Sep 30, 2007

"Sassified"

Last night's "party" was thankfully dull. I drove out to the westernmost suburbs of the city. We had dinner in a nearly deserted, garishly lit former Pizza Hut-cum- Mediterranean restaurant.

Lisa's ex husband sat at the head of the table and performed like the diva he is.
Lots of gesticulating hands.
There was an inordinate amount of talk about hysterectomies and melon ballers at the dinner table...not the type of thing one wants to hear while eating grape leaves.
Despite that, it was nice enough.

Then we were coerced into going to the casino.

I don't know if you've ever been to a suburban casino bar on a Saturday night, but you truly owe it to yourself.

It was like walking into a low budget David Lynch movie.
Seriously.

I'm talking 70 year old women in pink plastic barrettes doing the "Boot Scootin' Boogie,"
The morbidly obese pantomiming Clarence Carter's classic "Strokin',"
Midgets doing the "Electric Slide,"
And one tall skinny 60 something who did nothing but twirl in the center of the dance floor...for a good hour straight...sometimes without music.

The birthday girl had 10 long island iced teas, and her gay ex-husband won a thousand dollars.
I, however, had the unhappy job of entertaining her current boyfriend, the librarian, as he bombarded me with round after round of random trivia.

Fun times.

Anyway, here's dear old Clarence himself. If you can imagine this video recast by David Lynch, you might be half way there.

Sep 28, 2007

in praise of dull parties



Tomorrow is my friend Lisa's birthday.
On my machine she gives me the line up.
It'll be very simple, a meal at a Greek restaurant and maybe some party games.

Her guest list includes the following:
1. her live-in boyfriend,
2. her flamboyantly gay ex husband,
3. her non-live in boyfriend (impotent and of possible Nazi ancestry),
4. her ex-boyfriend who is straight.
5. her ex-boyfriend's girlfriend,
6. her ex-boyfriend from high school who is a priest (and possible pedophile, but amazingly a completely different one from the one mentioned below.
I know, huh?)
7. a former coworker who may...even more amazingly... be the most bizarre of them all (but that's a story for another time, like after a few drinks)
8. me

The last time she entertained was...ummm...interesting.
I'm hoping for a dull party.

Sep 24, 2007

going old school

Alice Ghostley's recent sad passing
made me remember "To Kill a Mockingbird," one of my favorite films....
not to mention the five, count 'em five, in-a-row synopses of the movie...uhhhh... I mean "book" (it's part of our summer reading list) I had to listen to today.

Anyway, on to the point here. Somewhere along the line I got to thinking that if I could invent a man, I think I might just have to invent Gregory Peck.
From that voice to those eyes....to the (albeit fictional) character, and, I don't know about you, but it's all enough to make me swoon.


update


As per request of sillymonkey, here's an update. I've just gotten my car back from the shop...for a while. It's now working, and they they did a great job repairing it...or so it seems. It looks almost like it did before.
It's supposed to go in again to have the bumper replaced, but that has to wait for a while.

The guy who hit us was caught. He was in jail (the last I heard).

He had borrowed the car (or stolen) not sure, from a friend. It's the friend's insurance with whom I have to deal. We may have to go to court, because he might not have had enough insurance to pay for all three of our cars' damages.
It's been a real hassle.

On the upside, I enjoyed using the cd player in the rental car....got to listen to music for the first time in two years!
I drove to work today listening to a disco compilation of music played at the Loft and Paradise Garage that Michael had made for NYC...and back home listening to St. Etienne...very soothing in the rain.

Sep 22, 2007

propaganda



Let's take a little trip back to the German 80's...shall we?

guns and fudge


Three houses down the street from where I grew up, there lived a woman. Her name was
Karen. Karen had two children, a son and a daughter. She was a bit younger than my mother, and her children were perhaps ten years younger than I was. I used to baby sit for them occasionally. The girl was all right, but the boy seemed a little disturbed. Not that he didn't come by it good. Her husband was a young attorney with political aspirations, and Karen was a young wife, attractive, intelligent...
and insane.

A few years later things started to unravel. Her husband left her. He married his mistress. He moved to a nicer neighborhood, not far. She and the two children stayed. I was in college by then and started to refuse her babysitting requests. Her children were on the verge of high school themselves after all. It didn't seem necessary. As soon as possible her son left, went into the Army. Her daughter followed soon after, leaving the state to be near her brother. They wanted nothing to do with their mother.

Sometime around this time, Karen became involved with a man, a former military man whom she had met at church (she had also become involved with some sort of evangelical church). He was horrible. Every time they'd have a fight, which was often, he'd stalk her. He would drive up and down the street constantly, blowing his horn as loud as he could, waking everyone up on the street. My father once went out brandishing a shotgun at him. It was a pretty impotent gesture, but as a general rule, don't fuck with my father's sleep.

It didn't matter much, because not long after, the boyfriend went away, and Karen was alone.

It was then that she decided to "befriend" my mother. My mother is an outgoing, social sort of person, but she most definitely doesn't like "friends." She's a paradox like that. I, of course, had to listen to my her constant complaints about how Karen would show up at the door just about every day, to talk for hours and hours...delaying her getting her hair done. Just for future reference, don't fuck with my mother's hair appointment, or God so help you.

My mother eventually took my advice and started not answering the door. If I were there and the door bell rang, we'd be forced to be deadly silent, hoping the predator would walk away. Every now and then, when she'd open the door, she'd find a note, sometimes some badly baked cookies. Then the gifts devolved into crudely carved animals, hunks of wood that looked like they'd been whittled with a homemade knife.
Once, she opened the door to find a pot of brown, crusty liquid...which thankfully turned out to be half-made fudge.

It was all too bizarre.

A few months go by and she seems to have gotten the message. We hear nothing of her.

Then, one day we open the paper. Her husband, now a full fledged very minor political figure, has been shot in his gated community. Karen was found quietly sitting in the middle of his fountain. From what we learn, she is put away in some sort of institution. She stays there a good long time. I'm not even sure how long. A year of so later, however, she is released and goes home. Again, thankfully, we hear nothing from her. My mother does keep track of her car however. She's always on alert. One day, I come home to find a swat team blocking the street. There are police everywhere.

It's a beautiful early autumn evening and Karen has attempted suicide.

In the middle of this pandemonium I see a small army of young men in black slacks, white shirts and ties, riding bicycles.
Of course they are Mormons.

Karen's mother, a devout Mormon herself, way up in Missouri, after getting her daughter's call threatening to kill herself, made two phone calls. One was to the our local police, the second to the local Mormon church.
Guess which one got there first. It's really quite frightening.

In the end, she didn't succeed in killing herself. She was taken away and went back to the "facility." A while later she moved somewhere out West, and the house was sold, and she all but disappeared from my memory...
until the howling of my neighbor across the hall last night (full moon is on the rise) kicked in again.

Guess what her name is, by the way.

Sep 21, 2007

Portuguese love



Just because...here's one of my all time favorite Teena Marie songs....and it's hard to winnow them down too.

She and I are so similar it's uncanny...both white, lesbian wanna-be black girls, you know.

Sep 18, 2007

just exactly what I needed

So, after a long day teaching out in the wilderness,
I come home and climb into bed from sheer exhaustion. It's pretty much all I can do after a day of work nowadays. By 8 pm I'm asleep.

Tonight, half awake, I hear a knock on my door. I open it to find my downstairs neighbor.

"Are you parked in front of the building?" He asks. "Ummm...I think so," I answer. I honestly had forgotten where I'd parked.
"Is that your car, the gray one?" "Yeah," I answer.

"Oh, man, somebody's hit your car."

We run down to the street to see the front of my car crumpled up like a piece of paper.

A white car, even more crumpled, air bag inflated in the driver's seat, axle twisted, tires deflated, shattered plastic and glass everywhere, is lodged about a foot into the front end of my car. It looks like they've been merged into one.

There's a crowd gathered around. The neighbor across the street tells us that he saw it happen. The driver, driving 50 miles an hour or more, hit two cars up the street, hit the car in front of me (my insane neighbor's by the way) and then finally hit mine, coming to a sudden stop.

He jumped out of the car and ran off. He's a heavyset (no doubt drunken) black man, about 40 years old, that's all they could tell.

I called the police, only to be told that they had already received a call. Nearly an hour later they actually show up. (God help us had someone been raped or robbed.)
They take the information. They (presumably..hopefully) are searching the culprit.

The neighborhood is still filled with milling people and cop cars.
I've just finished giving all my information to the police. It's taken 3 hours, and I'm dead tired.

Anyway, the short version of this story is that now I have no car and have to figure out some way to work tomorrow at 6 am.

ahem

Sep 16, 2007

Blythe goes to Grey Gardens



For/from Michael.
They've clicked her eyes to match the poster background.
Nice.

health and fitness

How do I spend my day off after working in the seventh circle of hell all week?

A four hour march through the streets of New Orleans...beginning at 9 am...on a Sunday.

Actually it was pretty nice.
It was the annual No Aids Walk. This year it was back uptown, along Magazine St. and Audubon Park, and the weather was really nice....as long as you avoided the sun.
And for just two drink tickets one could buy a Bloody Mary or a screwdriver to accompany you down the walk.

I walked with Dennis and his friend Jeffrey and met up with my friend Geronimo and his roommate, Michael.

While chatting with Geronimo, a photographer accosts us and asks to take our picture, because Geronimo is wearing a rainbow beanie...with a propeller.

Our photo, so we were told, will be featured in "Health and Fitness" Magazine (no smartassed comments thank you)...which, although it sounds pretty impressive, I think is one of those free circulars found at supermarkets.

I'll be the one not wearing the propeller beanie.

Out there I saw a least five people I know, only two of whom I avoided, not a bad average. Among the five were Myke and Tina. I chatted briefly with them. Myke mentioned his fear of running into past dates, which I think was the chief motivation for everyone there to keep moving. There's no better motivation than trying to avoid someone you've dated. Bataan death march? pshaw...bring it on.

Sep 15, 2007

put your body in it



Here's another great old jam...once (so I now know) in heavy rotation by Larry Levan at the legendary Paradise Garage
Of course, back in middle school, listening to Disco 97, (our local disco radio station) I didn't know all of that, but I did love this song.

Stephanie Mills' slightly freakish voice is perfectly used here.

pre-halloween



I just learned that this is what's happening not too far from my home...up near the cemeteries.
I'd noticed the activity around there a while back and wondered what was up.

Someone, it seems, has bought one of the old funeral parlors and is making it into some sort of attraction. It's not my bag by a long shot, but it's a good sign, I suppose...revitilizing the area a bit.
Hordes of overfed Goths from all over the Midwest might spur a revival of sorts. Who knows.

In the commercial you can see the old Jewish cemetery where I (Carlos, Marshall and Vincent and his friends) spent a foggy new years night a few years ago.

(and by the way, that's "foggy," smartasses)

Sep 14, 2007

bad reputation

When I was in middle school, my mother allowed me to join the Columbia House Record Club. Remember them?




The above was one of the many 8 tracks I ordered.

Ummm...you'd think would have been something of a clue for her?
But nope.



And by the looks of this youtube clip, The Ritchie family is still quite popular in Kazhakhstan it seems.

Who knew.

Sep 13, 2007

Tim Gunn's Guide to What Not to Wear


So, judging by the highly scientific poll here, a slight majority of you love Mr. Gunn, but didn't much care for his new show. That's exactly how I felt myself. I have to admit that I was disappointed with it, but I can't say that I was all that surprised at being disappointed either.
I sort of had a feeling it might not be that great, not awful, but not great.

I do love Veronica Webb, always have, so that's a nice plus, but I can't say I'll be rushing home to watch the next episode.

I really didn't care for that first contestant either. She was far too fawning for my tastes. I like a little feistiness in my makeover contestants, a little fire in
the belly. I like to see Stacy and Clinton brow-beat and wrestle a feisty one into submission.

Well, I used to.
Now, I'm just kind of over it all, you know.

And that whole bit of Tim's presenting the husband with the purchased ring stuck in my craw (and an ICE.COM (tm) diamond ring stuck in the craw is not fun, lemme tell you)

Anyway, I'm not sure the world needs another makeover show, not that I have even the vaguest idea of how to package Tim Gunn and his dazzling silver charm into a tv
show.

Maybe have him dress up in little outfits and give vocabulary lessons?

That I might actually rush home to see.

F**k me pumps



So, I just got a package in the mail, and I'm falling in love...

with Amy Winehouse.

(thank you Veronica!)

Sure, she and I have been acquaintances for quite a while. I mean I've heard 5 or so songs out there, I've read every detail of her sordid life...but now she's getting her claws into me....and it's nice.

Sep 10, 2007

Big blue marble

Seeing Vincent's clip from 3-2-1 Contact, I got to remembering one of my favorite shows as a kid, Big Blue Marble.
Does anyone out there remember it too?

It featured segments on how others lived around the world. It was very 1970's.
I loved the show. One aspect of it was a prominent pen pal program. You could write to the show and they would set you up with a pen pal from some far flung exotic locale.

Sort of like Match.com

Of course I signed up. My personality hasn't changed that much since age 9.

A few weeks later, I got the name of my pen pal. I eagerly opened it, only to find out that he was from the far flung exotic locale of....
rural Ontario.

He wasn't even from the French speaking part of Canada. I was so disappointed. I had wanted a pen pal from France, from Nigeria, from Japan! Those were the pen pals they advertised.

(It was just like the Sea Monkeys.)

But I still wrote to him, eagerly telling him about where I lived, pumping up the exotic factor (I figured he was just as disappointed to have a pen pal in the boring old U.S.) asking him all sorts of questions about Ontario.

He'd been down south to Florida, so there was nothing I had seen around here (even alligators) that he hadn't experienced already...hell, he had probably gotten to ride them in Kissimmee or something, what did I know?

And the way he described Canada was not at all the way I pictured it. He seemed to live on a plain old boring farm, not out in the North Woods swarming with Dudley Do-rights the way I imagined.

We kept corresponding for a year or so I believe, but then it lapsed, as I'm sure most such correspondences did. I wonder what happened to him?



my first day of school



Finally, nearly a month late, we've opened school.
Today was the first day of actual teaching. (not just manual labor)

I've spent 8 hours without air-conditioning or sitting down..in New Orleans, in September.


Not to be repetitive, but we still have only 1/2 of the class rooms framed, one port-o-let (with a bottle of hand sanitizer) for 600 people, no running water, no boards, no phone service, no books, no doors, no desks, no copier, no computers, no rosters, hell, we don't even have an office, no cafeteria, no potable water, no intercom, no bell....and barely any order.

Still, somehow, goddammit, I managed to teach all 150 of my students.

Of course, promptly as soon as school let out, it started to storm again.
On the 5 hundred foot trek through fields of mud to exit (by foot) all 650 of us were completely soaked to the skin.

It's 4:30 pm, and I'm going to bed.
God help me.

Sep 8, 2007

"This one's for....



Whoever taught you how to kiss in designer jeans."

Anyway just because I need some cheering up...here's perhaps my favorite Prince song
(Lady Cab Driver)

(set by some ingenious soul to a real NYC taxi cab ride)

Sep 7, 2007

just more of my bitching.

Y'all I'm telling you. I'm trying not to complain, but....sorry.

So I've just spent seven hours in the blazing heat, no air conditioner, no food, unloading 300 some odd chairs, 30 wardrobes and several hundred pounds of books.
That's barely made a dent.
I don't even know how I'm typing this. I'll warn you all now, I'm not proofreading, so let the keystrokes fall where they may.

I and about 10 of my coworkers have been out doing manual labor in the heat for 21 hours the past week.

The Spanish teacher, who's been talking to the workers, tells us that they've told her that they have decided to "strike," because they haven't been paid.

They certainly don't seem to be doing much...not that there are many of them in the first place

Of course the school had to postpone classes until this coming Monday, which bought them a week from the original start date. We should have begun nearly a month ago, actually, if things were the way they should be.

We've done the student orientation already..but now, even Monday seems impossible.

As of now, there are no bathrooms, not even a frame of them...of course there's no cafeteria (until presumably January), there is no electricity or running water and not even one class room is actually completely finished. Not one....let alone the 20 or so that need to be completed.

It's been one long fiasco of bad management, but that's pretty par for the course.
I'm trying to stay positive...at least in public.....but it's getting hard.
I'm eager to get into class, but this is ridiculous.
I'm so dead tired right now, I can't tell you....my back is killing me...and mostly I'm just frustrated.

argh

Sep 6, 2007

yarn wigs, Betty White and scat

Sometimes it's funny to see what draws people to this site. Here are some of the
google searches that have lead poor unsuspecting strangers here:

Yarn wigs
(I'm sure I'm the premier site for yarn wig information.


Betty White's "Tonight is the Night"


(God, what I wouldn't do to hear that.) Though this is all they found


Jason Clarissa scat
(I'm afraid to even ask)


Those of you who know me, know of my (inexplicable?) distaste for the "Welsh Beauty" and her pedophile.
(Actually, come to think of it I think I caught it like a virus from Michael.)

But anyway, I just happened upon this site and thought it was a pretty genius idea there.

Might I recommend the:
Michael Jackson
the Paltrow
The Madonna
and
the Sharon Stone

Sep 5, 2007

Halston, Gucci, Fiorucci.....

"One night at a disco, on the outskirts of Frisco"


"Dreamgirls", Shreamgirls.
When's their movie coming out? That's what I want to know.

mommy time

More fun from the "Welcome to my House" girls.
(And Carol Channing!)



Too funny

Sep 4, 2007

three snapshots

It's easy to get down on New Orleans, (especially in September, especially in 2007),
so it's good to remember the good sometimes:


Today:
On my way to work, an army of angry geese rushes to the water. The ducks and swans are already in. A flock of wild parrots flies up to their palm tree nests. On the way back, Vietnamese women squat in the neutral ground, shaded by coolie hats, weeding the monkey grass as if it were a rice paddy.
In the afternoon the Hare Krishna families from their Victorian Swiss Chalet home on Esplanade, all in saffron robes, are walking along the bayou, passing the lesbians walking their dogs.

At Hanukkah time:
A menorah-mobile weaves through the Uptown streets, blaring Jewish folk songs. It is a small compact car, with a full scale electrified menorah on the roof. Passing Audubon park, a group of Tibetan monks in full regalia are walking, as if escapees from Lost Horizon. A bit further on, they pass two very tall, chicly dressed transsexuals.

this Sunday night:
Driving home after a midnight meal, we spot two boys bouncing blithely through the Marigny streets in nothing more than very tight white underwear. Coming up from the river bank is an older man with hair hanging to his back, wearing a short jacket... and nothing else. On Elysian Fields are two midgets, both in perfectly ordinary clothes.
On the way home, a middle aged woman is riding a long haired pony down the streetcar rails of St. Charles Avenue.
It is 1:30 AM.



The best part of all, however, is that I could probably think of a hundred more such sights if I tried.

1-900-bizarre

Here's a freaky 1-900 commercial.
What can they possibly be hearing on the other end of the line?



via videosift.com

Why do I suddenly want to call?
This is some genius advertising here.

Sep 2, 2007

"I've got a feeling, it's automatic"



I love this song.

Back in the earlier 2000's it seemed like Electroclash would rule the world.
Well, at least Williamsburg.
That never quite happened. Jacques Lucont went on to get involved with Madonna...and Fischerspooner never quite caught on...the Scissor Sisters discovered Elton John....Miss Kittin went back to Grenoble (?)
...and electroclash seems to have faded away.

I still think Zoot Woman holds up however.
It seems like as toddlers they were listening in their cribs the same things I was back in the 80s.

getting old

The other day, I read a post at Marshall's site,
and it's still in the back of my mind.

Monday, on the first day back, I sat down slightly nervously, smiled, reached out my hand and introduced myself to the pretty young woman next to me.

"I know." She said. "You taught me."

"Oh....well then," I laughed. "There's nothing about this place I need to tell you, is there? I'm sure you know more than I do."

After finally focusing my attention on her face I realized who she was.

In my defense, she's only 22 and I taught her when she was 17, but still, it makes you feel old.

It's pretty impressive what she's done since she left.
Not only did she graduate in just three years, but she's also found time to get a masters in Political Science. Since then she's been teaching at the university, and now she's come back home.

Back when she was a student, I remember thinking that she (unlike the vast majority of her peers) might actually end up in the convent.
There were rumors.

Today she has a blackberry, on which she furiously typed throughout the droning "orientation"....and the largest, most expensive (authentic) Dolce and Gabbana patent leather purse I've ever seen.

We all get older, I suppose.