOW.
well, i did make a bunch of phone calls, and i do have some things lined up for tomorrow- but anyway. in the meantime, knowing that my husband is getting fairly tired of coming home after work to find me still in my underwear without a shower, and with no proof of a busy and productive day besides a handful of freshly burned cdr's that contain all sorts of obscure 80's extended b-sides, i decided to do something for willy that would deflect a little of his aggravation: i made him a cd too! whoopee!!
"hi honey, i'm still here in my underwear, doing nothing but watch judge judy! i love you! oh, and i made you a cd!"
do you think it will work?
it's not just any cd, you know. i'll have you know it is a complete collection of spice girls singles and favorites. oh, and it contains “our" song. yep, by the spice girls.
let me explain:
many years ago, 4 years ago, actually, i was moving out of the big house that my brother and sister-in-law and their best friends shared. i had just met willy, and was looking for a place to live. he of course offered to have me move in with him, but i said no (hey! and i'm still saying it!). so, by sheer luck i ran into a woman at the job i worked at who just happened to have a place behind her place that she was renting. i asked if i could come look at it, she said yes, but she also warned me that it needed a lot of work. the bells and whistles went off in my head, as everyone knows there is something freakish in homos that make them have these insane drives to "fix up" or "make pretty" some horrible old dump. so of course i wanted it sight-unseen. well, it was a dump. an old carriage house behind a 3-storey victorian, it was in bad shape. half of the building, the barn part, dated from the 1890's. the addition was maybe 20 years old. the front door was stain-glass panelled, opening into a tiny room that had been used by cats as a place to pee. through a door i was led into the main room, where i was dismayed to find old greasy shag carpet and somebody's collection of broken tools. off this room was a tiny bathroom, with a shower stall. the mirror over the sink was held on with duct tape, and the linoleum was scuffed and dirty with the buildup of years of not being cleaned. one wall was covered in panelling. in the wall, also covered in panelling so they were hidden, were two small doors: both were maybe 5 feet tall. i opened one and found myself in a kitchen, a room that was a foot lower than the room i had just been in. this kitchen had panelling on the walls and ceiling (!) as well. and no sheetrock. just panelling and some insulation between me and the outside of the building. i pulled back a piece and discovered a horse trough and a hay chute. the stove was covered in grease and grime, so thick and gooey that it stained clothing and would not be easily washed off of hands. the fridge didn't work. and there were no windows in this place, just one in the main room. no ventilation, if you didn't count the poor insulation. i was still interested, believe it or not. i was also desperate. oh, and through the other tiny door was a closet, 15 feet by 6 feet. the size of small dorm room! and then stairs that went up to an attic.
well, i needed a place, and this place was dirt-cheap by austin standards. and i could live alone, which i wanted to do. so i took it. and promptly spent hundreds of non-reimbursible dollars on making it cute.
where do the spice girls come in?
while i spent the month fixing the place up, tearing out carpet, pulling down panelling, making shelves and painting (oh god, so much painting), i would listen to the one station that would come in okay on the $20 radio i had bought at walmart (and for some reason we nicknamed the hifi "summer and smoke"). the station played only pop radio pap, and that was the summer of the spice girls in the states. i would hear this one song all the time that for some reason i absolutely adored, but could never figure out who did it. i always missed the announcer. well, willy was extricating himself from his then current relationship, and we had decided that when he did we would date. and so those were glory days, up in the morning to saw and hammer and glue, get all sweaty and dirty, take lunch breaks with my man, work some more and sing along to all the crappy radio hits i heard 8 or 9 or 10 times a day... and then at night go out for drinks with a man so totally wrapped up in me (my, how time changes everything!).
anyway, willy bought the first spice girls cd because of "wannabe" and "say you'll be there," and that night while we were listening to it "2 become 1" came on, and i yelled "that's it! that's the song i've been loving!" and so it became "our song." we both loved it already, and willy thought it was a good metaphor for our relationship (you all keep rolling your eyes, it was, and still is, sorta sweet). we would always make with the puppydog eyes when we would hear it, if you can imagine. yep, i have even slow danced with willy to "2 become 1." and the funny thing is, as goopy and ridiculous as that all sounds to me, as cheesy and teenagery as it all is, i can say this without any irony, any cynicism, or any sarcasm:
I LOVE THAT SONG.
there, i've said it. it's "our song." it reminds me of simpler, happier times. of the beginning stages of a relationship, when even annoying things are cute and your mate is the most clever, funny, cutest man in the world.
i hope this cdr that i burned will conjure up some sort of warmth and loving and nostalgia tonight when he gets home and sees i'm still in my underwear. hopefully all that reminiscing will keep his mind occupied while i tap tap tap around the subject of my unemployment.
so what is your "our song"?
Saturday, January 5
a quickie post:
i just finished "the corrections" by jonathan franzen, and it's everything all the hype promised it to be: superb. beautiful. cringe-making. and scarily, terrifyingly, accurate.
as i read the novel i saw my family, my mate, myself, in the characters. they stumble awkwardly through their lives, they make stupid choices, they let a lifetime of resentments and hurts boil over and spill out inappropriately, they forgive themselves for failings only to immediately take up new ones, etc. etc. etc.
and as i read the last four pages, as i inched closer to the ending that i figured was inevitable, and a lump formed in my throat, and as my lip quivered on that last page, and the bitter and knowing tears dripped down my face in that last paragraph, i realized that my experience with myself and my family is much more universal than i thought. it's not just me, or gay people, or fat people, or isolated or sad or lonely people who have such a hard time with the seemingly easy task of day-to-day surviving and living. it's everybody, and we struggle and fight with our pasts and our demons and our slights and we just get through it, alone, or if we're lucky, with some help. this is simple, right? everyone knows this, right?
well, self-involved me never really did, or didn't want to.
now i do.
hello to a new link!
goodbye to another.
(which tact prevents me from naming)
Friday, January 4
last night willy and i had a fantastic dinner with a most charming and funny man named john epperson. now, you may know him as lypsinka, and you might assume that such a brash and ballsy onstage character would distressingly spill over into real life; you would, however, be wrong. john is a sweet mississippian, accommodating and real.
i'm sure he didn't know what to think of us, as i just brazenly invited him to dinner after a show. he surprised me by saying yes. we emailed each other a few times and set up a time and place. he arrived promptly (coming in his own car, wisely, i should guess, as i'm certain he has to deal enough with stalkers and hangers-on without being kidnapped to boot!) and we waited a bit for a cozy table at castle hill, which we had always wanted to try. it was fabulous.
initially i was nervous, as i didn't want john to think i was starfucking or trying tackily to make business contacts. no. i was so impressed with his new show, "the boxed set," that the money i spent on tickets and time i spent watching it was not enough payment for how great i thought the show was. i had to feed him as well. but conversation soon flowed easily, and we laughed and joked and had a ball. coincidentally i had visited his website a few months ago, as i am always fascinated with clever drag. not run-of-the-mill, prom-dress-from-marshall's 3-wigs-for-$50-dallars lipsync-to-patti-labelle drag, which, although interesting and entertaining on its own merits, is rarely witty, ironic, campy, kitschy, etc. etc. i mean, at lypsinka's show you won't hear him screech drunkedly: "which one of you muthafuckas is gonna buy my tired old pussy another tequila shot?" oh no. not lypsinka. and that's why i wanted to thank john, and let him know that i "get it."
well, he knows everyone. but he's been in the business a long time, and jumps wisely at the chance to work with a lot of different talents. he answered a lot of probing questions from me about the business, telling us about starting out, why he chose new york to live, where the act came from, etc. and of course we talked about old movies! willy is an encyclopedia of funny quotes and scenes from those douglas sirk weepies from the '50's, and of joan and bette moves, and lana, and jane, and norma, etc. he also is well-versed in the works of jacqueline susann and john waters, two gay kitsch icons if ever there were any. and so we all talked about old-school faggy things: theater, old movies, music, fashion, etc. maybe it's where i live, or the people i know, but homos ain't what they used to be. it's not a big deal anymore to be gay, and so people don't hide it like they used to; thus, there is no secret language anymore: no green carnations, pinky rings, lavender, flouncy scarves, judy garland worship, nothing. no reason to deftly speak in "code" about "trade" or "tricks." hell, does anyone call each other "mary" anymore? i love the archetypal "old school queen"... rent "boys in the band" and pay attention in particular to michael and emery. then write a report and send it via email to me. VIVA LA NANCY BOY!
at any rate, dinner was a smashing success, i thought. we feasted on crab cakes and duck rolls, sea bass, pork loin, and lamb shank, and ended with a mango sorbet. delicious! afterwards, we sat and talked some more, and john let loose with a little celebrity gossip, answering a few queries i had about some of my favorites, and telling us a hilarious story about lunch with joan collins and axel rose. priceless! i didn't want to push the gosspy angle, i had too many other things to ask him about and tell him. i mean, i'm a costume designer. his wardrobe for "boxed set" satisfied all my irene sharaff-fuelled manias, and who better to discuss 40's and 50's glamor than with a man who makes his living dressing up like the divas from this period? (and i use "diva" in the classic sense, not in the "vh1 mariah carey faith hill destiny's child" sense: pretenders, all of them. i don't care how many trips to the funny farm any of them make. they are pale imitations).
so we drove him to his car, said our goodbyes, and drove home beaming. i might ask him to the movies on saturday. he's a nice guy.
it was funny too: i think i was meant to have that talk with him, to boost my spirits and give me some hope. never have i felt more confident in my talents, or as employable, or as necessary. i feel like great things are coming this year, palindrome or no palindrome.
god, i can't wait to bloom into what ever i'm supposed to be!
Wednesday, January 2
oh, and as many of you know i have been burning cdr's quite a bit lately, and the most recent ones are:
two more in the "extended 80's" series (titled, very cleverly i thought, "hello again." okay, not so clever).
kajagoogoo/kaja extended and b-sides: i know, i know. shoot me. it's that nick rhodes production, i swear!
a violent femmes overview, made for a friend who is not going to get it now, i like it so much. it's pretty heavy on the first three albums, and then picks up a few from the later ones. i'm already planning a disc 2, sadly.
first album: prove my love/promise/kiss off/add it up/gone daddy gone/blister in the sun
hallowed ground: hallowed ground/country death song.black girls/jesus walking on the water
the blind leading the naked: i held her in my arms/children of the revolution/faith/heartache
3: fat/mother of a girl
why do birds sing?: do you really want to hurt me/american music/more money tonight
new times: breaking up
freak magnet: freak magnet
disc 2 will draw more from the last four albums with leftovers from the first 3.
quote the husband:
"why are you wasting cdr's on that "violent femmes" crap? it's like jokey/country/whiny/frat rock!"
"um, weren't you just telling me how much you liked that single from "tenacious d."?
that shut him up.
a kirsty maccoll 12" and b-side collection, and a king (yep, the "love and pride" guy) 12" collection- i'm missing one mix, but it's coming. yikes. i can't believe i just posted that.
well, did everybody eat their black-eyed peas yesterday? we did, but just a spoonful. tonight i'm making hoppin' john and cornbread- i didn't have time last night to do it up right... but at least one little blackeyed pea had to find its way into my mouth. it's tradition. (p.s. notice that last link also has some historical commentary with it- yep, all of my southern favorites have some sort of tie to slavery. what a legacy, whoopee!) (sarcasm, just in case you are irony-challenged).
off to find a job. off to get a life. off to make some money.
thank you, by the way, to the many bloggers that have become email pals or phone friends over the last 4 or 5 months- thanks for the links, the hits, the comments, the props, etc.
this blogging thing has been a real adventure for me, and i can't believe i'm still doing it. and that it has turned out to be as good for my psyche as it has. i thank all of you guys as my friends, and hope to strengthen these connections and make even more in 2002!