Thursday, May 31, 2007

Lohan Behold


See if that link works...

I still can't decide if Lindsay's about to do a River Phoenix, or if she's just partying too much. (Lord knows the times, back in the day, that I used to pass out... For those who DON'T know, what she's doing might seem terrible. For those who do, it's not incredibly newsworthy...)

I know exactly what her father's behavior during her childhood did to her and why she's fucking up now for no good reason.

I haven't seen anyone like her in over 25 years. What a combination of glamour and darkness.

Sex! Pistols!

I never even heard the Sex Pistols' music 'til after I graduated from high school in 1983. How sad and belated is that?! (You young'uns better be grateful for the Internet! In Azle in the early '80s, we were a little...belated.) ;p

However, I did read about them and see their images in their heyday (and wrote about them in an essay on "Rebellion" for my sophomore English class). And tonight just re-watched the Sex Pistols doc "The Filth and the Fury" on IFC.

I'm still blown away by how radical they were. I remember 20 years ago trying to explain to my mom how they changed everything... No point to THAT exchange, but, How ugly and raw----and catchy. And political. Not like stupid uber-metal bands who try to be fierce, but are, rather, just dumb and loud. The Sex Pistols were scary. And great. Seems like we've gone backwards since then. I can't even imagine anything like them getting a record deal today. The amount of fakery and pseudo-iconoclasm today is incredible. Everything so stilted and pre-screened for "hipness."

Monday, May 28, 2007

"Family Jewels"

Watching both the Gene Simmons "Family Jewels" show and the "Osbournes" show on TV, you'd get the idea that each family was only mildly wacky ("Aren't we all?!").

A couple of months ago, when I hooked up with an old high-school friend who'd gone on to become a groupie and actually sleep with Gene Simmons, I was arguing with her: "No... He may SAY he sleeps with all those women, but he seems so nice on TV! And he seems like a good father! Maybe he's just making that stuff up." Well, no... My friend slept with the guy while he was allegedly so "happy with Shannon Tweed" and he wasn't/isn't "making that stuff up." Simmons has fucked around on his steady girlfriend of over 23 years, Shannon Tweed, from the beginning. That the family "functions" is due, probably, to Tweed's, and the kids', supernatural desire to overlook said fucking around.

In a similar vein: Tonight the "E!" channel had a 2-hour special on the Osbournes, Ozzy, et al. The drug/alcohol addiction of Ozzy was covered. As was son Jack's suicide attempt and daughter Kelly's numerous stints in rehab. Yet, the two kids were also on-camera saying, "My dad's great!" (This after saying how terrified they were growing up whenever their parents would fight.)

There's some sort of disconnect here. The TV programs present these families as "loving," but... there's nothing "loving" about (1) a dad who's gone all the time and who makes humiliating public statements about how many women he sleeps with, and (2) a fucked-up dad who's either stoned or drunk most of the time and has no idea when his own kids are in trouble.

The Simmons Family isn't cute. The Osbourne Family isn't cute.

Nice editing on A&E's and MTV's part, though.

How old-fashioned

Old-fashioned as it may seem, the below-mentioned harakiri still seems kind of pure and unironic to me. When I read this, I thought of what I thought of the businessmen in the US who jumped out of windows during the market crash of 1929: "Oh, how tragic...WHY?" Now that I'm old and jaded, I can actually think of "why"---the guys had no family life; their business life was, indeed, all. If they'd given decades of their lives to achieving business success, and then that was taken from them, what was left? They're going to start being nice to their wives and kids at age 50?

I think suicide gets a bad rap, as being "cowardly." Are you kidding me? There's nothing scarier, nothing that takes more guts.

Japanese minister commits suicide

By MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press WriterMon May 28, 7:02 AM ET

Japan's agriculture minister died Monday after hanging himself just hours before he was to face questioning in a political scandal, officials said, dealing a powerful blow to the increasingly beleaguered government ahead of July elections.

Toshikatsu Matsuoka, 62, was found in his apartment Monday unconscious and declared dead hours later.

An autopsy showed that he died after hanging himself, according to a Tokyo Metropolitan Police official who spoke on customary condition of anonymity. The minister was found hanging from a door in his apartment earlier Monday, and he left a suicide note, according to local media reports.

Matsuoka's death comes just ahead of upper house elections, and as support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet is plunging.

Abe, looking shaken after visiting the hospital where Matsuoka died, said although the minister had been "under intense questioning" in parliament, he had continued to be a useful member of the Cabinet.

"I am very disappointed," he said. "When I saw his face, he seemed to be at peace."

Matsuoka had faced heavy criticism over a scandal involving suspicious bookkeeping practices in his offices, and was scheduled to appear before a parliamentary committee Monday afternoon for further questioning.

He was under fire for allegedly claiming more than $236,600 in utility fees even though he rented a parliamentary office where utility costs are free. Opposition lawmakers had demanded his resignation, but Matsuoka denied any wrongdoing.

Abe had defended Matsuoka, saying that the agriculture minister reported to him all the alleged issues were properly handled and that his dismissal was not needed.

Matsuoka had been dogged by scandal. Along with the utilities questions, he apologized publicly just three days after taking office for not declaring $8,500 in political donations.

He acknowledged the undeclared funds, which came in the form of purchased tickets to a fundraising party, saying he was unaware that the contributions had not been reported. Matsuoka had since corrected his political funds report for 2005.

Japan's political funds law requires politicians to declare such donations when they exceed $1,700, Kyodo News said. The contributions came from the World Business Expert Forum, a group associated with scandal-hit business consultant FAC Co., which was raided by authorities in June on suspicion of illegally collecting funds from investors, Kyodo said.

Japan's suicide rate is among the highest in the industrialized world. More than 32,000 Japanese took their own lives in 2004, the bulk of them older Japanese suffering financial woes as the country struggled through a decade of economic stagnation.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

"I've been terribly alone..."

"...and forgotten in Manhattan..."

God...My mom just offered to rent a truck and drive all the way up from San Antonio to NYC to "fetch me home" 'cause she's worried about me...

I haven't yet found a job here in NYC and am presently floundering... Wow. What a nice offer. New York's too beautiful to give up on and go home. As if "Austin" were home, which it's not. Thanks, Mom, though.

Years ago as a kid in Azle, Texas, I pretentiously wondered in my diary: "Why would anyone want to live anywhere that wasn't the center of the universe?" New York City is the fucking center of the Universe.

I hate hot weather!

It's been fuckin' 90 degrees here in NYC for the past 3 days. In May. It feels like fuckin' Texas weather, which is one of the reasons I left Texas, 'cause I hate 90-degree-fuckin-humidity. Man.

When I arrived in NYC in mid-February, it was freezing as hell. Coming from the South, I was worried beforehand that I wouldn't be prepared for the Northeast cold, but I was very prepared---I had wool coats, I had gloves, I had a hat. Every time I walked out my door was just fine!

Now that it's warm, though, I'm not prepared... I have a suitcase full of my summer clothes back at my mom's house in Texas... SEND 'EM, won't you, Mom??? Geez.

Today I had to cut off some of my jeans 'cause I couldn't stand wearing full-length pants in this heat! And then, a few days ago, I had to go to the local "El Mundo" to buy some flip-flops for $4 'cause wearing regular shoes around this un-airconditioned apartment sucks!

Coming from Texas, where it's 90 degrees and above from June through mid-October, I should have been prepared for this, but I'm not! I need some air-conditioning, man! ;p

I Hate Teenagers!

My NYC apartment overlooks the Hudson River, where, unfortunately, now that it's warm, teenagers come to hang out. Ugh. I absolutely hate their loud "blah-blah-blah." I had to listen to their loudness earlier tonight, between 11 and 1. Then they disappeared, thank goodness. Now, though, at nearly 4 am, they've shown back up again. Back in Austin, I would dial "311" to make a noise complaint. Not sure how things work here in NYC.

Part of me feels mean: Yeah, obviously, there was a time when I was a teen and occasionally hung out in front of people's houses. But not very often. I may have sat on the hoods of some cars on occasion, but never did I, or any of my friends, SCREAM at the top of our lungs at 4 am. It's one thing to want to be outside of your home, to be with your friends... but why can't you just hang out by the river and TALK? Do you have to act like loud, screeching assholes at 4 am?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Must Be Catchin'

When I was two...I didn't think of it
Since I met you...oh, man, I love it...

Nothing bad can ever happen to you when you're listening to Julie London.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Looking for Mr. Goodbar

I'd seen this movie in passing years ago, thought Diane Keaton was her usual flippant self, didn't much feel moved when she flippantly got murdered---the whole movie was soooo "of the time" ("dirty '70s, Scorsese knock-off") that I felt jaded and unsympathetic watching it. I think the film came out in '77, based on the book that came out in '75, based on the book-experience of '70...

After almost 3 weeks in bed after being mauled by my roommate's cat, I finally got up this week to do things. Like laundry, today. And in the laundry-room (where there's a table where the building's tenants leave their castoff books---I've previously picked up a photo book of Jerry Lee Lewis's heyday and Swanberg's "Citizen Hearst") today I found a copy of Judith Rossner's '75 book, "Looking For Mr. Goodbar."

While, when watching the movie, I disliked the "Theresa" character as played by Diane Keaton and didn't particularly care if she died (that's the filmmaker's fault), when reading the book I did relate to "Theresa"'s character from the beginning, and hated what happened to her.

I've mentioned this months before on my blog, that I got raped in 2000. I didn't give details, just that that was one of the worst things that had ever happened to me. In truth, there were many other creepy details: As soon as the guy entered my apartment, he was asking things like, "Do you have a dog?" "Are your neighbors home?" "We should close the curtains---don't want anyone to see us doing drugs!" What kills me (figuratively) is that I didn't pick up on any of that stuff. I'd gone out to a gay bar to meet friends. When the friends didn't show up, I met this guy hanging around. He was a "dick dancer" at the gay bar and I thought he was perfectly safe to hang out with and do some coke with and talk with, since I presumed he was gay and would just want to "hang out" and not have sex. Wrong!

After he raped me, he asked, "Don't you have knives in your kitchen? I wouldn't let anyone do that to me." Which made me think: Really, should I have taken out a steak knife and come after the guy, and all that entailed? Or should I just have let him fuck me and be done with it? I found out later from the police that the guy had previously been in jail for a non-violent crime, but that while in jail another guy had tried to rape him and he'd stabbed the guy, and gotten more time for it.

Which reminds me also of an earlier incident, circa 1995. I'd been to a club-show of a band I really liked. As I was leaving, in the parking garage, a guy who'd also been at the show asked me if I wanted to do some coke. I was lonely and pumped up and said, "Sure." He came over to my house, we did some crank and listened to music. The guy had obviously been up for days, was shaking and tense. But still under control. I'd told him before he came over that I was gay (just as I'd told the rapist that I was gay), and that I just wanted to "party" and talk. I thought that saying that made it OK for everyone involved. In this case, it did. At one point, the guy touched my thigh, and I flinched... He freaked out a bit and said, "Don't EVER do that."... There was a bad moment, and then I apologized, and we kept on talking...

My point being: "Looking For Mr. Goodbar" was horrifying, because I could have died in either of these cases, just as Theresa died in the book. No Morality Tale involved, just a reflection of how some things sometimes happen. You hear about it all the time in the news.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Crime of the Century

My mom's German, and I've only been to Germany 3 times: at age 4, at age 12, and then at age 17. I'm 41 now and, while officially a dual citizen of both the US and of Germany, I haven't been back. Not by choice, but just 'cause I haven't had anyone to go back and see it with.

I don't remember much about the age-4 and age-17 visits, but the 12-year-old one... It was the summer after my 6th grade school year, and my mom and us two kids were going for 6 weeks because my father had been attacking my mother on a regular basis, and this was seen as a "time out." (Before we left, I remember my father saying to my mother, "I hope your plane crashes.")

When I've seen Germany at age 12 and age 17, I've loved it. An absolutely beautiful country. I remember in '77 being completely depressed at coming home from Germany's lushness to the harsh summertime yellow of Texas, and the ugly tires by the road...

What I also remember from that '77 visit... I loved the Bay City Rollers and had pictures of me wearing plaid and holding "Bravo" magazines with the BCR on the cover, as well as shots of the BCR on German TV. And my mom bought my cousin Suzi a Kris Kristofferson album, which my cousin put aside so she could listen to Supertramp's "Crime of the Century" on end. "Dreamer." "Bloody Well Right." I can still hear those songs today, and remember thinking how weird they were at the time. (Little asshole that I was, I told my mom: "She doesn't like your Kris Kristofferson album.")

I also remember my 6-year-old brother crying in his bedroom in Germany because he was homesick and missed his father. Darkly, I crouched outside his door and hissed "SHUT UP"!!!!!!!!

Goodbye to Creeps

As I've been writing this blog, I've thought I've been thoughtful enough, sometimes outspoken, etc. I've talked about my own feelings, about pop culture, philosophy, about whatever. But I've noticed that there seem to be three people primarily drawn here: Neil, Julie (pictured to the right in all his Frank N. Furter glory), and Kilroy. (Apologies to the many others who have posted over the months, but these three, according to IP numbers, are the ones leaving most of the posts.)

Now, I've read other people's blogs, and, aside from the ones that get no readers and responses (like, well, Neil's blog), the ones that do have a variety of people reading usually do have some thoughtful and interesting responses. There's even occasionally a dialogue of some sort going on. No, not a gay, dumb, bitchy dialogue (sorry Neil and Julie) or a dumb stalker dialogue (sorry Kilroy), but, rather, an actual conversation between the blogger and the readers.

Which hasn't been the case on this blog, sorry to say. Yes, there have been 13,000 or so hits since this blog's inception, but I'm afraid that, aside from the creeps posting, many others were just checking in to see what the creeps were saying!

I'm bored with that, bored with the 5th-grade insults I've seen posted here. (And bored with my responses to them!) Luckily, this blog has a feature where I can screen all the responses. I'd initially chosen to turn that feature off, since I wanted a more exciting free-for-all, but...the 5th-grade insults (and my responses to them) have just gotten dumb and boring to me. As of tonight, though, I'm gonna use that feature.

I know I haven't been writing on a 5th-grade level, yet...that's the quality of the responses I've been getting... Hmmm. Guess it's about time I made an active effort to cut the creeps out of my life. Or at least my blog. Not that I'll be censoring any arguments that might disagree with what I've posted, just that I will be censoring creepy stuff from bitchy little queens like Neil and Julie. (No offense to queens in general---I'm just bored to death with bitchy little ones.)

So...just to let you know! Read on!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Idol + Garden State

Melinda Doolittle was just voted off "American Idol" tonight. Which is just nuts. My choices for the final two were Melinda and Blake. Not 'cause Blake sang better than Jordin Sparks, but because he was infinitely more interesting. Jordin is generic and dull as hell. There are a thousand other "girl singers" warbling a la Jordin. Watching Jordin on tonight's "American Idol" show in her hometown just solidified how shallow she was. Melinda might not have been "cute," but I'd thought her overt skills and performance abilities would've way outweighed "cute." Not so.

In other "tonight news" (Funny, I just read that the average number of readers for any given blog were...2! Since this blog's had over 13,000 readers in the past 6 months...oh, I guess I'm flattered...Though I suppose I could do without the Jesus Freaks. Ahem.): After "Idol," I switched over to the Independent Film Channel, since I was still laid up in bed after my cat-bite and was so sick of commercials... Where I discovered the movie "Garden State"...
Man, there's so much ugly, stupid shit in this world... So much so that you just start expecting it from your surroundings. Sad, but true. I started watching "Garden State" just to be watching something. My foot hurt, I was bedridden, what else was I going to do, etc. I ended up putting down my remote and really watching... I so much liked how Zach Braff's and Natalie Portman's characters got along... Made me wistful and heartsick. I remembered that kind of interaction that came so easy in high school and early college... Not to say that that can't happen later in life, but it's harder. People start to shut down and make early judgments... "Garden State" made me feel like nice things were possible again in life. Not in a fake, stupid way, but...just the everyday, ordinary "miracles" that make you give thanks.

Zach Braff's character made me cry. And then I watched the credits at the end of the film and saw that he'd also written AND directed... Previously unaware of Braff, I'd just known him as the guy from the TV show "Scrubs"... Now, though---I have such great admiration for him...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Leave Townes the Fuck Alone, Creeps

In the past month, I've heard, just in passing online, sexual things about pre-5-year-old-kids from 3 random sources. Either little kids are "devastatingly sexual" or they're sexy or it's OK to get off on online porn about them...

I hate "holier than thou" right-wing assholes, but in the case of 5-year-olds... "Devastatingly sexual"??? Or just plain "sexy"? Or, "It's OK to look at 5-year-olds posing for sex"? I've been reading this shit online and that's where I draw the line and become a right-wing conservative.

I've got a nephew about to turn 5, and he's a cute kid. A very good-looking, smart kid. What I like about him are his funny, weird conversations and his outlook on life, even at 5. Imagine if some fucked-up adult psycho got a hold of him because he was so fucking "sexy"...

I've learned that when people have been sexually abused as kids, that their subsequent outlook on life is completely sexual, often transferred onto little kids, or at whatever age they themselves were abused... So be it. It's sad, it's awful. I'm sorry for you. Get the fuck over your obsession and don't transfer it to MY loved ones. The end of my "Republican" story.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Seize the Day

While laid up in bed for the past week, I finally turned off my TV and started delving into my roommate's bookshelves. I thought I was pretty up on modern lit, but...haven't ever read Saul Bellow. My first Bellow book was "Seize the Day"---took only about an hour or so to read, but struck home: a 40-something-year-old loser whose parent wouldn't give him any money! (Hmmm...) Am now two-thirds of the way through "Herzog"--- one thing that strikes me is that people don't write like this any more. This is definitely my parents' generation of writers, what I grew up with, what I was told was necessary to read. (I was born in '65.) "Herzog" basically deals with a man's losing his wife, and his efforts to get over her. It's contemplative, and I enjoy reading the main character's philosophical ramblings (misogynist though they sometimes are). It's a shame no one is writing like this today. While rather meandering, at least Bellow was full and rich and thoughtful. Not trying to be "cute" or "ironic." I miss sincerity.

The Real Fans of Joan Crawford

A bit weird to me how so many online "Joan fans" can proclaim their fandom so adamantly, yet... don't show up when the chips are down. There's an awful lot of blathering out there.

For instance, the "Best of Everything" Joan website just took up a collection for contributions to a fund to have flowers delivered to Joan's grave on this May 10, the 30th anniversary of her death. $218 was collected, which purchased a 3-dozen red-rose bouquet that was delivered to her grave this May 10. (Of the $218, the contributions ranged from $3 to $50.)

When I traveled to Joan's Ferncliff crypt in Hartsdale this past Thursday, May 10, I expected to see other flower tributes to her there other than the one sent from the "Best of Everything" website... And I'd just recently read an online proclamation from Joan's grandson Casey, who said he'd be going out to Ferncliff to pay respects... I thought there would have been the "Best of Everything" rose tribute, plus many other individual tributes. Not so. Where were you, all you allegedly hard-core Joan fans? You couldn't even have come up with money for a $10 bouquet of daisies?

The bouquet sent from the "Best of Everything" site was the only flower arrangement there. Where were the contributions from the other Joan fans and family members?

A sad reflection on Joan's own family, but definitely a happy reflection on her fans who remember and respect her.

Monday, May 07, 2007

New York, New York

My nephew's birthday is coming up this month. Back in Austin, he and I always liked each other a lot. (He would always insist that I sit by him at whatever table, etc., which always made both his mom and my mom/grandma mad! Heh-heh.) But now that I've been away from him for 3 months, I'm afraid he's forgotten me! He's going to turn 5 this month. For his birthday, I've picked out some stuff for him that's all about "New York City," where I just moved.

First off, he's always liked wearing caps, so I got him an official "New York Yankees" baseball cap. Which wasn't really that easy! Some stores only had adult sizes. Some stores only had a myriad of funky colors like black-on-black or red-on-black; not being from here and not being a baseball fan, I had to humble myself and ask people what exactly the official colors of the Yankees were! (Navy blue and white.) You'd think that being in New York, the official cap would be easy to find, but it wasn't. I probably went to 5 or so shops before I came across the real thing. I definitely wanted "old-school." Townes can get funky on his own later, but as for now, I want him versed in the cap/sports-logo basics!

The shop where I found the cap was in Midtown, in a total tourist-shop between where I work and the subway. Which is also where I found the rest of my nephew's New York-themed gifts: A picture-book of NYC, an Empire State Building pencil with King Kong sitting on top, some "I HEART NY" and cartoon NYC stickers... (Kids like stickers!)

The coolest thing about the whole thing was the guy at the counter, whom I started talking to about my purchases... He was asking about me and what I was buying, and I told him that I regretted coming to New York so late in life (age 41), but that I wanted my nephew to be aware of the city and how cool it was and to be familiar enough with it so that he could come to it a lot sooner than I did...

The shop-guy told me, in return, about how working in Midtown was depressing for him; he never saw the same people twice, since it was such a tourist mecca; he missed having regular customers. After we talked, he ended up taking $10 off the baseball cap, and telling me how lucky my nephew was...

I love Townes a lot, and I really do wish New York for him in his future.

And I'm thankful for this nice man at the shop, who saw exactly where my heart was.

Friday, May 04, 2007


OUCH! I got into the middle of a real catfight Wednesday morning, and the aftermath is painful!!

My roommate's "alpha female" cat had snuck into my room during the night. When my Wednesday morning work alarm went off at 6:45, the "alpha" cat and my own cat Grace got startled and went at each other... I stupidly stuck my bare foot in between them to break it up, thinking they would both just run off, and as a result have multiple puncture wounds from the roommate's cat, who LATCHED ONTO MY FOOT as if she were a pit bull! Seriously, I had to shake that cat in the air to get her to let go of my foot!

The result: I haven't been able to walk for the past 3 days! I can hobble and hop to the bathroom and to the kitchen, but that's about it. That cat HURT me! I've never known pain this bad---it wasn't just cat scratches, but rather teeth sunk into tendons. I've been living on mega-doses of Ibuprofen for the past three days. And, in the meantime, cursing that cat every time I've seen her. (I love and like cats, and would never hurt a cat, but... I called that cat a "bitch of a cat" today and bellowed at her in my loudest voice to get "the fuck" out of my way. I feel bad for my own cat, Gracie, who's been dealing with this cat in my room on a day-to-day basis. I've witnessed the two squabbling every day, but never to the extent that I was just attacked... Grace must have been hurt.)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Lindsay Lohan Redux

Strange to address a 20-year-old as "La," but... LA LOHAN! :)

Yeah, yeah, I'm also mightily excited by the fact that she's been fooling around with a girl lately, but that aside... I'm tellin' ya... This girl's been lumped in media-wise with Paris and Britney, et al, but she's nothing like them. She can actually act and she photographs like a dream... those gorgeous, deep eyes have nothing to do with the blankness of Britney, Paris, Duff, etc.