Sunday, January 31, 2016

Shopping

I usually don't shop at the supermarket on Saturday evenings; in fact, I don't think I've ever, since the late '80s, when out goofing with friends. Tonight, though, stopped off on my way home from working overtime...

The crowd was different. Usually I go on Sunday mid-mornings, when there have been hosts of families and middle-aged women.

This time, Saturday eve, there were a vast number of clearly single people, mainly 30-something bearded (being Austin) guys.

I'm usually an uptight bitch wherever I go (this take on me mainly according to others), but this evening, I felt cool and relaxed, having just gotten off work, where I'd accomplished a lot...

Springlike in Austin, 70-ish, obviously people feeling their oats.

I guess I was putting off a good vibe, because I got picked up on a couple of times! The first among the frozen vegetables: I was standing there trying to pick out the best kind of frozen corn when a guy suddenly recommended the "Tuscan Broccoli." He said he didn't usually like broccoli, but he liked THIS broccoli!

Me (sneaking a look at him: 30-ish, trendily bearded, cute): "What makes broccoli TUSCAN?"

We both examined the package together: Turned out the answer was "parmesan cheese" and "peppers."

That's just cute. Thank you, cute bearded young man.

A few minutes later, I was on the frozen dinner aisle when a woman about my age approached me: "What generic dinner do you recommend?" (!!!!)

I was puzzled by this. Apparently she'd just seen a generic cheese-enchilada dinner that I'd just placed in my cart, but I couldn't recommend it because this was the first time I'd ever bought it. I felt pressed to recommend other frozen dinners, none of which I saw her put in her cart.

But thank you for asking.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Trump: Adele and Stones fade-out

 
Watching Trump's alternative "for the vets" appearance tonight on C-SPAN in lieu of his appearance at the 7th Republican debate, I was struck by the (albeit aggressively) wistful songs that accompanied the fade-out of the event, after the speeches were over: Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" ("We could have had it all...") and the Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want."

I've paid attention to Trump via interviews for the past 30 years of his American Life. He's actually a thoughtful person. His favorite film is "Citizen Kane" -- I fear that this may be his outcome; I HOPE that it will NOT be, but I nonetheless fear it (though I suppose his Marla Maples/ingénue days are over).
 
 

Monday, January 25, 2016

1954. Joan Crawford in "Johnny Guitar."


Public Enemy - Fight The Power (1989)


Elvis was a hero to most
But he never meant shit to me you see
Straight up racist that sucker was
Simple and plain
Motherfuck him and John Wayne
Cause I'm Black and I'm proud...

1989, from Public Enemy.
Back in '89, I and my white 20-something cohorts guffawed and thought NWA was so cool. Look and listen today, though, to this idiocy and see how it precluded the dumb racial politics going on today in 2016.

Quit allowing your young men to shoot each other and yourselves without consequences (other than the consequences of police reacting); quit having babies out of wedlock at a 75% rate (actually fine if you choose to do it--just don't subsequently expect the government to pay for your welfare and Medicaid); quit allowing your "representatives" to complain that you're not allowed to vote (if you're too dumb to figure out how to vote, then you don't deserve to vote). And I've had enough state jobs now to see how OVER-represented minorities are in comparison to their actual percentage of the population.

I'm sick to death of this "victim" culture, especially when the so-called "victims" are so obviously, in 2016, now responsible for the vast majority of their own sociopathy. Seems they're (and their liberal white supporters) are stuck mentally in the '50s, when blacks weren't allowed to ride at the front of buses or drink out of white water-fountains or inter-marry, etc. THAT was a worthy battle.

Today, though, "Trayvon Martin" and "Michael Brown" and "Sandra Bland" are decidedly NOT worthy battles. (Thank god for the Internet: Look up the actual FACTS about all of these cases.) I'm sick of the Crying Wolf syndrome. I'm sick of being told to feel guilty when there's nothing to feel guilty for. I'm sick of the bullshit. Fight the Power.

p.s. Elvis Presley and John Wayne were COOL, assholes. Unto themselves. Don't try to place your PC political bullshit onto them. Who gives a fuck if Elvis was racist, or if Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, for that matter. They're still of major importance to United States history and culture. Their relations to blacks were a decidedly minor part of their overall historical import, only talked about now because all of their major contributions have already been scoured over.
 
 

Elvis Presley - Blue Suede Shoes 1956 (COLOR and STEREO)


Elvis Presley - Jailhouse Rock (1957)

 

Are You Lonesome Tonight? - Elvis Presley

"Do you gaze at your forehead and wish you had hair?"
Elvis sloppily fucking around in concert. His minions sticking up for him, claiming he's being somehow clever. (He's not being clever, he's being fucked up. I do, though, understand how ludicrous the whole "selling yourself" syndrome must have been to Elvis at this point.)
 

Downtown Train-Rod Stewart

You leave me lonely.
 

There Was Someone There Looking Out For You




I just deleted a website I'd created for someone I've been in love with since 2008.

I was torn about this -- I truly loved her art, and still do and will always. Despite her constantly personally disrespectful treatment of me, I really did, on the other hand, utterly respect her art.

That said: If she disrespects me personally, I cannot be linked to her in any way. I think her art is (usually) great, I think her poetry is (usually) great. But, for my own sanity, I will not be a party to anything about her.

I'm Not There Looking Out For You (well, I am in Soul). Good Luck, Honey; meet you in the next life, if there is another.

To Move or Not To Move

RE "To Move From My Apartment Complex at the End of August":

80%: Black guy downstairs constantly yelling at his wife, or yelling on the phone, or yelling outside, or just yelling. I have to listen to him every day.

10%: Three or four families with kids live here. Two of the families have 2-3 little kids living in the apartments, who are constantly shrieking and running around in the parking lot, up-and-down the walkways in front of apartments, etc. The third/fourth families have 12/13-year-old boys who like to ride scooters and scream/play both in the walkways and in the street on the east side of my bedroom.

5%: The motorcycle guy that I have to hear come home and leave every time.

5%: The people thumping up and down the stairs next to my apartment, and the traffic on the busy North Loop.

When I first moved into my apartment a year ago, it was in response to a Craigslist ad to sublet an apartment "with no adjoining walls!" and with the deposit already paid. Sounded great. A small, funky (70s-built) complex, about 24 units, close to my work and shops. 790-sq-ft (a vast improvement over the one-room apartment I'd been living in upon my return from NYC and while temping).

I've lived in Austin since 1983 (with 2 years in San Fran and 3 years in NYC), and have lived in many different types of quarters: student housing, efficiencies, duplexes, garage apartments, mass and small apartments, a house...

I've never, ever been in a place with kids running around and screaming. Nor have I ever lived in a place with a neighbor constantly yelling. I've been in a couple of places with loud music, which were obnoxious, and which I moved from. No loud music at my current place. But the guy yelling...

I've wondered: Am I racist? The man yelling is black. The kids running around are Hispanic. While at former apartments in my younger years, I didn't like the loud music from young white guys, here the noise is specifically generated from the blacks below me and the Hispanics elsewhere in the apartment building. While white-boy-noise is obnoxious, it's also a result of living in super-cheap student apartments. At 50, and living in slightly more expensive apartments (my 2-bedroom, for instance), I was hoping for a better-behaved clientele. Not so. I'd left the obnoxious white-frat-boys but gained loud minority-family-drama on the same exact level of annoyance. Don't like either. I'm not 20 or 30 or even 40 -- don't feel like I should have to put up with any of the bullshit. Especially since I'm gainfully employed as an Editor.

There's something about it: I'm 50, a Master's degree, 17 years of experience as an editor... yet why am I still forced economically to live around a young Hispanic family of 5 stuffed into a 2-bedroom apartment, or a constantly arguing, loud black couple, for instance? (I wouldn't mind living around any type of group if they weren't so stereotypically obnoxious.)

RE "Not to Move":

It's just a pain in the ass to move. And who knows if I'll land in a better apartment. Wherever I move could have equally crappy neighbors -- it's not as if you can ask before moving in: "Um, are there any loud blacks or a bunch of screaming Hispanic kids here?"

VERDICT: Spend a couple of hundred more per month and MOVE. (This means "no car" -- and getting a car is also important to my psyche after 7 years without one upon moving to New York in 2007. But now there's a choice to be made: Either live around less riff-raff, or travel to work around less riff-raff. I can't afford both. Side-note: Why is it that I can't afford both?)

p.s. Let me present this post in another way: Say I were a black woman with a Master's degree and a job as an editor, forced to live in a primarily white trailer park with screaming white kids and a loud, abusive white man screaming next door. Most PC-folk would be horrified by this. And what black woman with a Master's degree would ever be forced to live around such boors in such an environment?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Simon & Garfunkel - Fakin' It (1967)


When she goes, she's gone
If she stays, she stays here
The girl does what she wants to do
She knows what she wants to do
And I know I'm fakin' it
I'm not really makin' it

I'm such a dubious soul
And a walk in the garden wears me down
Tangled in the fallen vines
Pickin' up the punch lines
I've just been fakin' it
Not really makin' it

Is there any danger?
No, no, not really, just lean on me
Takin' time to treat
Your friendly neighbors honestly
I've just been fakin' it, fakin' it
Not really makin' it
This feeling of fakin' it
I still haven't shaken it

Prior to this lifetime
I surely was a tailor, look at me
I own the tailor's face and hands
I am the tailor's face and hands
I know I'm fakin' it, fakin' it
I'm not really makin' it
This feeling of fakin' it
I still haven't shaken it, shaken it
I know I'm fakin' it
I'm not really makin' it
 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Joan Crawford with fans, 1938


Left to Rot

Just had a horrifying thought:

Have been thinking happily recently that, had I had a computer in the home while I was growing up, I might not have felt so utterly lonely and barren.

But then the reality hit me: Even had there been a computer in my home, my mother would have forbidden me from using it. I would have been as isolated in 2016 as I was in 1982.

In the 80s, my mother forbade me from seeing even the girl my age next door. Summers, my brother was allowed to go out with the neighborhood gang. I was not.

I can't tell you how mentally crazed I was summers, trapped out in the country completely alone. A computer -- something, SOME communication with others -- would have made me feel sane. Imagine being denied computer communication after being denied everything else.

Funnily, my brother has told me in later years that, during his time with the boyz in the hood, they'd compare penises and jack off, slurping Robitussin and even doing acid.

The only thing that me and my next-door neighbor, both of us 14 or so, ever did in our spare time was listen to the "Grease" soundtrack and sunbathe topless on her trampoline and dress up/perform to KISS records.

A side-note: Summers, my mother arranged for my younger brother to participate in a Fort Worth Nature Center program. On the other hand, she left me home by myself. No group to participate in, and also not allowed to interact with the neighbor-kids.

Cracks me up that both my mother and my father left me to rot. And yet, here I am! How in the world did I survive? (power of Beatles and Plath and Joan and one's internal resources)

Monday, January 18, 2016

David Bowie - Modern Love

From the soundtrack of my freshman year in college, 1983.
 

Ziggy Stardust | David Bowie

With just a beer light to guide us...
 

Clean

For me, there is no cleaner, more powerful feeling than (a) having a day job that is intellectually challenging, and (b) simultaneously working on a creative project equally intellectually challenging.

That feeling doesn't come around very often. The last time for me was in 2004, when I was just brought on full-time for a publishing company while simultaneously about to launch my Joan Crawford website.

Nowadays, I've again been waking up excited.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

KISS "Unplugged " Beth

Originally from the 1976 "Destroyer" album. Here, in 1995 on MTV's Unplugged.
 

See you tonight - Gene Simmons / Kiss MTV Unplugged

My favorite of the KISS solo albums released in '78 was Gene's, and my favorite song, "See You Tonight." Here's the 1995 Unplugged version. (Note that the song has barely any lyrics -- I still like it.)
 
 

Drop Dead, Ted

'Nuff said. Oh, wait... How 'bout your wife's employment at New York's Goldman Sachs and your $1 million loan from that company? Fucking hypocrite Cruz. Hope Trump kicks your holier-than-thou backwards ass in Texas on March 1.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

State of the Union 2016

Just listened to, semi-watched, President Obama's last State of the Union speech. Uninspiring. (And, yes, I voted for Obama in 2012 -- because Romney was so ridiculously phony. And I support Trump in 2016 because he's so ridiculously real.)
 
What cracked me up most afterwards was a Fox commentator's: "A spector haunts this speech -- the spector of Donald Trump."
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch01.htm

And of course after the speech, I had to run (type) immediately to Trump's Twitter feed:
"The ‪#‎SOTU‬ speech is really boring, slow, lethargic - very hard to watch!"
 
I love Trump.
 

Thursday, January 07, 2016

She did, in these ways.

I knew her off-and-on for a few years.
Will always love her movie-star / poet's face. Will always love her art and her writing.
Will always hate that '80s polka-dot skirt and hair.
Will always hate last June's "dizziness" excuse and her Daddy Complex.
 
 

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Joan Crawford, 1959


I never can get over how good-looking she is. 





"She blows his head off."

Over the past 2 days, I've already written 10 pages of a new screenplay.

(For any fools who think "writing a screenplay" is easy --- you remind me of the teenager I met in San Francisco in 1994 who claimed, after we were discussing the 49ers, that he could throw an 80-yard pass. Try it.)

Most of the story takes place in a Western bordello, circa 1890, where a madam and one of her girls have been lovers for years. One day a good-looking, Bible-toting cowboy comes into the picture and feels he must save "The Girl," having no idea at all what she and the madam have been through over the years. He initially kidnaps her, learns of her back-history, hopes to convert her to a "pure life" of marriage to an itinerant cowboy... When The Girl doesn't particularly want that and tries to escape, he resorts to quoting the Bible to her. Now, I'd made all of this story up. But when it came time to figuring out what exactly the Cowboy would be quoting, I was clueless. Thank you Internet for the "bible + whores" search, which yielded a multitude of good quotes from Ezekiel, like:

"They shall stone thee with stones, and thrust thee through with their swords. And they shall burn thine houses with fire, and execute judgment upon thee in the sight of many women; and I will cause thee to cease from playing the harlot, and thou also shalt give no hire any more. So will I make my fury toward thee to rest, and my jealousy shall depart thee, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry..."

The above is what the Cowboy ended up preaching to the Girl in the story, all the while beating the shit out of her (while promising to be "no more angry" later).

Luckily, the godless madam was a pretty tough cookie herself.

I would like to thank the movie "Carol" for getting my creative juices flowing again, for recalibrating just about everything.

Here's a brief excerpt from how my partial screenplay ends:
 
VIV and the GIRL emerge from the shack, the GIRL now clothed and leaning heavily on VIV. The two shuffle over to where the COWBOY lies, still alive and looking up at them. BIG JOHN is bent over him.
VIV: Get out of the way, John.
BIG JOHN sees her eyes, backs off.

VIV hands the rifle to the GIRL. The GIRL can barely stand by herself, but manages to take the rifle and point it at the COWBOY's face. She can't, though, pump the rifle. VIV grabs it and pumps it for her, then hands it back to her.
GIRL (looking at the COWBOY, speaking under her breath, mouthing the words so that only he understands what she's saying—a quote from the last verse of Ezekiel 16, the chapter he'd been quoting to her earlier):
"That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done…"
She blows his head off.

Riding off into a glorious sunset. VIV with GIRL clinging to her back. BIG JOHN with body of COWBOY slung across back of horse behind him.

THE END

Rodgers & Hart - "Where or When" from "Babes in Arms"

And so it seems that we have met before...
 

Friday, January 01, 2016

First movie of 2016!

"Carol," with Cate Blanchett.

I haven't had sex in so long, I forget I'm gay sometimes. And then I see Blanchett in this... and I remember! :)