Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bay City Rollers: Dedication



I've sold off all of my stereo equipment in anticipation of moving to NYC and semi-packed up all my CDs. And was bummed out because of the silence, aside from the TV...

Just figured out, duh, that I can play CDs on my computer! Which is good, because tonight I've been hearing the Bay City Rollers' version of "Let's Pretend" in my head all evening and realized I could still drag out my BCR "Dedication" CD (from Japan) so I could hear it. Which I'm listening to right now.

There's some stuff that you listened to as a kid that you know is crap later, but... I still love the Bay City Rollers. I mean, every album is good. Every single album of theirs through "It's a Game" I still love and can listen to today.

And I still think of those guys' personalities and remember reading that Les was/is a Scorpio and Eric a Libra, and that Eric was once too depressed to appear for a German "Bravo" photo shoot... (I always loved Eric best, and Les second, and didn't pay any attention to Woody or Derek at all.)

I have a picture of me in Germany in '76 wearing short plaid-trimmed pants and holding a drawing I'd made of the Rollers. And a screen-shot I took of them on German TV that summer. The raging controversy in teen magazines at the time was whether or not Ian's version of "Dedication" on the album should be re-made by Les, since Ian had just left the group...

Gimme Some Truth



Man, I'm sick to death of poseurs and idiots, especially those who try to present themselves in a "wholesome light" when in fact they're actually corrupt and awful. I wouldn't mind those "corrupt and awful" people so much if they just proudly went about their bad business so we could fight them (like Hitler---really, the guy didn't hide what he was up to---when it's visible, we have the option to fight it. Too bad WWII America didn't pay attention 'til it was too late for millions of European victims.)---but no...there's always the murkiness, which makes it difficult in our slack minds...

A snake will always be a snake. That the snake gets away with its behavior is the fault of the rest of us because we're too stupid and/or lazy. The whole history of evil in the world is the result of the good/neutral people who were too stupid or lazy to identify it and/or do anything about it.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Baby Pearl



Someone once asked me, regarding another image I'd sent: "Which is the strong one?" At the time I was thinking of her as the baby pearl...Right now I wish she'd help me. I can't even imagine how it would feel to be protected and loved.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Hi Gin!

In this time of flux for me, I'm also paying more attention to how I'm thinking of people I've been in love with... Since my life situation is black-and-white----there are very specific things you have to do to prepare for moving----the more murky emotional attachments are fading out in the face of actuality. (As in, "Be there for me or don't be there---now's when the truth comes out.")

I just had a dream a couple of nights ago about my old high-school love Ginny. We were preparing to go swimming or something. And she ended up not being able to go, but I wasn't upset about that. It was just getting to see her that made me happy. (While still thinking, ironically, "Figures---another trip not completed.") I'm still mad at that girl, though she's dead. But she still shows up in my dreams every few years and makes me feel good.

Pseudo-Love For Sale


What's interesting about getting rid of everything (or, rather, 95% of stuff) in preparation for moving to NYC: Say 4 years ago---I didn't have anything then and then all of a sudden got a good-paying job and started stocking up on what I'd always wanted and what I thought would make me happy: I got a vintage red velvet sofa/chair, a glamorous red velvet lamp, Solingen silverware, Kashan rug, even a fancy shower-curtain with lion's-head rings... After being bereft for so long, I wanted EVERYTHING JUST how I wanted it. Which was nice---I was aesthetically pleased every time I turned around in my house! But after a year or so, the thrill wore off and I really didn't care or think about any of those things any more. (Though I AM taking the Solingen silverware with me to NYC.)

Also, after 15 years of living in rented places, I'd always been grateful for this house that I've lived in for the past 6 years: It's QUIET! (My main beef with earlier places.) It's PERFECT for me: Built in the 1930s, hardwood floors, a lot of character. And GOOD vibes. (Seriously, I lived in one place back in the early '90s, which was a big mess---I was personally miserable beyond rationality, and every cat I got during the couple of years I was there died. I later found out that decades ago the tenant of the house was the miserable mistress of a doctor who lived a few houses down...I never found out what happened to the duo, and I don't think there was any dramatic suicide or anything, but... It wasn't a happy place.)

This place that I've been at for the past 6 years has been peaceful. Not the first 6 months, but after that, I've been relatively content. Not happy, but "content." Which has been nice for me. So why leave? My job was paying fine, etc. But I was bored to death. NOTHING was happening in my life aside from my going to my pleasant job and coming home to my pleasant house. I'm sure I'll appreciate such things 20 years from now, but right now... Just a little bit of real-life (i.e., "not Internet") excitement and energy, please, before I retire!

Going through stuff to get rid of has felt good. I'm having a yard sale this Saturday and getting rid of the couch, the rug, and almost everything else. What I'm taking with me (or will have mailed to me later) are my Joan Crawford (and a few other) DVDs, my books, and my personal mementos (photos, letters, journals). The stuff that's meant something to me intellectually and emotionally.

I was nervous to the point of nauseousness when I first thought about making the move to NYC...But as the deadline grows nearer for actually moving and I'm actually getting things done (giving notice to my landlord, having the yard sale, buying the one-way plane ticket, etc.) the sickening sensation is transforming into a sickening sensation plus EXCITEMENT. As I told my brother---Once I'm there I'll be fine. It's just the GETTING THERE that's so hard!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Tora Laura Lee

I had the strongest dream last night, about a potential character: A female bounty hunter whose name was "Tora Laura Lee." When I woke up, I had images of Helen Mirren from "Prime Suspect" in my mind (I've seen the show exactly ONCE). And the name was emblazoned---so much so that I couldn't brush it off, dumb as it sounded, but had to write it down. Once I got more conscious, I remembered an article I'd read in the "New Yorker" last year about a female bounty hunter---I can't remember her name now, but my sister-in-law has all of the magazine's issues on disc, so I can find it... That, and I've been watching "Dog, The Bounty Hunter" on A&E lately... (except his "catches" in Hawaii are almost always sad-assed, lowly crack addicts).

Spank me, baby


Funny how people post photos on their blogs (oooh, with some leather and studs) trying to be daring or decadent...That's kind of like teens wearing kohl-rimmed eyes and piercings and black and expecting kudos for being "different." Kids, kids started doing that back in '77...30 years ago! And adults, S/M imagery is old-hat. And if anyone's actually participated in S/M, they know that the role-playing is dumb, and ultimately boring, as hell. Those who try to build it up as something meaningful are either desperately committed to the lifestyle for wont of anything else to latch onto or desperately inexperienced and trying to seem "cool"---cooler than that married couple in Iowa...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Class Dismissed

"...you are a stalking, relentless psychobitch. SIX YEARS - you are fucking
CRAZY!! And what the hell happened to your pride, begging me to "come
back to you" time and time again when I have made it explicitly clear
that I would never ever consider having sex with you, let alone meet
you. You'll never be happy with anyone. Accept that - and move on,
all by yourself. Masturbation is your best option. Now, class is
dismissed - run along!"

The person who wrote the above today has been writing similar things to me for months now. In between are nice things. She can be sweet on occasion.

The thing is, I haven't been "stalking." I've been writing on this blog, some things about her, and she's been coming here to read them. Way back when, 2001 or so, we were close via the Internet... but she was/is transgendered and confused. I was attracted to her and she first was and then was not attracted to me. At whatever stage she was at, I said "fine": We can be lovers, or we can be friends, whichever. I liked her mind, trite as that sounds. (Though I sincerely doubt that I ever "begged her to come back to me"! She was never sufficiently THERE to begin with.)

About a week ago, before I ever read the above message from her, I had an epiphany about her: "She will never make you happy." I'd liked her for so long and I'd been making excuses for her behavior constantly. And then that "She will never make you happy." Because she doesn't want to. I'm fully capable of seeing how someone IS, and fully willing to make allowances for them... I'd tried to paint Julie in my mind as just shy or withdrawn... But, no. She's extremely aggressive when it comes to calling teenaged boys on the phone or coming on to Internet Ayn Rand-worshipers... It's bizarre to witness. And I witnessed for years, wondering what was wrong with me.

As I said: About a week ago, I had a revelation of sorts, to the effect that, however much I liked her or however much she'd make appearances in my life every now and then, she'd never BE THERE for me. I think, perhaps, that it takes huge life experiences to bring such a lesson home. I'm about to move from Austin to NYC and have been desperately flailing around for support from whatever quarters... Julie hasn't been there for me. I think I got one message from her on this blog: "They'll eat you alive" RE my moving there. Which reminded me of something my mother would say.

It's never as simple as, "Oh, what a creep." I loved how her mind worked. And for a time we e-mailed each other up to 50 times daily. I got hooked on the nice aspects of being close with her. But the fact is... she doesn't want me. She wants boys who don't want her. There's nothing I can do about that. Except perhaps to read Sartre and try to glean some comfort from the fact that someone else once felt the same way.

Movin'

One fun thing about preparing to pack up and move is digging through your odds-n-ends and evaluating them... Books, for instance. You've had them in your house for 7 years now (and probably in your previous apartments), but are they WORTHY to move on to your next life??

It takes time to sort these things out. At least 3 hours tonight digging through my bookshelves in every room, making 3 piles: (1) To send to NYC right away; (2) To store at my mom's house, to send later; and (3) To sell.

I'm glad I was able to admit that I no longer needed/wanted my copies of "Effi Briest" or "Great Expectations" or the Russian-language books from college... I do like Dickens, but... I can always check him out from the library if I'm craving him; in the past 7 years, I've never felt the urge to re-read a Dickens book...and so...I must let him go.

The stuff I want mailed right away: Madonna's "Sex"; "Lesbian Pulp Fiction"; "The '60s"; all of my Joan Crawford books; a New York City pictorial; the "Hedwig" play; my Beatles books; books by Mary Gaitskill; various reference books that'll come in handy when I start copyediting in NYC; Grimm's fairy tales... And to be stored and sent later (the biggest stack): My literature and movie books, and all the photo albums/school yearbooks/journals, etc.

Also...the tchotchkes. (That spelling is way wrong!) All the little crappy things that you hang up around your house that make it home...but when it comes down to it, the stuff's kind of cheesy... My sun-burst mirror with a candle burning below it; my New Orleans voodoo doll; my life-size "Scream" blow-up doll; my Virginia Woolf/Shakespeare stuffed dolls; my Marlene Dietrich poster and stand-up; my piece of the Berlin wall (OK, I'm keeping THAT...)...

It's not a horrible task cleaning out stuff... I have a beautiful padded stand-up bar, circa 1960, that my brother is getting... I bought it cheap in San Francisco when I was in grad school there in the mid-'90s, and his wife was always coveting it... it's going to look GREAT in his house, and will be very appreciated, which is what I always wanted for that glamorous bar... My sister-in-law is very nice and is having guilt: "I think I cursed you: I said I wanted it, and now you're getting rid of it..." I pointed out: "You said you wanted it 10 years ago; and I'm not giving it away---it's $200! There's no curse!"

At any rate, it is nice to have the chance to weed out every so often. After a certain age, the rut-thing tends to take over. I'm sure I'll be in my own rut at some point, but I wasn't quite ready for it yet at 41. I want one last gasp at beauty and adventure.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Family Tree

My German mom was born in 1941, by accident (her mom thought she was already in menopause). Guess it was the excitement of the war. Her two older sisters were a lot older, something like 15 or so years. I have photos of them riding bikes with swastikas on them.

Both of the older sisters had one daughter each whom they were very close to. The middle sister's daughter, Susi, died of asthma complications in her early '30s. The older sister's daughter, Tanya, who had a Russian father, has multiple sclerosis and is now living in Dusseldorf. (I'm free of diseases, except for mental ones.) The mother of Susi was the nicest sister, and also the first woman dentist in her town, which was a very big deal at the time. While I'm glad that I'm alive, I still think that Susi being alive for her mother would have been nicer for everybody. At least my mother has my brother, the only male heir of the German side of the family.

My German great-grandfather was a Communist and had to leave Germany in the '30s because of Hitler... He ended up working in the coal mines of Virginia. And then came back after the war and re-married his wife whom he'd earlier divorced and lived in the house above his daughter and son-in-law. "August." I think I'm like him. Though I don't think I'll have a place to live when I get old.

It cracks me up...

the idiocy of her words..."I never flatter." When in fact she constantly leans over backwards to flatter the shallow and unworthy. What a joke.

My first girlfriend was in her mid-30s when I was 23. She had a thing for high-school girls and tried to make me feel shitty for being post-20. Years later I fell in love with an online transgendered woman... Who was my age, but was still yearning for high-school-aged boys...

Truly, it's not exactly a fuck-up of mine. I fall in love with who I fall in love with. ...And then they turn out to have teenaged fetishes... How was I to know? ;p

The worst thing in the world is being in love with someone and then finding out they don't want you. Not because of YOU, necessarily, but just because you don't fit their outer criteria.

Love is so rare to me. I'm always amazed when people blow it off and/or give it to idiots or blowhards.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Daddy



I can't imagine ever feeling this comfortable again. When I was 4 or 5 and my dad would come home from work, I'd always ask him to take off his T-shirt so I could sleep with it. He smelled good.

When I was a little younger and would occasionally wet my bed, I'd always call Daddy, rather than Mama, in if the bed was wet, because he wouldn't get mad at me.

He also took me bowling and swimming. And when I was a little older, I'd stay up and watch movies with him.

I Have a Dream



I've been listening to Abba's greatest hits over and over for hours tonight... And have subsequently figured out that I do have a fetish for a specific type of look. See the pictures of Anni-Frid and Lindsay Lohan. How absolutely gorgeous are these women?! It drives me mad that I'll just have to get over it...

I'm Just a Jealous Guy

John Lennon, 1971


I was dreaming of the past
And my heart was beating fast
I began to lose control
I began to lose control

I didn't mean to hurt you
I'm sorry that I made you cry
I didn't want to hurt you
I'm just a jealous guy

I was feeling insecure
You might not love me any more
I was shivering inside
I was shivering inside

I didn't mean to hurt you
I'm sorry that I made you cry
I didn't want to hurt you
I'm just a jealous guy

I was trying to catch your eye
Thought that you was trying to hide
I was swallowing my pain
I was swallowing my pain

I didn't mean to hurt you
I'm sorry that I made you cry
I didn't want to hurt you
I'm just a jealous guy

Cold Turkey/Working Class Hero

Oh I'll be a good boy
Please make me well
I'll promise you anything
Get me out of this hell...


If only it were that easy. If we only each had our Yoko Ono. We all take things for granted, and mock our saviors too easily.

I had a dream a couple of nights ago that I was having sex with my ex-girlfriend. In the dream, the sex was as bad as it ever was. Thanks for the reaffirmation.

I've been listening to John Lennon all night. Here's another song of his, "Mother":

Mother, you had me
But I never had you
I wanted you
You didn't want me
So I, I just gotta tell you
Goodbye, goodbye
Father, you left me
But I never left you
I needed you
You didn't need me
So I, I just gotta tell you
Goodbye, goodbye

Children, don't do
What I have done
I couldn't walk
And I tried to run
So I, I just gotta tell you
Goodbye, goodbye

Mama don't go, daddy come home
Mama don't go, daddy come home
Mama don't go, daddy come home
Mama don't go, daddy come home
Mama don't go, daddy come home
Mama don't go, daddy come home
Mama don't go, daddy come home
Mama don't go, daddy come home

I can't stress enough how no major pop singer ever says anything like this any more. Or this:


Working Class Hero

As soon as you're born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
A working class hero is something to be

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool
Till you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules

When they've tortured and scared you for twenty odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
When you can't really function you're so full of fear

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
And you think you're so clever and classless and free
But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see

There's room at the top they are telling you still
But first you must learn to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill

A working class hero is something to be...


When I was in high school, I typed up the above lyrics and taped them to my wall. Nowadays John Lennon is kind of a peace-monger phony joke since Yoko's promoting him and his neck-ties and lithographs after his death... at the time, though, Lennon was speaking his real, painful heart. I was only 15 when I first heard him and hadn't been close with any other person outside of my family or within my family (awful as that was), but because of him I knew what was coming, and got a sense of how the world really was. And braced myself. It was scary, but Lennon prepared me for it, and gave me the strength to question it.

Who can teens today listen to for intellectual rebellion?

Woman is the Nigger of the World

by John Lennon, 1972

Woman is the nigger of the world
Yes she is, think about it
Woman is the nigger of the world
Think about it, do something about it

We make her paint her face and dance
If she won't be a slave we say that she don't love us
If she's real we say she's trying to be a man
While putting her down we pretend that she's above us

Woman is the slave of the slaves
Ah yeah, better scream about it
We make her bear and raise our children
And then we leave her flat for being a fat old mother hen
We tell her home is the only place she should be
Then we complain that she's too unworldly to be our friend

If you don't believe me, take a look at the one you're with

We insult her every day on TV
And wonder why she has no guts or confidence
When she's young we kill her will to be free
While telling her not to be so smart we put her down for being so dumb

Woman is the nigger of the world
If you don't believe me take a look at the one you're with
If you believe me, better scream about it...



No pop star has ever explained the psychosis so cogently.

Gimme Some Truth

by John Lennon, 1971


I'm sick and tired of hearing things
From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocrites
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth
I've had enough of reading things
By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth
No short-haired, yellow-bellied son of Tricky Dicky
Is gonna mother-hubbard, soft-soap me
With just a pocketful of soap
Money for dope
Money for rope...
I'm sick to death of seeing things
From tight-lipped, condescending, mommy's little chauvinists
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth
I've had enough of watching scenes
Of schizophrenic, egocentric, paranoiac prima donnas
All I want is the truth now
Just gimme some truth...


Funny how some of the things you admire when you're 15 stay with you... I hate the commercial "peace-loving" generic icon that Lennon has become today, but I love him for his earlier honest anger at what was fucked up about "society." Everyone's become so complacent it's nauseating.

"What a bad-ass city!" John Lennon



I don't know that this shot of New York City is the best or most glamorous; I wish I could capture exactly the sense of exhilaration I felt when I saw it for the first time 2 years ago...

Someone wrote earlier on this blog in response to my stated decision to move there: "They'll eat you alive." I answered shallowly something like, "Oh, they'll like blondes." In truth, it's not a question of me being blonde or wanting anything out of this city. I'm 41, not 21, so it's not like I'm going there to "be a star" in any way. What I'm going there for is just to revel in how beautiful and majestic it is. Oh, for sure, there's going to be the everyday blah-blah-blah crappy existence, but in the meantime... I'll get to LOOK AT NEW YORK CITY and walk around every day saying, in my mind, "Wow!" in relation to that and that and that... That building, that club, that hotel, that museum... I want to be stunned, and I think New York City will stun me. Not "eat me alive"----now, why would it? :) I'll be there to worship and enjoy, not to conquer.

What a beautiful place, in the sense of both glamour and gravitas.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

When I leave...


What I'm going to miss about the South and Texas is the soul and hearing older men talking with that accent. (The young guys are all generic and have no accent or stories.)

I'm going to take to NYC my Dallas Cowboys and Texas Longhorns sweatshirts. And I hope I get into arguments about them. "Representin', babee!" ;p I'm homesick already.

And I just can't seem to get the dichotomy: Someone you can talk to intellectually versus someone you can jump on and fuck. Each is mightily stimulating and each is incredibly soul-deadening when its missing. Go fucking figure.

Another thing: When I was in grad school in San Francisco in the mid-'90s, a couple of "gangstas" got on a bus I was on and didn't feel like paying their dollar fare. So the bus sat and sat and sat. A nice liberal white woman tried to hand the "gangstas" dollars, which they refused. So we sat and sat and sat. At the time, I personally wished with all my heart that these guys had tried this shit in Texas. They wouldn't have gotten away with it, 'cause some white-trash bus-riding white boy would have, deservedly, kicked their collective obnoxious gangsta ass. In that absence, all of us on the bus had to put up with these punks.

This is where my "Texas-ness" and "girliness" comes into play, missing some big butch guy to stick up for what's right. Though I suppose I can always look to Queens and the Bronx for that kind of thing! ;p

Two Hoots and a Holler




This guy I went out with maybe two or three times. Once we met at a club and he asked me for $10. Once he called late-night and "needed" me to come over, which I did 'cause he was so sweet about it. When I got there, he chatted for a few minutes then went and shot up heroin in his bedroom while I made small-talk with his roommate. I can't remember the third time. Though there was the time when I was supposed to be taping his appearance on a local cable show for him and Princess Diana died and his taping was interrupted...oooops!

Which isn't really the point. He's a brilliant local musician. I normally hate "local music," but this guy's actually brilliant. I started seeing him at Austin's Black Cat club back in 1989 or so----the club had no air-conditioning in the summer, no heat in the winter, and had an open bonfire out back to roast $1 hot-dogs. And outhouses for bathrooms. He packed 'em in.

I admire John Lennon and George Jones and Joan Crawford, and RB was, and still is, right up there with them as far as talent and charisma go. I'd get chills whenever I'd see him perform. But he was completely non-communicative and jerky on a one-to-one basis. It was flattering when he'd come over to my table at a club between sets and sit there and smoke silently... But, damn, I'm not a perky high-school cheerleader whose goal is to coax males into expressing themselves!

He's had some nice steady girlfriends, though: At clubs, I've shared tables with them, and have had much better conversations with them than with the stoic RB! My personal experience with him made me wonder about my other idols like Joan and Lennon, et al. I'd read about how difficult they were and thought, "NO! I'd be their understanding help-meet!" Ha! The uber-talented and original thinkers are a thing unto themselves and, being egotistical myself (while not quite as talented or original), I'm nowhere near patient enough to put up with the short-term bullshit, though I wish I could be. I really do wish I could be, because I think the long-term journey with such people would be ultimately amazing and magical. There's so little magic in everyday life. I wish I had the patience to wait for it. How could you not love lyrics like these and want to be this man's girl:

It's not that sideways grin she wears
It's not that kinky savoir faire
It's not the way she hates this world
Makes me want her for my girl...

Monday, January 01, 2007

You're a Hard Act to Follow

The Split Enz song for JL:

There's a lot of good acts around
Plenty of profound performers
But there's only one who really gets through to me

Whenever you come on I light up
Everything you do goes down well
I can tell after you it's all downhill

You're a hard act to follow...

Watch a lot of foreign movies
See a lot of late-night TV
Looking for a girl to distract me from what you are

Try to lose my concentration
Acting out of sheer frustration
I go out at night
But after you it doesn't feel right...

You're a hard act to follow...

"President Ford"



Former President Ford died over the Christmas weekend (as did James Brown and Saddam Hussein, but the latter two had zero to do with my childhood, so I must ignore them here!). In 1976, Ford was running for president against Jimmy Carter (after becoming president in '74 after the man who appointed him vice-president, Richard Nixon, resigned).

In '76, when I was 11, I actually wore a "President Ford" button to school in the 6th grade (and still have a collection of presidential buttons, including that one). And remember being called on, laughingly, in class at that time: "Let's let the little Republican speak." (I got the MOFO answer right, you better believe!) I have become rather apolitical in the past 8 years under George Dubya (the man's stupidity and influence have been so horrible that I've completely withdrawn, unable to even subscribe to the daily paper since 2000---which I'd been reading since I was 5 years old!). But prior to that: My mom wrote in her baby-book for me that, at age 3, in 1968, I'd stop whatever I was doing whenever Richard Nixon came on TV. After Nixon resigned in '74, I wrote him a personal letter. (I was 9.) In 1980, I campaigned for Reagan as a sophomore at my high school, and got the chance to create a whole bulletin board all about him in my English classroom (to the dismay of my Democrat, yet very fair, teacher).

By 1984, I was in college, which does, as the Conservatives claim, make you Liberal: I became Vice-President of the "Students With [Gary] Hart" committee at the University of Texas, and was a delegate to the state convention, voting against the party's actual nominee, Walter Mondale (who lost to Reagan in the general election). (In this whole process, I actually got to meet Gary Hart and drive a car in his motorcade in Austin!) In 1988, I reluctantly supported Dukakis (hating him). In 1992, I, with a very glad heart, voted for Clinton. In 1996, I'd turned contrarian, voting for third-party candidate Ross Perot, just because Clinton had invaded Afghanistan for no reason and supported idiotic, meaningless things like school uniforms... 2000: Gore, of course. 2004: Kerry, of course.

As for Gerald Ford: I've been watching the news shows tributes to him over the past few days: It's kind of funny what we judged as "stupid" back then...so he fell down some plane steps twice and said Eastern Europe wasn't under Soviet influence (the latter a major faux pas, which he later publicly corrected). Other than that, he was ego-less enough to get us the fuck out of Viet Nam, when there was obviously no reason left for us being there. And he was ego-less enough to pardon Nixon, when there was obviously no reason left for the Left to continue the ideological war against Nixon, an obviously beaten man... (which is why my 9-year-old political self felt sympathy enough for him to write him a letter)

I can't stand what's happened to this country since George Bush took office in 2000. A complete lack of logic, a willful neglect of the common good.

Ford was a minor president, but he still had a sense of decency, of the right, common-sense thing to do, in both domestic and foreign affairs.

New Year's Eve and Taxicab Confessions



Honestly, the last New Year's Eve I remember doing anything neat was 2000/2001---I'd just gotten my first computer for Christmas, and I spent New Year's 2000 alone with a bottle of champagne, typing in my newly-written screenplay... (I felt very alone, yet very pure...That may not sound "neat" to most people, but, after years of New Year's parties being wild with people I didn't particularly care about, this night felt very good.)

Just last night (New Year's 2006/2007), I baby-sat my nephews (ages 4 and 1) for a few hours while their parents went out and had dinner with friends. Tavo (age 1) cried for "Mama" intermittently for hours... he'd play, then cry; I'd hold him and pat his back, then he'd cry; I'd give him crackers, then he'd cry... In the meanwhile, Townes and I watched the movie "Narnia" and talked and tried to figure out how to make Tavo stop crying! (BTW: I used to hate kids' movies, but after seeing "Polar Express" and "Narnia" this Christmas season, I think those two, at least, are actually very interesting!) By the end of the evening (10:45pm or so), both kids had collapsed in my bedroom with me... (I had to talk Townes into going in there...I have a cat, and he knew that she was hiding in there because she was scared of people..."Where is she?" "Under the bed, Townes." "I think I see her face over there----look!" [and then he'd grimace and make a "scary-cat face".] I finally made him understand that she was hiding under the bed 'cause she was scared of HIM not 'cause she was trying to be mean. So we all finally settled down and I turned on TCM, which was showing the Marx Brothers all night... 4-year-old Townes watched Groucho for a while and then said: "He's funny!" Now, I personally don't particularly think the Marx Brothers are funny, but... Townes actually got what was going on and why it was so weird and funny!

When my brother and his wife came back to my house 'round 10:45, they knocked and I got up to let them in. Both kids, who had been kind of restless before (most especially baby Tavo), didn't move from the bed to greet them, but kept watching the screen. They kind of had to be jolted out of their lethargy: "Look! Here's Mommie and Daddy!"

After they'd gone, I felt kind of flat... I'd been sick on my back for the past 4 days and certainly had no plans for this New Year's other than just weakly sitting and watching TV after my nephew-experience... I flipped channels----dear Lord, I hadn't realized that Dick Clark had had a stroke or something...he looked and sounded terrible and was depressing to watch. Watching "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" was something I always did in junior high and high school, thinking I was cool for staying up that late... I understand the tradition and the network's consideration in keeping him on board, BUT... the man has obviously had a stroke. It was awful seeing him tonight trying his hardest to enunciate.

After flipping through the various "Times Square" channels until the midnight countdown (just to see the countdown) and thinking that I'd just be going into 2007 with a crappy feeling, I finally found "Taxicab Confessions" on Bravo... Has anyone seen this? It was originally an HBO series; real people filmed, unknowingly, in real cabs... and they talk, for real, to the cabbie. Couples, strippers, kids, transsexuals, seniors, you name it. I was in such a "blah" kind of mood before I discovered, and after ringing in the new year 2007 with 3 hours of watching, I'm grateful----it's sometimes touching, sometimes cute, sometimes transcendent, sometimes depressingly awful... Kind of like that "get on the train" thing I felt earlier----there's ALL of this going on out there. All kinds of horrible, wonderful things, things that people have experienced...I've been out of it for 5 or 6 years now, which has been safer, but I MISS it. I MISS real life.

Get on the train, get in the cab. Whichever. Wow. Happy New Year!