Aug 31, 2007

"and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile"

In happier news, I got home today to find a belated birthday gift from my friend
Mark in Toronto

The thing about mail from Canada is it always looks so exotic because of those crazy Quebecois insist on everything being in French. I hurriedly tore into the wrapping paper and cried out in (honest to God) glee:




Of course, I don't have a DVD player, but still!
It's very exciting.

I remember when I first met Mark, years ago. We were walking through the French quarter and he commented
"you're like the Gay male Mary Tyler Moore"
I was floored.

It was uncanny, because that's exactly a running joke I'd made about myself too.
(with (we agreed) more than a good dash of Rhoda Morgenstern.)

Mary and I were (well, then at least) both young naive singles....going on lots of dates...but never quite putting out.

As time has gone on, I think I've become more Rhoda-like than Mary like, but I guess that's inevitable, isn't it?

Now, what I want to know, is why can't one find Rhoda on DVD? (What kind of evil shiksa conspiracy is going on out there?)
I'd even buy a machine for that, I think.

bitching 2: electric boogaloo

My job continues to become more surreal. I didn't think it could get worse than last year, but of course, it has.
My coworkers and I spent the past few days in the dusty, gutted old building, looking across the mud as the migrant construction crews frantically worked on the interim school.
We were there to sort through books and other things today, but of course the movers were late. I'm supposed to go out there and see what can be done tomorrow.

I was warned by one of my coworkers that she had seen toxic mold, that we needed "to be careful." She's quite the expert on mold it seems. I spent my foodless lunch time listening to her tell me all about mold. The old buildings were never cleaned of mold because they're going to be torn down. They've been open to the elements for two years, and the mold is still there. Surely enough, I ended up feeling awful after 5 hours working in there. She tells me she's bringing some surgical masks for us tomorrow.
You'd think I'd have built up an immunity or something after clearing out those mold contaminated houses two years ago.

Our interim campus is composed (or I should say, "will be composed") of about 20 buildings linked by a huge deck.

As of now, today, however, five hours ago....only 5 of these small buildings are finished. About 8 have walls, and the rest are in varying states of construction, none with floors or roofs yet.
Every day it's rained, and that sets things back even further.
There will be no cafeteria until who knows when. I'm not sure how that will work. Students have to bring in their own food, but it'll have to be cold. There won't be a way to heat food. There won't even be water fountains.
Even the tent that has been ordered until the cafeteria can be constructed will not arrive until October, nor will there be furniture.

There are 600 students arriving on Tuesday and there are 5 small rooms.
How will this work?

None of these rooms by the way, were even accessible to us today. We weren't allowed to even view one. Too dangerous.

The decking still must be constructed...as well as stairs. The water and sewerage is not quite yet functioning and the electricity is only partially set up. They've still not put in the ACs for all 5 finished buildings yet, let alone set them up.
So, come next week, we will be teaching who knows how....perhaps in the dirt (which is littered with debris....broken glass, thousands of nails) in this blazing heat. The furniture is on its way from Canada still.

How I'm going to manage teaching with nothing but my voice and a floor I don't know.
I went to the store today to buy some looseleaf and pens for the students, so that I can occupy them somehow.

But we are not allowed any hint of frustration. None.
It's completely verboten.
No one can complain, or we're considered virtual heathens (and even, I think, subtly threatened with being fired). That's how it is. So no one complains. We put on our happy faces...and worry.

In other news, my father's results came back, and it was bad, but not nearly as bad as it could be. It's in the early stages, and that's good. There's a very good success rate of treatment. They say that they can treat it (prostate cancer) hopefully with some form of radioactive pellets.

And my nose is still bleeding spontaneously..WTF?
It's like I'm five years old again.

But hey, at least it's not radioactive pellets inserted into my urethra, right?

Aug 27, 2007

just bitching


I've been wondering why I've had a week long headache. I couldn't shake it. I woke up yesterday to find a full blown fever blister....and what feels like a fever to go along with it. I've been sick in just about every other way too lately. Today, in Target, my nose spontaneously began bleeding. The bathroom looked like a murder scene...blood everywhere.
Mortifying.

I couldn't figure out why I've felt so bad for so long, but now I think it might be stress.

I just started back to work today...after a very long summer. The students are set to return on Sept 4th.
We still have no buildings.
The school's been waiting for FEMA to construct the portable buildings on the site of our old, flooded campus, since May or so. There's been nothing but hold ups, so the principal tells us frustratedly.

For eight hours today, we listened to a "motivational speaker" tell us about "pleasing the customer." She's the mother of one of the staff who has her spiel down pat. She was hired with no thought of the lack of appropriateness to the audience it seems (a pretty typical example of the administration's lack of forethought, actually).

She blithely lectured us on such topics integral to teaching as---
the proper way to give out business cards (right side up), how set the dinner table (forks on the left), how to shake hands (not too sweaty or limp), and how to wear a name tag (opposite the heart).
This last fact generated the only excitement of the day...a heated discussion on proper name-tag wearing protocol.

While she droned on, I gazed out of the back windows, watching the workmen hurriedly framing up the metal sheds.
They are in no way close to finishing. The principal spends much of her time trying to hurry the contractors, and diffusing the anxiety of parents, she says.

Last year I taught classes so crowded no one could sit.
I was without AC for a month...and without electricity for the entire year. Come May, they still hadn't managed to wire my classroom. The first few months of school nearly killed me.
Now we're moving into a sodden field with no buildings...yet. Let's just say it doesn't bode well...

It's also the second anniversary of Katrina...
and tomorrow my father's biopsy results come in. I'm just hoping it's not cancerous.
My mother and all her health problems are enough for me to deal with right now. I know that sounds selfish, but it's just the way it is.

Aug 25, 2007

from my 15 year old closet

I found these sketches today in my childhood room. They're all that's left of a much larger stash of designs. The better ones are long lost.
They're all rather embarrassing now....obviously amateurish
But most were done in study hall at my all boys school...when I was 15 years old, sketching only from my vivid imagination...without a model, quickly, furtively...all the time praying none of my classmates would catch me and beat me to a pulp.






Aug 24, 2007

More AM gold

It's funny how tangents work.
A conversation with Michael tonight about M.C. Lyte (among other things) led me to remember another great
song, the original on which her "Poor Georgie" was based.



Georgy Porgy by Toto. I love this song.

fashion....is. something. that. can. be. acquired.

By now you've all surely seen the fabulous Brenda Dickson "Welcome to my Home" video

Michael told me tonight about one of the countless parodies out there. This one was pretty good.

Aug 23, 2007

Renuzit: the Reckoning

At this very minute, the crazed neighbor across the hall is pitching a fit, yelping like a whipped dog and clapping maniacally.
Again.
The moon will be full in a few days, I believe.
She's better than the freaking Farmer's almanac, I tell you.

Speaking of which, not long ago, hearing a noise, I looked out of my peephole to find her door wide open.

She was lying prostrate across the hall, her feet in her own apartment, her head a foot from my threshold.
Then, without ceremony, she got up and went along her crazy way.

Anyway, the day after I completed my my stealth mission to replace the Renuzit and Miss Havisham flower arrangement in the hallway,
I came home to find the orchid still sitting where I had set it.

The new 12 dollar reed diffuser from Pier One...with which I had replaced the Renuzit, however, was gone.

I searched around the building and found it placed on a pile of trash a few feet away.
So that's how it's going to be, eh?

Bring it on, Banshee.

Aug 22, 2007

the answer (to life)



Ok, so here's the (embarrassing) common denominator of the magazines sent over from Blimey that I mentioned down there
I wish I could have found "Communication," but this will do.
It was all about the Brothers Kemp, back in the day for me. I was a bit fixated.

(Now, if only Tony Hadley would stop all that caterwauling)

Aug 21, 2007

"One in four read no books last year"




I just read this dire article at yahoo saying that
only one in four Americans read a book this year

Can't say this is a surprise of course, but just as I was set to cluck my tongue at the ignorant masses, I thought to myself...
"wait a minute, I haven't read a book this year either."
I am one of them!

Typically, I use the summer to read, since the rest of the year is so reading-heavy for me. I haven't gotten around to it this year, however.

Looking down beside my bed right now, however, I see a pile of books stacked up a few feet...but no fiction. Fiction is what I think of when I think of "reading a book," and it takes an effort these days to read fiction...just too much effort.
So these books in my mind, don't really count.

Anyway, I see below me, a snapshot of my monthly reading. There's:

The World of Ancient India (pictures and text, all I need in a book)
The Law of Attraction (yes, I do read this sort of crap.)
The First Time: Innovations in Art (Drat...should have looked at the second part of that title.)
Figure Painting Today (not quite Figure Skating Today, but it'll do.)
Food in Medieval Times (for work, honest)
Furnish: Furniture and Interior Design for the 21st Century
And, last but not least,
Valentino: A Dream of Desire (not well written, but it goes into some detail about his homosexuality, and that's the hook)
Now you see what the picture up there has to do with all of this. (bet you were wondering, weren't you?)

Pretty hot, no?

So, what about the rest of you, what are you (avoiding) reading?

AM gold

Today, driving around the cemeteries, on the way home, I heard this song and instantly I was back on the beach, making sandcastles.

I'm not sure when the last time I had heard "Moonlight Feels Right" by Starbuck, but it's been a very long time.
Very.
It instantly brings me back to my childhood...days at the beach namely.

It's thouroghly cheesy, of course, as most 70's light rock is...but it's still pretty damned wonderful.
And a xylophone solo!? I'm there.



I can feel the sunburn right now, just listening to it again.

Aug 20, 2007

40p




The other day, digging around in my childhood closet, I found these magazines... (there were a few NME's too, but they were too large to fit on the scanner)
All were ordered directly from England.

Can you figure out the common denominator?
(hint: it's a clue to an embarrassing fixation of my adolescence.)

Aug 19, 2007

from the creepy department of Craigslist

Prgenant Woman at Saturday "Underdog" Movie - m4w

-----------------------------------------------------------
Reply to: pers-400590181@craigslist.org
Date: 2007-08-19, 7:36AM CDT

HI I hope you are a "Missed Connections" reader. You are in the mid to late 2nd tri-mester of pregnancy, and are "drop dead beautiful", heart stopping "pretty".
I looked to see if you were wearing any type of "ring" and you were'nt.

We briefly had eye contact and a little smile exchanged between us, you were with a sister or your very young looking mother and a child. I was with my daughter.

I am single and hope you are too. Dinner, coffee, or anything you want for a "get to know each other" type of meeting.

I hope Cupid is working on this, lol.

Location: Kenner

----------------------------------------


The whole "Prgenant" fetish thing is crazy enough, but don't even get me started on the use of quotation marks.

Aug 17, 2007

when will it end?



Yet another senseless murder in the murder capital of the US


By Daniel Monteverde and Brendan McCarthy Staff writers
A brooding man sat on a blue barstool Wednesday at Pal's Bar, a Mid-City neighborhood joint where, as usual, a dozen or so people drank and swapped stories.

During an 8 p.m. shift change, a bartender told co-owner Linda Novak that the man "gave her the creeps."

An hour later, the man stood up without a word, whipped out a knife and slashed the stranger next to him. Then he walked methodically toward the door, grabbed a woman, another stranger, and fatally slit her throat.


Read the rest here

Pal's is a cool place...(owned by Taylor Hackford's and Helen Mirren's (step)son, by the way.) I've been there several times. It's only a few hundred feet from my home.
It's just really sad.

Aug 16, 2007

bringing Betty back

I've mentioned her before, but she's worth mentioning again.


It's an ok song...but who cares...it's just wonderful to have the legendary
Betty Wright back. Thank you, Angie Stone.

But now on to some classic Betty.
This is a clip of a homemade video of Richard (Dimples) Fields' "She's Got Papers on Me" featuring Betty.
(By the looks of this slightly creepy montage, it looks like someone has a little too much time on his hands (no, not me)....and maybe a bit of an obsession.)
I tried to listen to it without fast forwarding to Betty's legendary rap at the end, but I couldn't do it. Can anyone, really?
And of course, I have to roll my neck and rap along with her too....
Try not to. I dare you.


"Now take your little albums and your little raggedy component set...that never worked...and you can scat! You heard me?!"

Aug 15, 2007

pretty/freaky






I picked up a book the other day in the library called Furnish: Furniture and Design for the 21st Century and was fascinated by the china figurines of
an artist named Shary Boyle. They're both pretty and freaky.




Here is herwebsite

it's official



I took myself to see Stardust today.
It was all right, nothing great, but in the two or so hours I sat there I cemented a crush on its star, Charlie Cox.
Yes, I have an official (slightly inappropriate) crush.
I feel like a 16 year old (girl)... again.

After a bit of research, I realized that I'd seen all of his major films, "The Merchant of Venice," "Casanova," and now, "Stardust." I hadn't planned it, but I have.
He's terribly cute, of course, but more than that he seems genuinely sweet, or maybe he's just a a very good actor. (Somehow I think the former's more true than the latter.)

Aug 13, 2007

war


In the hallway of my building, there's a small table. On the table is a battered old silk flower arrangement. Every morning when I walk out I see it. It's faded. It's matronly. It's dusty. The table below is littered with its crumbling remains.

I obsess about it a lot. (Welcome to my world. Sorry.)

Now as if this little nature morte wasn't pathetic enough, next to it, there's a dried up Reunzit deodorizer.

(By the way, in searching online for this photo, I found out quite a lot.
There seems to be a whole sick cottage industry of making costumes for Renuzit deodorizers. Did you know this? You can dress them up as everything from a witch... to a clown...to a festive rat, but the consensus is that even a festive rat is better looking than an naked Renuzit.)

Once, when I first invited guests over to see my new place, I foolishly moved the deodorizer to a cabinet in the back of the hall. I had to do something, but I was not brave enough to move the flower arrangement. I did dust it however.

I didn't thow the Renuzit away, mind you. I wasn't stupid enough to do that. I simply moved it 20 feet from where it had been before.

The next morning I found it right back where it had been before.

Inanimate things can't speak, obviously, but this deodorizer was speaking loud and clear in my crazy neighbor's voice.
"Don't fuck with the Renuzit, boy."

So I haven't....yet.

On my coffee table right now is a silk orchid plant. I bought it on sale today.
It looks nice.

My plan is to move the mangy old flower arrangement and its attendant Renuzit tomorrow morning, early, while she is gone, and put the new orchid plant there. This, of course, will require careful strategizing.

Please pray for my safety.

Aug 12, 2007

haiku

Haiku:
for Ben's birthday party (by request of Velinda)


Lesbian pit hair,
Asian ballerina twirls.
The cats run off,
spooked.

"maybe one day you can visit my condo, on a big hill, you know, like 90210"

A little Miss Kittin, just because.

Aug 11, 2007

Caligula!

Check out this video: Trailer for a remake of Gore Vidals Caligula V2



Add to My Profile | More Videos

I saw this clip for Gore Vidal's "Caligula" at Lady Bunny's site

It's a (very, very) short film made for the Venice Biennale in 2005.

What fun it is to see Karen Black and her crazy eyes back on the screen....not to mention Helen Mirren in a 5 foot wig....and of course the insanity that is Courtney Love.
It's camp. It's art. It's fabulous.

Here's more info.And even more info

playing tourist in the hood


I had read an article in the paper about the woman who lives here and the shrine she's built to her dead son. He was murdered on the stoop there in 2001, I think.
It's one of several such folk art constructions I've seen.

I didn't realize how close it is to my house, so today I took a trip (in the 109 degree heat index heat) to take a look. Every inch of the place is painted in elaborate patterns. It's really very beautiful.

The city, as dysfunctional as ever, is trying to tear it (and a number of other perfectly fine homes down.)

gone with the Air



The other day, on my way to cross the bridge, I noticed something sad.
Twiropa was being leveled.
It had stood abandoned since Katrina; its big garage doors boarded up with plywood still spray painted with the ubiquitous "Don't Loot, We Shoot" warnings.
Now it's completely leveled. There's nothing there but rubble.

Oddly, I see that their website is still up and running, like the Flying Dutchman...which is even sadder for some reason.

I only went there perhaps four or five times. The bar made from a plane wing was pretty cool, I remember. One visit was, of course, for a showing of "Grey Gardens," but I think the most memorable was to see Air. Thombeau's mention of Air down there made me think about it. (Here's the poster for that very concert, by the way, I found someone trying to sell)



It was a pretty great concert, despite not so great acoustics. Anyway, here's a video of Air,
doing arguably their most popular song:

Aug 10, 2007

Charlotte Gainsbourg



"The Operation"
Nice video...nice song.(and she's prettier than her father at least)

Aug 9, 2007

live beautiful girls!

I recently put Jason (aka sillymonkey) to the test of listing some of the actresses he finds attractive.

So in all fairness, here's a list of a few of my own crushes.
It's by no means complete, and I tried to keep the dead off the list.
There are a lot of dead beautiful women out there, I have to admit...wait, that sounds bad, doesn't it? I swear I'm a necrophile.
Honest.



I know Uma Thurman's not everyone's cup of tea, but I've thought she was sexy since Dangerous Liasons way back when, and she's only gotten more interesting and beautiful since, I think.




Natalie Portman. Smart and beautiful. Even when I don't like a movie she's in, I seem to like her.



Kate Winslet. Again, beautiful and smart. What else is there to say?



Sade. Just class. That's all.



Catherine Deneuve. Has there ever been a more beautiful woman I wonder?

So what about the rest of you?

Aug 7, 2007

what not to knit.



Completely. Utterly. Sick.
(But of course I had to save it.)

Not sure where it's from, probably a McCall's Magazine from Hell.

tales from the trenches (part 2400?)



I realize what follows is repetitive, but that's the point I suppose.
Sorry.

So, this guy I met a while back still hasn't responded to an email I'd sent two weeks ago.
After our second date I waited a few days and thanked him for it. He wrote back that he was busy. I waited a few days and wrote back...and that's where it ends.
I purposefully haven't mentioned my meeting of him to anyone until now, for fear of jinxing what seemed like a real possiblity. Now, I guess it's not.
I really liked him too.
ahem

Aaaaaaaaanyway, the day before yesterday, in a pique of desperation (but I think pretty well masked), I went again on the offensive. Better to get back up on the horse again than moping around, I thought, right?

Naively, I responded to three ads online in the past week. One hasn't even looked at my profile. One took a look and never responded, and the one I wrote to this morning has just sent this in response to my complimenting of his ad:

"Hi, Thanks for the note. Good luck to you."

Now that's pretty much the nicest kiss-off you can expect to get.

I also foolishly renewed an old ad I had once placed. All full of eagerness this morning, I open my mail to find a response from this guy. Today he responds again...this time with a snide commment about me renewing my ad. I suppose it bothers him that I'm trying again. Who knows? By the way, despite it all, I've never said anything but nice things to him, in what little communication I had. I really don't understand why someone would take the time out to comment on my renewal of an ad. If you're not interested, leave it alone. Why be snide? I don't understand.

After nearly twenty years of this sort of thing, I'm amazed I have any self esteem left, I really am.
But I have to say, what little I do have is wearing pretty thin.

Aug 6, 2007

plague of pink dolphins terrorizing Louisana lake




Finally, a reason to mention Lake Charles.
Finally, a reason to mention Foxnews.com

It's a miracle they didn't shoot it out there.

Aug 5, 2007

The Long Hot Summer...



I've loved this song (Style Council's "The Long Hot Summer") for 20 years or so, but I didn't realize that there was a video until just a few months ago. Thanks (?) youtube.

The other day Vincent mentioned that he'd downloaded some Style Council based on something I'd written, and that he liked them, so I thought I'd dredge this video up and put it here.

It deserves to be seen.
It's kind of a sad song, but the video makes me laugh outloud.

Back then I used to think Paul Weller was gay....but then I realized that he was just British...all evidence (this notwithstanding) points to him being straight.

But this video, it's too queer for words.

One of the commentators writes this about it:

"this was a piss take, terrace lads were wearing this sort of gear."

which I don't understand, but somehow it sums it up pretty well.

Aug 1, 2007

unhot 100

Recently, AfterElton put forth a
list of "Hot 100" men, chosen, of course, by the resident experts on these things, the gays.

There's a lot of gay-friendly filler in there (TR Knight, cast members of the forgotten Queer as Folk), but the rest seems made up with the standard People Magazine Most Beautiful-type stock.

Anyway, here's a short list of some famous "hot" men that just for one reason or another don't do it for me:



Pitt? I grant that he's good looking, but there's nothing really "sexy" about him to me.




Mcconaughey?
Ugh



DiCaprio? Never did see the fascination with him.



Depp? Again, his attraction has always been lost on me. Sorry.



Damon? I don't even think he's really all that good looking. He seems nice enough I suppose.



Hartnett? I don't get it. Frankly, not to be catty, but he's bordering on unattractive even.

-----------------------------------
So, who's a supposedly "hot" actor that you just not get the allure of?

craigslist's meet cutes



Now this (from our local craigslist's "missed connections" section) is what I'd call a total "meet cute"

Vomit in the Park - m4w - 25

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply to: pers-387084391@craigslist.org
Date: 2007-08-01, 3:51PM CDT

I was running in the park and pushed myself a little too hard. I threw up my lunch in front of you, and by the look on your face, it probably ruined your workout...maybe even your day. My bad. I said, “Don’t worry...it was just a banana...I’ve got a bunch of them at home.” I don’t think you got the joke. If you figured it out on your run or your ride home, drop me a line and I’ll make it up to you.


Adorable.