Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Avett Brothers - Part From Me (2013)

 
 



I was scared but I couldn't admit it
Hatred planted out of fear
Fight or flight, no choice but to hit it
The road, it calls on me my dear

I was lost as lost can be
Being praised for being found
All that praise got lost on me
As a mood swing was headed down

Apart from me
I would not dare take someone in love with me
Where I'm going
The part you'll see
How true it is and how back then
It possibly was impossible for you or me to know it

Your touch was nothing more
Than a child's goodbye and hello
It always left me feeling
Worse when it was time to go

Apart from me
I would not dare take someone in love with me
Where I'm going
The part you'll see
How true it is and how back then
It possibly was impossible for you or me to know it

And most of us out there got fooled
Cause the gold it glittered in the night
We chased it fast like drunk buffoons
The banker lived the artist died

And all our clothes were washed in gray
All our buildings and our cars
As the fluorescent light of day
Bleached the sky and took the stars

Apart from me
I would not dare take someone in love with me
Where I'm going
The part you'll see
How true it is and how back then
It possibly was impossible for you or me to know it

 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

And if I should falter...


Just one psychological drama after another



One rule for us
For you another
Do unto yourself as you see fit for your brother.
Is that not within your realm of understanding?
A fifty second capacity of mind
Too demanding?
Well then poor unfortunate you
There are a myriad of things that you can do
Like pick up a pen and paper or go talk to a friend
The history of the future
No violence or revenge.
Your shame is never ending
Just one psychological drama after another.
You are guilty and how you ever entered into this life
God only knows the infinite complexities of love.
We all have the ability
Our freedom is fragile.
We all laugh and we cry don't we? We all bleed and we smile.
Your shame is never ending
Just one psychological drama after another.
You are guilty and how you ever entered into this life
God only knows you're not to sacrifice the art of love.
Your shame is never ending
Just one psychological drama after another.
You are guilty and how you ever entered into this life
God only knows the infinite complexities of love.
We are guilty and how we ever entered into this life
God only knows we're not to sacrifice the art of love.
We are guilty and how we ever entered into this life
God only knows the infinite complexities of love.
We are guilty and how we ever entered into this life
God only knows the ultimate necessity of love.

Joan Crawford: 1942 and 1947




Being Mad

Over the years, especially now that I turned 50 last summer, I've understood that one must be more philosophical about things that piss you off. You'd think that once you turned 50, that many things that once bothered you as a youth wouldn't bother you any more.

Not true. For instance:

I've complained here before about the loud guy downstairs. For the past 2 weeks, he's been on vacation, though. While he was gone, I kept thinking: "What was I so mad about? This apartment is fine! I really like it here." However, today The Dick came back with a vengeance: Same loud asshole voice. Same door slamming (that shakes my apartment upstairs) every time he comes in or goes out.

My dilemma is: I vowed over 6 months ago to purchase a car (after 9 years of being without one) if Donald Trump got the Republican nomination -- just so I could bare my soul and put my "The Donald 2016" sticker on it. Now that it's obvious he'll do so, I want to be true to myself and get the car. At the same time, my apartment lease is up at the end of August, and I must decide by the end of June whether I'll move...

I want the car, I want the new place... But I can't quite afford both. I can barely, but I can't quite. I'm scared financially to attempt both.

My apartment setting has been a dilemma pretty much from the beginning, back in February 2015. The screaming Hispanic kids who were initially running around have pretty much ceased. (The kids still live here, but at least they're not shrieking in front of MY apartment any more.) There's the white biker who revs up several times a day unnecessarily in the parking lot (seriously --- I used to think that bikes couldn't help but be that loud, but have since learned that the owners have full control over the throttle setting). There's the fat-ass black gang-banger with the rims on his outdated Chevy Malibu who pulls in after midnight and sits there for 10 minutes blaring his bass (most recently last night at 3:50am). There's the Asian college kid who leaves his front apartment door open and blasts his music.

Which of these are to be considered "normal" for apartment life? I've lived in apartments off and on for a couple of decades, and I've never come across this constant level of annoyance. The worst, though, has to be The Dick downstairs constantly yelling and slamming doors.

As of this date, I want a car more than I want a different place to live. (The creeps on public transportation are pretty much as bad as The Dick downstairs, who at least goes to sleep by 10:30pm.)

It's amazing to me that I have a Master's degree, and 18 years of experience as an editor, and still cannot afford to get away from scumbags.

Friday, May 20, 2016

What Makes a First Lady

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/05/09/who-is-melania-trump

Lauren Collins' 5/9 article in the "New Yorker" idiotically opens with the claim that Louisa Adams (wife of John Q.) was somehow more worthy of First-Lady-ship than Melania Trump by virtue of Adams' having "survived fourteen pregnancies" and knowing how to play the harp and raise silkworms. A quick Internet search revealed that Louisa Adams, a society girl, was a life-long depressive who didn't like her husband much and who preferred silkworm-raising to socializing at the White House -- Not sure how this, or having fourteen pregnancies, makes Collins' case.

Collins' further comparisons of First Ladies' "worthiness" of the non-office (while simultaneously nonsensically dismissing Melania Trump) led me to check out the "pedigrees" of First Ladies since 1960: Of all of the First Ladies since 1960, I can easily see Melania Trump promoting things like "the arts," "wildflowers," "volunteerism," "saying No to drugs," and "school nutrition" -- as did Jackie Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Nancy Reagan, and Michelle Obama, respectively. And, given Nancy Reagan's early acting career and Betty Ford's early dancing career, what's so odd about Melania's being a model in her youth?

What the author of this article ignorantly doesn't explore further is the fact that First Ladies have come from all walks of life, with a variety of educational backgrounds and a variety of ambitions. There's no one formula-- oh, wait, there is: All somehow subsumed their lives in favor of their husbands' more pressing ambitions, some more willingly than others. Now THAT would have been a more interesting article. What instead transpired was a snarky, ignorant hit-piece on Melania Trump -- a ridiculously soft target if you haven't done any research at all into past First Ladies.

I'm surprised that such a juvenile, uninsightful article appeared in the New Yorker.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Frank Sinatra "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm"

"I will weather the storm." Sinatra, 1961.
 

Ring-A-Ding-Ding!

Sinatra's 1961 "Ring-a-Ding-Ding" is a really great album to listen to when you're just about ready to feel good after a long, long time of feeling downtrodden. You think the bad will last forever, not sure if you deserve more than the bad... When you listen to this on the cusp: Hell, yeah, I'm coming back!
 

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Port Authority, 7am

Jumped a white-knuckle jitney through the tunnel of lerv
Spewed where neon duels with dawn--the balls, the gall, the nerve!

Gave Kramden's ass a squeeze, one "to the moon" before I dashed
Grabbing tabloids, jazzed to see what star, or plane, or market crashed

Slurping down each sluice of sunrise spilling toward me as I ran
Smeared my greedy mouth with juices from the street's jackhammer jam

How I'm starving, how I missed you ----
Manhattan, here I am!

April 30

April 30, the day I came out in 1989 (god, 27 years ago!) -- at Austin's gay march. Met my very first girlfriend at the same event. (Her first words to me, at a park after the march: "I've been behind you all day.") She turned out to be a pretty crappy person, but nonetheless that whole day/night was one of the best and most exhilarating of my entire life.

Also the day of the famous "Ellen" coming-out episode in 1997. Oh, and Hitler's suicide, 1945. (Thus, all-in-all, a pretty good day in history!)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Anderson Cooper on "A fatherless girl..."

I usually think of CNN's Anderson Cooper as a rather bland gay man, but tonight during his appearance on Megyn Kelly's show on Fox, I listened a little:

"A fatherless girl thinks all things are possible and nothing is safe." At first, I thought this was a wildly original bon mot on Cooper's part, but it turned out (after an Internet search) that he got it via his mother Gloria Vanderbilt, who got it from the 1986 novel by Mary Gordon, "The Company of Women." Even after searching reviews of this book, which is apparently about a Catholic girl initially under the influence of a Catholic priest going on to have affairs with radicals in the '70s, etc., I still couldn't figure out the meaning of the quote in relation to the book's theme. The quote actually seems pretty glib upon reflection. In relation to the book, was this quote considered an excuse to go off and explore herself and desires?

I don't really see how being "fatherless" has anything to do with any woman's self-exploration. I do consider myself "fatherless" since my parents divorced when I was 12, and the years prior to that were filled with ugliness and emotional (sometimes physical) violence that I, even as a small girl, recognized as such.

I hated my father as a kid for his ongoing emotional (and sometimes physical) abuse. Unlike the conventional wisdom that a child was supposed to be disturbed by divorce, I on the other hand was extremely happy when I found out that my parents were divorcing (after my father threatened to shoot my mother -- it took THAT). Maybe THAT is what "a fatherless girl thinks all things are possible" means. Once my abusive father was out of the house, I could breathe a little easier, that's for sure. I no longer had to deal with his mental and emotional problems and sadism that constantly pervaded the entire house. Well, I take that back: For years after the divorce, he continued to make his presence felt. Calling the house threatening suicide. Driving out to the house and either passing out in the driveway or skulking around the back of the house, peering in windows, tapping at the back door at midnight, when I was the only one up, watching late-night TV. At the time, it was weird and creepy. I was 12 and 13 and 14, and I didn't have a name for what was going on, other than my feelings: "weird and creepy." Today, at 50, I'm amazed and horrified at the constant barrage of mentally ill behavior that I had to endure.

All of that said: I disagree with the glib "A fatherless girl thinks all things are possible and nothing is safe." Other than "Wow, thank god my abusive father is gone -- I can finally breathe a little!" and "Nothing is safe because my father keeps calling and showing up at the house." Which I don't think is what the author originally had in mind.

Oh yeah... I couple of other items from the Cooper interview: "I wanted to be around places where the language of loss is spoken." That's true for me. At 50, I can see clearly that some of my earlier attractions to people have usually been partially based on relating to that person's own sense of loss, their "outsider"-ness. Not so for Ginny, my high-school love, or Bill, the 50-something exec that I worked for when I was 28 --- those two I just had fun with. But when it comes to Mollie (ex-con dominatrix who was in jail when her mother died) or Murrah (gay father who told her mother after 20 years of marriage that he'd always been pretending she was a man while they were having sex) or Julie (online male tranny who'd claimed to have had abortions) or Sandra (abused as kid, parents dead at 12 and 17)... Wow. I thought they were all tragic, so compelling. Their situations so extreme and interesting to me, probably because of the weirdness that I myself had experienced as a child.

But here's the thing: "Extreme" does not equal "Meaningful" or "Profound." Horrible situations experienced do not mean that the person who experienced them learned anything or became a "better" or more intuitive person because of them. I think it's a complete myth that hard psychological times automatically make you better. In fact, most likely, being exposed to extreme adult psychological disturbances as a child make you more paranoid and neurotic! This can come in handy professionally if you're, say, an editor, as I am! But, kidding aside, it's a killer when it comes to relationships with others, where looseness, calmness, and trust is essential. I never relax with anyone. I'm always completely on alert for when they're going to "go bad" and when I can call them on that and hit them back for that.

As I age, though, I'm beginning to understand that the definition of "going bad" is not the same for all people. For instance, many, in their "dark" moments, are just "squirrelly"--- not "bad." Sandra's not talking to me at a restaurant, or not feeling up to driving me to work, for instance. Annoying as hell, but... not the same as making me take down all of my Bay City Rollers posters because I, as a 12-year-old, wouldn't sunbathe topless in the back yard.

There are variations of "sick." I cannot keep equating every single person's actions with my father's ugliness. I cannot keep thinking that "nothing is possible and nothing is safe."