Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Job-hunting---not all bad!

Though I did practically nothing but lie on my couch for months after my last in-house project ended, and I didn't bother looking for work because the idea seemed too strenuous... Now that I'm putting myself out there again, I'm remembering one of the interesting things about looking for work---the concept of what might be your new life!

Back in Austin, I was a copy editor for an educational publishing company. There weren't any "real" publishing companies in Austin, just the educational ones, so that's what I did... When I came to NYC last year, I thought FOR SURE I'd immediately break into the fiction/poetry world...Nope. What I got initially was a lot of groggy late-night temp proofing shifts (midnight to 8am shift) for legal firms, and then, a long-term gig as a copy editor for...AN EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHING COMPANY. Not complaining, though. That job paid a crazy amount of money, almost triple what I made at a similar job in Austin! (Way more than making up for how expensive housing is here.)

Depressingly (due to the loss of massive income), that's done with, though, and now I'm on the job hunt again, in the meantime doing temp work that will decidedly not pay my bills. I'm nervous, but the kind-of fun thing is the type of jobs I've been applying for---here in NYC, unlike Austin, there are a VAST number of editing/copy editing/proofing jobs up for grabs in all sorts of interesting NON-EDUCATIONAL fields. One job description I read mentioned: "must know Jackson Pollock's most famous novel and the style in which Tom Wolfe painted"----I freaked out when I read that: "Damn, I had no idea that Pollock ever wrote a novel!" and "What the fuck? Tom Wolfe PAINTED?" (The fucker who wrote the job description was just messin'! I got him/her back, though---turns out there really IS a "Tom Wolfe" (not THE) who paints...Western scenes! I mentioned that in my cover letter!)

Since I'm not quite out of money yet, the above is still funny. I've also been applying for various (only in New York) jobs at gossip and soap magazines and papers. I would absolutely LOVE to proof for, say, the "Post"! Seriously. Compare dumbing down historical or literary text for a 6th-grader and his/her state text approvers with the wonderful anarchy of writing/editing gleefully idiotic stuff for "Page Six"!

That's the thing about TRYING...You may not get what you're wishing for, but in the meantime it's fun to fantasize about! (And at the end, you can say you tried.)

The Most Beautiful Women in Films (morph)




(The music is Bach's Prelude from Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major.)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Woman is the Nigger of the World



"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..."

The Dick Cavett Show. ABC-TV. November 1971.

Just try to imagine daytime network TV today airing this. (Come on, Ellen!) Or even late-night cable TV, for that matter. (What's the most "radical" that HBO can come up with---"Entourage"?)

While I hate John Lennon's posthumous "generic PC feel-good" reputation, perpetuated by the widow Ono, his post-Beatles albums are actually anything but blindly "feel-good." I recommend most 1970's "Plastic Ono Band" for its pure, raw punk. And 1974's "Walls and Bridges" for its pure, raw sadness (alleviated by one of my favorite happy pop songs, "Surprise Surprise").

"Woman is the Nigger of the World" appeared on his 1972 album "Some Time in New York City."

In remembrance of the patient Ginny, 1983, for listening to it with me over and over again one night, after I'd found a rare copy while we were out at the local mall! (My idea of a good time...but, um, probably not hers...) :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

And Neil Maciejewski's raising a kid...



The guy in this video, Neil Maciejewski, is often found commenting on his blog about what a great father and role model he is for his 4-year-old... All the while sending out photos of himself with a dildo stuck up his ass and hanging out on the circuit and dancing in drag.

If you want to be a fuck-up, then great. Just don't afterwards pretend that your 4-year-old is learning anything positive from your behavior. (Unless, of course, you WANT your kid to grow up dressing like a woman, posing with a dildo up his ass.)

Maciejewski's a poster boy for all of the bad things that Republicans have ever said about gay people. I feel sorry for his kid.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Waylon and Willie and the Boys...



I've got my cable music station turned to "Classic Country." and "Luckenbach Texas" by Waylon Jennings just came on. I LOVE that song and so ran to YouTube so I could post it here.

Back when I was in San Francisco in the mid-90s working on my Master's Degree in poetry, I had a tiny, loud apartment, and so would try to escape it whenever I could. I found a comfortable bar a few streets away. Never too crowded during the day, always a couple of tables where I could spread out all of my work without bothering anyone. I'd go there almost every week, and I'd always put a ton of money in the jukebox for inspiration... The cool thing was, the jukebox wasn't "San Francisco Pseudo-Hip" but rather filled with lots of interesting standards, including plenty of Waylon-n-Willie.

After a couple of weeks of me sitting there scribbling and shuffling around papers and plugging in $5 worth of country songs on the jukebox, the bar owner finally came over and sat down to check me out. His name was/is "Whitey" (and he'd actually known Neal Cassady and hung out with those Beat-boys back in the day!). After that, every time I'd come in, I'd get free beers, since he said my jukebox choices were so good! :)

The best feedback I got while I was in San Francisco!

The songs I was playing were why I like Texas, the kind of men I like about Texas. Ruffian poets. I've never been able, personally, to connect with such, but I admire them from afar. They don't exist in New York City or San Fran, that's for sure.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Back in the New York Groove

After months of lolling about on my Weehawken couch, watching every last reality show and HBO special I could scrape up (I never want to see "Jon and Kate + 8" or "Little People, Big World" or "John Adams" again!), I finally got off my lazy ass and went back to work. Well, actually, I'd been doing some freelance work this whole time, just sporadically, and at home.

The last job I had paid so well, when the project ended, I didn't HAVE to do anything for months... I thought that would be fun and liberating---instead, it was just mind-numbingly dull! There's only so much of Weehawken one can see---only so many library cards one can get, mom-n-pop sandwich shops one can visit daily, etc. When my "freedom" first began, I thought: "Oh, now I can do some sightseeing in NYC at my leisure..." Nope. Instead, what I ended up doing was playing around on the Internet until 6 or even 8 in the morning, sleeping 'til 4 in the afternoon, then just LYING THERE bemoaning how hot it was while channel surfing for some, any, reality-show episode I hadn't seen yet! Then, once sunset approached, maybe wandering around Weehawken/Union City for an hour or so before picking up my fast food and beer for the evening.

For some reason, I could not summon the energy, month after month, to even call my temp agency or to send out any resumes. 'Til finally, thank god, some internal mechanism kicked in and at least I put in the temp agency call (and desultorily have been sending out a few resumes---I'm still not in "full motivation mode").

So I'm now at last off my duff and waking up to the alarm again! It's invigorating. When you're home all the time, you get mushy and lazy. There needs to be some CONTRAST between your worlds for you to appreciate any of them. (It's nice to have that "It's nice to be home" feeling again, for instance, as opposed to the "rolling-over-with-a-hangover-and-hating-your-same-four-walls" feeling!)

And, while Weehawken's been cute to look at, I definitely missed the mighty might that IS New York. For instance, once I cross over from Joisey and land at Manhattan's Port Authority (8th Ave and 42nd Street), in my 20-minute walk to my current temp job here's some of what I see:







Every time I walk through and by Times Square, Bryant Park, the library lions, Grand Central Station, and the Empire State Building (all in two daily trips!), I get a thrill... and then flash back to the times back in Austin when I would drive 20 minutes past various strip malls to my job and later stand outside in a parking lot having a cig during breaks looking at all of the cars and the strip-mall surroundings, thinking, "My god, this is depressing and horrible." And then, "My god, what's wrong with me? This job is nice and cushy; I like my co-workers; Austin's a nice town; why am I so depressed?" (Note to self: Strip malls and parking lots ARE depressing, honey.)

Austin is indeed a nice, pretty, liberal, university town. But I haven't missed living there for one second. There's no "there" there. It's like "West Coast lifestyle"-lite, and I hated the West Coast when I lived in San Francisco for 2 years back in the mid-1990s. Hated its phony, PC, "feel-good" boosterism. (When in fact there was nothing at all to boost. Both San Fran and Austin are the center of exactly NOTHING, but at least Austin is slightly more humble and laid-back about it, without most of the annoying 1970s Berkeley crap still reverberating, as in SF---and with less crime and attitude. I certainly never got mugged in Austin, and never had to sit at a bus-stop for what seemed like an eternity because some thug assholes didn't want to pay their fares.) Austin and SF are also both extremely lazy artistically, with no criticism of the arts to speak of. Everything's just "good, man," as long as it has a patina of "weird" about it. What I like about New York is that it seems to be run by adults and not hippies or PC granolas. Adults with some standards and critical acumen.

But what I really like about New York is that, to me, it just "feels" right. In a recent issue of "Time Out NY," Briton Ricky Gervais was asked, "Do you like playing in New York?" He answered: "Yes. It makes me feel funny; it smells good. When I get here, I just feel strangely at home." That's it exactly in a non-intellectual nutshell! The second I first came here for a vacation a couple of years ago, the city made me "feel funny" and it "smelled good" (like my German grandfather's basement and baked goods) and I "felt strangely at home." (When I lived in San Fran, on the other hand, the place to me constantly smelled like a nasty combination of piss and pigeon-poop.)

Maybe NYC will kick me out (if I can't ever find a permanent job that pays the rent!)--- but that's New York's decision, not mine. If kicked to the curb, I'll always be able to say that I tried, and that I once lived in the greatest, grittiest, most glamorous and ambitious city in the world.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What Happened on 23rd Street



Filmed on 23rd Street in New York City by the Edison Co., August 21, 1901.

I love how the couple cracks up afterwards!

BTW: Today, 23rd is home to the Chelsea Hotel; the Chelsea Cinema, where I see most of my Joan movies; and my beauty shop, "Chelsea Styles"!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Joanie Sommers/ Nothing Worse Than a Coward



I first became aware of Sommers when I saw a clip of her appearance with Joan Crawford on "Hollywood Palace" in the mid-'60s---both were embarrassingly schmaltzy to me. But it didn't click until just hearing the song tonight that Sommers also sang the great "Johnny Get Angry" that I knew from back when I was a teen in the '80s and only had AM radio playing the Oldies in my car!

In a weird side-note, Sommers shares a February 24 birthday with someone truly apropos of the "Johnny" in this song.

When I first came online in early 2001, one of the first things I accidentally got involved with was defending this wimpy Pisces-character on a Joan Crawford message board, since I thought that others were picking on her... In the 7 years since then, she's never once come to my defense. Not once. You'd think that at some point the wimpiness would abate and the intellectual honesty, or at least a bit of loyalty, would shine through for just a second. Nah.

There's nothing worse than a coward.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Ballad of Steph and Julie

At first, I was looking for a serious version of Yoko Ono's "Give Me Something" on YouTube... I found instead this brother-sister team doing "an interpretive dance" to the song. Which, to me, at 7am after a night of drinking, seemed pretty indicative overall of our last 7 years.


Gen loves Joan





I...I do sometimes get the most interesting e-mails, with photos! (Thanks, Gen!) ;p

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Obama Babies



By GLEN JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer 10 minutes ago

CHICAGO - Democrat Barack Obama said Tuesday that the New Yorker magazine's satirical cover depicting him and his wife as flag-burning, fist-bumping radicals doesn't bother him but that it was an insult to Muslim Americans.

"You know, there are wonderful Muslim Americans all across the country who are doing wonderful things," the presidential candidate told CNN's Larry King. "And for this to be used as sort of an insult, or to raise suspicions about me, I think is unfortunate. And it's not what America's all about."

Obama blamed himself for not being forceful enough in challenging some of the rumors about him, including that he is Muslim. Obama is Christian.

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Let me get this straight... Both Obama and some of his overly earnest (read, "dumb"--either that or "age 18") supporters are actually upset about this cover?

For the very young or the very dumb supporters' edification: "The New Yorker" is a relatively sophisticated East Coast-published (LIBERAL) magazine that's been around since the 1920s. It's famous for its thoughtful, in-depth coverage of all aspects of society (ranging from sports to libraries to art to movie stars to paleontology to politics---you name it), as well as its fiction, poetry, cartoons, reviews, and... (gasp!) SATIRICAL COVERS.

I can maybe slightly understand if the young and/or dumb don't have any idea what "The New Yorker" or its editorial viewpoint is and so go off half-cocked. (I actually read one blogger who kicked some people off her blog for "not understanding" why she was so upset with this cover---"You fuckheads!" she cried.)

But Obama's statement above to CNN's Larry King is completely, ridiculously disingenuous. The man is intelligent and sophisticated enough to know better, to be completely aware of the magazine's political leanings. The only possible reason I can see for his statement to King is to once again (as he did during the primary campaign against Hillary Clinton) attempt to play the victim. ("Geraldine Ferraro is racist!" stands out particularly in my mind.)

I've been a regular reader and subscriber of "The New Yorker" for something like 15 years now. (And, as a Hillary supporter, was mightily irritated by what I saw as their constant snarky editorial snipes at her during this spring's Democratic primaries.) Trust me: They like Obama. A lot.

Their cover art depicting Barack in Muslim attire fist-bumping his guerrilla-garbed wife Michelle (with her wild Afro), a portrait of Osama bin Laden hanging over the mantle, and an American flag burning in the fireplace is a highly and overtly satirical jab at the few idiotic extreme right-wingers who claim that Obama and his wife are Muslim terrorists.

Now, if the same cover had appeared on "The National Review" or "Guns and Ammo" or whatever...that's a different story altogether. Given these magazines' extreme right-wing agendas, obviously such a cover would indicate an attempt to propagate the lie that the Obamas are radical Muslims. While I don't personally admire Obama very much (though I'll be voting for him), I would indeed be outraged about such a false portrayal appearing in those non-satirical contexts.

But I like and understand my "New Yorker" a lot. It's rational, it's funny, it's intelligent. And it's scary to me to see supposedly left-wing rational and intelligent Obama supporters, and Obama himself, speak out against satire...and FOR the dumbing down of American discourse. Obama should know better.

Friday, July 11, 2008

"...getting out of one car and getting into another..."

It's funny that whenever you really feel sad, if you want to get anyone to listen to you, you have to act like you're not sad. You have to, instead, act "melancholy" or "blue" or "whimsical" or something. Something palatable. So someone can picture you as Audrey Hepburn, perhaps.

People are repulsed by overt and overabundant tears, by truly upset looks, and especially by snot. But they always do seem to feel terribly moved by a slight tear in the voice or a geisha-like sideways glance downward.

If you happen to be writing in your blog, people also like to see a piece of art illustrating your fleeting melancholy. Even better is an emotionally evocative YouTube musical clip to accompany your words.

Here's yer clip, motherfuckers.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Julie, Julie, Julie, Do Ya Love Me?



Come on, baby! :)

The Art of Failure: Connelly/Scaboda

http://www.chuckconnelly.com/gallery.php?year=1993http://www.chuckconnelly.com/gallery.php
http://www.chuckconnelly.com/scaboda.php

Oh, the tortured, misunderstood, undiscovered and unappreciated artist.

Except that Chuck Connelly is actually good. Yet while good, he's still mightily derivative, a la Munch, Dali, Van Gogh, Balthus. And he was once both discovered and appreciated commercially, while apparently blowing his chance because of his behavior. (I could care less about his behavior---it's just that all the work that I saw presented on this HBO doc looked like it came straight from Munch, Dali, Van Gogh, or Balthus. It's simultaneously beautiful and daring and bold and disturbing and subtle...but is it original?)

Connelly made a big splash when he first appeared in the early '80s, and then fell out of favor. In his latest incarnation in the "Art of Failure" documentary on HBO, he's hilariously hired someone to pretend to be an artist in 2007 named "Fred Scaboda"---supposedly someone new on the scene, but actually Chuck Connelly, and who's presenting Connelly's work to various galleries as "Scaboda." All with "Scaboda"'s "trademark" Big Black Dot appearing in all of the pictures.

In one scene of the doc, a gallery owner asks the actor playing the fictional Scaboda what the black dot on all of his paintings means: "When I was a kid, I showed my dad one of my paintings, and he put his cigarette out on it." My jaw dropped at how funnily Spinal-Tappish that was, and at how the gallery owner took it completely straight! (Really, how else COULD he take it? The performance was so straight-faced and perfect.)

Monday, July 07, 2008

"Some balls are held for charity..." b/w "Sandra Dee"







When I was 12, 13, 14 (in the mid/late '70s) and stuck out in the Texas countryside, music did manage to filter through to the hinterlands via movies and FM radio! My neighbor Marla was a year younger than I was, and we loved both "Sandra Dee" from "Grease" and "Big Balls" from AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" album and would go around singing them at the top of our lungs! To this day, I know every word of the "Sandra Dee" song! (Marla and I also once put on a "Grease" show on her front porch for the neighborhood kids, with her lip-synching the Olivia Newton-John parts, and me the John Travolta parts---we looooooved that whole album!)

Marla was cool--- We went to church camp together and got mutually kicked out for not wearing bras. (Please, we were in the 14-year-old range...how exciting could that have been for the other camp-goers?) I do feel guilty, though, for one incident at church camp----All of us kids were supposed to go out into the woods by ourselves and think about our sins... Marla and I ended up teaming up and running around terrorizing lone girls and boys who really were out there to think about their sins, yelling obnoxiously at them, "What are your sins? Tell us your sins!"

She also had a trampoline over at her house, and in the summer we would both lie out on it to get a tan, most of the time topless. My mom worked during the day, but her mom was at home and had friends over sometimes... One time said friends happened to look out the back window while Marla and I were sitting up chatting on the trampoline without our tops... Uh-oh! No more sun-bathing! :)

She and I also liked KISS together---she was always Ace Frehley, and I was always Gene Simmons. We'd make our little brothers be Paul and Peter. And we'd invent whiteface KISS makeup by smearing toothpaste on our faces and then slapping powder on top.

All of us neighborhood kids would often get together in the summer evenings to play softball, or to run relay races, sometimes with the parents taking part... Whenever there were two teams, everyone else started to try to separate us: "Stephanie and Marla can't be on the same team." That was just always something immediately thrown out as a rule by other older people.

Once we both were in high school, Marla started dating a lot of boys. She told me about one boy that she'd had sex with... One night we neighborhood kids were sitting outside in a circle playing "Truth or Dare," with 3 of Marla's cousins in the circle. Her cousin Ginny Mae asked Marla a "Truth" question about if she'd had sex... Nobody in the circle knew the truth but me. Marla slightly glanced up at me; I slightly shook my head back at her, "NO." The official answer came back to the circle: "NO."

There wasn't ever a "sex vibe" or anything between us (oh, wait---then why were they always kicking us out of church camp and off trampolines and out of softball games...!), but there was always a complete "friend vibe," an "I trust you, let's do something crazy" vibe. I miss someone to sing "Big Balls" and "Sandra Dee" with.

Friday, July 04, 2008

"She told me she worked in the morning and started to laugh..."

In Austin during the spring and summer of 2003 I was completely smitten by this woman. After weeks of hanging around her at various parties, we finally hooked up at a club and we hung out all night and she asked me over... We stayed up all night talking about the Black Dahlia, and I watched as she did her nails... She had to work the next day and when it was time to go to bed, I volunteered to sleep on the couch downstairs, but she said, "Don't be silly" and invited me upstairs to her bed... TO SLEEP! :)

Two weeks later, she attended her high school reunion and three months after that, she ran off with a guy she met there to get married. (Prior to the "running off" there was plenty of Sturm und Drang...I acted pretty badly.)

We're back in touch now, oddly.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Tranny and the Pot-Bellied Twink



This bizarre message just in, verbatim, from Julie (aka "Tranny"). To try to explain some of her references, though that won't really help, sense-wise: "Sensen" is a Russian man on a photos site. "The script" is something I wrote and sent to Julie 8 years ago. Julie's "man" Neil is an aging, balding gay twink who's in a relationship and prefers gay men to trannies.

Here goes:

LOLOLOLOLOL - Sensen is an extremely sensual woman (hence her name, if you catch my drift, that is :) And she is a bisexual - which you boast to be, ass! I don't think so. (Btw, I had to answer the phone - but now you are properly banned, and I will ban your every LJ ID in the time to come). Oh, your so-called script was so goddamnly boring and uninteresting that I could not bring myself to be phoney about it in any way just to let you believe you had any hint of talent in that direction, hence my lasting silence about that subject - better stick to your pathetic online attempts at bitchery, Steffie Mine. Neil found your script laughable as well. LOLZ!! Honey, you ain't woman enough to take my Man(= Neil) away from me! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL! :P

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My goodness! Neil Maciejewski (aka the "Pot-Bellied Twink" pictured) is now Julie Lindberg's "man"! Who'd've thought! ;p Congrats to the paunchy, balding couple!